50 Sweet Valentine Gifts for Photographers and Their Sweethearts

Season of love is here. Love is in the air and it makes everyone rack his or her brains on a perfect gift for their lovers. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a real pro, you can give your sweetheart a photography Valentine gift that would be a winner for sure.

Photo by Sonya Khegay

Of course, you’re beating your head on the gift and have already run all nearest shops looking for a surprise. I know you want to make this Valentine’s day unforgettable. Here I showcase 50 amazingly creative and romantic Valentine gifts for photographers to help you with this task. Read more...

Review: Crumpler 8 Million Dollar Home

Crumpler 8 million dollar home Crumpler was kind of enough to send me a review copy of their "8 Million Dollar Home" bag. The 8 Million Dollar Home will run you about $170. That's a bit pricey for my taste but you definitely get a lot of bag for your buck.

It's a big bag. When Crumpler contacted me I had no idea what to expect. "Sure, send me the bag," I said, and then forgot all about it. It's just a bag, right? This isn't just a bag. It's like a 3-story Barbie dream house + jacuzzi for camera gear. My first impression when it arrived was that it was enormous. My current bag is a Tamrac Pro 5. The design is about the same, zipper front, velcro + zipper closures, front pocket, lid pocket, movable dividers, etc. But the Crumpler seems about 50% bigger all around. The Crumpler's extra space is luxurious in comparison.

It's actually not all that enormous but it's bigger than I would like. Of course, I don't even bring my current bag with me anywhere anymore if I can help it. I prefer to travel light. And not just because I'm lazy. (Well, okay, maybe for that reason.) One body, one lens on the camera, often just a 50mm. Maybe a second lens in my cargo pants pocket. Maybe. It'd better be something special if I'm bringing two lenses.

It's a shoulder bag and the strap is comfy. I only had it for a week so I can't speak to it's durability but it seems very solidly constructed and made of strong materials. You won't lose it either if you get the blue and green and orange version. You can probably see this thing from space. Padding everywhere. The interior dividers can be rearranged in a bazillion different configurations. Pockets everywhere. Dual plastic clips + velcro keep the lid on. And it's got a nice strong handle and side loops for hanging gear on the outside.

It's a very nice shoulder bag. But the problem with all but the smallest of shoulder bags, as I see it, is that they're not very comfortable. If you fill this thing to the brim it's going to be heavy. And if you're carrying that much gear for more than a short distance you'll be more comfortable with a backpack design. Perfect for transporting loads of gear from the car to the venue but I wouldn't want to lug it around all day on a photowalk or a hike, say.

Bags are very personal items. Always try one on before you buy.

The Canon Selphy: A portable photo printer in a bucket

In a what?

It's so weird, I don't know how I missed it when it came out. I was out buying ink today when I stumbled across the Selphy. Somehow, those wacky guys over at Canon had the brilliant idea that portable photo printers ought to come in bucket form.

The Selphy CP770 (Amazon) is a playful little 4x6 dye-sublimation photo printer that comes in a plastic bucket big enough for its accessories, paper, and cables. The printer itself becomes the "lid" of the bucket and latches on with two large green plastic clamps. And you carry it around by the handle. On the bucket.

CNET Editors gives it a "very good" rating citing excellent photo quality, fast printing, and ease of use.

I'm still a little boggled. And yet I am intrigued. Would you dare bring this to a corporate or any other kind of "serious" environment? You'd have a hard time getting anyone to take you seriously. But, whip out this fruit tart of a photo printer at a child's birthday party or family social gathering and fire off some 4x6's at grandma and I predict you'd be the hero of the moment.

If you're lucky enough to live in Japan, you can pick up an extra-special Hello Kitty version, naturally.

D90 “ERR” mystery solved

I was having intermittent trouble with my new D90 recently. The dreaded blinking "ERR" in the LCD. My symptoms included: wouldn't focus, shutter would trip but no image recorded, ERR light. The only way to clear it was to remove the battery. The thing is that it would only happen once in a while so, at first, I didn't think too much about it. It got bad enough though that I decided I had a bad copy and was about to send it back for a replacement when... I noticed that the LCD would flickr when I wiggled the lens.

The solution? I removed the lens, wiped down the contacts and the mounting ring, and reattached it. Problem solved. I feel a little sheepish admitting how lame/lazy I am for not checking that in the first place. Lessons learned? I'm an idiot. Plus, check the lens mount if you're getting weird intermittent mechanical problems with your DSLR.

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