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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS Plus Three Other EF Lenses Coming




As reported in my earlier post, Canon is expected to announce the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS lens plus three more EF 'high end' lenses, probably EF-S and EF-M models in the month of August. Keep checking back for more info as I get them.

I know of no other 'L' lens to expect anytime soon. The EF 600mm f/4 DO BR lens is expected next year as reported earlier and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III is also expected to arrive some time in 2018 but not next month. Keep checking back for the latest information as I receive them.

I will be leaving for my annual Alaskan Wildlife Photo Tour and will try and stay in touch if time permits. In the meantime, you can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Canon U.S.A. Announces New Large-Format imagePROGRAF Pro-6000 Inkjet Printer


Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer


MELVILLE, N.Y., July 20, 2017 – For professionals who want sharp, brilliant and obsessively beautiful prints that they can share with the world, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its latest professional large-format inkjet printer – the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000. At 60-inches wide, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer is the largest 12-ink printer on the market today.

The PRO-6000 expands the PRO Series models offered from 17-inches to 60-inches wide, giving users the ability to own multiple sized printers all with the same print head, ink and image processor, helping to ensure the same high quality across the line. As with previous models, the PRO-6000 device’s sleek design emphasizes the link with Canon’s EOS digital cameras and red-line “L-series lens.” Highlights that set this model apart from the crowd include its 60-inch print width, the ability to feed from the only standard Multifunction Roll System in its class and a 12-channel system including Chroma Optimizer that offers spectacular image quality for the fine art and photographic markets.

“With the introduction of our largest model, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000, we round out our full line of high quality PRO Series printers,” said Toyotsugu Kuwamura, executive vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Our PRO Series now offers an expansive lineup of large-format inkjet solutions and sizes for a broad range of applications in the photo, fine art, proofing and graphics market segments.”

Designed to meet the needs of photo professionals and graphic artists, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer provides users with Canon’s input-to-output photo printing support, known as Crystal-fidelity. This solution allows users to obtain a print quality that accurately expresses the structure, clarity and texture of photos shot using Canon EOS DSLR cameras. Fine art professionals and graphic artists will welcome the versatility that the PRO-6000 offers, including the ability to print on various media types, such as glossy paper, matte paper and fine art textured paper.

“I prefer Canon large-format printers because of their amazing quality, as well as their outstanding reliability. With the new PRO-6000 printer, the singular print head further improves the quality of nozzle alignment for cleaner, sharper images. I can launch an entire roll’s worth of prints and be confident that I won’t find banding half way through the batch – a huge advantage over the competition,” said Cody Ranaldo, Technical Director for Griffin Editions NYC, a full-service fine art photographic printing, imaging and mounting studio. “The dual-roll loading system greatly reduces the amount of handling damage incurred when switching back and forth between rolls. Finally, there is an aqueous inkjet printer designed for a true production environment.”

“One of our best clients has been waiting to offer her work in 60-by-60 inches and is excited to now be able to offer fine art prints to a new client base,” said Eric Luden, founder and owner of Digital Silver Imaging, based in Belmont, Massachusetts. “Commercial clients are especially excited to see the larger scale prints for their lobbies and conference rooms. Our new Canon PRO-6000, which includes all the improvements that we’ve come to enjoy on our Canon PRO-4000, will open up new opportunities and markets for our business.”

High-level Precision

As with previous models in the imagePROGRAF PRO line, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 model features the LUCIA PRO 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink system to provide exceptional image quality. The printer maintains this high print quality with a multi-sensor that calibrates the printer, helping to ensure color consistency from the first print to the last and across multiple PRO Series printers. It also features a high-precision mechanical platform, providing a uniform, rigid frame to reduce vibrations during printing and more accurate ink ejection as well as effortless media feeding capabilities, allowing users to no longer have to worry about blemished prints due to fingerprints.

Extraordinary Productivity

The imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer features the L-COA PRO processing engine for high-precision image reproduction and high-speed processing of high resolution data. The Sub-Ink Tank feature valued by users of the imagePROGRAF Series has been carried over to this model, helping to reduce downtime and minimize costs by automatically enabling ink tank replacement during printing. With both black ink types active at the same time, there is no need to waste time or ink by swapping out tanks when printing between matte and glossy paper. Right out of the box users will be able to print more as the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 model comes with 330 ml starter ink tanks.

Media Handling

Typically an option for smaller sized models, a Multifunction Roll System (MFR) comes standard with this 60-inch model to allow for increased versatility. When used as a second roll, the MFR system enables users to load glossy media in one roll and matte media in the other to seamlessly print to both rolls without needing to manually switch media. The Multifunction Roll unit will intelligently switch to the correct media, automating the process and providing increased ease of use. The roll can also act as a take-up unit with bi-directional rewind, ideal for long, uninterrupted print runs.

User-Friendly Software

Included with this new imagePROGRAF PRO printer to help enhance user experience is Print Studio Pro, a plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe Lightroom®1and Canon Digital Photo Professional software. The Accounting Manager utility is included to help photographers keep track of consumable costs, such as ink and media, to help users determine their overall printing expenses. Also included is Device Management Console, an administrative tool which provides users with the means to manage up to 50 imagePROGRAF PRO Series printers, all from one location.

Availability

The imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer is expected to be available in August 2017 with an MSRP of $11,995. For more information on Canon’s large-format portfolio, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Camera Dynamic Range and Sample Images


Canon EOS-6D Mark II with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II lens


Canon announced the long awaited EOS-6D Mark II camera on June 29. This is a great value for wedding, portrait and landscape photographers who want to get into full frame photography without breaking the bank. Shipping on the new body should commence early August.

You will not find any pre-order links on my Blog because I do not accept commissioned links from any camera stores. My review, analysis and recommendation are completely unbiased. You can easily Google your favorite store's website and place your order with them.

If you want to take a look at the Owner Manual first and peruse all the features and functions, download it here. You can also see official Canon photos taken with the EOS-6D Mark II camera and a preliminary review here.

You can see additional photos taken with the camera from DPReview and Imaging Resources.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Canon Cinema EOS C500 Mark II Camcorder In The Works




Little secret the Cinema EOS C500 is not a big seller for Canon. It is over-priced and a bad value for the money. Unlike the highly successful C300 Mark II 4K camcorder, which had its price lowered to $9,999 recently.

So back to the labs for Canon. The C500 Mark II version is in the works and will have resolution higher than 4K but not 8K, although Canon had previewed an 8K Cinema EOS prototype camera in late 2015. The new C500 Mark II camera will command a premium, perhaps in the $13K to $15K range.


Canon EF 600mm f/4 DO BR Lens Coming in 2018?




As reported earlier, Canon is planning to update their entire line of Super Telephoto lens and introduce new ones in the coming year or two.

2018 and beyond are exciting years for Japan and Canon. The Soccer World Cup is in 2018 followed by the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. Then the Rugby World Cup and Summer Olympic Games will be held in Japan in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Canon usually makes a splash in these big world athletic events by introducing new gear for pro photographers.

I expect the long awaited EF 600mm f/4 DO BR lens will be announced next year. I bought the first generation EF 400mm f/4 DO IS when it first came out in 2005. It was not the sharpest Super Telephoto lens in their lineup but its light weight and mobility offset the disadvantages in certain situations.

The lens accompanied me on many worldwide wildlife photography tours. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Then the second generation EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II came out in 2015 and it was a great improvement. You can read my comprehensive review here. The EF 600mm f/4 DO BR made its debut at the Canon Expo in 2015 and I have longed for that lens since. Keep checking back for more info as I receive them.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Apple iPhone 8 Rumored Features and Specifications







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
  • Comes with iOS 11 
  • Front Camera : 8MP
  • Rear Camera : 12MP dual-lens, dual-OIS, 4K video recording
  • Extras : Iris scanner, Facial Recognition, Fingerprint reader
  • Extras : Wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Announcement date : September - December, 2017
  • List price : $1,000 - $1,200

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.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS and Three More EF Lenses Coming in August



As reported in my earlier post, Canon is expected to announce the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS lens plus three more EF non 'L' lenses, probably EF-S and EF-M models in the month of August. Keep checking back for more info as I get them.

Sigma Canada Interviews CEO Kazuto Yamaki




Ronkonkoma, NY – July 13, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading still photo and cinema lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced the availability of two brand new cine lenses: the Sigma 14mm T2 FF and 135mm T2 FF, which will both begin shipping late July 2017. Compatible with full-frame image sensors, these high-speed cine prime lenses are available for EF, E and PL mounts. They are available as individual lenses for a retail price of $4,999.00 USD each, or as part of two and seven lens sets for retail prices of $10,499.00 USD and $24,799.00 USD respectively.

Go fast and wide with the Sigma 14mm T2 Cine Prime

The Sigma 14mm T2 FF Cine Prime lens is the world’s first and only to offer an incredibly fast T2 at this ultra-wide angle focal length for full frame sensors. Bringing remarkable optical performance to the art of capturing moving images, the Sigma 14mm T2 offers cinematographers the opportunity for robust cinematic expression.

Resolving power like nothing ever seen before with the Sigma 135mm T2 Cine Prime
The Sigma 135mm T2 FF Cine Prime offers astonishing rendering performance unmatched by almost any lens on the market. Retaining the optical performance of Sigma’s original Art lens for the still photographer, this exceptional lens enables cinematographers to enjoy the highest image quality for shooting movies.

Both lenses offer the following benefits and capabilities :

  • Bright, T2 full frame maximum aperture
  • Capable of resolving up to 8K
  • Available in Canon EF, Sony E & PL Mounts
  • 180-degree focus rotation

The Sigma 14mm and 135mm lenses are fully compatible with full frame sensors. The addition of these lenses to the Sigma cine lineup expands the FF High Speed Prime Line to a total of seven lenses, from a super-wide 14mm to a brilliantly sharp telephoto 135mm.

Pricing for individual lenses and lens sets
The newest cine lens offerings from Sigma will be available individually as well as in sets for the following retail prices.

Individual lenses :

  • Sigma 14mm T2 FF – $4,999.00 USD
  • Sigma 135mm T2 FF – $4,999.00 USD

Two lens set with case:
Sigma 14mm T2 FF, 135mm T2 FF and a protective lens carrying case – $10,499.00 USD

Seven lens set with two cases :

Sigma 14mm T2 FF, 20mm T1.5 FF, 24mm T1.5 FF, 35mm T1.5 FF, 50mm T1.5 FF, 85mm T1.5 FF, 135mm T2 FF, and two protective lens carrying cases – $24,799.00 USD

The Sigma 14mm T2 FF and 135mm T2 FF Shipping Late July

The Cine 14mm and 135mm lenses and sets will begin shipping late July 2017 for EF, E and PL mounts.

Friday, July 14, 2017

New Canon Powershot Cameras and Lenses Submitted For Certification




Canon is planning to announce a couple of Powershot and Mirrorless cameras, plus 2 EF lenses soon. The Japanese photography blog has discovered Canon has submitted the gear below for certification authorities in Japan.

As reported earlier, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS is the most anticipated 'L' lens for this year.

PC2276 (EOS M20)
  • Mirror-less camera
  • Made in Japan
  • SKU: 2209C002AA, 2209C012AA, 2209C022AA, 2209C032AA, 2210C002AA, 2210C012AA, 2210C022AA, 2210C032AA, 2211C002AA, 2211C012AA, 2211C022AA, 2211C032AA
  • Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed

PC 2335 (New G Series PowerShot or SX70 HS)
  • Digital camera
  • Made in Japan
  • SKU: 2208C001AA
  • Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed

Interchangeable lens 1 (EF 85mm f/1.4L IS)
  • SKU: 2271C005AA
  • Made in Japan (Utsunomiya Factory)

Interchangeable lens 2 (The EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM)
  • SKU: 2273C005AA, 2274C005AA, 2275C005AA
  • Apparently the lens comes in three slightly different variants
  • Made in Malaysia

Strobe (Apparently a brand new flash)
  • SKU: 2398C003AA
  • Made in Japan (Oita)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Canon USA Opens Professional Technology & Support Center in Burbank, California




MELVILLE, N.Y., July 13, 2017 – Continuing its support of professional clients in the filmmaking and still imaging communities, Canon today officially opened its doors to its newest Professional Technology & Support Center in Burbank, Calif. Evolving from what began at Canon’s original Hollywood facility, the new state-of-the-art Canon Burbank facility provides these customers with enhanced technical environments and accessible service and support.

Canon Burbank is poised to support Canon’s clients’ productivity through a dynamic mix of product evaluation and testing, product & workflow training, industry events and expedited repairs. Every aspect of the new facility’s design and operation was made in consideration of improving customers’ experience with Canon products from input to output, and in improving access to the highly trained Canon service and support team. Facility highlights include :

  • Enhanced on-site repair capabilities
  • Industry standard 4K projection and DI capabilities
  • Workflow Lab for software training and NLE workflows
  • Image lab for in-depth camera & lens testing, demonstration and troubleshooting
  • Fully equipped multipurpose room for training, events, demonstration and shooting
  • Immersive product showroom

“Since our 2011 launch of Cinema EOS, Canon has been steadfastly committed to exceeding the high expectations of our professional clients in the production community,” said Eliott Peck, executive vice president and general manager of the Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Our new Burbank location represents the culmination of our commitment to listen to our clients, understand their needs and provide them with what they need to bring their artistic and passion projects to life. As Canon continues on its journey to support the production community and evolve with changes in this industry, our mission is now clearer than ever, to be a resource and a beacon for industry professionals.”

At Canon Burbank, customers may now take advantage of walk-in service Monday through Friday, with plenty of convenient parking. The location will feature a steady calendar of educational offerings from top professionals on the latest equipment and filmmaking techniques, the ability to color correct and screen content, and a lab for testing Canon cameras and lenses. The facility’s multipurpose room is also configurable for industry gatherings and special events.

The new Burbank location is yet another extension of Canon Professional Services’ (CPS) powerful support network for the region’s professional photographers, filmmakers, and videographers. CPS members are invited to visit Canon Burbank for all of their service needs, Canon Live Learning sessions, and professional training tailored to their needs.

For a virtual tour and more information on the Burbank facility – usa.canon.com/canon-burbank

Canon and Nikon Will Announce Full Frame Mirrorless Camera In 2018



Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs Sony A9 camera comparison


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 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

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 and Nikon have 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.

Nikon has told DPReview they are also working on a full frame, high end mirrorless camera with the following statement :

"While details are confidential, we can say that we are currently developing new mirrorless products that build upon Nikon’s strengths, and offer the performance prospective customers expect, including the ultimate optics performance, image-processing technologies, strength and durability, and operation."

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.

Take a look at my previous post on why many pro sports and wildlife photographers will not dream of using a mirrorless camera for their work.

Canon already has a few variants of high-end, full frame mirrorless cameras in their labs, including one model using the EF mount. They are trying to decide which model to bring to market. The announcement of the Sony Alpha A9 will 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. Stay tuned. More to come. 

Adobe Solicits Ideas On How To Speed Up Lightroom




Adobe Photo Product Manager Tom Hogarty posted on the Lightroom Journal about the lackluster performance of Lightroom, especially its glacial speed.

"I would like to address concerns recently voiced by our community of customers around Lightroom performance, as improving performance is our current top priority. We have a history, starting with our first public beta, of working with our customers to address workflow and feature needs, and we’d like to take that same approach regarding your performance concerns. 

We already understand many of the current pain points around GPU, import performance, certain editing tasks and review workflows and are investing heavily in improving those areas."

Adobe is soliciting ideas and opinions on what users think and what they would like Lightroom to be faster at.

"Over the past year we’ve added numerous enhancements to address your performance concerns but we understand we will have a lot of work to do to meet your expectations." 

"If you have feedback or would like to work with the Lightroom team on your most pressing issues, please fill out this survey."

In the above survey, Adobe is collecting usage and performance information, and soliciting three specific performance issues users have.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Canon Offers Tips On 8 Bit vs 16 Bit Image Printing




As the price of high quality printers come down, many photographers are beginning to do their photo printing requirements at home. The video below from Canon helps you to understand the basics of image printing and how to get the best from both.


Friday, July 7, 2017

When Is Canon EOS-7D Mark III Camera Coming?




Canon announced the EOS-7D Mark II camera in 2014. My readers will remember when the original EOS-7D was released in late 2009, I picked it as the best APS-C camera for sports and wildlife photography 4 years in a row.

The current Mark II version is an excellent camera but it has stiff competition from the Nikon D500. This camera has accompanied me on many global wildlife photo shoots and has not disappointed me so far. You can read my comprehensive review here. I expect Canon to release a major firmware upgrade to 'jazz up' the camera's performance until the Mark III version arrives in the second half of 2018.

While it is too early to know anything definitive about the Mark III model, I suspect the following additional specs may be part of the new camera :

  • New mid 20MP sensor
  • Much improved ISO performance
  • 4K video
  • GPS, Bluetooth and NFC
  • Dual DIGIC 7 processor
  • 3.2 inch LCD screen with 1.6M dots

Keep checking back. More to come as I receive additional information.

Canon EOS-7D Mark II Camera Shutter Torture Test




Today's DSLR cameras come with what the factory calls Rated Actuations on the shutter mechanism. That is the approximate numbers of times the shutter is expect to shoot a frame before needing replacement.

For example, the Canon EOS-80D, EOS-5Ds, EOS-7D Mark II and EOS-1D X Mark II cameras are rated as 100K, 150K, 200K and 400K, respectively. The actuation counts are easy for still photos but when videos are added in, it becomes a little bit trickier to get an accurate measurement.

My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer. I have been using Canon gear for about three decades and have taken many pro gear on global wildlife photo shoots. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Personally, I find this Shutter Count fascination to be nothing more than an academic curiosity. For professional grade cameras like the EOS-1D Mark IV or EOS-1D X Mark II cameras, their shutters are rated conservatively at 300,000 and 400,000 actuation, respectively.

Many photographers, including myself, have multiple bodies anyway and the chance of any one of the pro bodies racking up 300 to 400K actuations is small because one would have upgraded to a newer model anyway. However, I know a friend who owns the EOS-1D Mark IV and is still using the original shutter after raking up half a million actuations. Besides, getting a new shutter is not that expensive anyway.

When one has been out in the field long enough using pro equipment, one will discover having the dreaded Err 20 appearing on the LCD screen due to a shutter failure is slim to none, if one's gear is properly cared for with recommended factory maintenance. More often than not, there are other problems, like a circuit board failure, etc. It happened to me twice with the EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS-1D X while on wildlife photography shoots overseas.

If you are interested in finding out what your camera's actuation count is, read my earlier post on this subject and download the software to track your usage.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Canon EOS-6D Mark II Camera Review and Owner Manual




Canon announced the long awaited EOS-6D Mark II camera on June 29. This is a great value for wedding, portrait and landscape photographers who want to get into full frame photography without breaking the bank.

If you want to take a look at the Owner Manual first and peruse all the features and functions, download it here. You can also see official Canon photos taken with the EOS-6D Mark II camera here. Below is a partial announcement from Canon. Click on the link above to get the entire communication.


MELVILLE, N.Y., June 29, 2017 – In celebration of the innovation behind today’s generation of high-quality digital SLR cameras on National Camera Day, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce the new EOS 6D Mark II and EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR cameras designed for advanced-amateur and entry-level photographers, respectively.

The EOS 6D Mark II camera is ideal for budding photographers looking to take their creative DSLR photography skills to the next level by shooting with a Full-frame CMOS sensor DSLR camera to capture beautiful high-quality portraits and striking landscapes, even in low-light situations. The EOS Rebel SL2 is a small, light, and compact camera with high-performance capability that allows users to get creative when capturing their special family moments or travel experiences.

“It seems fitting that today, a day set aside to commemorate the invention of a tool that forever changed how we view the world, we introduce two new DSLR cameras to the Canon family,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. “In an industry where choices are abundant, providing consumers with the photographic tools that match their developing skill levels as they continue to embrace their passion for photography is a long-standing goal of Canon and stands at the core of our research and development.

The new EOS 6D Mark II and EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR cameras are the result of Canon’s dedication to providing a wide range of camera choices for photographers of all skill levels, whether it’s someone taking their first picture or video with a DSLR camera or those looking to make the jump to a Full-Frame sensor camera.”

“After just one day in Yellowstone National Park with the EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera, it was clear that the camera is greatly improved over its predecessor,” said acclaimed nature photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Adam Jones. “ Landscape and nature photographers will be very happy. The new and improved autofocus is way ahead of the previous generation and performed extremely well, even in very low-light situations.”

EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera

Designed with enthusiast photographers in mind, Canon’s popular and versatile EOS 6D DSLR camera historically served to bridge the gap between Canon’s higher-end APS-C DLSRs and Full-Frame DSLR cameras. The EOS 6D Mark II DSLR camera features several enhancements over its predecessor model, and its benefits include:

  • 26.2 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
  • Optical Viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF System1
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection & Full HD 60p
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100-40000
  • Vari-angle Touch Screen, 3.0-inch LCD
  • Built-in Wi-Fi®2, NFC3, Bluetooth®4 and GPS technology
  • High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 6.5 fps
  • Dust and Water-resistant

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Canon EOS-6D Mark II & Rebel SL2 Cameras Officially Announced



Canon EOS-6D Mark II with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II lens


As reported, Canon officially announced the EOS-6D Mark II and Rebel SL2 cameras. The EOS-6D is quite a nice body. I may consider buying one as a backup camera when the price comes down.

You will not find any pre-order links on my Blog because I do not accept commissioned links from any camera stores. My review, analysis and recommendation are completely unbiased. You can easily Google your favorite store's website and place your order with them.


MELVILLE, N.Y., June 29, 2017 – In celebration of the innovation behind today’s generation of high-quality digital SLR cameras on National Camera Day, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce the new EOS 6D Mark II and EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR cameras designed for advanced-amateur and entry-level photographers, respectively.

The EOS 6D Mark II camera is ideal for budding photographers looking to take their creative DSLR photography skills to the next level by shooting with a Full-frame CMOS sensor DSLR camera to capture beautiful high-quality portraits and striking landscapes, even in low-light situations. The EOS Rebel SL2 is a small, light, and compact camera with high-performance capability that allows users to get creative when capturing their special family moments or travel experiences.

“It seems fitting that today, a day set aside to commemorate the invention of a tool that forever changed how we view the world, we introduce two new DSLR cameras to the Canon family,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. “In an industry where choices are abundant, providing consumers with the photographic tools that match their developing skill levels as they continue to embrace their passion for photography is a long-standing goal of Canon and stands at the core of our research and development.

The new EOS 6D Mark II and EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR cameras are the result of Canon’s dedication to providing a wide range of camera choices for photographers of all skill levels, whether it’s someone taking their first picture or video with a DSLR camera or those looking to make the jump to a Full-Frame sensor camera.”

“After just one day in Yellowstone National Park with the EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera, it was clear that the camera is greatly improved over its predecessor,” said acclaimed nature photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Adam Jones. “ Landscape and nature photographers will be very happy. The new and improved autofocus is way ahead of the previous generation and performed extremely well, even in very low-light situations.”

EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera

Designed with enthusiast photographers in mind, Canon’s popular and versatile EOS 6D DSLR camera historically served to bridge the gap between Canon’s higher-end APS-C DLSRs and Full-Frame DSLR cameras. The EOS 6D Mark II DSLR camera features several enhancements over its predecessor model, and its benefits include:

  • 26.2 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
  • Optical Viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF System1
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection & Full HD 60p
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100-40000
  • Vari-angle Touch Screen, 3.0-inch LCD
  • Built-in Wi-Fi®2, NFC3, Bluetooth®4 and GPS technology
  • High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 6.5 fps
  • Dust and Water-resistant

















Canon EOS Rebel SL2 APS-C camera


EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera

Stepping up from a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera for photography can be intimidating. With the introduction of the new EOS Rebel SL2, a powerful, small, and lightweight DSLR camera, Canon hopes to alleviate some of those concerns for first-time DSLR users.

This small yet powerful camera features the world’s fastest AF speed* at 0.03 seconds, allowing for quick focusing on subjects in the frame. When designing the new EOS Rebel SL2 camera, Canon took into consideration feedback from entry-level photographers who expressed interest in learning how to go beyond a camera’s program mode.

The result was the creation of a convenient new user interface called Feature Assistant. With the EOS Rebel SL2 camera, users will be able to see on the camera’s Vari-angle Touch Screen how switching modes on the mode dial or tweaking camera settings like aperture and exposure compensation can alter the image they are about to capture, thus guiding photographers on their way to capturing more compelling images, such as ones with a shallow depth-of-field or being able to give moving subjects a frozen or flowing look.

The EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR camera features several other enhancements over its predecessor model, the EOS Rebel SL1, including:

  • 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • 3.0-inch Vari-Angle LCD Touch-Screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi®2, NFC3 and Bluetooth®4 Technology
  • Full HD 60p & External Microphone Input
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100-25600
  • Optical Viewfinder with a 9-point AF System
  • Feature Assistant
  • Small and Lightweight Body












Pricing and Availability

The EOS 6D Mark II DSLR camera is scheduled to be available in late July 2017 for an estimated retail price of $1,999.00 for body only, $3,099.00 with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM II lens and $2,599.00 with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 STM lens**.

In addition the EOS Rebel SL2 is scheduled to be available in late July 2017 for a retail price of $549.99 for body only and $699.99 with the Canon EF-S 18-55m f/4-5.6 IS STM lens**. For more information please visit usa.canon.com.

Canon Gear Announcement on June 29, 2017


Below are the Canon cameras and kits being announced tomorrow. Be sure to place your pre-order early for the EOS-6D Mark II if you want one. It will be a big seller.

You will not find any pre-order links on my Blog because I do not accept commissioned links from any camera stores. My review, analysis and recommendation are completely unbiased. You can easily Google your favorite store's website and place your order with them.


Canon EOS-6D Mark II full frame camera

  • Shipping in early August 2017
  • Canon EOS 6D Mark II Body
  • Canon EOS 6D Mark II with EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
  • Canon EOS 6D Mark II with EF 24-70mm f/4L IS
  • Price : $300 Battery Grip BG-E21
  • Price : $1,999 Body only
  • Price : $2,599 Body with EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
  • Price : $3,099 Body with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II


Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D APS-C camera

  • Shipping in late July 2017
  • Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D / Kiss X9 Body
  • Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
  • Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM & EF-S 55-250mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
  • Pricing : $549 Body only.  $699 with EF-S 18-55mm lens

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Disappointing Results From Sony A9 Camera Test With Canon Super Telephoto Lens




My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer and I am not a fan of mirrorless cameras. Some photographers are sold on Sony's line of full frame mirrorless cameras, like the A7 and A9 series. They claim it will drive 'dinosaurs' like the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 cameras into extinction soon.

I pay no attention to such claims but I do know the recent release of the Sony A9 has kicked Canon's plans into higher gear and they are contemplating the release of their high end, full frame mirrorless camera with EF mount some time in 2018.  When that happens, I will evaluate the Canon camera carefully and if it meets my needs, I will then buy my first mirrorless body.

When a serious photographer commits to a camera brand, it's more than just owning the camera body or bodies. There's the full complement of lenses, a professional worldwide sales, maintenance and customer support network to back the equipment and assist the photographer.

Below is a video showing how the Sony A9 camera is not ready for professional prime time sports or wildlife photography, despite all the 'jaw-dropping' specs on paper. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com


Micron Technology Discontinuing Lexar Media Storage Business


Well, I suppose nothing lasts forever. I have been using Lexar memory cards for over a decade. On the bright side of things, the stores with lots of Lexar inventory may now have to sell them quickly, perhaps even at a discount.

Micron Technology today announced that it is discontinuing its Lexar® retail removable media storage business. The decision was made as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to focus on its increasing opportunities in higher value markets and channels.

The Lexar portfolio includes memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives for retail and OEM customers.

Micron is exploring opportunities to sell all or part of the Lexar business.

The company will continue to provide support to existing customers through this transition period. Customers should contact their Lexar sales representative to discuss specific requirements.

I’d like to thank our team members and partners for their contributions to the Lexar business. As difficult as this decision is, the company is making this adjustment in its business to ensure it continues to be well-positioned for the future.

Monday, June 26, 2017

DIRE Studio Latest Shutter Counter Software Supports Latest Canon Cameras




Dire Studios have updated ShutterCount to version 3.0. The new version can read the latest Canon cameras' shutter actuations, including live view and video shots.

From Dire Studios :

"Most Canon cameras released since 2015 (such as the 1D X Mark II, 5D Mark IV, 5DS R, 80D) provide more details on shutter usage: photos taken using the viewfinder and via live view are counted separately, as do live view sessions (the latter includes live view activations for movie recording)."

Personally, I find this Shutter Count fascination to be nothing more than an academic curiosity. For professional grade cameras like the EOS-1D Mark IV or EOS-1D X (Mark I and II)  cameras, their shutters are rated conservatively at 300,000 and 400,000 actuation, respectively.

Many photographers, including myself, have multiple bodies anyway and the chance of any one of the pro bodies racking up 300 to 400K actuations is small because I would have upgraded to a newer model anyway. However, I know a friend who owns the EOS-1D Mark IV and is still using the original shutter after raking up half a million actuations. Besides, getting a new shutter is not that expensive anyway.

For the EOS-5D and EOS-7D series, they are rated at 150,000 actuations but I expect them to last well over 250,000 with proper maintenance and care.

ShutterCount is certified to work with all of the cameras listed below, using their latest firmware revision. It is available in both Windows and macOS version.

  • Canon EOS-1D Mark IV*
  • Canon EOS-1D C*
  • Canon EOS-1D X*
  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark II (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 5DS (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 5DS R (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EOS 7D*
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 40D*
  • Canon EOS 50D*
  • Canon EOS 60D*
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EOS 77D / 9000D (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 80D (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 / Kiss X7
  • Canon EOS 450D / Rebel XSi / Kiss X2*
  • Canon EOS 500D / Rebel T1i / Kiss X3*
  • Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i / Kiss X4*
  • Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i / Kiss X5*
  • Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i / Kiss X6i*
  • Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i / Kiss X7i*
  • Canon EOS 750D / Rebel T6i / Kiss X8i (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 760D / Rebel T6s / 8000D (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 800D / Rebel T7i / Kiss X9i (macOS only)
  • Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS / Kiss F*
  • Canon EOS 1100D / Rebel T3 / Kiss X50*
  • Canon EOS 1200D / Rebel T5 / Kiss X70
  • Canon EOS 1300D / Rebel T6 / Kiss X80*

* Live view actuation counters are NOT available in the Live View Pack for these cameras.

Friday, June 23, 2017

First Images & Final Specs of Canon EOS-6D Mark II Camera


Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera front view

Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera back view

Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera top view

Your patience will be rewarded soon. The Canon's EOS-6D Mark II full frame camera is expected to be announced June 29, 2017. There is no precise shipping date but it should commence some time in early August. Keep checking back for the latest news and specs as I receive them.

Final specs for Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera
  • All new 26MP sensor
  • 45 AF points, all cross-type
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Single SD slots
  • ISO 100 - 40000. Extended to 102400
  • 3 inch variable angle, reversible LCD 
  • Touch screen display
  • Larger and more vivid viewfinder (almost 100%)
  • Single DIGIC 7 processor
  • New camera grip BG-E21
  • Burst rate, 6.5 fps
  • 5 axis electronic image stabilization 
  • HD video @ 1080P 60p
  • HDR and Time Lapse Movie
  • WiFi, NFC & Bluetooth
  • Built-in GPS
  • Body slightly taller and deeper than previous model
  • Size : 144.0 x 110.5 x 74.8 mm
  • Weight : 765 g
  • Suggested list price of body - $1,999 in the U.S.
  • Ship with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II lens kit
  • Ship with EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit
  • Announcement date - June 29. Shipment date - August 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Camera Announcement Date


Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D APS-C camera


Next week, Canon will announce a few cameras. The most anticipated one is of course the full frame EOS-6D Mark II. Read this earlier post to see what the camera looks like and find all all the final specs of this affordable full frame DSLR.

Then, perhaps a day before the EOS-6D Mark II announcement, Canon may announce the EOS Rebel SL2/200D.  It is also possible Canon may decided to announce the Rebel SL2 together with the EOS-6D Mark II on June 29, 2017.

Final specs of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 camera :

  • 24 MP sensor
  • 3″ vari-angle and touchscreen display
  • HD Video 1080p/60 fps
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • WiFi and NFC
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Burst rate 5 fps. 3.5 fps in Live Mode
  • 19 points AF
  • DIGIC 7 processor
  • ISO 100 - 51200 extended
  • Touch Panel
  • Battery : LP-E 17
  • Approximately 840 shots per battery charge using the viewfinder
  • Media : SD / SDHC / SDXC card (UHS-I card compatible)
  • Size : 122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8 mm
  • Weight : 453 g
  • Available in Black, White or Silver color
  • Slightly larger than SL1 but still the world’s smallest DSLR

In addition, Canon will also announce a low end EOS-M mirrorless camera. It will be a replacement to the current EOS-M10.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD Super Zoom Lens


Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-5.6 Di II VC HLD Super Zoom lens

Tamron Announces 18-400mm All-In-One™ Zoom

We are pleased to announce the latest addition to the all-in-one™ zoom line-up :

18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD all-in-one zoom lens (model B028) in Canon and Nikon mounts
The 18-400mm is a new exciting flagship lens that adds to our current line-up and exemplifies Tamron’s all-in-one expertise and the options these great lenses afford photographers of all levels.

This new unprecedented all-in-one is positioned as a compact ultra-tele zoom with all-in-one, wide-angle versatility for APS-C cameras. It will target enthusiasts who desire even greater ultra-tele capability for sports, wildlife and more, but also enjoy the versatility of the all-in-one lens for various photographic opportunities. Think of a 100-400mm with portrait, 1:2.9 macro, and wide angle capability for added convenience.

The 16-300mm will remain in the line for the enthusiast customer also looking for great range and versatility, but from a more compact, all-in-one lens prioritizing wide angle for travel and full range for every-day shooting and more.

These two lenses, while similar in many ways, offer different choices for the customer from the pioneer and leader of the all-in-one zoom lens category.

KEY FEATURES :

The power of ultra-telephoto. The versatility of all-in-one. Powerful performance that exceeds your imagination. Introducing the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom with a 22.2X zoom range. Now you can shoot everything from vast landscapes to details of a bird with a single lens.

The latest optical design includes a complex series of elements including LD (Low Dispersion) glass and an aspherical lens. Problems like chromatic aberration and distortion are controlled throughout the entire zoom range, resulting in sharp, superior images-whether you’re shooting at wide-angle or telephoto. Capture thrilling close-up action in a snap.

  • World’s first 22.2x ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens
  • 620mm full-frame equivalent telephoto reach
  • VC for confident telephoto shooting
  • HLD means quick, accurate and quiet autofocus
  • 1:2.9 Max. Mag. Ratio for versatile close-up capability
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Compatible with TAMRON TAP-in Console™, an optional accessory product

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Refurbished Camera $4,799 With Warranty




The Canon Refurbished Store has the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X Mark II camera for $4,799 including free shipping and a one year factory warranty. Hurry, it won't last. This is a very good deal. I bought this camera when it first came out and have taken it on many global photo tours.

Read my comprehensive review of this amazing DSLR. For those who are interested in comparing the EOS-1DX2 to the Nikon D5, read my earlier post. You can follow my travels on Facebook  Twitter , see my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

You will not find a link to this item because I am not receiving any compensation from Canon. I do not accept any ad or commissioned link on my blog or website. You can easily find the item by Googling it yourself. I am completely unbiased in my recommendation and have no conflict of interest. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tamron Super Zoom 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 VC HLD Lens Coming Soon


Tamron Super Zoom 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 VC HLD lens

Tamrom will be announcing their Super Zoom 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 VC HLD for APS-C cameras and 24-70mm f/2.8 VC G2 lenses this week.

Canon also has plans to announce their Super Zoom lens some time in 2018. Currently the Super Zoom market is dominated by Sigma, Tamron and Nikon with their offering ranging from 150mm to 600mm.

I have the Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS lens and like it a lot for wildlife photography when the action is not too far. This lens is very versatile and has gone with me on global photo tours many times. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

Canon Announced Firmware V 1.1.1 for EOS-5Ds and EOS-5Ds R Cameras




Canon announced new Firmware Version 1.1.1 for the EOS-5Ds and EOS-5Ds R cameras. The new firmware incorporates the following fixes :

  • Corrects a phenomenon in which shooting may not be completed while using HDR (High Dynamic Range) Mode, when certain combinations of settings are selected.
  • Corrects the phenomenon of Err70 which occurs with certain combinations of settings.
  • Corrects the level display when the camera is held in the vertical orientation with the hand grip pointing downward.
  • Corrects a phenomenon in which, when using certain CF cards, it may take approximately five seconds for the camera to power on depending on when the camera's power switch was turned ON.

Download the firmware from Canon here :

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Apple iOS 11 Photo and Video Formats May Cut Storage Use In Half



For heavy iPhone and iPad users who are frustrated with dwindling storage space, Apple’s soon-to-be-released iOS 11 operating system will come with very efficient compression technology.

In the recent WWDC 2017 Conference, Apple announced two new file formats will be introduced with the new iOS11 - High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) for photos, and HEVC (H.265) for both videos and images, and HEIF file format for images. Apple claims these new formats can reduce photo and video file size (presumably to save on memory) without losing quality.

High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) codec is not new. It has been used by Netflix, Amazon and Apple. The former used it for non-mobile devices while Apple used it for Facetime since 2015 to save on bandwidth.

9to5Mac's Greg Barbosa had access to a beta version of iOS 11 and did some tests on the quality of the image files taken with the new format :

"In testing I went out at night and took a photo and video of the New York City skyline. The outputted JPG image weighed in at 2 MB, while the HEIC image came in at 1.2 MB. Similarly, the h.264 encoded video was 61.2 MB, while the h.265 (HEVC) video was 33 MB."

Below is a photo from Greg to illustrate the new file format :



The iOS 11 beta is currently available for developers. It is scheduled to be released to the public through Apple’s Beta Software Program later this month and will be installed on the new iPhones and iPads later this Autumn.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Professional vs Amateur. Photographer vs Gear. What's More Important?




My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer. I have used Canon gear for over a quarter of a century and have embarked on global wildlife photography tours for years. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com

Throughout my travels, I have encountered many people who assume a photographer carrying 'impressive' camera and lens gear must take good photos. Labels like professional and amateur mean little to me. I have seen amateur work from 'professional' people and gear and vice versa.

Mass market digital photography has been around for about twenty years, depending on how one counts the affordability and availability of the early cameras. Nowadays, anyone who has the basic understanding of lighting and aperture, plus ample amount of experimentation and practice, can produce quality digital photos. Once armed with the basics of photography, one can improve with better equipment and experience over time.  

In my opinion, the three most important components in a good photo are : Opportunity, Skill and Equipment, in that order. When all three come together at the same time, an excellent photo is usually achieved. The video below kind of make the same point. 


Photography Basics - Understanding Light, Aperture and the F-Stop Scale


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.




Friday, June 9, 2017

Canon Patent - 18-105mm f/4-5.6 Lens With Built-in Converter



Canon has patented a new design. It is a 18-105mm f/4-5.6 lens with a built-in teleconverter. However, when engaged, it makes the lens wider. At 18mm, the lens is f/4, but when the converter is engaged, it becomes a 15mm lens with an aperture of f/3.3.

This is an interesting lens concept but Canon has been experimenting with many new camera and lens designs in their laboratories for decades including one design with two built-in extenders. They have been awarded more patents than any other Japanese companies.

Normal use

  • Focal length 18.40 37.44 104.0
  • Aperture 4.00 4.64 5.89
  • Half angle of view ω (degree) 36.59 20.04 7.48
  • Image height 13.66 13.66 13.66 (APS-C)
  • Lens total length 149.30 165.77 191.31

Wide-angle TC added

  • Focal length 15.40
  • Aperture 3.35
  • Half angle of view ω (degree) 41.57
  • Image height 13.66
  • Lens total length 149.30

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Canon EOS-6D Mark II and Rebel SL2 Cameras Coming on June 29


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 debut date will be June 29, 2017.

The Rebel SL2 will ship as a body only or a kit with the EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens in either black or white color. I will work and nail down the exact date for you. Stay tuned.

Final specs for Canon EOS-6D Mark II camera
  • All new 26MP sensor
  • 45 AF points, all cross-type
  • 7560 pixels RGB + IR metering sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Media: SD / SDHC / SDXC card (UHS-I card compatible)
  • ISO 100 - 40000. Extended to 102400
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000 to 30 seconds
  • 3 inch variable angle, reversible LCD 
  • Touch screen display
  • Viewfinder Coverage (98%)
  • Viewfinder Magnification  0.71x
  • Single DIGIC 7 processor
  • Burst rate, 6.5 fps. 4 fps in Live Mode
  • 5 axis electronic image stabilization 
  • HD video @ 1080P 60p
  • HDR and Time Lapse Movie with 4K output
  • WiFi, NFC & Bluetooth
  • Anti Flicker
  • Built-in GPS
  • Battery : LP-E6N
  • New camera grip BG-E21 
  • Body slightly taller and deeper than previous model
  • Size : 144.0 x 110.5 x 74.8 mm
  • Weight : 765 g
  • Suggested list price of body - $1,999 in the U.S.
  • Ship with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II lens kit
  • Ship with EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit
  • Announcement date - June 29. Shipment date - August 2017