Last year, I put together a list for my top ten tech. As with last year, my list will consist of some things that have been around longer than this year, but I have now paid enough attention to buy it or to add it to my wishlist.
Canon 5D Mark III - This was my favorite new device in 2012. While there were cameras that came to market with many more megapixels. This camera has better low light performance, faster frames per second, and is just a better all around camera, in my opinion and for my needs. Popular Photography also named it their camera of the year.
Big Green Egg - I have wanted one of these forever and finally got one in 2012. Whether I am making a steak, pizza, smoked turkey, pork butt, etc... The Egg never lets me down.
Black Rapid RS7 (with Carry Speed Mounting Plate) - When I found out that I had a pinched nerve in my neck, I knew I needed to find a way to carry my camera without adding more stress. The black rapid hangs over the shoulder and makes it a lot easier to carry a camera. I also bought the Carry Speed Mounting Plate since it allows a tripod to be attached without removing the strap.
iPad with Retina screen - I bought an iPad 3 earlier this year. The main reason I updated from my Original iPad was the retina screen and LTE. Apple has already updated the iPad to the 4th version and it would be my pick if I did not already own the 3. The retina screen makes text, video and photos much better than the original iPad.
Eye-Fi Pro X2 - Since my camera now has a CF and SD card, I send a RAW file to the CF card and a medium jpeg to the Eye-fi. This allows me to send photos from the Eye-fi to an iPhone/iPad without a computer. I really like this for updating Flickr or other websites when I am on vacation. Since buying it, I usually leave my laptop at home and travel with an iPad only.
Maverick ET732 - These are for remotely watching the temperature on your grill. There are two probes..one for the grill and the other for the food. I used mine all summer and it was nice to be able to keep an eye on things while sitting on the couch.
Geotag Photo Pro app - This is an app that works with an iPhone or Android device that can be used to Geotag photos when you shoot with a camera without a Geotagging feature.
Google Nexus7- While I have never owned a Google device, this had to be on my top ten list this year. It costs $130 less than the iPad mini and has a better screen. While I have no need for this size of a device, it is hard to ignore a tablet that costs less than $200 with the ability to run so many apps. As I mentioned before, if you have a ton of money tied up in Apple apps already, it may make the difference in price more acceptable. Personally, I would get this or wait for Apple to put a better screen on the mini.
Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth® audio devices - While I prefer Airplay when I am on a wifi network, sometimes you get outside a network and still want to wirelessly handle audio streaming. I bought one of these for our sunroom and it works great. I simply hooked it up to an amp (t-amp) that feeds a pair of outdoor speakers. Then I paired my iPhone or iPad to it and it worked like a charm.
Weebly web hosting - While I don't know that I have ever mentioned my web host, I thought this would be a good time to do it. It makes setting up a website extremely easy and their customer service is simply fantastic. Before I was on Weebly, I was using a competitor and getting them to help with anything was a waste of time. However, I had an issue this year that I needed help with and Weebly told me the steps I needed to do and they did the rest. (I pay Weebly the same as everyone else with a pro account, so I am not saying this because they pay me).
Of course, there are some things I didn't mention...Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, Flipboard app, Splashtop Win8, VM Ware Fusion 5, Phillips Fidelio Airplay speaker, iPhone5, etc.. but there are always cuts that need to be made.
The Black Rapid RS-7 is a camera strap that replaces the strap that comes with your camera. It hangs over one shoulder and goes across your chest and the camera hangs near your waist. Below is a picture from Black Rapid's website that shows how it hangs:
A month ago, I went to the zoo with my Canon 100-400mm hanging around my neck on the Canon strap that came with the camera. When I got home, my neck was killing me. I had been diagnosed with a pinched nerve in my neck several months before hand and carrying a camera started to be part of the problem. I needed to find a better way!
I started researching some new solutions since I was unaware that there was a market for this type of thing. While there are cheaper straps on the market, the many positive reviews for Black Rapid caught my attention.
Also, I noticed that Black Rapid had some storage solutions that could be attached or removed depending on the situation. While they do make a strap that has storage built in, I prefer the ability to remove it when I won't be needing it (like when I have a camera bag with me). I ended up buying their "Joey-3" storage solution. It can hold and iPhone and a couple memory cards:
Another selling point was how it would fit. I am 6'4 (or so) and they actually make an extender for tall folks. I figured that I could order it if I needed it. Thankfully, the strap fit fine, but this type of attention to detail says a lot about the thought that went into making this strap.
I did have one major issue with the strap. The way it connects to the camera does not leave a way to connect a tripod. Therefore, anytime I need to use a tripod, I would have to remove the strap. Not really something I want to do!
Luckily, Carry Speed also makes straps and had a remedy. Instead of using the Black Rapid ConnectR-2 to attach the strap to the camera, I am using the Carry Speed Mounting Plate (you can see it on my camera at the top of this review). I bought two of them and may buy a couple more just in case they are discontinued:
The other benefit of this plate is that the camera connects to the side of the camera, rather than in the middle. For me, this allows it to hang steadier and closer to the body.
So, how does it perform? Fantastically! With the weight being distributed on my shoulder and chest, rather than my neck, I can carry everything easier. Even my 3 pound 100-400mm lens is a lot easier to manage. Also, the camera is at your side, rather than the middle of your chest, so it is more stealthy for street photos.
Finally, this is one one of the best additions to my photography kit that makes it easier to carry around a camera all day. When it comes to photography, being able to comfortably carry your camera means you will take the camera with you more often and in return you will have more opportunity to take photos. Nothing is really more important than that!!
Dog loving, Big Green Egg worshiping, Tech enthusiast, residing in Memphis, TN. Home of the Tigers, Grizzlies, Elvis, Al Green, Stax, Hi Records, Ardent Studios, Beale Street, Peabody Ducks, etc.. I have also added the Jeep Wrangler to the list of things I am enthusiastic about.
Flickr pics below