It’s been an insane year for photography! Established mirrorless manufacturers made incredible strides forward, major camera manufacturers made serious strides into brand new full-frame standards, and the market was shaped by consumers in ways never before seen in the industry. It can be overwhelming for even the most engrossed photo-nerd, so here are a few of our favorites to help make sure you don’t miss some of the coolest products new to Mike’s in 2018!
Randy’s favorite: Sony A7 mark III
Randy at our Colorado Springs store loves that “the Sony a7 III is a 24MP full frame mirrorless camera that incorporates many of the features and improvements found in the a7R III, along with the larger capacity ‘Z’ battery. Its 693-point AF system offers 93% frame coverage. Continuous shooting is offered at up to 10 fps with mechanical shutter, and 5-axis in-body stabilization claims a 5.0 stop shutter speed.”
Joe’s favorite: Zhiyun-Tech Crane 2 pro gimbal
Joe agrees that the “camera of the year is easily the Sony A7 mark III,” but as far as accessories go, “the Crane 2 would likely be my favorite new accessory. Manual focus pull gear, great 3 axis stabilization up to 5.5 pounds. Perfect for video work.” The difference between amateur and pro-level video definitely comes down, often, to the stability of the shot.
Curt’s favorite: Savage Edge Lit Pro LED Kit
Our store manager in Boulder recommends this kit for “great diffused light that works great for still (or video!) without modifiers. It will also let you set the color temperature so you have easy white balancing.”
Mike’s favorite: DJI/Ryze Tello
Our sales manager, a big drone fan, loves the little Tello. “The most stable camera drone under $100. Great to perfect your flight skills before you launch into a more complex drone with greater range.”
Doug’s favorite stocking stuffers
Doug at our Park Meadows store knows it’s important to remember the little things. “The ProMaster USB 3.0 card reader: Faster than plugging your camera into the computer, and has two extra USB ports. The Velocity 128 GB card is a great card for 4K video. And the GorillaPod 5K: small and easy to use and carry in your camera bag. Wrap it around a tree branch for a great family photo!”
Winn’s favorite: Savage RGB light painter pro LED wand
A portrait shooter in our Boulder store, Winn says this wand is “great for light painting and creative shooting.”
Jessica’s favorite: Savage RGB300 Color Video Light
Jessica, in Sacramento, is also a fan of new developments in lighting. “I love how creative everyone is getting with YouTube and their vlogs. The savage Color video light is so fun to use and I love showing it to customers. With 300 different colors on board, I can play with gels without having to spend the extra money for that distinct gel look. I recommend this product to everyone getting into video or honestly, any photography who wants to be creative.”
Travis’s favorite: Ektachrome E100
An analog fan in Sacramento, Travis is happy to see Ektachrome back in production. “Currently my favorite product at Mike’s Camera is Kodak’s newly re-released Ektachrome E100. I’ve only shot though a few rolls so far, but I’m already in love with this slide film. E100’s color palette is the truest to real life of any film I’ve ever shot, which suits well with the portraiture work I do.”
Joel’s favorite: Zoom H4N
Joel runs our Sacramento store, and has a keen ear for audio. “Stand-alone audio recorders are an absolute necessity for any videographer/photographer today. With the Zoom H4N recorder, you can choose placement of where you want the audio to be captured and they also allow up to 4 tracks to be recorded simultaneously. The Zoom built-in mics will capture amazing studio quality audio. Speaking of mics, you can attach your own via the XLR or ¼ inputs. These zoom units are also great for traveling, concert goers, and the practicing musician too!”
Tom’s favorite camera: Fujifilm X-T3
Tom’s favorite lens: Tamron 18-400
Tom’s favorite bag: Peak Design Everyday
Tom, at our Park Meadows store, had a few favorites this year. “My favorite camera is the new Fujifilm X-T3 because it is one of only two cameras we sell the can shoot 4:2:0 10 bit video internally to the card! The other one is the Panasonic GH5. I like the Tamron 18-400 because it is 3 lenses in one, wide, telephoto, and macro! The Peak Design Everyday 5L and 10L bags are great for mirrorless systems.”
Dustin’s favorites: already seen on this blog!
The WANDRD PRVKE pack (see this write-up), is one of the best packs of all time, in this blogger’s opinion. It is neither excessively tailored to photography, nor ignorant of the needs of photographers. Living out of it for three months, I found that there was always the perfect pocket, no matter my need.
Another great travel-oriented product was the GNARBOX. One of the great successes of Kickstarter, it enables video editing in a way never before so accessible. Read our previous write-ups here: Part 1 / Part 2