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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In Focus: August 2013

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Quickly and easily update firmware and customize the focus parameters of your Sigma lens with the Sigma USB Dock. The dock attaches to the lens just like a rear lens cap and connects to the USB drive of the computer. Firmware updates are made via an Internet download. For more customizable adjustments using Sigma Optimization Pro software, four focus settings can be changed for fixed-length lenses and 16 focus settings are manageable for zoom lenses. The AF speed, focus limiter and optical stabilizer function are adjustable for sports lenses. Estimated Street Price: $59. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.

Grainy images from low-light situations can be improved upon with ArcSoft Low Light NR application software. Based on Multiple Frame NR technology, the software combines three to six frames shot in Burst mode to reduce noise and create one high-resolution image. The Auto Group feature helps you determine which images taken in Burst mode will be most suitable for noise reduction. While adjusting noise, also adjust white balance, saturation, contrast, and make cropping adjustments and other fine-tuning on the image and share directly to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: ArcSoft, www.arcsoft.com.

For wildlife photographers who often have two cameras strapped to their bodies, the Xit Group has created the Quick Release Dual Shoulder Camera Neck Strap to make toting around two cameras more comfortable and convenient. The strap is ergonomically designed to distribute weight evenly through the widening shoulder pads. The strap uses Velcro® and metal lock fasteners, allowing quick adjustment of strap length while standing up to rigorous usage. Included are two quick-release plates with ¼" threads for connecting the camera to a device with a ¼" screw. The Dual Shoulder Strap can be divided into two separate camera straps for use individually. Estimated Street Price: $29. Contact: Xit Group, www.xit-group.com.

Capturing smooth, fluid motion shots is difficult when you're moving quickly on a rough hiking trail. The ZeroGrav Camera Stabilizer by Flashpoint uses a dynamic spring-powered arm supporting a gimbaled carbon-fiber monopod to create an "anti-gravity" effect, making steady motion shots effortless. Levers, springs, counterbalance weights and concentric rings allow you to control the movement that you want, while avoiding unwanted bumps from jagged terrain. A DSLR is connected directly to the stabilizer platform or with a quick-release adapter. Set the true balance for the rig by sliding the socket port into the handle on a standard-dimension light stand. Make quick calibration adjustments with scale and north-south, east-west knobs. Estimated Street Price: $300. Contact: Adorama, www.adorama.com.

The Evolution 6 Photo Sling Backpack by Tamrac is a versatile pack giving you quick access to your gear at all times. Using a harness system, the bag can be worn as a backpack or as a sling pack over the right or left shoulder, and gear can be accessed through zippered doors from the front, left or rightsides.The Evolution 6 fits a DSLR with a 51⁄2-inch lens attached and an additional lens or two as well as a flash. The foam-padded upper compartment can store accessories, a backup camera or snacks. The mesh back pocket and windowpane-mesh pocket inside the door are perfect for memory and smaller accessories. The right pocket holds a rain cover to protect the entire bag during rough weather. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: Tamrac, www.tamrac.com.

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