Canon and Sony News for Jan 2015 (Page 4)

 Sunday, January 11, 2015

Once a year (though always well after its namesake Christmas holiday), our Christmas cactus blooms. The plant itself is nothing special to look at, but the flowers are quite beautiful.
 
The biggest challenge for this annual photo opportunity is finding a pleasing background to go with the flower. I've done the easy on-white and on-black options many times and I've used various color cards behind the flower. I needed a new option and the Rogue Flash Gels provided just that.
 
I placed the cactus pot on my shooting table (I'm using an Elinchrom model). This table has a white Plexiglas surface with a large sweep up the back. An off camera Canon 600EX-RT with a Rogue FlashBender Softbox installed was placed on the table in front of the selected flower and a second 600EX-RT was positioned to light the back of the table independently. Both flashes were sitting on their shoe stands and the flashes were triggered by an ST-E3-RT Remote Transmitter.
 
By placing a Rogue Flash Gel on the background flash, the white shooting table background became the gel color. The background color could be changed by simply replacing one gel with another and the currently selected color could be made brighter or darker by simply adjusting the flash output (done directly on the ST-E3-RT). I worked through various color options provided in the gel kit and decided that the pink color complemented the Christmas Cactus flowers best. As you see here.


A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook.

Post Date: 1/11/2015 7:27:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sometimes, for me at least, clouds alone are enough for an image. In those situations, I'm usually looking for something dramatic or unique (and sunrises or sunsets most frequently qualify as such). While I wouldn't go as far to say that these clouds are dramatic, they are definitely unique.
 
The lines of clouds were so broad that they completely filled a 15mm full frame format DSLR angle of view. While I captured many images of these clouds, I settled on this one to share. What I like is the larger clouds diminishing to smaller ones (due to perspective) as they angle through the frame into the distance.
 
With unique clouds in the frame, it is unlikely for an image to be repeatable.


Sometimes, for me at least, clouds alone are enough for an image. In those situations, I'm usually looking for something dramatic or unique (and sunrises or sunsets most frequently qualify as such). While I wouldn't go as far to say that these clouds are dramatic, they are definitely unique.

The lines of clouds were so broad that they completely filled a 15mm full frame format DSLR angle of view. While I captured many images of these clouds, I settled on this one to share. What I like is the larger clouds diminishing to smaller ones (due to perspective) as they angle through the frame into the distance.

With unique clouds in the frame, it is unlikely for an image to be repeatable.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
15mm  f/8.0  1/25s
ISO 100
5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 1/10/2015 8:50:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 9, 2015

You've likely heard about Yongnuo's EF 50mm f/1.8 II clone, but this news is even bigger – B&H now carries Yongnuo products (including the aforementioned lens).

Now, instead of purchasing directly from Chinese importers (which can lead to long shipping times), you can now purchase your budget-friendly Yongnuo items from B&H. And better yet, if there is any issue with your Yongnuo product, B&H's customer service can take care of it. If you're wanting to try Yongnuo gear, this is the retailer you want to purchase from.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Categories: B&H News, Yongnuo News
Post Date: 1/9/2015 12:21:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Some subjects beg to centered in the frame and one of the first of such subjects that come to my mind are products. Products are often rendered large in the frame, showing as much detail as possible in the space allocated for them on a web page, product catalog, etc. Today's product is a smart phone – an iPhone 5 to be specific.
 
I first shared this iPhone photo in the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash review and obviously, the ring flash is the source of the bright reflection. Ring lite flash reflections in my photos is not usually my preference, it probably does not help sell the product in this case and I typically avoid these, but ... sometimes creatively using the open and close parenthesis reflection can work for at least an artistically creative purpose.
 
This phone and the glass under it is on are both black and highly reflective. To avoid other reflections on the phone and glass, I had a piece of black velour material between me and the subject and the ambient lights were turned off to create a black room. To get the flash reflection perfectly centered, I utilized the reflection of the MR-14EX's focusing lights while working straight overhead.
 
Working in the dark with only the focusing lights made perfectly aligning and centering the subject with the camera perfectly positioned over the phone a big challenge. I'll just say that more than 1 photo was required to get it right. I might have very slightly tweaked the image borders in Photoshop also – when the borders of an image are solid white or black in color, it is easy to manipulate the image boundaries.
 
The overall result in this case is an image that you probably have not seen before (other than in the aforementioned review).


 
Camera and Lens Settings
100mm  f/13.0  1/200s
ISO 100
5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 1/9/2015 11:37:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Reuters:

Jan 9 – Reuters (by Reiji Murai) – Canon Inc and other Japanese electronics companies want to bring production of some goods back home, reversing a years-old trend of overseas manufacturing as a rapid decline in the value of the yen makes local goods more competitive.

The yen has tumbled some 8 percent since the Bank of Japan last eased monetary policy in October and is now trading near seven-year lows. Since late 2012, it has lost a third of its value due to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's reflationary economic policies.

The steep slide has raised costs for firms highly dependent on raw material imports as well as those that manufacture abroad.

Now, Canon says it wants domestic production to return to 60 percent of overall output in three years, up from around 40 percent. "From now on, new copier, camera and printer products will be built at domestic factories and as they replace older products, the volume of goods made overseas will fall," said company spokesman Hirotomo Fujimori...

Keep in mind, most of Canon's higher end cameras and lenses have always been manufactured in Japan. [Sean]

Read the entire article on Reuters.com.

Posted to: Canon News   
Post Date: 1/9/2015 9:42:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Want to know more about Canon lens technologies? Look no further! This Canon promo video does a great job of explaining the benefits of each one in beautifully illustrated detail.

From Canon Global:

EF lenses surpassed the 100-million-unit mark in April 2014, which is Canon’s first-in-the-world* achievement. This video explains in detail some of the cutting edge technologies that Canon developed over the years, including new optics, actuators and coatings.

*Based upon Canon's research, as of April 22, 2014

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Photography Education Videos
Post Date: 1/9/2015 9:09:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Canon Professional Network:

"The release of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 4 software in mid-2014 was accompanied by an updated version of its EOS Utility software – version 3. EOS Utility 3 acts in tandem with DPP 4 and enables you to download images from a camera’s memory card to your computer, remotely control the camera to capture new images or edit camera settings, such as the image owner’s name. You can then organise and process the imported images in Digital Photo Professional 4. EOS Utility 3 features improvements to form and function and the increased integration between Canon’s two free apps helps to streamline the shooting, importing and editing process. Indeed, you can now launch EOS Utility 3’s Live View window and remote camera shooting panel from within the Digital Photo Professional workspace, which allows the two packages to work together as a tighter team. CPN writer George Cairns takes a closer look at the capabilities of EOS Utility 3 and how it works alongside DPP 4..."
Canon EOS Utility 3.x is available from Canon USA. You must enter a compatible camera model number to download the software.

Compatible Cameras with EOS Utility 3.x:

  • EOS-1D X
  • EOS-1D C
  • EOS 5D Mark III
  • EOS 6D
  • EOS 7D Mark II

Check out CPN's Inside EOS Utility 3 for more information.

Post Date: 1/9/2015 7:34:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Nikon:

To users of the Nikon D750 digital SLR camera

Thank you for choosing Nikon for your photographic needs.

On December 29, 2014, we announced that we were looking into measures to address the issue reported by some users, namely that when photographing scenes in which an extremely bright light source, such as the sun or high-intensity lighting, is positioned near the top edge of the frame, flare with an unnatural shape sometimes occurs in images captured with the D750 digital SLR camera.

To correct this issue, Nikon will inspect and service at no cost the camera’s light-shielding components and adjust the AF sensor position. We plan to initiate this service at the end of January and will announce further details, including instructions for requesting servicing, shortly.

Please direct inquiries regarding this matter to Nikon Customer Relations by phone at 1-800-Nikon US (1-800-645-6687), 9AM–8PM EST, Monday to Friday (closed certain holidays) or online here.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused, and ask for your continued patience and understanding.

Once again, thank you for choosing Nikon for your photographic needs.

Posted to: Nikon News   Category: Nikon Service Advisories
Post Date: 1/9/2015 6:20:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 8, 2015

Canon Austria posted a very interesting promotional image for Canon's new Connect Station CS100 on its Facebook account yesterday. On the left side of the image you can see a small part of a DSLR sitting on the desk. Look even closer and you'll notice it doesn't match any of Canon's curently available DSLR cameras...

Here's a closer look:

Glimpse of Unannounced Canon DSLR

The camera features an articulated LCD screen, a top LCD panel and a sideways multi-function lock switch. It looks like it could be a successor to the EOS 70D, but who knows?

Update: Site visitor David T. makes a good point – the absense of an AF-ON button means this is likely a Rebel / xxxD series camera. The last xxD camera that didn't feature an AF-ON button was the EOS 30D.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Posted to: Canon News   
Post Date: 1/8/2015 3:41:19 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 1/8/2015 1:42:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Joby:

Petaluma, CA, January 6, 2015 – JOBY expands its collection of Pro Series tools for photographers and videographers with the launch of two, Arca-Swiss compatible accessories: UltraPlate 208 and Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208. Designed to be portable, practical and versatile, these precision-built tools provide easy set-ups and a variety of workflow possibilities for today’s active shooters.

“The success of our original UltraPlate inspired us to create additional tools for more complex DSLR rigs and action video set-ups,” said Kate Farmer, JOBY brand manager. “The UltraPlate 208 is an extended quick-release plate that includes eight ¼"-20 mounting holes. The Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208 includes a comfortable and secure grip for grabbing steady photos and footage, along with the new quick-release plate. Both offer thoughtful and durable construction, plus ease-of-use – hallmarks of the JOBY design philosophy.”

The UltraPlate 208 (US MSRP $29.95) is flexible tool for shooters who like to change up gear with lots of combinations, but without a hassle. It works with the JOBY Ballhead X and other Arca-Swiss compatible tripods. Eight mounting holes can support an wide array of gear: a DLSR, action camera such as GoPro, JOBY GorillaPod Arm or Locking Arm, flash unit, microphone or even a smartphone when paired with a JOBY GripTight Mount. The UltraPlate 208 is crafted of high-quality, machined aluminum for long-lasting strength.

The Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208 (US MSRP $49.95) serves as a simplified, but super-durable rig and includes the Arca-Swiss compatible and extended quick-release plate, plus a removable Hand Grip. This power combo may be used to set up a DSLR and action video camera in tandem for quick and easy transitions from stills to motion without having to waste time on gear changes. The durable, aluminum and silicone Hand Grip is lightweight and textured for a comfortable hand feel, plus also includes an additional ¼"-20 mount.

Joby HandGrip UltraPlate208 for Video Setup

(Shown with optional accessories)

B&H has the Joby UltraPlate 208 and UltraPlate with Hand Grip available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Joby News
Post Date: 1/8/2015 8:42:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Just posted: Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator Review

The Airport Accelerator and I spent a great 10 days together this fall. If this pack is the right size for you, it is unlikely that you will find a better option.

B&H has the Airport Accelerator in stock.

Post Date: 1/8/2015 8:21:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, January 7, 2015

From Photoshelter:

Ready to make 2015 your best year yet?

The 2015 Photo Business Plan Workbook is a step-by-step guide to help you create a strong business plan, target the clients you want, and make more money this year.

Inside the workbook, get strategies and examples to help you:

  • Define your products & services
  • Determine your audience and addressable market
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Fix your finances
  • Tune-up your website
  • Build your Search Engine Optimization
  • Get social
  • Create an advisory group
  • Follow up with old clients

Build your photo business plan and stick to it this year. Get started with these smart business tips packed into an easy-to-read workbook.

Get the free guide.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photoshelter News
Post Date: 1/7/2015 11:33:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

The sand dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park and the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains behind them are a common target for landscape photographers. To compress the dunes against the mountains requires a long distance perspective and if the dunes are to be large in the frame, a long telephoto focal length must be used. Fortunately, the road leading into GSDNP provides easy access to the that long distance perspective and sharp telephoto lenses are readily available. Unfortunately, there are other issues to be dealt with.
 
Haze (including that caused by smoke, dust and air pollution) kills contrast and heat waves are potentially seriously damaging to image sharpness.
 
The haze/air clarity problem is nearly always at least somewhat of an issue when shooting from this distance and the best way to combat haze during the capture is to use a circular polarizer filter. This filter will not completely eliminate the haze, but it definitely helps. The best way to reduce haze after the shot is by increasing contrast. Both were used for this photo.
 
Far harder to control is the major issue I dealt with at this time of day in GSDNP and that is heat waves. Aside from moving closer (which changes the composition) or choosing another time of the day (or another day completely) to shoot, there is little that can be done about heat waves. Heat waves can be problematic at even short distances (and complicate outdoor comparison testing of lenses).
 
Being at this location at the right time and day is ideal and both air clarity and heat wave issues can be mostly avoided with the right timing. Locals of course have that timing luxury, but I had only half of a day to spend at this location. I was intent on maximizing my time and embracing what I found.
 
Many prefer to shoot this location early and late in the day (and I photographed until dark), but I found the dune shadows to be harsh at this time and also-liked the more-subtle tonation of mid-afternoon lighting on the dunes. In this case, I was able to run bands of color through the frame horizontally with the first snow of the season forming the top non-sky layer. Even though I was using the extraordinarily sharp Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens and a circular polarizer filter, the end result has a soft painterly effect (visible at full resolution) thanks to the heat waves.


A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook. Be sure to like or follow if visiting those pages.

Post Date: 1/7/2015 9:54:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Our friends at MindShift Gear just released three new products for outdoor photographers.

Providing rapid access for filter changes, the Filter Nest Mini and the Filter Hive Mini offer protection and ease in compact cases. For those who do not need the capacity of larger filter cases, these offer a great option for keeping filters at the ready. The Filter Nest Mini fits four round filters (up to 82 mm) including a variable ND. The Filter Hive Mini fits four square/rectangular filters (up to 4 x 6 or 100 x 150 mm).

The new House of Cards lightweight memory card wallet offers convenient storage and protection for your memory cards. Offered in easy-to-locate Tahoe Blue color, photographers can quickly find and organize six CF and three SD cards. The built in business card holder makes for easy identification. Its orange colored elastic band offers silent access plus additional wallet security. The House of Cards’ removable tether clip allows it to be worn on the outside for quick access.

Post Date: 1/7/2015 7:39:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nikon added yet another two-letter abbreviation to its lens lexicon today – PF – which stands for "Phase Fresnel." Below you'll find information on the new technology.

From Nikon USA:

Phase Fresnel
The PF (Phase Fresnel) lens, developed by Nikon, effectively compensates chromatic aberration utilizing the photo diffraction phenomenon*. It provides superior chromatic aberration compensation performance when combined with a normal glass lens. Compared to many general camera lenses that employ an optical system using the photorefractive phenomenon, a remarkably compact and lightweight body can be attained with less number of lens elements.

A general interchangeable lens forms an image on an imaging plane, using the photorefractive phenomenon. The degree of light refraction differs depending on the color (wavelength), and image formation is performed in the order of blue (B), green (G), and red (R) starting with the portion near the lens (see the diagram below). The color deviation referred to as chromatic aberration induces color bleeding, resulting in a deterioration of observed or captured images.

With PF (Phase Fresnel) lenses, on the other hand, image formation is performed in the order of red (R), green (G), and blue (B) starting with the portion near the lens (see the diagram below). By combining the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens with a refractive lens, chromatic aberration can be effectively compensated.

Chromatic aberration compensation with the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens

Chromatic aberration compensation with the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens

B&H has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens available for preorder.

Posted to: Nikon News   
Post Date: 1/6/2015 12:58:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

In a world where Canon has a strong foothold in the consumer imaging (camera) and office imaging (printer) markets, Canon has decided to create a product that fills a niche where the two markets converge. Meet the hdAlbum.

Our first reactions when reading the press release – "Where are they going with this?" and "I'm not too sure about that printer name."

So, what do you think about this announcement from Canon? Where do you think they're going with this? Do you think the printer could be better named?

Let us know in the comments

From Canon:

Customizable Photo Books Printed on Canon DreamLabo 5000 Offer Vivid Colors and High-Detail Imagery

MELVILLE, N.Y., January 6, 2015 - Dedicated to preserving memories, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced hdAlbum, a new premium and professional lay-flat photo album service that allows professional photographers and consumers to create customizable photo albums. Printed exclusively on the Canon DreamLabo 5000, hdAlbum enables users to share memories from special events, vacations and life's special moments with family and friends in a memorable keepsake.

"Canon is committed to providing individualized experiences to our customers through the use of our high-quality technology and service," said Junichi Yoshitake, senior vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "The new hdAlbum service is a user-friendly platform that will allow customers to capture and share their memories and experiences with their loved ones for years to come."

After downloading the free hdAlbum creation software on their computer, users have the ability to layout each photo with ease by using the auto-arrange feature or custom-design option. The pages are then printed on the DreamLabo 5000, Canon's inkjet production photo printer that uses FINE high-density printhead technology. To achieve high-quality images and help users' favorite memories come to life, the device prints with seven dye-based inks at up to 2,400 dots per inch to provide a wider spectrum of colors, sharp details and photo-realistic production.

Unique Photo, one of the largest privately owned photographic supply distributors in the world is the first retailer to offer hdAlbums to its customers.

"Offering an hdAlbum has allowed us to expand our product line to offer premium photo albums at reasonable prices," said Matt Sweetwood, president, Unique Photo. "The high-quality and craftsmanship of an hdAlbum is impressive. Our customers claim they have never seen a photo book this good."

There are five album sizes available, including portrait, eight inches by 11-inches; landscape, 11-inches by eight inches; and square, eight inches by eight inches, 10-inches by 10-inches, and 12-inches by 12-inches. With paper selections of Premium Canon Luster or Glossy inkjet media, all albums utilize a post printing hinge-style binding process and can include up-to-100 pages. To enable full customization, users have a diverse selection of backgrounds, layouts, and templates to make the album a one-of-a-kind piece.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon Announcements
Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:36:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Adorama:

New wireless speedlight flash units with all the benefits of an external battery pack are available in full manual, Canon TTL and Nikon TTL models, along with the Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set, and other accessories

New York, NY – January 6, 2015 – Adorama, one of the world’s largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers, has expanded the Flashpoint lighting line once again with the launch of Zoom Li-on, a collection of on- and off-camera flash products with internal lithium ion batteries, providing all the benefits of an external battery pack. The Li-on line offers a range of high-power flash units and lighting accessories in easily transportable packages. Products include the Zoom Li-on speedlight Flash (available in manual, Canon TTL and Nikon TTL models), and the Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set, all directed at bringing the best flash options to the studio or on location in an affordable package.

Zoom Li-on Flash (Available in Manual, Canon TTL and Nikon TTL Models)
The Zoom Li-on speedlight flash is a miniature powerhouse that runs off an internal lithium ion battery. It is no bigger than a traditional speedlight, delivering all the benefits of an external battery pack without the messy cables. It has a full power recycle time of less than 1.5 seconds, allowing for near-instant continuous shooting. One battery charge holds up to 650 full power shots, and even more for lower-powered use.

The Zoom Li-on Flash is designed for sleek, easy use, with simple controls and a large, bright LCD screen. The flash head is incredibly versatile. It rotates 360 degrees and tilts over 90 degrees to work with any type of bounce or modifier, and the head zooms from 24mm to 105mm to ensure the necessary coverage without wasted spill. With numerous modes – manual, two optical slave modes and a stroboscopic mode, and remote power control using a Flashpoint Commander and Receiver, the Zoom Li-on Flash works on the fly for both on- and off-camera work.

In addition to TTL automatic output, the Zoom Li-on models for Canon or Nikon TTL offer all the extra features of proprietary TTL strobes, such as HSS, exposure compensation, exposure bracketing, automatic zooming and flash exposure lock. Additionally, they offer complete integration with proprietary TTL strobe IR remote control systems, and can be used to control or be controlled by Canon or Nikon flashes as a master or slave, as well as for group control.

The Zoom Li-on Flash comes with a li-ion battery pack, battery charger, mini stand, protective case and instruction manual.

Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set
The Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set is the perfect companion to the Zoom Li-on Flash, and is backwards-compatible with the Flashpoint Streaklight line. It allows remote power control from 150+ feet, allowing users to view and change flash output at any time. Other flash functions can also be adjusted remotely. With 16 channels and 16 groups, you can remotely control individual units or groups no matter how many units you use, and avoid interfering with other photographers.

The Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set comes with a transmitter and a receiver featuring sync cord triggering exclusively designed for Zoom Li-on Flash products.

Pricing and Availability
The Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Flash is available now in three models – manual (99.95 USD), Canon TTL and Nikon TTL (179.95 USD). The Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Flash Commander Transmitter and Receiver Set is now available for 69.95. Additional batteries (49.95 USD) and battery charger (19.95) for the Zoom Li-on Flash can be purchased separately from Flashpoint.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Flashpoint News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:53:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

The Determining the Age of a Canon Lens serial number chart has been updated to include the year 2015. This chart appears to be holding out correctly (or minimally within 1 month of correct) for the latest Canon lenses I have been receiving, so I added the new year to this popular page.

Here is the page to bookmark for future reference:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/Canon-Lens-Aging.aspx

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:26:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the B&H YouTube Channel:

Join Joseph W. Carey as he demystifies Speedlight photography.

JC goes over the basics of how to set up the lights, get them off camera for dynamic results, figure out proper exposures, and get great images with one or two flashes.

This class focuses on the Nikon Creative Lighting System but many of the tips will be useful to all flash photographers.

Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:06:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

A high priority for my fall photo trip to Colorado was to capture the beauty of aspen tree trunks. There is little challenge to finding an aspen grove in Crested Butte. Aspen trees, with their beautiful white (or gray) trunks, are the predominant flora in the 10+ miles west of the small ski town of Crested Butte, through Kebler Pass and beyond. The big challenge is finding the right grove of trees to create ordered complexity in an image.
 
Of the thousands of trees observed in this area, I found some of the most-photographically-cooperative at a strong curve in the road just east of Kebler Pass. Especially missing at this location were the deadfalls that are so common and interfere with the vertical lines I wanted to emphasize.
 
For this image, I wanted the viewer to feel like they were part of the scene. I attempt to convey that feeling by moving in close to a large, featured foreground tree and using a moderately wide angle focal length. This location allowed one aspen tree trunk to become large in the frame while a couple of other clumps of trunks staggered into a great mass of trunks filling most of the background. All of this while the camera remained level, keeping even the tree trunks in the border of the frame parallel with the sides of the frame.
 
The 31mm focal length was wide enough to allow everything in the frame to stay sharp at f/11, yet not so wide that the background trees became tiny. Cloud cover reduced the contrast, evening out the light on this scene. A complete lack of wind (something I'm not used to at high elevations) allowed for sharp foliage even with the .8 second exposure. The yellow-green foliage color requires a late Sep or early Oct-timed visit to this location.


A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook.

Post Date: 1/6/2015 8:29:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Nikon:

Alongside the Compact and Versatile Nikon D5500, Nikon Announces the Expansion of Legendary NIKKOR Lens Lineup with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II Zoom and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Telephoto Lenses

MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. announced its latest DX-format DSLR, the Nikon D5500, a lightweight yet powerful camera that offers a robust feature set, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to capture incredible photos and HD video with ease. An ideal entry-level DSLR for the creative photographer ready to take their storytelling to a new level, the D5500 sports an impressive arsenal of imaging technology, including a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter (OLPF) and a new 3.2-inch Vari-angle touch operation LCD display. All of this and more is packed into a new monocoque design that makes the camera one of Nikon’s lightest and most convenient-to-carry DSLR offerings. Nikon has also expanded its already impressive line of NIKKOR lenses with two new additions, the versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom lens for DX-format shooters and the FX-format AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, a lens with advanced Phase Fresnel optics for lightweight super-telephoto performance.

“Whether capturing an unforgettable sunset or the game winning goal, the Nikon D5500 was designed to foster creativity and provide the tools any budding photographer needs to easily capture and share amazing images and HD video,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Additionally, the new DX-format 55-200mm and FX-format 300mm f/4 lenses reaffirm Nikon’s steadfast commitment to expanding the NIKKOR lens lineup with versatile additions for both DX and FX-format DSLR shooters.”

Tell a Story with Breathtaking Quality
The Nikon D5500 makes no sacrifices when it comes to image quality, featuring a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of rendering amazingly sharp and tonally-rich images and HD video. The removal of the sensor’s OLPF allows for an impressive level of detail and sharpness from an affordable DSLR, while the addition of the EXPEED 4 image processing engine works to improve overall speed and performance in a variety of shooting situations. When shooting in low-light, D5500 users can also take advantage of an expanded wide-ranging ISO spanning 100-25,600, which makes it easy to capture great images, even when available light is scarce. Alongside Nikon’s impressive arsenal of NIKKOR lenses, the Nikon D5500 is a powerful imaging tool capable of incredible image quality, whether shooting flattering portraits or stunning HD video.

Compact, Portable and Ready to Share
When the perfect moment is ready to be captured, having a camera that is ready to go anywhere is essential. One of Nikon’s smallest-ever DSLR offerings, the Nikon D5500 is compact (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in.) and surprisingly lightweight (14.8 oz.), making it the ideal DSLR for users constantly on-the-go. Ergonomically designed, the camera also features a new monocoque structural skin that increases durability without weighing it down, while allowing the user to securely and comfortably hand-hold.

Nikon Snapbridge describes the experience of quickly and easily sending photos wirelessly from your Wi-Fi(1) enabled Nikon DSLR, Nikon 1 or COOLPIX camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet for times when a great moment is captured and ready to be shared. The D5500 sports built-in Wi-Fi that allows the user to easily share high-quality images with friends. Simply shoot, tag and share great moments with the quality they deserve. Additionally, users can utilize their smart devices to shoot remotely - ensuring that even the photographer doesn’t have to miss out on the next group photo.

Capture and Create with a Touch of Class
The Nikon D5500 also offers the ultimate in DSLR control with an incredibly sharp 3.2-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor, and is Nikon’s first ever DSLR with touch operation, which will help photographers discover new shooting perspectives for both stills and HD video. Intuitively designed for easy menu navigation and intelligent operation, the D5500 allows the user to choose their focus point via Touch AF, pinch in to check focus and even activate the shutter with the touch of a fingertip. Additionally, a new Fn (Function) touch feature gives one-touch access to important settings like AF point selection, aperture, ISO sensitivity, AF area mode and more. The adjustable Vari-angle screen also allows the photographer to capture images and video from exciting new perspectives, easily shooting above the crowd at the dance recital, getting on a toddler’s level to capture their first steps or simply taking a creative selfie. The Nikon D5500 helps the budding photographer easily compose, shoot and review each image or video in high-resolution (1,037k dot), helping preserve the moments that matter most.

Never Miss the Perfect Moment
A versatile yet powerful DSLR, the D5500 is equipped with the latest imaging technology to help tell every story with precision. The camera features a powerful and precise 39-point autofocus (AF) system with 9 cross-type sensors that quickly locks on to even the fastest moving subjects to render beautifully focused images. Whether photographing fast-moving subjects in the championship game or the kids in the backyard, users can select from a variety of advanced focus modes, including 3D Tracking to track a moving subject. Paired with the camera’s 2,016-pixel RGB sensor and Nikon’s Scene Recognition System, the D5500 decisively recognizes and follows each subject in nearly any lighting condition, while continuous shooting up to approximately 5 frames-per-second (fps) makes it possible to capture every fleeting moment.

When the moment is better conveyed through motion, users can also tell their stories with smooth Full HD 1080/60p video with Full-Time AF and stereo sound for a cinema-like experience. The Nikon D5500 also offers a wealth of creative options, including 16 unique Scene Modes that choose the right settings for a variety of common shooting scenarios. Super Vivid, POP and Photo illustration have been added as Effects Modes, and Picture Controls have been enhanced by adding a “Flat” option. These settings now have a 0.25-step adjustment and an expanded “brightness” range to ±1.5 available for photographers who want to completely customize the look and feel of their images and video.

Nikon AF S DX NIKKOR 55 200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II Lens

An Affordable Companion Telephoto Lens for DX-Format Shooters
In addition to Nikon’s standard retractable design AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II kit lens, Nikon has now added the ideal companion 3.6x zoom lens to help take DX-format photographers from wide-angle to telephoto with ease. Compact and lightweight, the new retractable design AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II is great for capturing sports, people or school events, and presents an affordable way to get closer to the action. The lens also features three stops of VR image stabilization2 and core NIKKOR technologies including a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) that helps ensure quiet and precise AF operation.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens

Smaller, Lighter, Faster Telephoto
Nikon has also introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, the world’s lightest 300mm full-frame fixed focal length AF lens(2), which is nearly 30% shorter and 1.5 lbs. lighter than its predecessor. Extremely easy to handle and built to suit the needs of serious photographers in the field, the new 300mm f/4 lens utilizes Phase Fresnel optical technology to help correct chromatic aberration and reduce the overall size and weight of the lens, making it easy to pack for any assignment. Capable of producing tack-sharp images and beautiful background blur at a distance, Nikon’s newest FX-format lens also features four and a half stops of VR image stabilization(3), a VR Sport mode, VR tripod detection as well as several of the latest NIKKOR optical technologies including electromagnetic aperture control, a Silent Wave Motor for quiet AF operation, ED glass for further controlling chromatic aberrations and Nano Crystal Coat for superior image quality.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D5500 will be available in early February, in black and red, in two different kit configurations: alongside the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $999.95* or with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $1,199.95* SRP. The Nikon D5500 will also be sold body only for an SRP of $899.95*. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lenses will also be available in early February for an SRP of $349.95* and $1,999.95*, respectively.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

B&H has the Nikon D5500 DSLR camera, AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lenses available for preorder.

Posted to: Nikon News   Category: Nikon Announcements
Post Date: 1/6/2015 6:39:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 5, 2015

From SanDisk:

SanDisk SSD Plus and SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD Designed to Bring New Life to Computing Devices

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2015 – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, continues its momentum in the consumer SSD space by introducing two new offerings: the SanDisk SSD Plus, a 2.5” entry-level drive, and the SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD, a new form factor for the SanDisk Ultra II SSD product line. The SanDisk SSD Plus targets laptop and desktop PC users who want to significantly improve system performance. The SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD is for laptop and tablet users looking to increase the capacity and overall performance of their mSATA-enabled systems. The two new solutions are being unveiled at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.

Building on SanDisk’s impressive line-up of SSD offerings, these new drives are designed to bring all the benefits of flash memory technology—faster speeds, extended battery life and upgraded systems—to users at an affordable price. With speeds of up to 23x the performance of a typical hard drive, the SanDisk SSD Plus will deliver faster boot and load times as well as better overall system performance, eliminating the need to completely replace a slow laptop or desktop PC. The SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD delivers competitive performance, with read speeds of up to 550MB/s, while adding up to 512GB of capacity so users can get more out of their mSATA-enabled notebooks and tablets.

“Today’s information-hungry, always on-the-go consumers are constantly looking for faster, better-performing computing devices that provide data in an instant, but they don’t necessarily want to replace their entire system in order to get that boost,” said Philippe Willams, director of retail storage, SanDisk. “At SanDisk, we are focused on providing SSD solutions that give users improved performance on their existing PC, laptop or tablet with faster speeds, greater durability and higher capacities, all with a simple upgrade from a brand they can trust.”

Unlike traditional hard disk drives, SanDisk SSDs deliver a low power and quiet experience, while achieving faster boot-up and shutdown, application launch and data transfer speeds1. These latest additions to the SanDisk consumer SSD portfolio also boast impressive durability. They are engineered, tested and proven to be shock- and vibration-resistant, as well as resilient to extreme temperatures, giving users the peace of mind that their drive is protected even if their computer is dropped or damaged.

As an added benefit, the SanDisk SSD Plus and SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD include a downloadable SanDisk SSD Dashboard application, which provides management tools such as drive performance and health monitoring, manual or scheduled TRIM, notifications for firmware updates, and tips on how to maintain the drive at its peak operation. Additionally, the SSD Dashboard highlights a broad array of useful application offers including the Apricorn EZ Gig IV cloning software to help users easily transfer their data to the new SSD, the TrendMicro Titanium antivirus software to keep their data safe, and the Absolute Lojack software to recover their laptop if it is misplaced or stolen.

Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk SSD Plus comes with a 3-year warranty and will be available in Q1 2015 in a 2.5” form factor at capacities of 120GB ($69.99) and 240GB ($109.99).

The SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD also includes a 3-year warranty and will be available in Q1 2015 in select regions in capacities of 128GB ($73.99), 256GB ($115.99) and 512GB ($220.99).

B&H carries SanDisk Solid State Drives.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: SanDisk News
Post Date: 1/5/2015 2:29:49 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Up until today, the only kit lens available for full-frame Canon DSLRs was the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. In a move to satisfy cost-conscious consumers, Canon is now offering an EOS 6D with EF 24-105mm IS STM Lens Kit which is priced $200.00 below the 24-105 L kit's MSRP.

There's only one problem – the EOS 6D + 24-105 L IS kit is actually cheaper right now after a $300.00 mail-in rebate.

Granted, when this rebate program ends and the next one begins, both kits will likely qualify for rebates bringing the 24-105mm IS STM kit's price more in line with expectations. But for right now, the L-glass is the way to go. [Sean]

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Preorder Notifications
Post Date: 1/5/2015 9:35:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Canon UK:

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, January 5, 2015 – Canon today announces the Connect Station CS100, a unique photo-storage device that allows you to quickly and easily save, view and share your photos and movies, all from one single accessible location.

Effortlessly transfer your favourite moments – from cameras and smart devices
Acting as a central hub for up to 1TB of content in the home, the Connect Station CS100 makes worrying about which memory card or device your images are stored on a thing of the past. All your photos and movies can be easily imported from NFC-enabled Canon cameras and camcorders[1] with a single touch.

Your favourite content can also be transferred to the Connect Station CS100 from a range of devices. Occasions captured on other cameras can be imported through a USB wired connection[1], or directly from a memory card[2]. Spontaneous moments shot on smartphones or tablets can be transmitted using Wi-Fi, via a web browser, making it easier than ever before to bring together all your images or videos.

Enjoy and manage your images on the big screen
Once stored, the Connect Station CS100 is the perfect way to relive your special moments – from holidays to weddings – with your friends and family at home. The Connect Station CS100 can connect to large screen TVs via HDMI, allowing you to display and enjoy your images and movies in stunning Full HD resolution, the way they deserve to be viewed. For more casual viewing, you can also wirelessly view albums on your smartphone, tablet or computer via a web browser.

The Connect Station CS100 also makes it easy to organise your image libraries via your TV – using the dedicated infrared remote control you can view content in date order or create themed albums.

Built for sharing
Friends and family can also be kept up to date with your latest adventures. Using CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, your Connect Station CS100 lets you easily share your images and movies to a range of social media sites – as well as to irista, Canon’s cloud-based image management platform – for everyone to enjoy wherever they are. Albums can also be sent in full resolution to other Connect Station CS100s, allowing you to share with friends and families around the world, so they can enjoy and print at a later date. You can even print stored images, without the need for a PC, using a connected PictBridge via Wireless LAN compatible printer.

The Connect Station CS100 will be available in 11 languages[3].

Connect Station CS100 key benefits:

  • Simply touch your NFC camera[4] to transfer photos and movies
  • Enjoy photos and movies from your different devices in one place
  • Share images to social media[5], the cloud or another Connect Station
  • Print straight from your Connect Station to your wireless printer[6]
  • Transfer to and from memory cards[7] or connect your camera[1] via USB

Pricing and availability
The Connect Station CS100 is available from June with an SRP of £199/€239/$299.99.

[1] Connected using PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol). Compatible with Canon cameras and camcorders released in 2010 and later
[2] Images stored in a folder compliant with the DCIM or AVCHD folder structure are imported.
[3] Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Portuguese (Portugal)
[4] This function is intended for Canon cameras and camcorders featuring an NFC function supporting the Connect Station CS100
[5] Some features require a CANON iMAGE GATEWAY account. CANON iMAGE GATEWAY may not be supported in some countries or regions. Please visit www.canon-europe.com/cig for more information
[6] PictBridge via wireless LAN compatible printer
[7] Enjoy photos and movies from your different devices in one place

Adorama has the Canon Connect Station CS100 available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon Announcements
Post Date: 1/5/2015 9:15:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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