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Thursday, November 1, 2007

OP Editors' Picks '07


Sony Alpha A700


Sony Alpha A700

The just-released Sony Alpha A700 D-SLR is loaded with features, including an on-board HDMI connection for high-quality image playback on high-definition screens optimized for Sony's Bravia HDTV sets. The A700 has also transferred A/D conversion to the 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor for a noticeable reduction in noise levels, and the shiny three-inch LCD features 200-plus dpi for sharp preview resolution. Compatibility with a wide range of lenses, including Sony's G lenses, Carl Zeiss lenses and Konica Minolta Alpha-mount lenses, provides extensive shooting options for every situation. List Price: TBA.
Contact: Sony, (877) 865-SONY, www.sonystyle.com.—DW

Sigma 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OSSigma 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS
For a long time, lens-based image-stabilization technology was available only from camera makers, but now affordable third-party alternatives are coming to market. Designed for use with APS-C-sized image sensors, Sigma's 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS lens delivers a perfect range for most outdoor photography, from wide-angle to moderate telephoto. Sigma's OS (Optical Stabilizer) system detects vertical and horizontal movement and compensates for camera shake. It can also detect panning and correct vertical shake only for smoother shots when following action. List Price: $820. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.—WP

Lexar 8 GB 133x CF cardLexar 8 GB 133x CF Card
Can you really have too much memory available when you're shooting? A couple of years ago, I was pretty excited to have a bunch of 512 MB and a couple of 1 GB CF cards in my bag. Today, I can go on a vacation with a single Lexar 8 GB CF card and practically never need to do a download. The 133x Lexar Professional CF card is fast enough to keep up with my professional digital SLR. Estimated Street Price: $209. Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.—CR

Wacom Intuos3 6x11 Widescreen TabletWacom Intuos3 6x11 Widescreen Tablet
Photoshop is even more powerful and pre
cise when you add a pressure-sensitive pen tablet to your digital darkroom tools. Designed specifically for the aspect ratio of increasingly prevalent widescreen displays, Wacom's Intuos3 6x11 tablet includes a pen tool for making pressure-controlled enhancements and a wireless mouse for added convenience. I especially like the ExpressKeys, which can be programmed for frequently used shortcuts, and the Touch Strips that allow you to zoom, scroll or change brush sizes with a quick slide of the finger. Estimated Street Price: $399.
Contact:
Wacom, (800) 922-9348, www.wacom.com.—WP

Tamrac Expedition 7 Photo Backpack

Tamrac Expedition 7 Photo Backpack
With so many camera bags to choose from, the rugged Tamrac Expedition 7 stands out because it's designed to keep you comfortable and your gear safe in the h
arshest weather. The foam-padded main compartment contains adjustable dividers (also foam-padded) to protect multiple pro SLRs, a full range of lenses and flash units. Three mesh pockets inside the front flap organize filters, film and other accessories, and the foam-padded platform at the bottom is shock-protected. Dual-Density Comfort Pads, a dual-pivoting waist belt and cinch straps on the shoulder harness maximize carrying comfort. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.—KC

Epson P-5000 Multimedia Storage DriveEpson P-5000 Multimedia Storage Drive
Weighing less than a pound, the Epson P-5000 Multimedia Storage Drive lets you review, organize, store and print thousands of images while you're in the field. The viewer features a high-capacity, 80 GB hard drive and a large four-inch, four-color LCD screen featuring 16.7 million colors. Impressive image quality and a handy zoom feature allow precise viewing of RAW files during any type of shoot. You'll also be free to transfer videos and music anywhere, anytime. It's the ideal on-the-go solution. List Price: $699. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.—SW

Novoflex MagicBall 50 Universal BallheadNovoflex MagicBall 50 Universal Ballhead
A versatile unit for all types of photographers, the Novoflex MagicBall Universal is revolutionary in design and carefully constructed to allow an extensive range of adjustment of nearly 120 degrees in all directions. Recommended for equipment up to 15 pounds, this smooth and stable ballhead features integrated friction control that allows the unit to be adjusted to any camera weight. Estimated Street Price: $335. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com. —SW

Buck Knives 730 X-Tract Multi-ToolBuck Knives 730 X-Tract Multi-Tool
If you're going to spend time in the field, you're going to need a multi-tool, one of those handy all-in-one devices that incorporates tools like a knife blade, needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, Phillips and slotted screwdrivers, and even a can/bottle opener. The cool-looking 730 X-Tract contains all that in a form that allows for one-handed operation and good leverage and includes a metal lanyard loop. List Price: $50. Contact: Buck Knives, (800) 326-2825, www.buckknives.com. —MS


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