COMPACT AND WIDE The 7.2-megapixel compact Samsung L74 Wide has a 3.6x optical zoom starting at a 35mm equivalent of 28mm. A three-inch touch-screen LCD makes navigating through the menu system easy and intuitive, while the World Tour Guide function (with travel information covering 4500 regions in 30 countries) helps you plan trips and navigate on the road. At just 4x2.4x0.8 inches and six ounces, the camera is a great size for hiking around within the backcountry. List Price: $350. Contact: Samsung, (800) 762-7746, www.samsungcamerausa.com.
BRIGHT EYES Pore over your photos in front of a big screen using LaCie's 526 LCD monitor. The 25.5-inch wide-format display shows a range of vibrant and previously unattainable colors allowing for a closer match among captured, displayed and printed colors. An embedded ColorKeeper sensor analyzes the brightness and chromaticity of its backlight and continues to adjust that light resulting in stable color and brightness over time. The monitor also comes with LaCie's blue eye pro calibration software. List Price: $2,419. Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com.
A LEG UP Shoot from the ground up using Gitzo's next-generation aluminum Series 2 tripods with a new built-in solution for greater stability and versatility. The new features, called the Ground Level Set, allow a photographer to simply remove the tripod's column, then lock in the upper disc mounting plate directly to the tripod's retractable hook. While leg tube thickness remains at 1.2mm to provide stability, a patented techno-polymer, Soulid 238, and the basalt center column reduce the tripod's overall weight without sacrificing strength. A sleek matte black finish minimizes light reflection. Estimated Street Price: $300 (GT2330); $400 (GT2340L). Contact: Bogen Imaging, (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.
ON THE SPOT Zero in on fast-moving wildlife quickly with Celestron's VistaPix IS70 Digital Spotting Scope, which features a built-in 3-megapixel digital camera that also shoots video. The 70mm scope's fully integrated eyepiece with high-powered zoom magnifies subjects up to 144x. Other features include a two-inch LCD with full-color image preview, digital focus meter and 210-foot field of view. List Price: $479. Contact: Celestron, (310) 328-9560, www.celestron.com.
STOP SCRATCHING Camp with caution this summer by preventing poison-ivy outbreaks with buji Block and buji Wash. The Block was developed as a precontact protective lotion to help guard against allergic reactions by preventing the toxic oil of poison-ivy and poison-oak plants from absorbing into your skin. The Wash is used to relieve itching and irritation after symptoms appear. Estimated Street Price: $13 each. Contact: buji, (888) 606-BUJI, www.bujiproducts.com.
COVER UP Be prepared for those late-afternoon summer thunderstorms with Woolrich's Afton jacket. The water-resistant, quick-drying microfiber shell features zippered front pockets with mesh bags, Teflon Fabric Protector for repelling stains and water, and an attached hood with brim and drawcords. Plus, the garment rolls up into its own pocket for easily sliding into a backpack. It comes in light olive, deep navy, nickel and saffron. List Price: $59. Contact: Woolrich, (800) 966-5372, www.woolrich.com.
WEATHER WATCHER The Windwatch Pro II from Minox is a pocket-sized tool that measures wind speed, temperature, atmospheric pressure, altitude and humidity. Plus, the device has an integrated watch with a timer and time-control functions. When you hold it up to the wind, an integrated impeller determines wind speed every second, and displays it on the illuminated LC monitor using various speed units. Temperature is shown in Centigrade and Fahrenheit, plus Windwatch can determine the wind-chill factor. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Minox, (866) 469-3080, www.minox.com.
LOOK OUT Steiner's finely crafted Peregrine XP Binoculars use high-definition optical technology to deliver brightness and color with optimal contrast. The 30mm eyepieces enhance your view without interference from light and peripheral objects. The binoculars use a new kind of lens coating with "NANO protection" for eliminating rain, snow and moisture from your view. A lightweight Magnesium body, ergonomic design and fast focusing system make zeroing in on close or distant subjects easy and comfortable. Estimated Street Price: $1,549 (8x); $1,599 (10x). Contact: Steiner, (800) 257-7742, www.steiner-binoculars.com.
SUMMER HIKERS Take to the trail in Garmont's lightest set of hiking boots. The waterproof, breathable Sitka boots have Gore-Tex® along with various other materials used to give the boots the weight and feel of a sports shoe. A broad footprint provides stability for the most aggressive outside adventures while an anatomically directed design gives more room for the big toe and comfort. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Garmont, (802) 658-8322, www.garmont.com.
H20 CARRIER The Big Sur Hydrapak is a surefire way to stay hydrated while out for a long photo hike. The backpack features the company's patented integrated hands-free drink system, which consists of a stretchable, puncture-resistant polyurethane pack for the water and convenient Plug-N-Play drink tube. The backpack features plenty of cargo space and is designed with ergonomic foam pods on the back panel, creating ventilation channels to keep you cool. The backpack comes in blue and charcoal. List Price: $70. Contact: Hydrapak, www.hydrapak.com.