SunwayFOTO TT2340CE Tripod

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When I was offered a travel tripod by SunwayFOTO, I wasn’t expecting more than another clone Chinesium tripod that would likely last long before some screw stripped itself. What I got was a feather light carbon fiber tripod that impressed me.

This tripod comes in a black velvet pouch containing the folded and collapsed tripod and a plastic pouch containing four Allen wrenches (to tighten screw joints which work their way loose over time) and a cleaning cloth. While the velvet was probably meant to make it feel high end and protect the parts, it does make for a dust magnet.

The tripod weighed in at 1.67 oz on my scale and that includes the metal ballhead! The overall length when collapsed was barely 14″. Technically I’ve used lighter tripods but these were mini-tripods or accessory tripods; not real photo tripods that you could mount a full sized DSLR and telephoto lens with any confidence or stability, and certainly not at eye level. Fully extended, the tripod stands at 52″ in height, perfectly standard.

The ball head has a slight divot cut in the ARCA QR mount to make room for the tripod foot to rest in it, making the tripod just few millimeters smaller. Levers were used instead of twist heads for added torque on locking joints. These little design details make the SunwayFOTO stand out as a cut above typical tripods. As does it’s price, which is a around $220 as of this writing, so not as expensive as some higher-end carbon fiber tripods; it’s certainly not cheap.

The leg segments lock and unlock with a 180º twist at the feet. They utilize an internalized locking mechanism without individual locking rings at the segments, so extra care needs to be made if you attempt to retract an individual leg or segment, as twisting the outermost segment can transfer torque and unlock the previous segment. This makes adjustments on uneven surfaces tedious but this also makes deployment on normal level surfaces extremely fast.

I was able to unfold and depoly the tripod in under 19 seconds pretty much the first time without rushing it. And the leg extension and locking can be done essentially one handed. This makes this tripod ideal for guerrilla-style shooting where you have to get into position fast, get your footage an go.

The light weight, fast deployment, and compact size make this an ideal travel tripod or live event vlogging tripod. This will surely be my go-to tripod for my range videos and I’ll be sure to give those leg locks a thorough durability test in the near future.

This tripod is available from B&H and directly from SunwayFOTO.

Sanag Multi-Adapter Powerbank

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Anybody who has been out on a trip or stuck on location knows the utility of a powerbank to keep your devices running when you can’t plug in to recharge. But if you’ve ever forgotten to bring the correct cable for your device, knows the frustration of that moment. Thankfully there are powerbanks that come with built in charging cables and this Sanag is one of the most versatile in that respect.

I was sent a Sanag 10,000mAh travel powerbank to test and evaluate. It comes with 4 built-in cables: USB-A, Apple Lightning (iOS), Micro USB, and USB-C. The unit can charge up to 4 devices simultaneously using its various cables and plugging an additional cable to its USB-A port.

The cables are designed to fold almost flush into the shell. The shell is of the unit is black plastic with a unique faux brushed metal texture. This is both aesthetically appealing as well as practical as it provides a high-friction surface for a firm hand hold.

To recharge the unit, there is a Micro USB port next to the unit’s power button or you can plug its built-in USB-A cable to a standard USB port on a wall charger, computer, or charger hub. I discharged the unit and recharged it overnight. I recorded a total charge of 8156mAh to reach 100%, while this is approximately 1844mAh short of its stated 10k capacity, I suspect this is a safety shut-off on the unit, to keep the device from completely discharging.

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Battle Cruiser Rifle Case

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The EMG Battle Cruiser 40″ Hard Rifle Case has all the feature you want in many rifle case plus one more. It’s got ample room in its 40.5″ long interior to accommodate two or more guns and their accessories. It has a hard polymer shell with four metal locking buckles and two lock holes to attach your own padlock. The rifle case is TSA compliant so it can be used to travel with firearms or airsoft replicas (just be sure to check with the airport and airline for their specific rules).

It has 5.5″ of foam including two pick-n-pluck foam panels that allow you to easily customize the lower half of the shell to custom fit your guns, mags, or accessories. Similar to perforated stamps, pick-n-pluck foam is pre laser cut into cube columns so you can easily tear out the sections you need to customize the foam to exactly fit your gear.

The customizable pick-n-pluck panels allow this case to be used as a gig travel case for musicians. You could easily fit in multiple MIDI pads or DJ mixer or an electric guitar and effects pedals in this case. I was able to fit a 61-key electronic keyboard, sustain pedal, and AC adapter in the case with half of the padding removed.

While you can buy many 40″ hard-shell rifle cases, this one stands out because you can literally make it stand out. The front shell exterior has four 2″ wide velcro strips. This allows you to attach those hook-and-loop moral patches you pick up at at Ops, events, and CONs. And of course plenty of space on the outside to put on brand and band stickers.

This case is available from through my affiliate link:

House of Air

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House of Air is the only trampoline park in San Francisco, CA. This venue is located in Golden Gate Bridge National Park, across highway 101 from the Presidio National Park. It is housed in a renovated aircraft hanger at Crissy Field, a former US Army Air Corp airstrip.

House of Air is a local favorite for kids parties, team-building, and the occasional snow boarder who wants to hone their aerial skills during the summer. It’s only 15 minutes west of Fisherman’s Wharf by car but tourists tend to pass by Crissy Field in favor of the Golden Gate Bridge next door.

As a local party venue, the House of Air is typical of other trampoline parks around the country. There are a number of tables located on the ground floor and on a 2nd floor terrace. Families can reserve tables as part of a party package for a 2-hour block of time, which includes access for kids and adults to use specific zones in the facility. There is a cafe that serves food to order and decent pizza (typical amusement park quality).

There is a large main area with dozens of connected trampolines. A small-kids only zone. And a trampoline dodge-ball arena. For advanced acrobats, about a 1/3 of the facility is dedicated to a training area for on-site instruction. The training facility has a locker room and showers.

House of Air also has two large private party rooms which overlook the training center. While more expensive than the table rentals, it is worth it for larger parties or for adult parties to be away from the clamor of the numerous kids parties on the main floor.

Unlike modern venues, House of Air does not have air conditioning. As a former airplane hanger, the front doors the building completely opens the front of the building up. The facility relies on San Francisco’s usually mild to clammy weather. So on some rare summer days, it can get uncomfortably warm and muggy inside.

By advised that parking throughout the Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio National Park is rarely free. So look for parking vending machines to pay for a toll tag to place on your dashboard before entering the House of Air or taking a stroll around Crissy Field.

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Kinokuya NYC

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Kinokuya is a chain of book stores that started in Shinjuku, Tokyo. In the 1980’s they opened up locations world wide providing Japanese language books to the Japanese business and ex-patriot community. Today they serve American Otakus.

Kinokuya occupies 3 of the lowest floors of the office building. In the basement you’ll find stationary, office supplies, and oddly enough their Studio Ghibli toys. On street level, you’ll find their books (many English language/Western travel books too). On the 2nd floor, are all of their manga, anime toys, Gunpla, and their café.

When I used to work on Madison Ave., my favorite lunch were bento boxes of chicken katsu from take-out shops on 40th St. I would carry them across the street and eating them on the benches around Bryant Park. On less busy days, I’d stroll over to Kinokuya just across the street from the western side of the park. I don’t quite remember as much of a manga or Gunpla is there is today, but I’m glad for it.

Solar Back Up Camera

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The Solarst rear view back up video camera kit was sent to me by MyGekoGear for this review. This is a solar powered wi-fi camera that fits on your license plate frame and allows you to wireless add a rear-view video camera to any vehicle. 

It’s an easy way to install a back up camera to a car, truck, RV or trailer without complicated wiring and professional installation. The license plate has a built in solar panel to recharge the battery powered camera which connections via WiFi to a 4″ LCD monitor that you install on your dash or windshield.


15% Off code: MOONDOG15

Orbit 960 4K Dash Cam Review

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I’ve been using a Veckle Mini 0906 dashcam for the last two years which I’ve been satisfied with but after using this Orbit 960, it’s blown my old cam away. The display had me a little worried because it didn’t look too sharp. But after I pulled the files onto my computer to review, the level of detail was amazing.

My only complaint is that the tail-gate and lane change warning features don’t seem to work. Or I couldn’t figure out how to make them work? One of its best features is probably the extra sticky suction cup.

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