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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Focus: August 2014

Labels: In FocusGear
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If you want to lighten your hiking pack while maintaining some high-power photographic punch, Sony has you covered with the RX100 III. The pocket-sized camera combines the 20.1-megapixel, 1.0-type, back-illuminated CMOS sensor (which captures more light for increased detail and texture, and decreased noise) with the BIONZ X processor (used in the full-frame a7 series). It provides an ISO range of 125-12800 for low-light situations, and the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm ƒ/1.8-2.8 lens offers a shallow depth of field. Nature photographers should take note of the built-in, 3-stop ND filter, as well as the 1.4-million-dot-resolution OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder with a specifically designed eyepiece and Zeiss T* coating to reduce reflections. Video can be recorded in XAVCS and AVCHD formats, as well as MP4, with clear HDMI output for external monitor review. A new Intelligent Active Mode uses frame analysis and 5-axis compensation to dramatically reduce camera shake while specifically shooting video. The LCD screen tilts up 180º and down approximately 45º. Buttons can be customized to your preferences, and the camera quickly connects to WiFi and NFC. List Price: $800. Contact: Sony, store.sony.com.
For wildlife shooters looking to get closer to the action, Nikon has developed the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III. While only losing one stop of exposure, it provides 1.4x magnification, maintains the accuracy of the autofocus system, and is lighter and more durable than its predecessor. The outermost of the seven lens elements has a fluorine coating, resisting against dirt and water. The lens barrel has been optimized for durability with moisture and dirt resistance. List Price: $499. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
Tokina has announced the AT-X 70-200mm ƒ/4 PRO FX VCM-S lens, designed for full-frame sensors. Employing the Vibration Correction Module (VCM), it allows for up to 3 stops of vibration correction, reducing the effect of handheld camera shake for instances when a support doesn't fit into your space or timing. The ring-shaped ultrasonic motor makes autofocus quick and quiet. Three Super-low Dispersion glass elements correct chromatic aberration and maintain a high-quality image throughout the full zoom range. List Price: TBA. Contact: Kenko Tokina, USA, www.kenkotokinausa.com.
The new EF-S 10-18mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens is the next in Canon's Stepping Motor line of lenses. The Stepping Motor, in conjunction with the new focus mechanism, creates smooth and silent operation, ideal for video shooting. The lightweight design features an Optical Image Stabilizer for shake correction up to four shutter speeds. The ultrawide zoom makes it easy to get shots in tight spaces or fill the frame with wide landscapes. The UD lens element reduces chromatic aberration, and the multilayer coating minimizes ghosting and flare. List Price: $299. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
The Comodo Orbit is a mechanical twin-gimbal stabilizing rig for your DSLR or mirrorless camera (it also provides a stable ground support) that's especially handy for video scenic walkthroughs and low-angle landscapes and wildlife shots. The unit has no motors, requires no weights or batteries, and sets up easily. Two mechanical gimbal handgrips increase stability and reduce fatigue. One photographer can easily hand off the camera to another through a safari vehicle's window smoothly with no disruption in the video. The 4.4-pound unit can support up to 11 pounds of camera/lens. Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Comodo Rigs, www.comodorigs.com.


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