Camera Gear Review News (Page 14) RSS Feed for Camera Gear Review News

 Thursday, January 22, 2015
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens review.
 
Like the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens in many regards, the 40 STM is a great bargain. With a $50 mail-in-rebate (essentially 25% off) currently available (USA only), now is a great time to acquire this lens.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/22/2015 9:37:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens review.
 
Since I am primarily shooting full frame cameras, I don't have many EF-S lenses in my kit. However, I have the 15-85. This lens is a great choice for general purpose use. If you have interest in this lens, now is the time to buy. The $100.00 mail-in rebate expires Jan 31st (USA only)
 
B&H has the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/21/2015 10:23:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Image quality test results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens review page.
 
The EF-S 10-18 is a very good value, with decent image quality, very light weight and a feature without comparison in this focal length range: image stabilization. If your kit is missing an ultra-wide focal length lens, it is very likely that you would find this lens worth adding.
 
B&H has the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/20/2015 9:56:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 12, 2015
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens review.
 
As expected, the 7D II results show sharper details and slightly more resolution. The bottom line is that this lens is a bargain.
 
B&H has the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/12/2015 8:12:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 8, 2015
Just posted: Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator Review
 
The Airport Accelerator and I spent a great 10 days together this fall. If this pack is the right size for you, it is unlikely that you will find a better option.
 
B&H has the Airport Accelerator in stock.
Post Date: 1/8/2015 8:21:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, January 6, 2015
The Determining the Age of a Canon Lens serial number chart has been updated to include the year 2015. This chart appears to be holding out correctly (or minimally within 1 month of correct) for the latest Canon lenses I have been receiving, so I added the new year to this popular page.
 
Here is the page to bookmark for future reference:
 
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/Canon-Lens-Aging.aspx
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:26:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 5, 2015
For those of you who were able to completely check out between the Christmas and New Year holidays (we envy you), make sure that you catch the latest review now live on the site, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.
 
Canon may have taken their time in upgrading the venerable 100-400 L, but we think the replacement was worth the wait. Check out the full review to see why.
Post Date: 1/5/2015 6:16:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/30/2014 11:02:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Standard test results are now available on the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens Review page.
 
B&H has the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens in stock.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 12/30/2014 9:14:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 24, 2014
I know that many of you were waiting on this one: Image quality results from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II have now been added to Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens page.
 
Again, preorder your Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens now at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/24/2014 10:03:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 60D have now been added to Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens page.
 
Here is a preloaded comparison between the version I and II lenses tested on the 60D. The difference is very noticeable.
 
Next up: Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II. The 7D II is sharper at the same sharpness setting and this should be reflected in the results.
 
B&H has significant quantities of the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens arriving regularly.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/23/2014 12:56:47 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 22, 2014
Image quality results from a second lens (presented as Sample 1) have been added to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens page.
 
Again, I think that you are going to like what you see. Both lenses perform superbly and the two copies of this lens perform nearly identically. The second lens is very slightly sharper in the corners over part of the focal length range (look at the 200mm and 400mm samples to see this).
 
Here is a preloaded comparison between the two lenses with the second lens presented as the default/left lens.
 
Distortion and vignetting test results are also now available for this lens.
 
B&H has significant quantities of the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens arriving regularly. Demand has been very high.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/22/2014 7:53:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, December 21, 2014
Standard product images are now available for the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens.
 
Visually compare the 100-400 L II to your favorite lens. Here are a couple of comparisons to get you started:
 
100-400 L II between the 100-400 L and 70-300 L
100-400 L II between the 70-200 f/2.8L II and Tamron 150-600
 
Preorder your Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II now at B&H. Significant shipment quantities have been arriving – and leaving just as quickly.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/21/2014 7:10:47 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, December 18, 2014
Image quality results have been added to Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens review page. I think that you are going to like what you see.
 
Here are some comparisons that you might find interesting:
 
Compared to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens
Compared to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens
Compared to the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
Use the Image Quality Tool to create your own comparisons. Hint: Zooming your browser to a higher percent can make the differences clearer on some displays (Try CTRL+, CTRL- and CTRL-0 to reset). Share your thoughts in the comments section below this post.
 
B&H has significant quantities of the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Lens arriving regularly. Demand has been very high.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/18/2014 7:51:11 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Just posted: Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review
 
Is the 24-105 STM a lens introduced before its primary purpose?
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm IS STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/17/2014 8:04:46 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, December 11, 2014
If I had to limit my Canon full frame DSLR kit to only five lenses, they would be:
 
1. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
This lens has many uses, but I do a lot of landscape photography and regard this as the ultimate wide angle landscape lens. The angle of view this lens makes available ranges from ultra-wide through only modestly wide and it delivers very sharp (corner-to-corner) images that make me smile every time I view them.
 
2. Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
The 24-70mm focal length range is my most-used and having a general purpose lens in my kit is important to me. There are some other good choices for this lens, including the 24-70 f/2.8L II and the 24-105 f/4L. If I had only 5 lenses in my kit, I would want my general purpose lens to have IS and the 24-70 f/4L IS has the most-recent/most advanced IS system at this time. This lens has a much higher maximum magnification spec (for macro capabilities) and less distortion at 24mm than the 24-105 L IS (which has a longer focal length range to its advantage). I can't do justice to a list of uses for this lens.
 
3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
 
The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II gets my easy choice for a medium telephoto zoom lens. It delivers very impressive image quality even at a wide open f/2.8 aperture with the capability to create a strong background blur. This lens excels at sports action and portrait photography. It is highly popular with photojournalists and wedding photographers. Landscape photography is another great use for this lens.
 
4. Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
I love wildlife photography and there is no better general purpose wildlife lens than this one. This focal length range, moderately wide aperture and fast AF qualifies this lens for professional-grade sports photography. This is not a small, light or inexpensive lens, but ... I didn't set a budget limit for my "5 Lens Kit". :)
 
5. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens
 
I also love macro photography, for which interesting and colorful subjects abound. Macro subjects are readily available around the house, at the flower shop, outside ... there is never a lack of something to photograph with a macro lens in the kit. The Canon 100 L has very impressive image quality and the hybrid IS feature makes this lens easier to use and especially easier to frame at high magnification subject distances.
 
And then I would start saving to add the lenses I'd still feel lost without. :)
 
The above-listed lenses are my choices for use on a full-frame DSLR. For an APS-C DSLR model, I would swap #1 for the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens and #2 for the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.
 
What are your most important "5"?
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/11/2014 10:06:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 10, 2014
What is a Custom Mode?
 
A Custom mode is a camera setting that allows the photographer to instantly recall a saved camera setup configuration by simply turning the top dial (or via a button press and dial turn on the 1-Series models) to one of the designated "C" modes. Most of us have go-to, most-used camera settings for at least one photography scenario and spending a few minutes to program a custom mode for this use can be a great time-saver and a move that can even save the day if those settings are needed immediately.
 
Canon's mid and high-end EOS DSLR cameras have between one and three Custom ("C") modes available. For example, some EOS **D models (the EOS 70D and EOS 60D) have one Custom mode and the EOS 6D Mark II and EOS 80D have two. Canon's high-end models, including the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5Ds R, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 1D X, have three "C" modes. This feature has typically been omitted from the lower-end Rebel (***D and ****D) series cameras.
 
How to Configure a Custom Shooting Mode
 
Configuring a "C" mode is very easy. Simply adjust all of your camera settings as desired for the "C" mode being programmed and then find and select the "Custom shooting mode" menu option located in the "Tools" tab. Next, select "Register settings". If more than one "C" mode is available on your camera, the mode number desired must then be selected. Done. That's it. That "C" mode is programmed.
 
Two other "Custom shooting mode" menu options are available. The first is "Clear settings". I don't recall ever using this one. I simply program over the top of an already configured "C" mode if I want to make a change and haven't felt a need to clean up any no-longer-needed "C" mode.
 
The other available option is "Change Auto update set". While a "C" mode is being used, camera settings can be changed. When "Change Auto update set" is set to "Enabled", any camera setting changes made while in a "C" mode are saved to the respective "C" mode. The camera will retain the new settings even after being powered off. When this option is set to "Disabled", the camera will revert back to the originally programmed settings when the camera powers off. My cameras all have this feature set to "Enabled". "Enabled" requires a little more attention to the as-last-configured settings when beginning to shoot, but ... I found "Disabled" to be somewhat maddening and requiring even more constant attention.
 
Bryan's Custom Mode Settings
 
I am generally using camera models with three Custom modes and I have a standard configuration that I use on all of my cameras. Being configured identically means that it doesn't matter which camera I am using, I know which Custom mode to use when the configured-for situation presents itself. That configuration and the thought process behind it as follows:
 
Custom Mode 1: Landscape and Still Life Photography
 
I am very frequently shooting landscape and still life subjects from a tripod and my typical settings for such photography are programmed into "C1". My selected exposure mode is "M". I generally leave the aperture set to f/8-f/11 (full frame) or f/8 (APS-C) to plan for as much depth of field as I can get without compromising sharpness (due to diffraction). The shutter speed I need varies widely when I'm in "C1" mode. It is usually set to whatever shutter speed I last used and usually needs to be set for the current situation, accomplished by simply rolling the top dial. My "C1" ISO is set to 100 for the least noise possible.
 
In "C1", I have One Shot AF mode selected along with a single AF point. Key for ultimate image sharpness is that mirror lockup and the 2-sec self-timer are selected (I often use the mirror lockup and 1-sec timer combination made available in the 5Ds R). With the mirror automatically raising a second or two before the shutter release, all vibrations, including those caused by my shutter release button press, subside before image capture begins.
 
I usually have Long Exposure Noise Reduction enabled in "C1".
 
While "C" modes are great for setup speed, my "C1" needs are not usually happening fast. Still, having this configuration readily available saves me a lot of setup time. Convenience has a lot of value.
 
Custom Mode 2: Action Photography
 
The action photography I do, especially including sports action, has general overarching camera setting requirements that lend themselves perfectly to a "C" mode.
 
My most-used standard camera mode is "M" (Manual) and this is also what I have "C2" programmed for. I use "M" mode for about 97% of my photography with "Av" (Aperture Priority) mode picking up most of the remaining mode use (most often when shooting under rapidly changing light levels when I have little concern for shutter speed). My "C2" is programmed for manual exposure settings that include a wide-open aperture, an action-stopping 1/1600 shutter speed and Auto ISO. If light levels are constant, I usually change the ISO to a specific setting at the venue.
 
My "C2" is configured for AI Servo AF with a single AF point selected along with the surrounding points assisting and the camera's highest speed burst drive mode selected. With AI Servo selected, the higher end cameras have a set of focus performance parameters that can be adjusted and I typically leave the default, Case 1, selected for these. If shooting under very low light (such as an indoor gym), I select a slower/longer shutter speed, accepting some modest motion blur in some situations for a lower/cleaner ISO settings to be used.
 
Having an action mode ready for immediately use has great benefits that include being able to properly photograph a suddenly-fast-moving subject that was near motionless just moments before.
 
Custom Mode 3: Wildlife Photography
 
I formerly used "C3" to store situationally-dependent camera settings, programming this mode as-needed at each event venue with this strategy working well. Also, I formerly used "C2" for photographing wildlife along with sports action and this strategy also worked well. But, I eventually decided that I wanted slightly different AI Servo focus parameters for wildlife photography and decided that using "C3" to store my most-often-used wildlife settings made sense. I usually have enough to think about in the field and this preset reduced the need to remember one more setting change.
 
Basically, my "C3" is programmed identically to my "C2" with the exception that Case 4 is selected as my set of AI Servo AF Parameters. AF Case 4 better accommodates erratically moving subjects and has for me produced a better AI Servo AF experience for this type of photography than Case 1, optimized for more-general-purpose needs. I should note that, because I am most often using a single AF point with the surrounding AF points in assist mode (not using the AF point auto switching feature), AF Case 6 should produce identical results to AF Case 4. And, AF Case 3, with an even slightly higher tracking sensitivity, stands to be another good AF Case option for wildlife photography.
 
Basically, I program the camera for "C2" and "C3" at the same time. Then, with "C3" selected on the mode dial and "Change Auto update set" enabled, change the AF case to 4. Done.
 
You are using your camera's custom modes, right?
 
The variation of camera setup needs between photographers can be dramatic and your setting needs are likely not the same as mine. But, you likely have some most-encountered scenarios that could be covered by custom modes. Determine what those needs are and program your custom modes to best cover them. They will be available for instant recall and you will be less-likely to forget a setting change needed in those situations.
 
If your camera's "C" mode is not your most-frequently-used camera mode setting, give some thought to making one that.
Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:15:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 8, 2014
Just posted: Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review
 
If you have an APS-C/1.6x body, you are probably going to want to add this lens to your kit. The 24 STM is the excellent bargain we expected it to be.
 
B&H is accepting Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens preorders.
 
This lens is in stock at Adorama and the Canon Store.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/8/2014 7:43:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 24, 2014
The full Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review is now available.
 
This is an awesome camera – especially for the price. I decided to add a 7D II to my kit (replacing a 70D), so I expect to be adding more details to the review as time goes on, including more AI Servo AF experiences.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/24/2014 8:02:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 20, 2014
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
If you are like me, the 24-105mm STM vs. L lens comparison is the one you are most interested in. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/20/2014 11:27:25 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review page.
 
My expectation was for this lens to be a great bargain – similar to the nearly-identical Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Lens. If I directly compare these two lenses on the same camera body (with a very low sharpness setting), my initial impressions are that my expectations have been realized. You will see more distortion in the 24 (the barrel variety), but these two lenses are otherwise more similar than different in this comparison. That is a lot of image quality for a nicely-built pocket lens costing only $149.00.
 
Order your Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens now at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/19/2014 8:46:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Image quality, vignetting and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary Lens Review page. More (on-camera) product images will be added within the next day or so).
 
B&H has the new Sigma 18-300mm DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary Lens in stock.
 
Looking for a great deal on a superzoom lens? There is a $200.00 instant rebate available on the Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Lens. Regularly $549.00, this lens is currently only $349.00 at B&H.
Post Date: 11/18/2014 8:45:47 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 13, 2014
The large percentage of the viewfinder covered by Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF system is a big deal, at least when shooting in AI Servo AF mode and when there is no time to recompose after focusing. The image shared with this post shows such an example.
 
The horse gallops toward the camera at perhaps 35-40 mph (56-64 kph). I want the rider to be in focus, but the horse's ears and mane strongly compete for the top AF point's attention as the animal quickly moves up and down. Having an AF point so close to the border of the frame allows me to (better) avoid the AF point's attention moving from the rider to the horse.
 
Good examples of situations requiring a wide-positioned AF point include any sports that involve running (track, baseball, soccer, football, field hockey, etc.). When a person is running fast, they lean forward and the head leads the lean. If the subject's eyes are not in focus, the shot is likely a throw-away. To keep the runner's eyes in focus requires an AF point placed on them and at the oft-desired near-frame-filling distances, an AF point positioned close to the frame edge is required. The 7D II has you covered here.
 
Cameras with a lower percentage of the viewfinder covered by AF points require similar subjects to be captured from a longer distance and/or with a wider focal length, meaning cropping is required to achieve the same desired frame-filling result. Cropping of course reduces final image resolution. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II's wide area AF system has you covered in these situations, allowing you to fully utilize its 20.2 MP sensor – this capability is a big deal.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 8:25:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I have loaded my expectations (including observations from a short hands-on time with this lens) onto the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review page. I think that you and I are going to like what this lens delivers.
 
B&H is taking Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/12/2014 7:33:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I have loaded an MTF chart comparison onto the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page. Compare the 100-400 L II's MTF charts to those of the 100-400 L, 70-300 L and 400 f/5.6 L. With-extender charts for the new lens are included.
 
Again, B&H is accepting Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens preorders and I recommend preordering early if you want this lens anytime soon. Adorama and Amazon are also accepting preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 10:32:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 10, 2014
I share my expectations along with specifications and product images on the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page.
 
I can't wait for this lens!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/10/2014 9:47:58 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
If you have ever photographed under flickering lights, such as the sodium vapor lamps especially common at sporting venues, you know what a problem that type of lighting can cause. One image is bright and the next is significantly underexposed with a completely different color cast. The bigger problem occurs when using fast/short action-stopping shutter speeds under these lights.
 
In the top half of the included image are 8 consecutive frames captured from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II in 10 fps burst with a 1/1000 second shutter speed. The subject is a white wall and the lights are fluorescent tubes (I had to go all the way to my basement to find these). All images were identically custom white balanced from the center of an optimally-timed image. What you see is the frame capture frequency synching with the light flicker's frequency to cause a different result in almost every frame.
 
The killer problem for post processing is that the entire frame is not evenly affected. Correcting this issue is a post processing nightmare. The cause of this problem is that, at fast/short shutter speeds, the flicker happens while the shutter curtain is not fully open.
 
Because the shutter opens and closes only in the up and down directions (with camera horizontally oriented), the area affected runs through the frame in the long direction regardless of the camera's orientation during capture. When the flicker-effected area is fully contained within the frame, the amount of area affected is narrower at faster shutter speeds and wider with longer shutter speeds.
 
At significantly longer shutter speeds, the effect from the flickering lights is better averaged in the exposures. At 1/25 second, a reference image I captured during the same test looks very nice.
 
In this 7D II light flicker test, I shot at 1/500, 1/1000 (shown in the example) and 1/2000 seconds. The 1/500 second test showed approximately 2/3 of the frame severely affected at most, but the 10 frames captured around the most-effected frame had various amounts of one frame edge strongly affected. As you would expect, the 1/2000 second test showed an even narrower band of the flicker's effect running through the image (a smaller slit of fast-moving shutter opening being used), but ... I'm guessing that there are not many venues with flickering-type lighting strong enough to allow use of this shutter speed at a reasonable ISO setting. The 1/500 and 1/1000 settings are more real world settings.
 
The bottom set of results show off the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's awesome new Anti-flicker mode. The only difference in the capture of the second set of images was that Anti-flicker mode was enabled. These were a random selection of 8 consecutive frames, but the results from all Anti-flicker mode enabled frames were identical regardless of shutter speed tested. I'm not going to say that these results are perfectly-evenly lit, but ... they are dramatically better than the normal captures and you will not see the less-than-perfectly-even lighting in most real world photos without a solid, light-colored background running through the frame.
 
When enabled (the default is disabled), Flicker Mode adjusts the shutter release timing very slightly so that the dim cycle of the lighting is avoided. In single shot mode, the shutter release lag time is matched to the light flicker cycle's maximum output. In continuous shooting mode, the shutter lag and the frame rate are both altered for peak light output capture. In my tests above, the frame rate was reduced by 1-2 fps and shutter lag can be affected, making the camera feel slightly less responsive.
 
The 7D II is able to work with light flicker occurring at 100Hz and 120Hz frequencies. When such flicker is detected but flicker mode is not enabled, a flashing FLICKER warning shows in the viewfinder. The FLICKER warning shows solid when a flicker is detected and the camera’s setting is enabled. Flicker detection has been working very well for me. From my own basement to an indoor sports venue to a trade show floor, I've seen the flashing "FLICKER" warning.
 
Since the viewfinder's metering system is required for flicker detection, this feature is not available in Live View mode (due to the mirror being locked up). The mirror lockup feature is also disabled when Anti-flicker mode is enabled. The owner's manual indicates that Flicker mode is not going to work perfectly in all environments.
 
In the test I shared in this post, flicker avoidance was perfect 100% of the time. I shot a soccer match at an indoor sporting venue with a complicated economy lighting system. In that shoot, the Anti-flicker mode was successful about 98% of the time in the about-350 images I captured. The post processing work required for this shoot was exponentially lighter than any of my many prior shoots at this venue. Sean's experience shooting an NCAA Division 1 football game under the lights was very good, but perhaps not as good as my 98% experience.
 
Canon's new Anti-flicker mode is a game changer – it is going to save the day for some events. This feature alone is going to be worth the price of the camera for some photographers.
 
Want a Canon EOS 7D Mark II? Get it at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/10/2014 8:06:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, November 7, 2014
I completed the frame rate testing for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II review and thought I'd share a little of what I learned, and perhaps bring a smile to your face.
 
To test the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's 10 fps drive mode and 31 RAW file buffer specs, I configured the camera to use ISO 100, a 1/8000 shutter speed (no waiting for the shutter operation), a wide open aperture (no time lost due to aperture blades closing) and manual focus was selected. The lens cap remained on (insuring a black file) and a freshly-formatted fast memory card was loaded.
 
Using a Sony 32GB Class 10 UHS-I (SF32UX) SDHC Card (Max. Read/Write Speed: 94/45 MB/s), the 7D II captured 30 frames in 2.9 seconds to match the rated drive speed and come within 1 frame of the rated buffer depth. After .3 seconds, two additional frames were captured .27 seconds apart and then a repeating pattern of two similarly spaced frames were captured every .5 seconds.
 
Put a Lexar 64GB Professional 1066x UDMA 7 Compact Flash Card (Max. Read/Write Speed: 160/155 MB/s) in the slot and the 7D II captured between 46 and 49 frames in 4.7 seconds (or less) to again match the rated speed but far exceed the rated buffer depth. With this Lexar card installed, two additional frames were captured .1 second apart every .2 seconds for a post-buffer-filled performance of 14 frames in 2.27 seconds or about 5.7 fps. This rate is faster than some cameras shoot with an empty buffer and I'm guessing that this rate continues until the card is filled.
 
A fast memory card definitely makes a difference with this camera. Note that there are faster SD cards available than the Sony I tested with and that I'm not saying that CF cards are faster than SD cards in general, but the speed of the card does matter.
 
For your listening pleasure (should make you smile):
 
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Burst Mode
 
Get your 7D II at B&H.
 
Note that, by request, I have added results from the Canon EOS-1D IV to the 7D Mark II noise comparison that was posted yesterday.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/7/2014 7:50:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 6, 2014
Turn off all of the settings that hide a camera's base image quality (and potentially destroy image details) and you get a better idea of the image quality a camera is natively capable of. Direct comparisons between DSLR models are also better made under these conditions.
 
I have added an in-depth look at high ISO noise and related image quality to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review. Scroll down and click on the color block image to see the complete set of test results – or go directly comparison page:
 
Canon EOS 7D Mark II ISO Noise and Image Quality Comparisons
 
I don't know if I can stake the claim that these comparisons are exhaustive, but I can definitely say that they have been exhausting to create and analyze. The good news is that the 7D Mark II's image quality is exceeding my expectations. I don't think that anyone will argue with me if I declare the 7D Mark II to have the best Canon APS-C image quality ever seen. And that of course says a lot.
 
At this moment, B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens available in stock and I expect the body-only version to be available soon though it is under solid demand (preorder for earliest delivery).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/6/2014 12:46:22 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 5, 2014
My Canon EOS 7D Mark II arrived this week – WOO HOO! I will have lots of information to share about this camera in the very near future, but I kept notes as I unpacked and configured the "Baby 1D X" to the perfect (for me) setup. Following are the 30 (OK, there were initially 30, but I've tweaked the list slightly) steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 7D II ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk.
  3. Install Canon Solution Disk software to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information. The GPS feature, if enabled, should take care of precise date/time maintenance going forward.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(51200)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with sharpness set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Anti-flicker shoot: Enable
  22. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus (same reason)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  31. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; AF area select lever: Direct AF area selection
  32. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  33. My Menu: Add tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for determining what time it is), Sensor cleaning
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. While my setup works great for me (and Sean's setup is nearly identical), 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 update-to-date list such as this is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting while putting the camera back into service.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens in stock and I expect the body-only version to be available soon (preorder for earliest delivery).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/5/2014 8:51:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
Canon EF-M lenses are compatible only with the compact Canon EOS M MILCs (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras). The 55-200 IS STM is the telephoto lens option in the "M" lineup (though others are available via the EF to EF-M adapter). This lens has good image quality with a very small size and light weight.
 
Please note: Like the T5i, T4i and 70D, the EOS M has image sharpness dialed up (by Canon) in-camera. Even though the EF-M lens test results shown use our standard sharpness setting of "1", you will see the sharpness difference when comparing against EOS 60D-based lens test results. The increased sharpness comes directly at the expense of increased high ISO noise and can be adjusted to taste. Still, this is a good lens.
 
Canon USA is not currently importing this lens. My suggestion is to order your EF-M 11-22mm IS STM Lens from DigitalRev.
 
Special thanks to John S for loaning us this lens!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/4/2014 7:40:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 3, 2014
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
Canon EF-M lenses are compatible only with the compact Canon EOS M MILCs (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras). The results from the 11-22 are very good – this lens will be a great addition to any "M" kit.
 
Please note: Like the T5i, T4i and 70D, the EOS M has image sharpness set higher in-camera. Even though the EF-M lens test results shown use our standard sharpness setting of "1", you will see the sharpness difference when comparing against EOS 60D-based lens test results. The increased sharpness comes directly at the expense of increased high ISO noise. Still, this is a good lens.
 
Canon USA is not currently importing this lens. My suggestion is to order your EF-M 11-22mm IS STM Lens from DigitalRev.
 
Special thanks to John S for loaning us this lens!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/3/2014 10:04:58 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor Lens Review page.
 
B&H has the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor Lens in stock.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 10/29/2014 8:37:31 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review page has been updated with my expectations for this lens. The bottom line is that I expect the EF-S 24 to become one of Canon's most popular lenses in a very short period of time.
 
This is a lens that everyone can afford. B&H is accepting preorders with expected availability listed as November 2014.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/28/2014 7:52:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, October 27, 2014
I have loaded the Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review page with my expectations for this highly-anticipated, feature-packed DSLR camera model.
 
B&H is accepting preorders for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II with availability currently slated for October 30th.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/27/2014 8:06:07 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and product images have been added to the Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Lens Review page.
 
B&H has the Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Lens in stock.
Post Date: 10/22/2014 8:10:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and product images have been added to the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 EX DG Lens Review page.
 
B&H has the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 EX DG Lens in stock.
Post Date: 10/21/2014 8:00:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The complete set of standard test results along with specs/measurements and product images are now available on the Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro Macro Lens Review page.
Post Date: 9/24/2014 9:29:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, September 22, 2014
The complete set of standard test results along with specs/measurements and product images are now available on the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro Lens Review page.
Post Date: 9/22/2014 6:36:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, September 11, 2014
Let me introduce you to the highest quality 85mm DSLR lens available:
 
Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Lens Review
 
B&H is accepting Zeiss Otus 85mm preorders, with shipments expected to start around September 16th.
Post Date: 9/11/2014 8:15:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, August 28, 2014
With the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens and Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens reviews recently happening back to back for me, a question that I had in my mind for quite some time became highlighted. That question was: "What is the difference between the image stabilization systems found in Canon's EF-S STM and other budget-priced lenses and those found in higher grade lenses including those in the L series?
 
Perhaps the question was most-driven by the "feel" of a large price differential between these image stabilization systems. Determining exactly how much IS adds to the price tag is not easy since there are not many Canon lens focal lengths or focal length ranges available in the same max aperture with image stabilization being an optional feature. Three examples are the 70-200 f/4, 70-200 f/2.8 and 100mm f/2.8 macro lenses. In all three of these instances, the IS version is considerably more expensive, with the $450-$1,050 difference being more than the price of most STM lenses. In all fairness, the IS version of the three just-mentioned lens siblings is a considerably-newer model and newer lenses typically have better technology and are always more expensive. But, it still "feels" like the IS system in the higher grade lenses is more expensive than the IS system in the lower-priced STM (and similar) lenses. This of course drives my wonder about what the difference between IS systems is.
 
So, I asked Canon. My direct question was "Can you explain the differences between the image stabilization system implemented in an inexpensive lens (such as the EF-S 10-18 STM) compared to that implemented in a high end pro lens (such as the EF 16-35 f/4 L)?" Following is the information that Canon USA and Canon Inc. were willing to disclose:
 
EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
 
  • The compensation optics lens barrel is suspended by 3 springs that hold it in place in the center. This makes it possible to eliminate the compensation optics retaining mechanism in this IS unit.
  • The drive actuator for the compensation optics lens barrel is constructed using the same permanent magnets and coils used in existing IS units.
EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
 
  • Making use of the technology that has been garnered in existing L-series IS lenses, such as a stepping motor for the compensation optics barrel lock mechanism, this lens is able to achieve both high-performance image stabilization and compactness of design.
  • The moving parts in the compensation optics barrel have been improved from sliding friction to rolling friction by way of combining rolling balls and V-grooves in an ultra-minimum-friction structure. This design improves IS performance while reducing power consumption.
In addition, the following table was provided to me:
 
SpecificationEF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMEF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
IS MechanismParallel-moving corrective optics (Single element.) IS unit is based on the one used in the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II.Parallel-moving corrective optics (Group of 4 elements.) IS unit is newly designed especially for this lens.
Shake DetectionVia gyro sensors (1 sensor each for yaw and pitch)
IS ActivationTurned on with the IS switch and activated by pressing the shutter button halfway (SW-1)
Centering/Lock when IS is OffWhen the IS is Off, image stabilization optics are locked in place with a spring suspension mechanism rather than a center lock mechanism.When the IS is Off, the image-stabilizing lens group is centered and locked in position.
Mode SelectionNone (Automatic switching between normal shooting mode and panning mode is determined by gyro sensor signal.)
Vibration Reduction (Based on CIPA Standards)Equivalent to 4 shutter speed steps faster (Focal length 18mm, 35mm equivalent: 29mm, using EOS 7D)Equivalent to 4 shutter speed steps faster (Focal length 35mm, using EOS-1D X)
Dynamic IS/Hybrid ISNone

 
While not completely revealing, the above information does show some of the IS design differences between these lens classes.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/28/2014 8:44:46 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, August 21, 2014
Just Posted: Ewa-Marine U-B 100 Underwater Housing Review
 
The very useful Ewa-Marine U-B 100 has been difficult to find in stock this spring and summer, but B&H is showing this item as being in stock at this moment.
 
 
On a side note ... I've been spending a very large number of hours re-architecting the 10-year-old technology this site is built on – to stop the server meltdowns that are happening too frequently. The site's content and functionality should not be changing as I incrementally roll out updates, but please report any errors you find as the changes are very intrusive. The end result will be a better experience for you.
Post Date: 8/21/2014 8:38:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, August 4, 2014
Just posted: Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash Review
 
The MR-14EX is a great addition to a macro lens kit, making otherwise very challenging photos easy to capture.
 
B&H has the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/4/2014 7:08:09 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Just posted: MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Professional Review
 
The MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Pro is very high quality-constructed camera backpack with a very usefully-innovative design. It is also the most comfortable pack I've use to date.
 
Get your MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Pro at B&H or directly from MindShift Gear.
Post Date: 7/29/2014 7:59:22 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Just posted: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG II HSM Lens Review
 
The 12mm extreme-wide-angle rectilinear focal length makes this lens unique and gives the photographer the ability to capture very unique images.
 
B&H has the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG II HSM Lens in stock.
Post Date: 7/22/2014 8:00:21 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, July 17, 2014
The site's first tested Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens was provided by Sigma. That Sigma could have handpicked a superior lens was questioned, so I picked up a retail copy of this lens to verify the image quality this lens model delivers.
 
The image quality results from the second lens are now included in the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Review. The first link loads a comparison between the two lenses with the new lens shown on the left (sample "1"). I would say that the second lens is even slightly sharper than the already-impressive first lens. AF consistency for the second lens is the same as the first.
 
Image quality test results from the EOS 60D are also now included for this lens.
Post Date: 7/17/2014 8:16:10 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Canon EOS 60D Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens review.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens in stock. Check out the rave reviews this lens is getting from B&H customers. This feedback matches what I am hearing from you.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/16/2014 10:06:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 14, 2014
Just posted: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review
 
The ultra-wide, ultra-light, ultra-small, ultra-affordable Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens will be a no-brainer choice for a large number of APS-C DSLR kits.
 
Get your Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens at B&H, Adorama or Amazon.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/14/2014 8:44:10 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The complete set of standard test results along with specs/measurements and product images are now available on the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG II HSM Lens Review page.
Post Date: 7/9/2014 9:19:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Image quality, vignetting and distortion test results along with product images have been added to the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro Lens Review page. Flare results will be available soon.
Post Date: 7/8/2014 8:49:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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