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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In Focus: October 2011

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If you’re stepping up your travel photography from the point-and-shoot level to DSLR quality, the Canon EOS Rebel T3 is an intuitive camera that doesn’t sacrifice image quality for ease of use. Features include a 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 4 image processor, HD video with in-camera movie-editing options, 3 fps continuous shooting and a 2.7-inch LCD with Live View. The in-camera Feature Guide gives descriptions or advice on various functions. The guide is displayed in each shooting mode, during Mode Dial operations and for Quick Control screen functions. The camera is available in three new color variations: red, brown and metallic gray. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.

The AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm ƒ/2.8G lens from Nikon can focus as close as 6.4 inches, has a rounded seven-blade diaphragm and incorporates both manual-priority autofocus and manual focus for quickly and easily switching focus modes. The lens has the same effective angle of view as a 60mm lens on a full-frame camera and is capable of a 1:1 reproduction ratio. The lens also features Nikon’s Close-Range Correction System in which lens elements are configured in a “floating” design that causes each lens group to move independently, achieving critical focus at close distances. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.

The latest generation of the Olympus PEN cameras are smaller and feature high-speed autofocus systems that improve on previous versions. The E-P3, the lineup’s flagship model, has a 3-inch OLED touch screen, an enhanced 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor and a new TruePic VI imaging engine. The autofocus system supports 35 individual focus points spread over nearly the entire sensor. In addition to touch-screen capability, the camera has traditional settings buttons and full manual controls. The E-PL3 features the same 12-megapixel sensor, fast AF system and image processor, as well as a tilting 3-inch LCD screen. This camera doesn’t have an integrated flash like the E-P3. The E-PM1 is a stripped-down version with the same features but no physical buttons, making it smaller. A back-mounted scroll wheel handles most of the camera’s controls. Estimated Street Price: $899 (E-P3); $699 (E-PL3); TBA (E-PM1). Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.getolympus.com.

Add some sparkle to your black-and-whites by printing them on Slickrock Metallic Pearl 260 from Moab. With a metallic, pearl-like coating, images can look more lifelike with almost a 3D quality. In black-and-white prints, highlights are brighter and blacks are deeper and darker. The microporous 260gsm paper has a glossy surface with instant dry time. The paper is named for the smooth, slick sandstone surface of the famous bike trail that winds through the desert plains of Moab. The paper is designed for printing with Photo Black inks. It’s available in 50-sheet boxes with sizes of 5x7, 81⁄2x11 and 13x19 inches, A2 and A4, and 17-, 24- and 44-inch rolls. Estimated Street Price: Varies by size. Contact: Moab, (800) 727-3716, www.moabpaper.com.

Back up your files using the WD My Book Studio drive for Mac, which comes with up to 3 TB of capacity. The newly designed drive features WD Caviar Green drives with WD GreenPower technology that eliminates the need for an internal fan. Without a fan, noise is reduced and the drive lasts longer. The brushed aluminum casing, which gives the drive its sleek look, also draws away heat so it stays cool. Additional features include FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 interfaces, user-controlled automatic backup software and drive management, password protection and hardware encryption. The drive can be reformatted for use with Windows PCs. Estimated Street Price: $249 (3 TB). Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000, www.wdc.com.

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