From color management to scanning and transferring large files, these peripherals can help keep your workflow humming.
LEXAR PROFESSIONAL WORKFLOW HR2
The HR2 is a compact storage hub that blends memory card readers with storage drives to streamline image transfers and archiving. It sports four bays that you can load with storage drives (256GB or 512GB capacities are currently available) and/or card reader modules, in any combination you wish. The HR2 features a pair of Thunderbolt 2 ports and a USB 3.0 connection. The latest addition to the Workflow family are a pair of portable solid state drives (SSD). The drives feature an LED capacity meter to view available storage space (pictured above). When you’re done filling the drives while you’re on the road, you can pop them into the HR2 to offload your files.
WACOM COLOR MANAGER
Optimized for use with the Cintiq27 QHD tablet/display but compatible with any monitor on the market, the Wacom Color Manager is a standalone piece of hardware for keeping your display’s colors properly calibrated. According to Wacom, the Color Manager can hold a display at 97 percent of the Adobe RGB color space. The Color Manager combines a colorimeter and custom profiling software from X-Rite that work together in either a basic or an advanced mode, depending on your skill level. Users can save, reuse and share settings so that color is consistent over multiple monitors.
EIZO COLOREDGE CS270
Known for its high-performance monitors, EIZO’s ColorEdge CS series delivers many of its core technologies in a more affordable package. One of the newest members of the CS family, the CS270 is a 27-inch LED-based LCD monitor with a wide color gamut and hardware calibration. The 10-bit monitor offers a resolution of 2560×1440 and covers 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space. You’ll find DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI inputs. The display uses EIZO’s DUE (digital uniformity equalizer) technology to compensate for uniformity errors that plague LCD panels, delivering more even brightness and color across the screen. With DUE, the screen stays uniform even when calibrating the monitor to user-preferred settings. The monitor comes with ColorNavigator 6 software for calibrating your screen with preset target values for photography, printing and web design. Custom target values are also supported.
X-RITE COLORCHECKER VIDEO
X-Rite’s ColorChecker is a go-to tool for many still photographers looking to ensure color-accurate results from their cameras. With its ColorChecker Video line, X-Rite has now delivered a similar set of color targets that are tailored for the needs of filmmakers and videographers. They’re available in two versions. The ColorChecker Passport Video is a pocket-sized target in a rugged case. It has four targets, including a reference for evaluating specific chromatic colors aligned with video production, plus gray-scale and white balance targets and a focus target. The ColorChecker Video is physically larger, with a series of chromatic color, skin tone, gray level and linear grayscale color chips. There are also a pair of black and white chips on corners of the ColorChecker to determine illumination across the target. Flip the ColorChecker Video around and you’ll find a white balance reference target.
SEKONIC SPECTROMASTER C-700
The C-700 is a color meter designed to measure the output of any light source you’re likely to encounter in a still or motion shoot, including LED, HMI, fluorescent and natural light. Ideal for hybrid shooters bouncing between stills and videos, the C-700 can measure light in increments of a single nanometer (one billionth of a meter) for improved accuracy when measuring spikes in output from LED and fluorescent sources. It uses a CMOS sensor to measure color temperatures from 1,600-40,000K. You’ll access your readings, such as spectral distribution, light comparisons, Color Rendering Index (CRI) data and more through a 4.3-inch color touchscreen display. You can use the unit’s Multi Lights Display tool to quickly compare data from four lights at once. Uniquely, it can also measure wireless flash color and light output. The C-700R has the same feature set as the C-700 but adds a built-in PocketWizard wireless flash trigger.
DELKIN DEVICES PICTURE STICK
Smartphone vendors are positively parsimonious when it comes to memory capacity and with several new Android devices able to capture RAW photos, that won’t do. Fortunately, Delkin Device’s Picture Stick can give your phone or tablet the memory it lacks out of the box. The Stick connects to most Android phones via a microUSB connector on one end, and your PC (when you’re ready to transfer files) through a USB 3.0 port on the other end. It’s sold in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities.
Photographers don’t necessarily need to shell out for a 4K display for photo proofing. BenQ’s SW2700PT is a 27-inch LCD monitor that covers 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space and also offers plenty of pixels for viewing, with a resolution of 2560X1440 (that’s 109 pixels per inch). It supports 10-bit color with a 14-bit Look Up Table and delivers a Delta E, or color difference, of < 2 (a Delta E of 1 is a color difference deemed imperceptible to the human eye). There’s on-board hardware calibration with included software to ensure your color stays accurate long after the monitor is out of the box. It ships with a remote control loaded with three customizable settings so you can quickly set the monitor’s display settings to suit your needs (editing, viewing, gaming, etc.). It also includes a detachable shade hood.
TETHER TOOLS BOOST CORE CONTROLLER
The Core Controller regulates the power coming from laptop and computer USB ports to your connected camera to keep the camera-to-computer signal strong during tethered shooting. It works with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cameras. Roughly the size of a deck of cards, the unit draws juice from the host computer but a wall adapter or optional battery adapter will prolong the life of both your camera and your laptop if the latter is running on battery. While the Boost Core Controller can keep your shoot humming along at short distances, it becomes especially critical to prevent signal degradation if you’re shooting tethered via USB 3.0. at distances above 15 feet. When paired with the Rock Solid Battery Pack ($40), it can tap a 5000mAh battery rated for 1,000 cycles with a multi-connection adapter, allowing you to charge a range of peripherals in addition to the Core Controller.
The Spyder5STUDIO is an end-to-end color management solution that ensures color accuracy and consistency from capture to review/edit through to print. The Spyder5STUDIO bundles three pieces of hardware plus associated software. The three pieces include the Spyder5ELITE colorimeter, which keeps your monitor in an industry-standard color space, ensuring your colors are accurate and printed output matches your monitor’s colors. The studio bundle also includes the SpyderCUBE, a portable reference tool to set white balance, exposure, black level and highlight references based on lighting conditions when shooting in RAW. The third piece is the SpyderPRINT spectrocolorimeter. When it’s time to print your work, the spectrocolorimeter can be used to create custom RGB printer profiles for your favorite ink and paper combinations.
OTHERWORLD COMPUTING USB-C DOCK
USB cables with different-sized ends are en route to the ash heap of tech history, replaced by the new USB Type-C standard that uses identical pins on both ends of the cable. The new Type-C standard isn’t simply more straightforward to use; it also offers faster transfer speeds and a few more benefits as well. Of course, during any such transition, there will always be a need for adapters as different pieces of hardware migrate to the new standard at different rates. OWC’s USB-C dock gives owners of the new MacBook (the first notebook to exclusively use a USB-C connection) the ability to tether an impressive array of peripherals to their laptop’s single USB-C port. The dock has 10 ports: four USB 3 Type-A ports (the “standard” USB you’re used to); one Type-C port, one SD Card reader; one HDMI 1.4 input, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a combo audio port headphone/audio-in). All of the USB inputs (A and C) are full powered so they can recharge connected devices. The Dock comes in your choice of silver, space gray or gold colors.
SANDISK CFAST 2.0 CARD READER
CFast has emerged as an important, high-speed memory card format for cinema cameras, but few PCs ship with a CFast reader built in. SanDisk’s Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Reader/Writer is a single bay CFast 2.0 reader that connects via USB 3.0 to deliver transfer speeds of up to 500MB/s. The compact reader can travel with you on location and ships with a USB cable.
EPSON V850 PRO
This flatbed scanner offers an optical DPI of 4800X6400 with a Dmax of 4 (Dmax measures how deep the black tones are with 4 being the deepest black achievable). It uses Epson’s Dual Lens scanning system that automatically selects between two lenses depending on the scanning resolution. A high-resolution mode delivers 4800 DPI scans while a super resolution mode offers 6400 DPI scanning for film. The flatbed scanner accepts 35mm slides and film strips as well as medium-format film (6X20-cm and 4X5-inch). It uses an LED source which uses 23 percent less power than the previous model, with no warm up time. The film holders have also been redesigned to make them sturdier and two are included with the V850 Pro. Built-in Digital ICE technology automatically removes dust, scratches and other impairments from images during the scanning process to lighten your retouching load. The V850 uses High Pass Optics with anti-reflection coatings and a high-reflection mirror to improve image quality while also cranking out scans 33 percent faster than the previous model.
PLUSTEK OPTICFILM 135
This compact film scanner has buttons on the front panel to start film, slide or custom batch scans without having to first navigate PC software. Press one of the buttons and the motorized film transport mechanism is activated. The QuickScan Plus software that’s included with the scanner will automatically process the images. The software offers tools for automatic image enhancements, preset filters and image effects. It also supports non-destructive edits with side-by-side comparisons to original images so you can evaluate your changes carefully. The software can upload images to social media sites such as Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, making it easy to share your archive with legions of anxious followers (or the aunt who has been pestering you to digitize the family archive). The OpticFilm has a resolution of 3,600 DPI with a Dmax of 3.4. The scanner can batch scan six 35mm films or 4 slides at once. An optional film holder, due this spring, will allow you to scan panoramic film.
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