Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 Zoom
Tokina‘s new AT-X 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 PRO FX high-performance zoom lens was designed for today’s high-pixel-count, full-frame sensors. Its 15 elements in 11 groups include three precision molded all-glass aspherical elements (one of Super Low Dispersion glass) to control spherical aberrations, along with three SD elements in the rear groups to minimize chromatic aberrations. Minimum focusing distance is 1.2 feet (0.21X maximum magnification). An SDM (Silent Drive Module) AF motor provides quick, quiet autofocusing. The lens also features Tokina’s One-touch Focus Clutch mechanism, which allows you to switch between auto and manual focus simply by pushing the focusing ring forward (for AF) or pulling it rearward (for MF). The lens measures 3.5×4.2 inches and weighs 2.2 pounds. It’s available in mounts for Canon and Nikon full-frame DSLRs (it can also be used on APS-C cameras). Estimated Street Price: $999. Contact: Kenko Tokina USA, kenkotokinausa.com.
3 New NIKKORs
Nikon has announced three new lenses, all featuring the company’s electromagnetic diaphragm for consistent exposures during high-speed shooting. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm ƒ/2.8-4E ED VR is for Nikon DX (APS-C) DSLRs (equivalent in field of view to 24-120mm on a full-frame camera), providing a versatile range of "walk-around" focal lengths (including portraits). It can focus down to 1.2 feet at all focal lengths, for a maximum magnification of 0.22X at 80mm. It measures 3.1×3.3 inches and weighs 16.1 ounces. The new AF-S NIKKOR 500mm ƒ/4E ED VR and 600mm ƒ/4E ED VR supertelephotos are full-frame lenses (also usable on DX cameras) optimized for today’s high-resolution sensors and high-speed DSLRs. They reduce weight considerably over their predecessors (the new 500mm ƒ/4E weighs 6.8 pounds vs. 8.5 for the 500mm ƒ/4G; the 600mm ƒ/4E weighs 8.3 pounds vs. 11.5 for the 600mm ƒ/4G). Both also feature improved AF tracking performance. List Price: $1,069.95 (16-80mm); $10,299.95 (500mm); $12,299.95 (600mm). Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
Rosco Silk 210 LED Softlight
Ideal for lighting broadcast studios and feature film sets, as well as for on-location use, Rosco‘s new Silk 210 LED Luminaire softlight features daylight and tungsten LEDs and can deliver a high volume of light at adjustable color temperatures from 2800K to 6500K (e.g., 2400 lux at 1m at 5600K). The compact unit (21.9×13.9×3.9 inches, 13.0 pounds, including yoke) is rugged and easy to use, and can operate off AC power or optional battery power. Estimated Street Price: Please see dealer. Contact: Rosco, rosco.com.
Trust the colors you see on your monitor using Datacolor‘s Spyder5PRO, an easy and precise way to calibrate your monitors so that the colors you’re viewing are accurate and your prints look like what you see on screen. The industry’s only seven-detector optical engine with on-screen assistance delivers color and shadow/highlight calibration in five minutes, and it takes just half that to recalibrate (preferably monthly) thereafter. An integrated room-light sensor alerts you when the ambient lighting conditions have changed, so you can recalibrate or adjust the ambient lighting. Estimated Street Price: $189. Contact: Datacolor, spyder.datacolor.com.
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT
Canon‘s new Speedlite 430EX III-RT flash is compact (2.8×4.5 inches, 10.4 ounces), yet powerful (ISO 100 GN 141 ft./43m, at the 105mm zoom setting). It offers several new features, most notably both radio and optical wireless off-camera operation. In radio mode, up to 15 camera/flash units can be fired from up to 98.4 feet away, and the 430EX III-RT can serve as master or slave. In optical mode, the flash can be operated from up to 49.2 feet (indoors). Other features include a new control dial, illuminated dot-matrix LCD panel, tilting/rotating bounce capability, high-speed sync and second-curtain sync. Estimated Street Price: $299.99. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
DxO ONE Camera
Best known for its advanced image-processing technologies and DxOMark.com image-sensor ratings, DxO has introduced its first camera. The DxO ONE connects to an iPhone or iPad via the Lightning connector, and uses the smart device’s screen as the camera monitor. Featuring a 20.2-megapixel, one-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, the ONE delivers good performance in dim light (ISO range 100-51200), while its 32mm (equivalent) ƒ/1.8 lens can produce shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh for portraits. The camera can also do 1080/30p and 720/120p video. SuperRAW mode shoots four images in rapid succession and merges them (when connected to your Mac or PC) using the latest in spatial and temporal noise reduction for even better image quality. The ONE is 2.65 inches tall and weighs 3.8 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $599, including free licenses for DxO OpticsPro ELITE and FilmPack ELITE software (for a limited time). Contact: DxO, dxo.com.
Sigma 24-35mm F/2 DG HSM | A
Providing prime lens image quality in three popular focal lengths (24mm, 28mm and 35mm), as well as the ability to change focal lengths at the twist of a wrist, Sigma‘s 24-35mm ƒ/2 DG HSM | A was designed for high performance and versatility for full-frame sensors (but can also be used with APS-C DSLRs). Its large-diameter aspherical element, which is a difficult feature to produce, plus an FLD element (equivalent in performance to fluorite) and seven SLD elements, minimize field curvature and spherical and axial chromatic aberrations. An HSM AF motor and a new AF algorithm deliver quick, smooth AF, along with full-time manual focusing when desired. The lens measures 3.4×4.8 inches and weighs 33.2 ounces, and takes 82mm filters. It will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma SA mounts. List Price: $999. Contact: Sigma, sigmaphoto.com.
Canon PowerShot G3 X
Canon‘s new flagship G-series compact camera, the PowerShot G3 X is a fine walk-around camera for a pro. It’s the most rugged of the G-series, with dust and weather sealing ab
out equal to that of the EOS 70D. It has a built-in 24-600mm (equivalent) ƒ/2.8-5.6 zoom, which can cover a very wide range of shooting needs. Built-in intelligent image stabilization helps keep things sharper at all focal lengths. The G3 X features EOS-like control (a first for the G-series) and can shoot 5.9 fps with CAF. The 20.2-megapixel, one-inch CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 processor optimize image quality at ISO settings to 12800. The 3.2-inch, 1.62M-dot LCD monitor can be supplemented with an optional 2.36-megapixel EVF (recommended for handheld shooting at longer focal lengths), and 1080p video at 60, 20 and 24 fps (with external mic and headphone jacks) and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC add versatility. Star Trail and Star Time-Lapse Movie modes will delight fans of night sky photography. Dimensions are 4.9×3.0x4.2 inches; weight is 24.0 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $999.99. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K
Quadcopter photo drones are popular these days, and Yuneec‘s Typhoon Q500 4K is an easy-to-operate one, with some good features. First, its gimbal-stabilized CGO3 camera with 115° distortion-free lens can do 4K video, 1080p slow motion at 120 fps and 12-megapixel still images (DNG RAW or JPEG). It comes with two LiPo rechargeable batteries, and can stay aloft for about 25 minutes on a charge. No smartphone or tablet is required; the provided ST10+ Personal Control Station features a 5.5-inch touch screen, plus the ability to adjust video resolution, white balance, ISO exposure and shutter speed. Also provided is the SmartGrip for gimbal-stabilized handheld ground shooting. Videos and images are stored on the internal memory card and streamed in real time for viewing on the ST10+. Estimated Street Price: $1,299. Contact: Yuneec, yuneec.com.
Sony RX100 IV
Sony‘s fourth-generation RX100 IV continues a tradition of combining good image quality with a pocketable package, and then some. Its new 20.1-megapixel, one-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor features a stacked configuration, with the pixel area on top, the high-speed signal-processing circuitry below and an on-chip DRAM memory chip below that. The 5X faster readout made possible by this design provides 16 fps full-res still shooting with no blackout (but focus fixed at the first frame), a top shutter speed of 1/32,000, and 4K video in-camera at 30p, super slow-motion up to 960 fps (40x) at 800×270, and full-pixel readout video with no binning or line-skipping. The tilting 3.0-inch, 1229K-dot external monitor is complemented by a 2.35-megapixel EVF. AF performance has also been sped up. Dimensions are 4.0×2.3×1.5 inches, and weight is 9.6 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $1,000. Contact: Sony, store.sony.com.
Laowa 15mm F/4 Macro Lens
The Laowa 15mm ƒ/4 is the world’s widest-angle 1:1 macro lens. It takes in a 110° angle of view on a full-frame camera (85° on an APS-C camera), and will focus down to 4.7 inches (0.2-inch working distance), close enough to deliver a 1:1 magnification at the image plane. Superwide-angle macro photography opens up lots of new creative photo possibilities. The manual-focus lens is available in mounts for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony A and FE digital cameras. Estimated Street Price: $479. Contact: Venus Optics, venuslens.net.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX8
Panasonic‘s new LUMIX DMC-GX8 is a pro-quality mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera with a 20.3-megapixel sensor that can deliver 4K video at 30 and 24 fps and 1080p video at up to 60 fps, as well as 4K (8-megapixel) still frames at 30 fps. The magnesium body is sealed against dust and weather, and features both a 3.0-inch, 1040K-dot free-angle touch-screen monitor and a 2360K-dot tilting OLED eye-level electronic viewfinder. The camera features Panasonic’s very quick DFD (Depth From Defocus) contrast-based AF system, and it can shoot full-res images at 6 fps with AF (8 fps with focus locked at the first frame). Sensor-shift image stabilization can work in conjunction with in-lens stabilization to provide Dual IS when compatible Panasonic OIS lenses are used. There’s also built-in WiFi with NFC for easy connection. The GX8 measures 5.2×3.1×2.5 inches and weighs 15.3 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (body only). Contact: Panasonic, shop.panasonic.com.
LensPen Action Camera Lens Cleaner
The LensPen for GoPro lenses (and other action cam optics) is smaller than the original LensPen, ideal for cleaning the small lenses on action cameras. Based on a carbon cleaning compound, the LensPen for action cams uses no liquids, sprays, tissues or rags. Just remove loose dust and dirt with the retractable natural brush at one end of the unit, then twist the cap at the other end and use the cleaning tip to remove any remaining dirt, grease or fingerprints. LensPens are environmentally friendly, good for 500+ cleanings, and have no expiration date. Estimated Street Price: $9.99. Contact: LensPen, lenspen.com.
Gallery Pouch By Frame Destination
Using sheets of bubble wrap and tape to protect your prints for travel/ shipping can be a pain, both wrapping and unwrapping. Frame Destination offers a simple solution: Gallery Pouches, which are sturdy bubble-wrap pouches custom-sized to fit your prints (or you can order from a wide range of standard sizes). You can choose from opening at a short edge or a long one, flap or Velcro® closure, in sizes from 4×4 to 52×156 inches. Prices vary with size and quantity; for example, two 16×21-inch pouches cost $13.02 each, which drops to $11.40 each if you order 20. Contact: Frame Destination, framedestination.com.