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Peter K. Burian  |  Jan 01, 2009  |  0 comments

Whether you own a 35mm or digital SLR camera, a dedicated external flash unit can be a valuable accessory. Not many new models were unveiled at photokina, and three of the four were macro ringlights. These have been gaining in popularity for extra lighting in extreme close-up photography of products, nature subjects, and medical/dental applications, but they can also be useful for some...

Peter K. Burian  |  Jan 01, 2009  |  0 comments

As the price of D-SLRs and high-resolution digicams drops to more affordable levels, an increasing number of families and serious photo enthusiasts want a better photo printer. We found lots of new machines at the photokina show, some with high-tech features such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet compatibility. Lack of space precludes coverage of every new product, but the following printers are worth...

Frances E. Schultz  |  Jan 01, 2009  |  0 comments

Charge!
You can now charge your electronic devices while you are on the move. The G24i solar panel was developed for MIA (Mascotte Industrial Associates) by Gcell and has so far been incorporated in a backpack, a laptop bag, a camouflage bag, and even a tennis bag. It is lightweight and flexible, not too sensitive to the angle of the light, has a high energy output, and...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Jan 01, 2009  |  0 comments

When it came to rangefinders, Leica completely stole the show: Zeiss and Voigtländer had only one new product each. Admittedly they were interesting—an 85mm f/4 Tele-Tessar in Leica M-compatible ZM mount and a dual-format rangefinder folder, the Bessa III—but they were somewhat eclipsed by Leica’s four new lenses and the revised M8.2 camera body.

The item...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Jan 01, 2009  |  0 comments

Every photokina, we are assigned a category that for want of a better term we call “weird and wonderful.” It’s stuff that doesn’t easily fit into any other category, or differs so much from the mass of its competitors that it deserves special mention.

Some products are just bizarre: we’ll come to what we thought was the most bizarre trend at the end...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Jan 01, 2009  |  0 comments

One of the great pleasures of photokina is finding really brilliant new accessories. Some are completely unexpected. Others, you’ve wanted for years but have never been able to find—often because until now, the technology needed to build them has not been available.

A shining example (literally) of the latter, and the accessory hit of the show as far as I am concerned...

Peter K. Burian  |  Jan 01, 2009  |  0 comments

Because of the increasing resolution and burst speed of some new cameras, the capacity and speed of memory cards continues to increase. While a super-fast card cannot boost a camera’s maximum framing rate, the extra card speed can provide greater burst depth (more frames in a long series) and shorter data recording times. A high-speed card is also ideal after a long trip, when you’re...

Jon Canfield  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

PMA 2008 is not going to go down in history as the year of the new printer. Unlike past years where every major company had multiple new product announcements, this year was relatively quiet on the inkjet front. That does point to a maturing category, one where the existing quality bar is already very high. Indeed, you could take any of the top three (Canon, Epson, HP) and have...

Robert E. Mayer  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

While some sounded the death knell of filters when digital imaging arrived, with all the in camera and plug-in manipulations available, there were a number of new and often high-end filters on display. Here's what's new and improved in this frequently essential accessory:

Argraph announced a new Marumi DHG (Digital High Grade) Achromat Macro 200 (+5)...

Peter K. Burian  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

Although the D-SLR category is growing more rapidly, digicams with integral lenses still outsell the larger cameras by roughly 10 to 1. That's primarily because of the lower price and particularly the greater portability. Even the most serious photographer usually wants a pocket-size camera--with built-in lens and flash--that they can carry most anywhere.
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Jack Neubart  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

While camera bags often aim for functionality over style, there were several shoulder bags shown this year that had fashion chic paramount in their design, and a number of them aimed at the female photo enthusiast. Still, the photo backpack seemed to dominate when it came to functionality and innovative design, including two combo packs targeting the hard-core backpacker or...

Ibarionex R. Perello  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

As I walked the trade show floor at the recent PMA, it was interesting to see how much software was being offered to meet specific needs, rather than attempt to be the end-all and be-all. I discovered software that offers solutions not meant to replace Adobe's Photoshop, but rather help photographers improve their ability to achieve common and specific tasks.

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Peter K. Burian  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

As digital camera resolution is increasing, memory card manufacturers are keeping up, releasing new products with greater speed and storage capacity. Whether you shoot raw or the finest JPEGs, there's definitely a benefit to using the fastest memory card. The extra speed is useful primarily for greater burst depth--more frames in a long series--but also for shorter...

Peter K. Burian  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

Considering the many D-SLRs that are introduced each year, it's no surprise that virtually every lens manufacturer is also expanding its line of new products. That includes both digital-only lenses--for cameras with a typical small sensor--and multi-platform lenses suitable for any SLR. The latter are particularly important now because of the increasing number of...

Robert E. Mayer  |  Jun 01, 2008  |  0 comments

The new models of shoe-mount portable flash units seen at this year's trade show not only offer more powerful light output for more distant subjects, but also frequently include new features that make them easier to use. This report also includes new small camera-mounted LED lights for continuous lighting, intended for camcorders but also useful for still photographers.

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