Gadgets

The links lead to Amazon (I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon – Prime membership and credit cards on file just make it too easy).

Until you’ve used a light meter in the studio you probably won’t appreciate it. The Sekonic Flashmate L-308S Digital Light/Flash Meter appears to be adequate for my current needs.

For serious retouching work you can’t beat using a graphics tablet. I started using a Wacom Graphire 2, but have since upgraded to the Wacom Intuos4 PTK-640 Medium A5 Graphics Tablet. There is a complaint about the pen nibs being soft and wearing too quickly, but I’ve not needed to buy any replacements yet. It has a scroll wheel, buttons and lots of clever stuff I don’t use (yet).

Getting a correctly calibrated screen is critical – the ColorMunki Photo has the advantage of calibrating both screen and printer. It’s expensive, but worth it.

The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport appears to be an expensive bit of plastic, but the value is in the software which generates camera specific profiles for use in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. If you’ve ever thought the colours in your images aren’t quite true to life, this may be the fix you need. It also includes a convenient grey card target.

I’m using the older Eye-Fi Pro 4GB Wireless SDHC Memory Card to wirelessly transfer small JPEGs as I shoot (and auto-importing into Lightroom). It’s great to see more than what is showing on the back of the camera. It has since been superseded by the newer model (Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB Wireless SDHC Memory Card) – double the capacity and presumably faster over Wireless-N (802.11n) (though I’d still hesitate to consider using it to transfer 21MP raw image files). The cards support raw files, but the limited capacity when using raw files could be disruptive when shooting (unless you plan to buy multiple cards or are happy to stop, upload and wipe mid-shoot).

SanDisk 16GB Extreme CF Compact Flash Cards 60MBS
I primarily use Sandisk 16GB CF cards – I have a couple of these new SanDisk 16GB Extreme CF Compact Flash Cards 60MBS and four of the older 30MB/s Extreme III cards. I don’t believe there is any performance difference in-camera (the cards are probably faster than the camera can support), but the newer cards might load images to the computer a bit faster (assuming a fast transfer interface like Firewire).

Dell U2711 Ultrasharp 27 inch Premier colour Widescreen Monitor
Some people like dual screens – I’ve tried it and I don’t – I like a single large high resolution screen. The Dell U2711 Ultrasharp 27 inch Premier colour Widescreen Monitor fits the bill with a resolution of 2560×1440 … and a reasonable price. It has a built-in 4 port USB hub and a card reader (though unlike my older 24″ Dell 2408WFP the card reader doesn’t take Compact Flash cards).

Lensbaby Composer Canon Lens
The Lensbaby Composer is easy to operate and can create some very interesting images. It’s also easy to miss focus completely so success can be a bit hit-and-miss with a moving subject.

OP/TECH Super Classic Strap – Carrying strap – black
OP/TECH PRO LOOP STRAP – Carrying strap – black
If you find that the manufacturer’s own camera strap uncomfortable then one of these OP/TECH straps might be what you’re looking for. And if you ever find that your strap gets in the way, it’s possible to detach the shoulder/neck part. I own two styles – the OP/TECH Super Classic Strap and the OP/TECH PRO Loop Strap. The shoulder/neck component is the same, it’s just a matter of how it attaches to the camera. I’d suggest the classic for Canon bodies – it is possible to attach the loop style to a Canon body, it’s just not easy.

Think Tank Retrospective 30 Black Shoulder Bag
I bought a Think Tank Retrospective 30 Shoulder Bag last year with the thought having something smaller than my usual back-breaking rucksack. This is a spacious bag with a lot of room for gear … I do carry less, but it’s still heavy when loaded with a body and a couple of lenses.

Nespresso CitiZ and Milk by Magimix M190 Coffee Machine, Limousine Black
I probably drink too much coffee and the Nespresso CitiZ and Milk by Magimix M190 Coffee Machine doesn’t help. Good coffee and way too easy.