PMA 2007 Every winter, the major manufacturers and distributors of photographic gear gather at the huge PMA trade show to announce and present their latest equipment. Put on by the Photo Marketing Association International, the event allows photo dealers and retailers to see all the gear in one place, which helps magazines like ours, too. This special edition of In Focus offers a sampling of the products we saw at the show in Las Vegas.
COMPACT POWER Head out into the field with a compact D-SLR that captures top-notch images while maintaining ease of use. The Nikon D40x is equipped with a 10.2-megapixel CCD imaging sensor—a big jump over the 6.1-megapixel D40. Further enhanced by an improved processing engine, the 16-ounce camera delivers sharp photographs with accurate color and clear detail. It powers up in just 0.18 seconds, can shoot up to 3 pictures per second nonstop for up to 100 shots, has a 2.5-inch LCD with a 170-degree angle viewing and features a new Retouch menu with a range of in-camera editing tools. Estimated Street Price: $729 (body only). Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-UX, www.nikondigitalusa.com.
GREEN PACK Versatility and environmental awareness meet in the new Primus AW photo backpack from Lowepro. The bag is made of 51-percent recycled materials and designed to provide optimal comfort, protection and accessibility with minimal bulk. The main padded camera compartment holds a D-SLR pro body with attached zoom lens, plus a couple of extra lenses and flash units. You also can get to your gear without taking the bag off by using the expandable, side-zipped camera pockets. List Price: $279. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the Primus AW are donated to Polar Bears International to raise awareness about and funding for the polar bear habitat and the effects of climate change. Visit the Lowepro website to find out how you can donate! Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
PORTABLE POWERHOUSE Compose images effortlessly using the 10-megapixel Olympus EVOLT E-410, which features a 2.5-inch Live View LCD that lets you clearly preview and review shots from any angle. The E-410 packs a wide array of features into a newly designed, 13-ounce body. The 5x4x2-inch camera has an enhanced TruePic III image processor, ensuring the highest-quality image capture with vibrant color. Other features include a full range of manual controls, 20 scene mode settings and an ultrasonic dust reduction system that cleans the image sensor every time you turn on the camera. Estimated Street Price: $699 (body only). Contact: Olympus, (800) 622-6372, www.olympusamerica.com.
TAKE DIRECTION Explore the great outdoors without losing your way—take along the Mio DigiWalker H610, a handheld GPS device. Smaller than a deck of cards, the H610 has a sleek design with multiple navigation modes for getting accurate directions, whether you're driving, walking or bicycling. The device doubles as a feature-rich digital media player, allowing you to also enjoy digital video clips, music and photos when you're at home or on the go. Estimated Street Price: $449. Contact: Mio, www.mio-tech.com.
AFTER DARK When the sun goes down, spot nocturnal wildlife and find your way with the Night Vision Travel Monocular NGM124x from National Geographic. The rugged, aluminum monocular weighs just eight ounces and is five inches long. You can choose from 1x, 2x or 4x magnification. A powerful Infrared Illuminator and all-glass optics make exploring possible from dusk to dawn. Adjust the Illuminator for on-the-spot illumination. List Price: $599. Contact: National Geographic, (800) 444-5994, www.ngtravelshop.com.
LIGHT BLADE When you're on a camping trip, stay prepared for the unexpected by carrying Buck Knives' strong, lightweight Parallex Knife. The stainless-steel pocketknife features one-handed opening and closing with your choice of larger, partially serrated or smaller, non-serrated blades. The contoured handle provides a secure grip, and integrated lightening holes help reduce its weight to just 2 or 3.7 ounces, depending on the model. List Price: $18 to $33. Contact: Buck Knives, (800) 326-2825, www.buckknives.com.
ARCH SUPPORT Let your toes breathe by strapping on Chaco Z/1 sports sandals. With the company's BioCentric footbed to support your arches and a sock-friendly, open-toe design, performance and comfort are the top priorities. A single buckle and an easily adjustable pull-through strap system hold your feet securely in place. Colors include black, brick, cord, storm, turf and zinc. Estimated Street Price: $90. Contact: Chaco, (970) 527-4990, www.chacousa.com.
CLEAR VIEW The DCF ED line of binoculars from Pentax uses extra-low-dispersion glass with multilayer optical coatings to deliver clear, vivid images. The durable, lightweight body is made from a magnesium alloy resistant to shock and impact. The waterproof binoculars can be submerged underwater to a depth of 3.3 feet. List Price: Under $900. An incorrect price was given in the April issue of OP. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
EYE SHELTER Protect your eyes with Smith Optics stylish Shelter sunglasses. The company uses a tapered lens technology that contours the thickness of the lenses so light travels through without distortion. The lenses are constructed from highly scratch-resistant carbonic material and coated to keep you seeing clearly. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Smith Optics, www.smithoptics.com.
DAY PACKIN' Mountainsmith's classic Tour Lumbar Pack is comfortable, durable and environmentally conscious, using new eco-energy recycled velocity and ripstop lining fabrics. Features include a removable shoulder strap with sliding pad, an air mesh foam back panel, two 32-ounce water bottle pockets, a compression system for load adjustment and a zippered main compartment. The bag is 10x11.5x5 inches and 1.5 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $70. Contact: Mountainsmith, (800) 551-5889, www.mountainsmith.com.