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 Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review.
 
Did the arrival of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II bring this lens purpose?
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/31/2016 9:52:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 26, 2016
The balance of the standard test results (vignetting, flare and distortion) along with specs, measurements and standard product images are now available on the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens and Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017 Lens pages.
 
Full reviews of both lenses are planned for the near future.
 
B&H has the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens and Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017 Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/26/2016 8:46:21 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Just posted: Canon EOS Rebel T6 Review
 
Obvious is that this is a low-priced DSLR. But, does it have any professional purposes? Read the review (at least the pro use section near the end) and leave your thoughts in the comments here.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS Rebel T6 in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/25/2016 7:37:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 23, 2016
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 5Ds R and Canon EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS Lens Review.
 
While an f/2.8 max aperture for a prime lens may not grab your attention, this lens' image quality might. The 28 f/2.8 IS is regularly a decent value and the $100.00 instant reward makes it a great value.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/23/2016 8:07:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 19, 2016
Just posted: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Review.
 
This is a very impressive-performing camera. The AF system is perhaps my favorite improvement, but ... there are so many other great things about this camera.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II available for preorder with 13 months of Canon CarePAK coverage free (upon camera registration). Get the premium kit which also offers a free CFast 2.0 card and reader.
 
Retailers with 1D X II Premium Kit In Stock: Canon Store | Adorama | Focus Camera
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/19/2016 9:42:09 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens Review.
 
The Canon 180 L doesn't get a lot of love, but ... it has given me some great images over the years.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/17/2016 8:03:07 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 16, 2016
As has become my routine, I recorded my initial Canon EOS-1D X Mark II configuration process upon receiving the camera. Following are the 42 steps I took to make the out-of-the-box Canon EOS-1D X Mark II ready for my use. I know, 42 is a big number. But, this camera is extremely configurable.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged Canon LP-E19 (or LP-E4N) 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 (still included in this box). I always take a moment to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Find the Canon EOS Solution Disk software (included on a DVD) and install it on your computer. Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap (unless I am planning to use very large lenses)
  5. Record the camera's serial number and ensure that proper insurance coverage is in place.
  6. Important: Turn the vertical grip on (switch near top of vertical grip – why is this off by default?).
  7. Insert the battery (ideally, after charging completes).
  8. Power the camera on.
  9. 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.
  10. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  11. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: 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 – I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  14. 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)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Img type/size: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H3(409600), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-512000
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Image review: 4 sec.
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting change – it should be Canon's default)
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: 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 +2 (same reason)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (enable the "blinkies", flash portions of image that are overexposed during image review)
  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 details)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the always-largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable, Show/hide in viewfinder: Flicker! only
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Info button display options: Electronic level only
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [enter name]
  36. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Restrict shooting modes: Enable all (adds C2 and C3)
  37. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Restrict drive modes: Disable: low speed continuous, Silent HS continuous, Silent LS continuous (I seldom use theses modes)
  38. Custom Functions, Tab 5: Rec card, img size setting: Off (I don't use this button. being able to turn it off prevents inadvertent changes)
  39. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Av setting without lens: On (allows me to prepare the camera for a specific, not-yet-mounted lens)
  40. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Mag/Reduce; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; M-Fn2: One Shot/AI Servo
  41. Custom Functions, Tab 7: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  42. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Anti-flicker shoot, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning
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 (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information and To Order Your 1D X Mark II
 
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
 
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/16/2016 10:44:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens page.
 
I'll leave the comparison lens selection up to you, but ... certain is that there is no directly comparable lens available.
 
B&H has the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/11/2016 10:07:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 9, 2016
ISO Noise and resolution test results have been added to the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Review page.
 
Here are some comparisons (initialized at ISO 3200):
 
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the 1D X
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the 1D Mark IV
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the 5D Mark III
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the 5Ds R downsized
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the 7D Mark II
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the 1D Mark III
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II compared to the 1Ds Mark III
 
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).
 
Retailers with 1D X II Premium Kit In Stock
Canon Store | Adorama | Focus Camera
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/9/2016 9:31:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 5, 2016
I drove to the UPS shipping terminal first thing this morning to pick up my 1D X Mark II body just arriving from B&H. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and, with an under-the-lights soccer game on my schedule for this evening, I chose to not wait for the brown truck to arrive late this afternoon (and risk it not arriving in time). Hearing the sound of this camera is always good for a smile and I put it in front of the mic for a first test.

Canon rates the 1D X Mark II buffer depth at up to 170 RAW images, with the highest number requiring a CFast 2.0 Memory Card. CFast cards were a new requirement for my kit and Transcend was anxious for me to try out one of their CFX650 256GB CFast 2.0 Memory Cards (Max. Read/Write Speed: 510/370 MB/s) in this camera. I didn't have to think too long to accept that offer and, while I have yet to use another card in this camera, I can tell you that this one and the 1D X Mark II perform very impressively together.

With the Transcend card installed, the 1D X Mark II captured an incredible 14 frames per second until I got bored holding the shutter release down over 6 minutes later. The 14 fps converts to 840 fpm and, in 6:01.35, I had a VERY impressive 5,068 RAW images on the CFast card. With this card installed, the camera never filled its buffer. And, the sound is, as expected, awesome:

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Burst Mode
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Burst Mode Extended Version (the full 6 minutes)

Here is a burst rate comparison between the 1D X Mark II and several other current or recent models:

Burst Comparison: 80D, 7D Mark II, 1D X Mark II and 1D X

The fine print: the test camera was configured to use ISO 100, a 1/8000 shutter speed (no waiting for the shutter operation), a wide open aperture (no time lost due to aperture blades closing) and manual focus (no focus lock delay). The lens cap remained on (insuring a black file and the smallest file size) and a freshly-formatted fast memory card was loaded. Camera sounds were recorded using a Tascam DR-07mkII Portable Digital Audio Recorder with record levels set to 50% at -12db gain and positioned 1" behind the rear LCD.

Completing the full 1D X review is of course a high priority for me – I'll have much more to share in the near future. Check out the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II page for more information.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II available for preorder.
 
Retailers with 1D X II Premium Kit In Stock
Adorama | Focus Camera

Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/5/2016 11:24:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 4, 2016
As has become my habit when setting up a new DSLR, I recorded my setup steps for the recently-received Canon EOS Rebel T6. Following are the 24 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Rebel T6 ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. The battery likely comes partially charged, but it is nice to start out with a fully charged battery.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download the Canon Solution Disk software from Canon's website and install 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 – if you can wait that long).
  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 a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: "RAW"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Peripheral illumination correction: disabled
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: 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.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: ISO Auto: 6400
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Grid display: Grid 1 (3x3)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 2: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: C.Fn I: Exposure: ISO Expansion: On
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  24. My Menu: Register the following options: Long exposure noise reduction, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning (Clean manually), Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
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 (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS Rebel T6
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/4/2016 10:33:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R and the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017 Lens page.
 
Image quality results from the Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D are now available. A wide range of Canon EOS models can be compared with the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Lens (T6-tested) and/or the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens selected (use f/4).
 
The Rebel T6 is available only in a kit with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens, so while we had this lens in the labs, we captured Image quality results from it mounted to the EOS 7D Mark II.
 
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II are available in the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens Review. This is a venerable combination for sports and wildlife.
 
As usual, all of the above-mentioned items are available at B&H. Your continued support of the site by using the provided B&H and other retailer links to make purchases (of anything) continues to make these tests possible.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 5/3/2016 9:15:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 2, 2016
 Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Image quality (D3x and D810), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements have been added to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E AF-S VR Lens page.
 
There is a bit of a backstory to this post. This is the third copy of this lens we've put through the lab. I was not satisfied with the 50-70mm performance of the first copy, so I brought a second lens in. The results from the second lens were about the same as the first with great wide angle sharpness and not so great long end performance.
 
What to do next was the dilemma. Was this performance indicative of what you should expect from this lens? Did we get two duds in a row? Was there an issue with the Nikon D3x test camera? Perhaps something was not working well with the camera and lens combination?
 
Being unsettled, I opted to clean house and try again. I purchased a new Nikon D810 and brought in a third copy of the 24-70 VR. Here are the results of the 3rd lens on the D810 compared to the 2nd lens on the D3x.
 
Many comparisons can be made. I'll let you decide which of those to make.
 
Nikon D810 test results from more lenses are planned for the future, though it will take a long time to work all previously-tested lens models through the lab. Remember, all lens aberration correction is turned off for these tests (CA, if present, will be especially noticeable at high resolution). The same sharpness settings being used for the D3x (initially setup to match or perhaps slightly exceed the Canon settings) are being used for the D810. We will be looking more closely at this setting, probably after bringing in a 200 f/2 VR for testing (the original base lens used for sharpness setting selection).
 
Don't forget: we really need your support to keep the camera and lens tests coming in. Especially when copy quality is questioned, these tests become very expensive to conduct. Please use the site's links to make your purchases! Even buying diapers at Amazon helps.
 
B&H has the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E AF-S VR Lens in stock.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/27/2016 9:53:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Test results for the Canon EOS Rebel T6 and the Canon EOS M3 are now available in the site's ISO noise comparison tool.
 
Hare are some comparisons that may be of interest:
 
Canon EOS Rebel T6 compared to Rebel T5
Canon EOS Rebel T6 compared to Rebel T6i
Canon EOS Rebel T6 compared to 80D
Canon EOS M3 compared to Rebel T6i
 
B&H (still on holiday break) has the Canon EOS Rebel T6 and the Canon EOS M3 in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/26/2016 11:15:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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