Tuesday, December 21, 2010
New Tools Of The Trade
Get consistent color from capture to edit using the SpyderCheckr from Datacolor. With standardized color patches and easy-to-use calibration software, SpyderCheckr lets you create custom camera profiles, decreasing the time you spend in postproduction because you don’t have to adjust color by trial and error. There are 48 patches representing a wide range of spectrally neutral colors. Also available from Datacolor is the SpyderCheckr Pro, a bundle that adds the SpyderCube for capturing custom white balance and neutrality data from multiple light sources, and correcting highlight and shadow details. Estimated Street Price: $129 (SpyderCheckr); $169 (SpyderCheckr Pro). Contact: Datacolor, (800) 554-8688, www.datacolor.com/spyder.
Powerful Compact Zoom
Space matters greatly when you’re traveling from one assignment to the next. The 15.9-ounce Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD allows you to conserve room and delivers the versatility of shooting from a variety of focal lengths. The lens measures 3.8 inches in length, 2.9 inches in diameter and uses new PZD (Piezo Drive) autofocus technology that makes the ultrasonic motor fast and quiet when focusing. Other features include Vibration Compensation image stabilization, a minimum focusing distance of 19.3 inches throughout the zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8. The lens is available for Canon and Nikon mounts, with a Sony mount to come later. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Tamron, (800) 827-8880, www.tamron-usa.com.
DxO Optics Pro v6.5
Render the full dynamic range of a high-contrast scene without bracketing using DxO Optics Pro v6.5, which features Single Shot HDR technology. Enhanced automatic local exposure correction combines with finely tuned shadow noise removal to deliver high-quality results from a single RAW image. Also new in this latest version is an improved RAW conversion engine that further reduces low-frequency color and luminance noise for more natural-looking images. The program can be used alone or as an external editor in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. Supported cameras include the Canon EOS 60D and Nikon D3100. Estimated Street Price: $299 (Elite); $119 (upgrade). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.
The latest RAW SDHC memory cards from Hoodman are steel-plated to withstand the rigors of the roughest shooting environments. With new miniature, chip-on-board technology, there’s extra room for a reinforced internal housing structure that protects sensitive flash components from damage. The cards have a Class 10 speed rating, which is sufficient for taking higher-resolution stills and HD video. The cards are available in capacities of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Hoodman USA, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.
Sometimes an assignment calls for leaving the big studio strobes and barn doors behind. As a complement to a flash unit, the Quick Spot from Harbor Digital Design helps you create direct, focused and sharp lighting for work that requires you to be mobile. The Quick Spot is available in ¼-inch and 1/8-inch units with Lee Gel Filter Packs for creating concentrated special effects with ease. Like a snoot, the honeycomb grid creates a circular, tight beam of light highlighting subjects or areas of interest. The unit slides easily onto your flash without needing Velcro® or straps. Estimated Street Price: $44. Contact: Harbor Digital Design, (253) 851-6117, www.harbordigitaldesign.com.
The 23-inch MultiSync PA231W from NEC Display Solutions features full 1920x1080 HD resolution, a high 1000:1 contrast ratio and a 14-bit 3D lookup table for precise color calibrations. Connectivity options include a DisplayPort, two DVI-D inputs, VGA and a USB hub. If you work in different color spaces and operating systems, DisplaySync ProT technology allows you to control two computers connected to the PA231W with only one keyboard and mouse, each with its own color space. Estimated Street Price: $679. Contact: NEC Display Solutions, (866) 632-6673, www.necdisplay.com.
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