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 Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I know that many of you were waiting on this one: Image quality results from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II have now been added to Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens page.
 
Again, preorder your Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens now at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/24/2014 10:03:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 60D have now been added to Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens page.
 
Here is a preloaded comparison between the version I and II lenses tested on the 60D. The difference is very noticeable.
 
Next up: Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II. The 7D II is sharper at the same sharpness setting and this should be reflected in the results.
 
B&H has significant quantities of the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens arriving regularly.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/23/2014 12:56:47 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 22, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Side View
Image quality results from a second lens (presented as Sample 1) have been added to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens page.
 
Again, I think that you are going to like what you see. Both lenses perform superbly and the two copies of this lens perform nearly identically. The second lens is very slightly sharper in the corners over part of the focal length range (look at the 200mm and 400mm samples to see this).
 
Here is a preloaded comparison between the two lenses with the second lens presented as the default/left lens.
 
Distortion and vignetting test results are also now available for this lens.
 
B&H has significant quantities of the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens arriving regularly. Demand has been very high.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/22/2014 7:53:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, December 21, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Front View
Standard product images are now available for the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens.
 
Visually compare the 100-400 L II to your favorite lens. Here are a couple of comparisons to get you started:
 
100-400 L II between the 100-400 L and 70-300 L
100-400 L II between the 70-200 f/2.8L II and Tamron 150-600
 
Preorder your Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II now at B&H. Significant shipment quantities have been arriving – and leaving just as quickly.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/21/2014 7:10:47 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, December 18, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
Image quality results have been added to Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens review page. I think that you are going to like what you see.
 
Here are some comparisons that you might find interesting:
 
Compared to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens
Compared to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens
Compared to the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
Use the Image Quality Tool to create your own comparisons. Hint: Zooming your browser to a higher percent can make the differences clearer on some displays (Try CTRL+, CTRL- and CTRL-0 to reset). Share your thoughts in the comments section below this post.
 
B&H has significant quantities of the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens arriving regularly. Demand has been very high.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/18/2014 7:51:11 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Just posted: Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review
 
Is the 24-105 STM a lens introduced before its primary purpose?
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm IS STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/17/2014 8:04:46 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, December 11, 2014
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens on EOS 5D Mark III
If I had to limit my Canon full frame DSLR kit to only five lenses, they would be:
 
1. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
This lens has many uses, but I do a lot of landscape photography and regard this as the ultimate wide angle landscape lens. The angle of view this lens makes available ranges from ultra-wide through only modestly wide and it delivers very sharp (corner-to-corner) images that make me smile every time I view them.
 
2. Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
The 24-70mm focal length range is my most-used and having a general purpose lens in my kit is important to me. There are some other good choices for this lens, including the 24-70 f/2.8L II and the 24-105 f/4L. If I had only 5 lenses in my kit, I would want my general purpose lens to have IS and the 24-70 f/4L IS has the most-recent/most advanced IS system at this time. This lens has a much higher maximum magnification spec (for macro capabilities) and less distortion at 24mm than the 24-105 L IS (which has a longer focal length range to its advantage). I can't do justice to a list of uses for this lens.
 
3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
 
The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II gets my easy choice for a medium telephoto zoom lens. It delivers very impressive image quality even at a wide open f/2.8 aperture with the capability to create a strong background blur. This lens excels at sports action and portrait photography. It is highly popular with photojournalists and wedding photographers. Landscape photography is another great use for this lens.
 
4. Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
I love wildlife photography and there is no better general purpose wildlife lens than this one. This focal length range, moderately wide aperture and fast AF qualifies this lens for professional-grade sports photography. This is not a small, light or inexpensive lens, but ... I didn't set a budget limit for my "5 Lens Kit". :)
 
5. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens
 
I also love macro photography, for which interesting and colorful subjects abound. Macro subjects are readily available around the house, at the flower shop, outside ... there is never a lack of something to photograph with a macro lens in the kit. The Canon 100 L has very impressive image quality and the hybrid IS feature makes this lens easier to use and especially easier to frame at high magnification subject distances.
 
And then I would start saving to add the lenses I'd still feel lost without. :)
 
The above-listed lenses are my choices for use on a full-frame DSLR. For an APS-C DSLR model, I would swap #1 for the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens and #2 for the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.
 
What are your most important "5"?
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/11/2014 10:06:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Canon EOS Mode Dial
What is a Custom Mode?
 
A Custom mode is a camera setting that allows the photographer to instantly recall a pre-saved camera setup configuration by simply turning the top dial (or via a button press and dial turn on the 1-Series models) to one of the designated "C" modes.
 
Canon's mid and high-end EOS DSLR cameras have between one and three Custom ("C") modes available. The current EOS **D models (the EOS 70D and EOS 60D) have one Custom mode and the EOS 6D has two. Canon's high end models, including the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 1D X, have three "C" modes. The lower-end Rebel (***D and ****D) series cameras do not have custom modes available.
 
How to Configure a Custom Shooting Mode
 
Configuring a "C" mode is very easy. Simply adjust all of your camera settings as desired for the "C" mode being programmed and then find and select the "Custom shooting mode" menu option in the "Tools" tab. Next, select "Register settings". If more than one "C" mode is available on your camera, the mode number desired must then be selected. Done. That's it. That "C" mode is programmed.
 
Two other "Custom shooting mode" menu options are available. The first is "Clear settings". I don't recall ever using this one. I simply program over the top of an already configured "C" mode if I want to make a change. I haven't felt a need to clean up any no-longer-needed "C" mode.
 
The other available option is "Change Auto update set". While a "C" mode is being used, camera settings can be changed. When "Change Auto update set" is set to "Enabled", any camera setting changes made while in a "C" mode are saved to the respective "C" mode. The camera will retain the new settings even after being powered off. When this option is set to "Disabled", the camera will revert back to the originally programmed settings when the camera powers off. My cameras are all set to "Enabled". "Enabled" requires a little more attention to the as-last-configured settings when beginning to shoot, but ... I found "Disabled" to be somewhat maddening and requiring even more constant attention.
 
Bryan's Custom Mode Settings
 
I am generally using camera models with three Custom modes and I have a standard configuration that I use on all of my cameras. Being configured identically means that it doesn't matter which camera I am using, I know which Custom mode to use when the configured-for situation presents itself. That configuration and my thought process behind it as follows:
 
Custom Mode 1: Action Photography
 
The action photography I do has general overarching camera settings requirements that lend themselves perfectly to a "C" mode.
 
My most-used standard camera mode is "M" (Manual) and this is what I programmed "C1" for. I use "M" mode for about 95% of my photography with "Av" (Aperture Priority) mode picking up 4.8% of the remaining mode use (most often when shooting under rapidly changing light levels such as a partly-cloudy sky when Auto ISO in "M" mode is not desired). My programmed manual exposure settings include a wide open aperture (usually from whichever lens I used last), an action-stopping 1/1600 shutter speed and Auto ISO. If the light is constant, I change the ISO to a specific setting at the venue.
 
My "C1" is configured for AI Servo AF with a single AF point selected and the camera's highest speed burst drive mode selected. If shooting under very low light (such as an indoor gym), I select a slower/longer shutter speed to allow reasonable ISO settings to be used.
 
Having an action mode ready for immediately use has great benefits that include being able to properly photograph a running animal that was calmly feeding just moments before.
 
Custom Mode 2: Landscape and Still Life Photography
 
I am very frequently shooting landscape and still life subjects from a tripod and my typical settings for such photography are programmed into "C2". Once again, my selected exposure mode is "M". I generally leave the aperture set to f/11 (full frame) or f/8 (APS-C) to plan for as much depth of field as I can get without compromising sharpness (due to diffraction). The shutter speed I need varies widely when I'm in "C2" mode. It is usually set to whatever shutter speed I last used and usually needs to be set for the current situation. My "C2" ISO is set to 100 for the least noise possible.
 
I have One Shot AF mode selected along with the single center AF point. Key for ultimate image sharpness is that mirror lockup and the 2-sec self-timer are selected in my "C2". With the mirror automatically raising 2 seconds before the shutter release, all vibrations, including those caused by my shutter release button press, subside before image capture begins.
 
I usually have Long Exposure Noise Reduction enabled in "C2".
 
While "C" modes are great for setup speed, my "C2" needs are not usually happening fast. But, having this configuration readily available still saves me a lot of setup time. Convenience has a lot of value.
 
Custom Mode 3: Situational-Dependent
 
Basically, I leave "C" mode 3 unprogrammed until needed at each event venue. Technically, my "C3" is programmed to whatever settings I used it for last, but ... those settings are likely irrelevant to the new situation. My use for this mode varies greatly, but the overriding reason I setup "C3" is to be able to recall a venue-specific camera condition the instant I need it. I use "C3" more infrequently than "C1" and "C2" because my needs outside of the regular M and Av mode are primarily captured in my Mode 1 and 2 settings.
 
How are Your Custom Modes Programmed?
 
The variation of camera setup needs between photographers can be dramatic. Give thought to your own "C" settings.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:15:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 08, 2014
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Just posted: Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review
 
If you have an APS-C/1.6x body, you are probably going to want to add this lens to your kit. The 24 STM is the excellent bargain we expected it to be.
 
B&H is accepting Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens preorders.
 
This lens is in stock at Adorama and the Canon Store.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/8/2014 7:43:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 24, 2014
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera
The full Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review is now available.
 
This is an awesome camera – especially for the price. I decided to add a 7D II to my kit (replacing a 70D), so I expect to be adding more details to the review as time goes on, including more AI Servo AF experiences.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/24/2014 8:02:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 20, 2014
Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
If you are like me, the 24-105mm STM vs. L lens comparison is the one you are most interested in. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/20/2014 11:27:25 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review page.
 
My expectation was for this lens to be a great bargain – similar to the nearly-identical Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Lens. If I directly compare these two lenses on the same camera body (with a very low sharpness setting), my initial impressions are that my expectations have been realized. You will see more distortion in the 24 (the barrel variety), but these two lenses are otherwise more similar than different in this comparison. That is a lot of image quality for a nicely-built pocket lens costing only $149.00.
 
Order your Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens now at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/19/2014 8:46:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Sigma 18-300mm DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Image quality, vignetting and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary Lens Review page. More (on-camera) product images will be added within the next day or so).
 
B&H has the new Sigma 18-300mm DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary Lens in stock.
 
Looking for a great deal on a superzoom lens? There is a $200.00 instant rebate available on the Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Lens. Regularly $549.00, this lens is currently only $349.00 at B&H.
Post Date: 11/18/2014 8:45:47 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 13, 2014
Canon EOS 7D Mark II's Wide Area AF
The large percentage of the viewfinder covered by Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF system is a big deal, at least when shooting in AI Servo AF mode and when there is no time to recompose after focusing. The image shared with this post shows such an example.
 
The horse gallops toward the camera at perhaps 35-40 mph (56-64 kph). I want the rider to be in focus, but the horse's ears and mane strongly compete for the top AF point's attention as the animal quickly moves up and down. Having an AF point so close to the border of the frame allows me to (better) avoid the AF point's attention moving from the rider to the horse.
 
Good examples of situations requiring a wide-positioned AF point include any sports that involve running (track, baseball, soccer, football, field hockey, etc.). When a person is running fast, they lean forward and the head leads the lean. If the subject's eyes are not in focus, the shot is likely a throw-away. To keep the runner's eyes in focus requires an AF point placed on them and at the oft-desired near-frame-filling distances, an AF point positioned close to the frame edge is required. The 7D II has you covered here.
 
Cameras with a lower percentage of the viewfinder covered by AF points require similar subjects to be captured from a longer distance and/or with a wider focal length, meaning cropping is required to achieve the same desired frame-filling result. Cropping of course reduces final image resolution. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II's wide area AF system has you covered in these situations, allowing you to fully utilize its 20.2 MP sensor – this capability is a big deal.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 8:25:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens
I have loaded my expectations (including observations from a short hands-on time with this lens) onto the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review page. I think that you and I are going to like what this lens delivers.
 
B&H is taking Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/12/2014 7:33:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I have loaded an MTF chart comparison onto the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page. Compare the 100-400 L II's MTF charts to those of the 100-400 L, 70-300 L and 400 f/5.6 L. With-extender charts for the new lens are included.
 
Again, B&H is accepting Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens preorders and I recommend preordering early if you want this lens anytime soon. Adorama and Amazon are also accepting preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 10:32:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 10, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I share my expectations along with specifications and product images on the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page.
 
I can't wait for this lens!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/10/2014 9:47:58 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon 7D Mark II Anti Flicker Mode Example
If you have ever photographed under flickering lights, such as the sodium vapor lamps especially common at sporting venues, you know what a problem that type of lighting can cause. One image is bright and the next is significantly underexposed with a completely different color cast. The bigger problem occurs when using fast/short action-stopping shutter speeds under these lights.
 
In the top half of the included image are 8 consecutive frames captured from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II in 10 fps burst with a 1/1000 second shutter speed. The subject is a white wall and the lights are fluorescent tubes (I had to go all the way to my basement to find these). All images were identically custom white balanced from the center of an optimally-timed image. What you see is the frame capture frequency synching with the light flicker's frequency to cause a different result in almost every frame.
 
The killer problem for post processing is that the entire frame is not evenly affected. Correcting this issue is a post processing nightmare. The cause of this problem is that, at fast/short shutter speeds, the flicker happens while the shutter curtain is not fully open.
 
Because the shutter opens and closes only in the up and down directions (with camera horizontally oriented), the area affected runs through the frame in the long direction regardless of the camera's orientation during capture. When the flicker-effected area is fully contained within the frame, the amount of area affected is narrower at faster shutter speeds and wider with longer shutter speeds.
 
At significantly longer shutter speeds, the effect from the flickering lights is better averaged in the exposures. At 1/25 second, a reference image I captured during the same test looks very nice.
 
In this 7D II light flicker test, I shot at 1/500, 1/1000 (shown in the example) and 1/2000 seconds. The 1/500 second test showed approximately 2/3 of the frame severely affected at most, but the 10 frames captured around the most-effected frame had various amounts of one frame edge strongly affected. As you would expect, the 1/2000 second test showed an even narrower band of the flicker's effect running through the image (a smaller slit of fast-moving shutter opening being used), but ... I'm guessing that there are not many venues with flickering-type lighting strong enough to allow use of this shutter speed at a reasonable ISO setting. The 1/500 and 1/1000 settings are more real world settings.
 
The bottom set of results show off the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's awesome new Anti-flicker mode. The only difference in the capture of the second set of images was that Anti-flicker mode was enabled. These were a random selection of 8 consecutive frames, but the results from all Anti-flicker mode enabled frames were identical regardless of shutter speed tested. I'm not going to say that these results are perfectly-evenly lit, but ... they are dramatically better than the normal captures and you will not see the less-than-perfectly-even lighting in most real world photos without a solid, light-colored background running through the frame.
 
When enabled (the default is disabled), Flicker Mode adjusts the shutter release timing very slightly so that the dim cycle of the lighting is avoided. In single shot mode, the shutter release lag time is matched to the light flicker cycle's maximum output. In continuous shooting mode, the shutter lag and the frame rate are both altered for peak light output capture. In my tests above, the frame rate was reduced by 1-2 fps and shutter lag can be affected, making the camera feel slightly less responsive.
 
The 7D II is able to work with light flicker occurring at 100Hz and 120Hz frequencies. When such flicker is detected but flicker mode is not enabled, a flashing FLICKER warning shows in the viewfinder. The FLICKER warning shows solid when a flicker is detected and the camera’s setting is enabled. Flicker detection has been working very well for me. From my own basement to an indoor sports venue to a trade show floor, I've seen the flashing "FLICKER" warning.
 
Since the viewfinder's metering system is required for flicker detection, this feature is not available in Live View mode (due to the mirror being locked up). The mirror lockup feature is also disabled when Anti-flicker mode is enabled. The owner's manual indicates that Flicker mode is not going to work perfectly in all environments.
 
In the test I shared in this post, flicker avoidance was perfect 100% of the time. I shot a soccer match at an indoor sporting venue with a complicated economy lighting system. In that shoot, the Anti-flicker mode was successful about 98% of the time in the about-350 images I captured. The post processing work required for this shoot was exponentially lighter than any of my many prior shoots at this venue. Sean's experience shooting an NCAA Division 1 football game under the lights was very good, but perhaps not as good as my 98% experience.
 
Canon's new Anti-flicker mode is a game changer – it is going to save the day for some events. This feature alone is going to be worth the price of the camera for some photographers.
 
Want a Canon EOS 7D Mark II? Get it at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/10/2014 8:06:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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