Friday, October 31, 2008

Buyer's Guide 2009: Must-Have Accessories

Camera bags are especially important as they perform two vital functions, protecting your gear from damage and keeping it all organized.
By The Editors Published in Accessories
Buyer's Guide 2009: Must-Have Accessories

Media Viewers

Previewing images in the field is the best way to make sure that you don't leave a scene empty-handed. It's also a great way to share photos. Media viewers are more comfortable to carry than laptops, easily fitting in camera bags or even your pocket. Besides convenience, some offer sophisticated tools for checking exposure and focus and can provide an easy way of backing up images while you're still out shooting.

Apple's WiFi-enabled iPod Touch is a sleek way to carry your image portfolio with finger-controlled touch screens and automatic switching between portrait and landscape view. It syncs easily with your photo library through iTunes. Estimated Street Price: $229 (8 GB); $299 (16 GB); $399 (32 GB).

Scroll through and zoom in on RAW or JPEG images using Epson's high-end, high-capacity P-6000 (80 GB) and P-7000 (160 GB) multimedia photo viewers. The four-inch LCD screen delivers images with smooth gradations and color transitions. Estimated Street Price: $599 (P-6000); $799 (P-7000).

The GIGA Vu extreme from JOBO has a built-in memory-card slot for direct importing of photos. The 3.7-inch color LCD lets you review images (even RAW files) at any time. It's also compatible with MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video files. Estimated Street Price: $599 (80 GB); $749 (120 GB); $899 (160 GB).

Memory Cards

While storage capacity continues to grow and data transfer rates keep getting faster, prices are becoming cheaper. That's good news, considering that digital cameras continue to increase the megapixel count of our files.

With the popular CompactFlash and Secure Digital formats, typical capacities range from 4 GB to 32 GB. Some of the newer cards are UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access)-enabled, speeding up data transmission.

Kingston's 32 GB Elite Pro SDHC is one of the largest cards available in this format. A built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss. Estimated Street Price: $308.

The Lexar Professional UDMA 300x 16 GB CompactFlash card has fast minimum read and write speeds of up to 45 MBps. Estimated Street Price: TBA.

The PNY 16 GB Class 6 Optima Pro SDHC card offers fast read and write speeds; it's ideal for high-megapixel, point-and-shoot digital cameras and demanding digital camcorders. Estimated Street Price: $79.

SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 16 GB card comes with a lot of storage space and has read and write speeds of 45 MBps. Estimated Street Price: $399.
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