Weekend Wrap for April 15, 2011

This Week's Photo and Video News from the Adoramasphere


Cisco: Flip Over

The consumer electronics industry was all abuzz this week about the surprise announcement by Cisco that it was discontinuing its Flip pocket camcorder—a product that created a new category and spawned dozens imitators. Consumers and industry watchers alike were shocked, and a Flip flap ensued. Why did Cisco do it? According to their official announcement, it was to “realign the remaining consumer businesses to support four of its five key company priorities—core routing, switching and services; collaboration; architectures; and video.” Hmmm....isn't the Flip camcorder isn't part of “video”?

Perhaps the sudden Flip flop was due to increasingly innovative and lower priced competing pocket video cameras from Coby, RCA, Bell & Howell, Samsung, Creative Labs, Wolverine, Sony, and Kodak—just to name a few. There are a few Flips left but even when they are gone, there will be plenty of other options.

Eye-Fi Mobile X2 Uploads Easier
Eye-Fi wants to bridge the gap between the instant-upload capabilities of smart phones and stand-alone digital cameras, which brings us to their latest SD card, the Mobile X2. The 8GB wireless memory card features a new “Direct Mode,”  which lets you upload images to your smartphone or tablet, for editing or posting to social networks. Get more info here or watch the video above.

ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 5 Camera Bag for Street Shooters

ThinkTank this week announced a the Retrospective 5—an “old-school” bag they designed both as a n homage to classic photographers such as Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, and a grab-and-go bag for Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Compacts with a pancake lens or small street cameras such as the Leica M9 or Fujifilm X100. The bag measures 10x8.5x6 inches, will cost about $130, and will be available in May.

Key features include:
•   Perfectly sized for DSLR, Micro Four Thirds, and rangefinder camera systems
•   Shoulder strap includes cushioned non-slip pad for long-term comfort
•   Sound Silencers eliminate hook-and-loop noise when opening bag
•   Zippered pockets and organizational pockets for accessories
•   Removable divider set for layout customization included
•   Convenient carrying handle for quick transport
•   Seam-sealed rain cover included
•   Business card window under the front flap for identification
•   Expandable front pocket fits a pro size DSLR body or accessories
•   High quality YKK zippers
•   Soft, flexible and lightweight

Kata Pro-Light Backpacks

At the other end of the spectrum is Kata's just-unveiled Pro-Light Backpacks, which were introduced this week at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas.  Designed to carry pro video gear, they include the Pro-Light Source 261 Backpack, which is designed to hold a video DSLR, a laptop computer, and lots of accessories including mics, small lights, and extra lenses. The Pro-Light Bug is designed to offer quick access to compact digital video cameras, and can store accessories and extra lenses. It's available in two configurations, model 203, which can hold a 15.4-inch laptop and 4-5 lenses, or model 205, which can hold a 17-inch laptop plus up to 8 lenses, an extra camera body, and flash. Prices will range from $250-300.

Manfrotto launches MH055M8-Q5 Photo-Movie tripod head

Among many items introduced at the NAB trade show this week by Manfrotto was the MH055M8-Q5, a tripod head designed for both still photography and video. It's being marketed as an all-in-one solution for a photographer who also shoots videos with an HDSLR.  The company claims the ability to instantly switch from photo to video with ballhead-like flexibility. Grab the specs, details here.

Sony: Powerful New Flash for Alpha DSLRs

Sony announced a powerful new shoe-mount flash for its Alpha DSLR cameras. The HVL-F43AM has a guide number of 43 (105mm at ISO 100). Features include a Quick Shift Bounce system that lets you position the flash head for vertical and horizontal shooting while maintaining consistent shadow positions regardless of camera orientation. The flash is dust and moisture resistant, and has power levels switchable in 22 increments from 1/1 to 1/128 level in 1/3-stops. Recycle time is claimed as 2.9 second. Coming soon.


Sony at NAB: 1st 3D Pro Camcorder, Plus Cinema Camcorder with “65mm look”

Sony was also at NAB this week, and announced its first 3D camcorder for professional videographers, the HXR-NX3D1U NXCAM. It features dual 1/2-inch Exmor 3 CMOS sensors, each producting full 1080p resolution. The company also announced the CeneAlta F65, a video camera for video cinematography with an 8K image sensor that puts out 20MP images—which Sony says is the highest image fidelity of any camera. The 16-bit RAW output is claimed to be similar to the look of 65mm film.

Sennheiser Rides Shotgun (Mic)

Still at NAB, audio gear maker Sennheiser announced a pair of shotgun microphones for film, television and broadcast applications. The MKH 8070 is a long shotgun designed for sports and nature shots that require very directional capabilities, wile the HKH 8060 is only 5.7 inches long and weighs 4 ounces, making it a good boom mike. For details and specs, read the Sennheiser press release.

And  finally...Gone fishin'

Weekend Wrap will not appear next week, since Adorama will be closed next week for Passover, so no new Wrap next Friday.

In addition, the Learning Center won't be posting any new content April 19-26, but we'll be back with all kinds of new articles, videos and more starting April 27. Learn more about Adorama's Holiday Closing Schedule, and plan your purchases accordingly!

See you in two weeks!


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