Think you have to look uncool when carrying your PDA or laptop? Think again. Casauri offers two lines of fashionable yet functional cases, the Odyssey and Octopus Collections, both in three different sizes and at similar prices: PDA ($32, street price), medium portfolio ($76, street price), and large portfolio ($84, street price). The portfolio cases feature foam padding, mesh pockets, and removable shoulder straps. Although they’re designed for laptops, some photographers have been using them to shlep their portfolios. The PDA case features pen and stylus holders, pockets for credit or business cards, notepad, zipper pocket on the outside, and, of course, a place for your PDA. To view the dimensions or purchase, visit www.casauri.com.
THE ULTIMATE CARD READER?
Are you doing more waiting…waiting…waiting…for those big digital files to transfer from your memory cards to your computer? SanDisk’s new ImageMate 6 in 1 memory card reader/writer ($50, street price) promises to speed things up. The ImageMate is USB 2.0 native. Though it offers transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps, it is still backward-compatible with USB 1.1 at slower transfer speeds. The card reader is true plug-and-play, using Mass Storage Class (MSC), so there’s no need to install any drivers when used with Windows ME, 2000, XP, and Mac OS 10.1.2. It will also work with Windows 98SE, or Mac 9.1 or later, but you’ll have to install drivers. For more info, log onto www.sandisk.com.
NIK THOSE NOISY IMAGES!
Have you noticed that the images from your digital camera are a bit noisy? We’re not talking about your yackety audio attachments, but the electronic noise that can show up as specks or mottling in pictures, especially in the shadows. Nik multimedia’s new Photoshop-compatible plug-in, Dfine ($99, street price), is designed to reduce the noise in your digital images, using camera-specific profiles to analyze the pictures (the downloadable profiles cost $15 each). Besides removing unwanted imperfections, the program can also reduce JPEG artifacts and enhance the color and exposure in your photographs. Dfine will do global corrections, but if you’re working in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements on Windows or Mac OS 10 systems, and have a Wacom tablet, you can also brush away the noise using the tablet’s 1,024 different levels of pressure sensitivity. For more information or to purchase the plug-in or the camera profiles, log onto www.nikmultimedia.com.
EDIT, MANAGE, PRINT – WITH ONE PACKAGE
If you’re overwhelmed by scads of unorganized digital photos on your PC and you’re not sure how to organize, print, and share them, here’s an all-in-one solution ($40, street price). Photolightning 1.0 is designed to let you easily import your image files from your digital camera, memory card, or hard drive, then preview them and choose which ones to deep six and which ones to keep. The program also features some basic editing tools that let you reduce redeye, rotate, crop photos freehand, or set frame sizes (3¼x5, 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10), correct for backlight, and more. Photolightning also lets you e-mail photos directly from the program and print them out to standard sizes using templates. For a free trial or to learn more, visit www.photolightning.com.
FASTER, LONGER ZIP BURNS
If you’re doing a slow burn about your CD burner’s sluggish data transfer or file archiving, take a look at Iomega’s new 750MB Zip drives. Available in three varieties-USB 2.0 ($180, street), FireWire ($200, street price), and ATAPI ($150, street price)-they not only offer more storage space than a 700MB CD-R/RW but also faster speeds all around. Iomega claims the 750 Zip drive can read, write, and rewrite all at the same speeds with a maximum transfer rate of 7.5 MBps. The new 750 drive will read all Zip disks, and can write to the 250MB disks as well as the new 750MB disks. (Old Zip disks will work too, albeit at slower speeds.) The 750 Zip also features password protection for each disk to keep your files safe from prying eyes. To find out more, visit www.iomega.com.
MULTILINGUAL SLIDESHOW PROJECTOR
By now you’ve probably pored over a few of the new “digital slide show” units that have hit the market, but so far none have been compatible with all of your memory cards. Enter Delkin’s new eFilm Picturevision ($80, street price), which lets you use CompactFlash, Smart Media, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, Multi Media, and IBM MicroDrive cards. (Only the new xD card is a no-go.) Hook it up to your TV quickly with the included AV cable and power adapter, and you’re ready to play digital stills, mini MPEG movies, and MP3 files. (For better playback of MP3 files, the Picturevision can also be plugged directly into a stereo.) The included remote lets you flip through your images as well as rotate, zoom, and run an auto slide show. For a full list of features or to buy, go to www.delkin.com.