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 Friday, March 24, 2017
by Sean Setters
While a sharp image is often most desireable, sometimes increased sharpness is counterproductive to achieveing specific photographic goals. For instance, lately I've been intrigued by slow shutter speeds and the motion blur recorded as a result of their use. Specifically, I've recently been using the RigWheels RigMount X4 Magnetic Camera Platform for automotive photography.
While I'm finding the camera platform to be an exciting tool to have in my kit, its not necessarily an inexpensive piece of gear and its uses outside of automotive photography are somewhat limited. But using the RigMount X4 got me thinking about other ways of capturing motion and the world of artistic possibilites at our fingertips, especially if nothing in the frame remains sharp as a result of one's chosen exposure variables.
With that in mind, I recently made set out with my camera in hand with a goal of creating a totally motion blurred image that looked more like "art" and less like "a mistake." With the goal of few (if any) details being discernable, I didn't have to go far to find a suitable location. The scene I chose was the normally-not-very-photogenic view seen across the street from my home. After about 20 attempts (using various panning/rotating techniques), I had a motion blurred image that intrigued me enough to post-process (seen above).
To capture the image, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM (with a 4-stop ND filter) with the following settings: 40mm, f/6.3, 2 sec, ISO 200. I held the camera level to the ground and panned from right-to-left while bouncing the camera up and down (as if it were a bouncing ball) during the 2-second exposure which created seemingly the intertwined flowing lines seen in the image. For post processing, I applied vignetting correction and increased the image's saturation/vibrancy/clarity in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CC. For what it's worth, I ended up liking the end result so much that it's now my smartphone's wallpaper (slightly croped and rotated 90-degrees).
We invite you to share your artistically motion blurred images in the comments below.
Post Date: 3/24/2017 8:51:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H currently lists the expected availability of the new Canon EOS M6 as Thu, Mar 30th.
With that date rapidly approaching (less than a week away), it seemed logical to get our expectations loaded on the Canon EOS M6 Review page, so ... we did just that.
What are the differences between the EOS M6 and the EOS M5? We list those differences right at the top of the M6 page – and the list is short. So short that much of the M6 page is the same or nearly the same as the M5 page. And, a short list of differences is very good in this case. If you are familiar with one of these cameras, you just need to read the mentioned differences list to be familiar with both.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/24/2017 8:09:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 23, 2017
B&H has the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens in stock with free expedited shipping.
Post Date: 3/23/2017 4:11:48 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
In my review of the RigWheels RigMount X4 Magnetic Camera Platform, I demonstrated how the mount could be used to capture a vehicle in motion (with blurred surroundings) while attached to the car being photographed. The example I created can be seen below.
Self Portrait with RigWheels RigMount X4 Magnet Camera Platform 1

Getting a shot like the example above is relatively easy and straightforward using the magnetic camera platform. But ever since posting the review, I had been wondering whether or not the RigMount X4 could be utilized to photograph a vehicle it wasn't attached to with a sharp vehicle and similarly blurred background. From a photographer's perspective, this type of situation would be ideal as the camera gear's safety and security remain the responsibility of the photographer rather than the driver of the subject car (assuming you're not using the X4 for a self-portrait like I was).
However, I knew that there would be several challenges involved in photographing a following vehicle, all of which can cause unwanted motion blur of the vehicle being photographed. To capture an acceptably sharp follow vehicle, the following would all need to happen simultaneously during the relatively long shutter duration:
  1. The car with the camera mount could not hit any significant bumps
  2. The follow car could not hit any significant bumps
  3. The follow car would need to maintain a constant distance from the lead/camera mounted car
I reasoned that using an image stabilized lens would help reduce the impact of small vibrations caused by the mount vehicle, but... it wouldn't be able to compensate for any noticeable bumps in the driving surface.
Unfortunately, there was another challenge to consider – lighting. If photographing on a bright, clear day, the single primary light source would not likely produce great results.
For instance, if driving into the sun, the lead vehicle's shadow would likely cast a distracting shadow into the scene. If the sun were camera right, the broad side of the subject vehicle as seen from the lead vehicle would be in shadow with, yet again, another distracting shadow cast into the middle of the frame. If driving away from the sun, then the bulk of the subject car would be in shadow. With the sun camera left, the broad side of the subject vehicle would have been well lit, but... I still wasn't sure that I'd be happy with the lead vehicle's shadow likely being visible in the frame.
Shooting at night seemed to be the best solution to the lighting problem. With street lights (and possibly head lights) providing the bulk of the lighting required for an exposure, the car could be lit from multiple angles with any shadows cast being less severe. Also, the direction of travel would be less of a concern, meaning that a wider variety of shooting locations would be available for consideration. As ideal nighttime lighting conditions would likely be sporadic on any given route (aside from a well lit parking lot), it was necessary to add "good lighting" to the ever-growing list of variables that had to fall in line for the desired final image.
Before attempting a nighttime shot, Alexis (the driver of the following vehicle) and I did a dry run during the day to determine which focal lengths and shutter speeds might work best. Tests with a shutter speed of 1/2 second never created a sharp-looking vehicle. We found that wider focal lengths and a relatively close vehicle in an adjacent lane with a 1/3 second shutter speed provided the most promising results. At 1/3 second, there were still only a few sharp images compared to the total images captured. However, the blur created at 1/3 second appeared significantly better at comfortable speeds than when using shorter shutter speeds.
Before I go any further, let me be clear – please use caution if attempting to photograph moving vehicles. Do what you can to minimize risks and always be alert to potential hazards and/or traffic conditions. We are not responsible for property damage and/or loss of life if you attempt to replicate the results.
How I Got the Shot
Because of its wide angle of view and image stabilization feature, I opted to use a Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens paired with an Canon EOS 7D Mark II. The 7D II was not only a good camera choice because of its compatibility with the EF-S 10-18 IS STM, but it's built-in intervalometer feature made triggering the camera during the shooting runs very easy.
I mounted the camera and lens to a ball head attached to the RigMount X4 and – using the included (4) Long Magnetic Mounts – I affixed the rig to the driver's side back quarter panel of my car. With the road in front of my house free of traffic, I directed Alexis to a spot for optimal framing, manually focused on the car, made a few test shots to determine the proper exposure settings, and with the exposure settings determined, I set the camera's intervalometer to take a shot every second. With the camera triggered, I told Alexis to try and maintain a constant distance from the car when she could (while abiding by all traffic laws, of course).
The exposure settings used: 10mm, f/5, 1/3 sec., ISO 1000.
We ended up doing two 1/2 mile laps traveling down a four lane road featuring a decent number of street lights. After the first lap, we took a look at the images to see if there were any adjustments that might be made to improve our results. We determined that the follow vehicle needed to be just a little bit closer and a little more forward in relation to the lead car than the previous run. On the second lap, we got the shot atop this post. Out of the two laps, there were only a handful of acceptably sharp images (out of 400+) and only a couple of the shots featured decent lighting and optimal vehicle placement within the frame (making selection of the best shot a very easy task).
Can the RigWheels RigMount X4 be used to photograph a moving vehicle that it isn't attached to, with motion blurred surroundings and a sharp subject? In a word – "absolutely." However, planning, patience and persistence will be your allies in getting those results.
More Info: RigWheels RigMount X4 Magnetic Camera Platform Review
Post Date: 3/23/2017 8:10:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Think Tank Photo has its new Signature-series – the Signature 10 and Signature 13 shoulder bags – in stock with free shipping.
As an added bonus for using our links, you'll get a free gift with your purchase of $50.00 or more at Think Tank Photo.
Key Features:
  • Modern wool-like fabric that is soft to the touch and stands-up to everyday use
  • Full-grain leather bottom and detailing, plus antique finished metal hardware
  • Zippered flap provides full closure and security to the main compartment, or tucks away when not in use
Post Date: 3/23/2017 7:36:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
Changes from Firmware Version 1.1 to 1.2
  • Fixed an issue that in rare cases prevented the camera turning on and increased the drain on the battery when Disable was selected for Bluetooth > Connection and On for Airplane mode in Camera settings > Network menu.
Download: Nikon COOLPIX W100 Firmware v.1.2
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/23/2017 7:28:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, March 22, 2017

From the B&H YouTube Channel:
B&H is proud to present its Women of Influence series. Elsa Garrison is a sports photographer for Getty Images whose work has captured unforgettable moments, right in the middle of the action. Her career has spanned almost every professional sports league, and has even brought her to the Olympics.
Elsa's Website:
Elsa's Instagram:
Post Date: 3/22/2017 3:55:23 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
After posting about the Canon EOS M6 User's Manual availability and the DPP, EOS Utility and Picture Style software updates this morning, I noticed that the EOS Rebel T7i & EOS 77D User's Manuals have also been published by Canon USA. You can find the download links below.
B&H has the Canon EOS Rebel T7i and EOS 77D available for preorder.
Post Date: 3/22/2017 9:49:42 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon has released the following software updates:
Digital Photo Professional 4.6.10 & EOS Utility 3.6.0
  • Supports EOS Kiss X9i / EOS REBEL T7i / EOS 800D, EOS 9000D / EOS 77D, EOS M6.
  • Supports EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM.

Picture Style Editor 1.18.10
  • Supports EOS Kiss X9i / EOS REBEL T7i / EOS 800D, EOS 9000D / EOS 77D, EOS M6.

Download: Updated DPP, EOS Utility & Picture Style Editor
Canon USA has the EOS M6 User's Manual available for download.
B&H has the Canon EOS M6 available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/22/2017 8:24:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements, standard product images and eye candy have been added to the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Milvus Lens Review page.
I'm not surprised by the image quality results – this lens has the heart of the Zeiss 135mm f/2.0 Classic Lens and that lens was similarly impressive.
Here is the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Milvus Lens compared to the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens.
B&H has the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Milvus Lens in stock.
Looking for a bargain? The Zeiss 135mm f/2 Classic Lens is just that after a $623.00 instant savings at B&H (plus get a 4% B&H reward).
Post Date: 3/22/2017 8:04:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Just posted: Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens Review.
Learn how this great looking lens from a market newcomer performs.
B&H has the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens in stock.
Post Date: 3/21/2017 8:06:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Sigma:
Thank you for purchasing and using our products. We would like to announce the firmware update for the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E. This firmware update allows it to be compatible with the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art (Release: April), SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (TBD), Cine Lens 50mm T1.5 FF EF mount from FF High Speed Prime Line (TBD) and so on.
For customers who own the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro by connecting it to a computer using a supplied USB Cable.
Before updating the MC-11 firmware, please ensure SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to ver. 1.4.1 or later for Windows, and ver. 1.4.0 or later for Macintosh from the following download page.
SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page
For SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E, firmware update announced on March 10th, 2017 allows it to be compatible with SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art and SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary.
Applicable product
Benefits of this firmware update
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art and SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary.
  • It has become compatible with the Cine Lenses; SIGMA 20 mm T1.5 FF EF mount, 24 mm T1.5 FF EF mount, 35mm T1.5 FF EF mount, 50 mm T1.5 FF EF mount, 85 mm T1.5 FF EF mount from FF High Speed Prime Line, and 24-35mm T2.2 FF EF mount from FF Zoom Line.
For further information, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA subsidiary / distributor.
B&H carries the Sigma Mount Converter MC-11.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/21/2017 6:49:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, March 20, 2017
From Nikon:
Kicking off with “Love Letters from the N Line,” Nikon’s Newest Campaign Celebrates the Things We Love About New York City Through Amazing Images and Invites Others to Share the Love Using #NikonLoveNY
NEW YORK, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. unveiled its new “Love Letters” campaign which features open letters to the residents of New York City, highlighting some of the reasons why we love New York and inspiring people to share their love for the city that never sleeps. Evoking the traditional concept of the love letter but on a grander scale, the campaign will feature a variety of stunning images and curated love notes that highlight the city’s diversity, showcase its exhilarating energy and celebrate the sights and sounds that are distinctly New York City. The campaign creative includes vibrant images, taken with Nikon cameras, that truly capture the city and those that call it home in incredible image quality, vivid colors and stunning detail that Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses are known for. Nikon’s “Love Letters” will also encourage New Yorkers to share their own beautiful images and affection for their city through social media, using #NikonLoveNY. Participants’ images dedicated website:
“Whether it’s a secret spot for the best slice, the way the dusk light hits an iconic landmark or a favorite park bench with the perfect view, the things we love most about our cities deserve to be captured with a quality that reflects the pride and personal connection we have to these places,” said Lisa Baxt, Associate General Manager of Communications, Nikon Inc. “Through these Love Letters we hope to encourage consumers to pick up a camera and share the love they have for their city through stunning imagery. We are excited to kick off the campaign in New York, and see New Yorkers’ perspectives of all of the extraordinary things that make the city they love so special.”
Launching this Spring, the campaign will feature Nikon’s love letters at some of the most notable places along the N Line through billboards, posters and other out of home displays. Images layered with short love letters will be revealed in key locations in and around the transit line throughout the city, including Times Square, Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Astoria, Queens, offering commuters visually dynamic messages as captured by Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses.
Consumers and campaign participants will also have an opportunity to see the campaign come to life across digital media and mobile platforms. As New York is waking up from the cold, dark winter months, it is a perfect time to get out and capture the vibrant nature of the city. Over the next two months, Nikon will encourage New Yorkers to capture what they love most about the Big Apple and share their personal love letters with the world, tagging #NikonLoveNY.
Travelling through three boroughs, New York City’s beloved “N Line” is the ideal canvas to showcase what makes New York City so exceptional. The line carries more than nine million passengers each month and runs through a diverse and rich cultural and architectural landscape stretching over a 45-station path and running through four of the 10 busiest subway stations in New York City, including stops at Times Square, Union Square, Atlantic Avenue and Coney Island. Already clad in Nikon’s recognizable yellow and black, the N Line will serve as a conduit for Nikon’s “Love Letters” campaign, which provides a picture of New York that’s not often told, featuring some of the intimate details that make living in New York so personal and special.
This campaign builds upon the company’s “Show Your Love Some Love” campaign, launched in March 2016, which empowered passionate people to create better memories with images that do their “loves” justice. The “Love Letters” campaign was created and executed by Nikon’s agency partners, Cramer-Krasselt and MWWPR.
To see all of Nikon’s Love Letters and notes from other New Yorkers, please be sure to visit throughout the campaign.
Posted to: Nikon News
Category: Nikon USA News
Post Date: 3/20/2017 12:17:07 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
If upgrading from a Rebel/***D series camera, or even an earlier **D model (like the EOS 60D), the Canon EOS 80D and EOS 5D Mark IV can each provide unique benefits that make them sensible upgrade candidates. So let's break down the differences to see which body provides the right upgrade path for you.
Let's first look at the EOS 80D as it will likely provide an easy, seamless transition for those who are already using a crop-sensor camera such as a Rebel/****D/***D/**D. By "seamless transition," I mean that all of your current lenses should be compatible with the 80D. I say "should" because there's a very small chance that some older third-party lenses may not be fully compatible with bodies released after their manufacture.
And make no mistake, compatibility with EF-S lenses can be a significant benefit. Lenses designed specifically for crop sensor cameras are generally smaller, lighter and less expenisve than their designed-for-full-frame counterparts. Of course, EF-S lenses do have their drawbacks, such as often a lower build quality and a lack of weather sealing.
Now let's look at the 80D's benefits over the 5D Mark IV:
  • Built-in Master Flash: Yes vs. N/A
  • Higher Continuous Shooting Buffer (RAW): 25 RAW vs. 21
  • LCD: Vari-angle Touch Screen vs. Fixed
  • More Custom Functions: 26 vs. 17
  • Higher Battery Life: Approx. 960 shots vs. 900
  • Smaller Size: 5.47 x 4.14 x 3.09" (139.0 x 105.2 x 78.5mm) vs. 5.93 x 4.58 x 2.99" (150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm)
  • Lighter Weight: 25.75 oz (730g) vs. 31.4 oz (890g)
  • Compatible Mounts: EF, EF-S, TS-E & MP-E Lenses vs. EF, TS-E & MP-E
  • Significantly Lower Price
Of the benefits listed above, the most compelling for most consumers is the significantly lower price. In fact, you could nearly purchase (3) EOS 80Ds for the price of a single 5D Mark IV at MSRP (without rebates).
That kind of price differential brings the 5D Mark IV's numerous benefits into perspective. And while we're on the subject, let's take a look at the 5D Mark IV's benefits over the 80D:
  • Higher Resolution: 30.4 MP vs. 24.2
  • Image Processor: DIGIC 6+ vs. DIGIC 6
  • Better High ISO Results (example: comparison @ ISO 6400)
  • More AF Points: 61 Point / 41 cross-type AF points inc. 5 dual cross type at f/2.8 and 61 points / 21 cross-type AF points at f/8 vs. 45 cross-type AF points inc. center dual cross type at f/2.8 and 27 points / 9 cross-type at f/8
  • Metering Sensor: Approx. 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 252-zone metering vs. 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, metering with the area divided into 63 segments (9×7)
  • Lower Light Metering Range: EV 0 – 20 vs. EV 1 – 20
  • Larger ISO Range: 100-32000, L:50, H1: 51200, H2: 102400 vs. 100-16000, H: 25600
  • More Durable Shutter: 150,000 shots vs. 100,000
  • Higher Continuous Buffer (JPEG): Unlimited JPEGS vs. 110
  • Higher Max. Video Resolution: 4K (17:9) 4096 x 2160 vs. Full HD (16:9) 1920 x 1080
  • GPS: Built-in vs. optional accessory
  • Mult-controller (Joystick): Yes vs. N/A
  • Faster USB: Super-speed 3.0 vs. High-speed 2.0
  • Memory Cards: CompactFlash Type I (UDMA 7 compatible) & SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) cards vs. SD, SDHC or SDXC (UHS-I)
  • Body Materials: Magnesium Alloy vs. Polycarbonate resin with glass fiber
One benefit I did not list for the 80D is the FOVCF (Field of View Crop Factor). Because the 80D's sensor is smaller than the full frame sensor found in the 5D Mark IV, it captures a narrower angle of view at the same focal length compared to the 5D Mark IV. A good description of the effect can be found in our Field of View Crop Factor page:
Although the physical focal length of a lens is not actually changed on a FOVCF camera, the subject framing certainly is. By multiplying the lens focal length (or focal length range) by the FOVCF, you get the full-frame focal length lens subject framing equivalent when used at the same distance. For example, if you are looking for similar framing that a 50mm lens (the classic "normal" lens) provides on a full-frame (1.0x crop factor) SLR body, you probably want a 35mm lens on your 1.6x FOVCF body. 35mm x 1.6 = similar framing to a 56mm lens on a full-frame camera body. This focal length is often referred to as the "Effective Focal Length". The lens is still a 35mm lens, but your final image will only include a crop of the lens' complete image.
However, the FOVCF is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it provides a more narrow angle of view which can provide [seemingly] more reach to your telephoto lenses. But with the 5D Mark IV's extra resolution, you could argue that framing a subject more loosely with the same lens would provide better cropped-to-the-80D's-resolution image quality with the ability to optimally frame the subject post capture.
Where the 80D's FOVCF becomes especially problematic is wide angle photography. Because crop sensor cameras provide a narrower angle of view at the same focal length compared to full frame cameras, wide angle views are sacraficed when using full frame compatible lenses on the 80D.
A big advantage of the larger full frame sensor camera is the ability to create a stronger background blur. Because a longer focal length is required for the 5D IV to create the same subject framing as the APS-C format 80D, the background can be more diffusely blurred in comparison.
So which DSLR should you get between the two bodies compared above? As usual, one's personal preferences, specific needs and budget will provide the answer. That the 5D Mark IV is the more capable, better spec'd body is an easy conclusion. However, the price difference between the 80D and 5D Mark IV is substantial, and one must be able to justify the 5D IV's superset of features to justify the higher investment.
Those who may be easily able to justify the 5D IV's higher investment include photographers who primarily appreciate the camera's better image quality including cleaner high ISO results and higher resolution, increased shutter durability, dual memory card slots, wider angles of view and 4K recording capability. And for those photographers who don't feel that the 5D IV's benefits are worth the incremental price difference over the 80D can enjoy the wealth of features afforded by the crop sensor camera at roughly 1/3 the cost.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/20/2017 8:54:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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