Thursday, September 28, 2006

In the "Holy Cow" Category

With digital technology moving at the speed of Moore's Law, every so often you hear about some new digital gizmo that makes you think "Holy Cow! I need this for night photography!". Here are two things I spotted in the announcements from Photokina in Cologne, Germany over the past few days.

#1: There's nothing worse than changing a piece of equipment in the dark, such as a flash card, and then losing it. Well, according the nice people at, SanDisk has announced a pair of new high-speed Extreme III compact flash cards capable of storing up to 16GB! At the speed I shoot night photographs, I could probably work for two weeks on just one of those cards. Of course, it probably costs more than my camera did when the camera was new. Maybe someday it will get down to the $49.99 price point.

#2: Most 35mm-class photographers drool over the quality of medium format images. But medium format digital backs are currently suffering from 1). sticker shock, and 2). only limited offerings can support the long exposures required by that most elite group of fine art photographers: the night shooters. Phase One MF backs seem to be able to handle problem #2. And now, according to the equally nice people at the Luminous Landscape, the new Phase One Plus backs can support exposure times of one hour at 15C, and 4-5 hours at 0C. There's no word on who's going to provide the battery that lasts 4-5 hours at 0C, but if you can afford the $20k+ price tag for the digital back, you can probably afford $30 for a three-pronged 100-foot extension cord at Home Depot. On the other hand, 0C (that's 32F for our American visitors...) might be too cold to shoot at night anyway, so it might be a moot point.


Blogger Matthew Bamberg said...

A flashlight helps too. Kind of refreshing to suggest something that simple in a technically complicated world.

10:46 PM  

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