Tuesday, November 10, 2009
New Tools Of The Trade
With a new 14.2-megapixel sensor and BIONZ processor, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 features pro-level functions, phase-detection focusing and extended live-view benefits. In HDR mode, the camera takes two exposures, one exposed for highlights and the other exposed for shadows. It then merges them together, aligning key points in the image to compensate for camera movement. The short amount of time between exposures allows the mode to work when shooting handheld. The A500 offers the same features with a few differences. The continuous shooting rate tops out at 5 fps while in the A550 it’s 7 fps. The A500 also features a resolution of 12.3 megapixels. Estimated Street Price: $949 (A550); $749 (A500). Contact: Sony, (877) 865-SONY, www.sonystyle.com.
Zeiss For Canon
Renowned lens-maker Carl Zeiss has introduced a fast ultra-wide-angle lens with a Canon EF mount (previously available in Nikon and Pentax mounts). The Distagon T* 21mm ƒ/2.8 ZE provides outstanding performance in film and digital still photography and HD-video recording in a wide range of conditions. The lens focuses down to 8.6 inches and takes 82mm screw-on filters. Estimated Street Price: $1,540. Contact: Carl Zeiss, www.zeiss.com/photo.
Give your workflow a boost with ACDSee Pro 3. This latest version speeds up workflow through its user interface, which is built around managing, viewing and processing images. The Manage mode speeds the process of browsing, cataloging, retrieving and presenting collections with flexible time-saving tools. More than 100 file types are supported, including the latest RAW formats. In View mode, full-sized images can be seen faster. The Process mode integrates global nondestructive image editing and precise pixel-level editing, so you can make both kinds of adjustments and preview them in real time. Estimated Street Price: $169. Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com.
Sekonic’s L-758DR DigitalMaster is an exposure meter that can make incident or 1° spot readings of ambient and/or strobe lighting, displaying 1/10-stop accuracy. You can wirelessly trigger PocketWizard-enabled flash systems from up to 100 feet using the included RT-32 Radio Transmitter. And you can use the optional Sekonic Exposure Profile Target and included Data Transfer Software to accurately profile the sensitivity characteristics of your camera’s sensor, including its true native ISO, dynamic range and clipping points.You can store profile data for up to three cameras for instant recall. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Sekonic, (914) 347-3300, www.sekonic.com.
Give yourself some room when doing demanding imaging work with one of three new AccuSync monitors from NEC Display Solutions. The 19-inch AS191, 19-inch widescreen AS191WM and 22-inch widescreen AS221WM deliver top-notch image quality while using 48 percent less energy than predecessors. Key specs include VGA and DVI connectivity, a 1000:1 contrast ratio and tilt adjustability for enhanced comfort and flexibility. Other eco-friendly features include a two-step ECO mode for saving power and a carbon-footprint meter for tracking the conservation of green-gas emissions. Estimated Street Price: $249 (AS221WM); $199 (AS191); $189 (AS191WM). Contact: NEC Display Solutions, (866) NEC-MORE, www.necdisplay.com.
Arca-Swiss M-Line two
AD-SLR shooters can add view camera-like tilt/swing and shift capability via the new M-Line two Single Lens Reflex (SLR) and M-Line two Medium Format (MF) from Arca-Swiss. Placing tilt/swing on the front standard and shift on the rear standard maintains angle of view and a parallel film plane. An extension rail and bellows let you vary the scale of reproduction, while the Arca-Swiss Orbix tilt system allows you to maintain full control over the plane of focus. The M-Line two is compatible with all D-SLRs and all traditional medium-format film backs. Estimated Street Price: From $2,990. Contact: Arca-Swiss, (773) 248-2513, www.precisioncameraworks.com.
Schneider’s Classic Soft and Black Frost filters now are designed to fit APS-C D-SLRs and larger. The Classic Soft line helps blend blemishes and fine lines or gives a subtle glow to highlights while maintaining sharp focus. The Black Frost filters enhance images by subtly diffusing highlights and midtones without any degradation or dilution of black tones. The filters install on the front of a lens without requiring a matte box. They’re available in 43mm, 58mm, 62mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm, in strengths of 1⁄8, 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1, 2 and 3 (depending on filter type). Estimated Street Price: Varies by size. Contact: Schneider Optics, (818) 766-3715, www.schneideroptics.com.
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