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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In Focus: September 2013

Labels: Buyer's GuideGear
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A compact camera with ultra-low-light capability, the Sony RX100 II with a 28-100mm Exmor R Sonnar T* ƒ/1.8 fixed lens fits in your pocket on days when you want to travel light. The one-inch CMOS reverse structure sensor increases the sensitivity by 40% from the RX100. The 3.0-inch White Magic LCD screen tilts 84º up and 45º down to aid in overhead and waist-level shooting. A 24p video option has been added to the 1080p60 standard included in the original RX100. A shoe-mount expands versatility, allowing the addition of a viewfinder, flash or clip-on LCD monitor. A shutter-release remote control may be added with a Multi Terminal. The RX100 II includes a built-in Wi-Fi connection and Near Field Communication technology for smooth one-touch asset transfer between devices, as well as Smart Remote Control functionality for previewing images and controlling shutter release via your smartphone or tablet. The RX100 II is compatible with Sony's TRILUMINOS color technology when connected to a BRAVIA TV featuring a TRILUMINOS display. Estimated Street Price: $750. Contact: Sony, www.sony.com.

While Adobe Creative Cloud has been getting a lot of attention, it shouldn't be overlooked that one of its standalone elements has been upgraded. Adobe Lightroom 5 covers your workflow from photo organization to edit to sharing. New features include an Upright tool to straighten skewed lines, a Radial Gradient for off-center vignettes, an Advanced Healing Brush to remove irregularly shaped objects and Smart Previews, which create stand-in files for on-the-go edits. The software includes location-based organization for grouping your photos by GPS location or creating photo journeys, advanced black-and-white and eight colors when converting to grayscale, and improved book creation with customizable templates. Lightroom 5 works tightly with both Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC in Creative Cloud. It can be licensed alone or as part of the Creative Cloud membership. Estimated Street Price: $149 (full license); $79 (upgrade). Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.

Photographers looking for a fast prime lens will take note of the Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. Designed for a full-frame sensor and compatible with an APS-C sensor, the lens features a Hyper Sonic Motor for quick and quiet focusing, as well as a floating internal focusing system, allowing high performance, even at close shooting distances. SLD and FLD glass elements correct axial and chromatic aberrations. The lens is compatible with the Sigma USB dock for firmware updates and adjusting focus parameters. Estimated Street Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.

The new Pentax K-500 offers full features, making it a light DSLR to accompany you on the trail. With a 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the K-500 has a low-light ISO sensitivity of 51,200. The 11-sensor autofocus system and Pentax's in-body Shake Reduction system aid in precise sharp images. It shoots a quick 5 to 6 fps, ideal for wildlife photographers, as well as full 1080 HD video. While the K-500 may use an optional rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it's also powered by four AA batteries, giving you flexibility and power options when recharging is impossible. Estimated Street Price: $599 (kit with 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 lens). Contact: Pentax, www.pentaximaging.com.

Capture 360º panoramas with the Novoflex VR-SYSTEM SLANT coupled with your fisheye lens. Easily set the system nodal point, attach the system to a monopod, raise it above your head and take up to four shots to the north, south, east and west. Using your editing software of choice, composite the images together for a full panorama. The system includes calibrated quick-release plates for accurate positioning of your nodal point and a pistol grip. The upper Q mount has a +/-15º tilt ability for composition choice. The upper mount is angled at 60º so when the camera is mounted to the diagonal, the image sensor will be vertical. Estimated Street Price: $429. Contact: Novoflex (HP Marketing Corp.), www.hpmarketingcorp.com.


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