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 Monday, May 11, 2015
Camera Noise Comparison Tool
You've seen the color block noise test comparisons in the DSLR camera reviews. Creating each of those comparisons was time consuming, the comparables were limited and the test results were buried in the review pages. With the new Camera Noise Comparison Tool, any tested camera can be quickly and easily compared with any other tested camera. Links to the new tool are found throughout the site including on the Tools menu and at the top of most camera reviews.
 
All cameras included in the tool have "Standard" test results available. A key to remember is that the "Standard" test results have no noise reduction included. Since noise reduction can be applied to images from any camera, the without noise reduction results become the best option for comparing camera models. These results aim to best show the camera's capabilities without software algorithm assistance. Some cameras include multiple sets of test results that may include noise reduction, Multi-Shot Noise Reduction and resolution changes to match other DSLR models.
 
My suggestion is to load the higher resolution camera sample using the right drop-down list selection when comparing two cameras.
 
While adding new tests to the tool will remain somewhat time consuming, only the new test images need to be created. Nearly 500 test images are immediately available. The Canon EOS Rebel T6i / T6s results are next in line for inclusion in the tool.
 
Loading test results from old cameras was nostalgic. Remember when the max ISO was 1600? And we thought it was amazing?
 
As with most of the site's other comparison tools, the URL showing in the address bar allows sharing specific noise comparisons with others. The complete set of parameters needed to reproduce the specific comparison being viewed are included.
 
This page is just out of beta testing. Please report any issues and, as always, suggestions are welcome.
 
Resolution Results
 
Also added to most DSLR camera review pages is a link to resolution chart test results in the Image Quality Comparison Tool. These previously existing results were usually mentioned in the reviews, but even more buried than the noise comparisons. Look for the bulleted resolution link near the top of the camera review pages.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/11/2015 9:06:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 8, 2015
Canon EOS Rebel T6s
Resolution samples have been added to the Canon EOS Rebel T6s and T6i review pages. These two cameras share the same imaging sensor, so the same set of results are shared by the two.
 
Remember that the T6i/T6s results are processed in Canon Digital Photo Pro version 4 as these RAW images are not supported in version 3. I talked about the Canon DPP 4 vs. 3 differences recently.
 
The 7D Mark II and 70D were the previous Canon APS-C resolution record holders. The T6s/T6i adds 4 megapixels of resolution to these bodies. Here is the Canon EOS T6s vs. 7D Mark II comparison.
 
The T6i and T6s imaging sensors also surpass the previous Canon full frame resolution record holder, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Here is the Canon EOS T6s vs. 5D Mark III comparison.
 
B&H has the Rebel T6i (body and kit) and Rebel T6s (kit) in stock. The T6s body-only remains a preorder item.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/8/2015 7:27:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 7, 2015
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Image quality results from a second Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens are now available on the site.
 
The second lens (sample "2") is slightly sharper in the center and slightly less sharp in the corner.
 
B&H has the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art Lens available for order with "coming soon" the expectation.
Post Date: 5/7/2015 8:47:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens
Image quality results from a second copy of the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens are now available.
 
The second copy tested slightly better in the wide aperture corners and is presented as lens copy "1" in the results. Really impressive lens.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens available for preorder with "coming soon" being the expectation.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/6/2015 9:04:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The first time that Sean and I gave Canon's Digital Photo Pro version 4.0.0 a workout, we declared that it wasn't ready for prime time. DPP 4 is now at version 4.2.10.0 and, forced by the lack of Canon EOS Rebel T6s and T6i support in DPP 3.14.48.1 (and presumably the same issue coming for the Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R), I am once again working with the latest version of Canon's image processing software. While I'm not ready to make recommendations on use of the latest version, I want to communicate a change that you might notice in forthcoming image quality results processed using DPP 4.
 
Any time a new RAW image processing engine is used, there is a possibility of the output being different. With each version of DPP we load, a comparison test is done to insure that our results are not impacted by the new engine. It has been a long time since the first digit of DPP's version number has been incremented and ... I was nervous. Primarily, I didn't want to leave the huge inventory of lens tests unavailable for comparison with the latest-tested gear.
 
Based on testing performed on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (supported on both versions of DPP), I'm reporting is that DPP 4 indeed changes the output. However, I think that you are going to view the change as positive and non-harming to comparisons with older tests going forward. Important is that I don't see any change in sharpness based on the same standardized test settings (Neutral Picture Style, Sharpness = "1"). However, there is a clear reduction in the artifacts seen in the resolution lines in the test chart. The lead image in this post was processed in the latest version of DPP 4 and the following image was processed in the latest version of DPP 3.
 
DPP 3 Resolution Example
 
To best compare these images, control-click on each to open them in new browser tabs and toggle between the tabs. Or, download and open the images in your favorite image viewer. Show the images at 200% and then toggle between them. Very little difference other than the artifacts clearing will be seen.
 
From a color standpoint, I am not seeing any changes between the two RAW image processing engines. From a noise standpoint, DPP version 4 has a very slight edge at higher ISO settings. The edge is tiny enough to be meaningless to most and unless toggling instantly between images at 100%, probably few would detect the difference.
 
Testing against all of these small changes is very time consuming, but ... worth it for accurate evaluations.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/5/2015 7:45:47 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Breakthrough Photography X3 10-Stop ND Filter
Breakthrough Photography has introduced their new X3 line of ND filters, claiming that "The X3 ND is the world's sharpest and most color neutral ND filter." For validation of that big claim, they sent me a pair of filters in 6 and 10 stop densities. I have included the 10-stop X3 in many of the comparisons shown in the 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter Review and have added more specific X3 information at the end of that page.
 
This fact should grab your attention: The X3 is less than half the price of the Singh-Ray Mor-Slo 10-Stop ND Filter. When I get time, I will update the neutral density filter review with the results from the 6-stop filter, but ... this filter performs similarly to the 10-Stop version. Excellently.
 
Breakthrough Photography X3 ND Filters are coming to B&H very soon and are available now at Adorama (77mm and 82mm only at this time) and Amazon (many sizes available).
Post Date: 4/29/2015 9:53:25 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens
Just posted: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review.
 
This is an ultra-light, long telephoto focal length lens with image quality and AF performance that do not disappoint.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens available for preorder ("backorder" may now be the more appropriate word).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/28/2015 7:49:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 27, 2015
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens review page.
 
The first copy of this lens to go through the lab showed a rather strong decentering issue (Sigma replaced that lens for the owner – great service). As the 150-600 Sports lens model remains unavailable, we have Sigma USA to thank for the loan of this second lens. This new lens also shows some side-to-side variances, but the differences are less-significant than the first model. The left side of the lens is not as sharp as the right in the widest focal length tests and, noticeable in the results presented here, is that the right side is softer at 300mm.
 
Overall, this lens is a very good performer. I spent lots of time behind it this past weekend, capturing over 2,000 images at the sporting events I covered. I look forward to sharing that experience. In the meantime, here are some comparisons:
 
Sigma 150-600 Sports vs. Sigma 150-500 OS (be sure to compare the long focal lengths)
Sigma 150-600 Sports vs. Tamron 150-600 VC Lens
Sigma 150-600 Sports vs. Canon 100-400mm L IS II Lens
 
Demand is still outstripping supply of this lens right. If you want a 150-600 Sports lens in your kit, the best option is to get in line at B&H.
Post Date: 4/27/2015 7:27:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 24, 2015
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens review.
 
Great lens, though I doubt it will become highly popular on the APS-C format.
 
B&H has the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens in stock.
Post Date: 4/24/2015 8:03:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, April 23, 2015
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens review.
 
As with the 1Ds III test results for this lens, the "Sample 1" lens shows results without the internal 1.4x extender in the optical path (except for the first set of 560mm results). The "Sample 2" results show the built-in 1.4x extender included in the optical path for all images.
 
Even with the high-density 7D II sensor behind it, the 200-400 L performs very impressively.
 
While this is still not an inexpensive lens, the recent $800 price drop definitely makes it more affordable. B&H has the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS Lens in stock.
 
Save an additional $1,700 on the 200-400 L
 
B&H a used 200-400mm f/4L IS Lens in "9" condition in stock. Buying used always involves some risk, but buying used from B&H with a "90-Day B&H Used Warranty" dramatically reduces that risk.
 
Browse the B&H Used Department to find other deals.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/23/2015 9:47:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens
Image quality results from a second lens have been added to the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens review.
 
The second lens is at least as awesome as the first.
 
B&H is taking orders for the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens with stock expected very soon.
 
Can't wait? Check Adorama (bundle) and Amazon has 1 lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/22/2015 9:02:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens
By request, I have added two smaller lenses to the big lens comparison tool. Allowing a smaller lens to be placed beside one classified by the site's product image tool as "big" allows a better visualization of the size of the larger lenses.
 
The two selected "small" (relatively speaking) lenses are the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens. These were selected because they are among the most likely lenses found in one's kit prior to stepping up to one of the big guns (and I have them in my own kit, meaning they were immediately available). Those looking at Nikon lenses can still use the smaller Canon lenses for comparison purposes as these are very similar to their closest Nikon equivalents in size.
 
Also now available are the standard images for the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens. Here is a comparison placing the DO II between the two just-added smaller lenses:
 
Canon 70-200 vs. 400 DO II vs. 100-400 L II
 
Because of its size, the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens does not fit in the frame of the standard product image comparison and I must declare it "big". This lens now has product images available in the big lens image comparison tool.
 
Responsive Design
 
As I mentioned before, I have implemented "responsive design" on the site. Browsing the site on smaller devices including phones and tablets should be easier since the initial update. Many additional improvements are now implemented including most of the tools now being mobile-ready. One exception that remains is the Lens Image Quality Comparison Tool. Since looking at 100% resolution crops is the primary purpose of this tool, letting images resize to a smaller browser viewport is defeating to its purpose. Until I come up with the right solution, I'll let this one break out of the browser window size.
 
Up Next
 
Look for the 400 DO II review to be completed early next week. I have a second copy of the Sigma 150-600 Sports Lens coming in this week. That lens will be the next priority on the to-do list. The Sigma 150-600 Contemporary Lens should also be arriving any day now. There is a lot of interest in telephoto zoom lenses right now and I'm anxious to see how these new lenses compare to the previously available Canon 100-400 L IS II and the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens.
Post Date: 4/21/2015 8:18:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, April 16, 2015
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens review.
 
The 24-105 L IS is probably my most-ever-used lens. And the best-ever deal I've ever seen on this lens is available right now at the Canon Store. They have this lens in refurbished (like new) condition for only $530.78.
 
Prefer new? B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/16/2015 9:09:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Just posted: Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
 
This lens turns in best-available 24mm optical performance in a very attractive package at an eye-catching price.
 
B&H has the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens available for preorder with "Coming Soon" being the expectation.
Post Date: 4/14/2015 8:42:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, April 8, 2015
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