In Focus: August 2014

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If you want to lighten your hiking pack while maintaining some high-power photographic punch, Sony has you covered with the RX100 III. The pocket-sized camera combines the 20.1-megapixel, 1.0-type, back-illuminated CMOS sensor (which captures more light for increased detail and texture, and decreased noise) with the BIONZ X processor (used in the full-frame a7 series). It provides an ISO range of 125-12800 for low-light situations, and the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm ƒ/1.8-2.8 lens offers a shallow depth of field. Nature photographers should take note of the built-in, 3-stop ND filter, as well as the 1.4-million-dot-resolution OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder with a specifically designed eyepiece and Zeiss T* coating to reduce reflections. Video can be recorded in XAVCS and AVCHD formats, as well as MP4, with clear HDMI output for external monitor review. A new Intelligent Active Mode uses frame analysis and 5-axis compensation to dramatically reduce camera shake while specifically shooting video. The LCD screen tilts up 180º and down approximately 45º. Buttons can be customized to your preferences, and the camera quickly connects to WiFi and NFC. List Price: $800. Contact: Sony,

For wildlife shooters looking to get closer to the action, Nikon has developed the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III. While only losing one stop of exposure, it provides 1.4x magnification, maintains the accuracy of the autofocus system, and is lighter and more durable than its predecessor. The outermost of the seven lens elements has a fluorine coating, resisting against dirt and water. The lens barrel has been optimized for durability with moisture and dirt resistance. List Price: $499. Contact: Nikon,
Tokina has announced the AT-X 70-200mm ƒ/4 PRO FX VCM-S lens, designed for full-frame sensors. Employing the Vibration Correction Module (VCM), it allows for up to 3 stops of vibration correction, reducing the effect of handheld camera shake for instances when a support doesn’t fit into your space or timing. The ring-shaped ultrasonic motor makes autofocus quick and quiet. Three Super-low Dispersion glass elements correct chromatic aberration and maintain a high-quality image throughout the full zoom range. List Price: TBA. Contact: Kenko Tokina, USA,

The new EF-S 10-18mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens is the next in Canon‘s Stepping Motor line of lenses. The Stepping Motor, in conjunction with the new focus mechanism, creates smooth and silent operation, ideal for video shooting. The lightweight design features an Optical Image Stabilizer for shake correction up to four shutter speeds. The ultrawide zoom makes it easy to get shots in tight spaces or fill the frame with wide landscapes. The UD lens element reduces chromatic aberration, and the multilayer coating minimizes ghosting and flare. List Price: $299. Contact: Canon,

The Comodo Orbit is a mechanical twin-gimbal stabilizing rig for your DSLR or mirrorless camera (it also provides a stable ground support) that’s especially handy for video scenic walkthroughs and low-angle landscapes and wildlife shots. The unit has no motors, requires no weights or batteries, and sets up easily. Two mechanical gimbal handgrips increase stability and reduce fatigue. One photographer can easily hand off the camera to another through a safari vehicle’s window smoothly with no disruption in the video. The 4.4-pound unit can support up to 11 pounds of camera/lens. Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Comodo Rigs,

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The BlackRapid Cross Shot strap is simple, sturdy and makes toting your camera effortless. The 10.5-inch-long and 1.5-inch-wide molded nonslip TPR rubber pad keeps the strap comfortably in place. Worn across your torso on either shoulder, it’s usable for both right- and left-dominant shooters. The BlackRapid patented FastenR, ConnectR and Lock Star hardware with Lock Star Swivel Hook Cover keep your camera safely connected to the strap. List Price: $44. Contact: BlackRapid,

PHASE ONE 40-80mm F/4.0-5.6 ZOOM LENS
Phase One, Mamiya Digital Imaging and Schneider-Kreuznach have collaborated to produce the new 40-80mm ƒ/4.0-5.6 leaf-shutter zoom lens specifically for use with the Phase One 645 camera platform. When paired with the Schneider-Kreuznach 75-150mm ƒ/4.0-5.6 lens, a photographer has a full mobile medium-format zoom kit. The 40-80mm ƒ/4.0-5.6 has 15 optical elements arranged in 11 groups, including two aspherical elements. List Price: $8,990. Contact: Phase One,

Ricoh has expanded their line of compact binoculars with the rugged and weather-resistant Pentax PCF CW 8×30 and 10×30 optics. Both binoculars have a porro-prism design, with high-refraction BaK4 glass prisms and multicoated lenses for bright, high-contrast viewing. The minimum focus distance is three meters. A long eye relief prevents eye fatigue, even for those who wear glasses. The nitrogen-filled, fiber-reinforced polycarbonate frame maintains a lightweight, weatherproof, fogproof design. The entire body has been coated in black rubber to enhance weather sealing and increase comfort and durability. List Price: $139 (PCF CW 8×30); $149 (PCF CW 10×30). Contact: Ricoh Imaging,

The Flex Lens Shade is a convenient, versatile tool for shielding your lens from unwanted sun flares. Quickly attach the shade directly to your lens or lens hood with the heavy-duty Velcro® straps, and then shape the shade to block unwanted light or protect your lens from drizzle, dust or dirt. The Flex Lens Shade is made from Ballistic nylon and weighs 1.2 ounces. List Price: $29 (52mm lenses and smaller); $39 (52mm lenses and larger). Contact: Flex Lens Shade,
Protect your camera kit from rain and sand with the Manfrotto E-702 Pro Light Camera Cover. The right size for a DSLR and up to a 70-200mm lens, the transparent TPU panels and waterproof hand sleeves provide viewing and access to camera and lens controls. The stiff lens hood can be adjusted and tightened to fit the diameter of your lens. The E-702 is compatible with the E-704 Extension Sleeve for telephoto lenses up to 650mm. List Price: $75 (E-702 Pro Light Camera Cover); $75 (E-704 Extension Sleeve). Contact: Manfrotto,
When you’re on location, you don’t want to interrupt the flow of a shoot, going back to your home base to simply remove fingerprints from your camera’s LCD screen. Luckily, OnSlot is a cleaning tool that conveniently mounts to your camera’s hot-shoe. The OnSlot also cleans other digital device screens, such as your laptop, tablet and smartphone. It’s available in four colors—Polished Rosewood with a black or white pedestal, Piano Black or Piano White. For a small additional fee, add your own personal logo. List Price: $9-$19. Contact: OnSlot,

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Adventure photographers will appreciate the safety, versatility and comfort provided by the Pelican S130 Sport Elite Laptop/Camera Divider Pack. Protected by a rigid front plate, removable padded dividers protect a DSLR, three to four lenses and accessories. A slim section for your laptop is crushproof and waterproof up to one meter due to an O-ring gasket. The built-in laptop case is also pressure-equalized to prevent vacuum sealing. The top-loading main compartment is both spacious and durable, made from rip-stop nylon. Floating shoulder straps with chest clips, removable hip belt and an ergonomic ventilated back aid in support and all-day carrying comfort. Estimated Street Price: $178. Contact: Pelican,
With the flexibility to be worn in three ways­—across the body, via built-in belt loop or with optional Topload Chest Harness­—the Lowepro Toploader Zoom 55 AW II can carry a DSLR with a zoom lens attached and features a patented built-in, all-weather rain cover. The Toploader weighs 14.1 ounces with an additional grab handle. External dimensions are 7.5×6.5×12.6 inches; interior dimensions are 6.5×5.1×11.8 inches. List Price: $59. Contact: Lowepro,
Gura Gear’s sister company, Ogden Made, is located in Ogden, Utah, aka the crossroads of the U.S. railway system. Named after Ogden’s nickname, the Junction City Messenger Bag offers a rugged, flexible way to carry camera gear, accessories or additional snacks and clothes while traveling. Made from durable Cordura 1000D, custom X-Pac ripstop fabric and water-resistant YKK zippers, the Junction City Messenger includes Velcro® closures, integrated buckles and a quick-adjusting, two-inch webbing strap with a shoulder pad. An exterior pocket includes a key hook, and small interior pockets include dividers for accessories. The Small fits an 11-inch MacBook; the Medium fits a 15-inch MacBook. Available in 10 colors with 10 additional interior/accent color choices. List Price: $125 (Small); $145 (Medium). Contact: Ogden Made,

Ideal to cart a DSLR system with five to six lenses, plus a laptop computer, into the field, the Tamrac Expedition 6X is a medium-sized backpack with a state-of-the-art harness system for maximum comfort and a QuickClip tripod attachment system. A Dual Hinge Divider System adjusts to permit carrying two DSLRs with lenses attached, while the foam-padded computer compartment can hold a laptop with up to a 14.1-inch screen. Water-resistant zippers and a rain flap help fend off the elements. External dimensions are 13.5×10.5×17 inches; interior dimensions are 11×5.5×14.5 inches. Weight is five pounds. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Tamrac,
MindShift Gear’s Lens Switch Case is a lightweight, unpadded lens and accessory pouch that can carry a lens up to a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 zoom or equivalent accessories. It attaches to the belt of the MindShift Gear rotation180° Professional backpack or most standard belts. A removable padded divider can protect two items side by side (two flash units, for example). A fitted rain cover stows in the bottom of the pouch. List Price: $42. Contact: MindShift Gear,