New Gear: March/April 2014

COMPACT CONTINUOUS LIGHT

If you’re taking advantage of HD video capabilities on Nikon 1 and COOLPIX cameras, the compact, even, continuous-light performance of the LD-1000 LED Movie Light accessory may peak your interest. With a built-in diffusion panel, the light provides consistent soft lighting, designed for supplementary video lighting while also being suitable for still photos. A removable bracket attaches the light to the camera for easy operation while allowing for removal for handheld control of lighting direction and height. List Price: $99. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.

PRO SLING STRAP

When you’re constantly on the move, it’s important to have a camera strap that keeps your camera safe and secure. JOBY has created the Pro Sling Strap, using an adjustable-length Speed Cinch pulley system to harness your camera to your body while it’s not in use, then quickly deploys it so you don’t miss a shot. You can use Fast-Cinch mode for a quick release when you know time is of the essence, or Locked mode, to prevent tangles and scuffs while hiking, biking or maneuvering crowded spaces. JOBY has placed as much attention to their materials as they did to their product design by creating a custom textile for the strap providing for flexibility and durability. List Price: $69. Contact: JOBY, www.joby.com.

BARE-BULB PRO-FLASH

The Strobies Pro-Flash One Eighty provides versatile lighting options at a budget-friendly price. Used on- or off-camera, jut like a traditional speedlight, the 180Ws bare-bulb flash spreads smooth and even light across your frame. The Pro-Flash One Eighty is powered by an external 11.1V/4500 mAh lithium-ion battery pack that provides 700 flashes with a 2.2-sec. recycle time for shutter speeds as quick as 1?8000 sec. The One Eighty can also be used with a variety of modifiers to vary the lighting look. List Price: $594 (Strobies Pro-Flash One Eighty and Battery Pack); $405 (Strobies Pro-Flash One Eighty Flash Head); $209 (Strobies Pro-Flash Battery Pack, compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony and Metz speedlights). Contact: Interfit, www.interfitphotographic.com.

NEW SIGMA GLOBAL VISION LENSES

Sigma has introduced two new lenses in their Global Vision lineup: the 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM Contemporary and the 50mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM Art. The 18-200mm is smaller and lighter than its predecessor and improves macro capabilities (focusing down to 15.4 inches for a 1:3 reproduction ratio), with updated optics for corrected chromatic aberration and minimized distortion. The new 50mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM is a pro-level performer for full-frame DSLRs, updated with SLD glass and improved large-aperture performance. An optimized autofocus algorithm and a floating focusing system improve AF. Both lenses provide quiet high-speed AF thanks to Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), and are compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock and Mount Conversion Service. List Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 12

Using the technology of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 offers both organizational and editing tools. The Organizer provides a hub to catalog photo and video assets by location, person (with face recognition), event and personalized tags. With Elements Mobile Albums and Adobe Revel integration, it’s easy to view and edit your images while moving between your desktop, tablet and smartphone. Elements 12 continues to offer three levels of editing. Quick Mode includes new effects, textures and frames. Guided Mode offers tutorials for more advanced edits, such as Restore Old Photo editing. Expert adjustments include a new Pet Eye tool and Straightening with auto-fill edges. A new Collaboration Mode offers the ability to invite a group or team to collect and share photos from an event in one convenient place. List Price: $99 (Full License/Elements 12); Free (50 uploads/month); $4.99 (per month for unlimited space/Adobe Revel App). Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.

SPORTS-ACTION CAMS

Polaroid introduces three new mountable, high-definition sports-action cameras, all with shockproof, waterproof technology and ultrawide-angle lenses. The XS100i provides Wi-Fi with iOS and Android apps, a distortion-free lens with 170° of coverage, and can do 1080p, 960p and 720p video, plus 16 MP still images. The XS1000i features a unique, patented, quick-change mounting system, a 16 MP Aptina CMOS sensor and a 170° angle of view. It can do 1080p and 960p video at 30 fps and 720p at 60 fps, as well as still images. The Polaroid C features a square design, 5 MP CMOS sensor and 120° angle of view, and can do 720p and 640×480 video, as well as 5 MP still images. List Price: $179 (XS100i); TBA (XS1000i, Polaroid C). Contact: Polaroid, www.polaroid.com.

HDR DARKROOM 3

Everimaging has improved their HDR software with the newest version of HDR Darkroom 3. While the software offers additional HDR styles, the real upgrade is in processing power. An improved alignment algorithm consistently corrects any alignment issues that arise between bracketed frames without you needing to intervene. Advanced ghost-reduction technology also removes objects when they differ between frames. HDR Darkroom 3 supports over 150 cameras, including Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic models, and is available for both Mac and Windows. List Price: $129. Contact: Everimaging, www.everimaging.com.

PRIME LENS LINE

The HD Pentax DA Limited prime lens series by Ricoh Imaging consists of five lenses designed for K-mount DSLRs. Each lens features Super Protect and high-definition coating for sharp images with reduced ghosting and flare. A round-shaped diaphragm has been designed to produce a natural bokeh effect. Created from high-grade aluminum, each lens is hand-machined to ensure proportion and feel. Lenses are available in both black and silver. Estimated Street Price: $549 (HD Pentax DA 15mm ƒ/4 ED AL Limited); $699 (HD Pentax DA 21mm ƒ/3.2 AL Limited); $699 (HD Pentax DA 35mm ƒ/2.8 Macro Limited); $749 (HD Pentax DA 40mm ƒ/2.8 Limited); $749 (HD Pentax DA 70mm ƒ/2.4 Limited). Contact: Ricoh Imaging, www.us.ricoh-imaging.com.

FLEXFLASH MONOLIGHTS

Ideal for indoor use with versatility to light large group portraits down to studio product photography, the FlexFlash monolights, in both 200Ws and 400Ws options, are now being offered by Photoflex. With an oversized LCD screen, these monolights sync with speedlights using a preflash detection system and contain an auto-cooling system. With auto-voltage protection for worldwide use, Continuous Mode allows for output control independent of the flash for continuous light, and Auto Power Save kicks in after 20 minutes of inactivity. The FlexFlash features the universal S-type bayonet mount for all sizes of softboxes. Estimated Street Price: $319 (FlexFlash 200Ws); $389 (FlexFlash 400Ws). Contact: Photoflex, www.photoflex.com.

TURNSTYLE 10

The Think Tank Photo TurnStyle 10 Sling Camera Bag provides a lightweight, versatile and convenient way to carry your DSLR or mirrorless camera and equipment. Designed in a body-conforming shape using lightweight poly-ballistic water-resistant fabric, the TurnStyle 10 can be worn as a shoulder sling or belt pack, shifting for comfort, gear and location conditions. The customizable interior holds a standard DSLR, one to three lenses and a small tablet. A front organizer pocket stores batteries, memory cards, filters and other small accessories with easy-to-access placement. The breathable air-mesh back panel provides cooling airflow for all-day wearability. The shoulder strap is wide with a quick-release buckle; the bag comes with a seam-sealed rain cover. List Price: $84. Contact: Think Tank Photo, www.thinktankphoto.com.

FLUID VIDEO HEAD

The compact Sirui VH-10 Professional Fluid Video Head weighs only 1.98 pounds, yet can support camera/light systems weighing up to 13.2 pounds. A built-in, 4.4-pound counterbalance system helps keep everything level. The Quick Release Platform lets you easily adjust the camera for ideal balance, while the panning resistance is preset to provide smooth 360° pans (and can be locked in position, when desired). Two bubble levels help keep things perfectly aligned. List Price: $199. Contact: Argraph, www.argraph.com.

DxO VIEWPOINT 2

For photographers who have a preference for wide-angle lenses, DxO offers ViewPoint 2 for easily solving perspective problems caused by lens distortion. An eight-point mode makes it possible to fix convergent lines, with a Natural setting shortcut to manage intensity. ViewPoint 2 provides a database categorizing over 15,000 combinations of cameras and lenses, and provides automatic calibrations to correct these distortions. Full manual control is also available. An Advanced Cropping feature gives a crop that preserves photo proportions and resolves darkened areas. List Price: $79. Contact: DxO, www.dxo.com.

MOBILE APPS

Lapse It is a full-featured app for making time-lapse and stop-motion videos with your mobile device. There are no restrictions as to capture length or number of frames. You can insert soundtracks, adjust the frame rate, apply effects filters, and adjust focus, white balance and exposure. Projects can be rendered to MP4 and MOV, and uploaded directly to your social networks. The Pro version lets you make videos in resolutions from 240p to 1080p, the free version, only a lower resolution. Lapse It is available native for iOS and Android. List Price: $1.99 (Pro version); Free (basic version). Contact: Lapse It, www.lapseit.com.

PicPlayPost is an all-in-one app that lets you create multimedia collages from your smartphone combining still photos, video and audio tracks into a single frame. With video, you can add effects to videos and still images, play videos in sequence or simultaneously, choose from 36 fully adjustable frames, and rotate images and video inside frames, among other personalizations. The new iOS 7 version lets you add up to six videos per project (four in iOS 6 and earlier). Once you’ve finished your collage, share your project on social-networking sites (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, etc.). List Price: $1.99. Contact: Flambe Studios, www.flambestudios.com.

Bringing the classic analog flipbook into the digital world, Flipagram creates short videos from your digital images. This is a great platform for telling a short story using a small series of photos or recapping an entire event with "best-of" images. Once you’ve identified the photos, music and desired length of your video on your smart device, Flipagram will autoformat a microvideo for you to share on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social-media platforms. List Price: Free. Contact: Cheerful, Inc., www.flipagram.com.

Leave a Comment

Menu