Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Holiday!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The MeFOTO DayTrip Mini Tripod

This has got to be one of the cutest things I have reviewed... When I opened the box, I was almost blown away by how cute the MeFOTO DayTrip tripod is. But of course, I cannot just gush about the appearance of this tripod. This tripod is actually very useful and very useable. And you can take it with you wherever you go.

But of course, the very first thing that I would like to talk about is the size of this thing. It is quite small. Basically, the folded length of the tripod is equivalent to the longest dimension of the full-size iPad. So, if you have a bag where you can put an iPad in, as long as the bag is deep enough, then you can put the DayTrip in. Oh, and at 1.8 pounds, then you have no more excuse in not bringing a tripod.

As with all MeFOTO tripods, the DayTrip Mini arrives in and is packed with the legs reversed and the center column extended. The legs are extended or retracted by loosening the twist locks. And don't be fooled by this small tripod. The twist locks are actually weather resistant!

The legs of the tripod can be set at three different angles. At the widest setting, the tripod can get really low. But if you really, really want to go low, the center column is actually reversible, so, at that setting, you can get really close to your subject, something that is a boon for macro or foodie photographers.

The center column can actually be extended further. With all the legs extended and the center column extended, the DayTrip can go as high as 24 inches, something that other portable tripods cannot boast about. Also, there are not a lot of portable tripods that can handle a load of 8.8 pounds!

The positioning the ballhead is adjusted via a single knob. The ballhead moves smoothly and you can achieve the desired camera position easily. The camera is attached via a Mini-Arca Swiss plate. There is a bubble level which makes leveling the head easy, though the level gets blocked by the quick-release plate. So, I recommend leveling the ballhead first before you actually put the camera in place.

The DayTrip comes with a very nice bag. I got the orange colored tripod, so the tripod bag has a very nice orange accent on it. Yes, I love the color orange!

So, if you want to improve your selfies and your macro photography, or if you simply want to be included in the picture, then I suggest you get this tripod. It is portable and has a huge capacity for its size. You cannot go wrong with this tripod.

Check out the video the wife and I prepared one unusually cold mid-November Chicago day:

The MeFOTO DayTrip Mini Tripod is Highly Recommended!

So get yours here:


Special thanks to Brian Hynes of MACGroup for providing the tripod.

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ThinkTank Photo CityWalker 20 Review

The ThinkTank Photo CityWalker 20 is one sexy bag!

The first thing I want to touch on is what is present in all ThinkTank Photo bags: there are plenty of pockets. The front flap cover has a pocket that can house things that you want quick access to, like your wallet, phone, lens cover, etc. At the back, there is a pocket where you can put larger flat documents, like a FlashBender, or, in my example here, a magazine. There are also pockets on the either side of the bag where you can put a water bottle or, if the occasion calls for it, a speedlite or an extra small lens.

Going inside, you will see a big front pocket big enough to house an iPad. Careful though since this front pocket is not padded so you might want to reconsider putting the iPad there... Well, it is deep enough for a second, smaller DSLR body or micro4/3 camera. I think these bodies can take more of a beating than a tablet. Inside the front inner pocket are smaller pockets for business cards, pens, and other smaller, thinner things.

But fret not! There is a dedicated iPad pocket in the main compartment of the bag. The pocket has a very nice blue accent so you will easily find it - this is a very nice added design by TTP. It's big enough for an iPad (mine is the 4th generation) or similar-sized tablets. A bonus feature? You can actually put an 11-inch MacBook Air inside, albeit it will be situated between the bag and the camera compartment... Let me explain.

You see, the camera compartment is actually removable: there is a bag within the bag! So you can actually use this as a normal messenger bag on days when you don't need to bring your camera with you. And the bag itself is wide enough for an 11-inch MBA or similar-sized notebooks. I do recommend though that you put your small notebook on a sleeve.

You can put an ungripped DSLR inside with a standard zoom lens attached. You can also put a 70-200 lens on its own. Additional accessories like a speedlite plus another small prime can complete your system, something that I think is enough for day-to-day shooting.

A removable rain cover is included though I think the fabric of this bag is already enough for light showers. And also, this line of bag, like in the Retrospective line, has one of the best shoulder strap padding. I always say, the thicker the padding is the more comfortable it is to wear the bag. And TTP did not disappoint here.

And finally, to round it up, the front flap is secured via hook-and-loop tapes and a buckle. The buckle serves as a secondary lock when you put the hook-and-loop closures in "silent mode". That buckle is a nice touch and makes the bag more secure.

Check out the video prepared by the wife and I below to see the bag in action:

The ThinkTank Photo CityWalker 20 is Highly Recommended!

Get yours here:


Special thanks to Brian Erwin of ThinkTank Photo for providing the bag.

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

22nd Annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

It was a damn cold night - temperatures were in the teens!!! But I could not pass up such a wonderful event, especially the fireworks. These are some of my photos. Oh, and hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and the shopping afterwards! :)

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)


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