In Focus: March 2007

In Focus
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Samsung SyncMaster XL20
Color Matters
Give your images some room to stretch on the
Samsung SyncMaster XL20 monitor. Designed for users with lofty color demands, the 20-inch display uses a unique light-emitting diode backlight unit for an ultra-wide color gamut.

The monitor is further enhanced by a color-management system that helps provide vivid and precise color. The system includes color calibration and Image Viewer, a tool that corrects color differences between monitors and printers. Other notable features include a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a wide 178-degree viewing angle and a high resolution of 1600 x 1200. List Price: $1,999. Contact: Samsung, (800) SAMSUNG,

Camera ArmorShooter Shield
Cover up your D-SLR with
Camera Armor. The line of silicone rubber jackets fits snugly over your camera’s most important parts, protecting them from impact, abrasion, dust and fingerprints without sacrificing any of the camera’s functions or adding too much weight. All of the controls and access ports are functional and accessible without taking the camera out of the jacket. Camera Armor fits the Canon EOS 30D, Canon Rebel XTi, Nikon D70 and Nikon D80.
List Price: $50. Contact: OmegaSatter, (410) 374-3250,

Velvia IIBack By Demand
Fujifilm has plans to reintroduce an ISO 50 Fujichrome Velvia professional film, tentatively named Velvia II. When introduced in 1990, the original was the first high color saturation, high-contrast transparency E-6 compatible film and became popular among photographers. The film was discontinued last year because of difficulties getting some of the production materials. Thanks to substitute materials and new manufacturing technologies, the characteristics of this emulsion should mirror that of its predecessor. Contact: Fujifilm, (800) 800-FUJI,

Carbon 8X C-series carbon-fiber tripod from InduroSolid Support
Take to the trail with a Carbon 8X C-series carbon-fiber tripod from Induro. The series is touted as 60-percent stronger than conventional carbon-fiber tripods, thanks to next-generation eight-layer carbon-fiber tubing. Features include leg-angle adjustments, reversible center columns with spring-loaded weight hooks, foam leg grips, and anti-dust and moisture rubber leg lock grips. The tripods come with a bag, shoulder strap and removable rubber or stainless-steel spikes. They’re backed with a five-year warranty. List Price: TBA. Contact: Induro, (914) 347-3300,

Dryzone Boot DryerQuick Dry
When the weather takes a wet turn, dry out with the Dryzone Boot Dryer. It fits into any shoe, boot or glove and uses technology designed to prolong the life of your footwear and gear; you can also use it with your camera equipment. The crystals dry without electricity, regenerating quickly to provide years of protection. Pop it into the microwave for about four minutes and it’s ready to go again. Estimated Street Price: $24. Contact: Dryzone, (425) 303-1410,

Hunter’s Specialties’ Attractor from Johnny Stewart Wildlife CallsAnimal Sounds
Hunter’s Specialties’ Attractor from Johnny Stewart Wildlife Calls is compact and loaded with features. Each handheld caller comes with five preprogrammed, 16-bit sounds. The base unit has an 8-ohm, 0.5-watt speaker that pivots 180 degrees for directional calling. The 30-second sounds can be played in a loop for continuous action. The remote has a range of 50 yards. Five models are available. List Price: $48. Contact: Hunter’s Specialties, (319) 395-0321,

Load up your Mountainsmith Treklight PCT 45 backpackPack Up
Load up your Mountainsmith Treklight PCT 45 backpack and you won’t feel too weighed down while out on a hike. The feature-loaded PCT comes equipped with load-dispersion technology, adjustable shoulder straps with dual-density foam and plenty of pockets, including one on the waist belt. The durable backpack measures 27×11.5×11 inches and is designed to support ultra-lightweight gear. List Price: $179. Contact: Mountainsmith, (800) 551-5889,

LongBack Air Chair from Crazy CreekCozy Camping Chair
Take a warm, comfortable seat out in the chilly air with the LongBack Air Chair from Crazy Creek. The microfleece surface provides extra warmth for the cold-weather camper while staying lightweight. You can customize your comfort with the touch
of a button using Crazy Creek’s patented On Air Comfort technology. The LongBack also functions as a sleeping pad. List Price: $64. Contact: Crazy Creek, (800) 331-0304,

Mack corduroy pants from Horny ToadActive Cords
Combine style and comfort when you pull on the Mack corduroy pants from Horny Toad. Made from a stretchy blend of cotton and spandex, they allow you to move freely no matter what you’re doing. Triple-needle stitching and rivet-reinforced front pockets add to their versatility. For extra convenience, a utility pocket on the right thigh is included, along with rear patch pockets. The pants come in three colors: caviar, mocha and dark khaki. List Price: $68. Contact: Horny Toad, (888) 865-8623,

Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4Get Some Rest
Give your back a well-deserved break from hiking with the Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4. The ultralight backpacking mattress is 25-percent lighter than previous versions. The super-grip bottom keeps the mattress from slipping, and thanks to a tapered ergonomic design, the bag rolls up to easily fit in your backpack. The mattress comes in three sizes: small (11×4 inches), medium (11×4.8 inches) and large (13×5.1 inches). List Price: $84 to $104. Contact: Therm-a-Rest, (800) 531-9531,

Tamron series of four-minute videosTamron Learning Center
Tamron makes learning how to shoot quick and easy by introducing a series of four-minute videos that you can download onto your computer. Hosted by leading photographers, each lesson gives step-by-step instructions on photographing everything from surfing to portraits to macro shots in Central Park. The format is designed to be simple and direct, using a mix of video footage and still photographs to give concrete, visual examples of the content covered in each lesson. Contact: Tamron, (631) 858-8400,

Novoflex. Ball 30 and Ball 40Compare Prices Even Heads
Stability combines with precision in the two latest ballheads from Novoflex. Ball 30 and Ball 40 are compact, operate smoothly, and use a knob to lock and unlock the ball. They’re made of corrosion-free materials for a lasting life outdoors. Ball 30 weighs nearly nine ounces and can handle up to 11 pounds. Ball 40 weighs just over a pound and handles up to 22. List Price: TBA. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373,

PowerEx MH-C9000 WizardOne Battery Charger & Analyzer Fule Provider
Juice up your batteries with the new
PowerEx MH-C9000 WizardOne Battery Charger & Analyzer from Maha. In addition to charging, the handy device conditions, analyzes, cycles, forms and discharges one to four AA or AAA batteries while displaying capacity and voltage. The four slots can be operated in different modes. Other features include 10 selectable charging and discharging currents, four independent temperature sensors and patented termination algorithms. List Price: $69. Contact: Maha Energy, (800) 376-9992,

Olympus SP-550 UZBig zoom, Low Price
From landscapes to wildlife, the Olympus SP-550 UZ does it all. This is a compact camera with a zoom that has an amazing range of 28-504mm (35mm equivalent). The 7.1-megapixel camera features an image-stabilization system for capturing crisp, blur-free images, even in low light, by mechanically shifting the image sensor to compensate for camera shake. Other features include high-speed, sequential shooting (up to 15 fps). List Price: $499. Contact: Olympus, (888) 553-4448,

Hoodman HoodLoupe ProfessionalOptimal View
Review your shots without glare using the Hoodman HoodLoupe Professional. Just wear it around your neck like a normal loupe, and when you’re ready to review the shot, bring the HoodLoupe up to your LCD and place your eye to the eyecup for glare-free viewing. HoodLoupe has a +/-3 diopter and adjusts focus just like a binocular eyepiece. Minimal magnification is used to eliminate visual pixelation of your image. It fits up to three-inch LCD screens. List Price: $69. Contact: Hoodman, (800) 818-3946,

Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) memory cardsGoing SDHC
Toshiba is expanding its new series of Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) memory cards to include an 8 GB capacity card. Features include high-speed data writing of at least 4 MBps and up to 6 MBps. Only SDHC-compatible products can accept SDHC cards. List Price: $299. Contact: Toshiba, (800) TOSHIBA,

Hitachi CPX1Lightweight Projector
Present your images with razor-sharp clarity when projecting them on the Hitachi CPX1. Weighing just 3.9 pounds, you can tote the 1024 x 768-resolution projector around with ease, and it has a brightness of 2,000 ANSI lumens. Other useful features include a wide-angle lens (allowing presenters to place the projector close to the screen), low fan noise and a USB connector. It measures 10.8×2.3×8.1 inches. Estimated Street Price: $995. Contact: Hitachi, (800) HITACHI,

Books 'N Such

Books ‘N Such

2007 Landscape Calendar by Outdoor Photographer. A stunning collection of exceptional nature images celebrating the beauty of the great outdoors. Plus, get how-to tips for better landscape photos from your digital camera. List Price: $12.95. To order, call (800) 523-3692.

The Flight Deck: Digital Rhythms of Our National Wildlife Refuges
by Jim Jamieson (ImageStream Press, 2005; ISBN: 0-9729126-2-2). Examining four key national wildlife refuges, Jamieson explores the role they play in bird migration and looks at the relationships and behaviors of migrating birds. The book is illustrated with beautiful color photographs and insightful text.

The Essential Wildlife Photography Manual: Successful Digital and Film Techniques for Creative Photography
by Chris Weston (RotoVision SA, 2005; ISBN: 2-88046-808-6). Learn how to take exceptional wildlife shots using this all-inclusive guide, which explores techniques, equipment and other useful topics.

David Kirkland’s 50 Top Tips on Travel Photography
by David Kirkland ( In his new e-book, the travel photographer shares many of his secrets behind taking great travel photos and explains the techniques used for more than 50 of his most successful images.

Photographing the Southwest: Volume 1—A guide to the natural landmarks of Southern Utah; Photographing the Southwest: Volume 2—A guide to the natural landmarks of Arizona
by Laurent Martres (Graphie International, 2006; ISBN: 0-916189-12-0, 0-916189-13-9). Hundreds of color photographs showcase the beauty of these locations, with helpful information on the best spots, how to get there and how to shoot them.

Magic Lantern DVD Guides: Nikon D80 and Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
(Lark Books, 2006; ISBN: 1-60059-139-6, 1-60059-100-0). These 75-minute interactive videos are shot in high definition and are packed with step-by-step instructions, real-world shooting examples and techniques, plus detailed explanations that show you how to use each of these cameras.


ProtectMyPhotosCompare PricesFile Protection
Don’t lose your photos to a computer crash.
ProtectMyPhotos is an automatic online backup solution—your photo collection is protected because it duplicates your desktop’s filing system. You simply install the application with a one-time wizard setup that automatically and continuously synchronizes all full-resolution digital photos from your PC to two secure data centers. You can view, share and restore photos from anywhere. List Price: $39 (one-year subscription for 40 GB of storage). Contact: ProtectMyPhotos,

Corel Snapfire PlusStay Organized
Start organizing your photos while they’re downloading to your computer with the newly enhanced version of Corel Snapfire Plus. You can download images from the camera sensor to the software program, making organization faster and simpler. Another new highlight is a quick-search function designed to take the work out of managing your growing image library. The software also creates top-notch photo albums, calendars or slideshows. List Price: $39. Contact: Corel, (800) 772-6735,

Blurb’s BookSmart Beta 1.5 upgradeBook It
Blurb your way to creating professional-looking books. Blurb’s BookSmart Beta 1.5 upgrade is now available, offering new features for making both hardcover and softcover books. With Blurb’s BookSmart software, you can create, publish and share your books by simply dragging and dropping images and text into professionally designed pages. Pricing varies, but a four-color, 40-page, 8×10-inch hardcover costs about $30. Softcover prices start at $18. Contact: Blurb Inc.,

LensDoc 3.0
Lens Aid

Correct unwanted lens distortions with
LensDoc 3.0, a Photoshop plug-in that fixes barreling, pin-cushioning and other effects sometimes caused by zoom and wide-angle lenses. The program also identifies two lines that should appear straight and corrects them. The latest version features new 16-bit compatibility and can adjust an image’s point of view. List Price: $98. Contact: Andromeda Software Inc., (800) 547-0055,

Boinx Software’s Mouseposé 2.5Follow Along
When you give a slideshow, workshop or demonstration, make sure your audience can easily see what you’re doing with Boinx Software’s Mouseposé 2.5. The presentation software, for Mac users only, dims the computer screen and spotlights the area around the mouse pointer, guiding your audience to the area of interest and helping you to quickly locate the mouse pointer. The latest version takes this a step further by also highlighting the keys pressed. List Price: $15. Contact: Boinx Software,

affordable ballheads CullmanCompare PricesFlex heads
Use a stable head when locking your camera onto a tripod with new, affordable ballheads from Cullman. The three latest models are made from anodized aluminum for greater stability, and they come equipped with various setting options. Ergonomically shaped, rubberized tension-locking wheels adjust easily for smooth operation. The 40170 Magnesit handles up to nine pounds, the 40180 Magnesit up to 27 pounds and the 40190 Magnesit up to 44 pounds. List Price: $129 (40170); $169 (40180); $199 (40190). Contact: R.T.S. Inc., (631) 242-6801,

Digital Foci Image Moments digital photo album frameFrame It
Display your photos directly from the memory card in the Digital Foci Image Moments digital photo album frame. Insert any card into the frame, and your photos will come to life in sharp, vibrant color on its eight-inch, high-resolution LCD. You can create your own custom frames using the proprietary adapter ring design, and the Photo Slideshow Mode lets you automatically scroll through your photo collection. A full-featured remote control and on-screen display allow easy navigation, selection and viewing of images. List Price: $229. Contact: Digital Foci, (310) 763-9100,