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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In Focus: November 2013

A headlamp is one of the most useful items you can have in your bag. The new Petzl TIKKA XP 2 takes up little space—it weighs just 3.2 ounces—and you can keep both hands free while using it. Its high-output LED puts out a bright, clear light to let you see clearly as you set up and take down your camera in the dark, and it will illuminate the trail out to a distance of 223 feet. There are five lighting modes—two white lighting levels, a strobe mode (for emergencies, not photography) and two red light modes—and you can choose between wide or focused beams with a wide-angle lens attached. Estimated Street Price: $55. Contact: Petzl, www.petzl.com.
Take full control of your camera from a distance with the CamRanger wireless tethering system. Ideal for macro-photography, CamRanger connects to your camera via USB and then turns your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch into a live control pad using its own WiFi connection up to 150 feet away (no outside network needed). From your mobile device, you can change basic camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO. For complete focus control, the CamRanger gives you touch focus, incremental adjustments and focus stacking. Set up your intervalometer and HDR or record movies and use live touch focus during recording. Photos are saved to your camera's internal memory card and optionally may be saved to your iOS device, as well. With Client mode, friends and family may wirelessly view photos as they're taken by the photographer at the camera. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: CamRanger, www.camranger.com.
Adding additional battery life and shooting flexibility, Pixel Vertax Battery Grips are available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. The grips provide a vertical-format shutter release, control dial and exposure lock buttons. Made from the same materials as the cameras, the grips provide dust and moisture sealing and a rubberized surface for slip-free handling. The grips accept camera batteries or AA batteries for flexibility in the field. Estimated Street Price: From $79. Contact: Argraph, www.argraph.com.
While Adobe Creative Cloud has been getting a lot of attention, it shouldn't be overlooked that one of its standalone elements has been upgraded. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 covers your workflow from photo organization to editing to sharing. New features include an Upright tool to straighten skewed lines, a Radial Gradient for off-center vignettes, an Advanced Healing Brush to remove irregularly shaped objects and Smart Previews, which create stand-in files for on-the-go edits. The software includes location-based organization for grouping your photos by GPS location or creating photo journeys, advanced black-and-white and eight colors when converting to grayscale, and improved book creation with customizable templates. Lightroom 5 works tightly with both Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC in Creative Cloud. It can be licensed alone or as part of the Creative Cloud membership. List Price: $149 (full license); $79 (upgrade). Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.
Capture One Pro 7 from Phase One is a versatile, quick RAW converter and photo management software that saves you time and frustration in front of the computer so you can spend more time taking photos. Massively flexible, it allows you to view multiple catalogs at the same time, share catalogs with other users, switch between catalogs without relaunching, tag images for later searches and browse files that are offline. In addition, advanced noise algorithms offer precision detail even in night or fog shots. And for the professionals among us, Capture One Pro 7 quickly renders and sizes files according to client needs. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: Phase One, www.phaseone.com.


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