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 Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
My Canon EOS 7D Mark II arrived this week – WOO HOO! I will have lots of information to share about this camera in the very near future, but I kept notes as I unpacked and configured the "Baby 1D X" to the perfect (for me) setup. Following are the 30 (OK, there were initially 30, but I've tweaked the list slightly) steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 7D II ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged 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 neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk.
  3. Install Canon Solution Disk software 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).
  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. The GPS feature, if enabled, should take care of precise date/time maintenance going forward.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. 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)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(51200)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with sharpness set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Anti-flicker shoot: Enable
  22. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus (same reason)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  31. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; AF area select lever: Direct AF area selection
  32. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  33. My Menu: Add tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for determining 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 (and Sean's setup is nearly identical), 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 update-to-date list such as this is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state. Your list will insure that you do not miss an important setting while putting the camera back into service.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens in stock and I expect the body-only version to be available soon (preorder for earliest delivery).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/5/2014 8:51:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon PowerShot G7 X Digital Camera
B&H has the Canon PowerShot G7 X in stock with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/5/2014 6:33:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Canon Logo
Thank you for using Canon products.
 
Canon has released a firmware update for the WFT-E7A Wireless File Transmitter.
 
Details
Firmware Version 1.1.0 incorporates the following improvement:
Support has been added for the EOS 7D Mark II. Please note interface cable is required in order to update the WFT-E7A to firmware Version 1.1.0.
 
Eligible Models:
Only WFT-E7A models running firmware 1.0.4. Not applicable for WFT-E7A (Ver.2) models (which began selling in November 2014).
 
Connection Requirements:
In order to connect the Canon WFT-E7A with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II the following items are needed:
 
ItemsWFT-E7A
Firmware Version installed1.1.0 or later
Interface CableIFC-150AB II or IFC-40AB II

 
Support
If your Wireless File Transmitter’s firmware is already version 1.1.0 or later, it is not necessary to update the firmware. When updating your Wireless Transmitter’s firmware, please review the instructions thoroughly before you update the firmware.
 
Download Firmware Version 1.1.0 for the WFT-E7A Wireless File Transmitter.
 
This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.
 
Please register the WFT-E7A Wireless File Transmitter.
By registering, we will be able to notify you via email when future firmware updates become available for download.
 
Thank you,
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/4/2014 9:08:06 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Digital Learning Center
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
"As a commercial photographer for over 30+ years, my thought process has leaned towards using large strobe light systems in my studio and location photography and to keep the Speedlites for on-camera projects and mostly people subjects. Working with the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT along with the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT over the last year has really opened up my mind into a different way of thinking about exposure control and lighting.
 
Coming from being trained as a film photographer, lighting is something that I have tried to keep as constant like shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Digital was no different – you still need to get it correct in the camera. When working with strobe lighting, if I was happy with the composition, shutter and F-stop settings and I needed to change the overall exposure of an image, it was time to manually adjust the lighting. If the light were exactly in the right position already, I manually raise or lower the power output until I get exactly what I’m looking for. Now at this point, if lighting or camera settings change, everything would need to be reconfigured. For example, if you wanted to change the F-Stop setting from f/22 to f/2.8 for a selective focus effect, you would now have to manually dial down the lighting with some trial exposures to see if you got the exposure correct for the new settings. If you moved the lights in closer for a different lighting effect, it’s time to reconfigure the exposure again. The lighting and exposure changes can go on and on."
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/4/2014 2:46:47 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Amazon Prime Photos with Unlimited Storage
I [Sean] have been an Amazon Prime member for a couple of years now. Why?
 
  • Free two-day shipping on most of the items I buy
  • Prime Instant Video offers a few entertaining selections that Netflix doesn't have (including original programming)
There are certainly other benefits, but those are the two I take advantage of most often. However, Amazon just added a new benefit that's perfect for us photographers:
 
  • Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive.
Yes, you read that correctly – unlimited photo storage. *yay!*
 
From Amazon:
"Store your photos safely in Cloud Drive and you can access them anywhere, from almost any device by signing in with your Amazon account. Cloud Drive offers free mobile apps, secure access from any computer, and it's built in to all Fire devices.
 
With Prime Photos, the photos you've previously uploaded to Cloud Drive and photos you upload in the future will not count against your Cloud Drive storage limit."
If you're not already a member of Amazon Prime, now would be a great time to sign up. If you are already a member, you can start uploading photos to your Amazon Cloud Drive Account.
 
Mobile Access Apps
 
Category: Amazon News
Post Date: 11/4/2014 12:38:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From B&H:
 
Jeff shows you some of his favorite high school senior portraits and tells you how he captured them. He gives you tips for shooting locations, and talks about how to capture the personality of the senior in your photos - and how to make money doing it.
Post Date: 11/4/2014 11:49:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon Logo
From Nikon:
 
TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that the total production of NIKKOR lenses for Nikon interchangeable lens cameras reached the ninety million milestone at the end of October 2014. Additionally, production of NIKKOR lenses equipped with the Silent Wave Motor (SWM), the autofocus motor developed exclusively by Nikon, recently reached fifty million.
 
In 1959, Nikon (then Nippon Kogaku K.K) released the Nikon F as well as its first NIKKOR lenses for Nikon SLR cameras, including the NIKKOR-S Auto 5cm f/2. Since then, the NIKKOR tradition has continued. Nikon continues to actively release new NIKKOR lenses utilizing advanced technologies cultivated over its long history, while further expanding its lineup of lenses for the Nikon 1 compact interchangeable lens camera system. Since reaching the eighty-five million lens milestone in January 2014, production of NIKKOR lenses continues at a steady rate.
 
In addition, total production of NIKKOR lenses equipped with the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) has reached fifty million. Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor converts “traveling waves” into rotational energy to focus the optics, which achieves extremely quiet autofocus photography. In just eighteen years since the 1996 release of the Ai AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D IF-ED, which was one of the first lenses to employ SWM technology, a total of 72 lenses equipped with a SWM and covering a broad range of focal lengths have been released for both FX and DX-format DSLR cameras.
 
In September 2014, Nikon responded to a variety of user needs by adding the new ultra wide-angle AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED to its already robust lineup of fast f/1.8 fixed focal length lenses for FX-format cameras. The new 20mm f/1.8 lens utilizes the latest optical design technologies to achieve superior resolution, while the adoption of Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat controls ghost and flare. Lightweight and extremely portable, Nikon’s newest ultra-wide angle lens is ideal for fulfilling one’s photographic vision.
 
In June 2014, Nikon announced a new super-telephoto zoom lens for the Nikon 1 system, the 1 NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, the world’s smallest and lightest lens in its class. The 1 NIKKOR lineup consists of twelve lenses with focal lengths ranging from 6.7mm to 300mm (angles of view equivalent to 18mm to 810mm in 35mm format) for coverage from ultra-wide-angle to super-telephoto.
 
B&H carries Nikon lenses.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 11/4/2014 9:50:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Pilings at Brooklyn Bridge Park with Manhattan Skyline during Blue Hour
With a seven hour round trip drive included, fitting the PDN PhotoPlus Expo trip into 24 hours makes for a huge day. Increase the drive time to 10 hours (thanks to traffic), include a 1 hour wait at the show admission line due to a system outage (yes, I was preregistered), attend seven planned meetings plus a dinner meeting and I am left searching for a word that means much bigger than huge. Perhaps mammoth?
 
Still, with the show floor closing at 5:00 PM and rest seeming so unproductive, I decided to plan a shoot between the show and the dinner meeting. This year, I headed over to Brooklyn Bridge Park near Pier 1 (in Brooklyn) to the pilings shown in this picture.
 
I got onto the shoreline rocks beside the boat ramp and positioned the camera so that the opening between some of the pilings curved into the frame. I adjusted the focal length (with some mostly minor variety used) for a good size balance between the buildings and the pilings. An ultra-wide angle would emphasize the pilings while a standard or short telephoto lens would place more emphasis on the buildings. Another consideration is the levelness of the camera. With the camera vertically level, the buildings toward the sides of the frame remain vertically straight in this image.
 
The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM Lens mounted to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III was the perfect choice for this scene. Perfect for both the angle of view/focal length range and for the impressive image quality it provides.
 
I was in position in front of the piers as the sun set. While I have images captured during sunset that I like, including the sun against the horizon with the last sunlight of the day reflecting on the water, the city lights were not showing at this time of the day and the colors were not as attractive to me as the late blue hour example shown here. I also have some shorter exposures of this scene, but the choppy river did not attract my eye like the buttery-smooth blurred alternatives. I used neutral density filters and adjusted the aperture slightly (between f/8 and f/11) to keep my exposure times at or near 30 seconds as sunset turned into blue hour and then into dark. I started with a 6-stop ND, moved to a 2-stop ND and removed that filter as darkness came.
 
While this may seem like a long time to shoot a single scene, this was the shot I wanted and I wanted a variety of options to choose from. I was shooting 3 bracketed frames (this is an HDR image) with the longest exposure at or near 30 seconds in duration and I had long exposure noise reduction enabled, meaning that dark frames were captured for an equally long period of time. This means that I was spending several minutes for each potential final image. With exposures that long, one cannot predict the large boats and other detractants that will possibly influence an image and I threw away some frames for this reason. In the end, I had a nice amount of images, but not a crazy number.
 
Likely, only a few of the images from this shoot will see the light of day. But, I really like those few images and consider the time and effort well spent. I can cross "Pilings at Brooklyn Bridge Park" off of my location bucket list.
 
The day started at 5:00 AM and ended at 2:45 AM the next morning. The overall results from the day, including the meetings and the show, were totally worth the effort.
 
A larger version of this image is available on: Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
Post Date: 11/4/2014 8:36:58 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
Tim Cooper, shares tips and tricks to create light painting masterpieces. Painting with light is an exciting and artistic way to portray your subject in a completely unique manner.
Post Date: 11/4/2014 7:52:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
Canon EF-M lenses are compatible only with the compact Canon EOS M MILCs (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras). The 55-200 IS STM is the telephoto lens option in the "M" lineup (though others are available via the EF to EF-M adapter). This lens has good image quality with a very small size and light weight.
 
Please note: Like the T5i, T4i and 70D, the EOS M has image sharpness dialed up (by Canon) in-camera. Even though the EF-M lens test results shown use our standard sharpness setting of "1", you will see the sharpness difference when comparing against EOS 60D-based lens test results. The increased sharpness comes directly at the expense of increased high ISO noise and can be adjusted to taste. Still, this is a good lens.
 
Canon USA is not currently importing this lens. My suggestion is to order your EF-M 11-22mm IS STM Lens from DigitalRev.
 
Special thanks to John S for loaning us this lens!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/4/2014 7:40:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Kit
From the LensRentals Blog:
"For those who want to take my word for it and skip on to some other blog, the Canon 7D Mk II may be the best weather-sealed camera I’ve run across. It’s excellent. For those who would rather see for themselves, gory camera dissection pictures follow!!
For the complete set of teardown images, check out the LensRentals Blog.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/4/2014 7:07:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, November 03, 2014
Tascam DR-70D DSLR 4-Channel Audio Recorder
Adorama has the recently announced Tascam DR-70D DSLR 4-Channel Audio Recorder in stock with free overnight shipping.
 
Features:
 
  • Two built-in microphones
  • 4 XLR/TRS combo jacks allow a wide range of setups
  • Built-in mixer with 4 inputs and 2 outputs
  • High audio quality through HDDA microphone preamps
  • Compact and tough design
  • Camera input and output
  • Slate tone generator for easy alignment with video files
Post Date: 11/3/2014 12:46:30 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
Canon EF-M lenses are compatible only with the compact Canon EOS M MILCs (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras). The results from the 11-22 are very good – this lens will be a great addition to any "M" kit.
 
Please note: Like the T5i, T4i and 70D, the EOS M has image sharpness set higher in-camera. Even though the EF-M lens test results shown use our standard sharpness setting of "1", you will see the sharpness difference when comparing against EOS 60D-based lens test results. The increased sharpness comes directly at the expense of increased high ISO noise. Still, this is a good lens.
 
Canon USA is not currently importing this lens. My suggestion is to order your EF-M 11-22mm IS STM Lens from DigitalRev.
 
Special thanks to John S for loaning us this lens!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/3/2014 10:04:58 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Profoto Announces RFi 4' Octa
From Profoto:
 
Octagonal softboxes are great for portraits, fashion and beauty shots, as they create an appealing round catch light in the subject's eyes.
 
A new octa softbox has now been added to Profoto's extensive line of RFi Softboxes. The new 4' Octa fills in the gap in between the 3' Octa and the 5' Octa.
 
The new octa is not too small and not too large. It is just perfect.
 
Benefits of Profoto's RFi Softboxes
 
  • 13 unique models in four shapes.
  • Compatible with over 20 flash brands, thanks to our speedring adaptors.
  • Deeper shape and recessed front for more precise control.
  • Double-layered diffusers and a highly reflective silver interior.
  • Optional Softgrid available for even more precise light shaping.
  • Color-coded speedrings and Velcro attachments result in hassle-free assembly and disassembly.
  • Designed to withstand years of professional use.
B&H carries the Profoto RFi 4' Octa Softbox and other RFi Softboxes and accessories.
Category: Profoto News
Post Date: 11/3/2014 8:23:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Kit
As we rolled back the clocks this weekend, did you remember to adjust the one in your camera(s)? If not, here's a gentle reminder!
 
And if you want all your cameras' times to be synchronized perfectly, check out this post I made back in September.
 
Happy shooting!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/3/2014 6:41:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, October 31, 2014
Canon Professional Network Logo
From the Canon Professional Network:
"Adobe now offers a Creative Cloud Photography bundle that includes Lightroom editing software and Photoshop CC for photographers who want to organise, edit, enhance and share their images via desktop or their mobile devices – this package currently comes bundled with Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 6D DSLRs [in the UK]. In a four-part CPN series of articles and video tutorials Richard Curtis (a Principal Solutions Consultant in Digital Imaging for Adobe UK) will examine the workflow between Lightroom software and Photoshop CC to give you a good understanding of the benefits of working with both in tandem. In Part 2 of this series Richard Curtis focuses on the advanced use of Smart Objects for creating composite images within the Lightroom and Photoshop CC workflow and, in a special video, he explains how to create such composite images."
The video can be found on the Canon Professional Network.
 
Adobe's Photoshop Photography Program is only $9.99 per month (Photoshop CC + Lightroom).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/31/2014 6:56:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, October 30, 2014
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR with 18-135mm IS STM Lens
B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR with 18-135mm IS STM Lens in stock and ready for shipment.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/30/2014 11:49:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
GigaPan Logo
Hampstead, Maryland – October 28, 2014 - OmegaBrandess is proud to announce the acquisition of the assets of the Gigapan hardware division of Gigapan Systems LLC.
 
Gigapan Systems of Portland, Oregon, manufactures Gigapan EPIC Robotic Mounts. GigaPan EPIC robotic mounts empower cameras to take hundreds, even thousands of photos, which are combined to create one highly detailed image with amazing depth and clarity.
 
OmegaBrandess is now in the process of transitioning the operation to their facility in Hampstead, MD where they plan to be in full production as soon as possible. OmegaBrandess will announce the product line at the Photo Plus Show this week at the Javits Center in NY.
 
Bringing Mars Rover Technology to Earth
 
The Gigapan EPIC series of panoramic photography equipment is based on the same technology employed by the Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, to capture the incredible images of the red planet. Now everyone has the opportunity to use technology developed for Mars to take their own incredible images.
 
Gigapan was formed in 2008 as a commercial spin-off of successful research collaboration between a team of researchers at NASA and Carnegie Mellon University. The company’s mission has been to bring this powerful, high-resolution imaging capability to a broad audience.
 
Gigapan EPIC
 
EPIC robotic camera mounts make it fun and easy to capture incredibly high resolution images with almost any camera! Part of a fully integrated solution, EPIC robotic camera mounts work seamlessly with Gigapan Stitch software.
 
The Gigapan EPIC and EPIC 100 are compatible with a broad range of point-and-shoot cameras and small DSLRs to capture Gigapans, quickly and accurately. Light and compact, they are easy-to-use, and remarkably efficient. The EPIC Pro is designed to work with DSLR cameras and larger lenses, features advanced technology, and delivers stunning performance and precision. Strong enough to hold a camera and lens combination of up to 10 lbs, the EPIC Pro enables users to capture enormous panoramas with crisp, vivid detail.
 
How it Works
 
Simply attach your camera and the EPIC directs you through the steps to capture a gigapixel image. Set the upper left and lower right corners of your panorama and the EPIC automatically organizes the hundreds or even thousands of photos your camera will take into rows or columns. The robotic arm clicks away to capture amazing detail in a short amount of time.
 
B&H carries Gigapan products.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Gigapan News
Post Date: 10/30/2014 8:23:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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