Our Holiday Travel and Tech Gift Guide

We're entering holiday gift season, and if you're like me, there are always a couple people that are hard to shop for. So we wanted to pass along my top travel and photo accessories, in case one of them would help fill the bill. Some are awesome for just about anyone who travels, and others are especially useful for photographers.

TYLT Vu Car: Finally, a wireless car charger that really works

As a photographer that travels a lot and relies on my smartphone for directions, music, email, and photo-related applications, it is important for me to be able to securely mount my phone in cars and trucks – both mine and rental vehicles. Just as important, it needs to charge effectively on long trips. Ideally, the charging would be wireless, which really helps with convenience and cable management. I’ve tried quite a number of car mounts – both wired and wireless – without finding one that met all my needs. Until I tried the new TYLT Vu Car (wireless)…

Tylt Tunz: Handy portable speaker & charger for photographers

Like many photographers, I rely on my portable speaker when I travel. When giving slideshows, it adds punch to the soundtrack compared to my laptop – and I can place it someplace more central instead of where I happen to be standing. When I’m in the field, there are times when we also use bird calls (only on private ranches, in a very limited way, with non-threatened species!), and having a remote speaker is a must. Recently, I’ve been working with a cool, new one from Tylt – the – that also combines a battery pack you can use to recharge your phone…

ThinkTank Retrospective 7: Finally a field-worthy modern camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 Shoulder Bag (Pinestone)Happy 2014, everyone. I wanted to start the year off right, so for our first review I’m covering a really slick camera bag I had the pleasure of using for nearly a month on my Southeast Asia photo tour. (If you’re in Las Vegas, you’ll see me with it at CES next week too). It is the new , although many of the points in the review apply equally well to its siblings like the , or the

Weye-Feye: Performance wireless camera control at a reasonable price

As a Nikon shooter, I’ve been both tantalized and frustrated for nearly a decade with Nikon’s on-again, off-again approach to WiFi connectivity for its DSLRs. The original WT-1A was an expensive boat anchor in practice. Four generations later, the is a huge improvement, but it is $570 and only works with the $6K . Those with lesser cameras like the or benefit from the incredibly small, inexpensive . It’s fun for remote shooting, but is crippled – deliberately or just because of its limited hardware – in not offering remote focusing or camera setting adjustments. Fortunately there is now a middle ground…

Kingston MobileLite: The Ultimate mobile card reader

Tablets are a nearly perfect companion for photographers on the go. They’re a great way to view photos and handle other tasks. Unfortunately the simple act of getting images from your camera to your tablet (or phone) can be a serious hassle. Best case your tablet vendor has a cable-based proprietary system. Worst case, you can’t. Fortunately Kingston has come up with a very clever product that does three things very well – wireless image transfer, additional mobile storage, and emergency battery charging…

Want to cram more gear into your carry-on? Jaktogo pushes beyond the photo vest

Jaktogo foto 1Without question, traveling with photo gear only gets harder. Airlines continue to winnow down the amount of carry-on they allow, and checked bags are subject to loss and breakage. As many of my readers (and safari participants) know, I’m a big fan of my Scottevest, that allows me to stash a tablet, phone, headphones, hat, glasses, lunch, and maybe a rainshell conveniently. But it doesn’t really help with the bulk storage of laptop, camera, lenses, flashes, and chargers. Photo vests are an alternative used by many of us, but now a new set of products pushes the limit even further…

ThinkTank Glass Limo torture test: Compact photo safari backpack delivers in African Adventure

There are plenty of good options for large photo backpacks for use on safari, with my favorite for trips requiring international connections being the ThinkTank Airport Takeoff combo roller/backpack. Unfortunately, unless you’re on a dedicated photo safari with extra luggage allowance and lightly loaded vehicles (like the ones we offer through ), a full-size backpack may be more than you’re allowed to bring (or perhaps more than you want to carry). It is also notoriously hard to work two to a row (like you’ll find on most typical safaris) with full-sized bags.

Ultimate Photo Accessories, including headlamps, aka “dork lights”

Okay, they’re not really called “dork lights.” They’re headlamps, but it’s hard to deny that they make you look a bit like a dork. However, they’re invaluable, so for my contribution to Chris Gampat’s piece on the B&H blog on the most interesting and useful accessory in my camera bag, the choice was a no brainer. You can , including some other great recommendations, and when you’re convinced you can buy yourself the cat’s meow of photographers’ headlamps, the – it features a retractable cord, multiple brightness levels, and both white and red LEDs for regular and night vision use.