I’m excited to announce that I have a brand new Dan Bailey Photo Store on Amazon, which features a wide selection of my own favorite items- everything from camera gear, hard drives, solar chargers, useful accessories, books, and even some outdoor stuff I use on my photography trips.
And, the best part is that my store has a really easy-to-remember URL:
This new storefront offers a lot of convenience for both of us. It allows me to share the gear and accessories that I recommend to my readers all in one place. I’m also able to add my own personal comments about the items, which means you can easily find all my recommendation and insight, and my other social links, all in one spot.
I do a number of reviews here on my blog, but as longtime readers can attest, I only review products that I’m really excited about. They’re either things I use, or have used extensively in my photography and outdoor life, or things that I feel would be of interest to other outdoor photographers who have a similar photography style or interest.
In other words, this blog is not your standard review site. I don’t write about every single thing that comes along. I simply don’t have time to review gear that I honestly feel I wouldn’t use, or that I don’t think is exceptionally noteworthy.
There are lots of sites on the web where you can read reviews, and I like to think you come here to get something a little different than just a collection of technical gear write-ups. Your time is valuable too, so I work hard to extend that level of respect to you as my reader.
Here’s the thing. I get a small commission on purchases that people make from my store. I’m up front about that, for a couple of reasons.
One- It’s just better to be honest about this fact, given that my blog is part of my business as a pro photographer.
I put a lot of effort into my blog with the notion of helping other people become better photographers, but it does produce income for me through clicks and affiliate links.
Two- Some of my readers care about that and they want to support me in my efforts.
I know that a lot of you actually WANT to help me out. Nearly all of my content on the site is free, but I make a genuine effort to get to you know my readers as people through email, social media and at my workshops. Also, I do my best to respond to nearly every comment and email I get, even though my email inbox sometimes eats me alive.
I really appreciate the support you guys continue to give me, and I know that many of you want to continue that. Shopping from my Amazon store, or even just entering Amazon through my store link when you shop for other products, whether you’re buying cameras or cat food is a great way for you to show this support.
And of course it doesn’t cost you anything extra, whether you live in the U.S., Canada, or overseas.
Last Thursday, Fuijfilm announced the new X-H1, which is the first X Series camera to features in-body image stabilization, commonly referred to as IBIS. Using a combination of accelerometers, 3-axis gyro sensors and a special dual-processor, the X-H1 can analyze and correct for camera motion at up to 10,000 calculations per second and add up to 5.5 stops of stabilization.
This can be combined with the OIS stabilization found on some of the Fujifilm lenses for even greater stability when shooting in a wide variety of situations, whether you’re shooing hand held, from a moving vehicle (what about a Cessna?) or a tripod.
As recent as one year ago, Fuji reps and spokespeople had been holding to the line that adding IBIS to an X Series camera would necessitate a bigger sensor and larger lens mount. Obviously the Fuji engineers solved this problem without changing either of these things; it still has a 24MP X-Trans APS-C sensor and the regular Fuji X Mount.
High End Video
The other big thing about the X-H1 is that it has greatly enhanced video capabilities. In fact, the X-H1 was specifically designed to function as a high-end video professional camera and compete in that market.
With its larger heat sink, the X-H1 can shoot 4K video at up to 200Mbps (twice as high a bit rate as the X-T2) at a duration of 1.5x longer than the X-T2; 15 minutes per battery. Add the new X-H1 Vertical Booster Grip and you can triple that time.
It also features two new aspect ratios: 3840 x 2160 UHD (Ultra Hi Def) and 4096 x 2160 Cinema 4K (DCI 4K), and supports high speed video recording at 120p. It also featuress a brand new film simulation.
ETERNA was Fujifilm’s professional motion picture film stock and it has been reproduced inside the X-H1. With cinematic color rendition, lower saturation and a very high dynamic range, ETERNA is designed to give you that “classic movie look” right out of the box, and it lends itself extremely well to color grading.
It’s interesting to note that back in 1934, motion picture film was the first product that Fuji ever created. As with the other film sims, ETERNA carries a rich legacy.
Photographers who go back and forth between shooting stills and motion will like the fact that the X-H1’s video menu contains many of the same settings you’ll find in the IMAGE QUALITY menu, like HIGHLIGHT and SHADOW TONE, AF-C Custom Settings, and DYNAMIC RANGE. This allows you to designate separate settings for still shooting and video.
Add the option for F-LOG, uncompressed output, Flicker Control, silent video operation, a variety of slow-motion video speeds and a Fn button option that lets you instantly switch to slow motion, and the two new new super-high end X-Mount Cine lenses they also announced the X-H1 allows for whole new world of video quality and creativity when telling your stories. And it even fits housings and mounts that are specifically designed for the Panasonic G5.
Beefed-up Body Design
The X-H1 is built to be a professional grade camera in every way, and it features a scratch and ding resistant magnesium alloy chassis that’s 25% thicker than the body on the X-T2. The lens mount has been redesigned to make it more shock-resistant without adding extra bulk.
This does make the X-H1 a bigger, heavier camera than the X-T2. It also features a larger grip and top-deck LCD panel that’s similar to what you see on the GFX.
The body design and layout will surely feel familiar to users who are coming from DSLRs, but it’s still an X Series camera at heart; it features the four thumb-pad buttons, the touch screen “swipe gestures” used on the X-E3 and a combination of Fn buttons and swipes that add up to a total of 13 Function controls.
Fuji shooters will instantly notice that the X-H1 is missing the EV+/- dial. It’s been replaced by the top-deck LCD. EV control is now performed via a Fn button and the rear command dial. There is a dedicated “+/-” button, but this is just another Fn button and you can assign EV control to any Fn button and you can assign any Fn control to the “+/-” button.
The X-H1 also has a DSLR-style shutter button. It has a larger surface area and an extremely high touch, although it ins’t compatible with mechanical cable releases.
The X-H1 has been tweaked for maximum performance. It features a very large 3.69 million pixel EVF that’s bigger and brighter than the EVF on the X-T2. It also has highly updated autofocus algorithms which allow it to track fast moving subjects with even more precision an accuracy.
This makes even more capable for shooting extremely fast action like motorsports and extreme athletes, and also difficult or erratically moving subjects like flying birds. Combine this with the rumoured 200mm f/2 lens that’s in the pipeline and you’ve got an extremely capable setup.
In fact, that’s exactly how I see this camera. For years now, there have been a lot of photographers who are attracted to the Fuji system and the X Series, but for whatever reason, they just can’t pull the trigger because the system has been lacking a few things that companies like Sony and Canon have on their cameras.
With the X-H1, the X Series now has in-body stabilization, a beefier DSRL-style chassis, even faster autofocus and even more high-end video capabilities, and yet it still has the X Series mojo and all the regular X Series features.
So, Fuji has effectively checked off a few more boxes and given those people who are on the edge even more reasons to consider switching to the Fuji system. And while it’s kind of sad that Fuji has to continually chase companies like Sony, that’s the reality of the modern technology world.
Yes, the X-H1 is bigger, heavier and at $1,899, it’s more expensive than something like the X-T2, but it’s a pretty bad ass camera. Although technically an X Series camera, in terms of design, it’s actually quite similar to the GFX, although not quite as big. In a way, the X-H1 sort of straddles the two systems.
That said, it has the exact same sensor and image processor as the X-T2, X-Pro2, X-E3, X-T20 and X100F, so in terms of color and image quality, it should give the same level of performance as all the otters recent X Series cameras. Don’t rush out and order one if all you’re craving is better image quality, unless it results from a requirement of additional stabilization.
The X-H1 is not for everyone, and Fujifilm knows this. They don’t expect everyone to buy one. I don’t see a ton of X Series users trading up. However, for pro Fuji users who are serious about shooting video or who demand the highest level of performance and rugged durability from their cameras, and DSLR shooters who are on the cusp of moving to the X Series, the X-H1 looks pretty darn appealing.
For X Series users who do trade up, it will be a seamless transition. The X-H1 is still an X Series camera through and through, so it has all the settings, functions and creative tools you’ve grown to love, just in a more high performance model.
By the way, that’s exactly what the “H” stands for: High Performance.
And of course, all the features I talk about in my comprehensive X SERIES UNLIMITED eBook will apply to the new X-H1, so if you’re new to the system, I highly recommend checking out the guide.
Weighing in at only 3 lbs, including head, Billy is also the lightest tripod in their current lineup, and like his namesake, he rocks.
Built from carbon fiber, Billy is light and sturdy. Like any good rocker, he’s got quite a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s surprisingly affordable. He’s not some stuffy elitist, he’s a true working class hero.
With legs that fold back on themselves, Billy packs to only 18″ long, so he’s the perfect companion for traveling, whether you’re on an extended tour… I mean road trip, or on a flight across the pond.
Billy walks tall, with a max height of 65″, but he can really get down, too. With 3 leg angles, you can fold the legs all the way out and achieve shooting heights of only 4″ above the ground. Or your can stand him up, invert the center column and hang the head upside down. This lets you get your camera into a variety of low and otherwise difficult vantage points.
And as with all the 3 Legged Thing Punks, Billy has a detachable leg that converts into a monopod.
Yea, yea, yea, blah, blah, blah. So it’s another tripod. There are tons of them out there. What’s so special about these?
It wasn’t the features that grabbed me, it was the style and workmanship. The 3 Legged Thing tripods are gorgeous. Unlike some tripods, they’re not the least bit clunky, they’re sleek and sexy and designed with both function and look in mind. This makes sense, seeing as how they’re marketing themselves to visual people like photographers.
I see a ton of tripods when I teach workshops, but it’s the 3 Legged Thing tripods that always catch my eye. And, of course this means, whoever, has one inadvertently gets extra attention from me. Is this entirely fair? Who knows. Who cares. All I can say is that if you line up 10 people with tripods and one of them has a 3 Legged Thing, guess which on I’m likely to spot? Can you use this to your advantage? Who’s to say?
It’s true, shiny looks don’t make a great tripod, even though the knobs and twists locks look really sharp, with anodized trim and different colors. However, that’s kind of a thing these days with tripods, even though noone quite does it with the same style as 3 Legged Thing.
And it’s not just looks, it’s attitude. Like the friction knob that says“Rock – Lock” instead of “Loosen – Tighten.” And the Union Jack on one of the legs. Nothing says rock and roll like the Union Jack.
Colors aside, what really matters, of course, is that they function beautifully, with exceptionally smooth precision. 3 Legged Thing tripods are very well engineered, and this is easily apparent as soon as you handle one. They have a high level of attention to detail, and they have excellent customer service.
Compare this with a huge company like Manfrotto. I broke one of my Manfrotto family tripods and am still waiting for a replacement. I first contacted them over 14 months ago, and… *crickets*. Still Waiting.
All the new punks features newly designed rubber grips, which twist easily and helps reduce weight. They also come with a dedicated quick release ball head with a rubberized Area-Swiss compatible plate, a little clip-on multi-function tool, 2 bubble levels, rubber feet that that can be swapped out with 3 different kinds of spikes and claws for varying terrain.
With a 40 lbs. load capacity, Billy is sturdy enough to support just about any camera system. He’s one of the strongest tripods in his class. As I said above, he’s light and small enough for travel and backpacking and more than cool enough for general use. Whatever that means.
Best part about Billy, is that he’s very affordable. While most high-end carbon fiber tripods cost anywhere from $300-500 and more, (priced a Gitzo lately?) Billy only costs $279. Like I said, he’s a working class hero, but he’s not cheap like those budget carbon fiber models that are light, but not all that sturdy. Billy’s the real deal.
If you’re looking for a very well made carbon fiber tripod for outdoors or travel, and you don’t want to break the bank, I highly recommend taking a look at this tripod. There’s really nothing about it that you won’t like.
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