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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In Focus: March 2009

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If you like to get creative with your wildlife and nature photography, the Olympus E-30 is loaded with features for going beyond the straight shot. Six Art Effect Filters, including Soft Focus, Pop Art, Grainy Film, Pale & Light, Pin Hole and Light Tone, can be activated using the camera’s mode dial, and you can see their effects in real time on the Live View LCD. Like other Olympus D-SLRs, the E-30 incorporates sensor-shift image stabilization that works with all lenses. The camera also includes Olympus’ proprietary Supersonic Wave Filter sensor-dust reduction system, Shadow Adjustment Technology and multiple wireless flash capabilities. Estimated Street Price: $1,299. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.olympusamerica.com.
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Take sharp shots in low light using the Sigma 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG HSM lens, which delivers a fast, constant aperture in a compact body. The lens provides a wide-angle to moderate-telephoto focal-length range, a minimum focusing distance of 15 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5.3. Super Multi Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting, while the Hyper Sonic Motor ensures quiet, high-speed autofocus as well as full-time manual-focusing capability. Estimated Street Price: $900. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigma-photo.com.
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Look at your images in high definition using the 24.1-inch widescreen EIZO CG242W LCD, which features 1920 x 1200 native resolution. Designed for still and video work, the monitor comes with ColorNavigator calibration software that sets target values for brightness, white point and gamma, and works with most color-measurement devices. The CG242W features 16-bit internal processing, which helps produce smooth grayscale tones to bring out more detail in the dark areas of an image. The monitor can be connected to two PCs. List Price: TBA. Contact: EIZO, (914) 347-3300, www.eizo.com.
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If you like the rich detail achieved by shooting big image files, the Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System is a high-performance pro package that combines the Mamiya 645AFD III camera body with the Leaf Aptus-II 6 28-megapixel Digital Back and a Sekor AF 80mm ƒ/2.8 D lens. The camera features 3-point phase-difference autofocusing, shutter speeds from 30 to 1⁄4000 sec., with flash sync up to 1⁄125 sec., and three metering systems (5-segment evaluative, center-weighted average and spot). The digital back features 28 megapixels on a 44x33mm CCD and a 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD monitor. Big 7.2-micron pixels help produce a 12-stop dynamic range. The 53 MB RAW files are 16-bit and measure 6144 x 4622 pixels. ISOs run from 50 to 800. Estimated Street Price: $14,999. Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com.
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Delivering even faster performance now with a FireWire 800 interface, Western Digital’s My Passport Studio portable drives are a great backup solution for Mac users. The drive features up to 500 GB of storage capacity, weighs less than 7 ounces and features FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 optional interfaces. An illuminated capacity gauge shows how much space is available. The drives come formatted for Macs, but they can easily be reformatted for use with Windows PCs. Estimated Street Price: $249 (500 GB); $229 (400 GB). Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000, www.westerndigital.com.
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