Archive for choosing a camera

PhotoPlus Expo – Chapter I: New Technology/Old Technology, the Smartphone

Posted in Trade Shows with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2015 by wordsandpixels

I was having lunch with my editor, Alison Duncan, at photo.net, and we were discussing how the one of the long-running site’s purposes is to help readers decide what camera to take on which assignment. Sounds simple, right?

Not so fast! Do you take your standard DSLR? How about that new digital P&S you just HAD to have? Or maybe that old film beater TLR you actually used back in the Pleistocene era? Or, surprise of surprises, how about that camera you always have with you, the ubiquitous smart phone?

Which brings us to the currently running “Broadway” hit show: PhotoPlus Expo. My good friend and neighbor, woodworker Gus Pedersen and I decided to drop in and see the latest technological cornucopia of products, pick up some educational content and in short have a good time meeting photographers, students, educators and industry colleagues alike.

After jostling through the crowds for some time, getting my three Fuji XE-1 cameras professionally cleaned and updated, meeting about a gazillion old friends and colleagues, and even consuming a gastrointestinal challenge in the Javits Center cafeteria, who should we happen to stumble upon but Ben Zajeski, president of gripandshoot.com. Ben was surrounded by a throng of excited photographers, oohing and ahhing like grandparents at a baby’s family gathering. There, in the middle of the melee, was my friend Gus!
Gus at PhotoPlus Expo
“Yo, what ARE you buying, I asked?”

“You gotta see this, Gary,” he said, and motioned me to join him at the counter.

It wasn’t too long before even this ossified brain figured out what all the excitement was about, and for good reason. Ben had designed a simple, but incredibly well thought-out accessory for your smartphone. It is in fact a small pistol grip and case, allowing you to comfortably hold your phone/aka digital camera for long periods of time. No fatigue. No shaking caused by cramped muscles. No fiddling with small, cramped, hard-to-see screen buttons.

You simply snap in your phone, turn on the Bluetooth setting, start the “GRIP&SHOOT” app, and after making sure the Bluetooth is paired up with your phone, you start shooting! We found it truly amazing, especially with increasingly popular video (“Ready, quiet on the set! Action!” you bellow).

Included in the package was the Shooter Case for the iPhone 5, a similar case for the iPhone 4S, what Ben calls “JawZ,” to hold any phone or case, the Bluetooth Smart Grip, Grip Adapter, Carrying Pouch and Wrist Lanyard. His incredibly well-made (in the U.S., incidentally) product fits just about any smartphone out there, including iPhones, Androids, iPad minis, etc. It’s available in black or white.

The price on his Web site is just under $100, but at the show he was selling them $10 cheaper. Need I tell you this was the best $90 I spent on photography in a long while? Need I tell you that Ben was selling them like hotcakes? He was writing up orders as fast as his fingers could fly across the keyboard! People were walking away with their new tech toy and a smile on their faces, because this little piece of technology makes it easy to do what my photo.net editor and I were discussing: it puts the smart phone more into the category of a camera, with the ease of use that these phones should have had all along.