Friday, April 10, 2009
The Stroboframe U-Pro from Tiffen is a professional universal flash bracket that’s ready to go, right out of the box. Features include an ultrasmooth camera-rotating system, a reversible flash arm, a sliding vertical support for rapid control of flash height and oversized control knobs for easy operation. The Universal Camera Mounting Plate can be adjusted to fit any D-SLR. Lightweight and durable, the unit comes with a quick-release plate, removable kickstand, cork pad and ¼-20 mounting knobs for camera and flash. Estimated Street Price: $269. Contact: Tiffen, (800) 645-2522, www.tiffen.com.
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Kubota Image Tools’ AutoAlbum V3 makes it easy to produce those popular magazine-style wedding albums. This version includes more than 500 single-page layouts for both square and rectangular images, each kept as a completely modifiable layer. It’s easy to replace individual images on a page or to convert images to black-and-white. The new DASHBOARD feature lets you do a keyword search for templates and launch them quickly and easily. Also new is the Kubota Image Tools Pro Pak, which includes Kubota Artistic Tools V1-4 special-effects plug-ins. Estimated Street Price: $399 (AutoAlbum V3); $629 (Pro Pak). Contact: Kubota Image Tools, (877) 330-4330, www.kubotaimagetools.com.
ACDSee Pro 2.5 is professional workflow-managing software that combines uploading, RAW conversion, editing, delivering and an archival database in a single, attractively priced package. Features include speedy viewing and browsing, the ability to see image-processing results in real time, instant retrieval of images based on “robust and flexible” criteria, and a wide range of publishing and presentation options. RAW-processing capabilities are state of the art, with the ability to recover up to two stops of lost highlight detail. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com.
Panasonic BT-Series Monitor
The BT-LH2550 LCD HD production monitor from Panasonic features a 25.5-inch, 1920x1200-pixel In-Plane Switching panel and an expanded color gamut that exceeds the NTSC standard—at a far lower cost than premium-priced reference monitors. Six color-space settings and an image-processing engine with a three-dimensional lookup table provide accurate color display. Other valuable production tools include a built-in waveform monitor and vectorscope functions that display all picture lines for signal level monitoring. One-third lighter than its predecessor, the unit operates without a cooling fan for noise-free use. Estimated Street Price: $5,995. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com.
Corel Painter 11 debuts with a slew of upgraded digital painting, photo painting and drawing tools designed to expand your digital darkroom into a full art studio. The RealBristle technology introduced in the last version to enhance paintbrushes now applies to dry media. Markers, pens and pencils are designed to give a more realistic look and feel, meaning you can shade, create fine or thick strokes, and control shading by changing the angle of your stylus on the tablet. Also new is a resizable mixer palette for mixing custom colors. Estimated Street Price: $399 (full); $199 (upgrade). Contact: Corel, (800) 772-6735, www.corel.com.
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