Friday, 28 May 2010

Apple iPad Hits The UK Today

The Apple iPad arrives in the UK today, but I still can't decide if I want or need one. The starting price is £429 for the 16GB Wifi only model and the most expensive is £699 for the 64GB Wifi +3G version. The later needs a sim and the average cost of that is £15 per month for 3GB (3 Network are doing 10GB for £15).

On the plus side, it would be a fantastic tool to hand to clients to view their photographs for the first time and also to use as a portfolio to gain new clients. I also like the idea of picking it up and checking email or a website without having to boot-up an operating system.

On the minus side, it's expensive. I thought that Apple's website blurb "A magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price" was pretty funny! The iPad and iPhone (or iTouch) need to be able to sync all Apple and 3rd party apps with each other. I don't want to pick-up my iPhone at a meeting and then realize that the information that I'm looking for was input into my iPad. Syncing Calendars wirelessly between iPhone and iPad would be the minimum I could live with.

Apple products are well made and well thought out, and I know the iPad will be a great piece of kit and very useful. The thing that's putting me off the most, is that it might make things more complicated than they are. I get annoyed that I can't sync apps like Bento between my iPhone and PC, because it's Mac software. Adding another device might not be the answer...yet!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Black Rapid:: R-Strap

I just joined the R-Strap Brigade and bought an RS-4, RS-5 and CoupleR. The RS-4 has a pouch for memory cards and the RS-5 has two separate pouches for memory cards and business cards and a phone pouch that is big enough for an iPhone or Blackberry. I'm not sure if the RS-5 pouches are deep enough for UK size business cards (I haven't tried to fit mine in yet), but I'll check that out later. I also bought the CoupleR pack, which contains two studded straps that join the RS-4 & 5 together to make a holster style double strap.
I thought long and hard about getting this set-up or an RS DR-1 double strap, which can be split to use one side as a single R-Strap. There's not a lot of difference in the cost, so I ended up going for the set-up that I thought would be the most versatile.
The R-Straps are fantastic to use and very comfortable. I often have two Nikon D300(s) with a 17-55mm on one and a 70-200mm on the other plus battery grips. I can have these hanging on my shoulders for up to eight hours and it really gives me a sore back. I haven't tested the R-Straps over a long shoot yet, but I'm pretty sure they'll be a huge improvement on the standard Nikon straps. I highly recommend getting an R-Strap. If, like me, you often use a two camera set-up, I really couldn't say what the best choice is. I don't think it makes a big difference if you go for the double strap RS DR-1 or like me, the two R-Straps and the CoupleR to join them up. I don't think you would be disappointed either way.