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 Thursday, May 14, 2015
DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter
Want to try out drone-based aerial photography/videography? If so, B&H has a great deal for you. Today only, get the DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter (original version, refurbished condition) on sale for $230.00 off: $349.95 (originally $579.95).
  • 6-channel, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Transmitter
  • Up to 3,280' Line-of-Sight Wi-Fi Range
  • Up to 22 Minutes Flying Time
  • Naza-M V2 Flight Control System
  • GPS-Based Autopilot with Return to Home
  • Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC)
  • Supports Dual Flight Control Modes
  • LED Indicators & Low Voltage Protection
  • Self-Tightening Prop Design
Camera not included: This drone is GoPro-ready (mount included), but the GoPro (or other) camera is not included. The GoPro Hero, the least expensive GoPro model, is $129.99.
Post Date: 5/14/2015 10:59:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
A 5-Step Recipe for Bird Photography Success
Cookbooks are filled with successful recipes and successful bird photography is similarly not limited to a single recipe, but here is a recipe that works every time.
1. Start with a great camera and lens.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens are excellent choices.
2. Find a beautiful bird properly posed against a clean background.
A snowy egret in breeding plumage easily qualifies for this main ingredient. A practically uninterrupted clear blue sky background frame keeps the viewer's eye on the main subject.
3. Time the bird meetup with an early or late day sun at your back.
Lighting is one of the most important ingredients to any photo. Early and late day direct sunlight, generally warm in color and slightly diffused in hardness, is a highly desired source of light. The 5:50 PM light was so warm in this case that I decided to cool the 7D II's AWB (Auto White Balance) choice very noticeably in post processing. Because the sunlight was directing my shadow toward the bird, subject shadows are very minimal.
4. Cue a side or tail wind to ruffle the bird's feathers.
Birds like to face the wind, keeping their feathers in line. When a side or tail wind presents itself, I like to take advantage of it. The ruffled feathers add a character to the image and in this case, the wind pushed the breeding plumage into better view.
5. Carefully time the shutter release
Birds are often constantly moving and timing the shutter release, in conjunction with balanced framing and accurate AF, is a challenge. With the 7D II's wide-set AF points, I was able to select a point that covered the bird's head without recomposing needed. When the bird turned its head to the side, I quickly pressed the shutter release and the 7D II's short shutter lag did not get in the way.
Compared to the effort required for many of my photos, this was a very easy photo to capture. Being at the right place at the right time to apply the recipe was all that was needed.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, 500px and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Camera and Lens Settings
371mm  f/8.0  1/200s
ISO 100
3648 x 5472px
Post Date: 5/14/2015 9:43:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Drop-Down List Tip
As the number of lenses with test results available in our database increases, the amount of scrolling necessary to navigate the drop-down list boxes also increases, especially for brands sorting lower in the alphabet. To speed up the lens selection process, after opening the drop-down list, simply press the first letter of the brand name you want to select using the keyboard. The first-sorted option that starts with the typed letter will immediately be selected.
For example, to get to the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Lens in a drop-down list box, click the list box's down arrow to show the list of all lenses tested, then press "z" and finish scrolling to find and select this lens.
Since I know in advance that Zeiss lenses will be at the end of the list, I could also have pressed the "End" key to quickly scroll to this lens. If a Zeiss lens is already selected and a high-in-the-list Canon lens is the selection target, the "Home" or "c" keys will take you there fast.
Try this tip now using the image quality tool.
Post Date: 5/14/2015 8:21:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens
Image quality results from a second lens copy have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens review page (full review coming soon).
The first link shared in this post compares the latest-tested lens ("2") to the prior-tested lens ("1").
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens available for preorder.
Addressing an FAQ: Will the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens Be Tested?
Absolutely. At just over half the price of the Sports model and at about the same price as the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens, the Contemporary lens holds a lot of interest. A great feature is that it can be found in stock.
A retail copy of the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens is scheduled to arrive today. Test results should be available in the near future.
Post Date: 5/13/2015 9:57:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera
eBay (via BestStopDeals) has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera available for $1,299.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,699.00 after $100.00 instant rebate.
You may also qualify for $25.98 in eBay Bucks with this purchase.
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore does not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty. However, the auction claims "1 YEAR LIMITED CANON USA WARRANTY".
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/13/2015 9:39:50 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Canon USA has posted a firmware update for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:
Firmware Version 1.0.4 incorporates the following fixes:
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera’s AF function may not operate properly at a focal length of approximately 100mm when used with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which, in rare instances, the reduction of the flicker effect cannot be achieved when in AI servo AF mode, despite the “Anti-flicker shoot” function being set to “Enable”.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the Picture Style settings may not be applied to the captured image when the camera is set to custom shooting mode C1, C2 or C3.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which, in very rare cases, the first still image captured in live view mode may not record the correct date and time.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which, in very rare cases, image noise may appear in JPEG images when brightness or contrast is corrected by the Auto Lighting Optimizer function.
Firmware Version 1.0.4 is for cameras with Firmware Version 1.0.2 or earlier. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.0.4, it is not necessary to update the firmware.
Firmware version 1.0.4 can be downloaded here.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/12/2015 8:52:07 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Logo
Canon USA has made new software versions available for download. Details on the update are as follows:
Digital Photo Professional 4.2.31
  • Supports EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R.
  • Supports the camera's Auto: White priority function in the "White balance" setting.
  • Supports the new picture style "Fine Detail" (With the exception of EOS M3, this can be applied to images captured by all the supported models.)
  • Adds a Compositing Tool (Only for the 64-bit OS version.)
  • Adds an HDR Tool (Only for the 64-bit OS version.)
EOS Utility 3.2.20
  • Supports EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R
EOS Utility 3.2.20
  • Supports EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R.
  • Supports the camera's Auto: White priority function in the "White balance" setting.
  • Adds [Fine Detail] to [Base Picture Style]. (Only images shot on cameras with [Fine Detail] preset as a Picture Style.)
  • The maximum/minimum tone curve output can now be changed freely.
DPP 4.2.31, EOS Utility 3.2.20 & Picture Style Editor 1.15.20
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Yesterday, Canon celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens by announcing the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens. Many have long been waiting for a new 50mm lens from Canon, and that the lens appeared to be a significant upgrade while retaining essentially the same ultra-small size/weight and the same ultra-low $125.00 USD price tag definitely produced smiles.
Then, "Juck" commented below the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens announcement post that the STM's "MTF chart is identical to the mk II version". At the same time, I was re-sizing and overlaying the STM and II MTF charts in Photoshop and trying to determine if I downloaded one of the wrong charts. The charts were sized differently, but they were showing the same line plots.
I of course could not mentally rest without knowing what was going on, so I asked. In answer to my "Does the new 50mm STM contain the same optics design as the 50mm f/1.8 II?" question, Canon U.S.A.'s extremely knowledgeable Chuck Westfall responded:
"Yes, the optics of the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM are the same as the original EF 50mm f/1.8 and EF 50mm f/1.8 II."
Am I disappointed? Yes. I of course want all new lenses to be optically better than the prior version.
Is using the same optical design in the new lens a bad decision on Canon's part? No, not necessarily. People loved the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens, otherwise known as the "Nifty Fifty", because of the decent prime-grade image quality it delivered at a really low price tag – the lowest of all Canon lenses.
The 50mm f/1.8 II left many other upgrades wanting and the 50mm f/1.8 STM addresses many. Here is a list of some differences between these lenses:
  • 7 rounded aperture blades vs. 5 non-rounded (no more pentagonal bokeh)
  • Metal lens mount vs. plastic
  • A much improved manual focus ring
  • STM vs. Micro Motor (should be faster and much quieter)
  • FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing
  • 13.8" (350mm) MFD (Minimum Focus Distance) vs. 17.7" (450mm)
  • 0.21x MM (Maximum Magnification) vs. 0.15x
  • 49mm vs. 52mm filter size (though not really an advantage from my perspective)
  • Narrower f/22 aperture available vs. f/16
While more difficult to specify aside from the metal lens mount, I have to expect the 25-year-newer lens to have better build quality (my original 50mm f/1.8 II broke in half for an unknown reason).
The 50mm f/1.8 is very popular today, and with this list of upgrades coming for the same price, the 50 f/1.8 STM is certain to be at least as popular.
B&H is accepting Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens preorders with shipments expected to start Thu, May 21.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/12/2015 12:32:24 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
LensRentals Logo
Envision celebrating Memorial Day weekend with some awesome photo gear. LensRentals.com is making that vision easier to become reality with their "Save 15% On Rentals Arriving May 18-19" deal.
To take advantage of the offer:
  1. Select a May 18th or May 19th arrival date.
  2. Enter the code MDAY15 in the Special Instructions box during checkout.
To support this site through you rental, click on the appropriate product review and then click the Rent button beside the camera/lens you want to rent.
Post Date: 5/12/2015 10:52:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS Rebel T6s
Noise test results have been added to the Canon EOS Rebel T6s and T6i review pages. As these two cameras share identical imaging sensors and processing pipelines, the same test results are shown for both cameras.
Here are some comparisons that you might find interesting (select ISO settings to compare):
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS 7D Mark II
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS Rebel T5i/T4i
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS 5D Mark III
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS 70D
B&H has the Canon EOS Rebel T6i (body and kit) and Rebel T6s (kit) in stock. The T6s body-only remains available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/12/2015 9:52:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Sigma Logo
From Sigma:
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
Regarding the Live View mode of Canon “EOS 8000D (Rebel T6s / 760D)” and “EOS Kiss X8i (Rebel T6i / 750D)” cameras that we announced on April 21st, 2015, we have now started providing a firmware update and can confirm that deliveries of these products now include the new firmware.
If you own one of the lenses listed below, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA subsidiary or distributor to receive a firmware update free of charge.
The new firmware will ensure the lens is compatible with the Live View mode of EOS 8000D (Rebel T6s / 760D) and EOS Kiss X8i (Rebel T6i / 750D) cameras.
Products and Serial Numbers that require the firmware update
Current models
17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSMNo. 12651501 or later
18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSMNo. 13044001 or later
APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSMNo. 12713001 or later
APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSMNo. 12902001 or later
120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | SportsNo. 50064494~ 50347793
APO 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSMNo. 12669751 or later
Discontinued models 
17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSMNo. 12665001 or later
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSMNo. 12851001 or later
18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSMNo. 12656101 or later
APO 50-150mmF2.8 EX DC OS HSMNo. 12839001 or later
APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSMNo. 12676440 or later
APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSMNo. 12971601 or later

For lenses that have been repaired in the past, they may require the firmware update even when the serial number is not listed above. If the mentioned camera does not display images on the rear LCD monitor when Live View Mode button on the camera body is pressed, the firmware update is necessary.
For those who own the SIGMA USB DOCK, it will be possible to update the firmware of 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports through SIGMA Optimization Pro.
* If you use the SIGMA USB DOCK with 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, even when the lens does not require the update, its firmware will be updated to the new version.
* For those who use APO TELE CONVERTER 1.4x EX DG or APO TELE CONVERTER 2x EX DG with the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, please contact your nearest authorized subsidiary / distributor of SIGMA for further support.
How to identify updated products
Products that we will be shipping from now on already have updated firmware. This can be recognized by the white sticker on lower left side of the gift box as shown below.
Sigma Live View Fix Mark
For further information, please contact your nearest authorized subsidiary / distributor of SIGMA.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 5/12/2015 7:27:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, May 11, 2015
Canon EOS 5D
Canon U.S.A has just posted a new product advisory for the original Canon EOS 5D. This is not regarding a new problem, but is a reminder that the end of service life for the 5D is scheduled for later this year:
Thank you for using Canon products.
Please note that the after-sales service period (service reception period) for this product will end on September 30, 2015. The free repairs are also scheduled to end on the same day.
We have discovered that, in rare instances, the main mirror of some EOS 5D Digital SLR cameras may detach due to deterioration in the strength of the adhesive. Accordingly, we would like to convey the details and our service policy concerning this phenomenon.
We offer our sincerest apologies to those customers who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Canon always strives to provide the highest quality products to our customers and we will spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence. We hope our efforts will earn your understanding.
The main mirror of the camera detaches and images cannot be viewed through the viewfinder.
Affected products
EOS 5D Digital SLR cameras whose main mirror has detached.
User Support
We will repair and reinforce the mirror portion of the affected products free of charge. If you own one of the affected products, please contact our Customer Support Center.
Canon EOS 5D Mirror Detach
We appreciate your patience, and we offer our sincerest apologies to the customers using these products who have been inconvenienced by this issue.
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.
Contact Information for Inquiries
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Customer Support Center
Phone: 1-800-OK-CANON (toll free)
Email: carecenter@cits.canon.com
Support options and hours of operation: www.usa.canon.com/support
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/11/2015 8:46:13 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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
Canon Speedlite 320EX
B&H has the Canon Speedlite 320EX (review) in refurbished (like new) condition for only $109.95. This flash in refurb condition is regularly $129.95 and is currently $239.00 in new condition.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/11/2015 8:49:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter
For a limited time, B&H has the Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter and X-Rite ColorChecker Passport available for $369.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $499.00.
Product Highlights
  • Color Touch Screen Interface
  • Incident, Reflected, Flash Exposures
  • Wireless Flash Power Control
  • Custom Exposure Profiles and Calibration
  • Flash Exposure Analyzing Function
  • Adjustable Menu Navigation
  • Retractable and Removable Lumisphere
  • AAA Battery Power Source
  • Includes X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
  • Includes Sekonic Gray Balance Card
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