DPP Home Gear In Focus March-April 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

March-April 2008

New Tools Of The Trade

This Article Features Photo Zoom

in focusThin Air
At its thinnest, the MacBook Air is 0.16 inches. The laptop's thickest point is just 0.76 inches, and it weighs all of three pounds. Inside this sleek and silvery package are a 13.3-inch, LED-backlit widescreen display, full-sized backlit keyboard and built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing. It comes standard with an 80 GB hard drive, plus you can upgrade to a 64 GB flash-based solid-state drive. An optical drive for reading CDs and DVDs is optional. Other features include a 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4 MB L2 cache and the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi technology. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $1,799. Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.

in focusFish-Eye View
Shoot from an extremely wide perspective using the latest fisheye lenses from Sigma. The 4.5mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC Circular Fisheye HSM and 10mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM are designed for APS-C-sized image sensors in Nikon, Canon and Sigma cameras. On the 4.5mm, you get a 180-degree angle of view in all directions and a large ƒ/2.8 aperture, improving low-light photography. It's designed with SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements that knock out chromatic aberrations. The 10mm version has a 180-degree angle of view for Nikon bodies and a 167-degree angle of view with Canon mounts. An integral hood embedded in the lens blocks out unwanted light. A Hyper Sonic Motor in both lenses allows the camera to focus faster. Estimated Street Price: $900 (4.5mm); $650 (10mm). Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.

in focusPower Tablets
If you're looking for a more intuitive way of editing your images in post, Wacom pen displays allow you to edit directly on screen like you're working with a pad and paper. The latest tablets, the Wacom Cintiq 12WX and 20WSX, offer great high-end features, such as 24-bit color depth, WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution and a wide 170-degree viewing angle. The 12WX has a 12.1-inch, wide-format LCD screen for pen-on-screen image editing, painting and sketching with the pen, which provides precise control with 1,024 levels of pressure. The 20WSX is a 20.1-inch, wide-format desktop display that has all the same controls and functions as the 12WX. Estimated Street Price: $999 (12WX); $1,999 (20WSX). Contact: Wacom, (800) 922-6613, www.wacom.com.

in focusPro Film Scanner
Bring all of your film work into the digital age using the Microtek ArtixScan M1 Pro. This powerful, high-end scanner allows you to bring out every detail of your 35mm, 6cm and 4x5mm slides. The M1 Pro is a combined flatbed and film scanner, letting you scan film or photographs to produce high-quality digital images. It comes with SilverFast Ai Studio software, which includes a calibration feature, and two sets of SnapTrans film holders. While the device scans one set of film, you can select and load another set in the second holder. It scans at 4800 dpi with 16-bit digital output per channel and handles photos up to 8.5x14 inches. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Microtek, (310) 687-5940, www.microtekusa.com.

in focusTough Filters
Coated with titanium, Tiffen Digital HT filters are highly scratch-resistant, easy to clean and feature remarkable anti-reflective and high-transmission properties. Touted as more durable than traditional filters, the Tiffen Hi-Trans Titanium Multi-Coated line reflects less than one percent of the light hitting the front surface while transmitting nearly 99 percent. The filters are available in 52mm to 82mm sizes, and formats ranging from haze to neutral density. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: Tiffen, (631) 273-2500, www.tiffen.com.

in focusPack Up
Carry your gear safely and comfortably from one assignment to the next in the Tamrac Aero 80 Photo/Laptop Backpack. The foam-padded main compartment protects a D-SLR with grip and attached lens, plus two to three additional lenses and accessories. Adjustable foam-padded dividers allow you to arrange the bag in a way that best fits your needs. A separate compartment in the rear holds a 17-inch laptop, and a large top compartment with mesh pockets holds personal items. Additional pockets on the sides and front let you quickly access water bottles and other extras. The bottom has 11.5x7x7.5 inches of space and the top has 10.5x7x10 inches. Estimated Street Price: $89. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.


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