SUPERWIDE ZOOM The Tokina AT-X 12-28mm ƒ/4 lens has several features attractive to outdoor photographers. The superwide-angle zoom allows you to experiment with a new look for landscapes while still keeping a standard-angle lens and constant ƒ/4 aperture. It has been specifically designed for an APS-C sensor and corrects for aberrations and distortions out to the edges for sharp images. A new autofocus control sensor has been placed close to the drive unit to speed up the communication between the controller and the autofocus motor. In addition, a silent drive module maintains quiet autofocus functioning, reducing the noise and distraction your equipment may cause while capturing the moment. Mounts are available for Canon and Nikon bodies. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Tokina, www.kenkotokinausa.com.
MAXIMIZING MONITOR For increased visibility video shoots in the field, the 1280x800-pixel resolution Flashpoint 7-inch LED Field Monitor increases the size of your typical 3-inch on-camera LCD screen by five times. The 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal for shooting HD video and allows you to move between a black border and full-screen modes. View the screen from a wide range of positions with the 178º horizontal and vertical viewing angle. The housing is constructed from metal to ensure durability and includes a clip-on sun hood, which also provides screen protection. Full HDMI input and output, a headphone jack, a mono speaker, a 3-way power switch and a mini-ballhead shoe-mount bracket for adjusting position are included. Estimated Street Price: $400. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
HANDLE WITH CARE
Keep a comfortable handle on your camera with the Hand Strap by Cotton Carrier. The Hand Strap is adjustable with heavy-duty Velcro®, so you can tighten and loosen your hand against the body of your camera, as needed. The strap attaches to the camera with a hard anodized aluminum Arca-Swiss-style plate that offers a ¼"-20 thread hole, which allows you to still attach the camera directly to a tripod or to a tripod quick-release plate. This way, you can move from the tripod to handheld shooting with ease. Estimated Street Price: $19. Contact: Cotton Carrier, www.cottoncarrier.com.
APPS FOR NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY
Layer multiple images in the creative Photoshop Touch app for iOS and Android. Use the Scribble Selection tool to choose elements to keep or remove from your image, refine the selection with the Refine-Edge and Edge-Aware painting tools, adjust tone and color with levels and curves, and easily add text. Send your image to the Cloud to access your image from a home computer or share with friends. Estimated Street Price: $4.99/phone; $9.99/tablet. Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.
Camera Noir is an easy-to-use app for capturing and sharing monochrome images. Choose between the low-, mid- or high-contrast filters and simply tap on the screen to adjust the focus and exposure. A level line aids in balance. Square crop lines show your composition, so you can plan in advance for Instagram crops. Then share directly to Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Estimated Street Price: $1.99. Contact: Pacific Helm, www.pacifichelm.com.
WeatherBug by Earth Networks helps keep you updated on weather and storm activity. One particularly handy function of the app is the Spark feature, which detects lightning activity. Using the Total Lightning Network, cloud computing and smartphone technology, Spark can tell you the location and distance the nearest lightning is from your current GPS location or any saved locations. While this is a great application to have on hand for weather photography enthusiasts, it also provides information about lightning safety, with recommendations about when to seek shelter. Free. Contact: Earth Networks, www.earthnetworks.com.