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 Thursday, October 13, 2016
From Canon USA:
 
The New Collaboration Will Promote Consumer Safety Around Intellectual Property (IP) Theft and Safety Concerns Related to Counterfeit Power Accessories
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., October 13, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its collaboration with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to promote awareness around the safety risks of using counterfeit power accessories, such as batteries, chargers, and external flashes. The production and sale of counterfeit products is an issue that not only affects the consumer electronics industry, but can affect consumer safety as well. The launch of this collaboration is scheduled to coincide with Crime Prevention Month in October, and will continue through 2017.
 
Together with Canon U.S.A., NCPC will use its resources to provide educational tools to crime prevention practitioners, law enforcement officials, and educators who, in turn, can use those resources to teach their communities about the dangers of purchasing counterfeits. The awareness campaign will also include digital messaging directed to consumers and public service announcements as well as other videos featuring McGruff the Crime Dog.
 
Counterfeit items are illegal replicas of real products, designed to deceive and take advantage of the superior value of genuine merchandise. They are produced in a manner that is increasingly more difficult for average consumers to identify, which is why awareness and education efforts are so important. Furthermore, counterfeit power accessories can lead to potentially dangerous results. They typically do not contain important safety technologies and are not tested to meet industry safety standards. As a result, they may overheat, smoke, melt, ignite, or create power surges and electrical irregularities that may cause personal injury or property damage.
 
“The safety of our customers is of paramount importance,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We want to make sure our customers are aware of the dangers of counterfeit power accessories so they can avoid potential risks of hurting themselves or damaging their equipment.” “As counterfeiting of camera accessories continues to evolve, we want to make consumers aware of this risk so they can keep themselves and their equipment safe,” said Ann Harkins, president and CEO, NCPC. “Counterfeit products designed to look like genuine products from major camera manufacturers may cause damage to people and property.” NCPC is a private, nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization whose primary mission is to be the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families and their communities safe from crime.
 
To learn more about the campaign, please visit www.ncpc.org/stopfakes.
 
B&H carries genuine Canon accessories.
by Sean Setters
 
I ran across some UV/black light portraits not long ago and was intrigued by them. I decided to do some research to see if I could produce similar black light portraits on a reasonable budget.
 
When it comes to black light photography, you need two things – something that is fluorescent under UV/black light and a product to emit the light.” Searching for "black light makeup" on Amazon left me with dozens of options to choose from. I settled on an 8 tube set of water-based face paint. Next up, the black light.
 
Searching Amazon again I found a myriad of black light products available for purchase including flashlights, dance club lights and the run-of-the-mill black light bulb that many of us had in high school and/or college. After weighing the options I decided to get a couple of black light CFL bulbs that I could install in a three bulb floor lamp that I already owned (similar to this). The UV bulb reviews warned that the light emitted wasn't terribly powerful, but I hoped that using two bulbs positioned relatively close to the subject would do the trick.
 
And speaking of the subject, I was aware of a model here in Savannah (Kim) that was looking to expand her portfolio with "creative ideas." I contacted Kim to see if she'd like to try out some black light photography. I explained to her that I was completely inexperienced with this particular field of photography but I thought it might be fun and yield interesting results. She readily agreed and we set a session date.
 
After receiving the face paint and bulbs, I set up a small test in my studio to see how well the UV face paint glowed under the black lights. My initial tests were a little disappointing. It was early in the evening and I still had some ambient light coming through my studio windows. Considering that Kim was only available during the day, I knew I would have to limit the amount of ambient light that would be flooding into the room under broad daylight conditions to maximize the effect of the black lights. Thankfully I already had a couple of blackout curtains that I use to eliminate glare on my living room TV produced from a large pair of windows behind the couch. The blackout curtains allowed me to turn my studio nearly pitch black in the middle of the day.
 
For the background, I used the black side of a collapsible black/white background supported by a light stand and a Lastolite Magnetic Background Support.
 
When Kim arrived for the shoot she was carrying a box full of makeup. While the makeup she brought was superfluous in this case, it was comforting that she knew how to handle her own makeup needs. I handed her the bottles of face paint and the brushes and sponges I had purchased for application needs. I said, "Have fun with it! But from what I've read, the blue is more fluorescent than the other colors. You might want to use it sparingly."
 
However, working with the UV face paint proved problematic as it's quite watery (making it challenging to apply) and it doesn't show up very well in regular light, so it's difficult to judge exactly what the final results will look like. Kim simply had to deal with the first issue the best she could. However, the second issue was easily remedied by her applying the face paint in the darkened studio with the black lights illuminating her face.
 
Even knowing that blue was the most fluorescent color, we were still a bit surprised by just how much brighter it was compared to the other colors. In fact, Kim ended up washing off her first application of the blue paint so that her face wouldn't be overly bright in those areas.
 
With the face paint applied and my tripod mounted 5D Mark III and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (precursor to the version II) ready, we started shooting. I don't usually use constant lights for portraiture, so it was a little challenging finding the right balance of relatively slow (but fast enough) shutter speed without pushing the ISOs too high. Even wide open at f/2.8, I still needed shutter speeds of 1/30 - 1/40 second at ISO 6400 - 8000 with the black lights positioned just out of the frame.
 
After figuring out the exposure and shooting a few images, I quickly noticed that because there was very little light hitting the background (which is what I had intended), the photos lacked punch; it needed some light. I reached for a Canon 580EX Speedlite (precursor to the 600EX II-RT), added a deep blue gel, a speed strap and a 1/8-Inch Universal Honeycomb Grid. Even with the gel in place and the flash set to its minimum of 1/128, the light was too bright for my exposure settings. Adding a 1-stop ND gel to the mix helped bring the background light down to a tolerable level.
 
My favorite image from the shoot appears at the top of this post. Following are two more images from the session that I liked.
 
Kim Black Light Portraiture 2

Kim Black Light Portraiture 3

What I Learned
 
First off, UV/black light photography is really fun and quite economical. The black light bulbs I purchased have an 8,000-hour life expectancy, so their cost is very reasonable considering their life span. However, I wish I had gotten just one more bulb so that I could have shot with a higher shutter speed (for more keepers) or lower ISO (for cleaner images). The amount of face paint I received will likely be enough to cover 2-3 sessions, so the cost is relatively reasonable as well. Using a full frame camera (the 5D Mark III in this case) proved extremely beneficial in producing satisfactory results at my exposure settings (though I still applied some noise reduction in post-processing).
 
If you have any UV/black light specific recommendations (products / techniques), please leave them in the comments.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 10/13/2016 9:12:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
Photographing siblings takes practice, patience and a bit of silliness. Once you know your way around your camera, you can focus on being playful and doing what you need to do to get your kids to play along, so you can get that shot of your little ones together that you’ve been hoping for.
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/13/2016 5:48:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens page.
 
The MTF charts predicted good things in regards to 16-35 L III image quality and I think you will find that expectation delivered.
 
First, let's compare apples to apples: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III vs. II lens comparison. The III simply blows the II out of the water and clearly remains the better lens even at f/5.6.
 
The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens has become renowned for its performance. Simply equaling the image quality of this lens would have been a big deal. Surpassing this lens' sharpness with a 1-stop wider aperture (clearly so at 16mm) was not what I expected.
 
How does the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III compare to the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 VC Lens? This comparison requires some visualization as the EOS 5Ds R did not exist when we tested the Tamron, but I see the Canon being the clear winner at the two focal length range extents.
 
B&H has the new Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens in stock.
 
This lens is also in stock at:
 
Adorama | Amazon (3rd parties) | Beach Camera | BuyDig.com | Canon Store | eBay | WEX Photographic
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/12/2016 8:56:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
by Sean Setters
 
If you show your photography to enough people, you're bound to hear the same exclamation more than once: "You must have a really nice camera!" While I know it's not intended to be an insult, I'm always offended by that seven-word sentence.
 
We are a photography gear news and reviews website. We know all too well that the quality of the gear you use in photography can certainly make a tangible difference in image making. A camera with a fast burst rate and an advanced AF system may mean the difference between capturing an optimally-timed, in-focus moment or something much less memorable. A high resolution DSLR paired with a pro grade lens can enable a photographer to produce beautifully detailed, high resolution prints that may not have appeared as striking if taken with a lower resolution camera and a lower grade consumer lens. But notice I said "can enable" in the previous sentence; I did not say "will enable." Those are the tools and should not be mistaken with the foresight and experience required to get the most out of them.
 
At the end of the day, a great image is created when a photographer uses whatever gear is at hand to make his or her creative vision come to life. If you were to hand a Canon EOS 1D X Mark II and an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM to a novice photographer, they're simply not going to create compelling imagery on a consistent basis compared to a pro photographer. The experience gained over years of trying, failing and trying again allows for the seasoned photographer to get the most out of the gear and a given situation.
 
That's why I cringe every time someone says, "You must have a really nice camera!" That one short sentence negates a photographer's time, effort, energy and vision and instead gives all the credit to the tool. In short, the phrase devalues all of our work. It's like saying...
 
  • To a chef: "That was an excellent meal. You must have a really nice oven!"
  • To a sketch artist: "That is a very life-like drawing. You must have really nice pencils!"
  • To a music artist: "That was an amazing melody! You must have a really nice piano!"
  • To a sculptor: "That's an incredible sculpture. You must have really nice chisels!"
  • To a writer: "That's a beautiful story. You must have a really nice (laptop/typewriter/notepad)!"
  • And so on, and so on...
So the next time you hear, "You must have a really nice camera," please take 30 seconds to explain to the person what went into creating your image. Explain what lens and filters (if applicable) you used, why you chose your specific exposure settings and how your planning affected the resulting image. The brief explanation may help the viewer understand the biggest differentiating factor in your photography – you.
 
Does the phrase irk anyone else as much as it does me? Do you have a specific technique for dealing with it? Sound off in the comments.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 10/12/2016 7:27:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, October 11, 2016
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
Halloween is right around the corner, and what a great holiday for photographic inspiration: From cute kids in costumes to spooky haunted houses; eerie glowing jack-o’-lanterns to pastoral pumpkin patches – Halloween offers an endless variety of unique subjects.
 
Here are a few photographic tips to make the most of this Halloween.
Read the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/11/2016 12:23:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
A pair of new 16-35 f/2.8L III lenses arrived yesterday and they are of course receiving our highest priority right now (image quality results coming very soon). First up are the standard product images now available on the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens page.
 
As shown in the lead image, the 16-35 f/2.8L III, shown immediately to the right of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens, has obviously grown modestly larger than the II and has received noticeable aesthetic improvements. The next lens to the right, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens, shows similar updates from the lens most-considered its predecessor, the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens. As shown in the image below, the oversized hoods of the older two lenses have been significantly reduced in size, a major improvement in my opinion.
 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods
 
Using the site's Lens Product Images Comparison Tool, the new 16-35 L III can be visually compared to most other current and recently discontinued lenses. I have preloaded that link with a comparison you may find interesting.
 
B&H has the new Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens in stock. Also in stock at: Adorama | WEX Photographic
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/11/2016 9:16:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
A 24-70mm zoom is the quintessential general purpose lens for full frame camera users. The versatility afforded by the focal length range makes it well suited to a huge number of tasks including travel, lifestyle, documentary, architecture, wedding and event photography. Countless photojournalists have built careers on the pictures created with their 24-70mm lenses.
 
Largely because of the focal length range's popularity, just about every major manufacturer makes a version (or two) of the 24-70mm lens to satisfy customer demand. And most of the lenses we will be comparing today feature an f/2.8 constant maximum aperture which further adds to the lenses' versatility. Using an f/2.8 aperture will allow you to freeze motion in half as much light (at the same ISO setting) as an f/4 aperture. That's why a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens has been so popular with wedding photographers; when ambient light levels are low (as in a church or reception area), the wide f/2.8 aperture can be used to help stop motion at tolerably high ISO levels.
 
So which lens is right for you? Well, let's find out.
 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
 
The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM became the Canon general purpose when it was introduced in 2002. The lens quickly gained favor for its versatile focal length range (being 4mm wider than the 28-70L) and wide, constant f/2.8 aperture. A decade later, Canon introduced the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, a worthy successor to the ultra-popular 24-70mm lens it replaced with improvements to image sharpness, vignetting and AF speed. A disapointment to us was that Canon decided not to include image stabilization as one of the upgraded features, claiming that excellent image quality was paramount in this release.
 
The 24-70L II is impressively sharp in the center throughout its focal length range with very good contrast. Corner performance slightly trails the center until f/5.6 where even sharpness is obtained. With more elements than its predecessor, it doesn't fair quite as well in the flare department. The 24-70 L II exhibits typical distortion in its class, with moderate barrel distortion at the wide end that transitions to moderate pincushion at the long end.
 
Where the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM really shines is in AF speed and consistency. Version "II" is significantly faster than its predecessor when used on Canon DSLRs featuring advanced AF systems (non 9-point Rebel-series AF systems). Fast and consistent AF is yet another reason why so many photographers depend on this lens. When you do your job right as a photographer, it takes care of you.
 
Like its predecessor, the 24-70L II features weather sealing with a front filter in place. This feature alone differentiates it from most (if not all) of the 24-70mm lenses produced by third-party manufacturers.
 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
When the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM was announced about 9 months after the 24-70L II, quite frankly, we were left a bit bewildered. Why would Canon release a lens with a shorter focal length range than the popular EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and charge significantly more for it? At announcement time, the 24-70 f/4L IS's MSRP was $1,499.00. Since then, the lens' retail price has been lowered significantly putting its capabilities and performance into better perspective.
 
The 24-70 f/4L IS's image sharpness is difficult to summarize in a single sentence or two. Therefore, I'm going to pull from Bryan's review for a detailed description:
With a wide open f/4 aperture: At 24mm, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens is very sharp in the center with good sharpness extending to the periphery of the full frame image circle. This lens gets very slightly softer at 35mm and modestly softer yet (especially in the mid and peripheral image circle) at 50mm f/4 where the lens performs its worst. Sharpness improvement by 70mm brings the 24-70 f/4L IS back up to performance similar to that at 35mm.
You can expect about 2.5 stops of vignetting in the full frame corners at 24 and 70mm, with slightly less vignetting through the middle focal length range. The lens' Super Spectra coatings have increased contrast in flare-producing situations, but I wouldn't necessarily consider this lens to have an aesthetically pleasing flare characteristic.
 
Benefits of this lens over its f/2.8 big brother are reduced size/weight, image stabilization and reduced cost. Another huge benefit (one the 24-70 f/4L IS holds over the rest of the lenses in this comparison) is maximum magnification (MM). The 24-70 f/4L IS features an impressive 0.70x MM (compared to 0.21x for the 24-70L II) which means it can double as a macro lens in a pinch. The fact that the 24-70 f/4L IS can negate the need to carry a second lens in your pack for macro work is a unique and worthwhile benefit. At the time of this comparison, the 24-70mm f/4L IS is less than half the cost of its f/2.8 counterpart (MSRP).
 
The downside, of course, compared to the rest of the 24-70 competition is significant – an f/4 maximum aperture.
 
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens
 
The Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC USD broke new ground in 2012, becoming the first stabilized 24-70mm lens. Four years later, it's still rather unique in the marketplace as only Nikon has [relatively recently] released a specification matching f/2.8 zoom with stabilization.
 
It took us a few tries, but we finally received a copy of the Tamron 24-70 VC which produced sharp results throughout the zoom range (look for the term "ISO 12233 resolution chart" in Bryan's full review for details on our experience with testing this lens). With a good copy in-hand, you can expect impressive center sharpness at the focal range extents and remarkable image quality throughout the zoom range (even out to the corners of the frame) at f/4.
 
You can expect anywhere from 2-3 stops vignetting on a full-frame camera, wide open, depending on the focal length. A little more than a stop of vignetting remains at f/11. Flare is decently controlled, but CA wil likely be visible at this lens' shortest and longest focal lengths. Distortion is both typical and average for a lens in this class.
 
This lens' biggest advantage over the rest of the lenses listed here, of course, is its vibration control system which is capable of up to 4-stops of camera shake compensation. The ability of this lens to capture sharp imagery of static subjects in low light is extremely beneficial. That the Tamron is significantly less expensive than the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II is another important advantage.
 
Unfortunately, this lens' biggest crutch is AF consistency. The copy we tested did not focus very consistently on One Shot AF and performed even worse in AI Servo. For some lens usage, AF consistency may not need to be consistently spot on. But for a lens that would otherwise be ideal for shooting once in a lifetime moments (like weddings), less than ideal AF consistency can be problematic. If interested in acquiring this lens, be sure to purchase from an authorized retailer with a no-hassle exchange policy just in case the lens does not meet your minimum requirements for AF consistency. Otherwise, utilizing Live View focusing can aid in increasing your hit rate of static subjects.
 
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens
 
Announced at Photokina 2008, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM is by far the oldest (and least expensive) lens in this comparison with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. As Bryan mentions in his full review, it's extremely difficult to summarize this lens' performance in a couple of sentences. Unfortunately, it's a bit complicated.
 
To fully understand the image quality you should expect from this lens, read the Image Quality section in Bryan's full review. The good news is that results at f/5.6 are very good throughout the entire focal range. The bad news is that image quality at f/2.8 various from "very sharp" at 24mm to you-should-avoid-this-focal-length at 70mm, unless you prefer to specialize in artistic blur. And if you're buying a general purpose lens with an f/2.8 aperture, odds are you intended on using it wide open at least occasionally.
 
Flare is very well controlled (though with less contrast) at 70mm, but flare is certainly noticeable at the lens' wider focal lengths. The distortion this lens exhibits is very similar to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM.
 
Like the Tamron, the Sigma's AF performance will likely be a significant differentiating factor for many. The copy we tested front focused at 24mm and focused inconsistently at 70mm. AI Servo performance was, "to be kind – poor." Again, Live View focusing may help increase your hit rate with this lens; however, thorough personal testing is needed to determine whether or not this lens meets your AF performance needs.
 
Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro FX Lens
 
Introduced last year, the Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro FX receives the honor of being the newest lens in this comparison. Unfortunately, we don't have enough first-hand experience with the lens to adequately describe its AF performance. However, we did run the lens through our standard lab tests which illuminated a few things.
 
The Tokina 24-70 f/2.8 is quite sharp in the center at 24mm and 70mm wide open, although we did notice a slight drop in center performance at 50mm. The lens transitions to relatively soft with less contrast in the corners at f/2.8. Sharpness in the corners improves through f/5.6 where the difference between the center and corners becomes negligible.
 
I would consider the Tokina's flare performance to be very typical for lenses in this class. The same could be said about the Tokina's distortion performance as well.
 
Tokina lenses typically feature a very solid construction. This lens follows that trend. It's not the largest lens among those in this comparison, but it is certainly the heaviest (see below).
 
We didn't field test the lens to assess the Tokina's AF performance, but... it's unlikely to match the performance and consistency of Canon's USM lenses. Be sure to thoroughly test the lens within the retailer's return/exchange period to ensure the lens meets your needs.
 
Size, Weight, Maximum Magnification and Filter Size
 
It's especially important to consider the size and weight of your general purpose lens which is, by merit, likely to stay on your camera for long periods of time. Small differences in size and weight can be noticeable when packing space is limited and the hours of handling your camera begin to add up.
 
Filter size may also be a differentiating factor for a good number of photographers. All but one of the lenses in this comparison feature an 82mm front filter thread. These filters tend to be less common (though their popularity is rising among newly released lenses) and more costly compared to more common 77mm filters.
 
LensMeasured SizeMeasured WeightMMFilter
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM3.45 x 4.72” (87.7 x 119.8mm)28.4oz (805g)0.21x82mm
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM3.30 x 3.97” (83.7 x 100.8mm)21.2oz (600g)0.70x77mm
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD3.47 x 4.72” (88.1 x 120.0mm)28.9oz (820g)0.20x82mm
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM3.48 x 4.03” (88.4 x 102.3mm)27.7oz (785g)0.19x82mm
Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro FX3.51 x 4.63” (89.2 x 117.6mm)36.0oz (1020g)0.21x82mm

Summary
 
So which lens is right for you? If you need an f/2.8 maximum aperture, the best-available AF performance and your budget allows for it, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens is probably the right choice. If you can get by with an f/4 maximum aperture, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens offers great image quality, fast and accurate AF, image stabilization and a very handy 0.70x maximum magnification at a budget price. From there, the decision gets a bit murkier. I think each of the remaining lenses will appeal to different people based on their priorities with center/corner sharpness, image stabilization and price being the biggest differentiating factors.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/11/2016 8:05:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Italian company PrimaLuceLab has produced a modified Nikon D5500 featuring a double Peltier cell cooling system which has been designed to minimize noise during long exposures.
 
According to Filippo Bradaschia, PrimaLuceLab's CEO, the "Nikon D5500a Cooled" includes the following features:
 
  • Cooling system that cools down the sensor's temperature up to -27°C in respect of ambient temperature and stabilize the working temperature to the desired value
  • Modified front filter that improve sensitivity especially in red part of the spectrum (similar to the one of Nikon D810a)
  • Anti dewing system that allows it to avoid dewing problems when the cooling system starts
  • Integrated shutter control to perform sequence of long expositions without the need of an external controller
  • Power without the Nikon battery (in long exposure astrophotography usually DSLR camera runs out of battery, also because of cold conditions)
To learn more about this interesting camera, check out PrimaLuceLab's website.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 10/11/2016 8:00:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Western Digital:
 
Irvine, CA - October 11, 2016 – Western Digital Corporation (“Western Digital”) (NASDAQ: WDC), today introduced modern and innovative redesigns of its My Passport, My Passport for Mac, and My Book hard drive lines, which have been highly recognized leading sellers for more than a decade. In partnership with fuseproject, an award-winning industrial design and branding firm, the reimagined products were built with the customer in mind. Developed to help make a connection between the device and user, the new drives also include password protection and hardware encryption so customers will love their hard drive as much as they cherish the content stored on it.
 
“As the storage landscape continues to rapidly evolve, and the bars for design and user-experience have increased, the team focused on the design and user experience to catapult My Passport and My Book to the next level,” said Jim Welsh, senior vice president, Content Solutions Business Unit, Western Digital. “Through the reimagined design language, we want to engage consumers in a conversation about how storage is core to their lives and how they feel more empowered by the real benefits of capturing, protecting and enjoying life’s precious memories.”
 
“The way we use data is changing; it’s becoming much more of a personal commodity, something we value,” says Yves Béhar, founder and Principal Designer at fuseproject. “Western Digital lies at the intersection of our physical life and the digital world, and we wanted to create a quality aesthetic that symbolizes this intersection.”
 
As part of the reimagined design, the My Passport drives will come in six vivid colors – Black, Yellow, Red, White, Orange and Blue – while still providing reliable portable storage that perfectly complements an on-the-go lifestyle. The My Passport for Mac drive is available in a stylish Black color. The trusted desktop storage device, My Book, combines personal style with a massive amount of storage space, up to 8 TB, so users can keep their photos, videos, music, and documents. Each storage device comes with an automatic backup solution for a seamless, user-friendly process, as well as password protection to keep your precious data safe.
 
The new WD products include:
 
My Passport portable hard drives – trusted and loved portable storage, in a reimagined design, that fits in the palm of your hand
 
  • New attractive design with textured bottom
  • Password protection with 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Automatic backup with included WD Backup software
  • Up to 4TB capacity
My Passport for Mac drives – your MacBook computer’s best friend
 
  • New attractive design with textured bottom
  • Password protection with 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Formatted for Mac OS X and Time Machine ready for easy backup
  • Up to 4TB capacity
My Book desktop hard drive – trusted, high capacity backup for PC and Mac
 
  • Password protection with hardware encryption
  • Automatic backup with included WD Backup software
  • Up to 8TB capacity
Pricing and Availability
My Passport and My Passport for Mac portable hard drives are protected by a 2-year limited warranty and are available from wd.com and at select retailers and distributors around the world. My Passport drives have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $79.99 USD and the My Passport for Mac drive has a starting MSRP of $79.99 USD.
 
My Book desktop hard drives are protected by a 2-year limited warranty and are available from the WD store at wd.com and at select retailers and distributors. My Book drives have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $129.99 USD.
 
B&H carries WD My Passport and My Book drives.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 10/11/2016 7:41:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Preston Kanak Vimeo Channel:
 
Finding ways to improve the way in which I work with my timelapse footage as well as ways to create unique looks is a huge passion of mine. Whether through refining the look and feel or total experimentation, this desire definitely keeps me on my toes. This video walks through three methods of smoothing out your timelapse footage while removing the staccato effect.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 10/11/2016 6:23:25 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
Changes from “C” Firmware Version 1.31 to 1.32
 
  • Fixed the following issues, which would in rare cases occur when RAW+JPEG photographs were taken with write-enabled cards inserted in both the XQD and CompactFlash card slots, RAW primary - JPEG secondary selected for Secondary slot function in the SHOOTING MENU, and On selected for Network > Options > Auto send in the SETUP MENU.
    • The camera would sometimes freeze on restart after users had (1) pressed the shutter-release button all the way down without first activating the standby timer and then (2) allowed the timer to expire or turned the camera off without first reactivating the timer.
    • If the shutter-release button was pressed all the way down to begin shooting with the standby timer off, the first shot would sometimes neither be marked for transfer nor uploaded.
Download: Nikon D4s Firmware v1.32
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 10/11/2016 5:13:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, October 10, 2016

 
From Photoshop Tutorials by PHLEARN YouTube Channel:
 
Want to work faster and more efficiently in Photoshop? We compiled a list of 6 Tips and Tricks that are sure to boost your Photoshop speed and efficiency! Photoshop Tips & Tricks Add More "Undo" States Photoshop will allow you to go "back in time" through "Undo - CTRL/CMD +Z" and "Step Backward - ALT/OPTN+CTRL/CMD+Z." Many people find they run out of "Undo States" and can't go back any further. You can increase the number of times you can "undo" in Photoshop's preferences.
 
Open Photoshop Preferences and navigate to "Performance." Here you will see "History States," this is the number of times you can "undo." Increase the slider until you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that with more History States, Photoshop will use more computer resources to store those states.
 
Quick Export – After editing your images in Photoshop, it is time to post them online. The easiest way to export images for online viewing is through "Quick Export." To change the Quick Export Settings, go to "Photoshop - Preferences - Export" and adjust the settings to your desired output. In most cases, you will want JPEG, for transparency use PNG, and for animations use GIF.
 
Increase Performance – The best way to boost Photoshop performance is to add RAM. You can also allow Photoshop to use more of the RAM on your computer by going to "Photoshop - Preferences - Performance." Here you will see the amount of available RAM and a slider to increase or decrease how much of that RAM Photoshop can use.
 
Try increasing the slider to 80%-90%. Keep in mind, if Photoshop is using most of the computer's available RAM, other programs will slow down. For intense editing sessions, close down all other programs and give Photoshop a ton of RAM! Use Scratch Disks Once Photoshop has used all the available RAM, it will store temporary information on a "Scratch Disk." a is a physical drive attached to your computer. You can choose to use the internal hard drive, but it is best to use a secondary drive without an operating system on it. For instance, if you have two internal hard drives, choose the one that doesn't run the Operating System.
 
You can also use external drives connected via USB or Thunderbolt. Hard drive speed and connection method will influence Photoshop performance. For best results, use USB 3.0 + or Thunderbolt 2.0 + and a Solid State External Hard Drive or a Raid Array External Hard Drive.
 
Proper Color Settings – Photoshop offers many options when it comes to Color Space. Some of these Color Spaces are larger than others, allowing you to use more colors when editing. In most cases, you will want to edit with the most colors available. Our suggested Color Space is ProPhoto RGB, which is the largest available color space.
 
To change Photoshop's working Color Space, go to "Edit - Color Settings," and in the "Working Spaces" RGB Dropdown, choose ProPhotoRGB. Be sure to check the boxes in "Color Management Policies" for "Profile Mismatches - Ask When Opening, Ask When Pasting" and "Missing Profiles - Ask when Opening." Learn Keyboard Shortcuts Most of Photoshop's tools and features can be accessed via Keyboard Shortcuts, and learning these shortcuts can dramatically speed up your editing process. A great way to learn Keyboard Shortcuts is to print them from Photoshop! Go to "Edit - Keyboard Shortcuts," here you can view the existing keyboard shortcuts and even customize your own.
 
To print out a list of existing shortcuts, click on the "Summarize" button to save a .HTM file. Open this file in any web browser and print it as a quick-reference guide to keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop!
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 10/10/2016 6:51:01 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
With today’s amazing photographic gear that includes camera bodies with surreal autofocus that can routinely produce superb image files in the right hands and fast, sharp lenses (including and especially the amazing super-telephotos) creating images of various birds, animals, flowers, and landscapes, is pretty much child’s play. Anyone can do it. In this program, Arthur Morris, internationally noted bird photographer and educator, will teach you to take your images to the next level. You will learn to identify good situations, to create pleasing backgrounds, to photograph action and behavior, to choose the best perspective, to read and use the light, when and how to create pleasing blurs, and to consistently create dramatic, evocative images with contest-winning potential.
 
This program is well-illustrated with several hundred of Artie’s spectacular images, many published around the world above his most fitting credit line: BIRDS AS ART.
 
Arthur Morris's Site
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 10/10/2016 1:07:01 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens Review page.
 
I was more than a little surprised to see such a big-hit lens being replaced less than 3 years after it was introduced, but I was traveling when the G2 version lens was first announced and didn't have time to figure out why the replacement was coming. I quickly put the lens on the to-test list and would have to figure out the "Why?" question later. Well, "later" is now.
 
The new lens arrived and as usual, photographing it was my first priority, while it was still in pristine, dust-free condition. The new exterior design, being very modern in appearance, is very pleasing both to the eye and to the touch, but my first surprise was how extremely tight the zoom ring was. Midway through the photo session, I by-accident discovered the push/pull zoom ring lock feature (mentioned in the press release of course). Pulling back on the zoom ring made a huge, positive difference. I think I'm going to like this feature.
 
While my anticipation for the updated design was strong, I was most anxious to see the image quality results from this lens. While the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens' MTF charts appear nearly identical to the original Tamron 150-600 VC's charts, these lenses do not share an identical optical design. The biggest clue to this difference is the lenses/groups count of 21/13 vs. 20/13 in the older lens along with the improved minimum focus distance. Of course, what matters most is real world performance and that is what we are looking at today.
 
The ultra-high resolution EOS 5Ds R was not available when the original 150-600 hit the streets, but I wanted the 150-600 VC G2 results from the highest resolution camera, so one needs to use some visualization skills to compare the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens with its predecessor. My initial thought was that the older lens performed slightly better, but comparing again with fresh eyes shows the two lenses being nearly identical as hinted to by their MTF charts. I do see a slight G2 advantage in the 600mm comparison, easily the weakest focal length for the original lens.
 
Simply being compatible with extenders is a G2 advantage. I have to admit not being very optimistic about the extender feature for this lens, even though they are (at least for now) dedicated models. My low expectations were in part due to the soft performance of the original lens at 600mm, the focal length that extenders would most often be needed at. And, I have to admit being modestly impressed with the 840mm results. Although the max aperture is a narrow f/9, resulting image degradation is slightly below my expectations.
 
The 300-1200mm focal length range created by the 2x extender is very impressive. The image quality at 1200mm is not so impressive. Nor is the f/13 maximum aperture and the dark viewfinder that it brings.
 
Comparing the Tamron 150-600mm VC G2 Lens to the Canon 100-400mm L IS II Lens is interesting. Compare the Canon-with-1.4x to the Tamron also (remember to select the same apertures).
 
B&H has the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 10/10/2016 9:47:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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