New E-Mount Camera Accessories from ShutterBands

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount News and Rumors' started by Del, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    Earlier this week, I reached out to Amin Sabet, the administrator of Talk E-Mount, and he kindly gave me permission to post once about my ShutterBands products.

    Like you, I am a Sony E-Mount camera user. I purchased my first Sony camera - the NEX-7 - about 4 years ago, and upgraded to the a6300 last year. I love the size and quality of Sony's cameras. I work as an engineer and I'm always looking for simple ways to improve things I use. Notwithstanding the excellent design of Sony E-Mount cameras, I found some minor areas for improvement that make a big difference. That's how I happened to launch the ShutterBands brand and my first on-line store in December 2016. So I hope my introduction here will help you to become aware of my ShutterBands offerings.

    I currently have two products for sale -

    ShutterBands Enhancement Kit for Sony E-Mount
    It includes 4 simple improvements for any Sony E-Mount camera:
    1. ShutterBands to seal the lens mounting ring from dust and moisture
    2. ButtonBumps to make the Custom and Function buttons easier to find
    3. DisplayLifter to improve the accessibility of the LCD screen
    4. CapTraps to help manage the hot-shoe covers on the camera and external flash
    Shutterbands Card - Front Back with Text 1200x628.

    Please visit www.shutterbands.com for more information on these enhancements. They positively improve the handling of my a6300 and help make me a more responsive photographer. I use them almost every day.

    ButtonBumps Pro Pak
    27 stick-on buttons to make navigating the button landscape on your camera easier.

    ButtonBumps became the most popular improvement in the ShutterBands kit among my early customers. With their encouragement I launched my second product in April - the ButtonBumps Pro Pak. It features more buttons and sizes, including a larger button format for the shutter release button and focus hold buttons on some Sony lenses - enough to equip several cameras.

    I love using ButtonBumps because they make it easier to find the buttons to change camera settings while I'm using the viewfinder. This is a challenge with the stock E-Mount cameras because of their flat button profiles.

    ButtonBumps ProPak Web-1000x1000.

    These products are available for purchase at b&hphoto.com, amazon.com (US), amazon.ca (Canada) (please use these links to support the Talk E-Mount website) and my on-line store www.shutterbands.com.

    For the rumor-mill, I have three new products that I am working on for the end of Q3 this year:
    1. A compact, fitted case to hold extra Sony camera batteries and SD cards.
    2. A soft, spacious microfiber bag to protect telephoto, wide angle, and prime lenses while they are waiting in a camera bag/backpack to be used.
    3. A simple tab to attach to an SD card to aid in removing it from the camera (currently hard to do if you have big fingers!).*
    * I'm looking for some beta-testers for the SD card tab - if you'd like to receive a free sample to try out on your E-Mount camera, please send me a note by email: shutterbands@gmail.com.

    Note for readers outside the US and Canada: If you live in an area where you are unable to purchase from B&H or Amazon - please contact me at the email address above, and I'll set up shipping to your location on my Shopify website. I recently did that for a customer in India and it worked well. Shipping cost was about $12.

    Thanks for reading my story - I hope it will help me to become less of a stranger on the forum.

    Del Simcox
    ShutterBands
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I like your Shutter band idea
     
  3. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    Thanks for your response Dave.

    Last month I visited Sleeping Bear Dunes on the NE shore of Lake Michigan near Traverse City, Michigan. The dunes are surprisingly vast - 300 feet high in places. It was dry and dusty - but I felt at ease taking out my a6300 to get some pictures with the ShutterBand on my camera. It effectively seals out any dust infiltrating the lens mount. There is also the concern about dust that settles in the groove of the lens mount - often invisible to the user. When the lens is removed, that dust is dislodged and some may find its way into the open cavity where the shutter and sensor live. The ShutterBand pretty much eliminates any dust collecting in the lens mount ring. A friend of mine who does camera repairs here in the Twin Cities area recommends that you always change lenses with the camera pointing down - so that any dust on the camera body or lens does not settle on to the sensor - allowing gravity to pull the dust away from the open lens mount. The ShutterBand helps minimize some of that that risk.

    I keep a ShutterBand installed on each of my interchangeable lenses ready to be mounted on the camera. They are surprisingly easy to nudge into place with my fingertips.
     
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  4. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Shutterband idea is a good one, especially those who shoot in wet conditions, although it's not recommended to do so with a Sony. ;)
    If you have successfully molded the silicone rubber to fit properly around the lens release button, it should be decently effective.
    Large rubber bands or those Livestrong wristbands have been my DIY solution.
     
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  5. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    I think you're right - I wouldn't want to take my camera out on a rainy day. Sensitive electronics and water are a bad mix. The ShutterBands are actually made of a synthetic rubber compound called EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) - it has the advantage of being resistant to UV damage from the sun so they should last for years. Another feature - the tab - helps to position the cut-out around the lens release button that you mentioned. By pulling gently on the tab and rotating the band - it can be quickly aligned so that the cut-out is positioned correctly. And when you want to change lenses - pulling the tab makes easing the shutter band onto the lens barrel (and off of the camera lens mounting ring) a simple process. With a ShutterBand on each lens, they can be used regularly so you're always protected if you encounter a dusty location or a few raindrops!
     
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  6. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    809
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    You seem to have put a lot of thought into your products. I sincerely hope you do well.
     
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  7. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    Appreciate your encouragement Bob. Introducing a new product is an interesting endeavor - I've really enjoyed the challenge of trying to get it right. It's the marketing part that is quite puzzling to me - I've tried using Google Adwords and it hasn't been very productive - lots of clicks but few sales. Not surprisingly - it's mentions of my products in blogs and forum discussions that have produced the most results. I've had quite a few sales from readers of sonyalpharumors.com and diglloyd.com and the dpreview.com website. That's what prompted me to reach out to Amin to post about ShutterBands on this forum. I think I've discovered that patience is a virtue when it comes to introducing a new product. It takes time . . .
     
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  8. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    I use a "band" on a couple of my lenses.......for an entirely different reason. GO TRIBE!

    20170717_155315.
     
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  9. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Create a youtube marketing video. Some slick editing, music, and beautiful scenery, (ie. at sand dunes, beach sunrise shoot, Burning Man scenes, wet shoots at waterfalls, surf, snowboarding during falling snow, pretty girls at the beach or on a boat...catching a fish and having water spraying about, lightning shoot, etc). segue to scenes of Shutterband-ed lens on the body...with water droplets and or sand and dust. And switch to a scene of a camera bag full of lenses with Shutterbands mounted.

    Recent years, there are those crazy running events where they end with a dousing of colored powders. That stuff is hell on lenses and shutters. But they would make for a colorful marketing video!

    Channel J.J. Abrams, and add a lot of lens flare! :D

    If your idea takes off, you can send me a box of bands as my fee! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  10. sliver-surfer

    sliver-surfer TalkEmount Regular

    82
    Nov 29, 2013
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  11. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    Thanks for the helpful suggestion WNG - you've created a complete storyboard for a video production for me. I'll give it some serious thought. I like your ideas very much. The challenge will be to get it in front of Sony camera users.
     
  12. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    Good observation. The clear ButtonBumps in my kit are in fact sourced from 3M - I use their Bumpon product. I live near the 3M headquarters here in Minnesota. The product you've included a link for on Amazon is probably not sourced from 3M because the price is too low. There are many similar bumper products on the market from China - and the inexpensive ones are made of silicone and are not perfectly clear and may not have a quality adhesive. I've looked at samples from Chinese vendors - some of them actually have labels on the backside with "3M" printed on them - but they are not equivalent to the 3M Bumpon product.
     
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  13. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    809
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Viral marketing is probably your best bet if you put that video together. It will probably not be easy, though. A lot of photographer sites have restrictions on promotional posts, so you need to check with the admins (like you did here) first before posting something in their forums. Same with Facebook groups. I do not know how it is done or how difficult it might be, but if you could pitch dpreview to write up something on your product, that would get a lot of eyeballs.
     
  14. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    There's an old Beatles song that you'll probably remember - Can't Buy Me Love. The lyrics include the phrase "I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love". That's a true marketing principle I think. The very best results I've had so far have come from a customer who loved ShutterBands or ButtonBumps Pro Pak and talked about it in a blog or forum post or mentioned it to their camera club friends. When that happens - it creates a little buying frenzy. I have an app on my phone that tracks Amazon sales and another that alerts me (with a cash-register ringing sound!) when someone buys from my Shopify website (www.shutterbands.com). Sales have come in little clumps. I haven't been able buy that kind of response by advertising.

    So I'm focused on making my products the very best they can be and keeping them affordable so that my potential customers can afford to risk $10 or $15 to try something new. The items I'm selling are actually a new product category. I'm unable to find any other source for an enhancement kit for a camera - a set of improvements to make a camera more useable. It's very much a "niche" product for a small, but growing set of potential users, like you.

    I'll try new approaches to get new customers - but my marketing budget is pretty small - and I probably can't buy your love anyway! My bread and butter strategy is patience, letting satisfied customers spread the word.
     
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  15. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Regular

    149
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    FYI I've ordered some through Amazon. I'll give a review in a few weeks when I've put them through their paces.
     
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  16. Del

    Del New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    8
    May 23, 2017
    Great! Thank you Tipton - your review will be welcome. Please let me know if I can assist in any way. Which camera are you using?
     
  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave