Best of PhotoPlus Expo 2008 - Part 2

PhotoPlus Oct 31, 2008

RedRock Micro:

RockRidge Video Conversion KitThe folks at RedRock Micro have a neat idea on their hands: create a frame that turns a HD video capable DSLR into a full fledged cinema camera. Kits are priced between $1,995 – $2,445 and are available on their website. Here you have ingenuity at its finest. An utterly brilliant idea: completely modular design that allows for flexible configurations to meet the customer’s needs. Works with both the Canon 5D Mk II and the Nikon D90.

RPG Keys:

RPG Keys in two sizes

Here is a niche product that has potential: an accelerator control pad for Lightroom 2. Basically this keyboard has all of the sortcuts and controls in Lightroom 2 mapped onto individual keys, thus greatly reducing the hand contortions one has to commit in order to activate a control. This is especially important in busy studio environments that have to cull and process thousands of photos from any particular shoot.

The RPGKeys come in two sizes: the original full-sized version and the new, wireless MiniRPG. Both are show in the photo to the left. Both products are extremely well made and able to withstand thousands of keystrokes. They can be purchased at the manufacturer’s website.

Sigma:

Bigma - APO 200-500mm F2.8/400-1000mm EX DG

Sigma was present showing off their latest and greatest including their recently announced Sigma DP2 compact camera. Similar to the DP1 in sensor size and technology, the DP2 sports faster, slightly longer fixed lens than the DP1 (24.4mm f/2.8 vs. 16.6mm f/4). Also present was every lens in the Sigma arsenal including the monstrous APO 200-500mm F2.8/400-1000mm EX DG which has an MSRP of $34,000 USD! This lens is so big that not only does it sport its own mounting system, it even has its own motors and power supply. And you thought Leica lenses were expensive…

Tamron:

Tamron 10-24 lens

Tamron showed their newly released
AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC (Vibration Compensation) LD Aspherical (IF) Macro and their previously unreleased SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] – two excellent alternative lenses for Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax. I was able to take a test shot with both lenses and both seem to have been good samples. The 10-24 was a prototype though and reported itself as a 5mm lens to my D300. Nothing major though. Please note that as these are Di-II lenses, they are designed for DX sized sensors (so they are not going to work properly with full frame sensors – Canon 5D Mk I & II, Canon 1Ds Mk II & III, Nikon D3, D3x, & D700).

Think Tank:

ThinkTank Shapeshifter (unreleased)

Camera bag maker extraordinaire, Think Tank Photo had its entire line of photographic transport units (my term) on display. Prominent was their Airport Roller line – a set of three rollaboard bags that meet international travel standards. Also shown was an unreleased backpack called The Shapeshifter, an intriguing convertible bag that can carry camera equipment or be converted to regular luggage duties.

Well, that about does it for this year’s PhotoPlus Expo. I will be publishing further in depth articles covering some the equipment shown here as well as many others. My complete PhotoPlus gallery can be found here.

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