8 Cool New Products from Photoplus Expo 2010

Find out what new products our editors picked to showcase from this year's trade show.

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Sigma SD1
We finally had the chance to get our hands on Sigma's new flagship DSLR. While we weren't able to shoot with the camera, we were able to hold it and play with the controls. The body feels incredibly sturdy. We are big fans of the square grip and index finger "nook". In addition, the camera has an interesting smooth satin-like finish to it, which adds to the overall feel of the body. Pressing the shutter left much to be desired in terms of snappiness, but this can likely be attributed to the fact that the camera had no batteries in it. Additionally, the layout of the controls seems fairly standard aside from the fact that the exposure compensation button is located next to the shutter, which still seems a bit strange. According to Sigma, the SD1 is almost identical in size to the SD15, aside from beefing-up of the grip.
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Nations Photo Lab: Floating Gallery Block
Gallery blocks are an impressive way to show off images, but National Photo Lab has upped the cool factor by designing several pre-designed arrays. If you're savvy with your image-editing software, you can arrange your image so the borders of the blocks are totally separate from the image itself, rather than having the simple wrap-around effect usually offered in this kind of presentation. The pieces are extremely sturdy feeling and impressive, even from up close. Prices range from $119 for 2 8x10-inch blocks up to $219 for 9 6x6-inch blocks on a 21x21-inch base.
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Epson Stylus Pro 4900
The newest printing creation from Epson will run you about $2,500, which is actually quite a deal when you consider all that it offers. Images that rolled off the printer looked as good as you'd expect commercial-grade work to look. The printer features 11 different color ink cartridges and is capable of printing at resolutions up to 2880x1440 dpi. But probably the coolest feature of the Epson Stylus 4900 is that it is iPad compatible.
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Gossen Digi Sky
Gossen came up with a light-meter that looks and operates more like a smart phone than a traditional meter. Due out early next year, its capable of making the typical incident and reflected light readings, but all the data is displayed on a bright LCD display. It also has a built-in wireless trigger to make studio work that much less of a hassle. Expect it to cost between $400 and $500.
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Kata Source-261 PL Camera Bag
If you're serious about DSLR video, your camera is eventually going to have all kinds of things attached to it, from a follow focus knob, to a magnified finder for your LCD screen. Kata's new bag is designed to accept such a rig, keeping it safe and secure, but still accessible on the move. The Source-261 falls in line with Kata's new aesthetic as well, opting for rip-stop fabric, which makes it visually quite different from previous Kata lines.
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Lastolite TriGrip Difflector
One side of this triangular reflector works just like any other shoot-through model you've ever used. But, flip it over and use the other side -- the side with the silver stripes -- and it becomes a surprisingly capable reflector. When shooting through it, the stripes are all but invisible as long as the light source and the subject are close enough. Plus, like with all of the TriGrip products, it's super easy to use with one hand and folds up more securely than most round models.
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Pro Roller Attache x50
Lowepro's newest bag was designed with the traveler in mind. It features a luggage handle, wheels as well as two main compartments, one for your gear and the other for whatever else you may have. This bag is perfect for anyone who frequently flies and likes to throw their gear in an overhead compartment.
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Drop It Modern Woodgrain Backdrop
Drop It Modern has been making extremely cool backdrops for some time now, but this was the first time we had gotten to see their new Woodgrain pattern in person. The DIM rep in the booth put it best when he said, "It can be really cheesy, or extremely beautiful. It depends on what you do with it." We definitely agree. It's available now from their site, starting at $97 for a 4.5x6-foot sheet and going all the way up to $537 for a 9x18-foot sheet.