Photokina Quick Hits: Some of the Gear You May Have Missed

September 21, 2016

By RF Staff

Photokina 2016. It's kind of a big deal in photo gear land. And while the photo-going public was understandably lured by tales of Fuji Medium Format and Olympus' upcoming barn burner, there was plenty of new gear rolling out worthy of attention.

Here's a sampling.

Manfrotto Befree Live

manfrotto befree live copy

You’re looking at one of the smallest, lightest video tripods in Manfrotto’s lineup. The new Befree Live weighs in at just south of 4 pounds but it can hold more than double that, keeping 8.8 pounds of camera and lens aloft. It’s built from aluminum and has four leg sections with a total extension of 59.4 inches. The tripod includes a sliding plate to help balance video cameras and large DSLRs. It will sell for $240.

LowePro Flipside Trek

Screen Shot 2016-09-17 at 4.25.55 PM


The new FlipSide Trek series from LowePro gives outdoorsy types a dual purpose bag with two segregated compartments: one for camera gear, the other for your outdoor survival necessities. The bags offer a side access opening so you can reach in to grab a camera without having to put the FlipSide down (great for impromptu photo ops or grabbing that emergency bear spray). The FlipSide is sold in three versions with the largest able to house a full frame DSLR with telephoto lens attached, an extra lens or two plus a 10-inch tablet. Prices: $150 (250 AW); $170 (350 AW); $200 (450 AW)

MeFoto Air



The words "colorful" and "tripod" don't usually appear in the same sentence, but MeFOTO's models have always spruced things up with a wide selection of hues. The company's new series, the MeFOTO Air, is no different: it will be sold in seven color choices.

Aside from its flashy looks, the tripods employ a new leg lock system dubbed HyperLock. Rather than a locking mechanism for each leg section, HyperLock uses one locking mechanism per leg, so a single turn unlocks and extends the entire leg.

Each model can be converted into a telescoping selfie stick and includes a spring-loaded phone adapter. They also include a rechargeable Bluetooth remote that attaches to the handle so you can remotely trigger your smartphone.

Look for the Air series in November.

PocketWizard FlexTT5


LPA Design is rolling out the first TTL radio system specifically for Panasonic's mirrorless cameras, giving Lumix shooters access to PocketWizard's TTL, HSS and HyperSync technology.

LPA says they're developing a Panasonic remote camera cable which will trigger a remote camera with their FlexTT5 or any other PocketWizard radio. For now, the FlexTT5 is compatible with the GH4 and DMW-FL360L and DMW-FL580L flashes. Other cameras and flashes will be added in the future through firmware updates. The FlexTT5 for Panasonic is compatible with existing PocketWizard transceivers such as the Plus IV and Plus III in manual trigger mode. It also communicates with all PocketWizard-enabled photo gear.

Look for the FlexTT5 at the end of October. It will retail for $186 for a single radio or $299 for a two-pack.


lexar-hp-633x-microsd-256gb-prod-image (002)

Lexar has added several new microSD products to its portfolio for mobile photographers and action cam enthusiasts alike. The C1 microSD card reader connects via USB Type-C and supports the faster USB 3.1 protocol for brisk file transfers. If you need a more mobile-friendly solution, the M1 reader has a similar design but connects to Android devices with a micro USB port so you can transfer images to your phone or tablet.

The company has also rolled out a new, high-performance microSDXC UHS-I card. The 256GB 633x card has a transfer speed of 95MB/s—fast enough to cope with high frame rate HD and 4K video files. The company’s line of professional microSD cards, including the 1000x and 633x, have recently passed the ‘Works with GoPro’ verification process, so you can pop the tiny memory into your action cam without fear of failure. Price: $13 (C1); $10 (M1); $275 (256GB 633x microSD)

Broncolor RFS 2.2 Tranceiver

broncolor transceiver

This new transceiver will facilitate High Speed Sync in Broncolor's Siros L and Move flash systems. With the new trigger, you'll be able to sync at up to 1/8000 sec. shutter speeds. The RFS 2.2 will be sold in Sony, Nikon and Canon versions. You will not need a new flash tube in your Siros L or Move to accommodate HSS.

Broncolor is recommending a firmware update for the Siros L (to 52.03) and the Move will only support HSS with new firmware, so an update there is mandatory. (You can update here. The RFS 2.2 is compatible with all Broncolor products that support RFS 2 or 2.1 technology. The RFS 2.2 will set you back $115.

Nov0Flex MagicBall Free


This unique ball head can be quickly pulled from the housing when you need to release your camera from the tripod. When attached, it can be adjusted across a 240-degree range. MagicBall Free is available in two set configurations. The MB FREE SET includes MagicBall Free ball, Magic Ball Free housing, Magic Ball Free shell, and Magic Ball Free support foot. The BF SET includes MagicBall Free ball, Magic Ball Free shell, and Magic Ball Free support foot.

Ilford GALERIE Washi Torinoko


The GALERIE Prestige Washi Torinoko is a 110gsm, traditional Japanese base with a fine textured matt surface. According to Ilfored, it's produced on a traditional Japanese Tanmo machine in the Echizen area of Japan. The paper contains no optical brighteners, is acid free and will be available in both sheets and rolls.