From Think Tank Photo:
Think Tank Photo today released the seventh in its “About A Photograph” video series. In it, photojournalist Joe McNally, described by American Photo magazine as “perhaps the most versatile photojournalist working today,” narrates the fascinating story behind his striking image of Bolshoi Prima Ballerina Nadia Grachevo taken atop a roof overlooking the Kremlin.
Note: Use the links from this site to get a free gift with your purchase of $50.00 or more at Think Tank Photo!
I've added a few sample pictures to the last two Sigma 120-300mm OS Lens Reviews. Remember, the "Sports" version of the Sigma 120-300 OS is the newer lens and is capable of matching or exceeding the samples shown for the older "DG" lens, so check out both sets.
Adorama Photography TV Presents Photo on the Go with Joe McNally. In this episode, Joe takes us on a location shoot in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In this exclusive episode of Photo on the Go, shot exclusively for AdoramaTV, join Joe McNally as he deconstructs his lighting setup and relays some strategies on how to deal with bright sunlight when shooting an outdoor portrait, and also shows how using a Hoodman Loupe aids in seeing your LCD display in bright sunlight.
T-D-P.com Note: When using large light modifiers in windy environments, be sure to use plenty of sandbags to keep your light stands from toppling over.
"This is The-Digital-Picture.com's Weekend Recap for the week ending September 14th, 2013
In the news...
On Monday, LensRentals announced they were opening a new office in Brentwood near Nashville, TN. If you live in the Nashville area, you will have the opportunity to pick up and drop off your rentals in person to avoid shipping charges.
On Tuesday, Canon Professional Services USA notified CPS members of upcoming program changes. Some of the changes include getting rid of paper vouchers for maintenance cleanings, shortening evaluation loan times, and modifying repair discounts for Gold and Platinum members.
In site news and reviews...
On Tuesday, Bryan published his full review of the Canon EOS 70D. Bryan was very impressed by the 70D’s responsive, full-featured autofocus system and image quality that seemed “just right.” For all the details, check out 70D’s full review.
On Wednesday, yours truly published a full review on the Spiffy Gear Light Blaster. The Light Blaster allows you to use items you probably already own – a flash and a DSLR lens – to project transparent slides onto any surface. You can use the Light Blaster to easily transform a drab background into something more intriguing. Check out the Light Blaster review for more information.
On Thursday, Bryan published a tutorial on how to create natural-looking HDR photos using any image editing program that allows you to create layers and masks. Want to keep the detail in your shadows without blowing the highlights in your next landscape photo? Check out Bryan’s tutorial to see how.
And, for our deal of the week…
On Wednesday, we posted a deal from BuyDig.com where you could get a Canon 5D Mark III, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, PIXMA PRO-100 printer, photo paper and an Adobe software bundle for $3,499.00 after rebate. Considering that a 5D Mark III sells for that retail price all by itself, the bundle was an especially good deal.
This has been the The-Digital-Picture.com’s Weekend Recap. Thanks for listening, and as always, happy shooting!"
From Canon Professional Services (USA):
Since announcing the changes to the CPS program a few days ago, we have been monitoring feedback from our membership base. Please see below for additional information regarding the upcoming changes to the CPS program.
Effective Date for the New CPS Benefits Structure
The new CPS member benefit structure will become effective for all members on October 1, 2013.
Equipment Evaluation Loan Period
To allow for transit times, the period for equipment evaluation loans will be ten days, starting when the loaned product is shipped to you and ending when we receive the loaned product back.
Handling of Clean and Check Coupons that Have Not Yet Been Used
From October 1, 2013 until the end of your current membership term, the entire annual Canon Maintenance Service (CMS) benefit will be available for you to use (10 pieces of cameras or lenses for Platinum members and 5 pieces for Gold members). Since the number of CMS transactions allowed under the new benefits structure is greater than the previous number of Clean and Check coupons, the coupons will no longer be needed.
Shipping Charges for Canon Maintenance Service (CMS)
Shipping charges for eligible CMS requests will be handled in the same manner as eligible product repair requests. Platinum level members will receive free shipping for both inbound and return. Gold level members will receive free return shipping service.
Annual Repair Limits
From October 1, 2013 until the end of your current membership term, the entire annual repair limit benefit will be available for you to use (15 pieces for Platinum members and 10 pieces for Gold members).
We appreciate your feedback and understanding while we transition to the new program benefits.
Today we're going to start something new - a discussion post. We'll post a topic and you're invited to sound off on our Facebook page.
What was the key feature that drove you to upgrade from your previous camera or caused you to choose a higher end model in the lineup?
Was it the AF system? Full-frame sensor? Burst rate? Build quality, weather sealing, electronic level, or something completely different?
Tell us what the catalyst was for your upgrade (and why) on our Facebook page.
The whole point of having camera gear is to take pictures. And posting pictures is one of those tasks I'm significantly backlogged on right now. To make a tiny dent in the project, I have added a handful of Canon EOS 70D sample pictures to the review.
I usually try to add educational and/or interesting commentary to the photos. Be sure to look AND read.
Sep 12, 2013 – Preview 2 of both plug-ins is now available for download. This release enables installs on 32-bit operating systems.
The Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw and Lightroom teams will occasionally release pre-production plug-ins that extend existing functionality inside Lightroom.
These plug-ins are provided free of charge, but without an official support program.
Like other technologies on Adobe Labs, these tools are not finished products, but rather beta or prototype utilities that may work in your particular environment.
Available Plug-ins for Photoshop Lightroom
The following list comprises all of the resources that are currently available to download. More tools and utilities may be added in the future.
SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash Cards Are Optimized For Cinema-Quality 4K Video Recording
PMA, MELBOURNE, Australia, Sept. 12, 2013 – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK)), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced the availability of the 256GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash memory card, the world’s first high-capacity, high-performance CompactFlash card with the latest Video Performance Guarantee (VPG-65) specification. Also being announced by SanDisk today are faster speeds across all other capacities of the SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash line of memory cards.
"SanDisk has been at the forefront with storage solutions that enable the broader adoption of new video capture technologies. We always design our SanDisk Extreme Pro cards with professional photographers and videographers in mind," said Susan Park, director, mobile and imaging worldwide retail product marketing, SanDisk. "Cinema-quality 4K video capture demands tremendous performance and capacity, which is exactly what we have delivered with the new 256GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash card."
The card delivers minimum sustained write speeds of 65MB/s, optimized to capture 4K and Full HD video. The 256GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash card has industry-leading transfer speeds of up to 160MB/s, designed to dramatically improve workflow efficiencies, and delivers fast shot speeds of up to 140MB/s for advanced functions such as fast action and continuous burst mode shots.
"The speed and capacity of SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards, as well as the ability to shoot and store 4K video directly to a CompactFlash card, are a major step forward for professional photographers and videographers,” said Sam Nicholson, founder, Stargate Studios. "My work rarely allows for a second chance to capture a big shot or important footage, so when I select SanDisk memory cards, I’m trusting them with assets that are essential to me and my clients."
SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards are designed for professionals and are backed by a lifetime limited warranty. The cards are durability tested, include RTV silicone coating inside for added protection against shock and vibration, and perform in extreme temperatures from minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The cards also include a one year downloadable offer for RescuePRO media recovery software, which lets photographers recover their images in case of accidental deletion.
Increased Speeds Across the Product Line
To coincide with the launch of the 256GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash card, SanDisk is increasing the speed across each capacity of the SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash line. The other SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards, available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, will now feature read speeds of up to 160MB/s4 and write speeds of up to 150MB/s, as well as the same VPG as the 256GB card.
Pricing and Availability
SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards are available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, and are shipping worldwide now with MSRPs of $219.99 to $1,809.99.
I frequently use the HDR imaging technique, but my processing of the multiple exposures omits the use of standard HDR software. In the latest tips article, I provide instruction on how to quickly and easily create natural-looking HDR images.
Watsonville, California – September 11, 2013 – ExpoImaging, Inc., designers of innovative camera accessories for the photographic market, today introduced the patent pending Rogue Safari Pop-Up Flash Booster, a unique attachment for DSLR cameras that concentrates light from the pop-up flash for photographing subjects at a distance. Optimized for use with telephoto zoom lenses that are 100mm and longer, the Rogue Safari focuses up to 8x more light (an improvement of up to 3 f/stops) on a subject than a DSLR’s unassisted pop-up flash, and up to 12x more than ambient light.
“Every photographer can think of a time when there just wasn’t enough light to get the shot they wanted, particularly at distances greater than 20-30 feet where the pop-up flash by itself simply isn’t powerful enough,” said Erik Sowder, CEO of ExpoImaging, Inc. “Using the Rogue Safari Pop-Up Flash Booster, it’s possible to light a subject at significantly greater distances, in some cases as far as 60-70 feet away. That extra light can make the difference between a sharp image with good color, and a dark, underexposed missed opportunity.”
The Rogue Safari is optimized to work with telephoto zoom lenses (100mm and longer) on most modern Canon APS-C or Nikon DX sensor cameras. The optically engineered lens captures light from the pop-up flash and narrowly focuses it for lighting more distant subjects, providing photographers of every skill level with increased flexibility to shoot in the most challenging lighting conditions.
“If you’re an avid weekend photographer shooting your kids’ soccer games, or you want to make sure to capture those vacation memories, you’ll be amazed at the amount of light you get from your pop-up flash with the Rogue Safari,” said Sowder. “The Rogue Safari puts out nearly as much light as a $500 accessory flash, except the Safari sells for just $35. At just 2 ounces (55 grams) the Rogue Safari is lightweight and simple to use, and it doesn’t require any batteries,” said Sowder.
With a flowing design aesthetic, the Rogue Safari looks like part of the camera. It is built to withstand the rigors of travel photography with the lens and body molded from rugged, impact resistant polycarbonate materials.
Pricing and Availability
The Rogue Safari Pop-Up Flash Booster is available now through ExpoImaging’s distribution partners worldwide. Rogue Safari retails for $34.95.
While the Rogue Safari Pop-Up Flash Booster is compatible with the vast majority of modern DSLR cameras, some older model DSLRs will not accommodate the Safari; owners of models launched before 2007 are encouraged to check the product compatibility chart here: http://www.RogueSafari.com.
Lighting Master Sean Setters is today sharing the latest weapon in his portrait arsenal with us. Fuel your creativity with the Spiffy Gear Light Blaster!
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Sept. 10, 2013 – Epson America, Inc. today launched the feature-rich Epson Expression Premium XP-810 and XP-610 Small-in-One printers designed for today’s busy families and photo enthusiasts. Packing ultra -powerful performance into an ultra-slim design, the Expression Premium series leverages Epson's MicroPiezo printing technology and Claria Premium inks to produce consumer-rated unbeatable quality prints at home or on-the-go with Epson Connect for easy printing from a tablet, smartphone or computer from literally anywhere in the world.
The Expression XP-810 and XP-610 are designed as complete wireless solutions, featuring built-in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n and Wi-Fi Direct for network-free printing. Both models are always ready to print, offering built-in memory card slots for PC-free printing, automatic two-sided printing to save paper, easy-to-use creative tools such as a dedicated photo tray and direct CD/DVD printing, as well as built-in auto photo correction tools.
“Expression Premium Small-in-Ones are designed to provide busy households and photo enthusiasts with a powerful creativity tool, packing a robust feature set and unbeatable photo quality into an ultra slim design,” said Joe Keller, product manager, Consumer Ink Jets, Epson America, Inc. “With comprehensive wireless capabilities and Epson Connect mobile printing solutions, it’s now easier than ever for consumers to print from the home or anywhere in the world.”
The flagship Expression XP-810 adds a 30-page Auto Document Feeder for automatic two-sided copying, scanning and faxing, a 3.5-inch touchscreen with gesture navigation for easy setup and operation, specialty paper support through its rear paper feed, and an auto-extend paper output tray. Plus, time-saving, bonus templates are also available for printing lined school paper, graph paper, calendar pages, and custom note paper with personal photos – all without a computer.
Additional Expression Premium Small-in-One Features:
Pricing and Availability
The Epson Expression Premium XP-610 ($149.99 MSRP) and Epson Expression XP-810 ($229.99 MSRP) will be available in mid-September through major retailer stores nationwide.
I recently received the following email from CPS regarding upcoming program changes. If you're currently a CPS member, you might want to check out the changes scheduled for the near future.
From Canon Professional Services (USA branch):
Thank you for your continued Canon Professional Services membership, Canon loyalty and for trusting Canon products for use in your business.
The staff of CPS strives to provide imaging professionals like you with comprehensive service and support benefits. And we are always looking for opportunities to make the CPS program even better. After careful study and consideration, and with your valuable feedback, we are planning to roll out a number of enhancements and updates to the CPS program. The purpose of this email is to give you a summary of these enhancements and updates, which we anticipate will be effective for all members in two phases: the 4th quarter of 2013 and early 2014 with the introduction of a new CPS Cinema level. Details will be available on the CPS website as these enhancements and updates become available.
The program updates and enhancements are as follows:
We are renaming the Clean & Check process to Canon Maintenance Service (CMS) and eliminating the paper voucher. The number of items that may be sent in for CMS is being increased for eligible CPS members. Platinum members will be able to send 10 eligible items, and Gold members will be able to send 5 eligible items, during each membership year. The number of items sent in for CMS will be tracked by Canon internally.
Based on your feedback, we are shortening the period for each evaluation loan from two weeks to one week. This will also have the effect of increasing the total amount of equipment available for evaluation loans to eligible members.
In an effort to concentrate our efforts on our core professional members, we will no longer include the EOS 60D camera, and future successor model cameras, as qualifying equipment for any level. However, owners of such equipment will still be eligible to receive repair benefits covered by the program.
In early 2014, the Cinema EOS C100 camera and all Cinema Prime Lenses will be added as qualifying equipment to the CPS Gold and Platinum membership levels. And we are planning to launch a new CPS Cinema level tailored to owners of other Cinema EOS cameras and lenses.
In an effort to balance program benefits, we are adjusting the repair discounts from their current levels. Therefore, repair discounts are being changed to 30% for Platinum level members and 20% for Gold level members. Also, there will be a cap on the number of annual repairs to which the discount can be applied, Gold level members can receive the repair discount on a maximum of 10 eligible items and Platinum level members can receive the repair discount on a maximum of 15 eligible items.
The annual fee for Platinum membership will be reduced from $500 to $300. The annual fee for the Gold membership level will remain at $100, and the Silver membership level will remain free to qualified professionals.
For organizations with large amounts of eligible Canon equipment and/or large photography staff, we are launching Enterprise CPS, which is designed to suit the needs of medium to large size organizations like newspapers, photo studios, rental houses, etc. In addition to some of the traditional CPS benefits, Enterprise CPS clients can receive benefits like on-site equipment maintenance, higher repair caps and streamlined billing. The details of this new program will be provided at a later date.
We have also increased our support of the professional imaging market in less direct, but significant, ways. For example, you may have noticed that, during 2013, CPS increased the number of major sporting events, training workshops, and trade shows where on-site support is provided to eligible CPS members. These events are an important way for us to support and communicate with our members.
We recently opened two new service facilities, one in Hollywood, CA and another in Ridgefield Park, NJ just outside of New York City. These two new facilities are available to CPS Gold and Platinum level members (as well as our broadcast/cinema professionals). An advance reservation is required for all service and support requests handled by the Hollywood and Ridgefield Park facilities. CPS Gold and Platinum members requesting support should call the CPS hotline at 1 (888) CPS-4540 to make a reservation. And we are currently planning to open a third service facility that will support the Chicago market later this year. All with the goal of bringing Canon's award-winning repair and maintenance services closer to our CPS members.
Although the CPS program is changing in some significant ways, some aspects of CPS member support are not going to change: our unwavering commitment to speed and quality, as well as acting on your repair and maintenance requests with repair turnaround times of two business days for Platinum members and three business days for Gold members, as more fully described in the program terms and conditions. Temporary loaners while products are in for repair will continue to be available per the terms and conditions of the various membership levels. And dedicated, priority support will still be available for CPS members via phone or email, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
These enhancements will be rolled out via e-mail communications to our members, detailing the specific changes by membership level, effective date and describing new programs like Enterprise CPS and CPS Cinema. Ensuring your smooth transition to these new benefits is very important, so we want to hear from you if you have any questions.
We are honored to have the opportunity to help you achieve success in your imaging pursuits and to support your passion for image-making. Thank you again for trusting Canon with supporting your business.