February Has Been a Good Month for New Photo Product Announcements

By Diane Berkenfeld

A bounty of photo products have been introduced recently, including wide format printers, film, lenses, concept cameras and more. Many of the announcements were made at or surrounding the annual PMA convention and tradeshow, being held in Anaheim, CA this week, known as the place for product and technology announcements. And even some of those companies not exhibiting at PMA announced exciting new products for the professional photographer in recent days.

Wide-Format Printers

Two new 24" and one 44" Canon printers. (Images not to scale)

The biggest news announced today is three new wide-format printers from Canon: the the 44-inch imagePROGRAF iPF8300, 24-inch imagePROGRAF iPF6350 and the iPF6300. Each model features Canon’s new, 12-Color LUCIA EX pigment ink set; a newly developed Media Configuration Tool; and bundled with a new Print Plug-In for Photoshop, Digital Photo Professional and support for the Adobe Color Management Module.

The Canon iPF8300 and iPF6350 are equipped with an 80 GB HDD for faster spooling of large files and the ability to reprint jobs directly from the printer. All three new models are equipped with a standard gigabit Ethernet network interface and an automatic dual-blade cutter.

Expect new ICC profiles from a number of companies to be available on their respective company websites upon release of the new Canon printers. Updated printer RIP drivers will be available for download from those respective company websites upon release of the printers as well.

The imagePROGRAF iPF8300/6350/6300 will start shipping in March for with MSRPs of $5,995, $3,995 and $3,695, respectively. The new imagePROGRAF models will be unveiled for the first time at WPPI in Las Vegas, March 8-11, 2010. Go to www.cusa.canon.com for more details.

Film and A Film Camera

The Fujifilm GF670, a folding, medium format film camera.

While digital has been the de facto camera choice for most professional photographers these days, there are still film and film camera introductions being made.

Early this month we covered the announcement of Fujifilm’s folding film camera, the GF670, which will take rolls of 120 and 220 film, with the versatility to shoot either 6×6 or 6×7.

The camera features a Fujinon EBC 80mm lens, coupled rangefinder, exposure compensator, and aperture-priority automatic and manual exposure modes. Other features include a hot shoe, PC sync connection socket, electronic Leaf shutter with shutter speeds ranging from 4 seconds to 1/500 of a second including Bulb. Because the camera uses a Leaf shutter, flash sync is available at all shutter speeds. (see full article here) Go to www.fujifilmusa.com for more information.

Ektar 100, a color neg emulsion is now available in sheet sizes: 4x5 and 8x10.

Eastman Kodak has announced the addition of sheet film sizes of its Kodak Professional Ektar 100 film to its line. Ektar 100 is now available in 4×5 and 8×10 sheets in addition to 35mm and 120 roll film formats. Ektar 100 is a fine grain color negative film. Check out the website at www.kodak.com for more details.

New Lenses

Earlier this weekend, at the PMA show, Samsung, announced several new additions to its NX system lens line. The original line up of a standard zoom (18-55mm OIS / F3.5-5.6), tele zoom (50-200mm OIS / f/4.0-5.6) and pancake lens (30mm / f/2.0) launched with the Samsung NX10 earlier this year will be complemented by the introduction of five additional lenses through 2010.

The new lenses include: a compact zoom lens (20-50mm f/3.5-5.6), a wide pancake lens (20mm f/2.8), the tele zoom (50-200mm OIS f/4.0-5.6), macro lens (60mm f/2.7), standard zoom lens (non OIS (optical image stabilization) 18-55mm F3.5-5.6), and zoom lens (18-200mm OIS f/3.5-6.3).

Availability will be as follows: 30mm pancake lens, 18-55mm zoom, and 50-200mm zoom available as of January 2010; 18-55mm non-OIS lens during the first half of 2010; the 20-50mm zoom and 20mm pancake lens during the second half of 2010; and the 18-200mm and 60mm Macro lenses TBD. Visit the website at www.samsung.com/us for more details.

And More Lenses

(l. to r.) New 24mm and 16-35mm Nikkor lenses. (Images not to scale)

Earlier this month, Nikon announced two new lenses, the AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED lens and the AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR. Both lenses are designed for use with Nikon DSLRs that utilize the FX-format, full frame image sensor, however they can also be used with DSLRs that use the smaller DX-format sensor. The duo also utilize Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor technology for fast, yet quiet autofocusing.

The AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR is scheduled for availability in late February with an estimated selling price of $1,259.95. The AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4 G ED lens is expected to be available in late March for an estimated selling price of $2,199.95. Go to www.nikonusa.com for more details.

Yet More Lenses and a DSLR

Sigma Corporation of America expanded its line with the addition of five new lenses and a DSLR at PMA this past weekend. The new lenses are: 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM, 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM, APO 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM, APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM, and 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM; and the SD15 DSLR. Exact availability dates and pricing are pending. All of the lenses will be available this spring, in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts. The OS lenses offer the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible; and can be used with Sony and Pentax DSLRs even if the camera bodies feature an image sensor shift anti-shake system.

The Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM was designed specifically for DSLRs with APS-C size image sensors. This lens has an equivalent 35mm angle of view of a 12-24mm. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 9.4 inches throughout the entire zoom range.

The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM incorporates Sigma’s Optical Stabilization (OS) function. The lens also allows photographers to utilize the f/2.8 aperture through the entire zoom range. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5.

(l. to r.) Five new Sigma lenses just announced: 8-16mm, 17-50mm, 50-500mm, 70-200mm, and 85mm. (Images are not scaled to size)

The Sigma APO 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM also incorporates Sigma’s original OS function. This lens has a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.1 (at the focal length of 200mm). The addition of the optional 1.4x EX DG or 2x EX DG APO Tele Converters produce a 70-700mm f/6.3-8 or a 100-1000mm f/9-12.6 MF zoom lens, respectively. This lens can be used on DSLRs with full frame or APS-C sized image sensors.

Also introduced at PMA last weekend, the Sigma SD15 DSLR.

The Sigma APO 70-200 f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM also incorporates Sigma’s original OS function, and allows the use of the f/2.8 aperture through the entire zoom range. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 55.1 inches throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:8. The lens can be used with both APS-C and full frame sensors.

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens, when used on digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, effectively becomes a 127.5mm f/1.4 lens. Minimum focusing distance is 33.5 inches with a maximum magnification 1:8.6.

The SD15 DSLR is the latest model in Sigma’s SD series of DSLR cameras, and is powered by the 14-megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor. The Foveon sensor can capture all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location arranged in three layers. The new SD15 incorporates the “TRUE II” image processing engine, which processes the large amount of data from the 14MP sensor. Other features include SD card compatibility, a 3-inch LCD, 77-segment AE sensor, and shutter mechanism with a life of over 100,000 actuations.

For more information, go to www.sigmaphoto.com.

Concept Cameras

Sony announced concept cameras: (l.) a compact DSLR that will accept interchangeable lenses; and (r.) a replacement for the Alpha A700 DSLR and two prototype lenses.

Yesterday at PMA, Sony announced a concept model of a new compact Alpha DSLR camera system. The system will employ the Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, and provide full AVCHD video capture. The concept camera, which is an ultra compact model, will utilize interchangeable lenses, Sony also showed a mid-range concept DSLR camera, successor to the Alpha A700, and prototypes of two lenses: a Sony branded super telephoto 500mm f/4 G lens and Carl Zeiss Distagon T 24mm f/2 ZA SSM lens. Check the website at www.sony.com for more.

Accessories

New accessories introduced last week include the Joby Ballhead X for Gorillapod Focus, the latest addition to its Professional Line of photographic equipment. The portable yet sturdy Ballhead X supports 11.1lbs and allows photographers the ability to pan, tilt, and rotate their camera. The Ballhead X is lightweight and compact, yet still robust enough to support pro SLR cameras with substantial zoom lenses and sizable camera rigs.

The Joby Ballhead X can be used with the Gorillapod Focus or any other tripod.

While it is optimized for use with the Gorillapod Focus, the Ballhead X can accommodate both 3/8” and 1/4” threads, for compatibility with any tripod. The Ballhead X will be available both separately and bundled together with the Gorillapod Focus, and is expected to hit store shelves in April. Go to www.joby.com for more information.

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