8 Cool and Useful Photography Gadgets

Take a look at the best gadgets and new tech for photographers, videographers, and photographic geeks of all types!

edelkrone FlexTILT Head 2

FlexTILT Head 2 is a cool, pan and tilt solution that allows you to mount your camera and frame your shots easily and quickly. Free yourself from the restrictions of your tripod mount with a flexible system that has no buttons, locks or dials to master. The constant friction technology employed by this device allows instant height adjustment without having to resort to extending the legs of your tripod. It also allows forward and reverse movement, so you can extend the camera out beyond the tripod for unobstructed top-down shots. This device can rotate 360° for precise and smooth panning and as a bonus, should you need it, the FlexTILT Head 2 can also work as a camera stand on flat surfaces without the need for legs.

PetNow Wearable HD Dog Camera

Capture the world from your pet’s point of view with the PetNow Wearable HD Dog Camera. If you’ve ever wondered how your dog spends their day while you’re not around, now you can find out. Attached to an adjustable vest that comes in five different sizes, to suit all breeds, is a HD 1080p video camera with a 136° field of view that can stream video directly to your phone, so you can always see what your beloved pet is up to. The camera works in any lighting conditions and has an automatic night vision mode. It even has a 2-way on-board microphone so you can hear your dog and speak to it as well. With the addition of an SD card, you can store videos and photos up to 64Gb. Alternatively, you can remove it from the vest and set it up as a security monitor in your home.

Anamorphic iPhone Video Lens

Designed with professional mobile filmmaking in mind, the SANDMARC Anamorphic lens allows you to capture, on your iPhone, footage that is hard to distinguish from the kind you would see in the cinema. It can capture an ultra-wide field of view by squeezing the image. It is a method popular among moviemakers such as J J Abrams and Stephen Soderbergh. Crafted from best-in-class optics, the Anamorphic lens can take your iPhone based filmmaking to the next level. If it contains any bright point light sources, such as car headlights, streetlights, or any hard light during night shoots, it creates a dramatic lens flare similar to those seen in the movies. This multi-element and multi-coated lens simply clips over the top of your iPhone’s built-in lens and since it only weighs 46g, it will not weigh your phone down or make it bulky and hard to handle.

Alter RFS – Rapid Filter System

Anyone who likes to shoot with some extreme screw-on filters, such as Infrared (IR) filters and 10-stop neutral density (ND) filters, will no doubt be aware of the annoying issues faced when trying to set up their compositions and getting the framing just right. By design, IR filters and 10-stop NDs are very, very dark. When you attach the filter, you can barely see anything when looking through the viewfinder, and this can be a pain since currently you have to remove the filter, set up the composition and then screw the filter back on. A company called Alter has been working on a crowdfunded project that uses a nifty screw-on hinged filter adapter that simply flips the attached filter out of the way when not required and then flips it back down when needed. Strong magnets hold the front ring in place while you work; a simple but brilliant idea.

Puluz Foldable LED Light Cube

Anyone who needs product photos on a regular basis, particularly if they are trying to sell items on certain popular auction sites, will benefit from being able to take good quality and well-lit photos of the items for sale. So, you want professional lighting but you don’t have the space, or the money, for a professional lightbox setup. What do you do? Well, a company called Puluz may have the answer in the form of a small, lightweight, foldable studio tent. It measures 20cm x 20cm x 20cm and is equipped with two banks of LED lights, which can be plugged into a USB port to provide power and allow you to shoot with strong, continuous light that is flicker-free. It provides 6 coloured backdrops that can be placed inside the tent, which fastens together using Velcro material. Assembly takes less than a minute and then you are ready to shoot. There is even an aperture in the top of the tent to allow top down shooting of your products.

Anker Bluetooth Selfie Stick

You love your smartphone right? You are a self-confessed selfie addict. Have you ever been a bit irritated that you can’t extend your arm out any further, particularly if you’re trying to get a group shot of you and your best friends? Then there is the question of activating the camera to take the shot. You can use a timer, and a lot of selfie sticks use a cable that connects to your device. Anker, a Chinese electronics brand well known for producing computer and mobile peripherals, has come up with a selfie stick that can hold a large number of different sized phones in its cradle, extend out to 29 inches and be used as a monopod. Best of all, it has Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can seamlessly pair it to your phone, or even a GoPro action camera, and control the taking of shots just when you want them. It has a 20 hour battery life, so plenty of time to get all those awesome selfies in the bag.

Woodsum Wooden Pinhole Camera

How about this for a uniquely retro approach to photography? It actually combines good, old, analogue, pinhole film photography and DIY, model making since it requires assembly before use. The camera uses 35mm roll film and is a lovely and memorable gift idea. The camera design uses premium wood components and is UV coated for a quality feel. They offer five different wood finishes including Maple, Walnut, and Pine. The assembly is quite straightforward thanks to easy-to-follow instructions. The camera is essentially a 3D puzzle with pre-cut interlocking pieces that require no tools or glue. The camera is designed with a removable viewfinder and a mechanical shutter button to open the aperture and allow light to fall on the roll of film inside. For ease of use you can add a strap, since it provides mounting hooks either side, and you can use the mounting screw underneath to attach the camera to a tripod for more stable shooting. Simply insert your film, close the back panel, and use the winder on top to advance the film for the next shot.

Bird Photo Booth 2.0

This is a great gadget that allows you to feed the birds in your garden and also photograph them with spooking them. The Bird Photo Booth 2.0 is a bird feeder, styled to look like a retro Rolleiflex twin reflex camera, with space inside it to place a small action camera that is perfectly positioned to view the action outside as birds land and peck seed from the feeder. You don’t have to use the action camera, you can use your own iOS or Android smartphone, or GoPro if you have one, but the one provided by Bird Photo Booth is motion activated and optimised for the enclosure. The camera itself shoots 4K 30p video; it can also capture 16MP photos and can be controlled wirelessly from the comfort of your armchair. It has a very wide 170° field of view and can shoot bursts of photos in high-speed mode. It can also live stream the action for your very own wildlife show as the birds go about their business undisturbed. The enclosure itself is weather proof, so you can place it anywhere without fear of water ingress damaging your camera. This is a bird feeder like no other.

Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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