The Versatile 2-in-1 FreeVision Vilta 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro

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Featuring a 2-in-1 design, the FreeVision Vilta can be used handheld or with its base removed and attached separately on a helmet or other surface. However, how you mount it on that helmet is what makes the Vilta really stand out. And there are a few similarly cutting-edge features that make it exceptional beyond its 2-in-1 versatility and advanced rotation algorithms.

After you remove the base from the handle, a standard 2-prong mount folds out on the bottom of the base and allows for direct attachment to countless 3-prong supports out there. You can even attach the base to a wall with the right support.

Another gem of a feature is adjustable speed and sensitivity of the control joystick. You can have your rotations move faster or slower, depending on what the situation better calls for. The Vilta rotates along three axes, with infinite, 360-degree rotation along the pan axis, which allows you to capture immersive panoramic shots, especially considering that your GoPro shoots with an ultra-wide angle to begin with.

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Another super-useful feature is auto-calibration on startup. Now, instead of your having to spend a minute or more balancing the gimbal every time you turn it on, the Vilta will do the balancing for you automatically—and a lot more quickly.

The Vilta comes complete with an iOS app that allows for remote control and live video monitoring from a distance. So, when you have the Vilta mounted on a tripod, for example, you can comfortably stand to the side and operate it from an iPhone or iPad.

The Vilta supports the GoPro HERO5 Black directly and the HERO4/3 via an included bracket, so you’ve got support for multiple cameras right out of the box.

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Save Storage Space with Camera Wraps and Inserts

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Photographers packing for an upcoming trip can save valuable storage space by forgoing camera bags, packs, and cases in favor of less bulky wraps and inserts. For example, a traveler could pack some photo gear with protective wraps into an everyday bag or backpack that is also loaded with personal items. Or, inside a piece of checked luggage could be a camera insert packed with photo or general-purpose items. Fortunately, B&H stocks a huge selection of wraps and inserts for your next journey.

Wraps are available in many sizes, to accommodate everything from a small lens or accessory, up to a pro DSLR camera body. Conforming to a variety of shapes, constructed from padded nylon, and sporting touch-fastening fabric for easy closure, Domke wraps are a favorite of discriminating shooters. Stylish photographers in search of a bit of flare will love the pink and camouflage wrappers, from Japan Hobby.

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Domke 15×15″ Color Coded Protective Wrap

Flexible, padded, fitted inserts are available with many useful features—from adjustable dividers and sporting pockets to lids and more. On reaching your destination, the insert can be placed inside the everyday bag, transforming it into a nondescript camera bag. Another option would be to attach a shoulder strap to the insert, load with camera gear, and use the everyday bag for day trips. Versatility, reduced weight, and optimizing storage space would be the result.

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Unseen Billie Holiday Photos Form a Legacy Between Father and Son

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Grayson Dantzic was initially unaware of his father Jerry’s early freelance photo assignments, in 1950s New York. Growing up in the 1970s, he was steeped in the color photographs from his father’s groundbreaking work with a Cirkut camera, through summer trips with his parents to document America in the panoramic format—city by city and state by state.

Above: Billie Holiday backstage at Sugar Hill, with her Chihuahua, Pepi © 2017 Jerry Dantzic/ Jerry Dantzic Archives

“My father’s passion was the Cirkut camera,” says Grayson. “He had his first solo exhibition of this work at the Museum of Modern Art, in 1978, curated by John Szarkowski.”

A Photographic Journey in Search of His Father

Always a man on the move, by the late 1990s the elder Dantzic was juggling his award-winning photography with adjunct teaching at Long Island University, in Brooklyn, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Grayson hadn’t been paying a lot of attention to his father’s life and work, when his health suddenly became a huge issue. “One minute my father was running around, the next minute he became mostly bedridden,” he says.

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Billie Holiday holding her pet Chihuahua, Pepi, in front of Sugar Hill, Newark, New Jersey, April 18, 19572017 Jerry Dantzic/Jerry Dantzic Archives

It was 1999, and Grayson was working the front desk at the Plaza Hotel, but his thoughts were focused on the realization that he really didn’t know much about his father’s early life and career. “I came upon the statement, ‘the people that we love the most, we know the least,’” he says. “When I mentioned this, Dad said, ‘why don’t you go up to my photo studio, look around and see what you find.’”

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Nikon and Italdesign: A Japanese Camera's Italian Design Heritage

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I am a sucker for design and, years ago, when in the market for my first SLR camera, it wasn’t really a feature set that sold me on a brand, it was the way the Nikon SLR looked to my eye and felt to my hand that made me target the N6006. Little did I know then that the design of the consumer N6006 had Nikon F4 DNA in its good looks and that the Nikon F4, which I consider the best-looking SLR ever made, had acquired its pulchritude from famed automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italian design firm—Italdesign.

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Over the years, Giorgetto Giugiaro created some of the world’s most enduring automotive designs. The ubiquitous Volkswagen Golf Mk 1 (known on these shores more popularly as the “Rabbit”) is a true classic, with almost 7 million cars sold. The DeLorean DMC-12, made extra famous as a time machine in the movie Back to the Future, was penned by Giugiaro, as well as another movie star, the Lotus Esprit S1, that turned into a submarine in the James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. In keeping with Giugiaro’s “folded paper” design work, the exotic BMW M1 was raced after being hand-painted by artist Andy Warhol.

Founded in 1968, Giugiaro’s Italdesign (now owned by German car maker Audi) specializes not only in automotive design and styling, but wide-ranging industrial design applications, as well, including its 30+ year relationship with Nikon. To find out more about the relationship between Giugiaro and Nikon, I spoke, via email, with Nicola Guelfo, Head of Industrial Design Styling at Italdesign. *

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The Nikon F3

B&H: Your website states that you have been involved in a partnership with Nikon for 30 years. When exactly did the partnership begin?

Nicola Guelfo: We started in 1983, with the F3 project.

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A Studio Visit with Stephen Salmieri

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The photographs of Stephen Salmieri embody the power retained by analogue photography in the digital era. Salmieri has been shooting black-and-white film since the 1960s when he began documenting the streets and inhabitants of New York. His portraiture is as honest as it is diverse, celebrating the characters in his neighborhood and humanizing celebrities shot on assignment.

Above photograph: Coney Island, 1969; Courtesy of the Artist

After a decade of travel and collaboration with his wife and fellow artist, Sydnie Michele, he completed Cadillac: An American Icon (Rizzoli 1985, Taschen 1988), a comprehensive survey of the manufacturer’s cars found across the United States. Salmieri’s work is held in numerous museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Getty Museum. I visited Salmieri in his Lower East Side studio to talk about his work—and receive an impromptu portrait.

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Soho, New York, 1999; Courtesy of the Artist

B&H: How did you get started with photography?

Stephen Salmieri: I came from a classic Italian artist family. My grandfather came to America in the Thirties; he was an architect who worked on wrought-iron façades. After high school, I went to School of Visual Arts and thought I was going to be an illustrator. When I first picked up a camera, I was making photographs to make art from—but my teachers kept saying: “You’re a better photographer than illustrator!” So, that is how it began.

Your first major photo project focused on Coney Island.

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Podcast: Can A Photograph(er) Make a Difference?

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Many photographers begin their careers wanting to “make a difference” with their photography, to bring some good to the world, or at least to the people they photograph. It’s one of the greatest aspects of the craft and its adherents, but can a photo really bring about long-term change? This is an increasingly relevant question, and one that dogs even the most experienced and socially conscious photographers. Despite this dilemma, many photographers forge ahead, shining a light on horrors and glories with the hope that their images have a positive influence and perhaps, because of this dilemma, some photographers have found ways to use their art, labor, contacts, experiences, and insight to raise money specifically for organizations that are “making a difference.”

Salem Krieger is an experienced editorial and portrait photographer who had a seemingly simple realization in 2015: he could sell prints of his work and give a portion of the revenue to a non-profit organization of his choice. From this grew Art is Helping, his system for putting artists and art buyers together and letting the buyers determine how much they spend and which organization they support. In a short time, the roster of artists has grown, as has the varied list of non-profits that benefit from the transactions.

Alison Wright is an accomplished documentary photographer and author whose work has taken her to every corner of the world. Her latest book is Human Tribe. In 2000, a tragic, near-death accident on a jungle road in Laos and a remarkable story of heroism and recovery brought a heightened perspective to the strength and spirit that pushes people to help one another—even to risk their lives to help complete strangers. With the resolve and empathy born from suffering, Wright rebuilt her life and career and founded Faces of Hope, a fund that provides medical care and education, especially to women and children in crisis around the world. The first act of Faces of Hope was to return to the village in Laos—and the people who saved her life—with five doctors and $10,000 worth of medical supplies.

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Unveiled: Tamron Releases an Updated 24-70mm Zoom Lens

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Tamron has announced its SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens, a versatile, large-aperture zoom for Nikon F and Canon EF-mount cameras. Compatible with full-frame and APS-C (36-105mm 35mm equivalent focal length) cameras, it combines fast performance and sharp focus in a standard zoom.

Tamron’s high performance Micro Processing Unit (MPU) improves speed and accuracy when focusing. Likewise, a dedicated MPU delivers 4.5 stops of image stabilization to produce consistent, sharp images. In addition, a Vibration Compensation (VC) Auto Detect Mode 2 has been added for panning movements. For versatility of use, its minimum focusing distance is 37.4″, offering a magnification ratio of 1:6:1.

The lens utilizes eBAND coating for optimal anti-reflective properties, minimizing flare and ghosting, while its fluorine coating and moisture-resistant construction make working outdoors a breeze. For ease of use, it has a new Built-in Lens Hood Lock to prevent misalignment. It is compatible with the TAMRON TAP-in Console to maintain optimal alignment functionality, and takes 82mm filters.

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Vintage Vibe or Crisp, Uncolored Tones: 500-Series Microphone Preamps

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The idea of having a variety of microphone preamps at your fingertips is, relatively speaking, a more modern advent in recording. The “golden era” of making records saw engineers using the preamps found in the console in the studio, and didn’t give much thought to mixing a Neve sound on the overheads while using APIs on the snare and toms. As more and more engineers (pro and hobbyist alike) explore the 500 Series, many feel no real need to fill a 10-slot rack with the same exact pre. As the adage goes, variety is the spice of life, and there is impressive variety available in 500-Series mic pres, many of which have applications that can extend to mixing, as well.

If you’re after vintage vibe, you’d be hard pressed to do better than the BAE 1023L, which accounts for its price tag, thanks to its choice of Carnhill transformers and hand-wired build. This 1073-style preamp/EQ gives you a wider selection of available frequencies for the center frequency EQ than the original 1073, adding versatility to its vintage vibe. For obvious reasons, the 1023 is as useful in the mix phase as it is in tracking.

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New from ASUS: Republic of Gamers Zephyrus “Max-Q” Notebook

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The ASUS Republic of Gamers Zephyrus GX501VI notebook is one of the first “Max-Q” design computers. It’s powered by a 2.8 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ quad-core processor, 16GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM, a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5X VRAM, yet only measures 0.7 inches thin. To handle the heat output of high-end hardware, the Zephyrus utilizes Active Aerodynamic System (AAS), which opens a portion of the bottom when the display is lifted, to increase the amount of space for air circulation. Topping it all off, it even features a Full HD 120Hz G-Sync display, and the Zephyrus has plenty of USB ports, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, an HDMI port, and an HD webcam.

As technology advances, we’re still faced with the inescapable balance between size and performance. Gaming notebooks as we know them are large, heavy, and a general nuisance to lug around. In fact, some are sold as desktop replacements. The power required for high-end gaming needed to be squished down into a compact all-in-one package, which changed when NVIDIA released its 10-series graphics cards. These cards offered desktop-like performance in a notebook-friendly form factor, leading to a new age of gaming laptops. Now, once again, NVIDIA is changing the game up with its partners to produce “Max-Q” designed notebooks. These systems are intended to be thin, fast, and quiet without sacrificing gaming performance. To put it simply, you can think of these as gaming Ultrabooks. If Max-Q is for you, be sure to keep tabs on ASUS, Acer, and MSI.

Like what ASUS is doing with its notebooks? Check out more here.

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Canon Lifts the Curtains on the 6D Mark II

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Canon announced two DSLRs today, but perhaps nothing in the lineup was more highly anticipated than the EOS 6D Mark II. After looking through the spec sheet, photographers will definitely be pleased with Canon’s upgrades improving the camera in practically every way. Sitting just below the 5D Mark IV, the latest full-frame DSLR from Canon sports a brand new 26.2MP CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 7 Image Processor, which will help create sharp, low-noise imagery, even when working at native sensitivities up to ISO 40000 or extended up to ISO 102400. That isn’t the only major advancement in this camera, because it now comes equipped with a capable 45-point All Cross-type AF System that is leaps and bounds above the 11-point system of the original.

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Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Dual Pixel CMOS AF with phase-detection makes an appearance in the 6D line now, ensuring lightning-fast and accurate focusing in both live view and video. The camera is faster now, with a continuous shooting rate of 6.5 fps and Full HD video recording at up to 60p. While not the 4K spec of the latest 5D, the quality of video from the 6D Mark II should be superb. Users will also have access to a 3.5mm microphone input for improved audio quality.

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