It looks like Canon underestimated the demand for the EOS 6D Mark II + EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM kits. In a recent statement, Canon Japan admits that orders have exceeded supply and that the kits won't likely be available on August 4 as originally intended.
The Transportation Security Administration recently modified their screening procedures so that travelers will now have to remove items "larger than a cell phone" – including DSLRs and mirrorless cameras – from their carry-on bags and place the isolated items in bins for separate screenings.
The new standard screening procedure will surely be an inconvenience to most photographers, especially as the rules regarding "electronics" may seem a bit ambiguous. For instance, during a call with the TSA this morning, the service representative could not provide a definitive answer as to whether or not lenses would also have to be removed with each being put in a separate bin, ultimately advising that the procedure for lenses would be determined by a TSA checkpoint agent at his/her discretion.
Few (if any) photographers will want to place each individual camera and lens into separate screening bins because of the increased screening time and frustration and increased probability of lost/stolen/mishandled (dropped) gear.
Thankfully, there's a relatively easy (though not free) way to avoid the complications of the new screening procedures – get TSA PreCheck certified.
Benefits of getting TSA PreCheck certified include:
Getting TSA PreCheck certified is relatively straight-forward and easy, assuming you meet the specified criteria. According to the TSA:
It takes five minutes to submit an online application and schedule an in-person appointment that includes a background check and fingerprinting at an enrollment center.The cost of receiving PreCheck benefits varies depending on the program you wish to qualify for. The regular TSA PreCheck certification costs $85.00, lasts 5 years and is available for U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents. For $15.00 more, you can choose the Global Entry program which receives the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus "expedited processing through CBP at airports and land borders upon arrival in the U.S.," but also requires a passport or other lawful resident card for the application process. If planning on traveling outside the U.S. within the next 5 years, the extra $15.00 will likely prove to be a worthwhile investment. To learn about other programs which receive TSA PreCheck benefits, click here. Note that if your application is denied for any reason, the application fee is not refunded.
Following are some important details regarding the TSA PreCheck program:
The TSA notes that PreCheck appointment times are filling up and advises applying now if traveling in the next few months.
This little green heron was hunting for early morning breakfast in a relatively thick-growth area over shallow, duckweed-covered water. While the bird was not at all concerned about my presence, I was struggling to acquire a clear view of it, and finding a good body angle along with a pleasing background aligned within such an opening was especially challenging. When the bird hopped up onto this dead limb and walked to the end of it, pausing to determine its next move, I at least had a few seconds with a relatively still bird.
And at that moment, I had two of those three goals met. The heron was horizontal to the camera and the background was distant with good color. The foreground obstructions were the remaining issue.
I shifted my position enough to get a clear view of the bird's head, focused and held the shutter release down for a short burst (always photograph birds in high speed burst mode as you, minimally, never know when a nictitating membrane is going to come across the eye). When reviewing the result, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens faded the foreground obstructions into a "dreamy" look. Note that calling any kind of photo effect "dreamy" always put a positive spin on an effect that might otherwise be used to downgrade an image, but ... I do like how this one turned out with this photo having a unique appearance.
The lighting conditions for this shoot were ranging from direct early morning sunlight to full shade. I was using Manual exposure mode with the aperture set to wide open (f/4) and ISO set to Auto, allowing the camera to adjust to the lighting conditions as needed with me adjusting the exposure composition as lighting situations required. While shooting, I could quickly adjust the shutter speed by simply rolling the top dial. When the bird was about to strike at prey or otherwise move, I quickly selected a fast shutter speed (such as 1/1600 or higher).
Of course, when the subject was in full shade, as seen here, 1/1600 meant a very high ISO and that of course means higher noise level in the image. When the bird paused at the end of this dead limb, I quickly rolled the shutter speed down to 1/400 with ISO 2000 being camera-selected. Full frame ISO 2000 looks great. And, that is my little green heron story for today.
I had high expectations for this lens, and it indeed appears to be an optically-great one. I was viewing lots of comparisons and thought I'd share many of them.
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Canon 11-24mm f/4L Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Canon 14mm f/2.8L II Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Irix 15mm f/2.4 Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Samyang f/2.8 Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Sigma 12-24mm f/4 Art Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 Lens (different cameras)
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 VC Lens (different cameras)
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 Lens (different cameras)
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art compared to Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens
The Sigma has a moderately high price tag, but these results show that you get (at least) what you pay for.
Adobe has announced that it is ending support or Flash, a plugin technology that – although outdated – may still be an integral part of many photographers' websites. Thankfully, those photographers have ample time to update their websites using alternative natively supported technologies.
Adobe has long played a leadership role in advancing interactivity and creative content – from video, to games and more – on the web. Where we’ve seen a need to push content and interactivity forward, we’ve innovated to meet those needs. Where a format didn’t exist, we invented one – such as with Flash and Shockwave. And over time, as the web evolved, these new formats were adopted by the community, in some cases formed the basis for open standards, and became an essential part of the web.
But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.
Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.
Several industries and businesses have been built around Flash technology – including gaming, education and video – and we remain committed to supporting Flash through 2020, as customers and partners put their migration plans into place. Adobe will continue to support Flash on a number of major OSs and browsers that currently support Flash content through the planned EOL. This will include issuing regular security patches, maintaining OS and browser compatibility and adding features and capabilities as needed. We remain fully committed to working with partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to maintain the security and compatibility of Flash content. [To see each partner’s announcement on this news, click on the links inside each partner name.] In addition, we plan to move more aggressively to EOL Flash in certain geographies where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are being distributed.
Adobe will also remain at the forefront of leading the development of new web standards and actively participate in their advancement. This includes continuing to contribute to the HTML5 standard and participating in the WebAssembly Community Group. And we’ll continue to provide best in class animation and video tools such as Animate CC, the premier web animation tool for developing HTML5 content, and Premiere Pro CC.
Looking ahead, Adobe will continue to provide the best tools and services for designers and developers to create amazing content for the web.
From the f64 Academy YouTube Channel:
In today's tutorial, I will show you how to fix the electric blue color cast in both Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom) and Photoshop!
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
From Think Tank Photo:
07/27/2017 – Our largest rolling photography equipment case, the Production Manager 50, has been honored by Professional Photographer magazine as a 2017 Hot Ones. The Production Manager 50 is designed to hold an immense amount of gear, including lighting equipment and large light modifiers.
It features stabilizing, wide-set, shock-absorbing wheels that roll smoothly and hold up under the toughest conditions, the ability to lock the main compartment and secure the bag with the included lock and cable, and a fully customizable interior with dividers to protect small and large lighting equipment including c-stands and large modifiers.
This year marks the 18th edition of Professional Photographer magazine’s Hot Ones. The official magazine of Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographer helps readers advance their businesses and careers through editorial content that addresses the artistic, technological, and business aspects of their work. For more than 100 years, pros have relied on Professional Photographer to deliver the education and inspiration they need to be successful: practical lessons and of-the-moment images that define an industry.
Canon has released their finanicial results for 2Q 2017. See below for more information.
by Sean Setters
A few months ago, I reviewed the RigWheels RigMount X4 Magnetic Camera Platform, a device that allowed me to safely and securely mount a DSLR to the hood (or just about any other metal part) of a car for capturing dynamic, in-motion automotive imagery. While RigMount platform works perfectly as designed, I became interested in other tools used for similar automotive photography, specifically boom rigs.
It didn't take me long to realize that a specially designed car boom rig can be a significant investment. Therefore, I made it my goal to create a DIY version that met the following requirements:
The "relatively economical" portion is just that – relative. As I had several of the components that I would later employ in my boom setup, the investment cost for me was less than it may be for you, if you don't currently have any of the components conveniently at hand.
Before I go on, let me be absolutely clear – use of a car boom rig involves a certain amount of risk. In other words, you could damage your camera if a suction cup fails, you could damage the car's paint job with a high-strength suction cup and you could easily injure yourself or someone else if they were to get clipped by the boom during a moving photo capture. Proceed with caution; we are not responsible for property damage or injury which may occur as a result of using the gear or techniques described below.
With that out of the way, listed below is the kit I assembled which sufficiently met my requirements above:
(2) Qadira Premium Quality Heavy Duty Aluminum Suction Cup Plate
(5) Impact Super Clamp (1) Arca-style Clamp
(2) Arca-style Plate
(1) Ball Head
(1) 96" Heavy Duty Closet Pole
(1) Manfrotto 022 Counter Balance Weight - 15 lbs
Of the components listed above, I already had the ball head, Arca-style clamps/plates, Manfrotto counter balance weight and two super clamps, making the total investment in new gear relatively reasonable. However, even at full cost for all of the components listed above, you'll likely be spending significantly less compared to a specially designed car photography boom rig setup.
Here's a closer look at the components that make up the portion of the rig that holds the camera:
Note that one of the Arca-style plates listed above is installed on the camera, with the other (as previously mentioned) installed on the base of the ball head. Typically speaking, I have a battery-grip and an L-bracket installed on my DSLRs. However, wanting to reduce the overall weight hanging on the end of the boom, I opted for exchanging the battery grip and L-bracket for a traditional Arca-style plate.
Here's basically what the setup looked like in use (taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5):
Notes on the DIY Boom Rig
I originally purchased the 96" (8') regular duty closet pole at Home Depot after trying to stress it in store (propping it against a sturdy shelf and pushing on the middle of it) to see if it would flex. A quick test seemed to indicate the regular duty (less expensive, lighter) would work. However, after assembling the components for a test run, I realized that the regular duty pole flexed/bounced a bit too much. Therefore, I bought the heavy duty version instead.
When it comes to booms, 8' (2.44m) isn't necessarily all that long. In fact, a longer pole would likely provide more flexibility in positioning with increased rigidity being required for similar performance. However, as my pole isn't sectional (it doesn't break down), getting anything larger would have required a different vehicle to get my boom to the shooting location. As it was, I was still required to drive to the location with my passenger-side window down with the pole sticking out several inches (I forgot to close the window when capturing the shot atop this post).
Something to keep in mind in regards to boom poles, as the market for car rig photography is relatively small, I don't think anyone is designing boom poles specifically for the purpose. As such, even companies that are selling car boom rig kits are sourcing their boom materials from other companies who design them for other industries. As such, poles designed for windsurfing masts or other similar products could also be used. In fact, you may even be able to purchase your boom pole directly from a tubing manufacturer, with a wide range of materials and specifications to suit the purpose.
When affixed properly to flat portions of your vehicle, the aluminum suction cup holders in the setup above worked quite well in my limited experience (3-4 test runs). Depending on the shape of your vehicle, though, finding flat enough areas for optimal suction can be challenging without articulation between the two handle-connected suction cups. An even more versatile (and more professional-looking) solution would be to use Avenger F1000 Pump Cups, high-power 6" suction cups with a baby swivel pin. Using the Avenger F1000s would require a smaller flat working area and would eliminate two of the super clamps needed in my particular setup. Another benefit of the F1000s is that there is visual confirmation of proper suction, as a red line will appear on the pump when suction is at a critical level (requiring a few more pumps).
Be sure to clean your hood of dirt and debris to ensure the best possible connection between your suction cups and the car. Years ago, a photographer friend of mine who used to do these kinds of shots warned me that strong suction cups can damage a car's paint job, so he typically used paint protection film under the suction cups to protect the car's paint job.
Also note that suction cup mounted car rigs should not be used in colder weather, as suction cups will lose suction very quickly at lower temperatures.
Also pictured in the setup shot above are the Canon EOS 7D Mark II (set to intervalometer mode) and Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens used to create the final image, with settings of f/5.6, 1s, ISO 160. For the location, I chose to shoot at a large shopping plaza near midnight to ensure I had an expansive open area (parking lot) with almost no obstacles aside from the easily avoidable light poles.
An important thing to keep in mind when creating your in-motion car images while using a boom rig is that you will likely want to remove the boom rig in post-processing. That means that you may wish to be careful how you position the camera and rig so that hard-to-recreate elements of the car are not blocked by the suction cups or boom pole. To keep post-processing requirements to a minimum, I purposefully positioned the camera so that the suction cups could be seen just above the edge of the car. If the camera had been higher, the suction cups would have blocked a portion of the hood scoop which would have been difficult to recreate in post-processing. If you are an expert in Photoshop, you'll likely have more leway in positioning the camera.
In post, I applied some distortion correction to remove much of the fisheye look while leaving some of the lens' distortion intact, as well as minor color corrections (including adjusting the color of the bumper) before tackling the boom removal. Here's a before/after shot showing the removal of the boom.
Tips and Final Thoughts
If I were going to be offering this type of photography to potential clients, I would probably change a few things about my setup and image-capturing procedure. For one, I'd likely use two Avenger F1000 Pump Cups with Baby Swivel Pins for easier positioning of the rig and the visible indicator of proper suction provided by the red line on the pump. I actually own one of those pumps from a project I did years ago, and upon testing it yesterday, it took about 10 seconds to affix to my hood and about 5 minutes of forceful pulling to remove it.
Also, instead of having the client actually drive the car with the boom rig installed, I think a better idea would be to push the car and simply use a longer shutter speed for a similar effect. That will reduce vibrations induced by the engine as well as lessen the chance impacting obstacles with the boom with avoidance being even easier at ultra-slow speeds. Of course, those pushing the car would need to remain in an area blocked from view by the car.
The TSA has just announced that it will now require travelers to "...remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years."
Now might be a good time to enroll in the TSA's PreCheck program.
From the Transportation Security Administration:
WASHINGTON – To ensure the security of airline passengers and the nation’s airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is implementing new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items that require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. Following extensive testing and successful pilots at 10 airports, TSA plans to expand these measures to all U.S. airports during the weeks and months ahead.
Due to an increased threat to aviation security, DHS Secretary John Kelly announced in late June new security requirements for nearly 280 airports in more than 100 countries. In an effort to raise the baseline for aviation security worldwide, TSA continues to work closely with airports and airlines to enhance security measures and stay ahead of the evolving threat.
“Whether you’re flying to, from, or within the United States, TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security by strengthening the overall security of our commercial aviation network to keep flying as a safe option for everyone,” said TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia.
As new procedures are phased in, TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image.
It is possible that passengers may experience more bag checks, however, through extensive testing, TSA identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags. The new screening procedures in standard lanes are already in place at the following 10 U.S. airports with plans to expand to all airports during the weeks and months ahead:
In standard screening lanes, TSA officers will be stationed in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the screening process and recommend how best to arrange their carry-on items for X-ray screening. Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving. There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint; food and liquid items that comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule, electronics, and books continue to be allowed in carry-on bags.
“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe. By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats,” said Gowadia.
The stronger security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck who are using TSA PreCheck lanes. TSA also marked another milestone earlier this month with TSA PreCheck now available at 200 airports nationwide. Travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck do not need to remove shoes, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops, electronics, light outerwear, or belts. The program allows TSA to focus resources on passengers who may pose a high risk to security while providing expedited screening to those travelers who have been identified as low-risk, trusted travelers.
Just posted: Sony a9 Review.
This camera has features that will leave you wanting when shooting with anything else.
B&H has the Rode VideoMic Pro Plus On-Camera Shotgun Microphone available for preorder with free expedited shipping.
The Canon Digital Learning Center has been busy compiling a great set of articles on solar eclipse photography, with two more articles – "Keeping It All In Focus" and "Spectacular Totality" – added recently. See below for the full list of solar eclipse articles available on the CDLC and also check out our review of the Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter.
CDLC Solar Eclipse Photography Articles
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
In this video, Jake from B&H takes the brand new DJI Spark for a spin, and it just happens to be his first time flying a drone. For a new pilot, the Spark features easy-to-use gesture controls, positioning systems, and tracking modes. It's extremely small size and light weight also make it one of the most portable drones around, plus it's capable of recording 1080p video.
While Nikon's development release was devoid of any specific details regarding new features to be expected in the D850, a video posted to their various YouTube channels highlights at least one new feature – 8K time-lapse videos.
In a recent blog post on LinkedIn, CEO of 3 Legged Thing Danny Lenihan explains why their new product – the QR11-LC Universal L-Bracket – costs $49.99 while competing products from China cost significantly less. He also goes on to explain the impact of widespread intellectual property theft on the photographic accessory market (as well as other industries).
In the last couple of weeks my little brand, 3 Legged Thing, launched a brand new Universal L Bracket - the QR11. For the most part, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.Read the entire article on LinkedIn.
Then, somebody sent me a link to a well known forum, where a conversation had started about the press release for the QR11. The comments were almost wholly negative with more than one contributor stating “You can buy this from **insert website name** for $7? or “I got one from China for $5 and it works just fine”.
Fantastic. What you actually did is perpetuate a cycle of intellectual property theft, and put your own equipment at risk by using something that has zero accountability, or any certification, made with unknown materials, in a factory where you have no idea what the conditions are like. That’s what you did. I’ll take you through it, step by step, so you can understand.
After using the Sony a9 for nearly two months, I thought I'd share the setup steps I used for this camera. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a9 ready for use.
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my typical camera setup.
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. If the camera is ever reset-to-factory state, your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
The SL2 has the same sensor as several other recently released Canon cameras, including the Canon EOS 77D. Expectations were for the Rebel SL2 to share the same image quality. However, in the Canon EOS SL2 vs. 77D comparison, I see the SL2 images showing less noise. I love when expectations are exceeded in a positive direction.
Even though the SL2 has increased resolution over its predecessor, the SL1, the Canon EOS SL2 vs. SL1 comparison again shows the new camera to have less noise.
In a press release with lots of fluff and very little substance, Nikon has announced that they are developing an update to the D810. [Sean]
TOKYO – July 25, 2017 –Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the development of the next-generation full-frame, high-resolution, high-speed digital SLR cameras with the upcoming release of the highly anticipated Nikon D850.
The D850 will be a formidable tool for creators who will not compromise on exceptional image quality and versatility, including aspiring and professional photographers, as well as hobbyists, who shoot landscapes, commercial sports, fashion and weddings, and multimedia content creators.
The D850 is the successor to the D810, which was highly praised by its users for offering extremely sharp and clear rendering, with rich tone characteristics. This powerful new FX-format digital SLR camera is engineered with a range of new technologies, features and performance enhancements that are a direct result of feedback from users over the years – who demand the very best from their camera equipment. The D850 will exceed the expectations of the vast range of photographers that seek the high resolution and high-speed capabilities that only a Nikon of this caliber complemented by NIKKOR lenses can offer.
Nikon D600 / D610
Changes from “C” Firmware Version 1.02 to 1.03 (D600) and 1.01 to 1.02 (D610)
Note: Due to the possibility of this firmware update breaking compatibility with some third party lenses, you may want to keep an older version of the firmware on-hand just in case you need to roll back the update. (thanks Richy)
Changes from “C” Firmware Version 1.11 to 1.12
Download: Nikon D750 Firmware v.1.12
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 just showed up and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Canon EOS Rebel SL2 ready for use.
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup is ideal for me, but keep in mind that your needs may differ. The best use of this list may be for tweaking of your own setup.
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
I like what I see.
Canon released new versions of its freely included software at the end of last month primarily to add compatibility with its newly released cameras. However, Canon EOS 5Ds R owners will likely appreciate the "...function for reducing color moiré" added to DPP.
Changes for Digital Photo Professional 4.6.30:
EOS MOVIE Utility 1.7:
Changes to EOS Utility 3.6.30, Picture Style Editor 1.18.30:
On August 21st, 2017, over much of North America, the moon is going to cover the big fireball, creating a spectacular sight (weather conditions permitting of course). Start preparing now – photographing the sun is not difficult and likely is affordable to you.
Read through the Solar Eclipse Photography Tips posts and don't miss the Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter review to learn how this image was created.
This image is moderately cropped from a 1200mm full frame capture.