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Without the right digital photography equipment, you can't produce the work you want to. Get the inside scoop on the latest photo gear to hit the market and learn a few tips for making the most of your setup.

Toolbox: Camera Bags
Protect your gear and carry it in comfort with the latest trends & technology in bag design
Toolbox: Camera BagsCamera-bag makers never run out of new ideas, and that’s fortunate because the way we shoot—and the gear we carry—is changing in the digital age. Twenty-first-century travel restrictions, coupled with an increasing amount of gear (film photographers didn’t need laptops) have spurred a gradual evolution of the traditional camera pack. Popular trends currently lean toward comfortable but roomy backpacks and camera bags that don’t look like camera bags.

The X Factor
What you need to know about memory-card speed
The X FactorLet’s separate some fact from fiction when it comes to memory-card speed. High-speed memory cards save big digital images fast: True. The higher the speed rating, the faster your camera will write images to the card: Maybe. Using a memory card with a “write” speed rating faster than what your camera supports doesn’t increase how quickly your images are processed and stored. Not only does the card have a maximum speed rating, but so does your camera. When combined, it’s the slower of the two write speeds that determines your maximum throughput.

Designed For Digital Lenses
Optics are the best that they have ever been, and it’s all thanks to digital
Designed For Digital LensesFrom fixed-focal-length prime lenses to wide-angle to telephoto zooms, modern lenses use a complex combination of high-end glass, unique materials and chemical cocktails capable of producing optics with incredible power. Digital optical design has advanced so much that zooms now can extend up to an incredible 15x range, while wide-angles produce images with almost no distortion.

Go from moderate to long telephoto with a single lens
Tele-ZoomsA tele-zoom is the convenient solution for getting close to the action, even when you need to remain at a distance. For portrait, sports and wildlife photography, these zooms give you the compositional flexibility you need to frame your subjects creatively. Telephoto lenses tend to be large and often heavy, so one of the big advantages of a tele-zoom is that it can do the duty of the multiple lenses you would otherwise need to cover the same range, reducing the volume and weight of the gear you must carry.

2009 Editor's Picks
The PCPhoto editors pick some of the best products and technologies for the new year
2009 Editor's Picks

Looking for a perfect holiday gift for the “To Me, From Me” under the tree? We’ve compiled our annual list of a few of our favorite gear and accessories about which you’ll want to start dropping hints. From updated versions of essential tools to totally new ideas to make your photography more successful and enjoyable, this year’s list includes some of the most exciting technologies we’ve ever covered.

Toolbox: Digital Photo Frames
Share your images with the digital take on a familiar photo frame
Toolbox: Digital Photo FramesDespite the variety of options available for sharing images, nothing has the classical appeal of a photo frame, and digital has made the possibilities even more fun. Images can be presented on bright, vivid LCD screens in beautiful slideshows of single or multiple images. A variety of sizes are available for hanging on walls, placement around the house or on desks in the studio or office, and even as portable key chains. Uploading images often is as simple as plugging in a memory card, and modern digital photo frames can display images from wireless connections—one service even makes it possible to update a frame by telephone for family members who don’t have a computer.

Buyer's Guide 2009: Specialty Papers & Inks
Experiment with third-party and exotic inkjet media for creative results
Buyer's Guide 2009: Specialty Papers & Inks

Conventional wisdom says that for the best-looking prints, you should stick with your printer manufacturer's papers and inks. It's not bad advice because their printer-software drivers are fine-tuned for those inks and papers to ensure excellent results and print longevity. But if you only print with the standard photo stock, you're missing a chance to make an artistic choice.

Buyer's Guide 2009: Photo Workstations
Upgrading to a faster, more powerful machine can dramatically improve your speed in the digital darkroom
Buyer's Guide 2009: Photo WorkstationsWith so many factors to weigh, deciding which computer best fits your photographic needs is a challenge. Consider power and expandability first. Dual-core processors now are the standard in today's high-performance notebooks and desktops. With this technology, each chip serves as two processors in one, so the computer performs faster while consuming less power.


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