Monday, April 28, 2008
New Tools Of The Trade
In The Bag
The Tamrac Adventure 10 photo/laptop backpack is big enough for a pro D-SLR with most 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lenses attached. The foam-padded main compartment contains adjustable dividers for cushioning your gear. The backpack fits additional lenses, a flash and other accessories. The top section has room for more equipment and personal items, plus there's a separate rear compartment that holds laptops up to 17 inches. Outside mesh pockets provide easy access to accessories. The waist belt is foam-padded and the contoured shoulder harness system has a chest strap for comfort. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
Color And Light
Control the light, color and tonality of your photographs more precisely and easily with Viveza, the latest plug-in from Nik Software for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Powered by the ease and control of U Point technology for direct on-image editing, adjustments are made in a matter of minutes with top-notch results. Compatible with Smart Objects in Photoshop, you can fine-tune enhancements after they've been applied without adding additional layers. The Selective Tool allows you to brush any light and color changes onto your image using Photoshop's Brush tools. Estimated Street Price: $250. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.
Wacom pen displays are designed to make working at the computer feel as natural as possible. With a 20.1-inch widescreen LCD, the Cintiq 20WSX enhances comfort by giving you a lot of room to work with large images. Features include 1680 x 1050 resolution and 24-bit color depth for accurate color reproduction. ExpressKeys on either side of the display provide quick access to keyboard shortcuts and modifier keys. Finger-sensitive Touch Strips, also on the sides, make for easy zooming, scrolling or making tool adjustments. You can use the display as a primary monitor or as a multi-monitor solution with features like a Display Toggle for easily switching between screens. Estimated Street Price: $1,999. Contact: Wacom, (800) 922-6613, www.wacom.com.
Convert your flash into an off-camera strobe with the Sunbounce Flash-Bracket. Wireless or tethered TTL flashes can be anchored to the Flash-Bracket, which integrates with the Sunbounce Micro Mini, Mini and Pro Bounce systems to reflect and spread the light from the flash evenly. Multiple Flash-Brackets can also be used together for extra coverage and power. The Flash-Bracket extends up to 24 inches for varying levels of diffusion, weighs about a half pound and supports most standard flashes. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: California Sunbounce, (816) 268-3649, www.sunbounce-usa.com.
With memory card technology making great strides to keep up with today's highly advanced D-SLR processors, manufacturers are producing ultra-high capacities for storing high-resolution images and speeding up data-transfer rates. Many of the major manufacturers have recently upgraded some of their most popular cards. Lexar delivers an 8 GB option for its Professional 133x Secure Digital High Capacity lineup. Delivering minimum sustained write speeds of 20 MBps, the cards allow you to take full advantage of your D-SLR's high-speed processor and accelerate image download times. If you shoot video, the cards are also capable of storing full-motion video without interruption. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.
Panasonic offers a 32 GB SDHC card with a Class 6 Speed rating, which means it has a 20 MBps data-transfer rate. The card can store thousands of stills, about eight hours of 1440 x 1080i high-definition video and more than five hours of 1920 x 1080i full high-definition video. Panasonic also offers 8 GB and 16 GB SDHC cards. Estimated Street Price: $699. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com.
Boosting capacity and increasing speed, PNY SDHC cards keep getting bigger and better. With enough space for up to 8,000 3.8-megabyte images, the top-of-the-line 32 GB capacity card is available with Class 4 or Class 6 ratings, meaning data-transfer speeds of up to 4 MBps or 6 MBps are possible. Estimated Street Price: $249 (4 MBps); $299 (6 MBps). Contact: PNY Technologies, (973) 515-9700, www.pny.com.
With a 50-percent speed increase over the last generation of memory cards, the SanDisk Ultra II 16 GB and 32 GB SDHC memory cards now read and write at a fast 15 MBps. Also new is the 8 GB Ultra II SDHC Plus card, which offers SD and USB functionality. Hinge Lock technology allows the Plus card to download directly to the computer through any USB port, eliminating the need for card readers or tethered camera cables. A SanDisk MicroMate USB 2.0 reader is included with the 16 GB and 32 GB cards. Estimated Street Price: $349 (32 GB); $179 (16 GB); $99 (8 GB Plus). Contact: SanDisk, (866) SANDISK, www.sandisk.com.
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