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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Focus: May 2011

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Canon has redesigned a couple of its most popular supertelephoto lenses to be much lighter than their predecessors. Magnesium and titanium construction helps reduce the weight of the EF 500mm ƒ/4L IS II USM and EF 600mm ƒ/4L IS II USM lenses, yet they perform better because of a new configuration that includes two fluorite elements that deliver sharper image quality and less chromatic aberration. Image-stabilization technology includes a third mode that activates IS only when the shutter button is fully pressed, allowing you to pan fast-moving subjects and trigger at the precise moment when stabilization is needed. A Power Focus mode delivers smooth focus change when shooting video. Estimated Street Price: $9,499 (500mm); $11,999 (600mm). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.

Some of the features found in the 13-inch Epson Stylus Photo R3000 are familiar, such as the UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink system that’s used in the R2880 and R3880. What’s new is a media feeder that lets you print on fine-art papers up to 1.3mm thick, an eight-channel MicroPiezo AMC Print Head that produces smaller ink-droplet sizes for more precision and accuracy, and wireless connectivity. The R3000 automatically switches between Photo and Matte black inks to produce deep blacks and rich color on glossy, matte or fine-art media. An advanced Black-and-White Photo Mode creates neutral or toned black-and-white prints from color or monochrome images. Estimated Street Price: $849. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.

If you’re shooting more video these days because you have an HD-video DSLR, you’ve noticed that an LCD screen doesn’t always cut it when trying to compose shots. The V-LCD70XP-HDMIPT monitor from Marshall Electronics is compact enough to sit on a DSLR, yet it has a seven-inch screen with 800x480 resolution. Features include integrated HDMI loop-through, which allows you to connect to another monitor using the HDMI video input, and DSLR Ratio Adjustment for scaling video output that doesn’t fill the monitor’s screen. The monitor is LED-backlit for bright viewing in the field with wide 140º angles. Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (with small battery adapter); $1,299 (V-mount and Anton/Bauer battery adapter). Contact: Marshall Electronics, (310) 333-0606, www.lcdracks.com.
Sigma has redesigned a few of its lenses to include optical stabilization systems and a splash-proof design that protects them from water and dust. The Sigma APO 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG OS HSM and APO MACRO 150mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG OS HSM have OS technology now, allowing you to use shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible otherwise. The 12-24mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 II DG HSM doesn’t have OS technology, but it’s built to withstand the elements. It also includes new glass elements to compensate for color aberration and deliver high image quality. Estimated Street Price: $3,199 (120-300mm); $1,099 (150mm); $949 (12-24mm). Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.

Really Right Stuff and Redrock Micro are working to bridge the equipment gap between still and video shooting. The microRRS clamp adapts Really Right Stuff quick-release clamps and plates for use with Redrock Micro support rigs and accessories. The microRRS adapts the Really Right Stuff clamp for camera or lens mounting, and puts your HD DSLR at the correct height for use with other rail-mounted accessories, including matte box, follow focus and more. This system also enables the use of the “L” bracket camera plates for vertical shooting. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Redrock Micro, (888) 214-3903, www.redrockmicro.com.


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