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 Thursday, May 5, 2016
by Sean Setters
 
While recently planning a trip to Wichita, KS to visit friends, my goal was to pack as light as possible to avoid checked baggage fees. The trip was not planned with photography being a high priority, however, I wanted to take a decently capable kit with me in case photographic opportunities arose.
 
On that note, Delta allows one personal item and one carry-on bag for free. My work laptop bag filled the "personal item" allotment. As such, my Lowepro Nova Sport 35L AW became a dual service bag in that it not only carried my camera gear but my clothes as well.
 
Unfortunately, that led to compromises as I couldn't take as much camera gear as I'm used to having available and I had to be very selective in the clothes that I packed.
 
Having never been to Wichita, I wasn't quite sure what kinds of photographic opportunities to expect. Therefore, I decided to structure my kit to be as versatile as possible while remaining [relatively] small in footprint.
 
Clothes aside, here's the gear I packed into the Lowepro Nova Sport 35L AW:
 
I choose to bring the 7D II instead of my 5D III because the crop sensor camera allowed me to pack a wide range of focal lengths in a smaller amount of space compared to a full-frame compatible set of lenses (not to mention the weight savings over similarly-capable full-frame lenses). As this wasn't a photo-centric trip, I decided not to pack an LC-E6 battery charger (assuming I wouldn't exhaust two LP-E6s in three days).
 
Here were my thoughts behind the gear choices:
 
  • The EF-S 10-18 IS STM would fulfill my wide-angle lens needs; the EF-S 55-250 IS STM would cover telephoto needs.
  • The EF-S 24 STM and 40 STM pancakes would be perfect for shooting video while adding very little weight/bulk to the kit. The 40mm lens would also fill a gap in my uncovered focal range and could serve as a decent, loosely framed portrait lens with a 64mm full-frame equivalent focal length.
  • The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art would serve as my indoor, low-light lens. I anticipated that we would be spending a decent amount of time in our friends' apartment hanging out and catching up (we don't see them often).
  • The 580EX flash would allow me to augment the light in a scene if needed. Bounce flash can produce very flattering light in indoor settings (assuming you have neutral-colored walls/ceilings to work with). And with the 7D II's pop-up flash acting as a master flash, I could even use the flash off-camera if needed. Including flash gels would also allow me to change the color of the flash's light to more closely match the ambient.
  • I opted to bring the tiny Feisol Mini Tripod so that I'd have some type of support solution in the kit. I envisioned using it for group photos or possibly lightning shots (when combined with the Miops Camera Trigger).
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS STM proved very especially useful on a visit to the Sedgwick County Zoo because of its small size, long focal range and effective IS.
 
Giraffe Mane at Sedgwick County Zoo

Bird at Sedgwick County Zoo

Galapagos Tortoise at Sedgwick County Zoo

The EF-S 55-250 IS STM also proved useful in another way. Having not anticipated the need for a macro lens, I hadn't packed one. However, as our friends were recently engaged, I was asked to capture a shot of the engagement ring. Being engaged to a railroad rail quality engineer, the happy bride-to-be wanted to incorporate the railroad into the shot.
 
Luckily, we found an abandoned pile of railroad spikes about 20 feet away from a portion of track at a long-abandoned railway station. Without a macro lens at hand, I used the 55-250mm lens to create the image below.
 
Engagement Ring on Railroad Spikes

And here are a few images I captured using other lenses in the kit:
 
Trees Beginning to Bloom Wichita KS

Buildings Wichita KS

Museum of World Treasures Wichita KS

Overall, the gear worked well for the trip and was not a burden to travel with. I used everything except the Miops trigger (no lightning on the trip) and I was able to capture images in a variety of situations. And for what it's worth, my most-used lens on the trip – the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM – is currently on sale at the Canon Refurbished Store for a ridiculously low price.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/5/2016 9:05:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Photoshelter:
 
To dig into the world of book publishing, we’ve partnered with the creative book publishing platform Blurb for our latest guide, The Photographer’s Guide to Publishing Photo Books.
 
Check out exclusive interviews with photographers who have completed book projects through self-publishing and traditional publishing, and share lessons learned along the way.
 
Inside this guide, you’ll also discover:
 
  • A rundown of reasons to publish
  • 10 steps to professional book success
  • Different paths to book publishing
  • Ideas for selling and marketing your photo book
  • Tips to finding a publisher
  • And more!
Successful book projects take a clear vision, thorough research, smart decisions, and a lot of work. This guide will inspire you to give your images a whole new shelf life.
 
Download your copy today!
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/5/2016 9:03:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the APC SurgeArrest 11-Outlet Surge Protector available for $25.80. Regularly $49.80.
 
A surge protector like this one could prove vital in protecting costly electronics (like your post-processing computer and the images it contains). At this price, you could consider it very inexpensive insurance.
 
This item also qualifies for free expedited shipping when your order total is $49.00 or more. As such, you may consider adding few low-cost accessories to your order to hit the $49.00 mark.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • SurgeArrest 11-Outlet Surge Protection
  • Includes Phone Splitter, Coax & Ethernet
  • Noise Filter Reduces Interferences
  • Safety-Agency Approved
  • $100,000 Equipment Protection Policy
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/5/2016 8:38:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, May 4, 2016
B&H has the DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Gimbal-Stabilized 4K / 12MP Camera
  • Visual Sensor for Obstacle Avoidance
  • Streamlined Shell / Magnesium Unibody
  • Top Speed of 44.7mph in Sport Mode
  • Maximum Control Range of 3.1 Miles
  • Visual Tracking of Moving Subject
  • Up to 32.8' Vision Positioning Altitude
  • TapFly - Fly With a Tap of the Finger
  • Avoids Obstacles When Returning Home
  • Up to 28 Minutes Flying Time
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/4/2016 2:29:15 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Nikon D5 (Dual CF) DSLR Camera in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
The dual XQD version is available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/4/2016 2:22:30 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Sekonic Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter available for $299.00 with free shipping. Regularly $399.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Color Touch Screen Interface
  • Still, Cine, Incident, Reflected, Flash Exposure Meter
  • Wireless Flash Power Control
  • Custom Exposure Profiles and Calibration
  • Flash Exposure Analyzing Function
  • Adjustable Menu Navigation
  • Retractable and Removable Lumisphere
  • AAA Battery Power Source
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/4/2016 10:50:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
As has become my habit when setting up a new DSLR, I recorded my setup steps for the recently-received Canon EOS Rebel T6. Following are the 24 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Rebel T6 ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. The battery likely comes partially charged, but it is nice to start out with a fully charged battery.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download the Canon Solution Disk software from Canon's website and install on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes – if you can wait that long).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: "RAW"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Peripheral illumination correction: disabled
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: ISO Auto: 6400
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Grid display: Grid 1 (3x3)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 2: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: C.Fn I: Exposure: ISO Expansion: On
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  24. My Menu: Register the following options: Long exposure noise reduction, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning (Clean manually), Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will insure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS Rebel T6
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/4/2016 10:33:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The Canon Store has the EOS 1D X Mark II Premium Kit in stock.
 
Retailers with 1D X II Premium Kit In Stock
Canon Store | Adorama | Focus Camera
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/4/2016 9:32:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 HD Fisheye Lens for Canon available for $189.00 with free shipping. Regularly $247.26.
 
This is an extremely fun lens to use and a great way to inspire creative imagery. [Sean]
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/4/2016 8:53:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Vello FreeWave Fusion Basic Wireless Trigger System available for $34.36. Regularly $42.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • FreeWave Fusion Basic Transmitter
  • FreeWave Fusion Basic Receiver
  • 2.4GHz Radio Signal
  • 328' Wireless Range
  • 16 Channels
  • Flash Sync Speeds up to 1/250 Sec.
  • Single Shot or Continuous Shooting
  • Trigger Camera or Flash
Note: This item qualifies for free expedited shipping when your order total is $49.00 or more. As such, you may want to add a few inexpensive accessories (that would be costly to ship on their own) in order to hit the $49.00 mark.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/4/2016 6:42:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Focus Camera has the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II Premium Kit in stock with free shipping.
 
Retailers with 1D X II Premium Kit In Stock
Adorama | Focus Camera
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/4/2016 6:30:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Steadicam Solo Stabilizer & Monopod with Vest Arm Kit available for $949.99 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $1,649.99.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Converts between Steadicam and Monopod
  • 3-Axis Gimbal
  • 10 lb Weight Capacity
  • Telescopically Extends to Four Sections
  • Includes QR Plate and Counterweights
  • Folds to 24"
  • Support Arm and Vest Included
  • Adjustable Load Range
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/4/2016 5:21:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Litepanels Croma On-Camera LED Light available for an in-cart price of $229.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $584.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • For Cams / DSLRs / Stands / Handheld Use
  • Flicker-Free Shadowless Soft Light
  • Dial-Adjustable Color Temperatures
  • Smooth 0-100% Dimmer Dial
  • Low-Consumption and 50,000 Hour LED Life
  • Cool to the Touch Operation
  • Soft-Touch Rubber Coating
  • Ergonomic and Intuitive Controls
  • Operates by AA Batteries or AC Power
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/4/2016 5:11:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, May 3, 2016
From LensRentals:
 
Wedding season has officially started! To make things easier for you we have bundled our most popular wedding gear into discounted packages, and this month we are giving you an extra 10% off the package price! Just use code WEDDING10.
 
Fine Print:
  • Order must have arrival date on or before May 31st, 2016
  • Must use code WEDDING10
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/3/2016 10:58:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From MindShift Gear:
 
SANTA ROSA, CALIF – For outdoor photographers who need quick access to their CF and SD memory cards, MindShift Gear has released the Card-Again wallets. These two simple, lightweight memory card wallets fit easily in your pockets, feature clear windows to identify used versus full cards and cutouts for easy access, and an attachment point to tether to a bag or clothing. The CF Card-Again holds four CF cards. The SD Card-Again holds six SD cards.
 
Materials
 
Exterior: The wallets are constructed using 420 high-density nylon, 210D nylon, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread. For superior water resistance, all exterior fabric has a durable water-repellant coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating.
 
Specifications
 
CF Card-Again
External Dimensions: 4.3” x 2.5” x 0.5” (11 x 6.3 x 1.3 cm)
(W x H x D)
Weight: 1.0 oz. (28 g)
 
SD Card-Again
External Dimensions: 4.3” x 2.4” x 0.5” (11 x 6 x 1.2 cm)
(W x H x D)
Weight: 0.9 oz. (25 g)
 
MindShift Gear has the Card-Again Memory Card Holders in stock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/3/2016 10:02:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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