Monday, January 3, 2011

January/February 2011

By The Editors Published in Next: New Gear
January/February 2011

PACK UP

Keep your HD DSLR safe while you’re in transit using the Digiback DSLR Backpack from Petrol Bags. With an ergonomic shell body, the bag is constructed of black 900D and ballistic nylon fabrics and uses breathable 3D mesh. The top lid unzips to open up the upper compartment, which is shaped to fit a DSLR with lens attached. When a telephoto lens is attached, the camera can be inserted vertically to accommodate the length of the lens. There’s room for extra lenses, batteries, accessories and more. Cushioned back support, padded shoulder straps and adjustable sternum/waist straps help distribute the weight of your gear, allowing for easier transport. List Price: $239 (PD331). Contact: Petrol Bags, (845) 268-0100, www.petrolbags.com.

ENLARGE IMAGES

Increase your images to any size or resolution using Perfect Resize, the next generation of onOne Software’s popular Genuine Fractals program. New features include sharper detail when increasing image size, more gallery wrap and tiling options (pro version), and interface enhancements. You can adjust the smoothness of curved edges to minimize halos, useful when resizing a low-resolution file. Two new methods allow small details to be made sharper without causing halos on larger edges. The first technique targets out-of-focus images and the second adapts the sharpening amount automatically to the size of image details. Estimated Street Price: $159 (Standard); $299 (Professional). Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.

BE ORIGINAL

Capture more imaginative images with help from the Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit 2. Creative aperture disks are dropped into a Lensbaby lens in place of one of the round-hole aperture disks that come with all Lensbaby optics. When a Creative Aperture disk is used with a Lensbaby SLR lens, the shape cut into the aperture disk will appear in the photograph anywhere bright points of light (specular highlights) are out of focus (decorative lights at night or the sun shining through leaves). The kit contains nine total aperture disks with shapes including diamonds, birds, sunburst and a star. Estimated Street Price: $19. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.

HDR FROM DxO

Bring out the full dynamic range of a high-contrast scene without bracketing using DxO Optics Pro v6.5. The latest version of the image-editing app features Single Shot HDR technology, which delivers the look of HDR from a single RAW image by allowing an extreme level of brightening within excessive shadows while preserving color and avoiding too much saturation. You can choose from three automatic settings—light, realistic and artistic—or use manual controls to achieve the look you want. An improved RAW conversion engine reduces low-frequency color and luminance noise. The program can be used alone or as an external editor in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. Supported cameras include the Canon EOS 60D and Nikon D3100. Estimated Street Price: $299 (Elite); $119 (upgrade). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.

ON THE SPOT

Create direct, focused and dramatic lighting with the Quick Spot from Harbor Digital Design. Like a snoot, the unit’s honeycomb grid creates a circular, tight beam of light for highlighting subjects or areas of interest. It’s available in ¼-inch and 1/8-inch grids with Lee Gel Filter Packs so you can easily create concentrated special effects. The Quick Spot slides onto your flash using a custom fit adapter so there’s no need for Velcro® or straps. Estimated Street Price: $44. Contact: Harbor Digital Design, (253) 851-6117, www.harbordigitaldesign.com.
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