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 Thursday, April 20, 2017

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
In this video, we take our first look at Canon's latest addition to the compact servo lineup. The new 70-200mm T4.4 Lens keeps cinematographers and ENG videographers in mind with servo compatibility, full manual control, and parfocality. With color-matching to the existing cinema EF line, and gear-matching to Canon's previous 18-80mm lens, the 70-200mm T4.4 brings a classic zoom range into new, versatile form.
 
B&H will carry the Canon 70-200mm T4.4 Cine Zoom Lens.
Post Date: 4/20/2017 7:23:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Manfrotto:
 
Upper Saddle River, N.J. (April 19, 2017) – Manfrotto, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of premium photo, video and lighting support products and accessories, announces the launch of the new Nitrotech Video Head - a revolutionary head that combines the most successful features of Manfrotto’s Video Heads range with the ground-breaking, unique-to-the-market nitrogen piston mechanism which guarantees continuous counterbalance during use.
 
The Nitrotech N8 Video Head securely supports a load up to 17.6 lbs. The new head features a precise, continuous counterbalance system which effortlessly and safely holds and operates a wide array of video camera models. The variable fluidity function on both pan and tilt allows for smooth, judder-free movement. It also features a 3/8” Easy Link equipped with an anti-rotation function that enables an external monitor or other accessories to be mounted.
 
Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 Video Head Close-up

This new video head also features a side-lock sliding plate mechanism that allows for a safe, quick and easy camera attachment. The Nitrotech head has a flat base mount with a standard 3/8” thread that is highly versatile for different support combinations (tripod, slider, rig or crane).
 
Manfrotto’s game-changing N8 Nitrotech Video Head makes a strong impression at first sight through its distinctive and impactful design, which emphasizes this core breakthrough technology.
 
Key features include:
 
  • Breakthrough nitrogen piston technology for precise, continuous counterbalance
  • Variable pan & tilt fluidity for smooth and accurate shooting
  • Easy link connector with anti-rotation to support off-camera accessories
  • Side-lock sliding plate attachment
  • Secure 17.6 lb. load capacity
  • High-impact, groundbreaking design, superior quality materials
The Nitrotech N8, first model in the Manfrotto Nitrotech line, is also available as a system in the following configurations: MVKN8CUS and MVKN8TWINMUS.
 
B&H carries the Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 Video Head.
Post Date: 4/20/2017 6:41:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From DJI:
 
April 13, 2017 – DJI, the world's leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, Thursday, introduced a new addition to the Phantom family – the Phantom 4 Advanced - offering creators an affordable way to capture aerial imagery with a more powerful camera and more precise controls. The new Phantom 4 Advanced model improves on the original Phantom 4, giving photographers a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor and a mechanical shutter that lets them explore all the creative possibilities that a flying camera can provide.
 
The Phantom 4 Advanced's upgraded camera is capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second. The more powerful video processing now supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate. Excellent optical performance, sensors and processors ensure everything is captured with high dynamic range and more image detail needed for advanced post-production.
 
Similar to the Phantom 4 Pro, it comes with many key intelligent features that allow smooth automatic flight modes, including Draw, ActiveTrack, TapFly, Gesture and Tripod. Equipped with the FlightAutonomy system made up of 5 vision sensors, forward-facing obstacle avoidance system, dual-band satellite positioning (GPS and GLONASS), and ultrasonic rangefinders, the Phantom 4 Advanced is able to hover precisely in places without GPS and fly in complex environments.
 
The Phantom 4 Advanced+ version offers a 5.5-inch 1080p screen integrated into the controller. The screen is more than twice as bright as conventional smart devices, making it an ideal aerial imaging solution for outdoor use. In addition, creators can now do more with the Phantom 4 Advanced's increased storage capacity using a 128GB microSD card and a flight time extended up to 30 minutes.
 
For those who are ready to take their aerial camera work to the next level, the Phantom 4 Advanced is truly the most affordable, intelligent and powerful flying camera you can find.
 
With the introduction of the more affordable, yet powerful Phantom 4 Advanced, the Phantom 4 model will reach its End of Life (EOL) on April 30, 2017. DJI will continue to provide after sales support to Phantom 4 customers and they can continue to enjoy flying their aircraft using the DJI GO 4 app.
 
The US retail price of the Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced+ is USD1,349 and USD1,649, respectively. It will be available at authorized retailers and the product will start shipping on April 30, 2017.
 
B&H has the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced+ quadcopters available for preorder.
Post Date: 4/20/2017 5:45:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, April 19, 2017
From Sony Europe:
 
New FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens Features Outstanding Sharpness, Fast AF, Compact Design and more
 
Sony today introduced its furthest reaching E-mount lens, the FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom (model SEL100400GM).
 
The new full-frame lens maintains the high standard of resolution that is the hallmark of Sony’s flagship lineup of G Master™ lenses, while also offering incredibly fast, precise AF capabilities, a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional functions and customisability. It’s an exceptionally powerful photographic tool for a variety of enthusiast and professional shooters, particularly those that are commonly shooting sports or wildlife.
 
Uncompromised G Master Design and Performance
 
A super telephoto zoom that meets the intense build requirements of Sony’s acclaimed G Master series lens lineup, the new FE 100-400mm GM model produces outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the lens’ zoom and focus ranges and beautiful rendered ‘bokeh’ or background defocus, ensuring the finest details are brought out in every subject and scene.
 
The complex design features 22 lens elements configured in 16 different groups, including one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two ED glass elements, all of which are working together to minimise chromatic aberration and ensure the ultimate resolution is captured. The lens also has Sony’s original Nano AR coating, which is particularly useful for shooting sports scenes or wildlife, as it reduces unwanted reflections.
 
Precise, Quick AF Performance
 
In order to keep up with fast-moving action, the new FE 100-400mm GM super telephoto zoom lens features the combination of a double linear motor and a Direct Drive SSM actuator, which also ensures precise, quiet operation.
 
The double motor system allows rapid focus lens drive acceleration to capture the sudden motion that is common with sports and wildlife photography, while high precision positioning control and a newly optimised AF algorithm ensure the subject is quickly found and focused on. This ensures that the maximum AF performance of a camera like the new a9 is realised.
 
Lightweight Design, Extensive Customizability
 
In order to satisfy the extensive demands of customers craving lighter, smaller and more portable super telephoto lenses, the new FE 100-400mm GM weighs in at a mere 1,395 grams (49.3 ounces), making it among the lightest in its class and an ideal fit for Sony’s wide range of compactly designed cameras.
 
Functionally, the lens has a zoom torque adjustment ring – a first for Sony a – allowing the user to adjust the level of torque in the ring to zoom faster or slower depending on their shooting style. There is also a focus hold button that can also be assigned to variety of functions including focus mode selection, AF area selection or the popular Eye AF lock feature.
 
The telephoto zoom lens is dust and moisture resistant[i], and has fluorine coating on the front lens that makes it easier to remove dust or grease. There is also a removable tripod mount.
 
Professional Operation and Reliability
 
The new FE 100-400mm GM lens features built-in optical image stabilisation, ensuring that sharp images can be captured during handheld shooting. It also offers a minimum focusing range of just 0.98 metres (3.22 feet), which maximises its versatility in the field, and a 9 bladed circular aperture design that produces soft, beautiful bokeh.
 
The FE 100-400mm GM is compatible with both the 1.4x (model SEL14TC) and 2.0x (model SEL20TC) teleconverters, allowing photographers and videographers to shoot at up to 800mm on full-frame cameras and approximately 1200mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) on APS-C cameras.
 
A replacement lens hood (model ALC-SH151) for the new lens will also be available.
 
Pricing and Availability
 
The new FE 100-400mm GMSuper Telephoto Zoom Lens will start to ship in Europe from July 2017, priced at approximately €2,900.00 / $2,499.00 USD.
 
B&H will have the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens available for preorder at 10am on Friday, April 21.
 
[i]Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 4/19/2017 11:06:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Sony Europe:
 
Groundbreaking Full-frame Mirrorless Camera Delivers Unmatched Speed, Versatility and Usability
 
  • World’s first[i] full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP[ii] resolution
  • Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting[iii] at up to 20fps[iv] for up to 241 RAW[v]/ 362 JPEG[vi] images
  • Silent[vii], Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec[viii]
  • 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilisation with a 5.0 step[ix]shutter speed advantage
Sony today introduced its new revolutionary digital camera, the a9 (model ILCE-9).
 
The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created, the new a9 offers a level of imaging performance that is simply unmatched by any camera ever created – mirrorless, SLR or otherwise.
 
The new camera offers many impressive capabilities that are simply not possible with a modern digital SLR camera including high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting[iii] at up to 20fps[iv], 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second,[x] a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second[viii] and much more. These are made possible thanks to its 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor - the world’s first of its kind – which enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras[xi]. This unique sensor is paired with a brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front-end LSI that maximizes overall performance.
 
This industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting[vii] is combined with a focusing system that features an incredible 693 phase detection AF points. Covering approximately 93% of the frame, the focusing system ensures that even the fastest moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.
 
The new a9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter[vii] with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise, making it an extremely powerful photographic tool for any shooting situation that demands quiet operation. To ensure maximum usability and reliability, the camera features a new Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries, as well as dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards. An Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) is available as well, and there are i a wide variety of new settings, controls and customisability options that are essential for working professionals.
 
A New Standard of Speed and Focusing Accuracy
 
Critical to the record-breaking speed of the new a9 is the combination of the new stacked 24.2 MPii Exmor RS image sensor, new BIONZ X processor and front end LSI.
 
The immense processing power from these new components allows for faster AF/AE calculation while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer, enabling photographers to shoot at a blazing 20 fpsiv with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 362 JPEG[vi] or 241 RAW[v] images.
 
The camera’s innovative AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per secondx, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout[xii], giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times. This feature truly combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy and “in the moment” advantages that not even the finest optical viewfinders can match, and is available in all still image modes[xiii] including high speed 20 fpsiv continuous shooting.
 
With 693 focal plane phase detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the frame, the camera ensures improved precision and unfailing focus in scenes where focus might otherwise be difficult to achieve. The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and excellent tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25% faster performance when compared with a7R II, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are captured.
 
Professional Capabilities in a Compact Body
 
Sony’s new full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style.
 
The a9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The new Tru-Finder, which is the highest resolution viewfinder Sony has ever incorporated in an a camera, features an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a level of corner to corner sharpness that is simply outstanding. The EVF also utilises a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.
 
This all adds up to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the a7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, ensuring the most natural shooting experience. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is even customisable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps[xiii] to best match the action.
 
The a9 is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilisation system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.0 stepsix, ensuring the full power of the new sensor can be realised, even in challenging lighting. With a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilisation can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.
 
The a9 also offers an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal), allowing convenient transfer of still image files to a specified FTP server at high speeds, making it an ideal choice for studio photography, high-profile news and sporting events and more. In addition, there is a sync terminal, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.
 
New Features for Fast Operation
 
Sony’s new a9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easy selection of, and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.
 
New for Sony E-mount cameras, the a9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.
 
Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus areas to be memorised and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed. The camera can memorise and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.
 
For enhanced customisation, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.
 
Double Battery Life, Double Memory
 
The innovative a9 camera features an all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models, allowing for much longer shooting performance.
 
Based on extensive customer feedback, the new camera offers two separate media card slots, including one for UHS-II media. The same data can simultaneously be recorded to both cards, or the user can choose to separate RAW / JPEG or still images / movies. Movies can also simultaneously be recorded to two cards for backup and more efficient data management.
 
High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range
 
The unique design of the a9 image sensor represents the pinnacle of Sony device technology. The 24.2 MP[ii] full-frame stacked CMOS sensor is back-illuminated, allowing it to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality. The sensor also enables the diverse ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 204800[xiv] , ensuring optimum image quality with minimum noise at all settings.
 
The enhanced BIONZ X processor plays a large part in image quality as well, as it helps to minimise noise in the higher sensitivity range while also reducing the need to limit ISO sensitivity in situations where the highest quality image is required.
 
The new a9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW, ensuring users can get the most out of the wide dynamic range of the sensor.
 
4K Video Capture
 
The new a9 is a very capable video camera as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor[xv]. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super 35mm size.
 
Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.[xvi]
 
New Accessories
 
Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new a9, including:
 
  • NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery: High-capacity battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. Supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, which makes it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.
  • VG-C3EM Vertical Grip: Provides same operation, handling and design as a9, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.
  • NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit: External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z series batteries and as a quick charger. Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.
  • GP-X1EM Grip Extension: Grip extender with same look, feel and design as a9. Enables more solid hold on camera.
  • FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup: Eye piece cup with locking mechanism
  • BC-QZ1 Battery Charger: Quick-charging battery charger. Charges one new Z series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.
  • PCK-LG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet: Hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. Compatible with touch operation and tilting LCD screen
Pricing and Availability
 
The a9 interchangeable lens camera will start shipping in Europe from June 2017 priced at approximately €5,300.00 / $4,499.00 USD.
 
B&H will begin accepting Sony a9 preorders at 10am on Friday, April 21.
 
[i] As of April 19th, 2017
[ii] Approximate effective megapixels
[iii] Electronic shutter mode. At apertures smaller than F11 (F-numbers higher than F11), focus will not track the subject and focus points will be fixed from the first frame. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
[iv] “Hi” continuous shooting mode. The maximum frame rate will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information.
[v] “Hi” continuous shooting mode, compressed RAW, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
[vi] “Hi” continuous shooting mode, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
[vii] Silent shooting is possible when Shutter Type is set to “Electronic” and Audio signals is set to “Off.”
[viii] 1/32000 shutter speed is available only in the S and M modes. The highest shutter speed in all other modes is 1/16000.
[ix] CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw stabilisation only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off.
[x] At shutter speeds higher than 1/125 sec, smooth and blackout-free live view images are shown in EVF
[xi] Compared to the front-illuminated CMOS image sensor in the a7 II.
[xii] Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
[xiii] When the auto or electronic shutter mode is selected the viewfinder frame rate is fixed at 60 fps during continuous shooting.
[xiv] Still images, mechanical shutter: ISO 100 - 51200 expandable to ISO 50 - 204800.
Still images, electronic shutter: ISO 100 - 25600 expandable to ISO 50 - 25600.
Movie recording: ISO 100 - 51200 expandable to ISO 100 - 102400.
[xv] In full-frame shooting, the angle of view will be narrower under the following conditions: - When [File Format] is set to [XAVC S 4K] and [Record Setting] is set to [30p]. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required for XAVC S format movie recording. UHS Speed Class U3 required for 100Mbps or higher recording
[xvi] Sound not recorded. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 4/19/2017 10:42:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Among the categories that lenses can easily be grouped into, one of the least understood is the "tilt-shift" category. As such, we invite you to explore the latest installment in our Photography 101 series to find out what tilt-shift lens capabilities make them unique and alluring to photographers.
 
Photography 101: What is a Tilt-Shift Lens?
 
Check out our other posts in the Photography 101 series:
 
Post Date: 4/19/2017 7:50:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Nikon Europe YouTube Channel:
 
Nikon's history in Space began with the Nikon Photomic FTN, a modified Nikon F camera that was used aboard the Apollo 15 in 1971 and Nikon cameras have been aboard every manned space flight since. This film, edited by SmugMug Films, is a compiled time-lapse video using thousands of still images. The bright flashes are lightning strikes hitting the earth, watch and enjoy.
 
This is the first of many remarkable moments, both big and small, which we will be sharing in the lead up to Nikon 100th Anniversary! Stay tuned for more.
 
B&H carries Nikon DSLRs and lenses.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/19/2017 5:54:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Canon:
 
TOKYO, April 19, 2017—Two Canon cameras and one Canon lens have been recognized with "Best Photo and Imaging Product" awards by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), representing 30 photo and imaging magazines from 15 countries across five continents. The three award winners are: the EOS 5D Mark IV digital SLR (DSLR) camera for advanced-amateur users, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM standard zoom lens for advanced-amateur users and the XC15 professional 4K video camcorder. These Canon products were highly rated for meeting the diverse still shooting and video production needs of professional and advanced-amateur users.
 
Best Full-Frame DSLR Expert: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Selected for this year's "Best Full-Frame DSLR Expert" award, Canon's EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR offers impressive specifications. Equipped with an approximately 30.4 megapixel 35 mm full-frame Canon CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6+ image processor, the camera achieves a standard ISO sensitivity range of 100-32000 (expandable to ISO50-102400 equivalent), 7 frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting of still images and 4K video capture at 30 fps, as well as full-HD video capture at 60 fps and HD 120 fps capture suitable for slow-motion video. Thanks to Dual Pixel CMOS AF, the camera achieves superlative high-speed AF tracking when shooting video and stills in live-view mode. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is equipped with 61 point high-density reticular AF II, achieving an expanded longitudinal focus area, with a maximum of 41 cross-type focus points of the total 61. Additionally, it features an approximately 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor. The camera also features a 4K frame capture function, which users can extract selected frames from recorded 4K video as approximately 8.8-megapixel JPEG still images, as well as built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS functionality.
 
Best DSLR Standard Zoom Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM
Named "Best DSLR Standard Zoom Lens," the EF 24-105 f/4L IS II USM employs a new optical design that incorporates 17 elements in 12 groups, including four glass-molded aspherical elements—one of which features two aspherical surfaces. This standard zoom lens achieves improved peripheral light intake to achieve high image quality across the entire image field. The lens features image stabilization to the effect of 4 shutter speed stops and a circular 10-blade aperture that produces exquisite circular bokeh. Equipped with such features as inner focusing, a Ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor) and a high-speed CPU, and sporting an optimized AF algorithm, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM achieves highly responsive autofocusing. The lens also employs a special Air Sphere Coating (ASC), which reduces the occurrences of flaring and ghosting.
 
Best Camcorder: Canon XC15
Crowned "Best Camcorder," the XC15 features a compact, lightweight body design and makes possible cost-effective 4K UHD and HD shooting, making it ideal for on-location journalism and video production. The camera facilitates shooting in confined spaces and environments that demand mobility and features the same selection of visual-expression "Look" modes as the EOS C300 Mark II, making it ideal for use as a sub-camera. The XC15 is equipped with a high-sensitivity 1-inch CMOS sensor with individual pixels that feature large light-capturing areas, a touch panel that enables intuitive controls, and a 10x optical zoom lens—27.3 mm at the wide end to 273 mm at the telephoto end when shooting video. The camera features faster autofocus through an orientation-determination algorithm, and enables excellent anti-shake performance afforded by an optical IS system and an electronic IS system with 3 modes to choose from. What's more, the camera's separate focus and zoom rings offer a high level operability.
 
B&H carries the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM & XC15.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/19/2017 5:30:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, April 18, 2017
With a brand new Canon EOS M6 (a great little camera) in my possession, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 30 steps I took to make a fresh-out-of-the-box M6 ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  6. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Screen info/toggle settings: Update #1 to select only Grid display and Electronic level (all options selected for #2), uncheck #3 and #4 (I may alter these settings later)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: VF info/toggle settings: Uncheck #1, update #2 to select only Grid display and Electronic level, check all options for #3 (again, I may alter these settings later)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Histogram display: RGB
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Image review: Off (without a review display being shown and cleared, the viewfinder becomes ready-for-shooting faster)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Continuous AF: Off (increases battery life)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: MF Peaking Settings: Peaking: On
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted, though enabling CA correction is usually a good idea and if shooting in JPG mode, consider enabling other options as well.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (again, those shooting in JPG mode might want to explore the results of this option)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 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. If shooting in JPG mode, selecting "Standard" is probably a better option.)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (Noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Select "Low" if shooting in JPG format).
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Off
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Hints & Tips: Off
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (Custom shooting modes are great – see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes for more information)
  24. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: C.Fn II: Others: Set M.Fn button to ISO (I may make more changes here after acclimating to this camera)
  25. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Format, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), AEB (found back up near the top of the list)
  26. To get to the Playback Menu, take a picture, playback the picture and while it is displayed, press the Menu button.
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight Alert: Enable
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Auto Rotate: Off (always uses full LCD for display)
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 5: * resize: Enable
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Magnify (approx.): Actual size (zooms to 100% pixel level, ideal for checking sharpness)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
If you intend to mirror my RAW image capture workflow, this configuration would likely be ideal for you. While my setup is optimal for me, use your judgement to alter this list for your own needs and preferences.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS M6
 
The Canon EOS M6 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/18/2017 9:23:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
Choosing a lens to photograph the upcoming total solar eclipse in August takes a lot more consideration than the camera body to be used because the camera is simply a light-tight box that records the image produced by the lens.
...
Choosing a lens to photograph the sun or moon depends on how large of a sun or moon disk you want. The size of the disk is controlled by two things: your DSLR’s sensor size and the focal length of your lens.
Read the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
 
B&H carries the gear you'll need to photograph the solar eclipse safely (checkout will be available at 9:00 PM ET tonight).
Post Date: 4/18/2017 5:37:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Sigma:
 
Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Firmware v.1.01:
 
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that 3D-tracking does not work when it is attached with TELE CONVERTER TC-1401 on a Nikon DSLR.
* For this update, it requires the firmware of the SIGMA USB DOCK for NIKON to be Ver.1.01 or later.
* Before updating the firmware of the 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for NIKON, Please ensure SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to Ver1.4.1 or later for Windows, or Ver1.4.0 or later for Macintosh.

 


Sigma USB Dock Firmware v.1.03
 
  • Compatible with SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM C017.


SIGMA Optimization Pro Download
 
B&H carries the Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Lens and USB Dock and has the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens available for preorder.
 Monday, April 17, 2017
Roger Cicala of LensRentals has created a "Random Photo Marketing Generator" to help camera gear manufacturers sell their products. The following are a couple of samples that were generated when I tried the tool:
 
Sample #1
Using space-age technology including multiple floating elements and the industry’s most accurate autofocus system, this lens can take your professional performance to new achievements. See the world with a dramatic perspective you never dreamed was possible. Capture life in a way you’ve always wished you could. Designed with the sports photographer in mind, our newest lens provides the edge-to-edge performance needed to take your photography to profitability. Like all of our products, this lens is in a class of its own.
Sample #2
We joyfully announce the world’s first lens combining all-metal construction with fully computerized assembly, creating a lens that will be treasured by cinematographers and collectors alike. Capture life in a way lesser beings have always wished they could. We have created a game-changing new standard in photography that will amazingly improve your images. We are pleased to offer the world’s finest wide-angle lens, featuring 4 really, really low dispersion elements, 2 aspheric elements, and our new anti-glare coatings providing unparalleled flare resistance while providing amazing resolution. See your surroundings with a remarkable perspective you never knew was possible.
We expect Canon, Nikon, Sony, Tamron, Sigma & Zeiss will be slimming down their marketing departments in the not-so-distant future in favor of the free online tool.
Post Date: 4/17/2017 2:16:26 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Those looking to invest in a 400mm telephoto lens have a several options available for consideration. One such option available is the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens. And while the telephoto zoom is certainly a versatile option, opting for a 400mm prime lens over the zoom alternative will typically either a) give you a wider maximum aperture at that particular focal length or b) save you some cash (but unfortunately, those benefits seem to be mutually exclusive).
 
Before we get started, it's important to note that I wouldn't necessarily consider wide-open image quality to be a differentiating factor among the 400mm prime lenses in this comparison. While there are certainly differences, all perform very well. With that in mind, let's take a look at the notable benefits/drawbacks associated with each of the 400mm prime candidates.
 
Canon EF 400mm f 2.8 L IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
 
The Canon EF 400 f/2.8L IS II USM is the biggest, heaviest and priciest 400mm prime option. However, there's another "-est" descriptor that justifies this lens' price tag for many professional photographers – "widest." The 400L IS II's f/2.8 maximum aperture is 2-stops wider than most zoom lenses including the 400mm focal length, and 1-stop wider than the formidable EF 400mm DO IS II model. This lens is unparalleled when action stopping shutter speeds are necessary, especially in locations where the available light is less than abundant. Of course, the background blur at f/2.8 is noticeably stronger than it is at f/4 or f/5.6, with the benefit of stronger subject isolation. As you might expect, this lens is built for the needs of professionals with weather sealing and excellent AF performance.
 
Speaking of AF, a 3-position focus limiter switch allows focusing distances to be limited to a specific distance range - or to be unlimited: 8.85' - 23' (2.7m - 7m), 23' (7m) - ∞, 8.85' (2.7m) - ∞. Limiting the focus distance range can improve focus lock times and reduce focus hunting. Autofocus Stop buttons near the objective lens allow autofocus to be temporarily stopped. The Autofocus Stop feature makes it easy to obtain focus lock, turn off autofocus and recompose for a framing that places the active focus point(s) off of the subject.
 
The 400L IS II features a 4-stop IS (image stabilization) system with normal, panning and tracking modes available (Modes 1, 2 & 3 respectively). And while I mentioned image quality wasn't necessarily a differentiating factor in this comparison, the 400 f/2.8L IS II edges out the other two in most regards.
 
As noted, a high price isn't the only compromise one must accept to gain a wide, f/2.8 aperture at this focal length; consequently, this lens is neither small nor light. With the hood installed, the 400L IS II weighs in at 143.7 oz (4070g) with and is 7.68 x 13.8" (195.1 x 350.5mm) with the hood reversed for storage. While this lens can be used handheld, most will likely need a solid tripod or, at the very least, a monopod for comfortable medium-to-long-term use. Support/stabilizing gear necessary for long-term use will of course add to the size and weight storage/transport requirements when traveling with the lens.
 
If price is no object and small size and weight are not priorities, this is the ultimate 400mm option.
 
Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens
 
It's not often that a lens measuring 6.32 x 9.45” (160.45 x 240.13mm) and weighing in at 80 oz (2265g) (with hood) can be considered small and lightweight, but... everything is relative. Compared to its massive f/2.8 big brother, the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens' size and weight are quite manageable considering its focal length and f/4 max. aperture, allowing for much longer periods of handheld use before fatigue takes its toll. This lens' diffractive optics elements allow for a very compact design that sports and wildlife photographers will especially appreciate.
 
The 400 DO IS II features a 3-position focus limiter switch with the following settings: 10.8' - 26.2' (3.3m - 8m), 26.2' - 8 (8m - ∞) and 10.8' - ∞ (3.3m - ∞). Autofocus Stop buttons are also included near the objective lens and allow autofocus to be temporarily stopped. Like the 400 f/2.8L IS II, the 400 DO IS II is weather sealed and features a 3-Mode, 4-stop IS system.
 
While an f/4 maximum aperture may not be considered "wide," the moderately-wide max. aperture combined with this lens' IS system makes for a very versatile tool that's reasonably sized for handheld shooting. Bird, wildlife and sports photographers will often forgo the f/2.8 maximum aperture to enjoy the smaller size, weight and price benefits associated with the f/4 DO IS II option.
 
Canon EF 400mm f 5.6L USM Lens

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
 
Representing the lowest tier in Canon's 400mm primes in size, weight, max. aperture and price is the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM. Note that I didn't list "image quality" in the preceding list as the 400 f/5.6L is no slouch from an image quality perspective. That a lens designed nearly 25 years ago can perform compete so well with the 400L IS II (released only 6 years ago) is impressive, to say the least.
 
The most alluring aspects of the 400 f/5.6L, aside from the focal length shared by the other lenses in this comparison, are its small size, light weight and comparatively low price. The 400 f/5.6L measures 3.54 x 10.44” (90.04 x 265.17mm) (with hood unextended) and weighs in at only 47.7 oz (1351g). While the 400 DO IS II is shorter with its hood reversed, the 400 f/5.6L's diameter is significantly smaller and it weighs 32.3 oz (915.7g) less than the DO II model, making it significantly easier to travel with and use handheld for long periods of time.
 
On the downside, image stabilization is not a feature of this lens and it is only partially weather sealed (a lens mount gasket is not present, but the switches and focusing ring have moderate dust and moisture resistance). The lack of IS means that notably higher shutter speeds (up to 4-stops greater) will need to be utilized to negate camera shake compared to the other lenses mentioned above.
 
And speaking of the sealed switches, this lens only has two: an autofocus/manual focus switch and a focus limiter switch with settings of 11.48' (3.5m) - ∞ and 27.89' (8.5m) - ∞.
 
Without IS and a wider maximum aperture, the f/5.6 model's high image quality combined with its low price will represent the primary reasons why photographers choose it over one of the other 400mm prime options as well as the EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM (which features the same max. aperture at 400mm).
 
Size Comparison Images
 
While I mentioned the sizes of the lenses detailed above, the comparison images below will put those numbers into relative context. The first image (also displayed atop this post) shows the lenses in their ready-for-the-gear-bag form with hoods reversed (or not extended).
 
Canon 400mm Prime Lens Comparison Hoods Reversed

And here's a look at the lenses with their hoods extended.
 
Canon 400mm Prime Lens Comparison Hoods Extended

Summary
 
As I mentioned in the introductory paragraph, while there are certainly small differences in image quality (including sharpness, vignetting, flare and [less so] distortion), most will not consider IQ to be a differentiating factor between the 400mm prime candidates listed above. Instead, the significant differences in price found in the available choices directly correlates to the max. apertures available, the inclusion of image stabilization and (to some extent) the amount of weather sealing featured in the lens' design. Ultimately, your max. aperture needs, size/weight requirements and budget limitations will be the most important factors in determining which of these lenses is the ideal addition for your kit.
 
Purchase Links
 
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens – B&H | Amazon | Adorama
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens – B&H | Amazon | Adorama
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens – B&H | Amazon | Adorama
 
Rental Links
 
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens – LensRentals | LensProToGo
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens – LensRentals | LensProToGo
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens – LensRentals | LensProToGo
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/17/2017 8:59:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, April 14, 2017
From the Professional Photographers of America:
 
Time to Act: Contact Your Representative Today!
 
There's a bill in the House of Representatives that needs our attention now!
 
H.R. 1695 allows the position of Register of Copyrights to become a Presidential Appointee, picked from a list of recommendations from the Senate.* This is positive for all photographers, ensuring that someone with ample knowledge of I.P. and the Copyright world will lead the U.S. Copyright Office in an unbiased manner as it begins to undergo the modernization process. This bi-partisan bill will help guarantee that the Copyright Office will be able to serve all creative artists the way it was designed to.
 
Please take 30 seconds to ask your representative to support HR 1695.
 
Send a Letter to Congress
 
Additional Info
 
Note: And while you're at it, you may want to send a second letter to your representative expressing support for Net Neutrality. [Sean]
 
* In PPA's original publication, they mentioned that the list of recommendations would be provided by the "Judiciary." However, my understaning of the resolution is that the recommendation list would be provided by the Senate. [Sean]
Post Date: 4/14/2017 2:40:38 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
According to TheImagingAlliance, Sony has overtaken Nikon to become the #2 market leader in full-frame interchangeable lens cameras.
 
From TheImagingAlliance:
By Jackie Augustine
 
SAN DIEGO, April 14, 2017 – Sony Electronics – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has announced today that their continued growth has vaulted them into the #2 overall position in the U.S. full-frame interchangeable lens camera market.
 
Sony’s interchangeable lens cameras and lenses have seen record sales in 2017, in particular within the U.S. full-frame camera market, where they have experienced double-digit growth (+23%) compared to the same period last year. The popularity of key models including a7RII and a7SII has been paramount to this success.
 
Additionally, Sony’s rapid growth has helped to drive growth of the overall full-frame interchangeable lens camera market compared to the same period last year. Without Sony’s contributions, the full-frame market would be facing a slight decline.
 
“Our commitment to the industry is stronger than ever,” said Neal Manowitz, VP of Digital Imaging at Sony North America. “We are always listening to our customers, combining their feedback with our intense passion for innovation to deliver products, services and support like no other.”
While this news may seem surprising, it should be noted that Nikon is still solidly #2 in the overall interchageable lens camera market (with crop-sensor cameras included). Also, I believe the statement "without Sony’s contributions, the full-frame market would be facing a slight decline" incorrectly assumes that those who purchased a full-frame Sony camera within the past year would not have purchased a competitor's camera if the Sony cameras were unavailable.
 
With that said, there's no doubt that Sony is selling a fair amount of a7R II and a7S II cameras; I see them frequently when photographing in downtown Savannah and while exploring nearby cities. [Sean]
 
B&H carries Sony full-frame cameras.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 4/14/2017 11:18:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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