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 Friday, November 14, 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 region), plus the PowerShot G1 X Mark II and G7 X compact cameras. In a four-part CPN series of articles and video tutorials Richard Curtis (a Principal Solutions Consultant in Digital Imaging for Adobe UK) examines 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 3 of this series Richard Curtis focuses on the use of the Camera RAW Filter within the Lightroom and Photoshop CC workflow and, in a special video, he explains how to creatively adjust an image using Smart Objects and the Camera RAW Filter. Please click on the play button in the window above to watch the video…"
See the entire article on the Canon Professional Network.
 
Full Lightroom & Photoshop CC Workflow Series
 
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/14/2014 6:23:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, November 13, 2014
ShutterCount Updated with 7D Mark II Support
DIRE Studio has informed us that ShutterCount has been updated with support for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.
 
About ShutterCount:
 
ShutterCount displays the number of shutter actuations (the shutter count) of Canon EOS digital cameras and is developed for Mac and Windows users.
 
The shutter count is read directly from a USB-connected camera, and thus provides accurate numbers that are not attainable with simple EXIF-based methods.
 
Using this application you are no longer required to visit a Canon Service Center to read out the exact shutter count, thus saving you time and money. In addition to that, ShutterCount provides unlimited readings for an unlimited number of cameras.
 
The app supports the following cameras:
 
  • Canon EOS-1D C (requires firmware 1.1.3 or later for correct serial number display)
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
  • Canon EOS-1D X
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III (requires firmware 1.2.1 or later for correct serial number display)
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 50D
  • Canon EOS 60D
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 / Kiss X7
  • Canon EOS 500D / Rebel T1i / Kiss X3
  • Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i / Kiss X4
  • Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i / Kiss X5
  • Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i / Kiss X6i
  • Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i / Kiss X7i
  • Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS / Kiss F
  • Canon EOS 1100D / Rebel T3 / Kiss X50
  • Canon EOS 1200D / Rebel T5 / Kiss X70
ShutterCount is certified to work with all of the cameras listed above, using their latest firmware revision.
 
Current owners can update their app by opening the program and navigating to HELP/Check for Updates.
 
For more information, please visit the app’s website: http://www.direstudio.com/shuttercount
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 2:56:43 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
The Canon Store has the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens in stock with free overnight shipping. (thanks Brian)
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 2:35:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H Photo Video Logo
B&H has just started shipping preorders for the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (currently in stock) and EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM (released in limited quantity).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 1:56:38 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 7D Mark II with CompactFlash Memory Card Inserted Incorrectly
If you're currently putting your preordered EOS 7D Mark II through its paces, here's a word of warning – pay close attention while inserting your memory card. If you are not careful, your camera can be damaged by the improperly inserted card. I know as I have proven this fact.
 
I've been shooting with DSLRs for many years now and have never had an issue with inserting a memory card until yesterday. A moment of inattention was my downfall. Notice which way the pin holes are facing in the picture above. Unfortunately, it is possible to insert the card sideways into the slot (trust me, dont try it).
 
I was busy testing out the various features of the EOS 7D Mark II, removing the memory card to review images, re-inserting the memory card, rinsing and repeating.
 
After reviewing one particular set of images, I pulled the card from my card reader and was inserting the card into the camera. Something on my computer caught my eye, so I wasn't looking at the camera while the card was being inserted. Then I noticed something didn't feel right. The card didn't "click" into place.
 
When I looked back at the camera, I realized that the CompactFlash card wasn't oriented correctly in the camera; it was sideways. I immediately wondered, "How far was the card able to go in? Did I bend any of the pins?"
 
I quickly took the camera over to a window where the diffused sunlight offered the best lighting. Upon close inspection, I was dismayed to find I had bent one of the corner pins (the top, left pin when looking into the slot with the lens pointed upward). After a few muttered words, I calmly considered my options.
 
  1. Pack up the camera and send it to Canon Professional Services – As the damage was indeed my fault, I'd be responsible for the repair costs (which would likely be reasonable, but not necessarily cheap). Insured shipping alone for an $1,800.00 camera can run $35.00 - $45.00. If I wanted to delay the repair, the 7D II's secondary card slot would allow me to keep shooting until an optimal time to send the camera in for service.
  2. Try to fix the bent pin myself – If the CF pin board was damaged beyond repair, would it make any difference if I tried fixing it myself? Could I do any more damage than was already done? Maybe, but I thought it was worth a shot...
I scoured my home to find something that was small enough to fit inside the CF card slot yet rigid enough to bend the pin back into place. I have a collection of basic tools, but I didn't have anything perfectly suited for this task. However, after about 10 minutes of searching, I found something I thought would do the trick:
 
Screw with Wall Anchor
 
No, I'm not kidding. I attempted to fix my camera with a screw that I found lying around the house. The wall anchor (also shown in the image) was removed before attempting the repair.
 
First things first – I'm not advocating you attempt this if your camera's CF card pins are bent. Neither myself nor the site is responsible if you attempt to fix your CF card pins and you brick your camera. You have been warned! It's best to avoid the issue all together by paying attention to how you insert your memory card.
 
With the fine print out of the way, here's what I did:
 
  1. Remove the LP-E6/LP-E6N battery. When wondering whether or not I should remove the back-up battery, I realized – there isn't one (at least not a user-replaceable one).
  2. The location of the bent pin worked to my advantage. I could run the screw along the top edge of the CF card slot and fit the end right in between the bent pin and the card slot's wall. Working extremely carefully, I was able to drag the ridges of the screw across the pin so that the screw pulled the pin back into place. It took me several tries – with incremental progress with each attempt – to get the pin back into position.
  3. While I could pull the pin back in the direction of the other pins, I was relatively helpless to adjust the placement of the pin along the perpendicular axis. Fortunately, the pin fell right into place after a few minutes of fiddling with it.
  4. About a hundred test shots post-fix confirms that the camera is working properly. I'm hoping my rudimentary repair job stands the test of time. If not, I'll be falling back on Option #1.
Keep in mind, this issue isn't isolated to the 7D Mark II; I could have easily done this with my original 7D (but simply never did). The 5D III's CF card slot seems to be thinner and does not allow the memory card to be inserted incorrectly (at least, not easily). Please learn from my mistake – pay attention to how you insert a Compact Flash memory card! :-) [Sean]
 
Canon EOS 7D Mark II with Memory Card Inserted Correctly
 
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 12:13:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
What to Look for When Selecting a Mountain
I love mountains, but not all mountains are created equally. Height is great, but a flat or round-top mountain, even if extremely high, is difficult to make photogenic. Give me a craggy, jagged-topped mountain with character and I can entertain myself for days. Add some color for an over-the-top mountain.
 
The Maroon Bells Scenic Area has mountains with character and Sievers Mountain, just north of Maroon Lake, is one of my favorites. Along with having character in its shape, this mountain has color character including the namesake "Maroon" with bands of light-colored rock running through it. While the top of this mountain alone can make a good photo, I worked a set of colorful aspens into the foreground so that the tops of the trees somewhat matched the craggy-ness of the mountaintop and added strong contrasting color. With some room to significantly change my shooting position, I adjusted the perspective so that the amount of trees showing in the frame was balanced relative to the amount of mountain showing. Said another way, the closer I approached the trees, the higher the percentage of the frame consumed by those trees and the larger the trees would appear relative to the mountain.
 
With the perspective I wanted, I then made use of a zoom lens to retain only what I wanted in the frame. In this case, that meant zooming to 57mm.
 
With a partly cloudy sky, good timing (note that the odds of good timing are greatly increased by patiently waiting) was required to get a dark foreground base, bright trees, shade on the mountain directly behind the tree tops and some direct sunlight on the mountain above. Blue skies are beautiful, but I often prefer that they remain a small part of my landscape images. In this case, the blue adds another color to the image and forms a solid, uninterrupted top margin to this scene that keeps the viewer's eye from leaving via the top of the frame.
 
I made strong use of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens on this trip. Nearly every shot I captured with this lens was tack sharp. It is an awesome choice for tripod-mounted landscape photography.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
57mm  f/11.0  1/40s  ISO 125  5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 11/13/2014 9:46:22 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 7D Mark II's Wide Area AF
The large percentage of the viewfinder covered by Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF system is a big deal, at least when shooting in AI Servo AF mode and when there is no time to recompose after focusing. The image shared with this post shows such an example.
 
The horse gallops toward the camera at perhaps 35-40 mph (56-64 kph). I want the rider to be in focus, but the horse's ears and mane strongly compete for the top AF point's attention as the animal quickly moves up and down. Having an AF point so close to the border of the frame allows me to (better) avoid the AF point's attention moving from the rider to the horse.
 
Good examples of situations requiring a wide-positioned AF point include any sports that involve running (track, baseball, soccer, football, field hockey, etc.). When a person is running fast, they lean forward and the head leads the lean. If the subject's eyes are not in focus, the shot is likely a throw-away. To keep the runner's eyes in focus requires an AF point placed on them and at the oft-desired near-frame-filling distances, an AF point positioned close to the frame edge is required. The 7D II has you covered here.
 
Cameras with a lower percentage of the viewfinder covered by AF points require similar subjects to be captured from a longer distance and/or with a wider focal length, meaning cropping is required to achieve the same desired frame-filling result. Cropping of course reduces final image resolution. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II's wide area AF system has you covered in these situations, allowing you to fully utilize its 20.2 MP sensor – this capability is a big deal.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 8:25:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Logo
From Canon:
 
TOKYO, November 13, 2014 — Canon Inc. announced today that the Company has been entrusted with the responsibility of processing the 30-meter-diameter multi-segment primary mirror to be incorporated in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) currently under construction near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
 
The creation of the TMT, a next-generation extremely large telescope, is being made possible through the cooperative efforts of Japan and four other countries. Construction of the telescope began in 2014 with completion scheduled for the early 2020s. Japan will handle the processing of approximately 30% of the 492 segments (574 when including replacement segments) that make up the TMT's primary mirror. Of the processing being handled by the team from Japan, Canon is currently responsible for grinding 26 segments and has already begun work.
 
The TMT's primary mirror will comprise an array of 492 hexagonal segments, each of which measures 1.44 meters diagonally with a thickness of 45 millimeters. The segments will be closely arranged, separated by gaps measuring only 2.5 millimeters wide, to create the 30-meter-diameter primary mirror. The primary mirror's construction requires the production of six each (seven when including replacement segments) of the 82 uniquely shaped segments used to create the mirror.
 
The processing work that Canon is responsible for requires that segments be processed at a level of precision measuring less than 2 microns Peak-to-Valley (P-V), a value that indicates differences in surface levels. This degree of precision is comparable to a variation in the surface evenness of the playing field housed in the Tokyo Dome sports stadium of less than 0.2 millimeters. To produce the segments, Canon is drawing on its various optical technologies cultivated through the manufacture of lenses and mirrors, namely grinding and polishing technologies, aspherical surface processing technologies, and measuring technologies. In particular, Canon will make use of its proprietary tools when grinding and polishing the aspherical surfaces to ensure the proper curvature required for each segment.
 
In addition to Canon's involvement in the TMT, the Company provided support for the large-scale optical-infrared Subaru Telescope, also located on Mauna Kea. Canon developed and produced the corrector lens used in the Subaru's Hyper Suprime-Cam ultra-wide-field prime-focus camera. In this way, Canon will continue to use its technologies to contribute to the development of the world's science, technology and natural science fields.
 
Canon will be exhibiting a prototype of a segment from the TMT's primary mirror, which was ground and polished by the Company, at the 2014 International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE), to be held from November 19 to 21 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, located east of Tokyo.
 
Overview of primary mirror segment production
 
The segments to be used in the TMT's primary mirror are produced by grinding and polishing the front and back surfaces of a circular glass material that is then subjected to spherical and aspherical processing. After cutting the glass into a hexagonal shape and adding holes, it is mounted on a Segment Support Assembly (SSA), a mechanism that enables precise adjustments to ensure the proper positioning of each mirror segment.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 5:35:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
In The 2015 Photographer’s Guide to Photo Contests, get a fresh look at over 25 photo competitions worldwide, including new insights on which photo contests are worth your time, and which you should skip.
 
Get details on a long list of photo contests, including:
 
  • Sony World Photography Awards
  • World Press Photo Contest
  • PDN Photo Annual
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • Smithsonian Photo Contest
  • Communication Arts Photography Competition
  • Pictures of the Year International
  • Plus many more!
We award each contest a star rating based on factors like entry fee, prizes and promised exposure, plus give you direct feedback from recent winners to help steer you in the right direction.
 
Get the free guide today!
Post Date: 11/12/2014 10:29:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Story Behind the Rainbow over Aspen
Something that all landscape photographers need to know is that the worst weather can bring the best photo conditions. For example, without rain, there are no rainbows.
 
I would like to say that I had spent all day climbing to the top of some remote mountain to capture this image, but ... in this case, I was simply driving from a gas station back to the hotel. When the clouds on the western horizon broke open just enough for the sun to shine under the heavy cloud cover and into the rain, I simply pulled off the road at a safe location and started shooting. In this photo, the very warm-colored last sunlight of the day is illuminating the rain along with an aspen grove at the top of a mountain near the town of Aspen, CO.
 
From a compositional perspective, I would like to have moved the bright aspen grove and mountain peak to the right (or left) to about 1/3 of the way into the frame. To do that would have required me to drive to a new location. Rainbows and the sun shining through small openings in clouds are both fleeting opportunities and I was not going to chance missing the opportunity.
 
The leftmost rainbow was easily the most eye-catching subject, so I placed it in the 1/3 (maybe 1/4) frame position. The strong, bright rain easily balances the bright rainbow and the small, faint rainbow remains in the frame on the right. The dark land in the base of the frame works with the dark cloud at the top of the frame to bring the viewer's eye inward. The near-centered mountaintop then works for me in this case.
 
Without being able to significantly change perspective at this very long subject distance, a telephoto zoom lens allows flexibility in final subject framing.
 
I love unplanned images such as this one. The only requirement (beyond knowing how to use your gear) is being there. So, be there!
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
Post Date: 11/12/2014 9:20:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens
I have loaded my expectations (including observations from a short hands-on time with this lens) onto the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review page. I think that you and I are going to like what this lens delivers.
 
B&H is taking Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/12/2014 7:33:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Sample Picture
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 11:08:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I have loaded an MTF chart comparison onto the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page. Compare the 100-400 L II's MTF charts to those of the 100-400 L, 70-300 L and 400 f/5.6 L. With-extender charts for the new lens are included.
 
Again, B&H is accepting Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens preorders and I recommend preordering early if you want this lens anytime soon. Adorama and Amazon are also accepting preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 10:32:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
While tinkering with the 7D Mark II and its Movie Servo AF feature, I wondered how much of a difference there would be in AF sounds captured by the built-in microphone when using various lenses. So I ran a small test...
 
I set up a the 7D Mark II on a slider so there would be a Movie Servo AF focus shift from a close subject (my Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye) to a distant one (a fence) and tried the following lenses:
 
I moved the slider setup with each lens to get approximately the same framing. Note that ambient traffic was a variable throughout the testing; it may have reduced the apparent AF noise in a couple of the tests. But overall, it was still easy to draw a solid conclusion from the tests.
 
What I noticed...
 
The AF sound was definitely audible in three out of the four lenses, while the fourth (the STM lens) was virtually silent. Coincidentally, there was almost no nearby traffic sound when recording the test with the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, which makes its silence all the more impressive. In addition to being inaudible, the STM lens's focus transition looked much smoother and more natural because the 7D II can customize Movie Servo AF with STM lenses; mine was set to Movie AF Servo Speed (Slow 3).
 
That's a big reason why the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM will be an excellent investment for anyone who has a 7D Mark II (or 70D, for that matter) and wants to create high-quality videos with the convenience of AF. And even though externally recorded audio will always be best (I use a Tascam DR-07 & Zoom H2N), it's nice that you can fall back on the camera's built-in audio when using AF with STM lenses if anything should happen to your main mic(s). [Sean]
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 7:45:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Professional Network Logo
From the Canon Professional Network:
"Top wildlife photographer and Canon Explorer Danny Green has long been a fan of Canon’s big zooms, and recently put the new EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens through its paces. CPN Editor David Corfield discovers how he got on...
 
Getting close to nature is what all wildlife photographers will tell you as their main motivation. Danny Green is no exception. As one of the UK’s finest natural history lensmen, his work is beyond compare when it comes to understanding the wild world around us.
 
Of course, in this business the tools help, and as a loyal Canon user Danny has based his business – and won his reputation – around the EF system of incredible lenses. And for the new EF100-400mm zoom, he has nothing but praise...
Read the entire article on the Canon Professional Network.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 7:02:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, November 10, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
Canon U.S.A. Introduces New Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens, The Compact And Highly Mobile Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
 
New Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens Delivers an Enhanced IS System Providing Four Shutter Speed Steps of Correction, a Rotation-Type Zoom Ring, and New Optical Element Formula to Help Maximize Image Quality
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., November 10, 2014 - Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the highly anticipated Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM lens, a second generation compact super-telephoto zoom lens featuring significant advancements in optical quality, image stabilization performance up-to-four steps, and rotating-zoom-ring design. This new L-series super- telephoto zoom lens features Canon L-series weather resistance and rugged magnesium housing to meet the needs of wildlife and sports photographers or photojournalists working out in the elements. Fully compatible with all EOS cameras, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM features a completely redesigned optical formula containing one Fluorite and one Super UD lens element - a combination unique to lenses in this focal range - to help deliver sharp images with high resolution and contrast. This combination of elements helps thoroughly suppress chromatic aberration throughout the entire zoom range.
 
"The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM is the logical evolution of the very popular EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM introduced 16 years ago," said Yuichi Ishizuka, President and COO of Canon U.S.A., Inc., "This long awaited, next generation lens was developed to be a highly portable and adaptable telephoto zoom lens for today's modern professional and advanced amateur photographers."
 
For photographers who want to work as closely as possible to their subjects, the minimum focusing distance of the lens has been reduced to just 3.2 ft. (0.98m), resulting in maximum magnification of 0.31x. The original EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM was well known for its push-pull zoom adjustment, but the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM uses a rotation-type zoom ring similar to the one found on the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens that allows for more precise adjustments, easier handling, and consistently excellent weight balance during handheld photography. In addition, the lens features an improved zoom torque adjustment ring that allows for the easy setting of zoom tension based on personal shooting preferences. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM also features an inner focusing system, a powerful yet quiet Ring USM, a high-speed CPU and optimized auto focus (AF) algorithms for fast and accurate autofocusing in various shooting situations.
 
The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM features three Image Stabilization (IS) modes - standard, panning, and during exposure only. Each IS mode is individually engineered to help provide outstanding results in a wide variety of shooting situations, and all serve to satisfy the personal preferences of photographers based on the type of IS they desire. The optical IS provides up to four shutter speed steps of correction, increased from 1.5 steps in the previous model*. In addition, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM features Canon's newly developed Air Sphere Coating (ASC) which helps to reduce backlit flaring and ghosting significantly, as well as a 9-bladed circular aperture Electro-Magnetic Diaphragm that helps to enhance beautiful, softly blurred backgrounds.
 
As with all L-series lenses, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM is highly resistant to dust and water, with excellent durability in even harsh conditions, ideal for wildlife photographers even in rainforest environments, or sports photographers on the sideline grabbing action shots of the big game. Fluorine coating on the front and rear surfaces of the lens can repel dust particles and water droplets. It also makes smears and fingerprints easy to remove without the use of lens cleaning fluid. Included with the lens is the new ET-83D lens hood, that features a cleverly placed and convenient side window allowing the user to easily adjust specialty filters while the lens hood remains in place. In addition, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM is equipped with a newly designed detachable tripod mount which can be removed to reduce weight during handheld operation.
 
Pricing and Availability
 
The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens is scheduled to be available in December 2014 for an estimated retail price of $2,199.00.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/10/2014 9:45:51 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
So what happens when you give a film camera to a bunch of kids? Almost 7 full minutes of entertainment, that's what!
 
On a personal note, I consider myself fortunate to have grown up during the period of time when we were transitioning from film-based photography to digital. I have a lot of fond memories of film, like my mother teaching me how to load film as a kid and the many rolls of film I shot while visiting Europe as a teenager.
 
But even though I have fond memories of those magic rolls, I'd never go back. I've grown much too fond of the benefits of shooting with DSLRs to relive my childhood. :-) [Sean]
Post Date: 11/10/2014 12:41:54 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon 7D Mark II Anti Flicker Mode Example
If you have ever photographed under flickering lights, such as the sodium vapor lamps especially common at sporting venues, you know what a problem that type of lighting can cause. One image is bright and the next is significantly underexposed with a completely different color cast. The bigger problem occurs when using fast/short action-stopping shutter speeds under these lights.
 
In the top half of the included image are 8 consecutive frames captured from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II in 10 fps burst with a 1/1000 second shutter speed. The subject is a white wall and the lights are fluorescent tubes (I had to go all the way to my basement to find these). All images were identically custom white balanced from the center of an optimally-timed image. What you see is the frame capture frequency synching with the light flicker's frequency to cause a different result in almost every frame.
 
The killer problem for post processing is that the entire frame is not evenly affected. Correcting this issue is a post processing nightmare. The cause of this problem is that, at fast/short shutter speeds, the flicker happens while the shutter curtain is not fully open.
 
Because the shutter opens and closes only in the up and down directions (with camera horizontally oriented), the area affected runs through the frame in the long direction regardless of the camera's orientation during capture. When the flicker-effected area is fully contained within the frame, the amount of area affected is narrower at faster shutter speeds and wider with longer shutter speeds.
 
At significantly longer shutter speeds, the effect from the flickering lights is better averaged in the exposures. At 1/25 second, a reference image I captured during the same test looks very nice.
 
In this 7D II light flicker test, I shot at 1/500, 1/1000 (shown in the example) and 1/2000 seconds. The 1/500 second test showed approximately 2/3 of the frame severely affected at most, but the 10 frames captured around the most-effected frame had various amounts of one frame edge strongly affected. As you would expect, the 1/2000 second test showed an even narrower band of the flicker's effect running through the image (a smaller slit of fast-moving shutter opening being used), but ... I'm guessing that there are not many venues with flickering-type lighting strong enough to allow use of this shutter speed at a reasonable ISO setting. The 1/500 and 1/1000 settings are more real world settings.
 
The bottom set of results show off the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's awesome new Anti-flicker mode. The only difference in the capture of the second set of images was that Anti-flicker mode was enabled. These were a random selection of 8 consecutive frames, but the results from all Anti-flicker mode enabled frames were identical regardless of shutter speed tested. I'm not going to say that these results are perfectly-evenly lit, but ... they are dramatically better than the normal captures and you will not see the less-than-perfectly-even lighting in most real world photos without a solid, light-colored background running through the frame.
 
When enabled (the default is disabled), Flicker Mode adjusts the shutter release timing very slightly so that the dim cycle of the lighting is avoided. In single shot mode, the shutter release lag time is matched to the light flicker cycle's maximum output. In continuous shooting mode, the shutter lag and the frame rate are both altered for peak light output capture. In my tests above, the frame rate was reduced by 1-2 fps and shutter lag can be affected, making the camera feel slightly less responsive.
 
The 7D II is able to work with light flicker occurring at 100Hz and 120Hz frequencies. When such flicker is detected but flicker mode is not enabled, a flashing FLICKER warning shows in the viewfinder. The FLICKER warning shows solid when a flicker is detected and the camera’s setting is enabled. Flicker detection has been working very well for me. From my own basement to an indoor sports venue to a trade show floor, I've seen the flashing "FLICKER" warning.
 
Since the viewfinder's metering system is required for flicker detection, this feature is not available in Live View mode (due to the mirror being locked up). The mirror lockup feature is also disabled when Anti-flicker mode is enabled. The owner's manual indicates that Flicker mode is not going to work perfectly in all environments.
 
In the test I shared in this post, flicker avoidance was perfect 100% of the time. I shot a soccer match at an indoor sporting venue with a complicated economy lighting system. In that shoot, the Anti-flicker mode was successful about 98% of the time in the about-350 images I captured. The post processing work required for this shoot was exponentially lighter than any of my many prior shoots at this venue. Sean's experience shooting an NCAA Division 1 football game under the lights was very good, but perhaps not as good as my 98% experience.
 
Canon's new Anti-flicker mode is a game changer – it is going to save the day for some events. This feature alone is going to be worth the price of the camera for some photographers.
 
Want a Canon EOS 7D Mark II? Get it at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/10/2014 8:06:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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