Pentax ist DL Digital SLR

If you already have lenses with a Pentax K, KA, KAF, or KAF2 mount and are looking to go digital, then the Pentax ist DL is an obvious choice.

Adobe After Effects 7 Professional

Between the interface overhaul, improved performance, new Curves editor, and other features, After Effects 7 is a truly great upgrade that manages to stay ahead of the pack.

Beauty in black and white

Most image editors make it easy to turn color photos into gray-scale images, but their default conversions don’t always end up creating the best pictures. For better results, you may need to try some exploratory surgery.

First Look: First Look: Adobe Photoshop Elements 4

The latest version of Photoshop Elements adds a feature that will be familiar to anyone who’s spent time with Adobe Creative Suite 2—the Bridge image-browsing application. Ben Long walks you through this and other additions, including the Adjust Color for Skin Tones feature and the Magic Select Brush tool, in this first look at Photoshop Elements 4.

iPhoto 6

Apple has done an excellent job with the iPhoto 6 upgrade. The performance improvements alone should please most iPhoto users, while the full-screen editing mode, new output options, and Photocasting feature make the decision to upgrade to this version a no-brainer.

Emergency fixes for bad photos

Despite your best efforts, some photos just turn out bad. But what if the bad photo in question is that one shot in a million? You may not be able to turn a bad photo into a well-shot photo; however, with a little creative problem solving, you might just be able to turn it into something worth keeping.

Automate Photoshop chores

As a photographer, you tend to run through the same mind-numbing tasks over and over again: editing, resizing, saving, and so on—it’s a glamorous life. That’s why Automator, Tiger’s easy-to-use automation tool, is one of the most exciting parts of Apple’s latest operating system.

Graphire4

Wacom’s Graphire4 graphics tablet is well-designed, comfortable, and easy to use. Plus, it allows photographers and artists to create effects that are difficult or impossible to attain using a mouse or trackball.

Shake 4

Shake 4 is frustratingly slow in some areas, and frustratingly un-Mac-like in others. But for high-end film and video compositing work, it’s hard to beat.

Nikon D50

If you’re trying to choose between Nikon and Canon D-SLR cameras, the D50 might not be such an obvious winner. But if you have been wanting to go digital but haven’t liked the high prices, the D50’s sub-$1,000 sticker should make it a slam-dunk.

Adesso CyberTablet 8600

Overall, Adesso’s CyberTablet 8600 is a well-designed and very functional pressure-sensitive tablet. But compatibility issues with Adobe Photoshop are a major shortcoming.

SmartDisk FotoChute

If all you need is a small, inexpensive place to clear your media card, the FotoChute’s small size, speedy performance, and low price make it very compelling.

Turn pixels into prints

One of the great things about digital photography is that you can choose to print only the photos you truly love. There are a lot of online photo services out there, but there can be a huge difference in results from one online photo finisher to the next. We’ll help you decide which one is right for you.

The big picture

Working with your photos doesn’t have to be a chore. From polishing your pictures, to choosing the right printing service, to backing up your images, we’ve got simple solutions to the most-common postproduction tasks. So you can enjoy your favorite vacation moments for years to come.

Digital SLR camera jury tests

All four of these sub-$1,000 digital SLR cameras produce quite good Raw images, so your buying decision will be mostly based on other features and the feel of the camera.