Tuesday, April 12, 2011
New Tools Of The Trade
Constructed from a mix of magnesium and titanium, the Canon EF 500mm ƒ/4L IS II USM and EF 600mm ƒ/4L IS II USM lenses are lighter than their predecessors. Yet the pair delivers better performance thanks to a new configuration that includes two fluorite elements for sharper image quality. An additional image stabilization mode activates IS only when the shutter button is fully pressed, allowing you to pan fast-moving subjects and trigger at the precise moment when stabilization is needed. A Power Focus mode delivers smooth focus change when shooting video. Estimated Street Price: $9,499 (500mm); $11,999 (600mm). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
The new media feeder in the 13-inch Epson Stylus Photo R3000 lets you print on fine-art papers up to 1.3mm thick. An eight-channel MicroPiezo AMC Print Head produces smaller ink-droplet sizes for more precision and accuracy. Plus, it automatically switches between Photo and Matte black inks to produce deep blacks and rich color on glossy, matte or fine-art media. The R3000 is equipped with Hi-Speed USB 2.0, Ethernet and Wireless-N. It uses the same UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink system found in the R2880 and R3880. An advanced Black-and-White Photo Mode creates neutral or toned black-and-white prints from color or monochrome images. Estimated Street Price: $849. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
The Rally 6 from Tamrac is a camera bag that doesn’t look like one so you’re able to be discreet when toting around your expensive gear. This is a solid choice for those assignments that require a minimal amount of equipment. The foam-padded compartment inside offers plenty of cushioned protection for a DSLR with up to a six-inch lens attached, extra lenses, a flash and accessories. A zippered front pocket and open back pocket provide extra storage for manuals, accessories and other items. A foam-padded adjustable shoulder strap provides more comfort when you’re on the go. Estimated Street Price: $59. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
The TritonFlash from Photoflex delivers up to 750 full-power flashes on a single charge. The long battery life is ideal when you’re on a shoot that requires a high degree of output and an AC power socket isn’t available. The battery pack weighs 22 ounces and can power two TritonFlash heads simultaneously without cutting the power output in half. Each head still produces 300 w-s of power. If you’re shooting a wedding or a sports event where things are happening fast, the recycle mode allows for up to seven shots per second. The strobe comes in a kit with an extra-small OctoDome Soft Box with connector, a second lithium battery, a FlashFire wireless kit for cable-free strobe firing and an international battery charger. Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Photoflex, (800) 486-2674, www.photoflex.com.
Nik Software has delivered a significant update to its popular black-and-white conversion program, Silver Efex Pro 2. Some of the new features include a History Browser for comparing previous image versions or different editing treatments, adaptive contrast and brightness controls, new presets and selective colorization. Amplify Blacks and Amplify Whites increases highlights and shadows, respectively, throughout an image, creating a unique contrast effect. As with the previous version, Silver Efex Pro 2 uses Nik Software’s U Point technology for selective editing. Estimated Street Price: $199 (new); $99 (upgrade). Contact: Nik Software, (619) 725-3150, www.niksoftware.com.
Shooting video with an HD DSLR often requires a preview screen that’s larger than the LCD display. The Marshall Electronics V-LCD70XP-HDMIP has a seven-inch screen with 800x480 resolution. It’s small enough to sit on a DSLR and comes with some innovative features for making your workflow more efficient. Integrated HDMI loop-through allows you to connect to another monitor using the HDMI video input, and DSLR Ratio Adjustment scales video output that doesn’t fill the monitor’s screen. It’s LED-backlit for bright viewing in the field from wide 140º angles. Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (with small battery adapter); $1,299 (V-mount and Anton/Bauer battery adapter). Contact: Marshall Electronics, (310) 333-0606, www.lcdracks.com.
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