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 Thursday, June 25, 2015
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera
Still Live: eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera available for $1,199.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,499.00 after $300.00 instant rebate.
 
You may also qualify for $24.00 in eBay Bucks with this purchase.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty. However, the auction advertises that the item comes with a 1-year warranty provided by the seller.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 8:16:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Adobe Logo
If you are one of the customers who took advantage of Adobe's previous free trial offer but didn't bite, Adobe wants you to try Creative Cloud one more time...
 
Programs eligible for a free 30-day trial include Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC. Users who have already taken advantage of a free trial can begin a new trial by opening the Creative Cloud application and clicking ‘Update.'
 
Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan (USD$9.99 per month) includes Photoshop CC, Photoshop Mix and Lightroom CC across desktop, web and mobile.
Post Date: 6/25/2015 7:43:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For a limited time, DigitalRev has the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens (review) available for $514.00. Compare at $669.00 after $300.00 instant rebate.
 
Note: When purchased by US customers, items sold by DigitalRev are considered grey market.
Post Date: 6/25/2015 7:01:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 
In this video, B&H provides some hands on insights regarding the Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Mic System.
 
This looks very similar to the RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker Kit that was released earlier this year (though the AT System 10 came out first). I've been researching audio recording options over the past few months and I've been weighing the pros and cons of this type of setup. I'm not quite sure what I'll eventually end up with, but Audio-Technica System 10 is now high on the list of possibilities. [Sean]
 
B&H carries the Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Mic System.
Post Date: 6/24/2015 2:30:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
LenRentals Logo
From LensRentals:
 
We've extended our July 4th special! You can now use promo code JULY15 to save 15% on any rental arriving the week of July 4th (June 29 - July 3)!
 
Details
 
  • Order must be placed by 11:59 PM CDT on June 28th
  • Not combinable with other offers
To support this site, navigate to the appropriate product review and click the Rent button.
Post Date: 6/24/2015 1:08:24 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera
Hot Deal: eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera available for $1,199.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,499.00 after $300.00 instant rebate.
 
You may also qualify for $24.00 in eBay Bucks with this purchase.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty. However, the auction advertises that the item comes with a 1-year warranty provided by the seller.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/24/2015 10:50:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Impact EX Portrait Kit
For today only, B&H has the Impact EX Portrait Kit available for $164.85 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $236.85.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Impact 100Ws Flash Head
  • Reflector
  • 24 x 24" Softbox
  • Air-Cushioned Light Stand
  • Telescopic Arm
  • 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector: 32"
Post Date: 6/24/2015 10:45:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
ISO noise test results have been added to the Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R review pages.
 
As the rule goes with today's technology, along with a higher density sensor comes increased noise levels. Design a sensor with a pixel density equal to that of current APS-C sensors and ... one should expect noise levels that are similar to those in APS-C DSLRs. Make no mistake, Canon has not marketed this camera for its clean low light/high ISO performance and that is reflected in the 5Ds' max ISO setting that is lower than what is found even in many current APS-C models. Canon initially indicated that the 5Ds' noise levels would be better than the 5D II and 7D II, but not as good as the 5D III.
 
My personal expectation was that, when compared at the pixel level, the 5Ds noise levels would be close to those of the not-long-prior released high end EOS 7D II APS-C DSLR and when the 50.6 MP image was scaled down to 5D III pixel dimensions, the 5Ds would have an advantage, producing noise levels similar to or better than the 5D Mark III.
 
As I was very anxious to see the 5Ds noise test results, this test was a near-first order of business when the cameras arrived and these test results can be found in the noise comparison tool. Note that the "Standard" results in these tests include no noise reduction. This is not a default setting, but these results show what the camera itself can do. The color blocks, having areas of solid color, make ISO noise very apparent. If you can't see a difference in noise when comparing the color blocks between cameras, you are not likely to see any difference in your images. If the difference is tiny, there are likely other camera features that will be more influential in your decision making process.
 
Getting an important comparison out of the way: the noise difference between the 5Ds and 5Ds R is indiscernible. Noise is not a decision factor for choosing between these two cameras.
 
A large number of photographers looking for the resolution offered by this camera will be capturing commercial, studio, portrait, landscape, still life, architecture and a great many other subjects that are most frequently captured at ISO 100 or 200 and those images will be very clean. A very small amount of noise can be seen at ISO 400. Noise levels basically double as full stop ISO range settings are traversed with noise becoming strong but tolerable at 3200. Though this camera's highest ISO setting is 12800 (H), the noise levels are such that ISO 12800 images can be usable for some purposes. That is something I haven't been able to say about the highest ISO settings of any DSLR in a very long time.
 
Some may be disappointed that the 5Ds only goes to 12800 while cameras such as the 7D II have much higher ISO settings available, but ... bragging right appears to be the only useful value for the 7D II's ISO 51200 setting (or ISO 25600 for that matter). I can't think of a use I have for an image with that much noise.
 
If you were one of the few that use APS-C ISO 25600 or ISO 51200, simply dial in another stop or two of brightness while post processing. The 5Ds ISO 12800 images can be brightened during post processing to achieve the same 7D II ISO 51200 equivalent with similar amounts of noise. See the "Simulated High ISO" result set in the noise comparison tool for these examples. Brighten 5Ds ISO 12800 images by three stops to get to the 5D Mark III max ISO 102400 equivalent. Then downsize the 5Ds results to the 5D III pixel dimensions and the results are similar (and equally unusable to me). I applaud Canon for designing a realistic max ISO setting into this camera.
 
After getting over the striking resolution difference between the 7D II and 5Ds, it is apparent that these two bodies have very similar amounts of noise at the pixel level with the 5Ds having a slight advantage at the highest settings. Downsize the 5Ds results to 7D II dimensions and the 5Ds has at least 1 stop of advantage.
 
When compared at native resolutions, 5Ds images are noisier than 5D III images. The differences, especially at higher ISO settings, are less than 1 stop. Down-sized to 5D III pixel dimension (using DPP, see "Standard Down-Sized to 5D III" in noise tool), 5Ds noise levels are essentially equal to full frame 5D III noise levels and even slightly better at the highest ISO settings. So, while Canon's is not promoting this camera for its low light capabilities, I see it as one of the best options available with output size being comparable.
 
Additional 5Ds and 5Ds R example sets available in the noise comparison tool include "JPG No NR" (JPG Capture, Standard Picture Style, No Noise Reduction), JPG STD NR (JPG Capture, Standard Picture Style, Standard Noise Reduction), RAW STD NR (RAW Capture, Standard Picture Style, Standard Noise Reduction) and MSNR (Multi-Shot Noise Reduction). All four of these sets utilize Canon's default USM sharpness settings that are too strong for my taste (though the increased default sharpness will make softer lenses appear sharp). Look for the bright borders to the black lines when comparing to the "Standard" results – the color blocks should not have halos around them. On the positive side, this sharpening appears better at higher ISO settings, with image details remaining sharp while noise is significantly removed.
 
I use the Neutral Picture Style in-camera with RAW capture because it applies a lower contrast tone curve to images, providing a better picture of the camera's available dynamic range on the histogram shown on the LCD. Neutral Picture Style results appear somewhat dull. There is a time for the use of the Neutral Picture Style in production, but I usually change my RAW images to the Standard PS immediately after importing them and then adjust sharpness to a lower level.
 
The three sets of with-noise reduction samples all utilize Canon's default "Standard" reduction level. The 5Ds offers three levels of in-camera noise reduction and unlimited levels are available in the various post processing options. The RAW vs. in-camera JPG noise reduction samples are not identical, but I don't see a compelling reason to use in-camera JPG noise reduction over having the ability to adjust noise reduction during post-processing. Noise reduction can noticeably eliminate noise, but the collateral damage is elimination of some subject details along with the noise. Sharpness can also be decreased. Ideal is to dial in the right amount of noise reduction for your particular image. I seldom use noise reduction in the lower ISO range.
 
The Multi-shot Noise Reduction (MSNR) is an additional in-camera option available in many of the latest EOS models including the 5Ds. MSNR merges information from multiple (four) exposures taken in a full-frame-rate burst into a reduced noise image. The concept makes a lot of sense. MSNR provides a remarkable one stop or more of noise reduction, but ... I still have not found a compelling use for this feature.
 
The downsides to Multi-Shot Noise Reduction include: MSNR is currently available only with JPG output (I would like to see this feature added to Canon's Digital Photo Pro software for RAW capture processing - perhaps as another HDR preset). Multi-Shot Noise Reduction is not so useful with moving subjects (or with a moving camera). Long exposure NR, Dust Delete Data, Multiple Exposure and HDR Mode must be set to off to enable MSNR. The 5Ds reverts back to Standard NR in Auto/Basic zone modes, during video recording, in Bulb mode and when the camera is powered off. Flash is not supported in MSNR mode. After the 4 shot burst is captured, the camera remains "busy" for a noticeable period of time while processing the merged image. So, while this feature is a nice idea, its limitations make it less useful in real-world applications. I am far more likely to use a low ISO setting with a longer exposure when shooting stationary subject from a tripod.
 
EOS 5Ds ISO settings are available in 1/3 stop settings from 100 through 6400 with extended L (50) and H (12800) settings also available.
 
Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R Noise Performance Summary
 
In summary, the 5Ds and 5Ds R (equally) deliver very clean, smooth results at low ISO settings despite their incredible resolution. While these cameras are more similar to the latest APS-C models in their pixel-level high ISO noise, downsizing the ultra-high resolution images to match any other class-leading full frame, low noise-level camera shows the 5Ds to be at least an equal in performance. While the 5Ds may not take low light performance to a whole new level, low light performance is not sacrificed and this camera competes strongly with the best available in this regard.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/24/2015 8:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Manfrotto XPRO Ball Heads
June 23, 2015 – Manfrotto, world leader in the photography and imaging equipment and accessories industry, announces the launch of the new XPRO Ball Head. Designed for passionate, advanced hobbyist photographers and experienced professionals, the new XPRO Ball Head completes the XPRO Heads range that is dedicated to the new 190 and 055 tripods.
 
It ensures three features essential to photographers: extreme precision, thanks to its Triple Locking System; portability, with a hard-wearing magnesium body; simplicity and convenience, thanks to its 200PL and Top Lock camera plates.
 
PRECISION
Introducing a new sphere lock mechanism, and triple locking system, the XPRO Ball Head is a state of the art head in the Manfrotto ball heads range. The triple locking system guarantees the camera position stability and avoids drifting. It consists of three wedges which apply pressure to the sphere to lock it in position, as the ball lock lever is rotated. The new polymer rings mean that photographers can count on extreme accuracy, and together with the sphere’s PTFE treatment the head ensures smooth, accurate and less jerky camera movement. The innovative sprung system means that, should the lever butt against something during the locking movement, it is possible to pull the lever and rotate to avoid any interference and reposition so it is ready for use. Finally, the levelling bubble helps the user level compositions precisely reducing post-production work.
 
PORTABILITY
Its magnesium alloy body, together with the new hollow sphere, enables the XPRO Ball Head to guarantee high payload performance while maintaining an extremely light structure. It weighs a mere 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs), but can support up to 10kg (22 lbs) of payload.
 
SIMPLICITY & CONVENIENCE
To match various needs, the XPRO Ball Head comes in two plate versions, each with a specific plate. The 200PL is the most common Manfrotto plate: its compact size and lightweight aluminium construction allow it to stay constantly attached under the camera – ideal for advanced hobbyists who are looking for a practical, easy to use product. The Top Lock is an innovative solution for experienced professionals, who need to feel totally secure even when using heavy and expensive high-end camera gear. The XPRO Ball Head is available in two versions that are distinguishable by the coloured finish on their magnesium body: the black version comes with the 200PL, while the grey version comes with the safe and rapid Top Lock System, the MSQ6PL (Arca-Swiss compatible) plate. The new XPRO Ball Head’s design follows the iconic new styling that unites Manfrotto’s entire offering for advanced hobbyists and professionals – while boasting groundbreaking technology, further proof of Manfrotto’s commitment to research and development.
 
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Manfrotto XPRO Ball Heads are available now from authorized resellers. The Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Quick-Release System retails for an MSRP of $149.88 while the MHXPRO-BHQ6 XPRO Ball Head with Top Lock Quick-Release System retails for an MSRP of $199.88.
 
B&H carries the Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Heads.
Category: Manfrotto News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 5:34:26 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 FX Lens
From Kenko Tokina USA:
 
JUNE 23, 2015 – Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is excited to announce the new Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens designed for use with Canon and Nikon full-frame sensor DSLR cameras.
 
Tokina’s latest addition to its family gives full-frame photographers a 24mm wide-angle to 70mm moderate telephoto lens with a fast F/2.8 aperture at an affordable price.
 
The new groundbreaking proprietary optical design uses three precision molded all-glass aspherical lens elements to achieve excellent contrast, sharpness, and corrects for spherical aberrations. One of these elements is very special and difficult to manufacture. G09, is made from Super-Low Dispersion (SD) glass and is a large sized aspherical element.
 
These lens elements also yield even illumination across the whole image sensor.
 
The Tokina 24-70MM lens also uses three SD (super-low Dispersion, “FK01” and FK03”) glass elements in the rear groups to control chromatic aberrations.
 
All these specialized lens elements work in consort to yield maximum resolution to match the 50-megapixel DSLR cameras entering the market.
 
The fast constant F/2.8 aperture makes viewing and auto focusing possible in very low light situations while keeping some flexibility for setting the shutter speed.
 
In addition to excellent optics, the lens incorporates a fast moving SDM (Silent Drive-Module) motor to greatly reduce AF noise making it one of Tokina’s quickest and quietest auto-focusing lenses to date.
 
Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the lens mount for manual focusing. The lens is also designed to stand up to the rigors of daily use by photographers in a wide variety of shooting conditions and environments.
 
Specifications:
 
Mount AvailabilityCanon, Nikon
Focal Length24-70MM
Full Frame Sensor Comp’Yes
Maximum ApertureF/2.8
Minimum ApertureF/22
Optical Construction15 Elements / 11 Groups
CoatingsMulti-layer coatings
Angle of View84.20° – 34.49°
Minimum Focus Distance14.96 in. (0.38m)
Reproduction Ratio1
Zooming SystemRotary Zoom
Number of Diaphragm Blades9
Filter Size82mm
Maximum Outer Diameter3.52 in. (89.6mm)
Dimensions4.23 in. (107.5mm L) x 3.52 in. (89.6mm W)
Weight35.63 oz. (1,010g)
Lens HoodBH-822 Included with lens (pictured)
ETAAugust
Price$999.00

B&H has the Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 FX Lens available for preorder with an expected availability at the "End of August."
Category: Tokina News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 2:54:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Logo
From Canon USA:
 
Colorful Balloons Create Vivid Imagery in Bright New Mexico Sky that Inspire Visitors to Capture Dreamlike Moments with Canon See Impossible
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., JUNE 23, 2015 – Filling Albuquerque's skies for a picture perfect moment, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that it is the Presenting Sponsor for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a world-renowned attraction and destination from Oct. 3-11, 2015 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As part of the sponsorship, Canon will present the Opening Day Mass Ascension that highlights the launch of 550 colorful hot air and gas balloons. The Company will also present the spectacular Night Magic Glow, where balloons light up the night sky on the second Saturday of the Balloon Fiesta. To mark the beginning of this significant three-year sponsorship, a Canon See Impossible balloon will fly through the sky.
 
"We are thrilled to have Canon come onboard as the Presenting Sponsor. We look forward to this partnership creating exciting opportunities for our guests and community," said Balloon Fiesta board president, Mike Rice.
 
As the Official Imaging Company of the Balloon Fiesta, Canon will host hands-on activities to allow attendees to experience the wide array of its photographic and printing products, and will provide educational experiences to help attendees see impossible and capture photos and videos like never before. Additionally, Canon is collaborating with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to present the Cindy Petrehn Memorial Photo Contest, where attendees can share and submit their favorite photographs of the luminous event.
 
"As one of the most photographed events in the world, being the presenting sponsor of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a natural fit for us," said Eliott Peck, senior vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "Our sponsorship is a testament to our commitment to the local Albuquerque community and our customers. Through this initiative, we want to inspire hundreds of thousands of attendees to showcase their creativity and learn how the right tools can help preserve memorable moments for years to come."
 
Want to watch the the balloons soar above Albuquerque? Expedia can help you get your travel plans in order.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 1:30:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angle Macro Lens
From Venus Optics:
 
The first 1:1 Macro lens with a 110° angle of view. It offers an impactful and unprecendented macro photography experience.
 
Anhui China, Jun 12, 2015 – Venus Optics, the Chinese camera lenses manufacturer who had launched the world’s first 2:1 Macro Lens in last Sept, has just released the world’s widest Macro lens for full frame cameras, Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angled 1:1 Macro Lens.
 
The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens is the first lens in the market which posseses a ultra wide angle of view and 1:1 Macro ability. This allows photographers from around the world to start experiencing the rather undeveloped field of ‘Wide Angle Macro Photography’ without using an extension tube. Macro Lenses currently in the market tends to have a mid to long focal length and it limits users to take very close-up shots on the insect or flowers, without showing much of the background details like its habitat or environment.
 
The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens features an ultra wide angle of view of 110 degrees with 1:1 maximum magnification. Photographers can focus very close to the subject and let the foreground dominates in the photo but at the same time, have the background telling viewers about where and how the subject lives. You picture will immdiately become very informative and intriguing.
 
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f 4 Wide Angle Macro Lens Sample Image

Full Resolution Samples (see Update)
Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3 | Image 4 | Image 5 | Image 6
 
The lens can also serve as an excellent ultra-wide angle lenses with infinity focus for cameras with full frame sensors. A shift mechanism is added at the rear end of the lens with a maximum adjustment of +/- 6mm, which is extremely useful for landscape/architecture photography for distortion correction.
 
The lens houses with 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 pieces of High Refractive elements and 1 piece of Extra-low dispersion elements to deliver crystal sharpness both in the center and the edge. Barrel Distortion was also carefully controlled. 14 pieces of aperture blades form a close-to-circular aperture, capable of creating creamy shallow depth of view. The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Sony FE and Pentax K mounts are available.
 
Product Specifications
 
Focal Length15mm
Maximum Aperturef/4
Minimum Aperture f/32
Angle of View110 degrees (FF) 85 degrees (APS-C)
Format CompatibilityFull Frame
Shift (for APS-C sensors only) +/- 6 mm
Lens Structure12 elements in 9 groups
(High Refractive Elements x 3pcs, Extra-low Disperson Elements x 1pc)
Aperture Blades 14
Min. working distance0.47 cm (1:1)
Min. shooting distance12 cm
Max. Magnification Ratio1:01
FocusManual Focus
Filter Thread77mm
Dimensions83.8 x 64.7 mm
Weight410g
MountsCanon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Sony FE

Pricing and Availability
The Laowa 15mm f/4 wide-angle macro lens will be available in late July at authorized resellers. The recommended retail price is at USD $479.00.
Post Date: 6/23/2015 11:12:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (review) available for $612.99 with free shipping. Compare at $999.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 10:12:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Refurbished Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens (review) available for $199.95 with free expedited shipping. Compare at $299.00 new.
Canon EOS 5Ds R Resolution Chart Test Results
Because the new Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R have such extreme resolution, image quality test results from these cameras show only a small subset of the test chart details compared to even the highest resolution camera previously included in this tool. I lamented about the loss of details yesterday and promised to work on a solution. My first pass at this solution is now live.
 
For any results captured with the 5Ds or 5Ds R cameras, an additional three crops are presented below the original three. This strategy allows the new cameras to be integrated into the existing tool while preserving the integrity of the previously existing results. The new crops include the numbers from the chart that are just outside of the original center, mid-frame and corner crops.
 
You can test drive the enhancement here. Feedback and better ideas are welcomed!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 8:21:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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