The still camera and video camera continue to intertwine as Panasonic releases the LUMIX GH4, a "DSLM" (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) camera system that shoots both stills and 4K video. The 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor combine with an integrated noise-reduction system for detailed low-light shooting at ISO 25,600 and a quick 12 fps burst rate. Depth from Defocus technology increases the speed of the Contrast AF system. The GH4 also shoots high-quality 4K and HD video without a recording-time limit in MOV, MP4 and VCHD at various frame rates. Video can be recorded to an external recorder in real time via HDMI. The DMW-YAGH Interface attachment unit provides four SDI outputs, two XLR inputs with LED monitored audio levels, timecode and an external power terminal. The GH4 also provides a 2,359K-dot OLED Live View Finder and 1,036K-dot rear monitor. The entire magnesium-alloy body is splashproof and dustproof. List Price: $1,699. Contact: Panasonic, www.shop.panasonic.com.
For photographers who want more flexibility with less gear, Tamron has announced the "All-In-One" 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD macro lens, providing an 18.8x zoom ratio for DSLRs with an APS-C-sized sensor. Tamron has adopted a new design approach to make the lens particularly compact, using UXR glass, a 5-lens-group zoom design and precise mechanical engineering. The lens includes macro capabilities across the entire zoom range, with a 15.3-inch focus distance and 1:2.9 magnification ratio. The Piezo Drive (PZD) ensures quick and quiet AF capabilities, and the Vibration Compensation (VC) enables handheld shooting at long focal lengths. List Price: TBA. Contact: Tamron, www.tamron-usa.com.
Sigma dp Quattro
Sigma has announced the dp Quattro, a trilogy of compact cameras with sleek, minimalist bodies using weight distribution for a comfortable in-hand feel. Each camera has a different fixed focal length: the dp1 Quattro, a 19mm wide-angle; the dp2 Quattro, a 30mm standard; and the dp3 Quattro, a 55mm telephoto (or 28mm, 45mm and 75mm equivalents, respectively). Most notably, the redesigned Foveon APS-C 30-megapixel Quattro sensor in each camera provides 30% higher resolution than its predecessor utilizing the quick TRUE III image processor. The dp2 Quattro is the first camera in the series to be released; pricing and availability have yet to be announced. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
Taurus Jr. Crane/Jib System
Simple pans and tilts may leave you craving more movement in your video, but shoulder rigs are exhausting for full-day (or multi-day) shoots. The durable aluminum Taurus Jr. Crane and Jib System by ProAm USA gives you the ability to add eye-catching swoops and height variation to your film. The dual-arm Taurus Jr. supports a 20-pound camera rig and uses auto-leveling with a tilt brake and built-in bearing base. It can be manually tilted for rigs weighing 10 pounds or less. The Taurus Jr. itself is easily transportable, weighing only 12 pounds, and is easily set up by one person with no extra tools. List Price: $299. Contact: ProAm USA, www.proamusa.com.
A convenient energy source when you’re in the field, the fan-cooled Flashpoint Powerstation 800 converts stored lithium energy into sine wave 120V AC power. Allowing three units to be plugged in at once, the Powerstation provides two switchable modes—one for high peak strobe generators up to 3000ws and the other for constant low-flow devices like laptops. Three USB ports are provided for charging small devices. At 7.5 pounds, the main Powerstation 800 can also be run from your car’s 12V outlet or you can swap an interchangeable, 4.85-pound, 12,000m Ah Lithium Ion Phosphate battery module to extend your location shoot time. List Price: $899 (Powerstation 800); $1,100 (Powerstation 800 Kit); $350 (additional battery). Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
The Nikon D4S has been designed to meet the needs of the modern-day multimedia photographer. With a 16.2-megapixel, FX-format, CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 processor, the camera excels at shooting in low light with an ISO range of 100-25,600, expandable to a full 409,600. For capturing quick sports and wildlife action, it shoots 11 fps for up to 200 shots at full resolution. The D4S has increased video quality with 1080p60 capabilities, as well as a 2.7x crop mode to extend the reach of the lens. With the possibility of shooting in a small RAW size, there’s flexibility in storing more files while still maintaining full control in postprocessing. The 1000 Base-T wired LAN provides 10x faster transfer speeds. Look for our full hands-on review of the D4S at digitalphotopro.com. List Price: $6,499. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
Olympus OM-D E-M10
Introduced by the manufacturer as the "Olympus for All," the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 includes the power and quality of the OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 in an affordable interchangeable-lens system. A 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Truepic VII processor with an ISO range of 100-25600 are housed in a lightweight metal body with a 1.4K-dot EVF viewfinder, tilting 3.0-inch touch-screen and built-in flash. The 3-axis stabilization system is similar to the 5-axis system found in the E-M5 and E-M1, providing a steady shot even in low light and when using a slow shutter speed. The FAST AF system provides 81 target spots throughout the frame, allowing Small AF Target and Super Spot AF modes to capture specific accurate focus at 8 fps. The E-M10 includes built-in WiFi, which syncs to your smart device using the free Olympus Image Share app for image sharing or remote camera control. List Price: $699 (body only). Contact: Olympus, www.getolympus.com.
As of our press date, the specs for the Pentax 645Z are still being finalized, but this small-bodied, 51-megapixel, CMOS, medium-format-sensor camera, priced at less than $9,000, could be a professional game changer. The AA filterless design has increased the resolution for incredibly sharp details. With delicate noise-processing ability, the 645Z can reach ISO 204,800. In addition to a new SAFOX 11 AF module and increased sensitivity, the
AF system has 27 selectable AF points. The 645Z shoots full HD video at 60i/30p, with an HDMI terminal, built-in stereo mic and auto/manual sound level recording. A tiltable LCD screen is featured for shooting flexibility. The Pentax Flucard provides instant transfer to your mobile device. Visit digitalphotopro.com for finalized specs and a full hands-on review. List Price: $8,499. Contact: Pentax, www.us.ricoh-imaging.com.
Made from high-grade leathers ranging from Chestnut Bridle Leather to Genuine Python, you’re sure to find one of HoldFast Gear‘s Money Maker-Luxury Leather Multicamera Straps to match your style. Perfect for carrying two or three cameras at a time, the slider system allows your cameras to slide up and down each side of the leather harness. You also have the option to attach one additional camera to the front of the harness with the anchored metal D-rings. The Money Maker comes in small, medium and large sizes dependent on your height. List Price: $200-$490. Contact: HoldFast Gear, www.holdfastgear.com.
Lowepro Pro Roller x-Series AW
Available in three sizes, the versatile Pro Roller x-Series AW bags from Lowepro can be used to haul your DSLR, audio, video or lighting equipment. The interior features the MaxFit™ system, which allows you to place your gear first, then place the rigid CrossLink Foam inserts, making micro-adjustments for maximum capacity fit. The interior front lid has mesh pockets for easy visibility to accessories. The ballistic nylon hard-shell exterior includes a front pocket organizer, laptop pocket, built-in All-Weather cover and sidestraps for a tripod. The vibration-absorbing wheels with ABEC-5-rated bearings provide smooth gliding. List Price: $369 (x100); $399 (x200); $479 (x300). Contact: Lowepro, www.lowepro.com.
Smooth Zoom Lens
The M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 EZ by Olympus is a slim travel companion. Designed for PEN and OM-D camera bodies, it’s less than one inch thick while providing a 24-48mm equivalent focal range. An Electronic Retraction system automatically extends and retracts the lens when the camera is powered on and off. The MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) focus system maintains a quiet, nearly silent focus mechanism. The Electronic Zoom gives you smooth and even control, which is particularly useful for video shooting. List Price: $349. Contact: Olympus, www.getolympus.com.
Waterproof, dustproof and freezeproof down to -14º F, the Fujifilm X-T1 features a 16.3-megapixel, APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II with phase detection, tracking AF and shooting at 8 fps. The OLED 2.36-million-dot-resolution electronic viewfinder provides multiple display modes, giving you a choice of how many settings you want to view, including a split mode for precise manual focus. The 3-inch LCD has a 1.04-million-dot resolution and is made of tempered glass. Five mechanical dials on the top plate, two command dials and six fully customizable function buttons create personalized in-hand comfort. With built-in WiFi, you can share images and control the camera remotely from your smartphone via the Fujifilm Camera Remote app. List Price: $1,299 (body only). Contact: Fujifilm, www.fujifilmusa.com.
The Westcott Speedlight ProGrip is designed to mount speedlights and radio triggers in a handheld grip. The ProGrip is equipped with an umbrella mount, tension knobs and a specific angular mount that ensures light is directed toward the center of the modifier for accurate and efficient output. It’s compatible with most speedlights and modifiers, including the Westcott PocketBox, Apollo softboxes, umbrellas and more. List Price: $39. Contact: F. J. Westcott Co., www.fjwestcott.com.
The ClearWhite White Balance System is designed to simplify your workflow and help achieve clean and accurate colors in all lighting situations. The system includes a durable neutral-gray card and white-balance filter on a neck strap with a soft fabric bag. The durable gray card has a texture-free surface for spot-checking your sensor. Available in a 4"x4" size for lenses up to 95mm in diameter or a large 5"x5" size for lenses larger than 95mm in diameter. List Price: $59 (4"x4"); $89 (5"x5"). Contact: ClearWhite White Balance System, www.digitalphotographykits.com.
If you have your eye on the new Fujifilm X-T1, you’ll also want to pay attention to the SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC/SDXC UHS-II card. The X-T1 is the first digital camera to integrate UHS-II technology, and the card increases the data-writing speed twofold from a conventional card while in continuous mode. The Extreme PRO SDHC/SDXC UHS-II has a write speed of 250 MB/s and transfer speed of 180 MB/s. Additionally, it’s UHS speed Class 3 (U3)-enabled, making it ready to handle 4K and 3D video recording at 30 MB/s. List Price: $119-$299 (16 GB-64 GB). Contact: SanDisk, www.sandisk.com.
Travel Angel II
The Benro Travel Angel II Triple Transfunctional Tripod Kit provides a compact tripod that converts to a full-sized monopod and walking stick with a fine-grain wooden knob, compass and handstrap. The legs spread independently at three stop intervals for achieving different heights and maneuvering rough terrain and tight spaces. The twist leg locks are dust- and water-resistant. The kit includes a ballhead and quick-release plate, and uses a ¼"-20 head mount thread. The kit is available in three models: the A1692TB0 has a 17.6-pound max load and 61.61-inch max height; the C1682TV1 has a 30.8-pound max load and 62.99-inch max height; and the C2682TV2 has a 39.61-pound max load and 65.16-inch max height. List Price: $229 (A1692TB0); $419 (C1682TV1); $459 (C2682TV2). Contact: Benro, www.benrousa.com.
MOBILE APPS FOR PROFESSIONALS
Sometimes one image just doesn’t tell the entire story, but six s
Set up your apps to work for you with the free If This Then That (IFTTT) app, which lets you create Recipes based from the title phrase, connecting your apps together for automatic actions. Eighty-four apps, each defined as a Channel, are currently set up with IFTTT. To design a Recipe, simply sub in your desired Channel for "this" and "that." For instance, "If I Instagram a photo, THEN save it to my Dropbox" or "If I post to Vimeo, THEN post to my Tumblr." Channels include everything from social media and news sources to cloud drives and calendars, providing management for photos and general business. Contact: IFTTT, ifttt.com.
For photographers who have a fondness for typography, Over is an app that makes it easy to overlay a variety of graphic fonts to your images. Particularly useful for branding, how-tos or contests on your blog or social-media posts, text can be sized, aligned and creatively positioned to best complement your image. List Price: $1.99. Contact: Over LLC, www.madewithover.com.