While some wildlife is tolerant of human presence (and some is captive), much of the world's wildlife remains elusive. It would prefer that you were in the next county. Lenses that allow you to remain far from the subject tend to rule the wildlife photography category.
DateTime: 4/11/2013 8:19:12 AM CT Posted By: Bryan
Tamron Announces How-To Photo Seminars for Beginner to Enthusiast Photographers
Two-hour educational seminars to be held at 30 select Tamron dealers
April 11, 2013, Commack, NY - As part of the company's Educational Series 2013, Tamron USA announced photography seminars to be conducted throughout the US at 30 select authorized dealers. The how-to seminars cover a wide variety of subject matter:
Attendees of the event can expect to go behind the lens and learn a multitude of useful photographic tips and insights that will improve their picture-taking abilities with their DSLR camera. The topics discussed during the seminar include understanding light, point of view, composition, and knowing your lens in order to shoot the types of pictures the DSLR user desires.
The 2013 Educational Series led by top Tamron photographers and instructors offer a wide variety of topics across the country. Seminar leaders strive to not only teach but inspire their attendees by creating an educational experience that promotes technique strengthening, creativity and practical application. These series offer opportunities to travel to the Nation's most awe-inspiring state parks, partaking in cutting edge Photoshop live training, college campus tours and traditional How-To photo seminars. With over eighty dates at country wide locations, all interested photographers have the opportunity experience these fantastic learning workshops and gain insight on how to become a better photographer. Most "How-To" events cost $25.00 to register.
The Lenses for Your Smallest Subjects - and For Your Creativity
When your current lens does not make your subject large enough in the frame, you need a macro lens. And even if your current lens will focus close enough to your subject, you may want a macro lens anyway - perhaps for the excellent image quality that they deliver. Perhaps for use as a portrait lens. Perhaps for use in low light. Or just to unleash your creativity.
DateTime: 4/10/2013 9:08:18 AM CT Posted By: Bryan
PocketWizard Publishes Beta Firmware Release Plan Update
April 10, 2013
So. Burlington, VT – As Canon and Nikon continue to release new cameras and flashes, PocketWizard Photo Products has established an evolving Firmware Release plan for the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radios to address compatibility with these new products.
Our current firmware development priorities include compatibility updates, HyperSync improvements and bug fixes. The next beta will include the following:
MiniTT1/FlexTT5 Beta firmware release for Nikon Compatibility with the following NIKON gear:
Nikon D600, Nikon D5200 & Nikon D3200
MiniTT1/FlexTT5 Beta firmware release for Canon Compatibility with the following CANON gear:
Canon 6D & Canon T4i – Manual power control only (no TTL)
PowerMC2 & PowerST4 Beta firmware release with HyperSync Improvements
The Nikon D600 (full-featured) and Canon 6D (manual-only) firmware is in the final testing stages. Some HyperSync enhancements, currently enabled for Canon only, are also in the final testing stages for all our ControlTL radios: MiniTT1 & FlexTT5 for both Canon and Nikon including the AC9 AlienBees Adapter, and the PowerST4 & PowerMC2. This large bundle of firmware could be available in Beta this month if all goes as well as we hope, and available as officially released firmware a few weeks after that. You'll be able to get some serious practice with it well before the heat of the June wedding season.
Ongoing: The latest Canon cameras have an entirely new TTL protocol. This has proven extremely difficult to reverse engineer as is the case with the Canon 1DX. We believe we have found a path to a solution, but it will still take many weeks to validate, implement and test-test-test. There is nothing simple about this. When completed it will be made available as a free update to the ControlTL system, as have all other compatibility updates.
April 10, 2013 – DxO Labs announces the immediate availability of DxO Optics Pro v8.1.5 for Mac and Windows, the new version of its image processing software of reference for all demanding photographers. This update allows DxO Optics Pro 8 to support the Nikon D7100 expert DSLR.
DxO Optics Pro v8.1.5 integrates many powerful tools for processing RAW and JPEG images, including the best tool for automatically adjusting contrast and light, along with precise color management. Its unrivaled performance and intuitive interface provide a quick and smooth workflow.
New DxO Optics Modules
Already counting more than 11,000 lens/camera combinations in its library, DxO Optics Pro v8.1.5 adds 131 new DxO Optics Modules that support additional Nikon, Panasonic, Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina lenses for Nikon cameras.
Developed in the laboratory using an exclusive calibration process, DxO Optics Modules allow DxO Optics Pro to automatically correct optical flaws such as distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and lens softness with an unrivaled level of quality.
This upgrade is free for all owners of DxO Optics Pro 8, as well as for photographers who purchased a DxO Optics Pro 7 license on or after September 1, 2012.
I'm sure that those of you who shoot indoor sports have probably already guessed that I'm talking about the situations you face regularly. The venue lights are dim and the action is fast. Only the widest aperture lenses can be considered and only those that focus quickly and accurately will deliver the ultimate results.
Details Firmware Version 1.1.3 incorporates the following fix:
1. Fixes a phenomenon in which the Date/Time/Zone settings screen appears on the LCD display, after the user has already configured these settings. The values for the Date/Time settings may reset if the backup functions which retain those values do not perform properly.
Even if the camera does not exhibit this phenomenon currently, it may in the future. Accordingly, we recommend that you update the Firmware in the camera to version 1.1.3 as soon as possible.
Firmware Version 1.1.3 is for cameras with firmware up to version 1.1.2. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.1.3, it is not necessary to update the firmware. Before downloading the firmware update for your camera, please review the instructions thoroughly.
Changes Firmware Version 1.1.3 incorporates the following fix. - Corrects the phenomenon where date/time settings reset.
After the firmware has been updated please perform the following action: Leave a fully charged LP-E6 Battery Pack inside the camera for at least an hour. This will recharge the backup function control and the issue should not repeat itself again.
If the fully charged LP-E6 Battery Pack is left inside the camera for less than an hour the issue may occur again.
Firmware Version 1.1.3 is for cameras with firmware version 1.1.2. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.1.3, it is not necessary to update the firmware.
When updating the firmware the custom settings for "1: All by same amount" in custom functions (C. Fn II - 9) [AF Microadjustment] will be reset.
If you have this custom setting in place, please set it again after the firmware update.
When updating the firmware of your camera, please first go over the instructions thoroughly before you download the firmware.
Q&A Section: Preparations for the Firmware Update:
Windows After the downloaded compressed file (.zip) is extracted, a firmware folder is created.
*Extracting the downloaded file: Right-click the zip file, and then select Extract All to extract the file. The extracted folder contains the firmware (file name: 6D000113.FIR / file size: 19,907,580 bytes) and instructions on the firmware update procedures (a PDF file in five languages: Japanese, English, French, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese).
Before starting the firmware update operations, please confirm the contents of the download, and carefully read through the firmware update procedures.
If you have been following this blog/new page, you know that I have been making a big effort to get good image quality results from the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens. This is currently the only full frame-compatible lens available in the 24-70mm focal length range with both an f/2.8 max aperture and Vibration Control - a combination that many of us find very attractive.
Evaluating this lens, as I hinted, has been very problematic. The first lens I bought had a serious image quality issue - Tamron wanted it back for analysis.
The second lens I bought performed well, but was noticeably softer on the right side - the side that shows in the site's ISO 12233 image quality tool. I suspected decentering and sent the lens to Tamron for repair/adjustment.
The lens came back from repair performing worse than before I sent it in. Tamron sent me a shipping label to take a second try at the repair.
We spent over a full week testing this lens model for the ISO 12233 chart test alone, but persistence has paid off ... I think we have an as-good-as-it-gets copy in our hands now. This process has not said good things about the quality control for this lens model, but again, the image quality looks very nice to me.
What is not looking good is this lens' AI Servo AF performance. This lens has not been able to accurately focus on subjects moving toward or away from the camera. One Shot AF has been working fine, so this lens has plenty of great uses available for it. More to come.
Redrock Micro Announces "One Man Crew" with Motorized Parabolic Motion
From Redrock Micro:
Motorized Parabolic Motion Ideal for Corporate, Documentary, and Product/Tabletop Video
Hollywood, CA and Dallas, TX - Redrock Micro, the recognized leader in affordable, professional-level cinema accessories, today announced the all-new One Man Crew™, a new class of motorized 'parabolic slider' that operates unattended and delivers elegant cinematic motion. The One Man Crew is particularly effective for individuals and small crews who want their footage to stand out and have the look of being shot by a professional camera crew. The One Man Crew's compact design, lightning-fast setup, push-button ease of use, and unattended operation makes it the perfect choice for corporate interviews, documentaries, and production/tabletop video.
Leva FilmWorks, a leading content provider for Warner Bros., Lucasfilm, Universal and others, used the One Man Crew recently as they shot interviews for their documentary celebrating the 75th anniversary of the iconic film The Wizard of Oz. The company regularly shoots interviews with show business giants, from Meryl Streep to Steven Spielberg to Usher.
"Over the years, I've learned how to keep interviewees relaxed and comfortable so the shoot becomes all about what they have to say, not the technical requirements of shooting it," said Gary Leva, president of Leva FilmWorks. "The One Man Crew allows us to enhance our production value in a really elegant way without increasing the size of our on-set crew. It sets up fast, it's quiet and unobtrusive, and it's rock-solid reliable."
Independent Director of Photography Johnny Derango also had the opportunity to use the One Man Crew.
"In preparation for the release of my new feature film 'Lost on Purpose,' we shot behind-the-scenes interviews with our key cast and crew. We wanted to do a multi-cam shoot, but with others conducting the interviews and working in tight spaces, it left me alone to run the camera. The "One Man Crew" took what could have been a boring one-camera shoot and transformed it into a two-camera shoot with beautiful movement that breathed new life into it. Its solid, professional construction and hands-off operation makes it an easy choice."
Patent-Pending Parabolic Motion
The One Man Crew is the first and only parabolic motion system available designed to provide elegant cinematic movements while keeping the subject both in focus and stationary in the frame. Most importantly, it does this without any operator involvement. The 36" long track offers great flexibility and can set shorter limits for motion. The One Man Crew allows for camera speed change in real-time and manual start/stop/change direction with speed ramp up/down for consistently great footage.
Perfect for Corporate, Documentary, Interviews, Product/Tabletop Photography
The One Man Crew is the perfect addition for small crews doing corporate or documentary interviews that require fast setups and great images. One Man Crew can be used with a single camera for a high-end production feel, or on a second camera for cutting between shots with additional footage. One Man Crew's smooth, controlled, repeatable motion is also great for product and tabletop photography and adds that extra sparkle.
Sets Up In Minutes
One Man Crew can be set up and prepared for production in minutes thanks to its lightweight, self-contained design, intuitive laser alignment guides and push-button ease of use. The One Man Crew can be unpacked, set up, and ready to shoot in about a minute by a single person, and can be mounted onto a standard tripod via its integrated ¼"-20 and 3/8"-16 cheeseplate on the bottom of the unit. It also features rubberized feet for low profile tabletop placement for maximum versatility.
Complete Kit With Everything Included
One Man Crew contains everything needed for use and is production-ready straight from the box. The included Heavy Load Tilt Head works with virtually any camera and has the ability to hold up to 20 pounds. One Man Crew is powered by an included AC adapter (with international plug adapters) and comes with a soft carry case for easy transport to and from productions.
The One Man Crew is available as a complete kit for $1,495 and is available for pre-order. As with all Redrock products, customers can purchase direct from Redrock Micro's website at store.redrockmicro.com, or from any of Redrock's worldwide authorized resellers.
Canon has just published a promo video for the new PowerShot N. While the camera looks interesting, I can't help but wonder if the "shutter ring" will be a welcomed change compared to a traditional shutter button.
The Lenses for the World's Most Important Subjects' Big Day
The big day I'm referring to is the wedding day of course. While this day is a blip on our lifetime radar, it is a big special day to the bride, groom and their family & friends. And if you are responsible for their wedding pictures, you best have the right gear.
"This is The-Digital-Picture.com's Weekend Recap for the week ending April 6th, 2013
In the news...
On Monday, we had great fun publishing the announcement of Canon’s newest DSLR designed specifically for left-handed photographers, the EOS 7D L. The 7D L featured a reversed ergonomic design and Canon’s red “L” branding signifying its status as an elite item. Unfortunately for left-handed photographers everywhere, the EOS 7D L announcement was, of course, an April Fool’s gag. We hope you enjoyed our little humor…
Also on Tuesday, Tamron announced the creation of an Indian subsidiary, Tamron India Private Limited. The subsidiary was established in order to prepare for anticipated continuing growth in the DSLR lens market in the region.
On Wednesday, Canon announced the development of its new 35mm Cinema Prime lens. The new lens will join Canon’s growing lineup of cinema prime lenses that already includes the 14, 24, 50, 85, and 135mm prime lenses.
And on Thursday, Canon announced the opening of a new service center in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey to provide comprehensive product repair and maintenance services to its ever expanding professional imaging market. The facility is available exclusively for Platinum and Gold level members of Canon's Professional Services (CPS) program.
In site news and reviews...
Starting on Wednesday and continuing into the next week, Bryan is highlighting updates to his Canon lens recommendation pages. So far, he’s featured recommendation pages on general purpose lenses, telephoto lenses, and wide angle lenses. To see all of Bryan’s updated recommendation pages, click on the link labeled “Learn about Canon Lenses” found on the site’s homepage.
RØDE iXY Stereo Microphone Recognised with Prestigious Red Dot Design Award
The RØDE iXY stereo microphone for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has been recognised as a product of the very highest design quality by the prestigious international Red Dot awards. An expert panel of 37 judges from around the world, including fashion icon Jimmy Choo, assessed over 4,600 products from 54 different countries and identified the iXY as a creative, innovative and overall outstanding product.
Since its inception in 1955, the Red Dot awards have represented the highest standards of product design. It acknowledges the excellent ergonomics, functionality, longevity, formal quality, durability, aesthetics and innovation of a product.
The iXY is RØDE’s first product offering for Apple’s iOS devices, and features broadcast-quality 24-bit, 96kHz recording. It is the only iOS microphone able to record at such a high quality resolution.
It features a matched pair of ½ inch condenser capsules arranged in a stacked XY configuration, ensuring detailed and immersive soundscapes that are always true-to-life. These are housed in an all-metal chassis that makes the iXY incredibly robust, while also adding electromagnetic shielding.
Its unique combination of portability and high-quality audio capture makes the iXY suitable for a wide range of applications, from recording live music to sound design and on-camera use, through to reporting and electronic news gathering (ENG).
“Everyone here at RØDE is incredibly proud of this honour,” commented Damien Wilson, RØDE’s Global Marketing & Sales Director. “The iXY represents years of blood, sweat and tears, and to have it received so well by customers and critics alike is validation of the entire team’s efforts.”
Peter Cooper, RØDE’s Vice President of Design and New Product Development echoed this sentiment. "We're delighted to win a Red Dot Award. The iXY is designed to be the best product of its kind in the world. To receive such high level recognition is testament to the quality of work by the many people involved."
Professor Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of the red dot, pointed out that strong design competence is a hallmark of a Red Dot award winner, explaining, “The winners of the ‘red dot award: product design 2013’ are the protagonists of a highly developed design culture and design industry.”
The RØDE iXY will be on display at the Red Dot museum in Essen, Germany along with all 2013 Red Dot Product Design award winners from July 2nd to 28, 2013.
Your second-most important lens is probably your telephoto zoom. So it only makes sense that the Canon Telephoto Zoom Lens recommendations page is released second in our long week of suggestions. These lenses cover a very wide range of uses, providing great utility to the kit they join.
A focal length range example is included along with a handful of recommendations covering a wide range of prices.
Canon U.S.A. Opens New York / New Jersey Service And Support Center Exclusively For Imaging Professionals
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 4, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the opening of its service and support center in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. This facility is located just across the George Washington Bridge outside of New York City, and will provide comprehensive product repair and maintenance services for the growing customer base of Canon's professional imaging products.
The Ridgefield Park on-site repair operations include state-of-the-art camera and lens dark rooms, Canon's most advanced adjustment and calibration equipment, spare parts inventory, and an experienced repair staff that will work to quickly return Canon's professional products to their original factory condition and operation. This new facility, available exclusively for Platinum and Gold level members of Canon's Professional Services (CPS) program, including owners of Cinema EOS products, and broadcast lens clients, confirms Canon U.S.A.'s commitment to providing personalized and local service and support to imaging professionals in the New York/New Jersey metro region.
This facility is Canon's second service facility exclusively available to professional clients, joining the Canon Hollywood Professional Technology & Support Center that debuted in the heart of Hollywood, CA, early last year. Both facilities provide factory quality repair and maintenance service for Canon's extensive lineup of professional-grade cameras, including EOS Digital SLR cameras, Cinema EOS cameras, and high-definition camcorders. All of Canon's professional lenses, including EF series photography lenses, Cinema lenses, and broadcast and studio lenses are also supported at this new facility.
"The opening of another support facility that caters exclusively to imaging professionals signifies the growth and demand of Canon's professional imaging products and Canon's commitment to imaging professionals," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. "Opening this location illustrates our desire to bring Canon's industry-leading support directly to our clients in areas where they work and live. Being closer to our customers will help enable us to further improve on our outstanding repair processing times for professional products, which average less than three days in most instances."
An advance reservation is required for all service and support requests handled by the Ridgefield Park, N.J. facility. Canon Professional Services (CPS) Platinum and Gold level members can make a reservation via the CPS hotline by calling 1 (888) CPS-4540. Owners of Cinema EOS, professional video cameras and broadcast lenses should call 1 (855) CINE EOS to schedule an appointment.
Additional camera and lens service facilities for both professional and consumer clients are located in Jamesburg, N.J., Irvine, C.A., and Newport News, V.A. Each of these facilities operates with the same Canon speed and quality that is unrivaled in the industry. By the end of the year, Canon plans to further expand its local service center presence to the Midwest with the opening of a new service and support facility to support imaging professionals in the Chicago market.
OK - There will be enough new/updated pages to cover a week and a half. So I'm starting this "week" on a Wednesday.
It is Spring in the northern hemisphere and we are ready to end hibernation and to start filling memory cards. Spring sports have started and I *think* the grass is showing a hint of green-ness. Leaves will soon be pushing out and the landscape will take on a new attractiveness.
The Canon lens recommendation pages on the site were showing some age, so I'm going to be announcing updates and additions all this "week". Hopefully you can find a cure to that Spring Fever amid these pages.