Canon and Sony News for Dec 2014 (Page 2)

 Tuesday, December 16, 2014

From Nikon:

Notice regarding fraudulent Nikon D800E digital SLR (fraudulently modified D800) cameras

We have confirmed that there are cases in which D800E digital SLR cameras were received for repair, only to find that the cameras were actually fraudulently modified D800 cameras whose covers had been replaced with D800E covers. It seems that these fraudulently modified products are in circulation via Internet auctions and the like. As the Nikon warranty does not apply to fraudulently modified products, Nikon will not inspect or repair such products. In addition, Nikon cannot be held responsible in any way regarding the use of fraudulently modified products. Please take all necessary precautions to ensure the authenticity of a camera before purchasing one.

Identifying these fraudulently modified cameras
Display an image captured with your camera in the camera monitor. When the overview* display option is enabled in full-frame playback mode, the name of the camera used to capture the image is displayed in the top right corner. If "NIKON D800E" is displayed, your camera is an authentic D800E. If any other name is displayed, your camera is a fraudulent D800E.

Nikon D800E Verified Through Menu.gif

*See the D800/D800E User's Manual for instructions on enabling overview display.

For more information regarding this matter, please contact Nikon Customer Support.

Posted to: Nikon News   Category: Nikon Service Notices
Post Date: 12/16/2014 11:21:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

B&H has the Westcott Omega Reflector Kit available for preorder.

Product Highlights

  • Innovative 10-in-1 Design, 38 x 45"
  • 2:3 aspect ratio removable center frame
  • White, Silver, Sunlight, Black Surfaces
  • 1-Stop Diffusion Core

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Preorder Notices
Post Date: 12/16/2014 7:25:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, December 15, 2014

From Canon:

Affected Product
EOS 6D Digital SLR Cameras

Details
Firmware Version 1.1.6 incorporates the following fixes:

  1. Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera may not first use the center AF point to focus, when the AF point selection is set to automatic in AI Servo AF mode.
  2. Fixes a phenomenon in which focus cannot be finely adjusted with specific lenses when shooting remotely with EOS Utility software.
  3. Corrects some Ukrainian language displayed on the menu for ISO Setting.
Firmware Version 1.1.6 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.1.4. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.1.6, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Please note: After the firmware update has been performed the following setting will be reset to default.
Menu > Custom Function> C.Fn II: Autofocus > AF Microadjustment> 1: All by same amount

When updating the firmware of the camera, please review the instructions thoroughly before you download the firmware.

Support
Download Firmware Version 1.1.6 for the EOS 6D Camera

Thank you,
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon Firmware Updates
Post Date: 12/15/2014 7:14:26 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

News/2014/Gear-Up-For-The-Holidays-with-Zacuto.jpgZacuto's Gear Up for the Holidays GiveawayZacuto Celebrates Holidays with Gear GiveawayZacuto will be giving away about $10,000 worth of prizes over the next four days. See below for info.

The Giveaways

  • Monday’s Giveaway - VCT Universal Baseplate ($650 value) and $350 licensing credit at Music Bed
  • Tuesday’s Giveaway - $1,250 Zacuto Gift Card and $625 credit at Borrow Lenses
  • Wednesday’s Giveaway - Zacuto Next Gen Recoil Rig of Choice (up to $2,200 in value) and a SmallHD Monitor ($999 value)
  • Thursday’s Giveaway - Gratical HD Micro-OLED EVF ($3,800 value) and Kessler’s Second Shooter ($1,399 value)

How to Enter the Gear Up For The Holidays Giveaway

Visit zacuto.com/gear-up-for-the-holidays on Monday December 15th, 2014 at 12:00 PM CST to find the first giveaway. It will be live for 24 hours and then the next giveaway will begin. Come back every day to enter for each product and increase your chances to win!

B&H carries Zacuto products.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Zacuto News
Post Date: 12/15/2014 12:34:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Adobe:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7.1

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7.1 update includes these enhancements:

  • Fix for bugs related to camera support on the Samsung NX1 camera.
  • Camera support for additional new lenses and cameras.

New Lens Profile Support in Lightroom 5.7.1

MountName
Canon EFCanon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EFCanon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EFTokina AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX
Leica MZeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZM
Nikon FTokina AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX
Nikon FTokina AT-X 70-200mm F4 PRO FX VCM-S
Sony AlphaTokina AT-X 166 PRO DX II 11-16 F2.8

Download: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7.1



DNG Converter 8.7.1

Support for the following camera has been added. Visit the Camera Raw page for a complete list of supported cameras.

  • Sony ILCE-7M2

Download: DNG Converter 8.7.1

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 12/15/2014 12:03:18 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Dear Canon,

Christmas is coming again and I'm hopeful that I remain on your "Nice" list.

After having reasonable success with my previous What I Want From Canon for Christmas lists, I decided to add a few more items this year. I present below my Christmas wish list for 2014 and will include the 2013 items that were somehow overlooked. I understand that technology development takes time and do not mind you taking the entire year of 2015 to grant these wishes.

Auto Focus Stacking
Sometimes a camera is not able to keep everything in the frame in sharp focus due to depth of field limitations. The lens may not have an aperture narrow enough to do this and the photographer may not want to use the narrowest apertures available to avoid the effects of diffraction. A common technique used to capture extreme depth of field is focus stacking. Multiple images are captured with the plane of sharp focus being adjusted from close to far (or vice versa) during the sequence.

While this technique can work well, it is at least mildly complicated to execute. I would like you to provide an auto focus stacking function that lets me focus on the closest part of the subject, register that focus distance and then focus on the most-distant part of the subject and register that focus distance. The tripod-mounted camera would then determine the number of pictures necessary for the proper focus stacking based on the DOF-determining parameters including the aperture currently selected. Really nice would be for the camera to understand and take into account for the in-use lens' focus breathing (if it has such).

Quick Detachable Neck Straps
Camera neck straps are very useful most of the time. But, sometimes straps become a liability (catching on things, getting in my eye, etc.) and I would like to remove them. Such times include when using the camera on a tripod or monopod. Or, for when using a big lens with its own neck strap.

Yes, all current straps are removable, but the standard Canon straps take too much time to unthread and then rethread for reinstallation. Some third party companies offer types of quick release systems, but all leave something hanging from/attached to the camera.

What I request is a camera version of what the sporting arms industry refers to as a flush mount push-button quick detach universal sling mount. In all magnesium alloy-framed camera models (at least), a tubular insert should be provided where the current neck strap holders are located. Inside that female insert will be a circular groove. A male adapter will be designed to fit into the insert when a button is pressed to allow its ball bearings to retract into the sides of the adapter. In place and push button released, the adapter will spin freely (for easy neck strap untwisting) with the bearings riding in the insert's groove, but will not release unless the photographer intends to release it (allow no accidental release).

A neck strap will be attached to the male adapter. I will be able to quickly remove or attach any of my straps to any of my cameras. Another huge benefit is that this setup will allow third parties to attach their own neck strap variants without cannibalizing my camera's tripod insert.

Arca-Swiss Compatibility Tripod Mount Rings for All
Every time I get a telephoto lens with a tripod mount ring, I add a lens plate to make it compatible with my Arca-Swiss-compatible support and flash gear. It seems like a simple process to simply machine the bottom of the tripod mount foot to add this compatibility during production.

The Arca-Swiss system is very popular (and great to use), so many of us would be well-served by the addition of this feature. Those not using this system would be little-inconvenienced and the additional production cost would be minor.

 
Canon, I'll roll up my unfulfilled 2013 wish list line items here, just so you can keep everything in one place.

I Want a Sharp Mode
I'll start my list with my biggest and most-complicated wish first. I want a new camera mode. Your marketing wizards will likely think of a good name for it, but I'll get you started: It can be called "Sharp Mode", "Pro Action" Mode, "Stop-the-Action Mode", "Bryan's Mode", etc.

Via this mode selection, I want to tell the camera to automatically select the slowest shutter speed that will deliver no subject or camera motion blur in my image. The camera will utilize the viewfinder imaging sensor to determine a subject's rate of motion across the frame (caused by either camera shake or subject motion). Based on this intelligence, the camera can instantaneously determine the slowest shutter speed necessary to capture a sharp image.

By using the slowest shutter speed necessary, the lowest ISO setting possible can be used – resulting in the lowest noise possible in an image. And of course, there would be no motion blur in the result.

I will always want to set the aperture manually in this mode. For overall image brightness, there should be manual and auto exposure options. In manual mode, the image brightness will remain as I set it. The ISO will always be Auto and the camera will use the lowest ISO setting possible to deliver proper image brightness. In auto mode, the camera will determine how bright the image should be (with exposure compensation available). In manual mode, the camera will maintain the brightness I set (with offsetting adjustments to brightness parameters). Once ISO 100 is reached in any mode, the shutter speed should not be further shortened – a too fast shutter speed is rarely an issue when stopping all motion is a priority.

This mode will work with or without image stabilization enabled. A menu option will allow me to adjust the sensitivity of the camera's motion detection – to tune the setting as desired.

A significant benefit from this mode will be the assurance of sharp results at the lowest ISO setting possible. Reduced noise will be the benefit of not having to shoot at insurance-level, faster than necessary shutter speeds.

Here is an example of how I would use this mode:

I am shooting a soccer match on a very cloudy day. I am shooting with a wide open aperture (say f/4) and using a 1/1600 shutter speed to insure that most action is stopped. This exposure requires an ISO setting of 3200 for correct brightness – high enough that noise is very noticeable in the images. But, not every shot captured at this match needs a 1/1600 sec exposure to stop the action. A ball carrier that has momentarily stopped, a portrait captured immediately after a big play, the keeper on the ground with the ball safely in his/her hands. These shots can safely be captured at far longer exposures with lower ISO settings that deliver higher image quality.

With Sharp mode selected, the camera can instantly and automatically shift-down the ISO setting to give me a higher quality, but still sharp, image. Some shots such as a hard kick captured at a close distance might need an even faster shutter speed than my 1/1600 and this mode would instantly adjust for this.

Another example:

I am high up on a mountain shooting handheld. It is mid-day under a partly cloudy sky and I am shooting landscapes with a circular polarizer filter installed. Since parts of the scenery are always under a full sun, I know the exposure I need. And I want an f/11 aperture. The big differentiator in determining the shutter speed necessary for sharp images is the strong gusting wind. Sharp mode can determine how much camera shake is showing in the viewfinder, even with the image stabilized lens I'm using, and can determine the shutter speed necessary to stop that shake – the instant the picture is taken. When the wind stops, I can possibly shoot at 1/10 sec or longer, but during gusts, I might need 1/80 or even higher. The camera can simply boost the ISO setting to give me always-sharp images.

Adding this capability (even to the fully-auto green square+ mode) would be a huge benefit – especially for beginners. This would be a game-changing feature that would sell a huge number of cameras.

I discussed Sharp mode with Chuck Westfall (Canon USA) at the PhotoPlus Expo in 2013. I don't expect to see a firmware update bringing this feature to us, but I do hope that Canon will include this feature in new DSLR camera models.

Tv Settings Longer than 30 Seconds
Why is 30 seconds the longest exposure allowed in-camera? There are plenty of uses for longer exposures and I am not aware of any limitation to today's cameras taking exposures much longer than this. I want Tv settings up to (at least) 5 minutes to be available in 1/3 stop settings in-camera. Allow a menu option for limits to be set shorter than this (those who do not need anything close to 30 seconds will also be accommodated).

Ultra-High Resolution Canon EOS-1Ds X DSLR
Simply take the current Canon EOS-1D X (or the Canon EOS 5D Mark III) and drop a 40MP (or similar) sensor into it. I'd rather give nothing up to gain this resolution, but ... you can take 1 fps if you need to. :)

Ultra-High Resolution Via Multiple Shots
Taking the ultra-high resolution DSLR camera wish one step further, I want Canon to utilize multiple images to composite a much higher resolution image and/or higher quality image. There are multiple ways to accomplish this goal, but adding a very tiny imaging sensor shift in the X and Y axis between each shot is a possible method. Limitations would be similar to those encountered with HDR photography including motionless subjects needed. I made this request to Chuck in person, so at least he is thinking about this one.

Effective ISO 7.25, 12.5 and 25
I no longer want to buy or carry neutral density filters in multiple densities and multiple thread sizes. Please figure out how to give me lower ISO settings with no loss of dynamic range. Throw away some photons or something.

And while you are working on this request, can you give me digital graduated ND filter capabilities in-camera? Allow me to use the touch-enabled LCD to show the camera the area of the frame that is to be made darker. Allow me to set the gradient shape, size, softness and density.

Can you also give me a built-in circular polarizer filter?

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens
Canon has recently given us a pair of great 24-70 L lenses, but I still would like an f/2.8 IS version. Basically, add a 4-stop image stabilizer to the current Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens and I would be a very happy camper. In addition to giving us an awesome lens, Canon would give those of us trying to decide between (or trying help others decide between) the 24-70 L II and the 24-70 f/4L IS or 24-105 f/4L IS a huge time savings. I asked for this lens a long time ago - and will keep asking until I get it or something better. If Tamron can make this product, I'm certain that Canon can.

Canon EF 500mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens
I would like to see a great bird and wildlife photography lens that is both smaller and much more affordable than the current supertelephoto lenses, but I am of course not willing to accept less than perfection from the image quality. The gap between the 100-400 L & 400mm f/5.6L lenses and the big white guns leaves a room for such a lens.

Canon Lens Hoods for All
I want the proper lens hood to come with all Canon lenses I purchase – not just L lenses. I don't need "flocking" – matt plastic inside the hood will be fine (and easier to clean).

 
Thanks Canon! Can't wait for my wishes to be fulfilled!

What do you want from Canon for Christmas?

Posted to: Canon News   
Post Date: 12/15/2014 7:56:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Profoto:

Get a perfect exposure at any aperture or shutter speed with Profoto's new solution for high-speed sync

December 15, 2014 – Up until now, HSS solutions have been either consistent but lacking in speed and power, or fast and powerful but inconsistent. On December 15, Profoto releases a new solution that has all of the benefits and none of the limitations.

High-Speed Sync (HSS) is the technical term for syncing flash with shutter speeds shorter than the so-called x-sync, typically 1/250 of a second. It is a useful tool for controlling ambient light and for freezing action. But there used to be limitations.

Current solutions for speedlights give you a fairly even exposure. But it does so at the expense of speed and power. Previous solutions for larger flashes were faster and more powerful. But the exposure could differ as much as 2 f-stops in a single shot.

Profoto’s new HSS solution for the B1 Off-Camera Flash has all of the benefits and none of the limitations. The B1 itself is about ten times as powerful as the average speedlight and fast enough to keep up with your camera. With the new HSS upgrade installed, you switch to HSS Mode with a simple button-press. You will then be able to shoot at shutter as fast as 1/8000 of a second.

But it does not stop there. Profoto HSS is a unique, patent-pending technology, providing an extremely fast series of flash pulses. What this means in practice is that you get an extremely consistent exposure with no measurable variation over the image.

In other words, Profoto HSS is fast, powerful and consistent. This opens up completely new light shaping possibilities for Profoto customers. For instance, you can now shoot with a large aperture in bright conditions to get a shallow depth of field and get that perfect deep blue sky. Or capture super crisp action in mixed light conditions without getting motion blur from ambient light.

Profoto HSS works for both Canon and Nikon and has been tested for all common camera models.

Profoto HSS is available through a firmware upgrade. Go to www.profoto.com and download it for free. Once installed, HSS Mode is activated with a simple button-press. It is very easy, and there is no need to change the flash bulb. Also note that you can use Profoto HSS with TTL, making it fast and easy to do fast paced action shots or daylight backlit portraits with large apertures.

B&H carries the Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash and Air Remote TTL Trigger.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Profoto News
Post Date: 12/15/2014 6:07:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, December 12, 2014

B&H has started shipping preorders for the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. If you preordered early, you may be getting a shipment notice soon (if you haven't already).

Posted to: Canon News   
Post Date: 12/12/2014 1:01:14 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Photoshelter:

Make 2015 count with tips from 50 photo influencers!

In The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, award-winning photographers, recognized photo editors, and leading industry experts share their best advice to make 2015 a knockout year.

Get insights on all the key aspects of building and running your photo business, including:

  • Growing your photo business
  • Marketing your photography
  • Mastering social media
  • Embracing personal projects
  • Understanding your finances
  • Getting hired

You’ll hear from some of the most influential names in the business including David Burnett, Ami Vitale, Joe McNally, Zack Arias, Brad Smith, Alison Zavos, Jodi Cobb, David duChemin, Jeremy Cowart, and more.

Get the Free Guide

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photoshelter News
Post Date: 12/12/2014 6:53:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, December 11, 2014

From Adobe:

Acquisition to Deliver Vibrant Image and Video Marketplace for Creatives Worldwide

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dec. 11, 2014 — Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia, a leading marketplace for royalty-free photos, images, graphics and HD video, for approximately $800 million in cash. Fotolia will be integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud, providing current and future Creative Cloud members with the ability to access and purchase over 34 million images and videos, significantly simplifying and accelerating the design process. The acquisition of Fotolia cements Creative Cloud’s role as a vibrant marketplace for creatives to buy and sell assets and services as well as showcase their talent to a worldwide audience. Adobe also plans to continue to operate Fotolia as a standalone stock service, accessible to anyone.

“The acquisition of Fotolia will reinforce Creative Cloud’s role as the preeminent destination for creatives,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Digital Media, Adobe. “Creative Cloud is becoming the go-to marketplace for the creative community to access images, videos, fonts and creative talent, through critical creative services like Fotolia and our new Creative Talent Search capabilities.”

With over 3.4 million members, Adobe Creative Cloud features the world’s leading desktop tools, an array of complementary mobile apps, training content, creative assets and services and ready access to a dynamic community. Creative Cloud is transforming how creatives find inspiration and deliver their best work -- and the value of Creative Cloud is increasing all the time through product updates and new capabilities like Creative Talent Search. Following the completion of the acquisition, Adobe expects to integrate the delivery and purchase of stock assets into Creative Cloud.

“Becoming part of the Adobe family is a dream come true for the Fotolia team and will accelerate our vision to become the best place for artists to build a business and the ultimate destination for designers to find stunning creative work,” said Oleg Tscheltzoff, founder and CEO of Fotolia.

Founded in 2004, with offices in New York, Paris and Berlin, privately-held Fotolia is owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., TA Associates and management. Fotolia currently operates in 23 countries and has websites in 14 languages.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of Adobe’s fiscal Q1 2015, is subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The potential financial impact to Adobe of this transaction is not reflected in financial targets Adobe has previously provided, or new targets disclosed as part of Adobe's financial results, released on December 11, 2014. Until the transaction closes, each company will continue to operate independently. Upon close Fotolia CEO, Oleg Tscheltzoff, will continue to lead the Fotolia team as part of Adobe’s Digital Media business.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 12/11/2014 8:29:15 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Adobe Lightroom Journal:

Camera Raw 8.7.1 is now available as a final release for Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC. This release includes support for the Sony ILCE-A7M2 and also includes a bug fix related to support for the Samsung NX1 camera. DNG Converter 8.7.1 is provided for customers using versions of Photoshop older than Photoshop CS6.

As mentioned here, updates to Camera Raw 8 for Photoshop CS6 only include new camera support, lens profile support, and bug fixes. The new features listed in the release notes are only available in Photoshop CC.

New Lens Profile Support in Camera Raw 8.7

MountName
Canon EFCanon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EFCanon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EFTokina AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX
Leica MZeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZM
Nikon FTokina AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX
Nikon FTokina AT-X 70-200mm F4 PRO FX VCM-S
Sony AlphaTokina AT-X 166 PRO DX II 11-16 F2.8
Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed issues with chromatic aberration specific to the Samsung NX1.

Please note – If you have trouble updating to the latest ACR update via the Creative Cloud application, please refer to the following plugin installation:
http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/multi/camera-raw-plug-in-installer.html

Download Links
DNG Converter 8.7 for Windows
DNG Converter 8.7 for Macintosh

Post Date: 12/11/2014 3:35:25 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

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   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 12/11/2014 10:06:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 10, 2014

B&H is expecting to ship Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens preorders beginning this Friday, December 12. We have received reports that the lens is already showing up in the European market (Netherlands). (thanks Rob)

Posted to: Canon News   
Post Date: 12/10/2014 2:03:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

A laser-like beam of sunlight reaches 130' below the ground to the floor of Upper Antelope Canyon. I highly recommend a wide angle zoom lens when shooting at this popular location. There is a lot of sand blowing into this slot canyon (and the 4 other slot canyons I was in during this trip), so any lens changing should be done inside a protective bag. A towel or other protection for the camera and lens would also be a good idea.


I captured this image back in 2010, but it remains one of my favorites. I took advantage of a recent Canvas On Demand 50% off deal (ends today) to have a 56x37" canvas print of it created. The canvas looks great and is leaning against the wall in my studio awaiting me to hang it.

Apparently, photos of light beams in slot canyons are quite valuable right now. I'm taking offers. :)

See this image larger on Google+, Flickr and Facebook.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
16mm  f/8.0  5s
ISO 100
3744 x 5616px
Post Date: 12/10/2014 1:20:28 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

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

From the SmugMug Films YouTube Channel:

You've never seen space like this. This short film gives an inside look at how NASA Astronaut Don Pettit captures breathtaking images of Earth's most famous phenomena - aurora, star trails, city lights, and more - from the inside the International Space Station.

Read our interview with Don on our blog. See his photos up close.

Post Date: 12/10/2014 11:29:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Outdoor Photographer:

Award-Winning Photographer Now Holds Four of the Top 20 Most Expensive Photographs Ever Sold

"LAS VEGAS – Today, LIK USA announced the sale of the most expensive photograph in history by world-renowned fine art photographer, Peter Lik. 'Phantom' sold to a private collector for an unprecedented $6.5 million. The purchase also included Lik’s masterworks 'Illusion' for $2.4 million and 'Eternal Moods' for $1.1 million. With this $10 million sale, Lik now holds four of the top 20 spots for most expensive photographs ever sold. He already has a position in the ranking with a previous $1 million sale of famed image, 'One.'"

See the entire article on Outdoor Photographer's website.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   
Post Date: 12/10/2014 5:52:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 9, 2014

From the B&H YouTube Channel:

Running a financially sound business can often feel like a fine balancing act between pursuing passion vs. profits. Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned photographer, owning and running a full-time photography business requires that know how to make money and be profitable. Binita Patel shares her insights on how to MAKE MONEY as a full-time photographer.

The presentation will cover the following topics:

  • Defining the Value of Your Work
  • Selling: Pitching vs. Catching
  • Pricing and Packages
  • Understanding Your Finances
  • Achieving Profitability

Post Date: 12/9/2014 2:03:17 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

If you can script the action, the odds of getting a great action photo increase dramatically. If you can repeat the script, those odds skyrocket far higher. And, being able to pick the time of day for the shoot is golden. For this galloping horse shoot, I had full control. But even with full control, you still need to know how to get the shot.
 
I often test camera and lens AF performance using a rider on a galloping horse. This is a challenging subject that I am familiar with, allowing me to best appreciate a camera and lens' capabilities. I often share sample pictures from these shoots and thought you might appreciate the "How To" behind these shots. To dive right in, let's select a lens.
 
Select your Lens
 
Tracking a fast-moving subject requires a fast, responsive-focusing lens. I prefer longer focal length lenses with an effective 400-500mm angle of view being ideal for my situation. A narrow angle of view allows me to isolate the horse and rider against a relatively small area of strongly blurred background. The longer focal lengths keep the horse and rider in the framing sweet spot for a longer duration.
 
There are many lenses capable of tracking this action, but the Canon L telephoto lenses are generally my preference. When testing a camera, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens are usually my first choices. I completely trust these lenses to perform amazingly in all regards and their narrow depth of field at wide open apertures shows me exactly where AF placed the plane of sharp focus.
 
If the lens has IS mode 3, that is the mode I use. Otherwise, I turn off image stabilization.
 
The Camera Setup
 
The camera itself is of course an important component in stopping a galloping horse. If you have only one, that is the camera to use. If you have a choice ... the faster and more accurately a camera auto focuses on a fast-moving subject, the more likely it will be able to keep the horse's rider in focus and the faster that camera's frame rate is, the more likely you are going to capture the ideal horse position. The Canon EOS-1D X and Canon EOS 7D Mark II (used for the included image) are my top 2 choices.
 
Since you know that the subject will be in motion, use the camera's AI Servo AF mode. In this mode, the camera will predict where the subject will be at the precise moment the shutter opens.
 
I also recommend using the fastest frame rate burst mode your camera offers. Some people refer to this mode as "Spray and Pray", but ... just because you can create a catchy saying that has negative implications does not mean that the implications are right.
 
The fastest frame rates available today have a purpose and that purpose includes allowing the photographer to concentrate on framing the action while capturing a large variety of subject position(s) to later choose from. The faster the frame rate, the more likely the ultimate subject position will be included in the results (be sure to use a fast, high capacity memory card). You can alternatively release the shutter when you think the subject will be in perfect position, but ... know that horses can move very fast. This American quarter horse was approaching at an estimated 35-40 mph (56-64 kph). Good luck timing even a short shutter lag with all four hooves off of the ground.
 
For the galloping horse photos, I always use manual exposure mode. I select the widest aperture my lens has available, which is most often f/2.8 or f/4. The wide aperture allows more light to reach the sensor, allowing the use of faster (shorter) shutter speeds and lower ISO settings. I usually select a 1/1600 sec. shutter speed. I can get by with a modestly slower shutter speed setting, but 1/1600 practically eliminates motion-blur issues for this subject (same in most people-in-action photos).
 
I use the ISO setting to adjust the final image brightness delivered by the selected shutter speed and aperture. If ISO 100 is not low enough (such as under bright sunlight at f/2.8), I use a faster shutter speed. If the light is rapidly changing (clouds cause this), I use an Auto ISO setting, but this is not my preference.
 
When shooting in the late-day sun (the ideal time of day for this scene), the light level typically goes down throughout the shoot. I watch the histogram between passes and adjust settings as necessary.
 
Because this action scenario is not unique and because I shoot action with some frequency, I have Custom Mode 1 programmed for the above parameters on all of my cameras. If I am shooting action, I simply turn the dial to Custom Mode 1 and tweak the settings as needed.
 
I want the rider's face to be in focus as the rider is more important than the horse for my photos and an important choice to be made prior to shooting is the AF point selection. There are a lot of AF point options with some of the newest high-end camera models. As a rule, the center AF point is a camera's best-performing AF point. However, in the horse galloping situation, the center AF point tends to fall on the horse's nose. Since I choose to shoot with a shallow depth of field, focusing on the horse's nose places the rider out of focus.
 
There is more than one AF point option that can work as I desire and I often use more than one in a shoot, though I seldom select more than a single AF point option. Placing the left-most center AF point on the rider's boot and the saddle area works well. I also like to use the top-most AF point placed on the rider's head. Because the horse and rider are going up and down very rapidly, it is difficult to keep the horse's ear from capturing the camera's focus attention when using this AF point. The latest and greatest cameras can have their AF parameters tuned and instructing the camera to not be too quick to focus on distractions can resolve this specific problem.
 
You might find that an AF point placed low on the horse's chest places your rider adequately in sharp focus, but ... the lack of contrast in that location may challenge the camera's AF system.
 
Setting up the Action
 
The horses I am primarily shooting are running on a slowly curving trail at the top of our field. As the rider is warming up the horse, I am adjusting my shooting distance to ideally frame the subjects and to align both horse and rider with the background (I also dial in my exposure during warmup).
 
There is not a lot of foreground in my galloping horse pictures, but you can readily see the background and that is very important for the overall image. I try to select distant landscape (mostly small mountains) that is pleasing but not distracting. I prefer the high contrast line between the sky and the forest to not go through the rider's head, but above or below is good. My choice is usually to shoot from a very low position – typically squatted behind a monopod-mounted camera and lens. This low position places the rider higher into the background.
 
Capturing the Action
 
When the horse and rider are warmed up and ready, it is time to go live. The rider typically lets me know that they are ready, I check the camera's electronic level to insure that I am (nearly) perfectly vertical and let the rider know that I am ready.
 
I carefully watch for the rider to appear over the horizon. As soon as the subjects appear, I place the AF point in the desired position and begin AI Servo AF tracking by pressing the shutter release half way (pressing the rear focus button also works if the camera is so-configured). As the subject approaches the ideal framing distance, I fully press the shutter release and follow the subject until too close for usable framing.
 
As the horse and rider trot back for another pass, I check the results just captured and make any adjustments needed. Since I am usually testing a camera or lens when shooting this rider on a galloping horse scenario, I shoot many passes.
 
Reviewing the Take-Home
 
With a fast camera and many passes, I am often looking at a thousand or more images to review. Reviewing is a time consuming process and, when using a top-performing camera and lens combo, selecting down the keepers can be a huge task. While making the first pass through the images, I mark all that are out of focus for immediate deletion. If the camera, lens and I did our jobs properly, the keeper selection challenge grows considerably after the first pass. I have favorite positions for the horse, prefer to see open eyes on both the horse and the rider and also look for something unique in the image (such as a big tail swish).
 
Not Just for Galloping Horses
 
As you likely guessed, these instructions can be used for photographing much more than just galloping horses. While galloping horses may have some unique challenges, a significant number of in-motion subjects including many in sports action scenarios can be properly captured using this technique with or without tweaks.
 
Safety First
 
I'll leave you with a quick warning: Don't lose sight of safety. I described a large and potentially dangerous subject rapidly approaching the photographer who is concentrating through the viewfinder. It is easy to become consumed with capturing what is in the viewfinder and failing to get out of the way of danger. Be aware of what is happening around you. It is always best to live to try again.


 
Camera and Lens Settings
300mm  f/2.8  1/1600s
ISO 250
3648 x 5472px
Post Date: 12/9/2014 9:13:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 8, 2014

From the Canon Digital Learning Center:

"Since its introduction in the original EOS 7D back in 2009, most high-end Canon EOS DSLRs have offered the ability to reduce the size of an AF point. Spot AF, as it’s called, reduces the size of the AF sampling area at the AF sensor and means that AF can be performed on a more isolated part of a subject or scene. Examples of this might include being able to focus right on the eye that’s closest to the camera in a tight portrait, or on a small drop of water or dew on a flower in a macro shot.

We’ll explore this useful focus option in this article, highlighting strong points like those listed above, as well as its limits and when it may not be the optimal choice."

Check out the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.

Cameras Featuring Spot AF

Post Date: 12/8/2014 9:55:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

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   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 12/8/2014 7:43:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 5, 2014

Huntington Beach, CA. - Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is proud to announce the beginning of a new limited time instant rebate program for two popular Tokina Cinema AT-X lenses.

Effective December 5, 2014 through January 12, 2015, these cinema AT-X lenses qualify for the following rebates:

  • Tokina Cinema AT-X 11-16mm T/3.0 - $250.00 instant rebate
  • Tokina Cinema AT-X 16-28mm T/3.0 - $500.00 instant rebate

Instant rebates are available exclusively through authorized US dealers.

B&H is an authorized US dealer of Tokina Cinema AT-X lenses.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Tokina Lens Rebates
Post Date: 12/5/2014 1:53:24 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

B&H has the Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home Bag (Black) available for $49.95 with free shipping. Regularly $114.95.

Post Date: 12/5/2014 10:42:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Sigma:

Thank you for purchasing and using our products.

We would like to announce an update in the lens firmware of the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON which can be flashed using the SIGMA Optimization Pro, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK.

The latest firmware enables the lens to offer improved precision in its focusing performance when the AF frames in peripheral areas in the viewfinder are selected.

For those customers who own the following product, please update the firmware of the lens via the SIGMA Optimization Pro software.

  • 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports CANON

Please update the SIGMA Optimization Pro to Ver. 1.2 before operating any lens firmware update.

You can download the latest version of SIGMA Optimization Pro from the following page:
http://www.sigma-global.com/download/

We appreciate your consistent support for our company and products.

B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 12/5/2014 6:15:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, December 4, 2014

B&H has the Canon EOS C100 Mark II Cinema Camera available for preorder with expected availability by month end.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Preorder Notices
Post Date: 12/4/2014 10:22:35 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
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