Tuesday, February 14, 2012
New Tools Of The Trade
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
When an assignment calls for a fast, medium telephoto prime, the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm ƒ/1.8G FX-format (full-frame) lens from Nikon may fit the bill. The lens is constructed of nine optical elements, with a seven-blade diaphragm that helps create a more circular bokeh when you're going for a natural-looking, out-of-focus background that draws attention to your subject. The lens is lightweight, easy to carry and provides an equivalent focal length of 127mm when attached to a Nikon DX-format DSLR camera body. The compact Silent Wave Motor (SWM) delivers fast, quiet autofocus operation, which is especially helpful when recording video. There are two focus modes: Manual and M/A for switching quickly from auto to manual focus. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
A 1:1 magnification ratio, fast ƒ/2.8 aperture and Optical Stabilizer technology are a few of the significant upgrades found in the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, which is the successor to the lens maker's 180mm F3.5 EX DG macro lens. The stabilization system allows you to shoot at shutter speeds about four stops slower than you'd be able to otherwise so you can capture sharp, close-up shots handheld. Three FLD glass elements, which are equivalent to fluorite glass, take care of color inaccuracies, and Super Multi-Layer Coating cuts down on flare and ghosting. At 1:1 magnification, the lens has a focusing distance of 18.5 inches. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
With its slim, portable body and highly useful features, the Canon PowerShot G1 X is a worthy addition to your camera bag. The 18.7x14mm, 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor is the largest so far that Canon has put in a point-and-shoot. It's six times bigger than the sensor used in its predecessor, the G12, so you can capture images with shallow depth of field and wide dynamic range, and with an ISO range of up to 12800, difficult low-light conditions won't be problematic. The fast ƒ/2.8 lens is the equivalent of 28-112mm in 35mm format. Adding to its advanced feature set is 14-bit, RAW+JPEG shooting capability and compatibility with extras such as Speedlite, Macro Twin Lite or Macro Ring Light flashes. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Wide To Tele Zoom
For pros using a Sony mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera to back up a DSLR when on a shoot, Tamron is now making its 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC available for those camera models. The lightweight lens weighs just 16.2 ounces and has a 35mm equivalent focal-length range of 27-300mm. Images look sharp, even when shooting handheld, thanks to Tamron's Vibration Compensation technology. The AF drive has a stepping motor that's ideal for the contrast-detect autofocus system used in the Sony mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera series (NEX-3, NEX-5). This also makes operation quieter when you're shooting video. Another cool feature is the Direct Manual Focus (DMF) function, which allows you to adjust manually after focusing by AF. Estimated Street Price: $739. Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron-usa.com.
Speed and efficiency are essential to running a smooth shoot, and it's often the smaller essentials, such as memory cards, that make all of the difference. Lexar has upped its Professional CompactFlash lineup with the 1000x memory card, which delivers minimum read speeds of 150 MB/s. Workflow is accelerated both in-camera and when moving images and video from the card to a computer for processing and editing. It's available in 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB capacities, and supports the VPG-20 specification, which means the card has been tested to capture video at up to 20 MB/s with no dropped frames. Estimated Street Price: $169 to $899. Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.
Connect eSATA external hard drives to a newer Mac that uses Thunderbolt technology with the LaCie eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series. The portable device has two Thunderbolt ports and two eSATA ports, so you can connect up to two eSATA drives to the Hub and it instantly gets you up to full speed. You can use the second port to connect other devices or hubs if you have multiple eSATA drives. Up to 12 eSATA drives (6x Dock, 2x eSATA links per Hub) can be connected via a single connection to a Mac with full eSATA 3 Gb/s speeds. If you have an older Mac, you now can upgrade to a newer one that uses Thunderbolt technology without having to buy new drives. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com.
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