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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Focus: March 2011

Labels: In FocusGear

This Article Features Photo Zoom
For shooters who prefer to work in RAW, Phase One’s Capture One Pro 6 delivers helpful new features to speed up and improve your workflow. Using layers, you can now make nondestructive local adjustments to color, exposure, contrast, brightness and saturation without affecting the whole image. Sliders make black-and-white conversion a straightforward process that lets you adjust color channels and create split-toning effects when you convert to grayscale. Whether you’re editing RAW or JPEG files, 64-bit cross-platform support gets the job done fast. An Express version of the software is available with fewer, but still powerful, features. The program also supports an app for iPad and iPhone users called Capture Pilot (Pro version only), which allows you to wirelessly view, zoom in on and pan images from your camera. List Price: $399 (Pro); $129 (Express). Contact: Phase One, www.phaseone.com.

For nature shooters, memory cards need to be fast, durable and offer plenty of capacity. Hoodman’s latest RAW SDHC cards, steel-plated to withstand the rigors of rough shooting environments, come with all those qualities. Miniature chip-on-board technology allows extra room for a reinforced internal housing structure that protects sensitive flash components. The cards have a Class 10 speed rating and come in capacities of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Hoodman USA, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.
For Lensbaby fans, Kubota Image Tools has a set of image-enhancement tools designed for the creative lens manufacturer’s optics. The Lensbaby Pak includes 15 Photoshop Actions for adding drama without lessening the impact of the optics’ effects. The artistic tools complement various soft-focus effects produced by the Single Glass, Soft Focus, Pinhole Zone Plate, Fisheye optics and more. Also included is the Kubota Dashboard 3, which acts as a floating palette within Photoshop that speeds up image editing. List Price: $39. Contact: Kubota, www.kubotaimagetools.com.
The Rm2d is a smaller, lighter addition to the Arca-Swiss R-line of precision medium-format cameras. The positioning and design of the handgrips allow you to go quickly from portrait to landscape format. With an AIP (All In Plane) vertical shift in the focal plane, no mounts are necessary for stitching. Composing shots is easy with its zoom viewfinder system, which can be used with various focal lengths. It also displays the various shifts. The Rm2d is compatible with Arca-Swiss R-mount lenses, ranging from 23mm to 250mm, and with all leading digital and film backs. Estimated Street Price: $4,326. Contact: Arca-Swiss, (773) 248-2513, www.precisioncameraworks.com.
Sometimes you don’t need to hit the trail with a ton of gear in tow. On those occasions, the Tamrac Evolution Messenger 2 is an ideal option. The slim-profile camera bag holds a DSLR with lens attached, a flash, and one or two additional lenses (including some 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 models). The foam-padded compartment, which features adjustable foam-padded dividers, can be removed, turning the bag into a briefcase for additional use. Simply slip the compartment back in to convert it back to a camera bag. A laptop compartment holds an iPad, most 10-inch netbooks or 11.6-inch laptops. Estimated Street Price: $119. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.


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