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In Focus: August 2015

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Sony has released a new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera with the a7R II. The back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor has 42.4-effective megapixels, an ISO expandable to 102,400 and an AF response time that’s 40% faster than the original a7R camera. The a7R II has borrowed the 5-axis stabilization system that’s currently used in the a7 II, which is particularly useful for shooting 4K video in either full-frame or Super 35mm crop mode. The camera has an upgraded XGA OLED Tru-Finder with a double-sided aspherical lens with a viewfinder magnification of 0.78x and Zeiss T* coating for reduced reflection. The lightweight magnesium-alloy body includes a redesigned grip and shutter button for comfort and ease of use. The a7R II is WiFi- and NFC-compatible, and functions with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app. List Price: $3,200. Contact: Sony,

Manfrotto has released the LUMIE LED line as a light and portable option suitable for travel photography. The LUMIE Play is the smallest in the range. It can be carried in a pocket and easily pulled out for macro photography. The midsized LUMIE Art is constructed from aluminum for durability. The LUMIE Muse is the largest light in the series, measuring the size of a deck of cards and providing 4-step dimming. All LUMIE LED lights are a continuous light source with a round catchlight, perfect for both still photos and video shooting. The Li-ion batteries are easily recharged by a standard microUSB port. Each LUMIE LED kit comes with a snap-fit filter mount and several color and diffusion filters, with additional filter kits available separately. A LUMIE ballhead is designed for 360° pans and 35° tilts. The LUMIE tripod mount attaches the light to the camera hot-shoe mount or a standard tripod using the 1⁄4-inch adapter. List Price: $11-$119. Contact: Manfrotto,

Leica’s new Q (Typ 116) combines a full-frame, 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor matched to a fast 28mm ƒ/1.7 Summilux lens in a compact magnesium and aluminum body to create a take-it-anywhere camera capable of delivering excellent images. Additional features include a high-res, 3.68-megapixel eye-level EVF complemented by a touch-screen external monitor, optical image stabilization, a Leica Maestro II processor that allows for 10 fps shooting at full resolution and ISO settings from 100-50,000, 1080 video at 60p and 30p, plus 720/30p, and built-in WiFi for easy file sharing and remote camera operation. With a clean, functional design and very quick AF, the Q is a bit larger than Sony’s RX1 cameras at 5.2×3.1×3.7 inches and 20.8 ounces, but features a wider, faster lens, and has a built-in EVF. Estimated Street Price: $4,250. Contact: Leica,

Olympus has expanded their PRO series of lenses for Micro Four Thirds System mirrorless cameras with the M.Zuiko Digital 7-14mm ƒ/2.8 PRO superwide zoom and M.Zuiko Digital 8mm ƒ/1.8 PRO 180° full-frame fisheye. Both feature weather sealing, Olympus’ ZERO coating and lots of exotic elements to counter chromatic aberrations. The 7-14mm (equivalent to 14-28mm on a full-frame DSLR) can focus down to 7.8 inches and has an L-Fn button with 27 assignable functions. The 8mm is the fastest fisheye around and can focus down to a working distance of about one inch from the front element. Both lenses are compact, the 7-14mm measuring 3.1×4.2 inches and weighing 18.8 ounces, and the fisheye, 2.4×3.1 inches and 11.1 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $1,299 (7-14mm); $999 (8mm). Contact: Olympus,

Marumi has added several new lens filters to their line. The most popular DHG (Digital High Grade) range now includes ND filters with 8, 16, 32 and 64 filter densities for 37mm up to 82mm thread sizes. Marumi has also expanded their DHG Variable ND2-ND400 range (for 49mm-82mm sizes), adding Variable ND2.5-ND500 filters in 58mm and 77mm sizes. All filters are made in Japan with a low-reflectance coating on both the front and rear sides of the filter. The DHG filters also feature ultrathin frames, which allow for use on wide-angle lenses without vignetting. List Price: Varies. Contact: Argraph,

Canon has brought its STM stepping motor technology to the normal lens, with the EF 50mm ƒ/1.8 STM. The new lens (“normal” on a full-frame EOS DSLR, 80mm-equivalent portrait telephoto on an APS-C EOS DSLR) features a fast ƒ/1.8 maximum aperture, which can produce beautifully blurred portrait backgrounds and is handy for low-light work. The lens supports Canon’s EOS Movie Servo AF function (with compatible cameras) for smooth and quiet AF; it can focus as close as 14 inches (0.21X magnification). Dimensions of 2.7×1.5 inches and 5.7 ounces make it the lightest EF 50mm lens ever, and the list price of $125 makes it eminently affordable. Contact: Canon,

The Nikon 1 J5 is the newest addition to the Nikon 1 interchangeable-lens system. The camera uses a 20.8-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor with EXPEED 5A image processor. The Hybrid AF utilizes 171 Contrast-Detect points and 105 Phase-Detect points to capture quick-moving subjects at 20 fps with AF. The 160-12,800 ISO captures low-light images. The J5 shoots 1080 HD video at 60p. The 180° tilt touch-screen makes it easy to shoot at unusual angles, and the built-in WiFi and NFC connection provides quick sharing and remote control use. Available in Silver, Black and White. List Price: $499 (Nikon 1 J5 with 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom); $1,049 (Nikon 1 J5 with 1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm ƒ/4-5.6). Contact: Nikon,

The Velvet 56 from Lensbaby is a 56mm ƒ/1.6 lens for SLR and mirrorless cameras that offers a versatile and creative approach to images. With a 1:2 macro capability, the lens provides a velvety, ethereal glow when used at wide apertures and a sharp, yet smooth look when completely stopped down. This look was created specifically with mid-20th century manual-focus lenses in mind. The all-metal body is available in black or a special Velvet SE silver edition. SLR lenses are available for Canon, Nikon, Sony A and Pentax cameras, and mirrorless mounts are available for Micro 4/3rds, Sony E, Samsung NX and Fuji X cameras. List Price: $499 (Velvet 56); $599 (Velvet SE). Contact: Lensbaby,

With durability, portability, high capacity and high-transfer speed in mind, Transcend has introduced a line of 256/128 GB USB 3.0 flash drives. The JetFlash 780 offers 256 GB of storage for up to 120,000 images or 64 hours of full HD video, with a transfer speed of 210 MB/s. The JetFlash 810 meets U.S. military drop-test standards for resistance to shock, moisture and dust, and is available in five colors that are highly visible outdoors. The JetFlash 700/730 features a classic gloss-white and piano-black style aesthetic, and the JetFlash 790K/790W offers compact and easy storage in capless and retractable profiles. List Price: Varies. Contact: Transcend Information Inc.,

Adorama is now the exclusive U.S. outlet for all KIPON products. KIPON creates over 400 varieties of camera lens adapters, including macro adapters, electronic adapters, tilt/shift adapters and optical focal reduction adapters for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Leica and other cameras. Adorama will be honoring the KIPON 12-month manufacturing warranty for all products purchased in-store and online. Contact: Adorama,

Designed specifically for long-exposure photography, the Tiffen 10-stop XLE Series Filter Line dissipates IR wavelengths that create pollution in long-exposure images. The APEX filter utilizes a standard near-IR blocker and Tiffen Hot Mirror for premier IR absorption and is compatible with all DSLR, APS-C and Micro 4/3rds sensors. The ADVANTIX filter offers basic IR absorption with an active IR-absorbing element, creating a slight greenish color cast that can be adjusted through the manual camera settings. It has been designed for DSLR Color and B&W modes, as well as APS-C sensors when using IR photography-approved lenses. The AXENT filter has no IR absorption and instead promotes IR wavelengths. Ideally used with full-frame DSLRs in B&W mode and the Fuji X-Trans APS-C camera, the filter creates a stylized IR color effect and warm hue. All filters are available in focal lengths from 40.5mm to 82mm. List Price: $170-$366 (APEX); $70-$266 (ADVANTIX); $37-$98 (AXENT). Contact: Tiffen,

The W Series waterproof tripods by SIRUI have been designed for ease of use while working around water. The WPS Waterproof Sealing System has borrowed materials from the automotive industry to create waterproof rings to prevent water and sand from entering the tripod leg tubes and locks. The legs have three leg angle positions for use with uneven terrain, with locks that push open and stay open until you select the precise position for ease with wet or gloved hands. The rubber feet of each leg can be replaced with stainless-steel spikes. The W-2204 extends to 70.9 inches and holds up to 39.7 pounds. The legs invert 180° to fold down to 20.5 inches for transport. The center column provides a hook for a weight bag, and one of the legs can be converted to a waterproof monopod. Estimated Street Price: $534. Contact: Argraph,

Lexar has introduced the new JumpDrive line of USB 3.0 flash drives. The JumpDrive P20 can read at up to 400 MB/s and write at up to 270 MB/s, and the JumpDrive S25, S35, S55 and S75 can read at up to 150 MB/s and write at up to 60 MB/s. EncryptStick Lite software helps protect files against corruption, loss and deletion. The P20 is available in 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB capacities, and the S55 in 128 GB. The S75, S35 and S25 are available in colors, as well: purple (16 GB), orange (32 GB), green (64 GB), black (128 GB) and white (S75 only, 256 GB). List Prices: $17-$136. Contact: Lexar,

Users of GoPro action cams will like the PolarPro PowerVault travel case. It features an embedded 5200 mAh battery that can recharge a camera battery up to six times in the field through dual charging slots, plus a USB slot that can provide direct power to any standard USB device. Two custom-fitted slots can house two GoPro HERO3/3+ or HERO4 cameras, and the case provides storage space for cords, housings and other accessories. If you don’t need the recharging capability, PolarPro offers new Trekker Single and Double cases, which accommodate one and two GoPros in their housings, respectively. All feature water-resistant ballistic nylon exterior shells and protective foam inserts. Estimated Street Price: $99 (PowerVault); $29 (Trekker 1); $49 (Trekker 2). Contact: PolarPro,

Miggo, the company behind the Grip & Wrap camera-carrying solution, is back with a new Kickstarter campaign for their IPX3 storm-proof camera case called The Agua. IPX3 storm-proofing protects the camera from water spray up to 60° at 2.6 gallons/minute for 5 minutes at a pressure of 80-100kN/m2. The Agua is designed specifically to enable “quick-draw” for your camera so you don’t miss a shot and includes a quick-release buckle that connects to your camera to protect from slips due to wet hands. The Agua bag strap quickly disconnects from the bag to be utilized as a stand-alone camera strap without the carrier. Available in three sizes, The Agua is now available for pre-order. List Price: $55-$65. Contact: Miggo,

PhotoShelter‘s new Mobile App lets PhotoShelter members take care of photo business, wherever they are. Using the app and your iOS device (an Android version is in the works), you can search and view your images, respond to client requests for images, price images for sale, get notified immediately when clients download images or you make a sale, manage permissions and access to your work, upload images directly from your iPhone’s camera roll, post images from your archive to social media, and view basic account statistics. The app is free to PhotoShelter members at the Apple App Store. Contact: PhotoShelter,

With Replichrome I: Icon and Replichrome II: Slide, Totally Rad! Inc. has created an archive of modern and semi-available film presets for application with digital images. Now the company has developed Replichrome III: Archive, presenting a collection of presets emulating the looks of rare, expired, outdated and discontinued films from Agfa, Kodak and Konica. The 22 different films and 183 presets are available with custom camera profiles for over 400 camera models and can be used with AdobeLightroom and Camera Raw. The program also includes a preset toolkit so you can customize each vintage look. List Price: $99. Contact: Totally Rad! Inc.,