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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PMA Wrap-Up


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Vanguard ABH Ballheads
A new lineup of semi-elliptical, heavy-duty ballheads from Vanguard automatically adjusts and increases tension to handle off-center loads with strength and stability. The ABH series offers load capacities from 44 pounds to 88 pounds, weighs between 0.8 pounds and 1.2 pounds, and features the Combination-Friction Forces Control for extreme tension and friction control, using an ergonomic, grooved dial located on the main adjustment knob. Both are independently adjustable, but are positioned side by side on the same axis for convenient fine-tuning. The scaled base enables smooth, 360-degree panoramic movement. Estimated Street Price: $199 to $299. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322, www.vanguardworld.com.

Sunpak 423PX2
Setting up a camera on the Sunpak 423PX2 tripod is quick, thanks to its pistol-grip ballhead. Constructed of seven-layer carbon-fiber leg tubes, the tripod is rigid and durable enough to support a load capacity of 5.3 pounds with height ranging from 10.5 to 63 inches. Unlike conventional ballheads, pistol-grip heads work by using a quick-acting trigger action that makes camera setup very fast. The quick-release platform delivers 360-degree rotation for panning. The tripod’s magnesium chassis incorporates three-position leg-angle adjusters for providing mid- and low-angle grounder adjustment, and there’s a second short anti-rotation, carbon-fiber center column for low-angle work. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sunpak (ToCAD), (973) 627-9600, www.tocad.com.

ACDSee Pro 3
Manage your workflow from input to output with ACDSee Pro 3, which has been upgraded with faster RAW image processing, more customization options and expanded online functionality. Making better use of the background task engine when processing large RAW files, the app allows you to move to the next image or mode faster. The original unprocessed image also can be viewed now. For those who prefer to work on a netbook, some of the dialog boxes were redesigned to support the lower display resolution. ACDSee Online, which connects to a free 2 GB account for storing and sharing images online without leaving the app, is now accessible from the program’s Online mode. The update is free. Estimated Street Price: $169 (new). Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com.


Giottos BL 1150N
Support an HD video DSLR on the latest video tripod to come from Giottos. The BL 1150N tripod features dual-strut, cross-braced three-section legs, a leveling ballhead with fluid control and adjustable braking for panning and tilting. The large handle can be used on either the right or left side of the head and is adjustable. The tripod weighs about seven pounds and can support up to 11 pounds. When collapsed, it measures 29.5 inches and extends to 59.6 inches. The head tilts +87 degrees and -80 degrees. A large, sliding quick-release plate centers the camera’s weight. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.

Minox BV Binoculars
The Minox BV 8x25 and 10x25 BRW binoculars feature a sturdy design, pocket-sized convenience and top-notch optics with an optional eight- or 10-fold magnification. Delivering high image contrast and very good detail rendition, the compact binoculars have multicoating for maximum light transmission without glare. Nonslip rubber armoring on the body allows for secure handling. Nitrogen filling inside the binoculars offers protection from corrosion and prevents fogging of the inner glass surfaces, even in sudden temperature fluctuations. Estimated Street Price: $149 (8x25); $159 (10x25). Contact: MINOX, (866) 469-3080, www.minox.com.

Nissin Di466
Developed for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds System DSLRs, the Nissin Di466 flash has a recycle time of about four seconds and a power zoom of 24-105mm. Exposure level can be reset in +/- 3⁄4 Ev by 1⁄4 Ev increments. The power is controlled with TTL flash level compensation and can be adjusted from -0.5 Ev through +1.5 Ev by 0.5 Ev steps. The Di466 also has a tilting head with click-stops at 0°, 45°, 60°, 75° and 90°, but no swivel capability. The light-distribution angle is automatically adjusted for the lens focal length. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Nissin, www.nissindigital.com.

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