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In Focus: November 2012

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Smaller than a DSLR, but with more advanced functionality than a camera phone, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is a point-and-shoot that comes with a big 20.2-megapixel, one-inch (13.2×8.8mm) CMOS Sony Exmor sensor and a Zeiss Vario-SonnarT* 30-108mm (35mm equivalent) ƒ/1.8-4.9 zoom lens. It can shoot RAW or JPEG stills, as well as capture 1080/60p and 60i AVCHD video and 1440×1080 and 640×480 MP4 video at 30 fps. Other helpful features include a high-resolution, three-inch LCD, an easy Sweep Panorama mode, optical image stabilization and Dynamic Range Optimizer. Estimated Street Price: $649. Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669,
The tough Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 is waterproof down to 40 feet, shockproof from drops of up to 6.6 feet, dustproof and can operate in temperatures as low as 14º F. A GPS system, compass, altimeter and barometer are all included. There’s a manual shooting mode so you can control aperture and shutter speed, as well as a Time Lapse Shot mode. The camera has a 12-megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch LCD and 28-128mm (35mm equivalent) Leica lens. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA,

Drawing on a high-sensitivity, 14-megapixel CMOS sensor and TruePic V image processor originally developed for DSLRs, the Olympus STYLUS SP-820UZ iHS incorporates several high-end shooting features. Fast reaction times, solid low-light performance and zoom magnification that doesn’t sacrifice image quality are some of the highlights. The impressive 40x zoom delivers a 22.4-896mm equivalent focal-length range, and a Super-Resolution Zoom mode doubles the focus distance to 80x zoom magnification. The camera records 1080p HD video and incorporates Dual Image Stabilization technology. Estimated Street Price: $329. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448,


On your next adventure, take the Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS with you no matter how rough the environment. The compact shooter can handle dust and cold weather, and it’s waterproof down to 40 feet. Shooting features include 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 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,

Traveling is one of the best times to have a compact camera with a big zoom range with you. With the Samsung WB850F, you can upload photos of your trip instantly using the camera’s WiFi capability. The 21x Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan zoom delivers an equivalent focal length range of 23-483mm, and the camera has built-in GPS technology. Additional features include a three-inch, 614,000-dot AMOLED screen, 1080p HD video recording and full manual shooting modes. Estimated Street Price: $349. Contact: Samsung, (800) SAMSUNG,
The 10-megapixel Canon PowerShot G12 is a pint-sized compact that comes with a whole host of features usually found in pro DSLRs. The 28-140mm 5x zoom offers Hybrid IS image stabilization for sharp photos from wide to telephoto, and even with close-ups. Scenes can be composed on the articulating, 2.8-inch tilting and swiveling LCD screen. The High Dynamic Range scene mode will combine multiple shots into one picture for optimum exposures. Video can be played back directly to HDTVs in high definition through the HDMI output, and there’s also compatibility with the professional Canon Speedlite flash series. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON,

This Article Features Photo Zoom
TAMRON SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD M
There’s a lot to like about the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD lens. It has a fairly large ƒ/2.8 maximum aperture, plus optical image stabilization that makes it especially useful in low-light situations. The rounded aperture blades produce attractive bokeh, as well. The upgraded Vibration Compensation system uses a moving coil mechanism that consists of a lighter coil that reduces the load on the drive system. Since the unit is more compact, the lens’ overall weight and size have been reduced. Estimated Street Price: $1,299. Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400,
NIKONAF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Cover your wide-angle to telephoto needs using the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR, a vibration-reducing, compact superzoom built for the DX sensor size. In 35mm format, the lens has a focal-length range equivalent to 27-450mm. The lens’ optical design includes three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements for minimizing chromatic aberration at the widest aperture settings. You can capture close-ups with top-notch detail, as the lens delivers a 1.48-foot minimum focusing distance at 300mm. Estimated Street Price: $999. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US,
Create dramatic and dynamic landscape images with the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15. The 15mm prime has a fast ƒ/2.8 aperture, can focus from just 10 inches and offers a 110º field angle of view 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,
SIGMA 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM
With Optical Stabilizer technology, the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM telephoto lens allows you to take sharp shots of wildlife and other distant subjects. The OS system enables you to
use shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible otherwise. Six SLD glass elements correct for all kinds of aberrations and provide high-quality imagery throughout the zoom range. The
Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM) delivers quiet, high-speed autofocusing while allowing full-time manual-focus capability. Estimated Street Price: $1,650. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858,

TOKINA AT-X 16-28 F/2.8 PRO FX
Sporting a fast ƒ/2.8 aperture that remains constant across the focal range, the Tokina AT-X 16-28 F/2.8 Pro FX is a wide-angle zoom that combines a GMR magnetic autofocus sensor with a silent DC motor to make autofocusing faster than with previous models. Super-low dispersion glass and aspheric elements reduce chromatic aberration, improve clarity and minimize distortion from edge to edge across the frame. Hitting the One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows you to quickly switch between autofocus and manual focus. Estimated Street Price: $849. Contact: Tokina (THK Photo), (800) 421-1141,
With three sizes to choose from, the Kata D-Light DR Digital Rucksack gives you options for carrying a large or small load of gear. The D-Light DR-467 offers the most room, holding a DSLR and mounted lens, three to four more lenses, a flash and laptops up to 17 inches. In the middle is the DR-466, which carries the same amount of gear except for a smaller 15.4-inch laptop. And the smallest, the DR-465, stores fewer lenses and no laptop. List Price: $89 to $109. Contact: Kata, (201) 818-9500,


This Article Features Photo Zoom
Transport your gear safely in the Tamrac Zuma 9 Secure Traveler. The interior is only accessible through a rear-opening door that’s up against your back when you’re wearing the pack. Grab the camera quickly by tightening the waist belt, slipping out of the shoulder straps and bringing the pack around to your front. There’s room for a DSLR with up to a six-inch lens attached, an extra lens, a flash, an iPad and extras. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717,
Having a sturdy camera support is critical for capturing sharp stills and smooth video. For your motion-capture needs, Redrock Micro has developed the ultraCage DSLR to help prevent shaky footage. The handheld rig screws into the camera base, fastens to the top hot-shoe and locks the camera in place with an anti-rotation pin. It includes industry-standard 15mm bottom rails for accessories such as a mattebox, follow-focus or lens support. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $595. Contact: Redrock Micro, (888) 214-3903,
Light up your next video clip with the Litepanels Croma, a portable on-camera LED. It features adjustable color temperature output that ranges from daylight to tungsten. There are two dials. The first one allows you to dim from 100% to zero with no obvious color shift, and the second lets you dial in fill light to any point between daylight and tungsten. The light mounts to DSLRs and stands, or you can hold it. Estimated Street Price: $595. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009,
Sometimes getting the shot you want requires firing your camera from a distance. The Flashpoint X-Series Remote Flash Trigger Kit is an affordable solution that offers a lot of value, with six channels and a maximum range of nearly 600 feet. The receiver can be mounted on a tripod screw or a hot-shoe (with the supplied adapter). The receiver and transmitter are powered by AAA batteries. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), (800) 223-2500,
The design of the Manfrotto SYMPLA rigging system is a simple one. It can be configured in seconds, without tools, and accommodates a wide range of DSLRs, camcorders and lenses. It consists of self-supporting clamps that stay in place even before they’re locked and easy-locking ball-joint handgrips, which were inspired by Manfrotto’s ballheads for still cameras. The rig can be mounted on a tripod, supported on the shoulder or held like a “steering wheel” using an optional attachment. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: Manfrotto, (201) 818-9500,
A new tone-mapping engine in HDR Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software improves color rendering and delivers more natural-looking high dynamic range images. The program features Nik’s long-established U Point technology, which allows you to fine-tune color and contrast locally for a refined HDR effect. You can review the adjustments you’ve made and experiment with different looks using the History Browser, which records every enhancement you make in an editing session. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Nik Software,

Weighing in at just 5.1 ounces and supporting a hefty 100 pounds, the Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Pocket Pod is an ideal travel companion whether you’re flying, hiking or hitting the road. It’s six inches tall with the legs folded underneath, and durable rubber feet enhance the tripod’s grip on challenging surfaces. Keeping the legs together basically turns the Pocket Pod into a mini-monopod. The TFA-01 is made out of anodized aluminum and stainless-steel parts. Estimated Street Price: $98. Contact: Really Right Stuff, (888) 777-5557,
Weighing in at just 5.1 ounces and supporting a hefty 100 pounds, the Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Pocket Pod is an ideal travel companion whether you’re flying, hiking or hitting the road. It’s six inches tall with the legs folded underneath, and durable rubber feet enhance the tripod’s grip on challenging surfaces. Keeping the legs together basically turns the Pocket Pod into a mini-monopod. The TFA-01 is made out of anodized aluminum and stainless-steel parts. Estimated Street Price: $98. Contact: Really Right Stuff, (888) 777-5557,
Carry your DSLR and long telephoto lens comfortably using the OP/Tech Pro Strap. The curved neoprene pad helps to distribute the weight evenly and to absorb shock so that neck and shoulder fatigue are reduced or eliminated. The strap is easy to attach and fully adjustable. The Non Slip Grip ensures that everything stays in place securely. Estimated Street Price: $21. Contact: OP/Tech, (406) 388-1377,
For those who love the Cotton Carrier system, there’s now a hand strap solution. Simply attach the strap to the eyelet of your camera body and place the rubber gasket pad against the underside of your camera or battery grip. Then you just thread the quick-release plate through the hole in the gasket pad. Estimated Street Price: $35. Contact: Cotton Carrier, (877) 852-9423
Available as a standalone app or as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture, Tiffen Dfx 3 simulates thousands of popular Tiffen optical filters, specialized lenses, optical lab process, film grain and more. Plus, it includes tools to fix common photo problems like red eye, compression artifacts and noise. Some of the newer features include: Match Filter for matching the lighting and color of a different image, Rays for changing points of light into stunning rays, DeNoise for reducing grain and noise, and Key Light for adding directional or point light to a scene. Estimated Street Price: $169 (standalone); $229 (Photoshop).
Contact: Tiffen, (631) 273-2500,
Available for iOS or Android devices, The Photographer’s Ephemeris app features automatic time-zone and elevation detection, correction for atmospheric refraction and height above the horizon, as well as more basic functions such as sunrise, sunset and moon position for any location at any time. Estimated Street Price: $8. Contact: The Photographer’s Ephemeris,