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 Monday, June 5, 2017
High ISO noise test results and specifications have been added to the Sony a9 page.
 
I've been using the a9 over the last week and can say with certainty that Sony has made some considerable improvements over the a7R II. While these cameras are not targeting the same uses, there is a lot of overlap in design. What is my favorite a9 improvement so far? The viewfinder blackout reduction makes tracking action possible with the a9's EVF.
 
How does the Sony a9 compare to the Sony a7R II?
 
In the Sony a9 and a7R II noise comparison, we see the a9 showing significantly less noise, at least in part capitalizing on its lower resolution. At the same time, we see that the Sony a7R II has modestly higher dynamic range than the a9. That link shows a comparison of images captured at a 3 stop higher exposure setting than the standard results and processed to -3 stops. Notice the a7R II holding the highlight color better in the top-left two monochrome blocks? Also, notice the a7R II's better bright yellow block.
 
How does the Sony a9 compare to the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II?
 
In the Canon 1D X Mark II and Sony a9 noise comparison (Canon results showing on top/left), we see the Sony pipeline being used for this testing creating slightly brighter results and the Canon pipeline producing slightly sharper results. Equalize those two attributes and the two cameras deliver similar noise levels. That the a9 has a 4 megapixel advantage over the 1D X II tips the scales in the Sony direction.
 
In the +3 EV capture, we see that the Sony a9 has a very slightly higher dynamic range than the 1D X II, keeping some color where the 1D X II does not.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/5/2017 8:10:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
B&H has the Canon EOS C200 EF Cinema Camera available for preorder with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 6/5/2017 8:09:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Watch as this video reveals 10 tricks used by professional food photographers for creating appetizing imagery.
Post Date: 6/5/2017 7:47:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, June 4, 2017
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens is in stock again with free expedited shipping at B&H.
 
This lens has been in short supply; if it's on your shopping list, here's your chance to pick it up.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/4/2017 6:32:39 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
I know, some of you are thinking that snakes are creepy and that putting any thought into photographing them is ... completely wasted effort. Even if that is your thinking, stay with me here as you can likely apply the same thought pattern to a different subject, one that you find more photogenic. If you scroll your browser past the snake image, you even won't have to look at it while reading.
 
The story starts with me brushing my teeth (you didn't see that one coming, did you?). I looked out the bathroom window and noticed this cute garter snake lying on top of a weeping spruce tree. While garter snakes are common here, they are usually on the ground and are seldom cooperative. So, it is unusual to have the opportunity to photograph them in such a nice environment.
 
The weather was perfect for this opportunity. It was a very cloudy day, meaning that I had soft light to work with and the camera angle decision was not going to be light-driven. After checking to be sure that I could approach at least reasonably close to the snake without it being immediately frightened away, I decided to move forward with an attempt at photographing it.
 
There was no action involved here, so the frame rate didn't matter and the Canon EOS 5Ds R is nearly always my preference in such situations. For lenses, I observed that I had a limited working distance and I knew that getting too close would send the snake looking for a safer location. Interpretation: I needed a telephoto focal length, but not the longest available.
 
I quickly narrowed my choices down to the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens. I decided that the snake would not likely tolerate me being close enough for the macro lens' close-focusing advantage to be a benefit over the 100-400 L II's already very good maximum magnification ability and I wanted to be able to adjust my framing to the positions I was able to get into along with the scene available at that perspective. Basically, I'm saying that a zoom range was preferable. The macro lens' wider aperture would allow me to create a stronger background blur at 100mm, but the 100-400 easily wins the background blur contest overall due to its much longer 400mm focal length and the longer focal length provides a longer working distance at its maximum magnification. I mounted the 100-400 and began working with the scenario available to me.
 
Using a tripod was going to be too great of a challenge due to the in-the-tree location of the snake. Thus, handholding was going to be optimal and image stabilization was once again proved highly valuable.
 
The lighting was relatively constant, but it was changing with enough frequency to make a manual exposure challenging. Also, because I wanted to use a wide open aperture, the variable max aperture of this lens increased the manual exposure challenge. While I still technically used manual exposure mode, I opted to lock in my shutter speed (I was in unstable shooting positions and counting on some assistance from image stabilization) and aperture (I selected f/4.5 with the lens at 100mm and let it auto-adjust to the max available at longer focal lengths) with Auto ISO becoming the auto exposure parameter. Because the colors in the images were relatively neutral, the camera's auto exposure system worked great with the brightest colors, the yellow lines in the snake, being right where I wanted them at the right side of the histogram.
 
When photographing a potentially-fleeting subject, I quickly capture some good-enough images to have the safety shots on the card. Along with having those safety shots, I can quickly check the exposure and other settings before moving in closer. Upon reviewing these images, I immediately noticed that reflections were impacting color saturation on the snake and that meant a circular polarizer filter would, as it frequently does, provide a significantly improvement in image quality. I slowly backed away from the snake and went back inside to get the filter.
 
With the filter installed and properly adjusted, I was happier with the results and began to work the composition more seriously, including approaching closer to the snake.
 
Finding the proper perspective is often the key to creating the best composition and the longer I photograph a subject, the better I can determine what the best perspective is. Moving closer/farther, up/down or around the subject can significantly change the juxtaposition of the subject and its surroundings, significantly changing the resulting image.
 
To jump start the composition process, I wanted the snake's head to be facing in a direction other than away. That factor eliminates about half of the potential camera positions. A sideways-facing head can work well and a slightly-toward-the-camera angle is usually a great choice. That the snake was on top of the tree removed much of the below-the-subject camera position options.
 
The background is always a huge key to good composition and using a telephoto focal length is useful in both reducing what remains in the background and blurring what remains into obscurity. I adjusted my position to take in a variety of background colors and textures and also worked my position around the snake to get different angles on the main subject. Eventually I went for a step ladder and tried some downward angle compositions for some variation.
 
Another compositional opportunity available to me was that, with no discernable horizon or other sense of levelness showing in the frame, I was free to rotate the camera as I desired and that adjustment could change the entire balance of the snake in the frame.
 
Every so often the snake would move slightly and I was able to work with a modified scenario for a period of time. The snake cooperated for about an hour – long enough for my arms and shoulders to get tired from holding the camera in awkward positions. Then the snake abruptly dropped from sight and it was game-over.
 
As so often is the case, the 5Ds R and 100-400 L II proved to be the perfect combination for this purpose. With a bit of unexpected rain occurring during this shoot, I was happy for the camera and lens' weather sealing protection, meaning I could simply keep shooting without worry in that regard.
 
Just an hour of shooting not only gave me some of my best-ever garter snake pictures, but it also provided a great practice session. Simply spending an hour photographing something that interests you around the house can keep your photography skills fresh along with teaching you new ones. So, get out there!
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
263mm  f/5.0  1/200s
ISO 1250
8688 x 5792px
Post Date: 6/4/2017 7:12:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 2, 2017
From Canon USA: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Firmware v.1.1.2
 
Firmware Version 1.1.2 incorporates the following fix:
 
  • Corrects the phenomenon in which remote shooting with the Camera Connect App is not possible after connecting the EOS 7D Mark II to a smartphone via the Wi-Fi Adapter W-E1.
*This phenomenon only occurs when the firmware was updated from Version 1.0.5 or earlier to Version 1.1.1. There is no need to update the firmware if the firmware was updated from Version 1.1.0 to Version 1.1.1, or if the EOS 7D Mark II was equipped with Firmware Version 1.1.1 at the time of purchase.
 
Download: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Firmware v.1.1.2
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/2/2017 11:54:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Canon Professional Network has an in-depth article which provides details on each Canon battery series – NB, BP, NB & LP – with tips on how to get the most out of your Canon batteries.
 
B&H carries Canon battery.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/2/2017 7:52:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, June 1, 2017
There are many types of off-camera flashes available for consideration, so let's go over the primary options. While the term "flash" could be used interchangeably to describe any of the following options, we'll be using the term "shoe-mount flash" to describe flashes featuring a hot shoe and "studio strobe" to describe the bulkier, more powerful flashes.
 
Shoe-Mount Flash: Camera Brand/Third-Party TTL Compatible
 
"Ok, so I own a Canon/Nikon/Sony camera... does that mean I have to buy all Canon/Nikon/Sony flashes for off-camera use?" The simple answer is, "No," but there are certainly some advantages to building a camera brand specific kit. Camera brand shoe-mount flashes – like the 600EX II-RT – can communicate with each other wirelessly through optical and/or radio means and can automatically calculate the amount of flash necessary to provide the correct exposure as determined by your camera (ETTL, iTTL). Optical triggering requires line-of-sight (each flash must be able to see the master flash or commander unit), and its range is fairly limited (especially outside in bright sunlight). Radio-enabled flashes provide much more range without the limitation of line-of-sight positioning. With an all Canon/Nikon/Sony flash system, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of high-speed sync (exceeding your camera's max flash syncs speed) and rear-curtain sync (where the flash is coordinated to end with the rear curtain). Note: Nikon users can enjoy the benefits of rear-curtain sync even with non Nikon-branded flashes.
 
There are also some third-party flashes that mimic the capabilities of the camera brand flashes providing full communication with your camera and similar features at a reduced cost. However, sometimes these flashes can be incompatible with older and/or yet-to-be-released camera bodies. If the third party flash manufacturer does not release an updated firmware, or otherwise, there is no way to update the flash's firmware, then you're simply out of luck.
 
Shoe-Mount Flash: Third-Party Manual
 
Third-party manual flashes offer a relatively no-frills option as they do not feature wireless communication and power levels must be adjusted manually. These types of flashes work well in indoor studio setups where the flash is placed in an easily accessible location (they are not very convenient when the flash is boomed above a subject and the power level requires adjustments). Manual flashes typically require a radio trigger to sync the flash with the camera's shutter, but some manual flashes offer optical slaves which can trigger the flash when it sees other flashes fire.
 
The downside to all shoe mount flashes is their somewhat limited power. They tend to work great indoors and in times when the ambient light is not necessarily abundant and bright, but outside of those situations or when modifiers are used, you may find yourself wishing you had a few more stops of flash power at your command. If your photography lighting applications require more power, you'll want to look at the available studio strobe options described below.
 
Studio Strobes: Monolights and Pack & Head Systems
 
The two most common types of studio strobes include monolights and pack & head systems. With monolights like the Profoto D1, the flash bulb, modeling light, cooling system and power supply (requiring AC input) are all contained within the flash head's housing. In a pack & head system (Profoto Pro/Acute/D4) , the power source (often called a generator or power pack) is a separate component from the flash head. As you likely guessed, both these systems have benefits and drawbacks compared to the other.
 
Benefits of a pack & head system include smaller/lighter flashes, the ability to run off of battery power or AC and remote control of power levels via the pack with only one radio device needed for triggering all connected flash heads. Downsides to a pack & head system include a single point of failure (pack) could render all flashes unusable, power cords running from a single location to all flash heads (making positioning lights difficult at times) and higher cost.
 
Benefits of monolights include [generally] lower cost and easier positioning of lights assuming multiple AC outlets are available. Downsides include the need for a radio trigger for each individual light (unless the monolight features a built-in optical slave and your shooting situation allows for that type of triggering), AC power requirements and having to adjust power levels at each light (unless a radio triggering system is available that can perform power level adjustments).
 
Studio Strobes: Battery Powered
 
Relatively new to the industry are battery powered studio strobes (Profoto B1, Broncolor Siros, Interfit S1, Dynalite Baja, Phottix Indra) which offer the power of traditional studio strobes with the flexibility and convenience of a user-replaceable, rechargeable battery built right into the flash head unit. Most of these strobes feature built-in wireless receivers providing benefits such as independent power control (possibly even TTL) and high-speed sync.
 
With benefits of increased power and the inclusion of built-in rechargeable batteries (making them an excellent option for on-location/outdoor setups), the downsides of battery powered studio strobes compared to shoe-mount flashes include increased size, weight and higher cost.
 
Wrap Up
 
While there are certainly products that fall in between these categories offering a blend of benefits and drawbacks, the groups listed above constitute the majority of what's available for off-camera flash use. And with so many options available, it's very likely that you can find a flash/strobe setup (or mix of these products) which can adequately cover your lighting needs.
 
In our next installment in this series, we'll take a look at the wide range of radio triggers available in the today's marketplace.
 
Other Photography Lighting 101 Posts
 
Post Date: 6/1/2017 9:03:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Bergün, a village in Switzerland, has banned photography in its municipality in order to prevent the overwhelming sadness experienced by those who view the images of the village on social media yet cannot experience Bergün in-person.
 
In the above video, President of the Board (Mayor) Peter Nicolay kindly asks NASA to remove or blur all its images of the beautiful village to spare viewers the inevitable sadness, despair and longing associated with not being there.
Post Date: 6/1/2017 7:36:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
Changes implemented in Nikon D3400 Firmware v.1.12 & D5600 Firmware 1.02:
 
  • Improved pairing and connectivity between the camera and Android versions of the SnapBridge app.
Download:
Nikon D3400 Firmware v.1.12
Nikon D5600 Firmware 1.02
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 6/1/2017 5:52:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, May 31, 2017

 
From the Russell Brown Vimeo Channel:
 
In this tutorial I will demonstrate a classic technique to match colors in Adobe Photoshop. I discovered this technique in the beginning of time and it is still just as helpful today. This technique uses the RGB, grayscale channels to adjust colors within an image.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 5/31/2017 11:45:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
According to a recent press release, Canon is planning on purchasing roughly 14 million of its own shares – at an estimated cost north of $450 million dollars (50 billion yen) – with the "...aim of improving capital efficiency and ensuring a flexible capital strategy that provides for such future transactions as share exchanges."
 
The stock acquisition is scheduled to take place June 1 through July 14, 2017.
 
Note: At Canon's current stock price ($34.79 USD at the time of this article), they would only be able to purchase 12,976,343 shares with a 50 billion yen investment. [Sean]
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/31/2017 11:13:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Canon Digital Learning Center has posted two in-depth articles on the newly announced EOS C200:
 
The Production Brief covers many of the features found in the C200, including the detached touch-screen monitor, built-in dual rotary ND filter and 4-channel audio. The Post-Production Brief covers available recording formats including Cinema RAW Light.
 
B&H will carry the Canon EOS C200 Cinema Camera.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/31/2017 9:21:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
 
With a moderate temperature and sparse clouds overhead, I set off with the goal of photographing a local marsh with my infrared converted Canon EOS 7D and EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. I was particularly interested in photographing the dormant trees often found in such locations. After a little exploration, I found an area behind an apartment complex that seemed perfect. The marsh was mostly dry and featured obvious walking paths used by nearby residents.
 
The dry marsh featured dozens of dormant trees which I intended on photographing as my primary subjects, using the wide, flat marsh and blue sky as a backdrop. However, I photographed several trees but was unsatisfied with my results.
 
And then I started thinking about my composition. A good landscape image needs to have a distinct foreground, middle and background, or else it needs an element that guides the eye through the composition. When photographing the trees with an ultra-wide angle lens, the images had a distinct foreground and background, but the lack of an element clearly connecting the two – guiding my eye through the scene – resulted in boring photographs. With that revelation and a fresh set of eyes looking at the scene, I began searching for ways to connect the foreground and background in the composition. The answer appeared just beneath my feet.
 
The curved pathway that snaked through the scene seemed ideal for leading a viewer's eye through the image. If the path had been straight, it wouldn't have had the same effect. But with a gentle S-curve running from the foreground through the middle part of the image, the resulting composition (including interesting clouds) proved to be my favorite shot from this outing. Of course, the image doesn't feature one of the trees I was so anxious to photograph, but... the trees aren't going anywhere, so I'll likely try again another day.
Post Date: 5/31/2017 8:58:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Canon UK:
 
United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 31 May 2017 – Canon Europe, world leader in imaging solutions, today announces the launch of the EOS C200, the latest addition to the esteemed Cinema EOS range. Offering exceptional creativity and flexibility, the new 4K compact digital cinema camera is perfect for a broad range of imaging professionals.
 
As the first Cinema EOS camera to support the new RAW recording format – Cinema RAW Light – the EOS C200 provides the same flexibility in colour grading as Cinema RAW in a smaller file size, enabling filmmakers to record internally to a CFast 2.0 card.
 

Newly developed Canon Dual DIGIC DV6 processors provide the ability to record internally 4K UHD/50P MP4, 4K DCI RAW and continuous 120fps High Frame Rate (HFR) in Full HD without crop. At the same time, advances in Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus (AF) technology and a new touch screen LCD monitor provide smooth AF operation and effective tracking.
 
Capability drives creativity
The EOS C200 features Canon’s 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor with an effective pixel count of 8.85MP, along with the newly developed Dual DIGIC DV6 image processors. As a result, it can deliver Cinema RAW Light recording at 4K DCI 50P internally to a CFast 2.0 card. It can also deliver 4K UHD recording at 150Mbps, and 2K or Full HD at 35Mbps to SD cards in MP4 format.
 
Supporting up to 15-stops of dynamic range with Cinema RAW Light and up to 13-stops of dynamic range in MP4 (Canon Log / Log 3), the camera is perfect for capturing highlight and shadow details.
 
The EOS C200 is also capable of delivering both slow and fast motion recording at up to 120fps with no crop in Full HD/MP4, ideal for those wanting creative slow motion capture.
 
An ISO range of 100 to 102,400 guarantees excellent performance, even in difficult lighting conditions, such as when quickly switching between locations. The built-in optical ND filters of up to 10 stops provide further flexibility and convenience, allowing filmmakers to shoot in bright light and expand the depth of field control.
 
Advanced operability and ergonomic design
Built for professionals and ideal for single shooters, the EOS C200 features an advanced AF system that provides reliability and accuracy when shooting 4K, as well as a touch screen LCD panel for filmmakers to easily select their subject. For those who need to switch effortlessly between several subjects in a single shot, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF enables smooth AF operation whilst the Manual Focus Assist Function, Face Detection with Face Priority and Face-Only options provide greater creative focus control.
 
The EOS C200’s lightweight body of just 1.4kg is designed for comfortable hand-held shooting and will benefit those who are filming for long periods. The compact size also makes the camera suitable for mounting onto a drone or gimbal.
 
Built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity allows for browser remote control and the ability to transfer files via FTP, whilst the camera’s compatibility options mean new and existing accessories can be used, including Canon’s electronic viewfinder - the EVF-V70.
 
Cinema RAW Light for next generation workflows
Canon has worked with several partners to ensure Cinema RAW Light is integrated with various software programs. As a result, editing and grading of the Cinema RAW Light video format will be supported in DaVinci Resolve of Blackmagic Design. Editing will be possible in Media Composer from Avid Technology, using Canon RAW Plugin for Avid Media Access. This format can also be processed using a Canon application, Cinema RAW Development.
 
Support for Cinema RAW Light is also scheduled for EDIUS Pro, Grass Valley’s editing software, during 2017. Additionally, a future version of Final Cut Pro X from Apple Inc. will support Canon’s Cinema RAW Light, using Canon RAW Plugin for Final Cut Pro X.
 
Future Firmware upgrade
Canon’s XF-AVC video format will be available with a future firmware upgrade. This upgrade is free of charge and is planned to be available from 1H 2018.
 
EOS C200 key features:
 
  • Internal 4K recording with Cinema RAW Light and MP4 format
  • Continuous 120fps (maximum) High Frame Rate with no cropping at Full HD
  • Up to 15-stops dynamic range (Cinema RAW Light)
  • Professional High Quality image and audio
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with touch control and extensive shooting functions
  • Easy operation and flexible configuration
B&H will carry the Canon EOS C200 Cinema Camera.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/31/2017 8:13:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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