LIGHT AND STURDY Great for traveling and hiking, the compact Giottos RT 8000 Series tripods weigh 1.2 pounds and measure less than 12 inches long when folded. They have a unique three-way head so you can easily pan and tilt with one handle. For quick setup, all you have to do is extend the legs, then twist the top section to lock them in place. Estimated Street Price: $38. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
BACK IT OUT Get to your gear from the rear of the Lowepro Flipside 200 backpack, which features a unique back-compartment entry point for safer, easier access while shooting. With the waist strap securely fastened, simply slip off the shoulder straps, swivel the bag around to your front and unzip. The Flipside 200 holds a D-SLR with an 80-200mm (or smaller) lens attached, plus one to three additional lenses, a tripod and accessories. Estimated Street Price: $60. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
PHOTO DEPOSIT Store your images on the Fantom Drives G-Force Quad Interface GF1000Q from MicroNet. The 1 TB external hard drive features four connectivity options: USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and 800, and eSATA with a maximum transfer speed of 300 MBps. The compact, fan-free, heat-dissipating aluminum design allows for portability and near silent operation. Also included is NTI Shadow software for continuous, real-time backup. Estimated Street Price: $369. Contact: MicroNet, (800) 980-3463, www.micronet.com.
IN THE BAG Venture out on your next photo trip carrying the Tamrac Adventure 10 photo/laptop backpack. Two large, foam-padded main compartments with adjustable dividers have room for a pro D-SLR with most 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lenses attached, additional lenses, a flash and accessories. A separate rear compartment holds laptops up to 17 inches. Mesh pockets are included on the sides for a water bottle, snacks or small accessories. List Price: $229. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
SMART FLASH Keep your flash up to speed with your camera using the Metz Mecablitz 48 AF-1, a wireless flash with USB interface. Simply hook it up to your PC and download the latest firmware updates. Compatible with most TTL digital remote systems, the 48 AF-1 also operates as a TTL slave unit controlled by the camera’s built-in commander mode, a manufacturer’s flash or from a Metz 58 AF-1. It’s currently available for most camera manufacturers. Estimated Street Price: $200 to $220 (depending on model). Contact: Bogen Imaging, (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.
PHOTO TAG Know exactly where you took a shot anywhere in the world with Blue2CAN from Red Hen Systems. The Bluetooth-enabled GPS unit plugs into the 10-pin connector on the front of the camera and connects automatically to a nearby signal. You can fire away while the unit embeds geo-spatial information in your metadata. The Blue2CAN is only available for Nikon D-SLRs, including the latest D3 and D300, and older models like the D2Hs and D2Xs. Note that you need to buy a Bluetooth GPS receiver. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: Red Hen Systems, (800) 237-4182, www.redhensystems.com.