I took my own advice and left the crazy cold N 40° latitude (-4° F/-20° C) for the warmer weather of Florida and just over a week of (primarily) bird photography. Although I had a 5D Mark III and 1D X along, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II was glued to my hand for most of this trip and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens was glued to the camera most of that time. As noted in the title, this combination rocked and with relatively-cooperative birds, my take-home is a bit voluminous.
The subject shown here is a Great Blue Heron in breeding plumage. To capture this image, my first priority was to get in line between the sun and the bird with the low, late-day sun creating good subject lighting. By maneuvering to a slightly lower vantage point than the bird, I was able to create a background composed completely of blue sky. No distractions there.
A big challenge remaining was to get the bird properly aligned for a pleasing composition. A side-on angle to the bird with the head straight or turned slightly towards the camera usually works great. The challenge in getting that angle was that the bird, especially its head and neck, was constantly moving. I selected the top-right AF point in the center block of AF points (closely aligned with the bird's eye) and when the bird was in a position that worked for me, I quickly captured the image.
I was shooting handheld for maneuverability and setup speed reasons. The 7D II and 100-400 L II combo's size and weight are especially nice for this type of shooting.
Some are asking if the 7D II images are sharp enough for serious work and I can assure you that the answer is "Yes." EOS 7D II images are very sharp. Because ultimate image sharpness capabilities are not completely discernible from reduced-size images, I have made the full-size version of this image available for download here. You are granted a license to use this image for personal gear evaluation purposes including further processing of the image. This is a 10.2 MB .JPG file that was sharpened very lightly. Sharpen to your taste (perhaps add a little saturation) and then follow the plane of sharp focus through this image to see what the 7D II and 100-400 L II can do.
A medium-sized version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Adding to our Spider Monkey line, we're pleased to introduce our Rain Cover and Water Bottle Holder!
Protection from the elements Our Rain Cover is designed to cover your camera body (with vertical grip) and lens (up to 70-200mm) while it sits in your SpiderPro or Black Widow holster.
It’s super-compact and lightweight, but unfolds nice and big to easily cover your pro gear. And it has an adjustable elastic outer-band so you can cinch it around your camera for maximum protection from the elements!
Hydration at your hip Simply attach the Spider Monkey base to your belt (or ours), insert your water bottle into the Holder, then slide the Holder into the base.
Quick-draw your water bottle (using one hand!), by pressing the release tab at the top of the Spider Monkey base to unlock your Water Bottle Holder and lift it out. Instant refreshment on any shoot.
Note from Sean: I got to see the Westcott Flex series at Imaging USA 2015. The flexible LED-powered lights are impressively bright at full power. I remember having to squint when walking by the booth featuring the lights.
MELVILLE, N.Y., March 2, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that its parent company, Canon Inc., has been named to the 2015 FORTUNE magazine World's Most Admired Companies list in the computers category. Considered by FORTUNE magazine as the "definitive report card on corporate reputations," Canon received its highest ranks in innovation, social responsibility and long-term investment value.
"We are honored to be recognized as one of the World's Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE magazine and well-respected industry leaders," said Kotaro Fukushima, senior director and general manager, Corporate Communications, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "The results of this year's rankings are a testament to Canon's commitment to investing in our customers and technology, and our core belief of being a good corporate citizen in the communities we serve."
The 2015 list was separated into 55 industries from a variety of business areas. Over 600 companies from 29 countries around the world were analyzed and ranked by executives, directors and analysts in their respective industries based on nine reputation drivers, including financial soundness, long-term investment value, people management, social responsibility, use of corporate assets, quality of management, quality of products/services, innovation and global competitiveness.
March 2, 2015 – Profoto releases a new system of compact off-camera flashes and Light Shaping Tools, designed for fast and easy on-location photography.
Since its release in 2013, the Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash has taken the photographic community by storm. Combining the portability and ease-of-use of a speedlight with the performance of a professional monolight, the B1 is considered by many to be a game changer in the industry.
Now Profoto is moving forward by releasing an entire new system of compact off-camera flashes and Light Shaping Tools, designed for fast and easy on-location photography.
The most attention-grabbing item in the Off-Camera Flash system is the new B2. The B2 is a lighter, more portable counterpart to the B1. The B2 consists of a battery pack and a head. The battery pack can be put on the shoulder or hip, while the head is small and light enough to be mounted onto a monopod or a bracket on the camera. This will allow the photographer to stay moving. If that is not necessary, both the pack and head can be put on a stand and the B2 can be wirelessly controlled from the camera. This makes the B2 the world’s first off-camera flash that can be used both on and off-camera.
In addition, the B2 has all the benefits that made the B1 an outstanding success. It has TTL. It has HSS. It is fast enough to keep up with your camera and five times as powerful as the average speedlight. It can be used with the entire range of Profoto Light Shaping Tools. All this in a head with the same size and weight as a speedlight.
The Profoto Off-Camera Flash system also includes the new OCF Light Shaping Tools. The OCF Light Shaping Tools are smaller and more lightweight. They also consist of fewer parts and use smart, patent-pending solutions that make them fast and easy to mount and use. The assortment includes four new softboxes, a new Grid Kit, a new Snoot and a new Barndoor.
Included in the Off-Camera Flash system is also the renowned B1 and the patented AirTTL system. Everything works with everything.
“Our ambition when we first started designing the Profoto Off-Camera Flash system was to create a solution that pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved on a fast and hectic on-location shoot,” says Product Manager Johan Wiberg. “We closely observed the needs of wedding and portrait photographers and decided to try to make their jobs a little easier. Now, looking at what we are offering, I dare say we’ve succeeded.”
Nikon's New COOLPIX P900 Takes Creativity to Extreme Distances with Spectacular 83x Zoom Power and Advanced Shooting Controls
With a Lens Equivalent of 2000mm, the COOLPIX P900 Offers Limitless Possibilities for What Users Can Capture and Instantly Share
MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the COOLPIX P900, a camera that offers an unprecedented and incredible 83x zoom along with superior performance. This exciting long zoom option provides users with incredibly sharp NIKKOR optics and a 166x Dynamic Fine Zoom range capable of reaching previously unimaginable distances. In addition to its unrivaled zoom power, the 16-megapixel COOLPIX P900 comes equipped with an array of innovative features and advanced controls for capturing sharp and detailed images as well as Full HD video from afar. Such features include built-in GPS and the experience of Nikon Snapbridge, whereby users seamlessly shoot and share stunning photos from the camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet via built in Wi-Fi(1) and Near Field Communication technology (NFC(2)). With its unbelievable zoom power, users can take close-up shots of a bird high up in the trees or capture the look on their child’s face as they score their first goal from the sidelines. Additionally, the COOLPIX P900 combines user-friendly controls, creative features and fast performance, giving users the opportunity to explore their creative path regardless of their photography level or experience.
“With its spectacular 83x zoom range, extensive list of innovative features and advanced controls, the new Nikon COOLPIX P900 is the first COOLPIX compact camera to ever offer this amazing zoom range and powerful features together in an easy-to-use package,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “The COOLPIX P900 will provide users with the opportunity to capture sharp images and video in rich detail near or far, and to share their content with family and friends with confidence.”
Zooming Brilliance with New Nikon COOLPIX P900 The COOLPIX P900 demonstrates the incredible capabilities of NIKKOR optics by sporting a powerful 83x optical zoom (24-2000mm equivalent) NIKKOR ED glass lens with the ability to reach 166x using Dynamic Fine Zoom and a super extra-low dispersion (ED) glass element, making this camera ideal for capturing sharp images and videos from extreme lengths. This feature-packed long zoom is equipped with a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and a high performance Autofocus (AF) system capable of shooting 7 frames-per-second (fps) to help deliver photos of fast moving sports in superb quality. Sharing these amazing photos has never been easier or more fun, as the COOLPIX P900 allows users to seamlessly shoot and share photos from the camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet via built-in Wi-Fi(1) and NFC(2) connectivity.
Whether shooting above a crowd or from the stands, users can easily and intuitively frame their subjects by using the camera’s built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) with an eye sensor or high-resolution, Vari-angle 3-inch 921K-dot LCD display. When sitting in the upper deck at a baseball game or taking photos of the family at a summer barbeque, the COOLPIX P900’s versatile controls and features makes it a great companion for every shooting scenario. Users can utilize the camera’s snap-back zoom button to effortlessly frame subjects when shooting super-telephoto shots, while the Side Zoom Control button’s position helps to combat camera shake. Additionally, the camera has an intuitive control layout, with the Fn (function) button providing fast access to frequently used functions, plus the Command Dial and Mode Dial allow users to quickly apply or adjust settings with just one hand. The COOLPIX P900 also features Manual (spot), Manual (normal) and Manual (wide) AF Area Mode options that can be selected in accordance with the size and position of the primary subject.
Taking great action shots is easy with the super-fast COOLPIX P900, as it boasts a speedy shooting lag time of approximately 0.12 seconds at the maximum wide-angle position and approximately 0.75 seconds at the maximum telephoto position. This rapid performance allows users to capture clear back-to-back shots of a runner dashing toward the finish line or a baseball player headed towards home plate with rich detail. What’s more, the camera incorporates the new Dual Detect Optical VR technology to help achieve the highest level of camera shake compensation available in a Nikon compact digital camera, equivalent to a 5.0-stop increase in shutter speed to help ensure sharp photos.
For those looking to expand their creativity, the COOLPIX P900 offers fun and user-friendly features like Scene Modes, filter effects, special effects, Picture Controls and macro mode to help users not only find the best settings for nearly any environment, but allow them to add a personal touch to every image or video. Whether users are shooting a school play indoors or out on the slopes, the COOLPIX P900 provides Scene Modes and filter effects that help achieve optimal results without missing a shot. Additionally, users can capture video in Full HD 1080p with stereo audio recording or use the camera’s innovative Time Lapse feature to capture a beautiful sunrise or sunset video over the course of time. When recording video from afar, the Zoom Microphone function helps to enables clear recording of sounds from a variety of distances. Lastly, the COOLPIX P900 makes it easy to document every vacation spot or outdoor adventure as the camera’s built-in GPS and POI allows users to geo-tag images and view where those images were taken on a map.
Nikon Snapbridge Nikon Snapbridge describes the experience of quickly and easily sending photos wirelessly from your Wi-Fi(1) enabled Nikon DSLR, Nikon 1 or COOLPIX camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet. Share your great photos on the go, even in remote locations or even use a smartphone or tablet to control your camera. See what the camera sees and take pictures—great for selfies and group photos that actually include you!
Price and Availability The COOLPIX P900 will be available in Black for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $599.95. The camera will be available for purchase in April 2015.