Canon, Nikon, and Sony News for Jun 2015

 Tuesday, June 30, 2015
From Photoflex:
 
We have some very big news to share with you, our valued customers. Promark International, Inc., a leader in photographic tools, has added Photoflex to their growing family of brands. Together, Promark and Photoflex will focus on delivering high quality, industry-defining lighting solutions for photographers of all skill levels.
 
Here at Photoflex headquarters, business will go on as usual. Photoflex will continue to develop photographic lighting tools and work hard to meet a wider set of customer needs with the support of Promark International.
 
We look forward to growing the Photoflex brand and continuing the momentum we have gained over the last 30 years in the industry. Thank you for your continued support.
 
- Photoflex Team
 
Other PROMARK Brands
 
  • Photogenic Professional Lighting
  • Radiopopper
  • Norman
  • Smith-Victor Corporation
  • Speedotron
  • Quantum
  • Cool-Lux
  • Logan
  • Dot Line Corporation
B&H carries the Photoflex, Radiopopper, Photogenic, Smith-Victor, Cool-Lux, Norman, Speedotron, Quantum, Logan and Dot Line Corporation brands.
Category: Photoflex News
Post Date: 6/30/2015 2:52:13 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon has officially launched its recommended lenses list for use with the ultra-high resolution EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R DSLR cameras.
 
The following lenses are recommended by Canon for getting the best from the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R:
 
Zoom Lenses
 
Wide angle fixed focal lenses
 
Standard fixed focal length lenses
 
Telephoto fixed focal length lenses
 
Admittedly, there are a couple of things about the official list that leave us baffled. For one, why is the EF 70-200mm f/4L USM listed but not the newer EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM? The IS version of the lens is newer and produces just as good (if not slightly better) image quality.
 
For another, I can't understand why Canon would include the EF 50mm f/1.8 II (and to a lesser degree, the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM) in the recommended lenses list. I personally would not consider their wide-open image quality to be optimal for such a demanding sensor. [Sean]
 
Note: I changed "EF 200mm f/2L II USM" to "EF 200mm f/2L IS USM" because, of course, there is no such lens (I did not notice the discrepancy when posting but linked to the correct lens). It is our belief that it's a simple typo – the second "I" should have been an "S." Below is a screenshot of the source document that also contained the error.
 
Canon 5Ds Recommended List Source

Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/30/2015 10:13:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
In this episode of B&H Wedding Tips, professional NYC Wedding Photographer Ryan Brenizer shares his post production workflow from start to finish. Ryan walks us through his best practices including his post wedding media management, Lightroom tips, and tricks to sharing your work with your clients.
 
Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan (USD$9.99 per month) includes Lightroom CC across desktop, web and mobile, Photoshop CC and Photoshop Mix.
Post Date: 6/30/2015 9:30:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
While the Canon EOS 5Ds Review (coming soon) will feature a complete review of the 5Ds cameras (including the R functionally), the Canon EOS 5Ds R Review takes a closer look at the differences between these two cameras.
 
Posting the 5Ds R differences review before the full 5Ds review may seem backwards, but ... we know most of what these cameras are about already. They are based on the 5D Mark III (including the AF system) with a new sensor and some new features. The resolution, noise and sounds are now known and available on the site. With these results all being excellent, for many (including me), the decision remaining to be made was between the 5Ds and the 5Ds R.
 
The 5Ds R review focuses on those differences and especially on moiré and the commonness of its occurance. I'll reveal my personal choice at the end.
 
While B&H has had the Canon EOS 5Ds in stock since the first delivery was received, the Canon EOS 5Ds R preorders have not yet been completely filled. If this is the camera you want, reserve your place in line.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/30/2015 9:14:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 29, 2015

 
From the Canon Australia YouTube Channel:
 
Shooting light trails is a great reason to get out of auto mode and start shooting manually. It's also a good way for new photographers to begin to use their creativity.
 
In this tutorial Greg Sullavan, from Canon Collective, talks through how to prepare for, and capture, a night light trails photograph.
 
Use his tips and tricks to win a Canon EOS 750D. All you need to do is watch the tutorial and submit your best light trail shots at canon.com.au/photobootcamp.
 
Greg's Tips
 
  • Use a long exposure of 30 seconds
  • Use aperture f/22
  • Use ISO 100 for less noise
  • Use a sturdy tripod
  • Try using a lens hood
  • Use a cable release or the camera's self-timer
  • Shoot with a friend to look out for one another
B&H carries tripods and Canon shutter remotes.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2015 2:18:30 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Zacuto Vimeo Channel:
 
Zacuto announces the customizable Gratical X micro-OLED EVF! The Gratical X is perfect for the shooter who wants only a few key features.
 
Users start with the bright and brilliant Gratical electronic viewfinder and then customize to fit their individual needs. The Gratical X will start at an attractive price point of $1650. Upon activation, the unit will have HDMI and SDI inputs, display adjustments, color bars, blue gun.
 
Additional software features like pixel to pixel zoom, peaking, false color, LUTs, zebras, frame store, HDMI and SDI outputs and many more can be purchased a la carte. Zacuto will also offer feature bundles with built in savings.
 
B&H has the Zacuto Gratical X available for preorder with an expected availability later next month. B&H also carries the feature-packed Zacuto Gratical HD and Gratical HD Kits.
Category: Zacuto News
Post Date: 6/29/2015 12:50:38 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
While the Canon EOS 5Ds review has been my highest priority, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens review has not been derailed and is also approaching completion.
 
One of the biggest differences between the 50mm f/1.8 II and the 50mm f/1.8 STM lenses, as their names imply, is the AF system implementation and the audibility differences of these systems is especially notable. The 50mm f/1.8 STM's focusing sound is greatly improved/reduced over the 50mm f/1.8 II presence-announcing buzz.
 
While much can be discerned from this post's image (the STM lens AF sound is depicted on the left), the difference that really matters will best be determined by your ears (turn up your speaker volume):
 
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens AF Sound Compared to f/1.8 II
 
The perfect lens AF sound would of course be a flat line, but ... AF moves parts and moving parts tend to make at least some noise. In this case, the STM is audible and audible enough for on-camera mics to pick up. The sounds in this example are from an identical near full extents change in both directions at full speed. As with some other STM lenses, a slow change in focus distance (such as when recording video) results in a noticeably quieter sound.
 
Much more to come.
 
The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens, Canon's least expensive lens, is in stock at B&H.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2015 9:10:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
Last month, real estate photographer Scott Hargis showed us what kind of gear he takes with him on every shoot. In this video, Scott gives us a behind-the-scenes look at putting that gear to use while photographing a home interior.
Post Date: 6/29/2015 9:05:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens Review.
 
This is the lens that Canon shows mounted in the 5Ds and 5Ds R product images. There is a good reason for that choice.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens in stock with a $100.00 MIR available through July 4th.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/29/2015 8:03:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 26, 2015
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R have been added to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens review.
 
Many more 5Ds R lens tests are coming.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens in stock with a $200.00 MIR available.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/26/2015 8:44:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Tamron USA:
 
A notice regarding compatibility issues with the EOS 5Ds and the EOS 5DsR, and availability of firmware update service
 
JUNE 2015
 
Dear users and potential purchasers of Tamron interchangeable lenses for Canon:
 
Thank you for being a valued customer of Tamron products. We have learned that the AF functions of the following interchangeable lenses for Canon do not function in Live View mode when used on the EOS 5Ds and EOS 5DsR which went on sale in June 2015. We sincerely apologize to all users and potential purchasers for any inconvenience the issue may cause.
 
Firmware update service is already available as this is the same case when EOS Rebel T6s and the EOS Rebel T6i were released. Also, Model A011 with the latest firmware for panning shot treatment is compatible and functions properly with these new cameras.
 
*Please see below for the previous firmware update service announcement regarding EOS Rebel T6s and EOS Rebel T6i and the firmware update service for SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD (Model A011) for panning shot.
 
Affected models (for Canon)
 
  • SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A012)
  • SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A00)
  • SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD (Model A011)
  • SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD (Model F004)
  • 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD (Model A010)
  • 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO (Model B016)
For those who require firmware update service, please contact our service department.
 
Sincerely,
Tamron USA
 
Note: This overwrite service will only apply to authorized Tamron products purchased in the USA. No service will be offered to the “gray-market products”, such products bought from an unauthorized Tamron USA dealer. Please contact retailer if the original purchase was made from an unauthorized dealer.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/26/2015 8:16:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Watch how San Francisco-based design director Bradley G. Munkowitz uses lazers, smoke, colored filters and falling crystal dust to create what will soon be the ubiquitous Windows 10 hero image.
 
For historical context, Windows XP hero image is generally regarded as one of the most viewed photographs in history. Below you can see photographer Charles O'Rear describe how he captured the familiar image.
 
Post Date: 6/26/2015 7:08:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, June 25, 2015
Let's make some noise with the EOS 5Ds. We already talked about one important 5Ds noise factor (high ISO noise), but the audible noise a camera makes can be quite important in quiet situations. When the photographer wishes to remain unnoticed, such as at a wedding or when photographing wildlife, a quiet shutter release is greatly appreciated. The good news is that the 5Ds performs at a noticeably lower decibel than its predecessor.
 
Following are links to MP3 files capturing "The Sounds of the Canon EOS 5Ds". Turn up the volume!
 
Canon EOS 5Ds One Shot Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Burst Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Slow Burst Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Silent Mode
Canon EOS 5Ds Silent Burst Mode
Burst Comparison: 5D III, 5Ds, 7D II and 1DX (3.5 second clips of each)
 
It is not hard to figure out which cameras included in the burst comparison will garner the most attention. Notably, you will hear that the 5Ds is quieter than the 5D III with a less-sharp sound response. Designed to reduce vibration, the new mirror mechanism is also responsible for quieter performance.
 
The 5D III's silent mode was very useful and the 5Ds retains the same ability with a similar sound level.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 5Ds
Canon EOS 5Ds R
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds in stock and the Canon EOS 5Ds R is available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 11:38:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
My Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R cameras are here and as you expected, they are practically glued to my hands. These cameras are delivering simply amazing image quality.
 
I will have lots of additional info to share about this camera in the very near future, but once again, I kept notes as I unpacked and configured three copies of the world's highest resolution DSLR. Following are the 36 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 5Ds / 5Ds R ready for use.
 
  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. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk. 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. Install 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. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare A+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. 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)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H1(12800), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-6400
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  19. 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.)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  21. 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)
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Anti-flicker shoot: Enable
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Grid display: 3x3
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus (same reason)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  34. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  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
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. 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. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a 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
 
Canon EOS 5Ds
Canon EOS 5Ds R
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 10:33:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
We have confirmed that there are counterfeit Speedlite 600EX-RT flash products in circulation in the market. It has been reported that these products are being sold through various online marketplace websites. These counterfeit products have not been designed or manufactured by Canon, but fraudulently display the Canon logo, and may also fraudulently display other Canon and third party trademarks. Furthermore, these counterfeit products have not been manufactured or tested under the safety standards established by Canon, so we are unable to make representations concerning their safe operation, and there is a possibility that using one of these counterfeit products may cause adverse affects such as generation of fire and/or smoke.
 
The safety of our consumers is our utmost concern. Unlike genuine Canon products, counterfeit products may not meet government and industry safety standards. To ensure that you’re buying genuine Canon products, we recommend purchasing from a Canon Authorized Dealer or directly from Canon. Please be advised that Canon is not responsible for any malfunction, accident, or damage related to the use of any counterfeit product.
 
It has also been confirmed that the radio transmission wireless shooting function incorporated into genuine Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT flashes is not incorporated into the counterfeit product. This missing feature will limit the performance of the counterfeit flash, as compared with a genuine Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT flash.
 
We truly appreciate your attention to this matter and thank you for being a valued Canon customer.
 
The following tips may help you to identify a counterfeit Speedlite 600EX-RT flash. Please note, however, that other counterfeits may display other, or additional, differences from genuine Canon products. As such, you should contact Canon using the contact information below if you have any questions about whether you are using a genuine Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT flash.
 
Canon Speedlite 600EX RT Counterfeit Overall View
  • The counterfeit product fraudulently displays the Canon logo and may fraudulently display other Canon and third party trademarks.

Canon Speedlite 600EX RT Counterfeit Foot Lock
  • The position to release the mounting foot lock lever is different.
  • The position to release the mounting foot lock lever on a genuine unit is towards the left (see the green arrow), and the position to release the mounting foot lock lever on a counterfeit unit is towards the center (see the red arrow).

Canon Speedlite 600EX RT Counterfeit LCD
  • The display on the Custom Function screen is different. Follow the steps in the Speedlite 600EX-RT Instruction Manual to access the Custom Function screen.

Thank you for using Canon products.
 
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc
 
B&H sells genuine Canon Speedlite flashes.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 9:23:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Not long ago, the Samsung UK website was one of the better sources for obtaining information regarding Samyang Lenses. Why? As the Samyang UK site was authored by English-speaking natives, it was much easier to read (the press releases were translated very well) compared to some of the other international Samyang sites.
 
Over the past year or so, the main Samyang Optics site has gotten much better for English-speaking individuals and has been redesigned with a great look. The main site has gotten so good, in fact, that it looks as if Samyang decided to go a different direction with their UK-oriented site.
 
Just think, if Samyang had made this change around April 1, no one would have thought I was being serious in reporting this change. But truthfully, I'm just not creative enough to have come up with this.
 
Ramen, anyone?
Category: Samyang News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 9:02:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the Canon Professional Network:
 
If you are a photographer under the age of 24 or in full-time photographic education, or have just graduated, you have until Tuesday 14 July 2015 to apply online for this year’s Ian Parry Scholarship. A £3,500 prize plus incredible career opportunities await you...
 
Photojournalist Ian Parry died, aged 24, while on assignment for The Sunday Times during the Romanian revolution in 1989. Aidan Sullivan, The Sunday Times’ picture editor at the time plus Ian’s friends and family, established the Scholarship to honour his memory and help young emerging photojournalists.
 
Says last year’s winner, Alejandro Cegarra from Venezuela: “Three years ago when I started my photography career in a Venezuelan newspaper, I never thought that I would be where I am today and I wouldn’t be where I am without the scholarship. It has been a unique opportunity in every way.”
 
“The Scholarship put my work on the map: assignments, editors, you meet photographers who you admire, and that makes you grow. It is like finally opening your eyes.”
 
Cegarra added: “Ian Parry’s brother told me ‘No matter what you do or who you are in the future, from now on you will always be part of the Parry family’ and since then I always try to honour those beautiful words and the Ian Parry legacy.”
 
The Scholarship’s founder and driving force, Aidan Sullivan, added: “It has been remarkable to look back over 25 years and see what the Ian Parry Scholarship has achieved, how it has managed to help so many photographers in the early stages of their careers and has become one of the most important, widely respected and renowned award for young photojournalists.”
 
“We have a long list of alumni who are now amongst the most influential photographers of their generation: Marcus Bleasdale, Jonas Bendiksen, Simon Roberts, Sebastien Liste and just last year Alejandro Cegarra was added to that list.”
 
“Alejandro visited Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, last year and sat alongside our Patron Don McCullin at a press conference to mark the 25th anniversary of Ian’s death. Little did he know then that within just 12 months he would join Reportage by Getty Images and be on his way back to Perpignan with his own exhibition.”
 
“That is how important this award is and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved – and I know that Ian would too.”
 
How to enter
Entrants must submit examples of their work from their portfolio and a brief synopsis of a project they would undertake if they won. The prize consists of £3,500 towards their chosen assignment and £500 to those awarded Highly Commended and Commended.
 
The benefits of winning this prestigious prize are considerable. World Press Photo automatically accepts the winner onto its final list of nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass, held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This is a significant prize for any photographer and along with the support of Getty Images, Canon Europe and The Sunday Times Magazine – which publishes all the finalist’s work – the scholarship provides an excellent launch into a professional career in photography.
 
For more information and how to apply go to the Ian Parry Scholarship website.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/25/2015 8:23:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 
In this video, B&H provides some hands on insights regarding the Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Mic System.
 
This looks very similar to the RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker Kit that was released earlier this year (though the AT System 10 came out first). I've been researching audio recording options over the past few months and I've been weighing the pros and cons of this type of setup. I'm not quite sure what I'll eventually end up with, but Audio-Technica System 10 is now high on the list of possibilities. [Sean]
 
B&H carries the Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Mic System.
Post Date: 6/24/2015 2:30:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From Nikon Europe:
 
#Nikonpresents the work of urban explorer & photographer, David de Rueda. David had an ambition: to explore abandoned places across Europe and photograph them in a way that had never been done before. Nikon supported his goal and after 44 days of exploring 9 countries he came back with incredible photographs. Stay tuned for more!
 
B&H carries the Nikon D810 DSLR camera.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 6/24/2015 1:46:16 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
ISO noise test results have been added to the Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R review pages.
 
As the rule goes with today's technology, along with a higher density sensor comes increased noise levels. Design a sensor with a pixel density equal to that of current APS-C sensors and ... one should expect noise levels that are similar to those in APS-C DSLRs. Make no mistake, Canon has not marketed this camera for its clean low light/high ISO performance and that is reflected in the 5Ds' max ISO setting that is lower than what is found even in many current APS-C models. Canon initially indicated that the 5Ds' noise levels would be better than the 5D II and 7D II, but not as good as the 5D III.
 
My personal expectation was that, when compared at the pixel level, the 5Ds noise levels would be close to those of the not-long-prior released high end EOS 7D II APS-C DSLR and when the 50.6 MP image was scaled down to 5D III pixel dimensions, the 5Ds would have an advantage, producing noise levels similar to or better than the 5D Mark III.
 
As I was very anxious to see the 5Ds noise test results, this test was a near-first order of business when the cameras arrived and these test results can be found in the noise comparison tool. Note that the "Standard" results in these tests include no noise reduction. This is not a default setting, but these results show what the camera itself can do. The color blocks, having areas of solid color, make ISO noise very apparent. If you can't see a difference in noise when comparing the color blocks between cameras, you are not likely to see any difference in your images. If the difference is tiny, there are likely other camera features that will be more influential in your decision making process.
 
Getting an important comparison out of the way: the noise difference between the 5Ds and 5Ds R is indiscernible. Noise is not a decision factor for choosing between these two cameras.
 
A large number of photographers looking for the resolution offered by this camera will be capturing commercial, studio, portrait, landscape, still life, architecture and a great many other subjects that are most frequently captured at ISO 100 or 200 and those images will be very clean. A very small amount of noise can be seen at ISO 400. Noise levels basically double as full stop ISO range settings are traversed with noise becoming strong but tolerable at 3200. Though this camera's highest ISO setting is 12800 (H), the noise levels are such that ISO 12800 images can be usable for some purposes. That is something I haven't been able to say about the highest ISO settings of any DSLR in a very long time.
 
Some may be disappointed that the 5Ds only goes to 12800 while cameras such as the 7D II have much higher ISO settings available, but ... bragging right appears to be the only useful value for the 7D II's ISO 51200 setting (or ISO 25600 for that matter). I can't think of a use I have for an image with that much noise.
 
If you were one of the few that use APS-C ISO 25600 or ISO 51200, simply dial in another stop or two of brightness while post processing. The 5Ds ISO 12800 images can be brightened during post processing to achieve the same 7D II ISO 51200 equivalent with similar amounts of noise. See the "Simulated High ISO" result set in the noise comparison tool for these examples. Brighten 5Ds ISO 12800 images by three stops to get to the 5D Mark III max ISO 102400 equivalent. Then downsize the 5Ds results to the 5D III pixel dimensions and the results are similar (and equally unusable to me). I applaud Canon for designing a realistic max ISO setting into this camera.
 
After getting over the striking resolution difference between the 7D II and 5Ds, it is apparent that these two bodies have very similar amounts of noise at the pixel level with the 5Ds having a slight advantage at the highest settings. Downsize the 5Ds results to 7D II dimensions and the 5Ds has at least 1 stop of advantage.
 
When compared at native resolutions, 5Ds images are noisier than 5D III images. The differences, especially at higher ISO settings, are less than 1 stop. Down-sized to 5D III pixel dimension (using DPP, see "Standard Down-Sized to 5D III" in noise tool), 5Ds noise levels are essentially equal to full frame 5D III noise levels and even slightly better at the highest ISO settings. So, while Canon's is not promoting this camera for its low light capabilities, I see it as one of the best options available with output size being comparable.
 
Additional 5Ds and 5Ds R example sets available in the noise comparison tool include "JPG No NR" (JPG Capture, Standard Picture Style, No Noise Reduction), JPG STD NR (JPG Capture, Standard Picture Style, Standard Noise Reduction), RAW STD NR (RAW Capture, Standard Picture Style, Standard Noise Reduction) and MSNR (Multi-Shot Noise Reduction). All four of these sets utilize Canon's default USM sharpness settings that are too strong for my taste (though the increased default sharpness will make softer lenses appear sharp). Look for the bright borders to the black lines when comparing to the "Standard" results – the color blocks should not have halos around them. On the positive side, this sharpening appears better at higher ISO settings, with image details remaining sharp while noise is significantly removed.
 
I use the Neutral Picture Style in-camera with RAW capture because it applies a lower contrast tone curve to images, providing a better picture of the camera's available dynamic range on the histogram shown on the LCD. Neutral Picture Style results appear somewhat dull. There is a time for the use of the Neutral Picture Style in production, but I usually change my RAW images to the Standard PS immediately after importing them and then adjust sharpness to a lower level.
 
The three sets of with-noise reduction samples all utilize Canon's default "Standard" reduction level. The 5Ds offers three levels of in-camera noise reduction and unlimited levels are available in the various post processing options. The RAW vs. in-camera JPG noise reduction samples are not identical, but I don't see a compelling reason to use in-camera JPG noise reduction over having the ability to adjust noise reduction during post-processing. Noise reduction can noticeably eliminate noise, but the collateral damage is elimination of some subject details along with the noise. Sharpness can also be decreased. Ideal is to dial in the right amount of noise reduction for your particular image. I seldom use noise reduction in the lower ISO range.
 
The Multi-shot Noise Reduction (MSNR) is an additional in-camera option available in many of the latest EOS models including the 5Ds. MSNR merges information from multiple (four) exposures taken in a full-frame-rate burst into a reduced noise image. The concept makes a lot of sense. MSNR provides a remarkable one stop or more of noise reduction, but ... I still have not found a compelling use for this feature.
 
The downsides to Multi-Shot Noise Reduction include: MSNR is currently available only with JPG output (I would like to see this feature added to Canon's Digital Photo Pro software for RAW capture processing - perhaps as another HDR preset). Multi-Shot Noise Reduction is not so useful with moving subjects (or with a moving camera). Long exposure NR, Dust Delete Data, Multiple Exposure and HDR Mode must be set to off to enable MSNR. The 5Ds reverts back to Standard NR in Auto/Basic zone modes, during video recording, in Bulb mode and when the camera is powered off. Flash is not supported in MSNR mode. After the 4 shot burst is captured, the camera remains "busy" for a noticeable period of time while processing the merged image. So, while this feature is a nice idea, its limitations make it less useful in real-world applications. I am far more likely to use a low ISO setting with a longer exposure when shooting stationary subject from a tripod.
 
EOS 5Ds ISO settings are available in 1/3 stop settings from 100 through 6400 with extended L (50) and H (12800) settings also available.
 
Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R Noise Performance Summary
 
In summary, the 5Ds and 5Ds R (equally) deliver very clean, smooth results at low ISO settings despite their incredible resolution. While these cameras are more similar to the latest APS-C models in their pixel-level high ISO noise, downsizing the ultra-high resolution images to match any other class-leading full frame, low noise-level camera shows the 5Ds to be at least an equal in performance. While the 5Ds may not take low light performance to a whole new level, low light performance is not sacrificed and this camera competes strongly with the best available in this regard.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/24/2015 8:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 23, 2015
June 23, 2015 – Manfrotto, world leader in the photography and imaging equipment and accessories industry, announces the launch of the new XPRO Ball Head. Designed for passionate, advanced hobbyist photographers and experienced professionals, the new XPRO Ball Head completes the XPRO Heads range that is dedicated to the new 190 and 055 tripods.
 
It ensures three features essential to photographers: extreme precision, thanks to its Triple Locking System; portability, with a hard-wearing magnesium body; simplicity and convenience, thanks to its 200PL and Top Lock camera plates.
 
PRECISION
Introducing a new sphere lock mechanism, and triple locking system, the XPRO Ball Head is a state of the art head in the Manfrotto ball heads range. The triple locking system guarantees the camera position stability and avoids drifting. It consists of three wedges which apply pressure to the sphere to lock it in position, as the ball lock lever is rotated. The new polymer rings mean that photographers can count on extreme accuracy, and together with the sphere’s PTFE treatment the head ensures smooth, accurate and less jerky camera movement. The innovative sprung system means that, should the lever butt against something during the locking movement, it is possible to pull the lever and rotate to avoid any interference and reposition so it is ready for use. Finally, the levelling bubble helps the user level compositions precisely reducing post-production work.
 
PORTABILITY
Its magnesium alloy body, together with the new hollow sphere, enables the XPRO Ball Head to guarantee high payload performance while maintaining an extremely light structure. It weighs a mere 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs), but can support up to 10kg (22 lbs) of payload.
 
SIMPLICITY & CONVENIENCE
To match various needs, the XPRO Ball Head comes in two plate versions, each with a specific plate. The 200PL is the most common Manfrotto plate: its compact size and lightweight aluminium construction allow it to stay constantly attached under the camera – ideal for advanced hobbyists who are looking for a practical, easy to use product. The Top Lock is an innovative solution for experienced professionals, who need to feel totally secure even when using heavy and expensive high-end camera gear. The XPRO Ball Head is available in two versions that are distinguishable by the coloured finish on their magnesium body: the black version comes with the 200PL, while the grey version comes with the safe and rapid Top Lock System, the MSQ6PL (Arca-Swiss compatible) plate. The new XPRO Ball Head’s design follows the iconic new styling that unites Manfrotto’s entire offering for advanced hobbyists and professionals – while boasting groundbreaking technology, further proof of Manfrotto’s commitment to research and development.
 
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Manfrotto XPRO Ball Heads are available now from authorized resellers. The Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Quick-Release System retails for an MSRP of $149.88 while the MHXPRO-BHQ6 XPRO Ball Head with Top Lock Quick-Release System retails for an MSRP of $199.88.
 
B&H carries the Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Heads.
Category: Manfrotto News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 5:34:26 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Kenko Tokina USA:
 
JUNE 23, 2015 – Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is excited to announce the new Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens designed for use with Canon and Nikon full-frame sensor DSLR cameras.
 
Tokina’s latest addition to its family gives full-frame photographers a 24mm wide-angle to 70mm moderate telephoto lens with a fast F/2.8 aperture at an affordable price.
 
The new groundbreaking proprietary optical design uses three precision molded all-glass aspherical lens elements to achieve excellent contrast, sharpness, and corrects for spherical aberrations. One of these elements is very special and difficult to manufacture. G09, is made from Super-Low Dispersion (SD) glass and is a large sized aspherical element.
 
These lens elements also yield even illumination across the whole image sensor.
 
The Tokina 24-70MM lens also uses three SD (super-low Dispersion, “FK01” and FK03”) glass elements in the rear groups to control chromatic aberrations.
 
All these specialized lens elements work in consort to yield maximum resolution to match the 50-megapixel DSLR cameras entering the market.
 
The fast constant F/2.8 aperture makes viewing and auto focusing possible in very low light situations while keeping some flexibility for setting the shutter speed.
 
In addition to excellent optics, the lens incorporates a fast moving SDM (Silent Drive-Module) motor to greatly reduce AF noise making it one of Tokina’s quickest and quietest auto-focusing lenses to date.
 
Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the lens mount for manual focusing. The lens is also designed to stand up to the rigors of daily use by photographers in a wide variety of shooting conditions and environments.
 
Specifications:
 
Mount AvailabilityCanon, Nikon
Focal Length24-70MM
Full Frame Sensor Comp’Yes
Maximum ApertureF/2.8
Minimum ApertureF/22
Optical Construction15 Elements / 11 Groups
CoatingsMulti-layer coatings
Angle of View84.20° – 34.49°
Minimum Focus Distance14.96 in. (0.38m)
Reproduction Ratio1
Zooming SystemRotary Zoom
Number of Diaphragm Blades9
Filter Size82mm
Maximum Outer Diameter3.52 in. (89.6mm)
Dimensions4.23 in. (107.5mm L) x 3.52 in. (89.6mm W)
Weight35.63 oz. (1,010g)
Lens HoodBH-822 Included with lens (pictured)
ETAAugust
Price$999.00

B&H has the Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 FX Lens available for preorder with an expected availability at the "End of August."
Category: Tokina News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 2:54:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Canon USA:
 
Colorful Balloons Create Vivid Imagery in Bright New Mexico Sky that Inspire Visitors to Capture Dreamlike Moments with Canon See Impossible
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., JUNE 23, 2015 – Filling Albuquerque's skies for a picture perfect moment, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that it is the Presenting Sponsor for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a world-renowned attraction and destination from Oct. 3-11, 2015 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As part of the sponsorship, Canon will present the Opening Day Mass Ascension that highlights the launch of 550 colorful hot air and gas balloons. The Company will also present the spectacular Night Magic Glow, where balloons light up the night sky on the second Saturday of the Balloon Fiesta. To mark the beginning of this significant three-year sponsorship, a Canon See Impossible balloon will fly through the sky.
 
"We are thrilled to have Canon come onboard as the Presenting Sponsor. We look forward to this partnership creating exciting opportunities for our guests and community," said Balloon Fiesta board president, Mike Rice.
 
As the Official Imaging Company of the Balloon Fiesta, Canon will host hands-on activities to allow attendees to experience the wide array of its photographic and printing products, and will provide educational experiences to help attendees see impossible and capture photos and videos like never before. Additionally, Canon is collaborating with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to present the Cindy Petrehn Memorial Photo Contest, where attendees can share and submit their favorite photographs of the luminous event.
 
"As one of the most photographed events in the world, being the presenting sponsor of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a natural fit for us," said Eliott Peck, senior vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "Our sponsorship is a testament to our commitment to the local Albuquerque community and our customers. Through this initiative, we want to inspire hundreds of thousands of attendees to showcase their creativity and learn how the right tools can help preserve memorable moments for years to come."
 
Want to watch the the balloons soar above Albuquerque? Expedia can help you get your travel plans in order.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 1:30:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Venus Optics:
 
The first 1:1 Macro lens with a 110° angle of view. It offers an impactful and unprecendented macro photography experience.
 
Anhui China, Jun 12, 2015 – Venus Optics, the Chinese camera lenses manufacturer who had launched the world’s first 2:1 Macro Lens in last Sept, has just released the world’s widest Macro lens for full frame cameras, Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angled 1:1 Macro Lens.
 
The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens is the first lens in the market which posseses a ultra wide angle of view and 1:1 Macro ability. This allows photographers from around the world to start experiencing the rather undeveloped field of ‘Wide Angle Macro Photography’ without using an extension tube. Macro Lenses currently in the market tends to have a mid to long focal length and it limits users to take very close-up shots on the insect or flowers, without showing much of the background details like its habitat or environment.
 
The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens features an ultra wide angle of view of 110 degrees with 1:1 maximum magnification. Photographers can focus very close to the subject and let the foreground dominates in the photo but at the same time, have the background telling viewers about where and how the subject lives. You picture will immdiately become very informative and intriguing.
 
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f 4 Wide Angle Macro Lens Sample Image

Full Resolution Samples (see Update)
Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3 | Image 4 | Image 5 | Image 6
 
The lens can also serve as an excellent ultra-wide angle lenses with infinity focus for cameras with full frame sensors. A shift mechanism is added at the rear end of the lens with a maximum adjustment of +/- 6mm, which is extremely useful for landscape/architecture photography for distortion correction.
 
The lens houses with 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 pieces of High Refractive elements and 1 piece of Extra-low dispersion elements to deliver crystal sharpness both in the center and the edge. Barrel Distortion was also carefully controlled. 14 pieces of aperture blades form a close-to-circular aperture, capable of creating creamy shallow depth of view. The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Sony FE and Pentax K mounts are available.
 
Product Specifications
 
Focal Length15mm
Maximum Aperturef/4
Minimum Aperture f/32
Angle of View110 degrees (FF) 85 degrees (APS-C)
Format CompatibilityFull Frame
Shift (for APS-C sensors only) +/- 6 mm
Lens Structure12 elements in 9 groups
(High Refractive Elements x 3pcs, Extra-low Disperson Elements x 1pc)
Aperture Blades 14
Min. working distance0.47 cm (1:1)
Min. shooting distance12 cm
Max. Magnification Ratio1:01
FocusManual Focus
Filter Thread77mm
Dimensions83.8 x 64.7 mm
Weight410g
MountsCanon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Sony FE

Pricing and Availability
The Laowa 15mm f/4 wide-angle macro lens will be available in late July at authorized resellers. The recommended retail price is at USD $479.00.
Post Date: 6/23/2015 11:12:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Because the new Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R have such extreme resolution, image quality test results from these cameras show only a small subset of the test chart details compared to even the highest resolution camera previously included in this tool. I lamented about the loss of details yesterday and promised to work on a solution. My first pass at this solution is now live.
 
For any results captured with the 5Ds or 5Ds R cameras, an additional three crops are presented below the original three. This strategy allows the new cameras to be integrated into the existing tool while preserving the integrity of the previously existing results. The new crops include the numbers from the chart that are just outside of the original center, mid-frame and corner crops.
 
You can test drive the enhancement here. Feedback and better ideas are welcomed!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 8:21:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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