Canon and Nikon News for 2014/12 (Page 9) Report News & Deals  ►

 Tuesday, December 02, 2014

 
If you use your photography equipment long enough, you will undoubtedly be put into a situation that compromises an upcoming planned shoot. Accidental drops and water submersion are two likely scenarios that can leave you without a camera and/or lens when you may need it most.
 
That's why Canon is highlighting their Canon Professional Services (CPS) in this series of promotional videos, "Support Matters." In each case, CPS stepped up to the plate when a photographer/videographer needed them most.
 
On a personal note, both Bryan and I are CPS members and we have called them on several occasions. In every case, we found a friendly, knowledgeable, helpful person on the other end of the line. CPS has earned a great reputation among professional photographers and this series is a good demonstration as to why.
 
Check out the entire video series on http://supportmatters.pro.usa.canon.com/.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/2/2014 11:46:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L Tilt-Shift Lens
By Sean Setters
 
When it comes to Canon lenses, newer is always better. We know that Canon doesn't typically release a lens update unless it can improve upon performance, build quality or features. It's the natural evolution of technology that we all benefit from in the long run.
 
But are there times when buying an older / used lens makes sense? I think so – and that's why I recently purchased a used Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L Tilt-Shift Lens. More on that later.
 
Here are some of the reasons why you might consider and older, used lens in place of a new one:
 
  1. Budget Constraints - Canon isn't in the habit of releasing new, better lenses at prices below their predecessors. Sometimes the increase is minimal; in other cases, the difference in price can be substantial. A new lens debuting at a significant premium over its predecessor can actually drive up the price of the older lens on the used market. However, the predecessor can [usually] still be purchased for significantly less than the retail price of a newly released lens.
  2. Limited Intended Use - I consider some lenses to be "special use" lenses, meaning I won't be reaching for them on a regular basis. If I don't plan on using the lens often, I'm more likely to make compromises on the purchase. Slightly lower IQ, more distortion, or lack of "IS" are often tradeoffs that may be tolerable if I won't be using the lens regularly.
  3. New Lens Features Unneeded - A good example of this is when Canon releases a new lens with the addition of built-in image stabilization. A couple of years ago I picked up a used EF 300mm f/4 L USM (non-IS) for around $500.00. As I wanted the lens to photograph sports, I reasoned that the image stabilization would have minimal benefit when using action stopping shutter speeds in broad daylight. I've been using the lens for two years now and it's worked very well for its intended use. If making the same purchase today, assuming you could pick up a used EF 300mm f/4 L USM for the same price, you'd save $850.00 over the after-rebate price of the IS model.
  4. Wide Aperture Performance Not a Priority - Most new lenses released by Canon display a noticeable improvement in wide-open image quality over their predecessor. But when it comes to the image quality at f/5.6 and f/8, the differences are usually much less discernible. If you don't plan on using a lens in low ambient conditions, you might find it easier to compromise wide-open image quality in the older lens.
So why did I choose to purchase a Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L that was originally released in 1991 (although mine was manufactured in 2004) over the undoubtedly better (and significantly newer) TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II? It's a combination of the reasons listed above.
 
First, I don't really plan on using the TS-E very often. Yes, I'll do a few real estate jobs with it, but it's never going to be a lens I'm reaching for on a daily basis. Also, because this lens will be used primarily for architecture, I'll be using narrow apertures more often than not making wide aperture image quality less of a priority. One relatively significant compromise I made by purchasing the older model lens was losing the ability to do tilt and shift adjustments independently of one another. By that, I mean that I can only shift at a perpendicular angle to my shift (whereas you can perform both adjustments independently of one another in the new model). But considering I picked up the lens for $620.00 and in excellent condition, the relatively small concessions I made ended up saving me $1,379.00 over the retail price of the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II. That's no small chunk of change and the extra money in my pocket makes my concessions that much easier to live with.
 
Risks of Buying Used
 
There are always risks involved with buying used products. You may not be able to obtain satisfactory answers to questions such as, "How well was the item cared for by its previous owner(s)?" or "Is there a deficiency in the lens that is undiscernible by the product pictures shown?"
 
eBay is a great venue for purchasing used gear. However, dealing with personal sales on eBay can be challenging when/if you are unsatisfied with purchase. It's best to only bid on items from sellers with high positive feedback ratings. If the seller has a liberal return policy, that's certainly a plus. While most of my dealings on eBay have been very positive, be warned – there will always be more risk in purchasing used products on eBay compared to buying new/retail ones.
 
You can also check out B&H's Used Department. You may not save as much as you would bidding on eBay, but B&H does offer a 90-day warranty on most of their used products, meaning there is significantly less risk involved with the purchase.
 
Another risk to consider when purchasing older lenses is that Canon may not be able to service your lens if it breaks. And even if they can fix it, how much will the out-of-warranty service repair bill eat into your initial purchase savings?
 
With all things considered, though, purchasing an older model /used lens can make a lot of sense under the right circumstances – and may end up saving you a bundle in the process.
Post Date: 12/2/2014 10:06:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Lowepro Pro Roller x200 Case
B&H is featuring the Lowepro Pro Roller x200 Case as a Deal Zone special and is available for $199.00 with free shipping. Regularly $369.00.
Post Date: 12/2/2014 7:44:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
Andy Mann's presentation covers his crooked path to professional photography, examining how digital storytelling is evolving, and sharing stories and images from some of his recent assignments to Fiji, Greenland, Russia, & Africa.
 
His show is part misadventure and part miracle. It’s a self-evaluation and a unique window into the modern age of storytelling. For more info on Andy's work check our his website: http://www.andymann.com
Post Date: 12/2/2014 6:59:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Profoto YouTube Channel:
 
Are you famous? If so, you probably had your portrait taken by Mark Seliger. If not, you have most definitely seen his iconic portraits. Perhaps it was the one of Kurt Cobain, Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie or P Diddy, to name just a few examples.
 
We recently had the privilege of meeting this master of portrait photography. The meeting resulted in five unique videos, in which Seliger shares his thoughts on lighting and portrait photography.
 
This particular video was shot during a shoot with rockstar Lenny Kravitz. In this, Seliger talks about the friendship between a photographer and a musician, and how the two hit the streets for some classy on-location portraits.
 
B&H carries Profoto gear.
Post Date: 12/2/2014 6:39:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, December 01, 2014
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens
B&H has the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens available for $299.00 with free shipping. Regularly $479.00.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/1/2014 5:34:54 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Hot Deal: eBay (via 6ave) has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens available for $2,699.99 with free shipping. Compare at $3,699.00 after $300.00 mail-in rebate.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically eligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Capturing the Spirit of Baltimore's Inner Harbor with the Canon 24-105mm STM IS Lens
The historic Inner Harbor seaport is a showcase of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. While I was looking for interesting and creative photos in general on a day trip to this location, my ultimate goal for was to come away with a picture that captured the spirit of Inner Harbor in a single frame. Since I had only the latter part of the day to shoot, I was targeting sunset and the blue hour for that photo.
 
My afternoon scouting showed that the west side of the harbor offered my favorite view, one that included the most photogenic landmark buildings including the National Aquarium and Baltimore's World Trade Center. From the selected vantage point, the Hard Rock Cafe and Phillips signs also stood out and all of the colorful lights reflected in the water.
 
Not all waterfront is harbor, so the Lightship Chesapeake and the USS Torsk submarine docked in the background helped depict this waterfront properly as such. Of course, what finishes off the capture of the spirit of Baltimore's Inner Harbor better than a boat aptly named Inner Harbor Spirit docked in the foreground?
 
After selecting the specific location I wanted for my key photo, I captured a variety of photos using various lenses and focal lengths (there was no getting closer happening here). The scene shown in this sample picture was my favorite and I have it captured at various times during sunset including some with nicely pink clouds in the sky. The image shown here was captured just before total darkness. At that time, a 30 second exposure allowed a smooth motion blur of the very calm harbor, an f/16 aperture caused the lights to show a starburst effect without imparting a too-severe amount of softening of the image (due to diffraction) and the combination of 30 seconds and f/16 allowed a deep blue sky color to be retained.
 
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens is a nice lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is of course an awesome camera. This photo is basically as-shot. Based on the Standard Picture Style (in DPP), I cloned out a few paint tiny imperfections on the ship and reduced the brightness of the Hard Rock Cafe sign, Phillips sign and the side of the aquarium using an HDR technique that utilized a darker exposure showing through the primary exposure at those positions in the frame.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
Post Date: 12/1/2014 10:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
How the Canon EOS 7D Mark II Performs when Shooting Birds in Flight
"How well does the Canon EOS 7D Mark II perform when shooting birds in flight?" has quickly become a frequently asked question. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II, especially because of its high performance AF system, high density imaging sensor, fast frame rate and modest-for-what-you-get price, is quickly finding favor with bird photographers. And, one of the biggest challenges faced by bird photographers is maintaining focus on birds in flight. Thus, the question is getting asked.
 
I had the privilege of spending the larger part of a day shooting bald eagles below the Conowingo Dam in northern Maryland with the 7D II this week. My goal was to discern how well this AF system could track the often-erratic movement of these beautiful birds in flight (and to hopefully come away with some nice images).
 
The day's moderate-to-heavy cloud cover eliminated any harsh shadow issues, but made the sky a white canvas (white sky is OK, but is not my favorite) and provided low light to further challenge the AF system. The bottom line is that I'm really impressed with my success rate from this day.
 
I was using the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens with and without a Canon EF 1.4x III Extender behind it. Tracking these fast and erratic-moving birds with such a narrow angle of view was quite challenging, but when I kept the selected center AF point or one of the 4 neighboring AF points (based on the AF area I was using) on or even close to the bird I was tracking, most of the images were properly focused. Especially impressive was the ability of this camera to maintain focus on the birds even with backgrounds that the birds visually blended into and even more impressive was this camera's ability to maintain focus on the birds even with high contrasting backgrounds including electrical line towers and bare tree branches against a bright sky. I was using the AF Case 2 to instruct the camera to be slow to leave a tracked subject due to obstacles.
 
This camera is a great choice for bird photography. The consensus that I'm hearing from the other photographers frequenting Conowingo Dam is that their 7D Mark II experiences mirror my own.
 
After catching its dinner, this eagle in the above picture flew directly toward the camera. I began tracking and shooting at 10 fps. I have numerous good images of this eagle, but this was the most-frame-filling that did not cut off any significant amount of the bird. This image is essentially right out of the camera. I extended the canvas slightly to the bottom, added the extreme tip of the two bottom-most feathers and removed imperfections from a couple of other feathers. I changed the Picture Style to Standard (in DPP), changed saturation to "1", white balance to "Cloudy" and added a touch of noise reduction.
 
I have added a 10 fps burst example of flying eagles (a juvenile chasing an adult with a fish) to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review. The wing positioning shown in this series of images will assure you that 10 fps is definitely not too fast and at times, I needed a frame between the neighboring frames – such as at the moment the eagles grabbed a fish in the water.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/5.6  1/1250s  ISO 1000  5472 x 3732px
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/1/2014 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
There are a ton of deals that are still live from Black Friday. I'll be updating this post throughout the day as I find more Cyber Monday deals.
 
Note: eBay deals are likely grey market/import items and therefore would not technically qualify for USA warranties. [Sean]
 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF 24-105mm f/4L - $2,699.99 Shipped (Compare at $3,699.00 after $300.00 mail-in rebate)
 
WD 4TB External Desktop Hard Drive - $109.00 Shipped (Reg. $149.00)
 
FreeFly MoVI with Spektrum Transmitter & Case - $3,995.00 Shipped (Reg. $4,790.00)
 
Glidecam HD 4000 Stabilizer - $499.00 Shipped (Reg. $599.00)
 
Nikon D810 DSLR Camera - $2,299.99 Shipped (Compare at $3,296.95)
 
Canon Full-Frame + PIXMA PRO 10 Printer Bundles at B&H
 
Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera - $159.99 (Compare at $299.00)
 
Canon EOS 6D + EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens - $1,799.99 Shipped (Compare at $2,199.00 AR)
 
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens - $199.99 (Compare at $299.99)
 
Canon EOS 70D DSLR + EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens - $999.00 Shipped (Compare at $1,349.00)
 
Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 for Mac and Windows - $39.99 Shipped (Reg. $99.99)
 
Hoya 82mm Variable Density Filter - $99.99 Shipped (Reg. $199.99)
 
Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Mic & DR-100mkII Handheld Digital Recorder Kit - $349.99 Shipped (Reg. $579.99)
 
Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens - $199.00 Shipped (Reg. $249.00)
 
Canon EOS 1DX DSLR Camera - $4,699.99 Shipped (Compare at $5,999.00 AR)
 
Select Refurb. Canon DSLR cameras, lenses & flashes at 10-40% off
 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera - $2,559.99 Shipped (Compare at $3,099.00 AR)
 
Save 25% on LensRentals Rentals (expires today)
 
Google Chromecast - $23.99 Shipped (Reg. $34.99)
 
DxO ViewPoint 2 - $39.00 Shipped (Reg. $79.00)
 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens - $299.00 Shipped (Reg. $599.00)
 
Oben BC-166 Ball Head - $169.95 Shipped (Reg. $199.95)
 
Sennheiser MKE 400 Compact Video Shotgun Microphone - $99.00 Shipped (Reg. $199.00)
 
SanDisk Ultra II 480GB SSD - $179.00 Shipped (Reg. $212.58)
 
Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR with 18-55mm IS STM Lens - $499.99 Shipped (Compare at $849.00 AR)
 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera - $2,399.99 Shipped (Compare at $3,099.00 AR)
 
Refurb. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens - $599.00 Shipped (Compare at $1,149.00 New)
 
DXO OpticsPro 10 Elite Edition (Download) - $129.00 Shipped (Reg. $199.00)
 
Memory Card Deals
 
Also, don't forget to check out The-Digital-Picture.com Christmas Gift Guide.
Post Date: 12/1/2014 7:02:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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