If you’re looking for reliable, low-cost solutions for your camera accessory needs, Vello products may fit the bill. Henry Posner, Director of Corporate Communications for B&H Photo-Video, reports that the Vello brand is a popular choice with B&H customers. He says, “We feel that Vello offers two important benefits: products not otherwise available from other sources, and great competitive pricing. These attributes are gift-wrapped by Vello’s product quality and customer support.”
B&H has carried the Vello line for a couple of years now. Posner says, “We became associated with Vello as part of our continuing mission to offer our customers the widest range of choices. We want to make sure all our customers, from beginners to full-time pros, have a range of products suitable for any application and any budget. Vello inhabits an important niche in our product spectrum, and the brand’s popularity is confirmed by the many customers who have purchased Vello products with complete satisfaction.”
As for how Vello stacks up against its competitors, Posner observes, “In some cases, there is no competitor, so the products are unique. In other cases, Vello products offer nearly equal performance at a lower price. In just about every instance when there’s a parallel product from a camera manufacturer, the Vello product will be less expensive.”
The Vello line includes battery grips, remotes, brackets, screen protectors, lens adapters, hoods, shades and remote-controlled live view monitors — all of which come with a limited one-year warranty. This article will focus on battery grips and remotes.
Vello Battery Grips
Currently B&H carries 10 Vello battery grips for various Nikon and Canon digital SLRs. In addition to adding stability and control, battery grips can as much as double your camera’s battery life. In some cases, the Vello grip represents a considerably more affordable option than the comparable Nikon or Canon grip.
Posner says, “For example, Canon’s BG-E7 grip for the EOS 7D is more than twice as expensive as the Vello BG-C4. Like the Canon grip, the Vello BG-C4 accepts either LP-E6 rechargeable batteries or AA batteries. Also like the Canon grip, the BG-C4 offers an alternate shutter release button, AF start button, AF point selection, AE lock/FE lock button, multifunction button and main dial to facilitate shooting in a vertical orientation.”
Posner points out, “Several Vello battery grips have no competitors. For example, Nikon does not offer a Nikon-brand battery grip for their very popular D5100, but the Vello BG-N6 battery grip does the job exactly.”
Another example is the Vello BG-N3, which works with a number of Nikon digital SLRs, including the D40, D40x, D60, D3000 and D5000. Posner says, “Nikon does not offer a grip or accessory battery compartment for any of these popular cameras, so Vello products fill a niche that would otherwise be entirely vacant.”
B&H prices for the Vello BG-C4, BG-N6 and BG-N3 battery grips are $64.95, $69.99 and $49.95 respectively.
Vello FreeWave Fusion Line
Vello’s FreeWave Fusion line offers a reliable and affordable option for triggering off-camera flash units wirelessly, plus the added benefit of functioning as a wireless camera shutter release. Posner says, “This two-in-one product line is a boon for the budget-conscious photographer who needs wireless control, whether in the studio or in the field, and the combination of applications is almost endless.”
FreeWave fusion products work with most studio strobe systems and shoemounted flash units in manual mode. These units handle flash sync speeds of up to 1/320 of a second, and you can configure them to trigger up to three different flash groups individually or simultaneously for a total of seven different combinations. They use 2.4 Ghz radio for communication, so you don’t need “line of sight” set-up, plus you can be up to 320 feet away. Sunshine or other flashes will not accidentally trigger the units. LED indicators confirm pre-focus, shutter release, flash wake-up and flash trigger in wireless mode.
Two examples of this product line are the Vello RFW-C, which works with a number of Canon SLRs; and the Vello RFW-N, which works with select Nikon DSLRs. The B&H price for both models is $99.95.
The Vello ShutterBoss is the accessory for you if you want to take time lapse photos and long exposures, or if you want to use the remote as a camera trigger. According to Posner, “The ShutterBoss’s attraction is similar to that of the Vello battery grips: a versatile, well-engineered product that is either less costly than the camera manufacturer’s option or that represents a product the camera manufacturer doesn’t offer.”
He continues, “For example, the ShutterBoss RCW-N2 works with Nikon D90, D3100, D5000, D5100 and D7000 cameras. For the D7000, Nikon offers either the wired MC-DC2 remote release cord or the wireless ML-L3. Neither is particularly versatile — and if you added together the benefits of both, you still would fall short of the versatility of the ShutterBoss RCW-N2.”
The RCW-N2 offers up to 99 possible radio channels and a 250-foot range. Posner adds, “Wired or wireless, the ShutterBoss RCW-N2 is equipped to handle a long list of timer functions — selftimer, interval timer and long exposure timer — as well as control the number of continuous shutter releases. Timer delays, exposure times and intervals can be set from one second up to 99 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds in one-second increments. You can also choose anywhere from 1 to 99 continuous shots or set the timer to take an unlimited number of photos.”The B&H price for the RCW-N2 is $99.50.
About B&H Photo-Video
Founded in 1973, B&H Photo-Video is the world’s leading retailer of imaging products. The company operates a superstore in New York City and an extensive website that includes an InDepth Learning Center with product reviews, online videos and tips and solutions. In addition, B&H has recently announced a partnership with Kelby Training Centers, offering memberships and online training.