WHERE’S THE FRAME?
Can you see the transparent rails that keep the photos above attached? The almost edgeless look comes via lightweight and portable Wall-Albums ($20-$25). Available in 3×5, 4×6, 5×7, or APS modules that hang on a wall or attach to a fridge, Wall-Albums use transparent plastic rails that let you slide 12 to 36 prints in or out of the frame. Some models let you mix horizontal and vertical images. Ambitious photographers can create wall-wide, easily changeable photo collages! (Biospace Corp., 1720 Lincolnshire Blvd., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5E 2S7; 905-278-7164; www.biospace-corporation.com)
WHAT’S A DIGITAL TRIPOD?
Ask Manfrotto, and the Italian tripod maker will answer that it should rise to an eye-level 64 inches, fold smartly to 20 inches (with four compact leg sections), and weigh well under four pounds (3.7 pounds). In short, it would be Manfrotto’s new Digi 719B tripod ($99, street price). Featuring black anodized aluminum leg sections and solid aluminum castings, the Digi is claimed to be ideal for digital compacts. It also features a reversible, rapid center column that’s facetted to prevent rotation. Other benefits: a cast aluminum ballhead and rapid-action, thumb-activated clamp-style leg locks. Any reason not to use the Digi with a film compact? None that we can see. (Bogen Photo, 565 E. Crescent Ave., Ramsey, NJ 07446; 201-818-9500; www.bogenphoto.com)
PUT YOUR MOVIES ON DVD
Want to convert your clunky, vulnerable VHS video or Mini DV tapes to the easier-to-store, more permanent DVD format? Consider Kodak’s DV transfer service. Bring your two-hour VHS, 8mm, or Mini DV tapes to a Qualex-affiliated photo finisher, such as Walgreens, Target, CVS, Kmart, Rite Aid, and others, and in about two weeks, your home videos on DVD ($35) will be ready for pickup. Best part? Because the DVDs are automatically divided by scenes (“chapters”), they’re much easier to browse through than VHS tapes. Moreover, the chapters are conveniently indicated on an index print in the DVD case and on a table of contents on the disk. Neat! www.yesvideo.com
…AND IT FLOATS!
If you like shooting in or around water, check out the Lowepro Dryzone 200 ($240, street price), a photo backpack that can allegedly go overboard yet remain afloat even when loaded with up to 85 pounds of gear! The Dryzone 200 also claims watertight zippers and sealed seams to keep out dust, snow, and sand. Other features: tuck-away shoulder and tripod straps and a padded interior with custom-set dividers. Is the easy-to-see yellow version too bright for you? There’s a low-profile black-and-gray Dryzone, too. (Lowepro USA, P.O. Box 6189, Santa Rosa, CA 95406; 800-800-5693; www.lowepro.com)