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B&H Gear News Roundup: August 1, 2014

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This week in the news: Apple updated their MacBook Pro with Retina display computers featuring faster processors, more RAM, and a lower price for the top-of-the-line model. Sony announced the PXW-X70, a 4K-ready camcorder that's their most compact XDCAM to date. Two new Canon super-zoom cameras were announced, with the introduction of the SX520 HS and SX400 IS. And DJI revealed that they're developing a nifty parachute system to save ailing drones.

The new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display

The physical design of the new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display computers hasn't been altered, but the powerful, ultra-thin notebooks did get their specs significantly updated this week. The svelte MacBook Pros are now equipped with faster, fourth-generation Haswell Intel Core processors, the default amount of RAM has been greatly increased, and the top-of-the-line model received the same spec upgrades in addition to a $100 price cut. You can learn more about the latest MacBook Pros, and read some informative comments from our readers in this B&H Explora post

The new Sony PXW-X70 extra-compact XDCAM

Sony rolled out their most compact XDCAM ever this week with the introduction of the 4K-ready PXW-X70. The descriptor "4K-equipped" doesn't apply here because the PXW-X70 isn't capable of shooting 4K footage out of the gate; 4K capabilities can be added in a future update. Seeing as many people won't be ready to start producing in 4K now, but will likely want to do so in the future, this a welcome perk. The PXW-X70 has a large 1" back-side illuminated Exmor R sensor, a 12x optical zoom, dual SD card slots, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, XLR audio inputs and many more appealing features for such a compact camera. More details and specs on the new Sony PXW-X70 XDCAM are available in this B&H Explora post.

The new Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and SX400 IS digital cameras

Canon announced two new super-zoom digital cameras this week: the SX520 HS, which is an update to the SX510, and the SX400 IS, which is a more compact, lower-priced option in this category of point-and-shoot cameras. The new SX520 HS features a 16MP 1/2.3" CMOS image sensor, a DIGIC 4+ image processor, an expanded ISO range, and a zoom lens that offers 42x magnification. The SX400 IS is equipped with a 16MP 1/2.3" CCD image sensor, a DIGIC 4+ image processor, and a 30x optical zoom lens. You can learn all about both of these new Canon PowerShot cameras and check out a detailed comparison chart in this B&H Explora post.  

The new DJI DropSafe drone parachute system

When you see strange lights hovering in the sky these days, you first need to determine if it's a drone before assuming that you're witnessing the presence of alien spacecraft. If you're heavily invested in a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) system for shooting photos and/or videos, there's a good chance you lay awake at night envisioning your precious gear falling out of the sky and crashing to the ground. To help appease these fears, DJI revealed this week that they're working on a new parachute system called DropSafe that can be deployed to save a failing drone from having a forceful impact following a malfunction. You can learn more about the new DJI DropSafe in this Explora post.

More news:

  • MOTU announced three new advanced audio interfaces that feature both Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 connectivity. You can learn all about the new MOTU 1248, 16A and 8M in this Explora post.
  • Adobe released Lightroom 5.6 and Camera Raw 8.6 for Photoshop CS6 and CC, which features Raw file support for the Nikon D810 and Panasonic GH4. More details and download links are available at Photography Bay.
  • New channels for CNBC and Fox Now were added to the Apple TV. Read more about it at CNET.
  • 500px launched a new iOS app called "500px Insights" that provides statistics about the traffic on your 500px account. Details and screenshots are available over at Fstoppers.

...and that's your news for the week of July 28, 2014.