January/February 2011


Give your images the finish they deserve by printing them on the Epson Stylus Pro 4900. The 17-inch printer produces a wide range of colors at fast speeds, and many of the technologies found in the more advanced, large-format Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 are incorporated into this printer. A one-inch-wide, 360-nozzle-per-channel MicroPiezo TFP print head delivers accurate dot shape and placement of the printer’s 10 separate ink channels. The 10-color, pigment-based UltraChrome HDR ink system includes orange, green and automatic switching between Matte and Photo Black. Estimated Street Price: $2,495. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.proimaging.epson.com.


Take great fast-action and people shots with the Sigma 85mm ƒ/1.4 EX DG HSM, which is designed for use with full-frame DSLRs. If you like shooting in low light, the fast ƒ/1.4 aperture makes this lens a particularly worthy addition to your camera bag. When used with APS-C-sized sensors, the focal length increases to 127.5mm. SLD glass and a glass-mold element ensure color correction is achieved for all types of aberrations. A rear focus system minimizes fluctuation of aberration caused by focusing, and the Super Multi Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. Estimated Street Price: $1,400. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.


Carry all of your gear, including that must-have iPad, in the Tamrac Rally 5 without looking too obvious. The bag holds a DSLR with up to a six-inch lens attached, as well as additional lenses, a flash and accessories. An interior foam-padded compartment holds an iPad or netbooks with 10.1-inch screens. The bag has a slim body-hugging profile that allows you to navigate through crowded or hectic environments without slowing down. The zippered front pocket and an open back pocket provide extra storage for manuals, accessories and other extras. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.


Take more control of lighting using the Nikon Speedlight SB-700, which has a wide 24-120mm zoom range. The flash automatically detects whether you’re using an FX (full-frame) or DX (APS-C) camera and optimizes zoom settings based on the camera body. Three light distribution patterns—standard, center-weight and even—accommodate a variety of shooting situations. The SB-700 also supports Nikon’s advanced wireless TTL operation and can function as a wireless Commander with control over two separate groups of Speedlights, or as a Remote Speedlight when controlled by the SB-900 or the built-in Speedlight set to Commander Mode found in most Nikon DSLRs. Estimated Street Price: $329. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.


Keep your creative library with you when out and about using the 320 GB G-Drive slim from G-Technology. With a compact 5x3x0.4-inch frame and a sleek-looking exterior, the unit is powered by a rugged Hitachi GST 7mm Travelstar Z5K320 drive. A solid aluminum enclosure acts as a heat sink for keeping the internal drive cool and protecting data. Shock protection and quiet acoustics make it ideal for using in the home, at work or on the road. Powered by USB 2.0, the five-ounce G-Drive slim is formatted for Macs with Time Machine compatibility, giving you added backup protection. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: G-Technology, (310) 449-4599, www.g-technology.com.


Keep your HD DSLR safe while you’re in transit using the Digiback DSLR Backpack from Petrol Bags. With an ergonomic shell body, the bag is constructed of black 900D and ballistic nylon fabrics and uses breathable 3D mesh. The top lid unzips to open up the upper compartment, which is shaped to fit a DSLR with lens attached. When a telephoto lens is attached, the camera can be inserted vertically to accommodate the length of the lens. There’s room for extra lenses, batteries, accessories and more. Cushioned back support, padded shoulder straps and adjustable sternum/waist straps help distribute the weight of your gear, allowing for easier transport. List Price: $239 (PD331). Contact: Petrol Bags, (845) 268-0100, www.petrolbags.com.


Increase your images to any size or resolution using Perfect Resize, the next generation of onOne Software’s popular Genuine Fractals program. New features include sharper detail when increasing image size, more gallery wrap and tiling options (pro version), and interface enhancements. You can adjust the smoothness of curved edges to minimize halos, useful when resizing a low-resolution file. Two new methods allow small details to be made sharper without causing halos on larger edges. The first technique targets out-of-focus images and the second adapts the sharpening amount automatically to the size of image details. Estimated Street Price: $159 (Standard); $299 (Professional). Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.


Capture more imaginative images with help from the Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit 2. Creative aperture disks are dropped into a Lensbaby lens in place of one of the round-hole aperture disks that come with all Lensbaby optics. When a Creative Aperture disk is used with a Lensbaby SLR lens, the shape cut into the aperture disk will appear in the photograph anywhere bright points of light (specular highlights) are out of focus (decorative lights at night or the sun shining through leaves). The kit contains nine total aperture disks with shapes including diamonds, birds, sunburst and a star. Estimated Street Price: $19. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.


Bring out the full dynamic range of a high-contrast scene without bracketing using DxO Optics Pro v6.5. The latest version of the image-editing app features Single Shot HDR technology, which delivers the look of HDR from a single RAW image by allowing an extreme level of brightening within excessive shadows while preserving color
and avoiding too much saturation. You can choose from three automatic settings—light, realistic and artistic—or use manual controls to achieve the look you want. An improved RAW conversion engine reduces low-frequency color and luminance noise. The program can be used alone or as an external editor in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. Supported cameras include the Canon EOS 60D and Nikon D3100. Estimated Street Price: $299 (Elite); $119 (upgrade). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.


Create direct, focused and dramatic lighting with the Quick Spot from Harbor Digital Design. Like a snoot, the unit’s honeycomb grid creates a circular, tight beam of light for highlighting subjects or areas of interest. It’s available in ¼-inch and 1/8-inch grids with Lee Gel Filter Packs so you can easily create concentrated special effects. The Quick Spot slides onto your flash using a custom fit adapter so there’s no need for Velcro® or straps. Estimated Street Price: $44. Contact: Harbor Digital Design, (253) 851-6117, www.harbordigitaldesign.com.


View images from up to 180 feet away from where your Canon or Nikon DSLR is positioned using the Hähnel Inspire LiveView Remote Control. A built-in, 3.5-inch LCD on the handheld transmitter displays live view, independent of the DSLR, so you get visual confirmation of the scene as well as of the photo taken, and you can play back pictures without going to the camera. The unit can control up to four different cameras remotely from one transmitter and then switch between the live view images of each camera at the touch of a button. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: Hähnel (RTS Inc.), (631) 242-6801, www.rtsphoto.com.


Take high-resolution stills and record HD video to Hoodman’s latest RAW SDHC memory cards, which are steel-plated to withstand the rigors of rough shooting environments. Miniature chip-on-board technology allows extra room for a reinforced internal housing structure that protects sensitive flash components from damage. The cards have a Class 10 speed rating and come in capacities of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Hoodman USA, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.


Go from wide to tele using the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, which weighs just 15.9 ounces and measures 3.8 inches in length and 2.9 inches in diameter. With new PZD (Piezo Drive) autofocus technology, the ultrasonic motor delivers fast and quiet focusing. Other features include Vibration Compensation image stabilization, a minimum focusing distance of 19.3 inches throughout the zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8. The lens is available for Canon and Nikon mounts, with a Sony mount to come later. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Tamron, (800) 827-8880, www.tamron-usa.com.


Make sure the color of your images is displayed as accurately as possible on screen with the 23-inch MultiSync PA231W from NEC Display Solutions. Features include full 1920×1080 HD resolution, a 1000:1 contrast ratio and a 14-bit 3D lookup table for precise color calibrations. Connectivity options include a DisplayPort, two DVI-D inputs, VGA and a USB hub. If you work in different color spaces and operating systems, DisplaySync ProT technology allows you to control two computers connected to the PA231W with only one keyboard and mouse, each with its own color space. Estimated Street Price: $679. Contact: NEC Display Solutions, (866) 632-6673, www.necdisplay.com.


Use your iPad to share images from your latest trip with Mediapad Pro. The app has a fully customizable interface and can handle photos, videos and audio clips. You can switch out files, adjust color, modify the font and change background images. Additional features include hyperlinked digital files for live demonstrations, a Guest Registry with PDF/XLSX export, and slideshow options with transitions and timing for delivering a seamless presentation. Estimated Street Price: $14. Contact: MEDL Mobile, www.medlmobile.com; Apple, www.apple.com/itunes.


The Flashpoint iBoard Apple Bluetooth Keyboard kit contains Apple’s Original Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard that works with both the iPad and iPhone 4 (iOS 4) with special shortcut keys for quickly opening apps and select websites. The shortcuts are programmed into the keyboard via a proprietary app that’s free to all iBoard users from the iTunes App store. The keyboard is small and made to the standards of the official Apple BT keyboard. It ships with a silicone waterproof skin. Estimated Street Price: $64. Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.


Minimize light reflections and improve transmission using new optical filters from Carl Zeiss. Customized to meet the high quality of its lenses for SLRs, the polarizing and UV filters are multicoated, like the prime T* lenses for which they’re designed. With standard thread diameters of 58mm, 67mm, 72mm and 82mm, the filters work with lenses made by other manufacturers, too. Carl Zeiss also now offers a camera strap with air-cell padding for SLRs. Estimated Street Price: TBA (filters); $41 (strap). Contact: Carl Zeiss, www.zeiss.com/photo.

Hard Copy

Photo Op: 52 Inspirational Projects for the Adventurous Image-Maker by Kevin Meredith (Focal Press, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-240-81400-1). With 52 inspirational ideas, this book is packed with practical guidance on how to take creative, dynamic and quirky images. Contributors include some of the most popular photographers from the Flickr community, covering projects for all types of equipment.

The Great LIFE Photographers by the Editors of LIFE (Little, Brown, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-316-09793-2). This comprehensive anthology features the best work of every staff photographer who worked for the famed publication. More than 100 portfolios are included, along with short biographies that offer a look at the people behind the lens.

Plastic Cameras: Toying With Creativity by Michelle Bates (Focal Press, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-240-81421-6). Learn how to create one-of-a-kind photos using a plastic camera. The guide shows you how to prep your plastic camera, their advantages and quirks, and what film to use. Other topics include vignetting, multiple exposures and panoramas.

Lensbaby: Bending Your Perspective by Corey Hilz (Focal Press, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-240-81402-5). This handy reference starts with an overview of each lens in the Lensbaby suite. It’s packed with tips on composition and techniques for capturing the best images possible. Nearly every page has a full-color image created by a Lensbaby expert to inspire you.

Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart by Tracey Clark and others (Focal Press, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-240-81347-9). From portraits and landscapes to still-life and documentary shots, the book explains what separates a captivating image and teaches you how to create your own compelling photography.

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