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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In Focus: June 2010

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The Arca-Swiss RL3d viewfinder camera shoots high-resolution film and digital images of more than 200 MB in formats up to 4x5. This is the big brother to the Rm3d, and its compact, 3.3-pound body makes it ideal for those who spend a lot of time shooting on location. You can fit the camera with a wide range of film and digital backs, and it has a tilt-shift mechanism of up to 40mm horizontally, 50mm vertically and +/-5 degrees. Lenses are mounted using the Arca-Swiss R bayonet system. It has two built-in tripod mounts for regular or upside-down configuration, but also can be slid onto a monorail to attach a bellows for using longer focal lengths. Estimated Street Price: $6,490. Contact: Arca-Swiss, (773) 248-2513, www.precisioncameraworks.com.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “Vitruvian Man” drawing, the Giottos Vitruvian VGR series of tripods are lightweight and versatile. Designed with “reverse technology,” the legs, when collapsed, fold through 180 degrees to “surround” the tripod center column and head. This allows the unit to fold down to about 16 inches. Aluminum and carbon models are available, weighing in at 3.3 pounds and 2.8 pounds, respectively. Both have a maximum height of nearly 62 inches and a load capacity of nearly nine pounds. Removing and attaching the center column to one of the legs turns it into a full-sized monopod. The main tripod castings are made from a forged aluminum alloy for greater strength and durability but less weight. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Back up your DSLR system with the 14-megapixel Olympus SP-800UZ, which comes with an impressive 30x optical zoom lens, the equivalent of a 28-840mm ƒ/2.8-5.6 in 35mm format. The Dual Image Stabilization system combines sensor-shift stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to compensate for camera shake. By simply hitting a button, the camera records 720p HD video. The three-inch LCD features a wide viewing angle and anti-glare technology, helping you compose and shoot even under bright sunlight. The 12-megapixel SP-600UZ has a 28-420mm ƒ/3.5-5.4 (35mm equivalent) lens, a 2.7-inch LCD and records video. Estimated Street Price: $349 (800UZ); $249 (600UZ). Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.getolympus.com.
Quickly compose and lock your camera into position with the latest generation of Manfrotto joystick heads. The models were developed with a new type of ball joint to improve lightness, accuracy and locking strength. The 327RC2 weighs 1.4 pounds, has a load capacity of 12 pounds and its ergonomics have been optimized to improve control and precision. The 324RC2 weighs nearly a pound and supports just less than eight pounds. Both feature +/- 90-degree front tilt range and 360-degree panoramic rotation. Estimated Street Price: $211 (327RC2); $142 (324RC2). Contact: Manfrotto, (201) 818-9500, www.manfrotto.us.
Give your landscape and wildlife shots a sense of permanency by putting them in a book. AsukaBook has two new book lines, Zen Lay-flat and Neo Classic. Zen Lay-flat features a laminate finish to protect the pages that continues seamlessly into the binding of the book. The invisible binding allows for full image display with no gutter loss and is available in hard cover or EX formats, with a choice of laminate matte or glossy page finish. Neo Classic is more traditional, with thicker, board-type pages printed in 6-color. The book is showcased in a customizable slide-in presentation case. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: AsukaBook, (866) 330-1530, www.asukabook.com.


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