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Let's cut to the chase. No hemming. No hawing. Just candid recommendations of the best products in each category.

Buying from links on this page compensates us for our candor. And we welcome subscribers (we know who you are) to discuss it further.

Printers   Scanners | Bags | Accessories | Software

Best 13x19 Dye-Based Printer
 

Pro-100Canon Pro-100
$400

 

YOU WANT to print gorgeous sunsets on glossy or luster sheets? This is it. Not as versatile as a pigment printer but nothing can touch it.

Best 13x19 Pigment Printer
 

P600
Epson SureColor P600

$800

 

HANDLES EVERYTHING (canvas rolls, too) with superior black matte printing on porous sheets (which is a big deal). See the news story.

 

R3000
Epson R3000

$620

 

WE'RE STILL USING this model because it handles everything (canvas rolls, too) with excellent black matte printing on porous sheets.

Best All-in-One Device
 

JURY'S STILL out. If you need fax capability, look at office multifunction devices. Otherwise look at photo multifunction devices where a need for transparency scanning will restrict you to the more expensive models. Simple as that.

Recommended companies have traditionally been Canon and, to a lesser extent, Epson. Avoid HP (it loses interest in its own drivers far too soon). And Kodak, we note, has avoided you.

But with ink costs a major consideration, it's worth evaluating Epson's EcoTank technology and HP's Instant Inkcatridge subscription program.

Scanners   Printers | Bags | Accessories | Software

Best All-Around Desktop Scanner
 

V750Epson V850
$850

 

AN UPDATE TO the venerable V750/V700, you can't beat it for scanning transparencies as large as 8x10. See the news story.

Best Used All-Around Desktop Scanner
 

V750Epson V750
$850

 

IF YOU'RE LOOKING for a used scanner, you can't beat this baby.

Best Budget Desktop Scanner
 

9000FCanoScan 9000F
Mark II

$170

 

WE'RE STILL HAPPY with the original 9000F Mark but this is its current incarnation.

Best Dedicated 35mm Slide Scanner
 

OpticFilm 135Plustek OpticFilm 135
$400

 

A PROMISING, IF COMPROMISED, PRODUCT (like the OpticFilm 120 we reviewed). See our review for the details. You'll need VueScan to run it, though. QuickScan Plus just doesn't cut it.

Best Dedicated 35mm Slide Scanner
 

8200iPlustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai
$420

 

IT'S JUST FOR 35mm originals (negatives or slides), though, and you have to push each set of four through the scanner, one at a time.

Camera Bags   Printers | Scanners | Accessories | Software

Best Camera and Lens Bags
 

Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank PhotoThink Tank Photo

 

BEST DESIGNED, best built bags of any genre.

Accessories   Printers | Scanners | Bags | Software

Best Sliding Strap
 

FS-ProCarry Speed FS-Pro
$40 to $80

 

JUST PREFERRED it over the Bosstrap, Blackrapid, Custom SLR and Cotton Carrier options.

Best White Balance Tool
 

WhibalWhibal G7
$20

 

WE USE one of these credit-card sized gray cards calibrated for digital exposure when we're stuck in weird lighting situations like museums where the color matters and can't be "corrected" later without some reliable reference. The Whibal is a reliable reference, to put it mildly. Don't leave home without it.

Best Remote Release
 

TriggertrapTriggertrap
$30

 

YOU GET an iOS or Android app with a cable that connects the device (like your phone or tablet) to your camera. And then the doors blows off the place. You can emulate a cable release, fire on sound, shoot timelapse, warp the interval between shots, fire based on distance traveled (with GPS in your device), shoot when the device moves, fire when a face is recognized and more. Too good to be true, so make sure your camera is compatible with it first.

Best Memory Card
 

Eye-FiEye-Fi Pro X2
16GB WiFi
Class 10 SDHC Card

$90

 

YES, THERE are smaller and slower (Class 6) Eye-Fi cards but we buy cards to outlive our cameras. And why not add WiFi to your camera while you're at it?

Software   Printers | Scanners | Bags | Accessories

Best Comprehensive Package
 

Photography Program
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Program

$9.99/month

 

THE PACKAGE includes Lightroom desktop and mobile to catalog, edit non-destructively and share your image collection plus Photoshop to perform even more magic tricks, like pixel-level retouching. It's a one-two punch without an equivalent at a price that's unfathomable. And you'll always be able to access your work, even if you decide not to subscribe any longer.

Best Single Purpose Image Editor
 

Optics Pro
DxO Optics Pro

$299 Elite Edition
$169 Standard Edition

 

WHAT SETS Optics Pro apart is what it knows about your camera and lens. Everything. So the corrections it can automatically apply to your images are informed corrections. And it's noise control is second to none. DxO regularly discounts both versions when updated, too.

Best Film Emulation Plug-In
 

Optics Pro
Alien Skin Exposure

$149

 

FILM EMULATION is just one thing Exposure does well. It can also print that image on antique paper for you. And distress both the film and the paper. The options may not be endless but they are inspiring. There's even a lens simulator built into the application that can blur your background by the f-stop. Well made stuff.


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