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Tools of the Trade: September 2019

By Michael Castelluccio
September 1, 2019
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1. HASSELBLAD X SYSTEM

In the golden age of film and print, the small-format icons among professionals were Leica and Nikon while Hasselblad reigned as the medium-format system in the studio. All three have survived the transition to digital, and in June 2019 Hasselblad announced the X1D II 50C, a new mirrorless medium-format camera. The sturdy milled-aluminum body isn’t much larger than the conventional 35 mm full-frame camera, but it’s substantially smaller than the regular medium-format cameras. The controls are simple, but operations are slower than you might expect from a smaller-format SLR—the trade-off is enhanced image quality instead of speed. The high-resolution 50-megapixel CMOS sensor (43.8 mm × 32.9 mm) is 1.7 times larger than 35 mm full-format sensors and is capable of excellent clarity and a wide dynamic range of up to 14 stops. The X1D II 50C produces RAW image files as well as JPEGs that are one-quarter size and serve as “reference” images, almost like the contact sheet images from negative films. The RAW files are large, high-quality images that need to be processed with Hasselblad’s Phocus software. There are two SD card slots on the camera to accommodate the system. The camera body measures 6″ × 3.9″ × 2.8″ and without the lens weighs 1 lb., 7 oz. Complete specifications and lens choices are available. www.hasselblad.com

 

2. HIRISE WIRELESS CHARGER

 

If you have a Qi-enabled mobile phone, the HiRise upright charging stand will provide fast, wireless charging up to 10 watts on your desktop. It’s also a wireless charging pad for your AirPods, and you can even leave the stand on your desk and detach the central charging pad for travel. The stand is made of heavy metal finished in gunmetal chrome. It’s base is covered with soft leather that won’t scratch the bottom of your phone. Keep the phone on while charging to receive alerts, emails, even videos—easily visible at a 75-degree tilt. The charger weighs 1 lb. and measures 4.92″ high and 3.8″ wide and deep. A USB-C to USB-A removable cable is included; you provide the USB wall plug/power source. www.twelvesouth.com

 

3. STAYGO USB-C HUB

 

A new pocket-size USB-C portable hub for MacBooks and MacBook Pros was announced in June 2019 by Twelve South. The StayGo USB-C Hub provides eight ports including three USB-A ports (USB 3.0), one 4K HDMI port, one Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB-C ports for power input and the other to connect the computer, and dual SD and Micro-SD card ports. All are plug-and-play; no drivers are required. On your desktop, there’s a 3′ cable that lets you place the port and all its connections out of the way. When you’re on the road, you connect the hub to your MacBook with a 6″ travel cord that stores out of the way inside the hub’s aluminum case so you don’t bend or wind it when you stow the hub in your gear bag. www.twelvesouth.com

 

4. SEAGATE EXPANSION DRIVE

 

The Seagate expansion external hard drives are available in capacities from 1TB up to 5TB, and all provide drag-and-drop fast transfers of data and files with USB 3.0 connectivity. Set-up involves simply plugging in the drive with the included USB 3.0 cable. The Windows OS on your computer recognizes the drive automatically, and you have no software to download or systems to configure. No external power source is needed. The 1TB drive provides enough additional storage for up to 1,000 hours of digital video or 320,000 digital photos. www.seagate.com

 

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 24 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 21st year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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