Fun with Photoshop Elements 3: Foto-Fakery for Everyone by Linda Grossman (Sams Publishing, 2005; ISBN: 0-672-32730-9). Have a great time manipulating your images in some outrageous ways. This guide provides you with fun and useful techniques while teaching you valuable Elements tools.
The compact, 5-megapixel JVC GR-X5 MiniDV Camcorder records images to a Microdrive instead of tape so downloading takes minutes instead of the long hours that tape recording can require. Simply drag and drop your files from memory card to hard drive. The GR-X5 features three individual CCDs, each one specifically dedicated for red, green and blue, which together produce true-to-life color. A Megabrid imaging engine separately processes video and still images, limits noise and enables clear, high-resolution images to be captured. With its lightweight design, the GR-X5 fits in the palm of your hand. List Price: $1,500. Contact: JVC, (800) 252-5722, www.jvc.com.
Video editing is even easier with Ulead's VideoStudio 9. The Movie Wizard guides you through the software quickly and easily, and the Video Studio Editor option gives you tools to produce movies with Flash animation overlays, pan and zoom on video, plus a variety of filters. For automated functions, you can use the software's two-step option, which automatically turns your work into an edited video, a real asset to a beginner who feels overwhelmed by video-editing software. List Price: $100 (full version); $50 (upgrade). Contact: Ulead Systems, (800) 85-ULEAD, www.ulead.com.
Fast Pro Prints
In 90 seconds, Kodak's Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer will produce a photo print up to 8x12 inches in size—and do it again and again. The printer's ribbon is created to provide consistent color density for every print. Dry thermal dye-sublimation technology allows for zero dry time and prevents smudging. List Price: $549. Contact: Kodak, (800) 235-6325, www.kodak.com.
Large-Aperture Digital Lens
The very fast Sigma 30mm ƒ/1.4 EX DC HSM lens allows you to shoot in low-light conditions, at a faster shutter speed, to eliminate camera shake and prevent blurred images. The lens is specifically designed for digital cameras, with an APS-C-sized image sensor and special glass elements that compensate for chromatic and color aberrations. Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigma-photo.com.
Make your images pop in the right places. nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in that allows you to sharpen your images in specific areas by use of brush or color selections. This new version can work with 16-bit images and can be told what printer you're using to create more precise sharpening. List Price: $329 (Complete Edition); $169 (Inkjet Edition). Contact: nik Multimedia Inc., (619) 725-3150, www.nikmultimedia.com.
Digital B+W Darkroom
It can be difficult to create consistently beautiful black-and-white digital images with neutral tones. Media Street has collaborated with a fine-art photographer and digital-imaging consultant in developing an archival black-and-white inkjet solution that produces exhibition-quality prints. The inks can be used with an entry-level $100 Epson printer, making it affordable to have a unit dedicated to your black-and-white images. The set uses black and warm, light, cool and dark gray inks to generate rich tonalities. List Price: $262 (for initial setup); $22 (per cartridge). Contact: Media Street, (888) 633-4295, www.mediastreet.com.