NEW COMPACT FOVEON CAM
Last year, Sigma upgraded its DP1 and DP2 APS-C compact cameras with the unique 46-megapixel (three stacked 15.3-megapixel layers) Foveon X3 sensor from their flagship SD1 Merrill DSLR, creating the well-received DP1 and DP2 Merrill (with built-in 19mm ƒ/2.8 wide-angle and 30mm ƒ/2.8 normal lens, respectively, each lens designed specifically for the camera and sensor). Now comes the DP3 Merrill, with the same sensor, but a 50mm ƒ/2.8 short telephoto (equivalent to a 75mm lens on a full-frame camera). The cameras are named in honor of the man who originally developed the Foveon X3 sensor. Recording all three primary colors at every pixel site, the Foveon sensor produces higher resolution than conventional Bayer-array sensors or equivalent horizontal-by-vertical pixel count, and combined with the sensor-specific lenses in the DP Merrill cameras, the result is outstanding image quality in tiny cameras. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
AFFORDABLE RING LIGHT
The Flashpoint Ring Light Kit is built around a 400 w/s ring light that produces shadowless, yet concentrated illumination ideal for close-up and portrait photography. Featuring a 100mm diameter center opening to fit almost any lens of any format, the ring light has a guide number of 110/35 (ft/m), a flash duration of 1/400 to 1/1100 and a recycling time of 1 to 4.5 seconds. You can adjust the power from full to 1/16. Color temperature is 5000K +/-100K. The ring light can be fired manually, via sync or as a slave. Power is AC or via an optional Flashpoint Battery Pack. The kit includes the AC power supply, sync cords, camera-mounting hardware and carrying case. Estimated Street Price: $395; $350 (optional Flashpoint Battery Pack). Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
READY FOR ANYTHING
LumiQuest, producer of efficient flash lighting modifiers for a quarter-century, has put together a number of especially useful items in the Ready for Anything Kit. It includes the original ProMax System (80-20, Diffusion Screen, and White, Silver and Gold Inserts), plus the FXtra compact gel holder for colorizing or color-balancing the light, and the UltraStrap to securely hold them on your flash unit. Estimated Street Price: $85. Contact: LumiQuest, (800) 332-4644, www.lumiquest.com.
OLYMPUS GOES LONG
Olympus’ new M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm ƒ/4.8-6.7 II supertelephoto zoom for Micro Four Thirds System cameras frames like a 150-600mm on a full-frame camera due to the MFT sensor’s smaller dimensions, yet it measures just 2.7×4.6 inches and weighs only 14.9 ounces. Based on the original M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm zoom, the updated lens features a new ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Refraction Optical) coating for better performance in backlighting, and was redesigned to match the popular OM-D E-M5 flagship Olympus MFT camera. It can focus down to 35.1 inches at 75mm and 58.5 inches at all other focal lengths, contains 18 elements in 13 groups (including one SED, 2 ED and 3 HHR) and takes 55mm filters. Estimated Street Price: $549. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.getolympus.com.
Cameras with high pixel counts, fast shooting rates or full HD 1080 video require fast, high-capacity memory cards for maximum performance. Lexar‘s new 256 GB Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I card is a Class 10 unit that has a read transfer rate of 90 MB/s. Even faster is the new 1100x XQD card (currently, only the Nikon D4 uses XQD cards, but more are on the way), which comes in 32 GB and 64 GB capacities, with a read transfer rate of 168 MB/s. There’s also a new XQD USB 3.0 reader that can keep up with the cards. All of these cards are ideal for RAW sequence shooting and long 1080p full HD video clips. Estimated Street Price: $299 (32 GB 1100x XQD); $579 (64 GB 1100x XQD); $999 (256 GB 600x SDXC); $44 (XQD USB 3.0 reader). Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.