Now here’s a new product that could potentially give photographers a way to stay dry on rainy-day shoots. Called Canope, it’s a wearable umbrella that gives you a hands-free way to protect you and your camera gear from the elements during challenging weather conditions.
We first heard about Canope on Shutterbug where we learned it’s a new iteration of a product that had been called Nubrella. Nubrella caused a bit of a stir four years ago when it was featured on the reality TV show, Shark Tank.
Since that Shark Tank appearance, Nubrella’s inventor Alan Kaufman has made several key tweaks to the product including changing the clear plastic front panel into a dark all-nylon design, which helps protect against sun exposure along with rain. Now called Canope, the device features a lightweight frame with padded shoulder straps that the user wears like a backpack.
On the rear is a retractable canopy that the user unfurls to cover their head, shoulders and a few inches in front of their face, permitting use of a camera and zoom lens while staying protected. The best part, of course, is you don’t have to it hold any part of Canope as you would a traditional umbrella.
Canope is made from waterproof rip-stop nylon fabric and weighs under three pounds. It’s 26 inches wide, making it capable of fitting through doors while worn.
One of the critical improvements to Canope from the earlier version is that the canopy itself now features an aerodynamic, wind-resistant lock-in-place design which, according to the product’s website, is “impossible to invert.”
Some of the sun protection elements of Canope are also new. The SPF 40-rated canopy blocks/absorbs 90% of the sun’s rays while the inner silver lining is designed to keep the user 20 degrees cooler.
These changes to the product open it up to a range of uses in addition to photography. Other potential commercial usages include agriculture or landscaping, sporting event personnel, delivery and postal workers, utility workers and linemen, construction, city and municipality workers. Possible recreational uses including walking the dog, yard work, fishing, hiking, or home improvement.
One thing that is impossible to escape about Canope, however, is that it makes you look a little, well, odd, when you wear it. We could, however, see professional photographers potentially using it for things like sports photography, outdoor photography or even some types of photojournalism when you need to get your shot without getting soaked while keeping both hands on the camera.
It’s also a relatively inexpensive product, retailing now for a special price of $89. Watch a short video below to see Canope in action for photography.