Tuesday, August 16, 2011
New Tools Of The Trade
The Hasselblad H4D-200MS can produce 200-megapixel files, thanks to its multi-shot technology system. Similar to Hasselblad's 50-megapixel H4D-50MS, the camera uses the Piezo Frame Module to capture six shots and combine them into a 200-megapixel file. Most ideal for studio photographers, the camera has additional capture modes such as a four-shot, 50-megapixel still mode and a single-shot, 50-megapixel live mode for doing handheld photography on location. When capturing full-resolution images, a minimum 8 GB of RAM and a drive speed of 7200 or 10,000 rpm are required. H4D-50MS shooters can upgrade their systems for roughly $10,000. Estimated Street Price: About $44,000. Contact: Hasselblad, (800) 367-6434, www.hasselbladusa.com.
The latest generation of WD's My Book Studio drives for Mac comes with up to 3 TB of capacity. The newly designed drive features WD Caviar Green drives with WD GreenPower technology, which eliminates the need for an internal fan, reducing noise from the drive and extending its overall life. The brushed aluminum casing gives it a sleek look and also draws away heat so it stays cool. Other significant features include FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 interfaces, user-controlled automatic backup software and drive management, password protection and hardware encryption. Though the drives come formatted for use with Mac computers, they can be reformatted for use with Windows PCs. Estimated Street Price: $249 (3 TB). Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000, www.wdc.com.
Adding to its accessory lens lineup, Nikon now offers the AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm ƒ/2.8G for macro work. The lens has the same effective angle of view as a 60mm lens on a full-frame camera and is capable of a 1:1 reproduction ratio. Other key specs include focusing as close as 6.4 inches and a rounded seven-blade diaphragm, as well as both manual-priority autofocus and manual focus for quickly and easily switching focus modes. Also incorporated into the lens is Nikon's Close-Range Correction System. With this system, the lens elements are configured in a "floating" design that causes each lens group to move independently, achieving critical focus at close distances. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
Combining length and speed, the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM features the lens maker's Optical Stabilization system for taking sharp handheld shots and using shutter speeds about 4 stops slower than would be possible otherwise. With two new "F" Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements and a single SLD glass element, overall image quality is improved by reducing chromatic aberrations. If an assignment calls for shooting in the outdoors, the lens has a splashproof design that incorporates O-ring sealing connections to prevent dust and water from getting inside the camera body. List Price: $4,700. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
When an assignment calls for transporting a minimal amount of gear, the Tamrac Zuma series offers just enough room for the basics. The Zuma 4 is a fast-access shoulder bag capable of holding a DSLR with an attached lens, another lens or two, a flash, an iPad or a 10-inch netbook, Tamrac's ZipShot Mini Tripod and accessories. The Zuma 7 is a fast-access backpack that holds a DSLR with up to a 6½-inch lens attached, extra lenses, a flash and the ZipShot. It also has a pocket for holding an iPad or a 10-inch netbook. Both have plenty of pockets for extra gadgets such as a wireless keyboard, a smartphone, chargers, memory cards, batteries and more. List Price: $124 (Zuma 4); $159 (Zuma 7). Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
If the iPad has replaced your laptop when shooting on location, a new Nik Software photo-editing app, Snapseed, is designed to give you more hands-on control when working with images. To load files, simply tap the Open Image button. Snapseed uses the standard iPad photo album interface so images are accessible from the Photos library. Options such as Automatic, Selective Adjust, Tune Image, Straighten & Rotate, and Crop appear on the left side of the screen. Tapping one of them allows you to enter the editing mode. Additional options include Black & White, Vintage Films, Drama and Grunge. Nik Software's Control Point technology is also incorporated, allowing you to make selective adjustments by touching or swiping the screen. Estimated Street Price: $5. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.
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