The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Cameras

Thule Introduces Best-in-Class Camera Bags for Outdoor Photographers

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Thule makes great roof racks, bike and ski and boat mounts, rooftop boxes, and snow chains. It makes laptop and table bags that Apple likes so much that they're sold in the company's stores around the world. Thule's luggage is as rugged as its racks.

Last week, Thule announced its newest category of uber-durable, highly-functional product: camera bags. Called the Perspektiv collection, these bags aren't like anything you've seen before. They have an Ikea-like aesthetic—clean Scandinavian design all the way—with features that show these bags were designed by photographers with other photographers in mind.

The six bags in the line range from backpacks, to SLR carries, to messenger bags, to an action sports case. They've all got waterproof zips, welded and taped seams, and most have hidden raincovers for extreme weather.

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Peak Design's Leash: The Ultimate Camera Strap

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Last week, on a safari in South Africa’s Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park, I picked up my SLR with the long lens to photograph a lioness and her kill at a watering hole, and the strap simply fell off the camera. I got lucky—my $2,000-worth of electronics didn’t clatter to the floor of the Jeep or fall in the sand. I caught the camera. But luck isn’t what you want to rely on with a camera strap. It’s an accessory that should be functional, comfortable, and, most important, dependable.

Traditional camera straps are often difficult to attach and detach, they're bulky and expensive. That’s why Peak Design is making Leash. Re-defining the classic camera strap, Leash has an elegant quick-connect system, it's made from high-quality and secure materials, and it's rugged and minimalist. Use it as a neck strap, sling strap, safety tether, or video stabilizer, and when you don’t want it, it quickly disconnects from your camera and rolls up small enough to stuff in your back pocket.

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Memoto Life Cam: When a GoPro Just Isn’t Enough

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If you feel like merely filming yourself when you’re going big isn’t enough, or maybe that you'd like to be the star of your very own Truman Show, check out Memoto’s 007-style camera, which constantly records your life with a photo snapped automatically every 30 seconds.

Made by a Swedish company that launched this project on Kickstarter and that hopes to give everyone "a true photographic memory," the Memoto cam captures your life in frames that can be “effortlessly searched, shared, and revisited” using a Web service or mobile application.

“Imagine if you could capture and re-live every memorable moment of your life,” said Martin Källström, CEO of Memoto. “With Memoto, you can effortlessly travel back in time to that moment when you met the love of your life, the day your daughter took her first step, or that night you laughed the night away with friends.”

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Nikon Coolpix S800c: Bringing Back the Point-and-Shoot

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Most of us have ditched our point-and-shoot cameras and we're taking photos with our phones. iPhone cameras are pretty darn good, and by using a phone as your camera, you carry one device and you can upload pics instantly. Phones lack a lot of the features of a good camera, but we’ve learned to settle.

Now Nikon has announced a device that means we don't have settle. Nikon's new Coolpix S800c point-and-shoot is a 16-megapixel, Android-enabled camera with a 10x Nikkor vibration reduction lens that, like a smartphone, connects to the Internet instantly so that you can upload pictures you just shot. It lets you edit images in-camera. It shoots full HD 1080p video. And it has a built in GPS, so you can geotag the spot where you saw that stellar sunset, and you can retrace your route back to the car in the dark. It’s a bit like having an iPad inside your camera.

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A Mini Power Plant for Your Next Adventure

You are, no doubt, already familiar with the mini power plants known as camp stoves. The ReadySet is a different kind of mobile energy source that generates and stores electrical power generated by the sun or pedal power. While it wasn't originally designed for outdoor recreation, it might find a happy home in your excursion kit.

The ReadySet is the work of Fenix International, a San Francisco-based company that got its start by creating renewable energy solutions for economic development and emissions reductions in off-grid communities in the developing world. Visiting small villages in Africa, Fenix International CEO Mike Lin discovered that entrepreneurs were scavenging old car batteries and using them to power up cell phones and other small electrical devices. Despite their lack of electrical grid access, more than 600 million people in the developing world are using cell phones. So the need for a reliable, clean and mobile power source was obvious.

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