Monday, January 7, 2008
New Tools Of The Trade
Make truly impressive, full-bleed color or monochrome prints up to 44 or 60 inches on the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8100 and iPF9100. Using the 12-color Lucia pigment ink system, which includes four enhanced monochrome inks, the printers deliver a wide color gamut with excellent color fastness and stability over time. Both models have built-in calibration systems. The L-COA processor helps produce high-quality images at fast speeds. The new intelligent screen dot pattern and precise ink droplet control eliminate visible dot graininess to a greater degree than previous models. Other advanced features include automatic clogged-nozzle detection, an 80 GB hard drive and the option of a 330 ml or 700 ml ink tank. Estimated Street Price: $5,995 (iPF8100); $14,995 (iPF9100). Contact: Canon USA, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Upgrade your Mac to OS X Leopard, Apple's most significant update to the OS X system. Packed with more than 300 features, the most significant tool is Time Machine. The backup-and-restore software keeps up-to-date copies of all your files and remembers how your system looked on the dates you're browsing. Select a specific date, and Time Machine finds your most recent changes, or do a Spotlight search to find exactly what you're looking for. The Leopard Server edition adds some other interesting features, like simplified user controls for determining who in your studio can access specific drives and documents, new online collaboration tools and a podcast-production tool that lets you turn raw media into Web-ready podcasts in a couple of clicks. Estimated Street Price: $129 (Leopard); $499 (Leopard Server). Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.
Central to DxO Optics Pro v5 is a new demosaicing engine that produces images with richer details and fewer artifacts. Demosaicing is crucial during RAW conversion because it determines the amount of detail and artifacts in the final image. In building this new engine, DxO took an approach of looking farther than usual from each pixel in an image to reconstruct detail. Another significant upgrade is noise reduction. Instead of applying noise removal after the demosaicing process, it's performed up front, before noise becomes amplified and absorbs fine details. Also included is a dust- and blemish-removal tool, which lets you click on and automatically remove dust spots, and a redesigned user interface organized to improve workflow and faster processing. Estimated Street Price: $169 (Standard); $299 (Elite). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.
If you've started shooting video along with stills, the Lensbaby 3GPL is a PL mount version of the Lensbaby 3G for SLRs. Designed for motion capture, the 3GPL is a unique prime lens offering fixed or flexible “tilt-and-swing” positioning for on-the-fly techniques. It allows you to bring one part of the frame into sharp focus—the sweet spot surrounded by gradually increasing blur. You can move the sweet spot anywhere in the frame by bending the Lensbaby's flexible body. By compressing and bending the lens manually, the focus area is determined and simply locked into a fixed position by pressing a button. Then, using a traditional manual-focus mechanism, you're able to follow-focus or fine-tune the focus at a fixed position. You need a PL-to-video adapter to use the 3GPL with video cameras. Estimated Street Price: $490. Contact: Lensbabies, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbabies.com.
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