Monday, May 6, 2013

May/June 2013

By The Editors Published in Next: New Gear
May/June 2013


Style-conscious photographers will want to check out the new camera straps and bags from Capturing Couture. They're really different. The company offers more than 50 adjustable camera straps from 1 to 2 inches wide, combining fashionable designs (many featuring a Native American look) with durable materials, velvet lining and functional hardware. The camera bag line features tapestry patterns and intricate prints, a variety of pockets and fully lined interiors with cushioned padding to keep gear safe. There are also velvet-lined wristlet straps for compact cameras with quick-release capability. Estimated Street Price: From $25 (straps); from $179 (bags); $25 (wristlets). Contact: Capturing Couture, (949) 858-8598,


Featuring a 16-megapixel, back-illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, the new Pentax WG-3 and WG-3 GPS compact cameras are waterproof to depths of 45 feet, shockproof to drops from 6.6 feet, cold-proof down to 14°F and can withstand 220 pounds per square foot of crushing pressure. The 25-100mm (35mm camera equivalent) zoom focuses down to 1cm in Digital Micro Mode, and 6 LED lights surrounding the lens provide shadowless illumination. There's a built-in flash unit, a built-in sensor-shift image stabilization, a 3-inch LCD monitor and a textured grip with colored accents. The GPS model can record latitude, longitude, elevation or depth underwater and heading along with the image. Both cameras measure 4.9x2.5x1.3 inches; weight is 7.4 ounces (7.7 ounces for the GPS model). Estimated Street Price: $299 (WG-3); $349 (WG-3 GPS). Contact: Pentax Ricoh Imaging, (800) 877-0155,


Inspired by military special-ops rigs and aviation cargo gear, rugged Vulture camera straps are designed and manufactured in the U.S. for heavy-duty use in the field, and also carry a serious "cool" factor. Highly adjustable, the Alpha 4 Strap is made of highest-grade, 1.75-inch mil-spec nylon webbing and features a top-of-the-line military quick-release. The Alpha 2 drops the quick-release to save weight. There's also the Alpha 2T Tensioner Strap, which serves as a "reverse monopod": Connect it to the camera and your foot at the other end to steady the camera in the field without a bulky tripod or monopod. Estimated Street Price: From $129. Contact: Vulture Equipment Works, (630) 804-9600,


Pixel Vertax Battery Grips are available for a number of Canon and Nikon DSLRs, including the new D600 and EOS 6D models. Made from the same materials as the cameras, the grips provide good dust and moisture sealing, and incorporate a vertical-format shutter release, control dial and other buttons. You can use AA or camera batteries in the grips. Rubberized surfaces provide slip-free handling. Estimated Street Price: From $79. Contact: Argraph, (201) 939-7722,


Users of Sony's NEX mirrorless cameras will want to check out two new E-mount lenses for NEX still cameras and camcorders. The E 20mm ƒ/2.8 "pancake" lens provides an angle of view equivalent to a 30mm on a full-frame camera, ideal for a wide range of shooting, such as street photography, interiors and landscapes. Originally designed as a kit lens for the NEX-VG30 camcorder, the E PZ18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 OSS superzoom, featuring quiet power zooming and autofocusing, and optical SteadyShot stabilization, is now available for all NEX cameras. Estimated Street Price: $350 (20mm); $1,200 (18-200mm). Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669,
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