HIGH TECH. There’s a firmware upgrade that will allow you to shoot tethered to your Epson P6000 or P7000, so you can get a bigger look at what you’re shooting. Or, you can use the Epson to trip the camera’s shutter via a USB cord up to 21 feet from the camera (should be a hit with the real estate guys who shoot pole aerials).
For some reason, the firmware upgrade seems to be available only from the Epson Europe site so far, but it works in the USA too. It’s not an instantaneous transfer, so if you’re shooting that big ad job that Annie was too busy to do, you’d still better tether to a laptop for those ADHD ADs , so they can see your stuff really fast.
But for a compact solution for double checking your work on that nice big screen while on location, this fits the bill nicely. Plus you can use it for it’s original purpose, to back up your files on the road. Multi-tasking! It’s a good thing.
LOW TECH. Anybody who’s tried to check their fill flash ratios on their LCDs on a sunny day knows the value of the Hoodman HoodLoupe 3.0 for blocking out the light and magnifying the image.
I don’t carry it every day, all day, but I might now that they’ve figured out a nifty mounting system, the Cinema Strap (just a couple of little straps) to hold the loupe in place while you shoot video with your DSLR! This really does make it easier to hold and focus your video-enabled DSLR while shooting.
It’s a little awkward to first get it fitted, and you have to be sure the strap doesn’t go over your camera’s mic opening, but it goes a long way to making shooting video with a DSLR just that much easier.
NO TECH. The Kwikpoint Point to Picture translator is way easier and faster to use than a phrase book when you’re in a fix in a place where you can’t make heads or tails of the local lingo. Forget phrase books—have you ever really tried to use one? Awkward and slow.
A picture is worth a thousand words and it’s much faster. I’ve had one of these little fold up cards tucked away in the bag forever, and when I get stuck, I simply point to the “mongo want steak, rare” icon. Or “shard of glass in mongo’s eye” icon in the medical section.
Yes, it’s embarrassing to point to pictures like a chimp in a psych lab, but it’s better than starving, being stranded, or worse! And hell, we’re visual people, right? So why shouldn’t we use pictures? Plus it’s cheap and lightweight and folds up to passport size. I’m heading off to a job in Eastern Europe even as we (don’t) speak, and I’ll be toting mine!