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Monday, November 1, 2004

OP Editors' Picks 2004

New technologies mean exceptional gear for photographers

This is an exciting time to be a photographer. Whether or not you're interested in digital, the explosion of the technology has reinvigorated the photo industry like no other in a very long time. Products just get better for everyone.

In order to recognize and support the many innovations and advancements we've seen recently, we've complied this list of some of our favorite products on the market today. Take a look—there's enough variety to find something of interest for everyone who enjoys outdoor photography.

Note: The initials show which editor has made that pick.

op editors picks1) Canon PIXMA iP4000 Photo Printer
My favorite feature of the new PIXMA iP4000 is the second paper tray—if your photo printer is your everyday printer, that's a huge benefit. Canon's new Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) print head speeds up the printing process and delivers better image quality in one stroke. List Price: $149. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.—WP

2) Tamrac Digital Convertible Bag 5674
Ideal for traveling light, the Tamrac Digital Convertible Bag 5674 packs a D-SLR, a couple of lenses and a flash. Perfect for heavy-duty hiking, a hidden hip belt distributes the load and keeps the bag from swinging when you're on challenging terrain. Suggested Retail Price: $79.95. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.—ZS

3) Epson Perfection 4870 PRO
I don't shoot enough film anymore to warrant the purchase of a dedicated film scanner, which is why the do-it-all Epson Perfection 4870 PRO got my attention. The dynamic range of this 48-bit scanner is exceptional—up to a 3.8 Dmax. Digital ICE™ dust and scratch removal technology is built in, as is a transparency scanning unit for originals up to 6x9 inches. List Price: $599. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.—WP

4) Olympus VP-1
When I first saw this little projector, I fell in love immediately. The VP-1 digital projector is the first from Olympus and they did it right: two pounds, 1,000 lumens of brightness, a contrast ratio of 2,000:1 and 1024 x 768 resolution. Street Price: $1,999. Contact: Olympus America, (888) 553-4448, www.olympusamerica.com.—RS

5) Lexar 80X Memory Cards
Due to their speed and their ability to make the most of pro digital SLR technology, Lexar's 80X CompactFlash cards are must-have gear for me. These memory cards deliver a sustainable write speed of up to 12 MB/sec. List Price: $149.99 to $1,349.99. Contact: Lexar Media, (800) 789-9418, www.lexarmedia.com.—IP

6) Garmin GPS
The Garmin eTrex GPS is a compact and inexpensive device that makes it easy to reach the perfect spot. But what puts it on our list for me is that it's uncomplicated in the field, and the unique TracBack feature gets me back home no matter how convoluted a route I take to get to my ideal vantage point. Street Price: $99. Contact: Garmin, (800) 800-1020, www.garmin.com.—CR


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