B&H Gear News Roundup: March 6, 2015

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This week in the news: Is winter over yet? Not in New York City, unfortunately. The Gear Roundup is still taking the subway to work instead of the bicycle. But, the cold weather in the Northeast did not keep some hot new product announcements from arriving in the frigid weather this week…

Nikon D7200, Coolpix P900, and ME-W1 Microphone

Nikon has rolled out its latest APS-C (DX format) workhorse: the D7200. Replacing the D7100, the new camera features the same EXPEED 4 image processor that rides inside the D4S, D810, and D750 full-frame cameras. That is a lot of horsepower! While its predecessor was Wi-Fi-capable only with an added transmitter, the D7200 has both Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities built in to its body to allow remote camera operation and easy wireless sharing of images. Other improvements include fine-tuned picture controls and a host of video improvements.

There are zooms, super-zooms, and now the Nikon P900. The camera raises the versatility bar with an 83x optical zoom that takes you from a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24mm all the way out to 2,000mm. Just to attempt to put 2,000mm in perspective, most sports photographers on the sidelines of your favorite arena are shooting with 200mm or 300mm lenses. My spotting scope, used for birding and astronomical observations, is equivalent to 1,000mm. So, want to have a virtual telescope in your pocket for your next outdoor adventure? Grab a P900, enjoy its 5-stop compensation stabilization, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, and more!

Is the sound quality falling behind your HDSLR video quality when you view your movies? Well, the ME-W1 Wireless Microphone Set will help! With a 164-foot range and Bluetooth connectivity, you can wire your subjects for sound and start filming.

For more on the Nikon gear, click here.

Sony Expands its FE Lens Lineup

Sony continues to expand its impressive lens battery with a host of new lenses and some interesting conversion lenses, to boot.

Featuring the widest prime lens for full-frame E-mount Sony cameras is the new FE 28mm F/2. The new 28mm lens comes with a plethora of features to control chromatic aberrations and lens flare, but most uniquely, it is designed to accept an exciting new group of converters that make the lens supremely versatile. The Ultra Wide Converter makes the lens a 21mm, and the Fisheye Converter makes it a 16mm fisheye.

Sporting the blue Zeiss badge and a gorgeous design, the Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA is the second 35mm prime to come from the Sony/Zeiss partnership. With all the accoutrements you would expect from a high-quality Zeiss lens, the new 35mm features a true aperture ring that can give you delicious tactile clicks for still photos as you roll through the settings, or be de-clicked for silent aperture adjustments while shooting video.

The 28mm described above is the widest FE prime. The new FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS  is the longest focal-length FE prime and it also provides 1:1 magnification for awesome macro photography adventures. The 90mm also gets to be known as the first FE prime to get Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. This joins a group of other image-improving technologies like Nano AR coating and Super ED lens elements.

Adding zoom versatility to the Sony announcement is the all-in-one FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens. Sony was nice enough to share one of these lenses with us; our colleague, Chris Gold, put it through its paces in this Hands-On Review.

For more info on the Sony announcement, check this out.

Profoto B2 Makes a Splash

In the olden days, if you wanted studio lighting on location, you were carrying gigantic batteries or generators to power your lights. If you didn’t have the studio lighting, you were forced to use one, two, or more battery-powered speed lights to illuminate your subject. Speed lights are very versatile and pack amazing technology, but power has never been their hallmark.

The Swedish lighting company, Profoto, turned the lighting world on its side last year with the amazing battery-powered B1 monolight that allowed studio-powered strobe work out in the field without the burden of huge power units. Adding to this theme of portability and power, the new B2 250 Air TTL Kit brings a small battery pack and powerful flash head to location shooting. A two-light kit, the B2 250 Air TTL Location Kit is also available.

The B2 system is designed to outperform traditional speedlights while only adding a slightly larger flash head and compact battery pack. Excited yet? Check out Shawn Steiner and Tom Kirkman, in action with the new B2 rig.

Other news you might have missed...

  • This happened last week, but it shouldn’t be missed. The only thing cooler than wearing the enamel off our Leica’s brass through years of abuse and use is getting a chance to buy one where someone wearing pre-worn jeans at the factory scraped the paint off for you.
  • Spring forward with your clocks this weekend in the USA. Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday morning. Night photographers: your long, dreary wait-until-late-to-start-shooting-season is here.

... and, that's your news for the week of March 2, 2015.

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