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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Focus: December 2009

Editors' Picks

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Novoflex QuadroPod
Yes, it’s what it sounds like: a four-legged “tripod.” The Novoflex QuadroPod provides stable shooting on any ground. Three heads are available (one with a reversible center column), along with exchangeable legs in a variety of lengths and materials, allowing you to position a camera stably at almost any height. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., www.hpmarketingcorp.com. —MS
Subaru Forester
Getting out on old county roads, fire roads and the odd BLM track gives all of us a chance to find pristine and remote vistas. To do that, a vehicle that can handle the terrain as well as haul your gear is a necessity. The Subaru Forester is a small SUV that has plenty of room for your equipment. It features a strong all-wheel-drive power train, and fuel economy is a solid 19 mpg in stop-and-go driving and 24 mpg on the highways. The Forester is a comfortable and capable “viewfinder” that won’t break the bank. Estimated Street Price: $20,295 to $28,495, depending on trim and options. Contact: Subaru, www.subaru.com. —CR
PNY SDHC Class 6 Memory Cards
The PNY Optima Pro Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) High-Speed Class 6 memory cards offer minimum sustained write speeds of 6 MBps, ideal for high-megapixel (and mid-level) D-SLRs and HD camcorders. They’re available in capacities from 4 GB to 16 GB. A 32 GB Class 4 (4 MBps) card also is available. Estimated Street Price: $24-$59 (Class 6 cards); $149 (32 GB Class 4 card). Contact: PNY Technologies, www.pny.com. —WP
Litepanels Micro
A handy LED light that runs on four standard or rechargeable AA batteries, the Litepanels Micro mounts on camcorders and D-SLRs and provides lovely soft directional lighting. A dimmer dial atop the housing provides instant 0% to 100% output with minimal color shift. Output is flicker-free, heat-free and consistent. The compact unit (3.93x2.9x1.49 inches, under 4 ounces) will run for 1.5 hours on AA batteries, seven to eight hours on E2 lithiums. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: Litepanels, www.litepanels.com. —WP
Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Versa Tripod
Known for its popular ballheads, Really Right Stuff set out to make a new tripod this year, and the TVC-33 Versa is the result. The carbon-fiber tripod is made in the USA and has a maximum load rating of 50 pounds, which is plenty for just about any camera/lens combination. It’s extendable up to 58 inches high, and you can get 4.5 inches from the ground. The whole tripod weighs a scant four pounds. Estimated Street Price: $925. Contact: Really Right Stuff, www.reallyrightstuff.com. —CR
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH1
With selectable HD recording in 1080/24p or 720/60p for saving on file sizes, the 12.1-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 brings economical pricing to hybrid still and video shooting. The GH1 captures in the popular AVCHD format and includes Dolby Digital Stereo Creator sound recording. The 14-140mm ƒ/4-5.8 lens is specially designed for movie recording, with silent and continuous autofocusing and smooth aperture adjustment. The camera uses the Micro Four Thirds sensor system, codeveloped with Olympus, for a 2x 35mm focal-length equivalent and a shorter lens mount. This means compatible lenses that are reduced in size, making the system compact and lighter. You’ll also find a high signal-to-noise ratio, dual Venus Engine HD image processing to reduce noise for excellent image quality, MEGA O.I.S. for image stabilization, Intelligent ISO Control for reducing motion blur and AF Tracking for autofocus of moving subjects. List Price: $1,499. Contact: Panasonic, www.panasonic.com. —DW

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