In Focus: July 2013

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The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G6 Micro Four Thirds camera with a 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor provides high-resolution and low-noise image quality along with full 1080 HD video. The Contrast AF focus system grants higher accuracy and increased speed than the previous Phase difference system AF, giving the DMC-G6 a burst rate of 7 fps. The 3-inch In-Cell Touch Monitor rotates 180º to the side and tilts 270º up and down. Because there’s no air layer between the front panel and the In-Cell Touch Monitor, there’s a reduction in reflection, making it easier to view the LCD screen during bright daylight. The DMC-G6 has WiFi capability, and when joined with the Panasonic Image App, can connect your iOS or Android smartphone/tablet to the camera with a quick “bump” of the two devices. From there, you can use your smartphone/tablet as a remote shutter, perfect for difficult-to-maneuver awkward spaces and shooting angles. With Instant Transfer, the WiFi connection moves each photo directly to your smartphone as you push the shutter and tags it with the GPS location. Store your images via the LUMIX CLUB cloud service that auto-syncs to social networks like Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter and YouTube, or simply archive your photos to your home network using the WiFi capabilities. In-camera editing has advanced with several new tools. The Creative Panorama builds a horizontal or vertical panoramic image by overlaying several consecutive shots. Clear Retouch lets you use your fingertip on the back display to quickly remove unwanted objects from your image. Additional creative controls include time-lapse and stop animation modes, as well as 19 in-camera creative filters. Estimated Street Price: $749. Contact: Panasonic,

Now you can add high-quality motion to your landscape video with a small, reliable and easy-to-set-up piece of equipment. The One Man Crew Complete by Redrock Micro is a 36-inch-long track weighing 14.5 pounds. Set up your camera on the heavy-load tilt head and use the laser-alignment guide to set up consistent shots that are reproducible with the push of a button. The plate works with virtually every camera and has a weight capacity of 20 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $1,495. Contact: Redrock Micro,


Sony and Carl Zeiss have come together again to create a new normal lens with the Planar T* 50mm ƒ/1.4. The large aperture provides the ability to capture a lot of light, giving way to handheld shooting in low-light conditions. The Super Sonic Wave Motor (SSM) provides quiet, fast and seamless autofocusing maneuvers. Bokeh and smooth defocusing are achieved with a nine-blade circular aperture design. Both dust- and drip-resistant, the main drive of the lens is sealed with rubber packing, ready to withstand harsh environments. Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Sony,

The computer mouse is great for navigating around a page, but it isn’t an ideal precision instrument for photo editing. The Wacom Cintiq 13HD gives you the fine control of a pen and an integrated touch-sensitive display, which many photographers and professional retouchers prefer to a clumsy mouse. The Pro Pen, 13-inch HD screen and adjustable stand are compatible with both Mac OS and Windows, and the HD screen stand can be used in a flat position or set at 22º, 35º or 50º for optimal comfort. The HD LED screen displays a 1920×1080 resolution at a 178º viewing angle. With 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition, the cordless and battery-free Pro Pen gives you personalized control. Estimated Street Price: $999. Contact: Wacom,

The AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6G ED VR is ideal for the wildlife photographer looking to catch nature at quick speeds. The Vibration Reduction system lets you shoot four stops slower than your minimum handholding speed, allowing quick and accurate handheld and low-light shooting. The Silent Wave Motor (SWM) maintains quiet autofocus operation even while shooting at top speeds. A Nano Crystal Coat on the lens reduces ghosting and flare. Focus mode comes in three priorities: The A/M autofocus and manual override gives AF priority; the M/A autofocus and manual override gives manual priority; and M gives pure manual priority. Autofocus is functional with a 1.4x teleconverter on an ƒ/8-compatible camera. Estimated Street Price: $2,696. Contact: Nikon,

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One of the most talked about products at the 2013 NAB show in April, many shooters are already anticipating the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera July shipping date. With a magnesium-alloy chassis, the strong, yet lightweight camera is built so you can shoot professional-quality video while traveling. A Super 16 sensor size, film-style 13-stop range, and ProRes 422 HQ and Cinema DNG RAW file formats are just the beginning of this camera’s film offerings. Micro Four Thirds lenses let this camera easily become a part of your current camera bag, and with an MFT mount, it can use professional cinema lenses, as well. Zoom in to a 1:1 ratio for precise focusing on the 3.5-inch LCD screen. Recording to SD cards, quickly upload and edit your video to your laptop. Estimated Street Price: $995. Contact: Blackmagic Design,

Be prepared to capture spectacular lightning images during storm season with the Lightning Trigger IV™ by Stepping Stone Products. The Lightning Trigger IV™ captures the first flash from distances as far as 20 miles during the day and 40 miles at night. It automatically adjusts for changes in ambient brightness throughout the day and night, and has automatic metering activation for proper exposure and minimum shutter lag time, eliminating manual adjustments. Set to S-MODE for single and multiple optical flashes or M-MODE for stepped-leader ground flash detection to discriminate intracloud and out-of-field-of-view responses. The trigger has full tech support and a 15-year guarantee. Estimated Street Price: $369. Contact: Stepping Stone Products, LLC,

Get to know the galaxy with Star Walk for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. With information about more than 200,000 celestial bodies, this app gives you facts about your favorite constellations, planets and satellites. In Augmented Reality mode, point your device at the sky, and Star Walk will give you an interactive guide to the stars above you. The calendar will keep you up to date on upcoming celestial events so you don’t miss the next meteor shower. To create a planetarium at home, connect your device to a big screen and see the stars without picture quality loss. Time Machine mode shows you the night sky from the past or in the future. Estimated Street Price: $2.99. Contact: Vito Technology,

Learn all about birds, wildflowers and amphibians while in the field or before you hit the trail with NatureTap for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. A free download of the app comes with 28 North American bird descriptions, photos, songs/calls and range maps. Then personalize the app and choose from paid in-app expansions of 200 additional birds, 100 reptiles/amphibians, 100 insects/spiders and 200 wildflowers. Each expansion comes with descriptions, photos, songs/calls, maps and matching/memory games to test your new knowledge. Estimated Street Price: Free; $0.99/expansion. Contact: Green Mountain Digital,
As you’re hiking through the mountains, learn the name of each peak you see with PeakFinder for the eastern and western U.S., the Canadian West and the Alps. Using your GPS location, see the mountain range in front of you in a panoramic rendering. Zoom in on less prominent peaks with the Binocular mode. Tap on each peak to view the name, coordinates and elevation, and then email or print to PDF important information you’ll need later. Available for iOS, Android and Nokia devices. Estimated Street Price: $3.99/mountain range. Contact: PeakFinder Ltd.,
The Lightning Bug™ gives you full control to capture the lightning photo you’ve been dreaming about. The Lightning Bug™ detects infrared light that directly precedes visible lightning so you can capture the full lightning strike. Adjust the sensitivity for bold strikes or to capture the mood of the storm over the distant mountains. You can set the exposure rate for 1 to 10 exposures per second. The soft-touch buttons are water-resistant. A PC port is included with a hot-shoe mount so you may use your own strobe for fill-flash. The Lightning Bug™ is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony. Estimated Street Price: $179. Contact: MK Controls,

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Create high-quality video with the VIXIA HF G20 by Canon. Offering a 10x HD video lens at a 35mm equivalent, the eight-blade iris provides soft, smooth backgrounds, bringing attention to the area of the frame that you intend. The camera is equipped with an HD CMOS sensor for low-light, high-dynamic-range full 1080 HD video. Ready to handle 12 full hours of video recording, the VIXIA records to a 32 GB flash drive or to two memory slots. The image is simultaneously output to the intuitive 3.5-inch Touch Panel LCD, as well as the large eyecup, to match your style of shooting. Estimated Street Price: $1,099. Contact: Canon,
As you’re hiking through the elements to capture your ultimate image, be sure to take care of your own body by packing enough water, snacks and, of course, sunscreen. Since 1985, BullFrog has been creating sunscreen to stand up to rough weather, and now they’ve created WaterArmor Sport InstaCool broad-spectrum UVA/UVB 50+ sunscreen, engineered to stay in place on your body regardless of any water you encounter. Menthyl lactate cools and refreshes your overheated skin while vitamin E and aloe work to moisturize dry skin. WaterArmor Sport InstaCool goes on clear with no rubbing required and lasts for 80 minutes. Estimated Street Price: $10. Contact: BullFrog Sunscreen,
Fujifilm has expanded the flexibility and range of the X-series interchangeable system with the XF 55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens. The first telephoto lens in the series, it includes two linear motors for quiet, high-speed autofocus. The HT-EBC lens coating prevents ghosting, reflections and lens flare. A 1/3-EV-step aperture ring allows small aperture adjustments while holding the camera to your eye. Estimated Street Price: $699. Contact: Fujifilm,


GoPro videos are perfect for capturing action at unusual angles and high speeds or in hazardous conditions. But after you get your footage back to your computer, you may need to clean up the video. proDAD ProDrenaliN software quickly removes fish-eye lens distortions and improves rolling shutter that may occur during a quick pan. Image stabilization is automatic with ProDrenalin, keeping your images steady. Simple color correction, sensor noise removal and video rotation also are standard. Batch processing for download and optimization keeps your workflow quick and easy. Estimated Street Price: $49. Contact: proDAD,

Sigma has added the 18-35mm ƒ/1.8 DC HSM lens to its Art collection. Made out of Thermal Stable Composite (TSC) compound materials, it performs well at extreme temperatures, and with its small size and weight—3.1×4.8 inches and 28.6 ounces—it’s perfect for your trail bag. The Super Multi-Layer coating reduces flare and ghosting and increases contrast, while the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) maintains a silent high-speed autofocus function. The nine-blade rounded diaphragm produces a smooth bokeh with the large aperture. It’s compatible with the Sigma USB dock for firmware updates and focus parameter adjustments. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma,