Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 500
PROS: Lightening-quick recycle time and
flash durations, simple menu and operation,
cool creative modes, durable construction.
CONS: Firmware updates will require
for flash recycling (including how loud they are
in a choice of 10 tones) and even how loud the
menu clicks are. We found saving those to be
simple as well.
BUILT TO LAST
The Pro HD 500 is clad in a fire-retardant
housing that’s forged from a very sturdy
polymer. It has a rubberized grip at the top
and weighs roughly five pounds. The housing
is reassuringly tough, and feels like it can take
more than the occasional bump and bruise
There are two umbrella fittings, one that sits
near the base of the unit and a 7mm tube that runs
through the flash itself so the umbrella opens
as close to the center of the light as possible.
The interior, an Elinchrom rep assured us, was
fully protected to prevent any damage from the
prodding of umbrella poles. The flash tube is
housed in a protective shell, which we found easy
to remove to access the flash bulbs and modeling
light. The light’s cooling fan is also very quiet,
but will get progressively noisier as the unit’s
temperature rises. Even after prolonged use, the
noise was inaudible in Patiño’s studio until you
were right on top of the flash.
The unit fits securely on various light stands
with the standard 5/8 inch stud with a 1/4-
20 threaded tip on top, as well as snugly on a
standard grip arm. When Patiño placed it atop a
c-stand with a 5/8 male stud, however, the unit
didn’t rest nearly as squarely and we had to really
tighten the screw to make sure it didn’t topple off.
The Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 500 packs a powerful
punch. Photographers will appreciate the unit’s
excellent motion-freezing abilities and, given
the rugged durability of the construction, we’re
confident that these flashes will hold up to the
rigors of regular use in and out of the studio. Set-up was pleasantly simple, and the menu system
is well-conceived and easy to navigate quickly.
Our biggest gripe is that the unit’s firmware will
be inaccessible to those who don’t also buy into
Elinchrom’s wireless triggering system.
WESTERN DIGITAL MY PASSPORT WIRELESS
Cutting the cord with cutting-edge storage.
Portable file storage is something like the gray flannel suit in the world of photo
technology. It’s unassuming, usually dependable and, when working correctly,
completely boring. If that suits you, you may as well skip what follows (we won’t be
offended), but if you want more versatility from your portable drive, read on.
Western Digital’s new My Passport Wireless joins a growing crowd of portable hard
drives that offer wireless capability so you can access the drive’s contents from mobile
devices. While most of these drives are targeted at consumers looking to free up space
on their phones and tablets,
WD’s My Passport Wireless
broadens the pitch to
with the inclusion of two
key features: First, there’s an
SD card slot that supports
UHS-I and II cards for
off-loading files and second,
there’s support for wireless
FTP, so Canon and Nikon
shooters with the requisite
wireless accessories (WFT
and WT- 2, respectively)
can wirelessly back-up
images on the fly. (A full
list of supported cameras
and wireless transmitters is
available at www.wd.com.)
We threw a 2TB My
Passport Wireless into our
camera bag to see whether
we’d trade that gray flannel
in for something flashier.
CUTTING THE CORD
The My Passport Wireless
is formatted out of the
box to work on both Mac
OS X and Windows 7 or 8
operating systems and is
designed not just to connect
to other devices using Wi-Fi,
but to share an Internet
connection with up to eight
other devices. This way, your
phone or computer won’t
lose access to the Internet when
paired with the My Passport.
Setting up the drive is straightforward, though not quite plug-and-play. First, you
connect the drive via its short USB cable to your computer to configure it to access
your home network. Then load up your mobile devices with the free My Cloud
app and connect those devices to the drive. In all, it took us about seven minutes to
connect a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone and a tablet. Configuring wireless FTP is
also painless, although it will require a bit more digging into the user’s manual to find
the server and port addresses.
After all the requisite devices are connected, there are two general ways to use the
My Passport Wireless—as a backup device or a media hub. We found it performed well
in both roles.
WD’s My Passport Wireless serves as portable backup and
a media player all in one.