Home Buyer's Guide 2012 Editors' Choice Awards
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2012 Editors' Choice Awards

Our annual collection of noteworthy gear and technology

Labels: Buyers GuideGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom
TOKINA 17-35mm ƒ/4 AT-X PRO FX
I'm a wide-angle junkie. I do much more shooting at the wide end of the focal range than the telephoto, and I always travel with at least one wide-angle option. The Tokina 17-35mm ƒ/4 AT-X PRO FX gives me an ultra-wide angle on a full-frame DSLR, and on an APS-C DSLR, it gives me an equivalent of about 35mm. The lens uses advanced SD glass elements to minimize aberrations and maximize sharpness. Estimated Street Price: $750. Contact: Tokina (THK Photo), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com. —CR
Avoid the neck pain that can come from carrying around a heavy DSLR by using one of Cotton Carrier's innovative holster designs. For holding one or two DSLRs, the basic Camera Vest system is built around a one-size-fits-all adjustable vest that comes in many configurations. For lighter DSLRs, the Cotton Carry-Lite is a more streamlined version that uses a cotton waist-belt system with a shoulder strap. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $99 (both). Contact: Cotton Carrier, (877) 852-9423, www.cottoncarrier.com. —KC
One advantage of the popular new mirrorless, interchangeable-lens cameras is that they can use just about any lens for which an adapter can be found. Sony's new LA-EA2 Alpha Lens Adapter lets NEX camera users attach lenses for Sony Alpha DSLR cameras. Not only that, the LA-EA2 also incorporates a Translucent Mirror Technology phase-detection autofocus system based on the one used in Sony's SLT-A65 translucent-mirror DSLR. You can use virtually any Sony Alpha or Konica Minolta Maxxum lens, and get quick phase-detection autofocusing. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669, www.sonystyle.com. —MS
If you're taking advantage of video capture on your HD DSLR, adding a hot-shoe-mountable accessory viewer like the Flashpoint LCD 8-inch Monitor with Remote (FPSCAW) makes composing and viewing video capture much easier, especially when your camera is mounted on a tripod. The monitor provides 100% coverage and connects to your camera via HDMI or by an included wireless adapter that gives you up to 100 feet of range. List Price: $598. Contact: Flashpoint, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com. —WP
When I need to carry my camera with extra lenses, accessories and my MacBook Air, an all-in-one solution like the Tamrac Evolution Messenger 2 (Model 5782) is ideal. There's room for my DSLR with a lens attached, additional lenses and accessories, plus a separate padded compartment for a tablet or smaller laptop. Another great feature is that it doubles as a standard briefcase when you want—just remove the padded camera shuttle. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com. —WP
The Velbon VS-443D features three leg angle positions and a geared elevator column that can be moved up and down for shooting close-ups as low as 9.45 inches from the ground. The tripod features a full 180º of tilt, including 90º lateral positioning, and a horizontal Video/Cinema mode, which uses the column as a short zooming device when capturing video. The nut locking grip system can be twisted to quickly lock and release the multi-angle arm, and the QHD-53D ballhead is quick release with a spirit level for precise framing. The four-section aluminum legs fully extend to a maximum height of 63.2 inches. Estimated Street Price: $209. Contact: One Source Network Inc., (888) 381-2390, www.osnusa.net. —DW
Sometimes a photo is worthy of blowing up to poster-sized dimensions. Perfect Resize 7 Professional Edition from onOne Software is the next generation of the company's popular Genuine Fractals program. You can enlarge images up to 1000% while maintaining sharp image quality, and there are more than 60 built-in size presets for cropping and resizing an image in a single step. List Price: $199. Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com. —KC

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