Here’s what caught our eye this month
Manfrotto Chicago £179/$200 (Small), £209/$240 (Medium) http://www.manfrotto.com
Manfrotto is expanding its already
extensive camera bag collection
with a new range: Chicago. Chicago
bags are discreetly styled to suit the
urban environment and include
upmarket features, like a Kevlar
fabric base, Duraflex buckles and
YKK zippers. The outer fabric is
treated to make it water-repellant,
plus each bag comes with a
separate rain cover.
The Chicago bag collection
consists of two backpacks in small
and medium sizes. Both utilize a
modular internal design similar to
that used by sister-brand Lowepro
in its FreeLine backpack.
A removable photo insert enables
the camera backpack to be easily
transformed into a regular
backpack. The insert itself can also
be used as a slightly compact,
self-contained, shoulder bag for
times when you only need to
transport camera gear.
Both the small and medium
versions of the backpack will hold
a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless
camera body with a standard zoom
attached. The Chicago 50 Medium
can carry an additional three to four
lenses, while the Chicago 30 Small
version can manage to squeeze in
two to three extra lenses.
Both bags boast a separate top
compartment designed to house
personal effects, while a dedicated
gimbal pocket on one of the
side-access flaps has been
designed to hold a DJI Osmo
Pocket mini gimbal.
The Chicago 50 Medium even
contains a special media organizer
pouch, perfect for your memory
cards, cables and dongles. Both
bags have been designed to also
carry a laptop, with the Small able
to fit a 14-inch model, and a 15-inch
notebook will slide into the Medium
backpack. A tripod can be carried
on the outside of each backpack,
either horizontally across the front
or underneath, or mounted
vertically on the front.
Each Chicago bag contains
Manfrotto’s Slim-Tech Protection
System, which has been designed to
offer top-notch gear protection
without consuming too much
valuable carrying capacity.
The mix of stylish looks, utilitarian
design, and well thought-out
functionality, should appeal to city
slickers who like to move around the
urban landscape without drawing
too much attention to themselves.
Joby Beamo £80/$90 (Beamo), £60/$70 (Beamo Mini) http://www.joby.com
Looking for ultra small yet ultra
powerful lights? Meet the Joby
Beamo and Joby Beamo Mini – a
pair of new products that promise
professional lighting that fits right
into your pocket.
While their ultra-compact size
makes them perfect for content
creation, our experience with a
certain similar rival product attests
that Joby Beamo will also provide
useful all-purpose lighting for
stills as well.
Yes, the Beamo and Beamo Mini
are quite similar to Lume Cube 2.0
and Lume Cube Air, but there are a
few key differences, though...
namely that the full-size Beamo
offers wireless charging capability
and the Mini is actually brighter than
the Air – both products are also a
little more affordable than their
Lume Cube counterparts.
Let’s start with the Beamo, which
is positively pocket-sized at
47x51x51mm and 134g. It boasts
1500 Lumen output, for 750 Lux at
1m, with a 95+/- colour rendition
index (all the same as the Lume
Cube). It’s waterproof to
30ft/100m, lasts up to 40 minutes
at 100% power, or 100 minutes at
50%, and can charges either
wirelessly or via USB-C.
The Beamo Mini is a tad tinier,
at 39x51x51mm, and is magnetic,
making it absolutely perfect for
travel, so you can always stick a light
somewhere, even if you haven’t
brought a stand. As noted, it
delivers more light than the Lume
Cube Air (they’re both 1000
Lumens, but the Mini achieves 470
Lux at 1m compared to the Air’s
400) and features the same
waterproofing as its big brother.
Both products have been
optimized to work with Joby’s
GorillaPod and feature dual cold
shoes, so you can assemble a
‘Beamo Wall’ to create an LED panel
with quadruple the output.
We love Lume Cubes, but this
lower-cost competition from Joby
could give them a run for their
money, especially with their ability
to easily connect together for
increased lighting power output.