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 Friday, February 12, 2016

 
Robert from JuicedLink illustrates why mounting a shotgun microphone to the DSLR's hotshoe may lead to low-quality audio recordings. The solution? Get the microphone closer to your subject, position it high and point it downward toward the subject's voice.
 
Doing so reduces the amount of ambient noise captured by the microphone's tail end while simulatenously increasing the volume and quality of the audio recorded from the front.
 
B&H carries shotgun microphones.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 2/12/2016 8:36:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Looking for a way to create professional looking layouts for Facebook posts, marketing flyers, letterheads, event invitations and more? Canva may be what you're looking for.
 
Canva.com is a free*, online design software platform. It's simple to learn, easy to use and customizable. So why the asterisk? As always, there's a catch.
 
Canva offers many templates and stock imagery for free. However, they also offer a huge selection of stock images on a pay-per-use basis. The good news? Most (if not all) of the stock images that aren't free are only $1.00. And if you want, you can simply upload and use your own files with no additional fee.
 
I decided to give the design sofware a try and in 10 minutes created a Facebook cover photo using a free template and one of my own images. It looked good, was easy to create and I was able to download the final layout for free.
 
Looking through the site, there's also a subscription option, but I'm at a loss as to what the benefits of a subscription model are. I'll update this post if I find out. [Sean]
 
* Some features require a subscription or a small pay-per-use fee.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 2/12/2016 7:17:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, February 11, 2016

 
Nikon has released two more installments in its "Philosophy of Nikkor" video series. These videos are quite interesting because they are narrorated from the perspective of design, engineering and manufacturing specialists.
 

B&H carries the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 2/11/2016 12:11:26 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
When shooting track sports with multiple laps involved, the participants will often get into a line and, especially at the beginning of the race, will be bunched tightly together. If the participant in first place is your primary subject, you can generally get a clear front-on shot from anywhere on the track. But, if you are shooting a second place participant or beyond and want a front-on shot, minimally the person in first place has great potential to block that shot.
 
That is unless you are in the corner. As the racers break into the corner, visibility of the next person in line becomes momentarily clear for a front-on shot or shots. Yes, you can often get a clear side view on the straights, but the corners are better for a clear front-on shot. Also, passing happens most frequently on the straights, meaning that even the side view is more likely to be obstructed.
 
While this advice applies to multiple sports (including motorsports if safety permits), I most frequently use this strategy for shooting distance running on the track. I most frequently choose the first corner, just past the start/finish line (so that I can photograph the finish of the race as well), on condition that the background and lighting are good. In this indoor venue, access to turn 1 was not available and a wall of windows would have created a blown white background or silhouetted subjects, so I opted for turn 3. In this corner, a second wall of windows provided a great broad, shaded light source.
 
Taking a very low-to-the-ground position helps keep the runners looking large/grand and often aids in keeping the background relatively clear of distractions by positioning ground-based distractions below the subject's head. Using a wide aperture telephoto lens at max aperture on a full frame body also helps create a strong distraction-eliminating background blur.
 
Those of us in the northern hemisphere are in the dead of winter as I post this photo. Motorsports are mostly in hibernation and track and field events are indoors. Indoors usually means very low and potentially spectrum-starved light and, in the case for this track venue, mixed light sources were present.
 
Mixed light sources often mean white balance trouble. By positioning near the wall of windows, the outdoor shade light source became primary on the subject. While auto white balance keeps getting better in-camera and I nearly always use this setting while shooting, the key to easy white balance for this image was the neutral colored number label on the runner. Selecting the custom white balance eyedropper and clicking on the white part of this label brought the subject into nearly ideal color balance with a very slight warming being the only additional post processing color change I made.
 
It is a race and that means participants are going fast. This means that the duration of the into-the-corner visibility is going to be very short and this is where a great sports camera and lens combination is going to make a big difference in your results. A great AF system is needed to quickly lock onto the just-exposed subject and track them into the corner and a fast frame rate increases the odds of catching the perfect subject position. In this case, I was anticipating the shot. I positioned the camera (on a monopod), leveled using the electronic level in the viewfinder, pre-focused the lens to the expected need and then tracked the runner. As soon as the view opened, I pressed the shutter release and relied on AI Servo AF tracking and the fast frame rate to capture the ideal shot.
 
The Canon EOS 1D X is an awesome sports camera choice and the EF 200mm f/2L IS is an equally impressive lens for the task. This combination rocks for indoor sports action and that the 1D X Mark II promises to bring us a significant upgrade ... I can't wait!
 
Hopefully you were not told to "Stand in the corner!" very often during childhood, but ... I'm telling you to do this today. Take your great sports camera and lens and go find a corner to stand in!
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
200mm  f/2.0  1/1250s
ISO 2000
3379 x 5068px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 2/11/2016 8:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed a patent for a CN-E 24-70mm f/2.8 L S lens.
 
The curious thing about this patent is that Canon already makes a CN-E 30-105 T2.8 L S lens. With so little to differentiate the lenses, one wonders whether the extra 5mm on the short end will be a huge selling point compared to the 30-105's extra 30mm of focal length range on the long end. [Sean]
 
Patent Details
 
Patent Publication No. 2016-14816
 
  • Published 2016.1.28
  • Filing date 2014.7.3
  • Zoom ratio 3.00
  • Focal length 24.00 48.00 72.00
  • F-number 2.80 2.80 2.80
  • Half angle of 32.94 17.95 12.19
  • Image height 15.55 15.55 15.55
  • The total lens length 241.06 241.06 241.06
  • BF 49.16 49.16 49.16
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 2/11/2016 5:58:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, February 10, 2016
I'm not focused on me, can be accused of under-marketing myself and until very recently, I had never taken a selfie (at least not one shared beyond the immediate family). Of course, when the request for a portrait came in, I didn't want to under-deliver on the effort and set out to have some fun, creating my first selfie. Since the task turned into a major project, I thought I would share some of the undertaking.
 
I know, I gave away the focal length choice in the title and right away some of you are thinking that I've lost my mind. The 12mm focal length, and anything close to it, is not going to create a pleasing portrait perspective, right? Not necessarily. Perspective is created by distance and, if you are far enough away from the subject, any rectilinear focal length can work (I'll save the fisheye discussion for another day). The 12mm angle of view includes a lot of environment in the frame at that adequate distance, and that was my goal for this shot.
 
I should mention that human subjects tend to look best closer to the center of an ultra-wide angle frame, avoiding the stretched look that can be present in the corners. Keeping the camera level (both pitch and yaw) also helps keep perspectives looking reasonable in this image, though you can still find some stretching closer to the borders. For example, the white lens on the left appears somewhat wide.
 
I stopped short of making this image into an I Spy photo, but there are lots of (hopefully) interesting items in this photo. Some are easy to see and some are more obscure (such as the Multicart R12RT loaded with camera backpacks). Overall, I tried to keep the image borders free of lines, fully containing most items in the frame. I also attempted to position the closest lenses so that the hoods were directly aligned with the camera with the hood lines mostly clear of intersecting lines, making them stand out, including the one in my hand.
 
After "decorating" my workspace (my wife's reference to what I was doing), I positioned the camera for the composition I was envisioning. Then, I started pulling out Speedlites.
 
For the main light, I opted for a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash with a Photogenic Eclipse 60" Umbrella positioned mostly above the camera. This setup provided a soft light over the entire foreground. To reduce the remaining shadows, a second 600EX-RT, with the wide angle diffuser down, was directed into a 30" umbrella positioned behind the camera. This flash was below the first umbrella and acted as a fill light. Note that it is a good idea to use the camera's eyepiece shade/shutter when firing a flash into the back of the camera (especially if using E-TTL metering).
 
I added a third 600EX-RT on a backlight stand behind me with the unmodified flash firing directly toward the camera. This light provided some rim lighting that helped to separate me from the background and lit up the middle layer of the image including some strong reflections.
 
The last Speedlite, a Canon 430EX III-RT, with its wide angle diffuser down, was placed on the floor deep into the studio. This flash's job was to keep the background from going dark.
 
While I ended up selecting this image for use, I also photographed with other camera positions and lighting variations. One change that I liked was moving the background-most flash under the desk and aimed at the left wall seen in this image. This added a pop of brightness that created some stronger lines in that area of the photo.
 
The Canon EOS 5Ds R was tripod-mounted and the tripod was placed immediately against the edge of the desk and triggered via a Canon RC-6 wireless remote. See it on the desk in front of me? I would press the release button, put the release on the desk and grab the lens in time for the 2 second self-timer trip the shutter.
 
I photographed this image in three exposures. The primary f/11 exposure was selected to keep the cloudy sky properly exposed (this exposure happened to be convenient for the overall image) with the flash output, controlled by a Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, adjusted to balance the overall image.
 
A second exposure utilized a more-diffraction-softened f/16 aperture for keeping the closest subjects in better focus and the third exposure was 4 seconds, necessary to capture the image on the monitor. The three images were composited in Photoshop.
 
Note that ISO 200 was used to increase battery life in the flashes (18 AA batteries in use, I used two sets).
 
See the ColorChecker in the foreground? It is serving a dual purpose. The first purpose is to add some color pop that balances with the images on the walls and on the monitor. The second purpose is for an easy custom white balance. While the Canon EOS 5Ds R provided a good auto white balance in-camera, it was extremely simple to select the custom white balance eye dropper and click on a gray square for the ideal white balance.
 
So, that is the story of my selfie. If you are interested in capturing a selfie of your own, be sure to check out Sean's guide to self-portraits in the site's photography tips.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 2/10/2016 9:40:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus Lens page.
 
This lens is definitely ultra high resolution sensor ready.
 
B&H has the Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus Lens in stock (note: The Nikon mount lens is now in stock also).
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 2/10/2016 7:52:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Nikon:
 
Changes from Version 1.0.1 to 1.1.0a (Windows)
 
  • Picture Control Utility 2 is now installed with ViewNX-i.
  • Added an Edit workspace and an Adjustments palette for retouch features similar to those in ViewNX 2.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the ViewNX-i Show Focus Point option to display the focus point in a position that differed from that shown in the D750 viewfinder focus point display.
  • Fixed an issue that caused installation of ViewNX i to fail with the message, “This action is only valid for products that are currently installed.”
  • Added support for Turkish.
  • Added support for Windows 10.
Download: Nikon ViewNX-i for Windows v.1.1.0a
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 2/10/2016 5:33:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, February 9, 2016
From Canon USA:
 
Feb 9, 2016 – MELVILLE, N.Y. – On February 7th, the top sports photographers from across the country gathered in the San Francisco Bay Area to cover the Big Game between the teams from Carolina and Denver. With more than 70 percent of the photographers in the San Francisco stadium using Canon EOS DSLR cameras and EF lenses, Canon’s iconic white lenses filled the sidelines from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.
 
“Seeing such a large number of the country’s most talented sports photographers choosing Canon equipment to photograph the country’s biggest sporting event of the year is always such a humbling honor for Canon. Their iconic images of the game will be seen by millions of people around the world for years to come, and this drives Canon to ensure both our products and support live up to the requirements and expectations of our loyal customers,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
 
Veteran sports photographers and Canon Explorers of Light Peter Read Miller and Damian Strohmeyer were on the sidelines using the brand-new EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Camera, the first public use of the camera in the U.S. since being announced to the public on February 1. "The EOS-1D X Mark II is a marked improvement in file quality, and the performance was huge at higher ISO," said Strohmeyer. "This camera is a big step up!"
 
A full complement of friendly and knowledgeable staff from Canon Professional Services (CPS), a fixture at major sporting events throughout the year, were on site at the stadium for the entire weekend providing comprehensive equipment maintenance, extensive equipment loans and expert technical support to the major photo agencies and individual photographers covering the game. "The equipment loan from CPS really gave us some opportunities for our coverage we wouldn't have otherwise," said Carlos Avila Gonzalez, photo/video journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle. "When an event as large and globally renowned as this is in your area, you have to step up to deliver the kind of work that keeps readers and viewers engaged and constantly seeing your publication as the go-to source for visual content. Canon's help with equipment allowed us to provide that kind of coverage."
 
Canon Professional Services will be proudly attending to photographers at over 32 events this year including major sporting, auto racing, Hollywood, and political events throughout the year.
 
In addition to the lenses on the sideline, Canon’s line of HD broadcast lenses were also used extensively to help deliver the game to more than 110 million television viewers.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 2/9/2016 1:52:52 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality results have been added to the Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus Lens page.
 
I think that everyone expected awesomeness from this lens and I think that we got it. Here are some comparisons you might find interesting:
 
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Canon 24mm f/1.4L II Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Canon 35mm f/1.4L II Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Lens
 
There are many more comparisons available. Use one of those links to get started. Results from the EOS 5Ds R and EOS 7D Mark II will be available soon.
 
As with the other Otus lenses, price is going to be the biggest hurdle to one landing in your kit. B&H has the Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus Lens in stock (Nikon mount available for preorder).
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 2/9/2016 11:26:21 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From the Canon Professional Network:
"New levels of shooting performance — speeds to 14 fps, with AI Servo AF — along with 360,000 pixel RGB metering, multiple on-board processors, and so on mean that the EOS-1D X Mark II needs an even more powerful battery than in previous generation EOS-1D cameras. To meet these demands, the EOS-1D X Mark II is launched along with a higher-energy battery, the Canon LP-E19 battery pack."
For more detailed information on the LP-E19, including backwards compatibility, check out the full article on the Canon Professional Network.
 
B&H has the Canon LP-E19 Battery Pack and LC-E19 Battery Charger available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 2/9/2016 9:52:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
In a notice to its shareholders, Tamron has announced that it is replacing its President and CEO Morio Ono with the current Corporate Vice President, Shiro Ajisaka. Tamron listed "...to rejuvenate the company’s management structure" as the reason for the top level replacement.
 
We really liked where Tamron was headed with their 35mm and 45mm f/1.8 VC primes released late last year. It will be interesting to see how this change in management impacts the already evolving product line.
Posted to: Canon News,
Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 2/9/2016 6:35:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed a patent for an EF-S 18-100mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM optical design.
 
Description of Patent
 
Patent Publication No. 2016-1224
 
  • Published 2016.1.7
  • Filing date 2014.6.11
  • Focal length 18.59 47.22 94.99
  • F-number 3.60 4.92 5.88
  • Half angle of view (degrees) 36.31 16.14 8.18
  • Image height 13.66 13.66 13.66
  • The total lens length 137.78 158.04 178.30
  • BF 35.39 52.79 64.61
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 2/9/2016 5:45:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, February 8, 2016
B&H has the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 ZE for Canon in stock with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 2/8/2016 11:06:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
I find rockslides photographically entertaining and the lichen-covered granite rocks found on the south side base of Deboullie Mountain (Deboullie Public Reserved Land, North Maine Woods, T15, R9, Maine) make this rockslide especially so.
 
The composition of this image was not very complicated. I zoomed out to 10mm and moved in close to a set of rocks with one having a particularly strong amount of lichen growing on it. I chose the camera elevation to keep the top point of that most-prominent rock within the water background, avoiding additional line intersections and adding to the horizontal layers effect in the upper portion of the frame. I then adjusted the camera distance to fully frame the closest rocks and avoid strong lines of contrast leaving the frame.
 
Since the sky was clear and blue in color, I didn't need a lot in it in the frame for this particular image. I chose to keep enough sky to yield a clean top border and to add a full layer of blue color over and contrasting with the distant evergreens.
 
This photo was captured handheld. I used the in-viewfinder electronic level to keep the image properly leveled and captured two frames. One frame was focused closer than the other and the two were manually focus stacked during post processing. Alternatively, a narrower aperture could have been used, but with the clean separation of foreground and background, I chose to use a sharper aperture (f/8 shows less diffraction softening than f/11 or f/16) and the focus stacking technique.
 
This capture was timed with early evening, resulting in the best possible light quality just prior to the rocks went into full shade. While I frequently use a circular polarizer filter when photographing landscapes, I chose not to in this case. Because the sun was at a relatively low angle to my side and because I was using a wide angle focal length, the sky would have showed strong uneven darkening if this filter was used.
 
A Canon EOS Rebel camera and EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens make a great lightweight combination for hiking.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
10mm  f/8.0  1/160s
ISO 100
5400 x 3600px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 2/8/2016 10:03:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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