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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Focus: December 2010

Editors' Picks: Our annual look at products that the OP Editors found to be particularly interesting and useful for nature photographers.

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Nikon P7000
When I travel, I take the bare minimum, so a compact camera like the Nikon P7000 is ideal because of its size and power. The 1/1.7-inch sensor is bigger than that of its predecessor and the focal length has expanded from 28-112mm to 28-200mm (35mm equivalent). The camera’s Zoom Control feature allows you to customize focal lengths that can be automatically zoomed to with one touch. A built-in ND filter reduces light by up to three stops when you’re shooting in bright conditions with shallower depth of field or a slow shutter. The P7000 also shoots 720p high-definition video at 24 or 30 fps. List Price: $499. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com. —KC.
Alien Skin Exposure 3
Even in this digital era, the classic look of film never will go out of style. Fortunately, there are ways we can make our digital images look as if they were shot on film with software like Exposure 3 from Alien Skin Software. More than 500 analog techniques and natural looks can be simulated, including Polaroid, vintage Daguerreotype, Kodachrome, cross processing and more. Aside from adjusting the grain’s structure size, Exposure 3 allows you to alter how much grain texture is visible in the highlights, midtones and shadows of the image. List Price: $249. Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com. —KC
ACDSee Pro
Get a handle on your growing photo library with ACDSee Pro 3. From start to finish, this is a complete solution for organizing your workflow. With faster RAW processing, more customization options and expanded online functionality, the program makes better use of the background task engine when processing large RAW files for importing quickly, keeping images organized and making key adjustments. Using ACDSee Online, you can connect to a free 2 GB account for storing and sharing images without leaving the software. List Price: $169. Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com. —KC
Litepanels MicroPro Hybrid
With the convergence of video and photography in still cameras, this year has been all about products that can provide solutions in both arenas. The Litepanels MicroPro Hybrid provides an LED light source for video and stills with a Continuous Mode for a constant, flicker-free and dimmable soft daylight temperature (5600º K) lighting setup. For stills, the Flash Mode triggers at a 400% brighter burst for capturing scenes that require even more light output. LED technology has matured greatly over the last few years, and the MicroPro has almost no heat generation (that translates to easier handling and faster flash recycles) and low power consumption, resulting in a full run time of 1.5 hours on AA batteries and up to six hours with Energizer e2 Lithium batteries. A warmer white 3200ºK Tungsten filter and ¼ CTO warming and diffusion filter are included. List Price: $525. Contact: Litepanels, Inc., (818) 752-2437, www.litepanels.com. —DW
Redrock Micro Nano DSLR Rigs
“Pimping” out your HD DSLR can often cost a shooter on a budget an arm and a leg. Redrock Micro, one of the leaders of affordable professional-quality cinema accessories, has released a new line of entry-level accessories and rigs for HD DSLR cameras. The new nano rigs consist of seven new rigs and five new accessories. The Grippit is the most minimalist rig and contains a rubberized grip and baseplate that keep the hands off the body of the camera. The RunningMan is ideal for run-and-gun-type shooting and delivers three points of contact for stability. The Low Down is great for shooting at low angles with a convenient top grip, and the Stealth is a compact rig that lets you keep both hands on the camera while still giving you the support you need. List Price: Less than $495. Contact: Redrock Micro, (888) 214-3903, www.redrockmicro.com. —NM
Lensbaby Composer With Tilt Transformer
The latest Lensbaby creative-effect device is the Composer with Tilt Transformer, which provides a round focus “sweet spot” and allows you to position it as desired by tilting and rotating the unit. You also can remove the Composer Focus Front and use the Tilt Transformer to attach any Nikon-mount lens to a Micro Four Thirds or Sony NEX-series camera. Then rotate and tilt it to position the resulting “slice of focus” as desired. You also can attach one of the many other Lensbaby effects devices via the Optic Swap System. List Price: $350. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com. —MS

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