Capture crisp, high-definition video with an affordable, palm-sized camera. The Canon HV20 camcorder features a 10x optical zoom lens, 2.96-megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC DV II image processor for shooting full HD resolution (1920 x 1080i) video with true-to-life color. The 24p Cinema Mode helps your footage look more like a professional film. The HV20 also comes with a microphone and earphone jacks, plus you can opt to record in standard definition mode. Estimated Street Price: $1,099. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Your images have room to stretch on the 24-inch VX2435wm and 28-inch VX2835wm LCD screens from ViewSonic. The wide-format displays let you look at big images side by side, enhancing workflow. Features include a smart color engine for optimal color reproduction, 1920 x 1200 dpi resolution, ClearMotiv 5-millisecond video response times for playing back high-definition video and built-in stereo speakers. List Price: $699 (VX2435wm); $879 (VX2835wm). Contact: ViewSonic (800) 888-8583, www.viewsonic.com.
A remarkable 1 TB of capacity and extra data protection are what you get with Western Digital’s My Book Pro Edition II, a dual-drive, triple-interface RAID storage system. When you save files, two copies are recorded on separate internal hard drives. If one drive fails, the other continues to read and write data until the faulty hard drive is fixed or replaced. The new system also features advanced backup software, operates at a speed of 7200 RPM and uses FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. Estimated Street Price: $549. Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000,www.westerndigital.com.
The Epson Stylus Photo 1400 printer delivers 13×19-inch prints bursting with vivid, lasting color and doesn’t cost a fortune. The printer uses Epson’s six-color, high-definition Claria inks and a MicroPiezo print head capable of producing five sizes of ink droplets for clear, detailed images. An 11×14-inch photo takes about three minutes to print. Other features include image-editing tools that correct color, adjust tones and sharpen prints. List Price: $399. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Free your feet from those boots you wore all winter with Bite’s Open Air Footwear. You get the flexibility of a sandal with the sole of an athletic shoe. The Xtension 3 sandal has an all-mesh lining to reduce heat over your foot, along with a dual-density posted midsole, cushioning, arch support and other health-conscious features designed to help strengthen your feet. List Price: $79. Contact: Bite, (800) 248-3465, www.biteshoes.com.
The Mirage Adventure Island from Hobie is part sailboat and part kayak. The 16-footer has two retractable amas that fold up against the side of the boat for easy docking, transport and maneuverability. The cockpit offers a stable platform with all of the versatility of a pedaling kayak when weather conditions won’t permit sailing. Other features include a daggerboard, oversized Twist and Stow rudder, mast and sail cover, and ama/daggerboard bag. List Price: $2,999. Contact: Hobie Cat, (800) HOBIE-49, www.hobiekayaks.com.
When you’re in the middle of nowhere, stay connected with the PowerMax automobile cell booster from Digital Antenna. The PowerMax 4KMR-10A ups your cell phone and air card’s signal strength to three watts, increasing its range to more than 20 miles. The wireless device can enhance the signals of multiple cell phones within a standard vehicle. A three-inch separation and a metal roof between inside and outside antennas are necessary for it to work. Estimated Street Price: $379. Contact: Digital Antenna, (954) 747-7022, www.digitalantenna.com.
STAY ON TRACK
Know where you are at all times with the Magellan CrossoverGPS. The device gives you turn-by-turn driving guidance and navigation for outdoor adventures in the wilderness or on water. View preloaded street and topography maps on a 3.5-inch color touchscreen display while getting both voice- and text-prompted directions that offer the fastest and most efficient routes to your destination. Estimated Street Price: $549. Contact: Magellan GPS, (866) 339-0488, www.magellangps.com.
Stay dry this spring wearing the Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket. This shorter-cut Gore-Tex® shell blends durability in a compact, lightweight design. A drop hood, reinforced elbows and top-stitchless wear areas add an extra layer of technical refinement. The hip-length, waterproof jacket comes in basalt, black, cinder, formula one (red), mandarin and wasabi. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Arc’Teryx, (800) 985-6681, www.arcteryx.com.
Carry everything you need comfortably in the Catalyst 75 backpack from The North Face. Pivotal Suspension System technology works with the body’s movements to constantly and evenly transfer the pack’s load to your hips, resulting in a more comfortable and efficient backpack. Perforated foam back panels eliminate excess weight and circulate air through airflow channels, which improve breathability and moisture evaporation. Sizes range from 14×17 to 18×21 inches. List Price: $389. Contact: The North Face, (800) 447-2333, www.thenorthface.com.
LIGHTWEIGHT HD CAM
Shoot 1080i high-definition video using the one-pound AG-HSC1U camcorder from Panasonic. The AG-HSC1U records natively in 16:9 widescreen format and has a 3-CCD color reproduction system for capturing accurate and richer color. Up to 41 minutes of video (in highest-quality mode) can be recorded on a high-speed 4 GB SDHC memory card. The camera comes with a portable 40 GB media storage unit for off-loading content from the memory card. The unit can hold the contents of 10 4 GB SDHC cards and has a built-in rechargeable battery. Other features include a 12x Leica Dicomar lens system with optical image stabilization, a 5.1-channel surround-sound five-microphone system and a three-inch widescreen LCD display. Estimated Street Price: $2,099. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com/broadcast.
AN ARTIST’S HAND
Turn your landscape photographs into paintings and illustrations with Corel Painter X. The latest version of the software packs in a variety of powerful updates. The RealBristle Painting System features brushes with individual bristles that blend and splay like they would in the traditional medium. Among a slew of new composition tools are Divine Proportion, which helps you visually arrange your canvas the way a master artist would, and Layout Grid, which follows photography’s Rule of Thirds. The program is faster and optimized for Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs along with running on Windows Vista. List Price: $429 (new); $229 (upgrade). Contact: Corel, (800) 772-6735, www.corel.com.
BACK IT UP
The Iomega 120 GB Black Portable Hard Drive is the “little black box” of storage devices. Just 0.5 inches thick and weighing 5.8 ounces, the drive works at 5400 RPM with 8 MB of memory. Powered by USB 2.0 or FireWire, the device comes with backup software and uses Drop Shock technology to protect your files. The Mac-compatible drive can also be reformatted to work with a PC. List Price: $169. Contact: Iomega, (888) 516-8467, www.iomega.com.
IN THE BAG
Protect your valuable gear using Lowepro’s Apex All-Weather shoulder bags and camera pouches. The rugged, lightweight bags feature a single-compartment design that makes accessing your equipment quick and easy. There’s room for your D-SLR, plus accessories, and the soft interior lining and dividers guard against weather, dust and scratches. List Price: $19 to $25 (pouches); $34 to $49 (shoulder bags). Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
Expand your range with the Pro-Optic 2X converter by Adorama. The converter works on analog lenses used with digital cameras and provides double magnification for superb optical results. The multicoated lens has seven elements positioned in four groups and a 43.5mm barrel length. It weighs 6.5 ounces and measures 2.7 inches long. List Price: $89. Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
LIGHT, STYLISH CAM
With 10 megapixels, a premium Schneider lens and a slim design, the Samsung NV11 is ideal for photography on the trail. An intuitive, smart-touch interface is designed for navigating easily through the camera’s features. Simply slide your finger across the control buttons positioned around the 2.7-inch high-definition LCD. You also can capture moving pictures at 30 fps in TV-quality MPEG-4 VGA format. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Samsung, (800) 762-7746, www.samsungcamerausa.com.
Convert your old negatives and slides into digital files with the latest flatbed scanners from Hewlett-Packard: the Scanjet G4010 and G4050. Using a built-in media adapter capable of batch scanning, the G4010 scans five 35mm slides or six negative frames at once and the G4050 scans 16 slides or 30 frames. The scanners capture at 4800 x 9600 dpi resolution and use six-color, 96-bit scanning technology, resulting in images with great dynamic range and accurate color reproduction. They also support medium-format (120- or 220-roll film) and 4×5-inch film. List Price: $149 (G4010); $199 (G4050). Contact: Hewlett-Packard, (800) 752-0900, www.hp.com.
Sometimes it just isn’t practical to take your D-SLR on a shoot. The palm-sized, 10.1-megapixel Casio EXILIM Zoom EX-Z1050 can easily go wherever you roam. The camera features a 2.6-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom (35mm equivalent of 38-114mm) and a new processing engine that increases ISO settings and shutter speeds to reduce blur in your images. A continuous shooting mode allows up to seven shots per second. List Price: $299. Contact: Casio, (973) 361-5400, www.casiousa.com.
|Books ‘N Such
Fish Face: Portraits by David Doubilet (Phaidon Press, 2007; ISBN: 978-0-7148-4757-3). The acclaimed underwater photographer shows some of the most colorful and bizarre fish that he has encountered over the past 25 years. Showing full-page pictures of close-up portraits, the book takes you from the beautiful to the quirky.
Bloom by Ron Van Dongen (Chronicle Books, 2007; ISBN: 0-8118-5756-5). Long celebrated for his black-and-white photographs of flowers, this is Van Dongen’s first collection in color. He photographs
Digital Photography Expert Techniques by Ken Milburn (O’Reilly Media, 2006; ISBN: 0-596-52690-3). Take a step-by-step course on how to shoot digitally with this all-inclusive guide, covering a range of how-to topics that include choosing the right equipment, organizing and editing images, and optimizing overall workflow.
Hummingbirds of Costa Rica by Michael and Patricia Fogden (Firefly Books, 2006: ISBN: 1-55407-163-1). Featuring 44 of the 45 hummingbird species that live in Costa Rica, the book depicts each bird and the
The Ultimate Field Guide to Landscape Photography by Robert Caputo (National Geographic, 2007; ISBN: 978-4262-0054-0). This updated edition offers new information about digital cameras and digital software for landscape photography. Every picture shown gives details on shutter speed, aperture settings, camera types and more.
Magic Lantern DVD Guides: Canon EOS 30D, Sony A100 and Nikon D200 (Lark Books, 2006; ISBNs: 1-60059-079-9, 1-60059-091-8, 1-600-59-080-2). Shot in high definition, these 75-minute interactive videos are packed with instructions, real-world shooting examples and techniques, and detailed explanations showing you how to use the cameras.
PRINTS ON A BUDGET
Kodak EasyShare 5100, 5300 and 5500 All-in-One Printers use affordable, high-quality inks to deliver sharp, colorful photos along with a high-density print head that produces professional-looking results. All three printers make scans, copies and prints that are up to 8.5×11.7 inches. List Price: $149 (EasyShare 5100); $199 (EasyShare 5300); $299 (EasyShare 5500). Contact: Kodak, (800) 235-6325, www.kodak.com.
Set off your camera from a distance using the Argraph Twin1 Universal Infrared Wireless/Wired Remote Shutter Release System. The transmitter has a central button for firing the camera shutter. The receiver fits into the electronic release socket of your camera, leaving the hot shoe unoccupied for a flash if necessary. It has a wireless operating range of 60 feet. Estimated Street Price: $89. Contact: Argraph, (201) 939-7722, www.argraph.com.
Charge your portable digital devices while out on the road with the MFuel Universal Power Bank. The 9200 mAh Li-Ion power supply uses smart Hot Tip technology to charge your devices while using an LCD screen to show charge time, battery level and run time for your electronics. A car charger adapter and Power Puck is included for even more functionality. The Power Puck works as a power and data transfer cable either through USB or Ethernet Hot Tips. Estimated Street Price: $315. Contact: MFuel, (888) 525-7969, http://mfueldirect.com.
Harman Technology is expanding its line of photo inkjet media into the U.S. The Photo Matt FB Mp paper is already on shelves, with more products to come later this year. The instant-dry photo paper has a silica coating for improved archival performance. A Baryta layer gives prints greater detail and definition, an extended tonal range, and the look and feel of traditional photographic paper. Visit the company’s Website for downloadable color profiles for the most popular inkjet printers. List Price: Varies by size. Contact: Harman Technology, www.harman-inkjet.com.
Reduce the size of your images by up to 30 percent with no loss in quality using StuffIt Deluxe 11. The compression software lets you build a space-saving archive of your photos by converting them into zip or sitx files. Once they’re compressed, you can quickly browse through them without having to expand the images first. The software also features improved integration with Microsoft Office, allowing you to compress, save and send files from Word, Excel or Outlook. List Price: $79. Contact: SmithMicro Software, (831) 761-6200, www.stuffit.com.
The upgraded DxO Optics Pro v.4.1 previews RAW files two to four times faster than before. The software, which automatically eliminates optical defects from your images, features greater fluidity when moving from one tool to the next, and viewing images before and after is more than three times faster. You can also add on the DxO FilmPack, which has more than 20 “film looks” you can apply to your images. List Price: Free (upgrade); $149 (standard). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxo.com.
Produce beautiful prints while still on location using the new Fujifilm ASK-4000 and ASK-2000 printers. The 4000 produces an 8×12-inch print in 49 seconds and the 2000 delivers a 5×7-inch print in 16 seconds. Simply connect the printers to a laptop via a high-speed USB 2.0 interface, and produce beautiful, natural-looking prints with help from Fujifilm’s chemical-free dye-sublimation print technology. The 4000 is about 14x14x16 inches and the 2000 is about 12x16x14 inches. List Price: $3,995 (4000); $2,750 (2000). Contact: Fujifilm, (800) 800-FUJI, www.fujifilmusa.com.
COMING TO AMERICA
The Monostat RS Monopod series is more portable than a tripod but still strong enough to support your camera in difficult terrain. The single-stem design allows quick setup for fast shooting, and the unique Swivel Toe Stabilizer design of the RS monopods ensures a steady shot, even at angles of up to 60 degrees. The frame, available in aluminum or carbon fiber, is sturdy while still maintaining a light travel weight, and a reversible 3/8 to ¼ camera mount will fit most camera types. Size, weight and price vary by model. Contact: Accurate Sales, Inc., (718) 302-7063, www.monostat.us.