Monday, November 26, 2007
New Tools Of The Trade
Sony's Next D-SLR
The latest body to join the Sony Alpha lineup is a step up from its predecessor. The DSLR-A700 features a 12.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS image sensor and a more rugged, magnesium-alloy body. Integrated Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization technology helps produce sharp images when shooting handheld or in low light. For greater autofocus precision, the A700 uses 11 wide-area sensors, including a center dual-cross sensor comprised of two horizontal and two vertical line sensors. A maximum shutter speed of 1⁄8000 sec. and continuous shooting of up to 5 fps are made possible by a motor that charges the shutter and mirror, allowing you to hold more in the buffer memory. Also of note are the Dynamic Range Optimizer that lets you choose the levels of detail recovered in shadow areas and a bracketing mode that creates three images from a single capture. In addition to Sony zooms, the A700 is compatible with Carl Zeiss lenses and legacy Minolta A-mount lenses. Estimated Street Price: $1,400. Contact: Sony, (877) 865-SONY, www.sonystyle.com.
Customize your images using the extensive range of effects offered in onOne Software's PhotoTools Professional Edition. With more than 250 imaging tools at your disposal, you can apply filters like neutral density, color correction and polarization. The application lets you reproduce darkroom techniques and alternative processes like solarization, cyanotype and palladium printing, along with many other paper toners. There's also an option for adding that old-time cinema look. You can preview effects individually or stacked together and save those settings as presets if desired. Full-screen previews of an effect on your image are provided before you choose to apply it. Estimated Street Price: $259. Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.
Speedy, Portable Drive
Iomega delivers two new portable hard drives to the market. The Portable Hard Drive Hi-Speed USB 2.0 comes in 250 GB and 200 GB versions. Both drives are about the size of a PDA, measure 0.5 inches thick and come in a sleek, metallic silver housing. The drives feature Drop Shock Technology, protecting data from drops or dings. Both use 5400 rpm hard drives with 8 MB cache. They're compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. Estimated Street Price: $215 (250 GB); $168 (200 GB). Contact: Iomega, (888) 516-8467, www.iomega.com.
The versatile Giottos MT III Professional Tripods feature a unique center column designed to give you greater shooting flexibility. The column rotates 360 degrees horizontally and swings 180 degrees vertically, allowing you to use the column upside-down, reversed or as a lateral arm for shooting down and close to the ground. Remove the column and the top plate converts to a three-way head. Other features include three leg-angle positions, an anti-twist leg system and a retractable hanging hook that lets you add weight for stability. Estimated Street Price: $169 to $369 (depending upon aluminum, lava or carbon-fiber construction). Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
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