Tuesday, September 30, 2008
New Tools Of The Trade
With a 50-megapixel, 36x48mm sensor, the latest H-system camera from Hasselblad enters the medium-format market. The H3DII-50 uses the Kodak KAF-50100 image sensor in the same-size housing as its H3DII-39 predecessor. The sensor also is optimized to work with Hasselblad’s new HTS 1.5 tilt/shift adapter that enlarges the image circle by 50 percent, bringing tilt/shift photography to a medium-format D-SLR. Other notable features include a more intuitive user interface, a three-inch display and an integrated CCD cooler for lower noise, plus it shoots up to ISO 400. The H3DII-50 takes full-sized, compressed 70 MB images at 1.1 seconds per capture. Estimated Street Price: $39,995. Contact: Hasselblad, (800) 367-6434, www.hasselbladusa.com.
Debuting a new flagship D-SLR in its expanding camera lineup, Sony releases the Alpha 900, with a 24.6-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor. Top features include SteadyShot INSIDE full-frame image sensor-shift stabilization, high-speed dual Bionz image processors and a 9-point autofocus system with 10 assist points and center dual-cross autofocus. Also noteworthy are a 5 fps continuous shooting rate, 3-inch LCD, Intelligent Preview function and Advanced Dynamic Range Optimizer. An HDMI port lets you output images to a high-definition TV. Estimated Street Price: $2,999. Contact: Sony, (877) 865-SONY, www.sonystyle.com.
A New Leaf
Updating its esteemed AFi and Aptus medium-format camera family, Leaf debuts the AFi-II camera systems and Aptus-II camera backs. A refined design, higher image quality, more flexibility and better workflow efficiency are some of the features and upgrades made based on feedback from pro photographers. The lineup includes the Leaf AFi-II 6, 7 and 10 digital camera systems and the Leaf Aptus-II 6, 7 and 10 digital camera backs. Delivering up to 56 megapixels of resolution on the 56x36mm True Wide Frame medium-format sensor, these systems and backs boast a 12 ƒ-stop dynamic range, 16-bit color image quality and an ISO 50-800 range. New features include the Leaf Verto internal sensor rotation dial for easily changing orientation in-camera without rotating the camera itself, Leaf SensorFlex technology for pre-selecting the optimum image size and capture speed (10 models only) and a brighter 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display (90-degree tilting on the 7 and 10 models). Estimated Street Price: $20,995 to $39,995. Contact: Leaf, (866) 4US-LEAF, www.leafamerica.com.
Back Up And View
The Epson lineup of multimedia photo viewers is a favorite among photographers who spend a lot of time shooting on location. With download speeds that are 35 percent faster and hard drives that double the capacities of previous models, the P-6000 (80 GB) and P-7000 (160 GB) support a wider color gamut and have a new design, with a jog dial for navigation instead of the four-way switch. You easily can scroll through and zoom in on RAW or JPEG images. The screen size remains the same at four inches, but new LCD technology delivers images with smoother gradations and better color transitions. Estimated Street Price: $599 (P-6000); $799 (P-7000). Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Modify Your Light
Create great light anywhere using the Hensel ACW Beauty Dish EH. Especially useful for wedding and fashion photographers, the reflector generates round, natural eye reflexes for better-looking portraits. The metal body can accommodate a 22-inch honeycomb grid for targeted lighting scenarios. The honeycomb clicks into the edge of the reflector and is held in place by two metal clips. The lightweight body is robust enough for outdoor use, and no assembly is required. Estimated Street Price: $180. Contact: Hensel USA, (816) 268-3649, www.henselusa.com.
Add more versatility to your lens collection with the latest models to enter the Nikon Perspective Control lineup. The PC-E Micro Nikkor 45mm ƒ/2.8D ED and PC-E Micro Nikkor 85mm ƒ/2.8D are designed to adjust perspective and linear distortion, while providing more creative control over depth of field. The tilt/shift mechanism offers up to +/- 11.5mm of shift for perspective control and +/- 8.5 degrees of tilt for creative focus. The lens optics rotate up to 90 degrees right or left, with a click-stop provided every 30 degrees. Estimated Street Price: $1,799 (45mm); $1,739 (85mm). Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-UX, www.nikonusa.com.
Pack up your gear in the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW, which is designed with a unique back-entry compartment for easy, safe access to equipment when setting up. With the padded waistbelt securely in place, you can slip off the shoulder straps, rotate the bag around to the front and unzip. The bag holds a pro D-SLR with attached zoom lens, plus four to six additional lenses. There’s a hideaway tripod holder that also works with monopods. Other features include adjustable dividers, contoured straps for more comfort and Lowepro’s signature built-in All Weather Cover. Estimated Street Price: $190. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.