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 Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
eBay (via Deals-All-Year) has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens (review) available for $649.49 with free shipping. Compare at $1,149.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/10/2014 12:23:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D810 DSLR Camera
eBay (via Deals-All-Year) has the Nikon D810 DSLR Camera available for $2,599.00 with free shipping. Compare at $3,296.95.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not eligible for a Nikon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 12/10/2014 12:13:44 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS Mode Dial
What is a Custom Mode?
 
A Custom mode is a camera setting that allows the photographer to instantly recall a pre-saved camera setup configuration by simply turning the top dial (or via a button press and dial turn on the 1-Series models) to one of the designated "C" modes.
 
Canon's mid and high-end EOS DSLR cameras have between one and three Custom ("C") modes available. The current EOS **D models (the EOS 70D and EOS 60D) have one Custom mode and the EOS 6D has two. Canon's high end models, including the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 1D X, have three "C" modes. The lower-end Rebel (***D and ****D) series cameras do not have custom modes available.
 
How to Configure a Custom Shooting Mode
 
Configuring a "C" mode is very easy. Simply adjust all of your camera settings as desired for the "C" mode being programmed and then find and select the "Custom shooting mode" menu option in the "Tools" tab. Next, select "Register settings". If more than one "C" mode is available on your camera, the mode number desired must then be selected. Done. That's it. That "C" mode is programmed.
 
Two other "Custom shooting mode" menu options are available. The first is "Clear settings". I don't recall ever using this one. I simply program over the top of an already configured "C" mode if I want to make a change. I haven't felt a need to clean up any no-longer-needed "C" mode.
 
The other available option is "Change Auto update set". While a "C" mode is being used, camera settings can be changed. When "Change Auto update set" is set to "Enabled", any camera setting changes made while in a "C" mode are saved to the respective "C" mode. The camera will retain the new settings even after being powered off. When this option is set to "Disabled", the camera will revert back to the originally programmed settings when the camera powers off. My cameras are all set to "Enabled". "Enabled" requires a little more attention to the as-last-configured settings when beginning to shoot, but ... I found "Disabled" to be somewhat maddening and requiring even more constant attention.
 
Bryan's Custom Mode Settings
 
I am generally using camera models with three Custom modes and I have a standard configuration that I use on all of my cameras. Being configured identically means that it doesn't matter which camera I am using, I know which Custom mode to use when the configured-for situation presents itself. That configuration and my thought process behind it as follows:
 
Custom Mode 1: Action Photography
 
The action photography I do has general overarching camera settings requirements that lend themselves perfectly to a "C" mode.
 
My most-used standard camera mode is "M" (Manual) and this is what I programmed "C1" for. I use "M" mode for about 95% of my photography with "Av" (Aperture Priority) mode picking up 4.8% of the remaining mode use (most often when shooting under rapidly changing light levels such as a partly-cloudy sky when Auto ISO in "M" mode is not desired). My programmed manual exposure settings include a wide open aperture (usually from whichever lens I used last), an action-stopping 1/1600 shutter speed and Auto ISO. If the light is constant, I change the ISO to a specific setting at the venue.
 
My "C1" is configured for AI Servo AF with a single AF point selected and the camera's highest speed burst drive mode selected. If shooting under very low light (such as an indoor gym), I select a slower/longer shutter speed to allow reasonable ISO settings to be used.
 
Having an action mode ready for immediately use has great benefits that include being able to properly photograph a running animal that was calmly feeding just moments before.
 
Custom Mode 2: Landscape and Still Life Photography
 
I am very frequently shooting landscape and still life subjects from a tripod and my typical settings for such photography are programmed into "C2". Once again, my selected exposure mode is "M". I generally leave the aperture set to f/11 (full frame) or f/8 (APS-C) to plan for as much depth of field as I can get without compromising sharpness (due to diffraction). The shutter speed I need varies widely when I'm in "C2" mode. It is usually set to whatever shutter speed I last used and usually needs to be set for the current situation. My "C2" ISO is set to 100 for the least noise possible.
 
I have One Shot AF mode selected along with the single center AF point. Key for ultimate image sharpness is that mirror lockup and the 2-sec self-timer are selected in my "C2". With the mirror automatically raising 2 seconds before the shutter release, all vibrations, including those caused by my shutter release button press, subside before image capture begins.
 
I usually have Long Exposure Noise Reduction enabled in "C2".
 
While "C" modes are great for setup speed, my "C2" needs are not usually happening fast. But, having this configuration readily available still saves me a lot of setup time. Convenience has a lot of value.
 
Custom Mode 3: Situational-Dependent
 
Basically, I leave "C" mode 3 unprogrammed until needed at each event venue. Technically, my "C3" is programmed to whatever settings I used it for last, but ... those settings are likely irrelevant to the new situation. My use for this mode varies greatly, but the overriding reason I setup "C3" is to be able to recall a venue-specific camera condition the instant I need it. I use "C3" more infrequently than "C1" and "C2" because my needs outside of the regular M and Av mode are primarily captured in my Mode 1 and 2 settings.
 
How are Your Custom Modes Programmed?
 
The variation of camera setup needs between photographers can be dramatic. Give thought to your own "C" settings.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:15:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the SmugMug Films YouTube Channel:
 
You've never seen space like this. This short film gives an inside look at how NASA Astronaut Don Pettit captures breathtaking images of Earth's most famous phenomena - aurora, star trails, city lights, and more - from the inside the International Space Station.
 
Read our interview with Don on our blog. See his photos up close.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:29:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D610 DSLR Camera
For a limited time, B&H has the Nikon D610 DSLR Camera available for $1,596.95 with fee expedited shipping and 2% Rewards. Regularly $1,996.95.
 
The camera also comes with several free accessories (valued at $141.84):
 
  • SanDisk - 16GB Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card (Class 10)
  • Ruggard - Commando 36 DSLR Shoulder Bag
  • Watson - EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V, 1800mAh)
  • Vello - FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release - 2.4GHz (for Nikon)
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:00:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Profoto B1 2-Light Location Kit
B&H has a couple of deals on the wildly popular Profoto B1 Battery Powered Flashes. See below for details.
 
Profoto B1 Deals
 
ItemReg. PriceSavingsSale Price
Profoto B1 Battery Powered Flash$1,995.00$165.00$1,830.00
Profoto B1 2-Light Location Kit$3,950.00$350.05$3,599.95
Post Date: 12/10/2014 10:29:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera
The Canon Store has the Refurbished Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera (review) available for $363.99 with free shipping. Compare at $599.00 new.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/10/2014 8:11:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon VIXIA Mini Camcorder
B&H is featuring the Canon VIXIA Mini Camcorder as a Deal Zone Deal of the Day and is available for $129.00. Regularly $299.00.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 6:59:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
AdoramaPix Logo
Use coupon code PXHDEAL6 at AdoramaPix to get 11x14 regular prints for only $2.00 + shipping. Regularly $2.99 - $4.99.
 
Qualifying Papers
 
  • Kodak Professional Endure Glossy
  • Kodak Professional Endure Matte
  • Kodak Professional Endure Lustre
  • Kodak Professional Endure Metallic
Post Date: 12/10/2014 6:32:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Outdoor Photographer:
Award-Winning Photographer Now Holds Four of the Top 20 Most Expensive Photographs Ever Sold
 
"LAS VEGAS – Today, LIK USA announced the sale of the most expensive photograph in history by world-renowned fine art photographer, Peter Lik. 'Phantom' sold to a private collector for an unprecedented $6.5 million. The purchase also included Lik’s masterworks 'Illusion' for $2.4 million and 'Eternal Moods' for $1.1 million. With this $10 million sale, Lik now holds four of the top 20 spots for most expensive photographs ever sold. He already has a position in the ranking with a previous $1 million sale of famed image, 'One.'"
See the entire article on Outdoor Photographer's website.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 5:52:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
B&H has the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens (review) in stock with limited supply. If this lens is on your wish list, act fast!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/9/2014 5:12:48 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
Running a financially sound business can often feel like a fine balancing act between pursuing passion vs. profits. Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned photographer, owning and running a full-time photography business requires that know how to make money and be profitable. Binita Patel shares her insights on how to MAKE MONEY as a full-time photographer.
 
The presentation will cover the following topics:
 
  • Defining the Value of Your Work
  • Selling: Pitching vs. Catching
  • Pricing and Packages
  • Understanding Your Finances
  • Achieving Profitability
Post Date: 12/9/2014 2:03:17 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera
Hot Deal: eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera (review) available for $2,393.00 with free shipping. Compare at $3,099.00 after $300.00 mail-in rebate.
 
Note: This camera is likely a grey market item and ineligible for Canon USA's warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/9/2014 12:15:40 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Cyclone DR PP-400DR Dual Outlet Power Pack
B&H has select Bolt Cyclone Power Packs on sale for up to $200.00 off. See below for details.
 
Note: An accessory cable is required for connecting the battery pack to your flash; the Bolt CZ2 HV is designed for Canon flashes.
 
Bolt Cyclone Sale
 
ItemReg. PriceSavingsSale Price
Bolt Cyclone PP-310 Compact Power Pack$349.95$150.00$199.95
Bolt Cyclone DR PP-400DR Dual Outlet Power Pack$499.95$200.00$299.95
Post Date: 12/9/2014 11:19:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
How to Stop a Galloping Horse with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
If you can script the action, the odds of getting a great action photo increase dramatically. If you can repeat the script, those odds skyrocket far higher. And, being able to pick the time of day for the shoot is golden. For this galloping horse shoot, I had full control. But even with full control, you still need to know how to get the shot.
 
I often test camera and lens AF performance using a rider on a galloping horse. This is a challenging subject that I am familiar with, allowing me to best appreciate a camera and lens' capabilities. I often share sample pictures from these shoots and thought you might appreciate the "How To" behind these shots. To dive right in, let's select a lens.
 
Select your Lens
 
Tracking a fast-moving subject requires a fast, responsive-focusing lens. I prefer longer focal length lenses with an effective 400-500mm angle of view being ideal for my situation. A narrow angle of view allows me to isolate the horse and rider against a relatively small area of strongly blurred background. The longer focal lengths keep the horse and rider in the framing sweet spot for a longer duration.
 
There are many lenses capable of tracking this action, but the Canon L telephoto lenses are generally my preference. When testing a camera, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens are usually my first choices. I completely trust these lenses to perform amazingly in all regards and their narrow depth of field at wide open apertures shows me exactly where AF placed the plane of sharp focus.
 
If the lens has IS mode 3, that is the mode I use. Otherwise, I turn off image stabilization.
 
The Camera Setup
 
The camera itself is of course an important component in stopping a galloping horse. If you have only one, that is the camera to use. If you have a choice ... the faster and more accurately a camera auto focuses on a fast-moving subject, the more likely it will be able to keep the horse's rider in focus and the faster that camera's frame rate is, the more likely you are going to capture the ideal horse position. The Canon EOS 1D X and Canon EOS 7D Mark II (used for the included image) are my top 2 choices.
 
Since you know that the subject will be in motion, use the camera's AI Servo AF mode. In this mode, the camera will predict where the subject will be at the precise moment the shutter opens.
 
I also recommend using the fastest frame rate burst mode your camera offers. Some people refer to this mode as "Spray and Pray", but ... just because you can create a catchy saying that has negative implications does not mean that the implications are right.
 
The fastest frame rates available today have a purpose and that purpose includes allowing the photographer to concentrate on framing the action while capturing a large variety of subject position(s) to later choose from. The faster the frame rate, the more likely the ultimate subject position will be included in the results (be sure to use a fast, high capacity memory card). You can alternatively release the shutter when you think the subject will be in perfect position, but ... know that horses can move very fast. This American quarter horse was approaching at an estimated 35-40 mph (56-64 kph). Good luck timing even a short shutter lag with all four hooves off of the ground.
 
For the galloping horse photos, I always use manual exposure mode. I select the widest aperture my lens has available, which is most often f/2.8 or f/4. The wide aperture allows more light to reach the sensor, allowing the use of faster (shorter) shutter speeds and lower ISO settings. I usually select a 1/1600 sec. shutter speed. I can get by with a modestly slower shutter speed setting, but 1/1600 practically eliminates motion-blur issues for this subject (same in most people-in-action photos).
 
I use the ISO setting to adjust the final image brightness delivered by the selected shutter speed and aperture. If ISO 100 is not low enough (such as under bright sunlight at f/2.8), I use a faster shutter speed. If the light is rapidly changing (clouds cause this), I use an Auto ISO setting, but this is not my preference.
 
When shooting in the late-day sun (the ideal time of day for this scene), the light level typically goes down throughout the shoot. I watch the histogram between passes and adjust settings as necessary.
 
Because this action scenario is not unique and because I shoot action with some frequency, I have Custom Mode 1 programmed for the above parameters on all of my cameras. If I am shooting action, I simply turn the dial to Custom Mode 1 and tweak the settings as needed.
 
I want the rider's face to be in focus as the rider is more important than the horse for my photos and an important choice to be made prior to shooting is the AF point selection. There are a lot of AF point options with some of the newest high-end camera models. As a rule, the center AF point is a camera's best-performing AF point. However, in the horse galloping situation, the center AF point tends to fall on the horse's nose. Since I choose to shoot with a shallow depth of field, focusing on the horse's nose places the rider out of focus.
 
There is more than one AF point option that can work as I desire and I often use more than one in a shoot, though I seldom select more than a single AF point option. Placing the left-most center AF point on the rider's boot and the saddle area works well. I also like to use the top-most AF point placed on the rider's head. Because the horse and rider are going up and down very rapidly, it is difficult to keep the horse's ear from capturing the camera's focus attention when using this AF point. The latest and greatest cameras can have their AF parameters tuned and instructing the camera to not be too quick to focus on distractions can resolve this specific problem.
 
You might find that an AF point placed low on the horse's chest places your rider adequately in sharp focus, but ... the lack of contrast in that location may challenge the camera's AF system.
 
Setting up the Action
 
The horses I am primarily shooting are running on a slowly curving trail at the top of our field. As the rider is warming up the horse, I am adjusting my shooting distance to ideally frame the subjects and to align both horse and rider with the background (I also dial in my exposure during warmup).
 
There is not a lot of foreground in my galloping horse pictures, but you can readily see the background and that is very important for the overall image. I try to select distant landscape (mostly small mountains) that is pleasing but not distracting. I prefer the high contrast line between the sky and the forest to not go through the rider's head, but above or below is good. My choice is usually to shoot from a very low position – typically squatted behind a monopod-mounted camera and lens. This low position places the rider higher into the background.
 
Capturing the Action
 
When the horse and rider are warmed up and ready, it is time to go live. The rider typically lets me know that they are ready, I check the camera's electronic level to insure that I am (nearly) perfectly vertical and let the rider know that I am ready.
 
I carefully watch for the rider to appear over the horizon. As soon as the subjects appear, I place the AF point in the desired position and begin AI Servo AF tracking by pressing the shutter release half way (pressing the rear focus button also works if the camera is so-configured). As the subject approaches the ideal framing distance, I fully press the shutter release and follow the subject until too close for usable framing.
 
As the horse and rider trot back for another pass, I check the results just captured and make any adjustments needed. Since I am usually testing a camera or lens when shooting this rider on a galloping horse scenario, I shoot many passes.
 
Reviewing the Take-Home
 
With a fast camera and many passes, I am often looking at a thousand or more images to review. Reviewing is a time consuming process and, when using a top-performing camera and lens combo, selecting down the keepers can be a huge task. While making the first pass through the images, I mark all that are out of focus for immediate deletion. If the camera, lens and I did our jobs properly, the keeper selection challenge grows considerably after the first pass. I have favorite positions for the horse, prefer to see open eyes on both the horse and the rider and also look for something unique in the image (such as a big tail swish).
 
Not Just for Galloping Horses
 
As you likely guessed, these instructions can be used for photographing much more than just galloping horses. While galloping horses may have some unique challenges, a significant number of in-motion subjects including many in sports action scenarios can be properly captured using this technique with or without tweaks.
 
Safety First
 
I'll leave you with a quick warning: Don't lose sight of safety. I described a large and potentially dangerous subject rapidly approaching the photographer who is concentrating through the viewfinder. It is easy to become consumed with capturing what is in the viewfinder and failing to get out of the way of danger. Be aware of what is happening around you. It is always best to live to try again.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
300mm  f/2.8  1/1600s  ISO 250  3648 x 5472px
Post Date: 12/9/2014 9:13:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS-1D X DSLR Camera
Hot Deal: eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EOS 1D X DSLR Camera (review) available for $4,664.99 with free shipping. Compare at $5,999.00 after $800.00 mail-in rebate.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and not technically eligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/9/2014 6:26:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
AdoramaPix Logo
Use coupon code PXHDEAL5 at AdoramaPix to get a 16x24 Metal Print for $59.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95.
Post Date: 12/9/2014 6:22:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, December 08, 2014
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 + EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens
Hot Deal: The Canon Store has the Refurbished Canon EOS Rebel SL1 + EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens available for $359.99 with free shipping. Compare at $549.00 new after $200.00 instant savings.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/8/2014 3:13:15 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
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