Buyer's Guide 2008: Color Calibration
Use these tools to ensure consistent color from import to output
Calibrating your monitor may not sound exciting, but the results can be. Without a properly calibrated monitor, photo edits won't be accurate, and what you see on your screen isn't what the prints will look like. So you'll have to make some tweaks and print again...and again.
Buyer's Guide 2008: Displays
Dramatically improve your efficiency and enjoyment of digital darkroom work with a big, bright LCD
Thinner, brighter and more affordable than ever, LCDs continue to make major strides, delivering outstanding image quality without budget-busting price tags. Compared to now antiquated CRTs, LCDs produce noticeably brighter, sharper-looking images, use half (or less) as much power and take up far less desk space while delivering larger screen sizes.
Buyer's Guide 2008: Ultimate Systems
Upgrade the core of your digital darkroom for a faster, smoother photography workflow
With the Windows Vista and Mac Intel transitions behind us, now is a pretty safe time to consider replacing an aging computer, no matter which platform you prefer. Ample RAM for most photographers' needs is affordable, and many off-the-shelf systems boast solid digital-imaging specifications.
Toolbox: Display Calibration
For accurate adjustments and consistent color, start with a properly calibrated monitor
It may not be as exciting a topic as the latest D-SLR technologies, but color calibration is a critical part of digital photography. With a properly calibrated monitor, you can be confident that the adjustments you make to your images are exactly what you intend. Don't underestimate the importance of this! Adjusting an image on an uncalibrated screen can be a waste of time at best, and at worst, can cause permanent degradation to an image. You may also experience big frustration when your prints don't match what you see on screen.
Toolbox: Big Storage
Give your photo library some elbow room with high-capacity external hard drives
With enough capacity on an external hard drive, you can store an entire library of photos in a space the size of a hardbound book. Externals offer fast plug-in and quick removal, too, for convenient transport of pictures, music, files or whatever media that you might need to grab and go.
Toolbox: 10 Awesome Photo Printers
From big display prints to fast proofs and everything in between, there’s a photo printer that’s made for the job
Choosing the best photo printer for your needs may mean choosing more than one printer. We’ve come a long way from the one-size-fits-all office inkjets—with specialty photo printers ranging from fast and portable mini-printers for quick proofs and 4x6s to pro-quality, large-format printers for making frame-worthy display prints.
Short Reports: Canon PIXMA Pro9000
This fast, pro-level inkjet does stunning large-format prints at an affordable price, and the bundled software makes great output easy
Here's a large-format inkjet photo printer (up to 13x19 inches) that offers excellent image quality, lots of control when you want it and simple operation. Producing dynamite digital photo prints quickly, the Canon PIXMA Pro9000 uses 6144 nozzles to distribute eight long-lasting dye-based Canon ChromaLife 100 inks in precise two-picoliter droplets—some 11 million of them per square inch-on a variety of Canon photo papers. The inks are in separate tanks, so when one color runs low, you need only replace that color, not an entire color ink cartridge.
True Colors Part 2
Boost your HDTV's performance with this home theater colorimeter As prices have dramatically dropped, sales of high-definition televisions have skyrocketed. The chances are good that you already own an HDTV or are planning to buy one in the near future. And with new products like Apple TV and Windows Vista Media Center bringing your image libraries to your home theater, the long-promised convergence of computers and home entertainment is finally happening.
Short Reports: Logitech NuLOOQ Navigator
Make your photo editing more efficient and fun with a unique interface
Though enhancing my images can be fun, especially when I'm working with a great photograph, it also can be incredibly time consuming. I like making my photos look better, but increasingly, I much prefer to be outside just making images rather than seeing the hours flash by under the glow of the LCD monitor.
Calibrate your monitor to achieve accurate color in your digital darkroom The joy of digital photography can be quickly diffused when the photograph we've printed doesn't resemble what we saw on our monitors. Dramatic differences in brightness, contrast and especially color make using a digital darkroom an exercise in frustration instead of creativity.
Short Report: Mirra Personal Server
Gain secure backup of your photos plus remote access as needed with this device
Backup is a little like flossing. We all know we should do it, but it just isn't a particularly fun part of photography. We'd all rather be out taking photos or working on them in our image-processing program than dealing with the details of files and being sure we've backed them up properly. Who can remember anyway?