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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Focus: January/February 2014

This Article Features Photo Zoom
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera squeezed down to a pocket-sized profile. With a high-quality, 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, the GM1 shoots both still photos and 1080 HD video at 60i/30p. The metal-alloy frame, with aluminum dials and brushed metal, feels comfortable in your hand and has a stylish retro look. The 3-inch, 1036K-dot LCD screen allows you to set focus and trigger the shutter via touch sensitivity. Silent Shutter mode reduces shutter noise while in the field during sensitive moments. Built-in WiFi connects to your smartphone and tablet for asset transfer, as well as remote triggering using the Panasonic Image App. The GM1 also has integrated creative filters, as well as time-lapse and stop-motion features. List Price: $749. Contact: Panasonic, www.shop.panasonic.com.
Sigma now provides a versatile standard zoom for full-frame cameras with the 24-105mm ƒ/4 DG OS HSM Art lens. The wide-to-medium telephoto range covers basic daily needs for portraiture, landscape, journalism and architecture photography with a constant ƒ/4 aperture. Optical Stabilizer technology is designed to counteract camera shake for sharp, handheld images. The Inner Focus system eliminates front lens rotation, improves stability and allows the use of circular polarizing filters. The Hyper Sonic Motor ensures quiet high-speed autofocus. SLD and FLD glass elements prevent unwanted distortions and aberrations through the entire zoom range. The lens is compatible with the Sigma USB dock for firmware upgrades and custom focus parameters. List Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
The iSeries 1914 Pro DSLR Case from SKB Cases has a waterproof, impact-resistant exterior combined with a versatile, lightweight foam interior that will keep your cameras and accessories safe through your roughest travels. The case accommodates two DSLRs and provides a removable foam insert, tailoring the space to your specific body size with or without a camera grip. Three of the four lens slots are outfitted with three half-inch foam rings that you can remove to fit different-sized lenses. The case has additional compartments for a flash, batteries, memory cards and additional accessories. For quick and secure airport travel, the case is equipped with TSA lockable trigger release latches. SKB backs this case with their Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: SKB Cases, www.skbcases.com.
You can trace a natural progression along a timeline with some high-tech devices and science-fiction TV shows and movies. They start as nerdy, then are remembered as being smart and cutting-edge, then retro-cool, and finally they're ascended to the pantheon of art. This can be seen in the current trend of digital cameras that emulate the styling of past favorites from the film era. Taking design cues from Nikon FE and FM film SLRs, the new Nikon Df features a retro look wrapped around the latest DSLR technology. The Df has the same 16.2-megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor that's found in the Nikon D4. It has Nikon's EXPEED 3 image processor, a 5.5 fps shooting speed, built-in HDR capability and a 100% pentaprism eye-level viewfinder. The Df has 2016-pixel 3D Matrix Metering with Scene Recognition System and a 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type points, plus 7 points that can function at ƒ/8 with 3D Tracking and Auto Area AF. ISO range is 100-12,800 (expandable to ISO 50 in L1 and ISO 204,800 in H4). As if to emphasize that this is a true still photographer's camera, the key controls are all accessed via dials, and the Df doesn't have HD video capability. Estimated Street Price: $2,749 (body only). Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
Weighing a featherlight 4 pounds, yet supporting a full 22-pound capacity, the versatile 3POD P5CRH 5-section Carbon-Fiber Compact Tripod with K3 Ballhead by Flashpoint is the perfect travel companion. With wear-resistant lock guards that provide against slippage due to wear and temperature changes, the 5-section legs individually fold and unfold with metal-jacketed twist locks, in addition to three position settings to compensate for uneven surfaces. Each foot has a spike for outdoor trail use with a nonslip rubber cap. Quick moments and tight spaces may call for the P5CRH's monopod configuration, utilizing the center column's reinforced twist-lock technology. The included K3 Ballhead provides smooth 360º panning with two bubble levels and a sliding quick-release plate. List Price: $124. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
Designed specifically for the female body by female designers, the Kick strap by BlackRapid makes slinging a camera more comfortable for women. The short shoulder pad includes a built-in curve that "kicks" webbing toward the center of the chest, making the sling placement well fitting. The shoulder pad is also thicker and wider than the BlackRapid Elle, which also makes it compatible with the Brad underarm system for extra stabilization. Estimated Street Price: $61. Contact: BlackRapid, www.blackrapid.com.


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