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Monday, November 1, 2004

OP Editors' Picks 2004

New technologies mean exceptional gear for photographers

13) Lowepro DryZone Bag
The Lowepro DryZone 200 stands out for its water-resistance. The bag's construction, which includes waterproof zippers, keeps my gear safe in the hostile environments in which I shoot. Street Price: $250. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.—CR

14) Giottos MT 8160 Tripod
Although the Giottos MT 8160 tripod weighs just 51/2 pounds, including its integral three-way head, its carbon-fiber legs provide a rigid platform. Those legs work independently for uneven terrain, and we like the unusual mount for the center column. List Price: $345. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.—ZS

15) Konica Minolta Inkjet Papers
The line of Konica Minolta Inkjet papers caught our eye because they're brightened to keep your white tones really white. The papers work with dye- and pigment-based inks, and their RC-paper base aids durability. List Price: From $6.99. Contact: Konica Minolta Photo Imaging USA, (877) IMAGING, www.konicaminolta.us.—ZS

16) RoadWired RAPS
The RoadWired RAPS protection wraps are ideal for keeping anything safe from dirt, scratches and impact—from a lens to a flash to a GPS. I love these things because I can customize them to fit any sensitive gear I might want to carry or store. The wraps are squares of soft cloth around an impact-resistant core. Street Price: $10 to $15. Contact: RoadWired (OmegaSatter), (410) 374-3250, www.omegasatter.com.—CR

17) Manfrotto Grip Action Ballhead
The Manfrotto 322 RC2 Grip Action Ballhead finds a place on this list due to its standout design. A convenient quick-release trigger makes for fast and easy positioning, with 360-degree rotation of the vertical axis and ±90-degree lateral tilt. List Price: $142. Contact: Bogen Imaging Inc., (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.—IP

18) MicroSolutions RoadStor
While the idea of making CD backups of digital images is great, taking along a laptop all the time isn't. The compact MicroSolutions RoadStor unit lets you make CDs directly from your memory card, plus it will play back DVDs when you're stuck in a hotel room during bad weather. List Price: $269. Contact: MicroSolutions, (800) 890-7227, www.micro-solutions.com.—RS


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