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In Focus: October 2013
As the newest addition to the Canon EOS line, the EOS 70D is an advanced step up from the entry-level DSLR still camera and an exciting venture into video shooting. The camera features a 20.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, and its innovative dual-pixel CMOS AF system provides precise and smooth autofocus performance, enabling users to shoot video close to the quality of video shot with a camcorder. Quick action stills are captured with a 7 fps burst rate and a 19-point cross-type AF system. Low-light shooting is possible with the 100-12,800 ISO (25,600 extended). A built-in WiFi transmitter allows quick image sharing and wireless asset transfer from the camera to your smartphone or tablet using the free Canon EOS Remote App, along with full control and triggering of the 70D by the device. The 70D also includes creative options such as HDR, Multiple Exposure and Handheld Night Scene modes. Estimated Street Price: $1,199. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
Linhof has kept the compactness of the original 3-Way Leveling Head in a new and improved design. The 3-Way Leveling Head II allows a stable tilt of more than 180º, even with heavy cameras weighing up to 17.6 pounds. A panoramic top plate is located above the tilt movement axis for panoramic photography. Spirit levels control three-way movement, and scales allow for precise control and resetting of individual adjustments. A base panoramic rotation defines camera positioning. Estimated Street Price: $1,399. Contact: Linhof, www.linhof.com.
Packing enough fully charged batteries can feel like a losing battle. With the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator Kit, you can recharge your DSLR batteries, laptop, phone, tablet or any other device that uses USB, 12V or AC power while on location. Simply plug in the device to the Goal Zero Yeti 150 the same way you plug in the device to the wall. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 has a battery life display and recharges via an AC wall port, 12V car charge or solar panel. List Price: $199 (Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator); $359 (with Nomad 13 Solar Panel); $324 (with Boulder 15 Solar Panel). Contact: Goal Zero, www.goalzero.com.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX7 16-megapixel MOS sensor mirrorless camera incorporates DSLR-like control in a lightweight package. With adjustment dials in the front and back, manual shooting feels similar to a DSLR. The 90º tiltable Live View Finder allows you to change your perspective, shooting from above or straight on, through the 2764K-dot, high-resolution, 16:9 wide screen providing 100% field of view. The Eye Sensor Auto Focus starts the AF mechanism as you look into the viewfinder. The in-camera stabilization system gives you stabilization with classic, non-stabilized lenses, and the camera can shoot up to 5 fps. The GX7 shoots HD 1920×1080 60p video in AVCHD and MP4 formats with stereo sound or in a 24p cinematic style. Silent Mode switches the shutter system from mechanical to electronic, ensuring camera noise won’t ruin the moment in the field. Estimated Street Price: $999. Contact: Panasonic, www.panasonic.com.
Quick access to your gear means you won’t miss a shot. The rotation180º Professional by MindShift Gear keeps your camera and accessories easy to reach, with a rotating belt pack that moves seamlessly from its rear backpack position to the front of your body with one simple strap movement so you don’t need to remove the entire pack. Mesh side pockets, a removable tripod sling and a waist belt rail for modular components keep all your additional tools stable and accessible. The hydrations reservoir pocket holds a 3-liter system. With fully adjustable shoulder straps and an internal aluminum frame with a memory foam back panel and air mesh channel, the pack stays comfortable on long days. List Price: $389. Contact: MindShift Gear, www.mindshiftgear.com.
Perfect to pair with your GoPro HERO, the Steadicam Smoothee by Tiffen eliminates unwanted shake that’s associated with handheld shooting, allowing you to focus on capturing the story in front of you. The quick-release mount makes it easy to switch between the Smoothee and a tripod for shot variability. The 8×14.5×2.5-inch (WxHxD) rig is small and light, effortlessly fitting into your kit. Estimated Street Price: $149. Contact: Tiffen, www.tiffen.com.
Shooting, downloading and completing a workflow on location has its difficulties. The i-Visor Pro LS MAG by Seaport Digital creates a mobile “darkroom” workstation with a trifold visor and extra cloth for full coverage, making screen viewing feasible in bright environments. The strong and lightweight magnesium-alloy frame connects to a tripod stand with no additional parts, making mobility and height adjustment quick and easy. Accommodating up to a 17-inch laptop, the i-Visor Pro LS MAG includes several pockets for cables, batteries and external hard drives, as well as pass-through cable ports. With a padded rigid core, ballistics outer fabric and waterproof zippers, the i-Visor Pro LS MAG will keep your important equipment safe during your travels. List Price: $249. Contact: Seaport Digital, www.seaportdigital.com.
Giving photographers more flexibility in creating HDR images, Unified Color Technologies has upgraded the standalone software HDR Expose 3 and the 32 Float v3 Photoshop plug-in to allow multiple frames to merge from handheld bracket shooting. The new file browser automatically detects bracketed exposures using thumbnails instead of filenames and can employ a batch merge function. Upgraded alignment capabilities, including fully automatic and manual assist options, calculate proper fit while the reengineered deghosting algorithms reduce movement in a scene by using a key frame for other frames to reference. New Adaptive Tone Mapping enhances local control of contrast, color and detail retention. For photographers interested in the HDR and 32-bit color-editing capabilities in a Photoshop workflow, United Color offers the 32 Float v3 Photoshop plug-in. List Price: $119 (HDR Expose 3); $89 (32 Float v3). Contact: Unified Color Technologies, www.unifiedcolor.com.
Know that you’re displaying your images on your mobile device the way they’re meant to be seen with the SpyderGALLERY tablet calibration app by Datacolor. Perfect for photographers who use their device for portfolio sharing, SpyderGALLERY provides color-corrected viewing for your iPad, iPhone or Android device, ensuring an accurate and consistent color display, more closely matching your computer monitor. The app integrates with Facebook and Flickr viewing, as well as images saved to your device. Additionally, you can view and compare the images with and without the color correction and see the difference the SpyderGALLERY makes. Free. Contact: Datacolor, www.datacolor.com.
With a rugged stainless-steel and Adapto finish and eye-catching Italian design, the conveniently compact and lightweight Manfrotto PIXI mini-tripod supports sharp images without the bulky equipment. Measuring 5 inches when open, 7 inches when closed and weighing 8 ounces, the PIXI is easy to carry. The push-button ball joint releases quickly for camera positioning, tilting 35º vertically and 360º horizontally. Supporting 1.4 pounds, it’s compatible with iPhones (using the KLYP case), compact cameras, compact system cameras and entry-level DSLRs. Estimated Street Price: $28. Contact: Manfrotto, www.manfrotto.us/pixi.
Transferring their aerospace design to cinema products, the engineers at Freefly Systems have taken their custom design of the MōVI M10 one step further with the compact and lightweight MōVI M5, specifically for DSLR cameras weighing up to 5 pounds. The handheld 3-axis digital stabilized camera gimbal brings big production camera moves to more productions. The Majestic Mode translates a single operator’s movements into stabilized pans and tilts, keeping the camera footprint small. The system is nearly silent, maintaining the ability to capture on-camera audio. Real-time Bluetooth connection allows for live adjustments of the gimbal parameters. When some camera shake aesthetic is preferred, the noise filter controls the desired level, letting the camera operator focus on framing. Estimated Street Price: $4,995. Contact: Freefly Systems, freeflysystems.com.
For photographers working with video, the portable and lightweight Flashpoint Video Shootskate II Dolly is an inexpensive choice for experimenting with low-angle shots. The polyurethane wheels absorb and dampen unwanted camera shake. Each wheel includes independently lockable 270º pivot rotation and an engraved angle scale. The three handles allow you to directly control the movement of the dolly for personal movement choices. The ¼-20 mounting screw allows you to connect the camera directly to the dolly baseplate or use the dolly with a variety of ballheads, fluid heads and articulating arms. List Price: $149. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
When used in combination with the Castel—Q macro focusing rack, the Castbal—T/S by Novoflex becomes a small and transportable tilt/shift bellows system. The Castbal—T/S lens standard adjusts 25º left or right for Scheimpflug control. Precise focus control can be shifted from within the quick-release mount of the focusing rack. When used with the Novoflex adapter system, the Castbal—T/S is compatible with a variety of camera and lens combinations. The system gives you an interesting tool for exploring macrophotography and perspective control. Estimated Street Price: $514. Contact: Novoflex (HP Marketing Corp.), www.hpmarketingcorp.com.