Tuesday, June 19, 2007
New Tools Of The Trade
Redesigned From The Ground Up
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of EOS, Canon has released the EOS-1D Mark III, the world's fastest D-SLR. Using a "reset to zero" design process, Canon reevaluated everything, which resulted in major advances for all aspects of the camera. The new Dual DIGIC III image processor engine allows huge motordriven bursts of 110 large JPEGs or 30 RAW files at 10 frames per second. Live View mode can be used to compose shots on the 3.0-inch LCD screen, and the preview can be magnified 5x or 10x, so you can achieve optimal focus of a subject. The 10.1-megapixel, APS-H-sized CMOS sensor is the most advanced and light-sensitive sensor Canon has ever developed. It has a new microlens array and a more efficient pixel structure for ultra-low noise throughout the ISO range—from 100 to 3200, with two additional pushes at either end to ISO 50 and ISO 6400. The sensor is 28.1x18.7mm, with a lens magnification factor of 1.3x, and features the EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The lightweight glass infrared absorption cover that seals the edges of the sensor vibrates for 3.5 seconds when the camera is turned on or off. If desired, this can be cancelled immediately upon startup by pressing the shutter release. Other advances include a new Main Dial, Quick Control Dial and a Multi-controller. The EOS-1D Mark III can also be operated remotely via the WFTE2A Wireless File Transmitter, which allows wireless transfer and backup. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Lowepro Messenger Factor Case
The urban-messenger-style Lowepro Messenger Factor L offers a dual-compartment design, large enough to carry a portfolio book of your biggest prints and, if you prefer to bring your digital portfolio, your 17-inch notebook computer will fit, too. The adjustable and breathable padded strap allows comfortable shoulder wear, and pleated pockets fit cords, adapters and gadgets snugly. The Messenger Factor L is available in black, parsley/green tea or espresso/latte coloring. Estimated Street Price: $55. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
Improved Noise Reduction
The original Dfine 1.0, which reduces image artifacts and noise, balances image detail, and adjusts color and light, is now available in version 2.0 with notable improvements. Dfine 2.0 has U Point technology for selective editing control, an eyedropper tool for color-based manipulation and new brush sets. It has a new user interface that's simpler to use and a redesigned image-processing core, which provides superior noise reduction while maintaining consistent sharpness and detail in your photographs. This core includes a new auto camera-profile system that adjusts noise reduction to match the specific parameters and nuances of different manufacturers' specifications. Camera profiles can also be created manually. Registered owners of Dfine 1.0 qualify for special upgrade pricing. Estimated Street Price: $100. Contact: Nik Software, (619) 725-3150, www.niksoftware.com.
Serious Color Accuracy
Following a merger with GretagMacbeth, X-Rite now has a line of X-Rite-i1 color spectrophotometers for getting the most accurate color from camera to display to final output. The X-Rite i1PhotoLT is a handheld, color-measurement tool that can calibrate your entire digital workflow in either RGB or CMYK. It has the ability to calibrate monitors, profile scanners, digital cameras and digital projectors and also can read natural-light conditions with an ambient light head. The X-Rite i1-iO Automated Scanning Table provides an easy way to measure reflective test charts up to a thickness of 10mm. Designed for high-volume and large-format production environments, it can read up to 500 patches per minute and produce quick custom profiles. The X-Rite i1 Photo spectrophotometer is compatible with the X-Rite i1-iO; the X-Rite i1PhotoLT can be upgraded for compatibility. Estimated Street Price: $895 (i1PhotoLT); $1,995 (i1-iO). Contact: X-Rite, www.xrite.com.
Off The Wall
Pantone paints offer real-world color calibration. Made with product-specific colorants, the tinting system provides color accuracy for more than 3,000 designer paint colors. Photographers and studios can use Pantone paints to match set interiors or for their own backdrops. And if you need to reshoot, you can repaint for matching colors in an entirely different location with the promised color equivalence of Pantone paints. Pantone promises enamels that yield 50-percent more coverage per ounce than any product produced in North America, and wall paints can be scrubbed without color change or burnishing. Most of the finishes are in the $80 to $90 range per Eurogallon (approximately 2.5 liters in size) and will normally provide the same coverage as a U.S. gallon of similar gloss. Contact: Pantone, (201) 935-5500, www.pantone.com.
Host your own Website with your Mac and SeeFile 3.0. Using any computer, clients can view folders, images, PDFs and video clips through the interactive browser interface, and SeeFile acts as your own personal FTP site as well, with uploads and downloads controlled through user permissions. An integrated messaging system makes two-way proofing instant, and you can add your own business logo to the page. The program runs on a Mac G4, G5 or Intel Mac running OS X, or an Xserve running an OS X server with at least 512 MB of RAM. SeeFile 3.0 is available in Entry, Pro, Studio, Bureau and Corporate editions, starting at a price of $399. The amount of client log-ins and branding logos vary per level. Contact: SeeFile Software, (617) 262-2464, www.seefile.com.
Corel Painter X is here with a host of upgrades that make painting photographs and illustrations even more organic and natural. The RealBristle Painting System heightens the responsiveness of the brush, including the individual bristles that can now blend and splay like a traditional brush. There are some added Composition Tools in the toolbox for a quicker workflow. The Divine Proportion tool enables you to lay out compositions with the Golden Ratio, a proportion frequently used by the Masters during the Renaissance. The Layout Grid tool provides guidelines that follow the Rule of Thirds. Additions to the Underpainting Palette include color schemes based on various media styles, such as Impressionist, Classical, Modern, Watercolor, Sketchbook and Chalk Drawing. Plus, users can now choose a color scheme that matches the colors of any open image. With the Match Palette effect, you can also match the color between two images. Other improvements include enhanced Wacom support, as well as Adobe Photoshop. Files saved in PSD format can be opened in Corel Painter X with layer masks, alpha channels and layer sets maintained. Estimated Street Price: $429 ($299 upgrade). Contact: Corel, (800) 772-6735, www.corel.com.
With 22 feet of potential coverage, the California Sunbounce system of reflectors is a convenient source for adding natural reflected light to a location shoot. The stiff reflective or translucent material can be used to catch or block the sun, and the frame is comprised of a light but durable aluminum. The included four-foot by three-inch shoulder sling bag carries the whole setup. Available in MINI, PRO and BIG, prices and weight vary by size and material. Contact: California Sunbounce, (661) 252-9460, www.sunbounce.com.
Sony CompactFlash Cards
Sony unleashes its first series of CompactFlash Cards to complement its new Sony DSLR-A100 camera system. The lineup includes a 66x transfer speed for 1 GB, 2 GB and 4 GB capacities and a 133x card in 2 GB and 4 GB capacities. The cards are compatible with most D-SLRs. Prices vary by storage size and speed. Contact: Sony, (800) 222-SONY, www.sonystyle.com.
With the Omnipod, you can put your camera virtually anywhere—the dash of your vehicle, on the ground, a rock, a wall—and have all the support you need. With dimensions of 9x41/2x11/4 inches, it's small enough to fit in a camera bag, yet big enough to provide a stable base for any D-SLR, even those with long telephoto zoom lenses attached. The Omnipod is available in two configurations—either bundled with a QRC-2 quick-release clamp or plain with a standard threaded screw to attach directly to your camera or lens. Estimated Street Price: $24 (plain); $74 (QRC-2 clamp). Contact: Kirk Enterprises, (800) 626-5074, www.kirkphoto.com.
Designed For Large-Format Digital
The Rodenstock Apo-Sironar digital HR lens series was developed specifically for scan-back cameras like the Seitz D3 and medium-format cameras with CCD image sensors. With superior flatness of field, free from color fringes and distortion, these lenses go to the limits of diffraction-determined resolution. Even the optical properties of CCD protective glass were accounted for in the equation of optical correction to minimize curvature of field. Rodenstock offers eight different focal lengths in this series, from a 35mm ƒ/4.5 to a 180mm ƒ/5.6. They also have the Apo-Macro-Sironar digital 120mm ƒ/5.6 lens with an image scale of 1:5-2:1. Each lens has optimized working apertures of ƒ/8 to ƒ/11. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Tamrac For The Tarmac
At external dimensions of 14x9x20 inches, Tamrac's SpeedRoller 1 Rolling Photo/Computer Case is large enough to provide protection for two D-SLRs with lenses attached, multiple additional lenses, a number of small accessories and a 15-inch laptop, while still passing airport carry-on restrictions. The adjustable foam-padded dividers are easily arranged for Tetris-like packing, and individual mesh pockets keep smaller items like memory cards, batteries and filters organized. A telescoping handle and in-line skate wheels buffer the weight of your gear. The SpeedRoller 1 is also compatible with Tamrac's Modular Accessory System, for quick attachment of system accessories and bags. Estimated Street Price: $230. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
Carbon-Fiber Tripod With Multifunction Center Column
Stable enough for studio work and rugged enough for location shooting, the Giottos MT 8361 carbon-fiber legs are as strong as (but lighter than) aluminum and dampen more quickly. The multifunction center column can be used upside down, reversed or as a lateral arm that allows 360-degree horizontal movement and 180-degree vertical movement. The top plate can be separated from the column to form a three-way pan head. The MT 8361 has dual 1/4- and 3/8-inch mounting screws, and attachable multifunction leg shoes provide stability on slick tile, snow, mud and sand. Maximum height is 65 inches, minimum height is 23.2 inches. Weight is 4.6 pounds, and maximum-load capacity is 17.6 pounds. Accessories include an adjustable padded shoulder strap, carrying case and tool bag with an Allen wrench and hexagonal wrench. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
At The Ready
Travel sleek and fast with your pro-size D-SLR in the Digital Holster 30 top-loading camera bag. Designed for cameras like the Canon EOS 5D, 10D, 20D and 30D, and the Nikon D70, D80 and D200, the Digital Holster 30 is manufactured to hold a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens attached to the camera, and with the expandable "Pop Down" bottom extended, the lens hood can be worn for at-your-fingertips shooting. There's a side pocket for holding memory cards, a shoulder strap for comfort and a seam-sealed rain cover for protection. Estimated Street Price: $69. Contact: ThinkTank Photo, (866) 55-THINK, www.thinktankphoto.com.
Sinar Bron Imaging will be awarding a $5,000 Carl Koch Scholarship annually to an outstanding student who's pursing an undergraduate degree in photography. Potential candidates for this scholarship must be enrolled in an accredited college or university in the United States. Nominees for this scholarship need to be selected by the photography department's chairs and/or representatives. Submission guidelines are posted on Sinar Bron's Website. The deadline this year for student portfolio submissions (one candidate per school) is May 15, 2007. Contact: Sinar Bron Imaging, (908) 754-5800, www.sinarbron.com.
Now, if you shoot up close with a Qflash, you can soften and diffuse the light with the Mini Folding Softbox QF69. Just replace the reflector of a Qflash 4d, 5d or 5d-R with the included hot-spot reducer, then slip on the Softbox QF69, which doesn't obstruct the Qflash sensor. With the QF69 attached to a Qflash, it can be mounted to a camera bracket or fastened to an umbrella bracket for placement on a light stand. The Softbox QF69 gives nearly a 180-degree light spread for use with wide-angle lenses and folds flat for compact storage. Estimated Street Price: $75. Contact: Quantum, (631) 656-7400, www.qtm.com.
8-In-1 Reflector Kit
Carry just one reflector instead of eight with Lastolite's TriFlips. Each TriFlip cover quickly slips over the TriGrip and is ready for use. SoftSilver and Sunlite, two of the seven different surfaces, are specifically designed for digital. To tone down the harshness typically associated with pure silver and gold reflectors, Sunlite has two strips of silver for every strip of gold, while SoftSilver has one strip of silver for every strip of white. Other TriFlip reflective surfaces include Sunfire, Silver, White, Gold and Black (double-sided). Estimated Street Price: $228. Contact: Bogen Imaging, (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.