We talked about the cheaper alternative to the Nikon OEM battery grip a while ago. DPreview has just posted a brief review of the Pixel Vertax D12 Grip for Nikon D800/E. There isn’t anything new we don’t already know about the grip though.  It is solidly built and offers identical function as the OEM grip that costs a few hundred dollars more. If you are looking for a better bargain, there is another grip available that includes an EN-EL18A lithium battery with charger in addition to the normal EN-EL15/AA battery holders.

Posted in Accessories on August 31st, 2012. No Comments.

The Pixel Vertax D12 is a low cost alternative to the expensive Nikon MB-D12 made by Pixel Enterprise Limited, a Chinese company based in Hong Kong.

I ordered the Pixel Vertax D12 a while ago from an eBay seller and finally was able to pick it up today from local post office. Like other parcels I received in the past from Hongkong or China, the cardboard box took a beating during transit but the content survived without any issue. The Pixel Vertax D12 battery grip comes in a box about 6″x3.5″x4″ (LxDxH). Inside there are the battery grip, Vt-A12 magazine for EN-EL15 battery, a magazine for 8 AA/LR-6 batteries, and a small carrying pouch. Pixel website claimed that the Vertax D12 can hold two EN-EL15 battery. That is obviously an error. The product box states clearly the Vertax D12 holds one EN-EL15 battery. Read More…

Posted in Accessories on July 17th, 2012. No Comments.

The Nikon D800 is such a popular camera Nikon has had difficulties meeting the demand. Although many lucky Nikon D800 users are happy with the camera, they are quite turned off by the high price of the MB-D12 multi power battery pack, which has a suggest retail price of $616. The actual retail price is currently around $400. Many people could not understand why it would cost so much more than other battery packs such as the MB-D10, which is used for Nikon D300 and Nikon D700. Read More…

Posted in Accessories on July 1st, 2012. No Comments.

The Nikon WT-4A Wireless Transmitter does more than file transfer, it allows wireless control of your Nikon camera using Camera Control Pro 2 software. But it is also very expensive. If you just need a wireless file transfer solution for your Nikon D800, you may want to consider the Eye-Fi Pro X2 8 GB Class 6 SDHC Wireless Flash Memory Card instead. For ~$92, it can wirelessly transfer your files (including RAW) from Nikon D800. What’s even better? The Nikon D800 comes with a SD card slot and built-in Eye-Fi support according to the User’s Manual. Read More…

Posted in Accessories on March 16th, 2012. 4 Comments.

Not all flash cards are created equal: They have different read and write speeds specifications. For still shooters, the write speed of the flash memory card may limit how fast the camera clears the buffer and allows the camera to shoot again. For video shooters, the sustained write speed is critical to capture videos at high bit rates. The read speed of the cards matters too. It determines how fast you can download the photos to your computer. Read More…

Posted in Accessories on February 21st, 2012. No Comments.

50-Dollar Follow Focus (FDFF) is a cool gadget that can boost your DSLR videography to a new level, professional one or not. What it does is allow you to precisely and smoothly control the focus of your DSLR lens during video recording. Check out the video below and the Kickstart project page for 50-Dollar Follow Focus to pre-order yours for $60 (not a typo, shipping does cost extra).

Posted in Accessories on January 26th, 2012. No Comments.

It’s a necessity – not an accessory!

That’s what is written on the package of my latest photography gadget purchase: the Lenspen Lens Cleaning System. I think it is an accurate statement. Lately I have used the same lens cloth I use for my glasses to clean lenses and it hasn’t worked very well. There are always some smudges I cannot get rid of. After rubbing the lens surface with the cloth, the lens surface becomes dust magnet immediately. Finally I decided to try something different. In the past I have tried some pen-type lens cleaning tool. It had a built-in cleaning liquid reservoir. It created a mess when the pen snapped inside my camera bag. I never looked at similar tool again until recently. Read More…

Posted in Accessories on January 25th, 2012. No Comments.

The basic function of neutral density filter or ND filter is cutting down the light entering the camera without introducing any color shifts. They have many uses in photography. Neutral density filters can be categorized into two main types: graduated neutral density filters and regular neutral density filters. The former has graduated distribution of the light reduction levels across the filter. The latter has simple uniform light reduction across the whole filter. Read More…

Posted in Accessories, Tips and Techniques on January 21st, 2012. No Comments.
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