Photo and Video Products to Check Out During Isolation
We’re dealing with a very serious matter globally, which has led most of us to practice social isolation until further notice. While this COVID-19 outbreak is incredibly scary, it also has afforded us a lot of free time to sharpen our skills and find new ways to express our creativity. Earlier last week, we put together a pretty long list of free and discounted services that are available to you while you practice physical isolation, so we figured it’d be best to also put together a list of products we think are interesting and you might not have considered before. While in no way do I want to turn this pandemic into a marketing pitch for products, we have developed a list of really interesting and different tools to help jump-start your creativity in these times. So here is a list of available products that can help you do just that.
The Roli Songmaker is an audio controller that uses touch-sensitive pads that allow you to create and manipulate music and sounds like never before. The Songmaker Kit gives you all the hardware controllers and software tools you need to build a track utilizing the Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block, the premier Blocks for playing and producing. Live Block helps you produce and perform faster. The Seaboard Block is a uniquely responsive surface that opens up new pathways of musical expression; The Five Dimensions of Touch; Strike, Glide, Slide, Press, and Lift. Designed to work with a large variety of different programs, this tool makes creating music possible for both the amateur and professional alike.
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of DJI and their drones, but let us introduce you to the Mavic Mini if you haven’t been introduced yet. The Mavic Mini is an ultra-compact drone that is small enough to avoid many of the FAA restrictions placed on larger drones, while maintaining many of the safety features you’d find on the original DJI Mavic. With 30 minutes of flight time, the DJI Mavic Mini is the perfect drone to practice your drone flying skills on this downtime. And with the fly more combo, you get additional batteries and safety precautions like blade guards to help the more inexperienced pilot.
The Anker Nebula Mars II is a fun little projector used to project movies, show off your work, or use in a variety of other creative ways. While it’s not the most powerful projector or the highest resolution (only 720p), it gets its benefits for being incredibly compact, and with a 4-hour battery built-in, allowing you to have a movie night in your backyard with your family.
While on the topic of building a home theatre system, if you don’t have a white wall or fence to project the image onto, consider checking out the Epson ES3000 projector screen. This projector screen is incredibly compact and lightweight in design and allows for image projection up to 80″ diagonally.
If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you may remember a post from the incredible Bray Falls on astro and deep space photography. Among the advice and insight that Bray lists through his post, is the use of a star tracker system. Since publishing that article, we too have gotten interested in the topic, and now carry the Optron SkyGuider Pro EQ system. If you ever had an interest in learning more about what’s hiding in deep space, now might be the time to capture some incredible images of galaxies and stars.
One of the most interesting developments to come out within the last couple years has been the work put into LED lighting, and no product shows that off better than the Q50R kit from Quasar Science. These 4-foot LED lights share a lot of the design stylings of traditional 4’ fluorescent bulbs, but pack quite a bit of power, are battery-powered, and have full RGB control. If you want to practice your knowledge of color theory and create interesting images or footage in the process, the Quasar Science Q50R kit is the way to go.
One of the more exciting lights to come out in the last year is from Profoto with the Profoto C1 Plus. Designed as the ultra-mobile lighting solution, the Profoto C1 Plus pairs with both your smartphone and your camera to give you a super compact flash on the go. While not as powerful as many of the other offerings from Profoto, its use of LEDs made it both a small and lightweight option when you’re looking to move quickly and add a bit of light into your photos. Pairing it with the Profoto app on both iOS and Android allows you to get off-camera lighting when using your smartphone.
One of the focuses I’ve personally had in these quiet times is sharpening my skills with product photography. The process doesn’t require much space, and still-life is a great way to learn how light and shadow shapes subjects. If you really want to up your game in the product photography world, you have to give the Syrp Genie Mini II w/ Product Turntable a try. The turntable works just as you might expect, allowing you to rotate the product and capture multiple angles and shadows with ease. While the Syrp app is a little cumbersome to figure out, this makes for a really interesting rental to try out and shoot product work.
The Lastolite 13′ Background makes for a really unique background for its key feature – it’s panoramic in design. Not only does this help make it far more compact, but it gives you far more options of camera movement when shooting something to be chromakeyed later. This fairly compact design allows you to create with limited space, without many limitations.
Perhaps the biggest shortfall people have who want to get into video editing is the computer power needed to process 4K and 8K footage. If you have incredibly large resolution video files that you need to work on, but don’t have the system to really get the work done, consider renting a Blackmagic eGPU Pro. What the Blackmagic eGPU Pro is, is essentially a way for you to plug in a high-end graphics card to virtually any computer using Thunderbolt 3. Included in our eGPUs is the incredibly powerful Radeon RX Vega 56 GPU, a graphic card with more than enough power to handle those larger files without much slowdown.
These are just a few products we thought would make for great tools while you’re isolating yourself. If you have any recommendations for other tools that you’ve been using, feel free to chime in in the comments and please stay safe.
Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at LensRentals.com. These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.