December Bonanza Winner!

Pan Shovel - December Contest Winner

As promised (though a day late, I know…), the winner of the December Bonanza giveaway has been selected, and the annual honors go to PanShovel for his well-thought out image of sharing and cheer during the holiday season:

Pan Shovel - December Contest Winner

Thanks so much to all the participants for your wonderful images of Cheer!  It really did bring a smile to my face going through all the images and selecting a winner!  As always, the decision was quite difficult, but ultimately, the nod goes to Pan Shovel for the annual holiday giveaway.  As you all may recall, the prizes this year were donated by the good folks of Craft & Vision (David DuChemin), Thinktank Photo, and Photojojo for the books, bags and lenscap holder respectively.  So if you get a moment to check out their respective product lines, you can say thanks to them in your own way too!

The downside after all this excitement is that the January giveaway does not have a sponsor (same as last year), so this means the prize will be the ability to choose the theme for the February contest giveaway.  Think of January as a practicing month to take your own shots of whatever you find appealing.  No themes to restrict your creativity, but the rest of the standard rules apply:

1.  One photo per person

2.  Must be work-safe/family-friendly

3. Posted to the Flickr thread

4.  Largest side must be no more than 800px or less than 600px (this is only so that the winning image can be displayed well…)

5.  Taken within the last 60 days (preferably during the contest window)

6.  Images must be done by Feb 3rd (Friday).

7.  Theme is open (no theme)

8.  And most importantly, have fun!

Congrats again to Pan Shovel, and good luck to everyone in the coming months for the 2012 giveaways – keep the great shots and creativity churning!

Padding the Prize Box

Photojojo Lens Mug

As I said earlier this month when the August giveaway was announced, some additional items would likely find their way into the prize list.  As promised, I am now happy to announce that none other than the folks at Photojo have added their sponsorship. After I gave a review of one lens mug here on the blog, they approached and asked if I would do another one.  Never one to turn away even a novelty item, I agreed, and received the Canon Special Edition 70-200 Lens Mug for review last week.  Ladies and gentlemen, photogs of all ages, I give you the:

Canon Special Edition 70-200 EF Lens Collector Cup Review

Canon Lens Mug

Obviously longer and whiter than its 24-105 cousin, this holds a bit more coffee, but it’s also probably more eronomically designed to be a coffee mug than the shorter one.  The cap actually acts like a regular coffee mug rather than a lens cap, so while the “cool” factor may be lost a little, what you gain is more functionality.  I also liked this one a little better because it fits more nicely in a car cup holder than  the other one.  The body also appears to be dishwasher safe as the interior is stainless steel.

However, the downside is that the exterior is still a painted on plastic.  The bevels still don’t rotate, which is too bad, but for the grander scheme of things, it’s probably just as well to make it last longer in its designed purpose.  I did give it a quick sip test after cleaning it and there appear to be no leaks in it at all.

Now remember, this is getting added to the monthly giveaway for August, so be sure you start shooting and getting your images up in the Flickr thread here.  Thanks to the folks at Photojojo for contributing, and keep on shooting!  (Tomorrow I return to regularly scheduled blogging…:)  )

Who Makes the Best Media Cards?

Stable light

Stable light

I get this question a lot too.  The problem with any ultimatum, is that it’s going to invite bias and subjectivity.  Whether it’s lenses, cameras, computers, software or even media cards, there is no objective and universal vendor or manufacturer of media cards that is head and shoulders above the others in the field.  What I can tell you is that there are some who are notably superior.  I’ve not ranked these in any specific sort of order, but from my own experiences, these are the vendors that deliver a stable, high quality product with a good focus on QA:

If you get your media from them, by and large, you will probably be happy with the results.  I’ve heard stories of amazing success and durability anecdotes ranging from going through the clothes washer, to getting pounded by a 2000 pound vehicle.  One of the most amazing ones I read was someone who took a swim in the ocean, sweated in a sauna, and cooled off at a pool bar before realizing the media card wallet was in his swim trunks pocket – and all survived!  So, you can really pick and choose from the above and likely get quality results.  For my own tastes, I have used all of the above, but will say that I’ve noticed Lexar cards can be found for slightly less, either through promotions or sales for equivalent capacities.  Of course in the interests of full disclosure, they have also contributed to the contest giveaway series here, so that in and of itself could introduce some subjective bias on my part again.

So, there you have it!  On On Monday I looked at capacity considerations in Megabytes vs Megapixels, then later an article looked at speed transfer rates in How Fast Can You Shoot, and today, the last in this series of articles – the vendor portion of the equation.  There are, of course, other factors that could go into any buying decision, but this wasn’t about being exhaustive, rather being informative and sharing my own thoughts, insights, and experiences with media cards in photography.

Just a couple final reminders as we go into the weekend:

First up, the LDP Contest Series is underway, and I’ve added a 70-200 Special Edition from the folks at Photojojo to the giveaway.  Expect a review forthcoming shortly!  Make sure you enter for your chance to win.  Already in the prize list is a license for Photo Rescue software.  Enter here!

A new newsletter is forthcoming shortly, as is a new eBook!  This time it’s free, but only going to subscribers, so be sure to get signed up before that is released!  Special promos and discounts may also be in the newsletter for other products too, so if not signed up, you can get in on the action here.

Have a great weekend everyone, happy shooting, and we’ll catch up again next week….”on the flip side”!