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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In Focus: June 2010




This Article Features Photo Zoom

MICRO FOUR THIRDS
If you’re looking to lighten up your camera bag when hitting the trail, Panasonic has expanded its compact interchangeable-lens camera lineup with the 12.1-megapixel LUMIX DMC-G2 and DMC-G10. What’s most striking about the G2, other than its size, is the 3-inch touch-screen LCD, which allows you to adjust autofocus, change menu settings and even take a picture by simply touching the screen. But if you don’t want touch-screen navigation, the camera includes all the usual manual controls. The G2 shoots 720p high-definition video and has a dedicated movie record button for quickly switching to video. The G10, which is designed for those stepping up from a point-and-shoot, weighs less than 12 ounces (body only), includes Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto mode for easy shooting and records 720p HD video. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 405-0652, www.panasonic.com/lumix.
LONG LENS
For wildlife photographers, there’s a lot to like about Canon’s improved EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS II USM lens, which features better speed, performance and optical quality than its predecessor. A redesign of the internal elements to include a fluorite and fifth UD element helps minimize chromatic aberration, enhancing image quality with improved contrast and resolution through the entire zoom range. Thanks to a new focusing algorithm, autofocusing is faster and the minimum focusing distance has been reduced to 3.9 feet from 4.6 feet. You can stand nearly eight inches closer to the subject and achieve sharp focus and tight crops. Other improvements include enhanced image stabilization, a wider focusing ring and a sleeker design. Estimated Street Price: $2,499. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.

INTERACTIVE PEN TABLET
The Wacom Cintiq 21UX’s Grip Pen has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity for greater accuracy. The pressure-sensitive eraser has two side switches that can be customized for commands such as double-click and right-click. Other workflow-oriented improvements include rear-mounted Touch Strips that are placed at your fingertips for better access while working. Each Touch Strip has a thumb-controlled toggle button that controls up to four functions per application such as zoom, scroll, brush size and canvas rotation. Estimated Street Price: $1,999. Contact: Wacom, (800) 922-6613, www.wacom.com.
BACK IN ACTION
They just couldn’t say goodbye. A group of Polaroid engineers and enthusiasts based in the Netherlands has reinvented instant film, giving new life to some old Polaroid cameras. The company, called The Impossible Project, will offer Polaroid PX 100 and PX 600 Silver Shade for SX-70 cameras made in the 1970s, as well as more recent cameras that take 600-series film. Each film pack produces eight black-and-white images, with color film to be introduced later this year. Polaroid stopped making instant film in 2008. Estimated Street Price: $21. Contact: The Impossible Project, www.the-impossible-project.com.
FREE PLUG-INS
Check out slimmed-down versions of onOne Software’s PhotoTools 2.5 and PhotoFrame 4.5 for free. PhotoTools 2.5 offers 15 effects, ranging from traditional darkroom classics like Bleach Bypass and Cross Process to reproducing Kodachrome and Velvia film stocks to skin smoothing and other more contemporary techniques. PhotoFrame 4.5 delivers 20 professional-looking edges, backgrounds, textures and more, with the ability to stack multiple effects and control opacity, size and color. Both are available for download at www.ononesoftware.com/free. Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.

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