DPP Home Gear In Focus March-April 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

March-April 2007

New Tools Of The Trade

In Focus Hasselblad H3D-31

Hasselblad has introduced a high-resolution D-SLR for the mobile photographer. The new H3D-31 offers 31-megapixel resolution from a 44x33mm sensor. Quick untethered operation (as well as tethered operation when desired), ISOs up to 800, and a capture rate of 1.2 seconds per image make the new camera a fine choice for high-quality digital photography in the studio and in the field. Other features include those shared with its H3D-22 and H3D-39 brethren (22 and 39 megapixels, respectively): Hasselblad's Natural Color Solution, Digital Auto Correction and Instant Approval Architecture, superb image quality with moiré-free color rendering, choice of waist-level or eye-level viewfinders, digitally APO-corrected lenses and more. You also can replace the digital back with a film back and shoot film when desired. Estimated Street Price: $24,995. Contact: Hasselblad USA, (800) 367-6434, www.hasselbladusa.com.

In FocusBeta-Test Photoshop CS3!
Adobe has done something a bit different with the new Photoshop CS3: They've put the beta version on their Website for download by anyone interested in checking it out. If you have a CS2 serial number, you become a “beta tester” at your leisure. If you don't have a serial number, you can download a version that expires in two days—time enough to check out the great new features. Among them: nondestructive Smart Filters, a new Quick Select tool, advanced black-and-white conversion, Refine Edge for easy modification of selection edges, enhanced Camera Raw features, automatic layer alignment and blending, and lots more. The Mac version provides native performance on Intel Macintoshes as well as G4 and G5 Macs; the PC version works with Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher and Windows Vista. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Adobe Systems, (800) 833-6687, www.adobe.com.

In FocusPhoto Business In A Box
Manage workflow and create customized print packages for clients in house or via the Web with the Epson Portrait Edition Series. Created by Epson and ExpressDigital for portrait, wedding and event photographers, the Epson Portrait Edition Series is a combination hardware and software solution for producing print packages efficiently and affordably. Import virtually any file format, including RAW, Adobe, Digital Negative, TWAIN and proprietary digital camera files, then drop them into more than 150 different graphic templates, including album layouts, themed layouts and calendars. Two editions are available—one for the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 and one for the Epson Stylus Pro 4800. The software also will support the Epson Stylus Pro 7800 and 9800. Estimated Street Price: $1,495 (Epson Stylus Pro 3800 Portrait Edition); $2,195 (Epson Stylus Pro 4800 Portrait Edition). Contact: Epson America, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.

In FocusHP Scanjet Photo Scanners
It's time to break that archive of negatives and photos out from the basement. Scan your photos, 35mm slides and negatives with the HP Scanjet G4010 and G4050. The built-in transparent media adapter can batch-scan five 35mm slides or six negative frames on the G4010 and 16 slides or 30 frames on the G4050. Six-color, 96-bit scanning provides color accuracy, while 4800 x 9600 dpi resolution provides high definition. The included HP Photosmart software provides color restoration and dust and scratch removal, HP Adaptive Lighting for dark-image recovery, and an image editor with automatic red-eye removal capability. Estimated Street Price: $149 (G4010); $199 (G4050). Contact: Hewlett-Packard, (800) 752-0900, www.hp.com.

In FocusLowepro SlingShot 300AW
The Lowepro SlingShot family has a new big brother. A popular seller with photojournalists and designed for photographers who need quick access to their gear, this series of sling camera bags features a weight disbursement belt that allows the wearer to rotate the bag from the back—“carry mode”—to the front—“ready mode”—in seconds. The 300AW has internal storage dimensions of 11.8x6.5x11.8 inches, enough for a D-SLR with an attached zoom, five to six lenses, flash units and personal accessories. Plus, there's a built-in pouch and two accessory pockets. Estimated Street Price: $125. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.

In FocusMask Pro 4
Masking is one of the more challenging chores in digital imaging. Mask Pro 4, the new upgrade from onOne Software, makes it quick and easy. Retaining the basic Mask Pro concept of user-chosen “keep colors” and “drop colors,” the new version of the popular masking software includes a new Keep/Drop detail view that shows the exact color values chosen with the Keep and Drop Highlighters, support for Wacom pen tablets, including pressure sensitivity, an improved Navigator that lets you see several views, including a composite mode, and support for Photoshop CS3 and 16-bit images. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.onOnesoftware.com.

In FocusPelican 1630 Transport Case
With interior dimensions of 27.70x20.98x15.50 inches, the Pelican 1630 Transport case is large enough to pack any camera you'd like. The Pick 'N' Pluck Foam allows for malleable packing solutions for lenses, lighting or anything else you want to bring along. It's designed to travel, with TSA-accepted PeliLocks, steel-reinforced padlock protection, a polymer O-ring waterproof and dustproof seal, and a pressure equalization valve that prevents vacuum lock. And if you do manage somehow to break it, Pelican offers this guarantee: “You break it, we replace it…forever.” Estimated Street Price: $449. Contact: Pelican Products, www.pelican.com.

In Focus5 'N 1 Multi-POPS
The Tiffen Stroboframe 5 'N 1 Multi-POPS is a reflector system that includes five of the most popular surfaces in a single unit via two zip-on fabrics: Silver/White, Gold/Zebra (Gold and White). Used without the fabric, it's translucent. The unit comes in 32- and 42-inch sizes and can be handheld or attached to a light stand. A simple twist folds the unit down to one-third its open size for easy storage in its case; when removed from the case, the unit automatically pops open ready to use. Estimated Street Price: $65 (32-inch); $74 (42-inch). Contact: Tiffen Company, (800) 645-2522, www.tiffen.com.

In FocusDatacolor ColorVision PrintFIX Pro 2.0
This update to the Datacolor ColorVision PrintFIX Pro stand-alone printer profiling application adds new features to an already useful program. Profile and calibrate any RGB-driven inkjet, dye-sub, thermal, chemical or laser printer with nearly all types of media. The application update adds a new gray axis algorithm and a new curves import function for extended tinted and black-and-white quality control. The included color measurement device, the handheld Spectrocolorimeter 1005, calculates in less than a second. Estimated Street Price: $549. Contact: Datacolor ColorVision, (800) 554-8688, www.colorvision.com.

In FocusATP 8 GB Cards
For those who shoot high-resolution RAW images or lots of RAW images, ATP has introduced 8 GB ProMax memory cards in both CompactFlash and SDHC format. Besides their huge capacity, the new ProMax cards are fast (150x) and rugged—the CompactFlash card is dustproof, water-resistant, operates at temperatures from -25º C to +85º C, and can withstand 2000 G's and altitudes to 80,000 feet. Estimated Street Price: $299 (8 GB SDHC, CF); $349 (ProMax II 8 GB CF). Contact: ATP Electronics, (408) 732-5000, www.atpinc.com.

In FocusTamron SP AF90mm ƒ/2.8 1:1 Macro Goes Digital
Tamron has given its popular SP AF90mm ƒ/2.8 1:1 Macro Lens the Di treatment, optimized for use with digital cameras but still excellent on film cameras. The 90mm focal length, ideal for portraits with full-frame-sensor digital cameras, becomes about 140mm when used on an APS-C digital camera, also good for portraits. It focuses down to 11.4 inches (3.8 inches from the front of the lens) for true 1:1 macro capability, has a nine-blade diaphragm for pleasing out-of-focus background effects and comes in mounts for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony D-SLRs. And now (until April 30, 2007), you can get a $90 rebate on the lens. Rebates from $10 to $500 also are available on nine other Tamron lenses. Estimated Street Price: $489. Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.

In FocusFlextight Scanners
Hasselblad has introduced two new Flextight scanners. The top-of-the-line Flextight X5 can scan transparencies, negatives and prints, with optical resolutions as high as 8000 dpi for 35mm, 3200 dpi for 60mm and 2040 dpi for 4x5-inch films. It turns out 16-bit scans at up to 300 MB per minute and offers a Dmax up to 4.9. The Flextight X1 doesn't do prints, but produces scans up to 6300 dpi from 35mm films, 3200 dpi from 60mm and 2040 dpi from 4x5. It also does 16-bit scans, at up to 60 MB per minute, with a Dmax of 4.6. Both scanners work via FireWire with PC and Mac. Batch- and Slide-Feeder attachments for the X5 allow up to 60 and 50 originals to be scanned automatically, respectively. Estimated Street Price: $12,995 (X1); $19,995 (X5). Contact: Hasselblad USA, (800) 367-6434, www.hasselbladusa.com.

In FocusThink Tank Photo's Rolling Backpack
International photographers rejoice! Carry on your full D-SLR kit in Think Tank Photo's Airport International rolling backpack, the first in the line to meet every international and commuter aircraft carry-on requirement. With 8x14x21-inch external dimensions, this roller fits in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. For added security, the bag includes a zipper slider TSA combination lock, allowing admission only to you and the TSA, and a security cable is included to tether the bag to the nearest immovable object. The front stretch pocket fits the optional 15- or 17-inch laptop cases, and the optional Airport Check In briefcase attaches to the collapsible handle to add capacity when it's needed. Estimated Street Price: $319 (base model). Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 55-THINK, www.thinktankphoto.com.

In FocusErgoSoft RIP For Canon Printers
ErgoSoft's newest RIP natively supports the Canon Lucia inkset, so you can achieve maximum color accuracy, tonal range and image detail from the Canon imagePROGRAF series printers. The Lucia 12-ink set includes red, green and blue to expand the printers color range beyond the conventional cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). The inkset also has two types of gray (photo gray and gray) for stable grayscales, smooth gradations and less graininess in monotone prints. The ErgoSoft RIP, which turns or rasterizes text and images into a matrix of pixels (bitmap) that will be printed, has been specifically designed in collaboration with Canon for optimum print quality. The ErgoSoft Canon drivers support the imagePROGRAF iPF5000 17-inch, iPF8000 44-inch and iPF9000 60-inch printers. Contact: ErgoSoft, (603) 882-0248, www.ergosoftus.com.

In FocusCamera Armor
Every time your camera is out of the case, there's a risk of damage, especially if you're an event photographer or journalist, or shoot outdoors where you're subject to many elements that could potentially harm your camera. Camera Armor, an elastomeric silicone rubber jacket, is a good way to protect your investment from abrasion, scratches, flying debris, dust and fingerprints without sacrificing use of any functions. All the camera controls and access ports are completely accessible while inside the jacket. Camera Armor also comes equipped with Lens Armor and a lens cap, as well as a clear polycarbonate LCD screen cover. The Lens Armor can double as a lens shade, and its elasticity allows it to stretch from 49mm to 84mm in diameter so it can fit many different lenses. It's currently available in Black or Smoke for the Canon EOS 30D, Canon EOS 5D, Canon Digital Rebel XTi (400D), Nikon D70, Nikon D70s, Nikon D80 and Nikon D200. List Price: $49. Contact: OmegaSatter, (410) 374-3250, www.omegasatter.com.

In FocusF.J. Westcott Spiderlite TD5 System
F.J. Westcott has added a strobe option to its Spiderlite series. With one light source, you have Tungsten-Halogen, Fluorescent and Strobe capability. Mix and match to achieve your desired results as well, with three separate controls for multiple lamp combinations (without any color temperature shift). There's a built-in handle for convenient softbox rotation, no adapter ring required, and the new Spiderlite TD5 Cap covers the lighthead even while the lamps and softbox are still attached. Estimated Street Price: Varies by kit. Contact: Westcott Company, (800) 886-1689, www.fjwestcott.com.

In FocusHardigg Storm Case iM3075
Built to meet specifications of industries, including law enforcement, fire and emergency services and the military, Hardigg Storm Cases offers a line of lightweight damage-resistant transport cases. The latest is the Hardigg Storm Case iM3075, with an 29.8x20.8x17.8-inch outer shell pressed of HPX resin. Within lies multiple layers of customizable cubed foam for egg crate-like preservation of gear. The case is sealed tight from Mother Nature and forged to protect against vibration, severe impact or anything else fortune can dish out. The Press and Pull latches release with the press of a button, but stay fastened through any drop. Estimated Street Price: $405 (no foam); $435 (with foam); $625 (with padded dividers). Contact: Hardigg Cases, (800) 542-7344, www.stormcase.com.

In FocusiView MediaPro Is Now Expression Media
Catalog and organize all of your digital assets for quick retrieval and presentation with Expression Media, formerly known as iView MediaPro before the Microsoft acquisition in June 2006. It's now part of the Microsoft Expression Studio suite. Expression Media has a Mac and Windows version just like iView MediaPro, so Mac users don't need to worry about compatibility with the new program. In addition, catalogs made with iView MediaPro 3 (Mac or Windows) will be compatible with Expression Media (Mac or Windows). A free upgrade is available for registered owners of iView MediaPro. Estimated Street Price: $199 (iView MediaPro 3.0). Contact: Microsoft, (800) 642-7676, www.microsoft.com/expression; iView Multimedia, www.iviewmultimedia.com.

In FocusPhotodex ProShow Producer 3.0
With Photodex's ProShow Producer 3.0, you can create multimedia slide presentations and output them to 14 different formats, including DVD, CD, HD Video, AVI, Adobe, Flash, QuickTime and Windows Media Video. New features include Chroma Key Transparency, Masking tools and Keyframing controls that can be used to make images and videos move through color shifts with multiple caption motion effects, all during the course of one slide. Registered users of ProShow Producer can get a free upgrade to ProShow Producer 3.0. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Photodex, (800) 377-4686, www.photodex.com.

In FocusPrecision Rotary Trimmers
The versatile Saunders Professional M3 Series Trimmers can be used for delicate laminates, tissues, films, photographic and digital printing papers, as well as heavier cardboard and litho plates. The blade housing covers the cutting blade completely for added safety. Alignment scale measurements are marked in inches as well as centimeters, and the trimmer's baseboard has a registration grid laid out in both ¼- and 1-inch squares. There are five different models for media from 12 to 48 inches. Estimated Street Price: TBD. Contact: Tiffen Company, (800) 645-2522, www.tiffen.com.

In FocusA&I LightBox Pro Image Workflow Tools
As access and speed of transfer improve, online image delivery and archival solutions move to the forefront of professional workflow. A&I Photographic and Digital Lab offers its own solution with its A&I LightBox workflow management system. Upload files of any type, present them to your unlimited guest list, do a basic edit and archive them—all from anywhere on any computer. Preserve images and projects with online storage, up to 20 GB of space, with the $50 monthly membership (additional storage is available at $1 dollar per gig). For real-time remote online coordination, add A&I Live for an extra $20 per day of use. Contact: A&I, (323) 856-5291, ext. 119, www.aandi.com.

The GP Album Design Center
General Products, a custom photo album printer with more than 60 years of experience, has teamed with imageQuix's online workflow solutions to present the GP Album Design Center. Save your studio time and effort with editing and proofing tools for the organization, design and printing of any type of photo album your customer desires, all from the comfort of your own local computer. The free imageQuix PRO software links directly to your site, allowing you to easily provide feedback as experienced designers construct the album and professional labs correct the images. Prices vary by album. Contact: imageQuix, (800) 243-1896, www.imagequix.com/albums.



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