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 Monday, July 27, 2015
 Thursday, July 23, 2015
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review.
 
You probably already guessed this, but the 100-400 L II is another of my favorite lenses.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/23/2015 7:45:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Lens MTF
It is with great pleasure that I announce the latest addition to the site's tools: Lens MTF Comparison
 
Required Reading: To get the most out of these beautiful charts and to learn about MTF measurements, please take some time to read through the Lens MTF Help page.
 
Many prime lens results are immediately available in the MTF tool and many additions are planned, including zoom lenses. We'll announce the additions as they become available. Aperture tests in addition to wide open are also expected to be included at some point.
 
These MTF charts are made available under agreement with my friend Roger Cicala and his crew at Olaf Optical Testing with support provided by LensRentals.com. Go rent a lens!
Post Date: 7/21/2015 7:29:21 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 20, 2015
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens Review.
 
This is another of my favorite lenses. Not ony for the amazingly wide angles it provides, but for the solid image quality at those wide angles.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/20/2015 7:36:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, July 16, 2015
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens Review.
 
The 16-35 f/4L IS is one of my favorite lenses and is looking great in front of the 5Ds.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens in stock with a $100.00 MIR available.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/16/2015 7:51:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 13, 2015
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Just posted: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens Review.
 
The 50mm f/1.8 STM is not a perfect lens, but it is nearly Canon's smallest and lightest lens. And that it is Canon' least expensive lens we can all appreciate.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/13/2015 7:43:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 6, 2015
Canon EOS 5Ds
Just posted: Canon EOS 5Ds Review.
 
The Canon 5Ds promised to perform amazingly and it has delivered on that promise.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds in stock and the 5Ds R available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/6/2015 8:47:24 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, July 2, 2015
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens on EOS 5Ds R
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens Review page.
 
While testing Canon's cheapest lens on their highest resolution camera may seem to be a pairing of opposites, there is a point to be made here. The 50 STM is not a great performer at f/1.8, showing a "dreamy" look to be kind. If we review a comparison between the 5Ds R and 1Ds III with the 50 STM at its f/1.8 aperture, we see that the 5Ds R can extract more resolution from even a poor performing lens. Look at the white being more clearly delineated between the black lines in the top crop to most easily see this.
 
Stop down to f/4 and be amazed at how well a $125 lens can perform.
 
B&H has the inexpensive Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/2/2015 10:19:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Canon's Ultimate EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R General Purpose Lenses
Finding the ultimate general purpose lens for the new EOS 5Ds R cameras entering my kit was a high priority for me. With image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R now available in the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens Review, the three primary Canon lens choices are available for comparison.
 
The Ultimate 5Ds General Purpose Lens Candidates
 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
The Comparisons
 
To be honest, I thought the 24-70mm f/2.8L II would be easy to declare the winner and optically, it is the best of this list. However, the two f/4 lenses perform better in front of 50.6 megapixels than I expected.
 
The f/2.8L II is slightly sharper over then entire focal length range at f/2.8 than either of the f/4 lenses are at f/4. At the equal f/4 comparison, the f/2.8L II is noticeably sharper and is still sharper at f/5.6. At f/8, the differences are slight and at f/11, diffraction essentially evens the playing field. Choosing an image sharpness winner between the two f/4 lenses is a challenge, but more noticeable is the 24-105's higher CA and distortion levels.
 
The f/2.8 lens has a 1 stop wider aperture, giving it the ability to stop action in 1/2 as much light as the other two lenses and the ability to create a stronger background blur. The 24-70mm f/4L IS rules the maximum Magnification (MM) spec with a 0.70x rating vs. the competition's 0.23x and 0.21x specs. The two f/4 lenses have image stabilization, allowing them to be used handheld in far lower light levels than the f/2.8 lens (as long as the subject is not in motion). The 24-105 L has the benefit of reaching to 105mm on the long end.
 
The f/2.8L II is slightly larger than the 24-105mm f/4L IS, which is slightly larger than the 24-70mm f/4L IS. The f/2.8L II has a modestly more substantial lead in the weight category, weighing in 5 oz (142g) more than the 24-105mm f/4L and 7 oz (198g) heavier than the 24-70mm f/4L. These lenses are similarly well-built.
 
Small differences between these lenses include the 2012-introduced 24-70mm models having 9 blade apertures vs. the 2005-introduced 24-105mm's 8 and the f/2.8 lens having an 82mm filter thread size (vs. 77mm). A not-so-small difference is the f/2.8L II's price relative to the f/4L IS models.
 
The Conclusions
 
All of these lenses are easily good enough for use in front of a 5Ds. The decision differences for many will come down to price, aperture and overall versatility.
 
If your investment in the 5Ds has left you monetarily strained, a good value may be your highest priority. In that case, the 10 year old 24-105mm f/4L IS, purchased in white box or refurbished condition would be a great choice. Canon omitted the 24-105 L from its EOS 5Ds Lens Recommendations List, but ... I think this model is very worthy of consideration.
 
If you need to stop action in low light or want to create the strongest background blur, you need an f/2.8 aperture and the choice is easy. While the 24-70mm f/2.8L II will impact your wallet the greatest and will leave you without IS, this is the most amazing lens choice optically.
 
For overall versatility, I'll give the nod to the 24-70mm f/4L IS. The smallest and lightest lens of the group, the 24-70mm f/4L IS offers great image quality along with the best-performing image stabilization system and a macro-lens-like close-focusing capability. While more expensive than the white box or refurbished 24-105 f/4L IS, the 24-70 f/4L IS has the same regular price as the 24-105 L and is also a good value.
 
The Ultimate 5Ds General Purpose Lens
 
While it would be easy to justify a decision for any of these three lenses, I'm going to declare the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II Lens to be the ultimate EOS 5Ds general purpose lens. Canon apparently agrees with this choice as this is the lens shown mounted in the Canon-supplied EOS 5Ds product images. However, I will not be selling my 24-70 f/4L IS lens anytime soon.
 
Learn More about the Lenses
 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens Review
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens Review
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens Review
 
In Stock at B&H:
 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/1/2015 9:39:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Canon EOS 5Ds R
While the Canon EOS 5Ds Review (coming soon) will feature a complete review of the 5Ds cameras (including the R functionally), the Canon EOS 5Ds R Review takes a closer look at the differences between these two cameras.
 
Posting the 5Ds R differences review before the full 5Ds review may seem backwards, but ... we know most of what these cameras are about already. They are based on the 5D Mark III (including the AF system) with a new sensor and some new features. The resolution, noise and sounds are now known and available on the site. With these results all being excellent, for many (including me), the decision remaining to be made was between the 5Ds and the 5Ds R.
 
The 5Ds R review focuses on those differences and especially on moiré and the commonness of its occurance. I'll reveal my personal choice at the end.
 
While B&H has had the Canon EOS 5Ds in stock since the first delivery was received, the Canon EOS 5Ds R preorders have not yet been completely filled. If this is the camera you want, reserve your place in line.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/30/2015 9:14:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 29, 2015
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM and II Lenses Compared
While the Canon EOS 5Ds review has been my highest priority, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens review has not been derailed and is also approaching completion.
 
One of the biggest differences between the 50mm f/1.8 II and the 50mm f/1.8 STM lenses, as their names imply, is the AF system implementation and the audibility differences of these systems is especially notable. The 50mm f/1.8 STM's focusing sound is greatly improved/reduced over the 50mm f/1.8 II presence-announcing buzz.
 
While much can be discerned from this post's image (the STM lens AF sound is depicted on the left), the difference that really matters will best be determined by your ears (turn up your speaker volume):
 
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens AF Sound Compared to f/1.8 II
 
The perfect lens AF sound would of course be a flat line, but ... AF moves parts and moving parts tend to make at least some noise. In this case, the STM is audible and audible enough for on-camera mics to pick up. The sounds in this example are from an identical near full extents change in both directions at full speed. As with some other STM lenses, a slow change in focus distance (such as when recording video) results in a noticeably quieter sound.
 
Much more to come.
 
The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens, Canon's least expensive lens, is in stock at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2015 9:10:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens on EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens Review.
 
This is the lens that Canon shows mounted in the 5Ds and 5Ds R product images. There is a good reason for that choice.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens in stock with a $100.00 MIR available through July 4th.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2015 8:03:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 26, 2015
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens review.
 
Many more 5Ds R lens tests are coming.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens in stock with a $200.00 MIR available.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/26/2015 8:44:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 25, 2015
Canon EOS 5Ds
Let's make some noise with the EOS 5Ds. We already talked about one important 5Ds noise factor (high ISO noise), but the audible noise a camera makes can be quite important in quiet situations. When the photographer wishes to remain unnoticed, such as at a wedding or when photographing wildlife, a quiet shutter release is greatly appreciated. The good news is that the 5Ds performs at a noticeably lower decibel than its predecessor.
 
Following are links to MP3 files capturing "The Sounds of the Canon EOS 5Ds". Turn up the volume!
 
Canon EOS 5Ds One Shot Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Burst Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Slow Burst Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Silent Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Silent Burst Mode
Burst Comparison: 5D III, 5Ds, 7D II and 1DX (3.5 second clips of each)
 
It is not hard to figure out which cameras included in the burst comparison will garner the most attention. Notably, you will hear that the 5Ds is quieter than the 5D III with a less-sharp sound response. Designed to reduce vibration, the new mirror mechanism is also responsible for quieter performance.
 
The 5D III's silent mode was very useful and the 5Ds retains the same ability with a similar sound level.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 5Ds
Canon EOS 5Ds R
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds in stock and the Canon EOS 5Ds R is available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 11:38:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 5Ds
My Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R cameras are here and as you expected, they are practically glued to my hands. These cameras are delivering simply amazing image quality.
 
I will have lots of additional info to share about this camera in the very near future, but once again, I kept notes as I unpacked and configured three copies of the world's highest resolution DSLR. Following are the 36 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 5Ds / 5Ds R ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Install 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. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare A+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H1(12800), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-6400
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Anti-flicker shoot: Enable
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Grid display: 3x3
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus (same reason)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  34. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state. Your list will insure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 5Ds
Canon EOS 5Ds R
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 10:33:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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