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 Monday, February 11, 2019
Those photographers looking for a versatile full frame camera but not needing the blazing speed afforded by a pro sports body (and who are not interested in a mirrorless option) will likely be considering either the Canon 5D Mark IV or Nikon D850 DSLR camera. Both DSLRs are the mature, durable, refined culminations of their respective camera lines. But which is right for your particular needs? Read on to find out.
 
Shared Primary Features
 
  • Full-frame sensor
  • Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV
  • Shutter Speed: 30-1/8000 sec., Bulb
  • Viewfinder Coverage: approx. 100%
  • 3.2" size-class touchscreen LCD
  • No pop-up flash
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 7 fps (Nikon D850 can achieve 9 fps with optional battery grip)
  • 4K recording up to 30 fps
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0, 3.5mm headphone & microphone jacks, HDMI Type-C
  • Dual memory card slots
  • Weather sealing
  • Similar size & weight
Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark IV
 
  • More Selectable AF Points: 61 vs. 55
  • More Selectable Cross-type AF Points: 41 vs. 35
  • More AF Points Supporting f/8 (total/selectable): 21/21 vs. 15/9
  • Live View Focusing: Dual Pixel CMOS AF vs. contrast detection
  • NFC vs. N/A
  • Built-in GPS vs. optional accessory
Advantages of the Nikon D850
 
  • Higher Resolution: 45.7 MP vs. 30.4
  • More AF Points: 153 vs. 61
  • More Cross-type AF Points: 99 vs. 41
  • Larger AF Working Range: EV-4 to EV 20 vs. EV-3 to EV 20
  • Larger Metering Range: EV -3 – 20 vs. EV 0 – 20
  • Lower Selectable ISO (native/expanded): 64/32 vs. 100/50
  • Better dynamic range
  • More Registered Custom White Balance Settings: 6 vs. 1
  • Higher Resolution LCD: 2,359K dots vs. 1,620K
  • Tilting LCD vs. fixed
  • Faster Flash Sync Speed: 1/250 sec. vs. 1/200
  • Full Sensor Width 4K Recording vs. 1.74x crop
  • Bluetooth vs. N/A
  • Battery Life: 1,840 shots vs. 900
  • Shutter Durability: 200,000 shots vs. 150,000
  • Automated AF Fine Tune vs. manual Autofocus Microadjustment
  • 8K in-camera time-lapse vs. FHD 1080p time-lapse
  • Negative Digitizer Mode vs. N/A
  • Backlit buttons vs. N/A
  • Focus Shift mode vs. N/A
  • More Auto Exposure Bracketing Images: 9 vs. 7
  • Limited Focus Peaking vs. N/A
Other Differences: 5D Mark IV vs. Nikon D850
 
  • CompactFlash, SDXC vs. XQD, SDXC
  • 4K DCI 4096 X 2160 vs. 4K UHD 3840 X 2160
Who should opt for the Canon 5D Mark IV?
 
While the advantages of the D850 listed above may seem pretty long, if you're already heavily invested in the Canon system, you have to ask yourself whether or not those benefits are worth the high cost of selling used items to fund alternate gear and the time investment required to acclimate to the new system. For some, the advantages may be worth the tradeoffs. For others, the 5D Mark IV's feature set makes it a more than worthwhile addition to their kits.
 
If you are a videographer who plans to use autofocus tracking while filming, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV will be the best option by far. Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology is significantly better at locking onto subjects compared to the contrast detection sensor AF utilized by the Nikon D850.
 
While many will not like the 5D Mark IV's heavy crop with 4K recording, some videographers (especially those shooting wildlife) may find the crop beneficial for more tightly framing distant and/or smaller subjects.
 
Want to shoot with the widest aperture lenses possible? F/1.2 aperture primes with autofocus are a reality for Canon DSLR and mirrorless customers; Nikon users will have to invest in a Z 7 / Z 6 and wait for the release of the manual focus-only Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct to use an aperture wider than f/1.4.
 
Who should opt for the Nikon D850?
 
Those with Nikon-based kits who do not need the benefits of Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor have little (if any) reason to switch brands; the Nikon D850 is one of the most feature-packed and versatile cameras available today.
 
Summary
 
While the advantages listed in the Nikon D850 column seem strong, both of these cameras are highly capable of tackling a wide range of situations with nearly equal proficiency. As I said in the introduction, these cameras represent the culmination of generations of camera design. The technological innovations, durability and user interface refinements that come with that time and attention to detail are apparent the first day you use the cameras. Those heavily invested in either system will likely want to stay with their familiar respective brands, but those with fewer ties will likely opt for the Nikon D850 for primarily stills use while those prioritizing filmmaking and want the benefits of solid AF performance will likely opt for the 5D Mark IV.
 
Relevant Info
 
Post Date: 2/11/2019 7:09:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, February 10, 2019
I have a Nikon D850 in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 31 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Nikon D850 ready for use.
 
  1. Charge battery
  2. Install neck strap
  3. Mount a lens
  4. Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  5. While looking at an in-focus subject through the viewfinder, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the view is sharp. To do this, pull out on the adjustment knob beside the viewfinder and turn it until the view is sharp. Then press it back in to lock the setting.
  6. Download and install any Nikon software you want to have available.
  7. Insert memory card
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Playback Menu: Display Options: RGB Histogram (I want to see the graph of individual channels)
  10. Playback Menu: Image review: On
  11. Photo Shooting Menu: Image Quality: RAW
  12. Photo Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Neutral with sharpness set to "1" and all other parameters set to "0" (this option provides a low contrast view and better shows available dynamic in the histogram)
  13. Photo Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: Off (Low is also a good option)
  14. Photo Shooting Menu: Vignette control: Off
  15. Movie Shooting Menu: Frame size/frame rate: 3840x2160; 30p
  16. Movie Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Standard with Sharpening = +2
  17. Movie Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: Low
  18. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: AF-C priority selection: Focus
  19. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: 3D-tracking face-detection: On
  20. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: Store by orientation: Focus point
  21. Custom Setting Menu: Shooting/display: ISO display: ON
  22. Custom Setting Menu: Viewfinder grid display: On
  23. Custom Setting Menu: Bracketing/flash: Bracketing order: Under > MTR > over (having my bracketed shots in brightness sequence makes post processing visually easier)
  24. Custom Setting Menu: Controls: Custom control assignment: Fn1: Viewfinder virtual horizon, RESET Select center focus point, Sub-selector: Same as multi selector
  25. Custom Setting Menu: Controls: Custom control assignment: f10: Assign MB-D18 buttons: Fn button: Viewfinder virtual horizon
  26. Setup Menu: Date and time: <use current>
  27. Setup Menu: Format memory card
  28. Setup Menu: Copyright information: <set as desired>, Attach copyright information: selected
  29. Setup Menu: Airplane mode: ON
  30. Setup Menu: Slot empty release lock: Lock (I want the camera to prevent me from taking a picture if a memory card is not installed)
  31. My Menu: Add items: Setup menu: Format memory card, Lock mirror up for cleaning, Focus shift shooting, Shooting menu: Long exposure noise reduction, Flicker reduction; Shooting/display: d5 Exposure delay mode
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format (highly recommended). While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will likely be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). If your camera ever needs reset to factory settings any reason (or you purchase a second model), you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera into service.
 
More Information
 
Nikon D850 Review
 
The Nikon D850 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
 
Rent the Nikon D850 from Lensrentals.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 2/10/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, February 8, 2019
If you're an Amazon Prime customer and love sports cars and British humor, then you're probably already a fan of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's banter on The Grand Tour. But even if you're not terribly interested in automobiles, you may still enjoy The Grand Tour: Season 3, Episodes 2 & 3 (Colombia Special Part 1 & 2) where the hosts are supposedly sent on assignment by Amazon to capture wildlife images for display on the company's suite of products, including Alexa devices. My wife falls squarely in the uninterested-in-cars group, but loves the show.
 
Being a photographer, watching the hosts cluelessly tackle the challenges of wildlife photography made the show significantly more humorous than it normally was. If you're an Amazon Prime customer, I recommend you check it out. [Sean]
Category: Amazon News
Post Date: 2/8/2019 9:21:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Today, sigma released the notice found below:
The SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports for Nikon F mount is scheduled to start the shipment in February, 2019.
Interestingly, B&H still lists the SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports for Nikon F's availability as March 2019.
Posted to: Nikon News
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 2/8/2019 7:54:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
Wanna take better nightscape and Milky Way photos? Start with these 5 tips from our friends over at SLR Lounge. From using apps for finding the Milky Way to scouting out the perfect shooting location, this video provides you with some useful advice to capture some great shots.
 
Ready to take your Milky Way photos to the next level? Check out our lens reviews and tripod reviews.
Post Date: 2/8/2019 7:48:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, February 7, 2019
Nikon has released its 3Q financial results for the fiscal year ending March 2019.
 
Nikon 3Q of the Year Ending March 2019 Financial Results
 
Notes from the Presentation Material:
 
  • Imaging Products Business decreased its revenue (down 3% from the previous quarter) due to declined sales volume of digital cameras.
  • Year-over-year revenue in the imaging business was down 22%.
  • High-end camera sales was brisk thanks to the new [mirrorless] launch, but fierce competitions in the shrinking entry/mid-range DSLR markets suppressed the volume largely in addition with the initial cost, resulting in revenue/profit reductions.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 2/7/2019 6:45:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Phlearn YouTube Channel:
 
Today Aaron shows you how Curves Adjustment Layers can be used to fix exposure, brighten up a subject, and add creative coloring to any photo. Learn how to use Curves in combination with Layer Masks and the Brush Tool to make precision adjustments and solve a wide variety of problems in Photoshop.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 2/7/2019 5:50:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, February 6, 2019
From TimeLapseCameras:
 
Rochester, Minnesota, February 1, 2019TimeLapseCameras.com, the exclusive North American retailer of the Afidus ATL-200 long term time lapse camera, introduces an exciting tool for video creation. Go beyond hours of capture and think days, weeks, even months of unattended shooting without battery life concerns. Dedicated time lapse cameras are typically used for construction documentation. The Afidus ATL-200 is positioned for mainstream use from construction to crafts, to research and education, the applications are endless. Kitchen remodels, restorations, 3D printing, crop growth, traffic studies, weather patterns the sky is literally the limit when it comes to long term time lapse.
 

Feature Highlights
 
  • Full 1080 Sony sensor with high dynamic range
  • Optical zoom lens (16-35mm DSLR equivalent)
  • Wi-Fi app control with full screen preview
  • Wi-Fi download to phone
  • Weather resistant without a housing
  • Timer with day of the week scheduling
  • Motion detection
  • Pinch zoom app Screen to confirm precise focus
  • MP4 file format in-camera generated video
  • Macro Focus inches from the lens
  • One tap auto focus with manual precision
  • Days, weeks or months of battery life
  • Customizable time stamp and video orientation
  • 1:1 square format preview
  • And more!
The highlights just scratch the surface of what the camera is capable of. Digging deeper there are some very unique features. Video Lapse mode allows you to capture 3-5 seconds of 15 FPS video at any capture interval. Rather than a time lapse of individual frames, it is gaps of real time video which is a hassle free way to create a compelling and interesting video.
 
“We have been in the long term time lapse business for years, the Afidus is an unbelievable camera update from a well established surveillance camera company in Taiwan. The optical zoom with macro capabilities gives you a range of creative flexibility comparable to a DSLR. Not having to worry about shutter actuations or tying up expensive gear is a production relief. Josh Banks, Founder of TimeLapseCameras.com.
 
Josh sums it up well, “Go beyond before and after photos with before, during and after time lapse.”
 
This camera makes long term capture easy with stunning results.
 
An initial round of cameras are in the hands of users. The $389 Afidus ATL-200 is on preorder for late February delivery, visit TimeLapseCameras.com for details.
Post Date: 2/6/2019 1:33:35 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, February 5, 2019

 
FAA-certified pilot Griffin Hammond explains why flying your drone legally in New York City is almost impossible.
Post Date: 2/5/2019 3:35:34 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Of course, B&H will publish the photographers' presentations as individual videos later, but right now you can catch the Depth of Field: Day 1 presentations live. I've been watching for a few minutes and it's been very interesting, educational and entertaining. [Sean]
Post Date: 2/5/2019 1:00:57 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
One of my jobs here is to make sure that this site, a free resource that hopefully has value to you, remains adequately funded. The costs, in both time and money, of maintaining and developing this site are substantial and it is becoming ever-more-challenging to meet those needs.
 
Basically, there are five ways you can help support us. The first is my favorite (and it costs you nothing additional), but hopefully you can use at least two or three of these options regularly:
 
  1. Use the Retailer Links on the Site for Your Purchase of Anything
  2. Direct Support 
  3. Link to the Site
  4. Disable Ad Blockers
  5. Tell Others
The support page clarifies the above options.
 
We thank you for your support and look forward to serving you long into the future!
Post Date: 2/5/2019 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
by Sean Setters
 
A friend of mine, Maria, who has recently become interested in photography asked if I would accompany her on a sunrise shoot. As it had been much too long since I had photographed a sunrise, I eagerly agreed. Of course, when when I awoke to my alarm clock well before sunrise on an otherwise lazy Saturday, I was considerably less eager to set off for the sunrise shoot. But, I was ready when Maria picked me up about 45 minutes before sunrise.
 
I had advised Maria to use The Photographer's Ephemeris to scout out possible locations she'd like to use for the sunrise shoot. We are fortunate to live in an area of the country that provides vast views of the sky with interesting, varied landscape options (the Atlantic Ocean, marshes, rivers, fields with oak trees, etc.) with only a short drive required to arrive at any of them. Unfortunately, time had gotten away from Maria; she had not researched any options before arriving at my door.
 
So, we drive a short while before coming to a small town, Thunderbolt, about 5 miles southeast from downtown Savannah along the Wilmington River. After seeing a nice looking dock on the right side of the road (before the upcoming overpass), I suggested we stop to photograph it before the sunrise. As we were walking the short distance to a clearing with a good vantage point, I noticed how striking the glow of the covered dock looked against the rich blue of the sky. "Blue hour," as it's commonly referred to, is the time just before sunrise and just after sunset. This time presents especially good opportunities to photograph landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes (as well as many other subjects) set against the deep blue color and hint of warm sunlight that often graces the sky just before sunrise.
 
Sunrise came not long after this shot was taken, but clouds obstructed its view making us very glad to already have our blue hour photos in the bag.
 
My advice? Take some time this week to shoot a sunrise. Even if the circumstances prove to be less than ideal from a photography perspective, the experience may prove fulfilling from a personal one. There's just something refreshing about a sunrise.
 
The shot above was created using a 7-shot exposure bracket, edited in Aurora HDR 2019 and Photoshop CC.
 
Gear Used
 
Post Date: 2/5/2019 7:47:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, February 4, 2019

 
From the Gerald Undone YouTube Channel:
 
Explaining the math behind a flash's guide number, how it relates to f-stop, and more practical formulas for nailing exposure on your strobes & speedlights.
Post Date: 2/4/2019 2:50:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Tamron:
 
February 1, 2019 – Tamron Co., Ltd. announces that the company will exhibit its photographic lens products at CP+ 2019 scheduled to be held at PACIFICO YOKOHAMA from February 28th (Thu) – March 3rd (Sun), 2019.
 
The Tamron booth at CP+ 2019 will feature a large touch & try counter, where many visitors can actually try out a wide variety of lenses that include the highly popular 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036), a standard zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras, SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A041) and 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037), ultra wide-angle zoom lenses, ultra-telephoto zoom lenses, and fixed focal lenses. Visitors can also try the lenses on their own cameras at the concierge counter. Featured on the stage for events will be a lens presentation by a professional photographer and a talk show that’s full of fun. Proving very popular among the visitors to our booth each year, the Tamron “lens cleaning unit” will again be here at CP+ 2019. We look forward to seeing you in Yokohama.
 
You can catch the latest news on Tamron booth activities at CP+ 2019, on Tamron’s website and official SNS sites as they are updated.
Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 2/4/2019 6:48:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, February 3, 2019
This mother black bear had sent her cubs high up into a large pine tree and was searching for food. She kindly paused and looked in my direction at a break in the bright green foliage.
 
There are many ways to compose a wildlife image and each scenario can be different, but a technique that often works is to center the animal in the frame and then open up the frame in the direction the animal is looking. In this case, the momma black bear was looking straight toward me and its near-centered position works well. I left a slightly more room around the bear on the right side as there is a very slight head turn and the tall green plants on the right helped balance and frame the image.
 
The color, or lack thereof, of black bears is a challenge for cameras' auto exposure systems with overexposure being the frequent outcome. A manual exposure is often best.
 
Joining me for the Shenandoah National Park workshop this June?
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/4.0  1/640s
ISO 4000
3533 x 2355px
Post Date: 2/3/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, February 2, 2019
by Sean Setters
 
First and foremost, this is not a photography-related post. It's just something fun I thought I'd share.
 
If you own an Alexa device (Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, etc.), and you want to have some fun with your significant other/friends & family/roommate, then I'll let you in on a little prank you can pull on them. It will take some time to develop and implement this scheme, so start sorting out the details now if you want the big reveal to be around April Fool's Day.
 
A couple of months ago, I had a moment of inspiration while sitting at my work desk and setting up our family's third Echo Dot. "What if I could make this Echo Dot say anything I wanted? That could be pretty funny," I thought to myself. And so my quest began.
 
But first, a little backstory. My wife, Alexis, despises our Echo Dots. When we received our first Dot at the end of 2017, we changed its wake word to "Echo" because the default wake word, "Alexa," was too close to her name and she thought that could be confusing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of commonly used long-"o" sounding words in the English language, meaning that our Echo Dot often got triggered unintentionally, especially while watching TV. The frustration caused by the device's (now devices') inaccurate triggering was compounded by my wife's relatively private nature.
 
"They're always listening. It's creepy," she would say.
 
Our first Dot was placed in the living room, and we did find it useful for controlling the lamp that provides the primary illumination for the room (the lamp is connected to a smart plug). Being able to turn the living room lamp on and off without having to leave the couch proved very convenient, so the pros of having the device seemed to outweigh the cons. When a sale on Echo Dots rolled around, we added another Dot to our kitchen which proved useful for adding items to our shopping list.
 
This past Christmas (during another sale), my moher sent us another Echo Dot for my photography studio. I will likely use it to control the window air conditioner without having to leave my desk chair once the warmer weather rolls in.
 
Oh, the conveniences of the twenty-first century are indeed marvelous. But what if we got a peak at the darker side of these amazing devices? That's what I wanted to explore.
 
If I could figure out a way to get my Echo Dots to say very precise, well-timed responses, then I could make it look like the devices were much more of an invasion of privacy than what they actually were. But I first had to figure out how to manipulate the devices to do my bidding.
 
A little bit of Google research showed this wasn't the first time a person has wanted to make their Amazon Alexa device say custom statements. One site suggested that you sign up for the Amazon App development program so that you had access to Alexa and Echo app development testing platforms. But the steps involved in registering to be a developer made that solution less than desireable. And then I stumbled upon TextToVoice.io,i.e., exactly what I was looking for.
 
TextToVoice.io is an Alexa skill that enables you to type speech commands into your browser and send them to your Alexa device. With the skill enabled, that familiar Amazon Alexa voice will say [just about] anything you wish using the wake word (in my case, "Echo," but by default, "Alexa") and "Tell TTV to speak."
 
TextToVoice Amazon Alexa Skill Screenshot

While that's a neat trick, in order for this prank to work, we need the device to say things without being prompted to "Tell TTV to speak." So the next hurdle to overcome is recording the Echo Dot (or Alexa device's) voice while she's saying the custom message.
 
There are actually several ways to tackle that problem, but I'll describe the two that worked well for me (I tried multiple ways just so that a wide variety of people could benefit from theis scheme) and a backup way I didn't attempt.
 
First, you can use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cord to plug your Amazon device directly into your computer's microphone jack. Press the record button, then say "[Wake word], tell TTV to Speak." When the sound finishes playing, stop the recording. Note that TTV will say your custom text, pause and then ask if you want to hear the response again. Just stop the recording after the first long pause or later delete the unwanted portion after your desired response. Using Audacity, a free audio editing program, you can record the output of the device and save it as a WAVE file (or .MP3, if you install an optional LAME encoder).
 
Second, you use the same 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and a portable audio recorder (Zoom H2n, Tascam DR-07X) to record your custom message, which will then need to be transferred (via card reader) to your computer.
 
Third is to use a portable audio recorder's (or possibly a phone's) microphone placed near your Amazon device and record the audio that way. As this won't produce a clean recording (ambient sounds may be captured), this is not the recommended approach.
 
No matter how you record the audio, you'll likely need to edit the file to make it optimal for playback (Audacity works great for this). You will likely need to amplify the sound (using the Amplify filter feature), add a few seconds of silence to the beginning of the track and delete any TTV prompts afer your custom message. The reason for adding a period of silence at the beginning of these files is because they will be sent to the Amazon device from your smartphone, and you don't want the device saying odd things right as you push a button on your phone. By adding 3-5 seconds of silence to the beginning of each custom message, you have time to put your phone down and/or begin a conversation with your mark which could be interpreted as the catalyst for triggering the device's custom response.
 
What kinds of custom prompts should you create? That's where you can have a lot of fun with this. I suggest starting small and building up to bolder statements. Also, making your device make references to other Amazon products aids in this pranks believability. During a three week span, I played all of the following custom messages on our living room Echo Dot while my wife was in the room.
 
While baby is crying:
"Would you like me to play lullaby music to soothe a crying baby?"
While discussing the weather with my wife:
"The weather is very cold. Your baby will probably need a jacket today."
After saying, "I think I'm going to get a sweater,":
"It seems a bit chilly in here. Would you like to order a smart thermostat from the Amazon Store?"
As my wife was getting ready to leave for work:
"I sense that you're leaving for work. Would you like for me to read you a book along the way. Just select a title from the Amazon Alexa app on your smart device."
As my wife is describing a terrible day (she got really annoyed at this one):
"It sounds like you're having a bad day. Would you like me to play some soothing music so you can relax?"
And the one that pushed my wife over the edge, just after I mentioned to her that a bank statement had arrived that day:
"Did you receive your tax documents from Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo? If so, you may be ready to do your taxes. Turbo Tax is highly rated and available at the Amazon Store. Would you like me to purchase the version that's appropriate for your financial needs and family of three?"
Apparently, Amazon mentioning two banks we have accounts with was a bit too much for her. After that, I had to let her in on the joke or she would have chucked all our Alexa devices in the trash bin outside the house. I'd like to say that we had a good laugh about the prank and that she was impressed by the effort I had put into it, but I think that would require a genial, fun-loving, carefree sense of humor that my wife wasn't necessarily born with.
 
Our couch is actually a quite comfortable place to sleep, thank you very much. Moving on.
 
Note that with my wife already being annoyed with our Echo devices, I knew she wouldn't say "Yes" to any of Amazon's supposed offers to help (she did say "No" rather emphatically to all of them, though). If she had, the device would not have responded. In the unlikely case of an affirmative response, you can prompt your Amazon device to perform the appropriate task ("Alexa, play some soothing music."), as if the device didn't hear the mark's affirmative response.
 
Once you have the files recorded, you'll need to get them on your smartphone or smart device. Being an Android user, I found WiFi File Explorer PRO to be the best method for transferring files from my computer to my phone. Otherwise, you can likely use a data cable or Dropbox/cloud storage solution to do the same thing.
 
Once you have the sound files on your phone, you'll need to connect your phone to the Amazon device (via bluetooth) so that audio files played on your phone will be transmitted to the device. To discreetly connect your phone to an Amazon Alexa device, I'd suggest enabling "Whisper Mode." Here are the steps to do this:
 
Using a browser:
 
  • Go to: alexa.amazon.com
  • In the left side menu, click "Settings."
  • Scroll down to the General section and click "Alexa Voice Responses"
  • Enable "Whispered Responses."
Using the Alexa App:
 
  • Open the Alexa app on your Android phone or iPhone.
  • Tap the menu button on the top left of the app.
  • Select “Settings.”
  • Tap “Alexa Account” at the top of the screen.
  • Choose “Alexa Voice Responses.”
  • Enable the “Whispered Responses” mode.
With that done, you'll need to set up each device for whispered responses. The first time you whisper to a device (it works best if you're very close to the unit), it'll ask if you want to turn on the feature for that specific device. Say "Yes" and you're ready to go.
 
I found the whisper feature to be crucial for discreetly connecting my phone while my wife was in another room. The feature has also been handy when a sleeping baby is nearby. Also, after connecting your phone, you'll want to make sure the volume setting for playback on the connected device is at its maximum level. If it's not, your mark may not be able to hear the message (that happened to me a couple of times).
 
Before you start playing custom messages from your Amazon Alexa device, you might want to mention to your mark that "Our Alexa asked me today if we'd like to be in a pilot program where new features are tested and the device demonstrates 'more personality,' or something like that. Anyway, I said 'yes.'" By doing so, your mark will be prepared to hear new things from your device, making the prank much more believable. So, here's a quick rundown of the steps for this prank:
 
  • Enable the TTV skill.
  • Record custom messages and edit them accordingly.
  • Enable "Whispered Responses" for your Alexa devices.
  • Connect your phone to the Alexa device and play the custom message(s) at an opportune time.
After you get everything in place, it's a good idea to conduct a trial run without your mark around so that you can work out an issues. You may find that you need to amplify your recorded message a little more to match the volume level of Alexa's natural responses. Otherwise, you may find that your smart device refuses to connect to the Alexa device at full volume, requiring that you adjust the volume level each time you connect.
 
One downside to this prank is that the device will not light up during the custom message's playback like it would if Alexa were really speaking. Many people may not notice the difference, but if you think your mark will, you might try putting some objects around the device to block their view of it. My wife still has Christmas cards all around our living room Echo Dot (making it practically invisible), so she never noticed the LED light discrepancy.
 
So there you have it, the best prank I could come up with to share with you before April Fool's Day rolls around. If you decide to follow the steps above, send us an email to let us now how it went. I'd enjoy knowing if you had as much fun as I did and how long you let the prank endure.
Category: Pranks
Post Date: 2/2/2019 8:15:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, February 1, 2019
Post Date: 2/1/2019 9:40:31 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From AdoramaPix: It's our 8th annual Your Best Shot Photo Contest and we want to see what amazing picture you captured in 2018. Enter to win thousands of dollars in prizes, including a grand prize of your choice of a Nikon D750, a Canon EOS 7D Mark II or a Sony Alpha A7 II. So what are you waiting for? Give it a shot with these 3 easy steps to enter:
 
  • Every entrant must submit only ONE image – jpeg – along with your name and email.
  • Like Adoramapix on Facebook and load your web-ready image to our timeline. Or follow AdoramaPix on Instagram and tag your image #YBS2018.
  • The image must have been captured in the year 2018. Entries are due by February 17. 2019 midnight PST.
Enter Here
Category: AdoramaPix News
Post Date: 2/1/2019 6:56:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 31, 2019
by Sean Setters
 
Several years ago I started snapping pictures of various objects with unique, interesting looking textures and patterns which I would place in an appropriately named "Textures" folder on my hard drive. The purpose of this folder was to have a personal collection of images I could pull from whenever I wanted to create an image with an overlay. And while I don't utilize the images in my textures collection very often, I'm really glad that I have texture/overlay options available whenever an image looks like it would benefit from an additional layer of interest.
 
Below are just some of the images in my Textures folder. Looking at the file names, they were all likely captured on the same outing with the camera.
 
Sean's Textures Folder

There are lots of everyday items that can provide an interesting texture for an image overlay. As evidenced by the screenshot above, wood, tree bark, gravel, tiles, fences, concrete/pebbled sidewalks, brick walls and mud/dirt are just a few of the options that are likely only a short walk away from your front door. If it's a rainy day, you might consider photographing all the interesting textures and patterns that are right inside your home. Old/crinkled paper, patterned fabrics and wallpaper are just a few of the indoor options I can think of.
 
So which awesome image did I use to create the texture in the image above? That would be this one.
 
Sean Setters Pavement Texture

From a photographic point of view, the image above is as lackluster as a photo can be. It's a snapshot, and the subject (old pavement) is quite boring on its own. But when you adjust its levels/contrast in Photoshop, the difference between the light and dark areas is accentuated and the pattern becomes much more interesting.
 
Processing the Image
 
To get the image above, I added the texture layer to the top of my already-edited portrait photo in Photoshop CC and proceeded through the following steps:
 
  • Changed texture layer blend mode from "Normal" to "Linear Burn."
  • Added a Curves adjustment layer to the texture layer (using ALT+dragging the adjustment layer over portrait layer to create a clipping mask so that the adjustment layer only affects the texture layer).
  • Adjusted the texture layer's blending properties (by double clicking on layer) so that it would not appear in the darkest areas of the underlying portrait layer. By ALT+left clicking the "Blend If - Underlying Layer" slider adjustment, I feathered the blend.
  • Added a mask to the texture layer and lessened its visibility over parts of the face using a black brush at various opacities.
To see a larger resolution sample of the image, click on the picture atop this post.
 
Do you already have a textures collection? If so, what items have you saved in it that I didn't mention above?
Post Date: 1/31/2019 9:50:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In one of the best marketing videos I've seen from the company, DJI urges its viewers to "step outside" to embrace the adventures that await us all outside the walls of our familiar dwellings. This film is beautifully shot and the voice over dialogue is excellent.
 
B&H carries DJI products.
Post Date: 1/31/2019 8:17:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 30, 2019

 
From the Phlearn YouTube Channel:
 
Today Aaron shows you some basic tools that will help skin look its very best. Learn to remove fine lines and hairs with the Spot Healing Brush Tool, recover skin texture with the Clone Stamp Tool, and get smooth, natural skin tones with Curves.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 1/30/2019 12:39:40 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
MELVILLE, NY – Nikon Inc. has announced that applications are now open for the second “Nikon Storytellers Scholarship.” The program, launched in December 2017, is designed to celebrate the power of visual storytelling by supporting the education of aspiring content creators. Beginning today, eligible students in the United States and Canada can apply for the chance to be selected as one of ten winners to receive a $10,000 USD academic scholarship to further their development as visual storytellers and help them in their passionate pursuit of compelling stories. “We are so excited to be able to continue to offer scholarship support to talented students across the US and Canada who are exploring their creative passions,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “In launching this program for a second year, Nikon is reaffirming its dedication to supporting and encouraging the next generation of creators in their pursuits to become the confident, fearless voices of tomorrow.”
 
The Nikon Storytellers Scholarship, which received over 1,000 submissions in its first year, is once again open to undergraduate and graduate students in the United States and Canada who are pursuing degrees in visual arts, fine arts, journalism, film, photography and multimedia/content creation, and have completed their freshman year of college or the academic equivalent.
 
The scholarship includes two stages of submissions. The first round consists of academic and professional references. If selected, students will advance to a semi-finalist round in which they submit an original piece of creative work to be evaluated by a committee of industry professionals. This year, building on its legacy of developing innovative optical technologies that help creators bring their creative vision to life in new and compelling ways, Nikon is challenging students to showcase what "Capture Tomorrow" means to them and how they are pushing the creative boundaries of their craft.
 
The ten emerging visual creators will be awarded an academic scholarship for use in the 2019-2020 school year. Qualified students are invited to visit www.NikonStorytellersScholarship.com for more information about submitting an entry, including eligibility details.
 
The Nikon Storytellers Scholarship Key Dates (2019-2020)
 
  • Application Open: January 29, 2019
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2019
  • Recommendation Deadline: March 1, 2019
  • Semi-finalist Open: March 18, 2019
  • Semi-finalist Deadline: April 15, 2019
  • Notification of Selection Results: June 2019
  • Funds Disbursed: August 2019
For those interested in learning more about the Nikon Storytellers Scholarship, please visit www.NikonStorytellersScholarship.com.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/30/2019 10:47:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Dracast LED500 Pro Bi-Color LED Light with V-Mount Battery Plate available for $199.00 with free shipping. Regularly $699.00
 
B&H customers have given these LED lights very positive reviews. At the time of this deal, 93 out of 97 reviewers rated these lights 4 or 5 stars (out of 5).
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 3,200-5,600K Variable Color Temperature
  • Works with V-Mount Batteries
  • 12 x 6 x 2" Panel, Weighs 4 lb
  • 45-Degree Beam Angle
  • AC or DC Operation
  • 100-0% Dimming
  • CRI: 95
  • 100-240 VAC Power Adapter Included
  • Carry Case
See today's full list of B&H Deal Zone Deals for excellent savings opportunities.
 Monday, January 28, 2019
B&H has the Godox Round Head Magnetic Modifier Adapter in available for preorder with free standard shipping on orders over $49.00.
 
The Godox Round Head Magnetic Modifier Adapter allows you to attach various modifiers to your shoe-mount flash quickly and easily.
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 1/28/2019 3:09:07 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In the video above, photographer David Bergman announces that he is ending his long-running Adorama YouTube series "Two Minute Tips" to work on a new series, "Ask David Bergman," on Adorama's Instagram TV channel. If you'd like for David to answer a photography question on an upcoming episode of the new show, you can submit your question here.
Post Date: 1/28/2019 9:42:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Gimbal tripod heads make using big super telephoto lenses very easy. With a level tripod under them (and the lens collar tightened at precisely 0° or 90° rotations), gimbal heads allow a neutrally-balanced camera to be easily panned and tilted up or down with the camera always remaining level. All of the gimbal heads I've used provide an adequate range of motion for most of the subjects typically encountered, but occasionally, there is a need to shoot at a strong upward angle. For me, those occasions seem to frequently have the word "eclipse" associated with them and fresh on my mind is the Jan 2019 lunar eclipse.
 
When shooting at a strong upward angle with a gimbal head, the bottom of the camera will typically impact the tripod apex and that impact will solidly prevent any further upward angle to be achieved. Most of us photographers will not let gear get in the way of a good image and there are some work-arounds for this one.
 
Remove the Battery Grip
 
When the bottom of a camera impacting the tripod is the problem, a battery grip compounds the problem. Remove the grip to gain some extra degrees of upward rotation. If battery life is going to be a problem, periodically swap out the drained battery with a fresh one.
 
Warning
 
Before reading any further, I need to raise a very important point: using any of the strategies discussed below will destabilize your tripod and the entire setup tipping over will be a real concern. Use extreme caution if implementing any of these ideas and be ready to catch your rig if tipping happens.
 
Highly recommended is the use a very strong tripod (the UniqBall IQuick3Pod 40.4 for example). Extending one or more of the tripod legs longer while using the next-higher leg locks can provide a larger, more-stable footprint. The orientation of tripod legs relative to the camera's weight can make a difference in stabilization. Also wise is to strap/stake the tripod down, add weights to the tripod feet and/or to use counterweights. Pressing long, spiked tripod feet deep into the ground can also aid tripod stabilization.
 
Tripod Leg Orientation
 
Orienting the tripod legs so that the camera is centered between two of them usually provides the camera the most range of vertical motion. If the subject will be moving horizontally (solar and lunar eclipses check this box), the tripod may need to be repositioned to keep the camera centered.
 
Lens Plate Position in Clamp
 
Observe your setup and determine if adjusting the lens plate or tripod foot dovetail's location within the gimbal head's clamp will provide additional clearance. Remember that longer lens plates offer a greater range of adjustment.
 
Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter Camera Setup
 
Raise the Gimbal Head Cradle
 
When using a gimbal head with a height-adjustable cradle, such as some of the excellent Wimberley Gimbal Heads, typical is to place the center height of the lens at the axis of the tilt pivot. This position provides ideal balance and handling. However, raising the cradle higher will raise the camera higher above the tripod apex, providing more clearance and allowing a greater degree of camera tilt. The cradle is raised only partially in the above image, but this height provided enough angle to photograph a high-overhead sun (important: solar filter in use). This tactic also moves the center of gravity of the camera and lens combination when the lens is not positioned level. Tilting up will then make this setup back-heavy.
 
Use a Tripod with a Narrower Apex
 
Tripods designed for big camera and lens combinations often have big, broad apexes. While a large apex is great for strength and rigidity, it can impact cameras at lower angles than narrow apexes. If a strong-enough tripod with a narrower apex can be used, a few degrees of upward angle may be gained. Note that the tripod legs can also be the first-impacted. The top of the legs being positioned tighter together can be helpful in this regard.
 
Tilt the tripod Apex
 
If the tripod and head combination will not provide enough upward angle, it might be time to tilt the tripod, or more accurately, tilt the tripod apex to move it out of the camera's way. This may be as simple as extending a leg or two by a short amount or it can be more involved such as using far-rear-extended legs positioned in the next-up angle lock (reaching back like the wheelie bars on a dragster) with the front leg angled more sharply toward the ground and raised higher.
 
Tilting the apex of course eliminates the level base that is ideal for gimbal head use. One solution is to use the camera's tripod collar to level the camera each time it is repositioned. Much better is to use a leveling base or a tripod that has a leveling base built in.
 
Use great caution with the tilted-apex strategy as the tripod can become strongly unbalanced.
 
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens Vertical
 
Reverse the Vertical Arm
 
If the gimbal head uses a vertical arm design similar to that of the Really Right Stuff PG-02 Pano-Gimbal Head and FG-02 Fluid-Gimbal Head, reversing the vertical arm places the camera to the side of the apex, clearing potentially great amounts of space. The image above shows a pro-sized DSLR (Canon EOS-1D X Mark II) and a non-gripped Nikon D850 is shown in this article's lead image.
 
Both of these rigs are shown with the reversed vertical arm as close to the center of the head as possible. Moving this arm toward the other end of the horizontal panning base would permit even more rotation, potentially 360°.
 
Assuredly, this technique is going outside of the manufacturer's intended use for this gear and tipping of the tripod is a serious risk. Consider positioning a longer-extended leg locked into the next-up angle lock under the camera and lens' center of balance. Also note that the right hand (or a reaching-over left hand) will be needed to access the gimbal head's now-right-side-located tilt angle lock.
 
Use a Ball Head
 
With the tripod foot raising the camera up and a drop notch likely available for use, a very high upward angle can often be achieved when using most ball heads. The downside to this option is that using a big, heavy lens over a ball head is not ideal and such a lens tipping over can cause an entire tripod to crash to the ground. Finding the sun and moon in a 1200mm angle of view while using a ball head is very challenging and keeping that setup level increases the challenge. But, it can work. A strong ball head is needed if the lens is substantial in size.
 
Wrap Up
 
I don't shoot at strong upward angles with my big lenses very often, but when I do, I quickly remember that camera or lens contact with the tripod quickly becomes an issue when using a gimbal head. While perhaps none of the above strategies may be the perfect solution, hopefully a combination of them can get your upward shooting angle job done.
 
Do you have a strategy for photographing upward with a gimbal tripod head that I missed? Please share it with us!
Post Date: 1/28/2019 7:37:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Canon USA:
 
MELVILLE, NY, January 25, 2019 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, returns as a Sustaining Sponsor to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival (January 24 - February 3) in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Sundance, Utah. Canon will celebrate filmmakers with programming at the Canon Creative Studio, located at 592 Main Street.
 
At least 61 of the 241 films and projects that will screen as part of this year’s slate – over 25% percent -- are shot using Canon equipment. Festival projects filmed using Canon cinema cameras include Paddleton, Tigerland, This Is Personal, Ask Dr. Ruth, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, American Factory, Hail Satan?, Lorena, The Great Hack and others.
 
“The Sundance Film Festival is home to bold filmmaking, driven by filmmakers who push the boundaries of technology to better the art form,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. “We take great pride in celebrating the incredible talent behind the lens, and leave Park City every year inspired and honored that so many select our products when forging new expressions in visual storytelling.”
 
Canon will host Sundance Film Festival attendees for hands-on, interactive displays of Canon equipment, panel discussions curated by American Cinematographer, and refreshments at the Canon Creative Studio (592 Main St; Open Friday, January 25th - Monday, January 28th, from 11am-7pm). Inside the studio, guests can touch-and-try the latest Canon gear, including the EOS C700 FF cinema camera, CN-E 20mm lens, and the new EOS R, which is Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. Also on hand will be the EOS C200 Cinema Camera, which features Canon’s innovative Cinema RAW Light 4K technology as well as Canon’s CINE-SERVO, COMPACT-SERVO, EF and RF lenses.
 
Guests can have their headshots taken by professional photographer Michael Ori, who will be shooting with the EOS R. Canon will provide guests with an 8” x 10” copy of their portrait, printed on-site with the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Professional Inkjet Printer. All portraits will be available online at orimedia.com/sundance after February 15, 2019.
 
On Sunday, January 27th, Canon will toast creativity behind the lens at the seventh annual invite-only Raise Your Glass with Canon cocktail party.
 
The Canon Creative Studio will feature three nights of Magic Hours, co-hosted by the AFI Conservatory (January 25th), Francis Ford Coppola Winery (January 26th), and Adorama (January 28th). Each event presents opportunities to network with companies and organizations that share Canon’s mission to support filmmaking.
 
Canon will also continue its partnership with American Cinematographer, the world’s leading publication dedicated to motion imaging and the art and craft of professional cinematography. The monthly international journal published by the American Society of Cinematographers marks its centennial this year and Canon will honor its history and industry expertise with several on the ground partnerships. The magazine’s editors will be on-site at the festival and several of its contributors will moderate a series of six in-depth panel discussions at the Canon Creative Studio. The panels will be streamed through Facebook Live via American Cinematographer’s page, allowing viewers the opportunity to engage with the panelists. American Cinematographer’s website, ascmag.com, will also feature a series of online interviews with Sundance cinematographers, along with additional articles exploring cinematography trends at the festival, all sponsored by Canon.
 
On Wednesday, January 30th at 3:00 pm MT, Canon will present a panel titled “Demystifying the Technical Process: Where Art Meets Technology,” featuring experienced filmmakers and Canon U.S.A. representatives. During the discussion, panel participants will share how Directors of Photography and directors can best collaborate to craft the visual aesthetic of a film. They will speak to their experiences on recent films to lend real-world context to their insights. The panel will take place at The Box at The Ray, 1768 Park Ave., Lower Level.
 
For a full schedule of events for Canon's activities at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and to request access to attend, please visit canonatsundance19.splashthat.com.
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 1/28/2019 6:09:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, January 25, 2019

 
From TASCAM:
 
Santa Fe Springs, CA - January 2019 – TASCAM has introduced the next generation of their acclaimed line of professional grade handheld recorders, the DR-X Series. The natural evolution of TASCAM's highly successful handheld recorders, the DR-X Series marks a dramatic update to these recorders' already robust feature sets.
 
The perfect companion for videographers, voiceover artists, songwriters, and podcasters, the DR-40X's integrated unidirectional stereo mics with scalable A/B or X/Y configuration, dual XLR/1/4-inch combo inputs, built-in phantom power for condenser mics, integrated 4-track capability, and wired remote control option make it an essential tool for DSLR video, music recording, sound design, and more. DSLR filmmakers will love the DR-40X's Auto-Tone function, providing an audio cue tone identifying each recording take.
 

The new DR-X Series now adds a new model, the powerful yet affordable DR-07X, designed to deliver professional performance for musicians and voiceover artists. With its dual integrated scalable unidirectional A/B or X/Y configurable mics and crystal clear sound, the DR-07X is great for music recording, spoken word, and more.
 
Incorporating all of the DR-07X's features minus the scalable microphones, the DR-05X is equipped with a pair of omnidirectional condenser mics, making it the ideal tool for recording music, meetings, dictation, and more.
 

The DR-X Series also taps into TASCAM's decades of innovation in computer-based recording, incorporating a studio-quality 2 in/2 out USB audio interface that makes all DR-X Series recorders a perfect fit for live streaming, podcasting, and digital audio workstations.
 
All DR-X models boast a totally revamped user interface, making it easy to access recording, adjusting levels, deleting takes, adding markers, and other common functions with just the click of a thumb. Multi-language menus in English/ Spanish/ French/ Italian/ German/ Russian/ Chinese/ Korean/ Japanese/ Portuguese are included. And with increased capacity for microSDXC cards up to 128GB, DR-X Series recorders can literally record for days on end.
 
Other features in the DR-X Series include a new powerful bright white backlit display that's easy to see even in the brightest sunlight, as well as Dictation Mode, which enables the user to instantly jump back audio playback in preselected increments including speed control and a special dictation EQ, and Overwrite Mode, which allows users to select a precise Record drop-in time for replacement recording with one level of undo. The DR-X Series' Auto-Recording function can be set to begin recording when a sound is detected, and its Pre-Recording function delivers fail-safe recordings with up to 2 seconds of pre-record time.
 
DR-X Series recorders are available now. The DR-40X carries an estimated street price of $199.99, the DR-07X $149.99, and the DR-05X $119.99.
 
B&H has the following available for preorder:
 
Category: Tascam News
Post Date: 1/25/2019 10:05:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In his video, photographers Jay P. Morgan and Ed Rudolph discuss several of the clamps Rudolph uses for professional food photography. Note that all of the products discussed also work well for general product photography and the beefier items work well for all types of studio and on-location photography, including portraiture.
 
Gear Discussed in the Video
 
Also relevant:
 
Post Date: 1/25/2019 9:26:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III Lens is all about speed and fast-moving subjects ideal for the 400mm focal length are scarce in my location right now. The race cars are all being re-built in preparation for the next season. With a layer of snow on the ground, outdoors sports are in the off-season. The ski slopes benefit from the snow, but the closest is hours away. The horses, however, are always ready for some galloping and provide a convenient subject for an AF performance testing session.
 
This American quarter horse's name is "Nugget", as in "gold nugget", referencing the coat color. "Gold" also reflects the parent's perspective of what it costs to keep a horse. The positive in this investment is that the kid's have had to do most of the horse maintenance work, teaching them responsibility and how to work hard. The horses are of course fast and fast makes them good focus performance test subjects. An added benefit of such testing is some nice pics of the kid(s), as long as the camera and lens perform well of course.
 
And to that matter, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III Lens combo performed stellarly. They performed so well that they created a bit of a problem. It took forever to go through the well-over-2,000 images captured in this session as most were keeper-grade. With a great camera and lens, one's brain needs to be retrained to be OK with deleting really nice images. I keep telling myself that.
 
With steady lighting conditions (solid clouds), the setup for this shot was easy. Using manual mode, the shutter was set to 1/1600, a setting that I know works well for freezing galloping/cantering horse and similar action. The aperture was set to f/2.8 to let in as much light as possible and to create the strongest background blur possible. Having the shallowest depth of field possible also emphasizes the AF precision. The ISO was then adjusted until the snow was slightly overexposed, causing the brightest areas to blink while reviewing test images on the LCD. With the exposure locked in, I could concentrate on composition.
 
The AF mode was of course set to AI Servo (continuous) and the top-center AF point was selected with the surrounding points assisting (the horse bounces a lot, making it difficult to keep a single point on the rider's head).
 
While this camera and lens combination is handholdable, shooting it from a monopod is still more comfortable (especially for long shooting sessions) and doing so made tracking the subject easier.
 
Nugget was not moving very fast in this frame, but I liked the heavily-clouded sky in the background, making the subject pop with a bit of a high-key look. Note that snow is a great reflector and gives images a different look, usually in a positive way. I'll share other images of this horse in fast motion in the review. Some of these images will show another way this lens can make the subject pop – by strongly blurring the background.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/2.8  1/1600s
ISO 400
3648 x 5472px
Post Date: 1/25/2019 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 24, 2019
by Sean Setters
 
Before I delve into my new appreciation for the 35mm focal length, let me first explain why I've never really savored using the 35mm focal length (until now). Typically speaking, I'm either shooting portraiture in a studio with a small, carefully selected backdrop or outdoors where my goal is to minimize any background distractions. In these situations, longer telephoto primes (or a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom) are helpful in capturing a frame filling subject while blurring the background to oblivion. But there are times when a larger scene needs to be documented, such as when the subject's environment provides a desired context.
 
This past December my wife and I spent a weekend in Atlanta celebrating Christmas with my extended family before heading off to New Orleans for two weeks to celebrate Christmas with her family. For both trips, I packed the following camera and lenses (as well as a few accessories) in a Lowepro shoulder bag:
 
You probably noticed a pattern in my selected lenses – they're all primes. While packing, I reasoned that most of my photographic opportunities over the holidays would be indoors, often in relatively low light situations. The wide apertures available in these primes meant that I wouldn't have to rely on a shoe-mount flash to obtain my desired image brightness level while employing action stopping shutter speeds at low-to-moderate ISOs (for optimal image quality).
 
In theory, having a wide range of focal lengths covered sounded reasonable. In practice, however, I used one lens about 95% of the time – the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM. And that got me wondering, "Why does a 35mm prime lens work so well for holiday family photography?"
 
Abby Holding OJ Christmas 2018

A 35mm prime lens provides an angle of view that can highlight a subject while providing vital environmental clues that give the photos context. The background blur a 35mm lens prime lens is capable of helps to isolate the subject, yet the background is still more or less recognizable enough to place the subject firmly in that particular scene. And when it comes to family holiday photography, background details such as the decorated tree, food and other family and friends in the room help to document the holiday spirit that resonated at the time.
 
Vicky Christmas 2018

The 35mm lens distorts subjects less (with the same framing) than a 24mm lens, especially when your subject is placed near the edge of the frame. And while a 50mm lens can be used for holiday photography, the relatively small rooms I was photographing in and the close proximity of my subjects meant that a 35mm lens simply worked better for capturing the bigger picture. The highlight of the trip was Alexis' family's decorating of the Christmas tree. For them, the tree decorating event is bigger and celebrated more fervently than Christmas Day, and my 35mm prime lens helped me capture it all.
 
Vicky Phone Christmas 2018

Besides holiday photos, a 35mm prime lens can be extremely useful for wedding, indoor event, documentary and street photography, predominately for the same reasons as listed above. The birth of my daughter was another instance where a 35mm prime was one of my most-used lenses over a several day period. While I may not have been a huge fan of 35mm prime lenses in the past, a 35mm prime has quickly become one of the most important – and most used – lenses in my kit.
 
If you don't already have a 35mm prime lens in your kit, now would be a great time to investigate the options found below.
 
Relevant Information
 
Post Date: 1/24/2019 8:14:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Sigma:
 
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
 
We would like to announce that a new firmware update for SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for CANON EF mount listed below is now available.
 
This firmware allows compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function to enable correction matching the optical characteristics of each lens. It also corrects the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when the function is enabled. In addition, it improves the functionality. Furthermore, phenomena particular to some lenses when they are used in combination with the Canon “EOS R” and their “Mount Adapter EF-EOS R” or “Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R” that we announced on January 16th, 2019 are also improved on by this firmware.
 
For customers who own the SIGMA USB DOCK and applicable products listed below, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro.*
 
* Before updating the firmware using the SIGMA USB DOCK, please ensure to update SIGMA Optimization Pro to Ver. 1.5.0. or later.
 
SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount
 
Benefits of the update:
 
  • It has ensured compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function, which enables correction matching the optical characteristics of the attached lens.*
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is enabled.
SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF mount
 
Benefits of the update:
 
  • It has ensured compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function, which enables correction matching the optical characteristics of the attached lens.*
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is enabled.
  • It has improved the AF speed when the lens is used in combination with some cameras.
SIGMA 18-300 mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount
 
Benefits of the update:
 
  • It has ensured compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function, which enables correction matching the optical characteristics of the attached lens.*
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is enabled.
  • It has become compatible with EOS R’s “1.6x (Crop)” to be set automatically as well as with “Scene Intelligent Auto Mode”.
* Compatible Canon camera models:EOS R1, EOS-1D X mark II, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5Ds R, EOS 5D mark IV, EOS 6D mark II, EOS 80D, EOS 8000D(EOS Rebel T6s, EOS 760D), EOS 9000D(EOS 77D) , EOS Kiss x8i(EOS Rebel T6i, EOS 750D), EOS Kiss x9i(EOS Rebel T7i, EOS 800D), EOS Kiss x9(EOS Rebel SL2, EOS 200D)
 
1 When the Digital Lens Optimizer is switched [OFF], but “Peripheral illumination correction”, “Chromatic aberration correction” and “Distortion correction”, located within the in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is switched [ON], the appropriate corrections can be achieved in accordance with the optical characteristics of each lens.
 
Download: Sigma Optimization Pro
 


We would like to announce that a new firmware update for SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for NIKON F mount listed below is now available.
 
Phenomena particular to some lenses when they are used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ” that we announced on October 26th, 2018 are improved on by this firmware.
 
For customers who own the SIGMA USB DOCK and applicable product listed below, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro*
 
* Before updating the firmware using the SIGMA USB DOCK, please ensure to update SIGMA Optimization Pro to Ver. 1.5.0. or later.
 
SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art for NIKON F mount
 
Benefit of the update:
 
  • When the lens is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”, it has corrected the phenomenon whereby it may occasionally stop recording while shooting video.
SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for NIKON F mount
 
Benefit of the update:
 
  • When the lens is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”, it has corrected the phenomenon whereby the response to the AF operation is intermittent when starting to shoot with the subject completely out of focus.
SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art & SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art for NIKON F mount
 
Benefit of the update:
 
  • When the lens is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”, it has corrected the phenomenon whereby it may occasionally show overexposure when narrowing down the aperture from F5.6 while shooting.
Download: Sigma Optimization Pro
 


We are pleased to announce that a firmware update for the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E and EF-E is now available. This firmware makes the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 compatible with the latest firmware of SIGMA interchangeable lenses. For customers who own the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro* by connecting it to a computer using the supplied USB Cable.
 
* Before updating the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 firmware, please ensure SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to ver. 1.5.0 or later.
 
SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E
 
Benefit of the update:
 
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for SIGMA.
SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E
 
Benefits of the update:
 
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.00.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.00.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.00.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA CINE LENS FF High Speed Prime Line 28mm T1.5 FF for CANON EF mount and 40mm T1.5 FF for CANON EF mount.
Download: Sigma Optimization Pro
Post Date: 1/24/2019 6:34:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 23, 2019
My apologies if I missed an important keyword in that title.
 
Regardless of what the event was named, the show was spectacular. I hope that you were able to take it in and, even better yet, photograph it.
 
The sky visibility forecast for everywhere within a long drive provided little hope of this eclipse being viewable. Unexpectantly, the problem, remnants of a significant winter storm, began to move out just in time and the sky started to clear about an hour before the eclipse began. With the full moon peeking out of breaks in the clouds, the hope became strong enough to warrant the effort to photograph the event and I scrambled to put a plan into place.
 
Also seeming to meet the definition of spectacular were the near-zero-degree (-18° C) temperatures accompanied by very strong winds those of us in much of the east/northeast US were required to endure for 5 hours (some short indoor warm-up breaks were taken). Admittedly, the temperature made shooting through skylights from inside the house a very attractive option, but donning many layers and going outdoors became the plan. While the skies cleared beautifully for the full eclipse, the wind remained an issue and wind is an especially big stability problem when photographing with a large, long focal length lens. Setting up next to a solid fence significantly aided with this issue and also took some of the bite out of the wind chill.
 
The composition plan was easy. The moon was going to be high overhead and that meant incorporating foreground elements in the frame was going to be very challenging, so making the moon as large in the frame as possible was the choice. That meant 1200mm, a combination of a 600mm f/4 lens and a 2x teleconverter.
 
For a solid base, the UniqBall IQuick3Pod 40.4 Carbon Fiber Tripod with spiked feet installed (for use in snow) was perfect. Simply stick the spikes into the ground and use the IQuick3Pod's leveling base feature to quickly level the tripod head platform. A gimbal head makes using big, long lenses easy and the Really Right Stuff FG-02 Fluid-Gimbal Head is awesome (the RRS PG-02 is also excellent). With a level base, the gimbal-mounted lens will always be level with only tilt and pan adjustments, both very simple to make, requiring attention while tracking the moon. It is much easier to keep a tightly-framed moon centered in the frame with a gimbal head than with a ball head. Shooting at a strong upward angle can be a challenge with a gimbal mount as the camera body can impact the tripod before a high-enough angle is reached. I'll talk more about that issue soon.
 
Looking through a viewfinder with the camera directed at such a hard-upward angle is tough, but the D850's tilt LCD made subject framing easy in this situation. An angle finder is another great option for shooting upward.
 
What is the best exposure for photographing a lunar eclipse? That depends mostly on the varying brightness of the moon and that changes by season and it also changes during the eclipse. When the moon had direct sunlight reaching it, f/8 (my max aperture with this setup), 1/200 and ISO 200 with a -1 EV adjustment in post worked well. During this time, I opted to capture brackets of up to 9-stops to use for adding as much detail as desired to the dark portion of the moon during post processing. A Vello ShutterBoss II Timer Remote Switch made vibration-free capture easy.
 
Once the moon was completely in the earth's shadow, it became very dark and 1200mm exposures became very challenging. The blood moon image in the center of this frame was captured at f/8, .6 seconds and ISO 6400. Getting tack sharp details from a subject that is over 221,000 mi (356,000 km) away does not happen and these settings do not help.
 
Photographing the lunar eclipse brought back great memories of the 2017 solar eclipse (a bit ironic is that event occurred in extreme heat for many of us). A similar post-eclipse scenario now faces those of us who photographed it. We have a large number of images capturing the entire eclipse progression and want do something with them. While each individual eclipse image may be great, likely none of your friends want to see all 300 (OK, 800) of them. The friends will be interested in a partial eclipse image or two and perhaps one from totality, but then eyes glaze over and they start checking their Instagram account. Creating a lunar eclipse progression composite is a very logical way to tell the full eclipse story in a single, interesting image.
 
The method for creating the lunar eclipse progression composite is the same as that shared in the How to Create a Solar Eclipse Phase Composite Image article (skip the HDR part). The arrangement options for such a composite vary greatly. The left-to-right option shared here works well, but this unique ultra-wide aspect ratio is a bit awkward to share online and will not typically be as easily viewable/displayable as closer-to-square arrangements.
 
Also ultra is the resolution able to be created from such a composite. This one measures 52000 x 5500 pixels for a 286 MP (over SmugMug's max file dimensions limit I learned) final image (the .PSD weighs in at 3.19 GB) looking for a long hallway wall to be displayed on. Those not able to frame the moon tightly in-camera can crop heavily and still have a high resolution result from the composite technique.
 
Sure, getting images requires some effort. Getting to bed well after 2:00 AM means being tired the next day and it took about an hour under the covers to get my core temperature back up. But, at least a day or two later, only the rewards remain. The memories of this lunar eclipse, with the images to buoy them, will remain a lifetime.
 
What is the subject calling you right now? Get motivated and go for it!
 
A larger version of this image (it needs to be seen much larger) is available on Flickr or my SmugMug site.
 
Did you photograph the recent lunar eclipse? We invite you to share your images and tips below.
Post Date: 1/23/2019 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
In this video, Adobe Product Manager Meredith Stotzner demonstrates how to set the Targeted Adjustment Tool as the default selection method when using relevant adjustment layers.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 1/23/2019 7:37:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
During CES, Christopher Schodt (Video Producer at engadget) sat down with Canon Senior Technical Specialist Drew MacCallum and Nikon Senior Technical Manager Steve Heiner to discuss the recently released EOS R and Z 7 / Z 6, the impact of mirrorless technologies on camera and lens design and their respective benefits to consumers.
 
This is one of the first times I've seen two higher-ups from Canon and Nikon sitting side-by-side and discussing newly released products. I found the respect the two technical specialists show toward each other and their opposing brands quite refreshing. [Sean]
 
B&H carries the following:
 
Post Date: 1/23/2019 7:02:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 22, 2019

 
In a recently posted video, Nikon Asia highlights some of the technologies found in the company's new Z-mount lenses. Be sure to check out the lack of focus breathing exhibited by (at least some) Z-mount lenses (1:27 mark).
 
B&H carries Nikon Z lenses.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/22/2019 3:08:36 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In this video, photographer Daniel Norton demonstrates how to create a high-key look with only two lights.
 
Related Products
 
Post Date: 1/22/2019 2:21:22 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Kenko:
 
Kenko is proud to announce details and availabiliy of their TELEPLUS HD pro series of teleconverters.
 
The TELEPLUS HD pro series replaces the previous TELEPLUS PRO300 series, with redesigned optics and multi-layer coatings, to match contemporary high-resolution DSLR cameras and lenses. The HD pro series joins the existing, new-generation TELEPLUS HD line up (1.4x and 2x types) as a superior series in terms of optical design and coating quality.
 
* available in Nikon F and Canon EF mounts
 
Optical Improvements
 
Optical construction has been redesigned by implementing additional optical elements and improved multi- layer, anti-reflection coatings to maintain the original performance of new-generation DSLR cameras and lenses.
 
Communication with the Camera
 
HD pro teleconverters are equipped with all electrical contacts to support communication between the camera and the lens. The focal length and aperture values are recorded in EXIF data and converted to the actual shooting values with the teleconverter attached.
 
High-end External Finish
 
The external design has been re-finished in a black leather tone to perfectly match with the latest lenses and DSLR cameras.
 
Compact Size
 
With approx. 0.79" (2 cm) in height for the 1.4x type and 1.57" (4 cm) for the 2x type these small, compact and convenient to carry tele converters will extend the focal length of the lens providing the photographer a great chance to shoot even more impressive images.
 
Kenko's new TELEPLUS HD Pro Teleconverters are available now at Kenko-Tokina authorized retailers.
 
B&H has the Kenko TELEPLUS HD pro DGX Teleconverters in stock with free expedited shipping.
Category: Kenko News
Post Date: 1/22/2019 7:16:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In this episode, David Bergman provides tips for using the hot shoe stand that comes with most external flashes. Have you lost your original Speedlite Foot? Don't worry – you can buy a replacement.
Post Date: 1/22/2019 6:12:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 21, 2019
Just posted: Nikon D850 Review.
 
Is this the best DSLR ever?
 
The Nikon D850 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
 
Save 10%: B&H currently has a 10-rated used Nikon D850 in stock.
 
Rent the Nikon D850 from Lensrentals.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/21/2019 10:08:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, January 20, 2019
The fast frame rate of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II caught this high-stepping fawn with a couple of leg joints high in the air, making the already adorable animal look even cuter.
 
Joining me in Shenandoah National Park this spring? Learn more here.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
350mm  f/5.6  1/1000s
ISO 640
5203 x 3469px
Post Date: 1/20/2019 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 18, 2019
On the evening of January 20 (Sunday night), North/South America, Greenland and Iceland will be treated to a total lunar eclipse – or blood moon – with the full moon at perigee (supermoon).
 
At this point, the full moon will appear about 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at its farthest distance from earth (full moon at apogee, a.k.a. micromoon). Want more information and tips for photographing a lunar eclipse? B&H has you covered.
 
Here are the details for a couple of cities on the east coast and west coast (from timeanddate.com):
 
New York City, New York, USA
Duration:5 hours, 11 minutes, 33 seconds
Duration of totality:1 hour, 1 minute, 58 seconds
Penumbral begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 9:36:29 pm
Partial begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 10:33:54 pm
Full begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 11:41:17 pm
Maximum:Jan 21, 2019 at 12:12:14 am
Full ends:Jan 21, 2019 at 12:43:15 am
Partial ends:Jan 21, 2019 at 1:50:39 am
Penumbral ends:Jan 21, 2019 at 2:48:02 am

San Francisco, California, USA
Duration:5 hours, 11 minutes, 33 seconds
Duration of totality:1 hour, 1 minute, 58 seconds
Penumbral begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 6:36:29 pm
Partial begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 7:33:54 pm
Full begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 8:41:17 pm
Maximum:Jan 20, 2019 at 9:12:14 pm
Full ends:Jan 20, 2019 at 9:43:15 pm
Partial ends:Jan 20, 2019 at 10:50:39 pm
Penumbral ends:Jan 20, 2019 at 11:48:02 pm

Category: Eclipse News
Post Date: 1/18/2019 6:28:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 17, 2019
B&H has the Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens available for preorder in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E and Sigma SA mounts.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • Two FLD Elements, Three SLD Elements
  • Three Aspherical Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
  • Weather-Sealed, Protective Front Coating
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 1/17/2019 3:07:52 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the PHLEARN YouTube channel:
 
Today Aaron breaks down how to help any set of eyes look their absolute best in Photoshop. Learn to sculpt the highlights and shadows using Curves, enhance and change colors with Solid Color Fill Layers, and apply professional sharpening with Unsharp Mask.
 
Download the Sample Image here.
Post Date: 1/17/2019 7:26:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
Nikon COOLPIX B600
 
A versatile camera that covers wide-angle to super-telephoto shooting for imaging experiences simply not possible with a smartphone
 
January 17, 2019, TOKYO – Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the release of the COOLPIX B600, a compact digital camera equipped with a high-performance 60x optical zoom NIKKOR lens.
 
The COOLPIX B600 employs a 60x optical zoom NIKKOR lens that covers a range of equivalent focal lengths beginning at wide-angle 24 mm*1 and ending at super-telephoto 1440 mm*1 (Dynamic Fine Zoom further expands the zoom ratio to 120x*2), making it possible for users to enjoy super-telephoto photography without compromising sharp and clear resolution.
 
The camera has an effective pixel count of 16.0 megapixels and supports a maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400. Its combination of backside illumination CMOS sensor and EXPEED high-performance image-processing engine captures superior still and video quality, even at high sensitivities. The COOLPIX B600 is also equipped with a variety of functions that enable a diverse power of expression, including 19 scene modes, as well as a Creative mode that offers a total of 36 different effects.
 
The camera also features functions that make it easier to use as a high-power zoom model and ensure increased operability, such as a Snap-back zoom button and Side zoom control, as well as a shooting mode dial that enables immediate switching between frequently used shooting modes. It is also SnapBridge compatible, so high-quality images can be automatically downloaded to a smart device*3 for easy sharing.
 
*1 Equivalent focal length in 35mm [135] format.
*2 At the maximum image size.
The maximum zoom ratio varies by image size. Dynamic Fine Zoom refers to the area in which the camera can zoom while maintaining resolution from the maximum zoom position, and is the combined ratio of optical zoom from the maximum wide-angle position and digital zoom. *3 iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices to which the SnapBridge app has been installed can be used. The SnapBridge app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store and Google Play. See Nikon's website for further information.

 
Primary features
 
  • A compact body equipped with a 60x optical zoom lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths from wide-angle to super-telephoto
  • Superior image quality that enables recording of beautiful stills and movies
  • Diverse power of expression that is easy to achieve
  • Superior operability that pursues user friendliness as a high-power zoom model
  • SnapBridge support for automatic transfer of photos captured with the camera to a smart device
  • Additional features
    • A mode dial that allows users to easily apply one of the ten most frequently used shooting modes by simply rotating the dial to the appropriate icon
    • A Pre-focus function that is effective with zooming and shooting in dark or dimly lit surroundings due to the camera always focusing automatically
    • Target finding AF, where the user simply points the camera at the intended subject and the camera automatically predicts and focuses on it
    • Recording of 1080/60i (50i) and 1080/30p Full HD movies with stereo sound
    • Short movie show that allows users to easily create a movie up to 30 seconds in length from multiple movie clips
    • Support for the ML-L7 Remote Control, which is capable of a variety of operations over a Bluetooth connection to the camera
    • Adoption of the EN-EL12 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, which can be charged while inserted in the camera, over a USB connection


Nikon COOLPIX A1000
 
A stylish and compact high-power zoom model with a built-in electronic viewfinder providing superior image quality and operability
 
January 17, 2019, TOKYO – Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the release of the COOLPIX A1000, a stylish compact digital camera equipped with an electronic viewfinder that supports 35x optical zoom.
 
The COOLPIX A1000 boasts a compact size for ease of portability, and comes equipped with a 35x optical zoom lens that covers a range of equivalent focal lengths — from the wide-angle 24 mm*1 to the super-telephoto 840 mm*1 (Dynamic Fine Zoom further expands the zoom ratio to 70x*2). This allows users to easily enjoy super-telephoto photography that delivers images with sharp and clear resolution.
 
The COOLPIX A1000 supports a maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400. The camera is also equipped with a lens-shift vibration reduction (VR) function for still-image shooting, and hybrid vibration reduction (VR) for movie recording that is effective even when recording 4K UHD movies. The camera's Active D-Lighting function reduces the loss of details in highlights and shadows in high-contrast situations such as backlit scenes. The function can be applied to both still images and movies. Additionally, photos can be captured in RAW (NRW) format, which allows users to process and edit images according to their own artistic preferences and intent without compromising image quality.
 
The COOLPIX A1000 is also equipped with a number of features designed to make this high-power zoom model easier to use. These include an approximately 1166k-dot equivalent electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor, a 3-inch, approximately 1036k-dot, tilting TFT LCD monitor with a touch screen, Snap-back zoom button and Side zoom control, as well as four exposure modes (P/S/A/M). The camera is also compatible with SnapBridge, an application that provides support for the automatic download and sharing of high-quality images using smart devices*3.
 
*1Equivalent focal length in 35mm [135] format.
*2At the maximum image size. The maximum zoom ratio varies by image size. Dynamic Fine Zoom refers to the area in which the camera can zoom while maintaining resolution from the maximum zoom position, and is the combined ratio of optical zoom from the maximum wide-angle position and digital zoom.
*3iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices to which the SnapBridge app has been installed can be used. The SnapBridge app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store and Google Play. See Nikon's website for further information.

 
Primary features
 
  • A stylish body equipped with a 35x optical zoom lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths - from wide-angle to super-telephoto
  • Superior image quality that is sharp and clear, even when shooting at high sensitivities, and support for RAW (NRW) recording
  • 4K UHD movie recording that supports vibration reduction (VR), and Active D-Lighting which prevents loss of detail in highlights and shadow
  • Superior operability with enhanced user friendliness as a high-power zoom model
  • SnapBridge support for automatic transfer of photos captured to a smart device
  • Additional features
    • An MF peaking function that highlights areas in focus to make manual focusing easier (for still-image photography)
    • 20 creative modes support the application of preferred effects to photos (for still-image photography)
B&H carries Nikon COOLPIX cameras.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/17/2019 6:51:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 16, 2019
While the name above may appear familiar, I can assure you it is indeed a new product.
 
The Flashpoint XPLOR 600PRO HSS Battery-Powered Monolight from Adorama is identical to its prior-released sibling except for two differences – this new flash is all manual (no TTL) and, as a result, it's priced slightly lower. For those that don't need or want the TTL feature, the Flashpoint XPLOR 600PRO HSS Battery-Powered Monolight appears to be an excellent option.
 
Flashpoint XPLOR AD600Pro Features
 
  • The Manual (no TTL) R2 twin brother of the 600 Pro TTL Studio Quality Light
  • Delivers 600ws, with a GN of 285ft/87m ISO 100, standard reflector.
  • Wireless Radio: Built-in Flashpoint R2 wireless 2.4Ghz system, compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic camera systems.
  • Blazing fast Recycle time: 0.9s at Full Power rivals AC strobes.
  • Precise power output: power adjusts 9 stops from full power 1/256 to 1/1 in 25 steps.
  • Stable Color Temperature mode: color temperature guaranteed within ±75°K over the entire power range.
  • LED Modeling Lamp: Brilliant 38W LED module with Proportional and Variable settings.
  • HSS supremacy: Up to 1/8000s high-speed sync flash triggering overcomes sunlit situations.
  • Advanced functions: Mask Sequencing, Multi Flash, Slave Delay.
  • Dot-matrix LCD panel: Clear and convenient operation.
  • Modifier Accessories: Bowens mount ease for softbox, beauty dish, snoots, color gels, reflectors...
Post Date: 1/16/2019 12:33:21 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Tamron:
 
Dear users and potential purchasers of Tamron interchangeable lenses.
 
Thank you for using Tamron products and for your continuous support.
 
We would like to announce that we have clarified compatibility for general operations (*1) of the following Tamron Di & Di II lenses with the latest version of lens firmware (*2) when used with the Nikon Z6 and Nikon mount adapter FTZ.
 
*1 Defined to work on existing DSLR cameras
*2 Firmware for Nikon Z7 (announced on November 16th and 22nd, 2018)
 
Compatible models for general operations
 
  • SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A041) for Nikon
  • SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A032) for Nikon
  • 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028) for Nikon
  • SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A025) for Nikon
  • SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022) for Nikon
  • 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037) for Nikon
The lens firmware can be updated with the separately sold TAP-in Console.
Post Date: 1/16/2019 6:20:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 15, 2019
From Nikon:
 
Changes from Firmware Version 1.2 to 1.3
 
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the camera charging if it was off when connected to the computer via USB.
  • Fixed an issue that caused photos shot with a lens for selfies (camera 2) being flipped vertically when taken with the camera in landscape orientation.
Download: Nikon KeyMission 80 Firmware v.1.3
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/15/2019 7:13:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Manfrotto US (a Vitec Group company) has posted the following warning to its site:
Buy only from US AUTHORIZED DEALERS and get the benefits of our WARRANTY program.
 
If you buy from an unauthorized dealer you will not receive any US warranty or technical support. View full list of NON-AUTHORIZED DEALERS.
In the warranty section of Manfrotto's site, the company provides a supplemental warning:
Additionally, if you purchase any Manfrotto product from an unauthorized dealer via Fulfilled By Amazon you will not receive any U.S. warranty or technical support.
Third-party lens manufacturers have adopted similar policies in the past (e.g., Tamron), but what's unique about Manfrotto's warning is that they specifically list unauthorized retailers in addition to the usually-provided authorized retailers.
 
While the authorized retailer warning isn't necessarily included on their other brands' websites, a Vitec Group representative I spoke with clarified the policy. I was told that the authorized retailer requirement for warranty claims / technical support applies to all the Vitec Group brands, including:
 
  • Avenger
  • Bowens
  • FeiyuTech
  • Gitzo
  • Gossen
  • Joby
  • Lastolite
  • Lowepro
  • Manfrotto
  • Metz
  • National Geographic
So, if you want warranty protection, make sure you only purchase from authorized retailers.
 
Vitec Group US Authorized Retailers: B&H | Adorama | Amazon US (3rd party sales excluded)
Markins products are now available for special order at B&H. Available products include:
 
Post Date: 1/15/2019 6:37:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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