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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

International Polar Bear Day highlights the conservation status of the Polar Bear




From Existence to Extinction is but a few steps. On this International Polar Bear Day, please help to preserve the Polar bear for future generations because Climate Change is real and the damages it cause is affecting both humans, wildlife and the environment.

There are 19 sub population of Polar bears in the world. They are the largest living land carnivore, with adult males growing to over 8 feet in length and some weighing close to one ton. The largest polar bear on record, reportedly weighing 1,002 kg (2,209 lb), was a male shot at Kotzebue Sound in northwestern Alaska in 1960. The dead bear, when mounted, stood 3.39 m (11 ft 1 in) tall on its hindlegs. There is also evidence the largest Kodiak Brown bears in Alaska can grow to about the same weight.




The Polar bear is immediately recognizable from the distinctive white color of its thick fur. The only parts of the body not covered by fur are the foot pads and the tip of its nose, which are black, revealing the dark color of the skin underneath the pelt. The neck of the Polar bear is longer than in other species of bears, and the elongated head has small ears.

Polar bears have large strong limbs and huge front paws which are used as paddles for swimming. The toes are not webbed, but are excellent for walking on snow as they bear non-retractable claws which dig into the snow like ice-picks.




Females are about half the size of males, although a pregnant female with stored fat can exceed 1,000 pounds in weight. Polar bear cubs weigh about 2 lbs at birth. They look similar in appearance to adults, though they have much thinner fur.

Polar bears are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic on ice-covered waters, from Alaska to Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. The furthest south the Polar bears occur all year round is James Bay in Canada, which is about the same latitude as London. During the winter, when the ice extends further south, Polar bears move as far south as Newfoundland and into the northern Bering Sea.




You can follow my travels on FacebookTwitterInstagram and see my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com.

Ethisphere recognized Canon as one of the most ethical companies in 2019




MELVILLE, NY, February 26, 2019 – In its continual strive to take a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility initiatives and maintain strong standing as a good corporate citizen, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, received recognition as one of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies. For the second year in a row, the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, bestowed the honor upon Canon as a company that makes it a mission to affect positive change in business communities across the nation.

“Today, employees, investors, and stakeholders are putting their greatest trust in companies to take leadership on societal issues,” said Timothy Erblich, chief executive officer, Ethisphere. “Companies that take the long view with a purpose-based strategy are proven to not only outperform but last. I congratulate everyone at Canon for earning this recognition.”

The World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient (EQ) framework, which offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent, and standardized manner. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics.

“For Ethisphere to honor Canon with this renowned title is a true reflection of the values, culture, and leadership that drive our organization,” said Kenneth Sharpe, vice president, corporate audit, ethics and business consultation, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “This distinction directly speaks to our versatility and dedication to help serve our communities through our advanced solutions and initiatives.”

In 2019, 128 honorees were recognized, spanning 21 countries and 50 industries. The thirteenth class of honorees profoundly illustrate how companies continue to be the driving force for improving communities, building capable and empowered workforces, and fostering corporate cultures focused on ethics and a strong sense of purpose.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), governance (15 percent), and leadership and reputation (10 percent).

The full list of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found at https://worldsmostethicalcompanies.com/honorees. For more information on Canon U.S.A., Inc., visit www.usa.canon.com.

About the Ethisphere Institute

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program and provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA). More information about Ethisphere can be found at: https://ethisphere.com.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Will full frame mirrorless cameras and Samsung S10 smartphone spell the demise of DSLRs eventually?


Samsung has just introduced their latest generation smartphone, the S10. Some have feared the increasingly sophisticated smartphone and full frame mirrorless cameras may eventually spell the demise of DSLRs.  

My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer and I have used Canon equipment for over three decades. Throughout the years, I have embarked on many worldwide photo shoots. You can follow my travels on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and see my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com




Canon's CEO, Mr. Fujio Mitarai gave an interview to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun recently. Fujio pointed out the market for digital cameras could shrink to about half in the next two years and he plans to shift the camera business's focus to corporate customers.

"In our company cameras have declined at around 10% a year (sales volume) in the past few years (combined with single lens reflex and mirrorless) The world market for interchangeable lens cameras is around 10 million, but decreased The mirrorless product is growing, but it is a replacement with a single lens reflex, it is not adding to the market as a whole "

"People usually shoot with smartphones.The digital camera market will keep falling for about 2 years, but professional and high amateur (advanced) amateurs use about 5 to 6 million units.Finally there I will hit the bottom. "




I do not disagree with his assessment in general but I think the speed and size of the decline Fujio expects is too pessimistic. Canon is a huge, diversified conglomerate with a proven track record and will definitely be a survivor. It begs the question how many current camera/lens company will still be around in the next 5 to 10 years.

My view is high end DSLRs and Super Telephoto lenses will be around for a long time to come. High end smartphone and full frame mirrorless cameras will get better and better. Eventually these camera systems' features and functionalities will converge to form a duopoly, much like the gasoline and electricity powered vehicles we see on the road today.

There will be enough of a market for both systems to coexist long into the future - the traditional photographer who demands the highest performing equipment, regardless of size/weight and the practical photographer who demands the best performing equipment, all things considered. By the way, both type of photographers can be the same person. I know because I am one of them.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Canon has started field testing the EOS-1D X Mark III camera




Just back from my wildlife photography tour of India. You can follow my travels on FacebookTwitterInstagram and see my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com.

There is no secret a successor to the venerable Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera is coming in 2019. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is the perfect event to highlight Canon's dominance in Mirrorless and high end DSLR cameras.

With the recent announcement of the Series III version of their Super Telephoto lenses, Canon's job is only half done. The majority of pro sports and wildlife photography in the world are done with the EOS-1D and Super Telephoto lens combo. There is also talk from Canon about eventually releasing a full frame, mirrorless version of an EOS-1D camera. I may be quite interested in such a body for my work since the EOS-R and EOS-RP cameras will not find a place in my equipment bag




The EOS-1 line of cameras has been my equipment of choice since 1989 and the current EOS-1D X Mark II body is my workhorse since its introduction in February 2016. Although the Mark II is a very capable camera, I like to see the following incremental improvement in the Mark III :

  • A new sensor with mid 20MP rating
  • Maintain 12 - 14 fps without mirror lockup or Live View
  • First in class high ISO performance
  • First in class 4K video performance
  • New AF system with around 100 AF points. More dual cross-type and cross-type points
  • New LCD monitor with 3.0 million dots 
  • Built in WiFi (Not for myself. For photo journalists meeting their deadlines) 

I expect the new camera to be announced some time in late Q4 of 2019 or before the CP+ Show in February 2020 and before the release of the pro EOS R model. Please bookmark this site and check back for the latest news and development.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Canon EOS-7D Mark III and EOS-90D may morphed into a single camera




Just back from my wildlife photography tour of India. You can follow my travels on FacebookTwitterInstagram and see my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com.

Canon announced the expected entry level EOS RP, full frame mirrorless camera recently and is planning to announce at least 6 new RF lenses in the next few months. You can download the Owner Manual here and read it before you buy. As I mentioned before, unless Canon comes out with an EOS-1 equivalent type of full frame mirrorless camera, your truly has no interest in this line of equipment.

As my readers know, I am waiting for the successor of the EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS-7D Mark II bodies to arrive some time in late 2019. The EOS-80D and EOS-7D Mark II successors will probably be morphed into a single camera. Frankly it's about time. There are too many models in Canon's lineup it is becoming a difference without a distinction.

In my opinion, the should only be four EOS line of cameras - EOS-1, EOS-5, EOS-7 and EOS-R. In addition, the PowerShot line can fill out the remainder. Anything more than that is unnecessary and add more confusion than differentiation.

It is early days yet to speculate on the new camera's features but I am hoping for the following specs for the EOS-7D Mark III. Keep checking back for the latest information :

  • A slight increase in megapixels, low to mid 20s for the sensor.
  • 10 fps (12 fps possible but unlikely)
  • 4K+ video @ 30fps and 1080p @ 60fps
  • GPS and WiFi will be included
  • 2 memory slots, one CF and one CFast likely
  • Additional AF points to below 100 with more cross-type points
  • Increase in high ISO and Dynamic Range performance
  • Addition of illuminated buttons on the back panel

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Canon announced EOS RP full frame mirrorless camera and 6 new RF lenses to come




Just back from my wildlife photography tour of India. You can follow my travels on FacebookTwitterInstagram and see my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com.

Canon announced the expected entry level EOS RP, full frame mirrorless camera recently and is planning to announce at least 6 new RF lenses in the next few months. You can download the Owner Manual here and read it before you buy. As I mentioned before, unless Canon comes out with an EOS-1 equivalent type of full frame mirrorless camera, your truly has no interest in this line of equipment.


MELVILLE, N.Y., February 13, 2019 – Responding to the demand from amateur and advanced amateur photographers for an entry-level, full-frame mirrorless camera, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the second camera in the EOS R lineup, the EOS RP. The EOS RP is designed for photographers looking to step up from Canon’s APS-C cameras: the EOS Rebel, EOS M and the EOS 80D, into the world of full-frame mirrorless photography. Weighing in at just 17.29 ounces, the EOS RP camera is lighter than a 500ml bottle of water and smaller than Canon’s popular APS-C DSLR camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, coming in at approximately 5.0in (w) x 3.77in (h) x 2.36in (d). With optics at its core, the EOS RP takes full advantage of the complete line up of RF lenses and is compatible with the existing collection of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses with the use of one of three optional RF EOS-R Mount Adapters.

“As Canon continues to evolve its full-frame mirrorless cameras, our goal is that one day the EOS R line becomes as widely popular as our celebrated lineup of EOS DSLR cameras,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “As a company, we believe that in order for us to accomplish that goal, Canon needs to develop full-frame mirrorless cameras for every skill level of photographers and that starts with amateurs and advanced amateurs. This makes the EOS RP the perfect addition to the existing lineup.”

The new Canon EOS RP full-frame mirrorless camera features a 26.2 megapixel CMOS sensor that is powered by the company’s DIGIC 8 image processor, providing users with high-image quality, outstanding operation and functionality. The new Canon EOS RP features Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus (AF) with 4,779 manually selectable AF points and a wide AF coverage area of 88 percent horizontal and 100 percent vertical. With f/1.2 lenses, the camera astonishingly boasts AF sensitivity in low light in as little as Exposure Value (EV) -5. When using the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens with the EOS RP, the camera can focus in as little as 0.05 seconds with Dual Pixel CMOS AF . When using eye detection AF, the camera can automatically detect faces and focus on the eye of the subject. This feature is supported when the camera is set in either servo AF mode during continuous shooting and movie servo AF, as well as one-shot AF.

Like the EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera that was announced in September 2018, the EOS RP is built around the same 54mm mount diameter and short-back focus. This allows for the use of one of three optional mount adapters for full compatibility with all existing EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses. Through the use of the optional Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter or Control Ring Mount Adapter, these lenses, in fact, gain functionality.

For photographers looking to further expand their abilities and capture a wide variety of both still and video images, the EOS RP features Visual Guide mode. First introduced with the EOS Rebel T7i and EOS 77D, this mode allows users to see on screen how switching modes on the mode dial or tweaking settings can alter the image they are about to capture. This mode helps to guide photographers to capture more compelling images, such as ones with a shallow depth-of-field or being able to give moving subjects a frozen or flowing look. For those looking to expand their imaginative options, the camera also features Creative Assist mode that allows photographers to use new and unique visual effects and adjustments when shooting, such as brightness, contrast, saturation, color tone, monochrome and background blur. In addition, the design, ergonomics, layout and ease-of-use of the camera are very similar to that of other Canon cameras consumers might already be familiar with.

Additional noteworthy features of the EOS RP camera include:

  • Built-in 0.39 inch, 2.36 million dot Electronic Viewfinder with Touch-and-Drag AF
  • Vari-Angle LCD touchscreen
  • 4K UHD 24P/Full HD 60p video recording with 4K time-lapse shooting and the ability to extract still images from 4K video recordings
  • ISO range of 100-25,600 that is expandable up to ISO of 102,400
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® technology
  • Mobile RAW workflow supported paired with Digital Photo Professional Express App

Availability and Pricing

The Canon EOS RP full-frame mirrorless camera is scheduled to be available in March 2019 for an estimated retail price of $1299.00 for the body only. It will also be sold as a body-and-lens kit with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens for $2399.00*

Continuing with the message of “optics at its core,” Canon U.S.A. Inc. also announced that its parent company, Canon Inc, is developing six new RF-series lenses, further displaying the company’s commitment to the EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera system. Canon’s new RF mount allows for fast, light, and high-performing optics with a large opening diameter and short back focus distance. Each new lens in development will help fulfill the needs of amateur and advanced amateurs to professional photographers and videographers, covering critical focal lengths. In 2019, Canon’s already well-established optical lens heritage will celebrate a production milestone of 140 million EF and RF lenses and the celebration starts with the development announcement of these six lenses.




The six new RF lenses under development include:

  • RF 85mm F1.2 L USM
  • RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS
  • RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM

“Optics are the critical piece of the visual puzzle that bend light and capture an image as the artist envisioned,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “That is why it is so important for us to strengthen our family of RF lenses for the EOS R camera system. With this collection of new lenses, customers will have more of the tools they need, for the images they desire to create.”

All six RF lenses under development are built around Canon’s new RF mount, which features a large 54mm diameter and shorter back focus distance than on current EOS DSLR cameras. In addition, the RF mount enhances communication and power transmission between the lens and camera body, which has helped Canon to achieve the world’s fastest autofocus speed for a full-frame mirrorless camera system.

The details of the new Canon RF lenses under development are as follows:

  • The RF 85mm F1.2 L USM is a large aperture mid-telephoto prime lens. It offers excellent performance for advanced and professional portrait photographers and is a widely popular focal length and aperture speed combination for users.
  • The RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS, with Defocus Smoothing lens technology, is a uniquely designed lens that offers a combination of beautifully smooth defocused bokeh. Featuring a super-fast F1.2 aperture, the lens will help produce breathtaking portraits that will surely stand out from the crowd.
  • The RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM is a high-performance, standard zoom lens for professionals and photo enthusiasts alike – ideal for shooting portraits, landscapes, documentaries or weddings.
  • The RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM, offering a wide angle and fast aperture in a single package, is ideal for a variety of shooting applications including architecture, interiors or landscapes.
  • The RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM is a must-have for any professional photographer, especially for those shooting weddings, sports or wildlife. This lens is a great all-around, high-speed, medium telephoto zoom lens and does well to round out any camera bag.
  • The RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM is the ideal lens for amateurs and advanced amateurs who love to travel, no matter the destination. The versatile, all-purpose lens offers a range of focal lengths for capturing extraordinary shots in a form factor that is both compact and lightweight.

Availability

All six of the new Canon RF lenses under development are expected to be available later in 2019*.