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Thursday, February 25, 2010

March/April 2010

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Capture high-quality images in low light with Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 and DSC-WX1, the first to use the manufacturer’s back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor technology. The Exmor R positions the sensor circuitry behind the photodiodes instead of above them as in conventional sensors, thus approximately doubling the sensor’s light-gathering ability and greatly improving low-light performance. The 10.2-megapixel cameras further enhance low-light capability by incorporating the handheld twilight and anti-motion blur multishot modes introduced in the DSC-HX1. They also offer the HX1’s Sweep Panorama and 10 fps burst shooting capabilities. Both also can shoot 720p HD video. Estimated Street Price: $380 (TX1); $350 (WX1). Contact: Sony, (800) 222-SONY, www.sonystyle.com.

Wirelessly control single or multiple off-camera flash units with PocketWizard’s MiniTT1 Transmitter and FlexTT5 Transceiver, both of which are optimized for Canon. The radios interpret exposure data sent via the camera’s hot-shoe and digitally transmit it through a radio signal. This allows you to place TTL or manual flash units anywhere you need to. Remote E-TTL flash units are connected to dedicated FlexTT5 Transceivers for wireless TTL operation. The Version 5.0 firmware upgrade includes a new Automatic Camera Detection feature that allows the ControlTL system to automatically detect exactly which camera is being used for optimal performance. Estimated Street Price: $199 (MiniTT1); $219 (FlexTT5). Contact: PocketWizard, (914) 347-3300, www.pocketwizard.com.

The new UPstrap SG Super Grip series now includes a pad for midweight cameras within a range of one to four pounds. UPstrap’s nonslip shoulder pad prevents the camera from slipping off your shoulder, relieving you of any neck, back and shoulder stress problems and allowing you to concentrate on shooting. Estimated Street Price: $29 to $49. Contact: UPstrap, Inc., (877) 872-7639, www.upstrap-pro.com.

Take sharper, more creative close-ups with a kit consisting of Hoodman’s Right Angle Viewer and Trek-Tech’s T-Pod tabletop tripod. The viewer’s eyepiece rotates 360 degrees, giving you the freedom to set up unique shots from low camera angles. It fits all Canon, Nikon and Fuji DSLRs. The T-Pod comes complete with a ballhead, quick-release system (MagMount STAR) and travel pouch. The kit is available through Trek-Tech only. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: Hoodman, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com; Trek-Tech, (503) 459-0030, www.trek-tech.com.

Convert your DSLR’s dedicated flash unit into a ring light that produces beautiful, soft illumination of everything from portraits to close-ups with the Orbis Ring Flash. Just connect your flash to the camera via an off-camera cord or other off-camera firing means, slip the unit into the ring flash and you’re ready to go. Making it even more versatile is the ruggedOrbis Arm, which handily holds everything solidly in position as a single unit. The compact, lightweight bracket is four-way adjustable to work with a wide range of gear combos. Estimated Street Price: $199 (ring flash); $59 (arm). Contact: OmegaSatter, (410) 374-3250, www.omegasatter.com.

Make the process of creating layer masks as easy as a brushstroke with Digital Film Tools EZ Mask v2. The plug-in estimates the transparency value of every pixel in the image based on small samples of the foreground and background, and marks simple strokes on the image. Once the mask is extracted, you can place the foreground object on a new background from within Photoshop. The app includes a new interactive Refine mode that automatically updates the mask or composite for quick editing. Estimated Street Price: $195. Contact: Digital Film Tools, www.digitalfilmtools.com.


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