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Thursday, November 1, 2007

OP Editors' Picks '07

Mpix Gallery Wraps

Mpix Gallery Wraps
For high-quality prints and a fast turnaround without the hassle of heading to the lab, try Mpix, an online division of Miller's Professional Imaging that offers a host of solutions, including Gallery Wraps. Images are printed on premier art canvas substrate and wrapped around a 1.5-inch-wide wooden stretcher frame, a beautiful way to showcase your work, plus they'll arrive ready to hang. Sizes range from 11x14 up to 24x30 inches. A perfect fit for your home or office. List Price: From $70 to $150. Contact: Mpix, www.mpix.com. —SW

Kirk BH-1 Panning Ballhead

Kirk BH-1 Panning Ballhead
Superior feel and tension control are a couple of the reasons why the Kirk BH-1 Panning Ballhead earns such high marks. Weighing a mere 30 ounces and designed with the suggestions of photographers in mind, this light yet rugged precision ballhead features internal stainless-steel and brass parts to avoid corrosion with a hard aluminum exterior to protect from impact in the field. Solid, compact and easy to adjust, it may soon become your standard ballhead in an outdoor setting. List Price: $355. Contact: Kirk Enterprises, (800) 626-5074, www.kirkphoto.com. —SW

Nik Software Dfine 2.0Nik Software Dfine 2.0
Since noise is still an issue with digital imagery, especially when using higher ISOs in low-light conditions,this is a plug-in worth adding to your collection. I like to shoot a lot at night, especially during the last hour before dark, so I use this plug-in quite a bit to clean things up. This latest version uses U Point technology for placing Control Points on a photograph and selectively adjusting the amount of contrast and color noise reduction. List Price: $99. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com. —HM

Canon PowerShot G9

Canon PowerShot G9Even with the high-build quality of today's digital SLRs, it's still a good idea to carry a backup camera in the field. If you want to save space, a compact zoom like Canon's 12-megapixel PowerShot G9 is a small, lightweight alternative to an additional SLR body. The 6x zoom ranges from 35mm to 210mm and is image-stabilized. New to the G Series, this model offers a three-inch LCD, compatibility with Canon Speedlites and a RAW capture mode. It's also a perfect camera for casual shooting situations, when you don't want to carry your D-SLR. List Price: $499. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com. —WP

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-EyeTokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye
With 180 degrees of wide-angle fish-eye view, Tokina's AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye lens distorts images, creating an unusual peephole-like perspective. An ability unique to this fish-eye, the focus length can be zoomed in for the lens to function as a wide-angle. With one lens, I captured landscapes that began at my feet and extended to the sky, 100-degree wide-angles and close-ups of subjects that appeared entirely separate from backgrounds that were just inches away. Estimated Street Price: $529. Contact: THK Photo Products, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com. —DW

LaCie Big Disk Extreme+LaCie Big Disk Extreme+
Every time I buy a big new hard drive, I'm positive that it's the last one I'll need. Of course, a year's worth of images later, and I need more capacity. With a massive two terabytes of storage, the LaCie Big Disk Extreme+ may finally be the last external hard drive I'll need. With 32 MB of cache and triple-interface connectivity, including FireWire 800, large volumes of sizable files transfer quickly and securely. Not to mention that LaCie's body designs are just plain awesome. Estimated Street Price: $849. Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com.—DW


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