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 Thursday, December 11, 2014
Adobe Logo
From Adobe:
 
Acquisition to Deliver Vibrant Image and Video Marketplace for Creatives Worldwide
 
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dec. 11, 2014 — Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia, a leading marketplace for royalty-free photos, images, graphics and HD video, for approximately $800 million in cash. Fotolia will be integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud, providing current and future Creative Cloud members with the ability to access and purchase over 34 million images and videos, significantly simplifying and accelerating the design process. The acquisition of Fotolia cements Creative Cloud’s role as a vibrant marketplace for creatives to buy and sell assets and services as well as showcase their talent to a worldwide audience. Adobe also plans to continue to operate Fotolia as a standalone stock service, accessible to anyone.
 
“The acquisition of Fotolia will reinforce Creative Cloud’s role as the preeminent destination for creatives,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Digital Media, Adobe. “Creative Cloud is becoming the go-to marketplace for the creative community to access images, videos, fonts and creative talent, through critical creative services like Fotolia and our new Creative Talent Search capabilities.”
 
With over 3.4 million members, Adobe Creative Cloud features the world’s leading desktop tools, an array of complementary mobile apps, training content, creative assets and services and ready access to a dynamic community. Creative Cloud is transforming how creatives find inspiration and deliver their best work -- and the value of Creative Cloud is increasing all the time through product updates and new capabilities like Creative Talent Search. Following the completion of the acquisition, Adobe expects to integrate the delivery and purchase of stock assets into Creative Cloud.
 
“Becoming part of the Adobe family is a dream come true for the Fotolia team and will accelerate our vision to become the best place for artists to build a business and the ultimate destination for designers to find stunning creative work,” said Oleg Tscheltzoff, founder and CEO of Fotolia.
 
Founded in 2004, with offices in New York, Paris and Berlin, privately-held Fotolia is owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., TA Associates and management. Fotolia currently operates in 23 countries and has websites in 14 languages.
 
The transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of Adobe’s fiscal Q1 2015, is subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The potential financial impact to Adobe of this transaction is not reflected in financial targets Adobe has previously provided, or new targets disclosed as part of Adobe's financial results, released on December 11, 2014. Until the transaction closes, each company will continue to operate independently. Upon close Fotolia CEO, Oleg Tscheltzoff, will continue to lead the Fotolia team as part of Adobe’s Digital Media business.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 12/11/2014 8:29:15 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Adobe Logo
From the Adobe Lightroom Journal:
 
Camera Raw 8.7.1 is now available as a final release for Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC. This release includes support for the Sony ILCE-A7M2 and also includes a bug fix related to support for the Samsung NX1 camera. DNG Converter 8.7.1 is provided for customers using versions of Photoshop older than Photoshop CS6.
 
As mentioned here, updates to Camera Raw 8 for Photoshop CS6 only include new camera support, lens profile support, and bug fixes. The new features listed in the release notes are only available in Photoshop CC.
 
New Lens Profile Support in Camera Raw 8.7
 
MountName
Canon EFCanon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EFCanon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EFTokina AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX
Leica MZeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZM
Nikon FTokina AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX
Nikon FTokina AT-X 70-200mm F4 PRO FX VCM-S
Sony AlphaTokina AT-X 166 PRO DX II 11-16 F2.8
Bug Fixes:
 
  • Fixed issues with chromatic aberration specific to the Samsung NX1.
Please note – If you have trouble updating to the latest ACR update via the Creative Cloud application, please refer to the following plugin installation:
http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/multi/camera-raw-plug-in-installer.html
 
Download Links
DNG Converter 8.7 for Windows
DNG Converter 8.7 for Macintosh
Post Date: 12/11/2014 3:35:25 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens on EOS 5D Mark III
If I had to limit my Canon full frame DSLR kit to only five lenses, they would be:
 
1. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
This lens has many uses, but I do a lot of landscape photography and regard this as the ultimate wide angle landscape lens. The angle of view this lens makes available ranges from ultra-wide through only modestly wide and it delivers very sharp (corner-to-corner) images that make me smile every time I view them.
 
2. Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
The 24-70mm focal length range is my most-used and having a general purpose lens in my kit is important to me. There are some other good choices for this lens, including the 24-70 f/2.8L II and the 24-105 f/4L. If I had only 5 lenses in my kit, I would want my general purpose lens to have IS and the 24-70 f/4L IS has the most-recent/most advanced IS system at this time. This lens has a much higher maximum magnification spec (for macro capabilities) and less distortion at 24mm than the 24-105 L IS (which has a longer focal length range to its advantage). I can't do justice to a list of uses for this lens.
 
3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
 
The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II gets my easy choice for a medium telephoto zoom lens. It delivers very impressive image quality even at a wide open f/2.8 aperture with the capability to create a strong background blur. This lens excels at sports action and portrait photography. It is highly popular with photojournalists and wedding photographers. Landscape photography is another great use for this lens.
 
4. Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
I love wildlife photography and there is no better general purpose wildlife lens than this one. This focal length range, moderately wide aperture and fast AF qualifies this lens for professional-grade sports photography. This is not a small, light or inexpensive lens, but ... I didn't set a budget limit for my "5 Lens Kit". :)
 
5. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens
 
I also love macro photography, for which interesting and colorful subjects abound. Macro subjects are readily available around the house, at the flower shop, outside ... there is never a lack of something to photograph with a macro lens in the kit. The Canon 100 L has very impressive image quality and the hybrid IS feature makes this lens easier to use and especially easier to frame at high magnification subject distances.
 
And then I would start saving to add the lenses I'd still feel lost without. :)
 
The above-listed lenses are my choices for use on a full-frame DSLR. For an APS-C DSLR model, I would swap #1 for the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens and #2 for the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.
 
What are your most important "5"?
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/11/2014 10:06:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
B&H is expecting to ship Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens preorders beginning this Friday, December 12. We have received reports that the lens is already showing up in the European market (Netherlands). (thanks Rob)
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/10/2014 2:03:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Laser Light Beam, Upper Antelope Canyon
A laser-like beam of sunlight reaches 130' below the ground to the floor of Upper Antelope Canyon. I highly recommend a wide angle zoom lens when shooting at this popular location. There is a lot of sand blowing into this slot canyon (and the 4 other slot canyons I was in during this trip), so any lens changing should be done inside a protective bag. A towel or other protection for the camera and lens would also be a good idea.
 
I captured this image back in 2010, but it remains one of my favorites. I took advantage of a recent Canvas On Demand 50% off deal (ends today) to have a 56x37" canvas print of it created. The canvas looks great and is leaning against the wall in my studio awaiting me to hang it.
 
Apparently, photos of light beams in slot canyons are quite valuable right now. I'm taking offers. :)
 
See this image larger on Google+, Flickr and Facebook.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
16mm  f/8.0  5s  ISO 100  3744 x 5616px
Post Date: 12/10/2014 1:20:28 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS Mode Dial
What is a Custom Mode?
 
A Custom mode is a camera setting that allows the photographer to instantly recall a pre-saved camera setup configuration by simply turning the top dial (or via a button press and dial turn on the 1-Series models) to one of the designated "C" modes.
 
Canon's mid and high-end EOS DSLR cameras have between one and three Custom ("C") modes available. The current EOS **D models (the EOS 70D and EOS 60D) have one Custom mode and the EOS 6D has two. Canon's high end models, including the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 1D X, have three "C" modes. The lower-end Rebel (***D and ****D) series cameras do not have custom modes available.
 
How to Configure a Custom Shooting Mode
 
Configuring a "C" mode is very easy. Simply adjust all of your camera settings as desired for the "C" mode being programmed and then find and select the "Custom shooting mode" menu option in the "Tools" tab. Next, select "Register settings". If more than one "C" mode is available on your camera, the mode number desired must then be selected. Done. That's it. That "C" mode is programmed.
 
Two other "Custom shooting mode" menu options are available. The first is "Clear settings". I don't recall ever using this one. I simply program over the top of an already configured "C" mode if I want to make a change. I haven't felt a need to clean up any no-longer-needed "C" mode.
 
The other available option is "Change Auto update set". While a "C" mode is being used, camera settings can be changed. When "Change Auto update set" is set to "Enabled", any camera setting changes made while in a "C" mode are saved to the respective "C" mode. The camera will retain the new settings even after being powered off. When this option is set to "Disabled", the camera will revert back to the originally programmed settings when the camera powers off. My cameras are all set to "Enabled". "Enabled" requires a little more attention to the as-last-configured settings when beginning to shoot, but ... I found "Disabled" to be somewhat maddening and requiring even more constant attention.
 
Bryan's Custom Mode Settings
 
I am generally using camera models with three Custom modes and I have a standard configuration that I use on all of my cameras. Being configured identically means that it doesn't matter which camera I am using, I know which Custom mode to use when the configured-for situation presents itself. That configuration and my thought process behind it as follows:
 
Custom Mode 1: Action Photography
 
The action photography I do has general overarching camera settings requirements that lend themselves perfectly to a "C" mode.
 
My most-used standard camera mode is "M" (Manual) and this is what I programmed "C1" for. I use "M" mode for about 95% of my photography with "Av" (Aperture Priority) mode picking up 4.8% of the remaining mode use (most often when shooting under rapidly changing light levels such as a partly-cloudy sky when Auto ISO in "M" mode is not desired). My programmed manual exposure settings include a wide open aperture (usually from whichever lens I used last), an action-stopping 1/1600 shutter speed and Auto ISO. If the light is constant, I change the ISO to a specific setting at the venue.
 
My "C1" is configured for AI Servo AF with a single AF point selected and the camera's highest speed burst drive mode selected. If shooting under very low light (such as an indoor gym), I select a slower/longer shutter speed to allow reasonable ISO settings to be used.
 
Having an action mode ready for immediately use has great benefits that include being able to properly photograph a running animal that was calmly feeding just moments before.
 
Custom Mode 2: Landscape and Still Life Photography
 
I am very frequently shooting landscape and still life subjects from a tripod and my typical settings for such photography are programmed into "C2". Once again, my selected exposure mode is "M". I generally leave the aperture set to f/11 (full frame) or f/8 (APS-C) to plan for as much depth of field as I can get without compromising sharpness (due to diffraction). The shutter speed I need varies widely when I'm in "C2" mode. It is usually set to whatever shutter speed I last used and usually needs to be set for the current situation. My "C2" ISO is set to 100 for the least noise possible.
 
I have One Shot AF mode selected along with the single center AF point. Key for ultimate image sharpness is that mirror lockup and the 2-sec self-timer are selected in my "C2". With the mirror automatically raising 2 seconds before the shutter release, all vibrations, including those caused by my shutter release button press, subside before image capture begins.
 
I usually have Long Exposure Noise Reduction enabled in "C2".
 
While "C" modes are great for setup speed, my "C2" needs are not usually happening fast. But, having this configuration readily available still saves me a lot of setup time. Convenience has a lot of value.
 
Custom Mode 3: Situational-Dependent
 
Basically, I leave "C" mode 3 unprogrammed until needed at each event venue. Technically, my "C3" is programmed to whatever settings I used it for last, but ... those settings are likely irrelevant to the new situation. My use for this mode varies greatly, but the overriding reason I setup "C3" is to be able to recall a venue-specific camera condition the instant I need it. I use "C3" more infrequently than "C1" and "C2" because my needs outside of the regular M and Av mode are primarily captured in my Mode 1 and 2 settings.
 
How are Your Custom Modes Programmed?
 
The variation of camera setup needs between photographers can be dramatic. Give thought to your own "C" settings.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:15:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the SmugMug Films YouTube Channel:
 
You've never seen space like this. This short film gives an inside look at how NASA Astronaut Don Pettit captures breathtaking images of Earth's most famous phenomena - aurora, star trails, city lights, and more - from the inside the International Space Station.
 
Read our interview with Don on our blog. See his photos up close.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:29:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Outdoor Photographer:
Award-Winning Photographer Now Holds Four of the Top 20 Most Expensive Photographs Ever Sold
 
"LAS VEGAS – Today, LIK USA announced the sale of the most expensive photograph in history by world-renowned fine art photographer, Peter Lik. 'Phantom' sold to a private collector for an unprecedented $6.5 million. The purchase also included Lik’s masterworks 'Illusion' for $2.4 million and 'Eternal Moods' for $1.1 million. With this $10 million sale, Lik now holds four of the top 20 spots for most expensive photographs ever sold. He already has a position in the ranking with a previous $1 million sale of famed image, 'One.'"
See the entire article on Outdoor Photographer's website.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 5:52:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
B&H has the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens (review) in stock with limited supply. If this lens is on your wish list, act fast!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/9/2014 5:12:48 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
Running a financially sound business can often feel like a fine balancing act between pursuing passion vs. profits. Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned photographer, owning and running a full-time photography business requires that know how to make money and be profitable. Binita Patel shares her insights on how to MAKE MONEY as a full-time photographer.
 
The presentation will cover the following topics:
 
  • Defining the Value of Your Work
  • Selling: Pitching vs. Catching
  • Pricing and Packages
  • Understanding Your Finances
  • Achieving Profitability
Post Date: 12/9/2014 2:03:17 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
How to Stop a Galloping Horse with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
If you can script the action, the odds of getting a great action photo increase dramatically. If you can repeat the script, those odds skyrocket far higher. And, being able to pick the time of day for the shoot is golden. For this galloping horse shoot, I had full control. But even with full control, you still need to know how to get the shot.
 
I often test camera and lens AF performance using a rider on a galloping horse. This is a challenging subject that I am familiar with, allowing me to best appreciate a camera and lens' capabilities. I often share sample pictures from these shoots and thought you might appreciate the "How To" behind these shots. To dive right in, let's select a lens.
 
Select your Lens
 
Tracking a fast-moving subject requires a fast, responsive-focusing lens. I prefer longer focal length lenses with an effective 400-500mm angle of view being ideal for my situation. A narrow angle of view allows me to isolate the horse and rider against a relatively small area of strongly blurred background. The longer focal lengths keep the horse and rider in the framing sweet spot for a longer duration.
 
There are many lenses capable of tracking this action, but the Canon L telephoto lenses are generally my preference. When testing a camera, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens are usually my first choices. I completely trust these lenses to perform amazingly in all regards and their narrow depth of field at wide open apertures shows me exactly where AF placed the plane of sharp focus.
 
If the lens has IS mode 3, that is the mode I use. Otherwise, I turn off image stabilization.
 
The Camera Setup
 
The camera itself is of course an important component in stopping a galloping horse. If you have only one, that is the camera to use. If you have a choice ... the faster and more accurately a camera auto focuses on a fast-moving subject, the more likely it will be able to keep the horse's rider in focus and the faster that camera's frame rate is, the more likely you are going to capture the ideal horse position. The Canon EOS 1D X and Canon EOS 7D Mark II (used for the included image) are my top 2 choices.
 
Since you know that the subject will be in motion, use the camera's AI Servo AF mode. In this mode, the camera will predict where the subject will be at the precise moment the shutter opens.
 
I also recommend using the fastest frame rate burst mode your camera offers. Some people refer to this mode as "Spray and Pray", but ... just because you can create a catchy saying that has negative implications does not mean that the implications are right.
 
The fastest frame rates available today have a purpose and that purpose includes allowing the photographer to concentrate on framing the action while capturing a large variety of subject position(s) to later choose from. The faster the frame rate, the more likely the ultimate subject position will be included in the results (be sure to use a fast, high capacity memory card). You can alternatively release the shutter when you think the subject will be in perfect position, but ... know that horses can move very fast. This American quarter horse was approaching at an estimated 35-40 mph (56-64 kph). Good luck timing even a short shutter lag with all four hooves off of the ground.
 
For the galloping horse photos, I always use manual exposure mode. I select the widest aperture my lens has available, which is most often f/2.8 or f/4. The wide aperture allows more light to reach the sensor, allowing the use of faster (shorter) shutter speeds and lower ISO settings. I usually select a 1/1600 sec. shutter speed. I can get by with a modestly slower shutter speed setting, but 1/1600 practically eliminates motion-blur issues for this subject (same in most people-in-action photos).
 
I use the ISO setting to adjust the final image brightness delivered by the selected shutter speed and aperture. If ISO 100 is not low enough (such as under bright sunlight at f/2.8), I use a faster shutter speed. If the light is rapidly changing (clouds cause this), I use an Auto ISO setting, but this is not my preference.
 
When shooting in the late-day sun (the ideal time of day for this scene), the light level typically goes down throughout the shoot. I watch the histogram between passes and adjust settings as necessary.
 
Because this action scenario is not unique and because I shoot action with some frequency, I have Custom Mode 1 programmed for the above parameters on all of my cameras. If I am shooting action, I simply turn the dial to Custom Mode 1 and tweak the settings as needed.
 
I want the rider's face to be in focus as the rider is more important than the horse for my photos and an important choice to be made prior to shooting is the AF point selection. There are a lot of AF point options with some of the newest high-end camera models. As a rule, the center AF point is a camera's best-performing AF point. However, in the horse galloping situation, the center AF point tends to fall on the horse's nose. Since I choose to shoot with a shallow depth of field, focusing on the horse's nose places the rider out of focus.
 
There is more than one AF point option that can work as I desire and I often use more than one in a shoot, though I seldom select more than a single AF point option. Placing the left-most center AF point on the rider's boot and the saddle area works well. I also like to use the top-most AF point placed on the rider's head. Because the horse and rider are going up and down very rapidly, it is difficult to keep the horse's ear from capturing the camera's focus attention when using this AF point. The latest and greatest cameras can have their AF parameters tuned and instructing the camera to not be too quick to focus on distractions can resolve this specific problem.
 
You might find that an AF point placed low on the horse's chest places your rider adequately in sharp focus, but ... the lack of contrast in that location may challenge the camera's AF system.
 
Setting up the Action
 
The horses I am primarily shooting are running on a slowly curving trail at the top of our field. As the rider is warming up the horse, I am adjusting my shooting distance to ideally frame the subjects and to align both horse and rider with the background (I also dial in my exposure during warmup).
 
There is not a lot of foreground in my galloping horse pictures, but you can readily see the background and that is very important for the overall image. I try to select distant landscape (mostly small mountains) that is pleasing but not distracting. I prefer the high contrast line between the sky and the forest to not go through the rider's head, but above or below is good. My choice is usually to shoot from a very low position – typically squatted behind a monopod-mounted camera and lens. This low position places the rider higher into the background.
 
Capturing the Action
 
When the horse and rider are warmed up and ready, it is time to go live. The rider typically lets me know that they are ready, I check the camera's electronic level to insure that I am (nearly) perfectly vertical and let the rider know that I am ready.
 
I carefully watch for the rider to appear over the horizon. As soon as the subjects appear, I place the AF point in the desired position and begin AI Servo AF tracking by pressing the shutter release half way (pressing the rear focus button also works if the camera is so-configured). As the subject approaches the ideal framing distance, I fully press the shutter release and follow the subject until too close for usable framing.
 
As the horse and rider trot back for another pass, I check the results just captured and make any adjustments needed. Since I am usually testing a camera or lens when shooting this rider on a galloping horse scenario, I shoot many passes.
 
Reviewing the Take-Home
 
With a fast camera and many passes, I am often looking at a thousand or more images to review. Reviewing is a time consuming process and, when using a top-performing camera and lens combo, selecting down the keepers can be a huge task. While making the first pass through the images, I mark all that are out of focus for immediate deletion. If the camera, lens and I did our jobs properly, the keeper selection challenge grows considerably after the first pass. I have favorite positions for the horse, prefer to see open eyes on both the horse and the rider and also look for something unique in the image (such as a big tail swish).
 
Not Just for Galloping Horses
 
As you likely guessed, these instructions can be used for photographing much more than just galloping horses. While galloping horses may have some unique challenges, a significant number of in-motion subjects including many in sports action scenarios can be properly captured using this technique with or without tweaks.
 
Safety First
 
I'll leave you with a quick warning: Don't lose sight of safety. I described a large and potentially dangerous subject rapidly approaching the photographer who is concentrating through the viewfinder. It is easy to become consumed with capturing what is in the viewfinder and failing to get out of the way of danger. Be aware of what is happening around you. It is always best to live to try again.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
300mm  f/2.8  1/1600s  ISO 250  3648 x 5472px
Post Date: 12/9/2014 9:13:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 08, 2014
Canon Digital Learning Center
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
"Since its introduction in the original EOS 7D back in 2009, most high-end Canon EOS DSLRs have offered the ability to reduce the size of an AF point. Spot AF, as it’s called, reduces the size of the AF sampling area at the AF sensor and means that AF can be performed on a more isolated part of a subject or scene. Examples of this might include being able to focus right on the eye that’s closest to the camera in a tight portrait, or on a small drop of water or dew on a flower in a macro shot.
 
We’ll explore this useful focus option in this article, highlighting strong points like those listed above, as well as its limits and when it may not be the optimal choice."
Check out the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
 
Cameras Featuring Spot AF
 
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/8/2014 9:55:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Just posted: Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review
 
If you have an APS-C/1.6x body, you are probably going to want to add this lens to your kit. The 24 STM is the excellent bargain we expected it to be.
 
B&H is accepting Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens preorders.
 
This lens is in stock at Adorama and the Canon Store.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/8/2014 7:43:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 05, 2014
Tokina Cinema AT-X 16-28mm T3 Lens
Huntington Beach, CA. - Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is proud to announce the beginning of a new limited time instant rebate program for two popular Tokina Cinema AT-X lenses.
 
Effective December 5, 2014 through January 12, 2015, these cinema AT-X lenses qualify for the following rebates:
 
  • Tokina Cinema AT-X 11-16mm T/3.0 - $250.00 instant rebate
  • Tokina Cinema AT-X 16-28mm T/3.0 - $500.00 instant rebate
Instant rebates are available exclusively through authorized US dealers.
 
B&H is an authorized US dealer of Tokina Cinema AT-X lenses.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/5/2014 1:53:24 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma Logo
From Sigma:
 
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
 
We would like to announce an update in the lens firmware of the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON which can be flashed using the SIGMA Optimization Pro, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK.
 
The latest firmware enables the lens to offer improved precision in its focusing performance when the AF frames in peripheral areas in the viewfinder are selected.
 
For those customers who own the following product, please update the firmware of the lens via the SIGMA Optimization Pro software.
 
  • 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports CANON
Please update the SIGMA Optimization Pro to Ver. 1.2 before operating any lens firmware update.
 
You can download the latest version of SIGMA Optimization Pro from the following page:
http://www.sigma-global.com/download/
 
We appreciate your consistent support for our company and products.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 12/5/2014 6:15:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, December 04, 2014
Canon EOS C100 Mark II Cinema Camera
B&H has the Canon EOS C100 Mark II Cinema Camera available for preorder with expected availability by month end.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/4/2014 10:22:35 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 7D Mark II and EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens for Bird Photography
While the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is without a doubt an awesome bird photography camera, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens is near the bottom of my bird photography lens list. Don't take me wrong – the 24 STM is a great little lens (a great bargain), but making a bird large enough in the 24mm frame to be relevant requires a very short subject distance or a short subject distance and a very large bird.
 
But, as this image proves (to me at least), the 24mm focal length can capture birds under ideal conditions. These ideal conditions with a wild bird in them come very infrequently, but ... one came to me this week. Here is the story:
 
I was outside giving the 24 STM lens a workout prior to wrapping up its review. We had a light snow followed by freezing rain overnight and warming air temps created a dense fog. Dense fog means low contrast which means evaluating lens image quality performance is compromised. But, these conditions can make for moody images and I was searching for something interesting.
 
After exploring the yard and surroundings, I came to like this lightly snow-and-ice-covered spruce tree best. I honed in on the set of branches shown in this image, working on placing the lines of branches and needles into an interesting composition. Still, I was looking at an only average image. It needed something.
 
Then my daughter walked out of the house announcing "I have a cardinal!" The unfortunate bird had made a navigational error and impacted a window of the house. Brittany had rescued the bird from the shrubbery.
 
In this part of the world, at this time of the year, no other bird is as beautifully colored as the cardinal and perhaps no other subject can make a snowy image pop more perfectly than a cardinal. As the bird gathered its wits, I placed it on the ideal branch in my composition and captured some images of it – from any distance I desired.
 
I knew that I wanted the cardinal large in the frame. Large in the 24mm frame meant moving in close, which also helped reduce the amount of background showing in the modestly-wide 24mm angle of view (on an APS-C/1.6x DSLR). Being close enough to the bird for the ideal large-in-the-frame composition meant that I had to be very careful to not make one part of the bird (such as the wing) look unusually large in relation to the rest of the bird (perspective distortion). A slightly forward-of-the-bird position seemed to work the best and the spruce branches provide leading lines to draw a viewer's eye to the bird (in case the color contrast was not enough). The bird was not completely still and capturing the right head position (looking slightly toward the camera) required good timing.
 
To have this ideal subject show up and cooperate for a few minutes at this exact time was divine. The cardinal flew away, apparently unharmed, not long after this picture was captured.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
24mm  f/8.0  1/30s  ISO 200  5472 x 3648px
Post Date: 12/4/2014 11:46:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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From DxO:
 
December 4, 2014 – DxO announces the immediate availability of DxO OpticsPro v10.1, the latest update to its imageprocessing software of reference for all demanding photographers. DxO OpticsPro v10.1 is now compatible with Lightroom and other third-party software’s star ranking systems, has improved the speed at which it displays its visual presets in Windows, and has enriched its DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint plugins.
 
This update also allows DxO OpticsPro 10 to support the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and PowerShot G7 X, the GoPro HERO4 Black Edition, the Panasonic Lumix DMC- ZS40, and the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Also available, DxO FilmPack v5.0.1 and DxO ViewPoint 2.5.1 support these same cameras as well (except for the GoPro HERO4 Black Edition, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus for DxO FilmPack v5.0.1).
 
Based on a rigorous scientific calibration of photographic equipment in DxO’s laboratories, DxO OpticsPro 10 offers the most powerful tools for automatically processing RAW and JPEG images: revolutionary PRIME denoising technology, DxO Smart Lighting intelligent exposure optimization, and DxO ClearView elimination of haze. Its many controls allow photographers to adapt the processing to their own tastes so as to bring out the best in their photos in just a few clicks.
 
DxO OpticsPro v10.1 is available in two editions, ESSENTIAL and ELITE, for Mac and PC.
 
B&H carrries DxO Optics Pro 10.
Category: DxO News
Post Date: 12/4/2014 9:05:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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