High-tech tools to keep your images secure when you’re in the field
By Jon Sienkiewicz
Among the latest cameras and lenses showcased at the big PMA trade show every winter, there’s also a slew of new gadgets, technological innovations and services that don’t drum up the kind of attention that a hot new D-SLR does. While we can’t cover everything we saw, what follows is a look at some of the offerings from those smaller, “back of the show” manufacturers that caught our attention. PICTURE SPOTTER
Spot your next subject or location from afar with the Minox MD 50 W spotting scope. At 20 ounces and 8.5 inches long, the small scope delivers a big 16x to 30x magnification, allowing you to zero in on the birds. The scope’s close-focus range lets you go from just 16.4 feet from your subject to infinity. A multilayer M* coating on the lens helps ensure the quality needed to make detailed observations. The MD 50 W is dustproof and waterproof to 16.4 feet. Estimated Street Price: $384. Contact: Minox, www.minox.com.
WIRELESS SD CARD Transferring images has never been easier with the wireless Eye-Fi 2 GB SD card. Using your home WiFi network, images are automatically saved to your PC or Mac as soon as you walk through the door. The Eye-Fi can also transmit photos to photo-sharing websites like Flickr, Phanfare and Snapfish using the Eye-Fi Service, which gets them to the site, takes care of log-ins and passwords, and resizes your pictures if required. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Eye-Fi, (877) 873-9334, www.eye.fi.
COLOSSAL COMPACTFLASH Shoot high-resolution photos all day long with the Pretec 48 GB 233x CompactFlash card. As with all memory cards, figuring out how many it holds depends on the camera and file size, which vary according to the format and quality setting. But at transfer speeds of more than 35 MBps (read) and 25 MBps (write), you can do more high-speed burst shooting, view images faster on the LCD and minimize the download time. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: PTI Global Inc., (510) 249-9055, www.ptiglobalusa.com.
SUPER CUTTERS The Trim Gear Heavy-Duty Rotary Trimmers are tailored for the demands of digital printmakers. The locking rail mechanism holds paper firmly in place while the carbide blades ensure precise and accurate cuts. The sturdy metal base is calibrated and features common preset measurements. The paper guide is adjustable and magnetic for making the same cut repeatedly without having to readjust. The device can slice multiple sheets of photo paper at once and also cuts card stock, black core artist mat board, 1⁄8-inch foam board, plastic sheets, acetate and more. The Heavy-Duty Rotary Trimmers are available in select sizes for accommodating 12- to 25-inch sheets. Estimated Street Price: $138 to $406. Contact: Carl Manufacturing, (800) 257-4771, www.carlmfg.com.
FUNCTION WITH STYLE Pairing attractive exteriors with functionality, Jill-E Designs is bringing a fashion sense to camera bags. The large Moss Green Suede Rolling Camera Bag holds two camera bodies, two flashes, two moderate-sized lenses, a 15-inch laptop, and various accoutrements like batteries, cables, filters and manuals. The bag has dual carrying handles, a telescoping handle for rolling the case, a polka-dot, padded interior with adjustable Velcro dividers, a netted pocket and a toiletries pouch with a detachable tether. Jill-E offers a range of sizes, from small wristlets to medium and large bags. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: Jill-E Designs, (888) 445-4553, www.jill-e.com.
FOUR-IN-ONE If you’re the type who comes back from a shoot with multiple memory cards full of images, check out ImageRouter from Delkin Devices. The high-speed USB 2.0 reader lets you unload four CompactFlash cards at a time. With speedy transfer rates of 19 MBps (read) and 18 MBps (write), you won’t have to wait long to start working on your photos. The software that enables the simultaneous download isn’t available for Macs yet. Mac users can still use the router, but you see four separate drives and lose the convenience of dumping thousands of photos all at once. Estimated Street Price: $149 (without software), $249 (with software). Contact: Delkin Devices, (800) 637-8087, www.delkin.com.