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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In Focus: September 2011

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Take an exceptionally wide angle of view when shooting with the Canon EF 8-15mm ƒ/4L Fisheye USM lens. It delivers a 180º diagonal angle of view for all EOS SLRs, with formats ranging from full-frame to APS-C. Features include UD glass for limiting chromatic aberration, a Subwavelength coating for reduced ghosting and a newly developed Fluorine coating that minimizes soiling, smears and fingerprints. The lens has full-time manual focus for instantly switching from AF to manual operation. Estimated Street Price: $1,399. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Starting with its interface, Snapseed, an iPad photo-editing app from Nik Software, offers photographers a particularly hands-on way of working with images while out in the field. Loading images is as easy as tapping the Open Image button. Snapseed uses the standard iPad photo album interface, so images are accessible from the Photos library. Options such as Automatic, Selective Adjust, Tune Image, Straighten & Rotate, and Crop appear on the left side of the screen, and tapping one of them allows you to enter the editing mode. Additional options include Black & White, Vintage Films, Drama and Grunge. Nik Software's Control Point technology is also incorporated, allowing you to make selective adjustments by touching or swiping the screen. Estimated Street Price: $5. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.
Capture faraway wildlife with a lens that puts length and speed to good use. The Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM incorporates the lens maker's Optical Stabilization system, allowing you to take crisp handheld shots and use shutter speeds about 4 stops slower than would be possible otherwise. Two new "F" Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements, as well as a single SLD glass element, improve general image quality by reducing chromatic aberrations. The lens' splashproof design features O-ring-sealing connections that prevent dust and water from getting inside the camera body. List Price: $4,700. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.

Whether you're shooting stills or video, you know how important stabilization is to getting top-notch image quality. For making smooth video clips, Redrock Micro delivers its Universal Bundles for DSLRs. These flexible kits can be configured into multiple rig setups. Each one is built around a popular Redrock lineup—nano, handheld, shouldermount and studio—plus two "master" bundles that build multiple rigs across these lineups. The Complete Universal Bundle allows you to build every rig that Redrock has for HD DSLRs. The rigs also can be adapted for use with the latest video cameras. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $1,276 (varies based on configuration). Contact: Redrock Micro, (888) 214-3903, www.redrockmicro.com.

When you're shooting on uneven terrain, use the Novoflex MBAL leveling head to align your DSLR quickly. The small, yet sturdy device moves a smooth 15° in any direction and locks securely with minimal finger pressure. It weighs just 9.5 ounces, supports cameras up to 22 pounds and measures 2.75x2.4x1.75 inches. MBAL mounts to any tripod or head with a 1⁄4- or 3⁄8-inch mounting thread and is supplied with a 1⁄4-inch camera-mounting screw. A twist of the fixing screw enables you to make adjustments with just one hand. Estimated Street Price: $257. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.


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