COMPACT AND WIDE
The 7.2-megapixel compact Samsung L74 Wide has a 3.6x optical zoom starting at a 35mm equivalent of 28mm. A three-inch touch-screen LCD makes navigating through the menu system easy and intuitive, while the World Tour Guide function (with travel information covering 4500 regions in 30 countries) helps you plan trips and navigate on the road. At just 4x2.4x0.8 inches and six ounces, the camera is a great size for hiking around within the backcountry. List Price: $350. Contact: Samsung, (800) 762-7746, www.samsungcamerausa.com.
Pore over your photos in front of a big screen using LaCie's 526 LCD monitor. The 25.5-inch wide-format display shows a range of vibrant and previously unattainable colors allowing for a closer match among captured, displayed and printed colors. An embedded ColorKeeper sensor analyzes the brightness and chromaticity of its backlight and continues to adjust that light resulting in stable color and brightness over time. The monitor also comes with LaCie's blue eye pro calibration software. List Price: $2,419. Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com.
A LEG UP
Shoot from the ground up using Gitzo's next-generation aluminum Series 2 tripods with a new built-in solution for greater stability and versatility. The new features, called the Ground Level Set, allow a photographer to simply remove the tripod's column, then lock in the upper disc mounting plate directly to the tripod's retractable hook. While leg tube thickness remains at 1.2mm to provide stability, a patented techno-polymer, Soulid 238, and the basalt center column reduce the tripod's overall weight without sacrificing strength. A sleek matte black finish minimizes light reflection. Estimated Street Price: $300 (GT2330); $400 (GT2340L). Contact: Bogen Imaging, (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.
ON THE SPOT
Zero in on fast-moving wildlife quickly with Celestron's VistaPix IS70 Digital Spotting Scope, which features a built-in 3-megapixel digital camera that also shoots video. The 70mm scope's fully integrated eyepiece with high-powered zoom magnifies subjects up to 144x. Other features include a two-inch LCD with full-color image preview, digital focus meter and 210-foot field of view. List Price: $479. Contact: Celestron, (310) 328-9560, www.celestron.com.
Camp with caution this summer by preventing poison-ivy outbreaks with buji Block and buji Wash. The Block was developed as a precontact protective lotion to help guard against allergic reactions by preventing the toxic oil of poison-ivy and poison-oak plants from absorbing into your skin. The Wash is used to relieve itching and irritation after symptoms appear. Estimated Street Price: $13 each. Contact: buji, (888) 606-BUJI, www.bujiproducts.com.
Be prepared for those late-afternoon summer thunderstorms with Woolrich's Afton jacket. The water-resistant, quick-drying microfiber shell features zippered front pockets with mesh bags, Teflon Fabric Protector for repelling stains and water, and an attached hood with brim and drawcords. Plus, the garment rolls up into its own pocket for easily sliding into a backpack. It comes in light olive, deep navy, nickel and saffron. List Price: $59. Contact: Woolrich, (800) 966-5372, www.woolrich.com.
The Windwatch Pro II from Minox is a pocket-sized tool that measures wind speed, temperature, atmospheric pressure, altitude and humidity. Plus, the device has an integrated watch with a timer and time-control functions. When you hold it up to the wind, an integrated impeller determines wind speed every second, and displays it on the illuminated LC monitor using various speed units. Temperature is shown in Centigrade and Fahrenheit, plus Windwatch can determine the wind-chill factor. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Minox, (866) 469-3080, www.minox.com.
Steiner's finely crafted Peregrine XP Binoculars use high-definition optical technology to deliver brightness and color with optimal contrast. The 30mm eyepieces enhance your view without interference from light and peripheral objects. The binoculars use a new kind of lens coating with "NANO protection" for eliminating rain, snow and moisture from your view. A lightweight Magnesium body, ergonomic design and fast focusing system make zeroing in on close or distant subjects easy and comfortable. Estimated Street Price: $1,549 (8x); $1,599 (10x). Contact: Steiner, (800) 257-7742, www.steiner-binoculars.com.
Take to the trail in Garmont's lightest set of hiking boots. The waterproof, breathable Sitka boots have Gore-Tex® along with various other materials used to give the boots the weight and feel of a sports shoe. A broad footprint provides stability for the most aggressive outside adventures while an anatomically directed design gives more room for the big toe and comfort. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Garmont, (802) 658-8322, www.garmont.com.
The Big Sur Hydrapak is a surefire way to stay hydrated while out for a long photo hike. The backpack features the company's patented integrated hands-free drink system, which consists of a stretchable, puncture-resistant polyurethane pack for the water and convenient Plug-N-Play drink tube. The backpack features plenty of cargo space and is designed with ergonomic foam pods on the back panel, creating ventilation channels to keep you cool. The backpack comes in blue and charcoal. List Price: $70. Contact: Hydrapak, www.hydrapak.com.
Select the best color for your prints with Test Strip Proofer Pro from PhotoTune, a Photoshop plug-in that automatically generates calibration proof sheets. How much the color of each image in the test strip varies can be preselected from a list of percentages. If you don't want to vary all colors, individual colors can be varied by percentage. Once your final selection is made, you can use the Fix Original option to update the original image to the new color gamut. Windows and Mac versions are available. List Price: $130. Contact: PhotoTune, (530) 432-2365, www.phototune.com.
The pro version of Pantone's huey monitor calibration device features the same easy-to-use, innovative design as the huey, but with greater color control and support for multiple monitors. The marker-sized tool and accompanying software work to calibrate your monitor quickly and accurately, and continue to adjust the monitor as lighting in the room changes. With hueyPRO you can tune your calibration. List Price: $129. Contact: Pantone, (866) PANTONE, www.pantone.com.
Go wide or zoom in close with the 7.1-megapixel Fujifilm FinePix S700 equipped with a 10x optical 38-380mm (35mm-equivalent) lens. Packed with features in a stylish 10.8-ounce body, the S700 has a 2.5-inch LCD, a full range of manual controls, 14 scene modes, Dual Shot mode, Picture Stabilization and Intelligent Flash, which varies flash intensity according to the ambient light of a scene. List Price: $250. Contact: Fujifilm, (800) 800-FUJI, www.fujifilmusa.com.
Present bright, vivid images in front of an audience with the Epson PowerLite 6100i, a 3LCD projector with 1024 x 768 XGA resolution and 3500 ANSI lumens. The 6100i projects nearly all formats of video content, including high definition. Other features include an advanced, dust-resistant design to protect the optics, built-in closed captioning, high-efficiency air filter that requires less cleaning and network capabilities for controlling the projector remotely. List Price: $2,899. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Take the plunge with the Olympus Stylus 770 SW. The 7.1-megapixel, ultra-compact camera takes photos underwater down to 33 feet. The camera's rugged design and stainless-steel exterior are made to endure falls from up to five feet. A bright 2.5-inch LCD helps you get great shots whether you're on land or in water. Other features include a custom underwater scene mode and a built-in manometer, which measures water and air pressure, allowing you to accurately monitor the depth or altitude of your images. Estimated Street Price: $379. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448, www.olympusamerica.com.
Berlebach's wood tripods are a sturdy, lightweight and handsome alternative to metal tripods. Made from specially grown, hand-selected sport ash, they're durable and robust. Wood tripods are ideal for extreme climate conditions because they warm up and cool down slowly. Photographers have used them on expeditions to the North and South Poles, the desert and the rain forest. List Price: $139 to $330. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
|Books 'N Such
National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America by Edward S. Brinkley (Sterling Publishing Co., 2007; ISBN: 1-4027-3874-9). More than 750 birds are highlighted in this all-inclusive guide, giving in-depth descriptions of their habitats, behavior and flight migration. The book is illustrated with more than 2,000 color photos.
How Digital Photography Works by Ron White (Que, 2007; ISBN: 0-7897-3630-6). Learn the nuts and bolts of digital photography using this reference book, which offers clear, concise explanations on everything from framing your pictures with the viewfinder to how exposure systems balance aperture and shutter to Adobe Photoshop.
Four and Twenty Photographs: Stories from Behind the Lens by Craig Varjabedian and Robin Jones (University of New Mexico Press, 2007; ISBN: 978-0-8263-4094-6). Varjabedian's photographs range from beautiful landscapes of the Southwest to intimate portraits. Insightful narratives accompany each photo expanding on their meaning.
Photoshop Lightroom Adventure: Mastering Adobe's Next-Generation Tool for Digital Photographers by Mikkel Aaland (O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2007; ISBN: 978-0596100995). Aaland took the beta version of Lightroom on a photo trip to Iceland for testing. Based on case studies from the trip, the guide gives detailed explanations of each component of the program.
Valley of the Big Cats by Steve Price (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2007; ISBN: 978-1-933285-61-0). During two extended trips to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, Price shot more than 11,000 wildlife photographs for this 264-page all-color, large-format book, highlighting his lifelong interest in Africa's great predators.
David Busch's Digital Infrared Pro Secrets by David D. Busch (Course Technology PTR, 2007; ISBN: 978-1-59863-355-9). Learn how to get more creative with your images by exploring the infrared techniques discussed in this how-to guide, with many do-it-yourself tutorials showing you how to convert your existing camera for IR use.
Edit video, create sophisticated, custom slideshows, or combine the two with Pinnacle Studio Plus Version 11 featuring loads of automated, creative tools and an easy-to-use interface. You can choose from hundreds of effects and transitions, along with generating a soundtrack using Scorefitter. The software includes the latest technology offering a complete high-definition workflow with native HDV and AVCHD editing, HD DVD disc burning and Hi-Fi audio music capabilities. List Price: $99. Contact: Pinnacle Systems, (650) 526-1600,www.pinnaclesys.com.
Ship your portfolio or mounted prints in the Tenba Airbook, a highly protective case designed with top-of-the-line fabric to protect valuable contents. Layers of air-channeled plastic panels, high-density foam and specially molded framing components safeguard and hold your contents in place. Corner cutouts in the interior protect mounted prints and delicate books from shipping damage, and hand cutouts on each side allow for easy removal. Four sizes are available for 8.5x11-, 11x14- and 11x17-inch books, and 16x20-inch prints. List Price: $198 to $250. Contact: Tenba, (914) 347-3300, www.tenba.com.
Make beautiful photo books of your work in a few easy steps with the PhotoPress book-binding system by Powis. Each print is laminated to an adhesive signature sheet, via pressure rather than heat, and then bound together with a permanent adhesive. The sheets are then assembled into a Powis Photobook hardcover. PhotoPress can bind a stack of about 30 photos—silver-halide, dye-sub, inkjet or any other kind of one-sided print. Photo sizes can range from 4x6 to 12x13 inches. List Price: TBA. Contact: Powis, (800) 321-BIND, www.powis.com.
When you're out shooting in the field, store your images on the OWC 160 GB Mercury On-The-Go Portable hard drive. Equipped with FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 interfaces, this palm-sized 7200rpm drive can go anywhere and includes shock-isolation technology providing maximum protection for your files. The high-performance drive weighs less than 11 ounces and is compatible with most computers. Estimated Street Price: $279. Contact: Other World Computing, (800) 275-4576, www.macsales.com.
Tote your gear around in style carrying the Crumpler Bags Brazillion Dollar Home shoulder bag. A water-resistant shell protects your valuables from harsh weather elements, while inside there's room for two D-SLRs and four lenses, plus pockets for flash, memory cards, cell phones and other accessories. The laptop slot in the main compartment fits up to a 17-inch MacBook Pro. The bag is 17x12x9 inches. Estimated Street Price: $280. Contact: Crumpler Bags, (718) 384-3020, www.crumplerbags.com.
Get rid of dust, debris and other defects that affect your images with DustKleen and SensorKleen, two new applications from Image Trends. DustKleen is an automatic dirt- and dust-removal program with added manual touch-up controls for cleaning dust from images. The program identifies defects and removes them without harming the image. SensorKleen removes artifacts created by dust and debris on a D-SLR sensor cover. Using SmartBrush technology, the program removes the artifacts while restoring the underlying image content. List Price: $50. Contact: Image Trends, (512) 637-7300, www.imagetrendsinc.com.
Having enough pockets to carry all the gear you need shouldn't be a problem with the Billingham PhotoVest. The vest features four exterior 7x9-inch pockets with zip pulls, two 10-inch-long interior horizontal pockets, two nine-inch interior horizontal zip compartments, a small front flap pocket and four open pockets on the bottom interior that are ideal for carrying small accessories. The vest is available in four sizes in a light khaki. List Price: $398. Contact: R.T.S. Inc, (631) 242-6801, www.rtsphoto.com.
DIGITAL FINE-ART PAPER
Help your fine-art prints stand out using Hahnemuhle's Photo Rag Pearl 320gsm, a natural white, OBA-free, pure cotton rag paper with a soft, smooth surface topped with pearl coating. The premium paper has a high maximum density and large color gamut for optimal color and monochrome image reproduction. The paper is extremely age resistant with first-rate archival qualities. It's available in all standard cut sheet sizes and 17-, 24-, 36- and 44-inch rolls. List Price: Varies by size. Contact: Hahnemuhle, (815) 502-5880, www.hahnemuhle.com.
Boost your postproduction productivity with the Specialist Keyboard for Adobe Photoshop from WorldTech Devices. Based on the software's latest version, and with help from Photoshop experts, the keyboard helps you optimize and quickly locate shortcut commands. More than 80 keys feature clear, laser-etched command icons with colored key caps denoting different command categories, including palettes, image, layers, file, edit/select and view. All keyboards come in standard USB or wireless versions for PC and Macintosh systems. Estimated Street Price: $99 (standard); $154 (wireless). Contact: WorldTech Devices, (877) 888-1400, www.worldtechdevices.com.
GET A GRIP
The bendable, twistable legs of the Gorillapod now support SLRs with zoom lenses. The miniature tripod's limbs can turn and rotate 360 degrees for wrapping around a tree branch, hanging from a railing, perching on a rock and offering support in other thorny spots. This latest version also can be used with your own tripod head, supporting up to 6.6 pounds. The tripod is 9.8x2.4x2.4 inches and weighs 8.5 ounces. It ships with a 3/8-inch adapter screw in place. List Price: $49. Contact: Joby, (888) 569-JOBY, www.joby.com.