Note: I use several similar collapsible (albeit smaller) softboxes on a daily basis because of their low cost, easy setup/teardown and flattering – yet well-controlled – light they produce. If you've been experimenting with off-camera flash and have yet to pick up a softbox, pick up this deal to see what you've been missing. [Sean]
As many people know, our National Parks are seeing ever increasing numbers of visitors which means traffic jams, long waits, and huge crowds at the better known photo spots. The good news is that almost everyone disappears after the sunset fades. Chris and Lance are two of the five instructors that make up National Parks at Night, and they will show you how to make the most of your visit to any national park and experience them in ways that most people never do. National parks have some of the darkest skies in the country, which means they are filled with amazing views of the Milky Way.
Lance has been photographing at night for 30 years, and has almost 20 years experience teaching night photography, and Chris literally wrote the book on photographing national parks. Together they will share their experiences photographing the night sky in Parks like Acadia, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Zion, and many others. They will also present general tips on night photography, including techniques and gear for working in natural light situations.
You might remember that the GoPro Karma was announced in September of last year, released a short time later, and then quickly recalled due to power failures mid-flight. According to GoPro, the issue has been resolved in upcoming re-release of the drone.
Doubled Capacity Allows Cinematographers, Filmmakers, and Content Creators to Capture Highest-Quality 4K Video and Beyond
MILPITAS, Calif., Jan. 31, 2017 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory products, today announced doubled capacity for the Lexar Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 memory card, providing the capacity and speed thresholds needed for cinematographers, filmmakers, and content creators to capture the highest-quality 4K and ProRes video and RAW photos. The new 512GB capacity card is designed to address the exacting demands of today's top content innovators. The Lexar Professional 3600x CFast 2.0 card line, specifically optimized for ARRI cameras, will also double in capacity to 512GB in the first half of 2017.
"As professional imaging technology continues to advance, it's crucial that memory storage formats keep pace with ever-evolving data needs," said Jennifer Lee, product marketing director, Lexar. "When shooting 200 FPS on a high-end, production-level camera, it's easy to fill up an entire 256GB card with content in just 17 minutes. Comparatively, the new Professional 512GB 3500x CFast 2.0 card can capture up to more than twice that time. It's essential that professional content creators shooting in bandwidth-heavy applications such as RAW, 4K, burst-mode, time-lapse, and beyond have access to increasingly higher capacities and faster transfer speeds like those offered by the new 512GB Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 card."
The 512GB Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 card provides write speeds up to 445MB/s, for professionals to capture lots of footage and keep shooting. From the first take through to post-production, content innovators will have the speed and space needed to capture the highest cinema-quality video for their next masterpiece and quickly power through post-production with read transfer speeds up to 525MB/s. The Lexar Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 card includes a lifetime copy of Image Rescue software to recover most photo and select video files, even if they've been erased or the card has been corrupted.4 The card is also backed by expert technical support and a limited lifetime warranty. The new card capacity will be available in Q1 of 2017 with an MSRP of $1699.99. The Lexar Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 card line is also available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities. In addition, the Professional 3600x CFast 2.0 card line is available in 128GB and 256GB capacities. All Lexar products undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs to validate performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability with more than 1,200 digital devices.
As with most new lenses, a Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II made it’s way back to the repair department for an initial tear-down. I know there’s some randomness as to what we tear down, but we have some reasons for doing these. Sometimes, like with this new Canon, it’s simply because we know Lensrentals is going to stock a lot of them and we need to take a look inside to see what is likely to break and what parts we may want to order. And other times, like with this new Canon, it’s because there’s some new technology inside we want to take a look at.
And, of course, almost all the time these days, there’s some aphasic marketing terminology that leaves Aaron and I looking at each other wondering “what are they trying to say that is.” This time it was “NANO USM technology.” Did that mean there were little nanobots in there focusing the motors? Or that the focus group only had to move nanometers? The problem seemed to have been compounded because some retail and review sites were claiming it had a stepper motor, a ring USM, or both. That’s what happens, marketing department, when you make up words, nobody understands without explaining what you mean.
Looking inside seemed a good way to clarify that. Though Canon did tell what they meant a little bit, but nobody read it. The NANO USM focusing motor made its debut in the Canon 18-135 f/3.5–5.6 IS NANO USM lens last year, but not many people talked about it. It’s also discussed in Canon’s Knowledge Base NANO USM Article, but not many people read that. The NANO USM motor is a different focusing system for Canon, although manufacturers have used similar linear piezo systems.
And, as always, we wanted to see what engineering goodness Canon had inside that polycarbonate lens shell. We’re geeks. Sweet design pushes our buttons, and Canon lenses have had a lot of sweet engineering lately. Even though this is a consumer price range lens, the new digital focusing meter was cool, and we wanted to see if some of the impressive engineering Canon had put in their new L series lenses was drifting down to the consumer grade models.
So let’s tear up, I mean let’s carefully dissect, the new Canon 70-300mm IS. But first, let’s take a quick look at that nice digital readout. I can’t say it’s all that useful, but the depth-of-field-by-aperture display is a nice touch.