Canon and Sony News for Mar 2021

 Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Based on the email I have been receiving, it seems that a growing number of photographers with DSLR kits are interested in having the benefits of the latest high-performing mirrorless cameras. Especially the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 and their impressive AF systems are drawing DSLR kit owners' attention. What is holding these DSLR owners back is their often-extensive investments in DSLR lenses.

Fortunately, that resistance to migrate is unnecessary.

If you have a Canon DSLR kit but want the benefits of a mirrorless camera, get the camera(s) and use Canon EF-EOS R Mount Adapters to make all of your current lenses compatible.

With many photographers currently using this migration strategy, these adapters are hard to find right now. The best course of action is to get in line. Place orders with a few of our recommended retailers (B&H | Adorama | Amazon | Canon USA) and cancel any unshipped orders when your desired number of adapters ship.

If you don't want to wait, consider the in-stock Vello adapter at B&H.

Sure, the Canon RF Lenses are always better than their corresponding DSLR lens model, and you will likely want to migrate to those models eventually. In the meantime, you might be surprised at how well your current DSLR lenses perform when a mirrorless camera is behind them. Expect the EOS R5 and R6 to focus your current lenses as fast as your DSLR and with better accuracy, especially when using the game-changing eye AF feature.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 3/31/2021 8:03:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
You have multiple backups of all files, including at least one full copy off-site, right? If not, now is the time to correct that exposure. Seriously consider taking advantage of the World Backup Day deals available right now.

Today's B&H Deal Zone is dedicated to drives.

Drives are also featured in Amazon's deals of the day. Don't miss the SSD options, including the hot Crucial X6 4TB Portable SSD deal.

Adorama is also playing in the drive deal game.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/31/2021 7:50:36 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 30, 2021
A cancelation has opened a spot for you in this fall's Elk Rut and Fall Landscape in Rocky Mountain National Park Photo Workshop. Can you go?!

There are also a couple of openings for the Whitetail Rut in Shenandoah National Park Instructional Photo Workshop. The whitetails always put on a good show.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/30/2021 6:37:16 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Delkin:

Delkin’s New BLACK CFexpress™ Type B Cards Deliver Up to 1700 MB/s Sustained Speeds

POWAY, CA, MARCH 30, 2021 - Delkin Devices, a manufacturer of flash storage solutions and camera accessories, announced today the newest addition to their top-selling line of memory cards: BLACK CFexpress™ Type B memory cards. Specially designed to meet the ever-growing demands of today’s broadcast, cinema and photography industries, Delkin’s BLACK CFexpress™ cards leverage today’s latest technology in order to provide the fastest speeds on the market.

Other competing CFexpress™ Type B cards may state a maximum write speed, but BLACK takes things further with sustained sequential write speeds of at least 1400 MB/s (higher depending on capacity). This sustained speed versus potential write speeds is what guarantees flawless cinema-quality video capture, including DCI 8K RAW 12-Bit @ 30fps (2600 Mbps) in the Canon R5. This is especially valuable during events like weddings, sport meets, concerts and other situations you cannot redo. The cards are also capable of offloading data at speeds reaching up to 1730 MB/s, ensuring the quickest, most efficient data transfer from card to computer for immediate file access and sooner post-production.

Delkin BLACK CFexpress Type B Memory Card Performance

Maximum Write Speed – Defined as the Maximum Capable Write Speed – Potential Peaks & Valleys Sustained Sequential Write Speed – Defined as the Continuous Write Speed – No Peaks & Valleys

“With more camera manufacturers deciding to integrate support for CFexpress™ Type B memory cards into their new camera models, we felt the need to provide camera owners with a card that they could trust to protect and preserve their precious memories” says Jenn Sherry, Delkin's Retail Sales & Marketing Manager, “As cameras continue to advance and new data-heavy modes are introduced, it has become even more important for storage mediums to be able to keep up. We believe that BLACK CFexpress™ is the solution for complete video capture, just as the creator envisioned.”

Each BLACK CFexpress™ Type B memory card has undergone extensive testing to ensure full functionality and performance in today’s high-end cinematic hosts, including ones from Canon® (C300 Mark III, C500 Mark II, 1D X Mark III & R5) and Nikon® (D6, Z6 II & Z7 II). Select hosts originally designed with native support for XQD cards can also accept CFexpress™ Type B cards via firmware upgrade.

In addition to their “Lifetime Warranty” policy, Delkin continues to offer a unique built-in insurance policy for their BLACK memory cards, known as the “48-Hour Replacement Guarantee”. Delkin will replace any non-working BLACK card within 48 hours or less (not including weekends - in the US and UK), prior to receiving the non-working card. Cards can also be replaced over-the-counter at any authorized Delkin BLACK reseller.

Orders

Delkin BLACK memory cards are in stock at B&H.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Delkin News
Post Date: 3/30/2021 2:01:46 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Sony:

Sony Electronics’ “Visual Story™” App Features New Updates to Empower Event Photographers

Updated Visual Story App Version 1.1 Now Includes Live Galleries and Remote Viewing Capabilities with Expanded Support and Camera Compatibility

SAN DIEGO, CA – March 30, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced new updates to “Visual Story” – a mobile application for professional event photographers that simplifies the process of delivering photos to their clients immediately after an event through automatic gallery creation, AI (artificial intelligence) image selection and web delivery[i]. The new application version 1.1 for “Visual Story” offers expanded support and a new “Live gallery” feature that makes remote viewing and participation more accessible.

New Live Gallery Feature for Socially Distanced Live Events

Visual Story Version 1.1’s new Live Gallery feature allows professional event photographers to meet the growing demand for remote participation during the actual event. This enables the photographer’s clients to share photo galleries with their friends, family and colleagues, to then view photos of their event, such as a wedding, corporate, school or sporting event, in real time to create a more immersive experience.

Live Gallery helps simplify a professional workflow by allowing Auto transfer while shooting with a compatible Sony Alpha brand camera[ii], automated image selection using AI, and applying edit presets to all images within a live gallery at the same time. Live Gallery viewers can also like specific photos, which the photographer can use to choose final image selections to deliver to their client.

Upgraded Selection Options

The newly updated Visual Story app also now includes an object detection filter to easily locate images focusing on specific items such as a cake, food, tableware and jewelry. The photographer can also choose images that are only included in a live gallery or those with likes.

Compatibility and Availability

Visual Story Version 1.1 is available now for iOS in the App Store for free and is compatible with select Sony cameras including: Alpha 7C, Alpha 7R IV, Alpha 7S III, Alpha 9, Alpha 9 II as well as Alpha 7 III (updated to firmware Version 4.0 or later), Alpha 1 and FX3i.

Sony’s new Visual Story is available to download for free HERE, and development on additional platforms is under discussion.

Learn more about Visual Story HERE.

Notes:

[i] Membership to “Visual Story” account and app on smartphone required with connection to Wi-Fi. See “Visual Story” terms and conditions/privacy policy for details. Download app at the App Store. Network services, content, and operating system and software subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted or discontinued at any time and may require fees, registration and credit card information.

[ii] Please refer to the website for a full list of compatible models. Firmware must be updated on cameras to ensure compatibility.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Announcements
Post Date: 3/30/2021 9:36:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 29, 2021
From Canon USA:

Building on user feedback, Canon’s firmware unleashes new photographic and video possibilities for the EOS R5, EOS R6, and EOS-1D X Mark III cameras

Canon is introducing a firmware update for three of its EOS cameras in response to customer feedback. Users of the EOS R5 (firmware v1.3), EOS R6 (firmware v1.3), and EOS-1D X Mark III (firmware v1.4) cameras have access to several feature updates helping to streamline workflows and provide users with greater creative freedom.

Increased Image Quality and Usability

The EOS R5 camera will benefit from several upgrades offered with the firmware update, including Full HD 120p and support for greater customization of the camera. Users will now be able to save personalized and preferred camera settings to a memory card, which can be copied to a different camera or used when the settings are adjusted. There is also the option to turn the LCD monitor off during shooting and use it for playback only, providing a familiar DSLR-style operation. For both the EOS R5 and EOS R6 cameras, the firmware achieves full-time manual support update for select* RF lenses, allowing photographers to override the focus of RF lenses manually when in One Shot and Servo AF mode.

*RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM and RF70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM

Streamlined Professional Workflows

For the EOS R5 camera, professional photographers can safeguard and quickly share photos with the new Protect Image Transfer function allowing protected images to be locked - preventing them from accidentally being deleted - and transferred via FTP. Users of the EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS R5 cameras can now see FTP Transfer status on the LCD screen, clearly displaying how long it will take to transfer pictures.

Enhanced Video Functionality

The firmware enables low-bit rate RAW movies, which reduces the size of RAW video files allowing for faster file transfer rates for users of the EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III cameras. The update also provides enhanced video capabilities for the EOS R5 camera with the addition of Canon Log 3 – a log gamma curve enabling greater dynamic range, superb color editing capabilities, and easier file management. For even greater flexibility of video formats across all cameras, the firmware unlocks a lower bit rate IPB movie option creating small, easily shareable video files.

Several software updates have also been released today to complement the firmware upgrades and bring forth support for Apple M1 processors via Rosetta for Digital Photo Professional (DPP) with v4.14 and EOS Utility with v3.13.1.

Canon’s commitment to photographers and videographers will continue through further plans to bring new functionality to these three models based on user feedback, including bringing Canon Log 3 to the EOS-1D X Mark III camera in a future update.

The firmware and software updates are now available to download on each product page:

Canon EOS R5 Firmware Update 1.3.0

download

Firmware Version 1.3.0 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:

  1. Adds [Canon Log 3] to [Canon Log settings]. You can select [Canon Log] or [Canon Log 3] from [Canon Log settings] in the Shooting tab of the menu.
    - Support for RAW movies shot with Canon Log3 and RAW (Light) will be available in Cinema RAW Development and in Digital Photo Professional version in a future update.
    - Digital Photo Professional will also support the processing of RAW movies shot in Canon Log3 settings and the application of Viewing LUT in future update.
  2. Adds [RAW (Light)] to the movie recording size and [IPB (Light)] to 8K/4K to enable lower bit rate shooting. These settings can also be selected when RAW+MP4 is set.
  3. Adds a high frame rate of 119.9 fps/100.0 fps to the Full HD movie recording size.
  4. Adds [Electronic full-time MF] to the AF tab of the menu. When a lens is attached, manual focus adjustment is always possible with both One-shot AF and Servo AF.
  5. Adds [6: Monitor Off] to [Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings] in the Shooting tab of the menu. This update makes it possible for the camera's monitor to be turned off at all times during shooting.
  6. The transfer time (estimated value) now displays on the camera monitor during FTP transfer.
  7. Adds the ability, when transferring images via FTP, to select protected images that failed to be transferred and protected images that have not yet been transferred and transfer them all at once.
  8. Adds [Save/load cam settings on card] to the Function settings tab of the menu. This allows you to save the camera settings to a card, or load a saved file and restore the camera to the settings you saved to a card.
  9. Fixes a phenomenon, in which, in rare instances, the camera does not function normally when using certain CFexpress cards.
  10. Fixes a phenomenon, in which in rare instances, the camera cannot function normally when the drive mode is set to "High-speed continuous shooting" to shoot still images continuously.
  11. Fixes a phenomenon in which the power may become suspended when the camera is powered via USB for an extended period of time.

Canon EOS R6 Firmware Update 1.3.1

download

Firmware Version 1.3.0 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:

  1. Adds [IPB (Light)] to 4K to enable lower bit rate shooting.
  2. Adds [Electronic full-time MF] to the AF tab of the menu. When a lens is attached, manual focus adjustment is always possible with both One-shot AF and Servo AF.
  3. The transfer time (estimated value) now displays on the camera monitor during FTP transfer.
  4. Fixes a phenomenon, in which in rare instances, the camera cannot function normally when the drive mode is set to "High-speed continuous shooting" to shoot still images continuously.
  5. Fixes a phenomenon that may corrupt the image displayed in the viewfinder.
  6. Fixes a phenomenon in which the power may become suspended when the camera is powered via USB for an extended period of time.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Firmware Update 1.4.0

download

Firmware Version 1.4.0 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:

  1. Adds [RAW (Light)] to the movie recording size and [IPB (Light)] to 4K to enable lower bit rate shooting. These settings can also be selected when RAW+MP4 is set.
  2. The transfer time (estimated value) now displays on the camera monitor during FTP transfer.
  3. Improves communication reliability when using FTP and USB simultaneously.

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS Lens Firmware Update 1.1.0

download

Firmware Version 1.1.0 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:

  1. Adds a digital full-time manual focus function (a function that enables constant manual focus adjustment in both One-shot AF and Servo AF).
  2. Improves a phenomenon in which the background is not blurred when performing slow panning with the IS (Image Stabilization) mode set to Mode 2 or Mode 3.

Canon RF 100-500mm L IS Lens Firmware Update 1.0.9

download

Firmware Version 1.0.9 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:

  1. Adds a digital full-time manual focus function (a function that enables constant manual focus adjustment in both One-shot AF and Servo AF).
  2. Improves a phenomenon in which the background is not blurred when performing slow panning with the IS (Image Stabilization) mode set to Mode 2 or Mode 3.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon Firmware Updates
Post Date: 3/29/2021 9:50:18 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Through Mar 31st, save up to 30% on all DxO software and on the Nik Collection 3 at DxO.

"New Versions. Lifetime License. No Subscription."

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/29/2021 5:04:06 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Until April 9th, use coupon code SHARPEN15 to save 15% on Sharpen AI v2.0, already on sale for $59.99 ($20.00 off).

Save much more: the Image Quality Bundle (scroll down) is on sale for almost $160.00 off!

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/29/2021 4:57:34 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
A wide assortment of memory cards and USB drives from brands including SanDisk, Lexar, PNY, and Samsung are featured in today's Amazon Deals of the Day.
Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/29/2021 3:09:58 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Last week's goal was to put a significantly challenging subject in front of the Sony Alpha a1's AF system.

This project started with 350+ images of whitetail deer captured with the outstanding Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens. At f/4, this lens produces a shallow depth of field that presents an AF challenge. Initially, the deer were milling about (erratic motion), but the game was quickly upped when a large group of deer came in fast, primarily single file, leaping toward the camera position. With animal eye detection and the entire AF area selected, the a1 easily and impressively tracked these subjects' eyes and produced an extremely high in-focus rate, including when the deer were leaping at close distances.

Despite the in-focus aspect of the image, none of these pics were worth keeping as the deer were shedding their winter coats and looking shaggy. I needed pictures that would look good in a review. From a wildlife perspective, birds, primarily ducks, were the acceptable subject I had access to.

After watching the weather forecast and the migration reports for some hotspot locations within driving distance, I made a final decision. On this day, the temperature was going well above freezing, and clear skies were forecasted. Bright sunlight brings out birds' iridescent colors, and the sky color reflects in the water, which, in this case, provided a surrounding blue color in the image (deep blue late in the day). The wind speed was supposed to be light for calmer water. The temperature was going to be comfortable — sitting in the water in the wind and sub-freezing temperatures complicates duck photography.

On this morning, I drove to the closest of the four selected locations, about 2.5 hours away. Unfortunately, the perfect subjects, the wood ducks reliably found there, were not there. While Canada geese were plentiful, I was looking for something different.

Plan B was immediately implemented. The Chesapeake Bay location was 2+ hours farther away, but this location is best in the afternoon, so there was still time to make it there for the ideal lighting.

Upon arrival, I discovered that the huge winter flock of ducks was down to a small fraction of the count. I expected a reduced count, but not this reduced. Fortunately, a selection of the ideal species was there, and with fewer birds, it was easier to isolate individual subjects, making the situation was ideal.

The scenario was ideal except for some wind that made the water choppy. Ideally, swimming duck photography is done at the water level, with the camera just above the water. This low camera position provides a side view of the duck, with a more-distant background, meaning the background has a stronger blur, making the subject pop.

When photographing floating ducks, getting the camera low involves sitting in the water, with chest waders and thick insulated pants required at this time of the year. With the high-frequency wind chop, splashing salt water was an issue, requiring a slightly higher camera position (a LensCoat rain cover protected most of the camera and lens). An unexpected wind complication was that bobbing with the ducks while looking into the viewfinder contributed to a strong sense of motion sickness.

Ducks floating on water may seem a low challenge to photograph (the proverbial sitting duck), but this scenario was the completel opposite. Many near-1' (0.3m) waves rocking the already-twitchy, constantly-erratically moving ducks and me (at different frequencies) made keeping a duck in the 600mm frame (I started at 840mm with a 1.4x teleconverter) extremely challenging (especially when the duck was obscured by a wave). I monitored image sharpness until becoming confident that a 1/3200 shutter speed eliminated motion blur in most pictures.

One of the biggest wildlife (and portrait) photography challenges is to keep the proper AF point selected. A motionless subject permits a focus and recompose strategy, but moving subjects require selecting a specific AF point that produces the optimal composition while remaining on the subject's eye. Fast AF point selection is an especially big challenge for unpredictable wildlife. Tracking a twitchy, bobbing duck with a specific focus point held on the eye would have been nearly impossible. However, the 600mm, f/4, close distance combination's shallow depth of field made focusing precisely on the eye a requirement.

Eye AF eliminates this challenge for a significant percentage of subjects. With the Sony Alpha a1's eye AF enabled, bird selected as the subject, and the entire AF area chosen (most of the frame), I was left to concentrate primarily on framing the scene and timing the shutter release press. Note that, when eye AF is locking on the subject, gloves are no longer an impediment to cold-weather wildlife pursuits.

When many changes are happening simultaneously, a fast frame rate has your back. I began shooting in the 30 fps drive mode but backed off to 20 fps when I saw how fast the image count was increasing.

Twenty fps is still an exceptionally fast frame rate. Most 20 fps shot sequences captured, minimally, a properly-framed duck image, and often, many well-framed shots, despite all of the motion (ducks would sometimes bob from one frame border to another during a short burst). With 20 fps capture, I didn't feel the need to repair closed necessitating membranes as the previous or next image still had the ideal pose. The foreground and background matter, and wave and reflection nuances vary constantly. These elements can be the deciding factor for selection, and the 20 and 30 fps capture rate provides considerable options in this regard.

That the a1's viewfinder responded fast enough to keep the birds in the frame was remarkable, and the lack of viewfinder blackout was also critical. Even more remarkable was the extremely-high in-focus rate the a1 delivered. In this 3:45 shoot, 8,985 images were captured, and in almost all of them, the eye was in sharp focus – even when the eye bounced into the periphery of the frame.

When packing, four batteries seemed a lot, but 4% of the fourth battery was consumed by the time I walked out of the water. That said, capturing nearly 3,000 images per relatively-small battery is great performance.

Similarly, taking a full terabyte of memory cards seemed overkill, but the last 256GB card was half-filled when shade reached the water. As much as I want to purchase CFexpress Type A memory cards for the a1, I can't get past the current price. Let's put a Type A number on this day. As I write this, adequate 160GB Type A memory cards to contain this under-4-hour shoot would have cost $2,394.00.

In comparison, four fast Lexar 256GB Professional 1667x V60 UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards currently cost $300.00.

With these Lexar cards, the a1 was writing the buffer to the card most of the time. This writing prevents some camera features from being accessible, though image playback functions during the writing process.

Ultra-high performance AF combined with an extreme frame rate results in a problem, albeit a great problem — too many excellent images yield a long selection process. You may have foreseen this issue: reviewing nearly 9k photos is a massive project, and the phenomenal in-focus rate makes that job far more difficult. It is hard to delete excellent pictures, but the quality bar must be raised (or considerable hard drive storage space acquired). Again, the a1's extreme performance create a problem you want to have.

I didn't mention the a1's 50MP resolution in this post, but the bouncing ducks were often not ideally framed. This camera's high resolution meant that significant resolution remained even after cropping deeply.

The Robus RC-8860 Vantage Carbon Fiber Tripod (great tripod, excellent value) provided the support for this shoot. With the tripod leveled, the two-way pan and tilt of the smooth-functioning Wimberley WH-200-S Sidemount Head ensured that every shot was level (though the wave action diminished this requirement).

The bottom line is that Sony Alpha a1, and especially its AF system, is an outstanding performer, as expected.
 
Last week's goal was to put a significantly challenging subject in front of the Sony Alpha a1's AF system.

This project started with 350+ images of whitetail deer captured with the outstanding Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens. At f/4, this lens produces a shallow depth of field that presents an AF challenge. Initially, the deer were milling about (erratic motion), but the game was quickly upped when a large group of deer came in fast, primarily single file, leaping toward the camera position. With animal eye detection and the entire AF area selected, the a1 easily and impressively tracked these subjects' eyes and produced an extremely high in-focus rate, including when the deer were leaping at close distances.

Despite the in-focus aspect of the image, none of these pics were worth keeping as the deer were shedding their winter coats and looking shaggy. I needed pictures that would look good in a review. From a wildlife perspective, birds, primarily ducks, were the acceptable subject I had access to.

After watching the weather forecast and the migration reports for some hotspot locations within driving distance, I made a final decision. On this day, the temperature was going well above freezing, and clear skies were forecasted. Bright sunlight brings out birds' iridescent colors, and the sky color reflects in the water, which, in this case, provided a surrounding blue color in the image (deep blue late in the day). The wind speed was supposed to be light for calmer water. The temperature was going to be comfortable — sitting in the water in the wind and sub-freezing temperatures complicates duck photography.

On this morning, I drove to the closest of the four selected locations, about 2.5 hours away. Unfortunately, the perfect subjects, the wood ducks reliably found there, were not there. While Canada geese were plentiful, I was looking for something different.

Plan B was immediately implemented. The Chesapeake Bay location was 2+ hours farther away, but this location is best in the afternoon, so there was still time to make it there for the ideal lighting.

Upon arrival, I discovered that the huge winter flock of ducks was down to a small fraction of the count. I expected a reduced count, but not this reduced. Fortunately, a selection of the ideal species was there, and with fewer birds, it was easier to isolate individual subjects, making the situation was ideal.

The scenario was ideal except for some wind that made the water choppy. Ideally, swimming duck photography is done at the water level, with the camera just above the water. This low camera position provides a side view of the duck, with a more-distant background, meaning the background has a stronger blur, making the subject pop.

When photographing floating ducks, getting the camera low involves sitting in the water, with chest waders and thick insulated pants required at this time of the year. With the high-frequency wind chop, splashing salt water was an issue, requiring a slightly higher camera position (a LensCoat rain cover protected most of the camera and lens). An unexpected wind complication was that bobbing with the ducks while looking into the viewfinder contributed to a strong sense of motion sickness.

Ducks floating on water may seem a low challenge to photograph (the proverbial sitting duck), but this scenario was the complete opposite. Many near-1' (0.3m) waves rocking the already-twitchy, constantly-erratically moving ducks and me (at different frequencies) made keeping a duck in the 600mm frame (I started at 840mm with a 1.4x teleconverter) extremely challenging (especially when the duck was obscured by a wave). I monitored image sharpness until becoming confident that a 1/3200 shutter speed eliminated motion blur in most pictures.

One of the biggest wildlife (and portrait) photography challenges is to keep the proper AF point selected. A motionless subject permits a focus and recompose strategy, but moving subjects require selecting a specific AF point that produces the optimal composition while remaining on the subject's eye. Fast AF point selection is an especially big challenge for unpredictable wildlife. Tracking a twitchy, bobbing duck with a specific focus point held on the eye would have been nearly impossible. However, the 600mm, f/4, close distance combination's shallow depth of field made focusing precisely on the eye a requirement.

Eye AF eliminates this challenge for a significant percentage of subjects. With the Sony Alpha a1's eye AF enabled, bird selected as the subject, and the entire AF area chosen (most of the frame), I was left to concentrate primarily on framing the scene and timing the shutter release press. Note that, when eye AF is locking on the subject, gloves are no longer an impediment to cold-weather wildlife pursuits.

When many changes are happening simultaneously, a fast frame rate has your back. I began shooting in the 30 fps drive mode but backed off to 20 fps when I saw how fast the image count was increasing.

Twenty fps is still an exceptionally fast frame rate. Most 20 fps shot sequences captured, minimally, a properly-framed duck image, and often, many well-framed shots, despite all of the motion (ducks would sometimes bob from one frame border to another during a short burst). With 20 fps capture, I didn't feel the need to repair closed necessitating membranes as the previous or next image still had the ideal pose. The foreground and background matter, and wave and reflection nuances vary constantly. These elements can be the deciding factor for selection, and the 20 and 30 fps capture rate provides considerable options in this regard.

That the a1's viewfinder responded fast enough to keep the birds in the frame was remarkable, and the lack of viewfinder blackout was also critical. Even more remarkable was the extremely-high in-focus rate the a1 delivered. In this 3:45 shoot, 8,985 images were captured, and in almost all of them, the eye was in sharp focus – even when the eye bounced into the periphery of the frame.

When packing, four batteries seemed a lot, but 4% of the fourth battery was consumed by the time I walked out of the water. That said, capturing nearly 3,000 images per relatively-small battery is great performance.

Similarly, taking a full terabyte of memory cards seemed overkill, but the last 256GB card was half-filled when shade reached the water. As much as I want to purchase CFexpress Type A memory cards for the a1, I can't get past the current price. Let's put a Type A number on this day. As I write this, adequate 160GB Type A memory cards to contain this under-4-hour shoot would have cost $2,394.00.

In comparison, four fast Lexar 256GB Professional 1667x V60 UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards currently cost $300.00.

With these Lexar cards, the a1 was writing the buffer to the card most of the time. This writing prevents some camera features from being accessible, though image playback functions during the writing process.

Ultra-high performance AF combined with an extreme frame rate results in a problem, albeit a great problem — too many excellent images yield a long selection process. You may have foreseen this issue: reviewing nearly 9k photos is a massive project, and the phenomenal in-focus rate makes that job far more difficult. Most of us are not interested in a large volume of images, but we do care about quality. Still, it is hard to delete excellent pictures, and the minimum quality bar must be raised (or considerable hard drive storage space acquired). Again, the a1's extreme performance create a problem you want to have.

I didn't mention the a1's 50MP resolution in this post, but the bouncing ducks were often not ideally framed. This camera's high resolution meant that significant resolution remained even after cropping deeply.

The Robus RC-8860 Vantage Carbon Fiber Tripod (great tripod, excellent value) provided the support for this shoot. With the tripod leveled, the two-way pan and tilt of the smooth-functioning Wimberley WH-200-S Sidemount Head ensured that every shot was level (though the wave action diminished this requirement).

The bottom line is that Sony Alpha a1, and especially its AF system, is an outstanding performer, as expected.

Post Date: 3/29/2021 10:40:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Adorama is having a 5-Day Lighting Sale.

"Hurry to save up to $200.00 on top Flashpoint and Godox lighting gear."

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/29/2021 8:28:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Canon, Inc.:

Canon celebrates 18th consecutive year of No. 1 share of global interchangeable-lens digital camera market

TOKYO, March 29, 2021—Canon Inc. announced today that the company's interchangeable-lens digital cameras (digital SLR and mirrorless cameras) have maintained the No. 1 share of the global market for 18 consecutive years1 from 2003 to 2020.

Canon develops the key imaging system components featured in its EOS series of digital interchangeable-lens cameras—CMOS image sensors, image processors and interchangeable lenses—under the core concept of, "Speed, Comfort and High Image Quality." Putting together a wide-ranging product lineup—from high-performance flagship models that are highly trusted by professionals to entry-level models that allow users to enjoy high-image-quality shooting with easy operation, as well as a rich selection of 1182 combined RF and EF series lenses that make possible a wealth of creative expression—Canon continues to support the diverse needs of customers.

During the dawn of digital SLR cameras, Canon introduced its breakthrough EOS Kiss Digital (EOS Digital Rebel or EOS 300D in other regions) in September 2003. This groundbreaking camera, which was competitively priced and featured a compact, lightweight design, captured the top share of the global market and set the stage for growth in the digital SLR market. Since that time, Canon has continued to launch a range of groundbreaking products, including the professional-model EOS-1D series and the EOS 5D series, which paved the way for digital SLR video recording. In October 2018, Canon announced the EOS R system—including the EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera and RF lenses that fully leverage their optical technologies—that further expanded the range of imaging creativity and opened up new possibilities for visual expression. Over a long history beginning in the age of film, and with the support of loyal users, in 2019, the EOS series achieved the remarkable milestone of 100 million3 total EOS cameras sold.

In July 20204, Canon launched the EOS R5 full-frame mirrorless camera, equipped with cutting-edge technology in pursuit of next-generation visual expression. In striving to further expand its lineup, Canon managed to secure the No. 1 share of the global market for the 18th consecutive year.

Canon will continue to refine its diverse imaging technologies based on its core optical technology while further strengthening and expanding the EOS series of cameras and RF/EF series of lenses, opening up new avenues of image capture to meet the needs of increasingly diverse users and to promote the spread of photo and video culture.

1 Based on a Canon survey.

2 Includes 30 EF Cinema lenses (EF mount/PL mount) for visual productions and 4 lens extenders. As of march 29, 2021.

3 Including cinema cameras for visual productions.

4 Also in 2020, Canon released the following digital interchangeable-lens cameras: the EOS-1D X Mark III (February), the EOS Kiss X10i/EOS REBEL T8i/EOS 850D (June), the EOS R5 (July), the EOS R6 (August) and the EOS Kiss M2/EOS M50 Mark II (November).

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/29/2021 7:31:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, March 27, 2021
The Canon USA Store has the refurbished Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro Lens on sale for only $318.99. Compare at $399.00 after $100.00 instant savings new.

Expect Canon USA refurbished gear to be like new with an as-new warranty and a great price.

Learn more here: Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro Lens Review

Post Date: 3/27/2021 11:58:50 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 26, 2021
From Sigma:

Firmware update for SIGMA Global Vision lenses in SONY E-mount 2021.03.26

Thank you for purchasing and using our products.

We would like to announce that a new firmware update is now available for SIGMA Global Vision lenses in SONY E-mount listed below.

[Applicable product]

·SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Art in SONY E-mount

[Benefits of the update]

·It has fixed the issue whereby the MF Assist is cancelled on the SONY a7S III when shooting in the manual focus (MF) or direct manual focus (DMF) mode.

To update the firmware, please refer to the following link; https://www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/a019_24_70_28/?tab=support&local=firmware

[Applicable product]

·SIGMA 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary in SONY E-mount

[Benefits of the update]

·It has improved focusing accuracy in single AF (AF-S)

To update the firmware, please refer to the following link; https://www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/c019_45_28/?tab=support&local=firmware

* After the update is complete, be sure to remove the camera battery pack and reinsert it.

For further information, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA subsidiary / distributor. https://www.sigma-global.com/en/world-network/

We appreciate your continued support for our company and products.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 3/26/2021 9:50:19 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Check out Adorama's Deals of the Week for big savings on the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E. Save $130.00!

The Canon EF-M mount version of this lens is also on sale for $50.00 off.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/26/2021 11:43:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 25, 2021
B&H has a 9-rated used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens in stock for $7,598.95.

This is a great lens — learn more here: Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens Review

Also in stock at B&H is an 8+ (well-used) Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens — $5,998.95.

This is another great lens — learn more here: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens Review

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/25/2021 1:34:22 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Check out today's B&H Deal Zone Deals for big savings on:

  • Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements 2021 (DVD or Download) – only $89.99 after $60.00 instant savings
  • SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Memory Card – only $89.99 after $100.00 instant savings
  • PGYTECH OneMo Backpack 25L & Shoulder Bag (Twilight Black) – only $119.00 after $80.00 instant savings
  • & more!

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/25/2021 8:29:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Until 4/6/21, use coupon code PASSOVER2021 to Buy One, Get One Free on any item at Printique.

"Purchase any item and receive the same product free."

This is a great deal. Start thinking about gift ideas for the rest of this year.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/24/2021 11:47:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Check out Adorama's Deals of the Day for big savings on the Venus Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Ultra-Wide-Angle Lens in Canon EF and Nikon F mount (save $150.00).

This is a good lens. Learn more in the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens Review.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/24/2021 10:30:46 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
This is your last chance to place an order at B&H before the upcoming holiday closing (Friday). Place your orders now.

Get started by checking out the B&H Deals of the Week.

Some standout items include:

  • New: WD My Passport SSD (1TB or 2TB | USB Type-C | Gold, Red or Silver)
  • Apple iPad Pro 12.9" (Early 2020) with Magic Keyboard
  • Apple iPad Air 10.9" (4th Gen) 64GB | Wi-Fi
  • Rokinon Mirrorless Lenses for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon or Sony
  • Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 CF atx-i Lens for Canon or Nikon
  • SanDisk Memory Cards – microSDXC or SDXC | 128GB - 1TB
  • Manfrotto Bags & Backpack
  • Much More!

A huge range of additional items are available, and most deals include free shipping.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/24/2021 7:53:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 23, 2021
From Sigma:

Important Notice

Potential issue of ghost resistance deterioration of the SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary

Dear valued customers

Thank you for your purchase and continued support of our products.

We have become aware of a potential issue with our recently released SIGMA 28-70 F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, which could lead to increased ghosting over time in certain shooting conditions. This falls short of our usual high standards so we are acting as quickly as possible to rectify the issue.

Applicable Product and Serial Number

– Applicable product:SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary (for L-mount, Sony E mount)

– Serial Number: serial number prior to 55488834, regardless of mount

The phenomenon has been identified early, so only a small number of customers are affected. Anyone who has already received a 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary (which has only started shipping in some countries) can check their lens’s serial number to see if it is affected.

How to check the serial number

You can find the serial number printed on the side of the lens, and also on the box. If your serial number is higher than 55488834 you can be assured it is not affected by this issue.

Cause of phenomenon

Our optical engineers are working hard to identify and eradicate the underlying cause of the phenomenon, and we expect to have this resolved within a month.

Treatment on this issue

We will suspend all shipments of the applicable product until the cause of this matter has been identified. Once we know the cause, we will be in touch with the small number of affected customers to advise on whether we will repair their lens or replace it, and how this process will work.

In the meantime, all customers can continue to use the 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary with confidence. If you have any questions please contact your local authorized SIGMA Service Station at https://www.sigma-global.com/en/world-network/, who will be happy to assist.

For customers in the US requiring more information, please contact our Service and Support team at info@sigmaphoto.com.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and we assure you that we will put this issue right as soon as possible.

SIGMA corporation

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 3/23/2021 7:21:10 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Until 4/6/21, use coupon code PASSOVER2021 to Buy One, Get One Free on the following items at Printique.

  • Albums
  • Photo Books
  • Softcover Books
  • Mini Books
  • Poster Prints
  • Canvas Prints
  • Wood Prints
  • Standout Prints
  • Giclee Fine Art Prints
  • Acrylic Prints
  • Calendars
  • Cards

This is a great deal. Start thinking about gift ideas for the rest of this year.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/23/2021 12:20:05 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

"The prime lens packs the high image quality and beautiful bokeh of the G Lens into a compact design with intuitive operability and a sophisticated finish. The fast, precise and quiet AF is ideal for shooting both stills and movies, ensuring capture of those vital moments." [Sony]

Sony Electronics Introduces Three New High-Performance G Lenses™ to its Full-Frame E-mount Lens Lineup

Sony Electronics - 03/23/2021

SAN DIEGO, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Electronics Inc. has announced the addition of three new G Lenses™ to its impressive E-mount line-up – the FE 50mm F2.5 G (model SEL50F25G), FE 40mm F2.5 G (model SEL40F25G) and FE 24mm F2.8 G (model SEL24F28G). All three lenses deliver high image quality and beautiful bokeh in a lightweight and compact design, perfect for photographers and videographers needing high image quality combined with easy mobility.

Sony Electronics Introduces Three New High-Performance G Lenses™ to its Full-Frame E-mount Lens Lineup

When paired with a Sony full-frame or APS-C camera, all three lenses offer high resolution, intuitive operability, and fast, precise and quiet AF (autofocus) capabilities. The lenses were designed for a wide range of photo and video uses including portraiture, landscape, street photography and more.

"At Sony we are constantly innovating to develop the best tools that allow photographers and video creators to realize their artistic vision," said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. "With these three dynamic lenses, our customers can capture a wide range of perspectives with the excellent resolution and beautiful bokeh that Sony's G lenses are known for."

As a set, the FE 50mm F2.5 G, FE 40mm F2.5 G and FE 24mm F2.8 G deliver an ideal focal length for any shoot, from wide-angle landscapes or establishing shots on the 24mm, to a closer versatile perspective with the 40mm and a normal field of view ideal for portraits and closer shots on the 50mm. With their intuitive operability and superb build quality, this lens set is perfect for a variety of needs for any content creator.

The three lenses are all the same size (2.68 in diameter x 1.77 in), all have the same filter diameter (49mm) and are almost all the same weight (FE 50mm F2.5 G 6.1 oz, FE 40mm F2.5 G 6.1 oz and FE 24mm F2.8 G 5.7 oz), allowing the user to easily switch between all three lenses when using a gimbal without needing to rebalance each time. Moreover, each lens focuses internally, which means the front element does not move in and out to focus, enabling all three lenses to balance well when using a gimbal. They all feature the same stylish exterior design with focal lengths that are clearly marked to easily switch from lens to lens.

High Resolution in a Compact Design

The FE 50mm F2.5 G, FE 40mm F2.5 G and FE 24mm F2.8 G combine the high image quality of a G Lens with a compact and lightweight form factor. The image quality is achieved by state-of-the-art optics using aspherical elements and ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements,i delivering high resolution and suppressing color fringing from corner to corner, even from the widest aperture, with a shallow depth of field.

The stunning bokeh of the G lenses is achieved with the optimization of a circular aperture and is delivered at the widest point of each lens (FE 50mm F2.5 G, FE 40mm F2.5 G, and the FE 24mm F2.8 G).

Focus Distances

The FE 50mm F2.5 G has a minimum focus distance of 0.35m (AF) / 0.31m (MF) and maximum magnification of up to 0.18x (AF) / 0.21x (MF), which is ideal for a variety of shooting environments and subjects.

The FE 40mm F2.5 G has a minimum focus distance of 0.28m (AF) / 0.25m (MF) and maximum magnification of up to 0.20x (AF) / 0.23x (MF). Particularly for movie shooting, 40mm is the preferred angle of view as it corresponds to the natural field of vision. For stills, 40mm allows subjects to stand out against backgrounds.

With a wide 24mm angle of view, the FE 24mm F2.8 G has a minimum focus distance of 0.24m (AF) / 0.18m (MF) and maximum magnification of up to 0.13x (AF) / 0.19x (MF), the user can easily shoot close-ups with a blurred background.

High Operability and Reliability

The lenses feature a focus hold button, focus mode switch, aperture ring, and aperture click switch for ideal operability. The focus hold button is customizable from the camera menu and can be assigned based on users' preferences. The aperture ring provides an intuitive and direct feel, compared to operating the aperture from the camera body. The aperture also provides switchable click stops that can be turned off for movie shooting using the aperture click switch. Furthermore, with Linear Response MF, the focus ring responds precisely and linearly when focusing manually, so control feels immediate and intuitive, directly reflecting the intent of the photographer and allowing delicate focus adjustments.

The aluminum exterior ensures a premium, sophisticated finish and provides increased strength and durability. Conveniently, the diameter of the filter threads on the hood and the lens barrel are equalii (49mm), allowing the same cap and filter to be attached to both the hood and the lens barrel. The lenses are also designed to be dust and moisture resistantiii to ensure usability in any outdoor environment.

Fast, Precise and Quiet Autofocus

The FE 50mm F2.5 G, FE 40mm F2.5 G and FE 24mm F2.8 G feature two linear motors to deliver fast, precise AF with excellent tracking performance which is maintained despite instantaneous changes in subject motion - making the lens ideal for tracking moving subjects. The AF is also quiet, so works for both still and movie shooting.

Pricing and Availability

The FE 50mm F2.5 G will be available in May and will be sold for approximately $600.00 USD and $800.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony's authorized dealers throughout North America.

The FE 40mm F2.5 G will be available in May and will be sold for approximately $600.00 USD and $800.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony's authorized dealers throughout North America.

The FE 24mm F2.8 G will be available in May and will be sold for approximately $600.00 USD and $800.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony's authorized dealers throughout North America.

Notes:

i FE 24mm F2.8 G 1 x ED, 3 x aspherical elements, FE 40mm F2.5 G 3 x aspherical elements, FE 50mm F2.5 G 1 x ED, 2 x aspherical elements

ii This does not apply to FE 24mm F2.8 G

iii Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof

Orders

Preorders go live at 10am ET, Wed Mar 24.

Order the Sony Compact Prime Lenses from B&H.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Announcements
Post Date: 3/23/2021 9:28:54 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Use coupon code MARCHFLASH (one use per customer) at Lensrentals to save 20% on orders arriving by 3/26/2021 (consider renting through Easter weekend).

Also, from Zeiss:

From March 1 through April 15, ZEISS will offer a free three-day rental from our partner, LensRentals.com! Choose from Batis, Loxia, Milvus or Touit and take it for a test drive over a weekend. Use the code “TryZEISS” when checking out. See what makes the ZEISS a standout lens, and one you’ll want to own.

Rent now at Lensrentals.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/23/2021 8:49:11 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 22, 2021
Check out today's B&H Deal Zone Deals for big savings on:

  • Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Lens (for Canon & Nikon) – only $399.99 after $250.00 instant savings
  • Manfrotto Gimbal 460 Pro Kit – only $399.95 after $350.00 instant savings
  • Lowepro Passport Sling III (Black) – only $33.88 after $16.00 instant savings
  • & more! – only $ after $ instant savings

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Photography Deals
Post Date: 3/22/2021 6:30:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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