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DIGIPHOTO 101
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CRUISE PHOTOS
2007, 2008, Other

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The Best Of The Best (Cont'd)

Hard And Fast

Don't buy into the myth that CDs or DVDs are best for doing data back-ups or storing images. Well, they might be if you like to watch turtles race— it's tediously slow. Nothing beats a Maxtor 7200 rpm external hard drive for rapid-fire retrievals or back-ups (just, press a button on the unit). And their reasonably-priced internal drives are perfect for replacing older, smaller capacity drives. If you're paranoid, get two Maxtors and back up to both. Capacities are up to 250GB and you won't have a lot of disks hanging around to dig through as you try to find something. Instead, just call for an image or a file and it's there in a snap. US$99 and up. www.maxtor.com

Best Value LCD Monitor

Once you work on one of these beauties, you'll never go back to a hot, heavy, space-hogging conventional monitor again. The clarity of text and images is so good, it's like looking at a slick, high quality magazine page. KDS makes the best monitors for the price this side of the Rio Grande (whichever side that might be for you). Levity aside, our spies have learned that they get their units from Samsung (which supplies LCD monitors to nearly everyone) and then tweak them so that at almost any resolution you choose, the screen image is sharp as a tack (not so with many others). Then, they sell them in places like Walmart and Office Depot at ridiculously low prices so you can really get some value for your money. Check out their Rad 15, 17, and 19-inch models priced from US$399 to US$999. www.kdsusa.com

Tamrac's Digital Double Decker

Your digicam, battery charger, and other goodies can travel in style when they ride in Tamrac's new, foam-padded, Model 5685 Digital Double Decker camera bag (US$69.95). Just pack your camera and accessories in the top compartment, and your charger, batteries, and other stuff in the bottom. When you get to your destination, simply unzip the two, take the top along with you for shooting, and leave the bottom in your room. You can carry it by its handle, sling it over your shoulder or use its integrated hip belt. A big front pocket, internal panel, and divider make it easy to organize your stuff. Tamrac also makes a great line of computer cases and travel luggage — check it all out at www.tamrac.com.

Charging Along

AA batteries are still the most popular power supply for digicams because you can buy them anywhere in the world but your wallet will flatten out in a hurry if you use them regularly. What you really need are NiMH rechargeable batteries. The Quest Q2 Platinum Charger Kit (US$44) comes with four, powerful, 1800mAh, Platinum NiMH AA batteries each of which juices up on a separate circuit and is then supplied with a trickle of current to keep it topped off until needed. Included in the Kit is a 12-volt auto adapter that lets you charge as you drive. Quest also makes NiMH batteries in AAA, C, D, and 9-Volt sizes, along with an inexpensive (US$14) universal charger that will charge them all (and older NiCads, too). www.questbatteries.com

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