Canon, Nikon and Sony News for Dec 2018 Report News & Deals  ►

 Monday, December 31, 2018
B&H has the Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Sweet 50 Optic available for $199.95 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $299.95.
Discounted mounts include Canon EF, Nikon F, Fuji X, Sony E, Sony A, MFT, Samsung NX and Pentax K.
Product Highlights
  • Compatible with Optic Swap System
  • Metal Body with Tilt from 0-15°
  • Creates Spot of Focus Surrounded by Blur
  • Aperture Range: f/2.5 to f/22
  • Manual Focus and Aperture Control
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 15"
  • Filter Diameter: 46mm
  • Internal 12-Blade Diaphragm
Post Date: 12/31/2018 12:20:06 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Is your new year starting with fireworks? Photograph them!
If you've photographed fireworks long/frequently enough to be bored with the results, it is time to get creative.
Visiting the local annual fireworks show is a tradition for our family. With years of the normal motion-blurred fireworks images already on the drives, creating unique imagery has become more challenging. To create uniqueness this year, I used the fireworks focus blur strategy for practically the entire show. At least for me, this strategy results in a very low keeper rate. But, having a few of these images that worked out well was worth more to me than having 75 or 100 that looked the same as those captured in previous years.
Let's go over the gear selection for this shot/shoot. A fast frame rate was of no importance and high resolution, sharp imagery was. Thus, the Canon EOS 5Ds R was the perfect choice. The approximate focal length range needed was known and any the 24-something normal zoom lenses would comfortably cover it. I opted for the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens over the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens because a wide aperture was of no importance and ... I had fewer sample images from the newer 24-105mm lens.
A solid tripod was needed, but with over 1 mile of round trip walking required for this shooting location, it could not be heavy. The Really Right Stuff TVC-34 Carbon Fiber Tripod was a perfect choice. A capability-matching tripod head was of course needed. The shooting was going to be 100% in the dark and I wanted all images to be completely level despite the usually-requiring re-framing when the first rockets launch. The UniqBall UBH 45X Ball Head, with its unique capabilities, was the perfect choice. Once the head was leveled, pan and tilt could be adjusted without levelness being changed.
Fireworks are usually launched in the dark and many of us immediately think that large apertures and high ISO settings will therefore be needed. But, that is not the case. Fireworks are so bright that the opposite problem is often encountered. In order to avoid the softening effects of diffraction at the tiny aperture opening required for an ideal fireworks burst exposure, a 2-stop neutral density filter was used. As the f/10 aperture used for this image is still slightly narrower than the aperture where diffraction becomes slightly noticeable, a 3-stop ND would have been a slightly better choice.
Getting the entire fireworks burst in a single image requires a long exposure. The tripod ensures that the camera is stationary during that exposure (avoiding wavy fireworks trails), but the shutter must be opened without causing camera motion. Because timing of the start and finish of the exposure is critical for fireworks photography, a remote release is a requirement.
Fireworks are in fast motion. Thus, their brightness in the image is determined by aperture and ISO. The shutter speed controls how long the rocket and resulting explosion is captured. Since the ideal time duration varies, Bulb mode is the ideal choice. With Bulb mode selected, the release button is pressed, held and released to time with the launches.
Fireworks bursts vary greatly in size. In general, it is better to frame slightly too wide than than slightly too tight. It is easier to crop than it is to build missing light trails. My choice is often to let the largest burst go out of the frame, but keep 90 percent of the explosions entirely framed in black.
A fireworks image seemed fitting to lead a Happy New Year well-wishing post and that wish is what I most want to pass along here. Thanks for a great 2018 and Happy New Year 2019!
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 12/31/2018 9:38:43 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:
David Bergman shows you how to photograph reflective objects like a wine glass In Ep 148 of Two Minute Tips.
Post Date: 12/31/2018 10:01:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Sony:
Benefits and Improvements from the latest update
  • Resolves a problem caused by specific third-party memory cards, where the cards cannot be recognized by Sony cameras
[Note 1] When updating to this version from a lower version than "Ver. 4.00", the FTP transfer feature and Wired LAN settings are initialised. You will have to configure these two items again. The names of FTP server 1, FTP server 2, and FTP server 3 will be kept, but other items will be initialised. If you have set the Wired LAN Settings to Manual, each of the manually configured settings will be initialised and the Wired LAN Settings will be set to Auto.
[Note 2] When the camera is updated from Ver. 3.00 to this version, the registered settings for Fn (function) menu may not be kept. In that event, please customise the menu to your preferred settings again. Setting: [MENU]-[Camera Settings2]-[Function Menu Set.]
Download: Sony a9 Firmware v.4.10 - Windows | Macintosh
Post Date: 12/31/2018 9:45:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has a Used Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT (Condition: 9+) available for $203.95 with free expedited shipping. Compare at $249.00 new.
Product Highlights
  • 2.4 GHz Wireless Radio Transmission
  • Compatible with Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II
  • Guide Number: 141' at ISO 100 and 105mm
  • Zoom Range: 24-105mm (14mm with Panel)
  • Tilts Upward 90°
  • Rotates 150° Right & 180° Left
  • Multi Dial, Bounce Panel, & Color Filter
  • Recycle Time: 0.1-3.5 Seconds
  • High-Speed, 1st & 2nd Curtain Sync
  • Runs on 4 AA Batteries
B&H typically offers a 90-day warranty on used items. Please check the product listing above to verify.
Post Date: 12/31/2018 7:43:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the B&H Photo Video YouTube Channel:
Over 45 years ago, B&H began as a small and humble retailer, selling cameras and photography equipment to its customers. Now, with over 400,000 products for sale, we still strive to provide the best customer service and the most competitive prices. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.
Post Date: 12/31/2018 7:31:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Head & 755XB Tripod with Carrying Bag available for $299.00 with free shipping. Regularly $464.00.
Product Highlights
  • Flat Base Fluid Head with 11 lb Payload
  • Wide Platform Ideal for DSLRs
  • -70° / +90° Tilt & 360° Pan
  • Accepts Camera Plates from Above
  • 500PLONG Camera Plate Included
  • 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod
  • Flip-Lever Lock Clamps
  • Adjustable and Removable Center-Column
  • 65" Max Height w/ Center-Column Raised
  • Padded, Zippered Over-the-Shoulder Bag
See today's full list of B&H Deal Zone Deals for excellent savings opportunities.
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the X-Rite ColorMunki Display available for $99.95 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $169.95.
Note: The X-Rite i1Display Pro is also on sale today.
Product Highlights
  • Ergonomic: 3 Integrated Functions
  • Advanced Filter and Optical Systems
  • For Virtually All Modern Displays
  • Field-Upgradeable for Future Technology
  • Rotating Diffuser Arm / Tripod Mount
  • Easy and Advanced Modes
  • Ambient Light Measurement/Smart Control
  • Flare Correct
  • Intelligent Profiling for Color Accuracy
  • Automatic Hardware Adjustment
See today's full list of B&H Deal Zone Deals for excellent savings opportunities.
Post Date: 12/31/2018 6:44:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, December 30, 2018
Through Wednesday (Jan. 2), new users can use coupon code THEDIGITALPICTURE at Skylum to pick up Luminar 3 for $49.00. Regularly $69.00.
Note that an update to Luminar 3 was recently released with the following changes:
  • Stability improved - Fixed 20+ crash issues
  • Fixed issue with folder destination for catalog
  • Fixed crash on quit
  • Fixed language change issue
  • Fixed issue with folder destination for catalog
  • Fixed connection to internet issue
  • Fixed crashes in LR/PS plugins
  • Export/Share moved to file menu
  • Fixed issues with duplicated images
  • Stability improved - 40+ crash issues fixed.
Post Date: 12/30/2018 7:20:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, December 29, 2018
The titles "How to Turn Water into Gold" and "On Golden Pond" seemed also appropriate for this image. Regardless, gold was the theme here.
During my stay at Red River Camps in northern Maine this past summer, a pair of loons were raising their chicks on Island Pond. Especially unusual was that the chicks were very small for the mid-August timeframe. The loon's first nest had been attacked by a predator and the adult pair started over. With winter arriving early here, there was concern that the chicks would not be able to fly in time for migration and biologists were monitoring their progress. But, having small chicks available was a bonus from a photography perspective.
Hanging with these loons required a watercraft and a small canoe was my best option. A light wind made keeping the canoe properly positioned a big challenge and probably more time was spent paddling than photographing. The sun was setting and maintaining a position between the sun and the loons was the goal.
The adults were constantly diving for food and moving around the lake while doing so, but fortunately, they were in the area of the lake receiving the latest direct light when the sun went behind the trees. The color difference between shade light and a late day sun light is dramatic with shade light typically being very cool and direct setting sun light being very warm. As the sun went down, the water became shaded before the shoreline and shaded water usually shows reflections very well.
The photograph shared here was only lightly processed. The primary edit was selecting a custom white balance point using a patch of the adult loon's solid white feathers as the basis. Those feathers were in the shade and the result was a color temperature setting of 10500 K being established. At this setting, the reflected sunlit background becomes very golden and a slight saturation increase (+18 on a -100 to 100 scale in Lightroom) finishes off the liquid gold.
Be looking for opportunities to use the light color mismatch of sun and shade to your creative advantage when out photographing. The subject in the shade, background in the sun option as shared here often works well, but the opposite can also work, creating a blue-toned background with a properly white-balanced subject.
For those with Nikon-based kits, the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E AF-S VR Lens is a great option for handheld wildlife photography. The D850 is my current Nikon camera of choice for this purpose.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Camera and Lens Settings
330mm  f/5.6  1/640s
ISO 1000
7384 x 4923px
Post Date: 12/29/2018 9:56:17 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 28, 2018
Hot Deal: Adorama has the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART Lens for Canon available for $699.00 with free shipping. Regularly $899.00.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/28/2018 3:36:01 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through 9:00pm tonight Eastern Time, use coupon code POPUPSAVINGS on eBay to save 15% (up to $100.00) on your purchase.
With this coupon code, you'll get the maximum savings with a purchase of $667.00 or more.
Example eBay Deals
ItemSellerPrice w/
Coupon Code
Compare at
Canon EOS R (Body)deals-all-year$1,999.00$2,299.00
Canon 5Ds R (Body)6ave$1,985.72$3,699.00
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens6ave$1,367.62$1,799.00
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lensbigvalueinc$759.65$999.00
Post Date: 12/28/2018 2:33:52 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Bloomberg:
As a professional Instagram star, Meghan Young gets paid to climb beautiful mountains and post about those adventures to her fans. It sounds like a glamorous job, but a surprising amount of work goes into making it a full-time career. Bloomberg Technology's Aki Ito tagged along on a recent trip to learn more. This is the sixth episode of Next Jobs, a mini-documentary series about careers of the future.
Post Date: 12/28/2018 12:36:39 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Lexar 256GB Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 Memory Card available for $249.99 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $649.99.
Product Highlights
  • 256GB Storage Capacity
  • CFast 2.0 Card Type
  • 3500x Speed Rating
  • Max. Read Speed: 525 MB/s
  • Max. Write Speeds: 445 MB/s
  • Includes Lexar Image Rescue Software
Adorama is featuring a ton of items in its 2018 Clearance Sale where you can save up to 95%.
Ready to be impressed? Click on the link above and then sort the items by "% Savings."
Grab a highly rated MeFOTO Circular Polarizing Filter for less than $5.00, a Cokin Filter Holder for Z-Pro Series for $15.00 or a Flashpoint Shooting Table for $20.00.
Post Date: 12/28/2018 11:50:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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