TENBA COOPER COLLECTION
Constructed from peach-wax cotton canvas and leather, Tenba’s Cooper camera bag line elevates canvas to a whole other level. It’s incredibly soft to the touch, but still rugged, and leather trim and accents add to its conservative good looks. Available in gray and in four sizes, the smallest, the Cooper 8, is designed to carry a mirrorless or rangefinder camera, 2 to 3 lenses, accessories and an iPad mini-sized tablet. For a full DSLR kit, including an attached 70-200mm lens, head up to the largest, the Cooper 15. You’ll be able to carry your 15-inch laptop along with you, too. Price: $300 (Cooper 15); $250 (Cooper 13); $230 (Cooper 13 Slim); $170 (Cooper 8). Contact: Tenba, tenba.com.
TWO NEW POWERSHOT CAMERAS FROM CANON
One of the latest additions to Canon’s PowerShot G-series cameras, the G5 X is packed with lots of features so you don’t have to sacrifice functions like manual exposure control for a more portable camera. The big news—which may make G7 X owners jealous—is the addition of a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, as well as a fully articulated 3-inch touch-panel LCD. A 4.2x, ƒ/1.8-2.8 optical zoom gets you a usable focal range of 24-100mm. And, as a bonus, aspiring astrophotographers will love the camera’s easy-to-use trio of night sky options, Star Nightscapes, Star Trails and Star Timelapse movies. Price: $800.
Like its G5 X sibling, the G9 X is built around a 20-megapixel sensor and offers full manual exposure controls, as well as RAW capture. But the G9 X is smaller, and it’s equipped with a shorter and slower 3x optical zoom lens (28-84mm, ƒ/2.0-4.9). Its 3-inch touch LCD is fixed, and there’s no EVF, but this little camera includes the star-shooting features of its larger sibling and other options that make it a good contender for a compact, but capable camera at a more pocket-friendly price.
Price: $530. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
Instant photography is alive and well thanks to companies like Lomography and Fujifilm. One of the latest entries to this immediate gratification form of photography is the Lomo’Instant Wide. The camera is equipped with a 90mm (35mm-equivalent) ƒ/8-22 lens, a built-in flash and a lens cap that doubles as a remote. Along with a choice of three shooting modes (auto, bulb and a fixed 1/30 sec. shutter speed), you can shoot multiple exposures and add some colored gels for a funkier look than the Fujifilm Instax Wide Film provides. And, if macro is your thing, a close-up lens attachment gets you as close as 10 centimeters. Price: From $199. Contact: Lomography, lomography.com.
FUJINON TELECONVERTER XF1.4X TC WR
If your Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens doesn’t give you the telephoto reach you need, check out Fujifilm’s new XF1.4X TC WR teleconverter, which delivers a 70-200mm equivalent lens. While it’s currently only compatible with the XF50-140mm F/2.8, Fujifilm is planning for the future and the teleconverter will be compatible with select lenses going forward, including the Fujinon XF100-400mm (currently on Fujifilm’s XF lens road map). You’ll lose a stop with the teleconverter, but since the XF50-140mm is relatively fast at ƒ/2.8, it’s a minor trade-off given the extra focal length. And, like the lens, the teleconverter is water-resistant, so you’re good to go regardless of the weather. Price: $450. Contact: Fujifilm, fujifilmusa.com.
SIGMA 20MM F/1.4 DG HSM | A
Although designed for full-frame cameras, the Sigma 20mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art wide-angle lens—the widest in Sigma’s Art line—is also compatible with cropped-sensor (APS-C) DSLRs. With its fast, ƒ/1.4 aperture, the optic is perfect for low-light conditions or when you want to shoot wide open to create beautiful bokeh. Available in Sigma, Nikon or Canon mounts, the lens is compatible with Sigma’s USB dock for convenient updates and its Mount Conversion Service if you need a mount for a different camera. Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
FUJINON XF35MM F/2 R WR
Winter is here (particularly for those of us on the East Coast), and if you’re shooting with a weather-resistant Fujifilm X-series camera, you may want to add the new Fujinon XF35mm F/2 R WR lens to your kit. Thanks to a series of eight seals on the barrel, the lens is weather-, splash- and dust-resistant. Its 35mm focal length translates to a 53mm (in 35mm equivalence) and delivers a similar angle of view to the human eye. It works in temperatures as cold as 14º F and, at ƒ/2.0, it’s great for those low-light or got-to-have-bokeh shots. Price: $400. Contact: Fujifilm, fujifilmusa.com.
Lensbaby Composer Pro II With Edge 50 Optic
Lensbaby is known for its alternative lenses with their dreamy soft focus offset by a sharp sweet spot. The latest member of these creative lenses is part of Lensbaby’s optic swap system. The Composer Pro II is bundled with the Edge 50 Optic to produce beautiful photos with a selectable “slice of focus” in the midst of a defocused image. Updated with a sturdier metal body, the Composer Pro II base locks in tilt and swivel lens positions more securely. The manual-focus Edge 50 Optic—which can be swapped out for other Lensbaby optics—offers a 50mm focal length with an aperture range of ƒ/3.2 to ƒ/22. The bundle is available for a wide range of mounts, including Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A and E mounts, Pentax K, Fujifilm X, Micro 4/3 and Samsung NX. Price: $425. Contact: Lensbaby, lensbaby.com.
THINK TANK PHOTO LILY DEANNE CAMERA BAGS
Too often we think pink when someone mentions a camera bag for women, but Think Tank Photo senior designer Lily Fisher and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer (and company co-founder) Deanne Fitzmaurice bring a different perspective to life. The Lily Deanne series of shoulder bags were designed by women for women and are smart-looking without being overly fussy. Available in Licorice or Chestnut, with a highly visible turquoise interior that makes it easy to locate accessories, these bags are available in sma
ll, medium and large sizes. Like other bags from Think Tank Photo, the Lily Deanne camera bags are well made and highly functional. There’s plenty of room for camera gear, personal items and tablets or laptops, too. Price: $200 (Lucido); $250 (Mezzo); $300 (Tutto). Contact: Think Tank Photo, thinktankphoto.com.
EXPOIMAGING FLASHBENDER 2 FOR MIRRORLESS
You don’t need a lot of fancy lighting equipment to make great photos. Case in point, ExpoImaging’s Rogue FlashBender 2 light modifier. This popular shapeable light modifier has been updated for smaller flashes that balance perfectly on compact mirrorless camera bodies. Designed to fit compact flashes with a head circumference between 6.25 and 7.25 inches, like the Nikon SB-500, the unit’s belt-and-buckle attachment strap has been updated to provide a more secure fit. Create a softbox on the fly, shape a snoot or reflect/bounce light with one, highly portable and affordable accessory. Price: $50. Contact: ExpoImaging, expoimaging.com; rogueflash.com.
IKIGAI RIVAL BACKPACKS
Ikigai recently released its first camera backpacks, the Rival series, and we got a sneak peek at PhotoPlus. In addition to the lime green interior (which makes it really easy to locate your gear), each backpack comes with a removable camera “cell” that can be removed in a single swoop and replaced with an optional cell packed with a secondary set of gear. This versatility is great if you have different kits that you use for specific assignments. And, if there are times you’d rather pack light, get a smaller cell to ease the load and leave room for other items like jackets or props. They’re sturdy and fit comfortably, so check them out if you’re in the market for a new pack. Price: $350 (large backpack with cell); $300 (medium backpack with cell); $110 (optional large cell); $80 (optional medium cell). Contact: Ikigai, us.ikigaibags.com.
PERFECTLY CLEAR LUCID
From the folks that brought you the one-touch, intelligent Perfectly Clear plugin, LUCiD marks Athentech’s first standalone app for desktops. This cross-platform application, like its sibling, makes short work of image editing. You’ll find quick-fix, one-touch presets, as well as sliders for manual adjustments, and a simple interface opens to 8 presets (Details, Vivid, Beautify, Beautify+, Fix Dark, Fix Noise, Fix Tint and Landscapes). Click on the adjustments tab for a dozen manual slider options. When you find a combination you like, you can copy and paste settings to your images for a quick and easy workflow. Check out the iOS app to bring LUCiD to your iPhone or iPad. Price: $49 (desktop); $3 (iOS app). Contact: Perfectly Clear (Athentech), hellolucid.com, athentech.com.
ON1 PHOTO 10
The name may have changed, but ON1 Photo 10 software, formerly known as Perfect Photo Suite, retains all our favorite features for image editing, but presents them with a new user interface. But that’s only one of the improvements you’ll notice, along with speedier performance, lighter memory requirements and a streamlined workflow. All the same components are there, including Effects, which has absorbed the Perfect B&W module, Enhance and Portrait. Seemingly small improvements like auto advance, easy access to sub-folders when browsing and mobile integration, to name a few new features, combine to make Photo 10 standalone and plug-in software a notable update. Price: $120 (full); $100 (upgrade). Contact: ON1, on1.com.
COREL AFTERSHOT PRO 2.3
If you’re looking for a RAW converter, Corel just updated AfterShot Pro. With version 2.3, you’ll get better integration with Adobe Photoshop, along with AfterShot’s editing and organizational features. Corel is positioning this software as an option for those who no longer have access to Adobe Camera Raw updates and/or want an application similar to Lightroom. Interestingly, AfterShot Pro is compatible with Linux—an often-ignored OS—as well as Mac and Windows operating systems. Price: $80. Contact: Corel, aftershotpro.com, corel.com.
Portrait retouching is often a tedious and time-intensive task, even for photos of the most flawless-looking subject. PortraitPro, now in Version 15, is dedicated to streamlining the process while providing high-powered tools to perfect the art of portraiture—or, at the very least, make your subjects look their best. Updated with a full complement of controls, you can realistically apply or enhance your subject’s makeup and adjust skin tones. The Child Mode has been enhanced, there’s a new wide-angle lens-correction option for selfies, and the software now supports Apple Retina and high-res PC displays. This full-featured application excels at portrait retouching—with manual controls or presets—but also provides basic image adjustment options, as well. The Standard version is standalone only; Studio and Studio Max work as standalone apps or plug-ins. Upgrade pricing is available. Price: $80 (Standard); $120 (Studio); $240 (Studio Max). Contact: PortraitPro (Anthropics), portraitprofessional.com.
MACPHUN AURORA HDR
Creating high-dynamic-range (HDR) images started when 19th-century French photographer Gustave Le Gray combined two negatives in the darkroom to create a well-balanced exposure of a seascape. Since then, HDR has evolved into a genre unto itself. New to the HDR software scene is Aurora HDR, a collaboration between Macphun and HDR master Trey Ratcliff. This new Mac-only application is fully equipped to handle all your high-dynamic-range needs, from edgy presets to more subtle extensions of shadow and highlight detail. You’ll find a wide range of controls and options, including layers in both the Standard and Pro versions, which operate as standalone apps and plug-ins. Aurora HDR also works well with Macphun’s other photo applications such as Intensify and Noiseless. Price: $50 (Standard); $100 (Pro). Contact: