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 Monday, June 12, 2017
B&H has the WD 4TB My Passport for Mac USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive available for $119.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $149.00.
 
Note: You can get the Windows-formatted version for $119.00 as well.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 4TB Storage Capacity
  • USB 3.0
  • Bus Powered
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Preformatted for Mac
  • Windows Compatible with Reformatting
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens page.
 
More to come regarding this lens.
 
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/12/2017 8:23:04 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Adorama has the SLR Magic 77mm MK II Variable Neutral Density Filter available for $129.00 with free shipping. Regularly $179.00.
 
Note: Adorama is featuring discounts on several other SLR Magic Variable ND Filter sizes as well.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 0.7 to 1.8 (2.3 to 6 stops)
Post Date: 6/12/2017 7:29:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, June 11, 2017
Expires Tonight: Adorama has the Samyang 8mm f/3.5 HD Fisheye Manual Lens for Canon available for $199.00 with free shipping. Regularly $249.00.
 
The Nikon mount version is $229.00. Regularly $279.00.
 
Note: I love having this lens in my APS-C kit (I have a Rokinon non-HD version of this lens). In fact, I just used it this past week to photograph the inside of Savannah City Hall. [Sean]
 
Savannah City Hall Interior

 Saturday, June 10, 2017
When a unique weather pattern arrived with numerous little rain storms showing on the radar, it seemed like a good time to go trail running with the lightweight Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens. After photographing some distant storms from a high vantage point, I took a direct hit from one of them. But, that was good news. Rain storms make rainbows and this one delivered superbly.
 
Also delivering superbly was the Sigma 100-400. While a telephoto zoom may not seem like a first choice for landscape photography, this focal length range is excellent for that purpose (and many others of course). And, using a telephoto lens for rainbow photography is often a good idea.
 
It was a good night for a run with the camera. In addition to some intense rainbow images, I brought home a large number of nice dramatic sky images including at sunset – and got some exercise.
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Post Date: 6/10/2017 7:15:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 9, 2017
Image quality (results from 5Ds R, 1Ds III and 7D II included), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens page.
 
I expected better from this lens. It has the same optical design as its predecessor, but ... it is not performing quite as well as the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens I owned and loved for years. Typically, if we think a lens is not performing optimally, we test another copy. But, this is the third copy of this lens we have tested and this one has the most-equal corner performance – it is the best of the three.
 
Here are some comparisons:
 
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Classic Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Irix 15mm f/2.4 Lens
 
The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/9/2017 7:04:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the Tested YouTube Channel:
 
Sean works on a quick project to improve our camera lens storage using the shop's Universal Laser Systems laser cutter. This custom Pelican Case storage topper helps label our gear and protect the breakout foam from wearing down over use!
 
B&H carries Pelican cases.
Post Date: 6/9/2017 5:39:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
 
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 6/9/2017 5:27:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through this weekend, B&H has the G-Technology 500GB G-DRIVE mini Portable Drive available for $59.95 with free shipping. Regularly $109.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 500GB Hard Drive Capacity
  • FireWire 800 Interface
  • USB 3.0 Interface
  • 7200RPM Drive Speed
  • Preformatted HFS+ for Mac
  • Time Machine-Ready
  • Windows Compatible
 Thursday, June 8, 2017
Sony has just released a slew of firmware updates for its Alpha series mirrorless cameras, including a fix for the a9's premature overheating warning. Details are below.
 
Sony a9 Firmware v.1.01
 
  • This utility updates the camera firmware to version 1.01 and improves the overheating warning functionality.
Download: Sony a9 Firmware v.1.01
 


Sony a7R II Firmware v.4.0
 
  • Adds the Auto Pwr OFF Temp function
  • Improves operability of the camera:
    • Improves operability when the AF area is set to flexible spot
    • Adds Live View Display into custom button assignment
    • Adds the Set File Name function
  • Supports visible light LED with external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM External Flash)
  • Improves release time lag when wireless flash is used
  • Optimizes exposure algorithm during focusing when Live View Display is set for Setting Effect OFF
  • Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is OFF
  • Improves overall stability of the camera
Download: Sony a7R II Firmware v.4.0
 


Sony a7S II Firmware v.3.0
 
  • Adds the Auto Pwr OFF Temp function
  • Improves operability of the camera:
    • Improves operability when the AF area is set to flexible spot
    • Adds Live View Display into custom button assignment
    • Adds the Set File Name function
  • Supports visible light LED with external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM External Flash)
  • Improves release time lag when wireless flash is used
  • Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is ON
  • Improves overall stability of the camera
Download: Sony a7S II Firmware v.3.0
 


Sony a7 II Firmware v.4.0
 
  • Improves operability of the camera:
    • Improves operability when the AF area is set to flexible spot
    • Adds Live View Display into custom button assignment
    • Adds the Set File Name function
  • Supports visible light LED with external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM External Flash)
  • Improves release time lag when wireless flash is used
  • Improves overall stability of the camera
Download: Sony a7 II Firmware v.4.0
 
B&H carries the Sony Alpha series of cameras.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/8/2017 2:52:28 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality (results from 5Ds R, 1Ds III and 7D II included), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens page.
 
Is the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens worth over 3x the price of the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens? That is a question I wanted to answer. Here is the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 vs. Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens image quality comparison. There are more differences, but ... let me know what you think in the comments.
 
Here are some other comparisons:
 
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Lens
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Irix 15mm f/2.4 Lens
 
The Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/8/2017 7:15:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
So. Burlington, VT – June 7, 2017: LPA Design, manufacturers of PocketWizard Photo Products, the global leader in reliable wireless control of cameras, flash lighting and light meters, announces today a new update to its ControlTL firmware for Nikon MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radios. Firmware version 3.900 for Nikon includes compatibility with the Nikon D5, D500, D7200 and D5500 DSLR cameras as well as compatibility with the Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight.
 
Any current owner of the MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 for Nikon can easily install this version via USB and update for free using the PocketWizard Utility.
 
With Nikon firmware version 3.9, Nikon FlexTT5 radios can now have custom IDs installed. Please contact us at info@pocketwizard.com if you are interested in having Custom IDs installed on your Nikon FlexTT5s. The new Nikon firmware also addresses minor bug fixes including improved HyperSync and Auto FP / High Speed Sync performance with the D750.
 
For the complete release notes, please click here.
 
To update your MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 to firmware version 3.9, click here.
 
B&H carries the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radio triggers.
Post Date: 6/8/2017 6:14:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 6/8/2017 5:34:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Corel VideoStudio X9 Ultimate (Boxed) available for $24.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Sophisticated Easy-to-Use Video Editor
  • For Enthusiasts, Social Media, Marketers
  • Support for up to Ultra HD 4K Resolution
  • 2000+ Effects, Correction Tools, Etc.
  • 6-Angle Multi-Camera Editor
  • Multi-Point Motion Tracking
  • FastFlick Template Designer
  • MXF (XAVC) Import / HEVC H.265 I/O
  • Added Track Options and Much More
  • Windows Compatible
Post Date: 6/8/2017 5:23:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, June 7, 2017
The release of the Sony a9 introduced yet another intriguing option in the pro sports photography market. As such, you may be curious as to how Sony's first sports-oriented mirrorless full frame camera stacks up against Canon's top-of-the-line full frame DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark II.
 
Let's first take a look at some of the high level features where the two cameras differ to see how they contrast with one another:
 
Canon EOS-1D X IISony a9
Resolution20.2 MP24.2 MP
Image Processor(s)Dual DIGIC 6+BIONZ X
AF TypeTTL secondary image-forming phase-difference detection system with AF-dedicated CMOS sensorFast Hybrid AF(phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
AF Points61 points (Cross-type AF points: Max. 41 points)693 points (phase-detection AF)
AF Working RangeEV -3 – 18EV -3 – 20
MeteringApprox. 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 216-zone metering1200-zone evaluative metering
Metering RangeEV 0 – 20EV -3 – 20
Shutter Speed30 - 1/8000Mechanical Shutter: 30 - 1/8000, Electronic Shutter: 30 - 1/32000
LCD3.2" (8.11cm) Clear View LCD II, approx. 1620K dotsTilt type 2.95" (3.0-type) TFT drive, approx. 1440K dots
Continuous Shooting (Max Frame Rate)14fps. with full AF / AE trackingAUTO/Electronic Shutter: High max. 20 fps; Mechanical Shutter: High Max. 5 fps
Wirelessn/aWi-Fi, NFC & Bluetooth
GPSBuilt-inCan be synchronized with connected mobile devices
Memory Card SlotsCF Card (Type I; compatible with UDMA 7 CF cards) & CFast Card (CFast 2.0 supported)Memory Stick PRO HG-Duo/Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed) & SD/SDHC/SDXC
Battery LifeApprox. 1210 (at 23°C, AE 50%, FE 50%) 1020 (at 0°C, AE 50%, FE 50%)Approx. Approx. 480 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 650 shots (LCD monitor)
Size6.22 x 6.6 x 3.25" (158.0 x 167.6 x 82.6mm)5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5" (126.9 x 95.6 x 63.0mm)
Weight53.97 oz (1530g)23.7 oz (673g)

By specifications alone, the Sony a9 seems to one-up the Canon 1D X II in almost every major spec category (differences in memory card formats aside). However, the specifications only tell a part of the story; other factors must be considered before deciding between these two cameras.
 
Size, Weight and Battery Life
 
As indicated by the table above, the Sony a9 is smaller and lighter than the Canon 1D X II. And as also evidenced by the table above, a downside to the smaller body is the inability to house a large battery. In other words, you can likely shoot more than twice as many images with the [significantly larger] 1D X II before the battery is exhausted. Adding a battery grip to the a9 doubles battery capacity and adds the extremely useful vertical control buttons, but inevitably reduces the size and weight advantages of the camera.
 
Native Lens Lineup
 
Consider that the EOS-1D X II is Canon's 11th 1-series digital SLR, the long-standing camera maker has had plenty of time to fill out its product line with a wide variety of lenses ideal for sports photography. Aside from the general purposes lenses sometimes used for sports photography, Canon telephoto (and telephoto zoom) lenses often used for sports photography include:
 
Compare the lens selection above to the Sony E-mount lenses available now with a focal length of 300mm or greater:
 
Sony likely has several long telephoto lenses currently in development. However, it's very difficult [i.e., impossible] to take great sports images with lenses that are simply unavailable. For the meantime, Canon likely has a lens to cover your sports needs, no matter what sport you're photographing.
 
Of course, you can use non-native lenses with the Sony a9 when adapters are thrown into the mix. However, expect the AF performance of adapted lenses to be negatively impacted.
 
Viewfinders
 
Viewfinder implementations differ significantly between the Canon 1D X II and the Sony a9, where the Canon body offers a traditional optical viewfinder (with customizable overlays) and the Sony body features an electronic viewfinder. Each type of viewfinder has benefits and drawbacks compared to the other (such as an EVF's elimination of viewfinder blackout times), and Bryan shared his thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of electronic/optical viewfinders in his article, "Comparing Electronic Viewfinders to Optical Viewfinders" . Be sure to check out the preceeding information to determine which of these systems you may prefer.
 
Durability & Reliability
 
With Canon's tendency to be relatively conservative regarding its 1-series updates, it's safe to say that you can expect their top-of-the-line series to perform reliably in the field, with robust weather sealing keeping the camera operational in adverse conditions.
 
Indeed, the a9 isn't Sony's first foray into the full frame digital camera market. However, it is the first camera Sony has designed specifically for sports photography and the rigors that pursuit entails. The Sony a9 may prove to be as reliable as the 1D X II, but... the first iteration of a company's product line is rarely as refined a competitor's benefitting from many more years of experience in design and manufacture.
 
Autofocus Performance
 
We're currently evaluating the Sony a9's AF system, and it's too early to provide a definitive comparison between it and the Canon 1D X II. However, based on tests completed so far, Bryan suggests waiting until the full analysis is completed before making this camera aspect a differentiator. Note that more AF points do not necessarily translate to higher accuracy. It's early, of course, so be sure to check out the Sony a9 Review once it's completed for our final thoughts on the camera's overall AF performance.
 
One thing we have noticed, though, is that the 1D X II is noticeably faster in One Shot AF mode as the a9 defocuses before focusing again even when the subject has not moved.
 
Customer Support
 
Canon is widely recognized as having an excellent support system, including (not not limited to) Canon Professional Services, the division which specifically caters to those who make a living with their imaging gear. The support we have received from Canon USA and Canon Professional Services has over the years has been very good. Canon USA's Customer Service Technicians have been eager to help and knowledgeable when we have needed phone support, and our experience with Canon's repair department (in the few times we've needed a repair) has been equally satisfying.
 
On the other hand, Sony is still in the building process when it comes to customer support for their E-mount camera system. As such, they don't necessarily have a reputation for exemplary customer service [yet]. And that reputation (or lack thereof) is seemingly appropriate, at least considering our own [minimal] experience with Sony Support.
 
Price
 
At the time of this comparison, the Sony a9's MSRP is 25% lower than the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II's MSRP, and that translates to a not-so-insignificant savings. If you're ready for the Sony a9 ecosystem, that savings will certainly be appreciated. For a more versatile, similar-to-a-1D-X-II setup, you may wish to use some of the savings to pick up the Sony VG-C3EM Vertical Grip and an extra battery for increased shooting time and better handling with larger lenses.
 
Wrap-Up
 
So which pro sports camera body is best for your needs? Well, if you're planning on making a living shooting sports imagery in the very near future, or you've already invested heavily in a Canon system, the EOS-1D X Mark II would likely be the best choice.
 
However, if you're a semi pro or enthusiast sports shooter, and you haven't already invested heavily in a particular camera system, the Sony a9 shows obvious potential and is definitely worth considering if its current lens lineup is appropriate for your needs.
 
Suggested Retailers
 
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II – B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic
Sony a9 – B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic
Post Date: 6/7/2017 9:30:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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