Thursday, February 24, 2011

March/April 2011

By The Editors Published in Next: New Gear
March/April 2011


Hook up more than one FireWire-compatible external hard drive to your iMac or MacBook with the Yin•Yang FireWire 800 to FireWire 400/800 Mini Hub from Sonnet. Since new Mac computers have just a single FireWire 800 port, the Mini Hub offers a solution by allowing you to connect FireWire 800 and 400 devices to your Mac simultaneously through that single port. Concurrent data transfer speeds are 800 MB/s and 400 MB/s, respectively. The Yin•Yang is small and portable, measuring just 1.9x1.5x0.6 inches, and requires no external power supply. Estimated Street Price: $69. Contact: Sonnet Technologies, Inc., (949) 587-3500,


Back up your DSLR with a pair of 16.1-megapixel compact shooters from Panasonic. The LUMIX DMC-FH27 and LUMIX DMC-FH25 feature a 28mm wide-angle Leica DC lens with 8x optical zoom (28-224mm 35mm equivalent). When you want to change focal lengths quickly, hitting the Easy Zoom button gives you maximum 8x (224mm) power. The cameras have an Intelligent Zoom function that extends the zoom ratio by about 1.3x, meaning you can go from 8x to 10x (280mm). An Extra Optical Zoom function further extends the focal length to 18x (504mm), but shooting at these longer focal lengths does lower the resolution. The FH27 has a 3-inch Smart Touch Screen LCD and the FH25 has a 2.7-inch Intelligent LCD without touch control. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA,


Boost the quality of your shots while keeping your camera bag from getting too bulky with the lightweight Nivelo tripod from Vanguard. With all of the features of a full-sized tripod, the Nivelo folds to 11.75 inches and extends to 39.4 inches in a matter of seconds. An open canopy lets you invert the Quick Fold Central Column, making the tripod a nice option when doing macro photography. With a 360º rotating head and side-to-side tilting function, you can take smooth panoramas and shots from unique angles. Shock-absorbing contoured rubber feet and a bubble level round out the features. The Nivelo weighs 1.3 pounds and supports 4.4 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322,


Upload pictures to your computer from the Samsung SH100, a Wi-Fi-enabled compact camera that offers some interesting options for taking and sharing photos. The camera can connect to other Samsung Wi-Fi cameras, to hot spots and to an Android-powered Galaxy S smartphone. If you have one of those, you can use the phone to upload content to sharing sites and also control the camera remotely. The display turns into a viewfinder and you can move the camera’s zoom lens, as well as hit the shutter release. In addition to the wireless features, the SH100 has a 14-megapixel CCD, a 26mm-equivalent wide-angle lens and a 3-inch LCD. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Samsung, (800) SAMSUNG,


Convert from color to black-and-white with Silver Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software. This is a major update to the plug-in and includes new features such as a History Browser for comparing previous image versions or different editing treatments, adaptive contrast and brightness controls, new presets and selective colorization. Amplify Blacks and Amplify Whites adaptively increase highlights and shadows, respectively, throughout an image, creating a unique contrast effect. As with the previous version, Silver Efex Pro 2 uses Nik Software’s U Point technology for selective editing. Estimated Street Price: $199 (new); $99 (upgrade). Contact: Nik Software, (619) 725-3150,
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