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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January/February 2013

This Article Features Photo Zoom
CREATIVE SPARK
Do some in-camera experimenting by changing up your focus using the Lensbaby Spark. More affordable than other Lensbaby models, the Spark allows you to create the same kind of effect, a "sweet spot" of sharp focus surrounded by blur. You squeeze the Spark to focus and tilt it to move the sharp area around the image. Like all Lensbaby models, the Spark has an articulated front section, which puts the front lens element at an angle toward the sensor plane, and simulates a tilt-shift effect. The 50mm lens works with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System, and it's available for Canon- and Nikon-mount DSLRs. List Price: $80. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.

PORTRAIT PLUG-IN
Make sure the people in your photos look as good as possible using Portrait Professional 10 from Anthropics. This incredibly powerful tool smoothes and perfects skin, as well as refines facial features quickly and easily. A step-by-step process walks you through the adjustments. Once you open an image, the program guides you through the process of adjusting facial features. For more fine-tuning, there are separate controls for adjusting facial dimensions and skin characteristics. Estimated Street Price: $62. Contact: Anthropics, (971) 238-0917, www.portraitprofessional.com.

LIGHT SOLUTION
Illuminate your stills and video with the Litepanels Luma, a continuous, on-camera daylight LED that outputs a soft, yet high-illumination fill light, in a 50° spread. It delivers accurate color temperatures, flicker-free output at any frame rate or shutter angle, and no color shift when dimming. The dimming knob lets you dial in the exact amount of light desired. The Luma weighs less than a pound, measures 6.5x4x1.5 inches and is powered by six AA batteries, DC from the camera or through an AC power supply. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009, www.litepanels.com.

LUX LEICA
Travel light using one of Leica's new compact cameras. The D-Lux 6 packs in a redesigned 1/1.7-inch, 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, 1920x1080p at 60 fps HD video recording and a 24-90mm (35mm equivalent) zoom with a fast ƒ/1.4-2.3 aperture. Automatic or manual settings are available, as well as an ISO range of 80-12800 and a 3-inch LCD. The V-Lux 4 uses a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, can shoot at a burst rate of 12 fps at full resolution and has a zoom range of 25-600mm (35mm equivalent) with a constant maximum aperture of ƒ/2.8. Its HD video specs are the same as the D-Lux 6. Estimated Street Price: $799 (D-Lux 6); $849 (V-Lux 4). Contact: Leica, (800) 222-0118, www.leica-camera.com.

COMPACT TRIPOD
Take sharper shots with your mirrorless or compact shooter using the Sirui T-005X/025X tripod and C10 head kits. When folded, they measure just 11.8 inches long and weigh just a couple of pounds while offering load capacities up to 13.2 pounds (T-025X). The legs fold up 180°, making the tripods even more compact. For speed and convenience, each leg has an automatic leg angle lock mechanism. Maximum extended height is 54.5 inches. The T-025X has 8-layer carbon-fiber legs for increased load capacity and stability. The C10 and included quick-release plate are Arca-compatible. Estimated Street Price: $129 (T-005X); $219 (T-025X). Contact: Argraph, (201) 939-7722, www.argraph.com.

NO NOISE
Remove noise from your images using Noiseware 5 from Imagenomic. Boosting speed was a major priority in this update, which includes 64-bit compatibility for Mac users, an improved algorithm, faster processing speeds and multicore support that allows you to produce images up to four times faster than the previous version. Also included are a new preset manager and history control. You can save an unlimited number of custom presets, along with an unlimited number of categories that help you easily find frequently used settings. The upgrade is free for existing Noiseware Pro owners. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: Imagenomic, www.imagenomic.com.

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