If you are creating T-shirt designs and you are looking for some inspiration, each week we review the Print on Demand top Niches. Keeping track of what is hot and what is not is a tough process, hopefully this information will help you out.

This week we are transitioning away from Halloween, because regardless of which PoD service you work with your customers will not have time to order shirts or other items and have them arrive before Halloween which is next weekend. By now, you should have your Thanksgiving designs up for sale, and be actively working toward Christmas and New Years designs. Speaking of Christmas and New years, let’s talk about this week niche suggestions.

2020 Sucks

With COVID-19, lots have had a tough year and they are looking to show off their dislike of the year from hell. 2020 sucks shirts are still selling well, you should consider creating some designs which feature 2020 sucks somewhere. Perhaps marrying 2020 sucks with Thanksgiving, New Years or Christmas somehow would yield good results. If this works for you, let us know with a tweet or message!

I may be old but I got to see all the cool bands.

Look it up on Amazon or Redbubble, it’s the words with a guitar. This is a shirt that can seel anytime of the year, so consider this as one of those long-term designs for your shop. Do be careful of the guitars, don’t just go on Google Images and grab a vector or image of a Fender or other guitar, copyright police will come for you and make them take your  design down.

Kayaking gets me wet and SUP

Its strange, but the Kayaking gets me wet design is doing well this week and last. I have also seen Stand Up Paddling gets me wet designs out there quite a bit. This is also called SUP. It seems early for summer sports, but hey, if it is selling why not? Have you tried this niche? How is it working for you?

Merry Quarantine Christmas

Christmas designs are starting to fill up the stores and they are selling well. From what I have seen so far, it los like lots of the larger shops are re-tooling their designs from last year and adding Merry Quarantine Christmas to them.  Many are also incorporating toilet paper rolls into the 2020 zeros. I have also seen lots of elves with 2020 toilet-paper-ized.  

Voting is hot 2020

We are at the end of the election season, you should have your Biden won and Trump won themed shirts in your stores (if you are playing both sides of the fence).  Redbubble is showing trends for Coting is Hot 2020 at the moment, it’s a bit late to jump on this trend but who knows if you have an original design it might be worth it. I still think that designs featuring both candidates for winning the election will be a good seller right after the election. Just put both up and whichever candidate wins the election pull the loser’s shirts down.

Did any of this help you? Did we inspire you? Let us know if you like this series we will keep it going each week. Now get out there and get designing!

 

Get yours here: Travel Duffel Bag Waterproof Canvas Overnight Bag Leather Weekend Oversized Carryon Handbag Brown

Duffel bags are so great for weekend or overnight travel. Here at Epic Shit we get a ton of travel bags to review and almost never post reviews because they tend to be cheap and fall apart easily. With that im mind, enter the Travel Duffel Bag Waterproof Canvas Overnight bag from NEWHEY. I love a duffel bag that is roomy and has enough space for all my stuff for a weekend getaway, but still has pockets I can place harder to find things like my cellphone charger. How does this 46-dollar Duffel stand up to road trips, plane trips and weekend getaways? Read on…

Size matters

The most important features of a Duffel bag are the size and the construction. I have had Duffels bags that were just too big and once they were filled the handles felt like they were going to rip off. I would put this Duffel Bag squarely in the middle size range with dimensions of 22.83(L) by 11.8(W) and 11.8(H),   the included shoulder strap expands from 27.9”–52′.  When I think about Duffle Bag size, I consider smaller than this bag suitable for the gym, and larger than this more for a week-long trip. This bag holds enough clothing and supplies for a 2-3 day weekend trip or business overnighter. I consider this the perfect size for a grab and go over even a weekend roller suitcase. Before we got this, my wife used a weekend size Samsonite roller. Nice she saw the quality of this bag, she bought one for herself. They are great to stuff with clothes and toiletries and throw in the car for a getaway. The interior pockets keep stuff organized so you don’t have to dig around in the bottom looking for loose items like with other bags.

Construction

This is where I was really shocked. I expected a 46-dollar bag to be cheap, but this feels like a much more expensive bag. This Travel Duffel Bag is made of High-density waterproof canvas and has nicely rounded comfortable to hold leather handles. The stitching all around is top notch and it had four metal feet. The zippers are heavy duty and I have yet to have any issues with them even when my bag was stuffed to capacity. I love that the canvas is waterproof, we tested this on our first outing last year. When we arrived at our hotel, it stated pouring and even after sitting in the rain for a few minutes all the clothing inside was still bone dry. I doubt the bag could handle being submerged of course but for the testing and rain exposure I have thrown at this top rated cheap little bag I am very impressed.

The bags come in a few different colors, brown and grey as well as camo patterns.  

User experience

I have been using this bag for nearly a year now. I have stuffed it full and thrown it in the back of the car, stuffed it full and carried it on top of my suitcase on a cross country flight and left it sitting in the rain while I checked into a hotel in the mountains. With all the wear and tear this bag has endured I would expect to see a lot more fraying on the edges or stitching, but I am so far extremely happy with the quality and build of this Travel Duffel Bag.  I have to say I really love this little bag.

Conclusion

I’m shocked at the quality of this bag for the price. I’m happy to recommend this to anyone looking for a nice medium, size Travel Duffle Bag that can easily hold enough clothing and supplies for a weekend getaway or short business trip. The handles are comfortable, and the shoulder strap doesn’t dig into your neck when you are carrying it fully loaded. This bag really feels like a great alternative to a more expensive piece of luggage. I own two of them and am strongly considering these as Christmas presents this year for friends and family. Great bag, great value.

I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

Colors and styles

 

Get yours here: Canon RC-6 camera remote

If you are a Canon camera user like I am, and you want to take self portraits there are two ways, via your phone and the Canon app or the Canon RC-6 remote. Amazon does sell an alternative remote under their Amazon Basics label, but I have found that to be a bit finicky even though it is half the price. The Amazon Basics remote also does not work with every Canon camera the RC-6 does. So, is the RC-6 worth 20 dollars just to remotely trigger your camera? Short answer – yes!

Compatibility

I hope that with this review I can shed some light on the operation and compatibility of this unit. Many online reviews for this unit do not spend any time on the compatibility of the RC-6 remote, therefore you are left wondering if it will work with your model of camera before you buy. From the Canon official site, these are the camera bodies this unit will work with:

— EOS Rebel T7i Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark IV Body with Canon Log
— EOS Rebel T3i Body Refurbished
— EOS 5DS Body
— EOS 80D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit
— EOS 5DS R Body
— EOS Rebel T7i Body
— EOS 6D Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS M100 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Black
— EOS M100 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM & EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Bundle Black
— EOS Rebel SL1 with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit White Refurbished
— EOS 7D Mark II Body Wi-Fi Adapter Kit
— EOS M100 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit White
— EOS M6 Body Black
— EOS 7D Mark II EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Wi-Fi Adapter Lens Kit
— EOS 6D Mark II Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark IV Body
— EOS 5D Mark IV EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens Kit
— EOS M5 EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 80D Body
— EOS Rebel T5i 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel SL1 EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit White
— EOS Rebel T5i 18-55mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T5i Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 77D Body
— EOS 77D EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Black
— EOS Rebel T7i Video Creator Kit
— EOS 77D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Black
— EOS M6 Video Creator Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 & EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Bundle Black
— EOS 60D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Kit
— EOS 60D Body
— EOS M6 Body Silver
— EOS 5D Mark IV EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS 60D EF-S 18-200mm IS Lens Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Silver
— EOS M5 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T2i Body Refurbished
— EOS M5 Body
— EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel SL1 Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel SL1 with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit Black Refurbished
— EOS 5DS R Body Refurbished
— EOS 5DS Body Refurbished
— Refurbished EOS Rebel T6s Body
— EOS M6 EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Silver
— EOS Rebel T5i Body
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 & EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Bundle Silver
— EOS Rebel SL1 Body
— EOS 60Da Body
— EOS 5D Mark IV Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark III Body
— EOS Rebel T4i 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 60Da Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T6s EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T6i Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark III EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T6i EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T6i EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS 6D Mark II Body
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 6D Mark II EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Kit
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T5i 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 6D Mark II EF 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM
— EOS Rebel T5i EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— Refurbished EOS 70D Body
— EOS Rebel SL1 EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T4i Body
— EOS Rebel T4i 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 7D Mark II Body Refurbished
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T3i Body
— EOS M3 Body Refurbished
— EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM Kit Black Refurbished
— EOS 7D Mark II EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 6D Body
— EOS 6D EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS 7D EF-S 18-135mm IS Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T3i EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens Kit
— EOS 5D Mark III Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark III EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM Kit White Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T4i Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit
— EOS 7D EF 28-135mm IS Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T2i Body
— EOS 7D Body
— EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM & EF-M 55-200mm STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 60D EF-S 18-135mm IS Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T1i Body Refurbished
— EOS 60D Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T3i Body
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-135 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T3i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit Refurbished

It is a huge list, and hopefully should clear up any compatibility concerns you might have. If your camera is on the list, you are good to go.

Operation

In your camera settings (not on the remote), for most models you have a timer option which can be set between 2 and ten seconds depending on the model of your camera body. I have the 7D mark II and the 5D Mark III and IV and they all have two and ten second timer settings. Set up your camera on a tripod pointing toward you and point the remote at the camera, press the button and the camera will focus and trigger the shutter. This is more for photographers wanting to be in the frame, or for photographers of kids who will be near their subject to coax a smile then press the shutter.  I personally like the single button operation.

Is the RC-6 better than the Canon app? The app gives you access to more of your camera’s operation, but sometimes all you need to do is trigger the shutter. With the app you have to connect to the camera via wi-fi or bluetooth (if your camera has wi-fi connectivity) and often you will lose connection. The RC-6 is simple one button operation. 

Bulb Mode

If you are into long exposure photography or light painting this is perfect, it works with the bulb mode. Set your camera on bulb mode then click once to open the shutter and a second time to close it – no need to touch your camera.

Conclusion

The top rated Canon RC-6 is a great little cheap and simple remote, which allows you to be in the frame of your shot or to trigger your camera for long exposures without jostling the camera around causing blur. I always have this remote in my bag since it is so small. I would order a second battery once your unit arrives so that you have one in your bag. I find that if I don’t use my remote for long periods of time the battery will die as you would expect. Happy Shooting!

 I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

 

 

 

 Get yours here: Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover for Canon Nikon Sony DSLR Mirrorless Cameras

I ordered my Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover Protector for DSLR Cameras about a year ago and wanted to try it in several different conditions before writing this review. So far, I have used the cover in rain, snow, and blowing sand and it performed flawlessly keeping my camera dry and free of debris through the toughest downpour.  When I bought this camera cover, Amazon had it top rated and I can see why, it works very well.

A raincoat for your camera

I shoot with a Canon 5D mark IV, and often use the 70-200 f2,8 IS II with this rain cover. It is difficult to get too excited about a rain cover because it either does the job and keeps your camera dry or it does not. My camera(s) is/are weather sealed, but I use this rain cover out of an abundance of caution. My backup cameras are Canon 5d mark III and Canon 7D mark II, all my cameras fit perfectly (though snugly) in the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover. I like the drawstrings for extra security over some of the cheaper alternative brands. When you are out in the elements, especially the wind you will appreciate the extra coverage the drawstrings provide. The armholes work well and are long enough to keep the camera from getting wet even in blowing rain. The clear back panel offers viewing of the camera screen and settings. I have read some other reviews that say this screen can discolor with age, but so far, I have not had any issues and I have shot in the elements a lot.   

The rain

I used the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover on the deck of the cruise ship during our trip to Alaska. Between the salt spray and rain, I was certainly concerned about the camera staying dry (and especially free of salt) while I was up on deck. I shot for over an hour at a time and the camera made it through dry and working perfectly. The Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover is designed to protect and shield a small or professional DSLR camera and it certainly did the job well. I even had several people borrow it and use it on other smaller cameras when I was not using it. This little rain cover has had Sony, Nikon Fuji and everything else in it with no problems.

The snow

I was invited to shoot the winter games for the Special Olympics in Colorado, and the day of the event was not nice at all. With blowing snow, and an average temperature of 10 degrees, I decided to use the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover to keep with camera free of melting snow. I think the cover helped to keep my hands a bit warmer than other times I have shot without a cover in blowing snow. The cover is made from high quality waterproof nylon, so it wasn’t insulating by any means, but the cover did seem to help maintain a bit of heat from my hands and make the long day shooting a bit more comfortable.

The sand dunes

The last harsh environment type I tried with the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover was in the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. I shot most of the afternoon and into the evening with blowing sand. There is nothing worse than getting sand in your lens or camera housing (well other than salt water of course). Maybe this cover was not intended for blowing sand as much as it was for rain, it did a great job. After the sunset, I walked back to the car and took the camera out of the cover and was pleasingly surprised that it was very free of sand and grit. I appreciated the cover protecting the top of my tripod as well. Now, if they only made one for the tripod legs so they didn’t get sand in them!

Conclusion

After a year with the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover I can say I would happily recommend this to another photographer. The dual adjustable sleeves are great and have worked well with everyone who has used this cover. I also really like the protection from the full-length double zipper. The cover works well and provides access to camera controls whether hand holding or using a tripod. It is tough to get excited about a rain cover for your camera, but if I was going to, this would be the one to get excited about.

I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

 

Get yours here: Godox AD200 200ws strobe

Photography gear is so expensive! Nearly every day I read on photo forums where people are looking for budget gear that performs as well as top rated equipment. Let’s put this in terms of cars, if you are looking for a car that drives as well as a Porsche and will retain nearly all its aftermarket value but costs 1/5 of the price, prepare yourself for disappointment. If you are looking for a suitable vehicle that will handle well in the snow and maintain much of its aftermarket price, a Subaru might be the ticket. Sure, it won’t have the power of the Porsche or the people checking you out on the street as you drive by, but it will get you where you need to go and be more than functional. Let’s be honest, who can afford a new Porsche anyway?

When I see people saying they like the way a Profoto strobe looks, but they are on a tight budget I always recommend the Godox AD200 or AD200 PRO line of strobes. There is a ton of information on these strobes, so rather than rehashing the same old material, I will focus (yeah get ready for some photo groaners) on some areas of confusion with these units and tell you about my experience shooting a body of work that has been exhibited many times.

Clearing the confusion

Whenever you do research on the Godox AD200/AD200 PRO line of strobes, you almost always see them mentioned with the Flashpoint eVOLV200, this is because they are the same unit with different branding. The camera store Adorama re-brands the Godox line of strobes to their Flashpoint brand. Same units, same batteries, (in most cases) same packaging and all the accessories work on the Godox or the Flashpoint units interchangeably. Which one is better? They both great, Godox has great customer support and a call will usually yield very fair returns or exchanges, which is also true for anything bought from Adorama under the Flashpoint brand. Since all the accessories fit either unit, I consider them interchangeable. I personally have the Flashpoint units but have friends with he Godox version and they are pretty much the same unit.

My other strobe is a Porsche

Full disclaimer, I usually shoot with Profoto gear, but sometimes it is just too bug and heavy to bring with me if I am doing a location shoot. I shoot for my work all over the United States, and I used to use pelican boxes and bring my big strobes with me everywhere, but eventually I got tired of the hassle and put together a smaller, lightweight location shooting setup which I centered around a couple of AD200s. The AD200 units are just a bit bigger than a standard flash and have four times the power and a lot more versatility.

Lighting differently

When putting together the components for the best cheap location shooting setup, many might be tempted to run towards a top rated flash like the Canon 600EX II series. I don’t personally like the camera-mounted strobes as much as I used to. I don’t think they have the versatility that a multifunction strobe like the AD200/eVOLVE200 has. The strobe comes with the Fresnel head, (like the head of a speedlight but doesn’t zoom) but for my work, I primarily use the included bare bulb head in a strip softbox or the 32-inch umbrella from Godox. The bare bulb head produces omnidirectional light and I have found it to work exceptionally well in a softbox or umbrella. If I am looking to have precise control over the direction of the light, when shooting product images or low key portraits I will use a strip softbox, otherwise portraits work well with the umbrella, giving a larger spread of light suitable for standard headshot type portraits.

The Fresnel head, in a softbox gives a stronger hotspot (like any standard camera mounted flash would) but is more efficient than the bare bulb head. When shooting on battery powered strobes, every consideration must be made to conserve power and squeak every shot out of a battery when on location. How does the AD200 do in terms of battery life? The documentation boasts 500 plus flashes at full power. Does it live up to the hype?

Battery Life

I know what you’re thinking, 500 full power flashes on a single charge with a battery this small seems inconceivable. When I first purchased the AD200 I was terrified the battery would give out the first time I took it as my key (primary) light on a location shoot. The first shoot I did with the AD200 was a low key Bodyscapes style portrait session, so I was not pushing as much power as you would with a standard portrait session. I ended up shooting around 50% power most of the day and after 1000 images I was done with the shoot and still had plenty of power left in the battery to keep going. I set myself up for success shooting lower power for the first shoot purposely and I was very happy with the results. The strobe performed very well, experiencing only one misfire during the shoot.

Feeling quite confident in the AD200 at this point, I scheduled a regular portrait shoot where I would be overpowering bright daytime indoor light. I didn’t buy a second battery for the AD200 as I was determined to run it out of power during a shoot. Would this relatively cheap strobe have enough power to last through a portrait session where I would be pushing the power capabilities of the unit? I setup with AD200 in a Godox S-type bracket which would give me the ability to attach a 32-inch Godox umbrella. Side note: I’m not a Godox fanboy or anything, I just happened to find all this Godox gear on sale at Amazon. Setting the exposure my ambient light, I fired up the AD200 in High Speed Sync (HSS) since at ISO 100 with an aperture of 5.6 (because I wanted the background to be somewhat in focus) I was at 1/800 shutter speed which put the unit in HSS mode. I shot all afternoon and ended up with just over 500 images for the day. With the ambient light, the AD200 spent most of the day in full power and after the shoot I still had enough power to shoot more.

I have shot with the unit many times since that day and I still have never bought a second battery and to this day I have never run out of power on a shoot. It appears Godox underestimates their battery capacity. I have since become very comfortable with the power consumption and have yet to run into a problem.

The only downside to the battery for this unit is that it does take a long time to charge to full. Not a big deal, and I haven’t ever had to wait for it to charge during a shoot. I suppose the first time this becomes a problem for me I will buy a second battery for the unit.  

Triggered

I paired the AD200 with the Godox Xpro-C TTL Wireless Flash Trigger for Canon (They have them for Nikon and Sony etc.). The trigger will shoot up to 1/8000s in HSS. The Godox Xpro-C will easily convert TTL settings to manual with the press of a button and has a large easy to read screen. I really like the slanted design and size of the display. If you shoot with a lot of strobes you will appreciate the 5 dedicated group buttons. The 11 customizable functions also make setting up the trigger just the way you like it a breeze. It works perfectly with all the Godox strobes I have tried it with including the on-camera style units. Since the Flashpoint branded strobes are all made by Godox, the Xpro-C worked perfectly with the other Flashpoint branded strobes I have as well.   

How does it drive?

Is the Godox AD200 and Xpro-C combination like shooting with a Profoto D2 or B10? No of course not. Is this setup perfectly serviceable and reliable? absolutely. I use this setup as my primary location setup and have had very few issues. It has never let me down on a shoot and I have yet to buy more batteries. If you are a machine gun shooter, then your mileage is going to vary. I would say I shoot at a normal pace and the AD200 has little issues recycling in time before the next shoot. My use scenario is low and normal key portraits and product photography. I don’t shoot sports, but I would say that the recycle time (the time the strobe needs to get ready for the next shot) would likely be a bit slow if you were looking to do images of dancers in motion. If you are looking for this type of recycle time the Profoto D2 is probably a better fit.  

I have shot with everything from cheap radio popper triggers cobbled with cord adapters onto 20-year-old speedotron strobes to current generation Profoto and Broncolor gear. The Godox AD200 and Xpro-C trigger setup is perfectly serviceable, and functions well. It isn’t going to recycle as fast as a Profoto B10, but then it doesn’t cost over $2000 either. If you are shooting fast, you might miss a shot here and there, but overall, it is a very nice rig to shoot with. I would recommend this setup to anyone.

Color

Here is another one of those things that other reviewers don’t mention. I am a stickler for color, and one reason to use a manufacturer like Profoto over Godox is consistency of light output. The Godox strobes (just like all other top rated cheap strobes) has a tendency to shift light color or power a bit over the course of your shoot. Some shots won’t be as bright, while others may be a bit off in terms of color (a bit). This effect isn’t a big deal and is something almost every budget strobe does. The effects of this color and brightness shift is easily countered by including a color checker in your first shot and using their software to adjust the color and brightness of all the shots in your session. This is not a bit deal for me. To date, I haven’t lost a single shot due to inconsistent light output. I use the AD200 in my professional work without problem. I only mention this point, because this is an honest review and if I were in your situation I would want to know. As a working professional, I don’t consider it any more a problem than I would using any other budget strobe.

Accessories

The Godox AD200 has been widely adopted in the photography community so there are a ton of options for accessories. Batteries, brackets gels, barn doors and a million other accessories are readily available for this little strobe. If you shoot weddings, this is a perfect strobe, because it is light and put out plenty of power to shoot in most situations. I especially like that there are a few different heads available now, such as the LED head which turns the AD200 into a continuous light for video and a round head making the light output look similar to the Profoto A1. This really is a great little versatile strobe.

Conclusion    

I reviewed the AD200 and Xpro trigger because this is the gear I use in my work. There are a million and one YouTube videos and written reviews for these units, but not all of them are totally honest about real-world experiences. The AD200 is a great alternative whether you are just getting started or if you are a seasoned pro looking for a reliable second or location kit. I love that I can throw this strobe into my camera bag with all my lenses and have a perfectly serviceable location shooting setup that is light and has enough power for portraits and plenty of battery life.

I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

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Get yours here: Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones

A few months ago, my generation 1 Powerbeats finally died, when I was not using them, I kept them in their travel case and they served me well for years. I wanted to stay with Powerbeats so I upgraded to the Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones, I was happy because the new beats added the cool new Apple W1 Headphone Chip, which makes pairing as easy as turning on your beats next to a compatible device like an iPhone or iPad. I was excited about the reported 12 hours of listening time, and that this generation would be sweat resistant. Did they live up to my expectations? Read on…

Price

Beats are high definition Earphones and have a premium price attached just like all Apple products. (beats electronics are now owned by Apple in case you were unaware.) there are other earphones available for much cheaper but frankly, the sound quality of the beats outshines most budget earphones. I recently found the Powerbeats3 wireless earphones on sale at Amazon for $79.99. This lower price reflects the release of the newest version of Powerbeats which are in the 149-dollar range. The biggest difference between these and the newest version is an additional three hours of battery life. This wasn’t a big deal because of a cool new feature in the Powerbeats3 (more on this in a moment).

Pairing

I tested the Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones with my iPhone X and iPad Pro, and found the pairing seamless. Both of my devices have the chips inside that talk with the new W1 chip in the Powerbeats3 and after switching on the Earphones they were immediately displayed on my iPhone. I clicked connect and they displayed the remaining battery and I was off to the races. My understanding is that the new Class 1 Bluetooth in the Powerbeats3 make pairing easier and more stable, and this was certainly my experience. To pair with another device, all you need to do is hold down the power button for a few seconds and they will be displayed on the screen of the nearest device. This made switching from my iPhone to my iPad quick and easy. I liked that you are no longer required to go into the settings and choose “forget this device” then repair each time. Being able to switch between devices easily is worth the upgrade price for me alone.

I ran with the iPhone in my pocket, sitting across the room and sitting in my backpack across the room and never lost connection or experienced static. In my previous generation earphones, I could not run with my iPhone in a backpack – I would always lose connection. Whether it is the new Bluetooth chip or the W1 chip, I have found that it all works better than previous generations hands down.

Performance

Beats headphones have a very specific sound, they are heavier on midrange and bass and if you like this sound profile you will not be disappointed with these earphones. I have been using these earphones for a few months now and have found them to sound great (like my old beats did) and have all the same features as my old beloved generation 1 earphones. These get loud and have plenty of bass. Be sure to follow the fit guide included so you choose the proper size ear tips. The better the fit in your ear canal, the better the bass response will be.  The included three ear tips will fit almost any size ear canal.

I was also impressed with the sound of the upgraded microphone when using the phone (I had a couple people use the earphones and talk to me on it so I could hear how it sounded). The addition of the new W1 chip also works perfectly with “hey siri”. When running on the treadmill you can say “hey siri” and then “read messages” after the beep to have your phone read your text messages while you run uninterrupted. On previous generations of the beats you had to hold the middle button on the control segment of the earphones to activate siri.

Battery Life

This is where the Powerbeats3 shine. It was always tough waiting for my first-generation earphones to charge, but with the new Fast Fuel technology, these earphones get an hour of use with just five minutes of charge time. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to charge my earphones when I was headed to the gym! With the new Powerbeats3 I can charge my earphones on the way to the gym with a Powerbank (like you use to charge a phone). If I plug them in on the way to the gym, I always have more than enough juice to last my whole two-hour workout. This is such a convenient feature.

With the 12-hour battery life, I can easily get five two-hour workouts in on one full charge. I have found in my testing that they don’t lose a lot of power while they are in standby mode between uses. How would I rate the Powergbeats 3 battery life? Excellent.    

Negatives

If you are an audiophile, you probably won’t like the sound of these earphones, but this goes along with all beats. I personally like the sound of these earphones as well as the studio line of headphones. The only other negative I have is the carry case. The case that comes included with present generation beats is made of silicone and is not as sturdy as the cloth zippered ones that came with previous generations of the earphones. Not a big deal, and certainly not a deal breaker for me. I think the positives of these earphones way outweigh the mediocre carry case. I’m not going to include the price as a negative because if you are getting into these earphones you are already aware of the price.

Conclusion

Would I buy them again? Without hesitation. Would I recommend these to my best friend? Yes. I have been using the Powerbeats3 wireless earphones for a few months now and I love them. When my older generation earphones died, I tried a few other budget earphones but ended up running back to the beats brand like a moth to a flame.

Get yours here: Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones