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 Monday, July 24, 2017
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 just showed up and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Canon EOS Rebel SL2 ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E17 battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software 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. Insert the battery (after charging completes, unless you can't wait).
  5. Power the camera on.
  6. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: set to RAW (I highly recommend a RAW workflow)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Off/Disable (I highly recommend this setting)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: 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.)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post, but "Low" is also a good choice)
  18. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  19. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:ISO expansion: On
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [your name]
  24. Display Level Menu: Menu guide: Standard (required to gain access to My Menu)
  25. Display Level Menu: Mode guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  26. Display Level Menu: Feature guide: Disabled (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  27. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
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. My setup is ideal for me, but keep in mind that your needs may differ. The best use of this list may be for tweaking of 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 ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS Rebel SL2
 
The very inexpensive Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/24/2017 9:15:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens page.
 
I like what I see.
 
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 7/24/2017 7:22:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, July 21, 2017
Along with the image quality test results I shared previously, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens page.
 
This inexpensive lens is still looking good, from both an image quality perspective and a stylish one. From a size standpoint, let's put things in perspective.
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/21/2017 7:25:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens page.
 
As always, there are many comparisons that can be made, but I'll get you started with a comparison against a known good lens:
 
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM vs. EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/19/2017 3:40:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
You are planning to photograph the eclipse, right? This rare opportunity is coming to most of North America with the path of totality running coast-to-coast through the heart of the USA. The moon is going to cause the sun to disappear and that event is causing solar filters to disappear from retailer inventories. Don't wait to get yours!
 
Which solar filter should I get for my super telephoto lens? I just posted a review of that answer: The Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter.
 
You might be surprised at how inexpensive this filter is. The Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama. At least some sizes are in stock – preorder out of stock items immediately to get them in time for the big event.
 
You can also view the entire selection of solar filters at B&H, Adorama and Amazon.
 
If you don't own a super telephoto lens, this event is a great excuse to get one (some of these are also becoming scarce). If such a lens is not affordable or does not have long-term use, consider renting one.
 
Solar Eclipse Photography Resources
 
Here are some links that you may find useful. The first is NASA’s interactive map (click anywhere on it to get that location’s information). The second is our news feed of useful articles:
 
NASA: Interactive Solar Eclipse Map
Solar Eclipse Photography Tips (TDP posts)
Space.com's Solar Eclipse Guide
Solar Eclipse Exposure Calculator
American Astronomical Society: How to Shoot Solar-Eclipse Images & Videos
MREclipse.com: Solar Eclipse Photography Guide
NASA: Solar Eclipse Maps
NASA: Eclipse Photography
 Monday, July 10, 2017
Just posted: Rokinon/Samyang SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens Review.
 
Learn about this new premium-grade lens from Rokinon/Samyang, the company that has long been the source of great value lenses.
 
This lens currently has a $200.00 instant savings available. The Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 7/10/2017 8:59:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 29, 2017
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR camera page has been loaded with information, expectations and images.
 
Also available are the detailed Canon EOS 6D Mark II specifications, ready for comparison with your favorite EOS model. Here is the Canon EOS 6D Mark II vs. 6D comparison.
 
This is one of the more-exciting Canon camera releases we've seen recently. I expect this model to become a very popular one.
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2017 12:04:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D DSLR camera page has been loaded with information, expectations and images. Also, learn what "SL" stands for.
 
Additionally available are the detailed Canon EOS SL2 specifications, ready for comparison with your favorite EOS model. Here is the Canon EOS SL2 vs. SL1 comparison.
 
I liked the SL1 a lot and a new iteration of this model with some of Canon's latest DSLR technologies included is great to see.
 
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2017 12:04:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 23, 2017
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens page.
 
The first comparison I wanted to see was the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G vs. f/2.8 GM OSS Lens. When set to f/4, the f/2.8 lens becomes clearly sharper, (mostly). There are many combinations to explore.
 
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/23/2017 9:20:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Just posted: Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens Review.
 
This one should get some traction.
 
The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama. A free Sigma UV Filter ($69.95 value) is currently included.
Post Date: 6/14/2017 9:38:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Sony a9 page.
 
You will like recognize that these results are not from the standard Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM test lens we tested the Sony a7R II and most Canon cameras with. The plan was to test the a9 with the same lens, but unfortunately, our FotodioX Canon EF Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera Pro Fusion Smart AF mount adapter is apparently not compatible with the a9 (known adapter-compatible Canon lenses did not work on the a9). So, we went with plan b, testing the a9 with Sony's premier FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens at a low-distortion focal length.
 
Keep in mind that the lenses used in these comparisons are different:
 
Sony a9 vs Canon EOS 1D X Mark II
Sony a9 vs a7R II (vastly different resolutions)
 
The Sony a9 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/13/2017 8:46:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 12, 2017
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens page.
 
More to come regarding this lens.
 
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/12/2017 8:23:04 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 9, 2017
Image quality (results from 5Ds R, 1Ds III and 7D II included), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens page.
 
I expected better from this lens. It has the same optical design as its predecessor, but ... it is not performing quite as well as the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens I owned and loved for years. Typically, if we think a lens is not performing optimally, we test another copy. But, this is the third copy of this lens we have tested and this one has the most-equal corner performance – it is the best of the three.
 
Here are some comparisons:
 
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Classic Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Irix 15mm f/2.4 Lens
 
The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/9/2017 7:04:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 8, 2017
Image quality (results from 5Ds R, 1Ds III and 7D II included), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens page.
 
Is the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens worth over 3x the price of the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens? That is a question I wanted to answer. Here is the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 vs. Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens image quality comparison. There are more differences, but ... let me know what you think in the comments.
 
Here are some other comparisons:
 
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Lens
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Irix 15mm f/2.4 Lens
 
The Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/8/2017 7:15:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements, standard product images and eye candy have been added to the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens page.
 
Completing the review of this lens is one of my priorities right now.
 
The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/6/2017 7:15:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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