New gear that has impressed our editors
Shoot between the raindrops Wet weather got you down? Don't let that stop you. Rain covers, such as Vortex Media's Storm Jacket Camera Covers, let you keep shooting through monsoon season. The covers are made of tough, waterproof nylon, and have bungee drawstrings on the front and back. Just tighten one end around your lenshood and other around your right wrist. They come in red, yellow, or black, and three sizes. Small ($36 direct) fits SLR-and-lens combinations that measure up to 9 inches from the back of the camera body to the front of the lens. Medium ($38) works best for 7 to 15 inches. And Large ($40) covers from 14 to 23 inches (for those really long lenses). Each come with a zippered carrying case and clip (Vortex Media; www.stormjacket.com; 888-852-6593).
Medium-Format Megapixels Do you own a film-based medium-format system? Feeling a tinge of envy over the Mamiya ZD and forthcoming Pentax 645D medium-format DSLRs? Now you can give your filmosaur a digital lease on life-if you have $29,999 to spare. Leaf's new Aptus 22, a 22MP digital back, works with just about any Bronica, Contax, Fuji, Hasselblad, or Mamiya body, and with many view cameras. This way, you can swap backs for the best of both worlds. The Aptus 22's sensor measures 48x 36mm (for a 1.2X lens factor), has a dynamic range of 12 f-stops, and color depth of 16 bits. A 3.5-inch, 211,680-pixel color LCD touch screen lets you browse photos you've taken, view file data, or change camera settings. ISO ranges from 25 to 400. While the capture speed of 1.2 sec per frame is fast for a digital back, it isn't for action shooters. But you can store your images on CF cards, Leaf's optional 20GB Digital Magazine ($2,300 alone, or $800 bundled with the back), or to a portable FireWire disk. (Creo, Inc.; www.creo.com; 800-929-9209)