Benro Travel Flat Tripod Series Introduced

Benro introduced its new Travel Flat tripod series at CES 2011.  As the name implies, Benro’s new tripods are built with the traveling photographer in mind and “feature an innovative, patent pending design that changes the traditional tripod model of triangular profiles, adopting instead a flat unified “spider” or connecting hub, which contributes to its compact size and ultra portability when folded.”

Two big advantages for travelers are the tripods weight and size.  Aluminum models range between 2 and 3.1 pounds, while carbon fiber models weigh in at 1.5 to 2.4 pounds.  Folded heights for all models are around 16-17 inches – and, of course the lay-flat design aides in the compactness.

Even though the tripods are designed to conserve weight and overall dimensions, they still own some professional specs in load capacity (ranging from 13-26 pounds) and maximum height (ranging from 61-66 inches).

Aluminum models carry retail price tags between $107 and $169, while carbon fiber models range between $286 and $406.  You can find the Benro Travel Flat series at B&H Photo.


Sony HX9V and HX100V Announced

The oft-rumored HX9V and HX100V are now official as Sony’s latest Cyber-shot models. Both camera feature 16.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensors and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.

The Sony Cyber-shot HX9V sports a 16x optical zoom lens with a 24mm equivalent wide-angle field of view.  The HX100V is a superzoom model with 30x optical zoom, which starts a 27mm on the wide end.  Both models offer a max sensitivity up to ISO 3200 and capture Full HD 1080p video at 60p.

The HX9V and HX100V feature 3-inch touchscreen displays with a 921k-dot resolution.  Of course, both models offer Sony’s signature 3D Sweep Panorama mode for easy panoramic images.  Both cameras should be available in April 2011.

Along with the HX9V and HX100V, Sony also unveiled the no-frills Cyber-shot W520, which sports a 14.1MP sensor, 5x zoom lens and 2.7-inch LCD.  The W520 is set for March 2011 availability.

More details and images below. [Read more...]

Homeland Security Bulletin on Photographers and Federal Buildings

The US Department of Homeland Security issued an “Information Bulletin” concerning “Photographing the Exterior of Federal Facilities” last year.  The New York Times passed along the bulletin last week when it obtained a redacted version. [Read more...]