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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In Focus: April 2009

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Pentax is releasing its K2000 in a unique white version as a double-zoom kit. The entry-level model is aimed at those looking to move up from a compact camera to a D-SLR. The smc Pentax DA L 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 AL and 50-200mm ƒ/4-5.6 AL lenses that come in the kit also are white. The 10.2-megapixel camera features Pentax’s sensor-shift Shake Reduction that works with all lenses, a comprehensive sensor-dust removal system and a dedicated programmable Help button for the D-SLR newcomer. Continuous shooting of up to 3.5 fps (JPEG), a 2.7-inch LCD with wide-angle viewing and a compact 1.2-pound body round out the key specs. List Price: $679. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
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As a nature photographer, you don’t always have enough room in your backpack for a lot of extra lenses. With the Sigma 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, you get a wide-angle to telephoto zoom that produces excellent image quality throughout its entire range. The Hybrid Optical Stabilizer compensates for shake by providing image stabilization in the camera body and viewfinder. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 17.7 inches at all focal lengths and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.4, allowing you to take close-ups as well. Estimated Street Price: $530. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
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If you’re a Mac user, Western Digital continues to expand its external hard drive lineup to fit your needs. The My Passport and My Book drives come preformatted for Macs with an easy-to-use USB interface. Both are designed to work seamlessly with Apple’s Time Machine backup utility. My Passport is available in capacities of 320 GB and 500 GB, while My Book comes in a 1 TB capacity and preserves power by turning itself on and off with your computer. List Price: $129, $179 (320 GB, 500 GB My Passport); $179 (My Book). Contact: Western Digital,(949) 672-7000, www.westerndigital.com.
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As a backup or for when carrying an SLR isn’t practical, check out the Olympus SP-590 Ultra Zoom, which features a huge wide-angle to telephoto zoom range. In 35mm format, the focal-length range extends from 26mm to 676mm. The 12-megapixel camera comes with many of the technologies used in Olympus D-SLRs, including Dual Image Stabilization, Shadow Adjustment Technology, Perfect Shot Preview and shooting modes that let you soften the background focus, take multiple exposures and capture fast action. List Price: $449. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.olympusamerica.com.
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Achieve looks that used to take hours to create in a traditional darkroom in just a few mouse clicks with the latest version of Tiffen’s Dfx Digital Filter Suite. Version 2.0 consists of more than 2,000 standard, exclusive and special-effects filters that include Ambient Light, Close-Up Lens, Haze, High Contrast, Warm Polarizer and Wide-Angle Lens. These all can be quickly and easily customized, then saved to a filter library for later use. Available as separate plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Apple Aperture, Dfx v2.0 features multiple masking and layering capabilities that can be performed without exiting the plug-in for faster and more efficient processing. List Price: $299 (plug-in); $99 (standalone). Contact: Tiffen, (800) 645-2522, www.tiffen.com.
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