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Monday, March 31, 2014

Canon PowerShot G17 Camera Coming Soon

Canon announced the PowerShot G1 X II  last month. This is my favorite PowerShot camera in the lineup and now the company may be planning to introduce the PowerShot G17 some time next quarter.

The rumored specs for the G17 is laudable but the PowerShot G16 was released only about 6 months ago. Is it really necessary to bring out another 'new' model? If true, this type of rapid/vapid product announcements only bring on customer fatigue and marginalize their marketing efforts. The G16 has only minimal improvements over its predecessor. Was its release really necessary?

Possible PowerShot G17 specs :

  • 24-200mm f/1.4-2.0 lens
  • New 1 inch Sensor
  • All magnesium body with comfortable grip
  • DIGIC 6 processor

2014 is suppose to be Canon's comeback year after a turbulent 2013. Canon needs to rethink its product strategy and concentrate on its strength. They are way behind in their meaningful product introduction - the EOS-7D Mk II camera and EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II lens, just to name a couple. The photography world does not need a G17 camera so soon.

New Canon Patents - 85mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2

Egami, the Japanese photography blog has uncovered more Canon patents. This time, the 85mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.8 design were accompanied by the 50mm f/1.4 and 100mm f/2.

Sigma is expected to announce their 50mm f/1.4 Art lens very soon and Canon will also come out with the EF 50mm f/1.4 II lens this year. The following is a Google translation from Japanese of the Egami post.

85mm f/1.2

EF85mm F1.2L II USM will be renewed but one, and up to announcement, time to market from the announcement is not short, and current products I do not fade because it still may assume also rise.

The optical system of the patent application, it becomes nine seven lens configuration is increased one than the current product, UD glass and two single-sided aspherical surface of one sheet is used, the difference between the current product is it is big.

The current product 85mm F1.2 Filter diameter has been done in 72mm while that spec. Beam effective diameter of the front lens of the patent application is so 68.55mm, 72mm filter diameter is pretty hard, was a filter diameter of 72mm from the FD lens era 85mm F1.2 may have changed finally. Focusing is a front group feeding, but whether I will become the power to focus the current product as well.

85mm f/1.8

Optical system will be described later 100 mm F2.0 I hits sister relationship with. The optical system of the patent application of the current F1.8 USM EF85mm are seven groups of nine number Same as, UD glass and a single one-sided aspherical one is used, it seems to contribute to the performance improvement. STM also or will be adopted soon focusing so inner focus.

50mm f/1.4

50 mM F1.4 manufacturer that is not renewed the Canon were good and only leave. But the property of their respective owners 50 mM F1.4 much priority on performance, just so expensive product, and I do not necessarily say and renewal. Canon How would a policy of either.

The patent application EF50mm F1.4 USM is feeding the entire similar. The eight and seven groups, seems to have increased by one.

100mm f/2.0

Described above 85mm F1.8 and optics is the rule sister relationship. F2 USM EF100mm special glass material does not seem to be used but, UD two pieces of glass are used in the patent application, lens configuration since it has been nine seven groups increasing one, and have contributed to the aberration mitigation I might. Mean that sister model, this place is an inner focus.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Canon Cinema Zoom Lens Coming Soon

Canon is expected to announce a new lens for their Cinema EOS line next week at the NAB 2014 Show in Las Vegas. They may also announce additional Cinema cameras or their development at the same time. The show runs from April 5 - 10. Keep checking back for the latest development.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Coming Soon

                     * * *  Read the latest post on the PowerShot SX60 HS camera  * * *

Canon is expected to announced the PowerShot SX60 HS camera with a 100X zoom some time next quarter. This will be the replacement to the popular SX50 model and comes with a 20-2000mm focal length capability. I am just a bit curious about the IQ of an equivalent 2000mm lens all in the palm of my hand and will give the camera a try out once it is available.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Canon Cinema EOS C200 and C400 at NAB 2014?

Canon Cinema EOS line of cameras

Canon has made the Cinema EOS line of cameras one of their top priorities in the last couple of years. Word is they may be planning to introduce an entry level 4K camera, designated as the C200, and a semi-pro model, the C400 at the upcoming NAB show.

The current Canon 4K lineup are the EOS-1D C and C500 but they have their design limitations. There are also great interest in alternative method like using Magic Lantern software to produce high quality videos using non 4K cameras. The NAB 2014 is taking place at Las Vegas in about one week. There are usually no exciting news from the show but this year Canon may shake things up a bit. Keep checking back for the latest development.

Magic Lantern Software For Commercial Projects, a Swiss company produced a series of six short videos films for Swiss Airlines. They employed various cameras, including the Canon EOS 5D Mk III. The videos demonstrate how powerful Magic Lantern software can be for those who know how to use it.

One of the videos was produced by utilizing two EOS-5D Mk III running Magic Lantern (1080p 25 RAW). Camera movement was controlled by BeSteady and Rhino Slider. Remote phosphor lights were used to light the scenes. The editing was done in Premiere Pro and carefully graded in Resolve.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Zeiss Compact Zoom CZ.2 15-30/T2.9 Lens

Zeiss 15-30/T2.9 Compact Zoom lens

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, THORNWOOD/USA , 27/03/2014.

At NAB Show 2014 in Las Vegas (April 7-10), ZEISS will be showing its entire portfolio of lenses at booth C9042. Everything from SLR lenses, such as the high-end Otus 1.4/55, to the Compact Prime CP.2 and Compact Zoom CZ.2, to the ARRI/ZEISS Ultra Prime, ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime and ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses will be on display. The booth will also have the 3D-multimedia video glasses ZEISS cinemizer OLED, which functions as an electronic viewfinder for video cameras.

A highlight will be the first-ever unveiling in North America of both the ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2 15-30/T2.9 and the ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic MA 135/T1.9, the seventh focal length that now completes the successful Master Anamorphic family. The MA 135/T1.9 now completes the successful Master Anamorphic family jointly developed by ARRI and ZEISS and exclusively distributed by ARRI. ZEISS looks forward to presenting the new focal lengths of these two cine lens families to visitors to the NAB show. In addition, alongside other ZEISS lenses, the new products can be tried on the latest cameras at the ZEISS booth. Visitors will also be able to experience the cinemizer OLED. For the ambitious cinematographer, the cinemizer OLED also opens up fascinating shooting possibilities when connected to camera drones.

ZEISS is bringing two experienced DOPs to the NAB 2014 show to serve as application specialists: August Bradley from the US and Den Lennie from the UK. Lennie’s film “Escape”, captured with the ZEISS Compact Zoom and ARRI/ZEISS Ultra Prime and ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime lenses, premiered at the ZEISS Cine Lens Day 2013. Visitors are welcome to pose their questions and share their experiences with them, whether those experiences concern ZEISS lenses, the photography business in general, or how to gain a foothold in the film industry.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sony And Canon To Offer Medium Format Camera?

There is no secret the photography industry is in turmoil the last few years, suffering from lower sales and profits. Many companies are frantically looking for new ways to energize photography fans by introducing fluffy technologies and retro body designs.

Now rumor is Sony may also be considering a Medium Format camera as well. Canon and Sony are the only two major sensor manufacturers. Sony supplies most of the sensors Nikon uses on their higher end cameras and provides Hasselblad with the 50MP sensor on their upcoming H5D-50C Medium Format camera. If Sony does decide to enter the MF space, they will not be directly competing with Hasselblad because their new entry may be a 'mini' version of a full sized MF camera.

The word is Canon may also enter the Medium Format arena. In my opinion, this will be an unnecessary distraction for them at this time. Medium Format photography is a niche market and should be left to niche companies. Canon needs to rethink its product strategy and concentrate on its strength. They are way behind in their meaningful product introduction - the EOS-7D Mk II camera and EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II lens, just to name a couple. Then there is the 'mega pixel' camera project, new Super Telephoto lens using the Diffractive Optics technology. The list is long and these products will generate more interest and revenue than any Medium Format sales in the future.

Canon Tops DSLR Camera Market 11th Year In A Row

TOKYO, Japan, March 27, 2014 - Canon Inc. today announced that the Company’s interchangeable-lens digital cameras (digital SLR and compact-system cameras) have maintained the No. 1 share worldwide in terms of volume within the interchangeable-lens digital camera market for the 11-year period from 2003 to 2013.

In addition to the interchangeable lenses, Canon also develops the key components—the CMOS image sensors and image processors—employed in its interchangeable-lens cameras. The most advanced of these technologies are incorporated in the Company’s flagship EOS-1D series. By applying these technologies to other models as well, Canon has successfully created a powerful product lineup that effectively responds to the needs of a wide range of users, from professionals to entry-level users, which has enabled Canon to maintain the top global share.
In 2003, the dawn of digital SLR cameras, Canon introduced its breakthrough EOS Kiss Digital (EOS Digital Rebel or EOS 300D Digital in other regions). This compact and lightweight user-friendly camera set the stage for growth in the digital SLR market and captured the top share of the global market. Since that time, Canon, in its ongoing pursuit of high image quality, has launched a number of models for advanced-amateur users that offer among the highest levels of performance for their class, including the EOS 5D series, which paved the way for digital SLR video recording.

In 2013, targeting entry-level users, Canon launched the EOS Kiss X7 (EOS Rebel SL1 or EOS 100D), which combines the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR camera body with exceptional basic performance, and the EOS M2 compact-system camera, featuring significantly enhanced autofocusing performance. Also, within the advanced-amateur user segment, the Company introduced the EOS 70D, equipped with innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus technology, which has earned high praise from the market. These robust products provided the driving force enabling Canon to achieve its 11th straight year as the world’s market leader.

Additionally, in February 2014, Canon realized another industry milestone as cumulative production of EOS-series film and digital cameras surpassed the 70-million unit mark. Furthermore, during the first half of 2014, cumulative production of Canon EF-series interchangeable lenses for EOS cameras is on track to reach 100 million units. Underpinning these achievements is the high market share that Canon has maintained, made possible through the long-standing support dating back to the film camera era that the Company has received from its wide user base.

With a history of producing cameras that dates back to the Company’s founding in 1937, Canon will continue refining its diverse imaging technologies based on its core optical technologies, striving to produce exceptional and reliable lenses and cameras that cater to the varying needs of photographers—from first-time users to advanced amateurs and professionals—while contributing to expanding the photographic and video imaging culture.

Canon Celebrates Production Of 250 Million Digital Cameras

TOKYO, Japan, March 27, 2014 - Canon Inc. today celebrated a camera-manufacturing milestone as combined production of the Company’s compact digital and interchangeable-lens digital cameras surpassed 250 million units on January 31, 2014.

Canon, a company that has continuously produced cameras since its founding in 1937, began producing and marketing digital cameras in the mid 1990s. In 1995, when film cameras were still the norm, Canon launched its first digital camera, the professional-model EOS DCS 3* digital SLR camera.

At the time, compact cameras were leading the digital shift within the camera industry. In 1996, Canon announced its market entry with the introduction of the PowerShot 600, the Company’s first compact digital camera. In 2000, amid the market’s rapid growth, Canon launched the IXY DIGITAL (PowerShot S100 or DIGITAL IXUS in markets outside of Japan), featuring a ground-breaking compact, stylish body design that set the trend for compact digital cameras.

Subsequent models released by the Company reflected the diverse evolution of compact digital cameras with models becoming increasingly compact and lightweight, achieving higher sensitivity, incorporating more enhanced automatic functions, and realizing greater network connectivity. This evolution fueled robust growth as Canon’s cumulative production of compact digital cameras surpassed the 100-million-unit mark in 2008, and broke through the 200-million-unit threshold in December 2013. Aiming to further extend its production volume, in 2014 Canon launched a new lineup of compact digital cameras that let users enjoy high value-added photography, including the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, designed to deliver the highest levels of imaging performance, and the new-concept-model PowerShot N100.

As for interchangeable-lens digital cameras, while the market in the mid 1990s had consisted primarily of professional models, with the start of the 2000s, the segment rapidly took off. In 2000, Canon launched the EOS D30, developed as a “next-generation standard digital SLR camera” to satisfy the needs of a wide user base, from advanced photo enthusiasts to professional users. In 2003, Canon again led the market with the introduction of the entry-level-model EOS Kiss Digital (EOS Digital Rebel or EOS 300D), which set the stage for dramatic expansion of the market.

Since that time, Canon has successively launched innovative products that capitalize on the Company’s strengths in CMOS sensors, image processors and EF lenses, such as the professional-model EOS-1 series and EOS 5D series targeting advanced-amateur users, as well as the compact-camera-system EOS M series. As a result, in 2005, production of Canon interchangeable-lens digital cameras reached 25 million units and, in February 2014, surpassed 50 million units. Among the new products worthy of note that contributed to the realization of this milestone were the EOS 70D, featuring innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus technology, and the entry-level EOS Kiss X7 (EOS Rebel SL1 or EOS 100D), which combines a ground-breaking compact, lightweight body design with advanced basic performance.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Canon Digital Learning Center - Field Of View Comparator

The Canon Digital Learning Center put an interesting online tool to demonstrate the field of view of any lens. With this Field of View Comparator tool, one can adjust the focal length from the 8mm fisheye to 800mm Super telephoto lens. Two cameras can be compared at the same time, so it is possible to compare different sensor sizes.

Canon Features Interactive Booth At NAB 2014

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 26, 2014 - At the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, will showcase its full line of professional, high definition imaging equipment for motion picture, television production, video content creation, and still photography at booth C4325. Within this year’s booth, Canon will feature a live 4K Workflow Demonstration where visitors will have the opportunity to interact with industry-leading colorists and editors in a 4K DI (Digital Intermediate) suite. Visitors will also have the opportunity to touch and try a range of Canon Cinema, HD Video and DSLR cameras and Broadcast HDTV lenses through various simulated shooting situations in three different shooting galleries centrally located in the Canon booth. Canon will also feature a 4K frame-grab demonstration where a professional photographer will utilize the Canon Cinema EOS-1D C camera to deliver still images from 4K video.

Canon will be showing a 4K Live Broadcast demonstration, highlighting how spectacular HD broadcast footage can be captured, digitally rendered and cropped for live-action broadcast coverage using Canon’s Cinema EOS equipment. Visitors to this demonstration will see, in real-time, the results and stunning coverage which have already been successfully used in the market in multiple high-speed productions, including live-action sports.

Throughout the 2014 NAB Show, Canon will host a series of unique stage presentations with renowned cinematographers, broadcast specialists, and filmmakers on the Live Learning Stage. These industry professionals will provide insight into the ever-changing field of optical and imaging technology and showcase their projects and works that were shot using Canon equipment, as well as share best practices and real-world applications for utilizing Canon technology.

Highlighting the Company’s strength and achievements in the realm of optical technologies, Canon will exhibit all 125 of its current EF, Cinema and BCTV lenses. This dedicated optics section of the booth will include technology displays to help educate visitors on the intricate systems that help make Canon lenses such powerful tools. Unique Canon lens applications and projects will also be highlighted, including such achievements as the Subaru telescope located in Hawaii. Visitors looking for a firsthand experience will be able to test and try various lenses on the Canon Lens Tower, a tiered platform allowing attendees to experience the power of Canon’s extensive lens lineup.

Exhibiting some of the recent artistry and award-winning footage shot on Canon Cinema EOS equipment, show attendees are welcome to enter a 90-seat Canon Theater to view spectacular footage and testimonials which illustrate HD, 2K and 4K projects including behind-the-scenes footage on how each project was captured.

Now available for purchase, the Canon DP-V3010 4K Reference Display will be featured throughout the booth, including the DI suite, where Canon will demonstrate how DP-V3010 4K Reference Displays match up to high-quality 4K projectors.

Professional cinematographers in need of a fast, easy way to print images for scene continuity or to preserve highlights of a recently completed project will appreciate the convenience and versatility of Canon’s photo-quality printers. Demonstrated in the Canon booth will be the 24-inch imagePROGRAF iPF6450 and the 44-inch imagePROGRAF iPF8400, large-format printers. The PIXMA PRO series of desktop inkjet printers will be on display, including the PIXMA PRO-1 Professional Inkjet Printer, PIXMA PRO-10, and PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Printers. Also being shown is the SELPHY CP910 Wireless Compact Photo Printer.

Canon’s Pro Education Team will be hosting in-booth guest speaker seminars and off-floor workshops at the 2014 NAB Show. In-booth speakers will include cinematographer Suny Behar, Canon’s Larry Thorpe, director and photographer Vincent Laforet, Saturday Night Live DP Alex Buono, and filmmaker Amina Moreau. The aforementioned guest speakers have collaborated with Canon in the past to develop educational content, and will be conducting user-focused product and workflow demonstrations, as well as question and answer sessions with attendees.

On Tuesday, April 8th, Canon Live Learning (CLL) will be hosting two off-floor workshops in room N239. From 10:30am-12:30pm there will be the “Canon Small Chip Sensor Workshop.” Attendees will be invited to discover how to create and deliver near instant video production in the field and in the studio with the XA20, XA25 and VIXIA mini X video cameras. Then, from 2:00pm-5:00pm, CLL will be hosting the “Canon Cinema EOS Operational Training Workshop.” Technical advisors will be on-hand to demonstrate Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus technology, now available as an optional upgrade in both the Canon Cinema EOS C100 and Canon Cinema EOS C300 Digital Cinema Cameras.

After the success at the 2013 NAB Show, Canon’s Professional Services (CPS) will again be hosting the Canon Hospitality Suite. The Canon Hospitality Suite (Room C201) is open to all NAB tradeshow attendees with priority support for CPS Gold, Platinum, Cinema, and Enterprise members. After checking in at the CPS kiosk in the Canon Booth, visitors to the suite located just off of the tradeshow floor, can experience Canon’s commitment to service and support for the professional imaging community first hand.

For NAB 2014, CPS is announcing the addition of the Cinema Membership level to its program. This new Cinema level caters specifically to the cinema professional and in addition to the existing CPS Silver, Gold, Platinum and Enterprise levels, demonstrates Canon’s continued commitment to supporting the professional imaging industry.

Suite visitors will also be able to chat with Canon experts about Canon’s exciting developments in cinema, video and DSLR technology and Canon technical representatives will be on-hand to provide product consultations. Gold, Platinum, Cinema, and Enterprise CPS members can take advantage of the complimentary onsite Clean & Check Service (limited to two current* Canon DSLR bodies or lenses or one current* Cinema product or XF professional video camcorder registered to a member’s CPS account). Show attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up for Canon CPS membership. Product serial numbers for qualifying CPS equipment will be needed in order to process on-site membership applications. For information, please visit

The Canon Hospitality Suite hosted by CPS will be open April 7th through April 9th from 9:00am to 6:00pm and April 10th from 9:00am to 2:00pm.

Wildlife Photography - Reflections On India

The inimitable Taj Mahal in Agra

I have just returned from a wildlife photo shoot in India. It is almost impossible for a traveler not to be astonished and impressed by this fascinating country. India is the largest democracy in the world, has the second largest population and by some estimates, will have the third largest economy by the end of the next decade. Very few nations have such a chaotic and creative burst of cultures, religions, races and tongues.

The road less traveled, rural India

With a population of almost 1.2 billion people, there is no one single Indian culture but enough similarities unite its people. 14 different languages and myriad of dialects are spoken but English is the major language of trade and politics. India has 7 major religions, 6 main ethnic groups and many celebrations and holidays throughout the year.

Happy Holi - the festival of colors, 2014

Indian culture revolves around religion and its practice permeates into many aspects of daily life. Hinduism is the dominant faith, but there are also Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Bahai, and many more. The American humorist, Mark Twain said it best - "So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked."

Country life in rural India

The wildlife of India is just as diverse as its landscapes and people. There are Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Lions, Leopards, Gaurs (largest Bovine in the world), Indian Rhinos and Elephants, Crocodiles, Sloth Bears, Wild dogs plus many more species. There were even Cheetahs but sadly, they were driven to extinction with periodic plans for re-introduction. In addition, there are over 1,100 species of birds and countless insects and flora. Altogether the country is smaller in size than Africa, India has just as many captivating wildlife for me to photograph.

Painted Stork graces the Indian sky

Currently, the most endangered species is the Bengal Tiger. There are about 1,500 animals left, depending on who is doing the estimate. They are scattered in over 50 reserves across India and relentless poaching and human encroachment have driven the tigers close to extinction. Project Tiger, a program launched by the late Prime Minister, Indira Ghandi in 1973, is the primary vehicle charged to protect their natural habitats and prevent these magnificent animals from sliding into extinction, like their cousins, the Indian Cheetah.

Bengal Tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh 

There are fierce debates as to what level of human intervention and tourism are appropriate for the remaining tigers and the Indian Supreme Court has recently banned the practice of using elephants to approach tigers for tourism. My own feeling is there can be an appropriate balance between conservation and responsible tourism but the practices have to managed carefully by conscientious authorities.

The best reflection on India. Bengal Tiger in Kanha National Park

Photographing wildlife in India's national parks is not an easy feat. The only feasible means is by 4 wheel drive Jeeps and the trails are rough and very bouncy. It takes many hours to find any of the 'Indian Big 5' and many more days to get any decent shots from different angles, if one is lucky. However, the richness of her people and the diverse landscapes, fauna and flora will keep bringing me back to this incredible country. Visit my website to see more wildlife and travel photos from India and many parts of our world. 

Wild Dog in Pench National Park, the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book

Canon EOS-3D Camera Coming In Late 2014?

We are informed Canon is planning to introduce a new camera in the second half of 2014, possibly called the EOS-3D. It appears to be the big brother of the current EOS-5D Mk III and may come with a much higher resolution sensor and 4K video option features.

The price will be 'much' higher than the EOS-5D Mk III and if true, the replacement Mk IV camera will be pushed into 2015. Ever since the retirement of the EOS-1Ds Mk III and EOS-1D Mk IV, Canon is left without a professional 'mega pixel' and 'sports' camera respectively. Although the current EOS-1D X can shoot at lighting speed of 14 fps, it is technically not classified as a sports or wildlife camera.

I would welcome a new sports camera designated as the EOS-1D Mk V but it may come with a new DSLR body design. My only 'complaint' with the EOS-1D X is the full frame sensor sometimes lacks the additional reach of the APS-H. I loathe carrying heavy Super Telephoto lenses around on my photo shoots and use extenders only sparingly. The only exception I make is for the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens. Keep checking back for the latest information.

Canon Has An Eye For You

Our planet has 7 billion people and 14 billion eyeballs but no one sees the world exactly like you. To see the world of Wildlife and Travel photography through my eyes, visit

Humpback whale flying across the water in Maui

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens Pricing Coming

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens

I have just returned from my photo shoot in India. Trying to catch up on the last few weeks' photography news. Will be posting my photos and reflection on the trip soon on my Blog and website

* * * There is a preliminary review on the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens here * * *

Sigma is planning to announce the list price of their highly anticipated 50mm f/1.4 Art lens some time in April, 2014. They boast the new glass will have image quality equaling the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens, currently the champion of the 50mm lens lineup, with a list price of $4,000.

The list price of the Sigma lens is expected to be about $1,000. Only time will tell how much is hype and how much is reality although I can tell you immediately a $4,000 lens does not take a photo 4 times better than a $1,000 lens. The new Sigma lens will be a very good value if it delivers an almost equal IQ than the Zeiss. Canon is expected to announce a new 50mm f/1.4 lens some time this year as well.

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS II Development Announcement

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS lens

I have just returned from my photo shoot in India. Trying to catch up on the last few weeks' photography news. Will be posting my photos and reflection on the trip soon on my Blog and website

The venerable 'Big Daddy' 800mm lens is showing its age. Canon is working on its successor and may announce its development prior to Photokina 2014 in September. This is one of Canon's oldest Super Telephoto lenses and can benefit from the latest material and optics improvement already found on Canon's Series II Super Telephoto lens lineup. The current model may have ceased production already and dealers are encouraged to exhaust their inventory on hand. Look for additional news around the autumn time frame.

Canon PowerShot G1X II Technical Report

Canon PowerShot G1 X II camera

I have just returned from my photo shoot in India. Trying to catch up on the last few weeks' photography news. Will be posting my photos and reflection on the trip soon on my Blog and website

The Canon Camera Museum has put out a detailed technical report on the new PowerShot G1X II camera. This is my favorite non DSLR camera from Canon and I am looking forward to do a review of it once it is available. The Mark II camera comes with a 12.80-megapixel, 1.5-type CMOS sensor and a 5x zoom lens with a lens-shift image stabilizer (35mm-film equivalent focal length range : 24 - 120 mm). The Owner's Manual for the new camera is available for download

The following topics are covered :

Canon EOS-6D Firmware 1.1.4 Available For Download

Canon EOS-6D full frame DSLR camera

I have just returned from my photo shoot in India. Trying to catch up on the last few weeks' photography news. Will be posting my photos and reflection on the trip soon on my Blog and website

Firmware Version 1.1.4 has been released by Canon for the EOS-6D camera. The new software incorporates the following fixes :

  • Fixes a phenomenon in which some images cannot be transferred to mobile devices running the EOS Remote app.
  • Corrects an error in the German language Feature Guide.
  • Corrects an error in the Korean language Feature Guide.

After the firmware update has been performed, the following setting will be reset to default.
Menu > Custom Function> C.Fn II: Autofocus > AF Microadjustment> 1: All by same amount

Please review the instructions thoroughly before you download and install the new firmware.

Canon USA Announces Cinema CPS Program

I have just returned from my photo shoot in India. Trying to catch up on the last few weeks' photography news. Will be posting my photos and reflection on the trip soon on my Blog and website

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 19, 2014 - Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that the Canon Professional Services (CPS) program has been expanded and now provides support for all Cinema EOS products. Created over 30 years ago to support professional film photographers, CPS has evolved through the years to keep pace with the changing needs of the modern imaging professional. A new CPS Cinema level has been added to the current Silver, Gold and Platinum levels continuing Canon’s commitment to support professional imaging customers as their needs grow and expand.

CPS Cinema Membership provides members with benefits like maintenance services, which are valuable for filmmakers who use their cinema equipment in all types of elements, repair discounts, and equipment evaluation loans, ideal for cinematographers looking to test out new equipment. In addition, members receive Canon Live Learning discounts, access to a 24/7 Live Exclusive Member Hotline, as well as a range of other benefits. CPS Cinema members receive expedited two-business day turnaround on their registered products at Canon Service and Support centers located in Hollywood, CA, and Ridgefield Park, NJ, with more locations to be added in the future. Additionally, CPS Cinema members can receive on-site Clean & Check Service by trained Canon CPS service and support professionals at select trade shows such as the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB), taking place April 7th-10th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“CPS is such an important part of Canon’s award-winning service and support offering. Now with the success and rapid growth of our Cinema EOS products we felt it was time that cinema professionals were also provided with a level of CPS support that is able to address their unique needs,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “Following in the tradition of exceptional service and support, CPS Cinema enhances our commitment to supporting imaging professionals.”

To become a CPS Cinema member a customer needs to own just one Cinema Zoom lens, or one of the following Cinema EOS cameras: the EOS C300, EOS C500, or EOS-1D C. Members will also receive benefits on all other qualified products entered in their CPS account. Annual membership for CPS Cinema is $1,000.

Cinema Prime lenses and the EOS C100 are now included as qualifying products for CPS Platinum and receive all benefits provided at that membership level.

In order to better serve corporations like newspapers, rental houses, schools and universities, Canon has also developed an Enterprise level of CPS support. Enterprise CPS is a customizable program developed to provide service and support benefits that meet the unique needs of medium-and-large sized companies who own large quantities of Canon imaging products. Customized benefits of Enterprise CPS can include any or all of the benefits of regular CPS membership in addition to on-site maintenance service, expanded product support and more.

After the success at the 2013 NAB Show, Canon’s Professional Services will again be hosting the Canon Hospitality Suite at the 2014 NAB Show. The Canon Hospitality Suite (Room C201) is open to all NAB tradeshow attendees with priority support for CPS Gold, Platinum, Cinema, and Enterprise members. After checking in at the CPS kiosk in the Canon booth C4325, visitors to the suite located just off of the tradeshow floor can experience Canon’s commitment to service and support for the professional imaging community first hand.

Suite visitors will also be able to chat with Canon experts about Canon’s exciting developments in cinema, video and DSLR technology and Canon technical representatives will be on-hand to provide product consultations. Gold, Platinum, Cinema, and Enterprise CPS members can take advantage of the complimentary onsite Clean & Check Service (limited to two Canon DSLR bodies or lenses or one Cinema product or XF professional video camcorder currently registered to your CPS membership account). Show attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up for Canon CPS membership. Product serial numbers for qualifying CPS equipment will be needed in order to process on-site membership applications.

For details and additional information on the new CPS Cinema and Enterprise CPS membership levels, as well as other CPS programs, or to see a comprehensive list of all qualifying Cinema products please visit the CPS web page at :

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Canon Ranked As One Of Most Admired Companies

I will be in India on a tiger photo shoot the next few weeks.

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 6, 2014 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., has ranked among the top global companies, placing sixth overall and third internationally in the computers category of this year’s Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies list. In the international computers category, Canon ranks as the top Japanese company and the sole representative of the imaging industry. Contributing to their rankings, Canon has received high accolades for innovation, quality of products/services and financial soundness.

The 2014 list was separated into 57 industries from a variety of business areas. With input from executives, directors and analysts, close to 700 companies from 30 countries around the world were analyzed and ranked based on various criteria.

“Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list includes well-regarded leaders in the business world,” said Kotaro Fukushima, senior director and general manager, Corporate Communications, Canon U.S.A. “To be included in this ranking is an honor in itself and further exemplifies our commitment to our customers and the communities we serve.”

Wildlife Photography - A Passage To India

* * * Back from my photo shoot. Read my Reflections On India post here * * *

I am off to India for a photo shoot. Will be visiting a few Tiger reserves and doing some travel photography as well. In some of the national parks, I will be on the backs of Indian elephants looking for tigers. This adds another level of experience to an already exciting safari journey. 

Bengal tiger in Kahna National Park, India

Bengal tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park, India

Looking forward to finding out more about how these magnificent animals are fighting to avoid the relentless slaughter from poachers and smugglers with the help of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. I will be unable to keep in touch because there are no Internet access in the jungles and countryside. Have to wait till I return in late March to reconnect. In the meantime, visit my website and click on the Animals page to see photos and read stories from my previous trips. Wish me luck on my sightings and encounters. My last whale photo shoot in Maui is just average. I need a break to get some spectacular images.   

Photography Industry's Turmoil In 2013

2013 was a very bad year for the photography industry. CIPA (the Camera & Imaging Products Association) published the official numbers a few weeks ago, and LensVid made the above graphic to distill some of the more salient facts and data.

Last year, the industry experienced a 25%, 19% and 20% drop in mirrorless, DSLR camera and lens shipments, respectively, compared to 2012. There is no single answer to the decline although a few things have contributed to the overall drop. The cameras in smart phones are getting much better. Mirrorless camera sales are only a hit in Asia, the rest of the world is not very excited by this technology. Could people feel less wealthy to indulge in the latest photographic gear when they can make do with the ones they already have?

I have my own opinions on this and made some observations and suggestions on Canon but it can apply generally to the photography industry as a whole. Since I have been using Canon equipment for 25 years, I will limit my comment to this company. In the last few years, many models came out but most of the them are same old technology wrapped in slick marketing campaigns or fluffy technology that serves little purpose.

There are only 3 cameras that represent a meaningful advance in the last few years - EOS-7D, EOS-5D and EOS-1D X. Some consumers are beginning to see through the hype and decide to keep their present equipment instead. So Canon decided to increase the features of some cameras and lower their prices. Giving more for less is not a winning, long term strategy. Most customers are willing to pay more to get more. Paying less and getting more is the same definition as deflation and can be very injurious to any business. It is important to point out Canon Inc. is a very large, multi-billion dollar company and photography sales represent only a fraction of its overall business. They are the largest photography company in the world and will definitely bounce back.

I am going on a tiger/wildlife photo shoot in India and will not be able to write this Blog while I am away. You can visit my to see my works until I return in late March.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Canon Inc. Executive Interviewed At CP+ Show

Mr. Masaya Maeda of Canon Inc.

DPReview interviewed senior executives at Canon Inc. on two occasions, in Japan. The first meeting was held in late 2013 at Canon's headquarters in Tokyo, and a follow-up interview was arranged at the recent CP+ Show in Yokohama.

I have been a wildlife photographer using Canon equipment for 25 years and an observer of the company for some time. Last year, I have made some comments and suggestions for my friends in Tokyo. The interviewer missed an opportunity to ask some tough questions like, why is Canon introducing their newest technology on their low end products first and why are they blurring the line between professional and semi-professional equipment?

Editor, Barnaby Britton conducted the interviews through an interpreter. The questions appear in bold Italic and the answers follow. Below is an excerpt of the interviews from DPReview's site :

Participants :

Masaya Maeda (MM)
Managing Director, Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations, Canon Inc.

Go Tokura (GT)
Group Executive, ICP Group 2, Image Communication Products Operations, Canon Inc.- (GT)

Ken-Ichi Shimbori (KS)
Advisor, ICP Group 2, Image Communication Products Operations, Canon Inc. (KS)

Yuichi Ishizuka (YI)
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

Naoya Kaneda (NK)
Senior General Manager, ICP Development Center 1, Image Communication Products Operations, Canon Inc.

From an outsider's perspective, Canon might appear to be innovating more in the video sphere, with Cinema EOS, and maybe a little less in your stills cameras. Is this fair?

[MM] It's certainly not true. We place a high importance on innovation in still photography. If you look at our EOS system, the recent 70D offers a Dual Pixel AF sensor and we're also introducing new and different EF lenses all the time. I think that both are equally important for us - stills and video.

[YI] In the past, you might place movies in one space, and still pictures in another space but in the future that distinction will disappear. A single device can do both. That's how we see the relationship between stills and video, conceptually.

Up to now, we've been known by consumers as leaders in still photography, but maybe not in movies. With Cinema EOS this has changed, which might lead to a perception that we're pushing video more. But actually we're pushing both very hard to make total imaging devices.

Are smartphones a threat to Canon, or an opportunity?

[MM] We don't see the smartphone as an enemy. We like to see it as representing an infrastructure which we should be making use of. If we make sure that we continue to produce cameras that do things which smartphones can't, and we also continue to provide links between our cameras and smartphones we'll be able to create a system which is of benefit to our customers.

[KS] Obviously smartphones have taken some of the compact camera market away, but there are certain domains in which the smartphone cannot compete. For example applications that require zoom. Even compact cameras aren't beaten by smartphones in some respects.

When it comes to DSLRs versus smartphones, they don't compare. Because of the difference in image size, versatility and the ability to change lenses among other things, the DSLR exists in a different domain.

What is emerging as a result of the increasing use of smartphones is a change in photographic culture. You can use a smartphone as a tool for sharing your pictures with other people over the internet and that is one respect in which we want our DSLRs to 'cohabit' with smartphones.

You and I both know that cameras take better pictures than smartphones, but how will you get that message to consumers who have become photographers thanks to their smartphones?

[MM] Realistically, thanks to the global prevalence of smartphones there are more photographs being taken. And as such I anticipate an organic growth of people who are using their smartphone and come to want to take better photographs. Regardless of what device they're using, whether it's a smartphone or a compact camera or DSLR, I'd like to encourage people to take more and more pictures.

[GT] The products have to be strong, and attractive, and innovative. We have to offer something that is completely different from existing options, and make products that are more attractive otherwise we won't be able to sell them. The era when we could make cameras and just assume that they'd sell is over.

Our objective is to make shooting images more appealing to our users. Through our marketing activities we need to draw attention to that aspect, to make our users more aware of the ways in which they might enjoy using DSLRs.

[YI] We want to show people how fun it is to be creative in both stills and movies. it's our responsibility to educate our end users and we invest a lot of energy in speaking to them.

[GT] Despite the fact that these are hard times for the camera market, nothing has really changed in our approach. The pressure is on for us to distinguish our DSLRs from smartphones and compacts so if anything we're putting more effort behind our research and development.

We're number one in the camera industry and we're the leading DSLR manufacturer. As such we want to fulfill our responsibility. However we're not going to be happy if just Canon grows, we want to contribute to the DSLR segment by having the whole segment grow as well.

When do you think we will see a truly affordable full-frame DSLR?

[KS] We can't reveal plans for our future product development, but as you know we released the EOS 6D in 2012, which is designed for the mass market. Advanced amateurs are now able to choose from two full-frame options - the 6D and the 5D Mark III and at the top end we have the EOS-1D X, for professional photographers.

The question of whether we'll see a wider range of users expressing an interest in purchasing full-frame DSLRs is one that we're monitoring through feedback. And of course, this information will be incorporated into our product planning.

Some of our readers regard Canon as rather conservative - maybe a little boring compared to other manufacturers. Can you comment on that perception?

[KS] They may perceive us in that way, but we are incorporating technological innovation into our products. The EOS 70D's Dual Pixel AF technology is a good example of innovation that is unique to Canon.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF was born out of the concept of allowing the user to freely choose which kind of finder they wanted to use. The optical finder, the camera's LCD or the screen of a mobile device via our EOS Remote app.

What is the main feedback you get from your EOS users?

[KS] We've found that feedback from users is different depending on the country that they're from. For example, among customers in the USA the need for videos is rising. They're asking for the highest picture quality both in stills and video and they're asking for the two to be merged.

Consumer digital imaging is now roughly ten years old, measuring from the EOS 300D / Digital Rebel, which was the first sub-$1000 DSLR. What is driving the evolution of your stills cameras?

[KS] Up to now, digital cameras have been following film cameras, in the sense that the goal was to catch up with the quality of film. I think we've reached that point now, so going forward, the voyage will be undertaken without a chart to guide us. It's difficult therefore to imagine what we might do next.

One of our missions though is to expand the domain of image taking. Connectivity is important, as well as the convergence of stills and video but looking to the future one thing I can say for sure is that the camera has to outperform the human eye.

There are many development tasks around that goal, such as increasing resolution, sensitivity, dynamic range and so on. Ultimately what we want is to have a camera that incorporates all of this. With unlimited resolution, unlimited sensitivity and unlimited dynamic range you can take photos of anything that exists on this earth. That's our ultimate goal.

In consumer photography, it seems like every decade or so a new technology or feature comes along which shakes up the market. After digital imaging, what's the next big thing?

[MM] For a long time people having been talking about stills and movies coming together as a single, fused function and maybe in the 4K era we will see stills and movies integrated into one. This fusing might become the driving force for the next revolution.

Will still photography be necessary in the age of 4K video?

[MM] Yes, definitely. There will always be a need for still photographs, in my opinion. I believe that still images contain more information, and have more depth and meaning.

[GT] Somewhere in the future, maybe the two things might converge but currently with 4K technology you're talking about an 8MP still image, and with 20-30MP stills cameras being the norm I don't know whether 8MP would satisfy someone's needs. There's still more work to be done, but somewhere down the line, it might converge.

Looking ahead a few years, what do you think the future is for photojournalists?

[GT] We've made great strides in improving the image quality of our DSLRs' still images, but now we're seeing an increased focus on video capture, so we need to respond to that need.

What are your professional lens users asking for?

[NK] Well it depends on the discipline but for sports, the kinds of things our professional users ask us for are durability, image quality and weight. So last year we made efforts to reduce the weight of the telephoto lenses that we offer our professional customers. For wildlife and landscape photographers they also ask for lighter lenses, but they're also asking for higher resolving power. Professional users have a wide range of different areas of specialty, so we have a wide range of requests.

How does the requirement for video influence lens design?

[NK] In terms of EF lenses, we've needed to make certain changes, for example there was a requirement for autofocus to operate more quietly. We also need the lens apertures to operate more smoothly for video shooting and minimize lens breathing if focus is changed during filming. For entry-level EOS cameras we created a new range of consumer-focused lenses like the 18-135mm STM which are focused on the needs of people shooting video and we'll continue in that direction.

How important is video to your non-professional users?

People are taking more movies with still cameras. We've confirmed this trend. There are also more opportunities now to display and share movies than ever before, which puts shooting video closer to our users' hearts. For this reason video is an important feature even on entry-level cameras, and one that people are looking for.

The EOS M was a somewhat conservative entry into the mirrorless market - was it a failed experiment?

[KS] Well it was certainly an experiment! Japan and Asia as a whole accept mirrorless cameras more than any other markets. In the US, in terms of total number of cameras sold, mirrorless cameras account for less than 20%.

So with the EOS M, with Japan as our main market we were able to secure good market share. We will continue to produce new mirrorless cameras and although our competitors in this field are very strong, we hope we won't be beaten by them.

Will the EOS M2 come to American and Europe, or will it remain a Japan-only product?

[GT] It's a possibility but we haven't made a final decision yet. We're looking at the market.

Mirrorless cameras' contrast-detection AF systems offer more accurate autofocus than DSLRs. How are you addressing that challenge as you evolve your DSLRs?

[GT] There are various technical issues before us and while I can't give you specifics we have various approaches that we're working on and are planning to introduce.

Is it easier to design lenses for mirrorless cameras, or for DSLRs?

[NK] In designing lenses for mirrorless cameras we have a degree of freedom, in that they don't need to have a long flange back distance. Especially when making high-quality wide zoom lenses, it's easier to design them for a mirrorless platform. A good example of this is the 11-22mm zoom for the EOS M. Its optical performance is very high.

Presumably in some respects it's also easier to make cameras without mirrors in them than it is to make DSLRs. Why has Canon not seriously invested in mirrorless technology yet?

[GT] We are very serious about mirrorless cameras, but we're also very serious about our DSLRs. We believe that there's a lot of value in DSLRs from the customers' point of view and we expect DSLRs to evolve a lot. The current trend is for equipment to become smaller and more compact and we will continue to build mirrorless cameras as well as DSLRs.

[YI] We and our competitors market both types of camera, but mirrorless is only a small part of the market in the USA. American consumers seem to place priority on the superior speed and ability to capture the moment with DSLRs. DSLRs can capture the moment better than mirrorless, because you're viewing directly, not through an LCD.

Americans also seem to prefer bigger cameras. Sales for the Rebel SL1 have not been as great as we expected in America, for example. We've received some complaints about it being too small. But in Japan and Asia we don't see any complaints about that. So we have to be mindful of the differences between regions.

When you look at the future for photography, is there anything that worries you?

[MM] Not specifically. Maybe if someone invents a potion for eternal life, that will be the day that people will stop wanting to record events. But as long as our lives are limited, I believe that people will continue to want to capture memories.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hasselblad Released H5D-50C 50MP Medium Format Camera

Hasselblad H5D-50C Medium Format camera

Hasselblad officially released the H5D-50C camera, originally announced back in January. Ian Rawcliffe, Hasselblad CEO, stated: “There is no price premium at all for customers who wish to acquire this groundbreaking technology. The H5D-50C will ship with the same price tag that applies to our H5D-50 model.”

  • 50 Megapixel CMOS sensor with almost twice the physical size of the largest 35mm DSLR sensor.
  • Excellent high ISO performance: shoot at up to ISO 6400 and still produce crisp clean images with perfect colors both on location or in the studio.
  • High dynamic range (up to 14 stops) for improved detail in shadow and highlight areas.
  • Longer shutter speeds (up to 12 minutes).
  • Faster capture rate: 1.5 frames per second.
  • Live Video in Phocus with higher frame rate.
  • True Focus auto-focus system with Absolute Position Lock and camera controls.
  • Options for working with tilt-shift.
  • GPS recording flexibility.
  • List price $27,500 in the U.S.

Google Street View Visits Polar Bears In Hudson Bay

Google and Polar Bear International teamed up to document the plight of Polar bears in Hudson Bay. This is the most southerly population and is most affected by the melting of sea ice. You can read about my recent trip to and reflections on Hudson Bay. See more Polar Bear and other wildlife photos from Hudson Bay and the high Arctic by visiting my website

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III and EF 600mm f/4 DO IS

Egami, the Japanese photography blog has discovered two patents Canon filed for a new EF 600mm f/4 lens. Suggestions have been made these lens may be aiming for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. In my earlier post, I have made some observations on Canon and suggested they introduce more DO lens in the future.

Patent Publication No. 2014-26210

  • Publication date 2014.2.6
  • Filing date 2012.7.30

Example 1

  • Focal length f = 588mm
  • Fno. 4.12
  • Angle of view 2? = 4.22 °
  • BF 56.0mm
  • Total lens length 374.7mm
  • Inner focus

Example 5

  • Focal length f = 588mm
  • Fno. 4.12
  • Angle of view 2? = 4.22 °
  • BF 55.0mm
  • Total lens length 343.5mm
  • Inner focus
  • Diffraction optical element

Effect of the glass material

  • Fluorite (Fluorite)
  • In the long lens fluorite + total length, correction of chromatic aberration is easy
  • In short lens fluorite + total length, correction of chromatic aberration is difficult
  • Diffractive optical element (DOE)
  • Diffractive optical element can be corrected if the chromatic aberration
  • Flare caused by light diffraction

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Canon 'L' Lens Rebates Ends March 29

Canon USA announced a 'L' lens rebate of up to $200. The program ends on March 29, 2014. If you have ever wanted to own the 'L' series of Canon's extensive EF lens lineup or just buy more, now is a great time to visit your favorite camera store or website. Click on the above link to see which models are on sale.

I have been a Travel and Wildlife photographer using Canon equipment for 25 years. You can read my Canon lens recommendation and see my works on