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 Thursday, July 23, 2015
From Canon USA:
 
Video Creator Kits Introduced to Help Vloggers Jumpstart Great Online Video Shooting Right Out of the Box
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., July 23, 2015 - Two stars in a universe of online talent, YouTube content creators iJustine (www.youtube.com/iJustine) and DevinSuperTramp, have helped define a new method of storytelling through online video. With so many young vloggers following their example and creating their own innovative content, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, unveils new, specialized Video Creator Kits including a Canon DSLR camera and lens, an external microphone, and a 32GB SD card. These specially-packaged Video Creator Kits provide the vlogging superstars of tomorrow with the tools they need to shoot and share high-quality, compelling stories.
 
Special guest appearances by iJustine and DevinSuperTramp will take place during VidCon 2015 in booth #1311 on the Main floor of Hall B at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, July 23-25, 2015.
 
The Video Creator Kits are available for pre-order and are currently scheduled to start shipping in early August in three options:
 
  • EOS 70D Video Creator Kit: includes EOS 70D camera & EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens, an external microphone and 32GB SD card
  • EOS Rebel T6i Video Creator Kit: includes EOS Rebel T6i camera & EF-S 18-55mm IS STM lens, an external microphone and 32GB SD card
  • EOS Rebel T5i Video Creator Kit: includes EOS Rebel T5i camera & EF-S 18-55mm IS STM lens, an external microphone and 32GB SD card
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the EOS Rebel 70D Video Creator Kit, the EOS Rebel T6i Video Creator Kit, and EOS Rebel T5i Video Creator Kit are $1,649.00*, $999.99* and $899.99*, respectively.
 
To arm tomorrow's video storytellers with tips and tricks that can help develop their talent, Canon will host special sessions in its booth. iJustine (Justine Ezarik), author and vlogger, will speak on how she started vlogging and offer advice to those looking to create video content. iJustine's sessions will be held:
 
  • Thursday, July 23 from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM PDT
  • Friday, July 24 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM PDT
  • Saturday, July 25 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
Also, DevinSuperTramp (Devin Graham), filmmaker and vlogger, will premiere his "Life in a Bubble in 4K" video created with the Canon XC10 4K Camcorder on Thursday, July 23 from 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM PDT, and share his inspiration, challenges, and creative process for making the film.
 
All sessions at the Canon booth will be open to all VidCon show attendees.
 
Visitors to the Canon booth will also have a chance to create their own 15-second "One Take" video entitled, "Why I Want to Be a YouTube Star" using Canon products.
 
For those with a Creator or Industry Badge for the show, the Canon Creator Working Lounge in room #203 of the convention center will feature DevinSuperTramp along with other filmmakers and Canon technical experts. Devin will be speaking from 4:15 PM to - 5:00 PM PDT on Thursday about his new film, "Life in a Bubble in 4K" and talk about shooting in 4K for posting to YouTube. Canon will also have a "Touch & Try" counter in booth # 2001.
 
For additional information on Canon's participation at the show visit Canon's Vidcon page at: usa.canon.com/vidcon2015
 
* Prices, specifications, and availability are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.
 
B&H has the Canon Video Creator Kits available for preorder.
 
Note from Sean: Unfortunately, you don't really get a discount when purchasing these kits (although the box does look fancy). Let's take a look at the 70D Video Kit, specifically.
 
The Canon 70D Video Kit costs $1,649.00 and contains:
 
  • Canon EOS 70D DSLR with Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM ($1,299.00 after $250.00 mail-in rebate)
  • Rode VideoMic Go ($81.47)
  • SanDisk 32GB SDHC ($14.49)
In other words, with the current rebates in place, the components of the 70D Video Creator Kit can be purchased for $1,394.96. Even if the Video Creator Kit was eligible for the same $250.00 rebate (which does not appear to be the case), the kit would still be a little more than $4.00 more expensive than buying the components individually.
 
Our advice? If you're interested in these kits, buy the individual components now while the instant rebates are live.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 7/23/2015 8:54:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review.
 
You probably already guessed this, but the 100-400 L II is another of my favorite lenses.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/23/2015 7:45:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Breakthrough Photography 77mm X3 10-Stop ND Filter
B&H has the Breakthrough Photography 77mm X3 10-Stop ND filter in stock with free expedited shipping. (thanks Paul)
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 1,000x Filter Factor, 10 Stop
  • Darkens Entire Image
  • Allows Reduced Shutter Speed
  • Allows Wider Aperture
  • MRC Multi-Resistant Coating
  • Nano Coating
  • Schott Superwhite B270 Glass
  • 77mm Front Filter Threads
  • Thin Brass Filter Ring
  • Knurled Sides
Post Date: 7/23/2015 6:30:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, July 22, 2015
PocketWizard Logo
From PocketWizard:
 
New distribution channel allows LPA Design a closer connection with the photographer.
 
South Burlington, VT – As the wireless market and the photo industry as a whole continues to become more competitive and challenging, LPA Design, manufacturers of PocketWizard Photo Products, has realized the need to get closer to the photographer and has started selling direct to USA dealers. This change in distribution only affects the US market. LPA Design continues to rely on their network of global distributors and dealers throughout the world. “As we transition to our new sales and marketing approach, we are excited by the possibilities of working more directly with our Dealers and building closer relationships with the community of PocketWizard photographers. We’re exploring the means to hear and respond to our customers in a more direct and informative way. We’ve already heard some comments and suggestions, and are making changes that will offer a range of mutual long term benefits. We’ve had a great partnership with the MAC Group over the past 14 years, as they’ve been integral in building the PocketWizard brand in the US market. We wish them continued success in the future,” commented Heather Ambrose, Marketing Manager at LPA Design.
 
To spearhead our direct to dealer initiative, we have engaged the services of Lorenzo Gasperini of Inovanti, LLC to represent LPA Design / PocketWizard as our National Sales Manager. Lorenzo has a deep history with PocketWizard which started back in 1994 when he encountered PocketWizard and later joined Bogen Photo (Manfrotto USA) and LPA Design as the first US distributor. In 2000 Lorenzo joined the MAC Group and as the National Marketing Manager he inspired new products, markets and partnerships that lead to significant growth and success for the brand. In 2008 Lorenzo was paramount in building the PocketWizard brand internationally as the International Sales and Marketing Manager. In addition to his responsibilities with PocketWizard, Lorenzo (Inovanti) also works with the Sekonic light meter division and Syrp motion and linear control devices. Lorenzo has a tremendous amount of knowledge in the photographic and video market and will be an asset to the PocketWizard Sales and Marketing Team once again. PocketWizard looks forward to continuing toward a closer and stronger alliance with all their US dealers in an effort to strengthen their USA-built brand.
 
B&H carries PocketWizard products.
Post Date: 7/22/2015 12:11:44 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Summer Photography Tips: Telephoto Lenses are for Flowers Too
Sure, telephoto lenses are great for wildlife, sports and many other uses, but they are also great for flowers! I've had my eye on a small field of wildflowers and, after spending a large number of contiguous hours of work putting the Lens MTF Comparison tool into place, I gave myself the freedom to go after some summer color in the form of flower pics.
 
I knew that making an image worth sharing from this field was going to be a challenge. The location was not well-suited for a grand landscape image incorporating the flower color in the foreground. The flowers were beautiful, but they were intermixed with other vegetation, were very random in position and most were imperfect including a random state of bloom (some were well-beyond peak).
 
I was biking to this location (2 cars - 4 drivers = a problem) and, since I wasn't sure what the best opportunity was going to be, I put lenses ranging from 16 to 300mm in focal length along with a Canon EOS 5Ds R in a Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Pro backpack and was on my way. After riding past and then walking back along the edge of the field, I found few standout subjects calling for emphasis. Sometimes, flowers look best when blurred out of focus, becoming blobs of color and this was what I determined the case to be for much of this field.
 
This pair of cosmos did appear to be a cut above the rest and I focused on them for a period of time. By using a 300mm telephoto focal length with a relatively short focus distance, a nice blur was created, making full use of the imperfect blooms in the background.
 
While simply setting up such a blur is easy and can be good enough, taking the shot to the next level requires some attention to detail. In this case, I oriented the tripod-mounted camera and lens so that the background of the in-focus flower was only green, making the flower pop. This perspective also placed a complementary same-color cosmos just out of focus with a matching pair more-strongly blurred above. An intermittent light breeze made this alignment a bit more challenging, but ... patience was the answer to that issue.
 
I used manual focus aided by the 5Ds R's 16x Live View, allowing precise focusing on the center of the flower (preventing AF from picking the petals just in front). While an f/5.6 aperture would have given an even stronger background blur and would also have created a nice image, I opted for f/8 in this case. F/8 kept more of the flower in focus and reduced vignetting to even out the background brightness. Lighting is courtesy of a bright cloudy sky.
 
Then, right on cue, the bee landed on my primary subject. I was shooting the scene in vertical orientation at that moment (creating a nearly identical image), but I wanted to post the horizontal format picture as it fits better on computer monitors. So, I simply copied the bee out of the vertical photo and pasted it into this one.
 
Go get some summer color (in your photos, not your skin). Mount your telephoto lens and go flower hunting!
 
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.
Post Date: 7/22/2015 11:05:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
Watch as Ryan Connolly explains the basics to using a shotgun microphone to get the cleanest audio possible.
 
B&H carries boompoles and the Rode NTG3 microphone.
 
Here are the other videos in this series:
 
Post Date: 7/22/2015 6:46:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Lens MTF
It is with great pleasure that I announce the latest addition to the site's tools: Lens MTF Comparison
 
Required Reading: To get the most out of these beautiful charts and to learn about MTF measurements, please take some time to read through the Lens MTF Help page.
 
Many prime lens results are immediately available in the MTF tool and many additions are planned, including zoom lenses. We'll announce the additions as they become available. Aperture tests in addition to wide open are also expected to be included at some point.
 
These MTF charts are made available under agreement with my friend Roger Cicala and his crew at Olaf Optical Testing with support provided by LensRentals.com. Go rent a lens!
Post Date: 7/21/2015 7:29:21 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 20, 2015
Lowepro Nova Sport 17L AW Shoulder Bag
If you are looking for a good quality camera case at a great price and "Pepper Red" is your color, then Adorama has a deal for you. While supplies last, get the Lowepro Nova Sport 17L AW Shoulder Bag for only $16.95 (regularly $47.95).
 
Details about the case are sparse on the product page, but the following information is from Lowepro's site:
 
Fits
  • DSLR with lens attached (up to 18-105mm)
  • 1-3 extra lenses (up to 70-300mm)
  • Flash and/or accessories
  • 10" tablet
  • Personal items
Technical Specifications
  • Internal Dimensions: 29 x 17.7 x 21 cm (11.42 x 6.97 x 8.27 in)
  • External Dimensions: 35.5 x 22.5 x 23.7 cm (13.98 x 8.86 x 9.33 in)
  • Camera Compartment: 26 x 15.5 x 20 cm (10.24 x 6.10 x 7.87 in)
  • Weight: 0.8 kg (1.76 lbs)
Post Date: 7/20/2015 9:20:39 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Adobe Photoshop Lighroom Icon
From Adobe:
 
Lightroom for mobile Android 1.2 now available
 
Tonight we’re announcing the immediate availability of Lightroom version 1.2 for Android phones and tablets.
 
  • Edit images faster by copying image adjustments and pasting them onto another photo
  • Crop the perfect photo with a re-designed experience on your Android device that enables you to quickly adjust, align and auto-straighten.
  • Easily find your favorite images! The new Segmented view in Collections give you a different way to view and engage with your photos.
  • Raw file support for the Panasonic Lumix CM1 Communication Camera
Version 1.2 also includes fixes for bugs and other issues identified by customers, including:
 
  • Screen occasionally went blank after changing the orientation from landscape to portrait.
  • Lightroom could crash when customers tap the sign-in button.
  • Fixed issue that could cause crashes when scrolling through a large collection and changing the device orientation from portrait to landscape (or vice versa).
  • Hardware back button was not closing any contextual menus.
  • Slow performance when swiping from image to image.
  • Copying or moving an image into a different collection was not working correctly. Please note that this issue only occurred on certain Samsung tablets.
  • Lightroom sometimes caused automated logouts.
  • Edits not visible when sharing photos to certain 3rd party apps and services.
  • Crash occurred when occasionally navigating from grid view to collections view.
Visit the Google Play store and download Lightroom mobile.
 
Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan (USD$9.99 per month) includes Lightroom CC across desktop, web and mobile, Photoshop CC and Photoshop Mix (for iPhone and iPad).
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 7/20/2015 12:32:18 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
 
Often we see a location, capture the image, post-process and move on. After that, being in the same location can feel a bit like, "...been there, done that." But shooting the same location multiple times - if given the opportunity - can be very beneficial.
 
Last year was my first experience visiting Oak Island, NC. I brought [what I would consider] a small photography kit and captured many worthwhile images while on vacation. While planning a return trip this year, however, the recent shark attacks in North Carolina (and Oak Island in particular) meant that I was less than eager to enjoy even modestly deep water off the beach this year. In other words, I knew I'd have more time to devote to other endeavors.
 
Therefore, taking advantage of the photographic opportunities the island had to offer became an even higher-than-usual priority for my vacation. I packed substantially more gear this time around and I challenged myself to create at least one image I was proud of each day. On image in particular that I wanted to capture was a long exposure of the Oak Island pier similar to the shot in IR that I took last year, but this time using a traditional (but very strong) ND filter. I purchased a Rocolax 15-stop ND filter in anticipation of shooting the pier again this year.
 
Fast forward to yesterday - my first full day in Oak Island this year - and I was out the door soon after sunrise. Why not before sunrise? Because the position of the rising sun meant that it wouldn't be a subject included in any of the pier compositions I wanted to capture (Oak Island faces south meaning I would have had to have been in the water to capture the pier with the rising sun). What was important, though, was that I shoot early (soon after sunrise) in order to get the low-on-the-horizon sunlight that I wanted for illuminating the pier.
 
My experience shooting the pier the previous year meant that I could plan [almost] everything about the image capture so that my time and attention could be utilized in the most productive way possible. I knew where to park, how to access the area under the pier and exactly how much time would be required traveling from the front door of the beach house to the shooting location. And, using time of optimal illumination was especially important in this instance because my exposures would be measured in minutes, not seconds.
 
For all intents and purposes, I was able to capture the image I wanted (plus another framing) without a hitch. The only thing I didn't take into consideration was the tide level (high tide) which meant that I had to position myself closer to the beach with the end result that the pier was not as tall in the foreground of this image compared to last year's image.
 
After processing the image I realized that being able to shoot the same location, one year apart, was a really great experience. Some of the benefits include:
 
  • Familiarity with a location means that you can better plan your shots, pack the right gear and optimize your time while capturing images.
  • Challenging yourself to capture the same location in different ways is a great creative exercise.
  • Shooting the same location periodically - with a good amount of time between attempts - can help illustrate how your photography is growing/evolving over time.
In the end, I was happy with how the shot turned out. It looks very similar to the shot I had in my head meaning that all my planning and recent experience in long exposure photography paid off. I'm roughly 95% happy with the image; and that nagging 5% should provide ample incentive to shoot the pier yet again with another year of photographic experience under my belt.
Post Date: 7/20/2015 8:11:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens Review.
 
This is another of my favorite lenses. Not ony for the amazingly wide angles it provides, but for the solid image quality at those wide angles.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/20/2015 7:36:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the Vimeo Blog:
 
If you work with multiple cameras, you’ve probably run into the same issue we have. Our battery charging situation is out of control. Taking some inspiration from Vimeo Award-winner and vid-blogging extraordinaire Casey Neistat, we set out to build a battery charging station to add a little zen to the Vimeo Production studio.
 
Shopping List
 
Post Date: 7/20/2015 6:42:42 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens
B&H has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens in stock with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 7/20/2015 6:32:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR DX  Lens
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR DX lens is now in stock at B&H with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 7/20/2015 6:25:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, July 17, 2015
Question?
by Sean Setters
 
I've been doing a fair amount of long exposure images lately as I've been testing out my latest filter acquisition, the ROCOLAX 77mm 15-stop ND. Unfortunately, light leakage through the viewfinder spoiled many of my early test shots. The best way to get rid of the light leakage is, of course, the often overlooked accessory that Canon includes free with your camera – the Canon Eyepiece Cover. I say "overlooked" because many people never notice the handy little tool attached to their OEM camera straps (or realize its function).
 
The problem, though, is that I do not use the 5D Mark III's camera strap (instead I use a BlackRapid strap modified for Arca-style plates). Not using the OEM strap means I had no convenient way to keep the small, seemingly easy to lose Canon Eyepiece Cover with me.
 
At first I considered finding a place in my main camera bag for the eyepiece cover, but I realized that I often use my smaller camera bag when shooting these types of shots. That means I'd need to remember to transfer the eyepiece cover every time I intended on shooting long exposures while using the smaller bag (and knowing myself, I would forget it 90% of the time).
 
The second thing I considered was storing the eyepiece cover in my tripod bag. That made a bit more sense as I'm always using the tripod when shooting long exposures. However, I realized that I don't always take the tripod bag with me on long exposure outings (especially around town). I sometimes simply set up my camera on the tripod (with a remote timer attached) and simply put the compacted-down setup in my car. That way I'm ready to hit the ground running as soon as I get to the location (all I have to do is extend the tripod legs). So storing the eyepiece cover in the tripod bag wouldn't work.
 
Keeping the eyepiece cover with the tripod – not the tripod bag – seemed to be ideal. I tried to search for a small bag to attach to my tripod. However, I didn't find anything specifically designed to be strapped to a pole. I reasoned that I could use a bag designed for a belt loop and simply find a strap to fit around the tripod leg, but that seemed like a lot of work (and added bulk / expense) just to keep the small rubber eyepiece cover with me. And depending on the size of the bag, it might make storing the tripod in my tripod bag more difficult as there isn't much "wiggle room" in the bag as it is.
 
While looking at the Canon Eyepiece Cover in my hand, I realized that the eyepiece cover's design held the solution to my problem. It was designed to fit on the thin part of the OEM strap, so I should simply strap it to my tripod with a strap something similar in size. And as luck would have it, I had the perfect strap sitting in a tool drawer – a thin hook & loop cable tie.
 
I had to cut a little bit off the edge of a cable tie in order for it to fit in the eyepiece cover's slots and then cut it to a length that fit well around the tripod leg. Once cut to size, the eyepiece cover fits perfectly around the tripod leg. The cable tie proved to be the best possible solution for my needs as it keeps the eyepiece cover on the tripod at all times (extremely convenient) while also remaining low in profile (not bulky). And if the eyepiece cover molds to the curve of the tripod over time, that's ok – it'll stretch to fit the eyepiece just fine.
 
Here's what my setup looks like:
 
Canon Eyepiece Cover and Timer Remote Solution: Cable Ties

As you can see by the picture above, I'm also using cable ties in another way. I realized that cable ties could also be used to attach my TC-80N3 Timer Remote firmly to the tripod as well. Up until now, I typically used the center pole's weight hook to keep the timer from dangling from the camera (instead it would dangle from the cord a short distance from the timer). But in windy conditions, the constant swaying movement of the timer could lead to softness in the long exposure images. To counteract this, I would sometimes physically hold the timer to keep it from swaying (not an optimal solution to the problem). The timer cable already had a tie attached to it; all I needed to do was add one more cable tie around the tripod leg to complete the windproof setup.
 
Of course, cable ties are also extremely handy for their intended purpose, too, which is why I had them within arm's reach when looking for a solution.
 
Have you used cable ties to creatively solve a photographic need of your own? Let us know in the comments.
 
Update: Site visitor John has suggested an even cheaper, practical solution – attach a piece of gaffer tape to the camera dome and use it to cover the viewfinder when needed. Keep in mind, though, that long-term use of gaffer tape can leave a sticky residue on the surface of whatever it's stuck to (even though it's designed to be removed cleanly under normal use). I'd suggest replacing the tape periodically to avoid this.
Post Date: 7/17/2015 8:11:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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