MICRO FOUR THIRDS LUMIX
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G6 Micro Four Thirds camera with a 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor provides high-resolution and low-noise image quality along with full 1080 HD video. The Contrast AF focus system grants higher accuracy and increased speed than the previous Phase difference system AF, giving the DMC-G6 a burst rate of 7 fps. The 3-inch In-Cell Touch Monitor rotates 180º to the side and tilts 270º up and down. Because there's no air layer between the front panel and the In-Cell Touch Monitor, there's a reduction in reflection, making it easier to view the LCD screen during bright daylight. The DMC-G6 has WiFi capability, and when joined with the Panasonic Image App, can connect your iOS or Android smartphone/tablet to the camera with a quick "bump" of the two devices. From there, you can use your smartphone/tablet as a remote shutter, perfect for difficult-to-maneuver awkward spaces and shooting angles. With Instant Transfer, the WiFi connection moves each photo directly to your smartphone as you push the shutter and tags it with the GPS location. Store your images via the LUMIX CLUB cloud service that auto-syncs to social networks like Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter and YouTube, or simply archive your photos to your home network using the WiFi capabilities. In-camera editing has advanced with several new tools. The Creative Panorama builds a horizontal or vertical panoramic image by overlaying several consecutive shots. Clear Retouch lets you use your fingertip on the back display to quickly remove unwanted objects from your image. Additional creative controls include time-lapse and stop animation modes, as well as 19 in-camera creative filters. Estimated Street Price: $749. Contact: Panasonic, www.panasonic.net.
ONE-MAN CREW Now you can add high-quality motion to your landscape video with a small, reliable and easy-to-set-up piece of equipment. The One Man Crew Complete by Redrock Micro is a 36-inch-long track weighing 14.5 pounds. Set up your camera on the heavy-load tilt head and use the laser-alignment guide to set up consistent shots that are reproducible with the push of a button. The plate works with virtually every camera and has a weight capacity of 20 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $1,495. Contact: Redrock Micro, store.redrockmicro.com.
NEW NORMAL Sony and Carl Zeiss have come together again to create a new normal lens with the Planar T* 50mm ƒ/1.4. The large aperture provides the ability to capture a lot of light, giving way to handheld shooting in low-light conditions. The Super Sonic Wave Motor (SSM) provides quiet, fast and seamless autofocusing maneuvers. Bokeh and smooth defocusing are achieved with a nine-blade circular aperture design. Both dust- and drip-resistant, the main drive of the lens is sealed with rubber packing, ready to withstand harsh environments. Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Sony, www.sony.com.
TOUCH TO RETOUCH The computer mouse is great for navigating around a page, but it isn't an ideal precision instrument for photo editing. The Wacom Cintiq 13HD gives you the fine control of a pen and an integrated touch-sensitive display, which many photographers and professional retouchers prefer to a clumsy mouse. The Pro Pen, 13-inch HD screen and adjustable stand are compatible with both Mac OS and Windows, and the HD screen stand can be used in a flat position or set at 22º, 35º or 50º for optimal comfort. The HD LED screen displays a 1920x1080 resolution at a 178º viewing angle. With 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition, the cordless and battery-free Pro Pen gives you personalized control. Estimated Street Price: $999. Contact: Wacom, www.wacom.com.
ZOOM LENS The AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6G ED VR is ideal for the wildlife photographer looking to catch nature at quick speeds. The Vibration Reduction system lets you shoot four stops slower than your minimum handholding speed, allowing quick and accurate handheld and low-light shooting. The Silent Wave Motor (SWM) maintains quiet autofocus operation even while shooting at top speeds. A Nano Crystal Coat on the lens reduces ghosting and flare. Focus mode comes in three priorities: The A/M autofocus and manual override gives AF priority; the M/A autofocus and manual override gives manual priority; and M gives pure manual priority. Autofocus is functional with a 1.4x teleconverter on an ƒ/8-compatible camera. Estimated Street Price: $2,696. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.