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Monday, February 29, 2016

Canon EOS-80D Camera User Manual Available for Download

Canon EOS-80D with EF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens

The Canon EOS-80D camera was officially announced on February 18. It is quite an improvement over the previous EOS-XXD models but in particular, the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens offers a new technology, the Nano USM. Be sure to view the videos on the camera above. You can see full size sample photos and videos taken with the new camera from Canon Japan. The EOS-80D Owner Manual is available for download. Get your copy and see the camera's features and functions in detail.

For more details on the EOS-80D, check out the links below from Canon Professional Network

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wildlife Photography - International Polar Bear Day, February 27

Every year, on February 27, the world celebrates International Polar Bear Day. With our planet's gradual warming in the last few decades or so due to climate change, the plight of Polar bears have become the proverbial Canary in the Coal Mine for our fragile planet.

The Polar bear is the largest living land carnivore, with adult males growing to over 8 feet in length and some weighing close to one ton. The heaviest recorded bear was about 2,300 lbs. 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 Canada, to Norway, parts of the US, the former USSR and Greenland. 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.

Although Polar bears have no natural predators, male bears sometimes kill young cubs for food or to try and mate with their mothers. In addition, there are also isolated poaching incidents and limited trophy hunting permitted by law. Another big threat to these endangered animals is the warming of the Arctic region and pack ice are forming later and later every year. Polar bears depend on the pack ice to hunt seals and the early ice melt is forcing them to spend more time and energy looking for food and finding fewer seals. They face an uncertain future as the sea ice melt faster and faster in the summer.

My readers know I am The Wildlife Ho-tographer. One of my favorite animals in wildlife photography is the Polar bear. You can see my equipment bag and works on  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pre-order Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Get 64GB CFast Card & Reader Free

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera with Sandisk 64GB CFast card and reader

Canon announced the successor to the highly successful EOS-1D X camera at the beginning of this month. The top-of-the-line EOS-1D X Mark II is scheduled for delivery around mid April. I have placed my order the day the camera was announced.

Until February 27, 2016, any pre-order for the EOS-1D X Mark II will get a free 64GB CFast card and CFast reader ($300 value), for the price of the camera - $5,999. Take advantage of this fantastic offer and place your order before it expires.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L vs EF 16-35mm f/4L IS vs EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L vs EF 16-35mm f/4L IS vs EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II

My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer because I am primarily into wildlife photography. However, I do some nature, landscape and travel photography as well. The video below compares three of Canon's 'L' series wide angle zoom lens. I have used all three out in the field.

They are all very good lens, well built, quite sharp and fast enough for many types of photography. My conclusion is this. The EF 17-40mm f/4L is the best value wide angle zoom in the lineup. The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II is the best for stationary subjects (landscape and nature) and images that don't move a lot while the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS is ideal for those who want to use the lens to photograph nature and wildlife as well. The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III will be even better and should be released some time this year. You can see my equipment bag and works on  

World Press Photo Winners Use Canon Equipment

LONDON, 18 February 2016 – Canon Europe, leader in imaging solutions, today sends its congratulations to Warren Richardson winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 2015. The winning photograph depicts a man and child attempting to cross the border from Serbia to Hungary at night. The pair were part of a group of people seeking to enter the country before a secure border fence was constructed. Due to the circumstance, Richardson was not able to use flash to capture the image, so the photograph is lit by moonlight alone.

The World Press Photo Contest, now in its 59th year, is internationally seen as the world’s most prestigious competition for photojournalists. The judges of the contest, which has been sponsored by Canon since 1992, selected one image of 82,951 photos submitted by 5,775 professional photographers from 128 countries as the winning Press Photo of the Year 2015. There were seven themed categories, and two long-term project categories, open for contestants to enter this year.

“We are proud to support the world’s best photojournalists in their quest to tell the stories that need to be told through this prestigious and highly anticipated event,” comments Kieran Magee, Director, Professional Imaging, Canon Europe. “Images such as Warren’s play a hugely powerful role in capturing the real impact and human side of a story and importantly, making sure they reach a broader audience. It is for this reason we’re honoured to have been supporting these awards for the past 24 years.”

Warren Richardson captured his winning image on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a EF 24mm f/1.4L USM lens. The winning photograph also won first place in the Spot News category. Other category winning entries taken on Canon cameras include :

  • Aftermath of Airstrikes on Syria, taken by Sameer Al-Doumy on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III for the Spot News stories category
  • FIS World Championship, taken by Christian Walgram on a Canon EOS-1D Mark II for the Sports singles category
  • China’s Coal Addiction, taken by Kevin Frayer on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III for the Daily Life singles category
  • Storm Front on Bondi Beach, taken by Rohan Kelly on a Canon EOS-1D Mark II for the Nature singles category
  • Tough Times for Oragutans, taken by Tim Laman on a Canon EOS-1D C for the Nature stories category

As winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 2015, Warren Richardson will receive a cash prize of €10,000 from World Press Photo at an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on 25 April. In addition, Canon Europe will award him with the EOS-1D X Mark II, its recently announced flagship camera.

The prize-winning pictures are presented in an exhibition visiting more than 100 cities in over 45 countries over the course of the year and seen by more than 3.5 million people worldwide. This year’s first 2016 World Press Photo exhibition opens in Amsterdam on 16 April. This year’s exhibition displays will be printed on Canon large-format and Arizona flatbed printers.

In addition, in partnership with WPP a series of 80 lectures entitled “Reflections will run in cooperation with universities across Europe telling the story of professional photo journalism and the power of photography”.

Canon Europe Offers 2 Year Warranty on EOS-1D and Cinema EOS Cameras

Canon is reinforcing its commitment to high levels of service with the announcement of a two year warranty on all EOS-1D and Cinema EOS camera bodies, providing photographers and filmmakers with outstanding cover, free of charge.

The offer consists of a one-year extension on top of the one-year Standard European Warranty System (EWS), under identical terms and conditions, and is absolutely free of charge. This gives photographers a total warranty period of two years from date of first purchase.

The two-year warranty is valid on products originally distributed by Canon within the EU countries plus Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. To be able to claim the additional year of warranty you must have purchased the product in one of these countries.

This extended warranty will apply to cameras like the Cinema EOS C300 Mark II and the recently announced EOS-1D X Mark II. Wonder why Canon is not extending the warranty outside Europe at this time. My readers know I have owned the EOS-1 series of cameras since 1989, when they were first introduced. In all the years I have owned them, there was never any problems in the first two years, provided they are properly cared for and serviced. After that, things can go wrong, as with any mechanical and electronic parts. You can see my equipment bag and works on

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Canon Unveils Big Presence at The Photography Show

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 24th February 2016 – Canon will be back at The Photography Show in March with its biggest, most engaging stand to date. For the first time Canon will be premiering its very own Live Stage, hosting live and insightful talks from world renown, industry leading photographers and videographers. Canon will also be showcasing the recently announced EOS 1D-X Mark II camera, demonstrating its awesome power and speed along with a host of award winning products.

Across the course of the show, Canon’s first ever Live Stage will feature professional Canon photographers including the likes of wildlife photography expert Andy Rouse, leading filmmaker Simeon Quarrie and international photographers Lara Jade and Christian Anderl. They will take visitors on an inspiring journey through their photography experiences and share how Canon products have allowed them to take their passion to a professional level.

Experts from Canon’s Professional Services (CPS) team will be on hand throughout the show, offering advice and tips to pros and those looking to take their photography to the next level.

Canon’s largest Photography Show stand yet will also be chocked full of brand new products such as the new EOS 80D and the PowerShot G7 X Mark II. Plus visitors will be able to witness Canon’s range of PIXMA and large format printers including the new A2 inkjet printer, the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000.

Plus Canon is giving people the chance to be part of its show experience, offering lucky fans on its social media pages the chance to win tickets to the show and have their image displayed on the Canon stand. To find out more visit Canon on Facebook and Twitter.

Come and see Canon at The Photography Show from 19th – 22nd March 2016 at Stands D141 and E131.

More information on Canon’s complete presence at The Photography Show 2016 can be found here.

When Is Canon EOS-5D Mark IV Camera Coming?

Canon EOS-5D Mark IV DSLR full frame camera

* * *  Canon EOS-5D Mark IV camera photo leaked?  * * *

Now that Canon has announced the EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS-80D cameras, with delivery scheduled for April, attention has again shifted to the EOS-5D Mark IV and when the camera will be announced.

Unlike the flagship EOS-1D X Mark II, the EOS-5D Mark IV camera may not command a stand alone event, so it will most probably be announced before a photography trade show. NAB and Photokina are coming in April and September, respectively.

NAB is primarily a trade show for videographers and broadcasters. Canon will be showcasing their Cinema EOS products like the C500 Mark II camera with 8K video. There is almost certainty the next EOS-5D will have 4K video. It may be called the EOS-5D Mark IV (most probably) or by another model number - EOS-5D C or X. Similar to the EOS-1D C, when Canon chose to separate the EOS-1D X line four years ago.

Historically, Canon has never announced a major camera at Photokina. This leaves the summer open for an announcement but those are notoriously slow months and many photography writers will be on vacation. Of course, Canon may surprise all of us by breaking their previous mold and announce the EOS-5D Mark IV just before the NAB Show to complement the 4K and 8K video theme of the Canon camera lineup.

There are a lot of chatter out there on the EOS-5D Mark III's replacement. Some are simply without merit (designed to grab attention) and not worth mentioning. My best estimate is Canon may make a product development announcement about the EOS-5D around the time of NAB 2016 and talk about its coming 4K video capability but will not officially announce the new camera because it will upstage the EOS-1D X Mark II's April delivery. The EOS-5D Mark IV will most probably be announced in Q3, in time for the Photokina Show in Cologne, Germany on September 20. Below are the possible specs I have on the Mark IV. Keep checking back. More to come . . . . . .

  • New 28MP Sensor
  • DIGIC 6+ Processor (DIGIC 7 possible)
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology
  • 61 point AF system (same as EOS-1D X Mark II)
  • Red AF points in AI Servo (same as EOS-1D X Mark II)
  • Burst rate of 8 to 10 fps
  • Comes with WiFi and GPS
  • Canon Log and Wide DR gamut
  • Equipped with SD and CFast memory slots
  • Improved material and ergonomics 
  • May come with tilting touchscreen LCD
  • 4K video, slightly exceeding EOS-1D X Mark II's capability 
  • New Battery Grip - BG-E20 
  • New Battery - LP-E20
  • Maybe called EOS-5D C or X (possible but unlikely)
  • Announcement date - Q3 (August), 2016.
  • List price - around $3,499 in the U.S.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sigma Announces Two sd Quattro Mirrorless Cameras

Sigma sd Quattro mirrorless camera

Sigma sd Quattro and sd Quattro H mirrorless cameras

KANAGAWA, JAPAN - February 23, 2016 - Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, DSLR lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced the new high-performance, compact Sigma sd Quattro and Sigma sd Quattro H mirrorless camera systems with Foveon Quattro sensors. The Sigma sd Quattro features an APS-C sized sensor and the Sigma sd Quattro H touting a larger APS-H sized sensor for even greater image quality. Thanks to the mirrorless aspect of the cameras, both the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H are designed to take full advantage of all Sigma Global Vision lenses.

“With the introduction of these two new cameras, Sigma continues its rich history of innovation. The Foveon sensor is renowned for its imaging characteristics, and the mirrorless interchangeable format offers photographers the full line of Sigma Global Vision lenses to help realize their creative visions,” stated Mark Amir-Hamzeh, President of Sigma Corporation of America. “The sharpness of detail and nuanced color tone captured by the Foveon sensors is a key component of Sigma Global Vision.

The sd Quattro, and the sd Quattro H, with the newly announced Foveon Quattro APS-H sensor, will be greatly appreciated by photographers who demand the utmost in imaging purity, with the added benefit of portability for both in-studio and on-location photography.”

Both the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H feature similar design aspects with a compact form consistent with the dp Quattro line, making them highly portable and utilizing the Foveon Quattro sensor for exceptional imaging quality and fast processing. A magnesium alloy body makes the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H durable and rugged, while a dust- and splash-proof design makes it ideal for photographers facing harsh conditions.

In addition to the new body design, both cameras boast a list of useful advancements. These include a two-mode Autofocus detection that combines Phase Detection for focus speed and Contrast Detection for focus accuracy. The focus settings have also been enhanced with such modes as Movement Prediction, Face Detection, Free Movement, Focus Peaking and a variety of others. The new 2.3 megapixel viewfinder displays close to 100% of the field of view and when placed in “Auto” will toggle between the viewfinder when the user has the camera to their eye and then to the LCD when the user lowers the camera.

A new “Super-Fine Detail” mode brings out the full potential of the Quattro sensor by capturing seven different exposures with one shot and merging them for exceptional dynamic range (images can be extracted individually as well). Meanwhile an updated algorithm for the Auto White Balance allows for greater accuracy, even with multiple light sources.

While the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H are similar in physical design details, they stand apart when their Foveon sensors are compared. The sd Quattro utilizes the same sensor found in the dp Quattro line and produces image quality comparable to that of a 39 megapixel Bayer-pattern sensor on resolution testing.

The stacked silicon Foveon Direct Imaging sensor captures all detail information on the top 19.6 megapixel layer along with all color information for the Blue channel, while the two five-megapixel layers below capture Red and Green color information, all without the need for a low pass filter. Merged together they create incredible image quality that is comparable to medium format files. The sd Quattro H boasts a larger APS-H sensor (26.6x17.9mm) than the sd Quattro and can produce images equivalent to that of a 51-megapixel Bayer-pattern sensor camera on resolution testing.

The sensor structure is similar to that of the sd Quattro but uses a 25.5 megapixels on the top layer of the sensor that captures the detail information. Both cameras use the latest Dual TRUE III image processor and take full advantage of the Art, Contemporary and Sport line Global Vision lenses that are made for high megapixel cameras. Like all Sigma Cameras, RAW (X3F) data can processed via Sigma Photo Pro, which offers editing options, including Monochrome mode to take advantage of the incredible monochrome images the Foveon sensor captures.

Wildlife Photography and Tripods. Are They Inseparable?

Hippo calf in Tanzania photographed with Canon EOS-1D X and EF 100-400mm, handheld

Ever wonder how a tripod is manufactured? The video below shows how an aluminium Manfrotto tripod is made. My readers know I am a wildlife photographer who likes to travel light and shoot mostly hand-held shots in pursuit of wildlife. However, there is no substitute for a high quality tripod and monopod when the situation permits. You can see my equipment bag and works on

Adobe Lightroom 2.0 for Android Available on Google Play

Lightroom 2.0 for Android adds a number of new and important features :

  • An in-app camera, supporting the capture of images in DNG raw format
  • Shoot-through presets, also available within the in-app camera, enabling previewing and capturing images with a series of built-in presets providing non-destructive editing
  • Dehaze tool to adjust haze and fog in an image
  • Split Toning enhancement, enabling the addition of a color cast to the highlights and shadows of an image, creating a uniquely stylized color image or replicating the look and feel of a traditional toned black and white image
  • Target Adjustment Tool functionality in the Color/B&W editing tool, providing direct, on-image editing controls
  • Point mode in Curve tool providing complete control over the tonality and contrast of an image
  • Enhanced sharing with one-tap access to Adobe Premiere Clip for crafting video stories

Lightroom 2.0 for Android is available on Google Play

Lightroom 2.2 for iOS is available on Google Play

The Creative Cloud Photography Plan (Photoshop CC & Lightroom CC) is available for $9.99/month.

Sigma Announces 50-100mm f/1.8 and 30mm f/1.4 DC Lens

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens

KANAGAWA, JAPAN — February 23, 2016 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced the addition of two high-performance APS-C format lenses to the Sigma Global Vision product line : Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens.

“Sigma’s aim is to provide high-performance lens options that lead with innovation and break new boundaries for every photographic scenario our customers can dream up,” states Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “These new lenses build on Global Vision’s great IQ technology and reflect this goal, delivering immense value, quality and performance that the Sigma brand is known for.”

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art

Building on the groundbreaking Sigma Global Vision 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens, the new Sigma 50-100 F1.8 (75-150mm on 35mm format) mid-range zoom lens embodies the same engineering prowess to deliver outstanding prime lens-like results. Factoring in the APS-C image circle of 1.5x, the 50-100mm F1.8 covers three popular short tele prime focal lengths: 85mm, 105mm and 135mm. Like the 18-35mm F1.8, the new 50-100mm F1.8 maintains a constant F1.8 aperture yielding exceptional brightness and resolution throughout the zoom, while simultaneously maintaining focus as the lens is zoomed, a feature videographers will greatly appreciate.

Sigma Art Line Image Technology Innovation

  • Features three FLD (F Low Dispersion) glass elements, one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element, and one high-refractive index, high-dispersion glass element to minimize aberrations.
  • Redesigned and enhanced, the new Hyper Sonic Motor is 30% slimmer and provides fast and accurate AF.
  • Highly durable polycarbonate diaphragm made with fluorine; blades feature carbon feather film offering exceptionally smooth operation even during continuous shooting.

Outstanding Zoom Lens Maneuverability

  • Inner focusing and zoom design offer versatile shooting options
  • Tripod socket for stable, comfortable operation
  • Features 21 elements / 15 groups, Minimum Aperture: F1.6, 82mm filter thread, Minimum Focus Distance: 37.4in, Dimensions: 3.7×6.7, Weight: 52.6oz

The new Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 Art will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. For more information, please visit

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary 

Combining outstanding optical performance and compact design, the new affordable Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens brings immense value to mirrorless cameras. Boasting superior image quality with F1.4 brightness, the versatile lens covers a wide range of photo and video capture scenarios, delighting users with its beautiful bokeh effects.

Contemporary Line Performance and Value

  • Represents first affordable f/1.4 performance lens for the mirrorless market
  • Sigma engineered quality within a sleek compact design
  • Fast, smooth AF stepping motor designed to support video
  • Features one aspherical element and one double-sided aspherical element producing imaging quality comparable to the Art line.
  • Features 9 elements / 7 groups, Minimum Aperture: F16, 52mm filter thread, Minimum Focus Distance: 11.8in, Weight: 9.3oz, Dimensions: 2.6×2.9in.

The new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens will be available in Sony E-Mount and Micro Four Thirds mount. For more information, please visit

Sigma Global Vision lenses including the new 50-100mm f/1.8 DC Art and 30mm F1.4 Contemporary lenses can be updated with the latest lens software from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB Dock (sold separately).

Tested for Optimum Performance

Sigma lenses are born of well-thought-out design concepts, exceptional Japanese craftsmanship and manufacturing, and advanced lens performance testing and evaluation. To this end, Sigma has developed its own A1 proprietary MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors. Even the most elusive high-frequency details are within the scope of Sigma’s quality control inspections. Every Global Vision lens is A1 tested, analyzed and approved before leaving the factory ensuring maximum performance out of the box.

For more information on Sigma’s industry leading testing, please visit

Specialized Mount Conversion Services

Ensuring continued ROI, Sigma will convert the current mount of your Sigma Global Vision lens to another of your choice. Sigma lenses currently from the Contemporary, Art or Sports line, in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax mounts can be converted to Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony or Pentax*.  Mirrorless lenses can be converted to Micro Four Thirds and Sony-E Mount. They cannot be converted to either an APS-C or a Full Frame format.  *For specific details, please visit

Monday, February 22, 2016

Canon C300 Mark II Meets EBU HD and UHD Classification

Canon C300 Mark II camcorder

Canon EOS C300 Mark II meets EBU HD and UHD classification

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 18th February 2016 – Canon today announces that the EOS C300 Mark II digital cinema camera has been independently tested in accordance with European Broadcast Union (EBU) recommendations for both HD and UHD content acquisition¹. The report recognises image capture of up to 15 stops of dynamic range using Canon Log2 and qualifies the EOS C300 Mark II for R.118 Tier 1 in HD and Tier 2 in UHD².

The new gamma Canon Log2 has been designed specifically for the C300 Mark II’s new 8.85MP Super 35mm CMOS sensor. Having access to this high dynamic range gives users the creative freedom to produce more compelling visuals. Combined with the EOS C300 Mark II’s built-in noise reduction functionality, filmmakers have the ability to shoot almost anywhere, capturing low-noise footage in many challenging shooting scenarios.

The EBU exists to serve 73 broadcasters across 56 countries in understanding which technology is best suited to certain tasks. The UK’s Digital Production Partnership (DPP) broadcasters use these recommendations to ensure their content meets a minimum threshold. This is especially important when a compressed image needs to survive editing, grading, encoding and transmission before it reaches audiences in its final pictures.

“Testing our cameras using the European Broadcast Union’s methodology is a very important step for us,” said Austin Freshwater, Director, Professional Imaging at Canon UK. “With the EOS C300 Mark II, we aimed to design a camera that lets both filmmakers and broadcast producers realise their creative vision. It’s because of this commitment that the EOS C300 Mark II offers users the very best image quality and we’re incredibly pleased that these test results back that up.”

The EOS C300 Mark II follows Canon’s XC10 video camera that also qualifies for R.118 Tier 1 HD as tested in September last year. Alongside this, the EOS C300 Mark II joins several of Canon’s high-end professional broadcast cameras that meet the criteria defined by the EBU, including its predecessor the Canon EOS C300, the Canon XF305 and the Canon EOS-1D C.

To download the full report please visit :

For more information on the Canon EOS C300 Mark II please visit :

¹ EBU Tech 3335: Methods of measuring the imaging performance of television cameras for the purposes of characterisation and setting (
² EBU Recommendation R.118: Tiering of High Definition Cameras (

Samsung S7 Smartphone Announced - Follows Canon with Dual Pixel CMOS AF

Samsung S7 smartphone with Dual Pixel CMOS technology

Samsung announced their latest smartphone, the S7 yesterday. It boasts to be the world's first smart phone to use the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. As my readers know, Canon has started using this technology in their DSLRs about 3 years ago. At the present, the Canon EOS-7D Mark II, EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS-80D cameras all use Dual Pixel CMOS AF for auto-focusing and live view shooting.

The new Samsung S7 promises unparalleled low light and AF performance in a smartphone, with the two sub-pixel inside senor working together to acquire fast Auto Focus lock on subjects.

BARCELONA – February 21, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd today announced the newest additions to the Galaxy family of products, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Created for today’s consumer lifestyle, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge lead the industry with a refined design, more advanced camera, streamlined software functionality and unparalleled connectivity to a galaxy of products, services, and experiences.

“We believe in a world that is brighter, sharper, more convenient, and more fun. We strive to deliver on that vision with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge by marrying elegant design with functionality and providing a seamless mobile experience,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “We empower consumers with technology to help them get more out of life and will continue to push the frontier of what’s possible.”

Advanced Camera: High Quality Images No Matter the Time of Day or Location

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge introduce the first Dual Pixel camera on a smartphone, delivering brighter and sharper images, even in low light. Thanks to the revolutionary Dual Pixel technology, brighter lens with wider aperture, and bigger pixel, the camera has a faster shutter speed and a more accurate autofocus even in low-light conditions. Motion Panorama, a new camera mode, brings movement to traditional panoramic photos, giving the user a completely immersive visual experience.

Refined Design and Function

The 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 edge are constructed with 3D glass and metal – all in a sleek design with durability and ergonomic curves for a comfortable grip. From work to play, the device’s new Always-On Display, gives users a simplified, zero touch experience where they don’t need to worry about missing a call or important notification.

Without compromising design, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge both have increased utility with IP68 water and dust resistance. Edge UX, the advanced edge experience available on Galaxy S7 edge, provides convenience and increased efficiency by creating easy shortcuts to users’ most loved functions such as email, selfie mode, panorama mode or third party applications.

Enhanced Performance: From Charging to Gaming

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge deliver fast wired and wireless charging technology. Additionally, the hybrid SIM card tray allows users to insert a microSD card for up to 200GB of additional storage and in some select countries, the tray can be used with a dual SIM card.

Samsung also made significant hardware and software updates to optimize gaming performance on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. The powerful processer and bigger battery capacity ensure longer playing time, and the internal cooling system keeps the device from overheating. Game Launcher, a new add-on for gamers, allows users to manage battery consumption and minimize notifications. Additionally, users can record their gaming experience or share their screen to play with others. Paired with Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Vulkan API gives users the ability to play high-performance graphic games with lower battery consumption.

The Galaxy Experience

Samsung continues to push the boundaries of hardware, software and services to create devices that are designed to improve how consumers connect, share, organize and get more out of life. The company is redefining what is possible, beyond the limits of today’s technology, by introducing a constellation of seamless mobile experiences.

Whether it’s the seamless connection between Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge and the new Gear S2 Classic to monitor fitness, or connecting with Gear VR to “travel” the world – Samsung redefines what’s possible for the mobile experience and beyond.

Beyond the phone, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge users can also get the best mobile payment service with Samsung Pay; it’s secure, easy-to-use and accepted almost anywhere. Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning and advanced tokenization, Samsung Pay works with NFC (Near Field Communication), MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and Barcode technology, making mobile payments available to more merchants and consumers than ever before.

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will be available starting mid-March 2016.

Tamron Announced 90mm f/2.8 VC Macro and 85mm f/1.8 VC Lens

Tamron 90mm VC Macro and 85mm f/1.8 VC lens

SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro (Model F017)

February 22, 2016, Commack, New York - Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 MACRO (Model F017). The new 90mm macro has been enhanced with advanced features and builds upon a legacy of superior optical performance. XY-Shift compensation has been newly added to reinforce VC functionality, further improving image stabilization from infinity to macro. Advancements in USD control software have also increased AF focusing speed, and optimally fine-tuned for various framing conditions.

 In addition, a high standard of Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction has been added to prevent intrusion of dust or moisture, and a highly durable Fluorine Coating has been applied to the top element surface to prevent condensation and repel smudge-causing substances. The lens will be on sale in the U.S. starting on February 25, 2016 in Canon and Nikon mounts (the Sony mount to be launched at a later date) at an approximate price of $649.

Product Highlights

Built upon the outstanding optical performance of the legendary Tamron 90mm Macro
Inheriting the optical design of the previous 90mm Macro lens (Model F004), the new Model F017 delivers the same excellent resolving power and remarkably soft background blur effects (bokeh). The advanced construction includes one LD (Low Dispersion) specialized glass element that maximally limits the dispersion properties of light and two XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) glass elements that correct dispersion properties to an even greater extent.

The special elements optimally compensate for on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations from macro shooting range to infinity. Furthermore, the design ensures the best imaging performance at any range by adopting the Floating System that shifts the location of a group of elements to the best possible position as the focusing group travels relative to shooting distances. From 1:1, life-size close-ups to the most distant horizon, this new 90mm Macro lens achieves outstanding image quality.

Optimized for spectacular background blur effects (bokeh) 

Earlier models of Tamron's 90mm macro lens received high acclaim for their spectacular blur effects, and the new 90mm macro builds upon this legacy. To continue this commitment, thorough optical simulations were conducted. Careful examinations were performed to minimize any blurring with a doubled image appearing for a single line because that phenomenon has a considerably negative impact on background image quality. As a result, the lens achieves both sharp, vivid images and spectacular background blur effects. This combination is highly prized by portrait photographers.

VC enhanced with shift compensation

An accelerometer has been integrated into Tamron's highly accredited VC (Vibration Compensation) to compensate for shakes on the x-y plane. In unison with a gyro sensor, the accelerometer detects and enables motion compensation for camera shake, providing maximum efficiency in image stabilization optimized for all distance ranges from infinity to macro.

USD actuator maximized for macro photography is fast, accurate and quiet

The control software program for the USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) actuator has been revised to provide substantially improved focusing speed and accuracy when using AF. The USD quickly addresses any out-of-focus condition caused by back-and-forth camera movement (which commonly occurs during macro photography) ensuring better results when shooting at close range.

Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction 

Special seals protect areas of possible ingress surrounding switches, and the boundary between the focus ring and the lens barrel. These provide stronger protection against the intrusion of dirt, dust and moisture compared to the Moisture-Resistant Construction used previously. This additional protection assures even more wide-ranging opportunities for using this lens.

A durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water and fingerprints

The water and oil repellant coating applied to the front element surface allows instant removal of dirt or smudges with ease. The coating also provides a reasonable level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years. The Fluorine Coating technology that Tamron developed for use in industrial optics applications was first used on the SP 15-30mm that was introduced in 2014.

Advanced coating technology reduces flare and ghosting

Two advanced coating technologies, both providing outstanding anti-reflection performance, are applied to critical element surfaces for maximum light transmission. eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating boasts outstanding anti-reflection performance across nearly the entire range of visible rays, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating utilizes traditional multi-layered, anti-reflection technology. This combination virtually eliminates extraneous reflections and substantially reduces ghosting and flare which enables the lens to achieve flawless, crystal clear images.

Use of circular aperture to achieve beautiful, rounded blur effects (bokeh)

When shooting a scene that includes a point-source of light in the subject background, marvelously tuned blur (bokeh)can be obtained without generating undesirable polygonal shapes of aperture patterns thanks to the circular aperture. The 9-blade diaphragm retains a nearly perfect circular opening even when stopped down by two stops.

Focusing options perfectly suited to a macro lens

The new 90mm macro has a focus limiter that makes it possible to shorten the time for accurately focusing on a subject when the working range is known. The lens also features an Internal Focusing system, so the overall length of the lens never changes, not even when focusing. As a result, the user is assured of a comfortable working distance of at least 139 mm (5.5 in.) from the front of the lens. In addition, the lens is equipped with a Full-time Manual Focus override mechanism that makes it possible to flexibly choose focal points. Even with the AF driving system in action, it is possible to instantaneously override it to make manual fine focusing adjustments without switching the AF-MF mode back and forth.

Compatibility with TAMRON TAP-in Console

Always as new as tomorrow: You can update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 90mm lens by simply attaching it to the TAMRON TAP-in Console and connecting it via USB to a personal computer. (The TAP-in Console is an optional accessory that will be released in March.)

Digital image editing software optimized for Tamron lenses

Included in the new 90mm macro package is SILKYPIX Developer Studio, a popular RAW conversion and editing program preloaded with correction menus for various aberrations based on the optical data that pertains exclusively to Tamron's SP Series lenses. In addition, lens profile information has been supplied to Adobe Systems, Inc. to facilitate selecting the precise lens data required for more sophisticated adjustments in RAW processing when using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F016)

February 22, 2016, Commack, New York - Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F016), the world's first fast-aperture lens with VC (Vibration Compensation). Tamron's acclaimed VC makes it possible to take handheld photographs in dim light or at night. The 85mm SP lens uses LD (Low Dispersion) and XLD (Extra Low Dispersion) glass elements in the optical design to minimize color fringing and to achieve sharp and clear image quality with high-fidelity color.

It also achieves attractive bokeh that draws attention to the image foreground subject. In addition, Moisture-Resistant Construction has been added to prevent intrusion of moisture, and a highly durable Fluorine Coating has been applied to the top element surface to prevent condensation and repel smudge-causing substances. This new lens joins the 35mm F/1.8, 45mm F/1.8 and 90mm Macro in a lineup of SP series prime lenses that has been expanding since 2015. The lens will be on sale in the U.S. starting in April 2016 in Canon and Nikon mounts (the Sony mount to be launched at a later date). Pricing and delivery will be announced shortly.

Product Highlights

The world's first 85mm fast-aperture lens with image stabilization
Tamron's VC image stabilization system enables handheld use in dim light without flash. Camera movement-often too minute to be perceptible to the photographer-is the leading cause of unpleasant photographs. In addition, newer DSLR cameras with higher resolution and higher pixel densities are even more susceptible to subtle camera shake. The VC System, Tamron's time-proven Vibration Compensation, keeps the sharpness at hand, even in moody, dim light when shutter speeds tend to be longer.

Superior resolving power and attractive bokeh

Experienced optical design technique combined with LD and XLD lens elements have virtually eliminated on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations that might otherwise appear as color fringing. In addition, by thoroughly reducing comatic aberrations (distortion of off-axis point source) and astigmatism, subjects that appear as a distinct point source will be captured as a distinct point source even at the edges and corners of the frame. Furthermore, optical simulations were thoroughly conducted, and the 85mm achieves natural bokeh- that dreamy, semi-focus blur that separates the portrait subject from the background with a snap.

Fluorine Coating and Moisture-Resistant Construction

Fluorine Coating technology developed for use in industrial optics applications has been adapted to photographic lenses. The water and oil repellant coating applied on the front element surface allows safe and easy removal of fingerprints, dirt and smudges. The coating also provides an enhanced level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years. In addition, seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops and provide Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature provides an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions.

Sophisticated eBAND and BBAR coatings plus Advanced Anti-Reflection Technologies

Two highly developed lens coating technologies, eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) which uses nanotechnology, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection), combine to increase light transmission and to reduce flare and ghosting to imperceptible levels. Additional techniques are employed to prevent reflections inside the lens barrel so that the 85mm lens delivers high contrast, sharp and clear images worthy of a fixed focal lens. This lens clearly captures detailed tones even in the shadows.

Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lens

An electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses[3]. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

USD actuator maximized for fast and accurate focusing

Fast, quiet AF is achieved by employing a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) ring-type ultrasonic motor which enables remarkably precise focusing drive with high torque and responsiveness. Thanks to the absence of reduction gears in USD, there is no backlash and no unnecessary back-and-forth movement. The control software program for the USD actuator has been revised to provide substantially improved focusing speed and accuracy when using AF. In addition, Full-time Manual Focus override is available at any point during the autofocus operation for deliberately shifting focus without switching the AF-MF. Whether overriding the autofocus or focusing completely manually, the focusing ring turns smoothly and evenly.

Compatibility with TAMRON TAP-in Console

Always as new as tomorrow: You can update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 85mm lens by simply attaching it to the TAMRON TAP-in Console and connecting it via USB to a personal computer. (The TAP-in Console is an optional accessory that will be released in March.)

Compatibility with Adobe and Silkypix software

Supplied with SILKYPIX Developer Studio 4.0, advanced editing software that features correction menus for various aberrations (lateral color, distortion, relative illumination) based on the optical design data of this specific lens. In addition, lens profile information has been supplied to Adobe Systems, Inc. to facilitate selecting the precise lens data required for more sophisticated adjustments in RAW processing when using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Shooting RAW image files enables creation of more stringent and high fidelity image quality.

Design Concept

The superior technology inside the Tamron 85mm is matched by advanced external ergonomic features under a design philosophy called "Human Touch." Improvements include altering the geometric shape and resistance of the AF/MF and VC switches to deliver comfort with secured operational feedback, and enlarging the distance scale window to maximize visibility and legibility. Even the font style has been newly developed to enhance legibility as part of the overall product design.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why Are Some Canon Lens 'White' In Color?

Off White color paint first appeared on Canon lenses in 1976 on the FD 600mm f/4.5 and FD 800mm f/5.6 lens. Why are some Canon 'L' lens painted Off White while others are black in color?

According to Canon, the technical reason is : Heat Reduction. Lenses contain many glass elements. These optics expand with heat, over time. Large lenses contain more and larger elements and heat expansion can bring a lens close to the limits of its design tolerances. A lighter surface reflects sunlight and helps to keep the lens cooler. In shorter lenses, the amount of glass expansion is smaller and usually do not cause a problem.

For outdoor sports and wildlife photography, being exposed to the harsh rays of the sun for long periods of time can cause damaging heat expansion. The lighter color of the lens helps to reduce overheating and protects the internal optics and image sharpness of the glass.

A number of Canon's black colored lenses also have a heat-related feature. A lens that can focus past its infinity mark allows the glass to expand when shooting under hot conditions.

Over the years, Nikon has resisted going to the lighter color but Sony has started manufacturing their high end glass with 'white' paint as well. I have been on numerous wildlife photo shoots in India and Africa and the conditions are quite harsh and hot. You can see my equipment bag and works on

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cameras Used in World Press Photo Contest

The winners of the prestigious World Press Photo contest for 2016 have been announced. It showcased the 'best news photos' taken in 2015. Below is a graphic representation, created by the Spanish site Quesabesde, showing the camera brands and specific models used by the winning photographers.

Again, as in past years, Canon is the preferred camera brand. Out of the 45 photos that won awards, 15 were taken with the Canon EOS-5D Mark III and 6 were captured with the Canon EOS-1D X cameras. Nikon's D810 camera were used by 4 of the photographers.

The winner of this year's award, Australian photographer Warren Richardson, used the Canon EOS-5D Mark II and a 24mm f/1.4 at ISO 6400. The photo was illuminated by moonlight.

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 Art Lens Coming to CP+ Show

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens

Sigma is planning to announce their 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens just before the CP+ Show on February 25 in Yokohama, Japan. This will be another interesting and fast zoom lens in the highly successful Art line coming from Sigma. The new lens is designed for APS-C cameras.

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Specifications (Google Translated)

  • Lens construction: 15 group 21 sheets – three FLD glass. 
  • One SLD glass. 
  • One High refractive index, high-dispersion glass 
  • One High refractive index SLD glass
  • Filter Size: 82mm
  • Minimum shooting distance: 95cm
  • Maximum magnification of 1: 6.7
  • Total length: 170.7mm
  • Maximum diameter: 93.5mm
  • Weight: 1490 g
  • Aperture blades: 9
  • Ultrasonic motor of the new development that has been thinned
  • Inner focus, inner zoom
  • Suggested retail price is 167,400 yen (including tax)
  • Mounts for Canon, for Nikon, for sigma
  • Scheduled release date - February 22

Friday, February 19, 2016

Canon EOS-80D vs EOS-70D Camera Comparison

Canon EOS-80D vs EOS-70D APS-C camera comparison

Many of you know me as the Wildlife Ho-tographer using Canon equipment for 25 years. Over the past four years, I have picked the EOS-7D / 7D Mark II as the best value APS-C DSLR for sports and wildlife photography. With the recent announcement of the Canon EOS-80D, many people want to know whether they should upgrade from their current Rebel or EOS-XXD cameras, while others want to know if they should buy the EOS-7D Mark II or the new camera. 

My advice is the following. If you are into sports and wildlife photography, buy the EOS-7D Mark II. Keep your current EOS-70D unless you really need a slightly better video and AF system (including AF @ f/8) and 4 more MP for cropping. If you are on a budget and want a very good, APS-C camera for action photography, buy a refurbished and well cared for EOS-7D from Canon or from a trusted source.

If you currently own a Canon Rebel or a EOS-60D and older camera but want a very good DSLR camera for everyday use and have the funds or have sold your EOS-70D, look no further than the EOS-80D. You can see my equipment bag and works on

Major Specs Comparison - EOS-80D vs. EOS-70D :

  • 24.2 MP vs. 20.2 MP CMOS Sensor 
  • 7 fps for up to 77 JPEG or 20 RAW frames vs. 7 fps for up to 65 JPEG or 16 RAW frames
  • Full HD video @ 60 fps vs. Full HD video @ 30 fps
  • New 45-point all cross-type vs. 19-point all cross-type AF system
  • AF point at f/8  vs. Not Available 
  • One DIGIC 6 Processor vs. One DIGIC 5+ Processor
  • ISO 100 - 16000, expansion to 25600 vs. ISO 100 - 12800, expansion to 25600
  • 1040K dot LCD (720 x 480 pixels) vs. 1040K dot LCD (720 x 480 pixels)
  • One SD, SDHC and SDXC slot vs. One SD, SDHC and SDXC slot
  • Built-in WiFi, NFC vs. Built-in WiFi
  • Battery - LP-E6N (1900 mAh) vs. LP-E6 (1800 mAh)
  • Weight - 25.75 oz (730g) vs. 26.7 oz (755g)
  • List Price - $1,199 vs. $999

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Canon Nano USM - New Ultrasonic Motor Technology

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Nano USM lens

Along with the introduction of the Canon EOS-80D camera, Canon engineers are introducing an updated version of the popular EF-S 18–135mm f/3.5–5.6 IS lens.  The headline feature of this lens is a completely new type of Ultrasonic motor technology, called Nano USM.  We’ll concentrate on the Nano USM in this article, but will give some basic info about the new lens as well.

Canon’s new Nano USM technology uses a completely different form factor, but achieves focus results within the lens via the same principles of ultrasonic vibration energy, transmitted here into linear (rather than rotational) movement within the lens. This tiny new Ultrasonic motor achieves the combination of fast, near-instant response during still image shooting, with the smoothness required for good focus during video recording.

The challenge: combine speed for still image AF with smooth response and drive for video recording. And until now, that has indeed been a challenge for Canon’s engineers. The simple fact is this : in most situations, what constitutes good AF performance in a lens differs significantly for still image shooting and for video :

• For still images, users normally want fast, brisk drive speed that can start almost instantly, stop on a proverbial dime, and of course accurately put the sharpest focus where the user wanted it when it does stop

• For video recording, that same fast drive usually results in a very jarring, unnatural viewing experience… video shooting usually requires smooth, consistent drive speed, without sudden starts and stops

This sounds simple, but AF motors originally designed for superior AF performance during still image shooting — like Canon’s highly-regarded ring-type Ultrasonic Motors — tended to have less than ideal smoothness when asked to perform video-oriented AF. Canon engineers developed “STM” (Stepping Motor) AF technology and applied it to drive mechanisms within recent Canon EF and especially EF-S lenses in recent years. STM focus motors indeed provided that smooth and consistent ability to drive the lens during actual video recording. And, their speed during still-image shooting was adequate for many applications.

Still, as user demands for increased video recording performance with each new generation of digital SLR camera have continued, Canon engineers recognized another approach was needed.

A new answer : Nano USM technology

In the new-for-2016 EF-S 18–135mm f/3.5–5.6 IS USM lens, Canon introduces a new answer to this challenge. Using the same principles of ultrasonic vibration converted into movement, Canon engineers have developed a direct-drive system that’s incredibly compact, easily placed within the body of a lens, and has tremendous AF performance.

Nano USM gets its name from the incredibly compact size of this motor. (The name has nothing directly to do with the type of vibrational energy it generates to drive a lens’s focus elements.) In this initial application, the motor itself is small enough to fit on the first joint of a model’s finger, as we see here :

AF speed during still-image shooting rivals what users have come to expect from high-end lenses with Canon’s powerful ring-type USMs. It’s brisk and nearly instantaneous — an almost perfect match for the new AF system in the EOS 80D. Most users will doubtless agree that it’s a clear step forward from what we’ve come to expect in affordable lens focus, whether we’re referring to the previous Micro USM focus motors used in many such lenses, or the recent STM versions.

But this lens focus system is outstanding in video applications. AF operation during video recording has tremendous smoothness, and is remarkably free from the visually jarring start-stop focus movement sometimes seen with other lens focus motor systems. Another huge factor in video shooting is that the AF operation is nearly silent — very important if a microphone is attached to the camera, and vital if using the camera’s built-in microphone. Nano USM matches the relative silence of previous STM designs when focus occurs during video recording.

So it’s the combination of focus characteristics, blending the conflicting requirements of good, fast AF during stills with smooth, controllable AF during video, that makes Canon’s Nano USM such an interesting and compelling possibility for many Canon EOS photographers.

Smooth video focus requires specific camera bodies

Even with this exciting new focus drive technology, for optimum smoothness during video recording, a camera body using either Canon’s Hybrid AF system, or (even better!) Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, is going to be needed, along with this new lens.

Cameras with these video focus technologies, as of February 2016, are :

• EOS Rebel T4i (650D)

• EOS Rebel T5i (700D)

• EOS Rebel T6i (750D); EOS Rebel T6s (760D)

• EOS 70D

• EOS 80D

• EOS 7D Mark II

• EOS M; EOS M2; EOS M3; EOS M10 (with Mount Adapter EF–EOS M)

How does Nano USM work?

This isn’t an engineering document, and Canon’s designers have provided only basic information to date. But in general, the principle is the same as in previous Ultrasonic motor designs — but of course it’s applied differently.

Canon’s existing large, ring-type Ultrasonic motors provide a good starting point. They actually consist of two separate metal rings, held together via spring pressure. One ring has a smooth contact surface, the other has specially designed “teeth” that touch the opposite ring. When specific types of voltage are sent to the stator (ring with teeth), it not only vibrates, but flexes in a controllable, travelling wave fashion. Contact against the smooth ring causes that ring rotate, at controlled speed, in the opposite direction of the traveling wave.

With the new Nano USM lenses, the movement in the form of vibrations are generated by sending current at very precise levels to the motor. But unlike previous USMs, the ceramic voltage elements of this motor expand and contract in response to this current. Connected to a metal slider with elastic characteristics, this movement results in linear — not rotational — movement within the lens. The actual lens elements which move for focus are driven by a rack, with guide bars to control its forward/rearward movement.

Here’s a graphic showing how the movable lens element(s) used to focus the lens are held within a rack assembly, shown in black here, along with its guide bars. The tiny Nano USM sits aside this, its ceramic voltage elements held against a flat, elastic metal slider. Vibrational energy at the tips of the voltage element causes the slider to move forward or backward, in a linear fashion — thus changing the lens’s focus in precise, controllable amounts, and without requiring start-stop steps to achieve smooth movement when that’s needed during video recording.

The EF-S 18–135mm f/3.5–5.6 IS USM lens

The first application of Canon’s Nano USM technology is in the EF-S 18–135mm f/3.5–5.6 IS USM lens.  This lens will be combined with the new EOS 80D camera if it’s purchased in “kit” form in many markets, as well as being a lens that Canon users can step up to independently if they so desire.

Here are a few important facts about this new 18–135mm lens :

• Optical design, including use of one UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) glass element and one Aspherical element, is exactly the same as the previous EF-S 18–135mm STM lens

• Minimum focus is identical (15.3 inches; 0.39m), as is maximum close-up magnification when zoomed to the 135mm position (0.28x)

• Noticeably faster AF: lens drive speeds of the focus elements in the lens from minimum focus distance to infinity are up to 2.5x faster at wide zoom settings, and up to 4.3x faster at tele zoom settings, in tests performed by Canon engineers (vs. previous 18–135mm STM lens)

• Image Stabilization is improved in the new lens: up to 4 stops of shake-correction, allowing hand-holding at shutter speeds up to 4 stops lower than would otherwise be possible without stabilization (the previous STM version provided IS with up to 3.5 stops correction). Like the previous STM lens, this lens provides Dynamic IS at wide angle settings, providing added shake resistance during walking and similar situations while video is recorded.

• The new Nano USM version of this lens is compatible with the optional Canon Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1; this adapter (as of February, 2016) cannot be attached to other Canon EF or EF-M lenses

• As with the STM version, this new USM lens uses electronic manual focus control, meaning the camera must be awake and active for manual focus to happen when the lens’s focus ring is turned.

• An important note about the variable f/3.5–5.6 maximum aperture of this lens: as with all EF and EF-S lenses having variable apertures, the effective aperture changing and altering light transmission during zooming will only occur at apertures wider than f/5.6. Once the lens is stopped to f/5.6 or smaller (f/8, f/11, etc.), the electronic diaphragm is able to adjust as the lens is zoomed, preserving consistent light transmission, even in Manual exposure mode.

• As with all Canon EF-S lenses, this lens is limited to compatible Canon EOS camera bodies with APS-C size image sensors, which can accept EF-S lenses. It is not compatible with full-frame EOS digital SLRs.

• This lens is not compatible with Canon’s EF 1.4x or 2x tele extenders

Nano USM: a compact drive system, for compact lens elements
In its present form, Canon engineers stress that Nano USM technology gives them a very practical answer to the aforementioned challenges of fast still-image AF, while allowing great controllability and smoothness for Live View and especially video recording.

And, as shown below, it fits beautifully into the form factor of this compact lens. In this illustration, the Nano USM sits above the highlighted lens group, which is actually driven to focus the lens :

But for now, at least, it’s optimized for lens designs where the elements moved for focus are small and lightweight in size. The inner focus system of the EF-S 18–135mm f/3.5–5.6 IS design lends itself to this, with an optical system where a very lightweight element group is moved. Larger, heavier focusing elements remain better-served by the more powerful ring-type USM design, as seen in many of Canon’s mid-range EF lenses, and of course in many high-end L-series lenses as well.

Nano USM is an exciting new technology, and Canon expects it to be a great match for video content creators as well as still-image shooters using recent APS-C sensor EOS cameras. For now, however, Canon engineers have not tipped their hand as to if, and where, we might see this technology repeated in future products.

In summary, this new extended-range EF-S standard zoom lens (its coverage is approximately equivalent to a 28–200mm lens, on a full-frame camera) looks ready to be a terrific choice for the still and video shooter. And that applies to not only newcomers to digital SLRs, but experienced and seasoned users of cameras up to and including the EOS 7D Mark II as well.

Canon PowerShot G7X II and SX720 Cameras Announced

Canon PowerShot G7X II camera

MELVILLE, N.Y. – Ideal for both advanced amateur and pro photographers looking for a convenient, high performance compact camera with the ability to connect to compatible digital devices, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, proudly introduces the compact PowerShot G7 X Mark II and lightweight PowerShot SX720 HS digital cameras.

Canon’s new PowerShot G7 X Mark II digital camera pairs a 1.0-inch, 20.1 Megapixel* CMOS sensor with Canon’s new DIGIC 7 Image Processor to help reduce noise and deliver outstanding image quality, even in low light shooting situations. The PowerShot SX720HS digital camera boasts a new 40x Optical Zoom lens (equivalent to 24-960mm), providing outstanding performance, reach and resolution for everyday use and when shooting memorable family events, while easily slipping into a pocket or purse.

“In today’s world, compact cameras must work well with other devices and still offer superb quality. The PowerShot G7 X Mark II and PowerShot SX720 HS cameras both provide outstanding image quality with amazing optical zoom lenses and they easily connect with compatible phones, tablets and other smart devices so great images can be shared and enjoyed” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Sleek and Sophisticated

The first Canon camera to feature Canon’s new high—speed DIGIC 7 Image Processor,the PowerShot G7 X Mark IIdigital camera is a model of compact sophistication and speed with a high-quality sleek body and optimum comfort grip. Building on the success of Canon’s PowerShot G7 X digital camera, the PowerShot G7 X Mark II digital camera features a fast startup and improved RAW continuous shooting speed of up to eight frames per second (fps) with short intervals between shots. Additional features include:

  • Bright f/1.8 (W) – f/2.8 (T), 4.2x (24–100mm equivalent) optical zoom lens with Canon’s Intelligent Image Stabilizer (IS) and a 9-blade iris diaphragm;
  • Multi-angle 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD with a screen resolution of 1.04 million dots and tilt options of 180° up and 45° down;
  • Ability to capture 1080p Full HD video in MP4 format with stereo sound;
  • Built-in Wi-Fi®** and Near Field Communications (NFC™)*** capability with a dedicated Wi-Fi button for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos;
  • Picture Style function that offers superb command of in-camera color, contrast, and sharpness;
  • In-camera RAW conversion, making it possible to preview customized image processing modifications on the camera, without the use of a computer;
  • Convenient control ring lever that enables users to quickly switch between stepped and continuous ring movement;
  • Time-Lapse Movie feature to help capture images at preset intervals and combine them to create a short movie clip;
  • Panning feature that allows the camera to lock onto the main subject using Canon’s Intelligent IS technology to automatically adjust the shutter speed for beautiful background blur.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II digital camera is currently scheduled to be available in May 2016 for an estimated retail price of $699.99.

Powerful Zoom Delivers Virtually Shake-Free Images

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS digital camera is equipped with a new powerful zoom lens and is the ideal choice for amateur photographers looking to take a step up from a smartphone or entry-level digital camera to a lightweight, compact camera. The PowerShot SX720 HS digital camera’s new 40x Optical Zoom lens (24-960mm equivalent focal length range) uses one Hi-UD, three UD and three aspheric lens elements to help achieve high image quality and high magnification, while also utilizing Canon’s Intelligent Imaging Stabilizing (IS) technology for greater optical performance.

As the successor to Canon’s PowerShot SX710 HS digital compact camera, the PowerShot SX720 HS digital camera features increases its zoom range while maintaining compact size for maximum convenience. Additional features include :

  • A dedicated Wi-Fi® button for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos utilizing the camera’s built-in WiFi and NFCtechnology;
  • 20.3 Megapixel* CMOS sensor with Canon’s DIGIC 6 Image Processor to help deliver outstanding image quality, even in low light;
  • 1080p/60 Full HD video capture with stereo sound;
  • 3.0-inch LCD (approx. 922,000 dots) to allow for easy viewing, even from a wide angle;
  • Zoom Framing Assist that allows the lens to automatically zoom in or out while the camera follows subject movement and helps keep it in focus;
  • Story Highlight feature that enables the camera to automatically compile images and videos3 from a certain day or event into a mini-highlight reel with music and effects;
  • Creative Shot mode that uses composition, color and lighting from an original image to create artistic images.

Canon’s PowerShot SX720 HS digital camera is currently scheduled to be available in March 2016 for an estimated retail price of $379.99.