PRO PRINTER Make sure the rich colors and sharp details you capture outside look as striking in the final print using the Epson Stylus Pro 3880. The large-format printer makes up to 17x22-inch prints and is loaded with advanced technologies for producing premium image quality. The UltraChrome K3 eight-color ink set includes new Magenta and Light Magenta inks that deliver dramatic blues and violets for an expanded color gamut. The MicroPiezo AMC print head produces a maximum resolution of 2880x1440 dpi and variable-sized droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters for precise dot shape and placement. Estimated Street Price: $1,295. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
MORE ALPHAS Sony has expanded its Alpha DSLR lineup with the A850, A550 and A500 cameras. The A850 is the manufacturer’s second full-frame camera and it comes under the $2,000 mark. The main differences between it and its predecessor, the A900, are a 3 fps rate instead of 5 fps and 98% viewfinder coverage instead of 100%. Also, the remote control for wireless operation of the shutter, menu access and other features is optional. The 14.2-megapixel A550 offers pro-level functions, phase-detection focusing and extended Live View capabilities. The new Auto HDR mode captures realistic images by taking two exposures—one exposed for highlights and the other exposed for shadows. The two are then merged together, and because the time between exposures is short, you can use this mode for handheld shots. The A500 delivers the same features, except continuous shooting is 5 fps, while in the A550 it’s 7 fps. It also features a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a lower-resolution LCD. Estimated Street Price: $1,999 (A850); $949 (A550); $749 (A500). Contact: Sony, (877) 865-SONY, www.sonystyle.com.
STABILIZED FAST LENS Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical [IF]is a high-speed wide-angle to moderate-telephoto lens designed for Nikon DX-format D-SLRs. In 35mm format, the focal-length range is equivalent to 26-78mm, making it a versatile lens to have in your camera bag. It delivers sharpness and contrast over its entire focal length and aperture range. With Tamron’s Vibration Compensation mechanism, the lens captures sharp handheld shots at slower shutter speeds. Tamron plans to introduce the lens in a Canon-mount version shortly. Estimated Street Price: TBA.Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.
STABLE MACRO LENS Capture sharp, life-sized close-ups of flowers, insects and other small things with the Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. This is the manufacturer’s first mid-telephoto lens to include image stabilization. In addition to the conventional angular velocity sensor (vibration gyro), the new Hybrid IS system uses an acceleration sensor. Based on the amount of camera shake detected by the two sensors, a newly developed algorithm calculates the amount of blur on the image plane, after which lens elements in the IS are positioned to compensate for the two types of shake. Estimated Street Price: $1,049. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
SOLID LEGS Steady your shot on any kind of terrain with Induro’s Carbon Fiber 8X CT-Series and Aluminum Alloy 8M AT-Series tripods. The new models feature higher load capacities, greater stability and a more rugged build for handling harsh environments. Ergonomic leg-lock grips and a textured rubber surface provide a better grip. The wider-stance, cross-braced magnesium spider provides increased strength and stability, and a threaded accessory-mount socket allows attachment of articulated arms, clamps and other mounting devices directly to the tripod. Estimated Street Price: TBA.Contact: Induro, (914) 347-3300, www.indurogear.com.
ENTRY-LEVEL D-SLR The Nikon D3000 has the compact size and 10.2-megapixel CCD of the D60, but offers a number of upgraded features. These include a three-inch, 230,000-dot LCD monitor and a 100,000-cycle shutter. A new Guide Mode makes operation simple for D-SLR newcomers, while EXPEED processing improves image quality and speeds operation. A new 11-point AF system improves on those of the D60 and D40, and there’s a sensor-dust reduction system. Like the D40 and D60, the D3000 lacks a focusing motor, so it can use all AF Nikkor lenses, but provides autofocusing only with those that have an AF motor—the AF-S and AF-I lenses. Estimated Street Price: $599 (D3000 with 18-55mm). Contact: Nikon USA, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.