Wednesday, June 20, 2007
New Tools Of The Trade
Hot New D-SLR
Nikon has just introduced a surprisingly low-priced sibling to its top-of-the-line D2x. The new D200 offers lots of features and performance as well as 10.2-megapixel resolution. Among the features are 1,005-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II; four-channel data output with the advanced image-processing engine of the D2x pro D-SLR; 11-area AF; up to 1,800 shots per battery charge; i-TTL wireless Speedlight flash control; 802.11b/g WiFi wireless image transfer (with an optional WT-3 Wireless Transmitter, to be available in Spring 2006); five frames per second for up to 22 NEF (RAW) images or 37 JPEGs; a minimal 50ms shutter-release lag; a big 2.5-inch LCD monitor with a 170-degree viewing angle in all directions; and much more. The D200 has a rugged yet lightweight magnesium-alloy chassis and body cover, and is compatible with more than 50 AF Nikkor lenses and the Nikon Creative Lighting System. Estimated Street Price: $1,699. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikondigitalusa.com.
• 10.2-megapixel resolution
• DX-sized CCD image sensor
• Optional wireless image transfer (with WT-3 Wireless Transmitter)
• 2.5-inch LCD monitor
• Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 AF System
• 5 fps for 22 RAW files or 37 JPEGs
• 3D Color Matrix Metering II metering system
You Want Megapixels?
Already chosen by Phase One A/S for use in its P 45 and P 30 medium-format digital camera backs (see DPP “In Focus,” September/October 2005), Kodak's new KAF-39000 and KAF-31600 are the highest-resolution image sensors available for professional photography as of this writing. The KAF-39000 fits its 39 million, 6.8-micron CCD pixels on a 36x48mm imaging area (exactly twice that of full-frame 35mm sensors), while the KAF-31600 puts its 31.6 million pixels in a 33x44mm imaging area. This means a new level of image detail for shooters, from studio masters to landscape pros. Contact: Eastman Kodak Company, Image Sensor Solutions, (585) 722-4385, www.kodak.com.
Back At It
Leaf America has introduced a pair of high-resolution 6x7-format digital backs for professional photographers. The Leaf Aptus 75 features 6726 x 5050-pixel resolution (33.9 megapixels and a file size of about 200 MB at 16 bits), while the Leaf Aptus 65 provides 6144 x 4622 pixels (28.4 megapixels and a file size of about 160 MB at 16 bits). Besides lots of detail, each back has a 6x7cm LCD touch screen that makes the image-capture workflow simple and displays images beautifully big. Other assets include recording uncompressed RAW files or a lossless-compression option that reduces RAW file sizes by half, a new 30 GB Leaf Digital Magazine to store the big images and an extended ISO range from 50 to 800. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Leaf America, (866) 4-US-LEAF, www.leafamerica.com.
Buy Ink In Bulk
Users of HP Designjet 5000 and 5500 large-format printers will be interested in Lyson's new bulk-feed system for these devices. Adding the bulk-feed system for Lyson's Repleo bulk ink cartridges with an everlasting chip can save users up to 50% on ink costs. Repleo inks are color-matched to the original OEM inks and require no new color profiles. Estimated Street Price: Dye-based starting at $1,795; pigment-based (UV) starting at $2,200. Contact: Lyson, (847) 690-1060, www.lyson.com.
Digital Asset Management (DAM)—aka “keeping track of your photos”—is critical for any pro. One of the better tools to help you do it is iView MediaPro 3, a Windows- and Mac-compatible program that helps you create a customized, centralized, searchable repository for managing huge quantities of digital files. The software makes it easy to import, organize, search, annotate, repurpose and archive all your digital files. MediaPro 3 supports more than 130 file formats. You can create any number of catalogs, each containing up to 128,000 files. You can also produce customized slideshows, web galleries, movies, contact sheets and cross-platform catalogs. Version 3 adds a Pro Lightbox with a histogram and pixel magnifier, streamlined annotations, powerful batch control, the ability to e-mail photos directly from a catalog and much more. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: iView Multimedia, (714) 566-1000, www.iview-multimedia.com.
Look, No Moiré!
The P 30 is the latest back from Phase One. The 31.6-megapixel back produces 93 MB files and does so at a fast clip of up to 45 frames per minute. At that capture rate, Phase One sees the back as being of particular interest to fashion shooters, but anyone who's in need of very high-resolution images will find the P 30 to be a strong contender. The CCD sensor's pixels measure 6.8 microns, which will help diminish or eliminate moiré patterns in compositional elements, such as hair or closely knit fabrics, without having to resort to multi-pass solutions. Actual pixel dimensions are 6496 x 4872, and the CCD measures 44.2x33.1mm. The ISO range is 50-800, and the back is compatible with Hasselblad 555 ELD, 553 ELX, 503 CW, 501 CM and H1 models, as well as the Mamiya RZ67 and 645ZFD, and the Contax 645AF bodies. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Phase One, (888) PHASE-ONE, www.phaseone.com.
Take Me Along
Here's a handy way to take up to 40 GB of your images (and other digital files) with you almost anywhere. The 40 GB Kanguru Zipper Pro is a rugged portable hard drive that can withstand up to 1500 G's—yet fits in a shirt pocket. It's compatible with Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP and Mac OS X and later via its swiveling USB 2.0 plug, and comes with a USB extension cable for added convenience. Estimated Street Price: $229 ($179 for 20 GB model). Contact: Kanguru Solutions, (888) KANGURU, www.kanguru.com/zipperpro.html.
Picaholic makes it easy to create and update your own database-driven Flash website with unlimited pages and image galleries, using just four simple steps. There's no software to download or install; it's all done online. Innovative new designs are added on a weekly basis and you can easily switch between templates with a single click, then see the results with your content in seconds. Price: $15 per month, with $100 setup fee; 7-day free trial with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Contact: Picaholic.com, www.picaholic.com.
Archival Storage For Digital Prints
The Moab Chinle Archival Box is a fine solution for long-term print storage. Featuring top and bottom panels that lie flat when opened for easy access, the clamshell-style box is made of heavyweight Kappa binder board using neutral-pH adhesive, and lined with 80-pound acid- and lignin-free white paper. The exterior is covered with an attractive F-grade black buckram. Chinle Archival Boxes are available in sizes to store prints from 4x6 to 13x19 inches. Estimated Street Price: $15 (4x6) to $63 (13x19). Contact: Moab Paper, (435) 259-3161, www.moabpaper.com.
Getting colors right from the press of the shutter button to the final output is a challenge. GretagMacbeth's Eye-One Photo system provides a fast, smart and easy-to-use way to create profiles for digital cameras, scanners, monitors, RGB printers and projectors. The system's Eye-One Pro Spectrophotometer is now bundled with a carry bag and a new ruler that glides easily over the test chart so there's no contact with the device. The system is compatible with Windows and Mac. Estimated Street Price: $1,495; $1,695 (CMYK version). Contact: GretagMacbeth, (800) 622-2384, www.gretagmacbeth.com.
Piracy Protection For Stock Shooters
Stock agency Corbis and technology/service provider PicScout have joined forces to employ Image Tracker Service to monitor the usage of 1.2 million Corbis rights-managed images. The service allows Corbis to better track web and print piracy, and thus better protect its photographers and images against misuse. Image Tracker applies sophisticated crawling and image-recognition technology, and can detect even highly distorted images. Contact: Corbis, www.corbis.com; PicScout, www.picscout.com.
Featuring 4800 x 9600 dpi optical resolution and a high 4.0 Dmax, the Microtek ScanMaker i800 flatbed delivers high-quality scans from both reflective material (prints) up to 8.5x14 inches and transparencies (and negatives) up to 8x12 inches, in 48-bit color. Microtek's exclusive PictuRescue system removes creases, dust and scratches, while ColorRescue automatically restores faded color (you can also adjust these corrections manually when desired). Two scanning software packages offer total control for the power user and simple automatic operation for those who prefer it. Both high-speed USB and FireWire interfaces are provided. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Microtek, (310) 687-5940, www.microtekusa.com.
Quantum QTTL D19w Adapter
Users of Hasselblad's newest digital cameras can now take advantage of Quantum's Qflash system, thanks to Quantum's new D19w QTTL adapter. The D19w fits atop the camera and links Hasselblad H1, H1D, H2 and H2D cameras to Quantum's T5d, T4d, T2D, X2D and X4D Qflash digital flash units, providing a host of features that include wireless TTL, wired TTL, AF-assist, pre-flash metering, TTL ratio fill-flash, auto ratio fill-flash, rear-curtain sync, shutter-speed control and viewfinder ready indicator. Quantum's QTTL wireless TTL system consists of the Qflash 5d or 4d flash unit, a QTTL adapter for the camera (available for a variety of popular digital and film SLRs) and a Quantum FreeXWire receiver for the flash unit. Estimated Street Price: $119 (D19w). Contact: Quantum Instruments, (631) 656-7400, www.qtm.com.
Frame It Right
Here's a quick and easy way to select just the right digital frame for your photos. Frame Explorer software displays your image on screen and lets you see what it looks like with various mat and frame sizes, colors and textures against the color of the wall on which you'll hang the frame. You can simulate the display lighting conditions and try rectangular or oval openings, different frame widths and profiles, square or beveled edges, and single, double or triple matting—or no matting. When you see what you want on screen, you can print the final image with a bill of materials including the dimensions of all components. Windows only. Estimated Street Price: $39 (free with purchase of Picture Window Pro for a limited time). Contact: Digital Light & Color, (617) 489-8858, www.dl-c.com.
Panasonic has added three new SD memory cards to its line. Fastest is the Pro High Speed Series 2 GB SD memory card, which can transfer data at up to 20 MB per second—ideal for high-speed continuous shooting with pro digital cameras. Also joining the line are the 1 GB Pro High Speed card (up to 5 MB per second) and the 512 MB miniSD card (up to 2 MB per second). Estimated Street Price: $319 (2 GB Pro High Speed); $129 (1 GB Pro High Speed); $59 (512 MB miniSD). Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com.
Take A Hike
It's a hiking staff and a monopod—and a tripod, too! Trek-Tech's TrekPod is a terrific tool for working in outdoor situations. A unique MagMount ballhead (also available separately) provides magnetic quick-mount/quick-release capability and easy positioning at any angle for any device that uses industry-standard mounting threads, while a supplied cork palm rest covers the MagMount for hiking-staff use. The TrekPod extends from 43 to 58 inches in tripod mode, and 46.5 to 62 inches in hiking staff/monopod mode, and weighs just 30 ounces, including the MagMount. Estimated Street Price: $139. Contact: Trek-Tech, (503) 459-0030, www.trek-tech.com.
Flora handcrafted Allure Digital Professional albums offer an elegant way to present images to wedding clients or anytime you need to create a top-quality album. Featuring a black or pearl leather cover and a coordinating hard-shell presentation box with magnetic closure, each album accepts easy-to-install slip-in pages that match the cover. Albums hold 12, 15 or 18 pages, and come in 8x10- and 10x10-inch sizes. Estimated Street Price: $120 to $170. Contact: Flora Albums, www.floraalbums.com.
Fifty years ago, the world was a different place. A young U.S. soldier named Stanley Milstein captured some wonderful moments of the era in post-World War II Europe while serving there. Now, his son has restored and printed some of Milstein's best black-and-white photos and created a book called Furlough 55 (Perceval Press, 2005, 92 pages, paper over board). Included is a dialogue between Perceval Press founder Viggo Mortensen and Hugh Milstein during the book's conceptual stages. Estimated Street Price: $30. Contact: Perceval Press, www.percevalpress.com.
Generations Quad-N-Color Ink Set
Media Street's new Generations Quad-N-Color (G8) 100% pigment ink set was designed specifically to complement Epson R2400, R4800, 7800 and 9800 large-format inkjet printers. The new inks provide higher-density pigments that deliver rich, saturated colors with a wider color gamut, excellent black output and long-lasting prints. There's also a new line of Generations Quad-N-Color papers to complement the new inks. Estimated Street Price: $20 (4-ounce bottle). Contact: Media Street, (888) 633-4295, www.mediastreet.com.
Software Cinema, founded by the late photo-workshop legend Dean Collins, offers photo training (including lots of Photoshop workshops) in a number of effective formats: Training Camp Live workshops with master instructors; Training Camp Cinema workshops with high-definition movies on a large screen; Products-On-Disc CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs for home study; and online Workshops-On-Demand, which you can access anytime 24/7 for 90 days from the purchase date. Instructors include Photoshop gurus Julieanne Kost and Katrin Eismann. Price: Starts at $29 for Workshops-On-Demand and $49 for live workshops and CDs. Contact: Software Cinema, (858) 413-4100, www.software-cinema.com.
Roll Your Own Website
A good commercial website is a must for today's pro photographer, but many don't have the interest, knowledge and skills (or budget) required to create one. Enter Moments4Ever, with its do-it-yourself program that makes it easy to create your own e-commerce-enabled site. The 100% web-based service lets you create and update your site at any time via a standard browser interface, using any web-connected PC. Sites integrate seamlessly with the company's online proofing, order fulfillment, web hosting, archival storage and credit-card processing. Price: $99 publishing fee; monthly hosting fee ranging from $14 to $19. Contact: Moments4Ever, (888) 444-4945, www.moments4ever.com.
Blinkbid is an easy-to-use estimating and invoicing program for pro photographers. A handy Usage Tracker in the new Blinkbid Pro 3.2 version makes it easy to keep track of usage licenses. Once you assign an expiration date, the software automatically places the job in the Usage Tracker when that date passes. You can display with a mouse click a list of jobs with expired usage licenses—a convenient reminder to contact those clients. Price: $89. Contact: Blinkbid Software, www.blinkbid.com.