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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In Focus: December 2008


This Article Features Photo Zoom




NANPA 15TH ANNIVERSARY SUMMIT
NANPA’s Fifteenth Annual Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show will be held February 18 through 22, 2009, in Albuquerque, N.M. There will be keynote presentations by Art Wolfe (who will also be master of ceremonies), Tim Laman, Norbert Rosing and Bill Fortney. Many leading nature-photography editors will be conducting portfolio reviews, and there will be a variety of breakout sessions, some on photographic technique, some on the business of photography and some on using photography as an instrument for conservation. Pre- and post-Summit workshops will provide more in-depth instruction on digital-darkroom and field technique by such masters as Tom Hogarty, Rob Sheppard, Jon Canfield and Arthur Morris. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and network with fellow nature photographers from all over the United States and numerous other countries. Contact: www.nanpa.org.

BACKUP & VIEW
Scroll through and zoom in on RAW or JPEG images when you’re out in the field with the high-end, high-capacity Epson P-6000 (80 GB) and P-7000 (160 GB) multimedia photo viewers. The 4-inch LCD screen delivers images with smooth gradations and color transitions. Download speeds are 35 percent faster than previous models. Instead of the four-way switch, you navigate through images with a jog dial. Estimated Street Price: $599 (P-6000); $799 (P-7000). Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
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MEMORY BUMP
Store more files in your portable hard drive using Western Digital’s My Passport, which now comes in capacities of 500 GB. The My Passport Elite and My Passport Essential drives weigh less than seven ounces, making them an ideal way to back up and transport images when you’re on the road. A capacity gauge lets you know at a glance how much space is available. Included synchronization software lets you sync changes and protect information with 128-bit encryption. Estimated Street Price: $179 to $219. Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000, www.westerndigital.com.
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SPEED SHOOTING
Record fast-moving wildlife on your next outdoor adventure with the Casio EXILIM EX-FH20, which features a 9.1-megapixel sensor and the ability to shoot high-speed 40 fps bursts. The camera features a 20x optical zoom lens equivalent to 26-520mm in 35mm format, an anti-shake function to support power zoom shots and a 720p video option. To record high-speed movies, select from speeds of 1,000 fps, 420 fps or 210 fps, and switch from standard 30 fps mode to 210 fps by simply touching a button. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Casio, (800) 435-7732, www.casio.com.
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THE MESSENGER
Shoulder the load of your photo gear with the help of Tamrac’s Adventure Messenger 5, which holds an SLR, lenses and a laptop. The main compartment is padded with foam, and dividers help keep your equipment organized. A foam-padded rear pocket holds most 13-inch laptops. There are additional pockets for storing manuals, personal items and other extras. A padded shoulder strap and EasyGrip handle give you carrying options. Estimated Street Price: $69. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
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WORK IT
Organize and manage your photos with greater efficiency using ACDSee Pro 2.5, a workflow program that has received a major upgrade. You can now create a folder system, back up files, set categories and modify metadata as images are imported. Embedding custom metadata, like categories and ratings, saving custom search criteria and nondestructive editing round out the update. The auto-slideshow feature also is improved. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com.
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CUSTOM PRINTS
Get creative with your images using Mpix 2.0, which is the online division of Miller’s Professional Imaging. With a more streamlined interface, ordering prints is easier than before, and there are more creative options such as assembled albums from Art Leather, life-sized Wall Clings and an expanded line of custom frames with 12 new styles. You also can have a print framed with a black or white matte now. Additionally, Mpix has added tools designed to make the service faster and more intuitive. Estimated Street Price: Varies by product and print size. Contact: Mpix, www.mpix.com.
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ROLL IT
Transport your valuable photo equipment in Porter Case’s PCX Lite series. The carry-on-sized luggage cases have wheels and a built-in cart feature that allows you to stack more than 100 pounds of other baggage on top. Optional adjustable dividers and a customizable layered foam interior help to protect your gear. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $149. Contact: Porter Case, (800) 356-8348, www.portercase.com.
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POWERFUL ULTRAZOOM
When an SLR isn’t practical, carry a backup camera like the Olympus SP-565 UZ, which covers a big 26-520mm focal length range in 35mm format. A Dual Image Stabilization system, which adjusts the sensor and ISO, allows you to shoot in low light and get sharp shots of wildlife and other moving subjects without blur. The 10-megapixel camera also incorporates Shadow Adjustment Technology, which is helpful when shadow areas are underexposed and lack detail. It also can shoot 3-megapixel images at 13.5 fps. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.olympusamerica.com.
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FLASH CARDS
Combining greater storage capacity and faster data transfer rates, the 32 GB SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash card is ideal for long shooting trips. Sometimes an increase in capacity sacrifices speed, but this card is built to maintain a speedy 30 MBps transfer rate. For video shooters, the card can record more than 80 minutes of 100 MBps, 10-bit, 4:2:2 HD video. The Extreme III CF card lineup starts at a capacity of 4 GB. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: SanDisk, (866) SANDISK, www.sandisk.com.
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LENS AID
Sharpen your images by fixing distortion, softness and vignetting with DxO Optics Pro v5.2. In this latest upgrade, RAW conversion is improved for images shot at ISOs as high as 25,600. The software corrects lens problems based on tests that measure how lenses perform with specific sensors. Each correction removes defects and aberrations that are specific to that camera and lens combo. In v5.2, noise-removal technologies do a better job of preserving color nuances and removing large noise spots. Estimated Street Price: $169 (Standard); $299 (Elite). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.
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