I have added 40 new sample pictures to the site. The samples come from a wide range of cameras and lenses. Subject matter is equally diverse.
Your time is valuable, so stop wasting it on tasks that can be automated in Lightroom. Photography workflow and digital asset management expert Jared Platt will join us to discuss the most effective ways to automate the mundane tasks in the everyday photography workflow, and even your portfolio management.
In this live webinar on Tuesday September 24th at 4pm ET, Jared will show us his organization within Lightroom, present a live demo of his workflow, and more. Join us to learn essential, time-saving workflow tips from the self-proclaimed "efficiency junkie."
By Sean Setters
We post a lot of eBay deals here at The-Digital-Picture.com, and a healthy percentage of those are from "bigvalueinc." After BigValueInc's feedback rating dropped 1.5% in a relatively short amount of time last year, we started adding a disclaimer to their posted deals. We revised the disclaimer when we received reports that some customers had received incorrect items.
We were also concerned that items purchased from BigValueInc wouldn't be eligible for US warranty repairs. Many items you purchase on eBay are grey market products. Don't get me wrong, there's not usually anything wrong with grey market items - they're made in the same factories and held to the same standards as items earmarked for North American distribution. However, should there be a problem with your grey market item, it would not "technically" qualify for a warranty repair by Canon USA. That's the tradeoff you make for saving money on your purchase price on the front end.
Being in the market for a 5D III body for personal use, I decided give BigValueInc a try. I took advantage of one of the deals posted to the site and saved almost $1,000 off the retail price. So far, so good...
I received a shipping confirmation for my 5D III the next day. Oddly enough, even though the auction had specifically listed FedEx as the means of shipment, BigValueInc shipped the item via UPS instead. While this discrepancy wasn't a big deal to me, I can understand where some might not appreciate the unrequested and possibly unwelcomed change in shipment method (especially if you strongly prefer one shipper to another).
A few days later I received the package. When picking up the package, I noticed the sound of items seemingly moving freely in the box. This was not a comforting sound. After opening the package, I saw a retail box for the EOS 5D Mark III + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM kit along with some air-fill padding. This didn't surprise me - I had expected it. I assumed BigValueInc was able to sell the 5D Mark III at a lower price because they were buying kits and selling the components separately. One thing was conspicuously absent, though - a purchase receipt. Most sellers include a shipping receipt in the box, but BigValueInc did not include one.
Once I opened the retail box, I found out why I had heard components rattling around. The camera accessories - battery charger, battery, manuals, strap, USB cord, etc. - were simply laying in the void created by the long-gone lens. The camera was securely packed, bubble wrapped, and secured in its own compartment. To be fair, no accessory in the box was damaged. However, I think it would have been wise for BigValueInc to add some air-filled padding in the lens compartment to keep the camera accessories from bouncing around.
I was pleased to find the camera came with a blank, North American market warranty card - good for the US and Canada.
As mentioned, the camera was protected with bubble wrap, undisturbed, in a secure section of the box. I immediately put a lens on the camera and began taking test shots around my home. That's when I noticed an issue - there seemed to be something wrong with the multi-controller joystick. It didn't respond to movements in a dependable way. For every three times I pushed it right, it might register the movement once. I noted the issue but continued shooting with it for the next few days to see if the multi-controller bug would work itself out. I used the main dial and quick control dial to change focus points.
Everything else about the camera worked perfectly. The test images looked great. But the issue with the multi-controller remained after several days of consistent use. I decided the 5D III's multi-controller had to be fixed. I shipped the camera to Canon Professional Services requesting a warranty repair. I included my Paypal receipt to prove my date of purchase. I wasn't 100% sure Canon would repair the camera under warranty because BigValueInc is not on their "Authorized Resellers" list. However, Canon repaired the camera, under warranty, at no charge. It's now being shipped back to me as I write this.
I honestly think it was purely coincidental that I received a camera from BigValueInc that was in need of repair. I do not believe BigValueInc's business practices led to the issue. Cameras in need of repair straight out of the box are rare; Canon made the situation right by performing the warranty repair at no cost. Everything turned out well.
Keep in mind, you shouldn't expect the same type of customer service from BigValueInc that you get from well-established, reputable retailers (like Adorama). BigValueInc notes in their return policy that you may be charged a restocking fee based on the condition of the item being returned. They do make an exception for "defective" products which are eligible for return without incurring a restocking fee, though.
So would I buy from BigValueInc again? I would. I saved a significant amount of money purchasing from them and the item's warranty was validated by Canon. Aside from the small drawbacks - an unannounced change in shippers and relatively unsecure accessory packaging - my personal experience was a good one.
If you had a different experience buying from BigValueInc, please let us know.
And if you're ready to take the plunge, BigValueInc has the 5D Mark III available for $2,549.99 with free shipping.
"This is The-Digital-Picture.com's Weekend Recap for the week ending Sept. 21st, 2013.
In the news...
On Tuesday, the Photoshop Photography Membership Program went live on Creative Cloud. Those with a valid serial number for Photoshop CS3 or later can now register for Photoshop CC , Lightroom and Bridge CC for only $9.99 per month. See our post for the signup directions.
On Thursday, Nikon announced the world’s first waterproof and shockproof interchangeable lens camera, the Nikon 1 AW1 (I accidentally said "A1" instead of "AW1" in the narration), and two new waterproof lenses, the AW 11-27.5mm zoom and 10mm f/2.8 prime. The AW1 and lenses are scheduled to be available in October.
On Friday, Sigma released a new version of its Optimization Pro software as well as firmware updates for its 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM and 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM lenses. The firmware updates allow for quieter autofocus and, in the zoom’s case, improved optical stabilization. The lenses can be updated using Sigma’s USB dock. If you own one of Sigma’s global vision lenses, getting the USB dock is highly recommended.
In site news and reviews...
On Friday, Bryan also posted a photo of the moon taken at 1680mm. Bryan used the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II, a 2x Extender and a 1.4x Extender to capture the moon with an unexpected, yet certainly welcomed, airplane silhouette.
And, for our deal of the week…
On Monday, we posted a deal from Adorama where you could get Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 for $84.99 with free shipping. That’s a $45.00 savings off the normal, retail price.
This has been the The-Digital-Picture.com’s Weekend Recap. Thanks for listening, and as always, happy shooting!"
I decided that, with a clear sky, I was going to stack a pair of extenders to the back of my Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens and capture the "Harvest Moon" (the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox).
While you should not expect amazing image quality from this setup, the tight angle of view delivered by 1680mm is quite amazing. So tight that tracking the moon through the frame is a constant task. And, avoiding vibrations is a challenge. I opted to use mirror lockup with the 10 second self-timer to make sure that the camera fully settled down before the shutter release.
I was trying different exposure settings and verifying the results on the LCD. During one such check, I saw a black spot on the moon. My first thought was that I had a piece of dust on my sensor. Zooming in revealed otherwise.
I live well over an hour from the nearest large airport. The sky was black and I had no idea that there were any airplanes in the area. Using the 10 second timer, with the narrow angle of view, meant that I was predicting where the moon would be in the frame at shutter release. Not only did the airplane happen to cross the moon at the exact time of the shutter release, it happened to be in a perfect location over the moon. The timing was divine.
This image is an un-touched and uncropped (but reduced in size of course) conversion of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III RAW file. Photography is so fun.
So, what is the one question about photography gear or photography techniques that you would like an answer to?
Questions can be at any level of difficulty – from easy to impossible to answer. Please post your question on our Facebook page or send us an email if you'd rather not ask your question in a public forum. We'll be looking at and attempting to answer as many questions as we can!
From MindShift Gear:
We've packed some great gear into one of our rotation180° professional camera bags and we're going to choose a winner to take it all! We will also be giving away spot prizes to people that share and comment!
What have we packed in?
To enter, LIKE the promotion page and fill in the giveaway form.
This promotion is eligible for entry to anyone where permitted by law. You may enter once per day.
The promotion closes on 8th October, 2013 with a winner drawn and announced in the following 48 hours.
We reserve the right to announce the winner's name via our social channels, if the winner does not contact us to arrange delivery within 7 days of their email notification (and a couple of follow ups, hey, we're not cruel!) we'll re-draw and a new winner will be plucked.
This promotion's prize is not tranferable for cash, gold bullion or single origin coffee beans.
Poway, CA. September 19, 2013 – Delkin Devices is proud to announce the newest addition to their extensive product line of CompactFlash memory cards, the CF 1050X UDMA 7 Cinema memory card. With improved read and write speeds, Delkin’s 1050X Cinema card guarantees smooth, continuous recording and playback on DSLR cameras, especially ones that record in 4K.
Delkin’s CF 1050X is a specialized cinema memory card that's designed to excel in high-end recording equipment, such as 4K cameras and digital backs. Capable of recording data at speeds up to 120 MB/s, the 1050X is Delkin’s fastest card to date and is able to keep up with the most demanding digital cinematography requirements. “With 4K being adopted more each year, there is a growing need among filmmakers for memory cards that are fast enough to smoothly capture UltraHD video footage” explains Marketing Manager Anna Lopez. “With Delkin’s CF 1050X Cinema cards, filmmakers can confidently know that all of their footage will be captured in its entirety, without dropped frames.”
The 1050X is approved to work in high-end cameras that support 4K UltraHD recording, such as Canon’s EOS-1D C and C500; undergoing thorough testing to ensure compatibility and flawless performance. To record footage in 4K at 24fps, the Canon 1D C requires memory cards that are UDMA 7 and have a minimum write speed of 100 MB/s. Cards with a write speed less than 100 MB/s will either drop frames during filming or stop recording. The 1050X also works on digital file recorders, like AJA’s Ki Pro Mini.
The CF 1050X Cinema card also helps improve user workflow by reducing the amount of time it takes to transfer files from card to computer. With a read speed of 160 MB/s, the 1050X saves time and allows you to work on other project-related tasks. As the file size for 4K footage is significantly larger than 1080p, Delkin’s cards are built to transfer files quickly and efficiently, so that you can utilize your time to the fullest. No longer will you have to wait hours before you can start editing footage.
Unlike memory cards that are mass-built in overseas facilities, Delkin’s CF 1050X UDMA 7 Cinema memory cards are built with carefully chosen and controlled components to increase longevity, reliability and overall quality. All of Delkin’s memory cards are designed, engineered, and built in the U.S. and are covered under our Lifetime Warranty.
Delkin’s CompactFlash product line also includes our 500X (Good), 700X (Better), and 1000X (Best) memory cards. The CF 1050X Cinema card is now available and comes in the following capacities: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. Retail prices for each capacity are $139.95, $299.95, and $639.95 respectively and can be purchased via Delkin.com or any Delkin authorized retailer.
Sigma Optimization Pro 1.1:
Even after the update of lens firmware, this updated version of software will allow customers to secure all the settings and adjustment values of AF and OS that are customized via the USB DOCK. Please update to Ver1.1 before operating firmware update of 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C013 and 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A012. When the latest version of SIGMA Optimization Pro is released, users of the previous version will be notified with a pop-up window when the software starts up with an internet connection.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Firmware 1.02:
* Please update to SIGMA Optimization Pro Ver1.1 before operating firmware update of 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A012.
You can download the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Firmware 1.02 via Optimization Pro 1.1.
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Firmware 1.01:
* Please update to SIGMA Optimization Pro Ver1.1 before operating firmware update of 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C013.
You can download the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Firmware 1.01 via Optimization Pro 1.1.
Digital Photo Professional 3.13.45 and EOS Utility 2.13.25 are now available for download. (thanks Marco)
From Canon USA:
Changes from Digital Photo Professional 3.13.0 Updater for Windows:
Changes from EOS Utility 2.13.21 Updater for Windows :
A new firmware update is available for the EOS-1D C. Firmware Version 1.3.x adds new functionality incorporating the following features and modifications:
Lens aberration correction with EF Cinema Lenses: Communication between Canon EF Cinema lenses and Canon cameras has had a few effects on the operation of the EOS-1D C. The following features are now available as menu options:
Sound recording with Line input:
Service support start date is anticipated mid-October 2013. For information regarding the EOS-1D C firmware update (which must be performed by a Canon Factory Service center) please contact Canon Cinema EOS Support at 1-855-CINE-EOS (246-3367).
10 Films Inspired By User Submitted Photographs Will be Packaged by Canon as "A Ron Howard Presentation" - The Winning Consumer Directors and Five Celebrity Directors: Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx, James Murphy, Georgina Chapman and Biz Stone
MELVILLE, N.Y., September 19, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, two-time Academy Award winner Ron Howard, and Bryce Dallas Howard, one of Hollywood's most versatile actresses and director of the 2011 short film "when you find me," have announced the five winning consumer directors of the "Project Imaginat10n" film contest, which gave filmmakers of all skill levels an opportunity to showcase their creativity and storytelling abilities. Five celebrity directors also took part in the same creative exercise: Eva Longoria (film and TV actress), Jamie Foxx (Academy Award winner), Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter), Georgina Chapman (designer and co-founder of Marchesa) and James Murphy (founder of LCD SOUNDSYSTEM).
The challenge was to create a short film inspired by ten crowdsourced photos in ten storytelling themes: Character, Mood, Goal, Backstory, Setting, Obstacle, Relationship, The Unknown, Time and Discovery. The Discovery photo, "Discovering limits," was selected by Ron Howard and served as the thematic tie in each film. From hundreds of film submissions, twenty finalists were selected by a panel of judges. From there, Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard selected five winners to be part of "A Ron Howard Presentation."
Each film was judged based on imaginativeness, originality, technical quality, overall impression and the extent to which the film was inspired by ten of the winning Project Imaginat10n photos. The five Grand Prize winners include:
Bryce Dallas Howard, the first "graduating" director of the Project Imagin8ion experiment, utilized her experience from directing the short film, "when you find me," to mentor aspiring filmmakers across the country through the contest– speaking at select film schools and revealing her tips in an online webisode series, "Bryce's Project Imaginat10n Film Contest Tutorial."
"The caliber of films that we reviewed was beyond anything we were expecting," said Bryce Dallas Howard, "This exercise continues to prove that creativity and collaboration generate endless possibilities that mark the state of our time."
"We were blown away and humbled by the quality of the films," said Ron Howard. "The five films selected took an incredible approach to the experiment and were completely imaginative and fascinating."
The winning consumer-directed films can be viewed at imagination.usa.canon.com.
LONDON – September 19, 2013 – Triggertrap, developer of creatively-thrilling camera triggering solutions which eliminate the barriers to exciting photographic techniques, today announced Triggertrap Mobile 2.0, the brand new version of its popular iOS and Android mobile apps. The latest generation disguises 14 oft-complex advanced remote triggering options in a visually seductive and simplified design which makes the app easier than ever before to pick up. By matching any SLR camera or advanced compact with the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle, these kissing cousins let the apps turn even the most novice shooter into a master of photographic Tantra.
Combining the capabilities of several expensive camera accessories into a single pocket-sized package, the 14 triggering modes in Triggertrap Mobile make advanced photographic techniques available to everyone - even photographic newbies. Timelapse, HDR photography, sound triggering and other gasp-inducing techniques instantly become accessible to any photo enthusiast looking to break the point-and-shoot mold.
With this new version, Triggertrap Mobile gets a fresh, modern look that makes it easier for each photographer to realize their unique vision. The new interface has been dressed down and simplified, making it easier and faster to switch between triggering modes - this means no more missing awesome photographic opportunities because you’re futzing around with dials. It also squashed the bugs that somehow snuck into previous versions of the app while implementing more user requested features than you could shake a lens cap at. One of the most requested upgrades allows the Android app to run in the background, even when the phone is locked, drastically reducing battery consumption for hours and hours of Triggertrap timelapsing goodness.
“Whether a relationship of platonic fun or deeply-woven lust, every relationship benefits from clear communication; with Triggertrap Mobile 2.0 we’ve proven to be good listeners. We saw the opportunity to combine what we learned from the first generation app with the tips we received from our diehard fans to make Triggertrap what we always envisioned it could be,” said CEO and Triggertrap inventor Haje Jan Kamps. “It certainly helps that our fans wear the pants around here and aren’t shy about letting us know what could be improved, and as a result, Triggertrap Mobile 2.0 is the best triggering solution you’ll find anywhere.”
Building on its predecessor’s success, the latest version maintains the app’s popular wireless triggering functionality and integration with the recently launched Triggertrap Flash Adapter that makes fierce high-speed photography available to anyone who fancies having a go.
Triggertrap Mobile Functionality
Whether you’re aiming at the sky in hopes of capturing shooting stars, want to capture the exact moment a baseball comes crashing through a window pane, or would like to set up a fully automatic photo booth, Triggertrap has you covered.
Triggertrap Mobile is free to download and can be used on its own with the device’s internal camera, or you can use Triggertrap’s affordable hardware ($30) to hook the app up to a supported SLR camera or flashgun.
Triggertrap Mobile 2.0 is available to download from the iTunes Store (iOS) now, and will be available from Google Play soon.
Today's sample pictures were captured with the Canon EOS M (review). Because most of these pictures were taken with the Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens, that review now also has sample pictures available.
From Canon Professional Network:
Canon has announced that the EOS-1D C, its unique and ground-breaking DSLR designed principally for motion picture capture, has been independently tested in accordance with European Broadcasting Union (EBU) standards for HD content acquisition. The tests found that the EOS-1D C is the first-ever DSLR to provide an image of high enough quality for use as a broadcast production tool.
Results indicated that the EOS-1D C provides ‘exceptional’ HD resolution from a 4K source with ‘very low’ aliasing, and ‘good’ colour performance and motion portrayal. The test results also confirm that the EOS-1D C camera system and its imaging performance comply with the recommended specification for inclusion in the HD Tier 1 for HD Production.
“The EOS-1D C has received a tremendous response since it launched, and we’re delighted it’s been recognised by the EBU,” said Kieran Magee, Director of Professional Marketing, Canon Europe. “We’ve created a truly unique product that offers exceptional creative scope for videographers. The feedback we’ve received from the professional video community has been excellent, so it’s great that the product has been awarded the industry accreditation it deserves.”
OUTSTANDING QUALITY AND FLEXIBILITY
An innovative model that pushes DSLR video into new and exciting territories, the EOS-1D C delivers outstanding video quality, advanced low light performance and film-like dynamic range. It’s based on the same compact and lightweight design as Canon’s EOS-1D X, only with a specification that is designed for video-supporting in-camera 4K (4,096x2,160) video recording with 4:2:2 colour sampling, offering greater creative freedom for video professionals.
Its unique design and 4K shooting ability offers videographers a unique and highly portable package that’s optimised for high-quality video recording. Advanced creative flexibility is provided with support for a range of resolutions and variable frame rates, with 4K video recorded using 8-bit Motion JPEG compression at 23.98P or 25P, and Full HD (1920x1080) video capture available at frame rates up to 1080/60p for smooth motion.
As part of the wider EOS System, the EOS-1D C is compatible with Canon’s unrivalled selection of over 75 EF lenses – providing videographers with an incredible range of creative options.
EOS-1D C - KEY FEATURES: