With the Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter scheduled to begin shipping today, I expected that new firmwares for compatible DSLRs would be available this morning. However, while a new 7D Mark II firmware was easy to locate, I was surprised to find the EOS 5Ds / 5DS R firmware update missing.
Then I came across the actual firmware update announcement from Canon Japan for the 5Ds / 5Ds R (published in late August) which explains that the ultra-high resolution bodies' new firmwares are planned for a November release.
So it looks like all the 5Ds and 5Ds R customers who preordered the W-E1 will have to wait a couple of months before they can use the [hopefully] nifty little device. Why Canon failed to have the new firmware available at the time of the W-E1's release is unknown.
Ready for your out of the box experience?
Like so many of you, I highly anticipated the arrival of the 5D Mark IV and as has long been my practice, I created a list of setup steps and once again share them with you here.
Here are the 41 steps to my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV setup.
Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait. Or, the supplied battery may have enough charge to take you through these steps if you can't wait.
While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk.
Download and install the latest Canon EOS 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.
Attach the neck strap.
Insert a sufficiently charged battery.
Power the camera on.
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.
Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting)
Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses - all can be applied to a RAW file in DPP)
Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H1(102400), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-32000
Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Disabled
Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
Shooting Menu, Tab 3: 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.)
Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to image details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus priority (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus priority +2 (same reason)
AF Menu, Tab 3: One-Shot AF release priority: Focus priority (same reason)
AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
AF Menu, Tab 4: Auto AF point selection: EOS iTR AF: EOS iTR AF (face priority)
Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
Setup Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
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
Mount a lens, focus on a subject and adjust the viewfinder diopter (if necessary)
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 ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands — September 7, 2016 – The SIGMA CORPORATION is pleased to announce that it will enter into the cinema lens market with the release of its SIGMA CINE LENSES, designed specifically for cinematography. In the world of digital film production, there is an increasing demand for higher resolution, and SIGMA’s new lineup of high-performance lenses is compatible with the latest, high-resolution digital cinema cameras. SIGMA has developed its own production system by establishing the required technology for mass production of high-performance lenses for ultra-mega-pixel shooting.
The company feels this valuable new lens line could create a fundamental change in digital film production, and provide a new solution for cinematographers.
Unbeatable value – the highest optical performance in its class and outstanding compact design
Wide range of lenses for professional use
Optimized for the latest digital moviemaking technology
For the first phase, SIGMA will release two zoom lenses in Japan and the USA for EF and E mount camera systems. Furthermore, another zoom lens and five prime lenses will be released to the market in sequence from 2017 onward. SIGMA plans to develop additional zoom and prime lenses as well as add support for PL mount camera systems. The latest release information will be sequentially updated on its official website.
High Speed Zoom Line High Speed Zoom Line offers the constant aperture of T2 throughout the zoom range, and the optical performance is ready for high-resolution shooting such as 6K - 8K. Furthermore, while offering the highest image quality in its class, the High Speed Zoom Line has a compact construction and offers amazing value.
FF Zoom Line FF Zoom Line is compatible with a full-frame image circle, and the optical performance is ready for high-resolution shooting such as 6K - 8K. It provides a rare option for cinematographers since very few lenses can cater to the requirements of the latest digital cinema cameras' image sensor, which is larger than Super 35, and expand the range of compatible cameras. This is the cinema zoom lens offering the highest image quality and compact design. This lens is not available in PL mount.
FF High Speed Prime Line The lineup ranges from 20mm to 85mm, and all five lenses are T1.5. They are compatible with full-frame sensors and, while being more compact, can offer superior resolution than other high-end prime sets do. With the five prime lenses from FF High Speed Prime Line, there is no need to change the lighting to shoot a variety of cuts. These lenses bring a consistent level of light to the production and offer greater consistency with regards to the film’s look and color/contrast before it enters post-production.
Each CINE lens model is weatherproof and has luminous paint markings to aid in changing and operating the lens in the dark. It touts a long focus rotation of 180 degrees and is guided by cams for smooth operation and accuracy. The CINE lens design features standardized essentials such as an 82mm front for ND filters* and a 95mm front diameter for matte box use and standard gear positions for accessories like follow focus. They also include a manual linear iris control and electronic mounts that provide vital camera metadata. Each lens is manufactured and inspected in the SIGMA factory located in Aizu, Japan.
Availability & Pricing Availability: toward the end of 2016 (in Japan and USA in the first phase) Pricing: TBD Mounts: Initially Canon-EF and Sony-E to be followed later by PL
A fast, 85mm prime lens is often a portrait photographer's best friend. The focal length helps to create a flattering perspective (ideal for faces) while the wide aperture aids in separating a subject (or subjects) from the background.
As such, many planning to invest in an 85mm prime will likely consider the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM and Tamron 85mm f/1.8 VC USD. To assist in the decision making process between these two lenses, we're going to take a look at how they compare.
First off, let's start off with the similarities. Both lenses feature the same focal length and same wide f/1.8 aperture. Both are compatible with full frame cameras as well as APS-C sensor cameras. There, that was easy. Now let's move onto the differences.
The Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM was released in 1992; the Tamron 85mm f/1.8 VC was released earlier this year (2016). The Tamron exhibits more even sharpness from the center of the frame to the corners, where it is noticeably better than the Canon. The IQ difference is significant, especially when factoring in the Canon's rather heavy CA wide open. Distortion is slightly better controlled with the Tamron (but neither is bad) and the third-party lens handles flare a bit better too.
The Tamron also features Vibration Control rated to 3.5 stops of assistance, meaning you can handhold this lens in much lower light compared to the Canon. For many, that additional feature alone would be the deciding factor in choosing the Tamron lens over the Canon offering. Tamron also offers a significantly longer warranty than Canon (6-years vs. 1-year).
So far, it looks like the Tamron is the clear winner of this comparison. But the Canon has three important advantages that should not be overlooked – size/weight, consistently accurate AF and a much lower price.
The Canon is smaller (2.96 x 3.15” vs. 3.36 x 3.9”) and significantly lighter (15.2 oz vs. 26.1 oz). Those packing and traveling with the lens may appreciate the Canon's edge in portability.
As Tamron must reverse engineer Canon's AF algorithms as opposed to having the blueprints at hand, you can expect the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM to focus more consistently with better AI Servo tracking. Note that the Tamron also suffers from focus shift as the aperture is stopped down. To compensate for this behavior, you may need to focus slightly in front of your subject when using narrower apertures.
One way Tamron is dealing with AF issues (including the possibility of incompatibility with future DSLRs) is by copying Sigma's approach of end-user firmware upgrades and AF customizability with the introduction of their TAP-in Console. Purchasing the relatively inexpensive accessory (compatible with recently announced Tamron lenses) will ensure your lens works the best that it possibly can.
Now let's look at prices. At full MSRP, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 acquisition would require only 56% of the investment required to purchase the Tamron. And with the Canon currently qualifying for an instant rebate, you could purchase two of the Canon lenses for the price of the Tamron. For budget-conscious consumers (especially those investing in their first prime lens), the price difference will be the biggest deciding factor.
Some may wonder why I didn't include the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM in this comparison. From my point of view, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM is a more specialized tool and carries a price tag to reflect its status. If you need its 1-stop aperture advantage, there is nothing else that is comparable. And as far as the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 goes... it's currently listed as "discontinued" at B&H (Canon mount).
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV page has been significantly updated with lots of additional information since last mentioned here.
This camera should be on the streets very soon. B&H is still indicating that the 5D IV body and w/EF 24-70mm f/4L IS Lens kit "Will begin shipping Thu, Sep 8" with the added disclaimer "(Subject to availability)". Adorama is saying "Manufacturer will start shipping this item on 09/08/2016." Amazon is stating "This item will be released on September 8, 2016." September 8th is only two days away – Woo hoo!
The 5D IV kit with the new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens is not scheduled arrive at retailers until October 31st. However, with no savings realized by the kit purchase, my recommendation is to preorder the camera and lens individually. You'll then get both as quickly as possible.
The Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for the EOS 5D Mark IV is also scheduled to arrive on September 8th. While not inexpensive, the price of this accessory has settled down to the $349.00 price that B&H initially listed. There was apparently some confusion early on as Adorama and Amazon initially priced the BG-E20 at $490.00.
Also scheduled to arrive on September 8th is the Canon WE-1 Wi-Fi Adapter. Because new firmware is necessary for this adapter to work, expect new Canon EOS 5Ds, 5Ds R and 7D Mark II firmware to also become available very soon. We'll share that news as soon as we have it.
Important: Using this site's links to place your preorders provides the support we need to keep this site maintained. Thanks for that!
One of the major differences between a snapshot and a beautifully crafted photo is the lighting. Using only available light limits where and when you can take photos. Adding flash gives you endless creative possibilities no matter where you go or what time of day or night. This lecture will first show you how to use as little as one off-camera Speedlite to control and create stand out photos. Then you'll learn how to use as many as 3 Speedlites to create studio quality masterpieces.
Lens design renovated, and lens now equipped with fluorine coating. A light and compact high-power zoom lens with 15x magnification.
18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008TS)
Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Shiro Ajisaka; Headquarters: Saitama City), a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces launch in the Japanese market of “18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008TS),” now equipped with fluorine coating and with its external design renovated from “18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008),” launched in 2010 as a high-power zoom lens exclusively for APS-C format digital SLR cameras.
External design renovated The zoom ring and focus ring using linear-based grid patterns and the brand ring in tungsten silver create an external design with a high-grade feel.
Equipped with fluorine coating to improve user-friendliness for the lens The front surface of the lens element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that is water- and oil-repellant. The lens surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture and fingerprints.
Date of Launch: September 8, 2016. The Canon and Nikon mount model will be launched simultaneously (launch only in the Japanese market).
Changes from Firmware Versions “A” 1.00/“B” 1.00 to Versions “A” 1.01/“B” 1.00
Fixed an issue that caused the camera to stop responding if an ML-L3 remote control was used to take pictures in live view with On selected for Image review in the PLAYBACK MENU after red-eye reduction was selected as the flash mode.
Today I'm going to update my "Useful Photography Apps for Android" (circa 2013) to include a few new apps I've come across over the past three years. I'll also be including the apps from my original post so that all of the apps appear in the same post.
All of these apps are designed for use on Android devices. However, if you're using an iOS device, don't worry. Many of the apps listed here have iOS versions, too, or else comparable apps can usually be found in the Apple App Store.
1.Lenstag (Free / $19.00 annually for Lenstag Pro) [iOS version]
Lenstag offers "free, easy theft protection for all your cameras and lenses." Here's how it works:
Take pictures of the items' serial numbers and upload the images to verify ownership.
If your item(s) is/are missing or stolen, Lenstag will create a public webpage with the relevant information (gear/serial numbers) which will be found if anyone searches for the gear online to verify it hasn't been stolen.
Granted, the protection is only helpful if a potential buyer does a preventative, online serial number search, but... it's a free service and can't hurt. Plus having a central location for all your serial numbers is a nice resource to have on hand.
Lenstag also offers free customers access to a standardized model release and a DMCA takedown notice (*.docx files). For $19.00/year, the Lenstag Pro service allows access to many more customizable documents and enables a $500.00 reward benefit if your gear is stolen.
Spectrometers – devices used to analyze the color of light – are expensive. I often need a ballpark figure for the color of ambient light in a scene in order to properly gel my flashes or otherwise determine the closest setting on my variable color LED lights.
While I don't think the app is as precise as the devices I linked to above, it does a good job of giving me the ballpark figure I need to find the right colored gel (or LED light color setting) for a particular scene.
For anyone planning to do night sky photography, this app is for you. The app displays which areas have the least light pollution so you can make the most of your starry night captures. The Pro version gets rid of the ads, features higher resolution maps, cloud overlays and the ability to save your favorite locations. While certainly more expensive than the typical app, I thought it was worth the cost of the Pro upgrade.
Even though I'm a huge fan of Swiss Army knives with their ability to tackle a huge variety of needs, I also enjoy it when a something does just one thing extremely well. And that's exactly how I would describe Exposure Calculator. The app is useful for calculating exposures when ND filters are used. While calculating the exposure required when a 2-stop ND filter is used, the calculation gets more complicated as the filter density goes up. Of course, you could do the calculation in your head as you mount your 10-stop ND, but... why bother?
Note that development on this app has ceased. It may not work with newer devices.
While I have yet to fully utilize the capabilities of the Lightroom app (like editing on-the-go), I usually keep the last wedding I shot synced with Lightroom Mobile so that I can show potential clients the kinds of results they can expect if they wish to hire me.
If you've ever used DOFMaster online, then you will immediately understand the usefulness of this app. Plug in your variables such as camera sensor size, focal length, aperture and subject distance and the app will calculate how much depth-of-field you can expect (total / in front of and behind the subject) and the hyperfocal distance when using those specific variables.
gps4cam allows you to geotag your images using your phone or tablet's GPS. Just start the app, put the mobile device in your pocket (or bag) and head off for your photography adventure. The neat thing about gps4cam is that your phone and your camera's dates and times don't have to be synchronized in order for it to work. The program uses a QR code (the last image captured should be the QR code) to properly synchronize the track log with the times that the images were captured. Download the free gps4cam Desktop Client on the gps4cam website.
While this app's relevance has diminished recently with many newly released Canon DSLRs featuring built-in GPS, there are still quite a few that do not and this app can provide GPS-tagging functionality at a very fair price.
The Photographer's Ephemeris is a fantastic app that can show you where the sun and moon will be in the sky for any specified date, time and location. I often use the app when planning potrait sessions to determine the optimal session time according to the position of the sun in the desired location. It's also incredibly handy for planning landscape photography trips, too.
Be sure to also check out the free web app for easy desktop viewing.
Easy Release - Model Releases is an app I have used many, many times. The app generates model or property releases on your phone. You simply fill in the details (Shoot Name, Location, Date, Subject Info, etc) and a release is automatically generated. Once generated, signatures using the phone's touchscreen are required to complete the process. Once complete, a PDF of the release can be emailed to the Photographer and/or the model/property owner. The releases generated by Easy Release are approved for use by Getty Images, iStockPhoto and Alamy (among others).
There is a good reason why I've listed the Canon Camera Connect app last in this list and why the screenshot above wasn't taken directly from my phone (like the others above). I don't actually have the Canon Camera Connect app installed because none of the Canon DSLRs I use feature built-in Wi-Fi, so I cannot attest to how well it works first-hand. With my W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter on preorder I look forward to adding the capabilities of the Canon Camera Connect app very soon. The two ways I currently control my camera using a mobile device – CamFi and my own DIY battery-operated Wi-Fi router paired with DSLR Controller – require me to have the camera's compatible USB cord on hand as well as requiring another battery to be kept charged.
Using the W-E1 and Canon Camera Connect app with my EOS 7D Mark II should prove to be a simpler, easier-to-pack solution that should provide much (but not all) of the same functionality as the solutions requiring a separate device. If you already own a Wi-Fi enabled Canon DSLR, or else have the W-E1 (when available) and compatible camera, installing the free Canon Camera Connect app is a no-brainer.
Well, those are my selections for the most useful apps for photographers. Do you have any suggestions to add to the list?
The Wilcox Pass Trail is one of the highest-rated trails in Jasper National Park (Alberta, Canada). While I have not hiked most of the trails in this park, I have hiked a lot of trails and can say that this is one of my favorites.
The 6.8 mile round trip hike (we stretched it closer to 10 miles) starts just below the tree line and quickly ascends above it into the alpine meadows. From that point on, the views are continuously excellent. The Athabasca Glacier, a significant toe of the Columbia Icefield, is always visible to the west and a multitude of mountain peaks surround the entire area.
If I hike this trail again, I will have a second camera body along as I spent too much time changing lenses. The primary driver for the lens changes were frequent wildlife encounters and telephoto landscape photo ops interspersed with wide angle landscape opportunities. To take advantage of all situations, I was constantly changing between the two lenses I brought.
Yes, another camera body would have added a bit of weight to my kit (the reason I didn't take it), but I probably exerted more energy changing lenses than I would have simply carrying the additional camera body. And, changing lenses at a high altitude often means wind, which often means risk of dust finding its way onto the sensor, leaving spots in the images. Fortunately, the 5Ds R did a great job of avoiding the dust and I had no cloning tasks to add to the post processing of this hike's take home.
I selected this image to share with you because I like how the lines in rock and the clouds point (lead the eye) to Wilcox Peak. As you likely already guessed, the 16-35mm f/4L IS was used to capture it.
Absent from my short gear list above is a tripod and for weight reasons, I was sans tripod on this hike. While the 1/80 second shutter speed may seem easily hand-holdable at 16mm even on a 5Ds R, that was not the case as the wind was very strong. Image stabilization proved quite valuable to me in this situation.