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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Focus: May 2010

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Shoot sharp 18-megapixel stills and capture full 1080p HD video using the Canon EOS Rebel T2i, which features 3.7 fps shooting, an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800), and Canon’s DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor. Borrowing from Canon’s EOS 7D, the T2i’s sensor includes many of the same technologies used to reduce noise. For HD capture, the camera features 1920x1080 resolution, selectable frame rates up to 30 fps and a stereo microphone jack along with full manual exposure control. In Movie Crop mode, images are cropped directly from the sensor at full SD resolution to provide about 7x of additional zoom without losing image quality. Estimated Street Price: $799 (body only). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Take sharper stills and video with a pair of new Nikon wide-angle lenses. With a very fast aperture, the AF-S Nikkor 24mm ƒ/1.4G ED captures sharp images when shooting handheld in low light. Both FX- and DX-format shooters can take advantage of the dramatic perspectives offered by a picture angle of 84 degrees (61 degrees in a DX-format body). The AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm ƒ/4G ED VR also is nice in low light with its Vibration Reduction II image stabilization because you can shoot up to four shutter speeds slower than would be possible otherwise. Estimated Street Price: $2,199 (24mm); $1,259 (16-35mm). Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.

Increase your focal length without buying a new lens using the Kenko TelePlus PRO 300 AF 1.4x and 2.0x DGX teleconverters. The pair works best with prime lenses of 100mm or more and zooms as wide as 50mm. The 1.4x turns a 300mm into a 420mm lens with just one stop of light loss so an aperture of ƒ/2.8 becomes an ƒ/4. Full autofocus is possible using lenses with open apertures of ƒ/4 or brighter. The 2.0x converts a 300mm into a 600mm with full AF operation possible with lenses that have apertures of ƒ/2.8 or faster. Autofocus may be possible with slower lenses, but it depends on the amount of light and contrast in the scene. The converters are available for Canon EOS EF and Nikon AF lenses. Estimated Street Price: $339 (1.4x); $379 (2.0x). Contact: THK Photo, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
For Mac users, Aperture 3 is an in-depth update of Apple’s powerful imaging application. With more than 200 new features, the app allows you to organize photo libraries with more flexibility using Projects, as well as an advanced version of the Faces and Places features first introduced in iPhoto ’09. The Places feature enhances the use of GPS data by supporting GPS logs. Reverse geo-coding converts coordinates into familiar location names and then displays them on a map. If you shoot with an HD-video-capable DSLR, you can use the app to build multimedia slideshows featuring stills, audio, text and video. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.
High image quality, advanced technology and compact size combine in the Olympus E-PL1. The third generation of the camera maker’s PEN Micro Four Thirds series is a smart alternative to bulkier DSLRs because it maintains interchangeable-lens capability while adding a pop-up flash and a direct HD-video record button for easy toggling between shooting stills and video. With in-body image stabilization, camera shake is compensated for no matter what lens you use, as well as when shooting in low light or without a tripod. Also new is the Live Guide, which lets you adjust color, tone, sharpness and more, and preview the results before taking the shot. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.getolympus.com.


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