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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In Focus: June 2012


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PRIME PERFORMANCE
Capture an epic vista or move in close to emphasize a foreground with help from a pair of Canon wide-angle lenses. The EF 24mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM have both been upgraded to include Optical Image Stabilizer technology and autofocus powered by Canon's Ultrasonic Motor. The stabilization system delivers up to four shutter-speed stops worth of shake correction for producing images that look sharp in low light and when using a flash or tripod isn't feasible. The EF 24mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM lenses have minimum focusing distances of about 7.8 inches and 9 inches, respectively. Estimated Street Price: $849 (24mm); $799 (28mm). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.

SAFE TRAVELS
Rest any concerns you have about the security of your gear using the Tamrac Zuma 9 Secure Traveler. The bag's interior is only accessible through a rear-opening door that's up against your back when you're wearing it. When you're ready to shoot, tighten the waist belt around your waist, slip out of the shoulder straps and bring the pack around to your front. Unzip the rear-opening door and access your camera with a lens attached without having to remove the pack and set it down. The lower section holds a DSLR with up to a six-inch lens attached, an extra lens and a flash, while the upper compartment stores personal items. There's also a foam-padded compartment for holding an iPad. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.

NEO LENSES
The Sigma Digital Neo (DN) lineup marks the lensmaker's debut in the mirrorless-lens camera market. The 30mm ƒ/2.8 EX DN and 19mm ƒ/2.8 EX DN are designed for Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and Sony NEX cameras. The fast primes feature Sigma's Super Multi-Layer Coating, which reduces flare and ghosting, and a linear autofocus motor that moves the lens unit directly, removing noisy gears. The result is smooth, quiet AF operation that's suited to capturing video and stills. The 30mm has a minimum focusing distance of 11.8 inches and a 1:8.1 magnification ratio. The 19mm has a 7.9-inch minimum focusing distance and a 1:7.4 magnification ratio. Estimated Street Price: $199 each. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.

SOLID SUPPORT
The Vanguard Abeo Series tripods feature magnesium die-cast construction that delivers the stability and rigidity needed for heavy load weights. The quick-flip leg locks enable fast setup and are tension adjustable. The legs themselves can be adjusted to 25-, 50- and 80-degree angles, and have thick foam for a secure grip. Also included are a low-angle adapter for greater shot selection, rubber feet that convert to large spikes for rough terrain and a smooth, two-way video head or SBH ballhead. Five models are available. Estimated Street Price: $189 to $269. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322, www.vanguardworld.com.

ADVENTURE-READY SHOOTER
You can take the Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS into some fairly rough environments without having to worry about the camera's durability. It can handle dust, cold weather and being shocked or crushed, and it's waterproof down to 40 feet. With a backlit 16-megapixel sensor, a wide-angle 28-140mm lens (35mm equivalent), a three-inch LCD with 460,000-dot resolution and full HD 1080p video recording at 30 fps, the camera offers some pretty impressive shooting features, as well. The GPS technology also has been improved with less lag time before startup and longer battery life. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.


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