Monday, November 24, 2008
2009 Editor's Picks
The PCPhoto editors pick some of the best products and technologies for the new year
With the ability to print 13 x 19 inches and Epson’s professional UltraChrome K3 inkset, the Stylus Photo R2880 is a pro-level printer with a decidedly enthusiast-friendly price. The printer features pigment-based inks that produce exhibition-quality images that stand up to the rigors of time. Built-in Radiance technology ensures smooth tonal transitions and improved highlight and shadow detail. An exclusive advanced black-and-white mode gives you four preset menus each with custom sliders for maximum control. You can fit the unit with roll paper or use media like artist’s canvas if you desire. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Joby Gorillapod Focus
There’s no substitute for a tripod when it comes to taking steady shots. With tentacle-like legs designed with articulating ball-and-socket joints, Joby’s compact Gorillapod can bend and twist to support your camera on tricky surfaces. The latest model, Gorillapod Focus, supports up to 11 pounds yet weighs slightly more than a pound. Machined aluminum sockets with an anodized gunmetal finish allow 360-degree rotation, and rubberized ring and foot grips provide a firm hold in almost any environment. Estimated Street Price: $149. Contact: Joby, (888) 569-JOBY, www.joby.com.
Many photographers are great image-makers, but not as interested in the sales side of the business. SimplePhoto.com helps solve this problem as a complete e-commerce solution for photographers. With a commission-based setup and sales/web consulting, SimplePhoto helps you leverage the Internet for better online sales with customized pricing, product lines and invoicing to your clients. You can sell prints, novelty items, gift certificates and more. SimplePhoto’s Managed Accounts option does the work for you with custom websites, search engine optimization and outsourcing of purchased material to select vendors. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: SimplePhoto, (404) 806-1801, www.simplephoto.com.
Lowepro Stealth Reporter D200AW
It may have been designed for photojournalists, but the Lowepro Stealth Reporter D200AW is the ideal camera bag for anyone who wants to protect their gear and not be weighed down by a heavy, overbuilt bag. Many bags are overbuilt in terms of the materials and padding used in their construction. The Stealth line takes a decidedly more minimalist approach without sacrificing protection. High-density, closed-cell foam internal padding keeps your camera, lenses and accessories safe, while the outer shell is made of durable ballistic nylon. Estimated Street Price: $130. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card
If you’re looking for a simple way to wirelessly download images to your computer, look no further than Eye-Fi’s Wireless SD Card. A WiFi radio is built into the card, so once the camera has written your image to the card, it’s wirelessly transmitted to your computer’s hard drive. Three versions are available: the Home card downloads to your Mac or Windows-based computer, Share lets you upload to your computer and photo-sharing sites like Flickr, and Explore allows you to take advantage of WiFi hotspots. Estimated Street Price: $79 to $129. Contact: Eye-Fi, (877) 873-9334, www.eye.fi.
Olympus PT-EO5 Underwater Housing
Underwater photography has gone mainstream. Once the exclusive domain of a handful of dedicated professionals, today there are options that fit the price range and shooting level of just about any photographer. The popular Olympus E-520 can be safely transported to the ocean’s depths with the Olympus PT-EO5 housing. The full-featured setup gives you complete TTL flash control when used with the Olympus UFL-2 underwater strobes and fiber-optic control cable. The housing takes a multitude of lens ports for a host of Olympus Zuiko Digital lenses. Rated to a depth of 130 feet, recreational scuba divers, as well as snorkelers, will be able to get stunning, vivid photographs of the undersea world. Estimated Street Price: $1,199. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.olympusamerica.com.
Epson P-7000 Multimedia Photo Viewer
Maybe the ultimate accessory for the traveling photographer, the Epson P-7000 Multimedia Photo Viewer is a home away from home for your photos, movies and music. The built-in card reader lets you back up images from all popular memory card formats to the 160 GB hard drive, then review them on the sparkling four-inch LCD display. It supports JPEG and even RAW images from select cameras, as well as common video and audio file formats. A travel kit includes a case, dual battery charger, viewing stand and car adapter. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Tamron 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
We love the versatility of ultrazooms that can go from wide to serious telephoto, especially when we want to travel light. The 15x zoom range of this Tamron lens, coupled with Vibration Compensation to allow handheld exposures without a tripod, even at telephoto, makes it the only lens you’ll need for most photo opportunities, providing the 35mm equivalent of 28-419mm. Tamron’s Di II lenses are designed specifically for use with popular D-SLRs from Canon and Nikon. It measures just 3.9 inches in length and weighs 19.4 ounces. List Price: $599. Contact: Tamron, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.
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