Home Buyer's Guide 2014 Editors' Choice Awards
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2014 Editors' Choice Awards

Our annual collection of noteworthy gear and technology

Labels: Buyers Guide
This Article Features Photo Zoom
SONY QX LENS STYLE CAMERAS
Sony's new QX Lens Style cameras showcase what WiFi technology can bring to the table. Currently available in two models, the DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10, Sony has placed a dedicated sensor and NFC wireless communication in each lens module so you can capture images right in the lens or preview and control settings from iOS and Android smart devices while sharing them to the web. The 1-inch, 20.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor in the QX100 is identical to the sensor found in the highly regarded Cyber-shot RX100 II camera, while the QX10 offers an 18-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor and Sony G lens with 10x optical zoom. With 1080p video capture available in 30 fps, they're also very useful as compact video cameras that can be placed in a part of the scene too difficult to fit a large camcorder or even a DSLR. The camera and lens hybrids can be operated manually, and they can also be mounted directly to smartphones, if desired. List Price: $499 (DSC-QX100); $249 (DSC-QX10). Contact: Sony, www.sony.com. —DW
BLACKRAPID SPORT R-STRAP
BlackRapid's sling straps provide comfortable carrying and quick access to your camera. The Sport R-Strap features an underarm brad for added stability when you're on the move. It's available in right- and left-handed versions, and regular and slim models to suit users of all sizes. The straps can be hand- or machine-washed, and air-dried. Estimated Street Price: $74. Contact: BlackRapid, www.blackrapid.com. —MS

PHOTOFLEX MULTIDISK 7-IN-1 REFLECTORS
Reflectors are a must-have lighting accessory. They're portable, require no power and are easy to use—anyone can quickly learn to be your lighting assistant. Photoflex MultiDisc 7-in-1 reflectors are also extremely versatile, with seven different surfaces in one compact, collapsible design that folds to one-third its size. There's reflective white, silver and gold surfaces, a translucent panel for diffusion, a black panel to create shadows and a new SunLite color panel that's less reflective than Soft Gold for a subtler effect that won't blind your subject. Available in 22-, 32- and 44-inch models. Estimated Street Price: From $99 (22-inch model). Contact: Photoflex, www.photoflex.com. —WP
TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD
Costing considerably less than a camera-brand stabilized 70-200mm ƒ/2.8, Tamron's SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD nonetheless provides excellent optical performance, with 23 elements in 17 groups that include four LD types and one XLD type to minimize chromatic aberrations. Tamron's VC vibration compensation counters up-down, side-to-side and diagonal camera shake, while the USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) AF motor delivers quick and quiet autofocusing. The lens is moisture-resistant and available in mounts for Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLRs (the Sony-mount version doesn't have VC, since Sony DSLRs have built-in sensor-shift stabilization). Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Tamron, www.tamron-usa.com. —MS
SAMSUNG GALAXY NX
2013 was truly the year of WiFi, with a number of cameras and other gear incorporating their own personal wireless hot spots. This feature allows photographers to access settings and share images from smart devices and applications, which is very useful on its own, but the Samsung Galaxy NX mirrorless camera expands on the concept by incorporating the Android operating system right into the camera. While the price point is a bit high, what you receive is a high-quality, 20.3-megapixel sensor, interchangeable Samsung NX lens mount, Advanced Hybrid Autofocus system, and the similar feature set and application capabilities that you can find on smartphones and tablets, including cloud access to your images and files. List Price: $1,699 (with 18-55mm zoom). Contact: Samsung, www.samsung.com. —DW
ADOBE LIGHTROOM 5
With new editing features, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 can cover your entire workflow, from photo organization to editing and sharing. A GPS location-based system groups photos for organization and creating photo journeys. The Upright tool straightens lens distortion, the Radial Gradient now creates off-center vignettes, and the Advanced Healing brush completely removes unwanted objects. Lightroom 5 is available as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud or as a standalone license. List Price: $149; $79 (upgrade). Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com. —AMT
TRIGGERTRAP MOBILE
The Triggertrap Mobile 2.0 smartphone app gives you the ability to control your camera from a distance with a wide range of innovative creative options. Connecting to an SLR using the Triggertrap WiFi-enabled dongle, the app lets you control everything from basic shutter control to advanced Sensor Controls based on sound and vibrations, and DistanceLapse based on a set GPS distance—great for time-lapse in the car or on a bike. An added plus is the abil-ity to continue running these settings in the background of your phone, while using another app or when it's locked to save battery power. The dongle connects to your smartphone via the device's Personal Hotspot mode. List Price: $31 (Dongle Kit); Free (app). Contact: Triggertrap, triggertrap.com. —AMT

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