This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

In Focus: July 2012

Outdoor Photographer may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. Outdoor Photographer does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting Outdoor Photographer.
This Article Features Photo Zoom
With the Lightning Trigger from Stepping Stone Products in your camera bag this summer, you can capture those impromptu lightning storms from a safe distance. When the trigger is attached to your camera’s flash shoe and connected to an auxiliary cable outlet, a flash of light activates the camera’s shutter release. You don’t have to keep the shutter open because the camera automatically fires when lightning occurs, day or night. The sensors can detect lightning flashes at up to 20 miles away during the day and up to 40 miles away at night. The device is powered by a 9V alkaline battery and weighs just five ounces. Estimated Street Price: $329. Contact: Stepping Stone Products, (800) 452-4167,
If capturing the stars and the sky at night is what gets your creative juices going, the Canon EOS 60Da, which is optimized for shooting through telescopes, includes some powerful new features to boost your astrophotography. The DSLR has a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with increased sensitivity to the hydrogen alpha floating through the air. Standard camera sensors don’t see it, but with the 60Da, you can take pictures of “red hydrogen emission” nebulae and other cosmic phenomena. Key specs include an 18-megapixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, a three-inch Vari-angle 1,040,000-dot LCD, enhanced noise reduction, ISO speeds up to 6,400 and expandable to 12,800, a nine-point autofocus system and full manual controls. Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON,
Take a more dramatic point of view when shooting landscapes with the Distagon T* 2,8/15 wide-angle lens from Carl Zeiss. The 15mm lens has a fast ƒ/2.8 aperture, can focus from just 10 inches and offers a 110° field angle of view when mounted on a full-frame camera. A combination of aspherical lens elements, partial dispersion glass and a floating-elements design controls distortion and chromatic aberration. The lens is available with an EF (ZE) or F bayonet (ZF.2) mount. Estimated Street Price: $2,950. Contact: Carl Zeiss,
Give your iPhone, iPad and other iOS devices expanded remote-control functionality with Galileo. Capable of infinite 360° pan-and-tilt at speeds of up to 200° per second in any orientation, Galileo lets you swipe your finger on the device’s screen and it reacts by orienting your iPhone or iPod touch accordingly. You can create more dynamic time-lapse images and more interesting video with unique transitions and panning capabilities. Mount the Galileo on rails and create a mini-rig for your iPhone. You also can integrate Galileo functionality into existing apps or create new apps built around its movement abilities. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: Motrr,
Sharpen up those wildlife pictures using the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM telephoto lens. With Optical Stabilizer technology, you can shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible otherwise. This model marks the company’s 10th telephoto lens to have the OS system. Six SLD glass elements offer corrections for all types of aberrations and provide high-quality imagery throughout the zoom range. Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting, and the Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM) delivers quiet, high-speed autofocusing while allowing full-time manual-focus capability. List Price: $1,650. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858,
Carry your gear with style on your next out-of-town adventure using the Tamrac Aria series of camera bags. Made from a rich, smooth fabric that feels like silk, the bags are durable and don’t look like typical camera bags so as not to call a lot of unwanted attention to your valuable gear. It holds a DSLR with a lens attached, a second lens, and a third lens or flash. There’s a foam-padded compartment for holding an iPad, as well as a zippered, pleated front pocket for accessories and other items. Two slim side pockets hold a phone or iPod, and the silver interior lining makes it easy to find items. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717,

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Balance your HDSLR on the Ace tripod system from Sachtler. Made from a unique composite material, the durable tripod is compact and lightweight. The fluid head is designed specifically for video DSLRs and small HDV camcorders. It can support up to 8.8 pounds, has five-step counterbalance for quick camera balancing and positioning, plus a drag system with three horizontal and three vertical steps. This allows for precise panning and tilting, as well as choosing a drag setting suitable for any shooting situation. Estimated Street Price: $535. Contact: Sachtler, (845) 268-0100,
Carry your HDSLR system using one of the Pro-Light Pro-V Backpack options from Kata. The bags can fit a range of large HDSLR rig configurations or a DSLR with an attached lens of up to 300mm. The slim, streamlined exterior has full-front access to the main compartment so four padded storage pouches are accessible from outside or inside the bag. The pouches conform to gear size and shape for protection. The Pro-V 410 fits an HDV camcorder, a large HDSLR rig configuration or a DSLR with a lens of up to 300mm attached, six to eight lenses, an extra body and accessories. A rear, padded pocket holds up to a 15.4-inch laptop. The Pro-V 610 holds the same, except that you can fit a DSLR with up to a 500mm attached and up to a 17-inch laptop. Estimated Street Price: $299 (Pro-V 410); $349 (Pro-V 610). Contact: Kata, (201) 818-9500,
Bumping up capacity to 2 TB isn’t all that’s new about the Western Digital My Passport hard drive. The outer shell is designed to be more resistant to scratches and fingerprints while USB 3.0 connectivity and continuous automatic backup software inside deliver a fast and secure system for storing your image files while still out in the field. Password protection and hardware encryption allow you to take an extra step toward protecting your files from unauthorized use or access. Other available capacities include 500 GB, 750 GB and 1 TB. Estimated Street Price: $249 (2 TB). Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000,
Make your landscapes look as though they were taken on Polaroid 669 or Kodachrome with Digital Film Tools Film Stocks. With nearly 300 presets, the program includes color, black-and-white, motion-picture and historical photographic processes. In addition to Polaroid and Kodak, some of the other film types include Agfa, Fuji, Ilford and Rollei. You can create presets from scratch, as well as the skewed color looks of cross-processing, the Lo-Fi photographic styles of Lomo and Holga toy cameras, and the aged look of faded films. Other features include masking tools, vignettes, 8- and 16-bit image processing, and multiprocessor acceleration. Estimated Street Price: $95. Contact: Digital Film Tools, (818) 761-6577,
If you’re noticing a lot of dropped video frames, lag time when shooting RAW or long download times, you may need to get a faster memory card. The Delkin 700x CF memory cards deliver transfer rates of up to 105 MB/s and write speeds of up to 67 MB/s. With that kind of speed, the cards are ideal for using with high-performance DSLRs and video modes, such as slow-motion recording. They’re available in capacities of 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. Estimated Street Price: $54 (16 GB); $99 (32 GB); $224 (64 GB); TBA (128 GB). Contact: Delkin Devices, (800) 637-8087,

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Spring is here, and that means thunderstorms with all sorts of opportunities for cool lightning photos. The Ubertronix Strike Finder senses those very first lightning sparks and sends a signal to the camera shutter in time to capture the whole event. Other models are available, and even the most basic one allows you to capture lightning, fireworks and other events requiring high-speed flash. More advanced models have trigger capabilities for sound and motion, as well. The device mounts onto the hot-shoe and connects to the camera via the remote switch port. Estimated Street Price: $109 to $349. Contact: Ubertronix, (210) 363-5738,
If flexibility matters most in your RAW workflow, Corel AfterShot Pro gives you a lot of helpful options. During import, you can upload images into custom or portable catalogues if you need to move them to another computer, or work with files from their current location on your hard drive or memory card. Customize metadata to display only the information you want to see or use presets to attach information for easy searching. Optimized for multi-CPU computers, AfterShot Pro delivers maximum speed for previewing, making adjustments and outputting. Nondestructive editing tools include exposure and tone control, color correction, white balance, noise reduction, lens correction and more. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Corel,
The Rotolight ANOVA Two is a bi-color LED system capable of reproducing white light from candlelight to full daylight. One dial allows a direct Kelvin calibration of 3150K to 6300K. Anova features fully wired DMX control, a V-Lock battery mount, wireless functionality and Magic Eye technology that allows you to use an iPhone or iPad to remotely measure color temperature and wirelessly transmit those color settings to the light. Brightness, color, system settings, infinite fade and firmware updates all can be controlled wirelessly. Estimated Street Price: $2,598. Contact: Rotolight (R.T.S. Inc.), (631) 242-6801,
Take better time-lapse photographs and video with the Celestron Sky-Watcher AllView Mount. The unit takes the work out of the process by automatically moving to preprogrammed positions and controlling the camera shutter to take a picture at each position. Dual-encoder technology on each axis allows manual movement without losing alignment. The electronic shutter release automatically triggers camera exposures in panoramic mode. The supplied cable works with Canon EOS Rebel DSLR cameras. Optional cables are available for other camera models. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Celestron, (310) 328-9560,
If you plan on getting closer to nature this spring, add the Nissin MF18 Macro Ring Flash to your portable lighting setup. It’s designed to support Canon E-TTL and Nikon iTTL systems. The flash has an expandable head and macro lens-mount adapters from 49mm to 82mm with a guide number of 16. Two flash tubes can be controlled independently to give you lighting ratio control, four built-in LED modeling lamps provide focus assist, and the power ratio can be adjusted from 1/1 down to 1/1024 power in Fine Macro mode. The basic setup includes 52mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm and 77mm lens-mount adapters with available options of 49mm, 55mm and 82mm. Estimated Street Price: $439. Contact: Nissin,
Having a moderate telephoto lens in your camera bag is a good option for outdoor shooting. The Pro-Optic 85mm ƒ/1.4 ASPH is fast, compact and affordable. It delivers a nice bokeh for producing smooth, out-of-focus backgrounds while keeping your subject sharp. The fast, manual-focus prime has a nine-element optical formula that incorporates a fresh aspheric design. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: Pro-Optic (Adorama), (800) 223-2500,