As winter quickly transitions into spring, flowers bloom, trees become leafy again and the pitfalls of the frigid cold fade into (maybe not so distant) memory.
If you are anything like me, your home and surroundings may not be very inspiring to you anymore. I think it is human nature to lose appreciation for the things you see every day. And when that happens, inspiration close to home can be difficult to come by.
Thank goodness spring brings us so many opportunities to see the world around us – including those areas in close proximity to our own doorstep – in a new light with a macro lens attached to your camera. Such was the case with the image above.
Dandelions are probably as loved by photographers as they are despised by lawn care professionals, as beautiful as they are hard to get rid of. Once the quaint yellow flower sprouts its seeds, you can bet there will be another dozen or so dandelions appearing soon wherever the wind blows.
The image at the top of this post was one of the easiest images I've created in quite some time. It was captured with relatively minimal gear, took about 10 minutes to complete (including setup and several different framings), and the flower was located within about eight steps from my front door.
To capture the shot, I first inverted the tripod's center column so that the camera would hang beneath the tripod. This enabled me to more easily get the top-down perspective that I wanted. I used the 7D II's Live View to frame and focus on the newly forming stigmas of the flower at or near minimum focus distance.
EXIF: f/11, 1/100 sec, ISO 800
The overcast day provided a nice, even light on the flower. However, the subdued light combined with the narrow aperture I needed to obtain the depth of field I wanted meant that I had to push the ISO to 800 and use a relatively long shutter speed (relatively long considering the small bursts of wind occurring at the time). I could have pushed the ISO higher and used a shorter shutter speed, but instead I simply timed my shots to coincide with the small periods of calm in between small wind gusts. The shot headlining this post was my favorite out of the twenty or so shots I captured that day.
The image in the middle of this post and the one below were captured using a handheld Canon 5D III, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, and a 580EX Speedlite with a Roundflash Ringflash Adapter.
Just posted: Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
This lens turns in best-available 24mm optical performance in a very attractive package at an eye-catching price.
From Canon USA:
Films Premiere for the First Time at Canon Theater During the 2015 NAB Show
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 13, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce the premiere of two short films "Trick Shot" and "Battle of the Ages" today during the 2015 NAB Show in Las Vegas, NV. Both films will screen daily in true 4K at the 2015 NAB Show in the Canon Theater at Booth #C4325.
Using the brand new Canon EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera and the XC10 4K Digital Camcorder, the short films were shot in cinematic 4K (4096 x 2160) and recorded in-camera on SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 cards.
"Trick Shot," directed by Evan Kaufmann with cinematography by Gale Tattersall (Grace and Frankie, House M.D.), is a classic con movie with a twist. Reformed pool shark "Eight Ball" Bobby is forced to play one more crucial billiards game to save his son Devon, who got mixed up in the wrong crowd. Shot on location in Nevada, Tattersall utilized the EOS C300 Mark II camera to capture the menacing darkness of a seedy pool hall, the stark beauty of the barren desert, and the tense drama of a clever heist film.
"The new sensor in the Canon EOS C300 Mark II is a game changer," said Tattersall. "The 15 stops of dynamic range and cinematic quality put this camera in the big leagues."
Mounted with Canon's new CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens, the camera produced an incredible tracking shot of a speeding car from more than two miles away. Yet when the script called for aerial photography, the camera easily transitioned from sticks on the ground to propellers in the sky. Flying with a Canon EF 24mm 1.4L II USM lens on the Aerigon, a professional cinema drone from Intuitive Aerial Inc., the camera captured the vast landscape of Valley of Fire State Park.
"The small form factor makes it wonderful to move around very quickly," Tattersall noted. "It took seconds to go from handheld to drone to Steadicam to jib arm to studio mode. The EOS C300 Mark II is absolutely one of the most versatile cameras I've come across."
Tattersall also had the XC10 camcorder in his toolkit. The 4K fixed-lens, video-and-still-shooting hybrid served as a point-of-view camera, which the filmmakers put through its paces by mounting it under cars and on pool cues.
Tattersall added, "I like the XC10 camcorder enormously. It's a true 4K camera that creates beautiful images in one tiny form factor."
"Battle of the Ages," shot entirely on the XC10 4K digital camcorder, is an action-packed comedy from YouTube filmmaker Scott Winn, whose channel, ScottDW, has amassed more than 59 million views. Riffing on the 1980s crime drama trope, "Battle of the Ages" features two young thugs who learn the hard way that appearances can be deceiving and age is nothing but a number. Scott captured his fearless cast of three professional parkour athletes through an exhilarating chase and an epic fight scene with the XC10 camcorder mounted on a Freefly MoVI M5.
"While we love epic, extreme adventures, we prefer to keep the crazy on screen and away from our camera crew," said Winn. "The XC10 camcorder worked perfectly out of the box. And, the image this tiny, lightweight camera produced is larger than life. I know my work will look great if it is streaming on the small screen of someone's phone or projected in true 4K in a massive theater."
To capture the action from every angle, Scott teamed up with Helivate Films' Zac Eskelsen to fly the camera above Salt Lake City's skyline. They mounted the XC10 camcorder on a DJI Spreading Wings S1000 drone with a MoVI gimbal to get the bird's eye view.
"We love what we were able to accomplish with this camera from above, these shots add a dynamism to our film that was shot in one day with a small crew," said Winn. "The sky is the next frontier for filmmakers, and this camera puts quality drone work within reach for every creator."
Following NAB, the films and their accompanying behind-the-scenes featurettes will be available on the Canon U.S.A. website: https://www.usa.canon.com. "Battle of the Ages" will also be available in streaming 4K on the ScottDW YouTube channel.
From Kenko Tokina USA:
APRIL 13, 2015 – Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is pleased to announce the specialized Tokina Cinema Hydrophilic filters for broadcast and cinema use. Tokina Cinema Hydrophilic filters have a coating layer that does not allow water to bead up like traditional filter coatings. If water cannot bead it simply flows evenly off the filter surface making for clear viewing and recording even in a steady rain.
Water-drops on glass are formed by surface tension and adhesion. Once the weight of the water is sufficient to overcome the strength of these two forces the water beings to flow. This can be seen every time water drops first “stick to” and then cascade down a window when it rains.
The Tokina Cinema Hydrophilic coating does not allow surface adhesion so water drops cannot form. The coating Tokina Cinema Hydrophilic filters permanent and does not ever need to be reapplied, unlike over-the counter products that make a similar claim. The filter coating is “recharged” by UV light making it ideal for stationary weather cameras or other cameras that are being exposed to sunlight for several hours a day.*
Tokina Cinema Hydrophilic filters come in standard broadcast sizes from 77MM to 127MM as well as square and rectangular.
Specifications: Glass: Optical Clear Protector Glass
Coating: Multi-layer Proprietary Coating
Size Availability: 77MM, 82MM, 86MM, 95MM, 105MM, 112MM, 127MM, 4x4, 4x5.65
Retail Price: Starting at $405.00
Availability: April, 2015
From Kenko Tokina USA:
APRIL 13, 2015 – Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is pleased to announce the Tokina Cinema IRND neutral density filters for cinematography.
The Tokina Cinema IRND filters use ACCU-ND technology to yield a truly neutral color balance that will not add any noticeable color cast to your footage. This series was created specifically for the cinema and HDSLR video markets.
The Metallic ACCU-ND coating on the IRND filters do not color shift as you move from one density to the next, a common problem with almost all other series of neutral density filters. Now you can set your white balance once and have the same color balance even if you need to change filters due to changes in lighting, or have multiple cameras with different strengths of filters on them.
The ACCU-ND metallic coating also has the added essential benefit of accurately controlling and suppressing infrared (IR) light so color fidelity is maintained. This is important as IR can add its own color cast when recording outside and manly other IR filters on the market add their own color cast that can be difficult to correct in post production.
The IRND filters use an exclusive clear optical glass that has a metallic ACCU-ND coating bonded to the surface of the glass to create the neutral density affect.
The Tokina IRND series has round filters in common sizes from 82MM to 127MM and strengths from one stop (0.3) to four stops (1.2). The series also has two square mat-box sizes that are available from one stop to 7 stops of light reduction.
Prices start at $210.00 for the 82MM size.
2nd Annual Tour for Photo Education Will Turn Camera Store Parking Lots Into A Full Day Photo Experience
April 13, 2015, Commack, New York - Tamron USA announced today that the national 2015 Tamron Tailgate Tour will commence April 13th in New York City. The fully equipped Tamron van is back by popular demand with all new free mini-seminars, hands-on experiences with the latest Tamron technology, portfolio review opportunities, excited new evening seminar program, and tons of swag. The tour will visit camera stores throughout the country, bringing the total Tamron experience to you. The Tailgate Tour strives to take the average seminar and turn it into a photographic celebration full of giveaways, prizes, lens specials, and valuable insight from the Tamron tech team of photographers. This casual and fun approach to photography education is designed to offer easy and free access to great information to anyone interested in photography. The schedule is continually updated and can be accesses at www.tamron-usa.com/tailgate.
The Tamron Tailgate Tour will work with local photo retailers to deliver this unique learning experience. The Tamron van will pull into the parking lot and set up for a full day of education from 12pm to 4pm to help people with their photography questions. And each day will feature team members offering free mini-sessions under the Tamron Tailgate Learning Tent - "Achieving Perfect Exposure"12:00 - 12:45pm, "Portfolio and Image Review" 1:00 - 2:30pm and "Understanding Your Digital Darkroom" 3:00 - 3:45pm.
For those looking for even more tips to creating better photographs, Tamron will offer a two-hour evening seminar entitled "The Field Guide to Inspired Photography: See It, Capture It, Work It" taught by experienced Tamron tech team photographers. The cost of the seminars will be $25 dollars and will include a welcome bag with a reporter notebook and lens cleaning cloth.
Visitors will also see the latest in Tamron products, and will be eligible to enter the Tailgate Tour raffle contest, where three lucky winners can win any Tamron lens of his/her choice. One winner will be chosen at the end of each tour leg. Full contest details can be found at the Tamron Tailgate website on April 13th for the kick off of the tour. A Tailgate lunch will be served at most locations from 12pm to 2pm.
For more information and to find out when the Tamron Tailgate Tour will be in your area, visit www.tamron-usa.com/tailgate
by Sean Setters
At about 3:30am this past Friday, I awoke from a sound sleep but had no idea why. Through the tiny slit in my eyelids I thought I detected a flash of light from the window behind my head. It didn't seem very bright and I thought to myself, "Was that lightning or am I dreaming?"
After waiting a few seconds to hear the tell-tale sounds of thunder, I laid my head back down. A few seconds later, though, I finally heard the faint sounds of distant thunder.
Wanting to try out my Vello FreeWave Stryker Lightning & Motion Trigger, I groggily rose from the bed, put on clothes and packed my camera gear. In 15 minutes I was standing on the town square after a very short drive.
I originally purchased the Vello FreeWave Stryker Lightning & Motion Trigger just before Christmas of last year. As winter is not known for producing thunder storms, I had only been able to use the device once a couple of weeks ago since acquring it. While testing the device for the first time, I thought about how cool it would be to capture lightning over one of my town's most famous landmarks, the historic county courthouse.
To get the shot, I positioned myself under the awning of a building across the street. I used my 5D Mark III and a Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L (precursor to the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II) so that I could keep the perspective of the building clean while also capturing a good portion of the sky (shifting the lens upward).
I adjusted the Vello trigger's sensitivity to the point at which it was triggered by the ambient street lights and then backed off the sensitivity just slightly. It took me a few test shots to nail down my exposure settings (adjusting aperture and ISO to properly expose for the lightning and shutter speed to properly expose for the buildings), but I finally worked it out.
After about 30-40 minutes there was a break in the rain where lightning was striking within the camera's field of view. I captured lightning bolts in three different images, and this one captured at 4:07am was the best of the bunch. The camera also triggered when lightning flashed outside the camera's field of view, but those images simply showed a brightened sky.
After about an hour and a half of shooting (well after getting this shot), I went home and immediately edited the image and posted it to Facebook where it blew up in popularity, easily besting any other image I've ever posted to social media. It was shared by the official Facebook page of our county (where it has garnered over 1,400 likes and almost 200 shares this weekend) as well as being shared on the Facebook pages of our town mayor and a local radio DJ.
Unfortunately, I was quite tired when originally editing and posting the image and didn't notice how warm I left the image's color balance. I cooled down the color balance (but still left it slightly warm) in the image uploaded to Flickr (shown above).
Could I have captured this image without the lightning trigger? Of course. To do so, I would have needed to continuously fire the camera in interval mode (either using an intervelometer or simply pushing the shutter button every time an exposure ended), but using the dedicated lightning trigger made the process much easier. The lightning trigger was also handy when trying to find the right exposure variables (as the camera wasn't continuously firing, camera settings could be adjusted as normal). Also, using the trigger meant that I didn't have to wade through hundreds of images to find the ones where lightning actually struck.
You can see a larger version of the image on Flickr.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L Tilt-Shift
24mm, f/8, 10 sec, ISO 100
With the amazing Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens getting a nearly-equally amazing $800.00 price reduction, I felt compelled to share an image captured with this lens.
In the spring, black bears come out of hibernation and the cubs enter their new world, full of first-time experiences waiting to happen. This little cub may have never seen an iris before and though it was still nursing from its mom, must have thought the iris looked like candy. After pulling some unopened flower buds from their stems and carrying them around like toys, this little cub approached the big open flower. It proceeded with great effort to pull the flower off of the stem. Too cute.
With a cub this young, you can count on the mother being close by. The zoom focal length range of this lens allowed me to frame the cub reasonably tightly at 560mm with the built-in 1.4x extender switched into the optical path (with some cropping) and then quickly zoom out to 270mm sans extender to vertically capture the momma bear standing upright with a cub between her legs. No single prime lens would have worked in this situation (unless the widest-needed focal length was selected with most images needing significant cropping).
Leave your own caption for this image in the comments!
Check out the huge list of significant Canon L lens price reductions in addition to the 200-400 L II's $800.00 price drop.
The rebate form to claim the free memory card holder can be downloaded here.
From the lynda.com YouTube Channel:
Find out how to capture a camera angle that provide a good overhead view and lots of detail and flexibility—like what you'd need for a cooking show or gadget review—using a simple mirror. Want more pro video tips? Watch the follow-up movies here.
This tutorial is from the Pro Video Tips series presented by lynda.com author Anthony Q. Artis. Pro Video Tips offers a new video tip every week, on topics like shooting techniques, storytelling, audio, and miking.
April 10, 2015 – MANHATTAN, ILLINOIS – Several exhibitors will be on hand at the History of Photography Exhibit sponsored by the Manhattan Township Historical Society.
The free and interactive exhibit will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 18, at 255 S. State Street, Manhattan, Illinois..
Displays will include the historical development of the camera from the early pinhole camera and camera obscura, through various plate and film equipment, to modern digital cameras.
Various historic processing methods will be described with examples of photographs produced by these processes. Visitors can experience a mock-up of a chemical process dark room and load a film-processing tank. An active present day light room will present modern digital processing techniques.
An astrophotography exhibit will feature the equipment, techniques and subject matter for capturing images of the night sky, including meteors, wide-angle sky images, deep space objects and lightning.
Other exhibits include stereo and panoramic photography and examples of using graphic software to post-process digital images. Visit www.facebook.com/manhattanhistoricalsociety.
From Canon USA:
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 10, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, delivered the first Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens to Otto Nemenz International, a world-renowned rental company based in Los Angeles, CA. Otto Nemenz is the first facility in the United States to offer the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm lens for rental.
Canon introduced the ultra-telephoto CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens in October of 2014. With the world's longest focal length (75-1500mm with its built-in 1.5x extender) and highest (20x) magnification among Super 35mm zoom lensesi, this CINE-SERVO zoom lens offers cinematographers new possibilities for shooting scenes in HD, 2K and 4K on single-sensor cameras. Available in both EF- and PL- mount versions, the lens features a removable Digital Drive unit designed to support broadcast or cinema-style production.
"We are thrilled to be the first to purchase this new lens, a historic development in engineering," said Otto Nemenz, founder and CEO of Otto Nemenz International and I.A.T.S.E. Local 600 member. "Our cinematographer clients are excited to get their hands on this lens and develop new filmmaking techniques using this product."
"Among professionals in the industry the name Otto Nemenz is synonymous with quality and reliability," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "We are honored by their selection of our CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm lens, and its inclusion into their impressive equipment portfolio will make it readily available for professionals to explore the visual potential this lens offers."
On April 23, 2015, Otto Nemenz will begin offering the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens for rent. To inquire about reserving the lens, please contact Alex Wengert (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fritz Heinzle (email@example.com).
We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with YouTube sensation Devin Graham for Project Imagination: The Trailer. In a world, where anything in life can be a movie, and every movie starts with a trailer, Ron Howard and Josh Hutcherson are looking for moments from your everyday life to inspire their next film. And you don’t need to be a professional filmmaker or YouTube star to catch their attention.
Check out Devin’s “Adventure Boy” trailer that he edited using our own easy-to-use Trailer Editor tool. The contest closes on 4/29, so create yours today at http://bit.ly/1GemYHj!
April 9, 2015 – Manfrotto is proud to announce the launch of the XPRO Geared Head. The new 3-way tripod head is designed for amateur and hobbyist photographers who require precise composition adjustments via geared movements, including macro, landscape and architectural photography.
For passionate photographers requiring precision, especially on location, this head designed by Manfrotto weighs only 750 g (1.65 lbs), but can support up to 4kg (8.8 lbs) of payload. Its Adapto body, a strong and rigid technopolymer, makes this head the most precise, lightweight head that Manfrotto has ever created. This allows landscape and architectural photographers to achieve their images on-location with less bulk than ever before.
Thanks to the XPRO Geared Head’s patent pending micrometric knobs, photographers can achieve their desired composition and refine their selections along a single axis faster than traditional ball heads. The geared movement of the head allows precise, micro step framing on all three axis, with confirmation via the three included bubble levels, one for each axis. The newly designed rotating knobs ensure ergonomic comfort even during extensive usage. Moreover, if the photographer doesn’t need to make fine adjustments, the axis locking system may be loosened with the Quick Movement levers, allowing for free movement along the axis.
By using one of the most common photographic plates in the world, the 200PL, the new XPRO Geared Head is compatible with Manfrotto’s most popular ball and 3-way tripod heads including the XPRO 2-Way fluid head, XPRO 3-Way head and 496RC2 ball head. This strikes the perfect balance between quick setup and savings: one plate is always attached to the camera, ready to be used in any situation with whatever photo or video support the photographer has on location.
Made in Italy
The new XPRO Geared Head is designed and manufactured in Italy. Utilizing premium materials and advanced engineering processes, the new XPRO Geared Head features a 10 year Canadian warranty.
The new Manfrotto XPRO 3-Way Geared Head will be available in Canada in late April at the suggested retail price of $259.95.
Mountain View, Calif. – April 9, 2015 – LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 300 million members worldwide, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire lynda.com, a leading online learning company teaching business, technology and creative skills to help people achieve their professional goals. Based in Carpinteria, CA, lynda.com was co-founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin.
The transaction is valued at approximately $1.5 billion, subject to adjustment, in a combination of approximately 52 percent cash and approximately 48 percent stock. Subject to the completion of customary conditions, the acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015.
Through a subscription to lynda.com’s service, individual members and organizations have access to a comprehensive collection of top quality courses taught by industry experts, offered in English, German, French, Spanish, and Japanese. In addition to individual subscribers, lynda.com serves corporate, government and educational organizations through its lyndaEnterprise, lyndaPro, lyndaCampus, lyndaLibrary and lyndaKiosk products. lynda.com stands out as a leader of owned and operated premium skills content, offering a massive library of high-quality courses.
“The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. “lynda.com’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity.”
"This is such an exciting moment in the 20-year history of lynda.com, and I couldn't imagine a better pairing than lynda.com and LinkedIn," said Lynda Weinman, co-founder and executive chair of the board of lynda.com.
"In LinkedIn, we have found an incredible partner who shares our vision and passion for empowering people around the world to make real change in their lives through access to information, learning and professional development," said Eric Robison, CEO of lynda.com.
Following closing, most members of the lynda.com team are expected to join LinkedIn.
RONKONKOMA – April 9, 2015 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce that the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) has select two Sigma products for the TIPA Awards 2015. The 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary lens has been lauded Best Entry Level DSLR Lens, and the recently released 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens won Best Expert DSLR Prime Lens.
With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, the TIPA organization has a worldwide membership of 27 photo and imaging magazines from 16 countries across five continents. When TIPA member magazines began the TIPA Awards, their goal was to develop an award that would showcase the best photography, imaging products and services introduced to the market during the past year. According to TIPA, only products that the General Assembly think deserve recognition are considered in the voting process.
“On behalf of Sigma Corporation, we are honored to have two Sigma lenses receive TIPA awards this year, and be recognized by such a far-reaching organization,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “We’re especially proud to be acknowledged as a company that continues to produce leading-edge technology in the photo industry. The addition of the 24mm F1.4 and 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 lenses to our Global Vision lineup demonstrates how Sigma is continuing to redefine expectations and improve the experience for our loyal users.”
As the ninth addition to Sigma’s iconic Global Vision Art line-up, the 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is designed for full-frame DSLRs, and when used on digital cameras with an APS-C size sensor, it effectively becomes a 38mm. The 24mm excels at indoor photography in low light, thanks to the combination of exceptional focal plane sharpness, and gorgeous bokeh rendered by nine rounded-aperture blades. The lens features both "F" Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass in a design of 15 elements in 11 groups to minimize chromatic aberration of magnification, especially at the edge of the image field. It also has the ability to achieve a maximum magnification of 1:5.3 with a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 inches.
The 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary lens is designed exclusively for APS-C camera sensors and features a 16.6x high-ratio zoom lens that equates to a 27-450mm zoom range. It incorporates four “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements, which have performance equal to fluorite, in addition to one Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass element. This enables the lens to minimize the chromatic aberration, especially toward the telephoto-end, and provide clear image quality with high color fidelity. Also, this lens comes with a newly developed optical stabilization (OS) system, ensuring better compensation.
Both lenses are compatible with Sigma’s Mount Conversion Service and Sigma’s USB dock, allowing photographers to update the lens firmware and change focus parameters.
From Nikon USA:
MELVILLE, NY – At NAB 2015, Nikon (Booth # C8818) will be showing a full range of tools for a modern production environment, with versatile DSLR cameras and NIKKOR lenses for professional video applications. Several Nikon Ambassadors and industry professionals will be presenting at the Nikon booth throughout the show, demonstrating a variety of different filmmaking techniques. Additionally, Nikon Corporation will be announcing the development of new firmware, for select Nikon DSLR cameras, to improve workflow for professional video applications by enhancing capability with third party external recording devices. Nikon plans to release the new firmware later this summer, which will be available at no cost to customers.
Nikon at NAB 2015:
Industry professionals are invited to the Nikon booth to view the company’s full line of DSLR cameras for content capture, including the D750 and D810 Filmmaker Kits. Attendees are encouraged to visit the booth to learn about the production possibilities with Nikon cameras and hear from some of the most innovative filmmakers today including Corey Rich, Dixie Dixon, Anthony Arendt, PES and Chris Hershman. Visitors to the Nikon booth can also discover a vast range of NIKKOR lenses and see first-hand the unrivaled clarity and sharpness that these lenses deliver for any project.
New Nikon DSLR Firmware:
The new firmware in development will be available for the Nikon D4S, D810 and D750, and will enhance capture workflow. With the new firmware, Atomos Shogun or Ninja-2 external recorders will recognize recording start/stop commands of the external recorder and can be synchronized with recording start/stop commands of the camera. This new firmware will provide greater support for recording of high-definition, uncompressed data that makes the most of the superior resolution of the D4S, D810 and D750, plus the excellent rendering performance of NIKKOR lenses to external recorders. Demonstrations of the firmware (which is currently under development) will be available at both the Nikon (#C8818) and Atomos (#C8825) booths from Monday, April 13 through Thursday, April 16. The firmware will be available in late Summer 2015 as a free download.
Nikon D750 and D810 Filmmakers Kits
For users who are looking to take advantage of the Nikon D810 or D750’s advanced video capabilities, Nikon is now offering a Filmmaker’s Kit for each camera that includes everything needed to get started in the world of cinema. The kit contains the camera, three NIKKOR lenses in popular focal lengths, including the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED lens, the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens and the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens; all of which provide stunning HD clarity and excellent depth of field control for filmmakers. The kit also contains two additional EN-EL15 batteries, an ME-1 Stereo Microphone, one Atomos Ninja-2 External Recorder, and Tiffen 67mm and 58mm Variable Neutral Density Filters (8-stops) for superior control of light. In addition, the Nikon Filmmaker’s Kits feature custom foam inserts, which are ideally sized for use in a hard case for transporting equipment to the next video production.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II, EF 100-400mm L IS II Lens and a great egret make a great combination. With the egret perched above me and the setting sun behind me, the remaining challenge was to catch the constantly moving bird in ideal positions with AF locked on the eye. The camera and lens performed really well on the latter requirement and my own performance on the former was good enough to land me a pile of shots that I like.
What are the ideal subject positions for bird photography? There are many, but side-on to the bird with its head straight forward or turned slightly toward the camera is a basic ideal position. While this bird was directly facing me, that long neck could position the head in a variety of positions and the sideways but turned slightly toward me position worked well in this situation. The gust of wind ruffling the egret's feathers added the extra interest I'm always watching for.
Compositionally, I like the two black legs (leading lines) coming up into the frame, positioning the bird at about 1/3 of the way into the frame. The bird looking into the frame adds the needed balance to the image. Cropping the legs (vs. including the entire legs and feet) in-camera allowed the bird's beautiful body to be larger in the frame and allowed me to avoid the background distractions that lower framing would have included. With the wide zoom range available in this lens, I had a large variety of framing options available and I used many.
The 7D II's top-center AF point was selected and placed on the on the bird's eye. That the 7D II's AF system covers an area that close to the edge of the frame made capturing this particular image very easy relative to the focus and recompose technique most other DSLRs require in this situation. The great egret's long neck was constantly moving the head to new positions and I had only an instant to catch any of these positions. By the time I would have recomposed after focusing, the bird would have been in a new position most of the time.
Though an f/10 aperture used with the 7D II will show some softening due to the effects of diffraction, I wanted as much of the close bird to be in focus as possible. A low sharpness setting of "2" was used in DPP with very light/fine sharpening added in Photoshop CC for a very sharp end result. Even with f/10 selected, I had enough light to use a 1/320 sec shutter speed (though marginal for the moving bird) at ISO 100.
My "great" image is basically straight out of the camera with a small amount of bill cleanup done and white balance cooled slightly as the light was extremely warm at the moment of this capture.
The app designed to replace both iPhoto and Aperture is finally available to the public – Photos for OS X.
Photos is included as part of the OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 update, which is available free from the Mac App Store.
For more information, check out the Photos for OS X website.
TOKYO, April 9, 2015—Canon camera products were honored with four “Best Photo and Imaging Product” awards by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), representing 27 photo and imaging magazines from 16 countries across five continents. The award-winning products are: the EOS 7D Mark II digital SLR camera, the IXUS 160 (PowerShot ELPH 160 in the Americas) / IXUS 165 / IXUS 170 (PowerShot ELPH 170 IS) digital compact cameras, the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM super-telephoto zoom lens, and the EF11-24mm f/4L USM ultra-wide-angle zoom lens. This year marks Canon’s 21st consecutive year as a TIPA award recipient.
Best DSLR Expert: EOS 7D Mark II
Selected for this year’s “Best DSLR Expert” award, Canon’s APS-C-size flagship-model EOS 7D Mark II offers impressive specifications that, according to the TIPA jury, “appeal to photographers who know what a DSLR is capable of delivering.” The camera is equipped with an approximately 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon’s Dual DIGIC 6 image processors, all housed within a weather- and dust-resistant magnesium alloy body. In addition to realizing a fast continuous shooting speed of 10 frames per second, the EOS 7D Mark II employs a 65-point (all cross type) AF system and viewfinder providing an approximately 100 percent field of view. The jury highlighted such “exciting” features as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Multiple Exposure modes, as well as an intervalometer and a bulb timer for long exposure capture. Furthermore, the camera incorporates dual card slots for both SD and CF cards, is capable of capturing smooth, highly responsive Full HD video thanks to its Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, and is equipped with a dedicated stereo microphone and built-in headphone jack ports.
Best Expert DSLR Zoom Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Winner of the “Best Expert DSLR Zoom Lens” award, the Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM was designed for full-frame SLR cameras, but is “equally beneficial” for APS-C digital SLR camera users who want to gain even more zoom range. In addition to 4-stop image stabilization and a USM (Ultra-Sonic Motor) delivering fast, near-silent AF performance, the lens employs 21 elements in 16 groups, including fluorite and super UD (ultra-low dispersion) lens elements, making possible “high image quality across the frame." Furthermore, Canon’s ASC (Air Sphere Coating) technology offers advanced anti-reflective properties to achieve reduced ghosting and flares, while the lens’s nine-bladed circular aperture enables background blur that, according to the TIPA jury, is “smooth” and “impressive.” The judges also focused on the lens’s rear focusing design, with a floating element that “enhances AF speed and ensures uniformity in image quality at all focusing distances.” Other features mentioned by the TIPA jury include the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM’s adjustment ring, which enables users to fine-tune the zoom ring’s torque based on user preferences, and an independent-construction tripod mount that can be detached even while the lens is attached to a camera.
Best Professional DSLR Lens: EF11-24mm f/4L USM
Earning TIPA’s “Best Professional DSLR Lens” title, the EF11-24mm f/4L USM ultra-wide-angle zoom lens provides users with access to the “widest angle of view yet achieved for a rectilinear full-frame DSLR zoom lens.” In addition to boasting an impressive minimum focal length of 11 mm, the lens makes possible “minimally distorted images throughout its range.” It employs 16 lens elements in 11 groups, and incorporates four aspherical lens elements that help “minimize distortion from the center to the frame edge,” as well as an optical array that “provides straight lines with minimal curvature throughout the entire [zoom] range.” The lens also features super UD and UD lens elements that, according to the TIPA jury, “significantly reduce chromatic aberration,” as well as Canon’s SWC coating to reduce flare and ghosting. The EF11-24mm f/4L USM offers a body design that is “well sealed for dust and water resistance,” and allows for manual focusing even when in AF mode.
Best Easy Compact Camera: IXUS 160 / IXUS 165 / IXUS 170
With the introduction of the IXUS 160, IXUS 165 and IXUS 170, the TIPA judges said, “Canon has gone against the tide that supposedly swept away the possibility of new and exciting entrants in [the compact] camera category.” Named “Best Easy Compact Camera,” the three “compact and very affordable” IXUS-series cameras provide both “long-range optical zoom and stunning image quality,” features that, according to the jury, camera phones lack. In particular, the IXUS 170 was recognized for being an “exceptionally slim camera … with a very long-range [12x] optical zoom,” and for employing an approximately 20.0-megapixel image sensor and Intelligent IS, an optical image stabilization system that analyzes camera movement and applies the optimal correction method for shake-free stills and 720p HD video. The judges noted that “users can rely on the Smart AUTO mode,” a function that automatically chooses the optimal camera settings based on the scene being captured. The IXUS 165 also comes with Intelligent IS, while both the IXUS 165 and IXUS 160 each incorporate a 20.0-megapixel image sensor and an 8x optical zoom lens.
Check out the TIPA 2015 Awards page to see all of this year's winners.
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