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Gear & Apps

The Products That We (The SLR Lounge Writers) LOVE and Cannot Live Without

By Hanssie on February 11th 2015

products-we-love It’s February, the month of loooveeee…or so it is marketed to us. Be that as it may, as couples everywhere celebrate the one day where flowers and candy abound and women everywhere hold their breaths for that elusive engagement ring, we here at SLR Lounge have been pondering our true loves as well…in the form of photography products that is.

I’ve asked our writers to share with us the one product that they love and cannot live without. Some gave me a laundry list of items, so I fired them for not following directions. Just kidding. I asked them to narrow it down to their very favorite and here is what they had to say.

Pye We’ll start with Pye, our Editor in Chief. Pye’s favorite product is the entire line of Sigma Art lenses (yes, that’s more than one item, but he signs my paychecks, so I’ll let him slide on a technicality).

The Sigma Art line of lenses offer top notch quality at an affordable price, what’s not to love? Watch the Gear Talk Episode below where Pye discusses why he loves this line of lenses.


Anthony is our Product Reviews Editor and so he gets to play with all the latest gear and gadgets. Sometimes we have to have thumb wars to figure out who gets to review the hottest items, and Anthony’s favorite product is the WESTERN DIGITAL MY PASSPORT WIRELESS 1TB, which he reviewed back in September. He rated it a 4.5 out of 5 stars – a must have.

WD My Passport Wireless


Brandon’s absolute favorite product is both versatile and affordable. Coming in at 2.1 megapixels, the Sakar 2.1Mp Hello Kitty Digital Camera with 3 Interchangeable Faceplates is no competition for the Canon 5Ds/5Ds R, but does the new Canon flagships have 3 interchangeable faceplates? I think not…Sakar_82009_2_1_Mp_Hello_Kitty_883560

Actually, Brandon was late on my deadline for this article, so I told him I was going to post the pink-est, girliest product I could find and what better than Hello Kitty?

The product that really holds his heart are Eneloop batteries. He has found “nothing on the market that compares to them in longevity and in holding their charge.” I’d have to agree, as I use the same ones. Buy them in bulk at Costco and stock up when they offer a coupon. You can thank us later.




What photographer doesn’t love a good deal? These affordable Yongnuo speedlights are a favorite of photographers everywhere and is wedding and portrait photographer, Chris Nachwey’s favorite as well. He says that he “loves [his] Yongnuo speed lights and uses them for every wedding and portrait session.” I placed an order for one and it’s on backorder for another couple of weeks; I can’t wait to try them out.



Then there’s me. Of course, the product I love is my brand new Fuji X-T1 Graphite Silver camera. It arrived late last week and I can’t stop staring at it. I don’t miss my Canon gear one bit. I’m shooting a Valentine’s Day wedding with it this weekend, so stay tuned to see how it does on the job. Honestly, I’m a bit nervous, not that I think it’s not up to par, but it feels like I’m shooting my first wedding! Read my review on this beautiful camera here.


It’s no secret that Jay is OBSESSED with his Leica M9. So much so that when he reviewed the Nikon D4s and the Leica M9 for a comparison article, he ended up not sending the M9 back. Read his article about his personal Leica experience here – but beware, it’ll make you want to mortgage your house to buy one for yourself.

Leica-m9ChaCha sold all his Canon gear (a common theme around here lately) last year and switched to the Sony A7 series. He and Pye actually both tried out the mirrorless full frame system, but only Cha ended up keeping his. Watch the Gear Talk where they discuss why one of them kept it and the other did not.


Justin loves the way his images turn out using the Metabones Speed Booster. This magical little lens adapter stands out from the rest of the adapters for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILC) because of its ability to provide a full-frame/near full-frame field of view and shallow depth of field. On top of that, you also gain a full stop of light. We reviewed it a while back in this article and you can check them out on B&H.


Kish has pretty much shouted from the rooftops his love for the Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Tablet. He shares his thoughts in this article, going as far as to say that any photographer that does any sort of editing needs one of these and lucky for you, we are giving one away. For this week’s photo contest, the winner will receive a Wacom Intuos Pro Medium. Better hurry, there are only 3 days left in the contest.


Matt, our resident landscape astrophotography and ultimate gear head. More often than not, Matt will be testing three different cameras from three different brands, though always clutching his beloved Nikon and talking tech, and while setting up a nighttime time lapse in the middle of nowhere in the dead of night. His favorite product is the SYRP GENIE TIMELAPSE & VIDEO MOTION CONTROL which he recommends for all outdoor and adventure photographers as well as video and cinematographers who want versatility and adaptability. He gave it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.


Michael One of our newer writers, Michael, loves SmartAlbums, an easy to use and affordable album design software that we reviewed a few months ago. It allows you to design an entire album in 20 minutes or less! What photographer wouldn’t love that?




Michelle’s favorite product is actually an entire company. Artifact Uprising had us all impressed when we saw their booth at PPE late last year. Their product line is environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing. She talks about them in this article and I was able to interview them at their booth in the video below.


Numerous writers on this team wanted to say that their favorite product was the Nikon D750, except for Miguel. Hands down, Miguel is in love with the Sony A7II. He sold all his Canon cameras and is shooting with the Sony exclusively, “for now at least.” He did a quick unboxing video and showed us the very impressive Steady Shot feature in this article on the A7II that had us all in awe.


One of Tanya’s favorite products is a Bleacher Blanket from Thirty-One Gifts. It’s a lightweight water resistant blanket that she uses on all her winter portrait sessions. She’s used it as something for her clients to sit on or as a background and talks more about it in her post, HOW TO TOTALLY ROCK YOUR PORTRAIT SESSIONS ALL WINTER LONG. You can embroider it, too.


So those are our favorite products. What are some of yours? Leave a comment below and feel free to send any of them as Valentine’s Day gifts…

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Paul Blacklock

    I just love my Fuji X-T1 Graphite Silver camera. feels awesome on long nature walks and street photography.

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  2. Phil Bautista

    Ever since I got my Sony a6000, it’s been true love for me. I thought it might be the size and weight but I also own a Panasonic GF2 and Nikon1 AW1 and those cameras don’t move me the way the Sony does. Canon gear now up for sale though I have an adapter so I can still play around with the glass til they go.

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  3. Dave Haynie

    Wow.. all that mirrorless love (including the Hello Kitty camera). You’re going to have to change the name soon…

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  4. Ed Rhodes

    i prefer the Buzz lightyear camera to the hello kitty one. even though it’s 0.1 megapixels smaller, it does have a front-facing flash, and an ergonomic grip.

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    • Brandon Perron

      Whoa, whoa…Ed…them are fighting words! ;-)

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    • Brandon Perron

      I have to say I LOVE that Hannsie posted the Hello Kitty camera!!!!!! That makes this my favorite article, EVER written on any blog!

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  5. Ben Perrin

    A stellar choice there by Brandon ;)

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    • Brandon Perron

      Yea, best choice EVER!!!!!! ;)

      Hanssie…threatened it and I said go FOR IT, I love that she actually did it.

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  6. Greg Silver

    Very cool to see the writers top picks!

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    • Hanssie

      Thanks, Greg. What’s your top pick?

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    • Greg Silver

      Oooh Hanssie – that’s a tough one. My top 3 would be your Fuji XT-1, Anthony’s Wireless Passport and Pye’s Sigma Art lenses.

      Now if I had some extra money laying around – my first buy would definitely be the Fuji XT-1.

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  7. Tosh Cuellar

    another great piece, very personable and cool of you guys to share your favorite stuff

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  8. Kevin Cucci

    Great list. I would be most intrigued to hear about your wedding experience with the XT-1 to see the similarity and differences to my own wedding experience with it !

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    • Hanssie

      Well, I hope you found more positives than negatives. I’ll have a backup Canon 5dii on hand just in case!

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  9. Daniel Thullen

    Some top notch choices. I agree with Steve (and I suppose that means I agree with Pye as well) on the Sigma Art series. The Hello Kitty camera runs a close second, not.

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    • Hanssie

      The Hello Kitty camera has THREE interchangable faces…that’s impressive…

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  10. Steve VanSickle

    I can’t agree enough about the Sigma Art series. I’ve got the 24-105mm, and the 35mm and both of them are absolutely phenomenal lenses. I’ve shot dark concerts with the 24-105 on a D610, and the clarity is astounding. I mostly use the 35 when I want to travel lighter, or I want the bokeh that f/1.4 provides. Both lenses are stunning in clarity.

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    • Hanssie

      Yes, those Sigma lenses are hard not to love. And the new 24m that was just announced…it’s hard not to have GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) :)

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