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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In Focus: April 2008

Capture sunsets with smoother transitions from light to dark colors using the 12.2-megapixel Canon EOS Rebel XSi, which has an enhanced 14-bit A/D converter, along with many other features and technologies found in the company’s pro models. A fast autofocus system, three-inch Live View LCD with two types of AF and a 35-zone metering system round out some of the top-of-the-line features. The XSi also has the optional Highlight Tone Priority and High-ISO Noise Reduction functions first introduced in the EOS-1D Mark III. Additionally, the camera comes with Auto Lighting Optimizer technology, which automatically corrects image brightness and contrast. Estimated Street Price: $800 (body only); $900 (with EF-S 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS Zoom). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.

The Nikon D60 is a compact D-SLR that you can easily take on your next hiking or camping trip. With intuitive, simple-to-navigate menus and 10.2-megapixel resolution, it's an ideal option for beginners and enthusiasts. Features include a dual dust-reduction system and in-camera editing tools like color-intensifying filters, D-lighting, red-eye correction and Image Trim. The fast 0.18-second start-up time and minimal shutter lag mean less chance of missing those once-in-a-lifetime shots. And the D60's Stop-Motion Movie mode expands your creativity by making stop-animation movie clips from a series of as many as 100 consecutive JPEG picture files. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Nikon USA, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
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Nikon D60

The Samsung GX-20 takes a remarkable leap forward from it's predecessor, the GX-10, with a high-performance CMOS sensor that produces 14.6-megapixel resolution and captures 14-bit RAW files with minimal noise, even at high ISO settings. Other features include sensor-based shake reduction, a double dust-removal system, a 2.7-inch Live View LCD and an accurate 11-point wide-area AF system. The camera can shoot continuously at 3 fps. Estimated Street Price: $1,400. Contact: Samsung, (800) SAMSUNG, www.samsungcamerausa.com.
Samsung GX 20

The new entry-level Pentax K200D and advanced K20D share much of the same technology, including sensor-shift shake reduction, sensor-dust removal, 2.7-inch LCDs and the company’s proprietary high-speed PRIME image engine. The top-of-the-line K20D features a newly developed 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, which produces images with low noise at ISO settings up to 6400. With Live View and 160-degree viewing angles, you can quickly compose shots in the LCD from a variety of positions. Designed for D-SLR newcomers, the 10.2-megapixel K200D has a smaller body, a simpler interface and easy-to-use Auto Picture and Scene modes. Estimated Street Price: $799 (K200D); $1,299 (K20D). Contact: Pentax Imaging, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
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Pentax K20D

Mamiya improved the popular Macro MF 120mm ƒ/4 lens with modifications specifically for digital capture. The Mamiya Sekor Macro MF 120mm ƒ/4 D lens is now fully compatible with the latest cameras, software and digital backs, along with film backs. To improve communication between the camera and the lens, Mamiya incorporated a 16-bit CPU; it's predecessor used a 4-bit CPU. The 16-bit CPU can be overwritten with firmware upgrades required for future compatibility with cameras and digital backs. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com.
Mayima Sekor Macro

Get crystal-clear views from the Carson XM-050HD 10x50mm full-sized binoculars. Thanks to a proprietary lens coating that combines phase-coated prisms with new HD optical coating technology, images are sharp and bright. Rubberized armor coating makes the binoculars rugged and shockproof. They’re also waterproof and fogproof. Estimated Street Price: $380. Contact: Carson, (800) 9-OPTICS, www.carsonoptical.com.
Canon XM 050HD

Made from Mountainsmith's recycled PET fabric, the Hiker backpack is designed for sustainability and convenience. Ideal for extended day trips and short hikes, the all-terrain pack features dual-density foam shoulder straps, an air mesh foam back panel for added comfort and a removable pivoting waistbelt that tucks away. The PET fabric is woven from thread produced from 100-percent recycled plastic beverage bottles. Estimated Street Price: $89. Contact: Mountainsmith, (800) 551-5889, www.mountainsmith.com.
Mountainsmith Hiker Backpack

The upgraded Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking boots keep you on your toes for day hikes and weekend backpacking trips. With water-resistant leather uppers and Gore-Tex® lining, the boots are tough and breathable and provide solid footing, with a beefy Vibram outsole, on the roughest terrain. Estimated Street Price: $180. Contact: Lowa, (888) 335-LOWA, www.lowaboots.com.
Renegade Boots

Zip up the Inertia Hooded Jacket from Cloudveil on your next hike. A Cirrus-lined hood gives extra protection in harsh weather. Cirrus lining is a nylon taffeta that’s both down-proof and synthetic insulation-proof. It maintains a soft touch and is super-lightweight. Inertia Plus material with Primeflex is a 100-percent polyester double weave with mechanical stretch. The yarns are specifically processed to resist deformation. The resulting fabric has great stretch and no propensity to hold moisture. Estimated Street Price: $160. Contact: Cloudveil, (877) 255-8345, www.cloudveil.com


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