In Focus: June 2012

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Capture an epic vista or move in close to emphasize a foreground with help from a pair of Canon wide-angle lenses. The EF 24mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM have both been upgraded to include Optical Image Stabilizer technology and autofocus powered by Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor. The stabilization system delivers up to four shutter-speed stops worth of shake correction for producing images that look sharp in low light and when using a flash or tripod isn’t feasible. The EF 24mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM lenses have minimum focusing distances of about 7.8 inches and 9 inches, respectively. Estimated Street Price: $849 (24mm); $799 (28mm). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON,
Rest any concerns you have about the security of your gear using the Tamrac Zuma 9 Secure Traveler. The bag’s interior is only accessible through a rear-opening door that’s up against your back when you’re wearing it. When you’re ready to shoot, tighten the waist belt around your waist, slip out of the shoulder straps and bring the pack around to your front. Unzip the rear-opening door and access your camera with a lens attached without having to remove the pack and set it down. The lower section holds a DSLR with up to a six-inch lens attached, an extra lens and a flash, while the upper compartment stores personal items. There’s also a foam-padded compartment for holding an iPad. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717,

The Sigma Digital Neo (DN) lineup marks the lensmaker’s debut in the mirrorless-lens camera market. The 30mm ƒ/2.8 EX DN and 19mm ƒ/2.8 EX DN are designed for Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and Sony NEX cameras. The fast primes feature Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer Coating, which reduces flare and ghosting, and a linear autofocus motor that moves the lens unit directly, removing noisy gears. The result is smooth, quiet AF operation that’s suited to capturing video and stills. The 30mm has a minimum focusing distance of 11.8 inches and a 1:8.1 magnification ratio. The 19mm has a 7.9-inch minimum focusing distance and a 1:7.4 magnification ratio. Estimated Street Price: $199 each. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858,

The Vanguard Abeo Series tripods feature magnesium die-cast construction that delivers the stability and rigidity needed for heavy load weights. The quick-flip leg locks enable fast setup and are tension adjustable. The legs themselves can be adjusted to 25-, 50- and 80-degree angles, and have thick foam for a secure grip. Also included are a low-angle adapter for greater shot selection, rubber feet that convert to large spikes for rough terrain and a smooth, two-way video head or SBH ballhead. Five models are available. Estimated Street Price: $189 to $269. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322,

You can take the Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS into some fairly rough environments without having to worry about the camera’s durability. It can handle dust, cold weather and being shocked or crushed, and it’s waterproof down to 40 feet. With a backlit 16-megapixel sensor, a wide-angle 28-140mm lens (35mm equivalent), a three-inch LCD with 460,000-dot resolution and full HD 1080p video recording at 30 fps, the camera offers some pretty impressive shooting features, as well. The GPS technology also has been improved with less lag time before startup and longer battery life. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155,

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Take a more natural approach to editing your images with the Wacom Intuos5. This is the latest generation of the company’s popular pen-tablet lineup, and it features a multitouch surface that supports gestures for zooming, scrolling, panning and rotating images. You can create customized gestures in supported applications, like Photoshop, to make your workflow more efficient. For those who like working with a pen, the Grip Pen is still the linchpin. With 2,048 levels of pressure and up to 60 degrees of pen tilt, you can work the way you would with a paintbrush, marker or traditional pen. List Price: $229 (small); $349 (medium); $469 (large). Contact: Wacom, (800) 922-6613,
Deal with fast-changing lighting conditions using the Litepanels Croma. It takes the MicroPro a step further by adding adjustable color temperature output that ranges from daylight (5600K) to tungsten (3200K), so you can change the color temperature of the Croma to match the ambient light and give your images a more natural look. The on-camera LED features two dials. The first one allows you to dim from 100% to zero without obvious color shift, and the second lets you dial in fill light to any point between daylight and tungsten. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009,
Mount your camera on your backpack or a second camera on your camera vest using the Cotton Carrier StrapShot. Ideal for hiking or travel, the StrapShot is compatible with any backpack, and the quick-release locking system provides easy one-handed operation. The StrapShot clips to a backpack strap D-ring using high-quality Velcro® wings to attach securely to the strap. The strap is weatherproof and made of rugged 1680 denier Nylon. A free hand strap is also included. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: Cotton Carrier, (877) 852-9423,

Capture close-ups of nature’s tiniest details with the Flashpoint Digital Microscope Camera, which features 10-500X magnification, a built-in LED ringlight, a 2.7-inch TFT LCD monitor and zoom control. The ringlight delivers even lighting without shadows when the camera is right up against the subject. It’s powered by four AAA batteries, is compatible with SD memory cards and has a mini USB outlet for downloading directly to your computer or storage device. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), (800) 223-2500,