Steadybag

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Keep Your Mirrorless and Superzoom Camera Stable with the New Steadybag SB-4

Long exposure of Grand Central Terminal, camera stabilized with

It seems that point-and-shoot cameras have become almost obsolete, now that mirrorless and compact zoom models have filled the gap between the iPhone and full-size DSLRs. We decided that a new Steadybag® was needed to give these new cameras the same kind of support and rock-steady imaging photographers have been getting for many years from our other Steadybags.

So here’s our SB-4, weighing just over a pound and measuring 9.5 x 5.5″. It fits in just about any case or shoulder bag. Whether you’re on a long trek or just shooting locally, image sharpness is one of the basics.

On a recent trip to New York City, I carried my Fuji X-E2 (never without it) along with the new Steadybag. Just as a quick test, I positioned the SB-4 on one of the marble railings overlooking the main concourse of Grand Central Station, set the camera on its lowest ISO and its smallest aperture, and here are the results. The exposure was around 4 seconds, and while the commuters were in motion (who in NYC ever stands still for that long), the rest of the image is tack-sharp.

Steadybag SB-4 for mirrorless cameras minimizes camera shake

Some of the new ‘super zoom” compacts have lenses with optical zooms up to 65x (35mm equivalent of 1200mm or more), and I defy anyone to hand-hold at that magnification and come back with a really sharp image.

At PhotoPlus later this week in New York, I’m going to see just how well our new Steadybag performs with a range of the newest cameras… look for photos here.

Birding Seems More Popular Than Ever

With the proliferation of DSLR cameras for both still and video imaging, and the instant gratification that comes with shooting digital, it’s easy to see why birding is a growing activity. I’m not big on statistics, but I’ve known for many years that the number of casual and serious birdwatchers in the U.S. alone is in the millions.

Last weekend, my wife and I had dinner with friends who had recently come back from a bird-watching trip to Cuba, arranged through The Connecticut Audubon Society. Of course their trip was not just about birds but also a chance to tour a country somewhat frozen in time. Also in the past few days, the Weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal  ran a great article about a number of field guides for birding.

Steadybag with spotting scope and birding field guide

Whether in the backyard or on another continent, a lot more people have the tools in hand in make great photos. Of course, it helps if you can afford a high-speed telephoto lens, but not everyone has a spare $4000+ (though it’s surprising how many do).

Since birders typically use long lenses — whether taking photos or just observing through a spotting scope — it’s important to have a good stabilization platform. We’ve been making our Steadybag® for a long time, and it’s used by thousands of photographers and professional video shooters. It really is a great tool for support both cameras and spotting scopes on any surface —  less bulky and a lot quicker to set up and put away than a tripod.

Click here to learn why Steadybag is better, and buy directly with PayPal.

One more quick tip: most new DSLRs have a lot less noise at higher ISOs than they used to. Don’t get fixated on using a low ISO setting if gaining a faster shutter speed (or the depth of field of one more f-stop) will produce a better image. Birds and other creatures (even your kids) have that terrible habit of not waiting around for everything to be “just right.”

Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Photographers

As we wind down 2010, everyone seems to be searching for unique gifts and stocking stuffers for the holidays. As the distributors of quite a few unusual photographic products, we can offer a few suggestions. If you’ve got a friend who’s into photography (or just want to get something nice for yourself) read on for some ideas…

The Strobist Collection

David Hobby & Rosco present The Strobist CollectionOne of the most popular blogs for photographers, www.Strobist.com is a great place to learn to use off-camera flash techniques. Using gels on multiple strobe units can create some really striking lighting effects. David Hobby, the founder of Strobist.com, spoke with our friends at Rosco labs about packaging some of their most useful gels for “strobists” pre-cut to fit precisely over a standard strobe unit. These 55 pieces of filter come in a convenient clamshell case that fits into any pocket or camera bag; all you need is a piece of tape to hold them in place…

(Contact us to find your local dealer, or shop for the Strobist Collection online.)

microGAFFER Compact Gaffer Tape

microGAFFER tape compared to standard 1" and 2" rolls of gaffer tape

Gaffer tape is a wonderful thing. It may be the most useful thing on a set, next to the camera itself (and the photographer.) The problem is, it’s HUGE! A roll of gaffer tape can easily weigh more than your camera. A while back, we noticed how ridiculous that was and invented microGAFFER. It’s identical to professional gaffer tape, but fits in your pocket (or camera bag; or glove compartment.)

(Contact us to find your local dealer, or shop for microGAFFER tape online.)

3″ Circular LitePad and AA Battery Pack

3 inch circular LitePad

We love, love, love LitePad. The 3″ circular LitePad is thin, lightweight, and can be powered by your choice of a wall outlet, your car’s cigarette lighter adapter, or (best of all) AA batteries. Being able to take a daylight-balanced light source anywhere (along with your imaging tool of choice, be it camera or iPhone) makes it possible to capture all kinds of wonderful photos from daily life.

(Contact us to find your local dealer, or shop for the 3″ circular LitePad or LitePad AA battery pack online.)

Steadybag Junior

Steadybag Junior supporting a Leica point-and-shoot cameraWhile the standard three-pound Steadybag is a bit too big to fit in a standard stocking, the half-pound, 7″x5.25″ Steadybag Junior is perfect. And it’s perfect for supporting any point-and-shoot camera, allowing you to use longer exposure times and lower ISO settings — which means less noise in your shots. It lasts for years (unlike a beanbag), comes in three great colors (again: unlike a beanbag), doesn’t attract insects or mice (absolutely not like a beanbag), and sets up in about one second.

(Contact us to find your local dealer, or shop for the Steadybag Junior online.)

Need More Ideas?

If you’re still stuck on just what to get for that special someone, give us a call! We can make recommendations for just about any type of photographer or filmmaker, young or old, amateur or professional.

Steadybag: Better Camera Support Than a Tripod

Steadybag family of camera supports

Flexible, rock-solid support for any camera — without a tripod. Leaves the old beanbag in the dust!

Steadybag is a high-tech update of the old-fashioned beanbag. Steadybag virtually eliminates camera shake without the need for time-consuming tripod setup. Use it for rock-solid shooting on car hoods, fenceposts, window ledges, rocks or branches. There’s no setup required, so it’s ready whenever you are.

People keep coming up with new uses for Steadybag. We originally designed the Steadybag for photographers in film and television. Later, we realized how perfect it was for bird watching and target shooting enthusiasts. Where will you use yours? Order online or find your local dealer and let us know!

Steadybag is available in three models. The standard three-pound Steadybag is for 35mm and medium-format SLRs, as well as video camcorders. The Steadybag Junior, available in three colors, is designed especially for compact point-and-shoot cameras. At just eight ounces, you can take it anywhere. And the large seven-pound size is designed for broadcast video (ENG/EFP) and motion picture cameras, as well as still cameras with very long and/or heavy lenses.

Every Steadybag is made in the USA from rugged water-resistant nylon and filled with thousands of custom-milled polypropylene beads. The standard and large Steadybag models include both a removable shoulder strap and a permanent carrying handle, while the Steadybag Junior includes a durable, swiveling mini-clip.

For Target Shooting, Nothing Is More Stable than Steadybag

It’s Like Choosing Between a Rock and a Soft Place.

  • Support your rifle, pistol, or scope on any surface (rocks, logs, branches) to help improve accuracy
  • Works with standard or custom stocks
  • Ready to use in seconds
  • Durable, watertight, made in the USA
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed

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Super-Steady Shooting From Any Surface? The Secret Is In The Bag.

For over 20 years, thousands of photographers, videographers and filmmakers have discovered Steadybag as a great way to support their cameras and lenses on any uneven surface for rock-steady imaging. We want to make sure that target shooters know that Steadybag is a great accessory for them, too. No matter what rifle or handgun you use, Steadybag will support and cushion it.

Purchase Steadybag through this link to directly support Visual Departures!

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Now Photographers Can Get Rock-Steady Images with Steadybag

So Stable, It’s Almost Like Gaining an Extra Stop for Free. (Maybe Two.)

  • Support your still or video camera on any surface to get rock-steady photos
  • Works with any camera and any lens
  • Ready to use in seconds
  • Durable, watertight, made in the USA

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The Sharpest Images from Any Surface — It’s in the Bag!

For over 20 years, thousands of photographers, videographers and filmmakers have discovered Steadybag® as a great way to support their cameras and lenses on any uneven surface. Rocks, logs, fences, the door or roof of your car, a fire hydrant or parking meter… just about anything will do. And it doesn’t matter if you’re using the smallest compact camera or a long, heavy telephoto on an SLR — there’s a Steadybag model that will work with any camera and any lens.

Purchase Steadybag through this link to directly support Visual Departures!

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