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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In Focus: September 2012

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With "reactive" lighting that offers varied brightness and beam patterns, the rechargeable NAO Headlamp from Petzl has integrated light sensors mounted near its two high-power LEDs in front. The sensors detect ambient light and automatically adjust the light beam output to best suit the lighting conditions outside. Light output grows from seven lumens to 355, with the beam growing wider for closer objects and concentrating to a spot for long distance. Estimated Street Price: $175. Contact: Petzl, www.petzl.com.
When hitting the road, make sure your gear is kept safely in place using the Pelican 1510SC or 1560SC Studio Cases. No matter how extreme the environment, open cell-core construction protects your equipment. The lid has a polymer O-ring that seals out dust and water, as well as an automatic pressure-equalization valve that stops moisture from entering the case, but makes opening it easy at any altitude. If you're traveling by air, both cases should fit in most overhead bins. Stainless-steel ball bearings, polyurethane wheels and an extension handle help ease your way through the airport. The main compartments have padded dividers that can be arranged any way you like, and there's an option to add foam for a more snug fit. Estimated Street Price: $379 (1510SC); $485 (1560SC). Contact: Pelican, (800) 473-5422, www.pelican.com.
With 64-bit functionality, DxO Optics Pro 7.5 delivers faster previews and processing, and can handle much larger files, even those up to 200 megapixels. The program is built around what DxO calls Optics Modules, which are based on a series of tests that analyze different camera and lens combinations. The software will automatically detect your camera body and lens, then ask to download and use those optical characteristics to automatically correct flaws such as distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, lens softness and more. There are more than 7,000 modules. This update adds nearly 200 more modules, of which 60 are for the Nikon D800. Also new is a simper interface with smoother operation for Windows users. Estimated Street Price: $149 (Standard); $299 (Elite). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.
The Varavon Slidecam Lite is a lightweight slider that's ideal for DSLR video capture. Made out of an aluminum alloy and steel, the slider is sturdy and durable, plus it comes with a steel roller bearing as opposed to polymer plastic, making it much stronger. The Lite 600 is 24 inches long and weighs 2.7 pounds, while the Lite 800 is 32 inches long and weighs 3.3 pounds. Both are 1.2 inches wide and can support up to 19.8 pounds. Additional features include a brake/stop bar to prevent the dolly sled from moving during transport, a bubble level and a standard 3⁄8-inch mount for attaching almost any tripod head. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $329. Contact: Varavon (International Supplies), (800) 999-1984, www.varavonusa.com.

Go for a hike without weighing yourself down too much using the Lowepro Flipside Sport AW to transport your camera gear. The low-profile shape and design of the bag make it easy to hike, bike and walk with, and you can grab the camera fast by rotating the pack to the front of your body without having to remove it. Removing the divider system turns the bag into a fully functional daypack if desired. Two sizes are available. The 15L AW holds a pro DSLR with grip and an attached 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens, as well as one to three lenses or flash units, a tripod and other extras. The 10L AW holds a DSLR with an attached 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens, one to two lenses or flash units, a tripod and accessories. Estimated Street Price: $134 (15L); $124 (10L). Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.


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