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  Reviews by: Richard Nye  

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Canon Deluxe Backpack 200 EG

Review Date: Jul 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price is right, nice size, pretty comfortable too
Probably not as durable, less padding than most.

OK, so it probably won't last a lifetime, but for $35 I'll just buy another one when this one gives out.

I'm very happy with this bag. It's just about the right size to hold my 30D, 100-400L, 24-105L, 10-22, 100 macro, and flash, plus accessories. Any bigger and God help the man (or woman) that tries to lift it.

I took it on a 10 mile hike and it was pretty comfortable actually. The waist strap and chest strap are useless as well as the tripod straps. Just cut them off so they don't dangle all over.

The padding is a little sparse, but good enough if you don't throw the bag around. And the pockets are adequate too.

Look, this isn't an outstanding bag, but for the price it's darn good.

Markins Q-Ball M10

Review Date: Jul 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautifully built, nice friction limiting adjustment knob, smooth motion, more compact than most, good weight capacity, intuitive controls, solid feel
Bubble level isnít visible with the camera on the quick shoe

I bought a M10L and 2 plates from Nikonians. Iím using them with my 30D, 10-400 lens and Manfrotto 3221 tripod. The M10L and one plate was in stock and came quickly, the 30D plate had to be shipped from Germany (guess thatís what you get when you buy from a NIKON site). A nice surprise was the free neoprene pouch that came with the ballhead.

This is the first ballhead Iíve owned and have nothing to compare it to. The M10L was very intuitive and easy to use. The build quality is exceptional, and the design is classic. There is a lot of adjustment in the main friction adjust knob. It has a very nice feel and will lock up solid if thatís what you want, or can be adjusted so you can move your camera with a fingertip. The small friction adjust knob on the main friction knob sets the lower limit to the friction and works well. Some people have complained that the panning screw wonít completely lock the panning base. I donít have that problem. When I tighten the panning screw finger tight, the panning base is locked solid. I would recommend you use the panning base to pan rather than pan using the ball.

I bought the M10L with the Markins quick shoe. I actually like the quick release knob even though you have to turn it several times to tighten the plate onto the shoe. No big deal. The quick release knob has a nice, rubberized, smooth feel to it. You do have to be conscious that the plate is firmly in the shoe jaws before you take your hands of the camera or your investment will end up on the ground.

Iím just a little puzzled why Markins put the bubble level on the part of the quick release shoe that gets covered by the camera plate. When the camera is mounted you canít see the level (??). I guess the idea is to level the shoe before you mount the camera. This just doesnít make sense. I never use the level, just make sure the camera is plumb using the viewfinder.

Iím very happy with this ballhead, and Iím sure my son, grandson and great grandson will be one day.