Sep

20

Lowepro Rover Pro Review

Posted By: Rachid | 3 Comments | Permalink
Categories: GearGeneralPhotographyTravel


Northern Lights Above Yurtville - Whitehorse, Yukon

Northern Lights above our camp at Yurtville - Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada

I have always wanted to explore the Yukon Territory in Northern Canada.  The Yukon is about the same size as California but only contains 34,000 people.  From abundant wildlife to dramatic landscapes to the Northern Lights, it is a photographer’s paradise.  Several months ago I was lucky enough to receive an assignment that would take me into the heart of this amazing landscape.

One thing I didn’t know existed in the Yukon was world-class mountain biking.  My assignment was to team up with my good friend and fellow Novus Select photographer Trevor Clark for a 10 day video project documenting the lesser known mountain bike trails throughout the territory.

As Trevor and I began planning our trip, the first thing on both of our minds was how we were going to carry all of the photography and video equipment while logging long days on mountain bikes in extremely remote locations.

We let the good folks over at Lowepro know about our dilemma and a couple days later received the not-yet-released Rover Pro 45L AW and the Rover Pro 35L AW.  As soon as we saw the packs it was clear that they were going to be absolutely perfect.

The larger Rover Pro 45L AW that I carried

I carried the larger Rover Pro 45L AW and Trevor took the Rover Pro 35L AW.  Before leaving, we laid out all the photo and video gear we would be carrying (about 50 pounds apiece) to see if we could get everything in the packs.  Not only did we have no problem getting the gear to fit, but there was room to spare for the necessary outdoor gear we would require.

Here is the breakdown.

Camera/video gear that went into my pack (the Rover Pro 45L AW):

  • Nikon D7000
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4
  • Nikon TC-14E-II Teleconverter
  • Genius 8 stop ND filter
  • Nikon Circular Polarizing Filter
  • Dynamic Perception Stage One Motorized Slider/Dolly System
  • 2 Flashpoint Carbon Tripods
  • 2 Go Pro Cameras and Mounts
  • Zacuto Z Finder Loop
  • Manfrotto 55 Mag Photo-Movie Head
  • Sennheiser MKE 400 External Mic
  • San Disk Extreme Cards
  • LowePro Memory Wallet 20
  • IPhone

Outdoor Gear

  • Two Liter Camelbak Bladder
  • 2 Tahoe Trail Bars
  • First Ascent down jacket
  • Bennie
  • REI Event Rain Shell
  • Spare Inner Tube
  • Bike Tool
  • Innertube Patch Kit
  • Bike Pump
  • Tire Irons
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Headlamp

Gear Laid Out

All of this gear made for a heavy load but thankfully Lowepro took this into consideration and equipped the bag with a trampoline-style suspension system that performed beautifully.  Having 50+ pounds strapped to my back during rough 3,500 foot mountain bike descents was a true testament to this bag’s capability.  The bag handled all of the weight with ease and the pack always felt snug on my back.

Aside from the way the pack fit, one of the things I really loved about the Rover Pro was the ability to access all of my camera gear from the front hatch.  This meant not having to unpack and repack all of my outdoor gear every time I wanted to set up a shot.  That, in conjunction with the customizable modular compartment system, created key timesaving elements that allowed me to move faster and maximize my shooting.

The Rover Pro was an essential part of our Yukon mountain bike film project.  It carried all of our gear comfortably and reliably.  In the end it did what a great bag is supposed to do – let us focus on making killer content!

Make sure and check out Trevor Clark’s review on his Rover Pro 35L AW on his blog and take a spin through his website to enjoy all of his fantastic work!

For the full skinny and specs on the new Rover Pro visit the Lowepro website.  They hit the ball out of the park with this one.

Stay tuned for our short film on our incredible experiences mountain biking in the Yukon.  Coming soon!



Tags: backpack canada gear lowepro nikon northern lights photo backpack photography review rover pro rover pro 35l aw rover pro 45l aw whitehorse yukon

Comments: 3 Comments


Mar

30


Last week I purchased the Nikon D3s and couldn’t be happier.  The camera is absolutely amazing and is a must have for any professional sports photographer.

Let me start off by saying that the most important thing to me as a professional photographer is creating compelling images.  I look at technology as a means to further this endeavor and nothing more.  The camera is simply a means to an end and should be viewed as such.  In this review I will give you my honest opinion on how this camera performs in a professional outdoor adventure scenario. 

For my first shoot with the Nikon D3s, I called upon a few of my friends to ski and snowboard for me.  We headed out in the dark to Carson Pass in the Sierra Nevada to photograph in the sunrise and early morning light.  With a quick 45 minute hike off the top of the pass, we reached our destination just as the sun was coming up over the horizon.  The light was incredible.  I pulled the camera out of my bag and began shooting. 

Carson Pass sunrise with skier

Nikon D3s - Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens - ISO 400 - f/10.0 - 1/80 sec

The first thing that I immediately loved about the camera was the ergonomics.  It feels great in your hands and all of the buttons are extremely accessible.  For an experienced Nikon shooter everything is in a very intuitive place.  I found myself changing my settings without ever taking my eye out of the viewfinder.  This enabled me to concentrate on the most important part of photography, making images.

Carson Pass, sunrise, winter, skier, hiking

Nikon D3s - Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens - ISO 400 - f/10.0 - 1/400 sec

With the athletes in position, we began shooting action sequences.  If you have never shot action at 9 frames per second you will be in for a real treat.  When shooting sports, capturing that split second when the athlete is in perfect position is absolutely critical.  If your camera doesn’t have a high enough frame rate, you might miss that magic moment.   

Working in conjunction with the high frame rate is the camera’s buffer speed.  The D3s allows you to hold the shutter button down far longer than any other consumer or prosumer grade Nikon camera.  Compare the continuous capture of 82 JPEGs of the D3s to the 43 JPEGs of the D300s.  This enables me to keep shooting the action while other photographers are waiting for their images to write to their memory cards. 

As the day progressed I shot in a wide variety of ISO ranges.  On my old Nikon D300 I really couldn’t shoot higher than ISO 800 without noticing a significant fall off in image quality.  I shot for most of the morning at ISO 1000 and the file quality was unbelievable.  When I shoot skiing and snowboarding, I love shooting into the sun.  Utilizing a higher ISO allows me to shrink the aperture and still maintain a fast shutter speed creating that classic sunburst effect.

Snowboarder, Carson Pass, winter, big air

Nikon D3s - Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens - ISO 1000 - f/14.0 - 1/2000 sec

After the day was done it was time to see what I captured.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I began going through my images.  The file quality was unbelievable.  The images that I shot at ISO 1000 far exceeded my expectations.  There was very little noise, the images were extremely sharp and the color gradients were absolutely beautiful.  It has really opened my eyes to how I can push my camera settings to create images that would have been impossible to make 5 years ago.

As of right now I don’t have many negative things to say about the Nikon D3s.  I think it is the best thing since sliced bread.  If I had to be nitpicky, I would say it is a little too heavy and bulky for an extended outdoor adventure scenario.  That said, I still plan on taking it just about everywhere I go and simply dealing with the extra weight and bulk.  The images that it allows me to create are well worth it.

Looking into the future, I know I have just scratched the surface of what this camera can do.  I can’t wait to push the ISO boundaries even higher and start utilizing other features like the 720 HD video.   The Nikon D3s is going to allow me to push my creative vision farther than I had ever imagined, and that is what a great camera should allow you to do.



Tags: action, d3s, gear nikon review, ski, snowboard, sports, winter

Comments: 2 Comments