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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Editors' Picks A Buyer's Guide

A compilation of our favorite gear, gadgets and accessories


PowerEx MH-C801D Eight-Cell1-Hour Charger
Charge up to eight AA or AAA batteries in any combination and at the same time with the PowerEx MH-C801D battery charger.
The device has a microprocessor that charges batteries to their capacity without overcharging them, and a battery conditioner restores cells to their optimal performance level. The MH-C801D gives you a choice of using a soft charge for extra preservation of battery life or a hard charge that quickly powers up batteries in only one hour. The unit also features an LCD screen that displays the charging status of each battery. List Price: $85. Contact: Maha Energy, (800) 376-9992, www.mahaenergy.com.

Manfrotto 055MF3 Mag Fiber Tripod
The Manfrotto 055MF3 Mag Fiber Tripod weighs 6.7 pounds and supports up to 15 pounds of camera equipment.
The tripod is 4.3 inches high at the lowest position and extends to over 51?2 feet high, while the carbon-fiber legs have three sections equipped with action leveler locks and four angle settings. It provides versatile shooting positions with its pan-and-tilt head and center column, which converts into a lateral arm. A padded carrying strap allows the tripod to be transported comfortably. List Price: $425. Contact: Bogen Imaging, (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.

SanDisk Ultra II 8 GB CompactFlash Card
Capture hundreds of images on one card with the SanDisk Ultra II 8 GB CompactFlash card.
Its high capacity can hold more than 500 RAW files and 1,400 large JPEG files so you can keep shooting without frequent card changes. Additionally, the 8 GB memory device has a write speed of 9 MB per second and a read speed of 10 MB per second to allow you to save high-resolution images quickly. List Price: $999. Contact: SanDisk, (800) 977-5427, www.sandisk.com.

Fujifilm Fujichrome Velvia 100 Professional
Doubling the speed of Velvia 50, Fujifilm Fujichrome Velvia 100 can be used for different shooting situations while still maintaining the saturation and color of its predecessor.
The film has an RMS granularity of 8—lower than Velvia 50—greatly reducing grain in your images. Velvia 100 also has push/pull capabilities with minimal impact, ranging from a half-stop to a full stop. New color couplers keep the film from fading and maintain stable colors. List Price: $36 (36 exposures). Contact: Fujifilm, (800) 800-FUJI, www.fujifilm.com.

Tamrac Expedition 7Photo Backpack
Get ergonomic support with the Tamrac Expedition 7 Photo Backpack.
The pack has a highly adjustable shoulder and hip harness with extra padding to help you carry your load properly. Deep pockets allow you to stack your lenses horizontally, and the plastic accessory pockets have water-resistant zippers to protect your electrical gadgets from the elements. A center attachment secures your tripod in the middle of the bag, preventing it from swaying and throwing your gait off-balance, and airflow channels in the harness keep you cool and dry. List Price: $250. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.

Digital Film Tools 55mm
Digital Film Tools 55mm allows you to use Photoshop effects much easier and quicker.
The plug-in is catered to photographers and has more than 60 filters that simulate glass camera filters, specialized lenses, optical lab process, film grain, matte generation, exacting color correction, natural light and photographic effects. The filters allow you to fix distortion, correct light and even alter precise tonal ranges in your image by brightness value. List Price: $195. Contact: Digital Film Tools, (323) 874-2330, www.digitalfilmtools.com.

Epson P-2000
Want to store your images, but don’t feel like lugging a cumbersome laptop? The Epson P-2000 is a handy storage device with 40 GB of space for downloading files to and from CF and SD cards, reassuring the safety of your images. Weighing only one pound, the portable P-2000 fits in the palm of your hand and is perfect for travel. A large 3.8-inch LCD screen is sharp and vivid, making it easy to view your images in the field. List Price: $499. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.

Hewlett-Packard Photosmart 8250 Printer
The HP Photosmart 8250 printer can print full-quality 4x6-inch prints in 14 seconds, with options such as borderless and panoramic prints.
The printer displays your images on its 2.5-inch LCD screen and can accommodate CompactFlash Types I and II, Memory Stick, SD/MMC and xD. Equipped with wireless capabilities, the intuitive machine automatically brings details out of poor light. It has six ink cartridges and ships with HP Vivera ink. List Price: $199. Contact: Hewlett-Packard, (800) 752-0900, www.hp.com.

Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006
Microsoft’s Digital Image Suite 2005 is an easy-to-use software collection that allows you to organize, edit, enhance and share your images.
It’s easy to find pictures in your archives using the search engine, which locates by date, subject, size, keyword or rating. A feature called the Hover thumbnail enlarges pictures as you roll your mouse over them, eliminating the hassle of opening each image to see it bigger. Photo adjustment tools are grouped into toolsets that make them simple to locate. The software also includes Photo Story 3, an advanced slideshow software to showcase your images. List Price: $99. Contact: Microsoft, (800) 642-7676, www.microsoft.com.

Sigma APO Macro 150mmƒ/2.8 EX DG HSM
The Sigma APO Macro 150mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG HSM lets you get close to your subjects without disturbing them from their natural habitat.
This large-aperture telephoto macro lens is constructed of two special low-dispersion glass elements, assuring sharp quality and minimizing lens aberrations. A Super Multi Coating on the glass reduces flare and ghosting, while a Hyper Sonic Motor provides ultra-quiet, high-speed autofocusing. A manual focus override is included. The lens weighs approximately 32 ounces and has a 72mm filter size. List Price: $810. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigma-photo.com.



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