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 Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Just posted: Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens Review.
 
This is a very fun little lens – especially for the price!
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/2/2017 7:33:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 1, 2017
In addition to the image quality results shared recently, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements are now available on the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens page.
 
You already how good the image quality results are, but I expect that you will like the f/1.8 vignetting results, dislike the amount of geometric distortion and like the flare test results.
 
The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 8/1/2017 8:13:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
I have the much-anticipated Canon EOS 6D Mark II in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 35 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 6D II ready for use. While 35 sounds like a large number of steps, nothing here is difficult. Just take one step at a time.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N 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. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer 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. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable/off (this should be the default and I highly recommend turning this for-showrooms feature off)
  13. 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)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(102400), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-40000
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  18. 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)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  20. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  25. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Feature guide: Disable
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Beep: Disable
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C2): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter information as desired
  30. Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure: Bracketing auto cancel: Disable
  31. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 1st image priority: Focus
  32. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 2nd image priority: Focus
  33. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only
  34. Custom Functions, C.Fn III:Operation/Others: 4 Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I always make additional menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but the above list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration means that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup works great for me, but 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 be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/1/2017 7:43:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, July 28, 2017
 Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Just posted: Sony a9 Review.
 
This camera has features that will leave you wanting when shooting with anything else.
 
The Sony a9 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 7/26/2017 9:01:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 25, 2017
After using the Sony a9 for nearly two months, I thought I'd share the setup steps I used for this camera. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a9 ready for use.
 

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) (unless your current favorite image processing software supports the Sony a9)
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the 20 fps frame rate or wanting an about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Focus Area: Flexible Spot
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 7: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 7: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Card: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 6: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 8: Custom Key(Shoot.): Custom Button 1: ISO
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Shutter Type: Electronic Shut. (I sometimes opted for the Auto setting)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Audio signals: On:e-shutter only (set to Off if photographing in a quiet setting)
  • Network Menu, Tab 1: Airplane Mode: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Volume Settings: 3
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operation: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 4: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}

I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my typical camera setup.
 
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, 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. If the camera is ever reset-to-factory state, your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Sony a9
 
The Sony a9 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 7/25/2017 9:08:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Noise test results have been added to the have been added to the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D page.
 
The SL2 has the same sensor as several other recently released Canon cameras, including the Canon EOS 77D. Expectations were for the Rebel SL2 to share the same image quality. However, in the Canon EOS SL2 vs. 77D comparison, I see the SL2 images showing less noise. I love when expectations are exceeded in a positive direction.
 
Even though the SL2 has increased resolution over its predecessor, the SL1, the Canon EOS SL2 vs. SL1 comparison again shows the new camera to have less noise.
 
Also to love is the low price of this camera. The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/25/2017 8:31:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 24, 2017
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 just showed up and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Canon EOS Rebel SL2 ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E17 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. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer 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. Insert the battery (after charging completes, unless you can't wait).
  5. Power the camera on.
  6. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: set to RAW (I highly recommend a RAW workflow)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Off/Disable (I highly recommend this setting)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post, but "Low" is also a good choice)
  18. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  19. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:ISO expansion: On
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [your name]
  24. Display Level Menu: Menu guide: Standard (required to gain access to My Menu)
  25. Display Level Menu: Mode guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  26. Display Level Menu: Feature guide: Disabled (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  27. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
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. My setup is ideal for me, but keep in mind that your needs may differ. The best use of this list may be for tweaking of 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 be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS Rebel SL2
 
The very inexpensive Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/24/2017 9:15:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens page.
 
I like what I see.
 
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 7/24/2017 7:22:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, July 21, 2017
Along with the image quality test results I shared previously, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens page.
 
This inexpensive lens is still looking good, from both an image quality perspective and a stylish one. From a size standpoint, let's put things in perspective.
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/21/2017 7:25:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens page.
 
As always, there are many comparisons that can be made, but I'll get you started with a comparison against a known good lens:
 
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM vs. EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/19/2017 3:40:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
You are planning to photograph the eclipse, right? This rare opportunity is coming to most of North America with the path of totality running coast-to-coast through the heart of the USA. The moon is going to cause the sun to disappear and that event is causing solar filters to disappear from retailer inventories. Don't wait to get yours!
 
Which solar filter should I get for my super telephoto lens? I just posted a review of that answer: The Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter.
 
You might be surprised at how inexpensive this filter is. The Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama. At least some sizes are in stock – preorder out of stock items immediately to get them in time for the big event.
 
You can also view the entire selection of solar filters at B&H, Adorama and Amazon.
 
If you don't own a super telephoto lens, this event is a great excuse to get one (some of these are also becoming scarce). If such a lens is not affordable or does not have long-term use, consider renting one.
 
Solar Eclipse Photography Resources
 
Here are some links that you may find useful. The first is NASA’s interactive map (click anywhere on it to get that location’s information). The second is our news feed of useful articles:
 
NASA: Interactive Solar Eclipse Map
Solar Eclipse Photography Tips (TDP posts)
Space.com's Solar Eclipse Guide
Solar Eclipse Exposure Calculator
American Astronomical Society: How to Shoot Solar-Eclipse Images & Videos
MREclipse.com: Solar Eclipse Photography Guide
NASA: Solar Eclipse Maps
NASA: Eclipse Photography
 Monday, July 10, 2017
Just posted: Rokinon/Samyang SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens Review.
 
Learn about this new premium-grade lens from Rokinon/Samyang, the company that has long been the source of great value lenses.
 
This lens currently has a $200.00 instant savings available. The Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 7/10/2017 8:59:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 29, 2017
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR camera page has been loaded with information, expectations and images.
 
Also available are the detailed Canon EOS 6D Mark II specifications, ready for comparison with your favorite EOS model. Here is the Canon EOS 6D Mark II vs. 6D comparison.
 
This is one of the more-exciting Canon camera releases we've seen recently. I expect this model to become a very popular one.
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2017 12:04:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D DSLR camera page has been loaded with information, expectations and images. Also, learn what "SL" stands for.
 
Additionally available are the detailed Canon EOS SL2 specifications, ready for comparison with your favorite EOS model. Here is the Canon EOS SL2 vs. SL1 comparison.
 
I liked the SL1 a lot and a new iteration of this model with some of Canon's latest DSLR technologies included is great to see.
 
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2017 12:04:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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