B&H Gear News Roundup: July 4, 2014

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This week in the news:

  • Apple is ending the development of Aperture, its professional photo-editing and organization application.
  • The new Sony a7S full-frame mirrorless camera arrived and is in stock. We took all three a7-series cameras out for a test drive.
  • It appears that the FAA will miss its 2015 deadline for the creation of new laws that regulate drone use.

Apple shuts down its Aperture

If you're trying to decide between Adobe's Lightroom and Apple's Aperture for editing and organizing your photos, some news came to light this week that makes the decision significantly easier. In separate statements issued to The Loop and ARS Technica, Apple confirmed that there will be no further development of Aperture, aside from making it compatible with OS X Yosemite.

Apple is also discontinuing its iPhoto application. When OS X Yosemite is released early next year, it will feature a new app simply called Photos, which will be more tightly integrated with the upcoming iOS 8 Photos app (for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), and the iCloud Photo Library service.

The a7S arrived, and we took all three a7 cameras out for a test

Anyone interested in hybrid cameras that perform exceptionally well with both still images and video should take a close look at Sony's new Alpha a7S, which arrived at B&H for the first time this week. The a7S is a full-frame mirrorless camera that provides excellent dynamic range, ultra-high ISO, very little vignetting with wide-angle lenses, and stellar HD video. It also has the ability to shoot 4K video―you just need an external device to record the footage; portable recorder products are not yet available (but they'll be here soon).

In order to help our customers understand the differences between the Sony a7, a7R, and a7S, we took all three models out and subjected them to various photo and video tests. You can view our test photos and videos in this B&H Explora post.

The FAA may miss its deadline to regulate commercial drones  

The current laws surrounding the use of unmanned remote-controlled aircraft in the United States are grossly out-of-date and somewhat fuzzy. You presently cannot use a drone for professional purposes, unless you get approval from the FAA (which is very difficult to obtain). In order to address the rapidly increasing use of UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) devices, a recent law ordered the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to address the regulations concerning commercial drone use and update them by September 2015. A recent Department of Transportation audit found that the FAA "...has not established a regulatory framework for UAS integration...", and will likely miss its 2015 deadline.   

     

More news:

  • Sony lowered the price of the RX10 digital camera by $300. Read more about it at Petapixel.
  • Flashes from Metz are now available for Sony's Multi-Interface shoes. Learn more over at Sony Alpha Rumors
  • Manfrotto refreshed its 190 and 055 tripod lines. The details are available at Photography Bay.

... and that's your gear news for the week of June 30th, 2014.