At last. After what seems like months of wading through thousands of sheets of specifications for cameras, film, lenses, flash units and other photographic equipment obtained recently at the big PMA photo industry show in Chicago, I finally found some truly exciting innovations in photography. And do you know what? I think I'm in love. There are at least half a dozen new products on the market I simply have to have. I'll be surprised if you don't feel the same. POLAVISION
By far the hit of the show, Polaroid's new instant home-movie system is the photo product of the decade - and quite possibly beyond. Consisting of an easy-to-operate camera, a TV-like player and a cassette called Phototape, it takes you from live action to ready-to-view film quicker than you can burn a piece of toast. And it's a lot more fun. The cost of all this madness? Just $210 for camera; $465 for player; $9.95 for Phototape. SUPER &/SINGLE SOUND EDITOR
For home movie editors, the new Goko Multi-Recording Sound Editor RM-3 features a built-in viewing screen, mixing console, high-fidelity playback system, 18- and 24-frames-per-second, capstan-drive projection and recording speeds, plus manual film transport. The mixing console includes a VU meter, microphone jack, auxiliary input jack for tape recorder or record player, monitor jack for headphones (not included), speaker jack, multi-recording control of sound mixing, volume control, digital frame-counter and more. This multi-recording system allows the user to add music, narration or sound effects to any magnetically striped super or single 8-mm film. The price is $360. ROLLEI 35 LED CAMERA
Rollei of America recently introduced the smallest full-frame 35-mm cameras using an LED exposure system to take the guesswork from photography. List price, with a 40-mm f/3.5 Triotar zone-focusing lens: $135. NATURAL BLACK-BORDER KIT
Another handy darkroom device to hit the market is Pace's new black-border printing kit for making prints with fine, professional-looking black borders quickly and easily. Two kits are available: Kit Model PBM enables you to print 5 x 7 prints on 8 x 10 paper and 8 x 10 prints on 11 x 14 paper. Kit Model PBM-F enables you to print full-frame 35-mm negatives to 5 x 7 1/2 on 8 x 10 paper and 8 x 12 prints on 11 x 14 paper. The price for each is $12.95. KONICAS AF CAMERA
When automation came to photography, who would have dreamed it would come to this? Konica's new AF offers automatic exposure, automatic built-in flash, and - at long last - automatic focusing.
The unique autofocus system of the Konica AF views the subject through two image detectors. When the two images generate maximum correlation, the camera's computer control, "like the human brain," according to Konica, makes all distance measuring judgments and automatically sets the lens for proper subject-to-camera distance as the shutter-release button is pressed. But can it make a good cup of coffee? Suggested list price for the Konica AF is $259.