If you're just getting into shooting with a D-SLR, the affordable Pentax K100D Super is packed with features and easy to use.
The camera has a 6.1-megapixel sensor, advanced systems for shake reduction and dust removal, a user-friendly Mode Dial with Auto Picture, various Scene Modes and a 2.5-inch LCD with zoom capability. A compact, lightweight body makes the camera easy to carry around on backpacking trips and other outdoor adventures. The camera is fully compatible with Pentax SDMS lenses and can be purchased with an 18-55mm lens. Estimated Street Price: $600 (with lens); $520 (body only).
For more advanced users, the weather-resistant Pentax K10D shoots 10.2-megapixel images and features dust-removal and shake-reduction systems. Estimated Street Price: $919. In our Short Report on the K10D in the September issue (page 92), the first item in the Standout Features box should have been "Shake reduction with all lenses," not "Unique Foveon X3 image sensor." The Foveon sensor is exclusive to the Sigma SD14 reviewed in the August issue (page 86). Our apologies to Pentax and Sigma for the error. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
COMPACT HD CAM
Combining convenience with top-notch quality, the handheld Canon HR10 records true 1080i resolution video directly to DVD. Using a high-definition 1/2.7-inch CMOS sensor with noise-reduction technology and an RGB Primary Color Filter, the 1.2-pound camcorder delivers crisp images full of vivid, accurate color in a 2.6x3.7x5.2-inch body. A 10x video zoom lens lets you take extreme telephoto shots, making the camcorder great for recording wildlife. The HR10 also takes high-quality, 3-megapixel stills and records on conventional three-inch (8cm) DVDs Additional features include a next-generation DIGIC DV II image processor, optical image stabilization and a 2.7-inch widescreen LCD. Estimated Street Price: $1,199. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Get as low as 15 inches from the ground when shooting with the SLIK PRO 780 DX tripod. Adjustable leg-angle locks and a center column consisting of two threaded pieces that unscrew to convert the top piece into a short column make the tripod ideal for low-angle and macro photography in the field. Made from an aluminum-magnesium-titanium alloy, the lightweight tripod is sturdy enough to support a pro D-SLR with an attached 400mm ƒ/2.8 lens. The PRO 780 DX weighs about seven pounds, holds up to 15 and has a maximum height of 76 inches. An all-metal, three-way panhead is included. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: THK Photo Products, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
Fix image flaws quickly using Version 4.5 of DxO Optics Pro. It features an automated cropping tool, speedier processing times and plug-in capability with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The auto crop tool lets you preview the cropped final image immediately and is ideal when used on a group of images already corrected for horizon alignment or perspective. A library of presets created by professional and expert photographers has also been added to increase your options and save time. Estimated Street Price: Free (existing users); $169 (standard); $299 (elite). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.
When you're camping below the stars, you'll be able to name any one of them with the Celestron SkyScout. Using advanced GPS technology and an extensive built-in database, the handheld device can identify more than 6,000 stars, planets and constellations, providing scientific information on each object. Simply point SkyScout at any star in the sky and click the target button. It's about the size of a camcorder and weighs less than 16 ounces. List Price: $429. Contact: Celestron, (310) 328-9560, www.celestron.com.
When night falls, light up your campsite with the Coleman Exponent CR123 Lithium Pack-Away Lantern. The 100-lumen light weighs less than five ounces and illuminates for 12 hours on low power and five hours on high. Push-button control, a four-position switch (off/high/low/emergency) and battery operation make the lantern easy to use. List Price: TBD. Contact: Coleman, (800) 835-3278, www.coleman.com.
The Crazy Creek Attach-A-Table gives you a convenient place to download photos or clean up your gear while camping. The swiveling table easily attaches to most metal, wood or fiberglass framed chairs. It folds up, down, swings out and adjusts to a variety of heights, angles and positions. Estimated Street Price: $36. Contact: Crazy Creek, (800) 331-0304, www.crazycreek.com.
Take your next mountain hike with The North Face Antigravity jacket. The high-performance, waterproof jacket is made from HiVent DT (Dry Touch) fabric with reinforced shoulders, sides and arms, plus four-way stretch panels behind the shoulder blades. The lightweight garment also features water-resistant zips and venting pockets, and a fully adjustable, helmet-compatible roll-away hood with laminated brim. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: The North Face, (800) 447-2333, www.thenorthface.com.
Hit the trail with the Gregory Z 35. Built with a well-ventilated suspension system, the lightweight backpack features Roll Top-style main access, an auto-fit harness system with flexible attachment to match the user's shoulder slope and angle, and high-quality nylon fabric reinforced with double-box ripstop. The harness and waist-belt systems utilize perforated closed-cell foam covered in moisture-wicking 3D mesh to keep you comfortable all day. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Gregory Mountain Products, (800) 477-3420, www.gregorypacks.com.
The Hi-Tec Ridge backpacking boots will keep your feet comfy and protected when you're hiking on rough terrain. The boots are constructed with a waterproof suede leather upper part with core-venting windows, highly breathable membrane, soft padded collar and molded thermoplastic ankle-support frame. Other features include a full-length abrasion-resistant toe and quarter guard, and a durable compression-molded midsole. List Price: $115. Contact: Hi-Tec, (800) 521-1698, www.hi-tec.com.