Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Made Camera Armor for D90 : Review

As all of you know, i was like a small boy when i received the product for review. Initially, i thought it was made by Lowepro (the famous camera bag producer, i'm a big fan) but only found out it was made by Made.
This item is sold by Snap-Attack and it was on loan for me to test out over the weekend at the run (Energizer Night Race) which Snap-Attack were the unofficial (but official) photographer. Long story that one, but they have learnt that if "you are good at something, don't do it for free". Cut it short, Snap-Attack was one of the sponsor and was made official by the event organiser, but Snap-Attack did not get any mention in all print materials and the night's DJ announcement.
Onwards with the review. Please remember that this is not a paid review and the unit under review will be returned to the supplier tomorrow.
External/Opening of the Box
I rarely buy camera accessories and i was impressed with how the item were boxed up. The cover shows everything you want to know and there is a small window that allows you to "feel" the material and decide without opening the box. Lets face it, no one like to buy an opened product, what more if the box were damaged. I took extra care while opening it, as with all my other material items.
The unit i had fits my camera, the Nikon D90. I was told that there is another unit out for review which fits Nikon D300. The product manual shows a Canon being fitted and i believe this armor caters for most Nikon and Canon camera family that does not come with a build in battery grip (to be confirmed, later?)



Inside the box has 6 items plus two piece of manual to show how everything comes into play. The unit consist of the body armor, lens armor, lens cap lanyard, LCD protector, baseplate and an extension screw for tripod.
I've googled about this CameraArmor on google and ebay/amazon and apparently, there are imitation out there as well that only has three items and not six as above. If you plan to buy them online, please ensure that you are getting the real McCoy, else, best to get it from reliable sources (like from the guys in Snap-Attack).
For this review, i left these three items out : the lens cap lanyard(because it's double sided taped and i do not want to spoil it), the LCD protector (nifty, as the D90 already comes with a LCD protector, this can be a spare) and the tripod extender screw (as the thickness of this protector were between 5mm to 7mm, at various places)
Installation
Fixing the items requires some dis-assembly of your dSLR by removing the lens (and ensure that the body and lens back cap are closed to prevent dust from getting in).
It is as straight forward as putting on a shirt and pants for the camera. No brainer.
Here is how the camera looked like upon complete installation.


The D90 now looked rugged and changed. Most notable were the Nikon and D90 label went under the cover. Not good for those that likes to show people what they have and good for some that prefer not to show what they have. Some photogs are pretty sharp eyes and knows a model from just the shape of the camera and which lense attached at a glance. This silicon cover "camo" it all away!
The thick silicon also lend more surface area for the hand to land on. With thickness of about 5mm to 7mm (depending on where/which part), it gives the whole camera more bulk and "feel".
With the exception of the battery compartment, the design are well thought off and each and every buttons and opening were taken into consideration and are fully accessible. 
Real Life Use
I love to use my D90 with the battery grip as it allows me more area to hold the camera and also the ability to shoot vertically. The Camera Armor does allow certain level of modularity that i can forgo the baseplate and plug in my battery grip. I would rather FUNCTION over FORM and i do not want to risk cramping my hand/wrist/finger in an awkward position, more so if i am shooting vertically.

Camera Armor+D90+Stupe in action. Thank You PT Lim @ RunWitMe.blogspot.com
It does look a bit odd and i would say at this setup, the camera aren't protected fully. However, i did, on purpose, "slide" the camera off my fingers to the table to see just how much "impact" the silicon cover could absorb.
I was impressed; but i ain't going to purposely throw the camera down just to prove a point. The silicon cover is good enough for bumps and knocks while you strap it over your shoulder and need both hands to say, climb to a higher place, or crawl under the table - if the camera knocks into anything, THERE IS a LAYER of  protection present.
Another thing about this cover is that for the whole eight hours i was pressing the shutter, the sweat on my hand (wet because i wipe my sweat off my face) made the grip more "positive". There isn't any worry that the camera feels like slimy and will slip off my hand. Cool!
If there is any complain, it is the redundancy of the lens guard.
I was on kitlens 18-55 @ 52mm diameter and the protector, while fits, keep coming out and there will be high chances of it missing when you climb up and under some places. Luckily i did not stick the lens cap lanyard, else, it will be redundant as well. I was happy even if  ONLY the Camera Armor were on the body.
Conclusion
I would reccomend this product to those that do not mind the extra bulk and are looking for protection for their beloved gears. The lens guard will be redundant and i have no idea if it will fits well over larger diameter lense (such as 57mm or 62mm, but hunches says it will fit the D90 kitlens 18-105 at 67mm). I tried putting it over my Samyang Fisheyes and it couldn't...fit. Silly me.
As i removed the Camera Armor to mark the end of the review, i suddenly have my camera sans the silicon feel. I must say it did felt...naked.
But as with all things good, it has to come to an end. Time to return it and i boxed it up as how i received it four days ago!
If any of you are interested to purchase this, please contact my buddies at WWW.SNAP-ATTACK.COM or email them at info@snap-attack.com.
I do not know what will be the selling price, but i was made to understand the indicative price would be mid-RM200. Ebay/Amazon are selling this original item at about USD80++ (not inclusive of delivery) and i guess the guys at Snap-Attack might just have their pricing right and maybe lower. Do check with them!
I believe my this review is most probably the most comprehensive you could get on the world wide web as i myself can't find anything better than what i just did (unbiased test). Thank you Snap-Attack for the opportunity!
Now, i hope Made Products, Inc will read this review and consider to send me one unit FOC for this unsolicited review and/or send over the battery grip protector as well for a complete covered review of the product.

9 comments:

  1. Macam kereta kebal seyh ( armour for the camera). Kamera Kebal? Good protection for your camera.

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  2. Right on bro. The D90 now felt naked without it....

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  3. I am setting moderation to my blog comments to avoid robots from putting it up here. i can't delete the top comment unfortunately.

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  4. ada jual lagi tak item nie kat malaysia?

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  5. SRH - Saya rasa armor ini boleh dibeli di kedai kamera di Bukit Bintang.

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  6. Dimana boleh beli benda nie ek? ini bagus untuk menutup rubber yang terbuka pada aku nyer D90 (haha), dan berapa harga dia nie.

    SRH : kat bukit bintang tue dimana yer? shopping complex ke? lowyat ke?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kazzia - bukit bintang at Sg Wang at Boeing Electronics.

    ReplyDelete

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