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 Thursday, January 14, 2016
From Nikon:
 
January 14, 2016 – TOKYO – Nikon is pleased to announce the release of two new COOLPIX cameras, the COOLPIX A100, a slim and lightweight stylish model that can be easily taken anywhere, and the COOLPIX A10, a model powered by common AA batteries that makes capturing high-quality images fun and easy.
 
The COOLPIX A100 has an effective pixel count of 20.1 megapixels, and is equipped with a 5x optical zoom (10x when Dynamic Fine Zoom is used) NIKKOR lens that covers the wide-angle 26mm to telephoto 130mm (equivalents in 35mm [135] format) range of focal lengths, all in an extremely portable, slim body with a depth measuring approximately 19.8mm and a weight of approximately 119g. It is a stylish model equipped with a number of features that make taking and editing photos fun. For example, Scene Auto Selector makes capturing beautiful, high-quality photos easy with the camera doing all of the work, and functions such as Glamour Retouch are easier to use with adoption of a new Creative Slider.
 
The COOLPIX A10 has an elegant body that offers an effective pixel count of 16.1 megapixels, and is equipped with a 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens supporting a range of focal lengths that begins at the wide-angle 26mm (equivalent in 35mm [135] format). Users can easily enjoy taking beautiful, high-quality photos using Scene Auto Selector mode, which automatically selects and applies the optimal scene mode, and retouch functions including Special Effects and Quick Effects have been enhanced. What's more, the A10 is powered by readily available AA batteries, allowing users to respond flexibly should the batteries become exhausted on unexpected outings.
 
Release dates and suggested retail pricing are unknown at this time. [Sean]
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/14/2016 7:35:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Canon:
 
TOKYO, January 14, 2016—Canon Inc. again ranked first among Japanese companies and third overall for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2015, according to the latest ranking of preliminary patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services on January 13, 2016.
 
Canon actively promotes the globalization of its business and places great value on obtaining patents overseas, carefully adhering to a patent-filing strategy that pursues patents in essential countries and regions while taking into consideration the business strategies and technology and product trends unique to each location. Among these, the United States, with its many high-tech companies and large market scale, represents a particularly important region in terms of business expansion and technology alliances.
 
Canon U.S. patent rankings among Japanese companies 2005–2015
 
YearRanking*No. of
patents
20151st (3rd)4,134
20141st (3rd)4,055
20131st (3rd)3,820
20121st (3rd)3,173
20111st (3rd)2,818
20101st (4th)2,551
20091st (4th)2,200
20081st (3rd)2,107
20071st (3rd)1,983
20061st (3rd)2,366
20051st (2nd)1,829

*Number in parenthesis represents Canon's ranking among all companies
 
Canon prizes its corporate DNA of placing a high priority on technology. And with regard to research and development results, the Company actively promotes the acquisition of patent rights in accordance with the management direction of the Canon Group and technology trends while conducting thorough pre-application searches to raise the quality of applications. Through close cooperation between Canon's technology and intellectual property divisions, the Company aims to improve its technological capabilities while further enhancing its intellectual property rights.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/14/2016 6:09:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From PocketWizard:
 
New Key Features:
 
Compatibility with Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11.2):
 
Apple made significant structural changes in OS X El Capitan (10.11) compared to previous versions of the Mac operating system. As a result, PocketWizard Utility beta version 1.63 required significant work to integrate El Capitan’s differences.
 
Make sure you are using the latest iteration of El Capitan, OS X version 10.11.2. Previous OS X versions of El Capitan, 10.11.0 or 10.11.1, have only received minimal testing with this Utility and will not be tested further. Testing against OS X version 10.11.3, currently in developer and public beta, will commence soon. If you are using 10.11.3, we would appreciate any reports you may have about this Utility’s functionality in that OS.
 
Utility 1.63 remains reverse-compatible with the previous 5 versions of Mac OS X:
 
  • Yosemite (10.10)
  • Mavericks (10.9)
  • Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • Lion (10.7)
  • Snow Leopard (10.6)
If your Mac OS X version is Leopard (10.5) or earlier, or you are using a PowerPC-based system, try PocketWizard Utility version 1.54. It will not have the latest features of version 1.63, but should still work for most PocketWizard products with the exception of the Plus III and Plus IV.
 
Continued compatibility with Microsoft Windows:
 
Both this beta version 1.63, and the prior official Utility version 1.58, are fully compatible with modern Windows versions:
 
  • 10 - Version 1511
  • 8.1 – Version 6.3.9600
  • 7 – Version 6.1.7601 (Service Pack 1)
Other versions of the Microsoft OS, like 8 (prior to 8.1), 7 (no service pack), Vista, 2000 and XP were not tested for this release, but the Utility may still function. Operation in these operating systems is not officially supported.
 
Added support for the PocketWizard Plus IV:
 
This Utility will be ready to support the PocketWizard Plus IV when it launches (estimated Q1/2016).
 
Simplified and Improved Workflow:
 
Based on your feedback, we have incorporated many improvements to streamline the Utility especially around firmware updating:
 
  • Dramatically simplified firmware updating. Reduced and removed dialogue boxes and buttons to speed the process up, especially when “Advanced Mode” is unchecked
  • Clarified the notification system that reminds you when a firmware update is available
  • New radio firmware is automatically downloaded upon program install and launch if there’s an internet connection available. This speeds the firmware update process for multiple radios and allows for updating later when there may be no internet connection
  • Removed the “Apply Changes” confirmation dialogue. Now, when you click Apply Changes, your settings are immediately updated. Please wait for the radio to reconnect (see it reappear in the Utility) to allow the changes to be completely applied as well as visually verify the changes you just made
  • Reduced, removed, and clarified dialogue boxes in several places
  • Moved Save Profile, Load Profile, and Replicate to the advanced area. Tick the “Advanced Mode” checkbox in the lower left corner (by the blue gear) to reveal these features
Other Improvements:
 
  • Incorporated the latest security certificates for Mac and Windows operating systems
  • Improved offline operation for a smoother experience when an internet connection is not available. This is in addition to workflow improvements noted above
  • Added a delete feature to the Device Inventory. Device Inventory is located under the Settings Menu. Click the blue gear in the lower left corner to access it. When a radio is deleted from Device Inventory, the information is immediately and permanently deleted
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes the context help window would be empty on some computers
  • Fixed other minor display issues
For full details including installation instructions, please refer to the PocketWizard Beta Utility 1.63 Release Bulletin.
 
B&H carries PocketWizard gear.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/14/2016 5:37:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For a limited time, B&H has the Vello Bluetooth ShutterBoss Advanced Intervalometer for Canon available for $39.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Bluetooth Communication with iOS Devices
  • Use Free Vello app
  • Compatible to iOS 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Multiple Shooting Modes
  • Intervalometer with 10 Scheduling Modes
  • 9999 Maximum Shots
  • Powered by 2 AAA Batteries
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/14/2016 5:16:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 13, 2016
eBay (via AllNewShop) has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body available for $1,999.00 or the 5D III + EF 24-105L IS available for $2,599.00 via the same auction, both qualifying for free shipping. Compare at $2,499.00 body-only and $3,099.00 with lens.
 
Note: These are likely grey market items and therefore technically ineligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/13/2016 9:28:41 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
They don't take Christmas decorations down on December 26th, but ... the crowds will be lighter than before Christmas. Public Christmas displays, including large Christmas trees frequently found in towns and cities, make great photography subjects. Photographing these displays after the crowds leave can make life easier for the photographer (and your social schedule will likely be cleared). Though the Christmas anticipation feelings may have subsided, the resulting photographs can be as good or better than those captured before the holiday.
 
When do they take down public Christmas decorations? That answer varies greatly, but on this particular year, the large Christmas tree on display at PPG Place in Pittsburgh was scheduled to be taken down on Jan 26th. Part of my pre-trip planning involved asking that question. On January 5th, a very cold Tuesday afternoon, the crowds at the ice skating rink were light, but ... timing the photograph with the ice being cleared for the Zamboni to do its resurfacing work meant a completely empty rink.
 
To add an extra element to the image, I aligned the sun with a small hole in the Christmas tree and used a narrow aperture to create a strong starburst effect.
 
Setting the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens to 11mm will take in a VERY wide angle of view. Pointing 11mm upward will cause buildings to strongly lean inward.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
11mm  f/16.0  1.30s
ISO 100
8688 x 5792px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 11:14:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
B&H has the Tokina AT-X 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX Lens available for preorder with an expected availability at the end of February.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 11:23:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Note: While this is primarily a tongue-in-cheek article, all the facts presented are accurate to our knowledge. [Sean]
 
Both Bryan and I recently had images featured in Flickr's Explore. Bryan's image was a view of Pittsburg during blue hour and mine was a shot of the Tybee Island Pier with stars shining above it. As such, Bryan and I had a brief discussion about the formula that Flickr uses to determine each day's most interesting – and thereby Explore worthy – images.
 
If you're not familiar with Flickr, the Explore feed is basically a gallery that Flickr uses to feature the most "interesting" (their term, not mine) images that have been uploaded recently.
 
I mentioned to Bryan that while I was unsurprised that his image made it to Explore, I was very surprised that mine had. Why? It was never posted to a single group (which can garner a lot of views) and didn't seem to have much activity after being on Flickr for almost an entire day. When I went to bed, I the picture had about 50-60 views and one favorite. But when I woke up the next morning, I found the image had been viewed roughly 3,000 times and had garnered almost 50 favorites while I was sleeping and the stats continued to rise. For some reason, the activity from my contacts alone had pushed the image into Explore (but what that activity was, I'll never know).
 
The algorithm used to determine Explore worthy images (via an "Interestingness" calculation) is proprietary to Flickr and, by all accounts, top secret. There's no doubt that the formula is tweaked from time to time, but what is known is that views, favorites and comments are all positive factors. But if your image is posted to a large number of groups, that can count against your image in the calculation. So that's basically all we know. But does Flickr actually weigh the actual subject matter into the Interestingness equation? Or to put it anothe way, are some subjects more likely to boost your image into Flickr's Explore?
 
Then Bryan sent me an email around 7:45pm last night. It read,
"I just figured it out. Buttons are the key subject to get into today’s Explore pool. Why???"
I wish someone could have seen the look of confusion on my face. I had absolutely no idea what Bryan was talking about. Buttons?? What are you talking about, Bryan?
 
Then I took a look at Flickr's Explore feed. My jaw dropped. Buttons were seemingly everywhere. Shirt buttons, coat buttons, pants buttons, political buttons, computer and game controller buttons...
 
That's when I decided to collect some data.
 
I captured a screenshot of Flickr's Explore feed and analyzed the first 50 rows containing a total of 145 images. Of the set, 26 of them featured buttons as the main subject, or very nearly 18% (17.931% to be exact).
 
Now, I would completely understand if 18-20% of the images in Flickr's Explore featured landscapes, animals, people or buildings as the primary subject matter. But buttons?!
 
Which begs the question – do specific subjects get more weight on any specific day in the Interestingness equation (allowing for an image theme), or was the surprising number of buttons shown in Flickr's Explore yesterday just a really big coincidence?
 
The world may never know.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 8:42:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
eBay (via RobertsCamera) has the Refurbished Nikon D7000 DSLR Camera available for $349.00 with free shipping. Compare at $459.95 refurbished.
 
Note: This is a Nikon authorized reseller of refurbished equipment and therefore the camera comes with a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/13/2016 5:52:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 12, 2016

 
Mitch Aunger of Planet5D noticed something odd in one of Nikon's official videos demonstrating the capabilities of their new flagship DSLR, the D5.
 
At around the 4:00 mark of My Nebraska ( seen above) you'll notice a time lapse showing the moon and the stars over Nebraska. The issue is that you can see stars passing over the shadow side of moon, which simply isn't possible. For that to be possible, those stars would have to be between the Earth and the moon.
 
Nebraska Time Lapse Screenshot

That means, most likely, two time lapses have been combined and layered for that particular sequence.
 
Of course, Nikon never prefaces the video by saying that it has been created with stills taken straight out of the camera. And we'd expect some minor editing to take place for a time lapse sequence such as the one shown. But as Mitch rightly asks,
"...how much post-processing is OK in a promotional video for a new camera?"
Should edits be taken so far as to defy the laws of physics when promoting the capabilities of a new camera?
 
Check out the full post over at Planet5D and then let us know – what do you think?
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 1:48:52 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
With plentiful wildlife and beautiful scenery, Katmai National Park ranks very high on my list of favorite places to photograph.
 
In this photo, the large, bare, coarse-edged mountain peak, the more-gently sloping mid and lower elevations covered in green, and the various waters below, all being large in the frame, are obvious to the viewer. With a little more attention paid, a sow and her standing cub, concerned about the risk presented by the boar that is eyeing and potentially approaching them, come into view and give the photo that extra element I always like. Additional elements (and not as visible at this resolution) are the large number of salmon splashing their way up the stream in the foreground and a pair of brown bears on the distant shoreline.
 
The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens was practically glued to one of my Canon EOS 5Ds R bodies while in Katmai NP and a great complement to my big lens, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II. The 100-400 L II, with its long focal length range, can capture wildlife images ranging from environmental portraits to close-ups, depending on the subject distance of course. That 100mm was nearly too long to frame 1,000+ lb brown bears at times was ... a very exciting part of this trip.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
142mm  f/9.0  1/320s
ISO 200
5792 x 8688px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 12:17:46 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the Guinness World Records YouTube Channel:
 
A spectacular display of drone technology by Intel Corporation (USA) involving 100 small aircrafts being launched skywards in formation has earned a new world record title for the Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously. Read the full story Read the full story here.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 11:02:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
eBay (via RedTagCamera) has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (review) available for $609.95 with free shipping. Compare at $999.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore technically ineligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/12/2016 10:30:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
As I was creating yesterday's post about the New York Public Library releasing 180,000 images into the public domain, I began thinking of ways in which the wide range of images could be used.
 
With a primary interest in portraiture, the first idea that came to my mind was incorporating one of the public domain images in a portrait simulating a multiple exposure. With that in mind, I picked up my 5D Mark III and favorite portrait lens – the 85L II – and captured a profile of Amanda lit with a 580EX flash diffused by a small soft box positioned in front of (and slightly behind) her and another flash pointed at the background. This left me with a significant portion of Amanda's profile in shadow, meaning that I could use a public domain image set to a Lighten blending mode in Photoshop CC to easily blend the two images.
 
After cleaning up the background (making sure it was completely white) and a few adjustments (including a Black and White adjustment layer), the base image looked like this:
 
Profile Portrait with Public Domain Image Base

For the overlay, I settled on an image in the public domain library that seemed to indicate that the wheels were turning in the subject's head. I thought this overlay image would work well because with the subject's eyes looking to the right, she looks as if she's thinking about something.
 
New York Public Library Public Domain Image no. 1691644

I adjusted the brightness and contrast of the overlay layer in order to obtain an optimal balance with the base portrait (a matter of taste, of course) and placed the overlay below the same Black and White adjustment layer so that the adjustment applied to both images. The final composite can be seen above and the full resolution image can be found on my Flickr photostream.
 
Do you plan on using public domain images in your work? If so, let us know how in the comments.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 8:30:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Induro Alloy 8M AT014 Tripod available for $64.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $102.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Load Capacity: 8.8 lb (4 kg)
  • Maximum Height: 56" (142.3 cm)
  • Minimum Height: 5.4" (13.6 cm)
  • Folded Length: 18.1" (46 cm)
  • Weight: 2.4 lb (1.1 kg)
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 8:23:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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