Just Out 06/04
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New gear that has impressed our editors
BABY GOT BACK
What?! Another megapriced, mega-megapixel digital back for medium-format cameras? Yes, the Sinarback 54M packs 22MP and lists for $14,999. But there’s more to it than just those statistics. It’s fairly small and light (3.5 inches square, 2 inches deep, and 14 ounces). Its custom-designed Kodak sensor gives you 14-bit color depth and a contrast range of 11 f-stops. The 54M captures up to 24 frames per minute and can handle shutter speeds from 32 to 1/4000 sec. For control, there’s new captureShop 5.0 software and two FireWire ports. With adapters, it can fit almost any medium-format body. (Sinar AG; 800-456-0203; www.sinarbron.com)
Are your low-light shots dark because the flash in your digital compact lacks punch? Check out Sunpak’s Digital Compact Flash Adapter ($30 expected street). It’s a bracket with a built-in slave unit that will fire almost any standard shoe-mount flash when your camera’s on-board flash pops. Result: more light. With five firing modes, you can vary the delay to work with your camera’s sync timing and/or built-in preflashes. (ToCAD America; 973-428-9800; www.tocad.com)
WELCOME TO MOVIE PHONE!
First there were cell phones that shot photos. Now there’s one that shoots videos, too-Samsung’s VM-A680 ($300 list). Make it quick though-this video camera/digital still camera/cellular phone can record no more than 15 seconds of video at a time. You can share these clips through the phone’s e-mail. Video snippets include mono sound; they’re stored as motion JPEGs. The phone has an LED for shooting in the dark and a color screen for playback. The caveat: the phone works only on the Sprint PCS network-for now. (Samsung; 800-726-7864; www.samsungusa.com)
GET A GRIP
Manfrotto has its eye on action shooters with its new 322RC2 Grip Action Ball Head ($100 street). Made of lightweight yet durable magnesium, this 1.43-pound ballhead rotates 360 degrees and tilts ± 90 degrees, all by squeezing and moving the handle. A bubble level helps you line up with the horizon, while the friction control lets you adjust for the weight of your camera. The grip can be switched for left-handed, right-handed, or vertical operation. It holds up to 11 pounds horizontally and 5.5 pounds vertically. (Bogen Imaging; 201-818-9500; www.bogenimaging.com)
KODAK DCS PRO SLR/C DIGITAL SLR
Canon fans take notice! Kodak’s newest digital SLR is focused on you-for a change. Since Kodak introduced its first digital SLR in 1990, it has favored Nikon bodies and lenses, with few exceptions. But Kodak’s new DCS Pro SLR/c ($4,495 street) should appease Canon shooters who own a stockpile of Canon lenses and accessories. According to Kodak, the Pro SLR/c accepts Canon EF lenses and is fully compatible with dedicated Canon TTL Speedlite flash units (sorry, there’s no pop-up flash). It also features the same 13.5MP full-frame CMOS imaging sensor and advanced image processing found in the Pro SLR/n (reviewed April 2004), as well as a tough magnesium-alloy body. But here’s a twist-there are no Canon parts on the Pro SLR/c, and Canon had nothing to do with its design! In fact, the core camera components, which include the shutter and controls, a new five-point AF system, and centerweighted, spot and evaluative metering, were actually built for Kodak by another camera company. Which one? Kodak wouldn’t say much about their new partner-other than it is a Japanese manufacturer with a great deal of experience making SLRs. Our guess? Perhaps the new Pro SLR/c should be called (cough, cough) the Pro SLR/cigma. (Kodak; 800-235-6325, www.kodak.com)