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|| News Item: Posted 2008-04-01

Photographer's Toy Box: Odds & Ends In The Kahuna's Bag
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

The ZigView Digital Viewfinder in action at the NCAA Tournament.
A few notes on some items that people have asked me about recently at events.

The ZigView Digital Viewfinder is one of those little gizmos that we certainly can do without …but once you do get one you wonder how you could do without it.

A simple idea: A small video capture device that attaches to the eyepiece of your SLR that sends a picture to a small LCD screen. My buddy Ron and I tried to make something like this years ago, but gave up amid a pile of loose wires, gaffer tape and an "attachment" that was almost bigger than the camera.

Paging through Popular Photography in the Valencia Library one afternoon while Emma was doing her regular volunteer shift, I read a short article on the ZigView Digital Viewer. It must have been 15 years since I'd looked through Popular (or Modern) Photography but when my buddy Brad Shirakawa and I were in junior high, we couldn't wait to get our copy of the magazine in the mail each month. What goes around comes around ... instead of the "Girl Watcher" 600mm 6.3 telephoto lens ads in the 70's, I get a tip on a nice high-tech piece of hardware...

If you do any kind of remote camera work, this little cool accessory is something that can really be helpful. I know lots of us carry around a right angle finder to help focus and frame a remote camera, especially floor cams.

(Another cool thing --- I lost my Canon right angle finder at a game a few months back --- and when looking for a replacement I decided on the Hoodman right angle finder. I found it was very well made, comes in a very nice carrying case and is more versatile because it comes with adapters for all major SLR bodies. Best of all: It was CHEAPER than the Canon right angle!)

During the recent Sports Shooter Academy V remote class, we emphasized the importance of framing and critical focus. How many times have we gone to the time and trouble to set up a remote at a game only to see the effort wasted because the focus was off or you tilted the frame?

(Ok, ok … that's a problem I have.)

The latest version, the S2, has a detachable LCD screen, so with an extension cable, you're able to place your remote camera just about anywhere and still focus and compose. Also for you Robert Beck Clones out there, this is THE ultimate pole cam accessory. You can now position your pole cam not only in my way but you can now see exactly what you're shooting!

The Zigview S2 rotates 300-degrees, has several other built in features like an intervalometer and motion dictator. In addition to the detachable LCD, the S2's rechargeable battery is removable.

The original model, the Zigview R, comes with several eyepiece adapters but NOT one for the newer Canon SLRs like the Mark III. A rep from Argraph, Zigview's U.S. distributor, informed me last week that they do not plan on making an eyepiece adapter for the older "R" model, So if you're planning on getting a Zigview for your Mark III, you'll have to plunk down more money for the newer S2 model.

The Zigview LCD Viewfinder is available at most pro stores and you can check out their website for more details:

I have a bunch of different gear wraps that I've gotten over the years that I use to protect my camera bodies and lenses when I ship them or even when they are in my roller for a daily assignment.

Protecting your camera bodies for the rumble and tumble of travel ... whether it's from the parking lot to the pressroom at Staples Center or on a cross-country flight … is always a good thing.

Photo by

I came across a cool new camera pouch that not only protects your expensive SLR body from the usual bouncing around … it's also very COOL. LensCoat, the company that makes the "Hoodie" lens cap has come out with the BodyBag Pro, which will fit all pro and prosumer SLR camera bodies.

The BodyBag is made of a neoprene, so it will fit like a glove over your camera and has a Velcro strip on the flap. It comes is several different color (yes, including camo). The company makes a smaller model to fit your speedlite.

Check out the details at LensCoat's website:

Another semi-new product that I've been using a lot lately and have been getting questions on, is the new line of pouches from Think Tank Photo.

For those of you that love the suicide-bomber-look of the ChestVest --- or more to the point --- like the ChestVest pouches, the people at Think Tank have listened and they have produced!

The Skin is collection of various size pouches that are VERY lightweight, so they are more flexible than Think Tank's other pouches and can be compressed making storage and traveling a litter easier.

You can use the Skin pouches on your current Think Tank belt (or any belt system for that matter) or invest if the new Skin Belt and Belly Dancer suspender/harness if you must have that ChestVest/unibomber look.

As with all Think Tank products, the Skin pouches are well made, versatile and have those little touches that separate their products from others out on the market. (The Skin pouches have a little flap that can cover the Velcro closure material so if you're in a situation where you want to be silent, this prevents that loud ripping noise when you open the pouch.

For more details on sizes, check it out here:

(Robert Hanashiro is the founder of Sports Shooter and the director of the Sports Shooter Academy. He is a self-proclaimed gadget junky and his garage is filled with various doodads of questionable usefulness he bought over the years, much to the chagrin of his wife and daughter.)

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