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October 14th, 2013

Manfrotto Launches New Camera Bag Lines

Manfrotto has just unveiled two new lines of camera bags, a Pro line and a 12-model Advanced line for more casual photographers who want to be able to carry both camera gear and personal items.

roller open MB MP-RL-50BB_det12The Pro line features 14 different models in various sizes including: four holster-style bags, five shoulder bags, a trio of backpacks and two roller bags. During a pre-release presentation about the new Pro line, Manfrotto emphasized the sturdiness of the camera dividers offering extra protection internally as well as the Exo-Tough construction of the outer design of the bags.

The former, which Manfrotto calls its Core Protection System, provides more rigid interior dividers, while the latter is compressed layered foam front of the bag, for example. The outer shell is very stiff so Manfrotto used extra padding on the inside of the bag so the gear is further protected from the Exo-Tough structure—which comes in handy when someone accidentally steps on the bag (which has happened to me at Fashion Week).

Be sure to check out the camera bag roundup in the December issue of PDN for a closer look at one of the shoulder bags but, meanwhile, we can say from some hands-on time with the bags, that these are sturdily built and designed with pros in mind. Depending on the individual style of each new Manfrotto bag, you’ll find an assortment of features such as tripod holders, comfortable straps, plenty of room for accessories and tablets/laptops, reinforced feet, rain covers and some nice little touches inside.

Prices start at about $65 for the smallest Holster bag and go up to $370 for the largest Roller. Check the Manfrotto website for more information.

 

October 8th, 2013

Nikon D610 Full-Frame DSLR Announced

D610_24_85_front34rNikon just announced the full-frame, 24 megapixel D610—an evolutionary update to the D600. Naturally, the first thing some people will want to know is whether the D600’s dust/oil issues have been resolved. The direct answer is, we don’t know. When asked, Nikon gave the same response as it did earlier this year, which is essentially that a certain amount of dust is to be expected with any interchangeable lens camera and that if you can’t remove the debris, then send it to Nikon for service. However—and this may be the big news—the D610 is equipped with a new shutter mechanism which allows the camera to capture images at up to 6 frames-per-second (versus the D600’s 5.5fps frame rate). While Nikon says that the new shutter was implemented to gain the faster frame rate, if the online user reports of a correlation between the D600’s shutter and the accumulation of sensor dust and oil are correct then, yes, that issue may well be a thing of the past. And that’s good news all around because we think the D600 was—and is—a great camera.

The D610 uses the same sensor and offers the same features as the D600 but there have been a few enhancements in addition to the faster frame rate. For one, Nikon has updated the white balance algorithm for improved AWB performance. Although the D600 has a quiet mode, the D610 now has a quiet continuous mode, which will help wedding photographers, for example, stay on the good side of the officiate, as well as the bride and groom. We think the quiet continuous mode will also be useful when photographing performances and other events where you need some speed but want to maintain a low noise profile.

Otherwise the D610 is pretty much the same as the D600. That is, an affordable, full-frame camera with plenty of features, good performance. And we expect the D610 to deliver the same top level image quality as well.

The D610 should be available late October and is priced about $100 less than the D600 was when it was announced. For more information, visit: www.nikonusa.com.

Price:

Body only: $2000

With AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm lens: $2600

October 7th, 2013

Ricoh Imaging Intros fast, 24mp Pentax K-3 with Selectable AA Filter

K3_18135_front1The new 24 megapixel Pentax K-3 has just been announced, with continuous shooting at 8.3 frames-per-second and a twist on the current trend of DSLRs without an anti-aliasing filter. With the K-3, users can toggle the AA filter on or off via the camera’s shake reduction system. It’s a great concept but, of course, we’ll have to wait until we get a K-3 in hand to see how well it works. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting option to have.

Other highlights of this weather resistant, APS-C DSLR include a newly designed AF module with 24 AF sensors along with a new real time scene analysis system for more accurate exposure, white balance and AF.

Rather than integrating WiFi, Pentax has opted to use a FLU card. A 16GB SDHC FLU card will be available via the Ricoh Imaging website and retailers nationwide. By connecting wireless to a compatible PC or device via a web browser, users can view images, trigger the shutter and shift the AF point. It’s a step in the right direction but is a little disappointing (we’re getting spoiled by built-in WiFi in other cameras). The K-3 is equipped with dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots, though, which is always a good thing.

On the video side, the K-3 is equipped with headphone and stereo microphone jacks as well as the ability to manually adjust audio recording levels. Pentax has tweaked the camera’s interval movie mode to capture a series of 4K (3840 x 2160) video clips at a fixed interval.

Optional accessories for the K-3 include focusing screens, a magnifying eyepiece, remotes and battery grip, among others.

 

 

HD_55-300WR

 

 

 

Today, Ricoh-imaging has also introduced a new, weather resistant lens. This 55-300mm, f/4-5.8 ED WR lens is optimized for use with ASP-C DSLRs.

Both the camera and the lens will be available for purchase in November at retailers and at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com.

 

 

 

Price:

K-3 (body only): $1300 ($1600 for limited premium silver edition)

K-3 with DA 18-135mm WR lens: $1700
55-30mm WR lens: $450

Battery grip: $230

FLU 16GB SDHC card: $99

October 7th, 2013

Zeiss Announces New, Fast 55mm Lens

lensZeiss has just announced the first of its new Otus line of pro, 35mm lenses. Other Otus lenses will follow but, for now, the Otus 55mm, f/1.4 lens leads the way. It’s  available in Nikon F and Canon EF mounts, offers a 55mm field of view and an f/stop range of f/1.4-f/16. Zeiss comparers the lens’ performance on a DSLR to that of a medium format system and says that it’s particularly well-suited for advertising and fashion photography.

Named after a type of owl known for its excellent vision in darkness, Zeiss cites not only the ability of the lens to perform well in low light but also its “outstanding sharpness and contrast rendition,” which extends into the corners of images. Other notable attributes include high image contrast, lack of longitudinal chromatic aberrations, minimal color defects and the absence of color artifacts along high contrast edges in a scene.

Both Nikon and Canon versions of the 55mm lens are manual focus only. The Nikon model is equipped with an aperture ring; the Canon is not. Both lenses are slated to ship globally at the end of October and are priced at $3,999.

 

October 5th, 2013

Adobe Cyber-Attack; Security Alert Issued

Adobe has reported that a cyber-attack by a third party has compromised the security of user information including the encrypted credit/debit card data, Adobe ID’s and passwords of 2.9 million customers. At the time the alert was issued, Adobe did not believe that decrypted credit card or debit card numbers were accessed. The company says in a security alert (posted in full below) that it has reset the affected passwords and is sending emails to customers whose data has been accessed (and to only those customers) with instructions on how to change their passwords. If you haven’t received an email and want to reset your Adobe password, instructions can be found here. Adobe also recommends changing the password of other accounts with the same user ID and password. Although Adobe has not specifically mentioned Creative Cloud in its security alert, that appears to be the target of these attacks; it’s possible that non-subscriber information has been accessed as well.

Additionally, Adobe is sending letters to those customers whose credit or debit card information “was believed to be involved,” with information about next steps to help prevent potential misuse of the information. Processing banks for Adobe payments have been notified. Further, Adobe is offering a complimentary, one year credit monitoring membership (“where available”) for those whose credit card and debit card information was breached.

And, finally, Adobe is working with federal law enforcement to investigate the attack.

At the same time, Adobe says that source code for Adobe Acrobat, ColdFusion, ColdFusion Builder and other Adobe products has also been accessed by a third party. The company is currently not aware of any increased risk to customers; you can read more about this security alert here. A security update for Acrobat XI and Acrobat Reader is expected on Tuesday, October 8.

 

Important Customer Security Announcement

POSTED BY BRAD ARKIN, CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER ON OCTOBER 3, 2013 8:08 AM IN EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVES

Cyber attacks are one of the unfortunate realities of doing business today. Given the profile and widespread use of many of our products, Adobe has attracted increasing attention from cyber attackers. Very recently, Adobe’s security team discovered sophisticated attacks on our network, involving the illegal access of customer information as well as source code for numerous Adobe products. We believe these attacks may be related.

Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We also believe the attackers removed from our systems certain information relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers, including customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders. At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems. We deeply regret that this incident occurred. We’re working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident. We’re taking the following steps:

  • As a precaution, we are resetting relevant customer passwords to help prevent unauthorized access to Adobe ID accounts. If your user ID and password were involved, you will receive an email notification from us with information on how to change your password. We also recommend that you change your passwords on any website where you may have used the same user ID and password.
  • We are in the process of notifying customers whose credit or debit card information we believe to be involved in the incident. If your information was involved, you will receive a notification letter from us with additional information on steps you can take to help protect yourself against potential misuse of personal information about you. Adobe is also offering customers, whose credit or debit card information was involved, the option of enrolling in a one-year complimentary credit monitoring membership where available.
  • We have notified the banks processing customer payments for Adobe, so that they can work with the payment card companies and card-issuing banks to help protect customers’ accounts.
  • We have contacted federal law enforcement and are assisting in their investigation.

We are also investigating the illegal access to source code of numerous Adobe products. Based on our findings to date, we are not aware of any specific increased risk to customers as a result of this incident. For more information, please see the blog post here.

We value the trust of our customers. We will work aggressively to prevent these types of events from occurring in the future. Again, we deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause you. If you would like additional information, please refer to Adobe’s Customer Support page.

Brad Arkin
Chief Security Officer

 

October 3rd, 2013

New Leica Lens, Accessories and Firmware Update Announced

lenses 1381408_10151618598347343_1554405671_nLeica has added a new, wide-angle lens to its S medium-format system lineup. The Leica Elmarit-S 45mm f/2.8 ASPH delivers a 35mm (equivalent) angle of view. The lens, which is available immediately, comes in two versions, with the CS model offering an integrated central shutter for sync speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. The non-CS model’s maximum sync speed is 1/125th of a second. The CS version costs $7450, while the non-CS lens is priced at $6350.

A new firmware update is available for the S-system cameras: version 2.3.0.0 for the Leica S and version 1.3.0.0 for the Leica S2/S2-P. In addition to ensuring “optimum functionality” of the new lens when mounted on the S/S2/S2-P cameras, the firmware update provides enhancements to tethered shooting for DNG-compressed file output, the firmware update also enables the flash triggering signal to pass to the sync socket at all speeds. Additionally, users who install the firmware update will be able to store bracketing sequences and self-timer settings in user profiles. It also corrects errors experienced with the Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, including the lens’ focusing behavior. The firmware update can be downloaded from the Leica owners’ site (login required).

 

 

image002Leica also announced new accessories including a lightweight, carbon tripod and two ball heads. The former weighs 2.64 pounds, is compact enough for travel and the ball head “disappears” inside the tripod when in a collapsed position. A carrying case with strap and shoulder pad can be purchased separately. The two ball heads–the Leica 24 and 38–are compatible with all Leica cameras and, with a set of three quick-change plates, users can move from one camera to another without switching plates. Both models can hold up to, for example, a Leica M with a light lens. The Leica 38 ball head offers extra features including a tilt button, which locks the head so that it can only be moved in a vertical plane. The 38 also features a 360 degree panorama function.

The accessories will be available in November.

Accessory Prices:

Leica Traveller Tripod: $525.00

Tripod Bag: $125

Leica Ball Head 24: $285.00

Leica Ball Head 38: $390.00

Set of 3 exchangeable mounting plates for ball head 24 / 38: $70.00

October 3rd, 2013

Profoto Introduces Collapsible Light Reflectors

ProfotoProfoto-Reflectors has introduced a series of collapsible light reflectors, which come in 32-inch and 47-inch sizes. The design of the light reflectors is intended to make them easy to carry and use on location. “Squircle” shaped (shaped like a squarish circle, or like a square with rounded corners, in other words), the reflectors have integrated handles that make them easier to hold, fold and, perhaps more importantly, easier to collapse. Both sizes are available in silver/white, sun silver/white, gold/white, black/white and translucent models.

The Profoto collapsible reflectors are available now and priced at $79 for the 32-inch versions and $119 for the 47-inch versions.

 

October 3rd, 2013

New Profoto Speedlight Ring Expands Use of RFi Softboxes

RFi-Speedlight-Speedring-with-speedlightsProfoto just announced a new Speedring adapter, which allows photographers to use any brand of speedlight with the entire line of RFi softboxes. The RFi Speedlight Speedring features dual brackets to attach two speed lights, if needed, for use with larger softboxes, providing extra illumination or faster recycling time. For more precise and creative lighting, the new adapter provides several adjustment options. Speedlights can be angled, adjusted vertically and, to obtain the optimal light-to-subject distance, moved forward. Even when using speedlights, softboxes can still be tilted and rotated 360 degrees.

Mounting positions are color-coded to match those of RFi softbox rods, making it easy to figure out what goes where with each different type of light modifier. The Speedring comes with additional hotshoe mounts so users can attach Profoto Air units or any radio sync, regardless of brand.

The RFi Speedlight Speedring is available now for $175, including the bracket and 4 hotshoe mounts.

October 1st, 2013

GoPro Hero Line Updated with Smaller, Faster Cameras

pdp_image_HERO3Plus_silver_45GoPro’s Black and Silver edition cameras have just been given Hero 3+ status. Both models are smaller and faster. They also  now offer longer battery life and better low light performance.

That’s just an overview of some of the improvements you’ll find in these updated models. For more details and a quick look at some new mount options, check out our sister site Rangefinder for today’s  Tech Tuesday blog or find additional information at GoPro.com. The cameras are priced at $400 and $300, respectively.

 

 

 

September 26th, 2013

Sony QX100 Teardown Video

Wonder what’s inside the Sony QX100 lens camera? Check out this very cool teardown video. The QX100, which features the same sensor and lens as the Sony RX100 II, and the QX10 just started shipping. For more information, you can read our blog post here.

Sony promises another video tomorrow with a re-assembled lens.