Friday, November 30, 2007

2008 Editors' Choice Awards

Our annual Editors' Choice Awards is consistently one of the most popular features in PCPhoto, but it's also one of the toughest for us as editors.
By The Editors Published in Accessories
2008 Editors' Choice Awards

Tokina Fish-Eye Lens

I've said it before, and I'll say it again—I've never had so much fun with a lens. The ultra-wide-angle view of Tokina's AT-X 107 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 fish-eye lens provides an unusual look similar to the peephole in a door. With the 180-degree view, I was able to capture images that began at my feet and extended all the way to the clouds above. Unique to the AT-X 107, the fish-eye lens also doubles as a wide-angle zoom for capturing large scenes, even when I was close up. Estimated Street Price: $550. Contact: Tokina (THK Photo Products), (800) 421-1141, -DW

Mpix Gallery Wraps

There's nothing quite like seeing your images presented on a wall in museum-like quality. The Mpix line of Gallery Wraps do just that. Available in large sizes ranging from 11x14 inches to 24x30 inches, images are submitted to the Mpix site and returned to you as full canvas prints stretched over a wooden frame backing. Image prints extend over the edges, eliminating the need for expensive framing. Ideal for art, family photos or collages, Gallery Wraps showcase your images as the centerpieces they are. Estimated Street Price: From $70 to $150. Contact: Mpix, -DW

Singh-Ray Vari-ND Filter

I love filters and the varied effects they provide, but carrying around a selection of them can be disorganized and expensive. Stacking filters is also a time-consuming task that often makes you miss the moment. Singh-Ray's Vari-ND neutral-density filter provides two to eight stops of light loss with one adjustable twist. Two stops are perfect when there's just a bit too much light for exposing a scene correctly. Eight stops are ideal for heavy, artistic effects like motion blur. Estimated Street Price: $340 (77mm Standard Ring Mount); $390 (77mm Wide-Angle Ring Mount); (82mm sizes will be available soon). Contact: Singh-Ray, (800) 486-5501, -DW

HP Photosmart A820

The Hewlett-Packard HP Photosmart A820 Home Photo Center is designed to work a lot like a kiosk, with an easy-to-use 7.0-inch touchscreen interface. The large screen also can be used as a digital photo frame for sharing images in full screen, as thumbnails or as a slideshow. Images can be printed in multiple sizes, including 5x7 inches, 4x6 inches, wallet sizes and more; plus, the A820 can add borders, graphics and messages. The A820 even performs basic image edits and, best of all, the A820 is PC-free, functioning as a stand-alone image center. List Price: $249. Contact: Hewlett-Packard, (800) 752-0900, -DW

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