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In Focus: September 2014
Nikon has announced the new 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor D810—the much anticipated upgrade from the D800 and D800E. With the full removal of the OLP filter to increase detail and reduce moiré, the D810 also features the EXPEED 4 Image Processor, said to increase speed by 30%, boost battery efficiency and widen the ISO range to 64-12,800 (32-51,200 expanded). The camera can be set to shoot in either the standard 14-bit RAW file format or a slightly smaller-resolution 12-bit format for a quicker workflow. An Advanced Scene Recognition System uses the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to analyze each scene using color, brightness and human faces, and provide balanced exposure to more difficult scenes. A “Flat” Picture Control Profile is available to preserve detail in shadows and highlights. An “i” button on the back allows for a personalized button setup, giving quick access to your most utilized settings. Video features include full 1080/60p HD resolution, zebra stripe mode, full manual shooting with full AF ability, built-in stereo mic, in-camera time-lapse and interval timer, and uncompressed digital HDMI recording to an external device while also recording to an SD or a CF card. List Price: $3,299 (body only). Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
Manfrotto has updated the 190 series tripod. Available in either carbon fiber or aluminum, the Quick Power Lock design reduces setup time, allowing for single-handed leg adjustments. Using only one finger, the center column lifts up from the vertical position to a 90º horizontal for full shooting flexibility. The 190 also provides professional expansion using Easy Link attachments to hold LED lights, reflectors, triggers and other accessories. List Price: $245-$478. Contact: Manfrotto, www.manfrotto.us/190-series.
Ring lights are versatile workhorses and go-to lighting for macro photography. The Kaiser KR 90 LED Ring Light uses 30 three-chip, high-performance LEDs in a metal duralumin body. The light provides continuously variable intensity control while maintaining a constant 5500K color temperature. Keeping all circuitry and the battery within the housing, eliminating the need for an external power supply, the ring light screws on to the lens with a 77mm diameter lens mount (72mm, 67mm, 62mm, 58mm, 55mm and 52mm adapters included). The 1500 mAh Lithium-ion battery provides power for two hours and is fully recharged in 2.5 hours. The ring light includes a ¼”-20 female tripod mount and has a 1.2-inch minimum working distance. Available through HP Marketing Corp. dealers. Estimated Street Price: $325. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Thule adds the Covert collection to their camera bag line, focusing on the ability to effortlessly move from the city to a weekend trip. The Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack utilizes a SafeZone removable pod camera system with a dual-density padded bottom to ensure the safety of your camera and lenses. The origami-style dividers hold a prosumer DSLR with lens attached, two additional lenses and flash, and fold around your gear to hug your personalized kit. With room for both a 15-inch MacBook and an iPad, as well as ample pockets for smaller accessories, the bag also includes a rolltop compartment that fits weekend necessities such as snacks or a change of clothes, or the divider can be unzipped to create one large-capacity pack. List Price: $199. Contact: Thule, www.thule.com.
With a one-inch, 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 is the first compact camera to also shoot 4K video. Offering a 4K MP4 shooting format, as well as 1920x1080p AVCHD or MP4, the FZ1000 can capture 8-megapixel still images from 4K video footage. The high-sensitivity sensor reduces noise at high ISO (the camera shoots ISO 125-12,800 expandable to 25,600). The camera incorporates the Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT 16x 25-400mm ƒ/2.8-4.0 optical zoom lens with a 5-step speed control that provides smooth zooming for video shooting. A 5-axis HYBRID Optical Image Stabilization compensates for camera shake. Still image burst mode shoots at 12 fps. The FZ1000 includes a high-speed OLED Live View Finder and three-inch, 921K-dot, free-angle LCD with a 180º side-to-side rotation and 270º up-and-down tilt ability. It includes both WiFi and NFC connectivity for remote operation and instant sharing. List Price: $899. Contact: Panasonic, www.shop.panasonic.com.
Nissin has expanded the i40 line to include a flash designed specifically for use with Four Thirds cameras. At under 3½ inches high and less than eight ounces in weight, it’s travel-friendly. But don’t let its small size fool you—it’s packed with professional punch. The easy-to-use, two-dial controls set function modes and power. The i40 includes two traditional optical slave modes for a TTL flash and studio strobe triggering, an HSS up to 1⁄8000 sec. shutter sync speed and flash output of GN40 at 105mm. The flash head rotates 180º horizontally and 90º vertically, and has an auto-adjust zoom head, built-in diffuser and included softbox. The i40 also provides a video light function with nine levels of power adjustment. List Price: $269. Contact: Minox, www.minox.com/us.
Alien Skin has released Exposure 6 software with new features to bring a more organic, analog feel to your digital images. Exposure 6 gives you the ability to manipulate focus, vignettes and depth of field, including the simulation of specific lenses (such as the Canon EF 85mm ƒ/1.2L and Nikon 300mm ƒ/2.8) and lens types (such as a tilt-shift lens). With a clean layout, the software has a new basic control panel for fine-tuning elements like exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, etc., and offers full-sized instant previews. Exposure 6 also has new borders, textures and lighting effects like realistic light flares. List Price: $149. Contact: Alien Skin, www.alienskin.com.
For photographers interested in remote triggering, the Strike Finder TOUCH offers a touch screen to program the device in five different sensory modes. Lightning Mode reacts to a flash event in under one millisecond, both day and night, capturing dramatic storm images. Laser Mode captures an image when the laser trigger is tripped, be it by an animal or a flying object. Sound Mode uses an external sensor to capture images during loud noises, while Motion Mode fires one exposure or multiple exposures when an infrared sensor attachment is triggered. Time Lapse Mode can start a time-lapse sequence based on any of the above parameters. The 4×21⁄4×1-inch device attaches to a hot-shoe and is powered by four AAA batteries or a power adapter. Estimated Street Price: $349. Contact: Ubertronix, Inc., www.ubertronix.com.
Tamron has introduced the 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III “All-In-One” zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds camera systems. The combination of Low Dispersion, Anomalous Dispersion, Molded-Glass Aspherical and Hybrid Aspherical glass elements reduces aberration, while a circular diaphragm ensures a soft bokeh effect. The Stepping Motor has been specifically designed for this lens for quick, accurate and quiet autofocusing. The compact metal lens barrel is available in either black or silver. List Price: $589. Contact: Tamron, www.tamron-usa.com.
Photographers constantly on the move will appreciate the improved weight distribution and rolling versatility of Think Tank Photo’s Airport Roller Derby bag. With four dual wheel sets, the bag can roll smoothly atop all four wheels, tilted to roll on its back wheels or tilted to roll on its side wheels for maneuvering tight spaces such as airplane aisles. The Airport Roller Derby holds two DSLRs, a tripod, additional strobes and lenses including a 400mm ƒ/2.8 unattached, and has a separate 15-inch laptop pocket. All your gear remains safe with a lock & cable and lockable zippers. Sealed steel bearing wheels are replaceable. List Price: $389. Contact: Think Tank Photo, www.thinktankphoto.com.
Transcend has released the ESD400, an SSD with capacities up to 1 TB. Using a USB 3.0 connection (backward-compatible with USB 2.0), the drive has a 410 MB/s read speed and 380 MB/s write speed. Utilizing solid-state technology, the drive is compact—about the size of a deck of playing cards—and a lightweight 56g. It’s also five times more shock- and vibration-resistant than a typical hard disk drive. The ESD400 comes with a three-year limited warranty. List Price: $109 (128 GB); $189 (256 GB); $349 (512 GB); $699 (1 TB). Contact: Transcend, www.transcend-info.com.
Replichrome was created out of the desire to match authentic film grains in the digital photography era. Replichrome II: Slide goes a step further, replicating the look and feel of modern and discontinued slide films by Fujifilm, Agfa and Kodak. Re-creating realistic slide colors and contrasts, each preset is based on film developed by Richard Photo Lab based in Hollywood, Calif., and can be tweaked to match your personal developing tastes in Lightroom or Photoshop. List Price: $99. Contact: Totally Rad, www.gettotallyrad.com.
The HoldFast Explorer Lens Pouch works seamlessly with the HoldFast Photo Belt or MoneyMaker system to keep your gear balanced and easily in reach. The main pouch has a cozy sheepskin interior, with the Large size holding a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 and two additional lenses with two customizable dividers, and the Small holding two midsized SLR lenses or four rangefinder/mirrorless lenses with one customizable divider. The exterior is made of weatherproof wax canvas and leather trim, and features several additional pockets. The side snap-shut pocket holds a wallet and smaller personal items. A pocket on the other side carries a flash. The front pocket holds larger accessories while a zippered pocket on the top flap holds batteries, memory cards and small accessories. List Price: $245. Contact: HoldFast Gear, www.holdfastgear.com.
Keep your camera tucked safely and conveniently at your side with the new Side Slide strap from BosStrap. The Side Slide attaches to your camera’s strap lug with a quick-release camera connector, leaving the tripod socket free for quickly switching between handheld and tripod shooting. The padded, 1-inch-wide shoulder strap is reversible for left or right shoulder use and is held in place with a detachable chest strap. Two Side Slides can be used when shooting with two cameras. Estimated Street Price: $59. Contact: BosStrap, www.bosstrap.com.
Grabbing self-portraits or high-quality video of yourself is no easy task, particularly if you’re trying to do so while surfing, skateboarding or skiing. The Handheld Extendable Monopod by the Xit Group makes it easier, coming with both a GoPro mount and a standard camera mount, allowing you to reach the camera out to selfie distance. While a small 8.25 inches when closed, the monopod extends to 43 inches for new creative angles. It includes a padded handle and wrist strap for secure maneuvering. List Price: $29. Contact: Xit Group, www.xit-group.com.
The Flashpoint StreakLight is a portable strobe, convenient for both camera-shoe mounting or off-camera lighting. A large LED panel gives you control over manual exposure, high-speed sync, built-in optical slave and autofocus assist. The articulated head provides personal light shaping with use of the included standard, parabolic reflector and diffusion panel. The StreakLight also includes two sync jacks, overheating protection circuitry and a wireless remote-control USB port. Cords are available for major cameras, and there’s a full line of accessories. The lightweight Blast Pack complements the StreakLight with replaceable, rechargeable batteries. List Price: $405 (StreakLight 180W); $599 (StreakLight 180W with Blast Pack); $549 (StreakLight 360W); $749 (StreakLight 360W with Blast Pack). Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
CREATIVE CLOUD PHOTOGRAPHY PLAN
Adobe has announced the Creative Cloud Photography pricing plan, offering the full functionality and integration of Photoshop CC and Lightroom (including the new mobile apps) at a low price. Along with the release of this plan option, Adobe also announced new features of Photoshop CC. Photographers now can take advantage of area-specific Perspective Warp, Blur Gallery motion effects, Focus Masking and improvements to Content-Aware functionality. List Price: $9.99.
LIGHTROOM mobile FOR iPHONE
Just months after releasing Lightroom mobile for the iPad, Adobe has now made the app available for the iPhone as well. Importing images from the camera roll or syncing with the Lightroom Catalog on your desktop, the app provides the same nondestructive editing tools as the desktop program, including star and flag ratings and full metadata editing. Images in the catalog are also available via any web browser at lightroom.adobe.com, making Lightroom a fully integrated on-the-go workflow. List Price: Free (with Creative Cloud subscription).
PHOTOSHOP MIX APP
The Photoshop Mix app makes complicated editing doable while on the go by providing full non-destructive Photoshop features such as Upright, Content-Aware Fill and Camera Shake Reduction for your mobile device. Combine images, remove objects and create masks for your photos. Then export the layered images for additional touch-ups using your desktop Photoshop CC. List Price: Free (with free Creative Cloud ID). Contact:Adobe, www.adobe.com.