Canon, Nikon and Sony News for Jan 2017 Report News & Deals  ►

 Tuesday, January 31, 2017
One of the first steps in using a new camera is to learn to process the RAW images it produces. I have shared my decision process and many comparison images on the Sony a7R II Review page.
 
Even if you have no interest in the Sony cameras, you may find the comparison interesting. More coming soon.
 
B&H has the Sony a7R II in stock with a $300.00 rebate. Also, for a huge bargain, trade in any camera or lens (even something of very low value) and get an additional $480.00 off of this camera (in addition to the trade-in value) or a significant amount off of many other Sony products.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 1/31/2017 11:35:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The team over at LensRentals has posted a teardown of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens.
 
From the LensRentals Blog:
As with most new lenses, a Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II made it’s way back to the repair department for an initial tear-down. I know there’s some randomness as to what we tear down, but we have some reasons for doing these. Sometimes, like with this new Canon, it’s simply because we know Lensrentals is going to stock a lot of them and we need to take a look inside to see what is likely to break and what parts we may want to order. And other times, like with this new Canon, it’s because there’s some new technology inside we want to take a look at.
 
And, of course, almost all the time these days, there’s some aphasic marketing terminology that leaves Aaron and I looking at each other wondering “what are they trying to say that is.” This time it was “NANO USM technology.” Did that mean there were little nanobots in there focusing the motors? Or that the focus group only had to move nanometers? The problem seemed to have been compounded because some retail and review sites were claiming it had a stepper motor, a ring USM, or both. That’s what happens, marketing department, when you make up words, nobody understands without explaining what you mean.
 
Looking inside seemed a good way to clarify that. Though Canon did tell what they meant a little bit, but nobody read it. The NANO USM focusing motor made its debut in the Canon 18-135 f/3.5–5.6 IS NANO USM lens last year, but not many people talked about it. It’s also discussed in Canon’s Knowledge Base NANO USM Article, but not many people read that. The NANO USM motor is a different focusing system for Canon, although manufacturers have used similar linear piezo systems.
 
And, as always, we wanted to see what engineering goodness Canon had inside that polycarbonate lens shell. We’re geeks. Sweet design pushes our buttons, and Canon lenses have had a lot of sweet engineering lately. Even though this is a consumer price range lens, the new digital focusing meter was cool, and we wanted to see if some of the impressive engineering Canon had put in their new L series lenses was drifting down to the consumer grade models.
 
So let’s tear up, I mean let’s carefully dissect, the new Canon 70-300mm IS. But first, let’s take a quick look at that nice digital readout. I can’t say it’s all that useful, but the depth-of-field-by-aperture display is a nice touch.
See the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
B&H carries the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/31/2017 11:13:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon has released its FY 2016 financial results.
 
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/31/2017 8:43:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the Canon Professional Network:
The EOS-1D X Mark II has won rave reviews since its launch back in February 2016 and to help users get more from its incredibly advanced focusing system, Canon has produced a handy downloadable AF Setting Guidebook for smartphone and tablets.
Download the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II AF Setting Guidebook via the Canon Professional Network.
 
Update: Whoops! We previously posted the guidebook's availability when CPN made it available back in November. For some odd reason, the Guidebook available via CPN is only 12MB compared to 100MB for the CDLC version (maybe the CDLC version is significantly higher in resolution?).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/31/2017 5:46:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 30, 2017
by Sean Setters
 
A few short years ago, there were no super telephoto zooms featuring a 150-600mm focal length range. How things have changed...
 
In 2013, Tamron introduced the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, an affordable super telephoto zoom with a huge and versatile focal length range. The following year saw Sigma introducing a pair of similar lenses – the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports & Contemporary models. Now Tamron has released an update to their original lens, adding a "G2" tag to the name.
 
Considering that neither Canon nor Nikon makes a native 150-600mm lens, it seems a bit odd to be spoiled for choice in this particular market segment. However, that's exactly what's happened. The third party manufacturers have solidly filled a niche that the big two lens manufacturers have yet to fill.
 
With so many options available, you may be wondering which one is the right lens for you. Read on for our take on this interesting crop of lenses.
 
Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens and
Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens
 
The lens that started it all, the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens, burst onto the scenes in 2013 and was immediately a popular choice for sports and wildlife photographers whose budgets did not extend to the Canon big white telephoto lens range. Its price-to-performance ratio makes it an excellent value.
 
This lens is sharpest in the middle of its focal length range with less sharp results produced at its widest and longest extents. Unfortunately, this lens turns in its worst performance at 600mm, an important factor considering that most consumers purchasing a 150-600mm lens likely intend to utilize the longest focal length a significant percentage of the time.
 
The Tamron 150-600 G1's vignetting performance is typically mild for lenses in its class, showing roughly 1-1.5 stops of corner shading when used on full frame cameras. Flare is fairly well controlled. You may notice mild pincushion distortion if straight lines are near the long edges of your frame.
 
Important for a lens such is this is weather sealing, and indeed Tamron's initial 150-600mm offering has a level of weather sealing. Like three of the four lenses in this comparison, the Tamron 150-600 G1 features a 95mm front filter thread. Filters of this size are certainly not inexpensive, but... compatibility with filters makes for a more versatile lens. Some may find Tamron's zooming mechanism, which rotates in the opposite direction compared to Canon lenses (Nikon standard), a bit frustrating.
 
Focusing is probably the weakest aspect of this lens. The Tamron 150-600 G1 we tested sometimes failed to lock on to a subject in good light even with a high contrast and accuracy consistency was not stellar. The good news is that Tamron eventually issued a firmware update to improve focus performance. We did not retest the lens, but initial reports suggested the AF performance was improved. The bad news is that, unlike its successor, this lens will require a trip to Tamron's service department to modify the firmware should an upgrade be necessary.
 
One obvious advantage of this lens is its budget-friendly price.
 
In a rather surprising move, Tamron released the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Generation 2) Lens only 3 years after the introduction of its predecessor. Improvements included increased sharpness and contrast in the shorter and longer focal length ranges (with the middle focal length range remaining similar), an updated exterior design with metal construction, better AF and VC performance, a new zoom lock mechanism and compatibility with Tamron's new TAP-in console.
 
Differences in vignetting, flare and distortion are largely insignificant between the G2 version and its predecessor, which is somewhat surprising considering they feature different optical formulas. Lateral Chromatic Aberration (LatCA) is moderately apparent in both of these lenses, though correcting the issue in post processing is typically quite easy.
 
With the ability to update the lens' firmware and adjust focus parameters, the G2 version allows for more flexibility and peace of mind for its users. For those needing focal lengths beyond 600mm, the G2 has new dedicated 1.4x and 2x teleconverters available.
 
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens and
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
 
Sigma made a big splash in September 2014 when they announced two 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Global Vision lenses at the same time, featuring a Contemporary model and a higher grade Sports model.
 
Before we can quantify the differences between the Sigma models and Tamron models, we first need to see how the two Sigma models stack up against one another. Here's a brief rundown of the main differences:
 
  • Sports lens is roughly 2x more expensive
  • Sports lens has 24 elements in 16 groups while the Contemporary has 20 in 14
  • Sports lens has two FLD ("F" Low Dispersion with performance similar to fluorite) and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements vs. one FLD and three SLD glass elements
  • Sports lens is significantly more-ruggedly constructed – alloy barrel and lens hood vs. composite
  • Sports lens is moderately larger
  • Sports lens is significantly heavier – 6.96 lbs vs. 4.49 lbs (3.16kg vs. 2.04kg)
  • Sports lens has a larger, smoother manual focus ring
  • Sports lens has dust & splash proof "construction" while the Contemporary has a dust & splash proof "mount"
  • Sports lens has a stronger, non-removeable tripod ring vs. removeable on the Contemporary
  • Contemporary lens has a 1/3 stop wider aperture over a small subset of the focal length range
  • Contemporary lens utilizes smaller filters – 95mm vs. 105mm
From a sharpness perspective, the 150-600 Contemporary lens edges out its Sports counterpart until 600mm where the Sports version is slightly better. Full frame camera owners will experience roughly 2 stops of vignetting in the extreme corners with both lenses. However, the Sports lens' vignetting is more gradual and encroaches farther into the center of the frame compared to the Contemporary lens (which has sharper falloff around the edges). While both lenses turn in average performances when it comes to flare, the Contemporary version features more contrast when the sun is in the corner of the frame. Both lenses show very slight pincushion distortion over the entire focal length range.
 
A benefit shared by both lenses is compatibility with Sigma's USB Dock, allowing for easy end-user firmware updates and access to customizable focus options.
 
Feature Comparison & Max Aperture by Focal Length
 
Below is a feature comparison chart followed by the available maximum apertures by focal length for the lenses discussed above.
 
LensElements/
Groups
Lens Measured
Dimensions (DxL)
Weight w/Hood
& Tripod Ring
Filter
Thread
Weather
Sealing?
Tamron 150-600 G120/134.15 x 10.57”
(105.5 x 268.5mm)
74.5 oz (2110g)95mmY
Tamron 150-600 G221/134.27 x 10.54”
(108.5 x 267.68mm)
74.7 oz (2115g)95mmY
Sigma 150-600 C20/144.12 x 10.55”
(104.7 x 267.99mm)
71.8 oz (2035g)95mmN
Sigma 150-600 Sports24/164.76 x 11.77”
(120.95 x 299.05mm)
111.4 oz (3155g)105mmY

Modelf/5.0f/5.6f/6.3
Tamron 150-600 G1150-225mm226-427mm428-600mm
Tamron 150-600 G2150-212mm213-427mm428-600mm
Sigma 150-600 Contemporary150-179mm180-387mm388-600mm
Sigma 150-600 Sports150-184mm185-320mm321-600mm

Subjective Rankings
 
With all of these lenses featuring identical focal length/aperture ranges and similar features (like vibration/optical stabilization), other lens aspects become the prominent differentiating factors. And, even image quality is close enough among the group to not be a major decision factor. Here's how we would rank each lens based on our own personal experience:
 
Image Quality
 
  1. Sigma 150-600 Contemporary & Tamron 150-600 G2
  2. Sigma 150-600 Sports
  3. Tamron 150-600 G1
Build Quality
 
  1. Tamron 150-600 G2 & Sigma 150-600 Sports
  2. Tamron 150-600 G1
  3. Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
AF Responsiveness/Accuracy/Consistency
 
  1. Sigma 150-600 Sports & Tamron 150-600 G2
  2. Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
  3. Tamron 150-600 G1
Value
 
  1. Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
  2. Tamron 150-600 G2
  3. Tamron 150-600 G1
  4. Sigma 150-600 Sports
Conclusions
 
If you do not need weather sealing, it's difficult to top the value offered by the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens. It's only slightly less expensive than the Tamron 150-600 G1 (the least expensive lens in this group) yet offers class-leading image quality and customizability via Sigma's USB Dock. If weather sealing and focus consistency are a priority, the Sigma 150-600 Sports and Tamron 150-600 G2 should be your top considerations, with the deciding factor likely being the price-to-image-quality performance ratio desired. And lastly, the lens that started it all – the Tamron 150-600 G1 – still remains a good choice if one's budget is the primary limiting factor.
Post Date: 1/30/2017 12:10:14 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, January 29, 2017
Storms on the horizon and mostly cloudy overhead. That is what I saw when I stepped out of the Middle Caicos villa well before sunrise. While I admit that going back to bed seemed like a good (and justifiable) option, I knew that storms could bring desired drama and resisted that urge. While a sky completely covered in rainstorm was not of interest to me on this morning, I saw enough breaks in the clouds to give hope for some dramatic skies and I stayed with the plan.
 
Mudjin Harbor is my favorite location in the causeway-connected North and Middle Caicos islands (Turks and Caicos Islands are just north of Haiti and Dominican Republic). The cliffs and beaches in this location are stunning and the color of the water is among the best anywhere. The close-to-shore reef system brings entertainment in terms of waves and many small ironshore formation limestone rock islands dot the landscape, including Dragon Cay (Dragon Island) as seen here.
 
At this resolution, it is not especially easy to recognize the dragon lying in the water, but the rightmost large rock is shaped like a horn-nosed dragon head with its body (including shoulders and hips) flowing to the left and followed by its tail. A goal for this trip was to capture some images that included this fun land formation in them and having a nearby villa was part of the plan implementation.
 
A big attraction of Mudjun Harbor is a pair of caves and one of the caves faces the beast. A great and popular compositional technique is to frame a subject within its surroundings and one of my favorite natural frames is the opening of a cave. In addition to making a good frame, this particular cave offered a couple of additional benefits on this morning.
 
First, the sustained wind speed was just over 30 mph and gusts were reaching 50+ mph. That is fierce enough to blow a camera and tripod over and strong enough to make it difficult to even stand up, let alone frame and capture a sharp image. It is strong enough to make a painful whistle across one's ears and strong enough to blow salt water deep inland (causing, minimally, front lens element clarity issues). I was able to get deep enough into this cave to essentially eliminate the wind factor.
 
You can see the other issue approaching in this image. A small-but-significant rainstorm is close and on direct course for my position. The cave offered shelter from the rain and allowed me to photograph continuously as it approached and hit.
 
The word "cave" is often used to describe a dark venue and though these cave walls were brighter than many, they were quite dark and the backlit clouds were much brighter. This scenario means that an HDR technique was required. Two images with different exposures were manually (painstakingly in this case) blended in Photoshop to achieve the result seen here.
 
Obviously, this rainstorm was back-lit by the sun and direct sunlight on rain holds promise for another highly valued, loved-by-everyone landscape photography element that I'll share later.
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Post Date: 1/29/2017 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 27, 2017

 
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
 
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 1/27/2017 6:06:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 26, 2017
From Canon USA:
 
Samples comprised of six photographs from Canon Explorers of Light printed on new Canon Photo and Fine Art media
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., January 26, 2017 – Demonstrating the quality of its large-format output, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has announced that customers will have the opportunity to receive fine art and photo media samples printed on imagePROGRAF PRO Series large-format printers with images taken by Canon’s Explorers of Light. With an opportunity to view finished output firsthand, those interested will be able to see with their own eyes the gallery quality of images printed on the PRO Series using its 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink system on six different media types.
 
By visiting www.usa.canon.com/imagePROGRAFprintsample, those interested can request samples printed on the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 and imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 devices using the following Canon media types: Photo Paper Pro Premium Matte, Premium Fine Art Bright White, Premium Fine Art Smooth, Premium Polished Rag, Photo Paper Pro Premium Platinum and Photo Paper Pro Luster. In addition to displaying the quality of Canon’s large-format output, this program is designed to help consumers make a more educated decision when shopping for printers and media types.
 
Canon’s Explorers of Light program is comprised of influential photographers and cinematographers from across the globe, each who focuses on their own creative specialty. Appearing at seminars, gallery showings and special events throughout the United States, the Explorers of Light share their photography and technical expertise with audiences of photo professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts. Customers who request samples will receive photographs shot using Canon EOS DSLR cameras from the following Explorers of Light: Michele Celentano, Darrell Gulin, Adam Jones, George Lepp, Ken Sklute and Jennifer Wu.
 
B&H carries Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, 2000 & 4000 printers.

 
From Canon Europe:
 
Hairdresser and Canon enthusiast, Stephen McNally, only took up photography 8 years ago. Now, with his own long exposure black and white photography exhibition, it has all happened so quickly for someone who has mastered the art of taking it slowly.
 
B&H carries ND filters.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/26/2017 8:13:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
by Rick Sammon
 
Photographers are storytellers: we tell a story within the frame of a still image.
 
What we include in the frame depends on our mood and feeling, as well as the mood or feeling we want to convey. The technique we use to tell that story often depends on several factors, including making a color or black-and-white image (a black-and-white image perhaps looks more creative because some of the reality of the scene has been removed), using a fast or slow shutter speed to freeze or blur the action, choosing a wide or small aperture to minimize or maximize what is in focus in front of and behind the focus point – and perhaps most important: the lens we choose.
 
In this article I’d like to share my story about a recent trip to the bottom of the world, which included stops in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica. To illustrate my story I’ll share with you the Canon zoom lenses I used and my camera settings on my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EOS 5DS. My goal is to give you some ideas on how you can tell your story when traveling.
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/26/2017 5:57:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 25, 2017
B&H has the Syrp (82mm & 67mm) Super Dark Variable Neutral Density Filters in stock with free shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Variable 1.5-3.0 Neutral Density Filter
  • Reduce Exposure by 5 to 10 Stops
  • Darkens Entire Image
  • Greater Control Over Exposure Settings
  • Allows Reduced Shutter Speed
  • Allows Wider Aperture
  • Multi-Resistant Coatings, Nano Coating
  • Asahi Glass Construction
  • Aluminum-Alloy Filter Rings
Post Date: 1/25/2017 12:45:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
While in flight with the sun directly above/behind me and a solid cloud structure below/in front of me, beautiful concentric circular rainbows, called "glory", were visible. I had the Canon EOS M5 and EF-M 15-45mm Lens ready.
 
Read the Aerial Photography from a Commercial Airplane to learn more about taking full photographical advantage of your flights.
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Gear Used
 
Camera and Lens Settings
45mm  f/7.1  1/400s
ISO 100
6000 x 4000px
Post Date: 1/25/2017 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Post Date: 1/25/2017 6:20:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 24, 2017
From Adobe:
 
LONDON--In advance of Bett, Europe’s largest exhibition for technology in education, Adobe today announced the forthcoming release of updated Android applications optimized for select Chromebooks to help students harness their creativity. In the coming weeks, Adobe Creative Cloud apps start rolling out for free download as part of the beta that Google announced today, giving students using Chromebooks the tools they need to be more creative. Using the classroom environment to learn how to problem solve and develop creative skills by using technology is more important than ever for the future workforce, per results of a global GEN Z study by Adobe on student and teacher learning perspectives.
 
Over the past year, the use of Chromebooks has steadily grown in education – sales are flourishing in Europe, and they are now a market leader in North America. School administrators can approve and push Adobe apps on select managed Chromebooks by using the Google Admin console. Schools can expect an additional wave of Adobe apps to be launched later this year.
 
“The popularity of Chromebooks in the classroom has exploded, and we’re thrilled to offer students access to Adobe tools on these devices, allowing them to learn the way they do best – by doing and creating,” said Mark Rupert, Senior Director of Education at Adobe. “As a company, our goal is to empower every student to be a lifelong creator and having our free mobile apps on Chromebooks will help us reach millions more students who can bring their ideas to life."
 
Today’s announcement underscores Adobe’s dedication to enabling creativity in the classroom and delivering software and solutions across devices. Students and teachers agree that technology provides more digital tools and outlets for creativity, according to the Adobe study “Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future.”1 The research found that 78 percent of students between the ages of 11 and 17 from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany and 88 percent of their teachers see creativity as essential to students’ future careers. A staggering 90 percent of students and 76 percent of teachers view technology as key to their career preparedness. In addition, 90 percent of Gen Z students say they are better prepared for the future given how well they understand technology.
 
To support the importance of creativity and technology in the classroom, Adobe is releasing the updated Creative Cloud apps that capitalize on Chromebook’s strengths – speed and simplicity – making these devices ideal for students to use in and out of the classroom. The family of applications launching in the coming weeks are:
 
  • Photoshop Mix
  • Lightroom Mobile
  • Illustrator Draw
  • Photoshop Sketch
  • Adobe Comp CC
  • Creative Cloud Mobile
“Having access to free creative tools like Adobe’s on Chromebooks allows for much more creative freedom for students with different learning styles or talents to shine,” said Nicole Dalesio, Teacher and Teacher on Special Assignment (ToSA) for the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District, CA. “It gives them an opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a much more powerful way. Now all students can get the skills they need to create and share in a digital world.”
 
Adobe and Google will showcase the range of products that will be running on Chromebooks at Bett in the Adobe booth (#C118) and Google booth (#C230).
 
The full findings from Adobe’s survey, Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future, are available for download at www.adobeeducate.com/genz.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 1/24/2017 10:15:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Focus Camera has the Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon in stock with free shipping.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/24/2017 10:04:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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