2010 Editors’ Choice Awards
Our editors pick some of the best products and technologies for the new year
For Nikon shooters, there’s a lot to like about the AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED superwide zoom. Designed for DX-format SLRs, the lens provides focal lengths equivalent to 15-36mm on a 35mm camera. It also can be used on full-frame Nikon D-SLRs, which will automatically crop to the DX format when it’s attached. Besides the ultrawide views and great image quality, features include a Silent Wave Motor for quick, quiet autofocusing on all Nikon D-SLRs (even those without a focusing motor), internal focusing for better balance and a nonrotating front element, which comes in handy when using orientation-sensitive filters like polarizers and graduates. Estimated Street Price: $899. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
The phrase “compact 17-inch printer” might seem a bit odd, since a device capable of making prints nearly a foot-and-a-half wide would have to be somewhat wider than that, but Epson’s new Stylus Pro 3880 fits the description, measuring just 27x10x15 inches. The printer delivers gallery-quality color and black-and-white prints up to 17x22 inches, using eight wide-gamut UltraChrome K3 pigment inks and all-new AccuPhoto HD2 image technology. The 3880 automatically switches between Photo and Matte Black inks to suit glossy or matte media. Estimated Street Price: $1,295. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Take steady shots in the most challenging of environments using the Gitzo Ocean Traveler tripod. Featuring a ballhead and center casting made from solid stainless steel, the ballhead is designed to be disassembled by the user in the field for maintenance. Its compact, sturdy frame is designed to handle salty water, sand, mud and high humidity. Called Ocean-Lock, the new locks include special inserts at both ends that minimize the amount of water and debris that could get inside the tubes and locking mechanisms. The Traveler is ideal for use with lenses up to 200mm. It features all of Gitzo’s most advanced features such as 6X tubing, a rapid and reversible center column and a retractable hook. Estimated Street Price: $1,125. Contact: Gitzo (Bogen Imaging), (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.
If you’re into black-and-white, Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro software provides all the tools you need to get great monochrome images from your original color ones. Patented U Point-powered Control Points make it easy to selectively control tonality and contrast with no need for selections or layers, while new technology greatly speeds up rendering. Film emulation, a state-of-the-art grain engine and advanced stylizing add versatility, while advanced imaging algorithms optimize results. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.
Triggering your camera from a distance allows you to get shots from positions and angles that would not otherwise be possible. For Canon and Nikon shooters, the DSLR Camera Remote app from onOne Software makes this kind of photography possible using an iPhone or iPod Touch. Once the camera is connected to a WiFi-enabled computer, you can fire the shutter, review images, control camera settings and even get a live viewfinder preview. The app comes in two versions: Lite and Professional (most features are in the pro version only). Estimated Street Price: $2 (Lite); $20 (Professional). Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.
Using a Wacom pen tablet to edit images gives you a more intuitive way of working with photos. The Intuos4 supports an expanded 2,048 levels of pen sensitivity, starting with a single gram. This means you can lighten or darken areas of an image with greater precision. The tablet features customizable ExpressKeys that have OLED-illuminated displays, allowing you to see what each key currently is set to. A pressure-sensitive Touch Ring controls up to four different functions such as scrolling, zooming, brush size and canvas rotation. The design is reversible so all of the keys are positioned conveniently for both right- and left-handers. Estimated Street Price: $229 to $789. Contact: Wacom, (800) 922-6613, www.wacom.com.
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