DPP Home Gear In Focus July-August 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

July-August 2007

New Tools Of The Trade

In Focus Sinar Hy6 Digital Camera

The result of a technological partnership between Sinar and Franke & Heidecke (Rolleiflex), Sinar's new Hy6 is a medium-format digital AF camera that covers both 6x4.5 and classic 6x6 formats. Features include fast autofocusing, an easy-to-grasp operating concept, a 90-degree finder with adjustable diopters, an open interface for user-friendly back adaptations, a central shutter with speeds up to 1/1000 sec., an independent metering system, quiet operation and more. Available kits include the Hy6 body and Sinarback eMotion 54LV 22-megapixel digital back and the Hy6 body with eMotion 75LV 33.3-megapixel digital back. Estimated Street Price: $32,500 (Sinar Hy6/Sinarback eMotion 75LV system); $30,500 (Sinar Hy6/Sinarback eMotion 54LV). Contact: Sinar Bron, (908) 754-5800, www.sinarbron.com.

In FocusNew Phase One P+ Camera Backs
Phase One's new P+ Digital Camera Backs feature XPose+ technology that enables exposures of up to one hour (great for extreme light painting), live preview with scalable focus window, a unique patented level meter to assure perfect horizontal setup, a unique Opticolor+ processing algorithm for more accurate colors even in shadows, Dynamic+ technology to improve dynamic range and reduce noise at all ISO settings and more. Backs are available for many popular medium-format and 4x5 cameras in five versions: P 45+ (39 MP); P 30+ (31.6 MP); P 25+ (22 MP); P 21+ (18 MP); and P 20+ (16 MP). Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Phase One, (631) 547-8000, www.phaseone.com.

In FocusQuantum FreeXwires
Quantum Instruments' FreeXwire digital receivers link flash units to digital and film cameras wirelessly, providing TTL control up to 500 feet away. The compact FW7Q receiver plugs directly into Qflash 5d or 4d flash units, while the FW8R receiver can be used with any shoe, handle or Qflash for wireless sync. The FW9T transmitter can operate sets of FreeXwire units working together on the same channel or separate groups of FreeXwires working on independent channels. Each unit provides eight independent non-interfering channels, four remote zones that can be turned on or off in any combination, and status LEDs that confirm battery condition and that units are on. The FW7Q has a range of 300 to 600 feet, the FW8R 500 to 1,000 feet. Estimated Street Price: $200 (FW7Q); $250 (FW8R); $250 (FW9T). Contact: Quantum Instruments, (631) 656-7400, www.qtm.com.

In FocusMega Back
Mamiya has announced the release of the Mamiya ZD 645AFD II Digital system, which includes a 80mm ƒ/2.8 AF lens and Mamiya ZD 22-megapixel digital back. Features of the digital back include interchangeable IR and low-pass filters, the ability to shoot 1.2 frames per second, and files can be saved as RAW, JPEG or both. Camera functions can be controlled via computer. Either CompactFlash or SD cards can be used, and Adobe Lightroom software comes as a standard accessory. The ZD 22 digital back also can be used with the Mamiya RZ67 Pro IID and Mamiya 645AFD. For current owners, the digital back can be purchased separately. Estimated Street Price: $7,000 (back only); $10,000 (complete system). Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com.

In FocusLowepro Goes Green
Versatility and environmental awareness combine in the new Primus AW photo backpack from Lowepro. The bag is made of 51-percent recycled materials and designed to provide optimal comfort, protection and accessibility with minimal bulk. The main padded camera compartment holds a D-SLR pro body with attached zoom lens, plus a couple of extra lenses and flash units. You also can get to your gear without taking the bag off by using the expandable, side-zipped camera pockets. List Price: $279. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.

In Focus“Digital” Meter
Since no two digital cameras and their built-in light meters are likely to agree on exactly the same exposure, they need to be matched to a single standard. The Sekonic L-758Cine DigitalMaster can be programmed to match the sensitivity of image sensors or different types of film, and it will store the dynamic range of your image sensor, which can be displayed on the meter's LCD. The L-758Cine is able to compensate for variation in exposure accuracy caused by different ISO settings, light sources, measuring methods and even file formats. Individual incident measurements for highlights, midtones and shadows can be memorized and calculated simultaneously with reflected spot measurements. Also included is a retractable Lumisphere, which can be extended for incident readings of three-dimensional subjects or retracted for a narrow incident metering angle that's ideal for brightness evaluations or lighting-ratio calculations. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sekonic, (914) 347-3309, www.sekonic.com.

In FocusPremium Packaging
The new line of Signature presentation boxes from DNL Photo Packaging comes in four new colors—aqua blue, pear green, chocolate and diamond white. The boxes are available in four popular print and proof sizes, and can be personalized with a company logo in a variety of complimentary foil colors. Made with premium-quality materials, the boxes have a white interior and feature unique embossed patterns. Available sizes are 4x6x2.5, 5x7x0.5, 8x10x0.5 and 11x14x0.5 inches. Prices vary depending on size and color. Contact: DNL Photo Packaging, (800) 845-9435, www.dnlphoto.com.

In FocusEye Candy Update
Alien Skin Software has a new special-effects suite, the Eye Candy Effects Collection. Included are the award-winning Eye Candy, Xenofex and Snap Art plug-ins for Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop. There are full versions of five Alien Skin plug-in titles: Eye Candy 5: Impact, Eye Candy 5: Nature, Eye Candy 5: Textures, Xenofex 2 and Snap Art, plus 54 special-effects filters. The suite provides many image-enhancing effects, including chrome, brushed metal, glass, bevels, reflections, lightning, jigsaw puzzles, flag, burnt edges and natural-media effects. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.

In FocusBerlebach Ash-Wood Tripods
Tripods have to be steady, but sometimes photographers don't consider environmental vibrations as sources of camera movement. Berlebach tripods are made of specially grown and selected ash, which compensates for environmental vibrations and thus enhances sharpness. The tripods are also electrically nonconductive, reducing the chances of equipment damage from electromagnetic fields and static electricity. Sturdy and rugged, the tripods resist climatic extremes and have been used on polar expeditions and in deserts and rain forests, and they can be touched in extreme cold without the need for gloves. The ash wood used is a renewable raw material, and the tripods look great. Three two-section models and two three-section models are available. Estimated Street Price: $140 to $270. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.

In FocusWide-Screen LCD

LaCie's new 526 Monitor offers a big (25.5-inch) picture with a wide gamut and uniform, stabilized display. Advanced single-click color-calibration tools, a 12-bit LUT and 16-bit processing complement the 1920 x 1200 resolution and support for 95-percent Adobe RGB and 98.5-percent ISO-coated color spaces. An ergonomic stand hides cables and adjusts for height, tilt, swivel and pivot, while a one-piece easyHood reduces glare. Estimated Street Price: $1,999 (standard); $2,299 (bundled with LaCie's blue eye pro colorimeter). Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4502, www.lacie.com.

In FocusMetering Color Temperature
Built-in white-balance settings in digital cameras are handy, but not always dead-on accurate. Most digital cameras let you select specific color temperatures, but how do you know what temperature to set? By using a color temperature meter. The new Kenko KCM-3100 color meter reads both ambient and flash, is very easy to use and offers three display modes: LB (Light Balancing) index, CC (Color-Correction) index, and—of particular interest to digital photographers—K (Kelvin) color temperature. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: THK Photo Products, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

In FocusPNY Technologies Memory Card
PNY Technologies new 8 GB SDHC card has a read and write speed of 4 MBps, supporting Class 6 (or lower) D-SLRs and video cameras. Estimated Street Price: $90. Contact: PNY Technologies, www2.pny.com.

In FocusFive Handy Digital Film Tools

Digital Film Tools has released five Photoshop software upgrades: 55mm v7.5, Digital Film Lab v2.5, Light! v3.5, Ozone v.2.5 and zMatte v2.5. All offer compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CS3, Windows XP and Vista, Macintosh Universal and Intel (native), an image thumbnail preview with each filter, a resizable viewer, a number of compare modes, online help and more. Ozone provides a large number of digital optical effects filters; Digital Film Lab offers a wide range of film looks; Light! has a series of lighting effects and patterns; Ozone has a Digital Zone System for precise control of color, brightness, contrast and more; and zMatte offers blue and greenscreen keying. Estimated Street Price: $50 (55mm upgrade); $25 (other upgrades). Contact: Digital Film Tools, (818) 761-6577, www.digitalfilmtools.com.

In FocusProject With Confidence
Present your work in a way that matches its quality with the Epson high-aperture, 3LCD PowerLite 822p or PowerLite 77c. Both projectors feature XGA resolution (1024 x 768 x 3 LCDs), a 1.2x power zoom lens and a solid-state optical engine that works without a moving color wheel for precise, rainbow-free color reproduction. The PowerLite 822p has 2600 ANSI lumens of brightness, a 7-watt speaker, a built-in closed-caption decoder, and RJ-45 LAN connectivity for remote monitoring and control through an IT network. The PowerLite 77c offers 2200 ANSI lumens of brightness, a 1-watt speaker, and a convenient A/V Mute slider for instantly shutting off images and sound if you want to pause during a presentation. Interfaces for both projectors include computer/component video (mini D-sub 15 pin), S-video (mini DIN), composite RCA video and audio, plus a monitor out. Estimated Street Price: $749 (77c); $1,099 (822p). Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.

In FocusAcratech Tripod Heads
U.S.A.-made Acratech tripod heads are precision CNC-machined from aircraft-quality aluminum and stainless steel, offer a beautiful satin black anodized finish, feature secure knobs and are compatible with all Arca Swiss-type quick-release plates. The Ultimate ballhead and V2 Head weigh less than a pound, yet can support more than 25 pounds, and feature oil-less and greaseless balls that won't attract dirt and debris. There's also a new GV2 Head that adds gimbal capabilities, handy with long lenses. Estimated Street Price: $269 (Ultimate Ballhead); $329 (V2 Head); $349 (GV2 Head). Contact: Acratech, (909) 394-1802, www.acratechusa.com.

In FocusLexar Platinum II Memory Cards
Lexar has expanded its lineup of popular-priced Platinum II memory cards with the addition of a 4 GB CompactFlash card and 2 GB and 4 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Customers purchasing the new Platinum 4 GB CF card (or other select CF and SD cards in the line) can download free of charge a valuable software suite, including the full version of Image Rescue 3, Corel Snapfire Plus SE and Lexar Backup n Sync powered by Sharpcast. Estimated Street Prices: TBA. Contact: Lexar Media, (510) 413-1200, www.lexar.com.

In FocusCamera/Computer Pack
Find plenty of room for storing all of the gear you need most in the Tamrac Adventure 9 Photo/Computer backpack. The backpack has a foam-padded lower compartment for storing your photo equipment, including camera body with attached lens, additional lenses, flash, accessories and a laptop. The large top compartment holds other necessities you might have on your shoot. A Pop-Off Pocket inside the top part keeps AC adapters and laptop cords organized. A separate, foam-padded compartment holds up to a 17-inch laptop. The backpack comes in red and black, and grey and black. List Price: $149. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.

In FocusPhotoShelter
One of the worst things that could befall a digital photographer is losing images to a fire, natural disaster or other cause. Sure, you've backed up your images on hard drives and/or DVDs, but there's always that slim chance something will happen to them. So more and more photographers are using online backup to protect their images. PhotoShelter offers disaster-proof storage with mirrored data centers on both coasts, each employing RAID technology. Besides safely storing your images, PhotoShelter provides a sales platform through which you can display and sell images. It's not cheap—a one-terabyte plan costs $1,000 a year—but what are your photos worth? Contact: PhotoShelter, www.photoshelter.com.

In FocusTera-Storage
For those who need bigger multimedia servers in their office, studio or home, the TeraStation Live and TeraStation Pro II from Buffalo Technology are now available with up to 3 TBs of room. Both are Windows- or Mac-compatible and feature four quick-swap SATA hard drives with four RAID operational modes to choose from. For continual monitoring of hard-drive performance, the TeraStation Pro II has an advanced RAID system. It also has features like Active Directory integration and DFS support for businesses and professional working environments. For increased import capability, interface on both servers includes two USB ports, a 10/100/1000 Base-T Gigabit Ethernet port and Jumbo Frame capability for high-speed transfer. Each server also comes with multi-language, Memeo Autobackup software for Windows. Estimated Street Price: $2,499. Contact: Buffalo Technology, (512) 349-1300, www.buffalotech.com.

Panasonic Photo Academy
Improve your professional photography skills at the Panasonic LUMIX Digital Photo Academy, a series of workshops being held in 20 cities across the nation. Taught by local top-rated professional photographers like Brian Smith, a Pulitzer-Prize winner and teacher at the Digital Photo Academy in Miami, the advanced workshop consists of a four-hour field shoot, followed by six hours of post-capture technique and image critique. Students also are encouraged to take advantage of the instructor's local presence as an added resource they can use beyond the classroom. Each workshop is spread over two days and limited to a maximum of 15 students. Workshop Fee: $150. Contact: Digital Photo Academy, (877) DP-ACAD-4, www.DigitalPhotoAcademy.com.

In FocusKingston Memory Cards
Kingston is offering three new 8 GB SDHC cards with varying minimum data transfer speed rates ranging from 2 MBps to 6 MBps. Estimated Street Price: $110 to $129. Contact: Kingston, (877) KINGSTON, www.kingston.com.

In FocusProtect Your Book
Ship portfolios and mounted prints with peace of mind in Tenba's Airbook portfolio cases. Each case is constructed of a sturdy Air Case frame, a multi-layered skeleton of air-channeled plastic panels, high-density foam and specially molded framing components, all wrapped with soft, brushed tricot to both protect and present the contents with class. The interior has two features specially suited for portfolios—corner cutouts, to protect mounted prints and delicate books, and hand cutouts on each side that allow for easy removal of the contents. Additional compartments inside the lid provide space for comp cards, cover letters, return shipping documents and business cards. The exterior of the Airbook is wrapped with ballistic nylon and features a multi-purpose DataSleeve window. When not being used for shipping data, the window can be used to display a photograph, magazine cover or personal logo. For an additional cost, Tenba will create a custom laser-engraved, anodized aluminum plate for the window. Airbook is available in four sizes to accommodate material: 8½x11, 11x14, 11x17 and 16x20 inches. Estimated Street Price: $198 to $250. Contact: Tenba, (914) 347-3300, www.tenba.com.

In FocusUndercover Bag
Intentionally designed not to look like camera bags, Urban Disguise bags allow you to carry your gear, including large lenses and laptops, into potentially perilous settings with decreased threat of unwanted attention. Each bag is specifically designed for D-SLRs and for holding the bag close to your body. Each model features multiple pockets, YKK-locking zipper sliders and a seam-sealed raincover. Estimated Street Price: $69 to $189. Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 55THINK, www.thinktankphoto.com.



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