In Focus: January/February 2014

This Article Features Photo Zoom
POCKET-SIZED MIRRORLESS

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera squeezed down to a pocket-sized profile. With a high-quality, 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, the GM1 shoots both still photos and 1080 HD video at 60i/30p. The metal-alloy frame, with aluminum dials and brushed metal, feels comfortable in your hand and has a stylish retro look. The 3-inch, 1036K-dot LCD screen allows you to set focus and trigger the shutter via touch sensitivity. Silent Shutter mode reduces shutter noise while in the field during sensitive moments. Built-in WiFi connects to your smartphone and tablet for asset transfer, as well as remote triggering using the Panasonic Image App. The GM1 also has integrated creative filters, as well as time-lapse and stop-motion features. List Price: $749. Contact: Panasonic, www.shop.panasonic.com.
WIDE-MEDIUM TELEPHOTO ZOOM

Sigma now provides a versatile standard zoom for full-frame cameras with the 24-105mm ƒ/4 DG OS HSM Art lens. The wide-to-medium telephoto range covers basic daily needs for portraiture, landscape, journalism and architecture photography with a constant ƒ/4 aperture. Optical Stabilizer technology is designed to counteract camera shake for sharp, handheld images. The Inner Focus system eliminates front lens rotation, improves stability and allows the use of circular polarizing filters. The Hyper Sonic Motor ensures quiet high-speed autofocus. SLD and FLD glass elements prevent unwanted distortions and aberrations through the entire zoom range. The lens is compatible with the Sigma USB dock for firmware upgrades and custom focus parameters. List Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
RUGGED DSLR CASE

The iSeries 1914 Pro DSLR Case from SKB Cases has a waterproof, impact-resistant exterior combined with a versatile, lightweight foam interior that will keep your cameras and accessories safe through your roughest travels. The case accommodates two DSLRs and provides a removable foam insert, tailoring the space to your specific body size with or without a camera grip. Three of the four lens slots are outfitted with three half-inch foam rings that you can remove to fit different-sized lenses. The case has additional compartments for a flash, batteries, memory cards and additional accessories. For quick and secure airport travel, the case is equipped with TSA lockable trigger release latches. SKB backs this case with their Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: SKB Cases, www.skbcases.com.
NIKON Df: BACK TO THE FUTURE
You can trace a natural progression along a timeline with some high-tech devices and science-fiction TV shows and movies. They start as nerdy, then are remembered as being smart and cutting-edge, then retro-cool, and finally they're ascended to the pantheon of art. This can be seen in the current trend of digital cameras that emulate the styling of past favorites from the film era. Taking design cues from Nikon FE and FM film SLRs, the new Nikon Df features a retro look wrapped around the latest DSLR technology. The Df has the same 16.2-megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor that's found in the Nikon D4. It has Nikon's EXPEED 3 image processor, a 5.5 fps shooting speed, built-in HDR capability and a 100% pentaprism eye-level viewfinder. The Df has 2016-pixel 3D Matrix Metering with Scene Recognition System and a 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type points, plus 7 points that can function at ƒ/8 with 3D Tracking and Auto Area AF. ISO range is 100-12,800 (expandable to ISO 50 in L1 and ISO 204,800 in H4). As if to emphasize that this is a true still photographer's camera, the key controls are all accessed via dials, and the Df doesn't have HD video capability. Estimated Street Price: $2,749 (body only). Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
VERSATILE SUPPORT

Weighing a featherlight 4 pounds, yet supporting a full 22-pound capacity, the versatile 3POD P5CRH 5-section Carbon-Fiber Compact Tripod with K3 Ballhead by Flashpoint is the perfect travel companion. With wear-resistant lock guards that provide against slippage due to wear and temperature changes, the 5-section legs individually fold and unfold with metal-jacketed twist locks, in addition to three position settings to compensate for uneven surfaces. Each foot has a spike for outdoor trail use with a nonslip rubber cap. Quick moments and tight spaces may call for the P5CRH's monopod configuration, utilizing the center column's reinforced twist-lock technology. The included K3 Ballhead provides smooth 360º panning with two bubble levels and a sliding quick-release plate. List Price: $124. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
SLING STRAP FOR WOMEN

Designed specifically for the female body by female designers, the Kick strap by BlackRapid makes slinging a camera more comfortable for women. The short shoulder pad includes a built-in curve that "kicks" webbing toward the center of the chest, making the sling placement well fitting. The shoulder pad is also thicker and wider than the BlackRapid Elle, which also makes it compatible with the Brad underarm system for extra stabilization. Estimated Street Price: $61. Contact: BlackRapid, www.blackrapid.com.

This Article Features Photo Zoom
DXO OPTICS PRO
Live music, indoor sports and night photography images can be complicated due to low-light shooting conditions. DxO Optics Pro 9 has made advancements in denoising technology to bring these photos to life. The Standard mode adds an additional 3 stops of denoising with finer grain and more detail than DxO Optics Pro v8. The additional PRIME mode also adds another stop, bringing the total to a 4-stop denoising gain. While reducing noise, the software retains the same level of detail as the original image, as well as preserves saturation and texture. The software includes new color rendering with more accurate skin tones, visual presets, denoise previews and a new export system for a smooth workflow. List Price: $169 (Standard); $299 (Elite). Contact: DxO Image Science, www.dxo.com.
FUJINON XF23mm F/1.4
As more professionals add mirrorless cameras to their gear bags, Fujifilm has added the 35mm equivalent Fujinon XF23mm ƒ/1.4 R lens to their X-series lens lineup. The compact 10.6-ounce, 2.48-inch lens uses metal parts for the focus and aperture ring, feeling solid as a versatile everyday shooter. The camera-to-subject distance indicator and depth-of-field scale provide manual prefocus tools while the high-torque DC coreless motor provides quick AF. A multilayer High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating ensures durability, as well as an even spread of light across the camera sensor. List Price: $899. Contact: Fujifilm, www.fujifilmusa.com.
SLIM 2 TB HARD DRIVE
A high-capacity, lightweight option for storing and backing up your files while on the go, the WD My Passport Slim portable hard drive with a metal case comes in 1 TB and 2 TB capacities. Measuring 4.33x3.14x0.48 inches for the 1 TB drive, the slim profile fits snugly in your travel bag. The WD Smartware Pro data protection software allows you to back up your files to both the My Passport Slim, as well as your Dropbox account, and back up your Dropbox account directly to the My Passport Slim. The drive has a 256-bit, hardware-based encryption, USB 3.0 connectivity and comes with a 3-year limited warranty. List Price: $99 (1 TB); $149 (2 TB). Contact: WD, www.wdstore.com.

PRIME LENS LINE

The HD PENTAX DA Limited prime lens series by Ricoh Imaging consists of five lenses designed for K-mount DSLRs. Each lens features Super Protect and high-definition coating for sharp images with reduced ghosting and flare. A round-shaped diaphragm has been designed to produce a natural bokeh effect. Created from high-grade aluminum, each lens is hand-machined to ensure proportion and feel. Lenses are available in both black and silver. Estimated Street Price: $549 (HD PENTAX DA 15mm ƒ/4 ED AL Limited); $699 (HD PENTAX DA 21mm ƒ/3.2 AL Limited); $699 (HD PENTAX DA 35mm ƒ/2.8 Macro Limited); $749 (HD PENTAX DA 40mm ƒ/2.8 Limited); $749 (HD PENTAX DA 70mm ƒ/2.4 Limited). Contact: Ricoh Imaging, www.ricoh-imaging.com.
REPLICHROME
Totally Rad! Inc. has created Replichrome, a group of Lightroom and Photoshop presets for digital shooters who still relish the look particular traditional film stocks could provide. The company collected 13 popular film stocks, including Fuji 400H, Kodak Portra 400 and Kodak TRI-X, and shot in every lighting condition and with every camera possible. Then, using Noritsu and Frontier scanners, the team created 134 total workflow presets. Each preset gives you additional control over tone, color, grain and density. List Price: $99. Contact: Totally Rad! Inc., www.gettotallyrad.com.
SLING PACK

Tamrac has added the Jazz Sling Pack 78 to their lineup, a lightweight pack that provides an easy way to access your gear by sliding it around your body instead of taking off the entire pack. The side zipper door allows fast access to a DSLR with an attached lens up to six inches long, in addition to two small lenses and a flash. The top compartment with a mesh pocket is perfect for storing batteries, flash cards and other accessories. A back zipper pocket protects your iPad, and a side mesh pocket can hold a water bottle, map or other items you may need to reach. The foam padded sling strap keeps the weight of the pack evenly and comfortably distributed. Estimated Street Price: $70. Contact: Tamrac, www.tamrac.com.


This Article Features Photo Zoom
QUICK MEMORY

Transcend's 128 GB 600x and 64 GB 300x SDXC UHS-I cards ensure large storage space and high read/write and transfer speeds for professional-quality photo and video files. The 128 GB capacity cards are capable of storing 20,000 high-resolution JPEG files (from a 12-megapixel camera, 6 MB file size), over 8,500 RAW images (14 MB file size) or 32 hours of 1080p HD video footage (at 1920x1080 9 Mb/s H.264AVC). The SDXC UHS-I cards speed up your workflow with incredibly quick transfer rates of 90 MB/s and 45 MB/s for the 128 GB and 64 GB cards, respectively. Each Transcend memory card comes with a free download of RecoveRx software, used to bring back lost or deleted files. Estimated Street Price: $109 (64 GB 300x); $279 (128 GB 600x). Contact: Transcend, www.transcend-info.com.
PROND FILTER LINE
Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. has designed a new line of Hoya PROND filters for both still photo and HDSLR video use. The nine filters range from 2 to 10 stops in light reduction. ACCU-ND metallic technology coats the front and back of optical glass, creating the neutral-density effect for a neutral color balance that doesn't add any additional color cast. A one-piece, thin, aluminum frame keeps the filter secure and parallel to the sensor. Available in ND4X through ND1000X densities and sizes 49mm-82mm. Estimated Street Price: Varies by filter size. Contact: Kenko Tokina USA, Inc., www.kenkotokinausa.com.
iGLIDE HANDHELD STABILIZER
Shoot smooth panning, tilting and running shots regardless of the rough, shaky or obstacle-like terrain with the Glidecam iGlide handheld camera stabilizer. Built for POV cameras, compacts and camcorders weighing 4 to 14 ounces, the iGlide uses a 3-axis gimbal with adjustable axis convergence controls to create perfect alignment. The Camera Mounting Platform moves forward, backward and side-to-side for proper horizontal balance, while the no-tools telescoping central post adjusts for height balance, and small Counter Weight Disks may be added on the Base Platform to perfect the weight balance. With a foam-cushioned Handle Grip for comfort, the iGlide comes in black, blue, orange and green color choices. List Price: $149. Contact: Glidecam, www.glidecam.com.
POWER UP

The Nissin Power Pack PS 8 externally boosts your electronic flash, making it a great tool to have on hand when you want high performance on location. The improved pack body is made out of a high-strength plastic, making it more compact and reducing the heat output of its predecessor. The quick-loading battery design has increased charge capacity while at the same time decreased battery weight. The pack includes an LED battery level indication light indicating the battery charge level, as well as a USB socket for emergency phone, tablet or data transfer device charging. Two power sockets are provided for dual flash use. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Nissin, www.nissindigital.com.

APPS FOR OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Compatible with over 300 different camera models, Triggertrap Mobile 2.0 is a free smartphone app that connects to an SLR camera using the Triggertrap WiFi-enabled dongle. Using Triggertrap Mobile 2.0, you control basic shutter, aperture and ISO settings, as well as professional HDR and time-lapse controls. Additional key features include sensor mode—using sound, GPS and vibration for trigger release—as well as Startrail mode, DistanceLapse, using GPS for distance intervals, and a Wireless Mode to control more than 100 cameras at the same time. Triggertrap Mobile 2.0 is functional on locations without WiFi networks, as the dongle can connect to your smartphone via your phone's Personal Hotspot mode. List Price: $31 (Dongle Kit). Contact: Triggertrap, triggertrap.com.

Dark Sky is a striking weather app made possible through the backing of Kickstarter supporters. Using GPS, Dark Sky provides up-to-the-minute forecasts for your location up to an hour in advance. Alerts will let you know in advance when rain is about to hit your location, so you can pack up your non-weatherproof gear first. Or, if you're an active storm chaser, follow the smooth radar animation to track the storm's movement. List Price: $3.99. Contact: Dark Sky, www.darkskyapp.com.

Instead of single-image pseudo-HDR, bring true multi-image HDR photography to your smartphone. The Pro HDR app by eyeApps LLC expands your dynamic range with multiple image merging from the palm of your hand. Compatible with front and rear phone cameras, you can use auto capture or manual mode, digital zoom, self-timer and flash. Edit the images by adjusting brightness, contrast and saturation, then save GPS and EXIF data. Compatible with iOS and Android devices. List Price: $1.99. Contact: eyeApps LLC, www.eyeapps.com.

Now supporting iOS 7.0, Rick Sammon's My Photo Sundial app for iPhone and iPad features an interactive touch screen that shows the position of the sun. Displaying sunrise and sunset times, a 5-day forecast, a sun compass and a shadow meter, this app ensures you're prepared to find the best light given any weather conditions. The app also includes photo sharing and a gallery of Sammon's favorite tips. List Price: $1.99. Contact: Rick Sammon, ricksammon.com.

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