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Looking for something new in photography gear

Looking for something new in photography gear

ICE Light:  After hitting the expo floor at WPPI 2012 — the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International  conference and trade show — in Las Vegas last week, my first mission was to find something that I hadn’t seen before. It didn’t take long, as I approached the ICE Light booth and noticed a model waving a light source that looked more like a “Star Wars” light-saber than any kind of lighting gear.

There certainly was a buzz around the booth. A $499 price tag might deter some at first glance, but for those in need of a wrap-around, hand-held light source, there’s an answer to your lighting needs.  Designed by photographer Jerry Ghionis, it’s called the “first-ever wrap-around handheld LED daylight light source.” The ICE Light will be manufactured by the F.J. Westcott Company.

The light source offers 60 minutes of full-power light on a 2 1/2 hour charge. It also can be used with AC plug-in power. It’s advertised as a “custom-designed curved front with a 72-degree wide beam which produces a soft, wrap-around light.” Unfortunately, the laws of physics do apply here: the larger and closer the light source, the softer the light. ICE Light isn’t going to produce the kind of soft wrap-around light as a large softbox or umbrella. It’s main advantage is portable, and in case Darth Vader drops by your studio, you’re ready to do battle.

PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver: Are you ready for a new look and a lower price? PocketWizard has unveiled its new Plus III Transceiver, which will be priced at about $139.

It has a great new sleek design incorporating the antenna inside the case. I’m not the best with change; when I first looked at it, I thought, “Where is the classic antenna?” But  it’s time for me to move forward and embrace the new technology.

The new model slides into the hot shoe with a sideways orientation, and has a nice LCD backlit display with an added battery-level gauge. Also, it’s bumped up from four channels to 32 and is backwards compatible, keeping your older model from becoming obsolete.

The new PocketWizard Plus stats include quad-zone control, external power mini-USB port and two-stage remote-control firing of the camera.

LensSkins: I never really gave much thought to decorating my camera lens, but LensSkins has come up with a solution for those who do think about making their lens stand out. Really, who doesn’t want to decorate their lenses and hood in Puffy Clouds, Snakeskin or Leopard Print?

It’s certainly a lot cheaper than buying a new lens. The designs are printed on 3M vinyl, which are cut to fit a variety of Nikon and Canon lenses, from wide angle to telephoto lenses.

I’m not sure I am quite trendy enough to be the first one on my block to be seen with a decorated lens, but they do add protection from scratches and make them stand out. Prices start around $49.95.

DaisyGrip: If you need to attach your iPhone to your DSLR, consider the DasiyGrip. It’s designed for those who need to get the interest of little tykes with a short attention span during a portrait shoot.

It fits on your camera’s hot shoe. I guess you could turn the phone around and talk on the phone, instant message or check your Facebook page while taking photographs. Talk about multi-tasking! The DaisyGrip is available for $74.

ioShutter Shutter Release Cable: Have you ever thought of letting your iPhone take control of your DSLR? Due out next month, the shutter-release cable works in conjunction with the  ioShutter iPhone app. This is a cable release with all sorts of additional controls, including sound trigger, time lapse, and timer.

Check ioShutter’s website for compatibility with your camera model.

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Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman

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