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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Focus: January/February 2012

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Not every photographer needs all of the tools that Photoshop brings to the table. That's why Adobe makes Photoshop Elements, which has received quite an upgrade. A number of new tools in version 10 make doing more complex enhancements, such as simulating depth of field, as easy as moving a few sliders. You can simply paint on effects, including Snow, Pencil Sketch, Oil Pastel and more, to change the look of an image. There are 100 total effects, 30 of which are new. An intelligent search tool can collect related photos based on objects in your selected image for quickly finding all of your images of a favorite friend or pet. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Adobe, (800) 833-6687, www.adobe.com.

Some effects are better left to capturing in-camera instead of later on a screen. Neutral-density filters are must-haves when you want to slow down the shutter speed and create cool motion blur effects with water and other subjects. The Hoya PRO1 Digital ND32 and ND64 are dark neutral-density filters that reduce the amount of light entering the lens in the equivalent of five and six stops, respectively. This translates to possible shutter speeds of approximately 1⁄2 second (ND32) and 1 second (ND64) or more in daylight when shooting at ƒ/22. The filters also allow you to use a wider aperture for creating shallow depth-of-field effects. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Hoya (THK Photo), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

The Novoflex Survival Kit can be a lifesaver for capturing sharp images when taking a tripod isn't feasible. The basic configurations you can set up with the system include a mini-tripod, a clamp with a 1¾-inch opening that can be affixed to just about anything, a mini-ballhead, a suction-type clamp for adhering to smooth surfaces, a plastic clamp for holding objects other than a camera, a six-inch extension post that can extend any part of the kit, a 3 1⁄8-inch ground spike and the storage case. The kit can support camera weights of up to about 6½ pounds. Estimated Street Price: $210. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC memory card lineup just got bigger and faster with a 64 GB option that can deliver write speeds of up to 90 MB/s and read speeds of up to 95 MB/s. With Ultra High Speed (UHS) capability, the card not only captures high-resolution RAW files in continuous burst mode, but full HD video as well. The advanced Error Correction Code engine improves overall data integrity and reliability of the card while it's reading and writing. Capacity ranges from 8 GB to 64 GB. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $100. Contact: SanDisk, (866) SANDISK, www.sandisk.com.

Whether you want to create layered files for doing composites, add a special effect, make your image bigger or simulate selective-focus effects, onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 6 is up to handling all of those tasks and more. There are seven applications to choose from—Perfect Portrait 1, Perfect Layers 2, Perfect Effects 3, Perfect Mask 5, Perfect Resize 7, FocalPoint 2 and PhotoFrame 4. An integrated file browser allows you to work on any image you want, and the Module Selector lets you jump from one program to the next with just a click. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.

Take a more critical view of your images using the 24-inch widescreen MultiSync P241W from NEC Display Solutions. Some of the key features include 1920x1200 native resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, and LCD technology that minimizes color shift when viewing images from the widest angle possible. The DisplaySync Pro system lets you work across two computers simultaneously with one keyboard and mouse, using the display to switch between computers. There are five programmable Picture Mode profiles for quick access to multiple color spaces, and connectivity options include DisplayPort, VGA, two DVI-D inputs and a USB hub. Estimated Street Price: $749; $1,249 (with SpectraViewII color-calibration system). Contact: NEC Display Solutions, (800) 632-4662, www.necdisplay.com.


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