Tuesday, October 5, 2010
New Tools Of The Trade
The Olympus E-5 is the third generation of the camera manufacturer’s professional E-system series. This camera follows the E-3 and is loaded with new features. Keeping its predecessor’s rugged, weather-sealed construction, the E-5 has a 12.3-megapixel Live-MOS sensor and records 720p video, which is a first for an Olympus DSLR. The TruePic V+ processor captures sharp details, especially when you’re shooting in low light. The 920,000-dot, three-inch LCD swivels 270º on two axes to nearly any angle. The optical viewfinder delivers 100% coverage for accurate compositions. The E-5’s 11-point phase-detection AF system features cross-type sensors. When shooting in Live View, the camera switches to an 11-area contrast-detection AF system. Estimated Street Price: $1,699. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.getolympus.com.
The fast Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 is a moderate wide-angle lens that’s especially well-suited for portraiture, landscape and reportage photography. With a 35mm focal length and an ƒ/1.4 maximum aperture, the lens captures sharp images even when you’re faced with difficult lighting conditions. Antireflective coating, stray-light reduction and excellent flare control combine to capture images in bright light without artifacts. The lens focuses down to just less than a foot. It will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts. Estimated Street Price: $1,843. Contact: Carl Zeiss, www.zeiss.com/photo.
If you do a lot of studio portraiture work, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm ƒ/1.4G ED is a lens worthy of including in your camera bag. The fast ƒ/1.4 aperture creates a shallow depth of field with incredible sharpness and detail. Built to last, this rugged lens has two focus modes, manual-priority autofocus (M/A) and manual (M). Other key features include Internal Focus for focusing without changing the barrel length, Silent Wave Motor and Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat that reduces ghosting and flare. Estimated Street Price: $1,699. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
At the short end, the Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD is useful in a variety of situations, yet it’s long enough at 300mm to take great close-ups. This versatile lens fills a frequently used telephoto range in a compact frame. Designed for DSLRs, the lens can be used with full-frame or APS-C-sized sensors, where the angle of view changes the zoom range to 109-465mm. Built-in vibration compensation helps keep images steady when shooting handheld—crucial for sharpness when working with a long lens. The Ultrasonic Silent Drive motor ensures fast and quiet autofocusing. Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts are available. Estimated Street Price: $449. Contact: Tamron, (800) 827-8880, www.tamron.com.
If you’re into the dramatic hyper-realistic look, HDR Efex Pro from Nik Software is a cross-platform, 64-bit program with one-click visual presets and an intuitive user interface that allows you to work with multiple exposures or create the effect from a single shot. If you’re familiar with other Nik programs like Silver Efex Pro and Viveza, this program uses the same system of U Point-powered Control Points to deliver localized control for precisely and selectively fine-tuning images. Exposure, contrast, saturation and other adjustments also can be made globally. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.
A vertical camera grip that includes a built-in wireless flash trigger, the V-Grip Air from Phase One, Mamiya and Profoto delivers flash sync speeds of up to 1/1600 sec. Designed to give photographers who shoot with Phase One and Mamiya 645DF medium-format cameras more flexibility, the grip also provides longer camera battery life through power integration and easy firmware upgrades. The unit works with most Profoto flash systems and can be used with other systems via an optional receiver unit. The V-Grip Air features all of the same camera controls and functionality as on the 645DF camera. Estimated Street Price: $1,290. Contact: Mamiya, www.mamiya-usa.com; Profoto, www.profoto.com.
With manual controls, a 2.8-inch articulating LCD and 720p HD video capture, the Canon PowerShot G12 is just the kind of point-and-shoot that a pro needs. Keeping the full range of shooting and recording modes found in previous models, the G12 adds HD video capture, a High Dynamic Range scene mode and a control dial on the front of the camera to easily adjust camera settings similar to how you would on a DSLR. Additional features include a 10-megapixel CCD sensor, a 28-140mm wide-angle zoom (35mm equivalent) and an improved low-light performance, thanks to the HS System and Hybrid IS technology that compensates for camera shake in multiple directions. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
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