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 Monday, March 17, 2014
by Sean Setters
 
I spent the majority of last week exploring the wonders of the Windy City on Lake Michigan – Chicago, IL. On this trip you could find me:

I must admit something, though – I am directionally challenged. The phrase, "He couldn't find his way out of a paper bag" aptly describes my navigation abilities. My father spent 15 years as a truck driver and can tell you what direction he's facing with his eyes closed on an overcast day. Unfortunately, I didn't get that gene. But where genetics and experience fall short, software and technology step in to fill the void.
 
The first thing that made life so much easier in Chicago was a smartphone loaded with the Transit App. The Transit App proved essential in allowing me to find my way throughout the city. The app uses the GPS on your smartphone to calculate possible routes from your location to your destination using various forms of public transportation.
 
Want to go from the Skydeck to the Field Museum? Easy enough. The app gives you 4 possible routes, with this one being the least time-consuming:

  1. Walk 348 meters to the Monroe/Franklin bus stop.
  2. Take the J14 Bus toward 103rd/Stony Island.
  3. Get off the bus at 1100 S Columbus.
  4. Walk .6 km to your destination (follow the map).

The app estimates the entire trip to take about 24 minutes (I found time estimates to be fairly accurate). Other routes proposed by the app may take a little longer (with multiple transfers), but usually involve less walking.
 
Unfortunately, navigating constantly using your smartphone can be taxing on its battery. That, combined with other high-drain activities – like playing Candy Crush while waiting for the bus [hey, don't judge!] – may leave you with a dead battery before you get back to the AC outlets of your temporary living quarters.
 
That's where this second item came into play – an external battery pack for mobile devices. I purchased the RAVPower Element 10400mAh External Battery Pack in October of last year and it's come in very handy on many occasions. Fully charged, this external battery can charge my phone 4 or 5 times (from near 0% to 100%) before needing to be recharged itself.
 
This trip proved just how useful a tiny, relatively inexpensive external power device can be. Without it, I would have been lost nearly every day just after lunch!
 
So there you have it – a smartphone app and an external battery pack kept me navigating the city efficiently all week. Have any more suggestions? Alternate navigation apps? Leave us a comment!

Post Date: 3/17/2014 6:53:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, March 16, 2014
Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera
eBay (via FocusCamera) has the Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera (review) available for $579.99 with free shipping. Compare at $699.00.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/16/2014 6:51:44 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 7D DSLR Camera
The Canon Store has the Refurbished Canon EOS 7D DSLR Camera (review) available for $839.44. Compare at $1,399.00 new.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/16/2014 10:14:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
eBay (via BestPriceOptics - 99.8% Positive feedback) has the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens (for Canon/Nikon) available for $199.00 with free shipping. Compare at $282.00.
Post Date: 3/16/2014 7:50:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, March 14, 2014
Canon EOS Rebel T5 with EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens
B&H is now shipping the Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Camera.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/14/2014 2:20:28 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash
Right now, B&H has the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash (review) for $449.00 with free shipping. Regularly $549.00.
 
Alternately, you can purchase a Canon RT Speedlite Bundle that includes (2) 600EX-RTs and (1) ST-E3-RT for $1,079.95 with free shipping. Regularly $1,179.95.
 
But don't wait - both these deals end tomorrow!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/14/2014 1:45:43 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Lowepro Pro Roller Lite 150AW
B&H has the Lowepro Pro Roller Lite 150AW available for $149.95 with free shipping. Regularly $279.95.
 
Product Highlights:

  • 1-2 DSLRs,70-200 Lens,3-4 Lenses, Flash
  • Holds Up to 11" Laptop/Tablet
  • Room for Extra Batteries, Memory Cards
  • Front Storage Pocket
  • Padded, Adjustable Main Compartment
  • Trolley System with Telescoping Handle
  • Side Carry Handles
  • YKK Zippers Accept Optional Lock
  • Optional Replaceable Wheels
  • All Weather Cover

Post Date: 3/14/2014 1:35:01 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens
Focus Camera has a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens + Adobe Lightroom 5 Bundle available for $180.00 with free shipping. Compare at $247.00 for the lens without additional software.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/14/2014 1:08:41 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera
eBay (via 6ave) has the Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera (review) available for $1,499.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,749.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market camera and not technially eligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/14/2014 10:55:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Vanguard BBH-200 Ball Head
Just Posted: Vanguard BBH-200 Ball Head Review
 
This Arca-Swiss quick release plate-compatible ball head has great looks coupled with great functionality including a very smooth and strong ball and locking mechanism. It is one of the best heads I've used and is another contender for your kit.
Post Date: 3/14/2014 9:55:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/14/2014 9:13:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From RØDE:
 
RØDE is excited to announce that it has commenced shipping its new Stereo Bar for precision microphone mounting in stereo arrays.
 
Spacing between the microphones is clearly indicated on both sides at 10cm, 15cm and 20cm, as well as the critical 17cm distance for ORTF stereo technique. In the middle of the Stereo Bar there is an angle indicator displaying both 90 degrees for X-Y stereo arrays and 110 degrees for ORTF placement, removing the need for guesswork and allowing the recording engineer to set up precision stereo arrays every time.
 
Constructed from durable PC-ABS plastic the bar can easily support the weight of two large diaphragm microphones at a capsule distance of up to 20 centimetres (7 3/4”). Microphones are mounted via two removable 3/8” threads that slide along the bar, with spacers mounted below the bar that can easily be relocated to the top of the bar to configure stacked microphone pairs.
 
When combined with RØDE’s Pivot Adaptor accessory the Stereo Bar can be tilted through 210 degrees for optimal versatility.
 
B&H carries RØDE products.
Category: Rode News
Post Date: 3/14/2014 8:57:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Logo
Canon has updated Digital Photo Professional, EOS Utility and Picture Style Editor to provide support for new cameras as well as fix a couple of minor bugs. See below for more information. [thanks Marco]
 
From Canon USA:
 
Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.14.15
 
Changes for Digital Photo Professional 3.14.15 Updater for Windows:

  • Supports images taken with EOS Kiss X70 / EOS Rebel T5 / EOS 1200D / EOS Hi, EOS M2, PowerShot G1 X Mark II.
  • Supports Windows 8.1.
  • Fixes the phenomenon where the shutter speed value and the aperture value indicated for an image displayed in the [Large thumbnail] mode may differ from the actual values if the image has been converted to the JPG or TIFF format from the RAW file (CRW file) format of the EOS D30, EOS D60, EOS KISS DIGITAL / EOS DIGITAL REBEL / EOS 300D DIGITAL or EOS 10D.

EOS Utility 2.14.0
 
Changes for EOS Utility 2.14.0 Updater for Windows:

  • Supports EOS Kiss X70 / EOS Rebel T5 / EOS 1200D / EOS Hi, EOS M2.
  • Supports the CN-E35mm T1.5 L F.
  • Supports Windows 8.1.

Picture Style Editor 1.14.10
 
Changes for Picture Style Editor 1.14.10 Updater for Windows:

  • Supports EOS Kiss X70 / EOS Rebel T5 / EOS 1200D / EOS Hi, EOS M2.
  • Supports Windows 8.1.

Canon USA has the software updates available for download.
 
B&H carries the newly supported Canon EOS T5 DSLR camera.

Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/14/2014 6:56:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, March 13, 2014
Calumet Photographic Logo
Calumet Photographic announced via its Facebook Page this morning that all of its stores in the United States would be closing.

"After 75 years of business it is with a heavy heart that we announce our immediate closing in the United States (our European stores will continue). It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years. We'll miss each other and we'll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything."

Calumet would later go on to say:

"Stay tuned, as we are exploring opportunities to reopen select locations to keep serving our customers. We will post any updates here if there are any."

There are reports that the Chicago-based photographic retailer has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For the time being, there are no official plans to close Calumet stores outside of the US.

Post Date: 3/13/2014 1:03:15 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Peak Design Capture Camera Clip System
B&H has the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip System with Arca Plate available for $49.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95.
Post Date: 3/13/2014 12:45:09 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Gitzo GT1542T Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod
Amazing is how strong and rigid such a small tripod can be: Gitzo GT1542T Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod Review
 
B&H recently lowered the price on the GT1542T by about $100.00.
Post Date: 3/13/2014 10:20:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Canon EOS 60D
eBay (via Canon-authorized FocusCamera) has the Canon EOS 60D DSLR body for $579.99 with free shipping (compare at $699.00). Read the listing for full details.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/12/2014 9:21:00 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens
BuyDig.com has the Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical Ultra Wide Angle Lens available in most mounts for an in-cart price of $309.00 after coupon c1142121951 is automatically applied.
 
The lens alone is typically priced at $324.95. A free Digpro Compact Deluxe Gadget Bag and a couple of other small accessories are also included in the deal.
 
Note that the in-cart price for the Nikon mount version is slightly higher at $325.00.
Post Date: 3/12/2014 6:53:12 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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