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Photography

Quick Tip: 12 Cool Photo (and just-for-fun) Gadgets for your Home or Office

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Some photographers hate post production and others love it to bits. However, we all have to come around and upload our photos at some point. Today, we look at some of the coolest gadgets to make your life easier or a little more fun when your stuck inside doing office work.

Cable Tidy

If like myself you have more than a couple of gadgets, then you might find yourself being over run with cables across your desk area. A cable tidy can help you keep your wires out of the way until you need to use them.

I would recommend the Blue Lounge Design CableDrop Cable Management System. US buyers can purchase from Amazon here for just $8.

UK buyers - Here the price is more expensive at £8.

European buyers - Here for EUR 11,90.

Wacom graphics tablet

There are a number of graphics tablets on the market, however Wacom continue to produce one of the best mass market tablets. Tablets allow you to control your image editing with more precision than a traditional mouse.

When dealing with design work a tablet can become very helpful. My main two uses include retouching photos as well as extracting  backgrounds. Both of these tasks involve drawing around objects with great precision and seem to take about half the time that a regular mouse would take.

I would personally go for the Intuos range which is aimed the professional market without the huge price tag. The medium tablet is $365 or £285 or €369. Wacom's cheaper range (Bamboo) start at around $100 however are less precise than the Intuos.

If you are not short on extra cash then I would suggest looking into the Cintiq, which is Wacoms most precise tablet. The Cintiq is either $1000 or $2000 depending on the model.

Available from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy and almost all other good electrical shops.

Sandisk Extreme Firewire Reader

The expression time is money is very true in the photography and design industry. Transferring your data quickly is very important.

The Sandisk Extreme is aimed mostly at Mac users with a nice 800mb firewire port. It will work on Windows, however please note Microsoft users might not get the same speeds due to restrictions.

This card reader has a 40mb read and write speed which is pretty high for a reader that is 4 years old! Due to the age you can pick these up on Ebay for around $130 or alternative you can buy one brand new for around $160.

Perpendum

This has nothing to do with photography, but it's a gadget I love the look of. The perpendum was most recently seen distracting Tony Stark in Iron Man. The device breaks the laws of thermodynamics to provide a peaceful twirling movement, which will not stop for three whole years.

It will look great on your desk when your friends or clients come around!

Available from many sources online for around $430.

Lacie Thunderbolt™ 500GB Hard Drive

If you have recently purchased a nice new Mac, you may have noticed a nice new Thunderbolt port allowing for 10Gb/s of data to be sent and revived, however no Thunderbolt periphals exist on the market at the current time.

However LaCie have been working hard with Intel and are not far from releasing a 500gb thunderbolt hard drive complete with two 250GB SSD drives. They are due out this summer, so keep an eye out. Prices not confirmed at the current time however a 500GB SDD would normally set you back around $1000.

TriPot I™ Self Watering Planter

Potted plants are a nice way to decorate your office or home, however as a photographer I find myself always out and about, and watering my plants goes completely out of my mind. The TriPot is a great solution for this. Its a self watering planter (usually sold with a plant), simply fill it up on purchase and your plant will last 8 weeks without any problems.

Order from Greenamic at 43.90 USD. Remember you can always reuse the pot for future plants!

If the price is too steep, remember you can always get a cactus.

Cool Feet Laptop Airspace Stands

If you own a laptop you might find that the bottom gets extremely hot. Hence the name laptop is slowly being phased out with the replacement "portable computer." The Cool Feet Laptop Airspace Stands simply attach to the bottom of your laptop and allow the heat to escape as well as lifting your computer into raised position.

The best thing is that they remove easily, so you can still pack your laptop away like normal. Also they can fit tablet devices such as the iPad.

They're available from many retailers, however Thinkgeek seem to have the lowest price at just $10.

Refresh

Refresh is a personal or shared charging station for three or more devices. Compact in size and compatible with most of the new devices hitting the market today. Refresh is compatible with 1838 devices!

It looks stylish and comes in three colours, jet black, polar white or fresh pink.

The only problem is that it is on the expensive side at $89.95 compared to some of the rivals including powermat which offers wireless charging.

The F-stop Watch

The F-stop Watch tells the time with with the relative aperture (F-Stop). Its an awesome watch and make me smile every time I see it, however the watch does feels cheaply made compared to other popular branded watches. Personally I love it and it makes a great buy for yourself or your photographer friends.

The watch is available from around $30-$40 online. Photojoto claims they can ship in just 24 hours or order directly from the makers at The Unemployed Philosophers Guild.

Prints

My biggest problem when it comes to photography is that I tend to leave all my photos on my computer. However thanks to Groupon and many other discounts sites, deals for printed canvas are cropping up every week often giving at least 60% off.

Sites such as Canvas on Demand, Hello Canvas, Funky Pink and more are regulars of Groupon. Keep an eye out as you can get a great deal such as a 16”x20” Gallery-Wrapped Canvas Including Shipping & Handling for just $45.

However you are after something unconventional and quite trendy take a look at Modern Mural, who split your artwork into sections which you can then hang around your room. Prices are a bit steeper starting at around $150 and ranging to $600 for the larger prints. They also offer massive wall sized prints which go up to 54" x 144", however you need to phone up to get a quote.

Canon-Themed MP3 Player/Speaker

Maybe this is just slightly over the top but this 1:1 ratio of a Canon Rebel camera looks and feels like the real thing. It accepts SD/MMC cards and can be used as either a PC speaker or as a portable speaker.

The only thing it doesn't do is take photos! Available from gadget4all for $82.00.

SLR-Themed USB stick

A miniature, finely detailed replica of a DSLR with the powerful file-holding ability of 4GB. Great for everyday use or a clever, unique way of providing your client with their photos.

Once again Photojoto offers a great version (pictured below) which is unlabeled and themed around a general SLR. It is just $20.

If you would prefer a replica of your own camera then I would suggest Ebay. I have seen a Canon 5D Mark 2 as well as a 70-200mm lens, however these are expensive quirky items starting from around $50.

Canon or Nikon Lens cup

I featured this in one of my articles last year and since then these have been popping up in stores everywhere. Canon mugs is an online store with many different styles of lenses.

I have found that they make a great pen pot for your desk. Canon Mugs also sell an arrangement of Nikon themed lenses as well, including a thermos of the large 70-299mm VR lens.

Good quality cups set you back around $45. However cheaper alternatives can be found elsewhere for a lot cheaper, however these are lower quality and I found mine started to leak after two or three cups.

Thanks For Reading!

I hope you liked these gadgets, I know my wallet is going to be quite a bit lighter. Post links to your favourite desk toys in the comments.

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