Gear of the Year 2017 – Jeff’s choice: Olympus Tough TG-5

I try to make it to the Hawaiian Islands every year and I have a pretty good success rate. When I go, usually to Maui, I make it a point to spend most of my mornings snorkeling. In the afternoons I’ll hop in an air conditioned car and explore the island which, even after many (many) trips, is still exciting.

Hungry hungry honu, Kaanapali, Maui. Cropped out-of-camera JPEG.
ISO 100 | F3.5 | 1/250 sec | 33mm equiv | Photo by Jeff Keller

Since I want to memorialize any encounters with sea turtles or dolphins that may occur while I’m snorkeling, that really narrows down my camera choices. I’m not hardcore enough to bring a large camera in a big housing; rather, I want something I can slip into the pocket of my swimsuit while I’m struggling to put on my fins. I also need a camera that can capture the beautiful rainbows and sunsets that are almost a daily occurrence. The camera that covers both bases for me is the Olympus Tough TG-5.

The TG-5 has a great macro mode, with a 1cm minimum focusing distance. It captures plenty of detail, as you can see from this photo of my lunch.
ISO 100 | F2.8 | 1/160 sec | 24mm equiv | Photo by Jeff Keller

To be honest, 2015’s TG-4 didn’t need a lot of improvements. It had solid image quality for a compact, a lens that’s fast at its wide end, Raw support, a GPS, manometer, thermometer, and compass, along with respectable battery life. It could take a beating and, unlike some underwater compacts I’ve tested, didn’t leak at all when it went diving. The main things that irked me about the TG-4 were → continue…

From:: DPreview

Visvo’s ‘Novel’ backpacks will satisfy the most tech-savvy photographers

New backpacks for photographers don’t usually feel like anything special when they make their way across our inbox. Updates are usually limited to “innovative” closures or gimmicky new features because, let’s face it, there are a lot of great options out there. It’s hard to innovate when all of the basic bases have been covered for so long.

Enter Visvo, a company that is designing “tech-filled backpacks for a whole new generation of creative consumers.”

Visvo’s new series of three backpacks—the Novel 1.0, Novel 2.0, and Novel 3.0—were not designed primarily for photographers, but some of the built-in features will definitely appeal to traveling tech-savvy photogs who are looking for something different than your typical camera bag.

Here’s a quick intro to the Novel backpacks from the company’s Kickstarter campaign page:

As you can see, these bags are all about convenience, with built-in charging ports, a full power bank, optional GPS tracker, and LED light strips soldered all over the thing.

While the innovations built into these backpacks aren’t specifically targeted at photographers, the built-in power bank is a huge bonus for traveling shooters, the shock-absorbing materials and design will help ease your arrhythmias when you accidentally drop your bag, and the built in LEDs on both the outside and inside of the pack are a huge boon for nighttime shooting when you need to find your gear or adjust your setup.

Of course, each model comes with its pros and cons, but even the Novel 1.0 sports a lot of the tech we think photographers would appreciate. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the three models:

For more details or if you want to put down a pledge for either of these backpacks, head over to the Kickstarter → continue…

From:: DPreview