Joao with the entire team from Anker at their booth during Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan

Ola. I have been neglecting my blogging for the past six months but I am excited to say that I am back and ready to share not only my love and passion for photography but I  hope to give you an inside look into my world with great behind the scenes videos and pictures. I hope you find my tips & tricks posts helpful. I plan to have a number of guest bloggers talk about a multitude of different subjects, if  you would like to guest blog please send me a message or leave a comment, I  hope that you enjoy my product reviews and find them educational or at least entertaining. In this post I will have a chance to share my experience with two great products from  Anker: the 2nd Generation Astro3 12000mAh Portable Triple-USB Port External Battery Charger Power Pack for iPhone 5  and the Anker Mini Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Rechargeable Speaker.

Anker’s booth at Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan
During my most recent trip to Taipei, in Taiwan, I attended one of the world’s largest computer trade shows, Computex. I was commissioned by memory specialist leaders Sandisk to create a video and a series of  images (post to follow shortly) to be showcased at the trade show.
I travel a lot shooting for magazines and brands and I am always either taking pictures or connected to the internet. Basically I was able to stay connected and take pictures and videos in the morning but by lunchtime or by the end of the day my battery was dead. I would have to charge my cellphone at every opportunity, so every time I would spend  more than ten minutes at the same location, I would take advantage of the local electricity to recharge my phone. This gets old fast, so during a break from one of my presentations for Sandisk I had a walk around the floor. The Anker booth was very close and I had already noticed them. I had a good look around their booth and even took some quick iPhone pictures so I could later go back  and compare specs on their products.

After all the comparisons I went back and picked up the Anker 2nd Gen Astro3 because it is the perfect solution for keeping your phone’s batteries running non-stop – it is affordable, durable, and most definitely useful. The device comes pre-charged out of the box and only takes about 4-8 hours from my experience to gain full of charge again. One unique feature with this device is that it comes with 3 USB outs. Most external batteries only have 2, but this device has been able to accommodate 3 which allows you to charge multiple devices at once. This is quite handy and in the following weeks I have used my ASTRO 3 on numerous shoots. It’s always great to be on location in the middle of nowhere, without electricity and still be able to charge your creative director’s or client’s phone. I have also found it very useful aboard planes, trains and basically anywhere on the go. 
The Astrois going to be packed away as a permanent part of my photography and travel kit.
Above – My camera bag of choice is the Thinktank  Airport Takeoff. I am always changing out what’s in my bag as I like to customize my gear depending on the project. There are a couple of things in my Kit that never change: My Anker Astro 3 and My Anker Bluetooth speaker have become solid parts of my kit, much like my Sandisk memory cards or my BlackRapid camera strap.

Here is a quick rundown of the Anker Astro 3 specs:
* Powerful 12000 mAh capacity specification
* The unit is compact in size and weighs in at 10 1/2 ounces.
* Attractively designed and covered in a rubberized coating that is easy to grip and it hides most fingerprints.
* There is no push button for starting the charging of your device or to read out the battery’s charged capacity using LED lights. You have to shake the battery to start a charging process or to read out the battery’s charged capacity.
* It has 10 LED lights in a circle that show the battery charge.
* There is no ON button so when you plug in a device just shake the battery and that begins the charging process of your device. It is recommended that you unplug your device when it is fully charged.

* There are three USB power output ports. The Smart USB is rated at 5VDC at 2.4 Amps and it is the most powerful battery charging port I have seen so far. The other two USB ports are rated at 5 VDC and 2.0 Amps. I could charge my iPhone 5  in one port and my iPad 3 in the other port.
* You can charge three items simultaneously.
* The battery pack can output 4 Amps at one time and that is also the highest rated battery pack I have tested up to this date.
* The battery uses Lithium Ion battery technology.
* The battery pack can be recharged 500+ times
* Warranty is 18 months

Charge your smartphone anywhere, even at the dinner table.

My work station the night before a big shoot on location – I have a lot of camera batteries, – four for the Hasselblad and maybe ten for my Canon – tons and tons of Sandisk memory all archived in  my ThinkTank Pixel Pocket Rocket  and My Anker Astro 3 and The Anker Portable Bluetooth speaker .

I have been so delighted with my Astro 3, I decided to have a better look at the Anker website. I am always on the look out for handy practical  gadgets. I have wanted a portable speaker for a while, because having music on set can really make or break the mood, but with my shoots being all over the world it’s complicated to find a powerful, quality portable speaker. Until now. This  Portable Speaker is a boombox in the palm of your hand. 
The speaker sounds excellent for its size and is loud enough to fill a decent-sized room. My set has never quite been the same since I purchased the Portable  Speaker. My team smiles a lot more and my models dance a lot more, all in all helping me create the best mood and atmosphere for any shoot anywhere.

Keeping all my Anker gear safe and in one place thanks to ThinkTank
With so manny cables and wires and adapters and chargers to keep track of, I try and have my gear as organized as possible and that means I have a specific case or bag for all my gear.
In my hunt for the perfect camera bag I found ThinkTank Photo. They are a great camera bag company who makes bags for photographers, by photographers. 
To keep tabs on my Anker stuff I picked up a camera bag that’s normally used for mirrorless cameras.
The Mirror less Mover 5  is scaled to fit today’s compact, mirrorless cameras, this collection of bags offers the same top quality materials and craftsmanship that Think Tank is known for. 

Make up artist Alex ME finds inspiration with music and gorgeous model Ines from Best Models loves working to the sound of music on set or on location, thanks to my Anker Bluetooth Portable speaker.

Anker Portable speaker specs:


    • The latest Bluetooth 4.0 (fully backward compatible) for longer standby time; equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack for non-Bluetooth devices.
    • Rechargeable built-in lithium battery offers 8-10 hours of playtime; iOS devices display the remaining capacity in the top status bar.
    • Stylish and compact round-drum body slips easily into your bag for use on the go.
    • Features clear, full sound and a built-in microphone with CVC background noise reduction for receiving voice calls.
    • Package contents: Anker® Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 4ft 3.5mm audio cable, USB charging cable and user manual.
    • The Anker Bluetooth speaker is smaller than my Think Tank Pixel Pocket rocket.

    On route to our shoot the radio lost signal for about an hour. No problem, we just plugged in my Anker Portable speaker to my phone and instantly the rest of our trip was more pleasant. The bottom of the speaker has this rubber finish which allows it to stay secure even on the most uneven surfaces.
    Shooting on Location to the sound of music thanks to Anker 

    Inside of the box you will find;
    * A beautifully designed and stylish speaker
    * A charging cable that is 33 inches long
    * An Audio Auxiliary cable that is 51 inches long
    * An instruction manual

    The speaker has:
    * An on/off switch
    * Auxiliary audio line input jack
    * A DC charging port which is a Micro USB jack to allow you to charge the speaker’s battery with 5 VDC
    * A microphone input port/hole to allow you to use the speaker as a hands free phone accessory
    * A set of forward and reverse switches to allow you to skip or forward or back on your songs you are playing.
    * A play pause button which is also used to pair the speaker to your Bluetooth device. This process is shown in my video.
    * And a volume up and down button to allow you to adjust the speaker’s output volume.
    * Bluetooth 4.0 which allows for faster and lower energy connections.
    * A rechargeable lithium ion battery that provides 8 to 10 hours of music playing time. It also provides 12 hours of talk time and 1500 hours of standby time.
    * You can charge the battery with your computer’s USB port or any AC USB wall charger that you own.
    The speaker is so intelligent that it actually speaks to you and tells you what is going on with it and it tells you when it is on or off and when it is connected

    I hope you have found this post useful. Watch out for loads of new posts each week. Until next time and thank you for reading my Photo Daily Dose.