Tuesday, November 2, 2010
New Tools Of The Trade
The 44-inch Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8300 is packed with features for producing fine-quality prints. The 12-color LUCIA EX pigment ink system has been reformulated, increasing the color gamut by about 20% from previous models and resulting in more expressive black tones, smoother color gradation and better reproduction of fine details, even in shadow areas. In addition to a wider color gamut, the ink system improves scratch resistance while reducing bronzing. Other key features include an 80 GB hard drive, a sub-ink tank system, built-in calibration and an Accounting Manager that tracks how much ink and paper is consumed and will calculate the cost of making large-format prints. Estimated Street Price: $5,995. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 and 9890 are capable of very high-resolution printing in 24-inch and 44-inch formats, respectively, as well as incorporate many new technologies. In addition to supporting large formats, the printers can print on almost any material, including Epson Signature Worthy papers, whether it comes in sheets or rolls. Both models use a high-density, 8-color pigment ink system, Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta, which provides vibrant blues and purples for an expanded color gamut. A new manufacturing process evaluates and calibrates each printer to ensure consistent performance, and an optional spectrophotometer automates the color-management process. Estimated Street Price: $2,995 (7890); $4,995 (9890). Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.proimaging.epson.com.
The HP Designjet Z6200 photo printer is faster than its predecessor and delivers 2,400 dpi resolution. The new HP Vivid Photo Inks used in the printer offer improved scratch resistance and a wider color gamut, with deeper blacks than previous generations. With an 8-ink system that includes HP Chromatic Red, up to 88% of the Pantone color space is covered. Ink efficiency has been improved, with the ability to print the same output using up to 44% less ink than previous HP ink systems. Fifty percent faster than its predecessor, the Z6200 prints up to 1,500 square feet per hour. Estimated Street Price: $8,995 (42-inch); $15,995 (60-inch). Contact: HP, (866) 352-1079, www.hp.com.
The Nissin Di866 Mark II Professional flash for Sony features a small flash (Sub-Flash) below the main flash for providing fill-in light while bouncing the main flash. The Sony model joins already available models for Canon and Nikon. With a guide number of 60 (198 feet at 105mm), the flash’s Auto Zoom covers a 24-105mm focal range. The head tilts up to 90º, and rotates 90º to the right and 180º to the left. The user-friendly interface has a color display with icons representing each of the operation modes—auto, TTL, manual and more. With supporting Sony ADI/P-TTL, the camera automatically controls the flash, but the flash exposure value can be compensated. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Nissin, www.nissindigital.com.
DxO Labs has made additions to its Analyzer software, which measures optical aberrations such as blur, vignetting, distortion and chromatic aberrations. New in version 4 are measurements for texture preservation and video. With video functionality becoming so prevalent in DSLRs, Analyzer v4 provides auto-exposure and white-balance stability measurements on image sequences (both RAW and RGB files) and noise analysis. It’s fully automatic for increasing speed and ensuring repeatability. Other new features include optical and sensor measurements for color fringing, advanced color shading and green channel imbalance, as well as interface and workflow upgrades. Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.
When all an assignment requires is a DSLR body and lens, Think Tank Photo offers the Digital Holster V2.0 as a carrying solution. Available in five sizes, the bag’s expandable Pop Down section holds lenses of two different vertical heights with the hood in position or reversed. There’s a side pocket for memory cards, a soft flap that covers the LCD, a shoulder strap and rain cover. It also fits most tripod plates while attached to the camera. The largest model holds a pro-sized DSLR with a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens. Estimated Street Price: $49 to $85. Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 558-4465, www.thinktankphoto.com.
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