Also For Travel Photographers
PhotoVault Mini CD-R Station is one of the coolest gadgets I've found
in a long time. It's a portable, computer-free device for burning photos
to mini CD-R media directly from digital still cameras. Each 200MB CD-R disc
holds from 50-200 digital images, depending on resolution. Weighing only 8 oz,
the PhotoVault features a (surprise, surprise) Memory Stick media interface
but photos stored on USB-enabled flash memory devices, such as Lexar's,
can be burned to a CD using the built-in USB interface. The $199 PhotoVault
can be powered with either the supplied AC adapter or two AA batteries. Not
all CD/DVD drives can read 80mm mini discs, especially those on computers with
slot-loading drives, such as Apple's iMac. Yes, the discs go in, but they
don't come out. At least not without surgery.
Pocketec's DataStor Mini measures 3.5x2.87x.43" and
is hot-swappable, hot-pluggable, and bus powered by the host computer
so you don't have to lug around an AC adapter or worry about
Memo to Sony: This is an insanely cool device that deserves
a second model for non-Memory Stick camera users. Install a CompactFlash or
Secure Digital slot in a PhotoVault II for the rest of us. After all, you finally
built VHS recorders, so why not lighten up, just this twice?
Graphics Tablets For The Rest Of Us
CyberTablet 12000 is a wireless graphics tablet with a wireless two-button scroll-wheel
mouse. With a 12x9" work space, the $169.99 CyberTablet 12000 offers the
kind of sensitivity needed for photographic retouching. If you don't have
the desktop space (I don't), Adesso's CyberTablet 8600 has an 8x6"
work space and costs $129.99. It's designed for Mac OS and Windows computers
and includes a wireless two-button ergonomic mouse. Still not enough room? Try
the Goldilocks model. For $69.99, Adesso's CyberTablet 6400 has a space-saving
6x4" pad and a three-button wireless mouse, making it ideal for somebody
just taking the plunge into using a graphics tablet.
Sony's PhotoVault Mini CD-R Station is a portable, computer-free
device for burning photos directly from digital still cameras
to mini CD-R media. Each 200MB mini CD-R disc holds between about
50-200 digital images, depending on resolution.
All Adesso CyberTablets offer 512 levels of pressure-sensitive input points
and provide the comfort of using a pencil with the accuracy needed for accurate
photo retouching and the kind of precise outlining required for Photoshop's
Extract tool. The wireless two-button pens feature 0.42mm accuracy and a 0.32"
reading height with resolution up to 3048 lines per inch. The tablets are USB
powered and don't require external power.
If you lack desktop space like I do, Adesso's CyberTablet
8600 has an 8x6" work space and costs $129.99. Designed
for Mac OS and Windows computers, it includes a wireless two-button
Are Plug-Ins Dead?
Many of my favorite Photoshop compatible plug-ins, including those aimed at
noise reduction and sharpening, may have their places in my Filters menu usurped
by Photoshop CS2's new and built-in filters that accomplish many of these
same tricks. Some that won't be eliminated in the foreseeable future include
my most indispensable plug-ins, such as The Imaging Factory's Convert
to B&W Pro and PhotoTune's (www.phototune.com)
20/20 Color MD.
Most if not all Photoshop compatible plug-ins, such as PhotoTune's
20/20 Color MD, that work with Adobe's Photoshop CS will
work with the CS2 version.