Few wildlife photographers have made a bigger splash than Andy Rouse. CPN writer Mark Alexander finds out how this Canon Explorer is using the new EOS-1D X Mark II to reach even greater heights...
In the realm of image-making, Andy Rouse is one of those rare individuals to achieve almost celebrity status. His name has become inextricably linked with the world of wildlife photography with demand for his unique views never seeming to wane. The 50-year-old photographer’s images have graced the covers of magazines across the world and he has picked up a clutch of prestigious awards for his efforts. As professional photography goes, Rouse is a success story. And yet, despite his prominence in the wildlife arena, you get a sense that the Englishman has come to a crossroads in his career. As he packs for his next expedition to India to photograph tigers, he reveals his latest venture into aviation photography is as much to do with changes at home as it is about trying something new.
Combined high performance and capacity, this memory card solution provides consumers with up to 12 hours of 4K UHD video storage
May 10, 2016 10:49 AM – SEOUL, South Korea – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., an expert provider of advanced memory solutions, today unveiled its newest memory card globally – the EVO Plus 256GB microSD card. The EVO Plus 256GB offers the highest capacity for a microSD card in its class, delivering fast speeds and an expanded memory storage for use in premium smartphones and tablets, 360-degree video recorders, action cameras, and drones. Consumers can now record up to 12 hours of 4K UHD video or 33 hours of Full HD videoon their mobile device or action camera without needing to change or replace the memory card, allowing them to experience more and worry less about running out of memory.
The EVO Plus 256GB raises the bar for capacity and performance of microSD cards thanks to Samsung’s advanced V-NAND technology, offering high read and write speeds of up to 95MB/s and 90MB/s, respectively. This level of performance will provide general consumers and professionals with superb user convenience for storing heavy-loaded, high-resolution photography and 4K video recording, as well as graphic intensive multimedia like virtual reality (VR) and gaming.
“With the upward trend of consumers using high-performance, high-capacity mobile devices, our new, V-NAND-based 256GB microSD card solution allows us to deliver the memory card consumers have been craving,” said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “Our EVO Plus 256GB microSD card, will provide consumers with large capacity, and high read and write speeds. We are excited to offer our customers convenient and seamless multimedia experiences when they access, store and share all of the content they create and capture.”
The EVO Plus 256GB microSD card provides advanced protection, capacity, and performance with long-term reliability needed to get the most out of today’s electronics, making it an ideal companion for high-end smartphones and tablets with a microSD slot, even in the most extreme conditions.
Samsung will offer the EVO Plus 256GB microSD card with a limited 10-year warranty in more than 50 countries, including the USA, Europe, China, and other regions starting in June 2016 for $249.99 (Manufacturer’s suggested retail price).
Canon’s engineers changed the digital SLR landscape with the Speedlite 600EX-RT and its revolutionary, built-in radio-based wireless flash capabilities. Introduced in 2012, this flash has become a gold standard in the industry, and has enabled many serious photographers to “raise their game” in off-camera flash capability, while preserving the option of E-TTL automatic flash exposure control, through the camera.
In the ensuing four years, Canon has listened to feedback from serious enthusiasts and professionals, and with that input has created the next-generation, top-of-the-line Canon E-TTL flash unit: the Speedlite 600EX II-RT.
In this document, we’ll give an overview of what’s new and different, and likewise paint a picture of what remains unchanged. As the product name might suggest, this is an evolutionary update, and not a radical new product introduction. The Speedlite 600EX II-RT will replace the 600EX-RT in the Canon line-up, upon its introduction to the market later in 2016. Parenthetically, unlike the 600EX-RT, this newly-updated 600EX II-RT will not have a companion “non-RT” version for sale in limited parts of the world… only a radio-compatible 600EX II-RT is being introduced, world-wide, at this time.
You probably know that Canon USA provides a 1-year warranty on new DSLR cameras and lenses purchased through its authorized retailer network. But what you may not know is that your warranty can often be extended by using a credit card to purchase your camera gear. In many cases, credit card companies will provide Extended Warranty protection (usually 1-year after the manufacturer's warranty has expired) when you charge the full amount of the camera gear to the credit card.
In addition to the extended warranty coverage, some credit card companies also offer purchase Protection Coverage (up to a specified amount) if your item is damaged or stolen within the first 90 days of purchase.
Yet another credit card benefit that you may be able to take advantage of is Price Protection. With this benefit, the credit card company will reimburse you the difference in price if you find a lower price on the newly purchased item within 60 days.
Of course, you'll need to contact your credit card company (or do your own research) to find out which (if any) of these benefits come with your specific credit card(s).
Here is some general information I found about various credit card benefits:
Visa cardholders can register a product and extend a manufacturer’s warranty. One convenient service makes it quick and easy. (This benefit may also be available on other card products. Check with your issuer to see if you qualify.)
Warranty Manager Service offers you a number of valuable features, including warranty registration and Extended Warranty Protection, all available with a simple toll-free telephone call. Warranty Manager Service’s registration service helps you take full advantage of your warranties, because you can get key information about your coverage with a single toll-free call. And if you send us [Visa] your sales receipts and warranty information, we’ll keep everything on file-so arranging for a repair or replacement is as easy as picking up the telephone. Warranty Manager Service offers Extended Warranty Protection that doubles the time period of the original manufacturer’s written U.S. repair warranty up to one (1) additional year on eligible warranties of three (3) years or less when an item is purchased entirely with your eligible Visa card.
Use your Card for your eligible purchases and you can have warranty protection for longer.
Use Your Eligible Card - Extended Warranty1 can provide up to one extra year added to the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of 5 years or less when the eligible purchase is charged to the Card.
Coverage - You will only be covered up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Please read important exclusions and restrictions.
We will extend the manufacturer’s warranty for an additional 24 Months. If you purchase an extended warranty, our coverage begins at the expiration of that warranty. In the event of a covered failure we will repair or replace the item or reimburse up to the amount charged on your Citi card and/or ThankYou Points (excluding shipping and handling) or $10,000, whichever is less. In no event will total coverage exceed 84 Months from the purchase date.
As shown above, warranties longer than 3-years typically do not qualify for extended warranty benefits. This is important because even though Nikon DSLR purchases would qualify for extended warranty coverage (1 year warranty), Nikon USA provides 5-year warranty (1+4 year extension) on lenses after registration. Sigma lenses qualify for a 4-year Sigma USA warranty (1+3 year extension) and Tamron USA provides a rather generous 6-year warranty.
Again, I urge you to check your credit card benefits to see if any of these benefits apply to you. It's a benefit we hope to never use, but a great benefit to have if your camera gear fails soon after the manufacturer's warranty expires.
MILPITAS, Calif. - May 10, 2016 - SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today announced that the Ministry of Commerce of China (“MOFCOM”) has approved the acquisition of SanDisk by Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC).
All necessary regulatory approvals for the acquisition have now been received and the transaction is expected to close on Thursday, May 12, 2016. SanDisk stockholders previously voted to approve the transaction at a special meeting of stockholders held on March 15, 2016.
“We are pleased that the final regulatory approval has been received and we can now proceed with the planned combination with Western Digital,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief executive officer, SanDisk. “We thank our stakeholders for their support of this transaction and look forward to contributing to the success of Western Digital as it transforms into the leading storage solutions company.”
Accessorize this Spring with the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash and Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM Lens with Built-in Macro Lites and Image Stabilizer
MELVILLE, N.Y., May 11, 2016 –Spring is all about having the right look and Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is giving photographers of all levels two new options that can improve their creativity and versatility; the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash and the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens.
Photographers looking to take rapid-fire flash images will appreciate the improved recycling time in the new Canon Speedlite-600EX II-RT flash. Those looking to explore the world of macro photography will appreciate the stylish compact look of the new Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens, the first EF-M Macro Lens for the Canon EOS M Camera System, which features Image Stabilization and a pair of built-in miniature Macro Lites to enhance image quality during close-up photography.
The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash Offers Improved Continuous Flash Firing and More The Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash is compatible with most EOS cameras. It replaces Canon’s top-of-the-line Speedlite 600EX-RT, and improves continuous flash firing by approximately 1.1 to 1.5 times when using AA batteries and up to two times when adding the new optional Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N.
Additional Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash features include:
Zoom flash head covers wide focal length range of 20–200mm; maximum guide number is 197 ft./60m at ISO 100, making Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash the most powerful flash unit in the EOS system.
Wireless flash shooting support is available for both radio and optical transmission with compatible Canon Speedlites, offering users greater functional range when using flash.
Multiple flash system support allows control of up to five groups of compatible Canon Speedlites.
Dust- and water-resistant body for reliable operation in harsh environments.
Flash-readiness indicator on the display panel, simplified button and dial operation and variable manual flash output.
New, specially designed accessories supplied include a built-in bounce adapter, plus SCF-E3 hard-type color filter sets, and a soft case. The new Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N is available as an optional accessory for faster recycling time and more flashes per charge.
Illuminated dot matrix LCD panel for enhanced display information, including flash mode and usable distance ranges plus C.Fn (Custom Function) and P.Fn (Personal Function) settings.
First Macro Lens in the Canon EF-M lens series Photographers looking for a compact, lightweight macro lens should look no further than the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens, the first Canon Macro Lens specifically designed for the EOS M Camera System.
The new lens features a pair of built-in miniature Macro Lite electronic flash units that illuminate close-up subjects as needed, helping to freeze movement, enhance color accuracy and provide a better sense of depth and dimension. Two curved flash units surround the front element of the lens, with the ability to illuminate both simultaneously, or one at a time. Users are also able to adjust the brightness of the Macro Lites between “bright” and “dim” settings.
The standard focusing range of the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens extends from infinity to life-size (1 time). Additionally, a Super Macro Mode allows shooting at even higher magnifications up to 1.2 times. This feature allows you to capture smaller details that really make your subjects stand out against the background.
Additional features of the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens include:
Hybrid IS, the same feature as found on Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens, helps reduce camera shake for enjoyable handheld photography.
Stepping motor (lead screw-type STM) helps provide smooth and quiet focusing operation when taking photos, and near-silence when shooting videos.
One UD lens and two aspherical lenses** help deliver outstanding image quality at all distance settings by reducing chromatic and spherical aberrations.
Angle of view similar to a 45mm standard lens (35mm equivalent) provides flexible image capture of various subjects and scenes at macro distances and beyond.
Tapered lens top shape makes it easy to capture high-quality images at close range without casting shadows.
The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT electronic flash unit is scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in June 2016 for an estimated retail price of $579.99. Canon’s EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens is scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in June for an estimated retail price of $299.99.
Latest Canon PowerShot Digital Camera Provides Impressive Image Quality and Zoom Range in a Compact Size
MELVILLE, N.Y., May 11, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, introduced today the new Canon PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera - ideal for individuals looking for a convenient, easy-to-carry compact digital camera capable of producing high-quality photos and videos. This new camera boasts a 20.2 Megapixel* CMOS imaging sensor and a powerful 25X Optical Zoom lens (25-625mm equivalent) in a form factor that will easily fit in a pocket or purse, making it an ideal camera for those passionate about photography to capture gorgeous imagery no matter where they are.
The camera’s built-in wireless capabilities make it convenient to share images and videos on the go, and its powerful 25X optical zoom lens makes it ideal for those wanting to zoom in and out of the action. The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera is a great companion for those looking to visually document their daily adventures and easily share their experiences as they explore new places and do new things.
As the successor to Canon’s PowerShot SX610 HS digital compact camera, the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera also features:
An Intelligent Image Stabilizer (IS) that helps optimize image stabilization for virtually shake-free images in a variety of shooting conditions
Built-in Wi-Fi** and Near Field Communication (NFC)*** to allow for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos to a personal computer or other compatible devices such as the Canon Connect Station CS 100
20.2 megapixel* CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4+ Image Processor to help deliver stunning image quality, even in low light
The ability to capture spectacular 1080p Full HD video
Large 3.0-inch (approximately 922,000 dots) LCD to allow for easy viewing, even from a wide angle
Hybrid Auto mode that allows for recording up to four seconds of video before each image that is captured, then automatically combines each clip and still into a quick video recap of the day
Smart AUTO mode which intelligently selects the proper settings for the camera based on pre-defined shooting situations to help create the best possible image
Creative Shot mode that uses composition, color and lighting from an original image to create unique images with an artistic flair
An Auto Zoom feature that, when enabled, makes the camera automatically zoom in on subjects and help keep them in focus
Canon’s PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera, available in black, red and silver, is scheduled to be available in May 2016 for an estimated retail price of $279.99.
With 9 students planning to arrive for prom pictures within a short period of time, I had to be ready. The entire week preceding the big day was extra cloudy with lots of rain. The forecast for the Saturday afternoon shoot was calling for clouds with a 30% chance of light rain. Clouds would be perfect for afternoon outdoor lighting, the grass was very green and the new spring leaves on the trees were a great color for a background, but that chance of rain required a studio setup be on standby.
White matches everything, so ... I went with white this year.
Setting up for a high key white background is not hard nor is it expensive. If shooting partial body portraits, a white wall, white reflector or white foam core can work well as the background. For full body portraits, rolled paper is often the best option and it works great. Savage Widetone Seamless Paper Background is what I use.
To hold the rolled paper in place, a background stand (I have Impact and Manfrotto brands) is needed. The rolled paper slides onto the top bar of the background stand and rolls out onto the floor to the front (get another person to hold the background stand up while unrolling the paper as the stand could easily tip over during this step). I gaffer tape the paper to the floor to keep it from rolling back up and clamp the roll of paper to the top bar to keep it from further unrolling.
More complicated than the background setup is the lighting and the balancing of the lights. I typically start my light balancing setup with the camera exposure settings. With powerful strobes in use, I have a lot of flexibility even at the lowest noise ISO setting of 100. With the EOS 1D X Mark II and similar-resolution full frame cameras, I generally start with f/11. This aperture gives me a lot of depth of field, keeping much or all of the subject in focus along with room for error (it is rare to get an out of focus portrait at f/11) without compromising image sharpness to diffraction. Note that, when using a solid-colored background such as rolled paper, there is little benefit to blurring the background via a wide aperture. A 1/160 shutter speed is about as fast as I trust the PocketWizards to trigger the first strobe and for the rest to optically trigger while the shutter is fully open, so that is what I go with. The f/11, 1/160 and ISO 100 combination is generally enough to overwhelm any ambient light present.
For lighting with consistent requirements, manual flash settings are ideal and ... the only option I have with my Elinchrom Digital Style studio monolights (Elinchrom ELC Pro HD Flash Heads are the current models).
For the high key background, I place a softbox-fitted strobe on each side of the paper with the power set high enough to blow out the background in the selected exposure (but not higher than necessary as flare could become an issue). I was tempted to place a 4x8' piece of clear Plexiglas on the floor under the subject to better reflect the bright background, but ... I feared that the parade of subjects flowing through my studio would not be kind to this relatively-expensive piece of plastic's useful lifespan.
To keep the background reflection from strongly influencing the lighting on the subject (a wrapping light the softens the transition from subject to the background), the subject should be positioned well in front of the background. The subject to background distance was about 10' (3m) in this example.
Prom is all about the dress (or tux) and a 54" octagonal softbox angled just slightly downward and directly at the subject from camera-left created an even light emphasizing the dresses. This light was adjusted to the output needed for proper dress brightness with care taken to not overexpose the dress as reducing brightness during post processing can reduce the background's whiteness. A 24x24" softbox on a Manfrotto boom was positioned above the subject to light their head with the appropriate brightness setting used for that.
While it takes multiple lights to effectively create a high key effect and light the subject, the light sources do not have to be studio strobes. I have done the same many times with Speedlites and constant lights, can also be utilized. And, the background does not have to be pure white as long as your background lights are bright enough to make whatever color is available bright enough. I've even shot high key corporate portraits using a light-colored wallpaper background. Hit it with enough light and it turns white.
Umbrellas can be used in place of softboxes.
By the time my first subject arrived (my own daughter was first and about 1 hour late), the day was bright, sunny and unfavorable for lighting in my preferred outdoor locations. It didn't take much thought to know that the indoor option was best.
With the lighting and camera settings all dialed in before any subjects arrived, I was able to take lots of photos in a short/compressed amount of time.
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German artist Thorsten Brinkmann is a self-proclaimed serial collector. He works primarily with items from resale shops and junkyards, incorporating the found objects into his photography and site-specific installations. Wearing a trash can for a helmet and a fabric scrap for a vest, he is suddenly transformed into a seemingly noble character that mimics the style of paintings done by the old masters. In this short from Walley Films, watch how Brinkmann creates these whimsical self-portraits for his latest show at the Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas.
Due to a trademark issue (with Foveon), Breakthrough Photography has renamed their "X3" to line "X4". While the change means nothing to the quality of the product, it could cause confusion if you were looking for the older product name as it no longer exists.
I'll further explain and add commentary to the entire 15 sets (13 samples each) of results soon.
I'm totally loving this camera so far. I have photographed a couple of soccer games (including one under the lights) and a round of prom pictures with the 1D X II and very much look forward to a full sports schedule week ahead of me for further testing.
B&H has the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II available for preorder. Order the Premium Kit ($300 value for no extra cost at the moment).