Put a large specimen of one of my favorite animals in front of my favorite tree trunks in front of my favorite leaves and ... an image I like is shaping up nicely. The leaves are from Idaho maples in the peak of their fall color. The tree trunks are aspens and their white color makes most images look better. Of course, a large bull elk makes practically any photo look good.
What is the easiest way to create panorama image? Crop a wide aspect ratio from a single image. While successfully capturing multiple images and seamlessly stitching them together can create a higher resolution image, it is easier just to use a wider angle lens and crop them to the desired aspect ratio. Using the cropping method also avoids issues with subjects in motion (waves, clouds, people, animals, etc.). Especially if a very resolution camera is used (one of the 5D Mark IV's upgrades was resolution), there can still be plenty of resolution for large output remaining after cropping.
In the example shared here, the "wider angle lens" was due to a focal length limitation at the time of capture. I was stalking the elk, didn't have an extender with me and the bull was walking towards the woods (the moment was not going to last). The cropping technique is often useful in helping to mentally justify the result.
I'll save the argument as to whether or not the angle of view from a 600mm lens covers a wide enough view of an area to qualify for the definition of "panorama" for another day, but the wide aspect ratio is at least in the spirit of these images.
Nikon has issued firmware updates for the D3400 and D5600 to address the following:
LensRentals recently disassembled a Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS and found three aspheric elements (unusual for a telephoto zoom) and uniquely designed AF system.
From LensRentals Blog:
As part of that Holy Quest, we wanted to take a look inside the FE 70-200 f/2.8, because, well, that’s what we do. They’ve been in such short supply, though, we just haven’t been able to take one apart. But a customer was kind enough to drop one of ours, jamming the focusing system. We decided the opportunity to do a repair/teardown was too good to pass up.See the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Teardown (Part 1) on the LensRentals Blog.
It’s not the first time we’ve made a bad decision, and it probably won’t be the last. It ended up being the longest and most complex (6 hours) teardown we’ve ever done. If you’re interested, read along and come feast your eyes on one of the oddest lenses we’ve ever looked into. But it’s going to be a fairly long read. (Poof! There went 90% of the blog viewers.)
I’ll warn you now, I’m going to use words like different, odd, and weird when describing the inside of this lens, especially in the second part of this two-part teardown. Don’t misread that to mean I’m saying ‘bad’ because I’m not. Sony is the one manufacturer these days that’s trying all kinds of new and different things. I love that. Sometimes new things are better, sometimes not. But it does make them different.
Update: Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Teardown (Part 2) was posted this morning.
Just Posted: RigWheels RigMount X4 Magnetic Camera Platform Review.
Several years ago, I [Sean] attached my DSLR to a single high-power suction cup mount and photographed myself driving my 2004 Ford Mustang GT. It was winter, and I neglected to take into consideration how the cold weather would affect the suction cup's holding strength. Once I parked the car to remove the mount, the suction cup fell over in my hand. It had apparently lost suction at the precise moment my car had stopped moving.
I never attempted the single suction cup method of attching my DSLR to an automobile again.
For years I have been searching for a better alternative for mounting a DSLR to a moving vehicle, and I the RigWheels RigMount X4 Magnetic Camera Platform is the best solution I've found. With four magents capable of holding 50 lbs (22.7 kg) apiece anchoring the RigMount X4 in place, my mind is at ease while creating images like the example shown above.
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
World’s fastest SD Card for writing speeds up to 299MB/s, for burst mode shooting and 4K video with DSLR
Sony has applied years of experience in professional media to expand the current high performance memory card line up with an ultra-fast speed model that will maximise your camera performance. Introducing the world’s fastest SD card, the SF-G series is the perfect accompaniment for your high-performance DSLR or mirrorless camera, offering up to 299MB/s write speeds, contributing to longer high-speed continuous burst mode shooting for high-resolution images with cameras supporting UHS-II.
Available in 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage capacity, this memory card’s blazing-fast write speed also allows for a shorter buffer clearing time, making sure you will never miss those life-changing moments or shots.
A Sony developed algorithm prevents loss of speed in data writing even after repeating burst shooting, and contributes to the camera’s speed of burst shooting – this is an SD card you can rely on.
Another brilliant feature of this SD card is the ultra-fast read speed of up to 300MB/s. Paired with a memory card reader, the cards can transfer large volumes and file sizes to a computer very quickly, contributing to a more efficient workflow for professionals.
“As the continuous shooting of higher-resolution images and adoption of 4K video with DSLR and mirrorless camera increases, the inherent need for larger, faster and more reliable cards becomes apparent. Thanks to the SF-G series, we continue to show our commitment to providing a full range of extremely high performance media devices to professional photographers and enthusiasts, maximising their camera performances” said Romain Rousseau, European Product Marketing Manager.
The perfect back-up
Sony’s SD products are highly reliable and durable and offer such features as water proofing and anti-static protection which help keep your precious contents safe. But when you are out all day shooting fast with time at a premium, accidental deletion of images can happen. With Sony’s free downloadable File rescue software, you can quickly recover deleted images or videos, including RAW images and 4K XAVC-S video files.
MRW-S1, the fastest card reader for SF-G series
In conjunction with SF-G series, Sony is introducing a new memory card reader, model MRW-S1, the perfect solution to drastically improve workflow efficiency after shooting by quickly transferring large data from SF-G series SD cards to a PC. This compact card reader offers an in-built SuperSpeed USB (USB3.1 Gen.1) standard A port for cable-free PC connection, so that your files can be copied faster than copying through the SD slot on a PC.
The new SF-G series SD cards will be available in stores in March 2017 and the MRW-S1 card reader will be available in stores in April 2017.
From the DJI YouTube Channel:
The only true winter round – a classic Rally Sweden will be characterised by frozen roads lined with snow banks, low temperatures and the iconic Colin's Crest jump. Driven in ice cold Sweden and Norway, WRC's winter festival puts drivers, cars and the DJI crew to the ultimate winter test.
Multicopter operations were conducted by professional pilots in coordination with manned aircraft pilots and authorities. Relevant permissions were obtained prior to filming, and filming was conducted in compliance with local regulations. Please always fly responsibly and follow the local regulations.
The snow line usually marks the elevation above which there is snow, often forming snow-capped mountains. On this morning, the snow line was below the mountain top.
I had just spent two hours in the tractor cab taking care of snow removal duties and was then able to concentrate on capturing some fresh snow images. My studio overlooks a valley and a small mountain ridge. The snow came with a strong wind from the opposite side of that ridge and above the ground line, the windswept trees remained bare while the lower elevation trees, protected by the mountain, were heavily snow-laden. The snow/no-snow line was strong and I was drawn to the contrast.
The mountain was roughly 1,500 yards (1,500m) away and I could see over a mile (1.6 km) of it in width. This meant that the primary interest for me was strongly horizontal. I could photograph using a wide angle focal length and crop the top and bottom off to get just the strong line of bare trees over the snow line, I could capture multiple frames at a longer focal length to later stitch into a panoramic image or I could go with a telephoto focal length and frame tightly. I chose the telephoto lens option and began isolating specific areas of mountain.
My lens choice was the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens and mounted it to the being-reviewed Canon EOS M5 via the EF-EOS M Adapter.
The storm was clearing and periodically, the sun was shining through breaks in the clouds. The areas of snow in the direct sunlight became especially bright and the partial illumination created additional interest within the already interesting scene. When available, the partially lit portions of the scene were my focus.
Often, photographing scenes this far away results in details being strongly affected by heat waves, but on this crisp, clear morning, the M5 behind the 100-400 L II delivered very sharp image quality, even at this distance. Notice that photographing subjects from very long distances always results in a compressed look with less perception of depth (trees farther away appear similarly-sized as closer trees). This attribute can be good or bad depending on the scene, how the composition comes together and the viewer's taste.
While the circular polarizer filter was not making a noticeable effect, I had it mounted in case blue sky opened up and I note its use for those questioning the exposure settings.
Update: Congrats to site visitor Jacob for being the first to respond. The promo code has been forwarded. If you were interested in picking up a new Sony a7R II at a significant savings, don't fret! You can still send in an older lens to receive your own $480.00 coupon code from B&H. Combined with the still-live $300.00 instant savings, that gives you a combined savings of $780.00.
We have one coupon code for $480 Off of a Sony a7R II to give away. This camera already has a $300.00 instant rebate available. Add $480 to that and the savings jumps up to a hefty $780.00!
There are only three conditions to qualify for this giveaway:
February 21, 2017, Commack, NY - Tamron, a comprehensive manufacturer of optical equipment, has redesigned its corporate logo. The new logo will be progressively rolled out in the U.S. starting February 21, 2017.
The Story Behind The Change
In September 2015, to coincide with the revamp of its SP series of interchangeable camera lenses that represent the ultimate pursuit of high performance, Tamron embarked on a renewal of its product branding for the domestic and global markets. As part of these activities, Tamron developed a new logotype that would embody the brand in its products, and has since introduced the logo in new models on a sequential basis.
Now Tamron has made the decision to progressively roll out use of the logo as its new corporate logo.
Design of the New Logo
The existing logo has been in use for 39 years since its development in 1978. In the intervening years, Tamron has undergone significant expansion as an extremely unique company through its ability to engage in the integrated manufacture of lenses from development to production. During the same period, Tamron has extended the reach of its business activities in Japan and around the world.
The new "TAMRON" logo was designed to present a global perspective while inheriting qualities of the original design. Tamron has developed a fully upper-case logotype and incorporated greater legibility compared with the previous logo, allowing the company name to be identified in a clearer and more understandable way. Moreover, the meticulously designed logo embodies Tamron's recognizable presence as simple and powerful, with renowned reliability and technical prowess.
Renewal of the Corporate Website
To coincide with changes to the corporate logo, the corporate website has been redesigned to provide customers with the information they need in a more accessible way. The website employs a layout that is easy to view whether from a PC, smartphone or tablet device. Looking ahead, Tamron looks forward to disseminating appropriate information to its customers and stakeholders through the new corporate website.
February 21, 2017 – Sigma Corporation today announced its brand new Global Vision Art and Contemporary lenses to be introduced at the 2017 CP+ Camera + Photo Imaging Show in Tokyo, Japan.
Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art
Debuting the world’s first 1.8 wide-angle lens, the 14mm F1.8 Art incorporates the same groundbreaking aspherical element as Sigma’s critically acclaimed 12-24mm F4 Art. Boasting outstanding image quality from center to edge, the 14mm F1.8 Art features the largest glass mold (80mm) in the industry, offering photographers an ultra-wide prime with virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting. Three lens elements are made with FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass, which is equivalent to calcium fluorite in performance, and four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, which reduce chromatic aberration. In addition to the great IQ from edge to edge, the new 14mm F1.8 offers a superfast and efficient AF system.
With a minimum focus distance of 10.6 inches at 14mm, photographers can compose incredible close-up shots with expansive backgrounds.
The all new Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm. Pricing and availability for the Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art lens will be announced later.
Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art
Boasting outstanding sharpness and great IQ from edge to edge, the 135mm F1.8 Art lens enters the market as Sigma’s new premiere mid-range telephoto prime lens. Ideal for events such as concerts, indoor sports, conferences and press events, the 1.8 F-stop delivers greater “shallow depth of field” and isolation of subjects. The outstanding compression effect makes it equally as powerful for up-close and full-length portraits. Its new large hyper sonic motor (HSM) provides ample torque to the focus group for optimal speed while the acceleration sensor detects the position of the lens for compensation focus groups for factors including gravity, producing faster and more responsive AF. Equipped with a focus limiter, the 135mm F1.8 Art can be easily optimized for a variety of distances and situations.
The all-new Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm. Pricing and availability for the Sigma 135mm F1.8 Art lens will be announced later.
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM OS Art
Featuring a brand new OS and highly efficient and fast AF system, the revamped 24-70mm F2.8 Art embodies all the technical qualities and finesse that define the high-performance Sigma Global Vision Art series. Covering a wide range of shooting scenarios, the 24-70mm workhorse DNA includes three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements and four aspherical elements to reduce chromatic aberration. The 24-70mm F2.8 Art aspherical elements use Sigma’s groundbreaking thicker center glass design and highly precise polishing process, delivering stunning images and bokeh effects. The lens’ purpose-built structure boasts a new metal barrel for optimal durability with TSC composite internal moving components designed to resist thermal contraction and expansion.
The newly revamped Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM OS Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm. Pricing and availability for the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens will be announced later.
Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG HSM OS Contemporary
Boasting outstanding reach and performance value, the new 100-400mm F5-6.3 Contemporary telephoto zoom lens offers great IQ and usability with its lightweight, compact, dust- and splash-proof design. Equipped with the newly released Sigma OS and AF, the lens provides exceptional performance at lower shutter speeds. Highly versatile, the 100-400mm F5-6.3 Contemporary also features Sigma’s unique macro function (1:3.8 ratio) for perfecting close-ups and distance shots, and push/pull focal zooming for ease of use.
The all-new Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG HSM OS Contemporary lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm. Pricing and availability for the Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Contemporary lens will be announced later.
From the DJI YouTube Channel:
Meet French aerial-wedding photographer Helene Havard, who works in Tahiti, French Polynesia. When Helene first arrived on the island, she quickly discovered a thriving yet highly competitive photography industry. In order to distinguish herself and her work to get noticed, she started to shoot from above. Watch how Helene reimagines the art of wedding photography with her own inimitable signature style.
It appears Sigma is poised to announce several new lenses in the very near future. If the rumors turn out to be true (and by all indications, they are), then the following lenses are slated for announcement:
So which of the lens(es) are you most excited to see hit the market and why? Let us know in the comments.
The Crossing Place Trail in Middle Caicos leads along some spectacular coastline. "Trail", however, is a rather generous term for much of what is encountered here, especially west of Blowing Hole. Very sharp rocks (the ironshore formation limestone you see in the foreground in this image) and thick brush (with occasional very-deep holes beneath) take the place of anything resembling a trail.
The Turks and Caicos Islands have the world's 3rd largest reef system protecting it, but along this trail, the reef comes close to shore. This means that, on a normal day, waves hit the coast hard. And, on a windy day, things become rather spectacular along this section of the trail.
The winds on this day (like the entire 9 days of this trip) were sustained at just over 30 mph and gusts were reaching 50+ mph. The waves were crashing into the cliffs and blowing up in dramatic fashion, easily visible from the causeway over a mile away.
Upon arriving at this location, I determined that I could safely approach the cliff and I did so cautiously. I didn't take a rain cover for the camera or a rain coat for me on this trip, but ... after thinking about the situation for a while and watching my daughter figure out how to cover her camera with extra clothes and a hat for a lens flap, I couldn't resist the opportunity. The waves were too beautiful and mesmerizing to leave uncaptured.
What I had was the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L's rain cover and the plastic bags I always store in the backpack. The large garbage bag, with three holes torn into it, went over me (it was cool out and with the wind, I was cold) and a 2-gallon clear heavy plastic food storage bag nicely wrapped around the camera with the lens directed through the opening. I held the bag tightly around the lens hood and could see the viewfinder through the bag reasonably well – well enough. The front of the lens was not protected aside of the hood, but holding the camera downward under my body during times when spray was hitting (most of the time), kept it dry. I had a dry microfiber cloth readily available for cleaning the lens when my timing was not stellar.
When a wave was timed to hit while there was little or no sea spray in the air, I would quickly move the camera into position and shoot an image (or burst of images) as the wave crashed and violently blew upward. I was learning the Sony a7R II camera's capabilities, but ... this scenario proved challenging and my sharp image percentage was not as strong as I had hoped. Still, I made some nice images.
With the quick-shooting tactic, getting the camera perfectly level (or even close to that) proved challenging (it proves challenging to me on a good day) and this shot was a bit tilted. The horizon over an ocean makes any tilt obvious and this one needed repaired. However, simply rotating the image was going to result in more of the scene being cropped out that I was happy with. I could have used a wider focal length to shoot with (the Sony a7R II has plenty of resolution), but ... I was already using that tactic. This wave was simply bigger than I had anticipated.
How did I fix the tilt? I used the Lasso Tool in Photoshop to select and area above and below the horizon where the non-splashing water is meeting sky (on the right side of the frame), being careful to draw through areas lacking details. I then copied the selection (CTRL-C) and pasted it into a new layer (CTRL-V). I pressed CTRL-T (Free Transform) and rotated the copied waterline until it was level. Using a layer mask with a soft brush, I hid the borders of the copied layer and smoothed out anything that appeared out of place in the result. The image was effectively leveled and I didn't have to crop off any of the splash.
Being in the wave zone of a rough sea is not safe and in addition to watching for photogenic waves approaching, I was constantly watching for trouble. Twice I successfully ran to drier ground when monster waves hit directly in front of me, but twice I had very large waves splash completely over me, sending buckets of water pouring from myself and the bags (enough to make a water cooler dumped over a winning football coach appear like a Dixie cup). The described bag technique, while not optimum, kept the gear (and most of my shirt) dry and allowed me to capture some fun pics.
Big waves are fascinating – I could spend hours watching them.
It appears Sigma is set to announce four new Global Vision lenses at the upcoming CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2017 (Feb 23-26). Two of those lenses – the 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art and 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary – have already shown up on Sigma's website under the News section (the links to the actual press releases do not work).
Canon USA has uploaded a sample movie as well as several videos highlighting the various features of the EOS M6.
Warning: If you plan on several of the videos below, you may want to turn the sound down. Each short video features the same soundtrack, and it may seem annoyingly repetitive after listening to it multiple times.
Videos Highlighting EOS M6 Features
Canon Japan has also published its official sample images for the EOS M6.
If you're considering picking up what can aptly be described as Canon's beefed-up Rebel with the versatile EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, there's an important piece of information that you should know before adding the EOS 77D kit to your cart – the higher-end EOS 80D kit with the exact same lens is the same price with its current $300.00 instant rebate in effect.
Just for good measure, here are a few points of comparison:
Canon EOS 77D vs. 80D:
While the beauty of this lens is immediately recognizable, the image quality it delivers is looking very nice as well. Here are some comparisons:
Zeiss 18mm f/2.8 Milvus vs. Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic (15mm Milvus has the same optical formula)
Zeiss 18mm f/2.8 Milvus vs. Zeiss 18mm f/3.5 Classic
Zeiss 18mm f/2.8 Milvus vs. Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Milvus
Zeiss 18mm f/2.8 Milvus vs. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens
Canon Japan has posted official sample photos taken with the EOS Rebel T7i and 77D DSLR cameras.
You can find preorder links for the Canon EOS Rebel T7i & 77D here.
The Canon Digital Learning Center has added several articles on the newly announced EOS 77D and Rebel T7i DSLR cameras as well as an EOS M-series overview.
You can find preorder links for the relevant gear here.
So what's the difference between Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Hybrid CMOS AF III from a video AF performance perspective? Watch the video above to find out.
From Canon USA:
Firmware Version 1.1.3 incorporates the following improvements to enhance functions.
The following preorders are now available:
There is a ton of information available on these pages, but I imagine one of your first questions is: Where does the EOS 77D fit into the Canon lineup? Remember the Rebel T6s / 760D and how it has a superset of the Rebel T6i / 750D features? That is precisely what the EOS 77D is relative to the Rebel T7i / 800D. Even though the 77D has broken out of the Rebel camp (for better differentiation perhaps?), the two cameras are practically the same aside from a few significant differences.
List of differences between the 77D and the Rebel T7i / 800D
A big additional advantage, from my perspective, is that all localities get to call the 77D by the same name whereas the Rebel T7i may also be confusingly referred to as the 800D or Kiss X9i depending on where you live.
If the additional features were free, there would of course be no need for the T7i and the 77D indeed has a higher price tag.
Summary of What is New with the Rebel T7i and 77D
Following is a list of differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T7i /800D and the Rebel T6i / 750D. The EOS 77D upgrade list is nearly identical.
While this list is not terribly long, there are some very significant upgrades in it. The new AF system, Dual Pixel AF, a faster frame rate and the higher buffer spec are among the line items catching my attention.
Create your own comparisons. Detailed comparisons between a large number of cameras can be made using the site's Camera Specifications Comparison Tool.
They Shrunk the Kit Lens
Canon has released a new, smaller kit lens to accompany the two DSLR cameras announced today. The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens page has more information on this smaller lens option.