Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Like the American Idol effect on singers to the untrained ear, the clarity and performance that photographers expect from the soon-to-be-legendary Canon EOS 5D Mark III has to live up to the hype.

Topaz Labs Star Effects

Topaz Labs provides the ability to either allow the software to find your highlights, or use a virtual brush to select and add the areas to include or exclude from your image.

Magic Bullet Photolooks 2

There are many plug-ins for Photoshop that change an image’s looks, but few are as feature-complete as Red Giant’s Magic Bullet PhotoLooks 2. This mighty plug-in is a direct port of the company’s video color grading plug-in, but contrary to most ports, this one actually makes sense.

HDR Efex Pro 2

Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro remains one of the best HDR (high-dynamic-range) systems available. In version 2, there’s new tone mapping, improved ghost reduction, and alignment algorithms/controls.

Nikon D800

Kudos to Nikon for bringing in such an incredible camera at an affordable price!

Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate 2013

Maya is the king when it comes to cinematic and visual effects. Some of the notable new features that make this an intriguing update are Maya nHair, ATOM Animation Transfer, and Bullet Physics.

Glidetrack HD Hybrid Slider

The motion produced by slowly sliding a camera along a rail adds visual interest. For medium-sized camcorders and video-capable digital SLRs, a Scottish company has developed the Glidetrack HD Hybrid Slider.

ProShow Web

The video-production learning curve presents a greater level of difficulty than photo editing; however, video can add value to your services. For those who aren’t fluent in Adobe After Effects or Premiere, creating professional videos may seem overwhelming, but there are video-production options that offer a WYSIWYG approach.

Extensis Suitcase Fusion 4

Although not a major upgrade, Suitcase Fusion 4 is a must-have if you’re running any Adobe CS6 software. It has a new, improved panel interface within InDesign, Illustrator, InCopy, and Photoshop (CS5–CS6).

X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2

The i1Photo Pro 2 is X-Rite’s impressive, new, comprehensive, color-management solution for professional photographers.

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