Essential Acessories


Ahead of the trend toward natural, interactive interfaces, the Wacom Cintiq 21UX offers the most precise way yet to interact with a truly useful, large-format display. At 21.3 inches, the pressure-sensitive screen has plenty of room for software toolbars and big photo views—perfect for pixel-level editing. Touch Strips and 16 programmable ExpressKeys give you instant, intuitive control over zooming, modifier keys and shortcuts without having to reach for the keyboard. The pen itself has an eraser and its own programmable buttons, say, for right-click menus. Estimated Street Price: $1,999.


If carrying a camera bag isn’t your style, consider the quick-draw freedom of the Cotton Carrier Side Holster. The system is based on a Camera Hub that attaches to your camera’s tripod mount and interlocks with the holster—pair it with a hand strap for easy accessibility and no strain on your neck and shoulders. The Side Holster is available separately or as part of the complete Camera Carrier System with support for two camera bodies. List Price: $79 (holster); $169 (complete system).


Stormy weather equals dramatic photos, so it’s not just divers who will see the benefits of a waterproof housing like the ewa-marine U-BF100. The left-hand glove and right-forefinger port, integrated into the flexible, double-laminated PVC design, let you naturally hold and operate your lens and camera controls. Large enough to accommodate professional DSLRs, your gear is protected from rain, sleet, snow and sand—and watertight at depths of up to 33 feet. Estimated Street Price: $399.


To get the most out of your DSLR and lens investment, you may want to calibrate your camera and lens combinations for optimum AF performance. Many new DSLRs make it possible to store autofocus corrections for a given lens, and that’s where SpyderLensCal comes in. This target and measuring system helps you quickly make accurate calibrations for your favorite lenses. If your camera offers this ability, SpyderLensCal is an affordable, convenient way to fine-tune your autofocus accuracy. List Price: $59.


We don’t typically think of Apple for batteries, but its new AA NiMH rechargeables are worth noticing. The Apple Battery Charger kit includes a compact recharger, plus six AA batteries. These batteries are impressive, able to hold a charge for months and with a life expectancy of up to 10 years. The unique charger also uses considerably less wattage than comparable chargers. List Price: $29.


If you find your camera strap prone to sliding and needing constant readjustment, UPstrap’s claim to fame is a nonslip grip. Available in several sizes and styles, they share the same nonslip pad. An optional quick-release system makes it easy to remove the bulk of the strap when working on a tripod. List Price: Starts at $29.


Off-camera flash is the key to better lighting for portraits, but unless you have an assistant, you’ll have to be resourceful. Tamrac’s ZipShot is an ultracompact and lightweight tripod that extends in seconds and can support a lightweight camera; but pair it with an inexpensive shoe-to-tripod mount, and you have instant, easy-to-manage support for your accessory flash. Estimated Street Price: $49.

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