September/October 2013

CANON EOS 70D

The newest addition to the Canon EOS line, the EOS 70D introduces a unique 20.2-megapixel Dual Pixel APS-C CMOS AF sensor. Each pixel contains two photodiodes, which serve to both record the image and perform AF duty for faster focus acquisition, improved tracking and smooth focus transitions for video shooting (check out Canon’s fun short film showing off the focusing capabilities at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xf66NFX0Zo). Still image capture speed is also improved, with a 7 fps burst rate. Built-in WiFi allows quick image sharing and wireless image transfers from the camera to your smartphone or tablet, along with full remote control and triggering of the 70D using the free Canon EOS Remote App. Estimated Street Price: $1,199. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.

ADOBE LIGHTROOM 5

Available as part of Adobe’s new Creative Cloud or as a standalone license, Adobe Lightroom 5 covers your entire workflow from photo organization to editing and sharing. New features include an Upright tool to straighten lens distortion, a Radial Gradient for off-center vignettes and an Advanced Healing brush to remove unwanted objectsfrom your photo. Also new is location-based organization for grouping your photos by GPS location or creating photo journeys. Black-and-white conversion tools have been expanded, too. List Price: $149; $79 (upgrade). Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.

GOT IT HANDLED

Keep a comfortable grip on your camera with the Hand Strap by Cotton Carrier. The Hand Strap is adjustable with heavy-duty Velcro® so you can tighten and loosen your hand against the body of your camera, as needed. The strap attaches to the camera’s tripod mount with a hard anodized aluminum Arca-Swiss-style plate, which allows you to attach the camera directly to a tripod without removing the strap, transitioning from tripod to handheld shooting with ease. Estimated Street Price: $19. Contact: Cotton Carrier, www.cottoncarrier.com.

LOCATION LIGHTING

The Flashpoint 180 Monolight Kit takes the stress out of achieving perfect lighting on location with a compact, portable kit, including the Flashpoint 180 Monolight with reflector and handle, a small umbrella, cords and carrying case. The kit also includes two NP-F960 batteries, providing up to 700 flashes at 180 w/s. The Monolight has a Bowens-compatible mount for use with modifiers like beauty dishes and a Flashpoint Bowens Speed Ring adapter to use with softboxes and other lighting accessories. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.

CLOSE-FOCUS ZOOM

The first zoom lens in Sigma‘s new Contemporary lens line, the 17-70mm ƒ/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM is 30% smaller than conventional lenses in its range, weighing 16.4 ounces and measuring 3.1×3.2 inches. The lens features Sigma’s Optical Stabilizer system to compensate for camera shake, Super Multi-Layer Lens Coating to reduce ghosting and flare, and Hyper Sonic Motor technology to ensure high-speed and quiet AF. The lens can focus to 8.6 inches and with a 1:2.9 magnification for close-up work. It’s currently available in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts, and is compatible with the innovative Sigma USB Dock for firmware upgrades and focus adjustments. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.

SUPERWIDE PERSPECTIVE

The Tokina AT-X 12-28mm ƒ/4 Wide-Angle Zoom allows you to explore wider perspectives with a constant ƒ/4 aperture. Designed for APS-C sensors, the lens corrects for aberrations and distortions for edge-to-edge sharpness. A new autofocus control sensor has been placed close to the drive unit to speed up the communication between the controller and the autofocus motor. In addition, a silent drive module maintains quiet autofocus functioning critical for video work. Mounts available for Canon and Nikon bodies. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Tokina, www.kenkotokinausa.com.

NEW PENTAX DSLR

The Pentax K-500 offers full DSLR features in a light body. With a 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the K-500 has a low-light ISO sensitivity of 51,200. The 11-sensor autofocus system and Pentax’s Shake Reduction system aid in delivering precisely sharp images. It shoots a quick 6 fps, ideal for capturing sports action. There’s also full 1080 HD video capability. While the K-500 may use an optional rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it’s conveniently powered by four AAs, giving you flexibility when recharging is impossible. Estimated Street Price: $599 (with 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 lens). Contact: Pentax, www.pentaximaging.com.

STEADYCAM SMOOTHEE

Perfect to pair with your GoPro HERO, the Steadicam Smoothee by Tiffen eliminates unwanted shake associated with handheld shooting, allowing you to focus on capturing the story in front of you. The quick-release mount makes it easy to switch between the Smoothee and a tripod for shot variability. The 8.0×14.5×2.5-inch rig is small and light, effortlessly fitting into your kit. Estimated Street Price: $149. Contact: Tiffen, www.tiffen.com.

SLING PACK

Designed to hold a DSLR with an attached zoom lens, several additional lenses, flash and accessories, you carry the Tamrac Velocity 7Z Compact Sling Pack comfortably on your back like a backpack and slide it to the front of your body to easily access your gear. The padded strap distributes weight evenly and the zippered Quick Flip Top opens away from the body, making access convenient and secure. A foam-padded sleeve is onboard to keep your iPad safe. The accessory pocket features the Tamrac Memory and Battery Management System that uses flags to identify full memory cards, along with pockets for filters, lens caps and mobile phones, keeping all
your gear in close reach. Estimated Street Price: $90. Contact: Tamrac, www.tamrac.com.

MOBILE APPS

Loaded with a range of basic to artistic adjustments, the Snapseed app for iOS and Android allows you to fine-tune your images with selective adjustments to specific areas of the photo and make overall adjustments with the addition of multiple filters, with extra control to decide just how much "Grunge" or "Vintage" you want to add. The "compare" button lets you see your new version versus the original, and the "share" button sends your creation directly to your social networks. Free. Contact: Nik Software, www.snapseed.com.

SmugMug recently acquired the successful Android app SmugFolio and has rebranded and updated the app as SmugMug for Android. The app now allows users to upload photos and videos to unlimited galleries and access them even while offline. Upload your photos with geolocation and detailed photo info as you shoot and share your photo URLs with other Android apps. There’s also a Read Only mode to avoid accidental edits. For new SmugMug users, sign up through the app and receive 25% off for your first year. Free. Contact: Google Play, play.google.com.

Camera Noir for iOS is a simple app for capturing and sharing monochrome images. Choose between the low-, mid- or high-contrast filters and simply tap on the screen to adjust the focus and exposure. A level line aids in getting the horizon straight. Square crop lines show you composition so you can plan in advance for Instagram crops, then share directly to Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Estimated Street Price: $1.99. Contact: Pacific Helm, www.pacifichelm.com.

Edit portraits on your iPhone with the Facetune app. Basic tools include teeth whitening, skin treatments for blemish and wrinkle removal, and red-eye correction. Facetune also includes more advanced tools for facial remodeling, hair treatments, and custom filters and effects. Once you retouch your portraits, they can be instantly shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr. Estimated Street Price: $2.99. Contact: Lightricks, www.facetuneapp.com.

The PhotoCal With Events app integrates your photos and calendar, making your images easy to locate by date with an intuitive graphic display. Instead of scrolling through a photo album to find a birthday photo, quickly flip to the date in the calendar. The app automatically transfers images to the calendar when the image is taken, so you don’t need to worry about updating. PhotoCal works with all iPhone supported calendars, including MobileMe, iCloud, Google Calendar, Exchange and CalDAV, and tracks tasks, appointments, multiple calendars and photo groups. Available now for iPhone, with an Android version expected soon. Estimated Street Price: $2.99. Contact: YunaSoft, www.yunasoft.com.

SONY RX100 II

A compact camera with ultra-low-light capability, the Sony RX100 II is built around a 28-100mm Exmor R Sonnar T* ƒ/1.8 fixed lens and fits in your pocket on days when you want to travel light. The 1.0-inch CMOS reverse structure sensor increases the sensitivity by 40% from the RX100. The 3.0-inch White Magic LCD screen tilts 84º up and 45º down to aid in overhead and waist-level shooting. Capture full 1080 HD video at 60p and now also 24p for a more cinematic look. A shoe-mount expands versatility, allowing the addition of a viewfinder, flash or clip-on LCD monitor. The RX100 II includes built-in WiFi and Near Field Communication technology for smooth one-touch asset transfer between devices, as well as Smart Remote Control functionality for previewing images and controlling shutter release via your smartphone or tablet. Estimated Street Price: $749. Contact: Sony, www.sony.com.

FILM-LIKE FILTERS

Give your digital photos the look of film with Alien Skin Exposure 5. A variety of film types can be simulated, replicating grain structures and color palettes of classic film types like Kodachrome. Presets can be modified for personal preference and saved for batch processing. Exposure 5 integrates with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Lightroom and Apple Aperture, and works as a stand-alone application. Estimated Street Price: $199; $99 (upgrade). Contact: Alien Skin, www.alienskin.com.

POWER UP

The Nissin Power Pack PS 8 is a boost of power for your electronic flash, extending shooting time and speeding flash recharges. The improved pack body is made out of a high-strength plastic, making it more compact and reducing the heat output of its predecessor. LED indicators let you check battery level at a glance. Making the PS 8 even more useful is a USB socket for charging other devices like a phone or tablet. Dual power sockets enable the PS 8 to power two flashes simultaneously. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Nissin, www.nissindigital.com.

LENS OPTIONS FOR iPHONE 5

The new iPro Lens System Series 2 lenses for iPhone 5 from Schneider Optics take advantage of the increased resolution, lens quality and improved sensor of the latest iPhone. The Series 2 Trio Kit includes the 2x Tele, Super Wide and Macro lenses that attach to your iPhone for expanded creative possibilities. The Super Wide lens doubles the iPhone’s field of view to 150º, and the Macro lens provides 2.5x magnification. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Schneider Optics, www.iprolens.com.

WATERPROOF CASE

With a waterproof, impact-resistant exterior
and lightweight foam interior, the iSeries 1914 Pro DSLR Case from SKB Cases is ideal for storing your gear at home, and will protect your cameras and accessories through even your roughest travels. The case accommodates two DSLRs and provides a removable foam insert, tailoring the space to your specific camera body size with or without a camera grip. Three of the four lens slots are outfitted with three half-inch foam rings that you can remove to fit different-sized lenses. The case has additional compartments for a flash, batteries, memory cards and other accessories. For quick and secure airport travel, the case features TSA-lockable trigger release latches. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: SKB Cases, www.skbcases.com.

NIX NOISE

Reduce noise from low-light shooting with ArcSoft Low Light NR software. Based on Multiple Frame Noise Reduction technology, the software combines three to six frames shot in Burst mode to reduce noise and create one high-resolution image. The Auto Group feature helps you determine which images taken in Burst mode will be most suitable for noise reduction. You can also adjust white balance, saturation, contrast and cropping, and then upload the results directly to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: ArcSoft, www.arcsoft.com.

SHAPING LIGHT

The Rogue XL Pro Lighting Kit from ExpoImaging includes multiple tools to shape and refine the output of your flash. Ideal for off-camera lighting, the kit includes the shapable XL Pro FlashBender Reflector that fits all models of shoe-mount flashes and includes a variable-width strip-box attachment, a reversible silver-black attachment and a softbox attachment. The entire kit collapses to fit easily in a typical camera backpack’s laptop sleeve. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: ExpoImaging, www.expoimaging.com.

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