Archive for April, 2011

How Long do Memory Cards Last?

This item was filled under [ Gear, Tips & Tricks ]

Great question! And Jim Harmer at has a fantastic response.

In a nutshell, unless you’re formatting your memory card 10 times a day, it should last a lifetime. But we all know that there are exceptions to every rule. So have a look, for yourself, at what Jim has to say HERE.

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Wiebetech RAID Solutions and Drive Enclosures

This item was filled under [ Gear, News, Pro Reviews by Gary ]

Recently while we were at WPPI in Las Vegas, we came across CRU Dataports booth. I found their hard drives and Raids to be some of the best quality that I’ve ever seen. CRU was kind enough to send me the below units to test, and I’m giving you my honest opinion on them. They’re now available at Vistek stores (click the titles to find them on our website.)


Tough Tech Duo

Includes 2 500GB 5400RPM Drives. This is a beautiful looking unit, made of aircraft-grade aluminum, with a bright blue LCD readout on its side panel. The Tough Tech Duo comes pre-formatted as Raid 1 (for backup) for Mac or Windows, with 2X 500 GB 2.5 5400RPM, drives from Hitachi. Raid 1 is 500GB, Raid 0 is 1TB. Remember if you use Raid 0 you’re going to need another drive for Backup. You can also buy the enclosures without any drives, and add whatever brand drives you prefer.

What’s in the box? Includes cables for E-SATA, USB and Fire-wire. When connected via USB or Fire-wire, this drive can be used as a bus powered device. Remember if you’re a laptop user, that this will drain your battery directly from your laptop. The box contains all the AC/adapters you’ll ever need, including a unique plug that is designed with power converters for worldwide use. Also included is a nice little stand, so you can leave it upright on your desk.

I connected this to my MacBook Pro and it was instantly recognized. What is unique about these units is how easily you can swap the drives out.

I cloned my start up drive, which was about 150GB, using Carbon Copy Cloner, via mycard-buss 34 slot, using an e-sata connection, and it took 2:09 minutes. Of course all this will be faster depending on what drives you drop in here. 7200 RPM, or SSD drives will speed things up quite a bit.


For a photographer, this is the ultimate drive enclosure. What separates it from other drives on the market is the rugged construction and ease-of-use in which you can swap drives in & out of the unit – 1 click and the drive slides right out the front. Wiebetech also makes these great storage cases to house spare drives (they look just like VHS storage boxes) and they all include labels so you can clearly mark what is on each drive.

I dropped 4 1 TB drives in the unit, and powered it up. It’s default setting is RAID 5, Which will give you 3TB of usable space. So… whats so magical about RAID 5? Well, if you’re a pro photographer or videographer, you will get a mix of speed and uncompromisable security. If one of your drives fails, your data is spread across all 4 drives; simply pull out the failed drive and it will automatically re-write the data to the new drive – no worries. You know the saying, “its not a question of if your drive will fail, but when”. I can attest to this fact with first hand experience.

Read more about RAID here.

The RTX 400-QR Gets 5 Stars in my book, and will happily sit on my desk. It can be setup for RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, and 10.

What’s in the box? You get the drive enclosure which is ESATA, USB, Fire-wire 400/800, a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty, power cable, software and instruction manual on CD. You will need to load the configuration software on your computer in order to setup the RAID. It took me about 10 minutes – from unpacking the box plugging it in to configuring the RAID – to set this up on my Macbook Pro.


This unit is a 2 Bay Raid which can be configured for RAID 1 or RAID 0 with a setup a little bit from the unit above. This one is configured by the control panel on the front of the unit. Very simply – you insert your drives and turn it on. It will ask you if you want to setup a raid. You hit the enter button, and away you go.

I setup using RAID 1, for backup purposes. I installed 2 1TB Drives, which formatted & gave me 999.15 MB. I then connected to my MacBook Pro, which had to be setup using Disk Utilities, so that my Mac would recognize the drive.

On a through put note: I transferred an 11.35 GB file from my Mac to the RTX220 via Firewire 800 and it took 5.07 min. and via E-Sata it took 3.38 min. E-Sata is definitely the way to go, if you have it available to you.

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Fancy a $5,000 Shopping Spree at Vistek?

This item was filled under [ Contests & Promotions, News ]

All you need to do is subscribe to Vistek’s eNews and you’ll be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $5,000 Shopping Spree at Vistek.  In addition, weekly prizes will be awarded beginning April 18 ALL the way through until July 18!

And, just to up the ante a bit more:   LIVE draws will be taking place during ProFusion 2011 (both days: Friday & Saturday)! But, in order to win, you need to be there at the time of drawing. So make sure you have your tickets!

The GRAND PRIZE winner will be drawn July 18 and announced by July 25.

Contest ends July 18, 2011.


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New from NAB 2011: Panasonic’s AG-HPX250 & AG-AC160

This item was filled under [ Gear, News ]

It’s that time of year again: the NAB Show™ – the National Association of Broadcaster’s annual conference (April 9 – 14), where the newest and most exciting technologies are announced and showcased in front of the global media and entertainment professionals, alike.

And, when it comes to new imaging gear, Vistek is no stranger to that feeling of excitement that comes with all the new announcements. In fact, there are a couple that bear mentioning right away!

Panasonic’s AG-HPX250 handheld P2 Camcorder with AVC-Intra

Key Features:

  • 10-bit, 4:2:2 1920 x 1080 AVC-Intra 100
  • Variable Frame Rates in 1080p & 720p
  • Wide 288 to 588mm 21x HD lens
  • High-sensitivity  1/3′ 2.2 megapixel 3MOS Imager
  • Multi camera operation with genlock/time code in

Read the full Press Release here.

Panasonic’s AG-AC160 AVCCAM Camcorder

Key Features:

  • High-sensitivity  1/3′ 2.2 megapixel 3MOS Imager
  • 21x zoom lens (wide 28mm to 588 mm) with 3 adjustable rings
  • 12-hour HD recording on two 63GB SDXC in PH mode
  • Professional XLR audio input
  • PH, HA, HE, DV and a PM mode
  • 720p low bit rate recording mode (less than 10Mbps)

Read the full Press Release here.

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2 for 1 with Phase One Capture One Pro 6

This item was filled under [ Gear, News, Pro Reviews by Gary ]

Did someone say the word FREE?!

I love great deals as much as anybody, and if you’ve been thinking about buying the new version of Capture One Pro 6, this is the week to buy it.

Between April 7th & April 14th, if you purchase a full Version of Capture One Pro 6, you will be entitled to a digital download version of Capture One Express for free. You might want to give it to a friend or your parents. Hey, maybe your dog is really smart and needs a copy. Whatever! This is a great promo – and if you haven’t already heard, the new version of Capture One Pro 6 works with your iPad and iPhone 3Gs and 4, with Capture Pilot. It’s a really awesome feature for letting your clients view and select their favorites, while you’re shooting.

This offer won’t be around for long, so grab your copy today!

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Calling all Bird Enthusiasts!

This item was filled under [ News, Seminars & Events ]

Have we got seminars for you! World-renowned bird photographer, David Hemmings, will be on hand for two seminars at Vistek’s Toronto location.

And David knows a thing or two about nature/wildlife photography – his work has been published on the cover of National Geographic and has also appeared on the cover of numerous nature photography publications.


Learn the basics of your camera functions and how to apply them in the fi eld. Understand aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how they work together. The morning will be spent in the classroom and the afternoon will involve heading outdoors to some shooting!

When: Saturday, April 30, 2011 @ 10 am (4 hours)
Where: Vistek Toronto
Fee: $175


After learning the basics of your camera function and settings (or for those already in the know!), take the raptor birds in flight photography challenge. A Falconer will have raptors on hand for a unique experience as the raptor flies towards your lens!

When: Sunday, May 1, 2011 @ 11 am (5 hours)
Vistek Toronto

Take 2 and Save!
Bird Photography 101 & Raptor Flight Action can be purchased together for only $300. That’s a $50 savings! Please call 1.888.365.1777 or email to reserve the discount bundle.

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This item was filled under [ News ]

Vistek is pleased to be the newest sponsor of We look forward to reaching out to photographers across the country and are pleased to be a part of this vibrant & active online community. Vistek has always been a huge proponent of the photography community at large; professionals & enthusiasts, alike.

So, drop by and say hello! Become part of the forum and make some new friends.

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