Tuesday, October 5, 2010
New Tools Of The Trade
If capturing HD video is becoming a larger part of your workflow, the Intuitfocus HF-1F1 Follow Focus is designed to help you shoot sharper video and still images. The system acts as a focus-pulling assistant with a unique belt system that interacts with a precise thumbwheel for keeping your hands and images steady. It can be used with DSLRs and lenses ranging from 14mm to 600mm with included belts. Tension can be fine-tuned to best match the focus ring of your lens and four rubber-belt sizes are supplied to accommodate various lens types. List Price: $3,900. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
With a fixed translucent pellicle mirror and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, the 16.2-megapixel Sony SLT-a55V (and its 14.2-megapixel SLT-a33 sibling) is a unique camera system. While this isn’t the first camera to have a pellicle mirror, using it in the digital era makes for some innovative structural changes to the way images are captured. Using this mirror system, the optical pathway splits, directing light to the main image sensor and the phase-detection AF sensor. As a result, you get continuous phase-detection AF for recording video, along with using the 1.44-million-dot electronic viewfinder or Live View LCD monitor for both stills and video. The three-inch, 921,000-dot LCD tilts 180º and swivels 270º for easy odd-angle viewing. Estimated Street Price: $749 (a55V); $649 (a33). Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669, www.sonystyle.com.
Designed for HD-capable DSLRs, the Slik PRO 500HD tripod and SH-736HD fluid-effect two-way pan head feature fine drag controls for tilting and panning that are separate from the tilt and drag control locks. This allows you to fine-tune the tightness of the movement based on how much your camera and lens weigh. The head supports up to 11 pounds and can be positioned vertically, adding to its versatility. The tripod collapses down to 27.9 inches, extends to 64.9 inches and weighs 5.9 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Slik (THK Photo Products), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
With enhanced support for Leaf, Mamiya and Nikon digital cameras, Capture One 5.2 PRO/DB from Phase One features improved tethered performance and offers Live View support for Leaf digital backs and Mamiya DM systems. Significantly improved is tethered operation for Leaf Aptus II series backs. The update also offers easy colorcast correction on Leaf files and optimized firmware management for select Leaf digital backs. Customized Nikon camera profiles for the D3S, D3X, D3, D300, D300S and others feature improved colors and tone response. The update is free for existing users. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Phase One, (631) 547-8900, www.phaseone.com.
The Sigma 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG OS HSM telephoto zoom now features Optical Stabilization technology for taking sharp pictures when shooting handheld and in low light. On Sony and Pentax bodies, the OS function makes viewing stabilized images in the viewfinder possible, if desired. The lens is designed for full-frame DSLRs. With smaller APS-C-sized sensors, the focal length increases to 100-300mm on most cameras. The Hyper-Sonic Motor delivers quiet, high-speed autofocus, as well as full-time manual-focus capability. Estimated Street Price: $2,470. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
The Schneider PC-Super-Angulon 28mm ƒ/2.8 wide-angle lens offers the kind of parallel-shift capability that the sliding-lens panel of a large-format camera does for correcting converging vertical lines and manipulating perspective. This kind of control is especially useful if you do a lot of architectural photography. Standard 35mm lenses have an image-circle diameter of about 44mm so that all four corners of the image are inside the image circle. This lens has a 62mm image circle, displacing the optical axis by 11mm horizontally and vertically, and by 9.5mm diagonally. Images of high buildings or mountains retain a natural-looking perspective. A multilayer reflective coating prevents unwanted reflections. Estimated Street Price: $1,900. Contact: Schneider Optics, (800) 228-1254, www.schneideroptics.com.
Make sure your equipment is well-protected en route to an assignment with the Pelican-Hardigg Composite rack mount cases. Chemically resistant to most fuels, solvents, contaminants and decontaminants, the shell can withstand temperatures ranging from -65º F to 185º F. With tough exteriors, the cases can handle repeated drops, blows and soakings while protecting sensitive equipment. Built to last with stainless-steel hardware and a removable rack system, Pelican also offers the rotationally molded Classic Rack, SuperMAC, MAC Rack and ProRack series cases, which can be scaled up or down to meet your exact needs. Estimated Street Price: Varies depending on size. Contact: Pelican, (800) 473-5422, www.pelican.com.
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