More good stuff that we saw at the largest stand-alone photo trade show in the US
A quick technical note: All photos below were shot at Photo Plus Expo by Mason Resnick with the Pentax Q.
Western Digital announces "Personal Cloud" storage
Western Digital unveiled several new products, including a line of redesigned portable 1TB hard drives that now look like a matching accessory for high-end Mac laptops, and also showed a line of drives with fitted waterproof cases to protect data in extreme nature and travel shoots.
That's pretty cool, but what really caught our attention was WD MyBook Live, WD's "Personal Cloud". Available in 1-3TB capacities, this wireless backup connects to your wireless router in your home or office. Then, using your iOS device and the WD To Go app, you can access photos, videos and other files from wherever you are. At the Javits center in New York, WD's rep showed us how, on his iPad, he was able to quickly load hi-res photos and videos from his MyBook Live in his office in San Fransisco. He could scroll, pinch and edit his work remotely. Pricing $160-$260 depending on capacity. Impressive.
Joe McNally Lastolite line
Friend of Adorama Joe McNally has developed a line of flash light modifiers that debuted in the Lastolite booth:
The Lastolite Joe McNally Ezybox Hot, a 24-inch diffuser for small flash that features a white interior rather than a silver one, which results in creamier diffusion;
The Lastolite Joe McNally 32-inch Trigrip Reflector Kit, which features a 2-stop diffuser panel, a reflector sleeve and a window mask sleeve that shapes the light into smaller panels to create a rectangular window cut-out effect;
And the Lastolite Joe McNally Rotate Triflash (shown above), which lets you mount three flashes at once. You can position the flashguns so the IR recievers are always pointing to the camera position for reliable off-camera flash triggering.
Lastolite Speed Lite Bracket
Lastolite Speed-Lite Quad Bracket LL-LS2535 lets you attach up to four flashguns plus up to two 8mm or 10mm shaft size umbrellas, or a diffuser or reflector. It includes cables that let you connect up to four flashguns to a single reciever, is designed to work with most wireless triggering systems, and is compatible with the Nikon SB900. It is also available with 18, 24 and 36-inch soft boxes and price ranges from $110 alone to up to $250 with the large soft box.
While it's not purely a photo product, LumiQuest's SoLite 200 caught our attention. It's a rainproof, solar-powered, off-the-grid continuous light bulb. The LED bulb lasts 6 hours per charge, and is a useful tool for outdoor photography, camping, boating and so on, and could be a useful addition to the emergency kit for blackouts and natural disasters. Cost? $17.
Tenba's Peter Waisnor showing colorful, hipster-friendly Vector bag.
New Tenba Bags for Hipsters
Those of us who write about the latest photo gear may not necessarily be of the generation that is buying the stuff; same deal with those who make cameras and accessories. Case in point: Tenba. The bag maker realized that while an older generation may prefer black camera bags, this might not be the case for the younger set. Enter the Vector line, which can handle a range water-resistant bags that are both practical and fashionable. They're available in Krypton Green, Oxygen Blue, Cadmium Red and a more traditional Carbon Black and include daypacks, top-load smaller camera bags, compact camera pouches, and should bags.
A hot shoe flash/LED continuous light...from Polaroid?
With so much convergence between still and video photography we were not too surprised to see this flash with a built-in LED unit so it could be used as both a still and video light source. (Some photographers, we were told, are using the video light as a modeling light for portable flash photography.)We were also pleasantly surprised that, according to the booth rep, the light on one of the display models at the booth had been on continously for nearly 8 hours and although it had dimmed a bit, it still exceeded their expectations as to how long it would stay on. But the real surprise was the name on the PL 160DN flash: Polaroid!
Manfrotto LED Lighting units for DSLR users
Manfrotto also introduced a new line of LED lights designed for DSLR videographers. Designed primarily for video, the top-line Maxima, which has an 84-led panel, will also provide a burst of light similar to flash for still photographers. Continous output is 4 lux at 5600 degrees K for 1.5 hours, with a 4x burst for flash. The light can be dimmed, from 0-100%. A diffuser and two gels are included. Smaller Midi, Mini and Pocket LED lights were also introduced. They can be mounted atop a DSLR via the hot shoe.
Sunpak Announces Video Lights
The third company to show LEDs for DSLR was Sunpak, whose new lineup can be mounted on a DSLR's hot shoe or to a tripod via a threaded base. There are five models, containing anywhere from nine to 96 high-powered LEDs. The high-ed LED 30 and LED 96 have adjustable dimmer control and can illuminate wide 16:9 format images, and include diffusion and color correction filters.