Thursday, December 22, 2011

January/February 2012

By The Editors Published in Next: New Gear
January/February 2012

SOUND GOOD

Make sure the audio is up to the same quality as the video you're shooting on your HD DSLR by using an external recorder. The versatile Zoom H2n has five microphones and four recording modes. The modes include Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90° X/Y stereo, and 2-channel and 4-channel surround sound. With Mid-Side recording, sound is captured from directly in front of you by a Mid mic, and from the left and right by a Side mic. You can increase or decrease the level of the Side mic to control the width of the recording range. Recording in RAW allows you to adjust the range afterwards. List Price: $199. Contact: Samson Technologies, (631) 784-2200, www.samsontech.com.

ESSENTIAL EXTRA

Slow down your shutter speed and create some interesting motion blur effects in-camera by using a neutral-density filter. The Hoya PRO1 Digital ND32 and ND64 are dark neutral-density filters that reduce the amount of light entering the lens in the equivalent of five and six stops, respectively. This translates to possible shutter speeds of approximately a ½ second (ND32) and one second (ND64) or more in daylight when shooting at ƒ/22. With the filters, you also can use wider apertures for creating shallow depth-of-field effects. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Hoya (THK Photo), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

IN SYNC

Give yourself more shooting flexibility when working with strobes by firing them wirelessly using the Tamrac MicroSync Digital II. A simple setup entails just placing the transmitter in the camera hot-shoe and plugging the receiver into your strobe's power pack. The MicroSync II features 16 channels, interchangeable plugs that fit directly into most strobes and an increased range of 200 feet. An automatic power management system delivers up to a 3-year battery life for the transmitter and 1 year for the receiver. Estimated Street Price: $129 (kit). Contact: Tamrac, www.microsyncdigital.com.

COVER UP

Keep gear dry when shooting in wet weather using the Petrol Transparent Rain Cover for video-capable DSLRs. It's customized for cameras with up to a 70-200mm lens and an on-camera light attached. The cover has a rigid front hood section with a hot-shoe connector that stabilizes it on the camera. A 6-inch polypropylene track on top of the hood allows you to add an on-camera light or a wireless receiver. The cover is made of transparent polyurethane and black waterproof nylon, offering easy access to camera controls. It weighs about 14 ounces. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Petrol Bags, (845) 268-0100, www.petrolbags.com.

CLEAR GLASS

Clean your lenses with the Hoodman Lens Cleanse natural cleaning kit. Organic plant enzymes are the main component in the towelettes, which are made up of soft natural wood fibers that won't scratch lenses or filters. The enzymes break down grime without damaging the coatings on your glass or the environment. There are wet and dry kits, and they come in single units or packs of 12. List Price: $9 (12-pack). Contact: Hoodman USA, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.

LIVEN UP

Bring an animated look and feel to your stills with Photo Montage from Noise Industries. A plug-in for video-editing programs such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects, the application lets you create animations of still images without keyframing, although you still have that option. It supports all popular image formats and includes more than 100 animated presets. Photo Montage delivers support for titling, easy re-ordering and re-timing, 20 transition styles and built-in motion-blurring features. List Price: $199. Contact: Noise Industries, www.noiseindustries.com.

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