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Monday, May 29, 2017

Simultaneous Announcement Of Canon EOS-6D Mark II & Rebel SL2 Cameras


Canon EOS-6D Mark II full frame DSLR camera



As reported earlier, Canon is expected to announce the EOS-6D Mark II and Rebel SL2 cameras at the same time. The official date will be some time in July, with delivery dates starting in August.

Possible specs for Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera
  • All new 28MP sensor
  • 45 AF points, all cross-type
  • Dual SD slots
  • Articulating and reversible LCD with touchscreen capabilities
  • Larger and more vivid viewfinder
  • Single DIGIC 7 processor
  • New battery grip
  • Burst rate, 6 fps
  • Some 4K video capability but not full 4K performance
  • WiFi, NFC & Bluetooth
  • Built-in GPS ? (Possible but not likely)
  • Body slightly taller and deeper than previous model
  • Suggested list price of $1,999 in the U.S.
  • Expected shipment date - August 2017

Canon Cinema EOS C200 Camcorder Image Leaked


As reported earlier, Canon is expected to announce the Cinema EOS C200 camcorder very soon. It is touted as a baby C300 Mark II model, for those who want high performance but cannot afford the C300 Mark II price.


Canon Cinema EOS C200 camcorder

Canon Cinema EOS C200 camcorder

Friday, May 26, 2017

Canon Registers Three New Cameras - EOS-6D Mark II, Rebel SL2, New Mirrorless




Nokishita has discovered three new Canon cameras completing the registration process with the proper authorities. The EOS-6D Mark II is definitely on its way soon.

DS126631 (Canon EOS-6D Mark II?)

D S L R camera made in Japan
SKU: 1897C003AA, 1897C010AA, 1897C015AA, 1897C022AA
Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed
Reverse back and open 180 degrees Back LCD
Size : W 144.0 mm x H 111.8 mm x D 75.5

DS126671 (Canon Rebel SL2?)

D S L R camera made in Taiwan
SKU: 2250C001AA, 2250C002AA, 2250C011AA, 2253C001AA, 2256C001AA
Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed

PC2276 (Canon EOS-M10 replacement?)

Mirrorless camera made in Japan
SKU: 2209C002AA, 2209C012AA, 2209C022AA, 2209C032AA, 2210C002AA, 2210C012AA, 2210C022AA, 2210C032AA, 2211C002AA, 2211C012AA, 2211C022AA, 2211C032AA
Body color : 3 colors. One body and three lens kits
Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed

Canon Autofocus Series : How Does Traditional SLR AF Work?


Today’s digital SLR cameras usually have two distinct Autofocus systems — what we now think of as traditional AF you get through the optical viewfinder; and (usually) a separate AF system for focus using the LCD monitor to view your scene, when shooting with Live View or recording video.  They’re very different :

Viewfinder AF : 

Usually relies on a totally separate AF sensor for focus detection, and always uses what’s called Phase Detection technology.

Live View and video AF :

Uses pixels on the actual camera imaging sensor to read focus information.  Early systems simply read blurriness or sharpness off the image sensor; this is called Contrast Detection AF.  (This is still used in some competitive brand interchangeable-lens cameras.)  More sophisticated systems utilize individual pixels, or groups of pixels, on the image sensor and make comparisons of data to detect when a subject is focused or not…this approach is also called Phase Detection.

We’ll discuss the many advantages that traditional through-the-viewfinder AF systems offer in this series of AF articles.  But before we dive in, it may be helpful to have a quick understanding of how AF has typically worked in our SLR cameras since these systems were introduced back in the mid-1980s.

The phase detection concept

With the vast majority of SLR cameras offering autofocus, whether film or digital, a separate and completely independent sensor is placed in the camera body — usually beneath the mirror box, in front of the film plane.  With the camera’s reflex mirror in its normal down position, some light goes through a semi-transparent area in the middle of this main mirror, and is reflected by a smaller, secondary mirror downward, toward a very sophisticated and precise set of optics which split the incoming light into two distinct and sharply focused rays.  These are then focused upon a sensor with rows of light-sensitive pixels.  (This definitely is not the imaging sensor; it’s the AF sensor).


The above image shows the basic layout used in today’s digital SLRs for autofocus. The green rays simulate light coming through the camera lens. The main mirror in a DSLR is semi-transparent, and some of this light passes through the mirror, and is reflected downward in the camera. It ultimately ends up as pairs of sharply-focused rays of light, hitting the extremely precisely-positioned AF sensor.

How can an AF sensor tell when an image is in-focus?  Every line of pixels is actually a pair of lines, arranged in the same direction.  We just mentioned that incoming light is split into two separate and sharply-focused beams, which shine upon these tiny rows of individual pixels.


The image above shows how Phase-detection for autofocus is able to work because it can compare two incoming beams of light. In digital SLRs, a separate AF sensor is used for this. Unlike an imaging sensor, which has light-sensitive pixels covering its entire area, the AF sensor uses lines or rows of pixels. For each “line” used for focus detection, there are actually two lines on the AF sensor. A single incoming beam of light is precisely split in two, and focused upon each row, illuminating either the pixel at the center of each row, or pixels further inward or away.

Engineers discovered early-on a very interesting natural phenomenon of these light beams: when the camera lens is focused sharply at a given AF point, these beams would split evenly, and strike the pixel(s) in the middle of both rows on the AF sensor.  By reading-out each light-gathering pixel independently, when those known to be in the exact center register brightness, the AF system knows that the lens is now in-focus.


The image above illustrates how incoming light from the camera lens passes into the very precise AF optical system. The secondary image forming lens splits this single “beam” of light into two separate and sharply-focused beams, which are aimed at the pair of rows of pixels on the imaging sensor. Which pixels they illuminate on the two rows immediately tells the AF system whether you’re sharply focused or not.

And, here’s the important thing about phase detect AF: when the camera’s lens is focused too close and AF is aimed at a subject, the beams of light move, in tandem, closer together.  The pixels on the pair of line sensors toward the inside register light hitting them, and the camera instantly knows two things: not only that the lens isn’t in focus, but that to achieve focus, the lens has to be driven further away, in the direction of “infinity.”

Likewise, if the two beams of light spread further apart, and strike a pixel on each row that’s away from center, the AF sensor knows instantly that the lens is focused too far, and that focus must be driven closer.  As the lens is being focused, the position of these two beams of incoming light hitting the AF sensor continue to be registered, and when they strike the dead-center of each row of pixels, AF stops.  The lens is focused on the subject it’s being aimed at.


In the diagram above, each pixel on the pair of light-sensitive lines on the AF sensor can individually detect when it’s being hit by incoming light. When the main camera lens is not properly focused, the two incoming beams of light either spread wider, or move closer together. Focused behind the subject? The two beams spread farther, each illuminating a pixel away from the center — and instantly telling the AF system that the lens needs to be driven to a closer focus distance. And, the system can calculate immediately how far to drive the lens, too, based on which pair of pixels (one per line sensor) is initially hit by light. When the center pixel on each row is struck by light, the AF system knows it’s seeing sharp focus at whatever that AF point is being aimed at.

What’s the benefit of this traditional, phase-detect AF?

Even with the advance of different AF systems that can read focus during Live View off the imaging sensor, traditional “through the viewfinder” phase-detect AF systems have some powerful advantages for today’s digital photographers working with SLR cameras.  While exact performance specs and features can and do vary from one camera model to the next, here are some important benefits that the modern DSLR often provides with its viewfinder AF :

  • Instant focus response, to drive the lens in the proper direction.
  • Very little tendency to “hunt” back and forth to find sharpest focus…unlike many contrast-detection focus systems (often used by competitive cameras for video and Live View focus), phase detect systems through the viewfinder know the instant sharp focus is achieved, and can be programmed to stop on a proverbial “dime” to that focus setting.
  • Ability to read and drive a lens toward proper focus, even when AF begins with lens very out-of-focus (example: if a macro lens has previously been left at its nearest focus distance, and subsequently is picked up and focused upon a distant subject).  Just as a point of reference, if a lens is in a totally out-of-focus state, this is often called “defocus” by camera experts.
  • Ability to continually update AF, on a shot-by-shot basis, to follow moving subjects.
  • For more than 20 years, “predictive” AF technology with moving subjects…not only does the AF system know the direction to focus the lens, and have ability to follow moving subjects, but it adds ability to predict the degree of subject movement in the instant that occurs before focus detection ends (as the main mirror rises) and the shutter fires a split-second later.  Modern AF systems continue to drive the lens until the last possible instant, to insure that athletes, birds in flight, or other moving subjects can be captured in sharp sequences.  (Canon calls this predictive focus element “AI Servo AF,” with AI meaning Artificial Intelligence.)


The image above shows how Phase-detection AF systems for digital SLRs have certainly evolved over the years. Compare the conceptual illustration of a single pair of rows of pixels (above), depicting an early AF sensor with one AF point, to this image of the AF sensor on today’s EOS-1D X Mark II camera, which has 61 AF points — most of which offer cross-type coverage.

And, ability for different AF points on the AF sensor to provide “cross-type” AF coverage, for even better recognition and focus on many hard-to-focus subjects.  This will be the subject of our next article.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Adobe Released New Lightroom CC Version 2015.10.1



I am back from my Galapagos and Ecuadorian Amazon Photo Tour. I did not encounter as many wildlife as I had hoped. Slowly getting back to my daily blog and photo processing. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Adobe release a new version  of Lightroom CC 2015.10.1 to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were present in previous releases.

New Camera Support in Lightroom CC 2015.10.1 / 6.10.1

  • Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70 (DC-TZ90,DC-TZ91, DC-TZ92, DC-T93)
  • Sony A9 (ILCE-9)

New Lens Profile Support in Lightroom CC 2015.10.1 / 6.10.1

  • Sony FE Zeiss Batis 2.8/135

Customer reported issues resolved

  • Edit in Photoshop Erroneous Message Fixed
  • Fixed issue causing color cast on images from some Fujifilm X series cameras shot in CH/CL modes.
  • Fixed issue where images taken on the Fujifilm GFX 50s with top 3 extended ISOs appear over exposed.
  • Fixed issue where some images converted to DNG from the Hasselblad H6 contained a color cast.
  • Fixed issue with Hasselblad X1D images losing highlight details at high ISOs.

Known Issues

We have an issue where customers are unable to use the Develop module with GPU enabled. This only occurs when using an AMD graphics card using driver Version 17.4.4 (released 4/23/2017) on Windows. Please see this note for more details and workarounds.
Installation Instructions

Please select Help & Updates to use the update mechanism in the Creative Cloud app.

Give us feedback

Once you’ve updated to the latest version of Lightroom, don’t forget to leave us feedback about your experiences. Lightroom wouldn’t be what it is today without our passionate and loyal customers around the world. Giving us regular feedback helps us to find and fix issues that we may otherwise not know about. We are listening.

Here are a few ways that you can send us feedback :

  • Report bugs and suggest features
  • Discuss workflow and get help with how-to questions or basic troubleshooting 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Canon Rebel EOS SL2 Camera Coming In Q3 2017




I am back from my Galapagos and Ecuadorian Amazon Photo Tour. I did not encounter as many wildlife as I had hoped. Slowly getting back to my daily blog and photo processing. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

In February, I reported Canon is expected to announce the EOS Rebel SL2 some time this year. Indications are the date will be early Q3 of 2017. The new, small DSLRs will be a bit smaller and lighter than the current EOS Rebel SL1 and will have specifications similar to the recently announced EOS-77D. Perhaps like a 'baby' EOS-77D.

However, the exciting news for many photographers is the expected announcement of the affordable full frame EOS 6D Mark II some time in early Q3 of 2017.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

When Is Canon's Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Coming?


Blue-footed Booby 

I am still on my Galapagos and Ecuadorian Amazon Photo Tour. Just a quick post to update my readers on the latest development in photography news. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

The rumor mill is heating up again about Canon's full frame mirrorless camera. My readers know I have been reporting on this for the past couple of years and this is the best information I have right now.
  • New camera will be full frame and uses the EF mount
  • No new type of lens to accompany camera
  • Camera comes with a new type of sensor
  • Brand new technology to adapt EF lenses to the new sensor
  • Video quality slightly greater than 4K
  • Camera will be announced some time in 2018

Canon is already testing multiple versions of the camera, including hybrid models but I am quite certain only the full frame mirrorless model will be announced. Personally, I think it's about time Canon gives Sony a run for its mirrorless money. Keep checking back for the latest information. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wildlife Photography - Galapagos Islands and Ecuadorian Amazon Photo Tour



Quito, Ecuador. The city is 2 miles high and a launch pad for The Galapagos

Sunset in The Galapagos - Day is done

Footloose in The Galapagos 

Only the Lonely

Male Frigate Bird showing his ware

Tequila Sunset

I am embarking on a wildlife photography tour of the Galapagos Islands and the Ecuadorian Amazon. Last year I had a very good tour of the Peruvian Amazon and Highlands. It was a great testing ground for my Canon equipment due to its diverse climates of heavy humidity in the jungles and cold temperatures of over 2 miles elevation in the Peruvian Andes.

In keeping with my philosophy of traveling lighter, my main equipment are the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS-1D Mark IV, EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II.

There will be very limited access to the Internet and little time to look over and process my photos. I have a small laptop to process a few pics and will try and keep my readers up to date on any interesting Canon and other photography news. In the meantime, you can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Canon Movie Tutorial - Why and How To Shoot A Good Video


Canon Movie tutorial series on how to make a good video. the following topics are covered. 

  • LESSON 1 : Why should I make a video?
  • LESSON 2 : How to craft a good story
  • LESSON 3 : The importance of frame rate and resolution
  • LESSON 4 : How to expose for video
  • LESSON 5 : Controlling Camera Movement and Stabilization 
  • LESSON 6 : The use of Sound and Music
  • LESSON 7 : How to choose the right lenses
  • LESSON 8 : How to stay in focus
  • LESSON 9 : How to editing the video
  • LESSON 10 : Final Conclusion




Canon Cinema C200 Camcorder Coming Soon




As reported earlier, Canon is expected to announce the Cinema C200 camera soon, perhaps in June. This new camcorder is touted to be a 'baby' C300 Mark II and may come with 4K video. It is somewhere between a C100 Mark II and a C300 Mark II and will be quite a good value for the money. Keep checking back for the latest info and development.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Canon Released Firmware V 1.0.1 For EOS-M5 Camera


Canon EOS-M5 mirrorless camera

Canon has released firmware V 1.0.1 for the EOS M5 mirrorless camera.

The new Firmware Version 1.0.1 incorporates the following fixes :

  • Corrects a phenomenon in which, when the playback grid is set to “6×4”, and a vertical image is displayed, or a horizontal image is rotated to be displayed vertically, the grid does not display correctly.
  • In languages other than Japanese, the phrase “no. of shots” has been corrected to “value” in the “Time-lapse movie settings > Interval/Shots” setting screen.

Firmware Version 1.0.1 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.0.0. If the camera’s firmware is already Version 1.0.1, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Download firmware V 1.0.1 for the Canon EOS M5 here

Canon EOS-6D Mark II Camera Coming Early Q3, 2017


Canon EOS-6D Mark II full frame DSLR camera



Your patience will be rewarded soon. The Canon's EOS-6D Mark II full frame camera is expected to be announced early Q3 2017, perhaps in July. There is no precise date but shipping should commence soon after announcement. Keep checking back for the latest news and specs as I receive them.

Possible specs for Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera
  • All new 28MP sensor
  • 45 AF points, all cross-type
  • Dual SD slots
  • Articulating and reversible LCD with touchscreen capabilities
  • Larger and more vivid viewfinder
  • Single DIGIC 7 processor
  • New camera grip
  • Burst rate, 6 fps
  • Some 4K video capability but not full 4K performance
  • WiFi, NFC & Bluetooth
  • Built-in GPS ? (Possible but not likely)
  • Body slightly taller and deeper than previous model
  • Suggested list price of $1,999 in the U.S.
  • Expected shipment date - August 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

When Is The Canon Super Zoom Lens Coming?


Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens


Back in 2015, I reported Egami discovered a new Canon patent for a 200-600mm f/4.5-5.6 Super Zoom lens. Unfortunately, Egami has since been off the Internet and no more new patents have been reported.

However, Canon is definitely work on this technology. As you know, they rarely try to be the first, just the best. Currently, the Super Zoom space is occupied by Sigma and Tamron. Both companies have the 150-600mm lens out for a few years now with mediocre to good results.

Canon has the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II and EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens out for some time but they are not readily affordable to all photographers. The new Super Zoom model Canon is perfecting now may not be an 'L' lens but it will be of high quality and more affordable, perhaps in the $1,000 to $1,500 list price category.

There is a chance Canon may decide to really wow photographers and turn this Super Zoom design into a SuperTelephoto zoom lens. If that is the case, I expect some industry breaking innovation. Perhaps a two stage built-in extender, like 1.4x and 1.7x. Stay tuned and keep checking back for the latest development.

I anticipate the new lens will be announced some time in the first half of 2018. The EF 600mm f/4 DO BR lens is also expected to arrive some time in 2018. These are the two lenses I am interested in buying. My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer and I have been testing Canon equipment on wildlife tours for years. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Monday, May 1, 2017

When Is The Canon EOS-6D Mark II, Rebel SL2, Cinema C200 and EF 85mm f/1.4L IS Coming


Canon EOS-6D Mark II full frame DSLR camera

Be patient. The Canon's EOS-6D Mark II full frame camera, Rebel SL2, EF 85mm f/1.4L IS and Cinema C200 (C300 Mark II's little brother) will be announced around Q3 to Q4 of 2017. Keep checking back for the latest news as I receive them.


Possible specs for Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera
  • All new 28MP sensor
  • 45 AF points, all cross-type
  • Dual SD slots
  • Tilting LCD with touchscreen capabilities
  • Larger and more vivid viewfinder
  • Single DIGIC 7 processor
  • Burst rate, 6 fps
  • Some 4K video capability but not full 4K performance
  • WiFi, NFC & Bluetooth
  • Built-in GPS 
  • Suggested list price of $1,999 in the U.S.

Understanding The Basics Of Lighting and Aperture In Photography




It helps to refresh oneself with the basics of photography now and then. Light and aperture are two of the most important things to master in any type of photography.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Canon USA Rebates - Including EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 77D & EOS M6 Cameras




Canon USA has introduced new instant rebates on select DSLRs, PowerShot and Mirrorless cameras plus a couple of EF and EF-S lenses. The rebate offers will expire on June 3, 2017.

You will not find a link to these items because I do not accept any ad or commissioned link on my blog or website. You can easily find them on your favorite camera retailers' website yourself. I am completely unbiased in my recommendation and have no conflict of interest. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com


Full Frame DSLRs

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV $3299 (Reg $3499)
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV w/24-70mm f/4L IS $4049 (Reg $4399)
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV w/24-105mm f/4L IS II $4199 (Reg $4599)
  • Canon EOS 6D $1399 (Reg $1699)
  • Canon EOS 6D w/24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM $1799 (Reg $2099)
  • Canon EOS 6D w/24-105mm f/4L IS $1999 (Reg $2299)

APS-C DSLRs

  • Canon EOS 77D $849 (Reg $899)
  • Canon EOS 77D w/18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM $999 (Reg $1049)
  • Canon EOS 77D w/18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM $1249 (Reg $1499)
  • Canon EOS 80D $1099 (Reg $1199)
  • Canon EOS 80D w/18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM $1149 (Reg $1349)
  • Canon EOS 80D w/18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM $1399 (Reg $1799)

Mirrorless Cameras

  • Canon EOS M5 $929 (Reg $979)
  • Canon EOS M5 w/15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM $1049 (Reg $1099)
  • Canon EOS M5 w/18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM $1199 (Reg $1479)
  • Canon EOS M6 w/18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM $1099 (Reg $1279)

PowerShot Cameras

  • Canon PowerShot G3 X $799 (Reg $999)
  • Canon PowerShot G5 X $699 (Reg $799)
  • Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II $429 (Reg $529)

EF and EF-S Lenses

  • Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Pancake $129 (Reg $149)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM $110 (Reg $125)

Friday, April 28, 2017

CIPA 2017 Q1 Report Is Out And Sales Are Up


CIPA published their Q1 2017 results for camera and lens shipments. Participating companies include Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Olympus, Casio, Panasonic Fujifilm, Ricoh, Tamron, Kenko, Tokina, Zeiss and Xacti.

As you can see, there is some improvements this year so far and Canon even forecasted an uptick in their 2017 profits. The industry is not out of the woods yet. Some smaller players may not survive but the bigger companies like Canon and Sony are on the mend.





Super Rare Canon PE 300mm f/1.8 Lens


Canon PE 300mm f/1.8 lens

Remember the rare Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L lens in my earlier post? However, there is an even rarer Canon lens - the PE 300mm f/1.8  

This lens is used primarily for horse racing to determine the winner at the finish line. There are reportedly only 4 copies of this lens still around.

Canon EOS-7D Mark II Firmware V 1.1.1 Available For Download




My readers know I have picked the Canon EOS-7D as the best value APS-C camera for sports and wildlife photography four years in a row. The Mark II version of this camera is also my pick as the new successor although it has keen competition from the Nikon D500. I have taken this camera on worldwide wildlife photo shoots and it passed with flying colors. You can read my comprehensive review and follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Although the Nikon D500 is newer, the extensive line of EF and EF-S lenses the EOS-7D Mark II can utilize is still coming out on top, in my opinion. I expect Canon to come out with a major firmware upgrade some time in late 2017 or early 2018 to keep the camera competitive. In the meantime, Canon has released a new firmware for the Mark II to take care of a few minor bugs.

Firmware Version 1.1.1 incorporates the following improvement and fix :

  • Enhances reliability of communications when transferring images using Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7 (A/B/C/D/E).
  • Corrects the phenomenon of Err70 which occurs with certain combinations of settings.
  • Corrects the phenomenon in which in very rare cases the shutter can no longer be released.
  • Enhances reliability of operations for specific custom function settings.

Please note :

If using a Wi-Fi adapter/W-E1, the camera’s nickname will be reset to default when you perform this firmware update, so please reset the nickname before using the camera.

Download firmware v1.1.1 at Canon USA

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wildlife Photography and Documentaries - How Authentic Are They?





My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer and I have used Canon equipment for over a quarter of a century. Over the years, I have found some equipment to be more versatile than others and they always seem to find their way into my equipment bag every time I am on a wildlife photo tour anywhere in the world.

Shooting a wildlife documentary is no different. You see boxes after boxes of equipment accompanying filmmakers to remote locations. Gear do break down when one least expect it and they must have back up to take care of any contingencies. Anyone who has seen movies from major Hollywood production companies know it is 'impossible' to record studio quality sound while on location, so voices and sounds are added and mixed later in the editing rooms. That doesn't make the film 'fake'.

Also during the editing process, many footages and scenes are cut and re-arranged to tell a story. That does not make the documentary 'false'. It's only fake if the scenes are staged, shot under controlled situations or manipulated with CGI.

Wildlife Photography is a bit different because the photographer is capturing a moment in time, not a sequence of events. The final photo will have been cropped, adjusted for exposure, optimal light, color and sharpness, either digitally or in the dark room. That does not make the photograph any less authentic.

Of course there are those who will invariably cheat and think they can get away with it. The infamous case of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 comes to mind. The winning photo was judged to be a staged event and the 'winner' was stripped of his title.

Canon Raised Profit Outlook For Full Year 2017




Having been a Canon user for over a quarter of a century and an observer of the company for years, this comes as no surprise since Canon is a well diversified firm and heads-and-shoulders over its other photographic competitors, including Sony and Nikon.


Japan's Canon Inc on Wednesday lifted its full-year operating profit forecast after reporting strong first-quarter results on the back of earnings from a medical equipment unit it bought from Toshiba Corp last year.

The camera and printer maker forecast profit of 270 billion yen ($2.43 billion), up from 255 billion yen estimated in January. It reported profit of 228.9 billion in the previous twelve months.

The upbeat outlook suggests Canon's strategy to diversify has begun to reward the company after the $5.8 billion acquisition of the Toshiba unit and the $2.8 billion takeover of Swedish video-surveillance firm Axis AB.

Canon also said the two existing businesses that have long dragged its earnings - laser printers and cameras - are also showing signs of bottoming out.

A recovery in the Chinese and other emerging economies is pushing up demand for laser printers, while continued popularity of so-called mirrorless cameras is driving camera sales, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Toshizo Tanaka said at an earnings briefing.

For the January-March quarter, Canon said operating profit jumped 88.8 percent to 75.67 billion yen from 40.09 billion yen a year earlier.

That was above a consensus estimate of 58.80 billion yen from six analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Tanaka also said the company is not in a situation to consider joining the bidding for Toshiba's prized flash memory unit.

Toshiba wants to sell most or all of the unit, the world's second-largest NAND chip maker behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. It has narrowed bidders to SK Hynix Inc, Western Digital Corp, Broadcom Ltd and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn), people familiar with the process have told Reuters.

To keep the technology in Japan, however, the government is calling for domestic companies to join the bidding and team up with state-backed funds, sources have said.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Canon EOS-77D APS-C DSLR Camera Review


Canon EOS-77D APS-C DSLR camera













Canon announced the Rebel T7i, EOS-800D and the EOS-77D all at once in February, 2017. The EOS-77D camera is situated somewhere between the Rebel T7i and EOS-80D. The list price difference between the models is about 150 to 200 U.S. dollars either way.

The EOS-77D is a good camera. It is a departure from the previous Rebel models and has features and layout similar to the EOS-XXD models. However, I am not sure why Canon needs to bring out the Rebel T7i for $150 less in list price and strip out some of the capabilities. Why add another name plate to the already crowded low end lineup? Just call the EOS-77D camera the new and improved Rebel T7i and really make that claim meaningful this time, instead of the old, tired cliche.  You can download a copy of the Owner Manual for your perusal and decide if you want to upgrade to this camera.

Many serious photographers are willing to pay $150 more than the Rebel T7i once they have seen the EOS-77D specs and have decided to upgrade from their Rebel T4i to T6i bodies. For these photographers to move up to the EOS-80D will require an additional $350 more than the Rebel T7i so paying an extra $150 and getting all the additional features of the EOS-77D make sense.

As The Wildlife Ho-tographer, the primarily cameras for my work are the EOS-1D X Mark IIEOS-1D Mark IV, EOS-5Ds and EOS-7D Mark II. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

EOS-77D Main Camera Specs :

  • 24.2 megapixel Canon APS-C CMOS imaging sensor
  • New 45-point all cross-type AF system. AF with f/8 aperture lens combinations
  • Top LCD Panel, Rear Control Dial, Multi-function Lock Switch and Auto Off Sensor
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • Built-in WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • ISO 100-25600 (expandable to 51200)
  • 6 fps burst mode
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF 
  • Servo AF in Live View with continuous shooting at 4.5 fps
  • 1080/60p Full HD video in MP4 format
  • Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch, 1 million dot, Clear View LCD II monitor
  • EOS scene analysis system and new color tone detection
  • Light flicker detection and Anti-flicker shutter timing
  • Movie Electronic Image Stabilization
  • Intelligent viewfinder with liquid crystal overlay
  • Creative filters mode on the dial
  • Group Photo Special Scene Mode

Monday, April 24, 2017

30 Year History Of Canon EOS Camera System Video






Thirty years of Canon EOS camera history in a short video clip. My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer. I have been using Canon equipment for over a quarter of a century. Over the years, I have migrated from film to digital cameras but still kept my EOS-1 V, the state-of-the-art Canon film camera announced back in 2000.

The above video is a trip down memory lane for Canon owners. Through the decades, I have owned many Canon cameras. My first pro body was the EOS-1 in 1989. Then I bought the first Canon digital camera, the D30 in 2000 and the first 'affordable' full frame digital camera, the EOS-5D in 2005.

Currently, my main bodies are the EOS-1D X Mark IIEOS-1D Mark IV, EOS-5Ds and EOS-7D Mark II. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Friday, April 21, 2017

Sony Alpha A9 May Persuade Canon To Announce Their Own Full Frame Mirrorless Camera


Sony Alpha A9 full frame mirrorless camera


Size Comparison - Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs Sony Alpha A9


My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer. I have been using Canon equipment for over a quarter of a century. Over the years, I have migrated from film to digital cameras but still kept my EOS-1 V, the state-of-the-art Canon film camera announced back in 2000.

Through the decades, I have owned many Canon cameras. My first pro body was the EOS-1 in 1989. Then I bought the first Canon digital camera, the D30 in 2000 and the first 'affordable' full frame digital camera, the EOS-5D in 2005.

Currently, my main bodies are the EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS-1D Mark IV, EOS-5Ds and EOS-7D Mark II. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

I have been an observer of Canon for many years now. It is a conservative company and rarely aims to be the first in introducing new technology. Instead, they concentrate on being the brand with the most reliable and state-of-the-art performance equipment.

One area Canon has been lagging behind its competitors is in the mirrorless camera space. It is no secret Sony has been pulling ahead of every competitor. Their highly successful A7 series has now been followed by the introduction of the new Alpha A9 model.

Sony Alpha A9 camera major specs

  • 24.2MP Full-Frame Stacked CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • 693-Point AF System & 20 fps Shooting
  • Blackout-Free Quad-VGA 3.7m-Dot OLED EVF
  • Internal UHD 4K Video Recording
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • 3.0" 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • ISO 204,800, Silent Electronic Shutter
  • Built-In Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, Dual SD Slots
  • Integrated LAN and PC Sync Terminals

On paper, the Sony Alpha A9 camera specs look impressive. Of course many of these 'jaw dropping' features are written by marketing folks and are designed to grab the attention of readers. Although, the majority of professional sports and wildlife photographers will not dream of using a mirrorless camera for their work (including yours truly), there is a case for owning a high-end pro mirrorless body for various reasons, as far as I am concerned.

Canon already has a few variants of high-end, full frame mirrorless cameras in their labs and is deciding when to release the final version. Perhaps, the announcement of the Sony Alpha A9 should concentrate Canon's mind and persuade them to finally pull the trigger some time next year.

I know Canon's management has a lot on their plates. They have made it a priority to upgrade their Super Telephoto line of lens and introduce more Diffrative Optics lens models in time for the World's Cup in 2018, Rugby's World Cup in 2019 and Summer Olympics in 2020, both events will be held in Japan.

They are a big enough company to juggle multiple projects at one time and their high-end mirrorless camera project should be one that takes high priority along with the other tasks. I will be very interested in buying their pro model with the EF mount once it is announced.  

Canon Announced Free Firmware Upgrades For Three 4K Pro Display Models




MELVILLE, N.Y., April 20, 2017 – Demonstrating Canon’s continued commitment to supporting the digital cinema and television broadcasting industries, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc. and Canon Marketing Japan Inc., will make available free firmware upgrades for three of its professional 4K displays—the DP-V1710, DP-V2410 and DP-V2420 in June 2017.


Just before 2017 NAB Show, the new features include : 


Enhanced connectivity with Canon digital cinema cameras

The new firmware updates permit 4K RAW video captured using the EOS C700 or the EOS C700 GS PL (scheduled to be released July 2017) to be viewed directly on the display using only a 3G-SDI cable, without the need for an external transitional device. The firmware also makes possible the acquisition of all image data from video captured using the EOS C700, EOS C700 GS PL as well as the EOS C300 Mark II, enabling the display of image setting values from the connected camera and metadata.

Furthermore, these updates enable the display of the cinema aspect ratio 2.39:1 for specialized shooting using a digital cinema camera equipped with an anamorphic lens. The addition of these new features delivers enhanced user convenience when confirming images during shooting

Improved connectivity with ARRI digital cinema cameras
Thanks to these new firmware updates, users can simply connect an ARRI digital cinema camera to the DP-V1710, DP-V2410 or DP-V2420 4K Professional Display Models and view LOG C video in HDR. It is also no longer necessary to add an LUT to confirm video, for improved ease of use.

Expanded shooting-assist functions for HDR video

The new updates make possible the display of 4K video in both HDR and SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) simultaneously, using a vertical split-screen mode. What’s more, the updates make possible the downscaling and parallel display of 4K video as two separate images, enabling side-by-side comparisons of HDR and SDR images or HDR images and images with HDR shooting-assist functions applied.

Additionally, colors can now be overlaid on HDR video, with the color depending on the actual luminance of the video area, allowing for the visual confirmation of luminance distribution. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Canon Announced Compact-Servo 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens






MELVILLE, N.Y., April 20, 2017 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce today the new COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens (model name CN-E 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S), a compact and lightweight 4K lens constructed for users that demand versatility and portability. A bridge between traditional Canon EF lenses and CN-E cinema lenses, the COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm can be ideal for filmmakers and documentary shooters who want the control and quality of cinema optics with the lightweight, compact design and features of Canon’s EF lenses.

The second in a new class of Canon lenses, the COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens is a cinema-style lens that includes a servo drive unit as a standard feature. Additionally, the lens incorporates Image Stabilization, Autofocus, and Auto Iris functionality*, three extremely useful features not commonly found in cinema lenses, but are popular in EF lenses. The lens also provides high image quality that supports 4K image productions and was designed to be utilized in a variety of shooting styles including, hand-held, shoulder mounted, and tripod mounted.

“Canon prides itself on turning the ideas and thoughts from filmmakers about equipment into reality,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We are very excited to expand our line of COMPACT-SERVO lenses, providing a variety of creators with an extremely versatile and affordable lens that features the outstanding build-quality and excellent optical performance that professionals have come to expect from Canon. We are excited to continue to build the COMPACT-SERVO line of lenses, and can’t wait to see what the imaging community creates.”

The new COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens is a 4K lens and features autofocus and optical image stabilization (with compatible camera models*), resulting in high-resolution imagery, with the ability to assist filmmakers in capturing the shot they envisioned. Compatible with EF-mount Super 35mm large-format cameras, the lens maintains brightness across the entire focal range at T4.4 (equal to f/4.0). The lens is also compatible with both the Canon EF 1.4x III (expanded focal range of 98-280mm) and EF 2x III (expanded focal range of 140mm-400mm) external extenders, expanding the focal range of the lens for additional versatility when the shooting situation calls for it.

For added convenience, cinematographers can control many of the features of the lens in a variety of ways through the EF-mount communication, including Dual Pixel CMOS AF, push auto iris, record start and stop and remote lens control via the camera with an optional remote control, compensation for chromatic aberration** and peripheral illumination, metadata acquisition, and selection of T-number display**.

The COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens features a nine-blade iris aperture diaphragm to help give footage a truly artistic and beautiful look and feel, providing the much desired “bokeh” effect in the out-of-focus areas.

The lens comes equipped with a Servo Drive Unit, which provides seamless switching between servo and manual modes, allowing videographers motorized control of focus, zoom, and iris settings. The Servo Drive Unit is compatible with broadcast style industry-standard lens controllers including Canon’s ZSD-300D zoom demand and FPD-400D focus demand. Like the Canon COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm Zoom Lens, the ZSG-C10 accessory grip will be compatible with the new COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom lens, further enhancing ease-of-use for ENG and “run-and-gun” style shooters.

The grip connects to the lens through a 20-pin cable, allowing a variety of lens functions to be controlled from the grip, including zooming via a rocker switch, one-shot AF and the starting and stopping of a recording. When the lens and grip are being used with the EOS C100 Mark II, EOS C300 Mark II and EOS C700 Cinema Cameras, users will also have the ability to control the zoom and iris from the camera’s grip unit.

The Canon COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Zoom Lens is scheduled to be available later in 2017***. In addition, the ZSG-C10 accessory grip is currently available for an estimated retail price of $499. For more information please visit usa.canon.com/compactservo

Canon Announced Canon Log Feature Upgrade To EOS-5D Mark IV Camera











MELVILLE, N.Y., April 20, 2017 – In a move to help meet the demands of professional filmmakers, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the availability of a feature upgrade for the EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera that will add the ability to record with Canon Log. With this upgrade, the EOS 5D Mark IV can achieve a cinematic look similar to what can be achieved using Cinema EOS cameras, allowing it to serve as a second camera on a Cinema EOS shoot or to stand alone as a cinema camera.

Current EOS 5D Mark IV camera owners can have the Canon Log feature upgrade installed for $99 at any of the Canon service centers across the U.S. starting in July. The camera will also be available for sale (body only) with the feature upgrade pre-installed starting in July, with an estimated retail price of $3,599.00*.

Canon Log uses the image sensor’s characteristics in a way that allows for a wide dynamic range, minimal loss of detail in shadows and highlight areas and an increased range of choices when color grading. Color grading options available with Canon Log include optimized color saturation, accurate colors with minor color bias, visual continuity and accurate skin tones.

Canon Log also works with and complements several EOS 5D Mark IV camera features including 4K shooting, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, high speed 119.9p shooting in HD and 59.94p shooting in Full HD. Additional features include Movie Servo AF allowing the camera to focus on a subject even when the shutter button is not used, the ability to register custom shooting modes in Canon Log and movie shooting in Canon Log on a compatible iOS® or Android™ device using the free Canon Camera Connect app1.

To learn more about the feature upgrade and how to get it installed, please visit usa.canon.com/canonlog5d4

The EOS 5D Mark IV camera with Canon Log will be shown at the NAB show in Las Vegas, NV, April 24-27, in the Canon U.S.A., Inc. Booth #C4325 in the Central Hall of the LVCC. Follow Canon throughout the show on Instagram at @CanonUSA and Twitter at @CanonUSApro.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Canon Dedicates Website To Total Solar Eclipse Photography




MELVILLE, N.Y., April 18, 2017 – On August 21, 2017, the Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth, fully blocking the Sun from view for over two minutes to a large portion of the country. This natural phenomenon is called a total solar eclipse; this is the first one to race across the entire country in 99 years. The last one viewed in the United States occurred in 1979. Serving as a resource for all photographers interested in documenting these once-in-a-lifetime moments, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today the launch of the Canon Eclipse Blog, “A Total Guide to Totality” (usa.canon.com/eclipse); a vital resource for anyone looking to capture what is likely to be the most photographed total solar eclipse to date.

The blog, co-authored by Canon Explorer of Light Ken Sklute and photographer Dave Henry, will feature a series of ongoing posts with helpful guidelines, images and videos that teach photographers of all skill levels how to capture the total solar eclipse including tips that may help protect your eyes and camera’s lenses and sensor. In addition to the blog, consumers can also learn and practice their photography skills in-person through specialized Canon Live Learning workshops at Canon facilities around the country.

Canon EOS-5D Mark IV, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II, XC15 Win TIPA Awards



Canon EOS-5D Mark IV full frame camera


My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer. I have used Canon equipment for over a quarter of a century. Although the EOS-5D Mark IV is an excellent camera, I have not bought it because I use the EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS-5Ds as main bodies for my work.

I have taken the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II lens on a few wildlife photo tours and am very pleased with it. You can You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com


TOKYO, April 19, 2017 - Two Canon cameras and one Canon lens have been recognized with “Best Photo and Imaging Product” awards by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), representing 30 photo and imaging magazines from 15 countries across five continents. The three award winners are: the EOS 5D Mark IV digital SLR (DSLR) camera for advanced-amateur users, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM standard zoom lens for advanced-amateur users and the XC15 professional 4K video camcorder. These Canon products were highly rated for meeting the diverse still shooting and video production needs of professional and advanced-amateur users.

Best Full-Frame DSLR Expert - Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Selected for this year’s “Best Full-Frame DSLR Expert” award, Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR offers impressive specifications. Equipped with an approximately 30.4 megapixel 35 mm full-frame Canon CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6+ image processor, the camera achieves a standard ISO sensitivity range of 100-32000 (expandable to ISO50-102400 equivalent), 7 frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting of still images and 4K video capture at 30 fps, as well as full-HD video capture at 60 fps and HD 120 fps capture suitable for slow-motion video. Thanks to Dual Pixel CMOS AF, the camera achieves superlative high-speed AF tracking when shooting video and stills in live-view mode.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is equipped with 61 point high-density reticular AF II, achieving an expanded longitudinal focus area, with a maximum of 41 cross-type focus points of the total 61. Additionally, it features an approximately 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor. The camera also features a 4K frame capture function, which users can extract selected frames from recorded 4K video as approximately 8.8-megapixel JPEG still images, as well as built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS functionality.

Best DSLR Standard Zoom Lens - Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

Named “Best DSLR Standard Zoom Lens,” the EF 24-105 f/4L IS II USM employs a new optical design that incorporates 17 elements in 12 groups, including four glass-molded aspherical elements—one of which features two aspherical surfaces. This standard zoom lens achieves improved peripheral light intake to achieve high image quality across the entire image field.

The lens features image stabilization to the effect of 4 shutter speed stops and a circular 10-blade aperture that produces exquisite circular bokeh. Equipped with such features as inner focusing, a Ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor) and a high-speed CPU, and sporting an optimized AF algorithm, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM achieves highly responsive autofocusing. The lens also employs a special Air Sphere Coating (ASC), which reduces the occurrences of flaring and ghosting.

Best Camcorder - Canon XC15

Crowned “Best Camcorder,” the XC15 features a compact, lightweight body design and makes possible cost-effective 4K UHD and HD shooting, making it ideal for on-location journalism and video production. The camera facilitates shooting in confined spaces and environments that demand mobility and features the same selection of visual-expression “Look” modes as the EOS C300 Mark II, making it ideal for use as a sub-camera. The XC15 is equipped with a high-sensitivity 1-inch CMOS sensor with individual pixels that feature large light-capturing areas, a touch panel that enables intuitive controls, and a 10x optical zoom lens—27.3 mm at the wide end to 273 mm at the telephoto end when shooting video.

The camera features faster autofocus through an orientation-determination algorithm, and enables excellent anti-shake performance afforded by an optical IS system and an electronic IS system with 3 modes to choose from. What’s more, the camera’s separate focus and zoom rings offer a high level operability.

Held every year since 1991, the TIPA Awards recognize the best photo and imaging products announced during the previous 12 months based on such criteria as innovativeness, use of leading-edge technologies, design and ease-of-use. In 1992, Canon took home its first TIPA accolade for the EOS 100 SLR camera and, over 25 separate occasions since then, has been honored with TIPA awards for a total of 81 products and technologies*.

*Includes the EOS D2000, jointly developed with Eastman Kodak, winner of the 1998-1999 TIPA Best Pro Digital Camera award.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Apple iPhone 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 - Who Is Ahead?







Apple iPhone 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 - Major Specs Comparison


iPhone 8 - Rumored

  • Display : 4.7, 5.5 and 5.8in  2436x1125 Curved OLED 
  • Storage : 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB
  • CPU and RAM : A11 processor, 3-4GB RAM
  • Front Camera : 8MP
  • Rear Camera : 12MP dual-lens, dual-OIS, 4K video recording
  • Extras : Iris scanner, Wireless charging, Fingerprint reader, Bluetooth 5.0

Samsung Galaxy S8 - Announced

  • Display : 5.8 and 6.2in  2960x1440 Super AMOLED Display
  • Storage : 64GB internal, 256GB expandable
  • CPU and RAM : Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 Processor, 4GB RAM
  • Front Camera : 8MP with autofocus
  • Rear Camera : 12MP, 4K video recording, optical image stabilization.
  • Extras : Iris scanner, Wireless charging, Fingerprint reader, Bluetooth 5.0

CPU and Memory

Apple's iPhone 8 is rumored to be powered by the new A11 processor and M11 motion-coprocessor. How does that compare to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung Exynos 8895 processor in the Galaxy S8?

TSMC is reportedly making Apple’s 10-nanometer chipset. Production is rumored to start this spring. The new chipset Apple and may boast a 20% speed gain and 40% power reduction compared to the older 16-nanometer technology.

Both phones are expected to be evenly matched when it comes to RAM - 4GB each. The iPhone 8 is expected to have more internal RAM (256GB) but the S8, with its built-in 64GB RAM can match and even exceed the iPhone 8, once external memory is included because it can support up to a 256GB mini SD card.

Display

The new iPhone 8's screen may come in three sizes - 4.7, 5.5, and 5.8 inches. However, only the high end model may have the curved OLED screen, like the current Samsung S7 Edge but the new S8 and S8 Plus have the curved, Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2960 x 1440.

Camera

Both Apple iPhone 8 and Samsung S8 models will have a 8MP front camera but the S8 has autofocus. The rear camera will have a 12MP resolution but the iPhone 8 is rumored to have the 12MP dual lens. Apple is planning to take the crown in the area of smartphone photography.

Extra Features

The iPhone 8 is expected to have an iris scanner, fingerprint reader and wireless charging but the S8, with its own iris scanner, plans to take biometrics to an even higher level.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With the acquisition of Viv Labs and the original creators of Siri under Samsung's umbrella, the S8's will come with the new AI Digital Assistant, Bixby.

Bixby will soon be introudced into all of Samsung's HDTVs, watches, tablets, etc. It is Samsung’s answer to Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Who will have the Lead?

With the debacle of the Galaxy Note 7 in the rear view mirror, Samsung is determined to reverse its fortune with the S8 and S8 Plus. With its impressive phone shipping this month, they will have an approximate 6 months lead ahead of Apple.

The Apple iPhone 8's announcement may be delayed due to challenges around its 3-D sensing technology, difficulties with embedding the fingerprint reader on the front of the phone and shortage of OLED screens but still in time for the all important Christmas holidays. In the meantime, Apple will announce an iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus in September to keep customers from switching to Samsung.

Samsung is salivating about converting some of the current Apple iPhone 7 users to their new phone. When the iPhone 8 debuts some time in Q4, Samsung will have the new Galaxy Note 8 ready to challenge Apple again.

Some observers say with the advent of ever smarter phones and their built-in cameras, they may even threaten the survival of point-n-shoot and DSLR cameras. Take a look at the video above to see some of the best smartphone cameras on the market now. Read my earlier post on this thought.