In Focus: June 2014

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As of our press date, the specs for the Pentax 645Z are still being finalized, but this small-bodied, 51-megapixel, CMOS, medium-format-sensor camera is packing serious punch. The AA filterless design has increased the resolution for incredibly sharp details. Of particular interest to night shooters, the 645Z can reach ISO 204,800, with delicate noise-processing ability. Including a new SAFOX 11 AF module and increased sensitivity, the AF system has 27 selectable AF points. The 645Z shoots full HD video at 60i/30p with an HDMI terminal, built-in stereo mic and auto/manual sound level recording. A tiltable LCD screen is featured for shooting in tight spaces or new perspectives. The Pentax Flucard provides instant transfer to your mobile device. Visit our sister publication’s website at for finalized specs and a full hands-on review. List Price: $8,499. Contact: Pentax,

Gura Gear has created the Sabi, a stabilizing sack for even the longest lenses. The tethered double-pillow design makes it possible to adapt the Sabi to your shooting situation, creating a ground support, car or fence mount, or simply a ballast for your tripod. Available in two sizes and colors, the Sabi is made of heavy-duty PU-coated Cordura and YKK zipper components, and uses buckwheat hull filling. List Price: $39-$109. Contact: Gura Gear,
Manfrotto has made some upgrades to the 055 series tripod. Now with extra locking power, the leg locks increase stiffness of the legs, also allowing for an increase in weight bearing, which handles loads of up to 19.8 pounds. The leg locks still have the one-hand opening mechanism, which decreases setup time. The four leg angles increase versatility when setting up on uneven surfaces. A new Easy Link attachment turns the tripod into a portable studio, making it possible to connect an arm for LED lights, a reflector or other accessories. Available in aluminum and carbon fiber. List Price: $267-$556. Contact: Manfrotto,

Canon‘s new flagship PowerShot, the G1 X Mark II, is now available. With a 12.8-megapixel, high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 Image Processor, the camera provides a quick autofocus and ISO 100-12,800. The ƒ/2.0-3.9 5x optical zoom lens (24-120mm equivalent) has been designed with Dual Control Rings to give a DSLR-like feel within a compact body. The three-inch LCD touch screen tilts 180º up and 45º downward. The G1 X Mark II includes Wi-Fi for instant image sharing and remote camera control. An optional electronic viewfinder and grip are available. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Canon,

The Acratech Panoramic Head is specifically designed as a multi-row panoramic and long-lens head capable of handling a 600mm ƒ/4 lens. Weighing less than one pound itself, the satin black anodized-finish head has a large bull’s-eye level, adjustable tension controls and engraved degree markings. The quick-release clamp is compatible with Arca, Kirk and other plates, and rotates 90º for attaching a body/lens directly to the head via a tripod collar. List Price: $379. Contact: Acratech,

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Now you can add more smooth, versatile movement while keeping the amount of gear you travel with to a minimum. In addition to its compatibility with floor spreaders, mid-level spreaders and telescopic tripod systems, Sachtler has redeveloped the Ace-L 75mm fluid head to be compatible with all slider types. Handling camera rigs weighing up to 13.2 pounds, the Ace-L maintains a seven-step counter-balance system, illuminated level indicator, and SAdrag™ system for precise pans and tilts. List Price: $1,150. Contact: Sachtler,
With a five-axis and hybrid stabilization system combined with a 24x optical zoom range, the Olympus Stylus SH-1 compact camera provides pocket-sized convenience for capturing quick action. With a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor, the SH-1’s 24-600mm zoom range is stabilized using the five-axis system originally developed for the OM-D EM-5, keeping both still images and video steady while in low light and at the long zoom range. The electronic stabilization used for video shooting keeps quick movement looking natural. Advanced Movie Mode shoots 240 fps high-speed movies or 60 fps HD recording. Still photos have an 11 fps burst mode. A Live Guide can be used to adjust brightness and color levels with touch sliders. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Olympus,

Nikon recently released an addition to the Nikon 1 system, the Nikon 1 V3. The interchangeable-lens system V3 camera has an 18.4-megapixel, CX-format sensor and EXPEED 4A image processor with the ability to shoot vivid color and exacting detail, even at a continuous shooting speed of 20 fps. The V3 also shoots 1080/60p HD video with slow-motion capabilities at 120 fps at 720p HD. With creative modes and built-in Wi-Fi, it’s quick and easy to edit and share your images while on location. The camera body has an ergonomic design with a tilting three-inch LCD touch screen. Grip and electronic viewfinder accessories are available. Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (kit including V3 body with one Nikkor VR 10-30mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom lens, DF-N1000 electronic viewfinder, GR-N1010 grip). Contact: Nikon,

For photographers shooting in wet destinations, Lowepro has designed the waterproof, soft-sided DryZone 200 camera bag to keep your gear dry while comfortably on your back. The waterproof TIZIP zipper is 100% watertight, making the pack act like a wet suit. With adjustable CollarCut shoulder straps and an ergonomic backpack harness, the bag holds pro DSLR systems with up to a 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens attached, plus four to five lenses, a flash and accessories with the hood reversed. A tuck-away tripod holder with bungee cords keeps your tripod attached to the outside of your bag. Self-draining outer mesh pockets keep water moving out and away from any accessories. List Price: $329. Contact: Lowepro,
The Lighthouse 250 Lantern by Goal Zero provides up to 48 hours of continuous light after charging via a Nomad solar panel, USB power input or hand crank. A dial gives control over 180º or 360º of light direction, as well as low, high or turbo light output. The Lighthouse 250 Lantern also has the ability to recharge your USB device, such as a phone, GPS or tablet. Weighing just over one pound, it’s an easy travel companion. List Price: $79. Contact: Goal Zero,

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Adventurous trips require an equally adventurous camera. The WG-4 series by Ricoh has been designed with an optical 4x zoom that folds within the camera body to maintain a rugged profile. The camera body is also waterproof to 45 feet, shockproof to a 6.6-foot drop, freezeproof to 14º F and crushproof to 220 foot-pounds of force. That stable body protects a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor with the ability to capture stills at ISO 6400 and full HD video at H.264 format. The dual shake-reduction system combines an image sensor-shift type with a digital shake-reduction system for sharp images. The WG-4 GPS includes GPS data. Adhesive, handlebar and suction cup mounting accessories are available. List Price: $329-$379. Contact: Ricoh,

WD‘s My Passport Pro provides a quick and portable image storage solution in a safe, shock-tested aluminum casing. With RAID functionality, you can choose RAID 0 (data striping) or RAID 1 (data mirroring) depending on your needs. The drive utilizes Thunderbolt power for 233 MB/s transfer, edit and backup speeds while reducing the need for any extra cables or power cords. Available in 2 TB or 4 TB capacities. List Price: $299 (2 TB); $429 (4 TB). Contact: WD,
Phottix has released the Mitros TTL Flash for Sony cameras, taking a large stride toward integrating flash, transmitter and receiver technology. The Mitros offers built-in IR triggering with Master and Slave modes, Fast Flash Mode with 0.1- to 2.5-second recharging times, as well as an AF assist light and auto/manual zooming flash head with 180º rotation. The Mitros includes a 3.5mm sync port, USB port for firmware upgrades and external battery pack port. Compatible with Phottix Odin TTL Flash Triggers for Sony. Estimated Street Price: $349. Contact: Phottix,

To keep your flash powered while you’re opening up shadows or affecting background tones in the field, Flashpoint has developed the Blast Pack BP-960. This portable battery pack uses an interchangeable lithium 4500 mAh battery to keep you shooting for 1,800 shots at full power. An LED display indicates the battery level. When low, quickly switch out the pack and keep shooting. If you’re a double camera shooter, the pack provides dual ports to simultaneously plug in one flash for each camera without losing quick recycle speeds. List Price: $249. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama),
The Perfectly Clear desktop plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom has been developed using technology to better emulate the image your eye sees based on the principles of how your eye gathers light, making up for any distortion due to the camera and avoiding color distortion from other software “enhancements.” Providing nondestructive individual and batch edits, with side by side “before” and “after” edits for vivid comparison, the plug-in offers 12 patented automatic corrections, from noise removal to pixel-by-pixel exposure correction. Perfectly Clear isn’t a creative filter, but rather an automatic image correction, allowing you to spend less time editing behind the computer. For equally high-quality images on your smartphone, a mobile app provides the same editing features along with panorama mode, 30 fps burst mode and two-exposure HDR, increasing color fidelity and vibrancy. List Price: $249 (Photoshop & Lightroom Bundle); $199 (Lightroom or Photoshop individual); $2.99 (smartphone app). Contact: Athentech Imaging,


The GPS Topo USA app integrates an orienteering-style map-and-compass navigation with GPS car navigation in one iOS app. With the ability to be used both online and offline, the app offers detailed street and topographic maps, letting you use one navigation tool from road to trail. Tools include a field compass with its own direction-of-travel indicator, which indicates distance to a selected point, and GPS. List Price: $6.99. Contact: Gogal Publishing Company,

Sometimes one image just doesn’t tell the entire story, but six separate posts feels like you’re spamming your friends. The free Momentage app conquers this conundrum by approaching posts as an opportunity to tell a full story through multiple photos, video and SoundImages. Each post, called a Moment, gives you the option of posting up to 15 photos, two videos of up to 20 seconds and a SoundImages with sound over the photo of up to 30 seconds. You can edit within the app and choose the order to best tell your story. Then, share with the Momentage community, as well as your other social-media networks. Contact: Momentage,

Set up your apps to work for you with the free If This Then That (IFTTT) app, which lets you create Recipes based from the title phrase, connecting your apps together for automatic actions. Eighty-four apps, each defined as a Channel, are currently set up with IFTTT. To design a Recipe, simply sub in your desired Channel for “this” and “that.” For instance, “If I Instagram a photo, THEN save it to my Dropbox” or “If I post to Vimeo, THEN post to my Tumblr.” Channels include everything from social media and news sources to cloud drives and calendars, providing management for photos and general business. Contact: IFTTT,