DPP Home Gear In Focus January/February 2013

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

January/February 2013

New Tools Of The Trade

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Pro Capture
Phase One Capture One Pro 7 features new and improved options for enhancing image quality. More precise definition of fine detail and stronger recovery of deep shadow and highlight detail round out the top improvements. The noise-reduction algorithm delivers solid performance, even at high ISO levels. The Clarity tool helps boost landscape images or enhance skin tones in portraits. You now can organize images using a flexible cataloging system that allows you to work with multiple catalogs at the same time, share them and switch between them without having to relaunch the program. Estimated Street Price: $299 (new); $99 (upgrade). Contact: Phase One, www.phaseone.com.

Paper Cuts
The popular Epson Signature Worthy paper collection now includes three new canvases. Exhibition Canvas Natural delivers gallery-quality prints with industry-leading Dmax and color gamut without employing optical brightening agents (OBAs). The paper is available in a Gloss, Satin and Matte finish, and features a new OBA-free coating that maintains a bright white point for saturated colors, rich blacks and solid shadow detail. Constructed on a flexible base of blended cotton and polyester, the 19 ml thick Exhibition Canvas Natural media are both durable and offer improved flexibility, allowing them to be coated and stretched for easy finishing and framing. All three types are available in roll widths of 13, 17, 24, 44 and 60 inches, as well as 17x22-inch cut sheets. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Epson, www.proimaging.epson.com.

Ground Glass
MultiStitch delivers precise digital stitching for pro photographers using large-format cameras and DSLRs or medium-format digital backs. It mounts to your 4x5 along all four edges and on both sides. You can make vertical or horizontal images with full camera movements. With a medium-format digital back, you can use your widest lenses. The built-in MultiVent protects your devices from bellows pressure, stretching the time between costly cleanings. MultiStitch comes with a mask that allows you to compose and focus on the ground glass. With a DSLR, you can use lenses from about 90mm, depending on your 4x5. Unlike sliding pano backs, MultiStitch doesn't interfere with camera movements, shoots horizontal and vertical, and has no cranks to turn or loose parts to misplace. The MultiVent is also incorporated. Estimated Street Price: $950 (Canon/Nikon mount for DSLRs). Contact: MultiStitch, www.multistich.com.

Smart Portraits
When time is short, it's helpful to have a tool that can help you touch up portraits quickly. Portrait Professional from Anthropics is an incredibly powerful tool that works its magic with data acquired from analyzing thousands of images to determine what makes facial features attractive or not. For more fine-tuning, there are separate controls for adjusting facial dimensions and skin characteristics. Portrait Professional Studio is a 32-bit application, and Studio 64 is 64-bit for taking advantage of processing capabilities of the latest computers. All other Studio features are the same and include batch processing, improved plug-in support for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture, and extended RAW file support for better color control. Estimated Street Price: $59 (Studio); $118 (Studio 64). Contact: Anthropics, (971) 238-0917, www.portraitprofessional.com.

Tough Drive
The LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt hard drive series is fast, flexible and strong. With Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 interfaces, the drive gives you connectivity options, and the USB 3.0 interface is backward-compatible so you can connect it to computers with USB 2.0. Available models include 1 TB HDD, 120 GB SSD and 256 GB SSD. The Rugged SSD delivers speeds up to 380 MB/s while the HDD can perform at up to 110 MB/s. The drive is bus-powered through the included USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt cables, a nice feature that spares you from having to use a separate power adapter. The design follows the first Rugged portable drive with a removable bright orange rubber protective case, which covers the edges and keeps the drive safe from shocks and drops. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $199. Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com.

Clip It
The Capture Camera Clip System does away with neck straps and swinging cameras. It consists of an aluminum clip that fits on any belt or strap, and a quick-release plate that screws into the camera's tripod socket. Then, you just slip the camera in and (after pressing the quick-release button) out of the clip. The weatherproof aluminum unit comes with a lifetime guarantee, and works with any camera that has a standard tripod socket (1⁄4-inch diameter, 20 threads per inch). It can handle more than 100 pounds of force, but take note that not all belts and straps can. You can mount the camera in the clip in four directions, for easy lens changes, and can use a hand strap with it, if desired. The ARCAplate and MICROplate fit most Arca-type tripod heads, while the DUALplate fits both Arca and Manfrotto RC2 heads. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: Peak Design, www.peakdesignltd.com.

Speed Indeed
High-megapixel RAW still shooting and HD video require fast memory cards. The Transcend 1000X CompactFlash card supports UDMA mode 7, with high-speed transfer rates of up to 160 MB/s read and 120 MB/s write. It's also VPG-20-compliant, which means it's able to capture pro-quality video at sustained write speeds of at least 20 MB/s without dropping frames. Estimated Street Price: $109 (16 GB) to $749 (128 GB). Contact: Transcend, www.transcend-info.com.


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