DxO acquired Nik Software's assets, including U Point technology, integrated it with DxO Optics Pro, added a new repair tool for good measure, and renamed its flagship RAW editor to [DxO Photolab](http://www.dxo.com/us/photography/photo-software/dxo-photolab). The result is an editor that's closer to Adobe Lightroom or Phase One's Capture One Pro in terms of features than its predecessor.
DxO, the well known French developer of DxO Optics Pro and the force behind DxOMark, plans to continue development of the Nik Collection, with the current version to remain available for free on DxO’s dedicated website, while a new version is planned for mid-2018. The first results of the acquisition are the inclusion of Nik’s U Point local adjustments solution, in addition to a new Repair tool and improved DxO Lens Sharpness technology. As a result, DxO Optics Pro also gets a new name — DxO PhotoLab — and is expected to be setting a new standard in RAW processing for pro and enthusiast photographers.
Powertraveller is renewing its robust Li-Ion battery range that is suitable for any type of environment. It released an upgrade to the Powergorilla, making this device 24,000mAh strong instead of the 22,000mAh older models were capable of. The recent release of the brand new Mini-G that is rated at 12,000mAh is the start of a flatter, more lightweight and newly designed offering.
I wasn't yet tired of working with Macphun's Aurora HDR 2017 or the company announced its newest version, Aurora HDR 2018. It must be said, the new version looks better than the previous one, but the main reason why you would consider upgrading is that tone mapping has become more realistic, thanks to a new and improved algorithm.
Hahnel’s first entry in the speedlight market has resulted in the release of the Modus 600RT, which has a guide number of 60 and a shortest flash duration of 1/20,000. This flash is sold in three versions: the flash by itself, the flash together with a Viper TTL radio transmitter and finally, two flashes with the Viper TTL. I received the second version to try out the new product.
Tripod heads come in many sizes and formats. There are heads that enable you to position your camera very accurately, in small degrees and in each of the three dimensions individually, while others allow you to freely move the camera in any direction or angle you want by simply releasing a lever or screw. The latter category includes ball heads. Usually and because they're made to freely move your camera in all directions, ball heads are not suitable for anything but keeping your camera still when shooting with long exposure times or with heavy lenses mounted. In theory, ball heads would be great for videographers — free movement in all directions is what we think about when shooting a movie. However, ball heads don't restrict movement at all, meaning you can't easily keep them level with the horizon either. Unless you're using a special one, the Uniqball.
The Cactus RF60X flash is a speedlight with a built-in radio transceiver, HSS and stroboscopic capabilities, support for four groups and delay functionality. It’s compatible with the Cactus V6 II, V6 IIs and older V6 flash triggers. Its radio operates in the crowded 2.4GHz radio bandwidth, but it has 16 channels and 999 radio-IDs to choose from to avoid interference.
The Mecablitz 64 AF-1 must be the Rolls-Royce of speedlights. Its quality of build, feature set, controls, sounds it makes — everything oozes quality and professionalism. Made in Germany it says on the box and as cliché that may be, it shows. The Mecablitz 64 AF-1 is as dependable as its beautiful minimal, business-like design suggests. It’s probably a lot better than any camera-brand flash as well.
A light stand is nothing to get excited about, but the LP605M Convertible 7.5in Compact Light Stand and Monopod is a two-in-one stand, designed to lighten the load for location photographers. It was developed with industrial designer and photographer Eric Au and builds on the popular LP605 Compact Light Stand.
We all know Cactus flash triggers as a cheap alternative for expensive PocketWizard products. The V6 II and V6 IIs (Sony) are not just cheaper but also viable replacements. They also come with unexpected features, including cross-brand TTL, high-powered HSS, stroboscope support, group sequencing and more.