Carry and protect your DSLR system in one of the Pelican ProGear Sport Backpacks. Made from light rip-stop nylon, the packs use either a crushproof, watertight hard case or a rigid compartment to protect your camera gear. The Elite models feature an integrated crushproof case for protecting laptops, tablets and other extras that has many of the same military-grade qualities as other classic Pelican cases. The watertight O-ring seal with automatic pressure-equalization valve ensures that water stays out. A set of four adhesive memory foam buffers helps make sure that contents are secured for travel. Other helpful features include the SureGrip soft rubber handle, floating shoulder straps and lumbar pad, a chest clip and a removable hip belt. Estimated Street Price: $269 (S100 Elite). Contact: Pelican, (855) 604-8562, www.pelicanprogear.com.
Make sure your images are free of noise using the latest version of Noiseware from Imagenomic. Boosting speed was a major priority in version 5, as it includes 64-bit compatibility for Mac users, an improved algorithm, faster processing speeds and multi-core support that allows you to produce images up to four times faster than the previous version. The improved algorithm helps you retain more detail in your images and is 25% more effective in reducing noise. Also included are new preset manager and history control features. Noiseware 5 is fully compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Apple Aperture 3. The upgrade is free for existing Noiseware Pro owners. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: Imagenomic, www.imagenomic.com.
Whether you're out shooting before sunrise or after sunset, the LumiQuest SoLite 200 allows you to see what you're doing with the camera. The LED lasts for more than six hours and is powered by a solar panel. It looks like a lightbulb, and it has a multi-switch (low-off-high) that shuts off automatically in bright light and pivots to direct light and charge the solar panel. Estimated Street Price: $19. Contact: LumiQuest, (800) 332-4644, www.lumiquest.com.
The Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 is the first hot-shoe flash to feature a touch-screen-based user interface. That means far less button-pushing and much faster, more intuitive control over settings. The menus will rotate when switching from horizontal shooting to portrait shooting, and there are several models for syncing with the automatic TTL exposure abilities of camera systems including Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic, Pentax and Sony. With a high guide number of 52 at the 105mm position (ISO 100), the flagship flash from Metz also sports wireless abilities for use as a commanding master or a remote slave. List Price: TBA. Contact: Metz, (201) 818-9500, www.metz.us.
FOR THE BIRDS
Travel deep into the New Guinea rain forest through the pages of Birds of Paradise: Extreme, Bizarre, Extraordinary by Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes (National Geographic Books, 2012; ISBN 978-1-4262-0958-1). Many of the 39 species of birds revealed in this book have rarely or never been photographed. Laman and Scholes were able to document courtship dances, including the dance of the "ballerina bird," peculiar mating calls and changing appearances. A detailed atlas of where each species lives in New Guinea is included, as well as field notes from Laman and Scholes's research. Drawings of their camera setups show how they found and documented each type of bird in its natural environment. Estimated Street Price: $50. Contact: National Geographic Books, (800) 437-5521, books.nationalgeographic.com.
Expand your gear-carrying options using a pair of new straps from Sun Sniper. With the Back-Pack-Strap, you can carry your backpack while using it as an additional camera strap for a DSLR. The strap clips onto your bag and has a stainless-steel ball-bearing camera connector, as well as a steel wire that runs through the channels of the strap. The weight of your camera gear is evenly distributed through the backpack's shoulder pad. With the Strap-Surfer, the camera rests by your side and is ready whenever you need it. Just clip the strap to your bag and attach the stainless-steel bearing connector to your camera's tripod socket. Estimated Street Price: $67 (Back-Pack-Strap); $96 (Strap-Surfer). Contact: Sun Sniper, www.sunsniperusa.com.