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In Focus: May 2013
The upgraded Nikon DX-format D7100 builds on the popular D7000’s success with several important new features. The lightweight camera integrates a new 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with an ISO of 100-6400 (up to 25,600 expanded), a 51-point AF system and built-in HDR. The wider and brighter 3.2-inch LCD features a 1229K-dot resolution and a spot white balance that can be adjusted while shooting live video or in unfamiliar conditions. It provides full AF with lenses at ƒ/8 or greater and includes a 1.3x crop mode for both stills and video, giving your telephoto lenses the effect of a longer reach. A stereo internal microphone is provided, as well as a dedicated external microphone terminal. Video is captured at 1080 60i/30p. The D7100 is compatible with D600 and D7000 En-EL batteries and has dual SD card slots. Estimated Street Price: $1,199. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
Keep your gear secure on your next adventure in the Tamrac Zuma 9 Secure Traveler. The foam-padded main compartment is accessible through a rear door that sits against your back, keeping gear safe on bumpy trails. It holds a DSLR with lens attached, an additional lens and flash. A second compartment holds your hiker’s guidebook, snacks, cables and adapters. Additional mesh pockets hold memory cards, and a foam panel stores an iPad or other tablet. The entire bag may be covered with the included removable rain cover, and adjusted with chest and waist straps. Estimated Street Price: $100. Contact: Tamrac, www.tamrac.com.
Shooting video or adjusting your focus on a bright sunny day just got easier with the Hoodman Custom Finder Kit. The kit includes an H32 HoodLoupe with +/-3 diopter adjustment and German glass optics, as well as a ¼-20 mounting solution, perfect for keeping your hands free when shooting video, using Live View mode or quick motion. Anodized aluminum baseplates fit all DSLR bodies and include a hand strap slot. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Hoodman, www.hoodmanusa.com.
When moving between video and still image capture while in the field, having a versatile camera stabilizer becomes crucial. The Stealthy Photo/Video Support from VariZoom can pull double-, triple-, even quadruple-duty as a motion and still photo support by transforming itself between handheld motion stabilizer, three-point shooter, mini-monopod, tabletop tripod and full six-foot monopod in seconds. It fits DSLR and video cameras weighing from 8 ounces to several pounds. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: VariZoom, www.varizoom.com.
Ambient light and color temperature can be tricky to control—because you can’t control it. When you need a touch of fill-light color control in your landscapes and wildlife images, the Rogue Flash Gels Color Correction Kit can help. The kit comes with 18 gels, three gels of six different colors, to use with multiple speedlights, along with a storage pouch to take with you on the trail. Gels quickly allow you to balance shade or blue sky ambient light. Estimated Street Price: $30. Contact: ExpoImaging, www.expoimaging.com.
If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your DSLR, the Sony SLT α 58 may be just what you’re looking for. It comes loaded with a 20.1-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with BIONZ image-processing engine that adjusts noise reduction and sharpness in different areas of the composition, as well as a 15-point AF system and new Lock-on Autofocus tracking system that’s perfect for tracking quick-moving wildlife. For a real-time experience, the new OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder allows you to see the results of your adjustments such as exposure, aperture, ISO, white balance and Picture Effect, while composing the shot instead of after you take it. Additionally, the SLT α58 features 15 artistic in-camera Picture Effects for instant use. Estimated Street Price: $600 (kit with 18-55mm lens). Contact: Sony, www.sony.com.
Create lifelike images using HDR technology with the new streamlined workflow of HDR Express 2 from Unified Color. Built for HDR experts and novices alike, this version allows you to identify photos by thumbnail instead of file name, auto arranges, sorts and groups bracketed exposures, uses 32-bit floating point technology to eliminate color shifts and data loss, and uses Adaptive Tone Mapping algorithms to improve contrast, color and detail. In addition, new features let users share slideshows and create single-click presets. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Unified Color Technologies, www.unifiedcolor.com.
Adding the Metabones Speed Booster to your gear instantly diversifies your camera bag. Mounting between a mirrorless camera and an SLR lens, it creates an increase in aperture by 1 stop and a multiplier in focal length of 0.71x, as well as promises sharper images than when simply using a regular adapter. In addition, it’s actually shorter than a typical converter and reduces the physical length of the lens combination. It also pulls double-duty as a lens-mount adapter from Canon EF (but not EF-S) to Sony NEX. Metabones reports that other mount combinations will follow soon. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Metabones, www.metabones.com.
Print your next landscape on canvas with Exhibition Canvas Natural in a gloss, satin or matte finish designed to work with Epson printers. The Signature Worthy Collection canvases have been created using feedback from the Epson professional community. Epson created optical brightening agent (OBA)-free canvas that delivers bright whites, rich blacks and enhanced shadow detail. Available in 13-, 17-, 24-, 44- and 60-inch roll widths and 17×22-inch cut sheets. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: Epson, www.epson.com.
Capture One Pro 7 from Phase One is a versatile, quick raw converter and photo management software that saves you time and frustration in front of the computer so you can spend more time taking photos. Massively flexible, it allows you to view multiple catalogs at the same time, share catalogs with other users, switch between catalogs without relaunching, tag images for later search and browse files that are offline. In addition, advanced noise algorithms offer precision detail even in night or fog shots. And for the professionals among us, Capture One Pro 7 quickly renders and sizes files according to client needs. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: Phase One, www.phaseone.com.
Keep harsh sunlight and intense shadows in check when you bring the MG8000 Extreme by Nissin Digital with you in the field. Compatible with Canon and Nikon DSLRs, it’s made with quartz tubes and heat-resistant materials that allow full-flash and high-frequency shooting of quick-moving subjects without overheating. In addition, it supports TTL systems, adjustable to +/-3 EV in 1⁄3-EV steps, has a color display and is compatible with the Nissin Power Pack PS300 to speed recycle time. Estimated Street Price: $559. Contact: Nissin Digital, www.nissindigital.com.
The Olympus 17mm ƒ/1.8 Micro Four Thirds lens is a single-focal-length wide-angle, great for challenging light situations. The Olympus’ ZERO lens coating reduces lens flare and ghost images when shooting in bright sunlight. The Snapshot Mechanism allows you to set easy, sharp focus at a specific distance using markings on the lens barrel. With an advanced optical system and a classic metallic finish, this lens will be utilized in every photographer’s bag. Estimated Street Price: $500. Contact: Olympus, www.olympusamerica.com.
Joining the retro style of the Domke line, the F-4AF Pro System Bag is made of durable cotton canvas and is a low-key look when you don’t want to bring attention to your valuable equipment while on the go. With a nonslip Gripper Strap, removable carrying strap, YKK zipper and steel snap hook, it’s built for functionality, flexibility and easy access to your gear. It holds one DSLR with a mounted lens, one to two additional lenses, a flash and additional accessories. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Tiffen, www.tiffen.com.
Keep your close-up still-life photography free of shadows with the Flashpoint Ring Light Complete Kit 400 w/s. With a center opening of 100mm, it’s compatible with almost any lens and works off AC or an optional battery. The kit includes the ring light, cords, camera-mounting hardware, sync cords and a carrying case. Estimated Street Price: $395. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
A new go-to lens that should appeal to landscape photographers, in general, and wildflower photographers, in particular, the Sigma 17-70mm ƒ/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM weighs 16.4 ounces and measures 3.1×3.2 inches. The lens features the Sigma Optical Stabilizer system to compensate for camera shake, Super Multi-Layer Lens Coating to reduce ghosting and flare, and Hyper Sonic Motor technology to ensure high-speed and quiet AF. The lens can close focus to 8.6 inches and can get a 1:2.9 magnification for macro work. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
Create realistic-looking tiger fur and snakeskin or ominous rain clouds with the Alien Skin Eye Candy 7 plug-in for Photoshop. Whether you’re building yourself a new graphic logo or adding a smoke effect for mood, Eye Candy 7 will help you realize your vision in a natural and organic way down to the individual hairs. Eye Candy 7 comes with more than 1,000 presets for web interfaces, logos and titles, and presents them in easy-to-use thumbnail previews. Estimated Street Price: $199; $99 (upgrade). Contact: Alien Skin Software, www.alienskin.com.
Sometimes you find the perfect golden-hour landscape, while other times you wish you could just tweak a small section, and yet other times you wish you could create dramatic light yourself. With the Ready for Anything Kit by LumiQuest, you’re ready for the ambient light that’s available and the creativity that strikes you. The kit comes with an 80-20, Diffusion Screen, White, Silver and Gold inserts, FXtra for color balancing and the nonadhesive flash-mounting UltraStrap in a storage wallet. Estimated Street Price: $86. Contact: LumiQuest, www.lumiquest.com.