DPP Home Gear In Focus March/April 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

March/April 2012

New Tools Of The Trade

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Safe Transport
If you use Cinevate rigs to support your HDSLR when capturing video, the company has teamed up with Tenba to create a collection of custom-built cases for their Core and Simplis Rigs, plus the Atlas and Pegasus camera sliders. Each case in the "Protected by Tenba" lineup is designed to protect Cinevate gear in various sizes and configurations, along with a DSLR and video and filmmaking systems. The cases come with the same high-quality features that Tenba is known for, including YKK zippers, welded steel D-rings, and water-repellant ballistic and Cordura nylon exteriors. Estimated Street Price: $189 to $384. Contact: Cinevate, (807) 344-7153, www.cinevate.com.

X Factor
Capture up to 10 hours of full HD video when using the 128 GB SanDisk Extreme SDXC UHS-I memory card. Read and write speeds clock in at 45 MB/s, allowing you to capture high-resolution images in full burst mode and quickly transfer those files to a computer. The company touts the fast transfer speed as capable of offloading an hour-long full HD video in five minutes or a batch of 500 high-resolution stills in as little as a minute. The card's UHS Speed Class 1 rating exceeds what's needed to record high-quality 3D footage. A built-in, write-protect switch helps to prevent accidental data loss. Estimated Street Price: $199 (64 GB); $399 (128 GB). Contact: SanDisk, (866) SANDISK, www.sandisk.com.

Steady Shot
Give your DSLR the support it needs for capturing sharp images with the Vanguard BBH ballheads. The Rapid Level System keeps the camera precisely even with the base, and two bubble levels help maintain the tripod's balance, allowing you to pan 360º whether shooting stills or video. Constructed of magnesium, the ballhead's open body design keeps it lightweight, and the scratch-free, oxidized surface of the ball helps you smoothly move the camera into position. The head can be positioned at accurate 90º angles very quickly and is available in three sizes. Estimated Street Price: $169 to $249. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322, www.vanguardworld.com.

Travel Zoom
The compact Leica V-Lux 3 is a solid option if you're looking for a camera that isn't as bulky as a DSLR, yet offers some higher-end features. In addition to the camera's newly developed 12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor, features include an articulating 3-inch LCD, rapid burst shooting and an integrated stereo microphone. The V-Lux 3 records full 1920x1080 HD video in AVCHD format at 60 frames per second. You can shoot at focal lengths equivalent to 25-600mm in 35mm format thanks to the Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 4.5-108mm ƒ/2.8-5.2 ASPH lens. Estimated Street Price: $950. Contact: Leica, (800) 222-0118, www.leica-camera.com.

Light Tool
With the Profoto Umbrella XL, you can change how the distribution and character of light looks by simply moving the umbrella shaft inside the flash head. You also can modify how light is spread using the Zoom Reflector, which moves back and forth to zoom the light in and out, effectively changing the look from soft to crisp. The Umbrella XL, which has a diameter of 65 inches, fits on all Profoto flash heads and monolights. An optional front diffuser is also available for reducing how intense the light is by 1.5 ƒ-stops. When used with the white and silver models, the diffuser basically converts them into a fully functional octabox. Estimated Street Price: $300. Contact: Profoto, (914) 347-3300, www.profoto-usa.com.
Optics Software
DxO Optics Pro is known for fixing lens distortion and other optical problems in images based on technology that analyzes specific camera and lens combinations. In version 7, batch processing is faster, the interface is simpler and more efficient, and there's support for more cameras, including the Sony Alpha 77, NEX-C3 and NEX-5N. Among the noteworthy features is the Lens Softness tool, which gradually corrects each image pixel for getting a uniformly sharp look, and a new slider in Unsharp Mask applies sharpness from the center of an image to the edges. Three tabs guide the entire workflow, with a corrections preview in the first tab allowing you to get started quickly. Estimated Street Price: $169 (Standard); $299 (Elite). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.


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