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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In Focus: March 2009

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Hitting the shelves is a slew of digital frames that do more than just display static images. JOBO’s Photo Display PDJ801 and PDJ800 have 8.4-inch screens and showcase pictures in an automatic slideshow presentation. Sony S-Frames DPF-D100 (10-inch) and DPF-D80 (8-inch) display images of up to 48 megapixels and have 200 MB storage capacity. ViewSonic’s DPG801BK and DPG807BK 8-inch frames feature SwifTouch touch-screen technology with hidden control buttons that give the displays a clean, clutterfree look. Estimated Street Price: $159 to $179 (JOBO); $180 to $280 (Sony); $129 (ViewSonic). Contact: JOBO AG, (734) 453-0300, www.jobo-usa.com; Sony, (877) 865-SONY, www.sonystyle.com; ViewSonic, (800) 888-8583, www.viewsonic.com.
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Manage your images and other digital files using Argraph’s MemoryKick MediaCenter. Download photos from your memory card or other devices through a built-in card reader or via USB. Transfer speed is 7 MBps. With capacities of 30 GB or 60 GB, the 5.6-ounce device also acts as a portable hard drive, so it’s great for taking on the road. View your photos on the 2.2-inch LCD or export to a TV using the composite video output. It supports most popular memory-card formats. List Price: $299 (30 GB); $349 (60 GB). Contact: Argraph, (201) 939-7722, www.argraph.com.
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Optimize your images quickly and easily with Nik Software’s Complete Collection of plug-ins for Photoshop and Aperture. Nik has taken its most popular programs, which include Dfine 2.0, Viveza, Color Efex Pro 3.0, Silver Efex Pro and Sharpener Pro 3.0, and put them into a powerful box set for controlling noise, color, exposure, black-and-white conversions, sharpening and more. Editing is more intuitive through Nik Software’s progressive U Point technology, which allows you to make precise, localized adjustments by placing Control Points on an image. List Price: $299 (Aperture); $599 (Photoshop and Aperture). Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.
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Keep your valuable lighting equipment safe in the Flashpoint CS770 Lighting Kit Case. The bag’s exterior is made with rugged Softex material that’s weather-resistant. Although designed for lighting equipment, the case has smaller vertical dividers for storing other gear like tripods, lenses and SLR bodies. A heavy-duty zipper and large weather strip prevent moisture from entering the main compartment. On the inside, reinforced padded walls provide further protection. The bag measures 40x12x12 inches. Estimated Street Price: $170. Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
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DxO Labs is looking to shed some light on camera sensor performance with its website, DxOMark.com. The online resource delivers detailed information by judging image sensors based on unprocessed RAW image files. Performance is measured by three metrics—color depth, dynamic range and low-light ISO. Those numbers create a composite DxOMark Sensor score, but other detailed measurements are provided as well. About 50 popular digital cameras are covered on the site now, with updates to come on a regular basis. Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxomark.com.
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Convert an old photo into a digital file and display it instantly using the Skyla Memoir digital photo frame from Lite-On IT. A built-in 600 dpi scanner scans prints up to 4x6 inches. The frame’s 1 GB of internal memory allows for instant playback on its large 8-inch display screen featuring 800 x 600 resolution. The 5-in-1 card reader is compatible with most memory-card formats, and there are two USB ports. List Price: $219. Contact: Lite-On IT, (510) 687-1800, www.liteonit.com.
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Clickbooq now features RedCart’s popular shopping cart software as a new add-on service included in the site’s design and management software for pro photographers. The tool, which is called proofbooq powered by RedCart, allows you to sell prints and other specialty products online using a personal storefront, as well as proof images online and process customer orders. Using proofbooq, you can display images in password-protected galleries where customers can easily select print size and paper, along with previewing various tones, cropping and adding other services. List Price: $59 (month); $629 (annually). Contact: Clickbooq, Inc., (310) 264-0099, www.clickbooq.com
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Backcountry Roads—Idaho by Lynna Howard and Leland Howard (Caxton Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-870-04459-5). If you’re planning a trip to Idaho anytime soon, this unique guidebook features GPS coordinates, expedition maps, detailed descriptions and 140 photographs that take a comprehensive look at the state’s rugged beauty.

Nature Photography: Insider Secrets from the World’s Top Digital Photography Professionals by Chris Weston (Focal Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-240-81016-4). Learn from masters like Art Wolfe, Jim Brandenburg, Joel Sartore and others about how to craft more compelling wildlife, macro and landscape photographs.

RAW Pipeline: Revolutionary Techniques to Streamline Digital Photo Workflow by Ted Dillard (Lark Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-60059-279-9). Discover new ways to shoot RAW images and handle workflow more efficiently. Topics include working with Smart Objects and Smart Filters, layers and masks, and color management.

Wild Birds of the American Wetlands by Rosalie Winard (Welcome Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-59962-034-3). For more than a decade, Winard traveled the United States taking pictures of large birds from Florida to California and Louisiana to North Dakota. The hardcover includes more than 80 stunning black-and-white photographs.

The Complete Guide to Night & Lowlight Digital Photography by Michael Freeman (Lark Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-60059-206-5). Figure out how to determine exposure, fine-tune white balance, control depth of field and reduce noise using this in-depth guide. Easy-to-follow tutorials show you how to create better low-light photographs.


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