Camera Gear Review News (Page 7) RSS Feed for Camera Gear Review News

 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
 Monday, May 15, 2017
Just posted: Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens Review.
 
Is there a new leader of the APS-C wide angle zoom lens class?
 
The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 5/15/2017 8:57:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 12, 2017
Vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements, standard product images and eye candy have been added to the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens page.
 
Here is a visual size comparison you might find interesting.
 
The Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 5/12/2017 8:20:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 9, 2017
 Monday, May 8, 2017
Just posted: Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens Review.
 
This is a great little option to keep in the bag.
 
Get the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens at B&H | Amazon | Adorama. Note that this lens has been difficult to keep in stock. Simply place your order to reserve your place in line.
Post Date: 5/8/2017 8:00:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 5, 2017
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens Review page.
 
I think that you will like what you see. Here are a pair of comparisons you might be interested in:
 
Laowa 12mm f/2.8 compared to Canon 11-24mm f/4L Lens
Laowa 12mm f/2.8 compared to Sigma 12-24mm f/4 Art Lens
 
The Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 5/5/2017 7:22:07 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 4, 2017
Image quality, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens page.
 
The focal length range in this compact lens is awesome. The image sharpness is ... well, I'll let you decide.
 
The evaluation lens came in the Canon EOS M6 retail kit we tested. After consulting with Roger at Lensrentals.com, I'm led to believe that this copy of the 18-150 may be somewhat underperforming at the wide end, but the results from the long end appear normal. While it is hard to argue with the convenience factor of this lens, those looking for ultimate image sharpness will likely not find what they are looking for from any copy of this model.
 
The Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/4/2017 7:59:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
While this lens is not on most people's most-wanted list, it serves a purpose.
 
Here is the image quality comparison between the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens and its predecessor, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. Obviously, the 7D II and 60D test cameras have a modestly different resolution, but ... I trust that you can visualize the differences.
 
One of the benefits from the new 18-55 is the smaller retracted size. Here is a size comparison showing the new version alongside the two prior version lenses. As you will notice in the comparison (and confirmed by our measurements), the new lens zoomed/extended to 55mm is nearly the same length as the prior lens at this focal length.
 
The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/3/2017 8:52:36 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Just posted: Canon EOS M6 Review.
 
In brief, remove the EVF from the Canon EOS M5 and you get the M6. Well, it is a little more complicated than that, but ... not much more so. My preference? Get the M5.
 
The Canon EOS M5 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/2/2017 7:43:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 1, 2017
Just posted: Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D Review.
 
If you read the Canon EOS 77D review, the T7i review is going to sound very similar. These two cameras are nearly identical. What are the differences between the 77D and the Rebel T7i / 800D? Here is the primary feature difference list:
 
  • Top LCD Data Panel vs. none
  • Top mode dial and power switch on left vs. right
  • Rear Control Dial vs. only Cross Keys
  • Multi-function Lock Switch vs. none
  • Auto Display-Off Sensor by the viewfinder vs. none
  • AF On button vs. none
A big additional advantage from my perspective is that all localities get to call the 77D by the same name whereas the Rebel T7i may also be confusingly referred to as the 800D or Kiss X9i depending on the country where you live. Please note that the T7i review was not hands-on, but created based on experience with the 77D.
 
The bottom line is that, like the flagship Rebel models before it, the Rebel T7i is a lot of camera for the price.
 
The Canon EOS Rebel T7i is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/1/2017 8:27:17 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Distortion test results have been added to the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens page (a full review is planned).
 
I don't often dedicate an entire post to just distortion results for a single lens, but ... I thought the results for this one were remarkable enough to highlight for you. If you are looking for an ultra-wide angle full frame lens that keeps your lines straight (attention architecture photographers), this one should have your attention. Here are some comparisons:
 
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 compared to Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L Lens
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 compared to Sigma 12-24mm f/4 Art Lens
 
The Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens is in stock at B&H.
Post Date: 4/26/2017 7:53:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Just posted: Canon EOS 77D Review.
 
It's a great little camera. The biggest surprise to me? A significantly deeper grip that allows me to hold the camera and up to a medium-sized lens with only the three fingers.
 
The Canon EOS 77D is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/25/2017 8:50:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 24, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens review page.
 
While the Vibration Control feature alone is going to be upgrade-worthy to anyone using the previous Tamron 10-22mm Lens, the dramatically improved image quality over the copy we previously tested sends an even much stronger signal.
 
Following are a number of additional comparisons. Not all testing utilized the same camera, but visually accounting for the differences provides relevant comparisons nonetheless.
 
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Canon EF-S 10-22mm Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Canon EF-S 10-18mm Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Nikon 10-24mm Lens
 
The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 4/24/2017 7:51:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 21, 2017
Noise and resolution test results have been added to the Canon EOS 77D, Rebel T7i and M6 review pages.
 
Note that the 77D results were copied to create the Rebel T7i results. These two cameras are very similar and the image quality they deliver is the same. Thus, it did not make sense to invest the time needed to test both. Here are some observations:
 
The lighting on the color chart used for the noise level evaluation is measured for consistency using a Sekonic L-478DR Light Meter. Manual exposure mode is used for test image capture with prescribed exposure settings for each ISO setting and all RAW images are identically processed for the standard results. Interesting is that 77D results are identical to the 80D in brightness, but the images from this copy of the M6, captured immediately after the 77D results, are slightly brighter (by about .25 stops). A set of -.25 EV adjusted results are provided for an equalized brightness.
 
For the best image quality, should I get the Canon EOS 80D, Canon EOS 77D, Rebel T7i, M5 or M6? The answer to that question is ... it doesn't matter. While there are many feature differences between these models, it would be hard to argue that one delivers better image quality than the others.
 
The Canon EOS 77D is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
 
Get the Canon EOS Rebel T7i at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
 
Find the Canon EOS M6 at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/21/2017 8:07:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 18, 2017
With a brand new Canon EOS M6 (a great little camera) in my possession, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 30 steps I took to make a fresh-out-of-the-box M6 ready for use.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  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) and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  6. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Screen info/toggle settings: Update #1 to select only Grid display and Electronic level (all options selected for #2), uncheck #3 and #4 (I may alter these settings later)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: VF info/toggle settings: Uncheck #1, update #2 to select only Grid display and Electronic level, check all options for #3 (again, I may alter these settings later)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Histogram display: RGB
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Image review: Off (without a review display being shown and cleared, the viewfinder becomes ready-for-shooting faster)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Continuous AF: Off (increases battery life)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: MF Peaking Settings: Peaking: On
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted, though enabling CA correction is usually a good idea and if shooting in JPG mode, consider enabling other options as well.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (again, those shooting in JPG mode might want to explore the results of this option)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 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. If shooting in JPG mode, selecting "Standard" is probably a better option.)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (Noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Select "Low" if shooting in JPG format).
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Off
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Hints & Tips: Off
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (Custom shooting modes are great – see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes for more information)
  24. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: C.Fn II: Others: Set M.Fn button to ISO (I may make more changes here after acclimating to this camera)
  25. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Format, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), AEB (found back up near the top of the list)
  26. To get to the Playback Menu, take a picture, playback the picture and while it is displayed, press the Menu button.
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight Alert: Enable
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Auto Rotate: Off (always uses full LCD for display)
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 5: * resize: Enable
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Magnify (approx.): Actual size (zooms to 100% pixel level, ideal for checking sharpness)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
If you intend to mirror my RAW image capture workflow, this configuration would likely be ideal for you. While my setup is optimal for me, use your judgement to alter this list for your own needs and preferences.
 
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 M6
 
The Canon EOS M6 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/18/2017 9:23:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, April 12, 2017
With a Canon EOS 77D (nearly the same as the Canon EOS Rebel T7i) in my hands, it is time to set up the camera for use. How do I set up a 77D for use? Following are the 27 steps I took to get started with a brand new 77D or T7i.
 
  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 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).
  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 RAW to "RAW"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Off (highly recommended)
  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 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.)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  16. 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)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  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 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:ISO expansion: On
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [your name]
  25. Display Level Menu: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Display Level Menu: Feature guide: Disable
  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 (back up near the top of the list)
I make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
Using this camera configuration means that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While this setup works ideally for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup preferences.
 
Cameras continue to become more complex and if you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, it is a very good idea to keep an up-to-date list such as this one. If your camera goes off to a service visit, it 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 T7i
Canon EOS 77D
 
The Canon EOS 77D is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
 
The Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D is also available at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/12/2017 9:33:17 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Just posted: Tamron TAP-in Console Review.
 
If there are compatible Tamron lenses in your kit, acquisition of a TAP-In is worth considering.
 
The Tamron TAP-in Console is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 4/12/2017 8:07:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 10, 2017
Just posted: Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens Review.
 
Tamron has delivered impressively with this G2.
 
The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon |Adorama (B&H and Adorama are shipping after the holiday break).
Post Date: 4/10/2017 8:27:36 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 7, 2017
Image quality (results from 3 cameras), vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements, standard product images and eye candy have been added to the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens page.
 
The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens is in stock at B&H (Nikon mount coming soon).
Post Date: 4/7/2017 7:59:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, April 6, 2017
Expectations for the just-announced: Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens.
 
This is an interesting little lens with many niceties. Check it out.
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is available for preorder at B&H, Amazon and Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/6/2017 12:00:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 3, 2017
One of the lens aspects I always test thoroughly is autofocus accuracy with consistency being especially important as consistency can be calibrated into accuracy if necessary. And, I generally dread testing 3rd party lens AF accuracy because ... historically, many of these lenses have performed poorly in this regard. It is highly frustrating to spend weeks evaluating a lens and have the AF results reveal a flaw large enough to make people no longer interested in it.
 
As I shared recently, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens shows impressive sharpness even at its widest aperture. But of course, that sharpness can only be realized if the lens is focused accurately and most of us rely on AF for that task. And, with the relatively shallow depth of field this lens can produce at 200mm and f/2.8, that aspect becomes even more critical.
 
While I'm not completely finished with this lens evaluation, I have some good news to report. The image shared in this post is a collage of 100% crops taken from 15 consecutive 200mm, f/2.8 autofocused images, each captured with the lens initially de-focused. If I hadn't told you, you might have thought that I simply copied and pasted a single image to create this graphic, but those are indeed 15 different images. That's impressive. And, I have a variety of similar tests showing similar results.
 
I had a track meet to photograph last week and ... I really wanted to see how this lens would perform in that role. The Tamron 70-200 made it into my hands just as I was leaving and, (I don't recommend doing this, but I couldn't help myself) without any prior testing, I mounted the lens on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and went out the door. I shot the meet solely with this lens. The results from about 1,000 images captured were not perfect (they never are), but they showed this lens' AF system performing quite well. That I photographed this event in low light, including heavy cloud cover and light rain with a post-sunset ending, gives the results added value.
 
I often notice peripheral AF points not performing as well as the center AF point when using third party lenses, so I have also been testing those. While the peripheral AF performance is again not as good, it is only very slightly less so, delivering a significant majority of in-focus images, including at the mentioned track meet and even in the very low light levels at that event. A high percentage of the results from a portrait session with this lens, including tightly-framed head shots and utilizing only peripheral AF points, were correctly focused.
 
So, I'm quite impressed with the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens' AF performance.
 
At this point, this lens is looking like a bargain: B&H has the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens in stock (Nikon mount in stock soon).
Post Date: 4/3/2017 8:23:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Image quality results have been added to the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens Review.
 
I think that you are going to like what you see here. Check out the Tamron G2 vs. Canon IS II comparison.
 
B&H has the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens in stock (Nikon mount coming very soon).
Post Date: 3/29/2017 9:28:07 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 27, 2017
Find out in the just posted Zeiss 135mm f/2 Milvus Lens Review.
 
B&H has the LENS in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/27/2017 9:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 24, 2017
B&H currently lists the expected availability of the new Canon EOS M6 as Thu, Mar 30th.
 
With that date rapidly approaching (less than a week away), it seemed logical to get our expectations loaded on the Canon EOS M6 Review page, so ... we did just that.
 
What are the differences between the EOS M6 and the EOS M5? We list those differences right at the top of the M6 page – and the list is short. So short that much of the M6 page is the same or nearly the same as the M5 page. And, a short list of differences is very good in this case. If you are familiar with one of these cameras, you just need to read the mentioned differences list to be familiar with both.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/24/2017 8:09:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements, standard product images and eye candy have been added to the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Milvus Lens Review page.
 
I'm not surprised by the image quality results – this lens has the heart of the Zeiss 135mm f/2.0 Classic Lens and that lens was similarly impressive.
 
Here is the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Milvus Lens compared to the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens.
 
B&H has the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Milvus Lens in stock.
 
Looking for a bargain? The Zeiss 135mm f/2 Classic Lens is just that after a $623.00 instant savings at B&H (plus get a 4% B&H reward).
Post Date: 3/22/2017 8:04:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Just posted: Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens Review.
 
Learn how this great looking lens from a market newcomer performs.
 
B&H has the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens in stock.
Post Date: 3/21/2017 8:06:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 17, 2017
New on the site is the Canon Extreme Lens Recommendations page.
 
Because ... sometimes your portfolio needs a boost and an extreme lens can make that happen.
 
Let me know what I got wrong? And, what extremes did I miss?
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/17/2017 8:14:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Just posted: Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Lens Review.
 
Find out how well this big, beautiful lens performs!
 
The Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Lens is in stock at: B&H | Amazon | Adorama
 
BTW, the tripod shown here is a Really Right Stuff TP-243 Ground-Level Tripod. It is a compact, rock solid support that does not flinch at even lenses bigger than this one.
 
The tripod head is a Wimberley Tripod Head II. It is ideal for lenses such as this one.
Post Date: 3/14/2017 8:05:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 13, 2017
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens Review page.
 
A full review of this lens is coming soon. Note that the upper right corner shown in the image quality tool is sharper than the other three corners.
 
Amazon has the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens in stock. This lens will be arriving at B&H and Adorama soon.
Post Date: 3/13/2017 7:59:31 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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