Gadgets thinktank-photo-sling-o-matic-30-camera-bag-1010-06-winnieheng4

Published on November 22nd, 2011 | by Greg


Holiday Pictures: Gear From Think Tank and Sun Sniper

Ev­ery­one is a clos­et shut­ter­bug. Smart­phones have brought dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy to the mass­es- which is why the iPhone is con­sis­tent­ly one of the most pop­u­lar cam­eras on Flickr and Face­book. But those tiny cam­eras can on­ly take you so far, and any­one look­ing for stead­ier, sharp­er shots will pick up a DSLR. Even an in­ex­pen­sive Canon or Nikon will do won­ders, and a de­cent kit zoom lens is enough to han­dle most sit­u­a­tions. Once those es­sen­tials are in place, or for the se­ri­ous pro who al­ready has gear, there are a cou­ple of items that will make their hol­i­days hap­pi­er.

We’ll start with a top-notch cam­era bag. Sure, it’s meant for any­one who has a cou­ple of lens­es and aimed at those car­ry­ing quite a bit of gear. But the Think Tank Sling-O-Mat­ic 30 of­fered plen­ty even to the am­a­teur or pro­sumer who just needs a sol­id, durable bag with room for a tablet or up to a 15″ lap­top. Weigh­ing about three pounds, the nifti­est fea­ture on this pack was the unique strap, which al­lows you to car­ry your gear over ei­ther shoul­der, and eas­i­ly switch shoul­ders with­out break­ing stride.

Padding on the strap was ex­cel­lent, and we liked the con­ve­nience of a sin­gle loop over one shoul­der, al­low­ing for eas­i­er ac­cess to gear. When you’re car­ry­ing more than a cam­era, weight be­comes an is­sue, and it was nice to be able to spread the load with­out need­ing to use a full back­pack. There are some com­pro­mis­es- this bag is fair­ly large, and per­haps too big for some­one with a light set­up and no com­put­er. On the flip­side, adding our three pound lap­top, two pound cam­era, and a cou­ple of hefty lens­es meant that the load felt like too much for a sin­gle strap. The in­clud­ed chest or waist strap added some sta­bil­i­ty, but didn’t change the load bal­ance much. The seams held up well against rain, and the zip­pers are well-built. Mul­ti­ple han­dles made for easy grab­bing or stow­ing, the pock­ets and in­te­ri­or com­part­ments are smart­ly di­vid­ed and well-padded. Over­all, it’s one of the bet­ter large-ca­pac­i­ty bags that we’ve tried. $200 is in line with oth­ers, and avail­able now, on­line.

The Sun­Sniper Pro Cam­era Strap of­fers one crit­i­cal thing- speed. Most like­ly, your cam­era came with a strap. But it’s prob­a­bly a bit awk­ward- it will sway when you are mov­ing, and it’ll be un­com­fort­able thanks to min­i­mal padding. This one is dif­fer­ent, thanks to a re­al­ly smooth mech­a­nism that makes for a bet­ter po­si­tion and eas­i­er, faster move­ment from the rest­ing po­si­tion to shoot­ing.

The com­pa­ny makes sev­er­al mod­els, for var­i­ous pri­ce­points and needs. The Pro mod­el adds a steel ca­ble that pre­vents would-be thieves from cut­ting your strap and run­ning off with your ex­pen­sive cam­era. It adds a bit of weight, but was a nice ad­di­tion. In­te­grat­ed shock ab­sorp­tion meant that we could move with­out wor­ry­ing about our lens slam­ming in­to our hips, and the shoul­der padding was gen­er­ous. One down­side: it does take over the tri­pod and mono­pod mount. Those who large­ly do por­traits or tri­pod shoot­ing won’t need this, but for trav­el­ers and pho­to­jour­nal­ists, the Sun­Sniper Strap will make a huge dif­fer­ence. $80, avail­able on­line.


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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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