All I Want for Father’s Day Is…

My family of course. But, after I have that, why not ask for a few more goodies? It’s good to have hobbies to keep us productive, after all…

So, here is a great list of…

Photo Toys and Gifts for Father’s Day

Some of this stuff I have… some of this stuff I want.  Either way, it’s a great list of goodies!  If you want more, see my full list of HDR Camera recommendations or Photography Gadgets.

  • The Awesome Green Cube – Approx $7
    • See Amazon’s current pricingThe Green Cube Everyone Asks Me About
    • Mini Review – This is a clear, greenish 3-D bubble level.  I use it almost all the time and people always ask me about it.  It’s useful and cool-lookin’.  Even better than a fish-tie.
  • HyperMac Portable Battery – $199 and up
    • See latest pricing HyperMac Battery Page
    • Mini Review – If dad has an iPhone, iPad, or Mac laptop, chances are one or all three are always running out of batteries!  This is a fantastic extra battery that powers all three.  I keep one in my bag all the time.  More than handy!


  • Entry Level Camera – The Cheapest Way Into HDR Shooting
    • Canon G11 – Approx $449-$479
    • Mini Review – This is the bare minimum camera I can just barely recommend! The only reason I have it in here is because of price — it is arguably half the price of the Nikon D90, which is really the direction you should be going.
  • A Very Good Camera for HDR Shooting (or any kind of photography, really)
    • The Nikon D90 – Approx $700-$900
    • The Nikon D90 with Excellent Starter Lens – 18-105mm – Approx $1,100
    • Mini Review – I recommend this wonderful camera because it does auto-bracketing, can hold a variety of lenses, and is an amazing camera now and for the future.  You’ll be able to have this be your main body as you slowly build up a collection of lenses in the future, as you get to better know your camera.
  • The Nikon Lens Coffee Cup – $40 and up, depending on auction price
    • See Latest Prices on EbayLens Coffee Cup – All
    • Mini Review – How could not this be the best thing ever? I can’t think of anything more ridiculous or wonderful!

Daily Photo – My Camera in Tokyo

As you saw in the video a few days ago, I did a lot of night photography in Tokyo. Since I now often carry around two cameras, I sometimes use my second to take a photo of the first! Sometimes, I’m doing timelapse stuff which can take a looooooong time… so I get bored and start taking pictures of taking pictures!

I also included this because it has that green cube thingy mentioned above!

D3X Out

The Awesome Green Cube Everyone Asks Me About

  • Very cool picture, which camera is in the photograph? 🙂

  • Wallace Shackleton

    I suppose calling it a two axis, hot-shoe mounted spirit level is a lot less mysterious than a green cube.

    I use one and they are the best thing since sliced bread.

  • Thanks! That is the D3X in the pic

  • What’s the tripod and head you use?

  • casusan

    Cool shot Trey – yes, the green cube looks cool! Have fun in Iceland!!

  • john

    I Have to tell you how much I love my new D90!!!!
    I agree with your mini review, short but sweet. I could wish it was built like the Pentax K20d, that thing’s a weatherproof little tank! but I’m afraid Nikon has me.

  • Trey, I have one of those three-axis mysterious green cubes. 🙂 Works in a pinch on my D700, but mine is either a bit off-bubble or my flash mount is not level. I do better looking at the circular bubble level on my RRS panning package and lining up the grid lines in the viewfinder. Shooting in portrait mode without the panning package is when the green cube is most useful to me.

    What do you think of your BH-55 ballhead? I have the BH-40 and almost wish I’d gone with the larger one, but it’s a great ballhead. I especially like RRS’ quick release clamps. Have you tried the Induro PHQ3 panhead? I have one coming tomorrow. It would be wonderful if I can get an RRS quick release clamp to fit on it. 🙂

  • I looked at the level, but the reviews have some REALLY bad ones for a $7 level. Leaks, poor leveling, wide markings, etc.. Sounds like you got a good one.

  • john

    I thought the D3x would have a digital level incorporated. It is my dream machine, so how could it have a shortcoming?

  • Nice! I’m glad I’m not the only one that does this… I’ve shot my camera from behind while waiting for the sun to set and such if I have my film camera with me. I’m sure my local lab is getting tired of seeing the back of my camera on a tripod about once a roll 🙂

  • Nir – and Aaron – I have a bit of info on my tripod/head on that HDR camera page – I REALLY like this RRS stuff… very high qualiuty.

  • Wen

    Read your review on the D90, which was great to see it simply put. I started off with a D70, and just upgraded to a D300s. I was wondering if you could recommend a great everyday starter lens, that isn’t expensive. I bought the 16-85, but was continplating on returning it. Any suggestions? Is there something better, around the same price point? I love the 85 and am going to save to buy this lens. I’d love to here your take on the 50 vs the 85, which are both a love and must have. Why have both? Why one vs the other?

  • I discovered HDR photography few month ago… I love your work and visit your page almost daily. You recommend D90 for HDRs..what do you think about D5000? Are the results similar to D90?

  • Its interesting you recommended the Canon G11. Its a nice camera. I own the Canon G9 (now using the Nikon D90) which also does auto-braketing. The G9 did have some noise issues however I did achieve some not too bad HDRs such as these two:

  • 7 bucks for green level… You must be money man… I had to buy mine from 🙂

  • Hana – D5000 is very good too… I don’t review every camera in the world because it gets to overwhelming

    Wen – I’d suggest that 18-200 lens – i have alittle review here on the site too

  • That coffee mug looks AWESOME! I so have to get one!

  • I’ve been looking at the D5000 also, and apart from a few pro-level things that it lacks, it is identical to the D90. The D3000 is considerably less “capable”, including image resolution, than the D5000/D90 but if you do a side-by-side comparison of all three you will see that the D5000 is almost the same camera as the D90 and that the things the D90 has over the D5000 are things that only a true professional is going to desire/need.

    Head on over to the Nikon site yourself and check it the comparisons.. you’ll see what I mean.

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