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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Canon Digital Learning Center On Auto ISO




Photographer Jack Reznicki wrote an article on Canon's Digital Learning Center, explaining how Auto ISO enabled him to greatly improve his "keeper" rate when shooting street photography. He elaborated on the usefulness of Auto ISO and how it provided him " with maximum control over his camera in situations where the light changes dramatically and extremely quickly."

I am a wildlife photographer and do very little street photography. Auto ISO is not something I use often because the shutter speed assigned by the camera is generally not fast enough for me to get a sharp image of moving wildlife. I use the Aperture Control shooting mode and adjust my ISO before shutter release if conditions call for a change. You can see my work on MichaelDanielHo.com

Below is the article on CDLC on Auto ISO :

"One of the things I love to do when traveling is to do street shots when riding in a car. As a long time commercial photographer, I am usually working in a studio with an art director, crew, models, and tight layouts and parameters. So shooting out of a vehicle window while speeding down the road is very liberating and exciting. It’s the complete opposite of shooting in a studio. What I really love is that it helps your “visual muscles” and your shutter finger reflexes. When the car is moving 40 to 60 miles per hour, you either get the shot or miss the shot. And when you get it, you get great drive-by, slice of life shots. Like this shot below, which I took from a fast moving SUV in the Philippines.

After leading a workshop in Panama, my class thought I was crazy when they heard the click, click, click of my camera as our bus sped along the road. They all started doing the same after they saw the images at the evening review. In the old film days, and still in the digital age, I always knew that along with this type of shooting, I would have to accept great misses. I’d capture a great shot.... except for the fact that it was out of focus because of a slow shutter, too shallow of a depth of field, or the wrong exposure because we jumped from sunlight to shade too fast. Some of those missed shots just burn into your mind. When photographers get together to trade stories, one of the things they can all talk about is a great shot that they missed. Usually with film, if I “got” the shot then 30% to 50% of the time I’d be relatively happy. On a recent trip to Africa, I used my new favorite feature on both my EOS 5D Mark II and my EOS-1D X to get a greater percentage of hero shots with very few misses. I was not just relatively happy, I was deliriously happy as I got 90% or more “keeper” street shots on that trip.

The feature that changed it? Glad you asked. Auto ISO. In this day and age when the cameras are built like fine computers, we can have a lot more control over our cameras and how they work. Auto ISO gives me maximum control over my camera in situations where the light changes dramatically and extremely quickly. With Auto ISO, I have several options. And I used them all to get these photos you see here. The fact is that I don’t worry about shooting at a high ISO if I need to get the shot. In the film days, ISO 800 (or “ASA” 800 for real old timers) was about as great as we could get. Oh, we could also shoot at ISO 1000 if we wanted the “fine art” affect of golf ball sized grain in our shots. 

With digital, I have shots that were done at ISO 1600 with “noise” that looks like a low ISO captured image. And that was the earlier digital days. Today, the technology allows us to photograph at ISOs that were simply unimaginable in the film days. Yes, I sometimes have to use noise reduction software in Canon’s DPP (Digital Photo Professional), Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or some other 3rd party software, but the results blow my mind. Canon’s capture technology, with their modern sensors and processing software, takes our shooting abilities to a higher level than ever before.

The photo below was shot not from a speeding car, but rather in a very dark classroom with a Maasai schoolgirl in Tanzania. I shot it at ISO 25,600. That’s ISO 25,600, not ISO 256! If you look close, you can see the fly on her face above her left eye. Remarkable. Did I know I was shooting at ISO 25,600? Nope. I was shooting outside in bright sun and I quickly ducked into this schoolhouse. I shot first, looked at my settings second. But I got the shot with the background kids in a great position because the Auto ISO saved me. It’s there, the great elements in a photo altogether for one moment, and then it’s gone forever. If I stopped to readjust my settings, I would have missed the shot. Either you get it or you don’t. Luckily, my camera was set to Auto ISO.

Outside, I had set my camera to manual with the shutter speed and aperture at set values and my ISO to Auto before I walked into the classroom. That’s just one of three modes I can shoot in with Auto ISO. On Manual, I set the shutter speed and aperture to the values I want and I let the ISO “float.” With AV or aperture control, I can set the aperture at the value I want and tell the camera the minimum shutter speed, up to 1/250th of a second. With the TV setting or shutter priority, I can set the shutter where I want it and the camera will set the aperture, usually the widest value in dim light. But in drive-by car shots, I want a very fast shutter speed like 1/1500th or faster and a decent aperture like f/8 or more. With the varying light that I get while traveling in a car, I get ISO speeds of 200 to 6400. But usually it falls in the ISO 800 to 1250 range, as are the images shown here. Love it, love it, love it.

If you want to read in more detail about this feature, Eduardo Angel wrote a great article, “Taking advantage of Auto ISO.” For me, Auto ISO is a hidden gem in my camera’s features and the most impactful, lately, along with the incredibly better noise at higher ISOs. As we say and demonstrate on the Canon In Action Tour, the technology today is expanding our abilities as photographers, enabling images that weren’t possible before. Better photos through better technology."

Canon EF Lens Production Surpassed 100 Million



Canon Inc. reached 100 million EF lenses milestone


Canon Inc. has surpassed the 100 million EF lens production mark with the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X lens. This is an amazing piece of glass, you can read my review and see my other lens recommendation here. 


TOKYO, Japan, April 30, 2014 - Canon Inc. today celebrated an impressive lens-manufacturing milestone with the production on April 22, 2014, of the Company’s 100-millionth EF-series interchangeable lens for EOS cameras - an EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x.

Production of interchangeable EF lenses for Canon EOS-series AF (autofocus) single-lens reflex cameras began in 1987 at the Company’s Utsunomiya Plant, which continues to play a central role in Canon’s lens manufacturing operations. In May 2013, EF lens production surpassed the 90-million-unit mark and now, approximately eleven months later, the Company is commemorating its first-in-the-world achievement of having manufactured 100 million lenses.

Canon’s proprietary EF lenses, launched in March 1987 along with the EOS SLR camera system, have continued to evolve since their introduction, leading the industry through the incorporation of a wide range of innovative technologies, including such world’s firsts as the Ultrasonic Motor (USM), Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, and a multi-layered diffractive optical (DO) element. In May 2013, aiming to further expand the realm of photographic expression, the Company introduced the EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x, the world’s first super-telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x extender that makes possible a 200-560 mm focal length range.

In recent years, in addition to renewing such models as super-telephoto lenses ideal for sports and nature photography along with zoom lenses that offer a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range, Canon has launched multiple entry-class interchangeable lenses equipped with a stepping motor (STM) that delivers smooth and quiet autofocus performance during video recording. As a result, the Company’s extensive EF lens-series lineup currently comprises a total of 89 models. In addition to enhancing its lens offerings, Canon has expanded the optical technologies incorporated in its EF lenses into new fields, launching EF Cinema Lenses for digital cinematography in January 2012, and EF-M lenses for compact-system cameras in September 2012.

Furthermore, during the 11-year period from 2003 to 2013, Canon maintained the No. 1 share worldwide within the interchangeable-lens digital camera market and, in February 2014, marked another manufacturing milestone as combined production of its film and digital EOS-series interchangeable-lens cameras surpassed the 70-million-unit mark.

Canon will continue refining its diverse imaging technologies based on its core optical technologies, striving to produce exceptional and reliable lenses and cameras that cater to the varying needs of photographers—from first-time users to advanced amateurs and professionals—while contributing to expanding the photographic and video imaging culture.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Canon EF 101 Video - Tilt-Shift Lens


Canon Tilt-Shift 17mm and 24mm lenses

Canon USA has posted a new video of their ongoing series, Canon EF lenses 101. This time the topic is tilt-shift lenses. These lenses are used mostly for architectural photography because it helps to correct the leaning effect we see in photos of tall objects like buildings and walls.

Matt Kloskowski is the presenter and he gives some tips on architectural and landscape use of Canon tilt-shift lenses. Another video on Fisheye lens is here. You can read my FAQ on Canon lens recommendation and see my work on MichaelDanielHo.com


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DxO Optics Pro Adds 472 Camera and Lens Combinations




New Optics Modules available

DxO Optics Pro v9.1.5 also benefits from the addition of new DxO Optics Modules: 472 new camera/lens combinations have been added to the library, which today counts more than 18,000 available DxO Optics Modules.

Produced in the laboratory, DxO Optics Modules contain copious information about the characteristics of each camera and each lens so as to be able to automatically correct distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and lens softness with an unrivaled level of quality.

The capacity of DxO’s laboratories enables DxO Optics Pro 9 to quickly offer support for the latest models — for example, DxO will support the Panasonic Lumix GH-4 and the Sony A6000 in the very near future.

DxO ViewPoint v2.1.5 now available

DxO ViewPoint v2.1.5 also benefits from the addition of new camera/lens combinations for automatic correction of distortion in JPEG and TIFF images.

Availability

Both DxO Optics Pro v9.1.5 and DxO ViewPoint v2.1.5 are now available at photo resellers.

List of new DxO Optics Modules:

Canon | Nikon | Nokia| Olympus| Panasonic| Sony

MichaelDanielHo.com

Canon Working On New Sensor Technology




There are stories floating around saying Canon may be working on a new generation of CMOS sensors with lower production costs and higher yields. The future use of these new sensors, depending on configuration, may include mirrorless, prosumer and professional DSLR model cameras. The upcoming release of the EOS-7D Mk II camera may have a more advanced variant of the current EOS-70D's 20MP sensor.

Frankly, that is hardly news. Canon is a 'blue chip' Japanese company with a massive research and development budget. They rank first among Japanese companies in U.S. patents awarded 9 years in a row and is the 35th most respected company among the Global 100. Nikon is not on either list.

Canon's engineers are researching on 'concept' technologies that will blow your mind, like 100+ MP sensors, etc. Of course, some of these projects will never come to fruition because they have to get pass the accountants and prove their cost vs. benefit ratio to senior management.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Monday, April 28, 2014

Samyang New Lenses Available Now


New Samyang lenses announced for Canon EF mount

Samyang company announces expansion of its sales portfolio and market release of new photographic and cine lenses. New Samyang 35mm f/1.4 Canon AE, 300mm f/6.3 Mirror DSLR photo lenses and VDSLR series is to be released on April 29th 2014. Samyang 10mm T3.1, 12mm T2.2 and 7.5mm T3.8. Visit Samyang's website to get more information.

New products branded with Samyang logotype include an interesting 35mm f/1.4 lens with Canon EF mount, the latest version will feature AE (Auto Exposure) function, which was fitted only in lenses with Nikon F mount before. The newest version of the lens that is marked with AE symbol comes with a microprocessor which can electronically confirm the focus value from the body level. The lens’s construction remained unchanged and still ensures a perfect optical and mechanical quality. Samyang 35mm f/1.4 has been designed to work with Canon digital reflex cameras equipped with full-frame and APS-C sensors.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Lens Won TIPA Award


Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di IF VC lens

I was in Asia last January and had an opportunity to get a hold of the new Tamron 150-600mm lens for a quick test. Recently, DxOMark tested the lens and gave it a 'thumbs up'.  And now the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) member magazines awarded the title, "Best Expert DSLR Lens" to the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens for 2014.

Yes, you read it correctly, the Best Expert DSLR Lens. Is this a late April Fool's joke? Below is an exact quote from their website for the reason behind this award :

"The Tamron 150-600 mm lens, for full-frame and APS-C DSLRS (with 1.5X magnification factor) incorporates VC (Vibration Compensation, Tamron's image stabilization technology), a fast USD (ultrasonic silent drive), and eBAND (extended bandwidth and angular dependency) coating, for flare and ghosting reduction. The lens employs 20 elements in 13 groups, with the front group containing 3 ED glass elements. The circular, 9-bladed diaphragm provides exciting bokeh effects and maintains the circular shape even at 2 stops down from maximum aperture. The included SILKYPIX Developer Studio for Tamron uses optical data to correct any distortion, light falloff and chromatic aberrations."

This looks very close, almost verbatim, to Tamron's glossy marketing brochures, hyping the same lens. I pay little attention to these announcements (including the recent Canon TIPA awards), when it comes from photography magazines, especially when they receive enormous amount of advertising dollars from the same manufacturers they are giving awards to. If the Tamron 150-600mm lens is the 'Best Expert DSLR Lens' for 2014, I wonder how many will be seen during the upcoming World's Cup and Summer Olympics in Brazil.

The following is an excerpt from DxOMark's review of the lens :

"If Tamron built this lens to outperform the Sigma offering then they succeeded with full frame cameras. The gain in performance over their rival’s offering is less noticeable on the APS-C cameras. Despite that, the image quality is a slight improvement over the Sigma. Given the longer range and similar price, it’s a pretty impressive achievement.

The Tamron even outperforms the pricier Canon lens on the full frame Canon EOS 5D Mk III though it’s less convincing when compared with the Canon EOS 7D. There’s likely too little in it to switch but for first-time buyers the new Tamron is an attractive proposition."

At first glance, it sounds impressive until one parses the words, "outperforms the pricier Canon lens on the full frame Canon EOS 5D Mk III though it’s less convincing when compared with the Canon EOS 7D. There’s likely too little in it to switch ....

The 'outperformance' is marginal, at best, and especially when one realizes the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lens came out in 1998! When comparing lenses, it has to be apples to apples. Everyone knows in the last few years, many new improvements have been made in coatings and optics. It takes 2014 Tamron technology to 'outperform' a 1998 Canon lens?

Below is my analysis of the Tamron lens back in early January 2014 :

"In short, I am not impressed by this lens, even at the low price, although it can be a good value to an occasional wildlife photographer. It will be discounted to under $1,000 once it is widely available in the US. I will not go into further details and spend a lot of time on it since my purpose is just to get a preliminary feel for this lens. In general, I prefer Sigma lens to Tamron and Canon to both. But for those who do not want to or cannot afford a more expensive long zoom lens and is willing to accept the trade off, this lens may offer them a good alternative.    

Read my earlier post on Travel and Wildlife lens recommendation. I will gladly buy the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or the EF 400mm f/5.6L and add an extender (MF only beyond f/5.6 on non EOS-1 bodies except EOS-5D Mk III) or use the EOS-7D body to get the additional focal length. The best, super Telephoto zoom on the market is the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens."

It appears Tamron may be having some production issues with this lens. They are not manufactured in Japan and the initial order surge may have overwhelmed the first run. It is still not available in the U.S. as of June. Some Asian dealers are taking advantage of this 'shortage' by charging $1,400 for this mediocre glass. Once the production catches up with the preliminary demand, the price will drop below $1,000 in the U.S. Those who pay above the suggested retail price of $1,069 will find their 'investment' a fast depreciating asset soon.

By the way, Tamron is a third party manufacturer and the lens is designed for full frame and APS-C 1.5X cropped frame cameras. Their engineers must basically take apart and analyze EOS cameras and lenses, and then "reverse-engineer" them to fit and operate on Canon equipment. There is no guarantee it will work flawlessly with Canon or Nikon APS-C cameras now or in the future.

Canon will be announcing the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens some time in August. This is one lens I have been waiting for years to buy. Should be a good one. I have recently come back from a wildlife photo shoot in India. Took the EF 200-400mm f/4L 1.4x lens with me. Visit my website MichaelDanielHo.com to see photos taken with all the other Canon lenses.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Canon Instant and Mail-in Rebates Is On


Canon has started a new round of rebates on cameras, lenses and Speedlites. It will end on July 5, 2014. There are also a host of instant rebates that will last until May 24, 2014.

These rebates are available to U.S. mailing addresses but the instant rebates may be available outside the U.S. Visit your favorite website or retailer to find out more. Click here to read my FAQs and Canon lens recommendation

MichaelDanielHo.com



Canon PowerShot G1 X Mk II Camera Review




DigitalRev reviewed the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mk II and the Canon Camera Museum has put out a detailed technical report on the new camera as well. This is my favorite non DSLR camera from Canon and I may do a review on it when time permits.

The Mark II camera comes with a 12.8 megapixel, 1.5-type CMOS sensor and a 5X zoom lens with a lens-shift image stabilizer (35mm-film equivalent focal length range : 24 - 120 mm). The Owner's Manual for the new camera is available for download

The following topics are covered :



Saturday, April 26, 2014

Canon Receives Award For Anti-Counterfeit Campaign


video


MELVILLE, N.Y., April 24, 2014 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that the company has received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center’s 2014 IP Champions Award for its “Anti-Counterfeit Consumer Awareness Campaign” that highlights the dangers of counterfeit electronic goods.

The campaign was recognized for the positive impact intellectual property has on the innovative process and its role in safeguarding the marketplace for consumers. The award was presented at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center’s IP Champions Conference and Awards luncheon on April 23rd.

“Counterfeiting is a growing problem for the consumer electronics industry and its customers,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. “It is an honor to be recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for our commitment to educating and raising awareness for the safety of our customers and the investment they make when purchasing electronic products.”

Canon’s “Anti-Counterfeit Consumer Awareness Campaign” was launched in January 2013 to promote awareness of a consumer electronics industry-wide issue: the risks of using counterfeit accessories for digital cameras and camcorders, especially batteries and chargers. Counterfeit products are fake replicas of the real products, designed to take advantage of the superior value of the real product. Some of these fake accessories are produced in a manner that can make it increasingly more difficult for average consumers to identify. Purchase of these products can lead to potentially dangerous results. Unlike genuine products, counterfeit accessories may not meet government and industry safety standards and may overheat, smoke, melt, ignite and may cause bodily injury and property damage.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Friday, April 25, 2014

Canon EOS-1D X Camera - Tips and Tricks



Canon EOS-1D X DSLR camera


* * *  Read the latest post on the EOS-1D X Mk II  * * *


My readers know I have picked the Canon EOS-1D X as the best sports/wildlife full frame camera two years in a row. With the release of Firmware 2.0.3 earlier this year, the camera has even more robust features and capabilities. Below are some tips and tricks from Canon to help users get the most out of the new software. You can see photos taken with the EOS-1D X from my worldwide photo shoots on MichaelDanielHo.com


Uploading Picture Styles

With Picture Style Editor, it is easy to create your own custom Picture Style that can then be uploaded into the camera ready to shoot with. These Picture Styles will be stored in the User Def. options. Once a Picture Style is uploaded, it is still possible to make changes to it by adjusting the Parameters available in the camera – Contrast, Color Tone, Saturation and Sharpness. If you wish to revert to your saved Picture Style as created in Picture Style Editor, then select “Clear all camera settings.” This will remove any adjustments you have made in the camera to the uploaded Style, but keep the settings you made on the computer.

Auto ISO and Manual

If you need a particular combination of shutter speed and aperture to achieve a desired image effect, the Auto ISO feature will allow the ISO speed to adjust to give the correct exposure. However, leaving the ISO to adjust by itself could lead to over or under exposure depending on where you are metering from. With the latest firmware, it is possible to use exposure compensation for ISO only while the camera is set to Manual shooting. For quick access to Exposure Compensation in Manual mode, use the Custom Control menu to set the SET button to activate “Expo comp.” Now, pressing the Set button and turning the Main Dial will adjust the ISO as exposure compensation.

Minimum shutter speed with Auto ISO

The Minimum shutter speed in Auto ISO is very useful in P and Av modes as it avoids the shutter speed dropping below a certain level, thereby ensuring sharp images of a moving subject for example. However, if you attach a flash to the camera, you should remember that the minimum shutter speed will not be applied and you should therefore be more aware of your shutter speed as it could easily drop below an acceptable level.

AF in low light

If you are shooting burst sequences in low light, firmware version 2.0.3 has added a +2 option for focus priority. This will likely slow the burst rate slightly, but will give the camera more time to achieve focus under poor lighting conditions to ensure a greater amount of sharp images. In bright light, where focusing is easier for the camera, try reducing the setting to 0, which may increase the burst shooting speed.

Selecting JPEG level

When shooting JPEG images with the EOS-1D X, it is possible to select the JPEG quality level setting for either more or less compression. By default, the camera is set to Level 8 (out of 10). If you want to get the best JPEG image quality from your camera, then in the JPEG Quality setting adjust the level to 10. If you do increase the JPEG setting, then be aware that the maximum number of images in a burst may reduce slightly due to the extra data being captured and passed through the buffer.

Maximum frame rate

All EOS cameras quote a maximum frame rate and in the case of the EOS-1D X, this is 12 fps in normal shooting. When a situation requires you to achieve the very maximum frame rate possible, there are some steps to take in order to ensure the best possible performance: keep the ISO speed below 25,600, use a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. or faster and use the maximum aperture of your lens. Additionally, if you have an IS lens, turn the IS off and also make sure AF is set to One Shot.

AF Case settings

The EOS-1D X features six AF Case study settings to help you choose the most appropriate option for your subject. These case studies provide different setups for the three different AF preference settings of Tracking Sensitivity, Acceleration/Deceleration tracking and AF Point Auto Switching. When choosing a case study, and especially when modifying one, remember that if you make the settings the same as one of the other cases, it will function exactly the same - there is no underlying difference beyond what you can see. The cases are simply designed to give you a better starting point in selecting the appropriate combination of settings.

Still photos during movies 

When shooting movies with the EOS-1D X, it can be easier to set the shutter button and Mfn button to start and stop movie recording as it allows one-handed camera operation. If you do this, you will find that trying to take photos while recording movies is not possible. If you want to be able to capture still photos during movie recording, disable the shutter button/MFn button from being able to start and stop movie recording.

Using Auto Point Selection and iTR indoors

The EOS-1D X features an intelligent tracking autofocus that uses the 100,000 pixel RGB AE sensor to help detect colors and faces within the frame so that they can be tracked more accurately. If you are shooting in low light – for example indoors – you may find that the frame rate is slower than expected, especially if you are trying to shoot at the full 12fps. If this is the case, and you wish to prioritize motordrive speed over AF, then turn off EOS iTR AF to increase drive speed.

C Mode quick switching

One of the benefits of the EOS-1D X is the level of customization that is available. Like several EOS models the EOS-1D X has Custom ‘C’ Modes that can store frequently used settings. If you are shooting fast-paced sports, you may find a benefit in having both a fast and slow shutter speed option setup. Using the C Modes, you can preset one for, for example, Tv (shutter priority) mode at 1/1000 sec. and be shooting in Tv mode at 1/125 sec. Using the custom controls, the M.Fn button behind the shutter button can then be configured to switch between the C modes with a simple press. You can then go from shooting pans to freezing the action without taking your eye from the viewfinder. If you have only one C Mode configured, pressing the M.Fn button will take you back to the mode you were in originally.

Separating movies and stills in-camera

If you shoot both stills and movies on the same memory card, it can be beneficial to keep them stored in separate folders so, when you come to download them later, they are easy to organize. If you need to switch folders quickly, using the camera menu can slow progress and requires extra button presses. With the Custom Controls on the EOS-1D X and EOS-1D C DSLRs, you can assign the SET button to directly bring up the ‘Record func+card/folder sel.’ menu, thus allowing you to switch between folders much faster.

Compression Settings 

With the introduction of the EOS-5D Mk III and EOS-1D X, Canon introduced compression settings in the Movie shooting settings to go along with the resolution and frame rate selection. The two options are IPB and ALL-I. Essentially, IPB is a compressed setting, a lot like the files from an EOS 5D Mark II, whereas ALL-I is an intra-frame codec where every frame is treated as a key frame and uncompressed. ALL-I footage will be around three times larger than IPB. Which you choose will depend on your needs. If you need to keep file sizes down, then IPB is the best choice. However, for almost all other uses, ALL-I is the best choice because the resulting footage is easier to edit on lower powered computers and produces better image quality by allowing you to edit more accurately on a frame-by-frame basis

Canon Digital Learning Center Quick Tip Videos




Canon Digital Learning Center has put out a series of short videos for their DSLR and Cinema cameras. Each video features a Canon Technical Advisor offering a helpful imaging tip, sharing a unique product insight, or explaining a key technology. New videos will be added regularly, so check on this Blog to keep expanding your Canon knowledge base.  MichaelDanielHo.com

Click on the link to see each Quick Tips Videos :

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Canon Q1 Profit Up 51%; Raised 2014 Profit Forecast





The following article is from Reuters on Canon Japan's latest quarterly sales and earnings. There is a profit improvement in Q1 of 2014, due mainly to higher office equipment revenue but camera sales fell 22% year-on-year in the quarter. The cameras in high end smartphones are cutting into sales of low end point-n-shoot and DSLR cameras. There is rumor Canon may even exit low price compact camera market.

I have been a wildlife photographer using Canon equipment for 25 years. Last year, I have made some observations and suggestions for my friends in Tokyo. You can see my works on MichaelDanielHo.com


TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) - Canon Inc. inched up its 2014 operating profit target on Thursday due to strong sales of office copiers and printers in the first quarter, and said a reshuffle of its camera line-up had also helped boost margins.

Canon said office equipment sales rose by 9.7 percent in the first quarter, helping lift operating profits by 51 percent to a higher-than-expected 82.6 billion yen ($806.76 million).

Camera sales, however, fell by 22 percent year-on-year in the quarter, as the world's biggest camera maker struggled with the prevalence of high-quality smartphone cameras and a saturation in the high-end, single-lens-reflex camera market.

Chief Financial Officer Toshizo Tanaka told an earnings briefing that sales of pricier compact cameras had actually increased after Canon adjusted its camera production and line-up in the first quarter to meet customers' demand for more sophisticated products. But he said a recovery would take time.

"Determining whether we can achieve the growth we are hoping for will take some time," Tanaka said. "Things are getting better in China and Europe, but it will take a while to see whether that will continue."

YEN BOOST

Canon forecast sales for digital cameras with interchangeable lens to reach 7.6 million units this year, a slight drop from 2013 when the models were first introduced.

"After watching carefully how things go in each market through the second quarter we will re-evaluate our forecasts for the second half, our busiest period," Tanaka added.

Canon said in its quarterly earnings statement it expects an operating profit of 365 billion yen ($3.56 billion) for the year to Dec. 31, a slight increase from its previous forecast of 360 billion yen. The forecast profit would be 8.2 percent higher than the previous year.

With four-fifths of its sales overseas, Canon is a major beneficiary of the yen's weakening over the past year. It said the slide in the yen, triggered by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's reflationary policies, had added 56.5 billion yen to its revenue in the first quarter.

Canon expected the weaker yen to add 91.8 billion yen to its full-year sales, Tanaka said. He expected annual operating profit to increase by 16.9 billion yen, if the yen remains, on average, at 100 versus the dollar and 135 against the euro.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Canon Wins Four TIPA Awards For 2014




The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) member magazines recently convened for their General Assembly to vote for the best photo and imaging products launched by the industry in the last 12 months. The voting took place on the 5th during the General Assembly that was held from the 3rd to the 5th April 2014 in Vancouver, Canada.

TIPA membership comprises 28 leading photo and imaging magazines from 15 countries on five continents, and also has a cooperative partnership with the CJPC (Camera Journal Press Club), representing 11 top photography magazines in Japan.

The TIPA Awards are renowned as the most influential photo and imaging product awards in markets around the world. All products and their advertising media bearing the TIPA Awards logo indicate that these have passed evaluations by TIPA’s technical committee and magazine editors. A TIPA Awards endorsement is the highest accolade for any photo and imaging product.

Canon imaging products have been awarded four major honors by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) in its 2014 awards. The judging panel awarded prestigious accolades to the following Canon products and innovations :

  • Best Professional Lens : Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x
  • Best DSLR Advanced : Canon EOS 70D
  • Best Expert Compact Camera : Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II
  • Best Imaging Innovation : Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF

Steven Marshall, Marketing Director, Consumer Imaging, Canon Europe, commented: “We’re incredibly honoured to receive this recognition from TIPA once again; it clearly reflects Canon’s commitment to outstanding quality and innovation across all product ranges. We’re dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in imaging and constantly challenge ourselves to offer our photographic community – from everyday snappers to pros – the best products for their needs. The awards granted by the TIPA panel demonstrate the success of this aim.”

The TIPA judging panel gave the following citations to the four award-winning Canon products and innovations :

Best Professional DSLR Lens : Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x

Aimed squarely at professional sports and wildlife photographers, the Canon EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x lens is a high-performance super telephoto zoom lens with an optically matched, built-in 1.4x extender. The benefit is in applications where it is not possible to change lenses quickly, while also protecting delicate equipment such as a digital SLR camera's image sensor in environments with dust and high humidity. The lens incorporates one fluorite and four UD lens elements and a 9-blade circular aperture. A Power Focus mode makes focus shifts quiet and smooth, invaluable for film-making. The lens is also highly resistant to dust and water.

Best DSLR Advanced : Canon EOS 70D

The Canon EOS 70D features a 20.2 CMOS APS-C sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor that can deliver up to 7 fps and an extended ISO range of 100-12,800, with an extended range to 25,600 ISO. AF is enhanced with a 19-point all cross-type AF system. The breakthrough in the EOS 70D is the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that allows for capture of video in Live View with precise AF, as well as very fast AF operation for stills. The Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View II LCD monitor sports 1.04 million dots. Built-in wireless allows for sharing or easy upload to smartphones via the Canon EOS remote app.

Best Expert Compact Camera : Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G-series cameras are always highly regarded. The latest, the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, offers 13.1 MP with a multi-aspect 1.5-type sensor, an f/2-3.9 5x zoom (24-120mm equivalent), and numerous custom functions and handling features. Capture options include 14-bit RAW plus JPEG images, with fast and accurate AF via 31 AF points. Composition options are enhanced with the 3-inch tilt-type touch panel LCD, with 1.04 million sRGB dots and 100% coverage, while exposure and camera control is expanded and enhanced via the new Dual Control Rings on the lens barrel. Full HD is available, as is Wi-Fi with NFC capability. Focusing range begins at 2 inches, full-time manual focus with focus peaking is also available.

Best Imaging Innovation : Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF

Dual Pixel CMOS AF is a phase-detection AF technology conducted directly on the image sensor plane. The benefit is achievement of dramatically improved AF performance over prior EOS cameras during Live View and video shooting. Because Live View shooting can be used in a manner similar to using the camera's viewfinder, fast and smooth AF performance is greatly enhanced. Dual Pixel CMOS AF is currently available in the EOS 70D and as an option in the C100 and C300 Cinema EOS cameras, which are in turn compatible with 103 Canon EF lenses, and we look for this advancement to allow for future development of even more responsive image capture and processing capabilities.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Coming In October




Sigma Corporation has been on a roll lately. Their recently introduced 50mm f/1.4 Art lens received 'raved' reviews and now they are preparing an aggressive introduction at the upcoming Photokina Show on September 12 in Cologne, Germany.

They may introduce the 24mm f/1.4 at the show with delivery commencing in October. In addition, Sigma may also be working on the 85mm and 135mm lens as well for future releases.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Canon Hong Kong Announcement - April 24



Canon Hong Kong has put out a teaser on their Facebook page hinting there will be an 'interesting' announcement on April 24. The Chinese text in this post translates roughly to “Beauty lies not in objects, but in the interaction between the shadow and light created by objects.”

Last week, Samyang put a teaser post about their future plans on lenses. My suspicion is both 'announcements' will amount to a BIG yawn. I suppose this is the mass media age we live in. Seduce the public with tantalizing tidbits to get maximum publicity. But I prefer the old school and just announce interesting and worthwhile products. The rest will take care of itself.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Canon TS-E Lens Coming At Photokina 2014


Canon Tilt Shift 45mm f/2.8 lens

Canon is planning to introduce two new Tilt-Shift lens for the upcoming Photokina Show on September 16 in Cologne, Germany. The new lenses will have unique features and an "L" designation. They will include a 45mm glass and a longer focal length model as well.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Canon EOS Rebel T5 vs Nikon D3300 Comparison


Canon EOS Rebel T5 vs. Nikon D3300

DigitalRev is comparing the Canon EOS Rebel T5 to the Nikon D3300. As usual, there is a bit of comic relief but I do not like either camera. However, if I were to buy a consumer DSLR body, I'd buy the Canon EOS Rebel T4i or T5i. They are essentially the same camera but the former is discontinued. If you find a good deal, new or refurbished on the T4i and it is cheaper than the T5i, buy it.  MichaelDanielHo.com


Friday, April 18, 2014

Sigma Releases Optimization Pro and USB Dock Firmware


Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 EX DG APO Lens

Sigma Releases Optimization Pro Ver. 1.2.0 Update

We are pleased to announce the availability of the new “SIGMA Optimization Pro Ver. 1.2.0 for Windows” and “SIGMA Optimization Pro Ver. 1.2.0 for Macintosh”, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK which allows customers to update the lens firmware of new product lines, as well as to customize settings such as AF and focusing position.

This download service is for SIGMA USB DOCK Users who are using our interchangeable lenses from 3 product lines (Contemporary, Art, Sports). As a SIGMA USB DOCK user, please be sure to update to SIGMA Optimization Pro Ver. 1.2.0, before carrying out any lens firmware updates.

Benefits of the SIGMA Optimization Pro software update :

SIGMA Optimization Pro Ver1.2.0 for Windows & Macintosh

New switch feature for Full-time MF setting.

  • This customization of Full-time MF function is only available for the SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A014.
  • The Full-time MF function will be available after the SIGMA USB DOCK firmware is updated to Ver. 1.01 or above.
  • The function limits will vary from on the camera you use.

Download : SIGMA Optimization Pro Ver.1.2.0

SIGMA USB DOCK Firmware Update

Thank you for purchasing and using our products.

We are pleased to inform you the SIGMA USB DOCK Firmware Update is now available.

This firmware update allows you to use the SIGMA USB DOCK with the SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A014. If you have the products mentioned below, please start up SIGMA Optimization Pro and then operate lens firmware update.

Applicable products

SIGMA USB DOCK SIGMA
SIGMA USB DOCK CANON
SIGMA USB DOCK NIKON

* Please update SIGMA Optimization Pro to Ver. 1.2.0 in addition to updating the SIGMA USB DOCK Firmware to Ver. 1.01 before using it with SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM.

In order to update the USB Dock firmware, please connect the device to your computer using the USB cable and then open Sigma Optimization Pro.

Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 At Photokina 2014




* * *  Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens officially announced for Photokina 2014  * * *


Zeiss is expanding their line of Otus lenses after the introduction of the 55mm f/1.4 last year. For the upcoming Photokina Show in Cologne, Germany this September, they are rumored to launch the 85mm f/1.4 lens, perhaps followed by the 35mm f/1.4 and even a short zoom or tilt-shift lens down the road.

The third party lens manufacturers are alive and well, as demonstrated by the recent introduction of the Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 lens and the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens. This should prompt Canon and Nikon to redouble their effort on basic research and development and speed up their meaningful product announcement, instead of 'wasting' time and energy on 'fluffy technologies.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Canon Patent - EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS Lens



Egami has uncovered another Canon patent for the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS lens. Frankly, I was surprised the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens released last year did not come with Image Stabilization. MichaelDanielHo.com

Patent Publication No. 2014-52413,2014-52445

  • Publication date 2014.3.20
  • Filing date 2012.9.5

Example 1

  • Zoom ratio 2.75
  • Focal length f = 24.7-35.21-68mm
  • Fno. 2.9
  • Half angle ? = 41.21-31.57-17.65 °
  • Image height 21.64mm
  • 223.94-207.87-180.56mm overall length of the lens
  • BF 38.31mm

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canon White EOS 100D Camera Kit For UK Market

Canon white EOS Rebel 100D camera kit


United Kingdom, 16 April 2014 – Canon today introduces a new white edition of the world’s smallest and lightest APS-C DSLR , the EOS 100D, as well as a new white version of its EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM zoom lens. Ideal for first time users looking to explore the world of DSLR photography, the new editions to the EOS range make it easy for anyone, whatever their skill level, to capture and relive special moments in stunning detail.

Measuring just 116.8 x 90.7 x 69.4mm, the EOS 100D is compact enough to always carry with you and features an 18 MP APS-C Hybrid CMOS AF II sensor and a range of simple controls and automatic shooting modes, making capturing stunning images and Full HD movies effortless. The incredibly lightweight and compact body provides a traditional DSLR shooting experience while the large 7.7cm (3.0”) ClearView II touch screen, makes it easy to adjust settings and review images straight after capture.

The white EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens is the perfect partner for the new EOS 100D, providing the flexibility to capture everyday subjects from sweeping landscapes to close-up portraits. An Optical Image Stabilizer ensures images are captured with impressive detail and clarity, while the near-silent STM technology also ensures noise is kept to a minimum whilst focusing in movies.

White EOS 100D – key features :

  • 18.0 Megapixel Hybrid CMOS AF II sensor
  • Compact, portable design
  • Simple shooting with Scene Intelligent Auto
  • Optical viewfinder and large touch screen
  • Full-HD movies with Hybrid CMOS AF II
  • Creative Filters and Extra Effect Shot
  • Built-in Feature Guide
  • EOS System of lenses and accessories


White EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM – key features :

  • Versatile focal length range
  • Compact design
  • Four-stop optical Image Stabilizer
  • Smooth focusing with STM motor
  • 0.25m closest focusing distance
  • Super Spectra Coating
  • Non-rotating front element
  • Manual focus ring
  • Circular seven-bladed aperture

Pricing and availability

  • The EOS 100D White will be available from May 2014 with an MSRP of £499/€599.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Canon EF 101 Video - 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye Lens


Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye lens

I like this lens a lot and prefer it over the Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye. It has a setting for cameras with APS-C and APS-H sensors. You can read my FAQ on Canon lens recommendation and see my work on MichaelDanielHo.com


Martin Scorsese On Canon EOS Cinema System





Monday, April 14, 2014

Pentax 645Z Medium Format Camera Announced


Pentax 645Z Medium Format camera

Pentax has announced their Medium Format 645Z camera. Sample images can be seen here. This Medium Format 'obsession' should end. Many companies are planning or have announced their MF offerings and the latest may be Leica.

Pentax 645Z Major Specifications :

  • 51.4-megapixel 32.8 x 43.8mm Sony CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 – 204,800
  • PRIME III image processor
  • 4K interval shooting: 2-2000 frame with one or more second intervals
  • SAFOX11 AF system: 27 point (25 cross type), LW -3 to +18
  • 3.2-inch 1.037M-dot tiltable LCD
  • TTL metering with 86k RGB sensor
  • Live View capable
  • Focus peaking
  • Retail price - $8,500, delivery starting in June

In addition to the camera, Ricoh has released 13 additional lens compatible with the 645Z in the U.S.

  • 75mm f/2.8 $839.00
  • 45mm f/2.8 $1,319.00
  • 150mm f/2.8(IF) $1,679.00
  • 300mm f/4 ED(IF) $4,799.95
  • 400mm f/5.6 EDIF $3,479.00
  • 45-85mm f/4.5 $2,879.00
  • 120mm f/4 MACRO $1,679.00
  • 200mm f/4 (IF) $1,319.00
  • 80-160mm f/4.5 $2,519.00
  • 33-55mm f/4.5 AL $3,239.00
  • 150-300mm f/5.6 ED $3,239.00
  • 35mm f/3.5 $1,919.00
  • 55-110mm f/5.6 $2,039.00

MichaelDanielHo.com

Canon EOS-M3 Camera In Q3 2014?


Canon EOS-M line of cameras

There is a rumor suggesting that Canon may introduced a pair of new EOS-M cameras some time in the Autumn - one consumer and one prosumer version.

Although, in the past Canon has mentioned more lenses will be available for the EOS-M camera. This means they still have hope for the mirrorless camera system outside of Asia and the EOS-M2 may still come to North America and Europe eventually. However, I think that is the extent of their ambition when it comes to the mirrorless line. To introduce a prosumer version of the EOS-M will further blur the difference between the lower end models and make it harder for customers to decide on which camera to buy.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Canon EOS-7D Mk II Launch Postponed To Q3, 2014?


Canon EOS-7D Mk II camera launching in Q2 - Q3, 2014? 

* * * Read the latest post on this camera here * * * 

The Canon EOS-7D Mk II is one of the most anticipated cameras this year (including yours truly). It was spotted during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Canon has deployed many of their latest gear there and the testers were covered by Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA) so there are no firm specifications leaked about the camera. Canon may not even call its replacement - EOS-7D Mk II, but they will have enough prototypes out there to help them gain all the insights from field testing.

The EOS-1D Mk IV camera with its excellent APS-H 1.3x sensor was discontinued a while back, leaving a void in the cropped frame, professional camera space. I am looking for a semi-pro body with the extra reach since I am not a big fan of extenders. The current 7D is an excellent piece of equipment and my pick, four years in a row as the best value in APS-C camera.

With the successful launch of the EOS-70D, Canon is planning to use a more advanced Dual Pixel version of the 70D sensor in the upcoming EOS-7D Mk II but may be encountering some yield performance issues in the production process. There is a chance the release of the camera will be pushed back to late Q2 or Q3, with delivery commencing late Q3 or early Q4. The current EOS-7D has the most advanced AF system of all the Canon APS-C bodies. The Achilles heel of the camera is its mediocre high ISO performance.

Possible specifications of the EOS-7D Mk II camera :

  • 20 MP APS-C Sensor ( more advanced than the EOS-70D )
  • Dual DIGIC 5+ processors ( Excellent for speed processing )
  • 10 fps ( Most welcomed by me ) 
  • Dual Memory Card Slots ( One CF and one SD. I prefer 2 CF slots )
  • 61 AF Points ( Perhaps the same as the EOS-1D X )
  • 3.2″ LCD monitor ( Excellent for reviewing images )
  • Similar build quality as the EOS-5D Mk III with much better weather proofing
  • GPS and WiFi ( Not necessary, in my opinion ) 
  • ISO Performance may equal EOS-5D Mk III ( Most welcomed by me )
  • Latest video features similar to, probably beating the EOS-70D model
  • Selling price between $2,000 to $2,199. Not finalized yet

The features of the new camera will be firmed up very soon and the feedback from the Olympics are crucial in determining the final specifications. I am very fond of my EOS-7D camera and cannot wait to get the new model. You can see my works with the camera on MichaelDanielHo.com. Keep checking back for the latest information.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Canon EOS-M Patent - 22-46mm f/3.5-5.6


Canon EOS-M line of cameras

Egami, the Japanese photography blog, has discovered a new Canon patent that may be for the EF-M mount. In APS-C sensor, this design would be for a 35-75mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

In the past, Canon has mentioned more lenses will be available for the EOS-M camera. This means they still have hope for the mirrorless camera system outside of Asia and the EOS-M2 could still come to North America and Europe eventually. MichaelDanielHo.com

Patent Publication No. 2014-63025

  • Publication date 2014.4.10
  • Filing date 2012.9.21

Example 7

  • Zoom ratio 2.09
  • Focal length f = 22.10-34.22-45.19mm
  • Fno. 3.60-4.59-5.60
  • Half angle ? = 31.72-21.76-16.48 °
  • Image height 13.66mm
  • 65.76-62.07-64.72mm lens length
  • BF 28.16-36.88-45.09mm

Canon Museum Publishes T5 Technical Report


Canon Rebel T5 camera

Canon Camera Museum has published the EOS Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D/ EOS Kiss X70) Technical Report.

EOS Rebel T5 Technical Report Index :


Friday, April 11, 2014

Leica S Medium Format Camera Coming at 2014 Photokina Show?


Leica S Medium Format camera ?

A Leica representative at the NAB 2014 Show has 'leaked' information about a new Medium Format camera, called the Leica S, that may be announced at the upcoming Photokina Show in Cologne, Germany in September. It will have a 40-50MP medium format CMOS sensor and 4K video.

Considering all the recent rumors about how many companies are planning to enter the Medium Format arena, this may be another hat thrown into the ring. PhaseOne, Pentax and Hasselblad have all announced their Medium Format cameras based on the CMOS sensor technology. I am afraid, sooner or later, Canon may be 'forced' to enter this niche market as well. This will be an unwanted distraction and questionable strategy if it happens.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Canon USA Interview At NAB 2014 Show


Larry Thorpe of Canon USA gave an interview at the recent NAB 2014 Show. He emphasized the importance of lenses to Canon's overall strategy. There is no big surprise here, just look at one of their recent announcements.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro Lens Announced



Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro Lens

April 10, 2014, Saitama, Japan – Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Morio Ono), a leading manufacturer of precision optics, has announced the release of an advanced new all-in-one zoom lens exclusively for digital SLR cameras with APS-C size image sensors that provides an amazing 18.8x zoom ratio.

Since the launch in 1992 of the 28-200mm (Model 71D) high-power zoom lens – which featured a revolutionary compact, lightweight design – Tamron has been continually expanding its portfolio of world-class optics to benefit consumers.

Tamron previously launched an 18-270mm (Model B008) all-in-one zoom lens exclusively for digital SLR cameras with APS-C size image sensors that features a 15x zoom ratio, superior image quality, swift, quiet AF, and Tamron's acclaimed VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism, in an ultra-compact package. This ground-breaking lens has been winning plaudits throughout the world.

Responding to consumers' demand for expanded focal lengths both at the wide-angle end of the zoom range and the telephoto end, Tamron has now developed a completely new all-in-one zoom lens design that provides an impressive focal length range extending from 16mm true wide-angle to 300mm super-telephoto.

The Canon and Nikon mount models will be first simultaneously launched in the Japanese market on April 24, 2014, with overseas launches to follow in mid-May. The launch date of the Sony mount model will be announced at a later date. The list price of the lens is $629 in the U.S.

Product Highlights :

A further expansion of the imaging range. With a minimum focal length of 16mm (35mm equivalent: 25mm) at the wide-angle end of the zoom range, and a maximum focal length of 300mm (35mm equivalent: 465mm), this remarkable new lens provides the world's first zoom ratio of approximately 18.8X.
Responding to requests from consumers who wanted to be able to photograph subjects with a wider viewing angle than is possible with conventional high-power zoom lenses, Tamron has developed a unique lens with a minimum focal length of 16mm. At the telephoto end, the maximum focal length has been increased to an impressive 300mm. Users of this new lens can enjoy unprecedented framing flexibility by easily adjusting the angle of view using the convenient zoom ring.

Superior, reliable image quality with a universal lens

The lens construction features 16 elements in 12 groups. This includes three Molded-Glass Aspherical elements, one Hybrid Aspherical element, two LD (Low Dispersion) elements, one XR (Extra Refractive Index) glass element, and one element of UXR (Ultra-Extra Refractive Index) glass, which has greater refractive index than XR. The full use of specialized glass elements in the design contributes to thorough compensation of optical aberrations. In addition, the use of the latest coating technology for suppressing reflections on lens element surfaces minimizes unwanted flare and ghosting and assures sharp, crisp, high-contrast images.

Using a new design approach to create an ultra-compact lens

The latest optical technology has been used to provide an expanded zoom range (compared to the B008) at both the wide-angle and telephoto ends, without necessitating the use of an oversized lens body. By employing UXR glass (which helps to reduce the size of the front lens diameter), an optimized layout of the Molded-Glass Aspherical elements, and adopting a 5-lens-group zoom system approach to provide enhanced design flexibility, the new lens embodies the fusion of state-of-the-art optical design, sophisticated mechanical design, and high-precision lens manufacturing technology, thereby attaining a compact size, an unprecedented zoom range, and superior image quality.

A minimum focusing distance of just 0.39 meters supports an extensive range of macro photography capabilities.

The new lens provides a minimum focus distance of 0.39m over the entire zoom range, with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9. This makes it possible to get right up close to the subject of the photo to enjoy easy, stress-free macro photography.

PZD (Piezo Drive) delivers faster, quieter autofocus action

The PZD (Piezo Drive)*1, an advanced standing-wave ultrasonic motor system, delivers faster, quieter, more precise AF action when the autofocus is engaged. There is enhanced support for contrast-detection AF capabilities, and focusing when in live-view mode has been made smoother. The new lens also features full-time manual focus, a function that was not provided by B008, making manual focusing more convenient.

Sharper images with VC (Vibration Compensation)

Tamron's acclaimed VC (Vibration Compensation)*2 mechanism is incorporated into the new lens.*3 VC reduces image blur caused by camera shake to deliver significantly sharper images even when shooting handheld at long telephoto settings. Moisture-resistant construction for worry-free outdoor shooting.

Upgraded cosmetic design

Tamron has upgraded the cosmetic design and finish of this lens to create a more sophisticated, high-end look in keeping with the demands of discerning DSLR users. Employing a sophisticated linear pattern rubber grip on the zoom and focus rings, and an elegant tungsten-silver name-brand ring, etc., this newly designed model accentuates its visceral presence with understated elegance and class.

MichaelDanielHo.com

Canon Firmware 1.0.1.0 For Vixia Mini Camcorder


Canon Vixia Mini Camcorder

Canon released a firmware update for the Vixia Mini camcorder. You can download the firmware here

Firmware Version 1.0.1.0 incorporates the following improvements :

  • Remote viewing function has been added when using the CameraAccess plus smartphone app, with the optional CT-V1 Camera Pan Table.
  • The CameraAccess plus app is available free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Information on how to use the remote viewing function is available from the PIXELA Web site.
  • Shortens the time between turning the camcorder on and being able to start recording.
  • In order to prevent inadvertently switching to playback mode while recording, the following improvements have been made:
  • The playback button must be pressed for half a second or more in order to access the playback mode.
  • The playback button has now been disabled while the camcorder is in recording mode, in order to prevent inadvertently switching modes.
  • Quick access to the photo playback index screen, by holding down the playback button, has been added.
  • Photo playback has been added to SP-V1 mode.
  • In the Shooting Mode menu, the “Macro” option is now listed above “Auto” for improved ease of use.

Firmware Version 1.0.1.0 is for camcorders with firmware Version 1.0.0.0. If the camcorder’s firmware is already Version 1.0.1.0, it is not necessary to update the firmware. Once you have updated your camcorder’s firmware, it cannot be downgraded to a previous version.

MichaelDanielHo.com


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Canon PowerShot G1 X II Camera Sample Images


Canon PowerShot G1 X, Series II camera

The new Canon PowerShot G1 X, Series II camera was announced on February 11. It is a slimmer and lighter weight model, powered by the DIGIC 6 processor, with a brand new electronic viewfinder and a 24-120mm f/2-3.9 zoom lens. The camera has tilt / touch screen capability and comes with WiFi. It retails for $800 in the U.S. and shipping will begin April 14. Click here to see a slideshow of sample photos taken with the new camera.

Canon G1 X II camera highlights :

  • 13.1 megapixel at 4:3 and 12.8 megapixel at 3:2
  • High-Sensitivity 1.5" CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • Canon 5x Optical Zoom Lens
  • 24-120mm f/2-3.9 (35mm Equivalent)
  • 3.0" 1,040k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • High Speed AF and 5.2 fps Shooting
  • HS SYSTEM and Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Dual Control Rings and 14-Bit RAW

The G1 X is a very capable camera and my favorite PowerShot model. This may be the only exciting PowerShot camera coming out this year. The others will probably be the dull, run-of-the-mill models coming the remainder of 2014.

Canon HDTV Lenses Chosen For Ross Productions




MELVILLE, N.Y., April 7, 2014 – Ross Video, makers of production switchers, graphics/character generator systems, and remote-control camera-support technologies, have chosen HDTV lenses from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, to integrate with Ross Video products displayed at the 2014 NAB Show, April 7-10, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Canon XJ76x9B and XJ60x9B long-field HD zoom lenses and HJ22x7.6B HD ENG lenses will be shown with Ross Mobile Productions’ new “Future is Now 3? (FIN3) compact production vehicle, part of Ross Video’s “openTruck” initiative to meet the needs of budget-conscious producers and operators. A variety of Canon ENG lenses will be shown with Ross Robotics’ Furio and CamBot remote-control camera support systems, which utilize precision positional data from Canon lenses for integration with advanced virtual set and augmented reality applications.

“High-quality optics are essential for sports coverage, and Canon has a stellar reputation in this market,” stated Nigel Spratling, marketing product manager at Ross Video. “The new FIN3 truck we will display at NAB is a standard platform we are developing for the smaller version of our openTruck initiative. We chose Canon lenses because of their optical performance and how well they match across the various lens types, as well as their reliability, ongoing performance, and Canon support. Using these Canon lenses means that Ross Mobile Productions is using exemplary quality HDTV optical products.”


“Canon HDTV lenses are among the most widely used in HD sports and entertainment productions today,” noted Larry Thorpe, senior fellow, Professional Engineering & Solutions Division, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We are pleased that Ross Mobile Productions has chosen Canon HDTV lenses for its new compact mobile production vehicle FIN3, and Canon ENG lenses for its Furio and CamBot remote-control camera support systems. We continually strive to provide professionals in production and videography with the best equipment possible for their various shooting needs.”

Ross Robotics’ Furio dolly and track-based systems as well as CamBot robotic pedestals exhibited at the 2014 NAB Show will each include a camera outfitted with a Canon portable ENG-style HD lens that can output precise positional data through its Digital Drive unit. The Digital Drive units in Canon ENG lenses incorporate Canon-developed ultra-compact rotary encoders capable of 0.1um position detection. These encoders employ Canon’s unique Micro Roofmirror Array (MRA) technology to produce 16-bit resolution of the zoom, iris, and focus control positioning for operator programming. The Digital Drive unit also includes a connector to output this lens data for use by virtual studio and augmented reality systems. Combined with additional data from Furio and CamBot systems, this Canon lens data enables the computers in virtual set and augmented reality systems to create convincing and attractive video illusions to inform and entertain viewers of TV sports, news, and many other types of programming.

See the full Canon U.S.A. NAB 2014 exhibit in Central Hall booth C-4325 from Monday, April 7 through Thursday, April 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Ross Video’s 2014 NAB Show exhibit will be located in booth N-3806 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.