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Designed by Lee Snijders and manufactured by Glidecam Industries, the Glidecam Ultra-Shot is a durable and multi-functional hybrid camera accessory that allows users to convert between mono-pod, shoulder or ground-shooting modes. Designed for cameras weighing up to 20 pounds, the Glidecam Ultra-Shot's swivel monopod head comes attached with an industry standard 3/8-inch screw. The camera plate includes two 1/4-inch camera screws to insure compatibility with all industry standard camcorders and DSLRs. The Glidecam Ultra-Shot's hexagon weight rests on the ground and is protected by a convex rubber sole making the monopod inherently more stabilized than standard top-heavy monopods. The device has a foam shoulder pad, is constructed of aluminum and weighs six pounds. The Glidecam Ultra-Shot is is priced at $499.00 list.
K-Tek, makers of microphone boom poles, mounts and Stingray audio harness and mixer bags, has introduced the Gizmo Bag Set, a series of multi-purpose bags for accessories. In small, medium and large sizes, K-Tek said the multi-purpose bags provide compact organization of cables, adapters, wireless audio transmitters, batteries, lavalier accessories and tape rolls. With clear, see- through bottoms, users can identify contents quickly without opening. All three Gizmo bags feature dual wrap-around zippers, giving complete access to the contents as well as zippered transparent pockets in the lid, making them ideal for storing very small items. Like the rest of the Stingray family, Gizmo bags feature black exteriors and orange fabric interiors to help users differentiate contents, even in dark environments. Each bag has outside straps that can unsnap to connect the bags to the common Molle attachment system, which also comes standard on all Stingray Audio Bags. Inside, the medium and large Gizmo Bags have three padded movable dividers to form customizable compartments to help organize storage. All three bags have padded edges to protect the contents. The KGBS1 Small Gizmo bag (7.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 inches), KGBM1 Medium (8.9 x 7.1 x 3.6 inches) and KGBL1 Large (10.8 x 9.1 x 4.3 inches) come as a set (KGBSET) or individually. Available now, the set of three is $99.00 and is available through authorized K-Tek dealers.
MindShift said its new FirstLight Backpacks are designed for traveling outdoor photographers who want to carry everything including the kitchen sink. Built for extended days of travel, MindShift said the packs are carry-on compatible, making it easier to get to travel through airports. The high capacity backpack is comfortable enough for a long day on the trail. The FirstLight’s contoured, 11-point adjustable torso harness fits most men and women. The pack also offers ballistic nylon bottoms for durability, accommodates a hydration reservoir and has long lens capacity with extra room for a laptop and personal gear. The backpacks come in 20L, 30L and 40L variants. All three backpacks are sized for both domestic or international travel and made to accommodate different photographic styles — from the hardcore mirrorless user to 600mm sports photographers. The packs range in price from $229.99 to $329.99.
Sachtler has created two tripod systems that can be quickly extended to elevate the camera above the heads of others. For news cameramen, these tripods are a tried and true secret weapon for winning the news shooting wars.
The HotPod tripod
The most popular of these two tripods for news, called the HotPod, employs a spring-loaded pneumatic column that can lift cameras weighing up to 55 pounds to a lens height of over 6.5 feet — high enough to shoot over the heads of any competing camera operator. The HotPod was originally designed in 1981 for news photographers and camera operators on the go who arrived late to news events and got stuck in the back of a line of television cameras. The product remains one of Sachtler's most celebrated cult favorites in the United States because it's easy to use. In fact, setting up the HotPod means simply pushing down a single locking release. These reliable carbon-fiber sticks can mean the difference between getting a great shot or no shot at all. And according to Barbara Jaumann, Sachtler's Global Product Manager based in Germany, the HotPod was widely used in the recent 2016 U.S. presidential election and is a favorite of American news camera operators. The reason is simple. It’s a secret weapon to providing job security for camera operators who know they can always get the “money shot.” For example, KDFW Dallas has at least ten HotPods in their arsenal. Why? “Speed,” explained Bob Hawman, Chief Photographer at KDFW. He continued, “For newsgathering, being able to come in, set up and begin shooting almost immediately is critical. It’s faster than anything else out there because you’re able to adjust all three legs at the same time. Because of the HotPod’s weight, you can extend the legs and balance it quicker. You definitely have to get used to it. There is always a learning curve for new photographers but if they can figure it out – most don’t want to switch to anything else.”
The Soom tripod
Since the HotPod was introduced, a second tripod that allows camera operators to get high perspective shots was also introduced. With a list price of $2,400, Sachtler’s Soom is a four-in-one product that is extremely easy to use. The Soom can act as a tripod or have the middle column extended to get an extremely high perspective. In addition to the extension capability, the middle column of the Soom can be detached to act as a monopod and the mid-level spreader can detach to become a set of baby legs to get very low shots. The Soom tripod is made from aluminum and weighs 12.8 pounds. It can carry a camera weighing up to 44 pounds. As a single system, the Soom allows almost continuous adjustment of the camera’s lens height from approximately 34.6 inches to 88.6 inches. Though the Soom can be extended, it is not as quick or simple to extend as the HotPod. It is made to be a more flexible and creative system than the HotPod, which is targeted specifically for news. Another difference is that the Soom is equipped to take 75mm heads only, while the HotPod now has accessories that allow the use of both 75mm and 100mm heads. Jaumann said the HotPod is faster to set up than the Soom and therefore better suited for news camera operators. “The HotPod has a spring inside,” she said. “You don't have to lift the camera. You just release the column, and it moves up. “The Soom, on the other hand, is a more flexible, creative tool for people who just have one tripod but need to do a wide range of shots. It can also be used for news, but the target market is independent content creators who do documentary-style work.”
In addition to the SlingLite and Weekender line, the Sirui bag line consists of the MyStory series of messenger bags and the Urbanite/Urbanite Pro series of backpacks, waist packs and photo briefcases. The MyStory series of messenger bags consists of five sizes in three colors. Each bag is crafted of water-resistant waxed cotton canvas with premium quality webbing, removable slip resistant shoulder pad, YKK zippers, natural leather trim and antique silver finished hardware. The interiors are all fully configurable by the user for maximum flexibility. Each bag also includes a rain cover for added protection from the elements. The MyStory Mini is for a mirrorless camera or small DSLR, three lenses, accessories and fits an eight-inch tablet. It has a zippered pocket for accessories. The MyStory Tablet, MyStory 11, MyStory 13 and 15 models are larger-sized messenger style bags that can hold increasingly more gea The Weekender series is a backpack form that easily converts from a photo to a standard backpack with a removable photo insert. The Weekender 13 is designed to carry a mirrorless camera or DSLR plus several lenses and accessories. The photo compartment is easy to access from the side of the bag and allows the photographer to access gear by swinging the bag around like a sling. The top section is large and expandable to hold personal gear. The top flap and bottom panel are waterproof and a rain cover is also included to further protect gear from the elements. The SlingLite Series is a sling style bag for a mirrorless camera or small DSLR. Available in various colors, each bag is made with water repellant 225D two-tone rip stop fabric, YKK zippers, removable photo insert, removable shoulder pad, a front zipper pocket and water bottle pockets on each side. The Urbanite/UrbanPro series consists of five styles designed to look like an everyday bag but with the strong protection needed for valuable video or photographic equipment. Each bag is crafted of water-resistant 420D nylon material with webbing straps and handles, YKK zippers, fully configurable interiors and includes a rain cover for added protection from the elements (except the WP). Urbanite WP is for the imagemaker who wants either a waist pack or a small shoulder bag. The Urbanite WP easily holds a small DSLR or mirrorless camera, several lenses, accessories and an eight-inch tablet. The Urbanite 13 Photo Briefcase holds more gear. The Urbanite BP 13 and 15 Backpacks are designed for on-the-go professionals who need to carry a lot of equipment, but will not compromise the protection of their gear. There is ample room for multiple DSLR bodies and many lenses up to a 70-200mm f2.8. With its customizable interior, the UrbanPro can be configured to fit just about every professional’s needs. Gear can be accessed from the opening front or through the top load option for quick access. Internal mesh pockets provide space for small accessories. The bags include the Twiz-Lock security system on the YKK zippers to keep unwanted hands out of the backpack. All Sirui bags come with a six year warranty. Prices begin at $104.94 and range up to $209.94. Sirui USA provides sales, sales support and service in the United States. Guangdong Sirui Optical Co., Ltd, was founded in 2001 and is located in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, in the economically developed Pearl River Delta region of China. It manufacturers camera and video tripods, monopods, specialty heads, camera bags, camera cabinets, mobile imaging products and filters.