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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In Focus: January/February 2010

This Article Features Photo Zoom
The quick-access, slim-profile Tamrac Aero Camera Bags give you the freedom to move around easily and capture those short-lived photo opportunities. There are three models. The Aero 50 holds a DSLR with grip and four-inch lens attached, plus a few extra lenses and flash. The Aero 45 fits a DSLR with an attached 3 1⁄2-inch zoom, an extra lens and flash. The Aero 40 works for a compact DSLR with a 31⁄2-inch zoom and a small flash. All models are padded with foam to ensure equipment stays protected. Estimated Street Price: $30 to $45. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
With enough space for multiple camera bodies, lenses and accessories, the Pelican 1740 and 1770 Long Cases offer an ideal way of safely storing your SLR system either at home or out on the road. Two rugged double-wide handles make for easier steering and lifting, while wide-track polyurethane wheels with ball bearings and nylon hubs provide stability and durability. The major difference between the two is size, with the 1770 measuring longer than the 1740. You also can stack multiple 1740 and 1770 units on top of one another for more storage. Estimated Street Price: $499 (1740); $579 (1770). Contact: Pelican Products, (800) 473-5422, www.pelican.com.
Convert slides and negatives to digital images using Epson’s Perfection V600 Photo scanner. Top features include 6400x9600 dpi resolution and 3.4 Dmax optical density for enlargements up to 17x22 inches. The energy-efficient scanner uses ReadyScan LED technology for faster scan speeds, no warm-up time and less power consumption. Photo-restoration tools that remove dust and scratches along with tears and creases help bring faded or damaged photos back to life. The V600 features a built-in Transparency Unit (TPU) that supports full-panoramic medium-format film. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
To make your landscapes look as dramatic in print as they did during capture, enlarge them with Alien Skin Software’s Blow Up 2. The resizing plug-in has been updated for easier use within Photoshop CS4. The latest version includes two CS4 panels that are accessible via the Window/Extensions menu. The Startup panel makes common output sizes and paper types easily available, while the Gallery Wrap panel prepares images for this popular mounting technique by printing on canvas, which then can be stretched around a wood frame. Estimated Street Price: $249 (new); $99 (upgrade). Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.
Redesigned to be smaller and sleeker, the WD My Book Essential and My Book for Mac external hard drives now come with SmartWare software that visually shows the progress of your files as they back up. Both drives feature automatic continuous backup, user-selected password protection and 256-bit hardware encryption that scrambles files before storage. An illuminated capacity gauge displays how much space is available. My Book for Mac is compatible with Apple’s Time Machine backup utility. Capacities range from 500 GB to 2 TB. Estimated Street Price: $99 to $249. Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000, www.westerndigital.com.
Sharpen up your low- and ground-level photography with the Berlebach Mini Leveling Wood Tripod. The two-section tabletop tripod is available with or without a built-in leveling head. Height ranges from four to 15 inches, and it weighs two pounds, yet supports 17.6 pounds. A lever under the camera platform allows the top plate to tilt ±15º in all directions for easy camera leveling. Wood tripods are especially well suited for dampening vibration. Estimated Street Price: $288. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.


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