Canon, Nikon, and Sony News for Mar 2012

 Friday, March 30, 2012
CPN has posted a new article by Syl Arena, talking a closer look at Canon’s New Radio Speedlite Flash System.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/30/2012 7:23:28 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Sigma Corporation of America:
 
Newly designed telephoto zoom lens with Sigma’s own Optical Stabilizer system at street price of $1099
 
Ronkonkoma, NY, March 30, 2012 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce that its newly upgraded 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM telephoto lens is now available for the street price of $1,099.
 
The 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM telephoto lens is the successor to the 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC II HSM. The updated lens now features Sigma’s own proprietary Optical Stabilizer (OS) technology, which offers the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible. The lens design utilizes an inner-focusing and inner-zooming system that provides convenient handling and this, along with the OS feature, makes it favorable for high-performance, handheld, close-up photography. Additionally, the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures quiet and high-speed auto focusing, while allowing full-time manual focus capability.
 
The Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM Canon mounts will be available next week, while the Nikon and Sigma mounts are expected to be available by the end of April.
 
“This lens is a great addition to our lineup of telephoto lenses, and will be a fantastic tool for portrait, landscape and nature photography,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “This is our tenth telephoto lens with Optical Stabilizer technology and provides another option for photographers looking to produce high-quality images.”
 
Six SLD glass elements provide exceptional corrections for all types of aberrations and provide high-quality imagery throughout the zoom range. It also has a rounded, nine-blade diaphragm that creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image.
 
The lens’ Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and ensures sharp and high contrast images even at the maximum apertures. The addition of Sigma’s 1.4x EX DG APO and 2x EX DG APO teleconverters produce a 70-210mm F4 autofocus telephoto zoom lens and a 100-300mm F5.6 autofocus telephoto lens, respectively.
 
B&H just started accepting Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM Lens preorders.
Post Date: 3/30/2012 7:17:31 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Are Your Canon PowerShot G1 X RAW images soft? If so, I may know why.
 
G1 X RAW files, when processed by Canon Digital Photo Pro v3.11.10.0 with the "Viewing and savings RAW images" preference to "High quality" (the default), are rendered very soft.
 
This is the same problem I currently have outlined on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review page. The G1 X RAW images are being affected by the same software flaw the 5D III images are affected by.
 
Canon has been notified. The workaround is to set the "Viewing and savings RAW images" preference to "High speed". Or use another RAW converter.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/30/2012 3:11:30 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
In a forum post, Kirk Baker, Senior Software Engineer, has released Photo Mechanic 4.6.9 Beta 1.
 
Version 4.6.9 Features

  • Added support for the Exif 2.3 Serial Number tag for newer cameras that actually write this field (i.e. not guaranteed to be there even if camera is writing Exif 2.3).
  • Improved support for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
  • Added support for RAW ORF files from the Olympus E-PL3 and E-PM1.
  • Fixed various memory leaks that could eventually cause a memory allocation failure for users editing or ingesting a very large number of photos.
  • Fixed an issue when sequentially ingesting cards with filenames that overlap. This can happen when the user sets their camera preference to start filer numbering at 0001 for each card.
  • Fixed a problem updating XMP in LZW-compress TIFF files saved by Capture NX2.
  • Added a workaround for viewing NEF files processed by Nikon Image Transfer that are not written properly.
  • Fixed a problem with adding GPS coordinates to Canon 30D JPEG files.
  • The Exif Digitized Date/Time tag is now updated when using the Adjust Capture Times command.
  • Ingest now ignores Fuji FFDB.DAT files, Canon Comstate files, and EYEFI folders.
  • Lossless JPEG rotation now uses default DPI setting instead of Save As DPI setting.
  • Fixed a problem with PM SlideShow playback becoming unresponsive with a large number of files.

Post Date: 3/30/2012 11:31:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon has posted EOS 1D Mark IV Firmware v1.1.1. Note: you must select your OS to get the firmware download option.
 
Firmware Version 1.1.1 incorporates the following change.
 
Optimizes the camera’s exposure accuracy when using EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lenses, which are scheduled for release in June 2012.
 
If these lenses are used with an EOS-1D Mark IV camera that has not been updated with the new firmware, the image may be overexposed depending on the subject and shooting scene.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/30/2012 10:22:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
As I mentioned recently, I used the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens with the Canon EF 2x III Extender as a lightweight, handheld bird photography lens in Florida in early March and found the results to be quite impressive.
 
The Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens served as my primary tripod-mounted birding lens for this trip (the perfect full frame choice), but the 300 L II, along with a 1.4x III and a 2x III filled the handheld and wider focal lengths needs. And did so remarkably well.
 
My initial comment stirred many inquiries about the 300 II + 2x III combination. I'm not a big extender user, but the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens is so amazingly sharp that the with-extender results are still remarkable. And I had no problems handholding the with-2x-resulting 600mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens.
 
I have uploaded a sample picture from this combination for your review. The Brown Pelican image was captured near sunset at f/8 (f/5.6 results are not as sharp), 1/250 with a handheld Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III in RAW format using the Neutral Picture Style (lower contrast for better histogram). The JPG sample was processed in DPP using the Standard Picture Style, sharpness set to "2" (low) and saturation set to "1".
 
Here is the sample: JPG (11.0 MB) | RAW (26.4 MB)
 
License granted for personal gear-evaluation purposes only.
 
I will add this full size sample picture to the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens Review for more-permanent reference.
 
B&H has the still-elusive Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens (and Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens) in stock at this moment.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/30/2012 9:09:43 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 29, 2012
The Canon Speedlite 600EX Flash, without the "-RT", is showing along with the -RT model on Canon UK website (compare).
 
Apparently the 600EX will also be available without the RF feature in some regions. Check your local region to see if you will have access to this model. (thanks Ben)
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/29/2012 5:40:14 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The Nikon D800 is, amazingly, in stock at Amazon.de.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/29/2012 5:34:07 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon USA has issued an official response to the 5D III IS noise issue:
 
“We have acknowledged that when using the camera with specific lenses, there is an abnormal noise during IS operation when the shutter button is pressed halfway (or remains pressed halfway), and we are now considering the countermeasures. We will let you know about the countermeasures as soon as they are finalized”
 
The two affected lenses are the Canon EF 200mm f/2.0L IS USM Lens and the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens.
 
Note that image quality is not affected by the abnormality. Also note that this noise does not occur during Live View including during video capture.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/29/2012 4:20:09 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 Release Candidate is now available for download.
 
New Camera Support

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Fixed Issues

  • Lightroom 4 did not properly open external applications when using the “Edit In” functionality.
  • Point Curve adjustments made in Lightroom 3 have been restored.
  • Addressed performance issues in Lightroom 4, particularly when loading GPS track logs, using a secondary monitor, and the controls within the Develop module.
  • Ability to update DNG previews and metadata for more than 100 photos has been restored.
  • This update allows for improved viewing of subfolders and stacks in folders with a large number of photos.
  • It was possible that a layout of a saved book could be lost after quitting Lightroom 4.

The last two posts at Lightroom Journal are worth reading.

Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 3/29/2012 3:46:35 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash is in stock at Adorama and Amazon.com. (thanks Jacob)
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/29/2012 3:41:28 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
B&H has a pair of used Canon EOS-1D Mark IV bodies in stock for $4,399.95/$4,599.95 for 9/9+ ratings respectively.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/29/2012 3:37:47 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Confirmed: The Canon EF 200mm f/2.0L IS USM Lens' image stabilization system makes a modestly-disturbing churning sound when used on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III in AI Servo AF mode. The same sound is made briefly when the shutter release button is released in One Shot AF mode.
 
I do not know if this is a problem or not. IS appears to be working properly and the images created during the strange sound are quite sharp. I'll let Canon know (others may have already done so).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/29/2012 10:13:50 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tom Hogarty, Lightroom Product Manager, has announced in a blog post that an update to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 is expected to be released as early as this week.
 
Especially good news is that, along with many bug fixes, this update will add support for Canon EOS 5D Mark III RAW files.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 3/28/2012 4:36:36 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/28/2012 2:09:06 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Taking a new approach to padded dividers in backpacks is TrekPak. (thanks Jeffrey)
 
Taking a new approach to camera body plates is Custom SLR with their M-Plate.
 
Clarification: the M-Plate Kickstarter project is funded and he M-Plate is now available from Custom SLR.
Post Date: 3/28/2012 10:15:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Please note that we are rapidly approaching B&H's passover closing - plan your purchases accordingly:
 
B&H will be closed Friday April 6th in observance of Passover and will reopen on Sunday April 15th at 10:00AM EDT. Orders must be placed by 4:00PM EDT on Thursday April 5th in order to ship before the Holiday. Orders placed after this time will ship when we reopen.
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 3/28/2012 9:04:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Nikon ViewNX 2.3.1 is now available for download: USA | Europe
 
Modifications enabled with version 2.3.1:
 
• Support for the Coolpix S30 has been added.
 
• When images to which voice messages recorded using the Leave a message and Leave a reply options built into the COOLPIX S30, have been attached are transferred with Nikon Transfer 2 Ver. 2.3.1, the two voice messages are transferred as a single audio file. The audio file will be created with the same file name as the image, but with the extension “.wav”.
Posted to: Nikon News
Category: Nikon ViewNX
Post Date: 3/27/2012 11:55:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Canon U.S.A.:
 
CANON U.S.A. ANNOUNCES GOOGLE CLOUD PRINT™ SUPPORT FOR SELECT PIXMA PRINTERS
 
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 27, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that the PIXMA MG8220 and MG6220 Wireless1 Photo All-In-One (AIO) inkjet photo printers now support Google Cloud Print™ 2 allowing users to print from Gmail™ and Google Docs™ on a mobile device and from the Google Chrome™ browser for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome devices. With Google Cloud Print, you can print from wherever you are, from applications you use every day. You can even share your home and work printers with anyone you choose. The PIXMA MX892 Wireless Office AIO inkjet printer is also scheduled to provide the same support in May.
 
“We are excited to work with Google on the addition of this connectivity feature on our PIXMA printers,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “In today’s world, we understand that consumers are always interested in additional connectivity options to print their important photos and documents and we are more than happy to be able to deliver this new feature to our users today.”
 
"We designed the Google Cloud Print service to make it easy to print to a home or work printer directly from any app or device that you use every day," said Mike Jazayeri, Product Management Director at Google. "It's exciting to see that the latest range of Canon printers are Google Cloud Print ready, offering people a seamless printing experience."
 
For further details on Google Cloud Print™ and the compatible PIXMA printers, please visit
 
www.usa.canon.com/cloudprint
 
B&H carries Canon PIXMA Printers.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 3/27/2012 9:16:43 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 26, 2012
Still waiting for your 5D III to arrive? Wait no longer:
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens in stock.
 
If you don't need the lens, consider reselling it.
 
This kit is also in stock at Adorama and BuyDig.com.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/26/2012 4:51:00 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Sans press release, the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR Nikkor Lens has shown up on Nikon UK's website. Here are the details:
 
Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR Nikkor Lens
 
High-powered DX-format zoom lens with wide-angle to super-telephoto reach. Built to handle diverse situations, this all-round lens offers an ultra-high 16.7x zoom ratio with an incredibly wide 18-300mm focal range.
 
Nikon’s second-generation Vibration Reduction system delivers sharp results, even when shooting handheld at the super-telephoto end of the range, and enables a steady image in the camera’s viewfinder. The high quality optical design boasts three ED glass elements for outstanding sharpness and contrast. A practical zoom-lock switch keeps the lens secure when not in use.
 
Incredibly versatile, this lens is perfect for travel, or for days when you only want to take one lens out with you.
 
Key Features

  • DX format 16.7x zoom lens with versatile 18-300mm focal range (FX/35mm equivalent:27 to 450mm)
  • Vibration Reduction II (VR II) stabilization system enables more flexible hand-held shooting and lets you use shutter speeds that are up to 4 stops slower.
  • Maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the telephoto end of the range.
  • Zoom-lock switch keeps the lens secure when not in use.
  • 9-blade rounded diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements blend together smoothly.
  • Three ED glass and three aspherical lens elements ensure high resolution and superior contrast.
  • SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for fast, whisper-quiet autofocus.
  • Compact and lightweight design for a lens with this range.

Specifications
 
Focal length: 18-300 mm
Maximum aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Minimum aperture: f/22-32
Lens construction: 19 elements in 14 groups (including 3 aspherical lens elements and 3 ED lens elements)
Angle of view: 76°-5°20'
Focusing: Nikon Internal Focusing (IF) System with autofocus controlled by Silent Wave Motor and separate focus ring for manual focus
Minimum focus distance: 300 mm focal length: 0.45 m (1.48 ft) from focal plane
Maximum reproduction ratio: 1/3.2x
No. of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
Filter-attachment size: 77 mm (P=0.75 mm)
Dimensions: Approx. 83 mm diameter x 120 mm (distance from camera lens mount flange)
Weight: Approx. 830 g (29.3 oz)

Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/26/2012 1:00:29 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
I am getting a lot of email asking about the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the image softness issue. Let me clarify what I'm seeing:
 
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is Delivering Very Sharp Images
 
There is a softness issue, but it appears to be completely isolated to the Canon Digital Photo Pro software's "High quality" RAW conversion algorithm.
 
You can see the sharp 5D III images in DPP's quick viewer and in the Edit window with preferences set to High speed. The issue appears to be completely in DPP's High quality processing algorithm.
 
Canon has been in touch with me again this morning and appears very eager to resolve the problem. My personal expectation is that the problem resolution will be in the form of a DPP update. The 5D III appears to be fine from my perspective. I have no intentions of returning my camera - I'm having far too much fun with it.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/26/2012 10:22:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Nikon UK:
 
Nikon UK can confirm a correction to the originally published recommended retail prices (RRP) on the D800, D800E and D4 products.
 
Due to a local internal systems error, the incorrect RRPs on the D800, D800E and D4 products were communicated in the UK and Irish markets at the time of announcement. The correct RRPs for the products should have been D4: £5289.99, D800: £2,599.99 and D800E: £2,899.99. We would like to apologise sincerely to our customers for this unfortunate mistake, which has been corrected with immediate effect. We know that there has been strong consumer interest in these products and a high level of pre-orders placed with retailers; Nikon will be honouring the original prices to retailers on all customer pre-orders placed before March 24th 2012.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/26/2012 8:59:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Adobe: Beginning today, "customers who purchase Creative Suite 5.5 (CS5.5) software will receive a complimentary upgrade to CS6 when it becomes available. No coupon code necessary, offer valid in North America and the European country stores listed below."
 
North America Store: Buy CS5.5 now and get CS6 at no additional cost. Offer ends May 6, 2012.
 
European Store: Buy CS5.5 now and get CS6 at no additional cost. Offer ends 6 May, 2012.
 
(Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, North America, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and The UK.)
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 3/26/2012 8:49:04 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, March 24, 2012
I've received lots of emails and have had more communication with Canon about the problem with Digital Photo Professional generating soft images from Canon EOS 5D Mark III RAW files.
 
There are currently two workarounds to this problem.
 
The first workaround involves changing the DPP "Viewing and saving RAW images" preference (in the "General settings" tab of the "Preferences" menu selection) from "High quality (recommended)" to "High speed". In High Speed mode, the noise reduction palette cannot be used and moiré correction is not performed, but 5D III images are rendered sharp. DPP's Quick Viewer (which displays 5D III images properly) displays images at high speed, so that this solution works is not surprising.
 
The second solution is to use a third party RAW converter - namely Adobe Camera Raw 6.7 RC. You can use ACR 6.7 RC to output DNG files for use in Lightroom 4 - which will not support the 5D III natively until a point release.
 
I do not plan to update the color block noise comparison on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review page until Canon corrects the problem because I can see a difference between High Speed and High Quality in my 5D II images. You can too - look for the false color in the "5D II Quick View" example that is not present in the "5D II Edit Window" example currently on the 5D III review page.
 
My case with Canon remains open and has been escalated. I'll let you know when I learn anything new about the 5D III DPP softness problem. Thanks to everyone that contributed to this post.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/24/2012 2:06:52 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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