In Focus: September 2012

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Using the Canon EOS Rebel T4i and the STM (Stepping Motor Technology) lenses developed for it to shoot video on your next trip should be a quiet experience. This is because the camera’s Movie Servo AF mode and the lenses’ quiet autofocus operation combine to allow you to continuously track wildlife, sports action and other scenes with fast-moving subjects smoothly, quickly and without picking up unwanted noise. The touch-screen functionality of the three-inch Clear View LCD is based on the technology found in mobile devices. Zooming or changing images, controlling settings and activating the shutter release all can be done by touching the screen. Rounding out the top features is an 18-megapixel APS-C sensor, ISO at up to 12,800 and the new DIGIC 5 image processor. Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (with EF-S 18-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens). Contact: Canon,
(800) OK-CANON,
Give yourself more freedom and flexibility when you’re out shooting using DSLR Camera Remote from onOne Software. The latest version allows Nikon D800/D800E and D4 DSLR shooters to fire remotely from their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. A total of 29 Nikon and Canon DSLRs are now compatible with the app, which allows you to adjust camera settings, fire the shutter, review images, preview through the viewfinder in real time and record video using your iOS device’s screen. The update is free to current owners. Estimated Street Price: $9 (iPhone and iPod touch); $24 (iPad). Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468,

The tilt-shift look created by Lensbaby selective-focus lenses is a popular one. If you’ve wanted to try it out yourself, the company now offers the Pro Effects Kit, which puts the flagship Composer Pro and two special-effects optics in one bundle. The Sweet 35 Optic is a 35mm ƒ/2.5 selective-focus optic with a 12-blade adjustable aperture that creates a sharp sweet spot of focus surrounded by blur. The Edge 80 is an 80mm ƒ/2.8 flat field-of-focus optic with a 12-blade adjustable aperture that delivers a slice of sharp focus through the image surrounded by soft blur. Finally, two macro converters, an 8mm and a 16mm, can be stacked together to create a 24mm converter. Estimated Street Price: $750. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222,

Carry your mirrorless camera system in the Tamrac Rally Micro, a lightweight, compact bag that’s just the right size for these smaller-size cameras. It fits a mirrorless model with an attached lens, an extra lens, a small flash and accessories. The Speed Flap Top and Easy Squeeze quick-release buckle with hook-and-loop closure offer top-notch security. The zippered front pocket has smaller pockets inside to keep extra memory cards and batteries organized, while two mesh side pockets hold even more gadgets. An adjustable shoulder strap and carrying handle give you some carrying options. Estimated Street Price: $37. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717,
Make your landscape photographs stand out on paper using the Ilford GALERIE Prestige Smooth Gloss 310 gsm or Smooth Pearl 310 gsm. Clear nanoporous coating combined with other technological advancements help make these paper types ideal for producing images with top-notch clarity, sharpness and color. With a high-density heavyweight base and smooth finish, the papers are designed to deliver the true look and feel of an old-school photograph. Glare and fingerprints are eliminated when using Smooth Pearl. Both papers are compatible with pigment- and dye-based printers. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Ilford,

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With “reactive” lighting that offers varied brightness and beam patterns, the rechargeable NAO Headlamp from Petzl has integrated light sensors mounted near its two high-power LEDs in front. The sensors detect ambient light and automatically adjust the light beam output to best suit the lighting conditions outside. Light output grows from seven lumens to 355, with the beam growing wider for closer objects and concentrating to a spot for long distance. Estimated Street Price: $175. Contact: Petzl,
When hitting the road, make sure your gear is kept safely in place using the Pelican 1510SC or 1560SC Studio Cases. No matter how extreme the environment, open cell-core construction protects your equipment. The lid has a polymer O-ring that seals out dust and water, as well as an automatic pressure-equalization valve that stops moisture from entering the case, but makes opening it easy at any altitude. If you’re traveling by air, both cases should fit in most overhead bins. Stainless-steel ball bearings, polyurethane wheels and an extension handle help ease your way through the airport. The main compartments have padded dividers that can be arranged any way you like, and there’s an option to add foam for a more snug fit. Estimated Street Price: $379 (1510SC); $485 (1560SC). Contact: Pelican, (800) 473-5422,
With 64-bit functionality, DxO Optics Pro 7.5 delivers faster previews and processing, and can handle much larger files, even those up to 200 megapixels. The program is built around what DxO calls Optics Modules, which are based on a series of tests that analyze different camera and lens combinations. The software will automatically detect your camera body and lens, then ask to download and use those optical characteristics to automatically correct flaws such as distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, lens softness and more. There are more than 7,000 modules. This update adds nearly 200 more modules, of which 60 are for the Nikon D800. Also new is a simper interface with smoother operation for Windows users. Estimated Street Price: $149 (Standard); $299 (Elite). Contact: DxO Labs,
The Varavon Slidecam Lite is a lightweight slider that’s ideal for DSLR video capture. Made out of an aluminum alloy and steel, the slider is sturdy and durable, plus it comes with a steel roller bearing as opposed to polymer plastic, making it much stronger. The Lite 600 is 24 inches long and weighs 2.7 pounds, while the Lite 800 is 32 inches long and weighs 3.3 pounds. Both are 1.2 inches wide and can support up to 19.8 pounds. Additional features include a brake/stop bar to prevent the dolly sled from moving during transport, a bubble level and a standard 3⁄8-inch mount for attaching almost any tripod head. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $329. Contact: Varavon (International Supplies), (800) 999-1984,

Go for a hike without weighing yourself down too much using the Lowepro Flipside Sport AW to transport your camera gear. The low-profile shape and design of the bag make it easy to hike, bike and walk with, and you can grab the camera fast by rotating the pack to the front of your body without having to remove it. Removing the divider system turns the bag into a fully functional daypack if desired. Two sizes are available. The 15L AW holds a pro DSLR with grip and an attached 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens, as well as one to three lenses or flash units, a tripod and other extras. The 10L AW holds a DSLR with an attached 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens, one to two lenses or flash units, a tripod and accessories. Estimated Street Price: $134 (15L); $124 (10L). Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE,

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Give yourself another creative outlet for working with stills on a mobile device using the Tiffen Photo fx and Photo fx Ultra apps. Each one lets you simulate the look of many Tiffen glass filters, specialized lenses, optical lab processes, film grain, color correction, natural light and effects, as well as use a paint system (fx Ultra only) with a variety of brushes. Both apps also provide a number of ways for sharing those enhanced or retouched images with options for posting to Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter and more. You can save your favorite Photo fx looks as presets and import them into Tiffen Dfx 3. Also, Photo fx Ultra supports the high-resolution Retina display of the latest iPad. Estimated Street Price: $3 (fx); $5 (fx Ultra). Contact: Tiffen, (631) 273-2500,
L.L.Bean is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a special selection of outdoor gear that includes a collector’s edition Swiss Army knife. The grip is made from reclaimed Swiss walnut, which is handpicked and features different shades of dark brown and variable grain patterns so each knife is unique. The handle is ergonomically shaped to fit your hand comfortably. The 11 stainless-steel tools consist of a flat screwdriver, large knife blade, bottle opener, wire bender, nail file, nail cleaner, corkscrew, can opener, small cross-head screwdriver, key ring and reamer/awl. It measures 3.5x1x1 inches and weighs 2.1 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $59. Contact: L.L.Bean, (800) 813-7473,
Get your camera into just the right position using the Vanguard BBH ballheads. Built around the company’s Rapid Level System technology, the ballhead keeps the camera even with the base, while two bubble levels help maintain the tripod’s balance, allowing you to pan 360º whether shooting stills or video. Constructed of magnesium, the ballhead’s open-body design keeps it lightweight, and the scratch-free, oxidized surface of the ball helps you smoothly move the camera into position. The BBH-200 is one of the three available models. It has a load capacity of 44 pounds and weighs just over a pound. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322,
The Pro-Optic Macro Zoomer is an extension tube that allows you to continuously adjust magnification without having to remove the lens and change tubes. The tube functions like a zoom lens. Rotating its “zoom” ring adjusts the magnification. Autofocus and auto-exposure operation are both preserved. The focusing range is between 46mm and 68mm. The Macro Zoomer is available for Canon and Nikon shooters. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: Pro-Optic (Adorama), (800) 223-2500,
Stay warm when the temperature drops at night by taking the High Peak Mt. Rainier 20°F Sleeping Bag on your next camping trip. The mummy-style design uses a double layer of insulation that helps you retain body heat and stays warm even when wet. The fabric is breathable and allows any perspiration on your skin to evaporate, keeping you dry. The top of the bag uses ripstop nylon, while the bottom is nylon taffeta. An internal chest collar with a drawstring and barrel lock keeps heat from seeping out of the face opening. Estimated Street Price: $117. Contact: High Peak, (425) 251-5106,