CANON REBEL SHOOTER 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.
NEW FROM NIKON 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.
NEXT-GENERATION GX 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.
A PAIR FROM PENTAX 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.
DIGITAL UPGRADE 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.
HIGH-QUALITY OPTICS 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.
GREEN PACK 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.
ALL-WEATHER BOOTS 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.
BODY WARMER 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
Your Next Digital Darkroom Between the large image files today's new D-SLRs generate and the demands of the latest software tools, your old computer is probably starting to show its age. We have some suggestions when it's time for an upgrade. More »