Camera Gear Review News (Page 6) RSS Feed for Camera Gear Review News

 Thursday, October 19, 2017
Really Right Stuff Ground Level Tripod Review.
 
This tripod has generated more emails to us than any other product on the site.
 
The Really Right Stuff Ground Level Tripod is in stock at B&H.
Post Date: 10/19/2017 7:17:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Just posted: Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC G2 Lens Review.
 
This lens is most-directly competing against the just-reviewed Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens. Read the review to learn how it fared.
 
The Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC G2 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 10/18/2017 7:45:36 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 17, 2017
by Sean Setters
 
PhotoPlus 2017 is just around the corner and with Canon releasing several updated lenses since our last publication of the "oldest" list (as well as discontinuing at least one lens outright), the timing seemed right to re-compute the 10 oldest Canon lens list.
 
Lens ModelYear
Introduced
Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM Lens Buy1991
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Lens Buy1992
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Buy1992
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens Buy1993
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens Buy1993
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Lens Buy1995
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Buy1995
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens Buy1996
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens Buy1996
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens Buy1996

 
The oldest Canon lens currently in production is the EF 100mm f/2 USM, sharing a very similar design and feature set with the substantially-more-popular EF 85mm f/1.8 USM (#3 on the list). As we mentioned in our last 10-oldest list published in 2015, updating the design, adding IS (image stabilization) and improving the optics of each – while keeping prices attractive for the consumer market – would catepult the popularity of these lenses which would ultimately find a home in many photographer's kits, from casual hobbyists to professionals alike. And with the recent addition of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM to the lineup, releasing an updated consumer-grade 85mm option seems like an especially reasonable expectation.
 
The 2nd oldest lens, the Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM and the 6th oldest, the EF 28mm f/1.8 USM, are not terribly popular. I think many photographers would be happy with replacing both these lenses with a model that falls in between them in focal length and aperture, which also features IS. For instance, maybe an EF 24mm f/2 IS USM? Then again, Canon already has several 24mm options, so they may not be so keen on adding another one to their lens lineup.
 
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM ranks 4th and is really starting to show its age, especially in regards to wide-open image quality. If Canon updated their 50mm f/1.4 lens, with improved image quality and IS, the lens would likely fly off the retail shelves. Considering the 50mm focal length's popularity, combined with the current EF 50mm f/1.4's performance, I think this is a great opportunity for Canon to keep its customer base devoted to the brand.
 
The EF 400mm f/5.6L USM ranks 5th on the list, and while its design and lack of IS are certainly indications of its age, it still holds up very well from an image quality perspective. That said, introducing a fully weather sealed update, with IS and possibly a more compact design – keeping the price well below the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM – would make the lens especially attractive for those interested in sports and wildlife photography.
 
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM comes in at #7, and it still holds up fairly well from design and image quality perspectives. However, even though its substantially less than its IS counterpart (now in its second iteration), its never been nearly as popular. That's because IS is extremely beneficial in telephoto lenses, making the higher cost of the IS version of the lens that much more easy to bear for most photographers. In this lens' case, adding IS isn't an option (that's already been done), so the question becomes – Would the lens sell enough copies to justify developing another one with updated optics and a slightly different design? Possibly, but I'm not convinced.
 
When it comes to the 8th and 9th lenses on our list, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM and EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro, respectively, I am not sure there is enough demand to justify expecting an update for either of these lenses, although adding IS to both would make them much more attractive to some. What is certain is that the 180L Macro has significant room for improvement, as it can't match its 100mm little brother's image quality, it doesn't include the coveted IS feature, it is not weather sealed and its AF speed leaves a lot to be desired.
 
At the #10 spot we find the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM, a favorite of portrait photographers since its introduction. While Sigma certainly designed the 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens to compete strongly with the Canon 135L, by not including stabilization, they left the door wide open for Canon to take back the must-have-135mm-lens crown. Update the optics, add IS and weather sealing and this lens will immediately hit the "best seller" list with its perfect-for-portraiture specs.
 
What do you think?
 
What do you think will happen to the lenses on this list? Are there desirable feature updates that I didn't mention? Let us know in the comments!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/17/2017 1:10:48 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens page.
 
This looks like an outstanding lens.
 
Here is a Sony vs. Canon 100-400mm image quality comparison.
 
The Sony vs. Sigma 100-400mm comparison is another interesting one.
 
The Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 10/11/2017 7:39:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Just posted: Really Right Stuff Lever-Release Clamp Review.
 
Really Right Stuff Lever-Release Clamps are one of my most-used accessories. In fact, I'm not sure any other accessory surpasses my use of this one.
 
The Really Right Stuff Lever-Release Clamp is available at B&H.
Post Date: 10/10/2017 9:43:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, October 9, 2017
Just posted: Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens Review.
 
Check out this much-anticipated lens!
 
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens is in stock (or available for order) at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 10/9/2017 8:42:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, October 5, 2017
Along with the formerly shared vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements, image quality test results from two different lenses (one tested on three cameras) have been added to the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens page.
 
I recently posted about not being satisfied with the results from the first lens we tested and I took those results down soon after assessing them. We have now tested a second lens (one with a notably-higher serial number) and, though the second lens (sample "1") performs modestly better, I think that you will find the two performing rather similarly overall. As the odds of getting two bad lenses with substantially different serial numbers that perform similarly are very low, I am going to share the results with you, at least until I'm convinced that they are not right.
 
More convincing is looking at this lens in comparisons where it competes reasonably well (perhaps the only issue was that my expectations were set too high). Here are some comparisons:
 
Tamron VC G2 vs. Canon L II
Tamron VC G2 vs. Sigma OS Art
Tamron VC G2 vs. Tamron VC
Tamron VC G2 vs. Tokina
 
There are far more relevant comparisons to be made, but hopefully the above will get you started.
 
The Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX (preorder).
 
Deal of interest: B&H has a used Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens in 9+ condition for $1,519.95.
Post Date: 10/5/2017 10:09:09 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 4, 2017
One or more of your camera's custom mode settings is your most-frequently-used mode, right? If not, you will probably find the Custom Shooting Modes and How Bryan Configures "C" Modes article useful.
 
If you've already read that page, I'll share the reason for my update:
 
Until recently, I reserved my camera's Custom Mode 3 for use in whatever unique situation I happen to be in. But, I've come to the conclusion that "Wildlife" is the pursuit that my Custom Mode 3 was most-frequently programmed for. In addition, after some experimenting while photographing elk in Rocky Mountain National Park last week, I determined that AF Case 4 (better accommodating erratically moving subjects) produced a better AI Servo AF experience for this type of photography than the case I most often used, Case 1 (optimized for general purpose needs). For the combination of those two reasons, I now reserve Custom Mode 3 for my most-frequently-used wildlife photography settings.
 
I should note that, because I am most often using a single AF point with the surrounding AF points in assist mode (not using the AF point auto switching feature), AF Case 6 should produce identical results to AF Case 4. And, AF Case 3, with an even slightly higher tracking sensitivity, stands to be another good AF Case option for wildlife photography.
 
If you are not using custom modes, and your camera has at least one of them available, consider learning to use this most-useful position on the mode dial.
 
More details here: Custom Shooting Modes and How Bryan Configures "C" Modes
Post Date: 10/4/2017 8:34:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 3, 2017
The M100 is expected to arrive soon and the Canon EOS M100 page now contains expectations for this model, along with many comparisons to other EOS models.
 
The EOS M100 is not about exciting new features, but the combination of what you get in a tiny package and for a low price pushes boundaries.
 
The Canon EOS M100 is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/3/2017 8:45:11 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, September 29, 2017
Vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements have been added to the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens page.
 
Notably (and disappointingly) missing are the image quality results. We captured a full set of ISO 12233 test chart images from this lens using three cameras, processed and loaded them into the image quality comparison tool ... and I had a hard time believing what I was seeing. Unfortunately, not for a good reason. The corner image quality looked very bad, worse than I remember seeing in a long time.
 
Closer analysis of the RAW images indicated that all four corners were performing relatively similarly in terms of image quality, but I still have a hard time believing that the results are indicative to how this lens should perform. Therefore, I have taken the results down and await delivery and testing of another copy of the lens.
 
Assuming that the lens indeed has a problem ... while 100% perfection cannot be expected in lenses, most disturbing to me is that we had a similar problem with this lens' predecessor, the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens. As explained in that review, it took two lenses and two repairs (the second repair appeared to be resolved with a replacement) to get a good version of that lens.
 
Big coincidence? Or quality control problem? It is painful to think of the number of hours we have spent testing these bad lenses.
 
The Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX (preorder).
 
But, you might want to wait for our second set of tests before making your decision to go with the Tamron G2.
Post Date: 9/29/2017 7:29:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Image quality test results from the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III have been added to the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens Review.
 
We've tested about five copies of this lens and somehow didn't get any of them tested on the 1Ds Mark III. These results are especially useful for backward compatibility when making comparisons with older lenses in the image comparison tool.
 
This is an amazing lens – I personally bought one.
 
Get your Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 9/20/2017 8:07:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Just posted: Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens Review.
 
This is the Sony go-to lens for a large range of needs.
 
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 9/20/2017 7:53:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, September 13, 2017
As promised, image quality results from the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III have been added to the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens page.
 
We recently shared the test results for this lens mounted to a Canon EOS 5Ds R, but some older 24-70mm lenses have not been tested on this camera. Thus, the 1Ds Mark III results fill in some blanks:
 
Sigma vs. Canon version I
Sigma vs. Sigma non-OS
Sigma vs. Tamron VC
 
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens is in stock at Amazon and WEX and available for preorder at B&H and Adorama.
Post Date: 9/13/2017 9:47:58 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, September 8, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens page.
 
Let's get right into some comparisons:
 
Sigma vs. Canon f/2.8L II
Sigma vs. Canon f/4L IS
Sigma vs. Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II
Sigma vs. Sony
Sigma vs. Tamron
Sigma vs. Tokina
 
Many other comparisons are available and we'll have some additional 24-70mm comparisons available when the 1Ds III image quality results are posted (soon).
 
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 9/8/2017 7:47:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, September 1, 2017
These charts, especially that from the TS-E 135mm f/4L, should make you say "Wow!" Find all of Canon's current TS-E lens MTF charts along with some other models in comparison format here:
 
Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens
Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens
Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens
 
Perhaps now we know why these lenses are priced are so high.
 
Preorders for All New Canon Products
 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens - B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic
Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro Tilt-Shift Lens - B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic
Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro Tilt-Shift Lens - B&H | Amazon| Adorama | Wex Photographic
Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro Tilt-Shift Lens - B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic
Canon Macro Twin-Lite MT-26EX-RT Flash - B&H | Amazon | Adorama
Canon EOS M100 - B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 9/1/2017 8:33:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Sony a7R II-captured Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements have been added to the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens page.
 
With the new Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens being announced, it seemed an appropriate time to take a look at the Sony alternative.
 
The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 9/1/2017 8:19:10 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, August 31, 2017
We have added a very-interesting MTF chart comparison to the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens page (scroll down to the image quality section).
 
These charts give us some indication as to how the new 85 f/1.4L IS lens' image quality stacks up to several other lenses, including the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens and more.
 
Update: Please note that I have corrected a mistake in the Sigma chart interpretation.
 
The demand for this Canon lens is very high - preorder early to be assured of the earliest acquisition (perhaps it could be an early Christmas present to yourself)!
 
The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/31/2017 12:39:09 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 29, 2017
This new 85mm lens stands to be an extremely popular one and I greatly look forward to its arrival. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens page holds my expectations for this highly-anticipated model.
 
The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/29/2017 12:15:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, August 28, 2017
Just posted: Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
 
Really. Nice. Lens.
 
The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock or available for order at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 8/28/2017 8:06:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, August 24, 2017
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 5Ds R (second lens copy) and Canon EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens Review.
 
This lens tested slightly better at the wide end than the last copy we tested on the 5Ds R, so I moved the new results to the "Sample 1" position (the default). If you need a telephoto zoom lens that is more compact than the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens, this one is a good choice.
 
The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
 
For a great deal (save over $200), check out the 9+ grade used 70-300L that B&H has in stock!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/24/2017 6:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, August 18, 2017
An additional set of Image quality test results, from both the Canon EOS 5Ds R and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, have been added to the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens Review.
 
I was not completely satisfied with the image quality results we obtained from our previous copy of this lens and have been wanting to try another. That re-test has been completed and ... the new lens indeed performs better, though only slightly so. The results from the latest evaluation lens now show as defaults for this lens model (Sample 1).
 
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/18/2017 8:38:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Just posted: Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D Review.
 
This is a tiny DSLR camera that is big on features and low on price.
 
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/15/2017 10:24:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, August 10, 2017
Just posted: Canon EOS 6D Mark II Review.
 
The 6D Mark II is not positioned as a top-of-the-line model, but it delivers beautiful images and it has a nice price.
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/10/2017 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, August 7, 2017
Image quality results from a second lens copy have been added to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens Review.
 
This latest copy of the 24-105 L II performs slightly better than the first, so I made it the default (sample 1).
 
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/7/2017 7:53:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, August 4, 2017
Noise test results have been added to the Canon EOS 6D Mark II page.
 
With over 200 sample crops available, there are many comparisons to be made. I have added a significant amount of commentary to the "Sensor and Image Quality" section of the 6D II page.
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/4/2017 9:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Just posted: Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens Review.
 
This is a very fun little lens – especially for the price!
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/2/2017 7:33:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 1, 2017
In addition to the image quality results shared recently, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements are now available on the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens page.
 
You already how good the image quality results are, but I expect that you will like the f/1.8 vignetting results, dislike the amount of geometric distortion and like the flare test results.
 
The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 8/1/2017 8:13:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
I have the much-anticipated Canon EOS 6D Mark II in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 35 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 6D II ready for use. While 35 sounds like a large number of steps, nothing here is difficult. Just take one step at a time.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable/off (this should be the default and I highly recommend turning this for-showrooms feature off)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(102400), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-40000
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  20. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  25. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Feature guide: Disable
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Beep: Disable
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C2): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter information as desired
  30. Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure: Bracketing auto cancel: Disable
  31. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 1st image priority: Focus
  32. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 2nd image priority: Focus
  33. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only
  34. Custom Functions, C.Fn III:Operation/Others: 4 Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I always make additional menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but the above list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration means that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup works great for me, but your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/1/2017 7:43:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, July 28, 2017
 Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Just posted: Sony a9 Review.
 
This camera has features that will leave you wanting when shooting with anything else.
 
The Sony a9 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 7/26/2017 9:01:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 25, 2017
After using the Sony a9 for nearly two months, I thought I'd share the setup steps I used for this camera. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a9 ready for use.
 

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) (unless your current favorite image processing software supports the Sony a9)
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the 20 fps frame rate or wanting an about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Focus Area: Flexible Spot
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 7: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 7: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Card: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 6: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 8: Custom Key(Shoot.): Custom Button 1: ISO
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Shutter Type: Electronic Shut. (I sometimes opted for the Auto setting)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Audio signals: On:e-shutter only (set to Off if photographing in a quiet setting)
  • Network Menu, Tab 1: Airplane Mode: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Volume Settings: 3
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operation: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 4: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}

I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my typical camera setup.
 
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. If the camera is ever reset-to-factory state, your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Sony a9
 
The Sony a9 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 7/25/2017 9:08:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Noise test results have been added to the have been added to the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D page.
 
The SL2 has the same sensor as several other recently released Canon cameras, including the Canon EOS 77D. Expectations were for the Rebel SL2 to share the same image quality. However, in the Canon EOS SL2 vs. 77D comparison, I see the SL2 images showing less noise. I love when expectations are exceeded in a positive direction.
 
Even though the SL2 has increased resolution over its predecessor, the SL1, the Canon EOS SL2 vs. SL1 comparison again shows the new camera to have less noise.
 
Also to love is the low price of this camera. The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/25/2017 8:31:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 24, 2017
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 just showed up and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Canon EOS Rebel SL2 ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E17 battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes, unless you can't wait).
  5. Power the camera on.
  6. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: set to RAW (I highly recommend a RAW workflow)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Off/Disable (I highly recommend this setting)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post, but "Low" is also a good choice)
  18. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  19. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:ISO expansion: On
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [your name]
  24. Display Level Menu: Menu guide: Standard (required to gain access to My Menu)
  25. Display Level Menu: Mode guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  26. Display Level Menu: Feature guide: Disabled (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  27. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup is ideal for me, but keep in mind that your needs may differ. The best use of this list may be for tweaking of your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS Rebel SL2
 
The very inexpensive Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/24/2017 9:15:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens page.
 
I like what I see.
 
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 7/24/2017 7:22:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, July 21, 2017
Along with the image quality test results I shared previously, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens page.
 
This inexpensive lens is still looking good, from both an image quality perspective and a stylish one. From a size standpoint, let's put things in perspective.
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/21/2017 7:25:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens page.
 
As always, there are many comparisons that can be made, but I'll get you started with a comparison against a known good lens:
 
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM vs. EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/19/2017 3:40:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
You are planning to photograph the eclipse, right? This rare opportunity is coming to most of North America with the path of totality running coast-to-coast through the heart of the USA. The moon is going to cause the sun to disappear and that event is causing solar filters to disappear from retailer inventories. Don't wait to get yours!
 
Which solar filter should I get for my super telephoto lens? I just posted a review of that answer: The Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter.
 
You might be surprised at how inexpensive this filter is. The Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama. At least some sizes are in stock – preorder out of stock items immediately to get them in time for the big event.
 
You can also view the entire selection of solar filters at B&H, Adorama and Amazon.
 
If you don't own a super telephoto lens, this event is a great excuse to get one (some of these are also becoming scarce). If such a lens is not affordable or does not have long-term use, consider renting one.
 
Solar Eclipse Photography Resources
 
Here are some links that you may find useful. The first is NASA’s interactive map (click anywhere on it to get that location’s information). The second is our news feed of useful articles:
 
NASA: Interactive Solar Eclipse Map
Solar Eclipse Photography Tips (TDP posts)
Space.com's Solar Eclipse Guide
Solar Eclipse Exposure Calculator
American Astronomical Society: How to Shoot Solar-Eclipse Images & Videos
MREclipse.com: Solar Eclipse Photography Guide
NASA: Solar Eclipse Maps
NASA: Eclipse Photography
 Monday, July 10, 2017
Just posted: Rokinon/Samyang SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens Review.
 
Learn about this new premium-grade lens from Rokinon/Samyang, the company that has long been the source of great value lenses.
 
This lens currently has a $200.00 instant savings available. The Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 7/10/2017 8:59:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 29, 2017
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR camera page has been loaded with information, expectations and images.
 
Also available are the detailed Canon EOS 6D Mark II specifications, ready for comparison with your favorite EOS model. Here is the Canon EOS 6D Mark II vs. 6D comparison.
 
This is one of the more-exciting Canon camera releases we've seen recently. I expect this model to become a very popular one.
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2017 12:04:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D DSLR camera page has been loaded with information, expectations and images. Also, learn what "SL" stands for.
 
Additionally available are the detailed Canon EOS SL2 specifications, ready for comparison with your favorite EOS model. Here is the Canon EOS SL2 vs. SL1 comparison.
 
I liked the SL1 a lot and a new iteration of this model with some of Canon's latest DSLR technologies included is great to see.
 
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D is available for preorder at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | Wex Photographic.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2017 12:04:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 23, 2017
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens page.
 
The first comparison I wanted to see was the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G vs. f/2.8 GM OSS Lens. When set to f/4, the f/2.8 lens becomes clearly sharper, (mostly). There are many combinations to explore.
 
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/23/2017 9:20:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Just posted: Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens Review.
 
This one should get some traction.
 
The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama. A free Sigma UV Filter ($69.95 value) is currently included.
Post Date: 6/14/2017 9:38:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Sony a9 page.
 
You will like recognize that these results are not from the standard Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM test lens we tested the Sony a7R II and most Canon cameras with. The plan was to test the a9 with the same lens, but unfortunately, our FotodioX Canon EF Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera Pro Fusion Smart AF mount adapter is apparently not compatible with the a9 (known adapter-compatible Canon lenses did not work on the a9). So, we went with plan b, testing the a9 with Sony's premier FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens at a low-distortion focal length.
 
Keep in mind that the lenses used in these comparisons are different:
 
Sony a9 vs Canon EOS 1D X Mark II
Sony a9 vs a7R II (vastly different resolutions)
 
The Sony a9 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/13/2017 8:46:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 12, 2017
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens page.
 
More to come regarding this lens.
 
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/12/2017 8:23:04 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 9, 2017
Image quality (results from 5Ds R, 1Ds III and 7D II included), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens page.
 
I expected better from this lens. It has the same optical design as its predecessor, but ... it is not performing quite as well as the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens I owned and loved for years. Typically, if we think a lens is not performing optimally, we test another copy. But, this is the third copy of this lens we have tested and this one has the most-equal corner performance – it is the best of the three.
 
Here are some comparisons:
 
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Classic Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus compared to Irix 15mm f/2.4 Lens
 
The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/9/2017 7:04:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 8, 2017
Image quality (results from 5Ds R, 1Ds III and 7D II included), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens page.
 
Is the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens worth over 3x the price of the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens? That is a question I wanted to answer. Here is the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 vs. Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens image quality comparison. There are more differences, but ... let me know what you think in the comments.
 
Here are some other comparisons:
 
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Lens
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 compared to Irix 15mm f/2.4 Lens
 
The Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/8/2017 7:15:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements, standard product images and eye candy have been added to the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens page.
 
Completing the review of this lens is one of my priorities right now.
 
The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 6/6/2017 7:15:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 5, 2017
High ISO noise test results and specifications have been added to the Sony a9 page.
 
I've been using the a9 over the last week and can say with certainty that Sony has made some considerable improvements over the a7R II. While these cameras are not targeting the same uses, there is a lot of overlap in design. What is my favorite a9 improvement so far? The viewfinder blackout reduction makes tracking action possible with the a9's EVF.
 
How does the Sony a9 compare to the Sony a7R II?
 
In the Sony a9 and a7R II noise comparison, we see the a9 showing significantly less noise, at least in part capitalizing on its lower resolution. At the same time, we see that the Sony a7R II has modestly higher dynamic range than the a9. That link shows a comparison of images captured at a 3 stop higher exposure setting than the standard results and processed to -3 stops. Notice the a7R II holding the highlight color better in the top-left two monochrome blocks? Also, notice the a7R II's better bright yellow block.
 
How does the Sony a9 compare to the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II?
 
In the Canon 1D X Mark II and Sony a9 noise comparison (Canon results showing on top/left), we see the Sony pipeline being used for this testing creating slightly brighter results and the Canon pipeline producing slightly sharper results. Equalize those two attributes and the two cameras deliver similar noise levels. That the a9 has a 4 megapixel advantage over the 1D X II tips the scales in the Sony direction.
 
In the +3 EV capture, we see that the Sony a9 has a very slightly higher dynamic range than the 1D X II, keeping some color where the 1D X II does not.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/5/2017 8:10:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Just posted: Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
 
You are going to want this one.
 
The Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
 
Be sure to share this review with your circle of friends!
Post Date: 5/23/2017 7:56:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 22, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens page.
 
I have been anxiously awaiting these results. While Canon already makes a phenomenal 100-400mm lens, the Sigma weighs less and costs FAR less.
 
Especially considering the price differential, I think you will find the Sigma 100-400mm vs. Canon 100-400mm image quality comparison very interesting. Be sure to compare the Sigma to the many other telephoto zoom lenses we've tested.
 
Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM C Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 5/22/2017 9:55:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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