B&H Gear News Roundup: May 30, 2014

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This week in the news:

  • Apple officially acquired Beats Electronics, and the ubiquitous headphone manufacturer released a new version of its most popular product: the Solo2.
  • Canon announced a Dual Pixel Autofocus upgrade for the C300 cinema camcorder.
  • B&H hosted a live video presentation of the Panasonic GH4 mirrorless camera, which was packed with useful insights.
  • Clouds blocked the view of "Manhattanhenge," but a second chance appears again on July 12th.

New Hardware from Apple: the Beats Solo2 Headphones

It's not unusual to hear news of Apple acquiring small companies, such as its purchase of Hopstop.com last summer, but Apple's official acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music this week, for the sum of 3 billion dollars, is unheard of. What makes this move particularly uncharacteristic is that Beats is primarily a hardware manufacturer that leans heavily on brand awareness and premium products. To keep the week lively, the day after the news of its acquisition, Beats announced a new version of its most popular product: the Solo2 headphones. The redesigned Solo2 is said to deliver the same, full-powered bass response that Beats are known for, while at the same time retaining a clearer representation of mid and high frequencies.  

The Canon C300 gets the Dual Pixel Autofocus Upgrade

Canon's Dual Pixel Autofocus technology originally debuted with the 70D DSLR, and was introduced to the C100 cinema camcorder a few months ago. This week, Canon extended this upgrade to the C300. Dual Pixel technology greatly improves the focus tracking capability of the camera, by utilizing sub-pixels as phase-detect autofocus sensors. This isn't a simple firmware refresh, however, since the upgrade costs $500 and requires the camera to visit an accredited Canon service center. The full details on this story can be found in this B&H Explora post.

Highlights from Our Panasonic GH4 Live Webcast

We hosted a live video webcast in the B&H SuperStore this week on the topic of the Panasonic GH4. Three expert panelists discussed all of the nitty-gritty details around shooting 4K footage and high-quality stills with the camera. You can watch the video right now in this B&H Explora post. However, if you presently don't have a spare hour and a half to view the webcast, all of the key information shared in the event is annotated and explained in the copy of that post as well. Enjoy!  

This Week's Manhattanhenge was a Bust, but it Returns in July

The sun was shining high in the sky for much of the day on Thursday, which was exactly what fans of "Manhattanhenge" want. Unfortunately, at the last moment, clouds rolled in and obstructed the horizon, spoiling all the fun. If you're not familiar, this peculiarly named event takes place when the sun is aligned perfectly with Manhattan's cross streets, creating a special show as the sun sets between the buildings. Photographers flock to the streets to capture the view, which only takes place twice a year. The good news is that the next Manhattanhenge will be here in less than six weeks, landing on July 12th. 

More news:

  • The B&H SuperStore is now the home of the world's first MakerBot "store within a store." You can learn more about it in this B&H Explora post.  
  • Samsung switched the operating system of its Galaxy Gear Smartwatch from Android to Tizen. More information is available at Engadget.
  • Google updated its Android Camera App to include the ability to shoot still images during video capture, and other features. The details can be found over at PetaPixel.
  • Nikon released a beta of its Capture NX-D software, version 0.9.2. Learn more about it at Photography Bay.
  • Moog shipped the new Theremini. More info is available at Rekkerd.

... and that's your gear news for the week of May 26th, 2014.