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Every year, the photo industry assembles for the annual PMA trade show. Manufacturers, distributors and photographers all gather to see the latest innovations and new equipment designed to help photographers take better pictures and do more with them. Check out some of the new stuff that caught our eye at this year’s show.
Sigma is expanding its lens lineup with the 8-16mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 DC HSM, 17-50mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC OS HSM, APO 50-500mm ƒ/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM, APO 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG OS HSM and 85mm ƒ/1.4 EX DG HSM. The lenses are available in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts. In three of these high-performance lenses, Sigma has incorporated its new FLD glass, which is comparable to fluorite glass. With a low refractive index and low dispersion, the glass corrects chromatic aberration, delivering high-definition, high-contrast images. Fluorite is less dense, too, making for lighter lenses. Four elements are included in the 8-16mm, and two elements are included in the 70-200mm and 17-50mm. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
The 12-megapixel Pentax X90 features a big, wide- to super-telephoto zoom with a 26-676mm focal-length range in a compact 15-ounce body. The lens also includes a Macro mode for focusing less than an inch away from your subject. Other features include full manual and semi-manual controls, sensor- shift image stabilization, a 2.7-inch LCD with anti-reflection coating and electronic viewfinder, and high-speed continuous-burst shooting at up to 11 fps at 5-megapixel resolution. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
Sony Alpha Concept Camera
Details are scant on this new Sony camera, but it will pack interchangeable-lens capability and DSLR image quality into a very compact body. One of the few known specs is a newly developed Exmor APS-H CMOS sensor that will shoot video in AVCHD format. The sensor is the size found in most DSLRs. The camera will come with a small, flat “pancake” prime lens. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669, www.sonystyle.com.
Hoodman Titanium PhotoFrames
The Hoodman Titanium PhotoFrames are glasses built for photographers. Each lens moves independently so that you can move one lens up for the shooting eye and leave one lens down for the tracking eye. Titanium memory wire technology makes the glasses strong and durable. Comfortable wraparound earpieces ensure PhotoFrames ride securely with photographers through action sequences. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Hoodman, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.
Tamron Anniversary Lens
To celebrate its 60th year making lenses, Tamron is developing a 70-300mm F/4-5.6 telephoto zoom with image stabilization. The lens is the first to feature Tamron’s Ultrasonic Silent Drive for fast, smooth autofocusing. Designed for full-frame and APS-C sensors, the focal-length range of the lens is equivalent to 109-465mm in the latter format. The Vibration Compensation image-stabilization system improves handheld shooting at long focal lengths, avoiding blurring, and in low light. The SP AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD will be produced first for the Nikon mount, with Canon and Sony to follow. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Tamron, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.
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Vanguard ABH Ballheads
A new lineup of semi-elliptical, heavy-duty ballheads from Vanguard automatically adjusts and increases tension to handle off-center loads with strength and stability. The ABH series offers load capacities from 44 pounds to 88 pounds, weighs between 0.8 pounds and 1.2 pounds, and features the Combination-Friction Forces Control for extreme tension and friction control, using an ergonomic, grooved dial located on the main adjustment knob. Both are independently adjustable, but are positioned side by side on the same axis for convenient fine-tuning. The scaled base enables smooth, 360-degree panoramic movement. Estimated Street Price: $199 to $299. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322, www.vanguardworld.com.
Setting up a camera on the Sunpak 423PX2 tripod is quick, thanks to its pistol-grip ballhead. Constructed of seven-layer carbon-fiber leg tubes, the tripod is rigid and durable enough to support a load capacity of 5.3 pounds with height ranging from 10.5 to 63 inches. Unlike conventional ballheads, pistol-grip heads work by using a quick-acting trigger action that makes camera setup very fast. The quick-release platform delivers 360-degree rotation for panning. The tripod’s magnesium chassis incorporates three-position leg-angle adjusters for providing mid- and low-angle grounder adjustment, and there’s a second short anti-rotation, carbon-fiber center column for low-angle work. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sunpak (ToCAD), (973) 627-9600, www.tocad.com.
ACDSee Pro 3
Manage your workflow from input to output with ACDSee Pro 3, which has been upgraded with faster RAW image processing, more customization options and expanded online functionality. Making better use of the background task engine when processing large RAW files, the app allows you to move to the next image or mode faster. The original unprocessed image also can be viewed now. For those who prefer to work on a netbook, some of the dialog boxes were redesigned to support the lower display resolution. ACDSee Online, which connects to a free 2 GB account for storing and sharing images online without leaving the app, is now accessible from the program’s Online mode. The update is free. Estimated Street Price: $169 (new). Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com.
Giottos BL 1150N
Support an HD video DSLR on the latest video tripod to come from Giottos. The BL 1150N tripod features dual-strut, cross-braced three-section legs, a leveling ballhead with fluid control and adjustable braking for panning and tilting. The large handle can be used on either the right or left side of the head and is adjustable. The tripod weighs about seven pounds and can support up to 11 pounds. When collapsed, it measures 29.5 inches and extends to 59.6 inches. The head tilts +87 degrees and -80 degrees. A large, sliding quick-release plate centers the camera’s weight. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Minox BV Binoculars
The Minox BV 8×25 and 10×25 BRW binoculars feature a sturdy design, pocket-sized convenience and top-notch optics with an optional eight- or 10-fold magnification. Delivering high image contrast and very good detail rendition, the compact binoculars have multicoating for maximum light transmission without glare. Nonslip rubber armoring on the body allows for secure handling. Nitrogen filling inside the binoculars offers protection from corrosion and prevents fogging of the inner glass surfaces, even in sudden temperature fluctuations. Estimated Street Price: $149 (8×25); $159 (10×25). Contact: MINOX, (866) 469-3080, www.minox.com.
Developed for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds System DSLRs, the Nissin Di466 flash has a recycle time of about four seconds and a power zoom of 24-105mm. Exposure level can be reset in +/- 3⁄4 Ev by 1⁄4 Ev increments. The power is controlled with TTL flash level compensation and can be adjusted from -0.5 Ev through +1.5 Ev by 0.5 Ev steps. The Di466 also has a tilting head with click-stops at 0°, 45°, 60°, 75° and 90°, but no swivel capability. The light-distribution angle is automatically adjusted for the lens focal length. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Nissin, www.nissindigital.com.