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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
Novoflex Micro Four Thirds Adapter
The new Micro Four Thirds cameras from Panasonic and Olympus remind me of old, high-end 35mm rangefinder systems. They’re very compact and ideal travel companions. The new Micro Four Thirds cameras have the additional advantage of being capable of shooting HD video. By using a Novoflex Micro Four Thirds adapter, I’m able to travel with my big DSLR outfit and an Olympus E-P2 and I only have to bring one set of lenses. It’s a perfect system that gives me a dedicated HD video camera and a solid backup. List Price: Varies. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com. —CR
Hoya PRO1 Digital ND16 Filter
In the film days, if I wanted to use a slow shutter speed to blur a waterfall, I’d just put slow film in the camera and stop down the lens. The diffraction caused by the resulting tiny apertures wasn’t all that noticeable on slide film. But with today’s DSLRs and their greater resolution and tiny pixel sizes, stopping down much past ƒ/8 or ƒ/11 can cause a noticeable reduction in image sharpness due to diffraction, despite the increased depth of field. Enter Hoya’s PRO1 Digital ND16 filter, a 16X (four-stop) ND filter that permits use of slow shutter speeds even in bright light without stopping down past ƒ/11. List Price: $65-$150 (depending on size). Contact: Hoya (THK Photo Products), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com. —MS
Apple Camera Connection Kit
Outfit your iPad with the Apple Camera Connection Kit for quickly downloading photos and video from your camera to the iPad. The kit includes two connectors, each with a different interface. The Camera Connector has a USB interface for plugging one end into your iPad and the other into your camera. The SD Card Reader imports photos directly from your memory card. Once connected, the iPad automatically opens the Photos app and lets you select which pictures to import. List Price: $29. Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com. —WP
Ewa-Marine U-BF100
Some of the most dramatic photographs happen in stormy weather, but you want to make sure your camera is protected. The ewa-marine U-BF100 waterproof weather housing is made of flexible, double-laminated PVC and large enough to handle pro DSLRs. The left-hand glove and right-forefinger port let you operate the lens and camera controls naturally. If you shoot underwater, the housing works in depths down to 30 feet. It comes with a handy carrying case. List Price: $399. Contact: R.T.S., Inc., (631) 242-6801, www.rtsphoto.com. —KC
Spot Delorme Earthmate PN 60w
It’s a fact of nature that photography is largely a solitary endeavor. Even on a morning hike in the local mountains, an accident can happen, which is why the SPOT DeLorme Earthmate PN 60w is an indispensable tool. In canyons where there’s no cell phone reception, the unit uses a satellite to send one of four preprogrammed messages to a contact of my choosing or I can type a custom message (up to 40 characters). There are other SPOT devices, but I like the Earthmate because it’s built into a DeLorme GPS so I have two trail tools in one. Contact: DeLorme, www.delorme.com, www.findmespot.com. —CR
Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI
Marshall Electronics is known for its high-quality, portable, camera-top LCD monitors. The V-LCD50-HDMI 5-inch field monitor delivers 800x480 resolution and is the perfect tool for HD DSLR shooters who want a better monitoring solution than their camera’s LCD screen. The monitor’s small size and minimal weight work perfectly with small HD DSLRs vs. traditional shoulder-mount camcorders, and the unit uses four AAs instead of camcorder batteries, which makes it lighter and flatter (and saves you money). The V-LCD50 includes Marshall’s innovative False Color filter, which helps you accurately set camera exposure, and the Peaking filter, which aids shooters in obtaining sharp focus. Contact: Marshall Electronics, (310) 333-0606, www.lcdracks.com. —NM

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