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Sunday, June 1, 2008

In Focus: June 2008


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Nikon Nikkor
FEATHERWEIGHT D-SLR
Weighing just 13.4 ounces, without battery or lens, the 10-megapixel Olympus E-420 is billed as the world’s smallest D-SLR. Top features include instant autofocusing of live images on the HyperCrystal II 2.7-inch LCD and Shadow Adjustment technology for capturing better detail in dark areas while keeping highlight detail. The 0.9-inch-thick Zuiko Digital 25mm ƒ/2.8 lens introduced with the E-420 matches its compact body, but it can use all Four Thirds System lenses. Estimated Street Price: $499 (body only); $699 (with 25mm lens). Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.olympusamerica.com.


FAST APERTURE
For Mac users, Apple’s first major update of Aperture packs in more than 100 new features that enhance efficiency and extend the capabilities of this powerful workflow application. Highlights of Aperture 2 include a Quick Preview mode for fast photo browsing, customizable keyboard shortcuts and improved RAW processing, thanks to an upgraded engine that better handles tonal-range extremes and noise reduction. A new streamlined interface includes Project, Metadata and Adjustments panes for switching quickly among commonly used functions. Aperture also now supports enhancement plug-ins. List Price: $199 ($99 upgrade). Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.
Canon EF800mm

MEDIUM WIDE
With both medium-format digital and film shooters in mind, Mamiya developed the full-frame Mamiya Sekor AF 28mm ƒ/4.5 D lens. To address the color-shift problems sometimes caused by wide-angles when used with digital backs, the lens was designed to direct light onto a digital sensor at an ideal angle for digital photography. The ultra-wide lens works with digital and film backs, providing a 94-degree view with a digital back that’s equivalent to a 20mm lens in the 35mm format. It’s compatible with the Mamiya 645AFD, 645AFDII and 645ZD cameras. Estimated Street Price: $5,294. Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com.
Tamron SP AF70

COMPACT POWER
Hiking around with a D-SLR in tow isn’t always practical. The compact Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 is loaded with high-end features like a 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica DC lens, HD video capabilities and a three-inch touch-screen LCD. The 10.1-megapixel camera uses a dual control system with joystick and touch-screen operation. In manual exposure mode, you can adjust aperture and shutter speeds using on-screen sliders. You also can set the autofocus and exposure in frames by simply touching the subject on screen while recording. List Price: $399. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com.
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Pentax DA 35mm

SAFE ROLLER
When you’re jetting off to faraway places, know that your equipment is stowed securely overhead in the Think Tank Photo Airport International V2.0. The latest version of this midsized roller meets all international carry-on size requirements and includes enhanced security features like a TSA Security combination lock. The bag is designed to fit a 300mm ƒ/2.8, 400mm ƒ/2.8 or 500mm ƒ/4 lens with hood, multiple D-SLR bodies and accessories. A divider set also is available for accommodating a laptop. List Price: $329. Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 558-4465, www.thinktankphoto.com.
Sigma 18-125mm


ECO JACKET
The Marmot DriClime Catalyst Jacket is water- and wind-resistant, breathable and eco-friendly. The jacket is part of Marmot’s new UpCycle program with DriClime tricot lining that performs just as well as the original, but is made from natural, organic or recycled materials. Stretch paneling increases breathability, while the DriClime lining lightly insulates and moves moisture away to the outer face where it spreads out for quicker evaporation. Estimated Street Price: $110. Contact: Marmot, (888) 357-3262, www.marmot.com.
Marmot Super Hero Jacket

HANDY BLADE
Open up Buck Knives Model 750 Redpoint folder with one hand for faster, more convenient use when you’re out in the wild. The SafeSpin rotator, which is built into the end of the blade, allows you to open up the knife with one finger without touching the blade. Simply pull back the oversized button on the handle to disengage the lock and open the blade. The 2¾-inch blade is finished with Buck’s advanced Edge2x technology, which makes the edge longer-lasting and easier to resharpen. Estimated Street Price: $34. Contact: Buck Knives, (800) 326-2825, www.buckknives.com.
Columbia Titanium

HAVE A SEAT
After a long day shooting in the field, sit back and relax in the Crazy Creek Original Chair. You’ll stay comfortable on any kind of terrain, plus it’s lightweight and easy to carry. The chair adjusts for a wide range of sitting positions, has a zipper mesh pocket and water-bottle holder, and is insulated to protect you from wet ground. List Price: $37. Contact: Crazy Creek, (800) 331-0304, www.crazycreek.com.
Mountain Hardwear

PITCH THIS
The Shangri-La 3 tent from GoLite is ultralight, expedition-ready and easy to pitch. The four-season teepee-style shelter is built to cast off wind and adverse weather. Dual roof vents provide excellent air flow, reflective stake-out loops keep you from tripping in the middle of the night, and the hydrophilic thread at the seams expands when wet—sealing the seams and eliminating the need for liquid sealant. List Price: $225. Contact: GoLite, (888) 5-GOLITE, www.golite.com.
Kelty Light Year Down

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