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 Thursday, January 8, 2015
Joby UltraPlate 208 with Hand Grip
From Joby:
 
Petaluma, CA, January 6, 2015 – JOBY expands its collection of Pro Series tools for photographers and videographers with the launch of two, Arca-Swiss compatible accessories: UltraPlate 208 and Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208. Designed to be portable, practical and versatile, these precision-built tools provide easy set-ups and a variety of workflow possibilities for today’s active shooters.
 
“The success of our original UltraPlate inspired us to create additional tools for more complex DSLR rigs and action video set-ups,” said Kate Farmer, JOBY brand manager. “The UltraPlate 208 is an extended quick-release plate that includes eight ¼"-20 mounting holes. The Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208 includes a comfortable and secure grip for grabbing steady photos and footage, along with the new quick-release plate. Both offer thoughtful and durable construction, plus ease-of-use – hallmarks of the JOBY design philosophy.”
 
The UltraPlate 208 (US MSRP $29.95) is flexible tool for shooters who like to change up gear with lots of combinations, but without a hassle. It works with the JOBY Ballhead X and other Arca-Swiss compatible tripods. Eight mounting holes can support an wide array of gear: a DLSR, action camera such as GoPro, JOBY GorillaPod Arm or Locking Arm, flash unit, microphone or even a smartphone when paired with a JOBY GripTight Mount. The UltraPlate 208 is crafted of high-quality, machined aluminum for long-lasting strength.
 
The Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208 (US MSRP $49.95) serves as a simplified, but super-durable rig and includes the Arca-Swiss compatible and extended quick-release plate, plus a removable Hand Grip. This power combo may be used to set up a DSLR and action video camera in tandem for quick and easy transitions from stills to motion without having to waste time on gear changes. The durable, aluminum and silicone Hand Grip is lightweight and textured for a comfortable hand feel, plus also includes an additional ¼"-20 mount.
 
Joby HandGrip UltraPlate208 for Video Setup
 
(Shown with optional accessories)
 
B&H has the Joby UltraPlate 208 and UltraPlate with Hand Grip available for preorder.
Category: Joby News
Post Date: 1/8/2015 8:42:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator
Just posted: Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator Review
 
The Airport Accelerator and I spent a great 10 days together this fall. If this pack is the right size for you, it is unlikely that you will find a better option.
 
B&H has the Airport Accelerator in stock.
Post Date: 1/8/2015 8:21:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
DJI Phantom 1.1.1 Quadcopter with GoPro Mount
We don't usually post deals for GoPro related items, but with more and more people shooting video with their DSLRs, I can't help but think that some of our site visitors may also own a GoPro that they use alongside their DSLR gear.
 
If that's the case, B&H is featuring the DJI Phantom 1.1.1 Quadcopter with GoPro Mount as a Deal Zone special. For today only, you can pick up the DJI Phantom 1.1.1 Quadcopter with GoPro Mount for $379.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $479.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 8" Self-Tightening Propeller Blades
  • Add Exciting Aerial Shots to Your Movies
  • Mount is Compatible with GoPro Cameras
  • Integrated GPS Flight Control
  • Naza-M V2 Autopilot with Failsafe
  • Max Horizontal Flight Speed of 10m/s
  • Max Vertical Flight Speed of 6m/s
  • Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC)
  • Supports Dual Flight Control Modes
  • LED Indicators & Low Voltage Protection
Post Date: 1/8/2015 7:31:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens
eBay (via 6ave) has the Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens available for $1,474.46 with free shipping. Compare at $1,996.95.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and not eligible for Nikon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/8/2015 6:55:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D810 DSLR Camera
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Nikon D810 DSLR Camera available for $2,579.99 with free shipping. Compare at $2,996.95 after $300.00 instant savings.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and not eligible for Nikon USA warranty or service. However, the auction advertises that it comes with a 3-year (non-manufacturer's) warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/8/2015 6:49:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Nikon D750 DSLR Camera
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Nikon D750 DSLR Camera available for $1,789.99 with free shipping. Compare at $2,296.95.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not qualify for a Nikon USA warranty or repair service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/7/2015 12:56:32 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Toshiba 16GB FlashAir III Wireless SD Card
From Toshiba:
 
Memory Card Provides Consumers with Quick and Seamless Way to Share Captured Moments Wirelessly
 
January 06, 2015 – CES 2015, LVCC Central Hall Booth #11028 – Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the FlashAir III Wireless SD Card, a third generation memory card that serves as its own wireless LAN access point, allowing users to share images, videos and files wirelessly. Now with enhanced photo sharing and management features, users can quickly designate which photos to instantly share and easily manage files from a web browser on a PC.
 
The FlashAir III delivers speedy data transfers so users can quickly upload their images and videos. The FlashAir III Wireless SD Card’s Internet pass-through feature allows users to access the card and Internet (via your separate wireless router) simultaneously – enabling the ability to upload images in real-time. Using a wireless LAN chip, The FlashAir III Wireless SD Card is accessible to any wireless capable computers, smartphones or tablets, and can support simultaneous access from up to seven devices. In addition, the built-in Wi-Fi access point also allows for transfers without an Internet connection.
 
“We understand how important it is for consumers to share their photo and video memories with family and friends,” said Maciek Brzeski, Vice President, Branded Storage, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “We have eliminated the cumbersome task of uploading pictures via a USB cord so users can effortlessly share and manage their files, leaving more time for what’s important.”
 
Toshiba also offers a free FlashAir mobile app that makes it easy to share via iOS and Android-based devices. The FlashAir III Wireless SD Card is backed by a five-year standard limited warranty.
 
Known as the “Inventor of Flash Memory,” Toshiba has been providing storage solutions worldwide since 1967 and has more than 47 years of experience developing storage offerings that complement our comprehensive ecosystem of devices. Leveraging an annual $3.1 billion investment in research and development, Toshiba continues to push the boundaries of storage technology to meet customers’ needs.
 
Pricing and Availability
The Toshiba FlashAir III Wireless SD Card will be available for purchase in March, 2015 at various retailers, and on toshiba.com/us for $79.99 MSRP for 16GB and $99.99 for 32GB.
 
B&H carries Toshiba FlashAir Wireless SD memory cards.
Post Date: 1/7/2015 11:46:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
Ready to make 2015 your best year yet?
 
The 2015 Photo Business Plan Workbook is a step-by-step guide to help you create a strong business plan, target the clients you want, and make more money this year.
 
Inside the workbook, get strategies and examples to help you:
 
  • Define your products & services
  • Determine your audience and addressable market
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Fix your finances
  • Tune-up your website
  • Build your Search Engine Optimization
  • Get social
  • Create an advisory group
  • Follow up with old clients
Build your photo business plan and stick to it this year. Get started with these smart business tips packed into an easy-to-read workbook.
 
Get the free guide.
Post Date: 1/7/2015 11:33:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Air Clarity: The Big Enemy of Ultra-Long Distance Landscape Photography
The sand dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park and the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains behind them are a common target for landscape photographers. To compress the dunes against the mountains requires a long distance perspective and if the dunes are to be large in the frame, a long telephoto focal length must be used. Fortunately, the road leading into GSDNP provides easy access to the that long distance perspective and sharp telephoto lenses are readily available. Unfortunately, there are other issues to be dealt with.
 
Haze (including that caused by smoke, dust and air pollution) kills contrast and heat waves are potentially seriously damaging to image sharpness.
 
The haze/air clarity problem is nearly always at least somewhat of an issue when shooting from this distance and the best way to combat haze during the capture is to use a circular polarizer filter. This filter will not completely eliminate the haze, but it definitely helps. The best way to reduce haze after the shot is by increasing contrast. Both were used for this photo.
 
Far harder to control is the major issue I dealt with at this time of day in GSDNP and that is heat waves. Aside from moving closer (which changes the composition) or choosing another time of the day (or another day completely) to shoot, there is little that can be done about heat waves. Heat waves can be problematic at even short distances (and complicate outdoor comparison testing of lenses).
 
Being at this location at the right time and day is ideal and both air clarity and heat wave issues can be mostly avoided with the right timing. Locals of course have that timing luxury, but I had only half of a day to spend at this location. I was intent on maximizing my time and embracing what I found.
 
Many prefer to shoot this location early and late in the day (and I photographed until dark), but I found the dune shadows to be harsh at this time and also-liked the more-subtle tonation of mid-afternoon lighting on the dunes. In this case, I was able to run bands of color through the frame horizontally with the first snow of the season forming the top non-sky layer. Even though I was using the extraordinarily sharp Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens and a circular polarizer filter, the end result has a soft painterly effect (visible at full resolution) thanks to the heat waves.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook. Be sure to like or follow if visiting those pages.
Post Date: 1/7/2015 9:54:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini, Filter Hive Mini and House of Cards
Our friends at MindShift Gear just released three new products for outdoor photographers.
 
Providing rapid access for filter changes, the Filter Nest Mini and the Filter Hive Mini offer protection and ease in compact cases. For those who do not need the capacity of larger filter cases, these offer a great option for keeping filters at the ready. The Filter Nest Mini fits four round filters (up to 82 mm) including a variable ND. The Filter Hive Mini fits four square/rectangular filters (up to 4 x 6 or 100 x 150 mm).
 
The new House of Cards lightweight memory card wallet offers convenient storage and protection for your memory cards. Offered in easy-to-locate Tahoe Blue color, photographers can quickly find and organize six CF and three SD cards. The built in business card holder makes for easy identification. Its orange colored elastic band offers silent access plus additional wallet security. The House of Cards’ removable tether clip allows it to be worn on the outside for quick access.
Post Date: 1/7/2015 7:39:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens Construction
Nikon added yet another two-letter abbreviation to its lens lexicon today – PF – which stands for "Phase Fresnel." Below you'll find information on the new technology.
 
From Nikon USA:
 
Phase Fresnel
The PF (Phase Fresnel) lens, developed by Nikon, effectively compensates chromatic aberration utilizing the photo diffraction phenomenon*. It provides superior chromatic aberration compensation performance when combined with a normal glass lens. Compared to many general camera lenses that employ an optical system using the photorefractive phenomenon, a remarkably compact and lightweight body can be attained with less number of lens elements.
 
A general interchangeable lens forms an image on an imaging plane, using the photorefractive phenomenon. The degree of light refraction differs depending on the color (wavelength), and image formation is performed in the order of blue (B), green (G), and red (R) starting with the portion near the lens (see the diagram below). The color deviation referred to as chromatic aberration induces color bleeding, resulting in a deterioration of observed or captured images.
 
With PF (Phase Fresnel) lenses, on the other hand, image formation is performed in the order of red (R), green (G), and blue (B) starting with the portion near the lens (see the diagram below). By combining the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens with a refractive lens, chromatic aberration can be effectively compensated.
 
Chromatic aberration compensation with the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens
 
Chromatic aberration compensation with the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens
 
B&H has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 12:58:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Flashpoint Zoom Li-on On-Camera Flash
From Adorama:
 
New wireless speedlight flash units with all the benefits of an external battery pack are available in full manual, Canon TTL and Nikon TTL models, along with the Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set, and other accessories
 
New York, NY – January 6, 2015 – Adorama, one of the world’s largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers, has expanded the Flashpoint lighting line once again with the launch of Zoom Li-on, a collection of on- and off-camera flash products with internal lithium ion batteries, providing all the benefits of an external battery pack. The Li-on line offers a range of high-power flash units and lighting accessories in easily transportable packages. Products include the Zoom Li-on speedlight Flash (available in manual, Canon TTL and Nikon TTL models), and the Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set, all directed at bringing the best flash options to the studio or on location in an affordable package.
 
Zoom Li-on Flash (Available in Manual, Canon TTL and Nikon TTL Models)
The Zoom Li-on speedlight flash is a miniature powerhouse that runs off an internal lithium ion battery. It is no bigger than a traditional speedlight, delivering all the benefits of an external battery pack without the messy cables. It has a full power recycle time of less than 1.5 seconds, allowing for near-instant continuous shooting. One battery charge holds up to 650 full power shots, and even more for lower-powered use.
 
The Zoom Li-on Flash is designed for sleek, easy use, with simple controls and a large, bright LCD screen. The flash head is incredibly versatile. It rotates 360 degrees and tilts over 90 degrees to work with any type of bounce or modifier, and the head zooms from 24mm to 105mm to ensure the necessary coverage without wasted spill. With numerous modes – manual, two optical slave modes and a stroboscopic mode, and remote power control using a Flashpoint Commander and Receiver, the Zoom Li-on Flash works on the fly for both on- and off-camera work.
 
In addition to TTL automatic output, the Zoom Li-on models for Canon or Nikon TTL offer all the extra features of proprietary TTL strobes, such as HSS, exposure compensation, exposure bracketing, automatic zooming and flash exposure lock. Additionally, they offer complete integration with proprietary TTL strobe IR remote control systems, and can be used to control or be controlled by Canon or Nikon flashes as a master or slave, as well as for group control.
 
The Zoom Li-on Flash comes with a li-ion battery pack, battery charger, mini stand, protective case and instruction manual.
 
Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set
The Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set is the perfect companion to the Zoom Li-on Flash, and is backwards-compatible with the Flashpoint Streaklight line. It allows remote power control from 150+ feet, allowing users to view and change flash output at any time. Other flash functions can also be adjusted remotely. With 16 channels and 16 groups, you can remotely control individual units or groups no matter how many units you use, and avoid interfering with other photographers.
 
The Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set comes with a transmitter and a receiver featuring sync cord triggering exclusively designed for Zoom Li-on Flash products.
 
Pricing and Availability
The Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Flash is available now in three models – manual (99.95 USD), Canon TTL and Nikon TTL (179.95 USD). The Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set is now available for 69.95. Additional batteries (49.95 USD) and battery charger (19.95) for the Zoom Li-on Flash can be purchased separately from Flashpoint.
Category: Flashpoint News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:53:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
Join Joseph W. Carey as he demystifies Speedlight photography.
 
JC goes over the basics of how to set up the lights, get them off camera for dynamic results, figure out proper exposures, and get great images with one or two flashes.
 
This class focuses on the Nikon Creative Lighting System but many of the tips will be useful to all flash photographers.
Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:06:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Aspen Trunk Hunting in Crested Butte, Colorado
A high priority for my fall photo trip to Colorado was to capture the beauty of aspen tree trunks. There is little challenge to finding an aspen grove in Crested Butte. Aspen trees, with their beautiful white (or gray) trunks, are the predominant flora in the 10+ miles west of the small ski town of Crested Butte, through Kebler Pass and beyond. The big challenge is finding the right grove of trees to create ordered complexity in an image.
 
Of the thousands of trees observed in this area, I found some of the most-photographically-cooperative at a strong curve in the road just east of Kebler Pass. Especially missing at this location were the deadfalls that are so common and interfere with the vertical lines I wanted to emphasize.
 
For this image, I wanted the viewer to feel like they were part of the scene. I attempt to convey that feeling by moving in close to a large, featured foreground tree and using a moderately wide angle focal length. This location allowed one aspen tree trunk to become large in the frame while a couple of other clumps of trunks staggered into a great mass of trunks filling most of the background. All of this while the camera remained level, keeping even the tree trunks in the border of the frame parallel with the sides of the frame.
 
The 31mm focal length was wide enough to allow everything in the frame to stay sharp at f/11, yet not so wide that the background trees became tiny. Cloud cover reduced the contrast, evening out the light on this scene. A complete lack of wind (something I'm not used to at high elevations) allowed for sharp foliage even with the .8 second exposure. The yellow-green foliage color requires a late Sep or early Oct-timed visit to this location.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook.
Post Date: 1/6/2015 8:29:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon D5500 DSLR Camera with AF-S DX 18-55mm VR II Lens
From Nikon:
 
Alongside the Compact and Versatile Nikon D5500, Nikon Announces the Expansion of Legendary NIKKOR Lens Lineup with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II Zoom and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Telephoto Lenses
 
MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. announced its latest DX-format DSLR, the Nikon D5500, a lightweight yet powerful camera that offers a robust feature set, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to capture incredible photos and HD video with ease. An ideal entry-level DSLR for the creative photographer ready to take their storytelling to a new level, the D5500 sports an impressive arsenal of imaging technology, including a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter (OLPF) and a new 3.2-inch Vari-angle touch operation LCD display. All of this and more is packed into a new monocoque design that makes the camera one of Nikon’s lightest and most convenient-to-carry DSLR offerings. Nikon has also expanded its already impressive line of NIKKOR lenses with two new additions, the versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom lens for DX-format shooters and the FX-format AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, a lens with advanced Phase Fresnel optics for lightweight super-telephoto performance.
 
“Whether capturing an unforgettable sunset or the game winning goal, the Nikon D5500 was designed to foster creativity and provide the tools any budding photographer needs to easily capture and share amazing images and HD video,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Additionally, the new DX-format 55-200mm and FX-format 300mm f/4 lenses reaffirm Nikon’s steadfast commitment to expanding the NIKKOR lens lineup with versatile additions for both DX and FX-format DSLR shooters.”
 
Tell a Story with Breathtaking Quality
The Nikon D5500 makes no sacrifices when it comes to image quality, featuring a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of rendering amazingly sharp and tonally-rich images and HD video. The removal of the sensor’s OLPF allows for an impressive level of detail and sharpness from an affordable DSLR, while the addition of the EXPEED 4 image processing engine works to improve overall speed and performance in a variety of shooting situations. When shooting in low-light, D5500 users can also take advantage of an expanded wide-ranging ISO spanning 100-25,600, which makes it easy to capture great images, even when available light is scarce. Alongside Nikon’s impressive arsenal of NIKKOR lenses, the Nikon D5500 is a powerful imaging tool capable of incredible image quality, whether shooting flattering portraits or stunning HD video.
 
Compact, Portable and Ready to Share
When the perfect moment is ready to be captured, having a camera that is ready to go anywhere is essential. One of Nikon’s smallest-ever DSLR offerings, the Nikon D5500 is compact (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in.) and surprisingly lightweight (14.8 oz.), making it the ideal DSLR for users constantly on-the-go. Ergonomically designed, the camera also features a new monocoque structural skin that increases durability without weighing it down, while allowing the user to securely and comfortably hand-hold.
 
Nikon Snapbridge describes the experience of quickly and easily sending photos wirelessly from your Wi-Fi(1) enabled Nikon DSLR, Nikon 1 or COOLPIX camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet for times when a great moment is captured and ready to be shared. The D5500 sports built-in Wi-Fi that allows the user to easily share high-quality images with friends. Simply shoot, tag and share great moments with the quality they deserve. Additionally, users can utilize their smart devices to shoot remotely - ensuring that even the photographer doesn’t have to miss out on the next group photo.
 
Capture and Create with a Touch of Class
The Nikon D5500 also offers the ultimate in DSLR control with an incredibly sharp 3.2-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor, and is Nikon’s first ever DSLR with touch operation, which will help photographers discover new shooting perspectives for both stills and HD video. Intuitively designed for easy menu navigation and intelligent operation, the D5500 allows the user to choose their focus point via Touch AF, pinch in to check focus and even activate the shutter with the touch of a fingertip. Additionally, a new Fn (Function) touch feature gives one-touch access to important settings like AF point selection, aperture, ISO sensitivity, AF area mode and more. The adjustable Vari-angle screen also allows the photographer to capture images and video from exciting new perspectives, easily shooting above the crowd at the dance recital, getting on a toddler’s level to capture their first steps or simply taking a creative selfie. The Nikon D5500 helps the budding photographer easily compose, shoot and review each image or video in high-resolution (1,037k dot), helping preserve the moments that matter most.
 
Never Miss the Perfect Moment
A versatile yet powerful DSLR, the D5500 is equipped with the latest imaging technology to help tell every story with precision. The camera features a powerful and precise 39-point autofocus (AF) system with 9 cross-type sensors that quickly locks on to even the fastest moving subjects to render beautifully focused images. Whether photographing fast-moving subjects in the championship game or the kids in the backyard, users can select from a variety of advanced focus modes, including 3D Tracking to track a moving subject. Paired with the camera’s 2,016-pixel RGB sensor and Nikon’s Scene Recognition System, the D5500 decisively recognizes and follows each subject in nearly any lighting condition, while continuous shooting up to approximately 5 frames-per-second (fps) makes it possible to capture every fleeting moment.
 
When the moment is better conveyed through motion, users can also tell their stories with smooth Full HD 1080/60p video with Full-Time AF and stereo sound for a cinema-like experience. The Nikon D5500 also offers a wealth of creative options, including 16 unique Scene Modes that choose the right settings for a variety of common shooting scenarios. Super Vivid, POP and Photo illustration have been added as Effects Modes, and Picture Controls have been enhanced by adding a “Flat” option. These settings now have a 0.25-step adjustment and an expanded “brightness” range to ±1.5 available for photographers who want to completely customize the look and feel of their images and video.

 
Nikon AF S DX NIKKOR 55 200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II Lens
 
An Affordable Companion Telephoto Lens for DX-Format Shooters
In addition to Nikon’s standard retractable design AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II kit lens, Nikon has now added the ideal companion 3.6x zoom lens to help take DX-format photographers from wide-angle to telephoto with ease. Compact and lightweight, the new retractable design AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II is great for capturing sports, people or school events, and presents an affordable way to get closer to the action. The lens also features three stops of VR image stabilization2 and core NIKKOR technologies including a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) that helps ensure quiet and precise AF operation.

 
Nikon AF S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens
 
Smaller, Lighter, Faster Telephoto
Nikon has also introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, the world’s lightest 300mm full-frame fixed focal length AF lens(2), which is nearly 30% shorter and 1.5 lbs. lighter than its predecessor. Extremely easy to handle and built to suit the needs of serious photographers in the field, the new 300mm f/4 lens utilizes Phase Fresnel optical technology to help correct chromatic aberration and reduce the overall size and weight of the lens, making it easy to pack for any assignment. Capable of producing tack-sharp images and beautiful background blur at a distance, Nikon’s newest FX-format lens also features four and a half stops of VR image stabilization(3), a VR Sport mode, VR tripod detection as well as several of the latest NIKKOR optical technologies including electromagnetic aperture control, a Silent Wave Motor for quiet AF operation, ED glass for further controlling chromatic aberrations and Nano Crystal Coat for superior image quality.
 
Price and Availability
The Nikon D5500 will be available in early February, in black and red, in two different kit configurations: alongside the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $999.95* or with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $1,199.95* SRP. The Nikon D5500 will also be sold body only for an SRP of $899.95*. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lenses will also be available in early February for an SRP of $349.95* and $1,999.95*, respectively.
 
*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.
 
B&H has the Nikon D5500 DSLR camera, AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lenses available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 6:39:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 5, 2015
SanDisk Logo
From SanDisk:
 
SanDisk SSD Plus and SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD Designed to Bring New Life to Computing Devices
 
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2015 – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, continues its momentum in the consumer SSD space by introducing two new offerings: the SanDisk SSD Plus, a 2.5” entry-level drive, and the SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD, a new form factor for the SanDisk Ultra II SSD product line. The SanDisk SSD Plus targets laptop and desktop PC users who want to significantly improve system performance. The SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD is for laptop and tablet users looking to increase the capacity and overall performance of their mSATA-enabled systems. The two new solutions are being unveiled at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.
 
Building on SanDisk’s impressive line-up of SSD offerings, these new drives are designed to bring all the benefits of flash memory technology—faster speeds, extended battery life and upgraded systems—to users at an affordable price. With speeds of up to 23x the performance of a typical hard drive, the SanDisk SSD Plus will deliver faster boot and load times as well as better overall system performance, eliminating the need to completely replace a slow laptop or desktop PC. The SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD delivers competitive performance, with read speeds of up to 550MB/s, while adding up to 512GB of capacity so users can get more out of their mSATA-enabled notebooks and tablets.
 
“Today’s information-hungry, always on-the-go consumers are constantly looking for faster, better-performing computing devices that provide data in an instant, but they don’t necessarily want to replace their entire system in order to get that boost,” said Philippe Willams, director of retail storage, SanDisk. “At SanDisk, we are focused on providing SSD solutions that give users improved performance on their existing PC, laptop or tablet with faster speeds, greater durability and higher capacities, all with a simple upgrade from a brand they can trust.”
 
Unlike traditional hard disk drives, SanDisk SSDs deliver a low power and quiet experience, while achieving faster boot-up and shutdown, application launch and data transfer speeds1. These latest additions to the SanDisk consumer SSD portfolio also boast impressive durability. They are engineered, tested and proven to be shock- and vibration-resistant, as well as resilient to extreme temperatures, giving users the peace of mind that their drive is protected even if their computer is dropped or damaged.
 
As an added benefit, the SanDisk SSD Plus and SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD include a downloadable SanDisk SSD Dashboard application, which provides management tools such as drive performance and health monitoring, manual or scheduled TRIM, notifications for firmware updates, and tips on how to maintain the drive at its peak operation. Additionally, the SSD Dashboard highlights a broad array of useful application offers including the Apricorn EZ Gig IV cloning software to help users easily transfer their data to the new SSD, the TrendMicro Titanium antivirus software to keep their data safe, and the Absolute Lojack software to recover their laptop if it is misplaced or stolen.
 
Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk SSD Plus comes with a 3-year warranty and will be available in Q1 2015 in a 2.5” form factor at capacities of 120GB ($69.99) and 240GB ($109.99).
 
The SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD also includes a 3-year warranty and will be available in Q1 2015 in select regions in capacities of 128GB ($73.99), 256GB ($115.99) and 512GB ($220.99).
 
B&H carries SanDisk Solid State Drives.
Category: SanDisk News
Post Date: 1/5/2015 2:29:49 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon Professional Services
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/5/2015 8:23:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Kirk L-Bracket BL-7D2G
by Sean Setters
 
To be perfectly blunt, I'm addicted to L-brackets. Ever since getting one for my EOS 5D Mark III, I've grown to loath shooting without the convenience of a well-made L-bracket. When upgrading cameras, I always budget for the purchase of a battery grip and an L-bracket to go along with it. They are essential accessories to me.
 
Unfortunately, there were no L-brackets available for the EOS 7D Mark II and BG-E16 battery grip when the pair first hit my doorstep in November. In fact, L-brackets have only recently become available for the 7D II camera + battery grip combo. Having been thoroughly satisfied with the Kirk L-bracket I purchased for my 5D Mark III, I opted for picking up the Kirk model for my new 7D II and battery grip (BL-7D2G).
 
The weeks spent using the 7D II with a standard Arca-Swiss compatible camera plate attached left me wishing the L-bracket would be available sooner rather than later. I had forgotten how much I had grown to rely on the convenience it afforded me. Finally, my long awaited bracket arrived late one Friday afternoon. I eagerly tore open the box, ripped apart the packaging and immediately paired the bracket to my camera. And...
 
IT.... DIDN'T.... FIT.
 
Kirk L Bracket Incorrect Model Number Engraved
 
I was crestfallen. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the bracket to fit the way it was supposed to. It had the right model number laser engraved on it, but it simply wasn't right. I took a few images to help illustrate the fitting problem I was experiencing.
 
The following Monday I called Kirk to let them know there was an issue with the bracket I received. I was happy to find an actual person on the other end of the line after only the first IVR (Interactive Voice Response) option. As I was explaining the issue to the friendly service person on the phone, I emailed them a few images to help them understand how bad the L-bracket fit was. After only a few minutes of cordial back-and-forth, what the lady on the phone said left me astonished...
 
She told me they would be overnighting me a replacement that included a return shipping label for the incorrectly fitting bracket. She went on to explain that they would be sending me the very L-bracket they had just used to create the official product pictures for their site (which were not live yet) so there would be no doubt that I would receive a correct fitting replacment.
 
Keep in mind that the person on the other end of the line had no idea that I worked for The-Digital-Picture.com. To her, I was just a random guy who was dissatisfied with his L-bracket. And the speed and efficiency with which she handled my call left me awestruck.
 
If I hadn't talked to Kirk after that, I would have been amazed at their efficient and satisfactory customer service. Shortly after the call I received a shipping notification email generated from the shipping label that had been created for my replacement. About two hours after that, I received a phone call from Kirk...
 
Another technician had called me to offer an explanation of what they thought had happened. The following is recounted from the best of my recollection:
"Hi Sean, I think we figured out what happened. The 7D II + battery grip bracket looks almost identical to the bracket for the _______ camera and battery grip. It looks like a small batch of them were laser engraved with 7D II + battery grip model number on them because the operator mistook them for the 7D II brackets, but they weren't. We apologize for the issue, and your replacement is on its way."
Before I began working for The-Digital-Picture.com, I worked for a business that owned several manufacturing firms. As such, I've seen a lot of things that went wrong on a factory floor that led to orders being sent out incorrectly. It shouldn't happen, but it does. So I can understand how two parts that look nearly identical could be mislabeled. But Kirk didn't have an obligation to tell me what went wrong; but they did. And that type of communication, being open and honest about how things might have gone awry, is somewhat rare (but very appreciated). I love the fact that they called me back to explain what they thought happened; it shows a level of caring (about their end customers) that many businesses fail to display.
 
The next day my replacement L-bracket arrived....and it fit perfectly (it's shown at the top of this post). I sent the incorrect bracket back to them (at no cost) using the shipping label they provided me.
 
In short, Kirk really impressed me with the way they handled my order. True, the product I received was wrong; it didn't work. However, they did everything they could to resolve the issue, and even went above and beyond by personally calling me back to tell me what led to the problem in the first place.
 
Defense may win championships, but good customer service wins customers for life.
 
B&H has the Kirk L-Brackets for the EOS 7D Mark II available with free shipping.
Post Date: 1/5/2015 6:33:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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