Home Buyer's Guide 2013 Editors' Choice Awards
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2013 Editors' Choice Awards

Our annual collection of noteworthy gear and technology

Labels: Buyers GuideNextGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom
One of the great things about digital is that you can preview your image on the camera's LCD monitor and examine it right after shooting. One of the not-so-great things about digital is that it's very difficult to see that image in bright outdoor conditions. The Hoodman HoodLoupe 3.0 fits over the LCD monitor, eliminating glare, while its built-in +/- 3 diopter eyepiece provides a clear view of the image. The unit comes with a neck lanyard and protective case with belt loupe. The optional Cinema Strap ($19) or Hood Crane ($79) holds the HoodLoupe 3.0 in position for hands-free operation. List Price: $79. Contact: Hoodman USA, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.
If you're like most people, the camera you have most of the time is the one in your phone. If that's an iPhone, Schneider Optics has created a clever kit for stepping up your photography. Designed for the iPhone 4 and 4S, the iPro Master Trio kit consists of wide-angle, fisheye and 2x tele models. Using a bayonet mount, the lenses securely fasten to a standalone bumper case, twist on and off, and have metal lens barrels. A pocket-sized case serves as a protector, universal tripod mount and grip. List Price: $299. Contact: Schneider Optics, (818) 766-3715,
www.iprolens.com .
Creating more interesting light is a surefire way of taking better pictures, especially of people. The LumiQuest Location/Portrait Kit provides a great solution. It includes the Softbox III, Snoot XTR, FXtra and two UltraStraps. The Softbox III is about 20 times the size of a portable flash head so the light it produces is soft and fitting for portraits. The Snoot XTR can be used for hair or accent light, and the FXtra is a nine-piece colored gel kit. All attach to your flash using nonadhesive straps. Estimated Street Price: $85. Contact: LumiQuest, (800) 332-4644, www.lumiquest.com.
Having an all-in-one editing solution saves a lot of time when you're polishing up your photos. Perfect Photo Suite 7 from onOne Software allows you to convert to black-and-white, retouch portraits, enlarge for print and more. Perfect Effects 4, Perfect Portrait 2, Perfect Layers 3, Perfect Mask 5.2, FocalPoint 2, Perfect Resize 7.5 Pro, which is powered by Genuine Fractals technology, and the new Perfect B&W are all included. You can move seamlessly between each program while editing. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.
Featuring special MRC (Multi Resistant Coatings) with nanotechnology, the B+W XS-Pro Digital filters provide excellent antireflection characteristics, color reproduction and contrast, and minimize ghosting caused by reflections from digital image sensors. Brass mounting rings with a matte black finish and an extra-thin design minimize vignetting with superwide-angle and zoom lenses. Clear, UV and Kasemann circular polarizing filters are available in sizes from 49mm through 82mm; clear and UV are also available in 86mm. List Price: $92 to $306 (clear and UV); $221 to $506 (polarizer). Contact: Schneider Optics, (800) 228-1254, www.schneideroptics.com.
Add some flair to how you carry your camera using a stylish strap from Mod. Built with durable webbing tested to withstand a "pull-down" weight of 70 to 90 pounds, the Premium Strap Collection models are lined with high-quality, mink-like fabric and have genuine leather ends with quick release. Fabrics are hand-selected, and pattern designs include black zebra, kaleidoscope, skull and crossbones, and many more. Estimated Street Price: $47. Contact: OmegaBrandess, (410) 374-3250, www.omegabrandess.com.


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