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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In Focus: July 2008

Share pictures of your latest trip while still out on the road using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ50, featuring WiFi capabilities and standard 802.11b/g wireless LAN connectivity. Panasonic hooked up with the T-Mobile HotSpot service and Picasa, Google’s free online photo-sharing service. So after taking pictures, you can send them directly to a Picasa Web Album via one of the nearly 9,000 T-Mobile HotSpots throughout the United States and share them instantly. The 9.1-megapixel camera also has a 28mm wide-angle 10x optical zoom Leica DC lens (equivalent to 28-280mm in 35mm format) and records HD video. List Price: $449. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ50

The next release of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is available as a public beta. Among the new features in Lightroom 2.0 is a Smart Collections tool that automatically updates collections with images that have matching criteria, such as keywords or metadata. The Suggested Keywords feature recommends what words to use based on keyword associations across a catalogue and in neighboring images. Other enhancements include dual-monitor support, localized dodge and burn correction, and 64-bit support for Mac OS X 10.5 and Microsoft Vista operating systems. To download a free 30-day trial, go to www.labs.adobe.com/downloads. Contact: Adobe Systems, (800) 833-6687, www.adobe.com.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom


A slew of new storage solutions has just hit the market. From big drives offering up to 2 TB of capacity to the more portable variety that are ideal when you’re on the go, these new options make it easy for you to transport, back up and store your images.

Offering a variety of solutions to meet different needs, LaCie delivers its 2big family of pro RAID drives. The 2big Dual, 2big Triple and 2big Network feature capacities ranging from 1 to 2 TB. The Dual and Triple have interfaces allowing for high-speed data transfer. The Dual combines eSATA II or USB 2.0, while the Triple uses FireWire 800, FireWire 400 or USB 2.0 connections. The 2big Network is an Ethernet version that acts as a file-sharing or backup server. You also can use it as an FTP server. List Price: Starts at $399. Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com. LaCie

Push a button and back up your files with the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus. A dual USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 interface allows for greater speed, convenience and flexibility. With up to 1 TB of capacity, you can store loads, and the 7200 rpm, 16 MB cache buffer means that you can access your files instantly. The OneTouch 4 Plus also comes with recovery software that protects your entire system in case of a crash or virus. List Price: $89 (250 GB); $159 (500 GB); $219 (750 GB); $299 (1 TB). Contact: Maxtor Solutions (Seagate), (877) 271-3285, www.maxtorsolutions.com. Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus

Designed for Macs, the Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II is a dual-drive storage system available in massive 1 TB or 2 TB capacities. The fast eSATA and FireWire 800 interfaces combined with a RAID 0 configuration deliver the high performance needed for storing large image files. The drive provides automatic and continuous backup so every time you save a change, it’s automatically backed up. It’s also eco-friendly, using less power than other standard dual-drive storage systems. List Price: $349 (1 TB); $599 (2 TB). Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II

The Western Digital My Passport Essential Portable USB Drive weighs less than five ounces, yet can store up to 320 GB of data. Powered by a USB cable for easy operation, the drive comes with sync and encryption software that synchronizes files between your desktop and the drive. Google software allows you to quickly locate files using the Google Desktop Search tool. It’s available in 160, 250 and 320 GB capacities. List Price: $119 to $179. Contact: Western Digital, (877) 934-6972, www.westerndigital.com. Western Digital My Passport Essential Portable USB Drive

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The next time you’re out shooting in the rain or in the ocean, protect your compact camera in the Aquapac Hard Lens Camera Case. It’s submersible to 15 feet and floats if dropped. The case is designed for small and mini digital cameras with optical zoom lenses, providing enough space for the lens to move freely within a protective chamber. Durable, lightweight and UV-coated, the case has an integrated external, clear polycarbonate hard lens that’s built into the case. List Price: $45. Contact: Aquapac, (516) 628-8486, www.aquapac.net.
Aquapac Hard Lens Camera Case

Play back full-motion video clips on the vibrant 2.4-inch TFT color screen of the SanDisk Sansa View. The media player comes in capacities of 8, 16 and 32 GB. Key features include 320 x 240 resolution for crisp images and built-in support for MPEG-4, WMV and H.264 video formats. It displays JPEGs, weighs 2.9 ounces and has a microSD/microSDHC card slot. List Price: $149 (8 GB); $199 (16 GB); $349 (32 GB). Contact: SanDisk, (866) SANDISK, www.sandisk.com.
SanDisk Sansa View

Grab the lens you need quickly using Shootsac, a stylish lens bag with a slim profile that can be worn comfortably while shooting. It holds three to six lenses, plus accessories. Shootsac is constructed of wet-suit-grade neoprene, with 13x13-inch interchangeable fabric flaps backed with lint-free microfiber that doubles as a lens-cleaning cloth out in the field. It folds completely flat for easy transportation and storage. List Price: $179. Contact: Shootsac, (310) 666-2499, www.shootsac.com.


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