The highly anticipated full-frame Nikon Df utilizes current digital technology, such as the 16.2-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 processor used in the D4, within a classic body design reminiscent of the Nikon 35mm film cameras. Solid mechanical controls are used for setting adjustments and controls, returning to a traditional SLR feel and reducing the need for scrolling through menus. With a 3.2-inch LCD screen and a glass optical viewfinder, you utilize the 39-point AF system to shoot up to 5.5 fps for sharp action shots. With an ISO range of 100-12,800, expandable to 204,800, the Df performs well in low light. Wireless connectivity is possible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter for instant sharing or remote triggering. The Df is backward-compatible with classic Ai and non-Ai Nikkor lenses, as well as current AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D lenses. Purists may appreciate that the camera doesn’t offer video capabilities. List Price: $2,749 (body only). Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera squeezed down to a pocket-sized profile. With a high-quality, 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, the GM1 shoots both still photos and 1080 HD video at 60i/30p. The metal-alloy frame, with aluminum dials and brushed metal, feels comfortable in hand and has a stylish retro look. The 3-inch, 1036K-dot LCD screen allows you to set focus and trigger the shutter via touch sensitivity. Silent Shutter mode reduces shutter noise while in the field during sensitive moments. Built-in WiFi connects to your smartphone and tablet for asset transfer, as well as remote triggering using the Panasonic Image App. The GM1 also has integrated creative filters, as well as time-lapse and stop-motion features. List Price: $749. Contact: Panasonic, www.shop.panasonic.com.
Litepanels has added a 12-inch option to their Fresnel series. The Sola 12 (Daylight) and Inca 12 (Tungsten) provide a fixed lens, directional illumination and an output nearing traditional 2K incandescents while integrating LED technology. Drawing only 346W, the Sola 12 and Inca 12 are convenient low-energy units for location lighting, as well as efficient studio lighting. The cool-to-the-touch LED technology makes operating the lightweight housing possible without gloves. An integrated DMX module includes Ethernet connectivity for remote dimming, from 100% to 0 without any noticeable color shift or flicker, and focusing, with a 67º-15º beam angle. List Price: $4,795. Contact: Litepanels, www.litepanels.com.
Novoflex‘s modular tripod, the TrioPod, is available in five different sets. Additionally, each part is available individually for maximum flexibility and expandability to match your changing needs. The system includes the 0.69-pound TrioPod tripod base, a center column, which extends the stand base height by 3.15 inches, 3- and 4-segment aluminum legs, 3- and 4-segment carbon-fiber legs, mini-tripod legs and a 3-segment hiking stick. List Price: $585 (TrioPod with 3-section aluminum leg set); $657 (TrioPod with 4-section aluminum leg set); $887 (TrioPod with 3-section carbon-fiber leg set); $930 (TrioPod with 4-section carbon-fiber leg set); $709 (TrioPod with Hikingstick II 3-section leg set). Contact: Novoflex (HP Marketing Corp.), www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Tamron has announced the development of the SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD ultratelephoto zoom, compatible with both full-frame and APS-C formats. With a large focal-length-range expansion from the current 200-500mm lens offered, this lens is of particular interest for sports and wildlife photographers who need a little extra length without losing quality (from extenders) or time (by changing lenses). Including Vibration Compensation, a redesigned tripod mount and an Ultrasonic Silent Drive for accurate AF, the lens is set up to shoot sharp images at a long focal length both mounted and handheld. List Price: TBA. Contact: Tamron, www.tamron-usa.com.
Perfect Photo Suite 8
onOne Software has added new features to their photo-editing software with the release of Perfect Photo Suite 8. Both the Standard version (a stand-alone application) and the Premium version, which also integrates with Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements and Apple Aperture, use a unified interface of eight modules including Effects, Enhance, B+W, Portrait, Mask, Layers, Resize and Browse. The new Enhance module includes basic tools for brightness, contrast, sharpness, removing dust spots and vignettes. The Perfect Eraser tool removes objects with content-fill technology. A re-engineered Effects module provides custom filters and presets. The new Browse module makes it easy to scan through images on your computer, external drive, network and cloud-based storage, and work on multiple images at once. List Price: $299 (Premium); $149 (Premium upgrade); $79 (Standard). Contact: onOne Software, www.ononesoftware.com.
The 20.2-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 with 24-200mm ƒ/2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* high-zoom lens provides incredible variability in an all-in-one design, perfect for lightweight travel. By combining the RX100 II’s Exmor R CMOS sensor and the new BIONZ X processor, Sony continues to reduce area-specific noise and increase detail. Three different sizes can be selected for autofocus, allowing you to match the size to your subject for accurate focusing. Fast action can be captured at up to 10 fps with continuous AF. The RX10 continues to advance in video capabilities, with 60p and 24p frame rates, HDMI out, an adjustable audio level meter and headphone out for audio monitoring. Additionally, it’s compatible with the XLR-K1M adapter for pro audio recording. List Price: $1,299. Contact: Sony, www.sony.com.
Pro Filter Line
Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. has designed a new line of Hoya PROND filters for both still photo and HDSLR video use. The nine filters range from two to 10 stops in light reduction. ACCU-ND metallic technology coats the front and back of optical glass, creating the neutral-density effect for a neutral color balance that doesn’t add any additional color cast. A one-piece, thin, aluminum frame keeps the filter secure and parallel to the sensor. Available in ND4X through ND1000X densities and sizes 49mm-82mm. Estimated Street Price: Varies by filter size. Co
ntact: Kenko Tokina USA, Inc., www.kenkotokinausa.com.
Sling Strap For Women
Designed specifically for the female body by female designers, the Kick strap by BlackRapid makes slinging a camera more comfortable for women. The short shoulder pad includes a built-in curve that "kicks" webbing toward the center of the chest, making the sling placement well fitting. The shoulder pad is also thicker and wider than the BlackRapid Elle, which also makes it compatible with the Brad underarm system for extra stabilization. Estimated Street Price: $61. Contact: BlackRapid, www.blackrapid.com.
Weighing a featherlight four pounds, yet supporting a full 22-pound capacity, the versatile 3POD P5CRH 5-section Carbon Fiber Compact Tripod with K3 Ballhead by Flashpoint is the perfect travel companion. With wear-resistant lock guards that provide against slippage due to wear and temperature changes, the 5-section legs individually fold and unfold with metal-jacketed twist locks and have three position settings to compensate for uneven surfaces. Each foot has a spike for outdoor trail use with a nonslip rubber cap. Quick moments and tight spaces may call for the P5CRH’s monopod configuration, utilizing the center column’s reinforced twist-lock technology. The included K3 Ballhead provides smooth 360º panning with two bubble levels and a sliding quick-release plate. List Price: $124. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
Sigma 35mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art
Photographers looking for a fast prime lens will take note of the Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM Art lens. Designed for a full-frame sensor and compatible with an APS-C sensor, the lens features a Hyper Sonic Motor for quick and quiet focusing, as well as a floating internal focusing system, allowing high performance, even at close shooting distances. SLD and FLD glass elements correct axial and chromatic aberrations. The lens is compatible with the Sigma USB dock for firmware updates and adjusting focus parameters. Estimated Street Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
High Intensity, Low Heat
A continuous light for both still and video shoots, the LED-200WA High-Intensity Series by Fotodiox produces 15,000 lux/m of luminance, two times the brightness of the previous model, while consuming only 200 watts of electricity. The 200WA runs on constant power instead of alternating current like many equivalent models, allowing it to run twice as long. Though it provides high intensity, it generates very little heat, making studio sessions more comfortable. Available in 5600K (Daylight) or 3200K (Tungsten), it’s housed in a strobe-like package with a Bowens S-type bayonet mount, making it compatible with standard strobe accessories. A built-in glass diffuser creates soft and even light with a high color-rendering index for proper color in all environments. List Price: $424. Contact: Fotodiox, www.fotodioxpro.com.
Manfrotto Shoulder 50
The Shoulder 50 is a comfortable and sturdy shoulder bag that’s part of the new Manfrotto Pro line. The bag interior features a Camera Protection System (CPS) with thickly layered core center dividers that mold to cradle your equipment and provide shock absorption for two DSLRs with lenses attached, a strobe, a tablet, accessories and additional personal gear. Featuring a rigid, multilayered Exo-Tough outer construction with thermo-formed areas and reinforced feet to protect against impact, the Shoulder 50 also provides a back compartment for personal papers, a top zipper for quick gear access and a removable rain cover. Estimated Street Price: $189. Contact: Manfrotto, www.manfrotto.us.
Add smooth, even movement to your next video project with the Glidecam VistaTrack 10-48. Use the track on flat or uneven surfaces alike or mounted to a tripod to create vibration-free, high-quality movement. When using the integrated adjustable legs or a single tripod, the Linear Track and Dolly System supports cameras weighing up to 10 pounds, or provide added stability and support with two tripods for use with cameras weighing up to 30 pounds. Two quick-release plates are included. One plate mounts the VistaTrack to a single tripod and the other mounts the camera to the track. The system is available in 48-inch, 36-inch and 24-inch lengths. List Price: $699 and up. Contact: Glidecam, www.glidecam.com.
The Induro PHD3 panhead provides quick and precise camera positioning from a wide range of angles using a single-lock knob control. The one-lock knob gives full control over the 360º rotation of the panning base, while a separate knob controls +90º/-45º front-back tilt movement and +45º/-45º side-to-side tilt. A graduated scale and bubble level aid in accuracy. A double-safety lock is incorporated on the Quick Release clamp of the included Arca-Swiss-style top plate. Fits size 2- and 3-series tripods. List Price: $385. Contact: Induro, www.indurogear.com.
Zeiss Otus 1.4/55
Zeiss has introduced the 55mm ƒ/1.4 as the first lens in the Otus lens line. Named after an owl known for night vision, the Otus line is designed specifically for high-resolution-sensor DSLRs, prioritizing sharpness and high image contrast and reducing chromatic aberrations. The internal 12-element optical design creates images without color fringe or distortion, while the external metal barrel allows for smooth manual focusing and comfortable operation. Available in F-bayonet and EF-bayonet mounts, the Otus line will be growing with additional lens lengths. List Price: $3,990. Contact: Zeiss, lenses.zeiss.com.
G-Technology has developed a dual-bay storage system particularly useful for downloading files in the field, then quickly backing up once you return to your studio workspace. The G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt hub ships with two portable stand-alone G-DRIVE ev USB 3.0 drives with 1 TB capacity each. The hub allows additional drives to be swapped in and out for flexible and e
xpandable backup. Estimated Street Price: $749 ($199 for each additional 1 TB G-Drive ev portable USB 3.0 drive). Contact: G-Technology, www.g-technology.com.
Canon Sensor Upgrade
The Canon EOS 70D DSLR uses new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, which reads phase-detection data from every pixel for smoother autofocus when shooting quick-moving subjects such as sports, wildlife and events. Knowing the benefit of this technology for filmmakers, Canon is offering a $500 Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade for the EOS C100 Cinema camera that was released in November 2012. After purchasing the C100, owners will be able to ship their cameras to the Canon Service Center to have the sensor upgraded. Upgrades will start in February. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
MOBILE APPS FOR PROFESSIONALS
Formerly known as the app Trip Cubby, Mileage Log+ by Contrast has received an upgrade, becoming a much-needed convenience for photographers tracking mileage for reimbursement or tax deduction purposes. The app features auto-entry and auto-calculation and saves frequent trips to reduce filing time, as well as quickly sorts and filters with customizable categories and reimbursement rates. Created keeping IRS compliance in mind, Mileage Log+ also compiles Excel-compatible email reports with PDF and CSV attachments. List Price: $9.99. Contact: Contrast, www.contrast.co.
In photography, between scouting, setting up equipment and working with natural light, timing is incredibly important. When you’re traveling in a new city, even more factors play into timing. The free Embark app for iPhone helps manage city navigation with step-by-step instructions so you can get to your location smoothly. Using real-time information about late trains, closures and advisories, Embark gives you the best estimate as to when your train will arrive and what your schedule will look like. And Embark continues to work without an Internet or cellular connection while you’re underground in a metro system. Currently available for 10 transit systems, including Boston, Chicago, NYC, San Francisco and Washington D.C., Embark is continuing to expand. Contact: Embark, www.letsembark.com.
Instead of single-image pseudo-HDR, bring true multi-image HDR photography to your smartphone. The Pro HDR app by eyeApps LLC expands your dynamic range with multiple image merging from the palm of your hand. Compatible with front and rear phone cameras, you can use auto-capture or manual mode for exposure, digital zoom, self-timer and flash. Edit the images by adjusting brightness, contrast and saturation, then save GPS and EXIF data. Compatible with iOS and Android devices. List Price: $1.99. Contact: eyeApps LLC, www.eyeapps.com.