Another great Photo Plus Expo is done. We walked the floor and found lots of useful gadgets, major announcements and everything in between. Here's a glimpse at the latest goodies.
Workshops@Adorama presenter Rick Sammon offers travel photography tips at the Adorama booth on Friday.
Be sure to visit Part 1 of our Photo Plus Expo 2013 show coverage!
DxO Optics Pro 9
DxO has been fine-tuning its flagship image-editing software, Optics Pro 9, for many years, and this year's update, version 9, was introduced at Photo Plus expo, and focuses on noise reduction. New PRIME denoising technology uses advanced analysis of local neighboring pixels all through an image in order to retain color fidelity and fine details while removing noise and replacing it with a film-like graininess that looks more natural. The trade-off? It takes longer to remove noise so effectively, and DxO Optics Pro gives the user the option of using PRIME (longer, but better noise removal) or faster but not quite as effective noise reduction. Save PRIME for the most important shots. Details, and a full review, to come.
Does your starter/consumer-level DSLR's dinky little pop-up flash not provide enough illumination? The Rogue Safari DSLR Pop-Up Flash Booster, shown for the first time at PPE, extends the range of your pop-up flash by up to 60 feet. The Safari concentrates light via an optically engineered Fresnel lens housing that attaches to your camera's hot shoe. It is designed to work with certain APS-sensor Canon and Nikon DSLRs (find a full list here).
Phottix Strato Flash/Reciever 863 and 865
Photix introduced a TTL flash trigger set for Canon that includes both a flash transmitter and receiver. Able to operate on 4 channels, it operates TTL with EV adjustments, high-speed sync up to 1/8000 second, second curtain sync, and both wired and wireless shutter functions. It can be upgraded via USB and can trigger both hot shoe and studio lights. It is a radio-based system with a 100-meter range. The previous versions, available for Canon or Nikon have a more limited range and high-speed sync to 1/250 sec. The new version is coming soon.
Samsung Galaxy NX ISGN120, 10mm fisheye
The Samsung Galaxy NX, the world's first Android-based MILC, was announced last month and got its first official showing at Photo Plus Expo. Featuring a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a hybrid focusing system with Phase and Contrast Detection, as well as built-in 3G/4G and Wi-Fi, the camera is powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, so you can customize it with as many apps as you desire. In addition, Samsung 10mm f/3.5 fisheye lens which they say is the smallest on the market for the NX mount. Introduced over the summer, this was the first opportunity for the public to see the lens.
Sakar/Vivitar's Kodak Surprise
In addition to introducing a new Vivitar 683 transceiver flash for Nikon and Canon under its own name, Vivitar continues to license gear made under the Polaroid name...and now, to the surprise of many, is about to launch a trio of Kodak-branded items. The Kodak items are intriguing new lenses designed for Micro Four Thirds cameras—the Kodak 25mm f/0.95, Kodak 50mm f/1.1, and Kodak 8mm f/1.3. The lenses are currently being produced, are all manual focus and should be available soon. Look for it in the coming months!
It's a tripod— but the Novoflex Triopod can break down to 3 monopods for flat, convenient storage. Available in either aluminum or carbon fiber legs, the Triopod is lightweight and has a unique center column that rises about four inches on a platform supported by three roughly 1/4-inch columns. We tried it at the show and it was surprisingly sturdy. The Triopod is available in 3- and 4-part leg configurations at a variety of heights. The Triopod line was introduced at the show and should be available soon.
Leica introduced the X-Vario this summer and this was our first chance to take a good look at it. Using a 28-70mm Vario-Elmar f/3.5 zoom lens, the camera has a 16MP APS sensor and full manual controls available. Somewhat smaller than the M-series Leicas, it lacks an eye-level viewfinder but has a hot shoe with a data port, and you can (and probably should) add the Leica X2 EVF for eye-level viewing.
Here's a clever idea: A rear lenscap that has in big bright characters numbers that tell you the focal length of the lens they're attached to. BlackRapid's Lensbling, at $8.50, offers caps for popular focal lengths (24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 105, 24-70, 70-200) for prime and zoom lenses in Nikon and Canon mounts.
Spider Monkey Utility Belt
Spider, which burst on the scene a few years ago with a super-sturdy gadget belt that holds DSLRs called the Spider Holster, has come up with a smaller holster addition, called the Spider Monkey, for smaller items such as a flash, a battery pack, a light meter or other similarly small but frequently-used items. It consists of a sticky pad that attaches to the object, and a fabric fastener belt that slips around the object,, while a hook clips onto your belt. You then clip your accessory to your belt, and you're ready to go.