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 Thursday, November 13, 2014
ShutterCount Updated with 7D Mark II Support
DIRE Studio has informed us that ShutterCount has been updated with support for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.
 
About ShutterCount:
 
ShutterCount displays the number of shutter actuations (the shutter count) of Canon EOS digital cameras and is developed for Mac and Windows users.
 
The shutter count is read directly from a USB-connected camera, and thus provides accurate numbers that are not attainable with simple EXIF-based methods.
 
Using this application you are no longer required to visit a Canon Service Center to read out the exact shutter count, thus saving you time and money. In addition to that, ShutterCount provides unlimited readings for an unlimited number of cameras.
 
The app supports the following cameras:
 
  • Canon EOS-1D C (requires firmware 1.1.3 or later for correct serial number display)
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
  • Canon EOS-1D X
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III (requires firmware 1.2.1 or later for correct serial number display)
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 50D
  • Canon EOS 60D
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 / Kiss X7
  • Canon EOS 500D / Rebel T1i / Kiss X3
  • Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i / Kiss X4
  • Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i / Kiss X5
  • Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i / Kiss X6i
  • Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i / Kiss X7i
  • Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS / Kiss F
  • Canon EOS 1100D / Rebel T3 / Kiss X50
  • Canon EOS 1200D / Rebel T5 / Kiss X70
ShutterCount is certified to work with all of the cameras listed above, using their latest firmware revision.
 
Current owners can update their app by opening the program and navigating to HELP/Check for Updates.
 
For more information, please visit the app’s website: http://www.direstudio.com/shuttercount
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 2:56:43 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
The Canon Store has the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens in stock with free overnight shipping. (thanks Brian)
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 2:35:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H Photo Video Logo
B&H has just started shipping preorders for the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (currently in stock) and EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM (released in limited quantity).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 1:56:38 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 7D Mark II with CompactFlash Memory Card Inserted Incorrectly
If you're currently putting your preordered EOS 7D Mark II through its paces, here's a word of warning – pay close attention while inserting your memory card. If you are not careful, your camera can be damaged by the improperly inserted card. I know as I have proven this fact.
 
I've been shooting with DSLRs for many years now and have never had an issue with inserting a memory card until yesterday. A moment of inattention was my downfall. Notice which way the pin holes are facing in the picture above. Unfortunately, it is possible to insert the card sideways into the slot (trust me, dont try it).
 
I was busy testing out the various features of the EOS 7D Mark II, removing the memory card to review images, re-inserting the memory card, rinsing and repeating.
 
After reviewing one particular set of images, I pulled the card from my card reader and was inserting the card into the camera. Something on my computer caught my eye, so I wasn't looking at the camera while the card was being inserted. Then I noticed something didn't feel right. The card didn't "click" into place.
 
When I looked back at the camera, I realized that the CompactFlash card wasn't oriented correctly in the camera; it was sideways. I immediately wondered, "How far was the card able to go in? Did I bend any of the pins?"
 
I quickly took the camera over to a window where the diffused sunlight offered the best lighting. Upon close inspection, I was dismayed to find I had bent one of the corner pins (the top, left pin when looking into the slot with the lens pointed upward). After a few muttered words, I calmly considered my options.
 
  1. Pack up the camera and send it to Canon Professional Services – As the damage was indeed my fault, I'd be responsible for the repair costs (which would likely be reasonable, but not necessarily cheap). Insured shipping alone for an $1,800.00 camera can run $35.00 - $45.00. If I wanted to delay the repair, the 7D II's secondary card slot would allow me to keep shooting until an optimal time to send the camera in for service.
  2. Try to fix the bent pin myself – If the CF pin board was damaged beyond repair, would it make any difference if I tried fixing it myself? Could I do any more damage than was already done? Maybe, but I thought it was worth a shot...
I scoured my home to find something that was small enough to fit inside the CF card slot yet rigid enough to bend the pin back into place. I have a collection of basic tools, but I didn't have anything perfectly suited for this task. However, after about 10 minutes of searching, I found something I thought would do the trick:
 
Screw with Wall Anchor
 
No, I'm not kidding. I attempted to fix my camera with a screw that I found lying around the house. The wall anchor (also shown in the image) was removed before attempting the repair.
 
First things first – I'm not advocating you attempt this if your camera's CF card pins are bent. Neither myself nor the site is responsible if you attempt to fix your CF card pins and you brick your camera. You have been warned! It's best to avoid the issue all together by paying attention to how you insert your memory card.
 
With the fine print out of the way, here's what I did:
 
  1. Remove the LP-E6/LP-E6N battery. When wondering whether or not I should remove the back-up battery, I realized – there isn't one (at least not a user-replaceable one).
  2. The location of the bent pin worked to my advantage. I could run the screw along the top edge of the CF card slot and fit the end right in between the bent pin and the card slot's wall. Working extremely carefully, I was able to drag the ridges of the screw across the pin so that the screw pulled the pin back into place. It took me several tries – with incremental progress with each attempt – to get the pin back into position.
  3. While I could pull the pin back in the direction of the other pins, I was relatively helpless to adjust the placement of the pin along the perpendicular axis. Fortunately, the pin fell right into place after a few minutes of fiddling with it.
  4. About a hundred test shots post-fix confirms that the camera is working properly. I'm hoping my rudimentary repair job stands the test of time. If not, I'll be falling back on Option #1.
Keep in mind, this issue isn't isolated to the 7D Mark II; I could have easily done this with my original 7D (but simply never did). The 5D III's CF card slot seems to be thinner and does not allow the memory card to be inserted incorrectly (at least, not easily). Please learn from my mistake – pay attention to how you insert a Compact Flash memory card! :-) [Sean]
 
Canon EOS 7D Mark II with Memory Card Inserted Correctly
 
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 12:13:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
What to Look for When Selecting a Mountain
I love mountains, but not all mountains are created equally. Height is great, but a flat or round-top mountain, even if extremely high, is difficult to make photogenic. Give me a craggy, jagged-topped mountain with character and I can entertain myself for days. Add some color for an over-the-top mountain.
 
The Maroon Bells Scenic Area has mountains with character and Sievers Mountain, just north of Maroon Lake, is one of my favorites. Along with having character in its shape, this mountain has color character including the namesake "Maroon" with bands of light-colored rock running through it. While the top of this mountain alone can make a good photo, I worked a set of colorful aspens into the foreground so that the tops of the trees somewhat matched the craggy-ness of the mountaintop and added strong contrasting color. With some room to significantly change my shooting position, I adjusted the perspective so that the amount of trees showing in the frame was balanced relative to the amount of mountain showing. Said another way, the closer I approached the trees, the higher the percentage of the frame consumed by those trees and the larger the trees would appear relative to the mountain.
 
With the perspective I wanted, I then made use of a zoom lens to retain only what I wanted in the frame. In this case, that meant zooming to 57mm.
 
With a partly cloudy sky, good timing (note that the odds of good timing are greatly increased by patiently waiting) was required to get a dark foreground base, bright trees, shade on the mountain directly behind the tree tops and some direct sunlight on the mountain above. Blue skies are beautiful, but I often prefer that they remain a small part of my landscape images. In this case, the blue adds another color to the image and forms a solid, uninterrupted top margin to this scene that keeps the viewer's eye from leaving via the top of the frame.
 
I made strong use of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens on this trip. Nearly every shot I captured with this lens was tack sharp. It is an awesome choice for tripod-mounted landscape photography.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
57mm  f/11.0  1/40s  ISO 125  5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 11/13/2014 9:46:22 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 7D Mark II's Wide Area AF
The large percentage of the viewfinder covered by Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF system is a big deal, at least when shooting in AI Servo AF mode and when there is no time to recompose after focusing. The image shared with this post shows such an example.
 
The horse gallops toward the camera at perhaps 40-45 mph. I want the rider to be in focus, but the horse's ears and mane strongly compete for the top AF point's attention as the animal quickly moves up and down. Having an AF point so close to the border of the frame allows me to (better) avoid the AF point's attention moving from the rider to the horse.
 
Good examples of situations requiring a wide-positioned AF point include any sports that involve running (track, baseball, soccer, football, field hockey, etc.). When a person is running fast, they lean forward and the head leads the lean. If the subject's eyes are not in focus, the shot is likely a throw-away. To keep the runner's eyes in focus requires an AF point placed on them and at the oft-desired near-frame-filling distances, an AF point positioned close to the frame edge is required. The 7D II has you covered here.
 
Cameras with a lower percentage of the viewfinder covered by AF points require similar subjects to be captured from a longer distance and/or with a wider focal length, meaning cropping is required to achieve the same desired frame-filling result. Cropping of course reduces final image resolution. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II's wide area AF system has you covered in these situations, allowing you to fully utilize its 20.2 MP sensor – this capability is a big deal.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 8:25:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Logo
From Canon:
 
TOKYO, November 13, 2014 — Canon Inc. announced today that the Company has been entrusted with the responsibility of processing the 30-meter-diameter multi-segment primary mirror to be incorporated in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) currently under construction near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
 
The creation of the TMT, a next-generation extremely large telescope, is being made possible through the cooperative efforts of Japan and four other countries. Construction of the telescope began in 2014 with completion scheduled for the early 2020s. Japan will handle the processing of approximately 30% of the 492 segments (574 when including replacement segments) that make up the TMT's primary mirror. Of the processing being handled by the team from Japan, Canon is currently responsible for grinding 26 segments and has already begun work.
 
The TMT's primary mirror will comprise an array of 492 hexagonal segments, each of which measures 1.44 meters diagonally with a thickness of 45 millimeters. The segments will be closely arranged, separated by gaps measuring only 2.5 millimeters wide, to create the 30-meter-diameter primary mirror. The primary mirror's construction requires the production of six each (seven when including replacement segments) of the 82 uniquely shaped segments used to create the mirror.
 
The processing work that Canon is responsible for requires that segments be processed at a level of precision measuring less than 2 microns Peak-to-Valley (P-V), a value that indicates differences in surface levels. This degree of precision is comparable to a variation in the surface evenness of the playing field housed in the Tokyo Dome sports stadium of less than 0.2 millimeters. To produce the segments, Canon is drawing on its various optical technologies cultivated through the manufacture of lenses and mirrors, namely grinding and polishing technologies, aspherical surface processing technologies, and measuring technologies. In particular, Canon will make use of its proprietary tools when grinding and polishing the aspherical surfaces to ensure the proper curvature required for each segment.
 
In addition to Canon's involvement in the TMT, the Company provided support for the large-scale optical-infrared Subaru Telescope, also located on Mauna Kea. Canon developed and produced the corrector lens used in the Subaru's Hyper Suprime-Cam ultra-wide-field prime-focus camera. In this way, Canon will continue to use its technologies to contribute to the development of the world's science, technology and natural science fields.
 
Canon will be exhibiting a prototype of a segment from the TMT's primary mirror, which was ground and polished by the Company, at the 2014 International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE), to be held from November 19 to 21 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, located east of Tokyo.
 
Overview of primary mirror segment production
 
The segments to be used in the TMT's primary mirror are produced by grinding and polishing the front and back surfaces of a circular glass material that is then subjected to spherical and aspherical processing. After cutting the glass into a hexagonal shape and adding holes, it is mounted on a Segment Support Assembly (SSA), a mechanism that enables precise adjustments to ensure the proper positioning of each mirror segment.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 5:35:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Apple 15.4
B&H has the Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro Notebook Computer with Retina Display (Late 2013 Model) available for $2,799.00 with free expedited shipping. Originally $3,299.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell)
  • 16GB of Onboard 1600MHz DDR3L RAM
  • 1TB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M Graphics (2GB)
  • 15.4" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
  • 2880 x 1800 Native Resolution
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, HDMI
  • FaceTime HD Camera, Dual Mics
  • Mac OS X Mavericks
Hoya 82mm Variable Density Filter
Through November 15, B&H has the Hoya 82mm Variable Density Filter available for $119.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $179.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Variable 0.45 - 2.7 Density
  • Reduce Exposure by 1.5 - 9 Stops
  • Greater Control Over Exposure Settings
  • Low Profile, Rigid Aluminum Filter Ring
Post Date: 11/12/2014 2:57:07 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera
eBay (via Deals-All-Year) has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera (review) available for $2,527.00 with free shipping. Compare at $3,199.00 after $200.00 mail-in rebate.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market/import item and therefore not eligible for a Canon USA warranty. The auction advertises a 1-year warranty through the seller.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/12/2014 2:38:43 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
AdoramaPix Logo
I've always been very pleased with the quality of prints I receive from AdoramaPix; they have been my preferred print retailer for several years. I regularly take advantage of the AdoramaPix deals I post to the site.
 
Unfortunately, the cost of shipping can often mitigate the savings of purchasing online prints (even when they are on sale). That's why I'm glad AdoramaPix is now offering free standard shipping on orders of $39.00 or more.
 
The best way to take advantage of this program is to keep a running list of prints you want – either to gift to family or friends or simply to keep for yourself – and jump on one of their periodic sales while buying in bulk. This is going to be my new print-purchasing strategy going forward... [Sean]
Post Date: 11/12/2014 1:14:37 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
LensRentals Logo
From now until the end of the year, use coupon code FALL2014 at LensRentals to get 10% off any rental!
 
Details:
 
  • Eligible for any order with an arrival date on or before 12-31-14
  • Can not be combined with any other offers
To support this site, click on the appropriate product review and then click the Rent button beside the camera/lens you want to rent.
Post Date: 11/12/2014 11:58:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
In The 2015 Photographer’s Guide to Photo Contests, get a fresh look at over 25 photo competitions worldwide, including new insights on which photo contests are worth your time, and which you should skip.
 
Get details on a long list of photo contests, including:
 
  • Sony World Photography Awards
  • World Press Photo Contest
  • PDN Photo Annual
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • Smithsonian Photo Contest
  • Communication Arts Photography Competition
  • Pictures of the Year International
  • Plus many more!
We award each contest a star rating based on factors like entry fee, prizes and promised exposure, plus give you direct feedback from recent winners to help steer you in the right direction.
 
Get the free guide today!
Post Date: 11/12/2014 10:29:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Story Behind the Rainbow over Aspen
Something that all landscape photographers need to know is that the worst weather can bring the best photo conditions. For example, without rain, there are no rainbows.
 
I would like to say that I had spent all day climbing to the top of some remote mountain to capture this image, but ... in this case, I was simply driving from a gas station back to the hotel. When the clouds on the western horizon broke open just enough for the sun to shine under the heavy cloud cover and into the rain, I simply pulled off the road at a safe location and started shooting. In this photo, the very warm-colored last sunlight of the day is illuminating the rain along with an aspen grove at the top of a mountain near the town of Aspen, CO.
 
From a compositional perspective, I would like to have moved the bright aspen grove and mountain peak to the right (or left) to about 1/3 of the way into the frame. To do that would have required me to drive to a new location. Rainbows and the sun shining through small openings in clouds are both fleeting opportunities and I was not going to chance missing the opportunity.
 
The leftmost rainbow was easily the most eye-catching subject, so I placed it in the 1/3 (maybe 1/4) frame position. The strong, bright rain easily balances the bright rainbow and the small, faint rainbow remains in the frame on the right. The dark land in the base of the frame works with the dark cloud at the top of the frame to bring the viewer's eye inward. The near-centered mountaintop then works for me in this case.
 
Without being able to significantly change perspective at this very long subject distance, a telephoto zoom lens allows flexibility in final subject framing.
 
I love unplanned images such as this one. The only requirement (beyond knowing how to use your gear) is being there. So, be there!
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
Post Date: 11/12/2014 9:20:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens
I have loaded my expectations (including observations from a short hands-on time with this lens) onto the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review page. I think that you and I are going to like what this lens delivers.
 
B&H is taking Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/12/2014 7:33:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Tascam DR-22WL Recorder
Adorama has a Tascam DR-22WL Recorder with Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones Bundle available for $169.00 with free shipping. Regularly $218.99.
 
Bundle Includes
 
  • Tascam DR-22WL 2-Channels Handheld Audio Recorder with Wi-Fi
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones, 96dB, 15-20kHz, Black
Post Date: 11/12/2014 7:15:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Sample Picture
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 11:08:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I have loaded an MTF chart comparison onto the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page. Compare the 100-400 L II's MTF charts to those of the 100-400 L, 70-300 L and 400 f/5.6 L. With-extender charts for the new lens are included.
 
Again, B&H is accepting Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens preorders and I recommend preordering early if you want this lens anytime soon. Adorama and Amazon are also accepting preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 10:32:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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