24 December, 2012

Canon 5D mark III camera protectors

As I've recently said, camera protection is quite an important factor in nature photography and faith made it that I came across three variants of a camera protector cover for Canon 5D mark III.

At first I was only confronted with two models: EasyCover and Delkin Snug-It . Did the comparison directly in the store and chose Delkin as it showed a touch more refinance with the finishing touches of the moulted cover. I was quite intrigued that my store had two models equally priced for the exact same thing as there are no other differences besides the already mentioned finishing touches.

Then came the third model which is a Walimex pro. Again, no differences with the other two. Strange though was the fact that this also had the EasyCover logo, but the first didn't have the Walimex trademark.

In the pictures bellow is the Delkin variant.

Delkin Snug-it for Canon 5D mark III, back view Delkin Snug-it for Canon 5D mark III, front view

Delkin Snug-it for Canon 5D mark III, bottom view Delkin Snug-it for Canon 5D mark III, hollow

Impressions about it? Well, it's a little bit different from what I had on my old 7D as they don't seem to come from the same manufacturer. The rubber material is quite the same, difference is that time put it's mark on the 7D cover and it appears the material is not homogeneous but rather has a subtle coating that rubs off in time. Other than that, the grip area for the fingers is differently shaped, the buttons have a different shape but can't say one design has an edge over the other.

Bottom line, no matter what you choose for a Canon 5D mark III, there are big chances that you will end up with the same product. All that matters would be to search for the best price.

11 December, 2012

Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale review

Every house should have one around because you never know when the question comes and you desperately need to know how much that thing weighs :) But enough joking around, let's get to more serious stuff.

Thought I made a bargain when I got this out from hobbyking.com for almost 13$ but it turns out you can always find cheaper, amazon has it for 9.44$.

Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale box1
Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale box2

Even so it's pretty OK for the money spent. Came in a nice cardboard box filled with infos on it and marketing all kinds of features which turn this product into a super-duper hanging scale. Ain't gonna duplicate those stuff here cause you can read them on any other site or even in my pictures. It even has a leaflet inside with instructions, not to mention the statement of a patent number for this product which is quite something if true.

Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale leaflet1
Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale leaflet2

Moving on, inside the box there is the storage pouch, nothing out of the ordinary but very practical for safe keeping of the scale and accessories. And when I say accessories I'm talking about a bundled strap used to help hang the weights, and maybe the batteries as the unit has no On/Off switch and I don't fancy the stand-by function for a device used very-very rarely.

Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale in storage pouch
Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale detailed

So, what about the actual scale? Well, as I've said, not bad if you ask me. The built quality is so-so as expected but it has no problems reaching it's specifications in terms of accuracy and top scale. For casual use, it's only good for the weight scale, the ruler, temperature and included calculator. If you are a frequent user in sales maybe you could also appreciate the back lit display and the integrated watch.

Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale hour/temperature view
Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale backlit display

Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale back retracted
Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale back extended

Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale ruller
Multifunction Electronic Hanging Scale temperature accuracy

06 December, 2012

Nikon hot-shoe protection caps on Canon cameras

Most of my photography so far was done outdoors and most of the times in far from ideal conditions, whether it's -40 degrees Celsius in Siberia or +40 in Dubai, whether it's pouring rain, blistering snow or just plain old dust.

Canon EOS 40D DSLR covered in snow

As you can see I'm not the over protective type with my gear and pretty often I put those whether sealing capabilities to the test. Achile's heel is that from my experience the hot shoe is the most vulnerable exposed part that can very easily get hurt. It includes electrical contacts, fine machined mechanics and even an electrical contact that senses the presence of a external flash.

Just when I had the external flash detector contact jammed did I seriously think of the problem and I was quite amazed to see that there aren't a lot of solutions to protect these kind of incidents. I couldn't find anything from Canon that's for sure but I did notice Nikon had their BS-1 and BS-2 hot-shoe protection caps just as I needed. Nikon and Canon body's are quite different when it comes to hot-shoe area design and functioning so I searched for hours an answer to whether Nikon caps will work on Canon bodies.

Given the low investment price I took the leap of faith and tried a BS-1 on my 7D. It's a less than ideal match as the shape of the cap prevents it from sliding completely on the hot shoe. That doesn't mean the problem can't be fixed, all you need are some skills with a sharp blade to remove the extra material and it will work great on any Canon body I think (only tested on the "small" body ranges of 40D, 60D, 7D, 5D mkII, 5D mkIII).

By the time I lost my BS-1 I was already with a 5D mark III so took another shot with the BS-2 which is a far superior cap and even fits perfectly without any modification. While BS-1 is clearly plastic, BS-2 is more like a plastic core with exterior rubber.

Canon EOS 5D mark III DSLR with Nikon BS-2 hot-shoe protection cap, top view
Canon EOS 5D mark III DSLR with Nikon BS-2 hot-shoe protection cap, side view

You can see above a Nikon BS-2 mounted on a Canon 5D mark III body. Works like a charm even though the "design lines" don't seamlessly blend together. Now the problem is to always be careful and remember where I put the cap when I take it off but even that won't protect from an accidental bump that will push off the cap into the sea of little things that vanish without a trace. Must I say that this is my third cap now.

Alternatives? Well, on my 7D I successfully used a Camera Armor that has an integrated hot-shoe cover. The bad part is that while camera armors are good for scratch and bumps protection they're filled with holes that let dust and particles accumulate between the camera body and the cover. Above all that, the integrated hot-shoe cover has a high tendency to get off it's place. Even so I'll order a camera armor for my current 5D mark III when they'll be available.