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AF-S Nikkor

WORLD S HIGHEST-RESOLUTION LAPTOP TARGETS PHOTOGRAPHERS

HANDS-ON FIRST LOOK AT APPLENEW FLAGSHIP MACBOOK, WHICH ROASTS A 15IN RETINA DISPLAY

It had to happen —the superhigh resolution screens on Apple s latest iPhone and iPad have now made it onto a laptop, with the launch of the new Macbook Pro Retina Display. Sitting at the top of a new range of Macbook Pro taptops the 15in Retina Display model boasts a breakthrough screen resolution of 2880x1800pixels —over 5.1 million in total. To put that into context that s four times the resolution of the current Macbook Pro screen and over 3 million more pixels than an HDTV.

The new model —which Apple is targeting at photographers and video editors —is also super-thin and light, at just 1.8cm tall and 2.02kg in weight, thanks in part to the removal of the optical drive. It also includes a raft of other features designed with the professional image-maker in mind.

Top of the list is an ultra-fast all-flash architecture, capable of transmitting data at up to 500MB/S-ideal for editing big files from the latest generation of high-megapixel DSLRs like the Nikon D800. The use of flash over a traditional hard drive also makes the laptop quieter and the battery last a lot longer —Apple claims a seven-hour battery life (subject to usage of course) and a 30-day standby life.

AF-S Nikkor

The flash drive is driven by the latest quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, running at up to 2.7GHz-making the model also the world s fastest quad-core notebook, according to Apple. Meanwhile the graphics are processed by the high-spec NVIDIA GeForce 650M graphics card, with 1GB of dedicated video memory, providing what Apple claims is 60% faster graphics performance.

TWO NEW NIKON LENSES ANNOUNCED

SUPERZOOM LENS AND KIT-LENS REPLACEMENT ADDED TO NIKKOR RANGE

ikon has bolstered its tens range with the addition of two new optics, one of which is fuelling speculation that an affordable full-frame FX DSLR body may be imminent The AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens boasts Nikon s second-generation Vibration Reduction technology and Extra Low Dispersion elements, together with Super Integrated Coating for the reduction of ghosting and flare. It also sports a weather-sealed rubber lens mount, to help stop water incursion in adverse shooting conditions.

Although it has been developed for FX-format cameras, its relatively modest aperture range and ?520 price-tag suggests it may be aimed at users of a full-frame camera below the ?2,600 asking price of the D800. Nikon cites the lens as being versatile enough to be kept on the camera for most eventualities, from portraits through to landscapes and all day-to-day subjects in between.

 AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm

Released alongside the optic is the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, which has the broadest focal range of any lens in the current Nikkor line-up. Its 16.7x focal range makes it well suited to travel photography, where its effective focal range is closer to 27-450mm when used with DX-format bodies for which it has been developed.

As with its launch partner the lens is furnished with a VR II system, while the internal construction features three aspherical elements and Extra Low Dispersion glass to combat aberrations. As with all AF-S lenses it is further equipped with a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) —which not only promises fast autofocus as standard but also provides autofocus for users of motor-less DX format bodies, such as Nikon s D5100 and most recently announced D3200.

Both optics are available to purchase now with the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR costing ?520 and the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR priced at ?849.

SIGMA LAUNCHES SUPERZOOM

18-250MM LEHS DEBUTS THERMALLY STABLE MATERIAL

 AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm

Sigma has once again expanded its sizable stable of optics with the addition of a new superzoom lens developed specifically for cropped-sensor DSLR cameras.

The 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM makes use of a material known as Thermally Stable Composite (TSC), which is said to be more stable across various temperatures than the polycarbonate currently used in lens manufacture. Furthermore, TSC being a comparatively lighter material, has allowed Sigma to construct the lens at around a quarter of the weight of its current 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM option, which differentiates itself primarily by having no macro functionality.

As its name makes clear, the new model also arrives with an integrated Optical Stabiliser which promises up to four EV stops benefit in terms of shutter speed, as well as three aspherical elements within its optical construction. The lens will be made available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and Sony fits and will cost ?499.

For connectivity Apple has provided two Thunderbolt ports and two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port for direct connection to a TV and a built-in SDXC media card slot.

Apple s innovative Magsafe magnetic power cable connector port also ensures that the laptop won t get dragged onto the floor if someone trips over the power cable.

The Macbook Pro with Retina Display is available with a 15in screen only, in two configurations: a 2.3GHz/256GB flash version at ?1,799 and a 2.6GHz 512GB flash version at ?2,299. Both models can be boosted with the option of a 768GB flash drive, 16GB of RAM (8GB is the standard) and a 2.7GHz processor (with  Turbo  Boost up to 3.7GHz).

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