Canon and Sony News for Dec 2017 (Page 2)

 Thursday, December 14, 2017

B&H has the new iMac Pro available for preorder.

The lowest-end iMac Pro features a 3.2 GHz Intel Xeon W 8-Core processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD and costs $4,999.00. The highest-end iMac Pro available features a 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon W 18-Core processor, 128GB of DDR4 RAM and a 4TB SSD and costs significantly more – $13,199.00 – but thankfully, shipping is free.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Preorders
Post Date: 12/14/2017 12:28:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Oneida Falls is one of my favorite waterfalls in Rickett's Glen State Park (or anywhere) and it is easy to get nice images prominently featuring it. But, this falls also makes a great background.
 
Wide angle lenses are ideal for making a foreground subject appear large relative to a distant background subject and that is what is going on here. The very small foreground waterfalls are close to the lens and Oneida Falls is in the distant background. The final wide angle result is that they all share a similar size in the frame.
 
Getting the camera in close to a waterfall presents another issue – water splashing onto the lens. When using wide angle lenses and narrow apertures, water drops become very obvious in the image and their results can be very difficult to remove during post processing. As usual for photographing waterfalls, I was using a circular polarizer filter and this is one scenario where a nano-coated CPL filter earns any additional cost required for that feature. The low adhesion properties of the nano coating meant that the water drops were easily removed with a simple squeeze of a Rocket Blower. I simply blew away the water drops before each photo capture and captured enough photos to ensure that I had the shot well-covered.
 
Another reason to take multiple pictures of especially small or medium-sized waterfalls is because the waterflow is typically varying slightly. The change is usually only slight, but slight is enough to change the splashing characteristic of the water and sometimes one frame will be preferred to the others. Especially for perfectionists, the multiple images may create a selection challenge for later. It is always better to have too many good photos than to miss the one you really wanted.
 
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens is a superb option for landscape photography. This day was a little late in the season for ideal fall foliage, but I was quite pleased with my take home from this daytrip to RGSP.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/14/2017 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 13, 2017

As a kid, Christmas morning is an event you look forward to months in advance, with excitement and anticipation building to a climax Christmas Eve making it difficult to sleep. But once morning comes, all that anticipation turns to joy and amazement as the presents under the tree are surveyed. Following are a few tips for maximizing your Christmas morning photography.

1) Grab your wide angle prime lens or an f/2.8 max aperture general purpose zoom.

Christmas morning festivities will generally play out in your living room or den, places where a wide aperture (f/1.4 - f/2.8) will be advantageous for obtaining action-stopping shutter speeds while avoiding the use of flash or noise-inducing high ISOs. Using wide angle focal lengths will allow you to capture subjects as well as their surroundings to best document the seasonal cheer and decor.

If you don't have a wide angle, f/2.8 max aperture (or wider) lens, then use [preferably bounce] flash to achieve action stopping shutter speeds while keeping your ISO low. Note that you may want to gel your flash with a 1/4, 1/2 or full CTO (orange) if the room is lit with warm, tungsten bulbs so that the color of the light emanating from your flash matches that of the ambient light in the room.

2) Capture video as well as still photos.

One of the greatest aspects of today's DSLRs and mirrorless cameras is that they can be used to capture high quality video as well as stills. And since most of Canon's recent cameras feature Dual Pixel CMOS AF, creating high quality videos has never been easier, so don't miss the opportunity to create a video highlight reel of the morning's events by capturing some video clips in addition to stills.

And if you own a 70D/80D or higher-level camera, you can make the process of capturing video clips easier by setting different exposure and camera settings via your camera's Custom Mode so that you can quickly switch between photos and stills without missing a beat.

3) Set up a timelapse camera in the corner of the room.

Want to be part of the fun instead of behind a camera all morning? Set your tripod up in the corner of the room (possibly with a second camera if that option is available), use manual focus and manual exposure variables and set your camera's intervalometer to capture a timelapse sequence of the morning's events. With a "set it and forget it" approach, you are free to join in while capturing the entire family as the fun unfolds.

As Christmas day rapidly approaches, there will be many tasks calling for your attention. Having the photo plan ready well in advance means that the capture of your important memories will not be sidelined. Starting creating your plan today. That may include purchasing or renting gear in the time that remains before Christmas. Check out the site's index for a list of relevant reviews to help get the most out of your Christmas Day photography.

Post Date: 12/13/2017 8:40:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 12, 2017

From Adobe:

Today we’re proud to release updates to the entire Lightroom CC ecosystem, including for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and the web, as well as updates to Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Camera Raw. We’ve added support for new cameras and lenses, and added some great new features.

New Auto Settings, powered by Adobe Sensei

Auto has been completely reworked to create better results, every time. Using an advanced neural network powered by Adobe Sensei, our artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform, the new Auto Settings creates a better photo by analyzing your photo and comparing to tens of thousands of professionally edited photos to create a beautiful, pleasing image. The new Auto is available ecosystem wide, including in Lightroom CC, Lightroom CC for iOS, Lightroom CC for Android, Lightroom CC on the web, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).

The December update includes other great features across the ecosystem:

Lightroom CC on Desktop

  • Tone Curve – The Tone Curve is one of the most popular tools used by photographers for advanced control over the tonality, contrast, and color balance of an image. You can use either the Parametric Curve or the Point Curve modes to tune the tonality and contrast of the image, and the Red, Green, and Blue modes to adjust the color balance and stylize your image. The Tone Curve lives next to the Auto button in the Light panel — check it out and let us know what you think.
  • Split Toning – Split Toning allows you to stylize your photo through color tints in the highlights and shadows of your image. You can use the Split Toning tool to simulate traditional black and white tints and toners like sepia or selenium toners, simulate printing on colored paper, or create a modern stylization on color images. Split Toning lives in the Effects panel.
  • Change Capture Time – Lightroom CC now enables you to adjust the capture time, for both single photos as well as a set of photos, providing relief for those times that you forgot to change your camera’s time or time zone settings. Select a photo (or series of photos) and use the pencil icon in the Info panel to change capture time. Lightroom CC will update the capture date and make sure that your photos show up on the right day and time in the organize view, making it easier to find your photos when you need them.
  • Full Screen View – View your photos in full screen by using either the F key or by navigating to View-> Detail Full Screen.

Android

In addition to the new Auto described above, we added the following to Lightroom CC on Android:

  • App Shortcuts — For Android Nougat and later devices, tap and hold on the app icon to quickly launch the app into popular modes.
  • More control for managing storage.
  • Resolved an issue that prevented some Huawei customers from importing images.
  • Resolved an issue that caused a crash for some Pixel 2 customers on export.
  • Resolved a problem that prevented some Samsung customers from installing the previous version.
  • Bug fixes and speed improvements.

iOS

In addition to the new Auto described above, we added the following to Lightroom CC on iOS:

  • Watermarking on export — Create and customize a text based watermark for use when exporting your image from Lightroom CC on iOS.
  • Improved quality to HDR capturing.
  • Bug fixes and speed improvements.

Lightroom Classic and Adobe Camera Raw

In addition to the new Auto described above, we’ve made a refinement to the Color Range Masking tool. Based on your feedback, we’ve made it easier to remove individual sample points. You can do this by holding down the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) key while using your mouse to select the sample point.

Lightroom Classic CC also now supports tethered capture with the Nikon D850 camera.

An update to Lightroom 6 for perpetual licensed customers for new camera support will be available on December 19th.

We’ve excited about the December update, and can’t wait to hear your thoughts and feedback.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 12/12/2017 10:55:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

David Bergman (@davidbergman) is a New York based music and sports photographer. He has been Bon Jovi's official tour photographer since 2010, documenting the band on stage and on the road in more than 30 countries on 6 continents. Bergman has also toured with Barenaked Ladies, Lilith Fair, and Gloria Estefan, and worked with celebrity clients including Drew Carey, Avril Lavigne, and Joss Stone. With 13 Sports Illustrated covers to his credit including his image of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees raising his son over his head after winning the Super Bowl, Bergman has covered numerous Olympics, World Series', Super Bowls, NBA Championships, and Stanley Cup Finals.

Post Date: 12/12/2017 8:43:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

While it is awesome for many purposes, the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash made this monarch butterfly wing close-up very easy to capture.
 
Of course, a monarch butterfly wing photograph first requires a monarch butterfly wing and ideally, a perfect specimen. The easiest source I've found is to raise them ourselves. Well, more specifically, letting the kids raise them. Perhaps even easier would be to purchase the chrysalises, avoiding the higher-maintenance caterpillar stage. Upon exit from their chrysalises, these beautiful creatures pose very nicely until their wings dry, at which point they can be released outdoors.
 
The depth of field at this extremely close focus distance is very shallow and photographing perfectly square on the wings is required to keep all of the little scales in sharp focus. Also, don't think you can make them all sharp at f/2.8. There is enough curvature in the wing to require stopping down significantly. You will likely need at least f/11 and I even went to f/16 here.
 
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens is also awesome for this purpose, but filling a full frame imaging sensor with a monarch wing requires a reproduction ratio greater than 1:1 (1x maximum magnification). While cropping can accomplish this (and APS-C format imaging sensors are smaller), I'm always trying to avoid cropping to ensure that I have as much resolution as possible in my final results. To go beyond 1:1 with the 100 L macro lens (and any other brand similar lens), add an extension tube. My choice was for this image was the Canon EF 25mm Extension Tube II. It reduced the lens' minimum focus distance by just enough to produce nothing-but-wing.
 
When photographing at such short focus distances, lighting becomes a serious issue. First, the lens blocks a lot of the ambient light and using narrow apertures combined with the ultra-short focus distance causes the effective aperture to be even narrower. While you might be able to set a tripod up perfectly to capture a wing, there is also a good change that the butterfly will move slightly before you accomplish that task – and again before you finish retrying.
 
The ring flash was the perfect answer here. The lights are ideally positioned to evenly light a very close subject. The duration of the flash is very short, meaning that motion blur is not an issue and handheld flexibility is available. The color spectrum produced by the flashes is ideal and the light brings out the brilliant color of the subject.
 
I used a manual exposure for this capture and usually use this mode when using a flash. In M mode, the camera applies the amount of flash needed for a proper exposure in combination with the selected aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings. Exposures can then be adjusted using FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation). In this case, FEC was set to +2/3, though I reduced the RAW image brightness by the same amount, meaning ... the camera had the brightness correctly determined in the first place.
 
Butterflies are just one of the many great subjects for a macro flash. What could this flash do for your kit?


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

There is currently a substantial $150 instant savings available on the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens. It is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

Also, B&H has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III for $2,099.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $2,799.00.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
100mm  f/16.0  1/200s
ISO 100
5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 12/12/2017 6:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 11, 2017

From Tenba:

Secure Gear Access and All-Day Carrying Comfort

Tenba has designed a new collection of lightweight backpacks for the uncompromising outdoor enthusiast photographer and filmmaker. Built with secure rear access to equipment, Solstice backpacks allow the user to remove cameras and lenses without ever setting their bag down on rough, wet or muddy terrain. A versatile interior divider system allows the allocation of more or less space as needed to camera and personal gear so no space is wasted.

Rear Camera Access
Secures gear up against the user's back and enables access to equipment without fully removing the bag. Also prevents common issues with gear theft, as the camera equipment can only be taken out when the user wants it to be.

Comfortable Airflow Harness
The Airflow harness is comprised of ventilating 3D air mesh and Tenba’s Pivot-Fit auto-adjusting straps to ensure a comfortable fit. The hip belt can be used to support the weight of the bag when it is loaded.

Compression Straps Adjust for Oversized Items
By threading the compression straps through the front lash points, the bag can accommodate a large jacket or other oversized items.

Tablet/Laptop Protection
The 12L, 20L and 24L backpacks fit an iPad Mini, full-size iPad and 13-inch laptop respectively.

Versatile Protection for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras
Solstice backpacks can fit all sizes of mirrorless and DSLR cameras. Both the 12L and 20L packs will fit a camera with an attached 24-70mm 2.8, and the 24L will fit a Pro-size DSLR with an attached 70-200mm 2.8. By removing the dividers, each bag can fit longer Super-telephoto lenses, up to 300mm for the 12L and 20L, and up to 400mm for the 24L.

All-Day Carrying Comfort
Waist belt and adjustable sternum strap allow for easy weight balancing, and 3D air mesh ensures comfort on hot days.

Tripod-Ready
Side pockets fit a tripod or a large water bottle, and they compress flat against the bag when not in use, so they don’t catch on branches and other brush.

WeatherWrap Rain Cover
Included WeatherWrap rain cover adds another layer of protection in wet weather conditions. Removable so it can be washed when needed.

Durability and Weather Resistance
Built with the finest materials and hardware, including water-repellent 210D shadow ripstop and 420D plain-woven nylon, 300g brushed tricot interior, YKK zippers and clips, and heavily-reinforced stitching.

Solstice Backpacks come in three sizes of 12-, 20- and 24-liter capacities, and in both blue/gray and black colorways. They are available to purchase immediately through Tenba Authorized Resellers for suggested retail prices of: 12L $149.95, 20L $169.95 and 24L $199.95.

B&H has the Tenba Solstice Bags either in stock or available for preorder (depends on size/color).

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Tenba News
Post Date: 12/11/2017 2:20:39 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Think Tank Photo:

Santa Rosa, Calif. – For professional videographers who need to know that all of their gear will arrive in good working order, including their tripods, Think Tank Photo has just released the Video Tripod Manager 44 rolling case. This well-cushioned, highly rigid rolling case provides hard case protection with soft case convenience. It is designed to hold cinema-sized tripods, stands, sliders, and/or modifiers up to 40” in height.

The rolling case features robust handles on four sides, so it’s easy to load into a vehicle. It is an ideal travel solution as its rectangular shape stacks easily, saving space. Built tough with the quality Think Tank is known for, this roller’s crush-resistant ABS twinwall reinforcement provides impact protection. Shock-absorbing wheels roll smoothly and hold up under the toughest conditions. Protective zipper flap will keep zippers running smoothly after years of use.

KEY FEATURES

  • Included lock and cable secure the main compartment and case to a fixed object
  • Multiple tie-down straps secure tripod, stands or slider when transporting between locations
  • Coffin-style opening gives unencumbered access to gear
  • YKK RC Fuse zippers, 1680D ballistic nylon and ABS Twinwall reinforcement are the highest quality materials in the industry
  • Bolster cushions provide support for different sized gear
  • ID plate can be registered on the Think Tank website to help locate a lost or stolen bag
  • Large interior mesh pockets for organizing tools and accessories
  • Adjustable lid straps keep bag open and accessible
  • Rear skid rails and tall wheel housings allow easy vehicle loading
  • Easy-to-clean internal bottom lining for messy shoot locations
  • Clear pocket for documents and easy identification on top panel
  • User-replaceable wheels and hardware

MATERIALS

External: All fabric exterior treated with DWR while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance, 1680D ballistic nylon, YKK RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, custom designed extra tall skid plates, replaceable shock-absorbing wheels, antique plated metal hardware, nylon seatbelt webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread

Internal: 210D silver-toned nylon, 420HD nylon, closed cell foam, open cell foam bolsters, twinwall stiffened divider, belly-o mesh pockets, 3-ply bonded nylon thread

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

Exterior Dimensions: 12.6” W x 44.5” H x 12.6” D (32 x 113 x 32 cm)
Interior Dimensions: 9.8” W x 40.2 H x 9.8” D (25 x 102 x 25 cm)
Weight: 17.8 lbs. (8 kg)

Think Tank Photo has the Video Tripod Manager 44 Rolling Case in stock and you'll get a free gift when using our links for your purchase.

Post Date: 12/11/2017 11:46:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the B&H YouTube Channel:

Today’s cameras allow us to capture night skies in a way that was impossible just a few years ago. Yet night photography does not come without its challenges.

In this video, National Parks at Night’s Chris Nicholson discusses topics such as white balance for night skies, shutter speeds for capturing star points, techniques for creating star trails, compositional effects and considerations, how to deal with moonlight and light pollution, post-processing tips and techniques, and more.

Post Date: 12/11/2017 9:39:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Sony recently released a firmware update for its FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens. See below for details.

From Sony:

This update (version 05) improves the accuracy of the contrast AF at distant shooting, making it easier to focus when the aperture is narrowed down to F11 or higher.

Download: Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens Firmware (v.05)

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Firmware Updates
Post Date: 12/11/2017 8:48:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

The highly-anticipated Sony a7R III is here and I am sharing the 28 steps I took to make it ready for use.

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW 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 about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: ->0>+ (makes selecting images for HDR processing easier)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Focus Area: Flexible Spot
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 9: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I usually 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, Custom Button 4: Focus Magnifier
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Audio signals: Off (How to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  • 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 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}
  • My Menu: RAW File Type, Long Exposure NR; Px. Shift Multi Shoot.; Focus Mode; Anti-flicker Shoot.; Silent Shooting; Steady Shot; Format;

I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, 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 your camera ever needs reset to factory settings, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting.

More Information

Sony a7R III

Get the Sony a7R III at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 12/11/2017 7:38:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, December 10, 2017

Many of you know that I usually consider the ideal wildlife light to be from behind me, directing my shadow toward the animal (though keeping it outside of the frame of course), but that is just another of the many photography rules looking for an opportunity to be broken.
 
It was a great start to the day. I had found this beautiful large-bodied 10-pt buck right away in the morning while there was barely light enough to see it. The buck was staying close to a calmly-feeding doe and defending against the occasional intruder. I was ready to photograph as soon as there was enough light to make it worth attempting.
 
When the buck moved, I would also change position to what I felt would be photographically optimal (often moving farther away as it approached) and was able to stay with the buck until the sun rose high enough to directly light it. It was at that point when the buck made a short charge to contain the doe, deterring it from going toward a distant intruder. The buck ideally stopped on the crest of a hill. The sunlight was hitting the deer nearly horizontally and I was up-light in position, but ... I saw the background that I had been looking for and that became the higher priority for me.
 
Shenandoah National Park is known for its many mountain ridges and incorporating them into a white-tailed deer image background is a great goal, but one that is not so easy to achieve, especially with the narrow field of view that a 600mm focal length presents. The lighting was making hard shadows, but the intruding buck was positioned toward the sun and that meant this buck was watching toward the sun, easing the shadow issue.
 
Selecting the to-share image from the couple-of-minutes take was challenging and I eventually narrowed the choice down to two. In the other example, the buck had its head turned even farther to the right with its left ear angled back, resulting in no shadows on the head. While that pose made the deer appear larger, I opted for the wider rack perspective shown by the more-toward-the-camera head angle.
 
Especially cool is that, with the Canon EOS 5Ds R's extreme resolution, I can crop this image down to a tight full-body portrait and still have about 24 mp of very sharp resolution remaining.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/10/2017 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 8, 2017

by Sean Setters

One of the greatest features found in current Canon DSLRs is a Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus (DPAF) sensor which allows for easy and smooth autofocus tracking in video mode. This capability alone is a compelling reason to upgrade cameras if your current camera lacks the DPAF feature.

On that note, I was recently asked to film a high school basketball game and create a highlight reel of the team. I had never filmed or produced a sports highlight reel before, but here are a few things I learned during the process.

1) Small, inexpensive (even variable aperture) Canon STM lenses work great in moderately well lit gymnasiums.

When photographing indoors sports, I typically rely on very wide aperture prime lenses in order to achieve the fastest shutter speeds (to free action) while keeping my ISO as low as possible (for the cleanest possible images). However, an action-stopping shutter speed isn't a requirement when shooting video. Optimally, your shutter speed should be double the reciprocal of your video frame rate. That means that when capturing, for instance, 1080p video at 29.97 fps, your shutter speed should be 1/60 second.

At 1/60 second, even lenses with a max aperture of f/5.6 can be used in reasonably well lit gymnasiums without requiring the use of your camera's highest ISO settings to achieve a proper exposure. For the game above, I used a Canon EOS 7D Mark II combined with the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lenses, with the same manual exposure settings of f/5.6, 1/60 sec., ISO 2000 employed for all of them.

And with STM lenses in-use, AF transitions are smooth and AF sounds are [typically] minimized (though the ambient sound level in a gym with cheering/jeering fans can drown out a substantial amount of AF noise).

2) A monopod is really helpful to have for stabilizing video and reducing fatigue.

Lenses with built-in image stabilization are certainly handy, but a monopod with a tilt head is a relatively inexpensive universal stailization solution that is especially handy when using prime, non-stabilized lenses (like the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM and EF 40mm f/2.8 STM). You can easily pivot a monopod for horizontal panning while using the tilt head to track subjects vertically (be sure your monopod features a rubber foot that will not damage the gym floor).

3) Where you can position yourself on the floor will depend on the most conservative referee's consideration of safety.

For the game shown above, two referees were perfectly fine with me being anywhere along the baseline or sides of the floor. However, one particular referee requested that I go no further than about 5 feet in on both ends of the floor. Gyms offer differently sized areas designated as "safe zones" around the playing floor, and those zones are often up for interpretation. Respect the referees and the venue by following all rules, regulations and requests to ensure you can film in the same venue (or in another venue with the same referee crew) in the future.

4) Record everything that could result in a great play and use your camera's Rating feature to mark the best videos recorded.

After I got home from the basketball game, I had recorded over 100 individual videos. Unfortunately, I had to preview each one to determine whether or not it was worth including in the highlight reel. While previewing, I marked videos that I would definitely include with a special character (I added an underscore) and videos that could possibly be used with another special character and moved uninteresting videos to the trash. This left me with only the videos I needed for the highlight reel.

After going through my organization process, I realized that I could have simply rated the videos right after they occurred, opened up my memory card in Digital Photo Professional 4, filtered by the star rating and then only copied the relevant videos to my hard drive to begin with, quickly culling the videos that weren't interesting enough to use. You can even distinguish between "will use" clips and "possible filler clips" with a two star and one star rating, respectively, to further expedite the organization process.

5. In post processing, separate the video and audio tracks and extend/blend the after-play audio with the next play's audio.

When an exciting play happens, the crowd usually cheers afterwards. To best capture the drama, preserve some of the audio captured just after an exciting play and blend it into the following clip. Even if the clip doesn't feature a cheer-worthy play, blending a clips audio with the adjacent clip(s) will ensure the audio of the crowd sounds natural.

Summary

Offering to shoot highlight reels is a good way to earn a little extra income and gain exposure (especially if wearing a t-shirt displaying your photography/videography services brand) while getting to enjoy a sporting event up close. And, not only does the team get something awesome to show for their efforts, your highlight reel could possibly help a student get noticed by college scouts resulting in a scholarship offer.

That sounds like a good deal for everyone involved.

Post Date: 12/8/2017 9:18:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Macphun/Skylum: Today, Apple named Aurora HDR 2018 as their Best Mac App of 2017. This is a big honor for all of the team and we’re very grateful to cap off a year of hard work this way. At the same time, we will continue to work hard to achieve our bigger goal of ensuring Aurora HDR is the industry standard for HDR photography

To celebrate this milestone, and help even more people access this great photography tool, Aurora HDR 2018 — both Mac & Windows — will be available for the rest of December at $20 OFF with a pack of special bonuses included. Read below for the detailed information about the offer.

Pricing:

  • Current users of Aurora HDR may upgrade at a Special price of $39
  • New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 for $79
  • A collection of bonuses will also be included with every purchase.

Bonuses:

  • Deep Dive video tutorial from Trey Ratcliff
  • “How to create realistic HDR images” Ebook
  • 2 Preset Packs - 40 presets! Preset pack 1 - Winter Vibes. Preset Pack 2 - Wonderland.

Download / Purchase: Aurora HDR 2018

Post Date: 12/8/2017 9:21:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

Using candles as a source of light for portraits is an exciting idea but it comes with some problems. Slow shutter speeds and unflattering light on your model are two pitfalls photographer Gavin Hoey will demostrate and resolve in this video.

After the shoot Gavin will take you into Adobe Photoshop where he'll add some finish touches such as the instant snow effect.

You can download the instant snow action here.

Post Date: 12/8/2017 5:31:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, December 7, 2017

The addition of a new lens can add life to a kit, sparking creativity and inspiring a new look on old subjects. One such lens example is the Irix 11mm f/4 Firefly and for most photographers using full frame gear, the extreme wide angle focal length is the big appeal for this lens.
 
Shared here is the Irix 11 view of the Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda ceiling. While this appears to be a simple image to capture, establishing the perfect camera alignment is very challenging. Any decentering within the space causes opposing side detail alignment mismatch and forces slight camera tilt to establish balanced framing with the latter quickly being made apparent by converging lines.
 
While software can be used to correct some issues such as perspective, it cannot easily move the relationship of near and far details. Getting it right in the camera is a much better option.
 
With those bright lights in the frame, an HDR strategy was needed for this picture.
 
Consider getting the Irix 11 or another lens that would be useful to you and provide a creative spark. The holidays are great time to use such a lens and your Christmas tree makes a great 11mm subject.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/7/2017 8:41:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the COOPH YouTube Channel:

COOPH presents 10 fun and easy DIY photography gifts you can make at home. Simply grab your favorite photos, get creative and give someone special something they’ll love!

Post Date: 12/7/2017 7:12:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, December 6, 2017

If you are a professional, semi-pro or a serious enthusiast photographer who is in the market for a reliable, robust, full-frame Canon camera, the two bodies most likely to be considered are the EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV. In this installment of "Which Should I Get?," we'll take a look at these two camera bodies to see which might be the better keystone for your kit.

First of all, let's look at a few of the primary specifications that these bodies have in common:

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV Shared Primary Features

  • Full-frame, Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor
  • AF system: 61 Point / 41 cross-type AF point including 5 dual cross type at f/2.8 and 61 points / 21 cross-type AF points at f/8
  • AF Working Range: EV -3 - 18
  • Metering Range: EV 0 – 20
  • Ambience & White Priority Auto White Balance
  • 100% viewfinder coverage
  • 3.2" (8.10cm) Clear View LCD II, approx. 1620K dots
  • Up to 4K (Motion JPEG) video recording with 4K frame grab
  • Built-in GPS

Primary advantages of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II over the EOS 5D Mark IV:

  • Dual DIGIC 6+ processors vs. single DIGIC 6+
  • ISO 100-51200, L 50, H1 102400, H2 204800, H3 409600 vs. ISO 100-32000, L 50, H1 51200, H2 102400
  • Approx. 14fps with full AF / AE tracking, speed maintained for up to unlimited number of JPEGs or 170 RAW images (with CFast 2.0 card) vs. approx. 7fps with full AF / AE tracking, speed maintained for up to unlimited number of JPEGs or 21 RAW images
  • Approx. 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 216-zone metering vs. 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, 252-zone metering
  • AF point-linked spot metering vs. center-point only spot metering
  • 1/250 sec. max flash x-sync vs. 1/200 sec.
  • 5 Custom White Balance settings can be registered vs. 1 setting
  • 4K video recording max frame rate 59.94 fps vs. 4K video max 29.97 fps
  • Interchangeable focusing screens vs. N/A
  • 34 custom functions vs. 17
  • Sound memos vs. N/A
  • RJ-45 (gigabit Ethernet) port vs. N/A
  • Approx. 1210 frame battery life vs. 900
  • 400,000 shutter durability rating vs. 150,000
  • Better weather sealing

Primary advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV over the EOS-1D X Mark II:

  • 30.4 MP vs. 20.2
  • Smaller & Lighter: 5.93 x 4.58 x 2.99" (150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm), 31.4 oz (890g) vs. 6.22 x 6.6 x 3.25" (158.0 x 167.6 x 82.6mm), 53.97 oz (1530g)
  • Full touch-screen LCD interface vs. limited touch-screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi & NFC vs. N/A (Wi-Fi requires Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E6A, WFT-E8A accessory)
  • Lower price

Who should opt for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II?

If you are a photographer primarily interested in capturing fast-action sports, the EOS-1D X Mark II's blazingly fast 14 fps burst rate and huge 170 frames RAW buffer (in our tests, the buffer was actually only limited to the CFast memory card's capacity) will help you capture the optimal moment(s) when the action is at its peak. And if your sporting event is held in inclement weather, the 1D X II's extra weather sealing will certainly be appreciated.

If you're primarily a studio photographer who doesn't need more than roughly 20 MP of resolution, the 1D X II's gigabit Ethernet port is a great asset for tethered shooting.

Those using their DSLR to capture video will appreciate the 1D X II's 4K recording at 60 fps, although the larger body may prove cumbersome in some setups. A benefit for some filmmakers (and a drawback for others) is the 1D X II's approximate 1.3x focal length crop factor utilized in 4K video recording allowing for wider angles of view to be captured at the same focal length compared to the 5D Mark IV featuring a 1.74x crop factor.

Nearly every photographer can benefit from the 1D X II's higher resolution metering sensor, and AF point-linked Spot metering feature (very helpful) is only available on 1-series bodies. The ability to change focus screens is another benefit of the 1D X II that could prove important for some photographers.

Who should opt for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV?

If you need more resolution than the EOS-1D X Mark II offers, require built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, prefer a smaller and lighter camera body and/or your budget simply does not extend to the level of a 1-series body, the EOS 5D Mark IV will likely prove to be a great choice.

Sharing many important primary features with the EOS-1D X Mark II (with reasonable compromises on others), the EOS 5D Mark IV is the second-most versatile camera Canon has ever produced (the 1D X II being the most versatile). Considering that the 5D Mark IV costs over 40% less than the 1D X II (USA MSRP), those compromises will seem very reasonable for a great number of pro, semi-pro, enthusiast and hobbyist photographers alike.

Related Information

Post Date: 12/6/2017 7:45:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 5, 2017

From Canon USA:

MELVILLE, N.Y., December 5, 2017 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the launch of three new compact and lightweight Full HD camcorders, the Canon XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21. Delivering first-class optics, powerful sensors and a range of versatile features, these camcorders are perfect for a broad range of video productions.

“The ability to capture high-quality video on-the-go in a compact and lightweight form factor is extremely valuable to videographers of all skill levels,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “These camcorders were designed to help professionals and enthusiasts who are in the field capture action as it happens.”

Professional Performance and Functionality

The Canon XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21 Full HD camcorders each provide videographers with a spectacular 20x 26.8mm-576mm optical zoom lens allowing a user to easily capture a variety of scenes with superb image quality. Canon’s HD CMOS Sensor and the powerful DIGIC DV4 image processing platform deliver great performance in low-light and the ability to capture superb Full HD images in 60p at 35Mbps. Wide DR mode supports the smooth compression of high luminance areas to achieve 600 percent DR making it possible to shoot with smooth color gradation and suppressed overexposure. This is applicable to any shooting environment where the difference between light and dark areas is prone to causing overexposure. Flexible image expression is supported by a Slow/Fast Segment function that enables users to select shooting speeds from 0.4x to a maximum of 1,200x, and a Hi-UD lens supports the reduction of chromatic aberration and drives vivid imaging.

These camcorders are capable of recording in both AVCHD and MP4 formats, at multiple bit rates, simultaneously, to Dual SD card slots. All camcorders offer HDMI, headphone jack, optional GPS support and the XA15 and XA11 models offer XLR professional audio terminals. Additionally, the XA15 model also features a HD-SDI output. Comprising of a compact and lightweight body, each camcorder is ideal for high-action shoots when both speed and mobility are essential. Dynamic Mode provides 5-Axis image stabilization - roll axis, horizontal roll, vertical roll, up-down and left-right - to help facilitate smooth image capture in various styles of fast-paced shots. The VIXIA HF G21 is identical to the XA15 and XA11 in performance, but does not include a handle.

Key Features:

  • High optical performance
  • Stunning Full HD image quality
  • Professional recording options
  • Professional interfaces
  • Easy operability and compact design

Pricing and Availability

The Canon XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21 Full HD camcorders are all scheduled to be available at the end of December 2017 for an estimated retail price of $1899.00, $1399.00 and $999.00 respectively.

B&H carries Canon camcorders.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon Announcements
Post Date: 12/5/2017 12:51:13 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:

Learn how to work with Layer Masks more efficiently by using these 10 shortcuts.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 12/5/2017 11:15:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is rapidly approaching and the days are already short. That means nights are long and, while plenty of indoor photography avails itself at any time of the year, late fall and winter is a great time to photograph the night sky for a few reasons.
 
First, there is more dark time of the day and that means more hours of star visibility. You can spend hours photographing the night sky and still get to bed in time to be well-rested in the AM. When the nights are long, the biting bugs are gone (depending on where you live, the potentially-biting bears may also be gone). One more reason is that, because cold air is not able to hold as much moisture as warm air, winter tends to have clearer skies, and clear skies are of course a prerequisite for star photography.
 
Winter astrophotography is not without downsides and these include less-comfortable temperatures along with a Milky Way alignment that may or may not work well for you. Of course, a bright moon can preclude dark skies at any time of the year.
 
The Milky Way (or any photo of the stars) can make a nice image, but a meteorite is a huge bonus. How do you increase the odds of getting the perfectly-positioned meteorite in the frame? Photographing during a meteor shower is ideal. However, meteorites can happen at any time and a formally-designated "shower" is not a requirement. A big key is to take a lot of photos, significantly increasing the odds of a well-placed shooting star streak.
 
Night sky exposures are long, especially with long exposure noise reduction enabled, and that means taking many photos takes a lot of time. Time-consuming tasks that can be left unattended beg for multitasking. Set up the camera (on a tripod of course) with the desired manual exposure settings dialed in and set the drive mode to high speed burst. Then, using a remote release featuring a shutter release lock, lock the release down and go do something else.
 
If you are fortunate enough to have great stars in your backyard (and you are not concerned about the camera being stolen), that something else could be anything indoors including eating dinner. Or, set up a second camera to photograph the night sky with, perhaps using a different foreground and/or focal length. Read a book, call your mom, sleep, etc. You get the point – and you get the pictures.
 
If long exposure noise reduction is turned off, the set of images captured can later be combined to create a star trails photo (these are especially great if including the North star). Also optional with the same set of images is creating a time-lapse sequence with the stars moving across the sky.
 
For this image, I used the suggested strategy and spent my time working with another camera I had also set up. Every 5 minutes or so, I came back to adjust the composition (keeping the bottom of the Milky Way aligned with the break in the trees). Upon reviewing the images later, I found one with the ideal meteorite streak position (along with four smaller meteorite streaks visible in the full-resolution image).
 
I should mention here that even with a 14mm lens, cameras with imaging sensors having pixel densities as high as the Canon EOS 5Ds R (and all 20+ MP APS-C models) begin to show small star motion-blur streaks at the 25 second exposure used here (except those stars closer to the North Star and the southern equivalent). One option to extend exposure times while avoiding star streaks is to use an equatorial tracking mount. However, a tracking mount will just cause the foreground to be blurred (if a foreground is included in the frame). A great feature of the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer tracking mount is the 1/2-speed rotation setting option, permitting the motion blur to be balanced between the earth-bound subject and the celestial ones. This setting effectively doubles the exposure times that can be used or, alternatively, it facilitates a 1-stop lower ISO setting. The Star Adventurer likely costs less than you think. Start with the "Astro Package" and consider adding the EQ base and counterweight.
 
Multiple times I've started to assemble a list of the best star photography lenses, but ... that project remains unfinished. That is a really hard list to assemble and there are no perfect astrophotography lenses. However, there are several really good choices and I currently consider the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens to be the best astrophotography lens available today. I have a dark sky photo trip planned for next summer and the Sigma 14 Art is the primary Lens I plan to take for that purpose.


What is your favorite astrophotography lens?

A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
14mm  f/1.8  25s
ISO 3200
5792 x 8688px
Post Date: 12/5/2017 8:17:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From LensRentals:

Dear customers, Here at LensRentals, we are completely committed to delivering the absolute best rental experience for every customer, every time. In our opinion, there is only one other company in this industry that upholds the same type of standards that we hold so dear here at Lensrentals.

That’s why we’re so excited today to announce we’ve joined forces with our friends at LensProToGo. We’ve had a mutual respect and friendship with Paul and the entire LPTG crew since the days when Lensrentals operated out of my spare bedroom. We’re happy to have Paul join the Lensrentals ownership group and to have the rest of the LPTG team joining our family.

When Paul and I started in the equipment rental business over a decade ago, it was pretty scary, with each of us trying to figure out how to do this. We were respectful competitors but also helped each other, sharing what we each had learned with each other. This new partnership not only combines two great companies, it combines two great management teams.

For those of you who have used LensProToGo, you already know how fantastic the folks at LPTG are. Their entire team in Boston is made up of professional photographers & videographers with a passion for helping you achieve your goals.

LensProToGo customers will get access to the largest rental inventory in the country and the advantages that arise from a shipping location located just a few miles from the FedEx SuperHub in Memphis. Lensrentals customers will get access to an even larger staff of experts ready to offer unbiased advice and to help you craft solutions for whatever projects you have coming up.

Both brands will continue to exist and thrive. If you’re a LensProToGo customer, the only differences you’ll notice is a greater choice & availability of equipment, and that your shipment might ship from Lensrentals HQ in Memphis. If you’re a Lensrentals customer, you’ll soon have more options for pickup locations, and you might end up talking about your order with a staff member who has a wicked good New England accent instead of an adorable Southern drawl.

We’re committed to keeping what you love about each brand and only making each one better than ever. We look forward to telling you more about all the exciting things we have in store in the near future.

Thank you for your continued loyalty,
Roger Cicala

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: LensRentals News
Post Date: 12/5/2017 7:21:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, December 4, 2017

From Canon USA:

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is excited to announce the launch of a CarePAK PLUS promotion just in time for the holidays. Now through January 6, 2018, 13 months free Canon CarePAK PLUS is included at no additional cost to customers who purchase select Canon cameras and lenses and register their product within 30 days. The list of eligible Canon products has been expanded to include the EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 80D, EOS 77D and the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM, giving even more Canon customers the opportunity to enjoy free accident protection.

All eligible Canon cameras and lenses include:

  • EOS-1D X Mark II Body
  • EOS 5D Mark IV Body
  • EOS 5D Mark III Body
  • EOS 5Ds Body
  • EOS 5DsR Body
  • EOS 6D Body
  • EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EOS 6D Mark II Body
  • EOS 80D Body
  • EOS 77D Body
  • EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
  • EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
  • EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
  • EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
  • EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
  • EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
  • EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM
  • EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

CarePAK PLUS offers protection from accidental damage such as drops, spills, power surges, and more including normal wear and tear, beyond the standard warranty period. With a CarePAK PLUS, a damaged product will be repaired to good working condition or replaced with an equivalent product. Canon customers also enjoy service performed by Canon factory technicians using only genuine Canon parts, which no other service plan can offer.

B&H is an authorized Canon retailer and a highly recommended source for filling out your gear bag.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 12/4/2017 2:54:57 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Just posted: Canon EOS M100 Review.

Here are some of the basic reasons why you should get an M100:

  • You want high-end image quality
  • You want very simple-to-use interface
  • You want good AF performance
  • You want a very small size and light weight camera that is able go everywhere with you
  • You want to pay a very low price

And you might want to get the M100 right now because of Canon USA's holiday promotion, featuring a big $100 instant savings on this little camera.

The Canon EOS M100 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 12/4/2017 7:19:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Note: When cropping in Photoshop, I always leave "Delete Crop Pixels" unchecked. Doing so allows you to choose a different framing or aspect ratio later (utilizing the previously cropped portion of the image) if desired. [Sean]

From the f64 Academy YouTube Channel:

In today's tutorial, I have the perfect candidate for this feature. I have a horizon that is WAY off due to composing the scene in camera rather quickly while the waves were approaching me. If I tried to fix the horizon in ACR, I lost a killer composition because it cut off the top of the trees and grounded the eye of the viewer. However, when I brought it into Photoshop and checked the content aware crop button, it made a WORLD of difference.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 12/4/2017 5:42:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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