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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
Looking for an easy way to share your photos with nearby smartphone and tablet users? There are plenty of options, and SanDisk has a couple of their own in a new SanDisk Connect line of flash memory storage devices with built-in wireless that you can access from any device. We can't fault the name — Connect — but the system itself leaves much to be desired.
The basic idea is this: put your media on a SanDisk drive while at home or on the go, and others can connect to it using an app and view the photos or stream media without the need for an Internet connection. It definitely does that, but it does so in such a minimally functional way that it's hard to recommend for photographers.
There are two physical varieties of the device, each with two internal storage options.
First, there's a small, thumbdrive-sized Wireless Flash Drive with a built-in USB connector that comes in 16GB and 32GB options ($49.99 and $59.99 respectively). It has a MicroSD card slot for adding extra space.
Then there's the larger Wireless Media Drive, about the size of a smartphone folded in half, with a micro USB port for wired connections and a full-size SD card slot to add storage. In addition to offering up to 64GB ($99.99, or $79.99 for 32GB) of internal storage, this one allows for high-definition streaming, and to more concurrent users.
Both devices are tastefully designed and feel fairly well-built. I would feel no compunction tossing either into a crowded camera bag or back seat.
Basic operation works quite as advertised: by hitting the only button on the device, a wireless hotspot is created, to which you can connect your smartphone, tablet or PC. Then you'll need to launch SanDisk Connect, a free app for iOS and Android, which asks for a password (if you've set one) — and then boom, there's your media. You can upload new photos, view old ones or stream video and audio stored on the device.
If you're around a known Wi-Fi point, you can set up each device to automatically connect to the Internet through it, allowing basic sharing through email, Facebook and Picasa. It can't do that through your phone's cellular data plan, however.
Unfortunately, that's about the limit of the good news. The app itself is rather clunky, especially on iPad, where it routinely froze up or crashed while scanning for photos and failed to render previews for a couple hundred shots fresh off my DSLR. It also had trouble reconnecting to the drive sometimes and would have to be manually shut down and restarted.
Once you do connect, you can view photos and do some elementary edits (crop, rotate, "enhance") but beyond that your options are extremely limited. Incredibly, you can't even zoom in on iOS, and on Android it zooms but only into the preview image. I had thought it would be useful to share shots quickly with assistants or friends, but what's the point if they can't do anything but perform the most cursory examination and tasks?
Another potential use case would be as a quick backup for pictures you've taken recently. Being able to share the last 40 or 50 shots with friends nearby is a nice idea, and indeed the SanDisk drives do make that possible — assuming they have the app installed or an Internet connection to download it.
The problem there is that, bafflingly, there's no way to copy shots directly from a card to the media drive. You just can't! Your card is only available while it's slotted into the drive. Instead, you'll have to copy the shots to your tablet first, and then copy them from there over to the media drive. Why is such an obvious and useful functionality missing?
Raw files don't show up in the photo browser, and can't be sent to another program through the app; you have to copy them to your iPad first. Same with any unrecognized file format.
One situation that comes to mind is if you are frequently around the same set of people, all of whom want to view images or video on their own device. While that's not very common in photography (people do love to crowd a single LCD, but this seems too involved), it may occur elsewhere.
You can always use these drives for off-phone backup for your camera roll so you're covered in case of disaster. It's a little redundant with cloud backup, but could be good for a little extra peace of mind.
What the devices may actually be useful for is the easy storage of several people's media for simultaneous consumption on smartphones and tablets. Copy all the media you think you'll need to the media drive, and everyone can connect to it during a road trip or when otherwise off the grid: Junior can catch up on Spongebob, you can play your driving playlist and your spouse can pipe a podcast to their headphones.
As long as the format is natively compatible with the device you're watching it on, that's not a problem. A few videos I'd downloaded from the web only worked partially, but iTunes, Amazon and Google videos ought to be fine.
The music part of the app was surprisingly decent, and I can see keeping a stash of tracks on this thing rather than on your phone to save space without using data-intensive streaming apps like Spotify.
One other thing to be aware of when streaming to a mobile phone: if you're not near a known Wi-Fi point, you won't be able to connect to the Internet via cellular data while using a Connect drive. A couple hours of music or a movie will disconnect you from email and other updates for the duration.
While these devices are easy to set up and work on a basic level as advertised, they don't do much more than that. Photographers will find little use for them versus something like an Eye-Fi Mobi or simple camera connection kit and ordinary photo editing apps.
Parents or people whose devices are already filled to the gills with shows, pictures, podcasts and so on might appreciate these drives as a portable local server, but even then the cases where it's more convenient to use the SanDisk drives are few and far between.
With things like Eye-Fi and AirDrop to transfer files, and the inclusion of automated backup like Google+ and DropBox, there just isn't much of a place for a device like this in a photographer's gear bag. If SanDisk ups the ante on the software (and fixes the bugs), that could change.
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When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|Forever Stalled by Domenick Creaco|
from The End of the Road
|Lost, But Not Forever by Domenick Creaco|
from Lost and found
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of its iPhone X in the form of three variants: the 5.8" iPhone XS and 6.5" iPhone XS Max with OLED screens, and the 6.1" iPhone XR with an LCD and single rear camera.
Ahead of the launch of the CamRanger II the company has announced a mini version of its wireless remote control system that it says has a longer range than the original in a body half the size.
Lens manufacturer Sigma has announced a trio of fast cinema lenses for full-frame camera systems, that it says will also be available in the future in the LPL mount for Arri’s large format camera system.
LumaPod is a a new tripod being funded on Kickstarter that takes just four seconds to set up and uses patented tension technology to keep your shots steady in a compact design.
X-Rite ColorChecker Video XL is an oversized color target for wide-angle, long distance, and aerial shooting.
ExperimentalOptics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its second lens design, a 35mm F2.7 lens it claims is the world's 'smallest fastest pancake lens.'
The new XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR and XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR are aimed at enthusiasts and professionals, and add considerable versatility to Fujifilm's growing XF lens lineup. We've been taking a look.
The Getty family is working to regain control of stock photo agency Getty Images, according to multiple reports published late last week.
The Phoneslinger line, a modular bag system for mobile photographers, has been launched on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform.
CamRanger has announced the impending arrival of its CamRanger 2 wireless tethering and trigger system, complete with redesigned apps, updated wireless features, and support for select Sony and Fujifilm systems.
As well as high-resolution stills, the new Nikon Z7 also shoots 4K video and 120p HD video. We recently spent two days with director Chris Hershman, shooting a music video on the Z7 for pop artist Emily Blue.
London’s National Portrait Gallery has released the shortlist for its annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, ahead of the winner being announced in October.