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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Focus: December 2009

Editors' Picks

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Epson Stylus Photo 3880
The Epson Stylus Photo 3880 delivers outstanding color and black-and-white prints, and it can make prints up to 17x22 inches. New AccuPhoto HD2 technology creates smooth color transitions and better highlight and shadow detail. The 3880 incorporates Epson’s highly regarded UltraChrome K3 inks with Vivid Magenta Ink Technology. Estimated Street Price: $1,295. Contact: Epson, www.epson.com. —CR
Lensbaby Optic Kit
If you’re a fan of Lensbaby’s special-effects lenses, the Lensbaby Optic Kit gives you three more creative ways of expanding your photography. The kit consists of three optics: Plastic, Pinhole/Zone plate and Single Glass. The Plastic optic creates a dreamy, ethereal effect. The Pinhole/Zone plate allows you to switch back and forth between ƒ/177 pinhole photography and ƒ/19 zone plate photography. Both modes create dreamy, artistic images that are equally sharp, or soft, from edge to edge. Single Glass is similar to vintage camera optics, and is ideal for black-and-white, portrait and fine-art photography. They’re all compatible with the Composer, Muse and Control Freak SLR lenses. Estimated Street Price: $94. Contact: Lensbaby, www.lensbaby.com. —KC

Tamron AF17-50mm
Having a good wide-to-medium zoom in the bag is useful for any nature photographer. The Tamron AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II is designed for APS-C cameras and gives me an equivalent of 28-75mm on my D-SLR. The Di II series of lenses are specifically designed for digital, and the fast ƒ/2.8 maximum aperture gives me low-light shooting ability and allows me full control over my depth of field. Estimated Street Price: $450. Contact: Tamron, www.tamron.com.
Nikon D300S
Take a terrific D-SLR, with excellent autofocusing and image quality, and make it better: That’s what Nikon did with the D300S. Offering the same 12.3-megapixel resolution as the D300, the new camera adds HD video, a second memory-card slot (CF and SD/SDHC), 7 fps shooting, a new Virtual Horizon, even quicker autofocusing and more to join the original’s features, which include a high-res, 3.0-inch, 920,000-dot LCD monitor, Live View with phase-detection and contrast-based AF, 1005-pixel 3D Color Matrix II metering and very effective Active D-Lighting (now with five-frame bracketing). And for the same price! Estimated Street Price: $1,799. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com. —WP
Canon EOS 7D
With full HD at 1080p (1920x1080), in-camera editing capabilities and manual exposure controls, the Canon EOS 7D digital SLR upped the ante this year for video-capable D-SLRs by offering selectable frame rates, including sought-after 24p for giving video a rich cinematic film feel. Now photographers can capture video in a variety of looks that were previously reserved for dedicated camcorders, further renewing 2009’s photography buzzword: convergence. The EOS 7D also brings 18 megapixels on a sub-full-frame sensor, Dual DIGIC 4 image processing, 8 fps continuous shooting and an expandable ISO range of 100-12,800 to a body priced far below $2,000. List Price: $1,699. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com. —DW
Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX 11-16mm ƒ/2.8 lens
I see in ultrawide. Take away my telephoto lenses, and I’ll be okay, but take away my wide-angles, and I’m lost as a photographer. I love the perspective I get with focal lengths between 15mm and 20mm. The Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX 11-16mm ƒ/2.8 lens gives me an equivalent of 17-24mm on my APS-C D-SLR. The lens is sharp and has good contrast across the zoom range, and aberrations are minimized, giving me no color fringing even at the widest focal length. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: THK Photo Products, www.thkphoto.com. —CR

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