Tuesday, April 15, 2014
New Tools Of The Trade
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
The still camera and video camera continue to intertwine as Panasonic releases the LUMIX GH4, a "DSLM" (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) camera system that shoots both stills and 4K video. The 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor combine with an integrated noise-reduction system for detailed low-light shooting at ISO 25,600 and a quick 12 fps burst rate. Depth from Defocus technology increases the speed of the Contrast AF system. The GH4 also shoots high-quality 4K and HD video without a recording-time limit in MOV, MP4 and VCHD at various frame rates. Video can be recorded to an external recorder in real time via HDMI. The DMW-YAGH Interface attachment unit provides four SDI outputs, two XLR inputs with LED monitored audio levels, timecode and an external power terminal. The GH4 also provides a 2,359K-dot OLED Live View Finder and 1,036K-dot rear monitor. The entire magnesium-alloy body is splashproof and dustproof. List Price: $1,699. Contact: Panasonic, www.shop.panasonic.com.
For photographers who want more flexibility with less gear, Tamron has announced the "All-In-One" 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD macro lens, providing an 18.8x zoom ratio for DSLRs with an APS-C-sized sensor. Tamron has adopted a new design approach to make the lens particularly compact, using UXR glass, a 5-lens-group zoom design and precise mechanical engineering. The lens includes macro capabilities across the entire zoom range, with a 15.3-inch focus distance and 1:2.9 magnification ratio. The Piezo Drive (PZD) ensures quick and quiet AF capabilities, and the Vibration Compensation (VC) enables handheld shooting at long focal lengths. List Price: TBA. Contact: Tamron, www.tamron-usa.com.
Sigma dp Quattro
Sigma has announced the dp Quattro, a trilogy of compact cameras with sleek, minimalist bodies using weight distribution for a comfortable in-hand feel. Each camera has a different fixed focal length: the dp1 Quattro, a 19mm wide-angle; the dp2 Quattro, a 30mm standard; and the dp3 Quattro, a 55mm telephoto (or 28mm, 45mm and 75mm equivalents, respectively). Most notably, the redesigned Foveon APS-C 30-megapixel Quattro sensor in each camera provides 30% higher resolution than its predecessor utilizing the quick TRUE III image processor. The dp2 Quattro is the first camera in the series to be released; pricing and availability have yet to be announced. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
Taurus Jr. Crane/Jib System
Simple pans and tilts may leave you craving more movement in your video, but shoulder rigs are exhausting for full-day (or multi-day) shoots. The durable aluminum Taurus Jr. Crane and Jib System by ProAm USA gives you the ability to add eye-catching swoops and height variation to your film. The dual-arm Taurus Jr. supports a 20-pound camera rig and uses auto-leveling with a tilt brake and built-in bearing base. It can be manually tilted for rigs weighing 10 pounds or less. The Taurus Jr. itself is easily transportable, weighing only 12 pounds, and is easily set up by one person with no extra tools. List Price: $299. Contact: ProAm USA, www.proamusa.com.
A convenient energy source when you're in the field, the fan-cooled Flashpoint Powerstation 800 converts stored lithium energy into sine wave 120V AC power. Allowing three units to be plugged in at once, the Powerstation provides two switchable modes—one for high peak strobe generators up to 3000ws and the other for constant low-flow devices like laptops. Three USB ports are provided for charging small devices. At 7.5 pounds, the main Powerstation 800 can also be run from your car's 12V outlet or you can swap an interchangeable, 4.85-pound, 12,000m Ah Lithium Ion Phosphate battery module to extend your location shoot time. List Price: $899 (Powerstation 800); $1,100 (Powerstation 800 Kit); $350 (additional battery). Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
The Nikon D4S has been designed to meet the needs of the modern-day multimedia photographer. With a 16.2-megapixel, FX-format, CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 processor, the camera excels at shooting in low light with an ISO range of 100-25,600, expandable to a full 409,600. For capturing quick sports and wildlife action, it shoots 11 fps for up to 200 shots at full resolution. The D4S has increased video quality with 1080p60 capabilities, as well as a 2.7x crop mode to extend the reach of the lens. With the possibility of shooting in a small RAW size, there's flexibility in storing more files while still maintaining full control in postprocessing. The 1000 Base-T wired LAN provides 10x faster transfer speeds. Look for our full hands-on review of the D4S at digitalphotopro.com. List Price: $6,499. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
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