Nexus One Desktop Dock [Mini Review]

The desktop dock is sturdy and attractive. Comes with an extra power cord (so you can use the one from the phone elsewhere) and an audio out cable (1/8 -> RCA).

When you cradle the Nexus One, it launches the “clock” app which shows time, date, weather, next alarm (if set) battery charge level and a row of icons at the bottom for Alarms, Gallery, Music and Home. After about 10 minutes, the screen goes black and the time, date and next alarm are shown in dull green (suitable for beside the bed).

Charge time from a completely drained battery takes about three hours when plugged into the wall.

My only complaint with the desktop cradle is the bottom lip that holds the phone from sliding out. It should be 1-2 millimeters taller. Sometimes if you press the screen near the top (like pulling down the info pane), it causes the phone to “pop” out of the cradle onto the desk.

Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive Review

Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive Review

After outgrowing my Kata 467 and LowePro Fastpack 250, I started looking around for a replacement bag that could hold all my photo gear plus my Macbook Pro laptop.

I considered a couple of options, but decided on the Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive. (Buy it on

After several months of use, I can highly recommend it. It holds all my gear comfortably (see sidebar for details) and provides great protection.

The bag itself weighs around 4 lbs without gear. Add all your stuff and it gets really heavy. Thankfully, the straps are well padded and sturdy. When loaded up, the bag alters your center of gravity significantly so you’ll find yourself leaning forward to compensate. It’s obviously not a flaw of the bag… just something to consider.

This is a pretty comfortable bag… maybe not the best ever, but definitely NOT uncomfortable. It’s such a capacious bag, I have a tendency to overload it. The center channel (the light gray area below) is recessed so air can circulate.

Laptop Compartment
Like the Kata and LowePro, the Streetwalker easily holds my 15″ Macbook Pro. The zippers do touch the laptop as it goes in and out, but I haven’t noticed any scratches in several months of use.

Camera Compartment
Make no mistake… this is a camera bag that happens to provide a place for your laptop. Its main purpose is to transport camera gear. The zippers are heavy duty and the construction material is very durable. The interior dividers are thinner than other bags, but I have found them to be more than adequate to protect my equipment. It’s not a “quick unzip and grab your camera” bag… it’s best to lay the bag horizontally before unzipping.

Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive

Camera Grip Expander
If you have a camera with a grip attached, you can adjust a “hinge” so it fits better. The down side is you take up some of the laptop compartment in doing so. I think a 17″ laptop would have trouble fitting in the same bag as a camera with a grip.

Pro SLR Body Hinge

D300 with grip turned on side. It can also hold a camera “vertically” so the hot shoe faces up, but the hinge must be dropped lower.

Laptop compartment with hinge slightly extended.

Waist Belt
Unlike the Kata and LowePro, the Streetwalker HardDrive provides a nice place to hide the waist belt when not in use.

Size Compared to LowePro Fastpack 250
These two bags aren’t really competitors, but I thought it might provide a point of reference.

ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive on left, Lowepro Fastpack 250 on right.

The Streetwalker HD (left) is a little thicker at the base.

The top of the LowePro 250 (foreground) is tapered and not as rigid so it tends to collapse. You can see the Streetwalker HD maintains its shape regardless of the contents.

Divider Thickness
I had seen some complaints about the thickness of the partition dividers. Below, you can see the ThinkTank divider on top, and the thicker LowePro divider below it. After several months of use, I have NO complaints about the thinner dividers. They do a fine job protecting my gear.

The Streetwalker HardDrive has lots of pockets. Some are useful to me, others aren’t. Your mileage will vary. Here are a few highlights.

The shoulder straps have stretchy material that holds an Iphone or iPod nicely, but if you lay the bag horizontally, whatever is in the pocket is pressed against the surface.

The stretchy side pockets will accommodate a mid-size flash unit.

The top front pocket is not padded and is best for items less than 1″ deep. The bottom front pocket (not shown) allows for smaller, thicker items and has a padded front for protection.

Like this review? Support the site… buy your Think Tank Streetwalker HD from

Review: Adorama Flashpoint (Meike) Grip for D300/D700

Review: Adorama Flashpoint (Meike) Grip for D300/D700

I’m NOT a brand snob. I’ve owned both Sigma and Tamron lenses, and typically pick the product with the best performance/price ratio. As an advanced amateur, I use my equipment a good bit. But if a photo component fails, my family is not going starve.

So when I decided to buy a grip for my new D300, I started by looking at the Nikon MB-D10 plus any major contenders; mainly, the Phottix BP-D300. That didn’t last long… most folks agree it is a significant step down from the Nikon, so I quickly ruled it out.

I thought my search was over, so I started price shopping for the MB-D10. As usual, Amazon seemed to have the best deal. In fact, at one point, their price was $233 with free shipping (at time of writing, it has increased to $249). My finger was on the buy button… then I decided to look around the web just one more time.

During my final trip to the forums I found a rather lengthy thread on the Nikon form at

That got me interested in the Chinese knockoffs sold by LINK delight. The price was a lot lower. Depending on the package, as low as $67 + $20 for international shipping. The reviews are good and I thought I found a winner.

THEN, on page 245 (ok, it just seemed that way… more like page 5), someone mentioned that Adorama sold the same thing for $79 with FREE shipping. The transit time would be a lot less and I liked the idea of buying from a US company in case of returns, so I bought it. Turns out, it’s the same exact product. On the box, the brand is “Meike.” Part numbers MK-D300 & ZE-NBG300. Adorama calls it “Flashpoint Professional Battery Grip for the Nikon D300/D700.”

I’ve only had it a couple of days, but so far it’s great! All the buttons work as expected and the fit is nice. It is all plastic, so it’s not as durable or “solid” as the Nikon, but at 1/3rd the price, what do you expect?

I’ll update this post if I have any problems. But so far, I highly recommend it.

Update 1: I’ve been UNABLE to get my camera to shoot at 8FPS using rechargeable NiMH batteries.

Update 2: I guess the batteries were not 100% fully charged. I had charged them a day or two prior to testing. After doing a full charge and testing right away, the Info screen shows 8fps.

You can buy this from:

Comes with two trays. Obviously, the battery is not included.

This is everything in the box (plus a “manual”).

Jawbone Charger Can Destroy Your Jawbone Headset

The original Jawbone headset by Aliph provides excellent noise reduction.

However, the unit has a design flaw; the charger fits too tight around the back of the unit. In fact, as I recently found out, it is SO tight that it can easily destroy the headset when removing it.

When I contacted Aliph customer service, they were cordial, but unwilling to help since I couldn’t find my receipt.

After some additional research, I found a video tutorial showing the best way to remove the charger. Apparently, this is known issue.

It’s really lame of Aliph to not stand behind their product. I definitely WILL NOT be buying my replacement headset from them.

Lens Cap for Sigma 100-300 f4

I needed an 82mm replacement lens cap for my Sigma 100-300 f4. Preferably, the center pinch type since the one provided by Sigma can’t be removed or attached with the lens hood on. I found a really inexpensive version on eBay and decided to give it a try. It works great!

Search this seller’s store for 82mm:

I paid $3.60 with free shipping. It took 7 days to reach me in the US, although I assume transit times can vary widely.

Cactus Wireless Flash Trigger V2s

I just received the Cactus Wireless Flash Trigger V2s from Gadget Infinity. The cost was $32.95 plus $5.00 for “Regular Airmail.” It took about a week to arrive from Hong Kong.

My goal was simple… eliminate the PC sync cable from my camera to the strobes in my very small studio (as cheaply as possible).

The new setup: The receiver is plugged into a Novatron M500 using an old PC Sync cable. The transmitter is on my Canon 40D.

Overall it works ok. There are a few quirks that may be specific to my setup.

1) I must use 1/200th shutter speed. Anything else results in a partially dark frame.

2) Occasionally, it doesn’t trigger the strobe. Maybe 1 out of 20 times. However, I think this is a cable contact issue. After twisting the connection to ensure it is well seated, I’ve gotten better results.

The range is more than acceptable for what I need: 150′ (45 meters) indoors with no obstructions. Your mileage may vary.

Packaging is pretty simple.


The pc cable fits snug, but I found twisting it after inserted ensures fewer failed shots.

It includes this flash stand (that I doubt I’ll ever use). It’s hidden under the packaging. If you aren’t looking for it, you’ll accidentally throw it in the trash.

Transmitter on the Canon 40D.

Update: Camera Dojo also has a good review of the Cactus Flash trigger on their site.