October 26, 2009

Think Tank's Multimedia Wired Up 20
http://www.thinktankphoto.com - $169.99

Review by Steve Douglas

Most freelance shooters wear many hats. Unlike those who work within the grand confines of production studios loaded with equipment and support personnel, the freelancer often finds herself having to cover the shooting, video or photography (and sometimes, both) as well as the lighting, audio, monitoring and normal grip duties. Especially when using one's own equipment, jumping back and forth between these roles can be both exhausting and distracting. When I think of the largest gaffes I have made over the years, wearing just too many hats at one time, resulting in distraction, caused them all.

Never the less, that is the situation we are often faced with and the best thing one can do is to keep oneself organized as best as possible. With that in mind, Think Tank has introduced a modular set of bags that fit and work together. Especially so for field shooting, the Multimedia Wired Up 20 system provides all the component bags for a one man band. The introduction of hi end DSLR cameras that also shoot HD video makes such a component set up all the more necessary. The Canon 5D certainly comes to mind as I write this.

Typical of any of the Think Tank bags I have had the pleasure to use, the quality of the Multimedia system simply cannot be beat. The zippers are made to last without degrading or oxidizing over time and the material used is high grade and made to last.

The main bag for you camcorder or DSLR weighs a light 3.6 lbs with interior dimensions of 11.5"W x 9.5"H x 5" D which proves to be roomy enough for most camera/camcorder and lens needs. Augmented by a hi quality belt, the other components of the Wired Up system attach to either the main compartment or to other parts of the belt providing a balance as you move about. The component bags supply several cable ports, which can be threaded through the pockets and used to wire your field system either internally within the bag or to connect to other pockets on the side rails.

You can see how the cable is fed internally for external hookup while keeping everything neat and in its place.
This significantly lessens the chance for an accidental grab and pull of the cable.

A separate pocket bag for an audio recorder, side pockets for your microphones, a hook for full sized headphone attachment and secure pocket for monopods or boom poles further compliment the Multimedia system.

A concept that Think Tank calls 'Mic Hands' is located on both sides of the main compartment allows for the microphone to be mounted on either side of the bag while facing forward for hands free recording. The mic system also allows for the microphone to be immediately removed for hands on microphone management and recording while it efficaciously manages the cable. This is a feature not to be overlooked as accidental cable pulls and trips have been known to be the cause of numerous and ultimately expensive crash and burn situations.

The Multimedia recorder modular case will hold a small recorder such as the Zoom H2 or Edirol R-09HR. It has a magnetic 'Quick Tab' feature that will allow for hands free monitoring of the audio levels with a simple pull of the tab. If you need room for a larger audio recorder, there is another modular case, which will allow for that as well and it also has the Quick Tab feature.

Bottom line for the Think Tank Multimedia Wired Up 20 system is that it provides a great solution for keeping your equipment safe and secure while working with all the duties your shoot requires of you. That the Mic Drop in component allows for the run and gun requirements of many shoots while keeping your cables securely managed via the many cable ports is a major plus in my book. The waterproof rain cover has come in handy for me on several occasions and, while supplied with most of Think Tanks systems, this should not be overlooked either. And finally, the construction quality is such that this system or any of the products I have tested from Think Tank, will provide many years of use and satisfaction.


Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve is also feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to the Red Sea and Egypt for Nov.2009, Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com [Top]

copyright © Steve Douglas 2009

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