A contortionist tripod, high-flying DSLR, wallet-taming printer, and other
acts we want in on.
Need solid support for your camera but the ability to change positions fast? Manfrotto's new 055XPROB tripod ($168, street) lets you swing the center column from vertical to horizontal in seconds. Combine that with legs that splay out wider than an Olympic gymnast's, and you can go from eye level to flat on the ground in no time. (How flat? Less than 4 inches. And it reaches a maximum height of nearly 6 feet.) Four preset leg angles and newly designed quick-release locks make adjusting leg width and length a snap; use the built-in bubble spirit level to keep your horizon even. Made of black-finished aluminum, the 055XPROB, which replaces Manfrotto's popular 3021-series, weighs 5.28 pounds and holds up to 15.4 pounds, enough for a full-size DSLR and heavy lens. (www.manfrotto.com)
Pentax promises to raise the bar for entry-level DSLRs with the new K100D Super ($600, estimated street, with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens). The 6.1-megapixel addition to the company's K-series includes features usually found only on Pentax pro models, such as its Shake Reduction and Dust Removal systems. And the K100D Super is compatible with all Pentax SLR lenses, including those ancient ones in the bottom of your closet. (www.pentaximaging.com)
HEAD OF THE CLASS
How much inkjet can you get for under $200? A lot. Hewlett-Packard's Photosmart D7460 ($179, estimated street), second in a new line of photo printers, has Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, a USB port for Bluetooth, a 3.5-inch touch-screen display, and a built-in card reader. In a rush? You can print 4x6-inch color photos with six inks on HP's Advanced Photo paper in 10 seconds. (www.hp.com)
HOW TO ...
Know When to Clean Be honest, how do you really know when your DSLR's sensor needs cleaning? Delkin's SensorScope ($79, street) looks like a lens, but it lets you look back into your camera to inspect the sensor using 5X magnification and four LED bulbs, aligned to provide a glare- and shadow-free peek at what's going on inside. (www.delkin.com)
Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve RedEnvelope's silver-locket cuff links ($125, direct) are a classy alternative to the photo-printed sweatshirt: Each cuff link holds two tiny photos. They come in two shapes, round and rectangular. For an extra $5, you can have them engraved with a single initial. (www.redenvelope.com)