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 Thursday, January 29, 2015
B&H Photo Video Logo
B&H has rolled out a new incentive program for those who share our northern border – free shipping to Canada on orders over $99.00 or more (some exclusions apply). (thanks Dave)
 
From B&H:
 
Now, in order to better service our Canadian Customers, orders over $99 ship free to Canada! Simply select "B&H customs clearance", and select "Canada Free Shipping" as your Shipping Method.
 
Notes:
 
  • Certain items are excluded from this offer based on the item's characteristics. Look for the following under these items: Shipping Charges Apply
  • The $99 order total is calculated after all rebates and bundle discounts have been applied. Gift Cards, freight charges, duties, and taxes do not count towards the qualifying order total.
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 1/29/2015 7:00:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Canon EOS 1D X
From Canon:
 
Thank you for using Canon products.
 
Details
 
Firmware Version 2.0.7 incorporates the following functional improvements and fixes:
 
  1. Improves the AF controllability when shooting in Live View mode with a wide-angle lens (fixed focal length or zoom).
  2. Fixes a phenomenon in which, when shooting long exposures (several minutes), vertical lines appear on the right edge of captured images (still photos).
  3. Fixes a phenomenon in which the Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) may not perform as intended when in continuous shooting mode and where the shutter speed is longer than 1 second.
  4. Improves the reliability of the control mechanism for the Picture Style Auto setting.
  5. Fixes a phenomenon in which the electronic level indicator does not work correctly.
  6. Fixes a phenomenon in which, when using the “Save and read camera settings” function, the color space data that is selected in “Custom shooting mode (C1-C3)” is not saved. *1
  7. Corrects some incorrect indications on the “English” and “Russian” menu screens.
*1 As a result of this fix, cameras with Firmware Version 2.0.7 will not be able to read the “camera settings file” created with cameras running Firmware Version 2.0.3 (or earlier). If you require the “camera settings file”, please create it after updating to firmware version 2.0.7.
 
Firmware Version 2.0.7 is for cameras with Firmware Version 2.0.3 or earlier. If your camera's firmware is already Version 2.0.7, it is not necessary to update the firmware.
The firmware update takes approximately seven minutes.
 
Notes:
Once the EOS-1D X camera is updated to Version 2.0.7, it cannot be restored to a previous firmware version (Versions 1.0.2 through 2.0.3).
 
Once the EOS-1D X camera is updated to firmware Version 2.0.7 from previous firmware version (Versions 1.0.2 through 1.2.4 and 2.0.3), it is recommended that the latest application software *1 be used. Certain previous versions of this application software do not support functions which are added by the new firmware.
You can download the latest application software from our Web site.
*1: EOS Utility version 2.14.10a or later (Supported OSes: Windows 8/ 7 / 7 SP1 / VistaSP2 / XP SP3, Mac OS X v10.9 / 10.8 / 10.7 / 10.6)
*1: Digital Photo Professional version 3.14.46 or later (Supported OSes: Windows 8 / 7 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3, Mac OS X v10.6 / 10.7/ 10.8/ 10.9)
 
The instruction manual has been revised to accommodate the improvements and fixes provided as of firmware Version 2.0.3 or later.
 
Support
 
Download Firmware Version 2.0.7 for the EOS 1DX.
 
Download the latest instruction manual from our Website.
 
Download the latest application software from our Website.
 
This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.
 
Thank you,
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc
 
Canon EOS 1D X Review | Buy at B&H
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/28/2015 7:42:23 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
From Canon:
 
Thank you for using Canon products.
 
Details
 
Firmware Version 1.3.3 incorporates the following improvement and fix:
 
  1. Improves the AF controllability when shooting in Live View mode with a wide-angle lens (fixed focal length or zoom).
  2. Corrects some incorrect indications on the “English” and “Russian” menu screens.
Firmware Version 1.3.3 is for cameras with Firmware Version 1.2.3 or earlier. If your camera's firmware is already Version 1.3.3, it is not necessary to update the firmware.
 
When updating the firmware of your camera, please first review the instructions thoroughly before downloading.
 
Note:
Once the EOS 5D Mark III camera is updated to Version 1.3.3, it cannot be restored to a previous firmware version (Versions 1.0.7 through 1.2.3).
 
Support
 
Download Firmware Version 1.3.3 for the EOS 5D Mark III Camera
 
This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.
 
Thank you,
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc
 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review | Buy at B&H
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/28/2015 7:28:15 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Winter Photography Tips: Get Out of Your Comfort
Yes, it is winter and your comfort "mode" is likely staying in your warm house. While I do encourage you to get out of that "mode", I'm referring to a different "mode". Your camera's Auto mode to be more specific.
 
Today's DSLR cameras have a wide range of fully or semi-automatic modes available, but I still shoot in manual exposure mode at least 95% of the time (as do a significant percentage of other professional and enthusiast photographers). There are many reasons for choosing manual mode, but having full control over image brightness in a snowy environment is the base reason directly related to winter photography. The camera's exposure meter is confused by the bright color of snow and attempts to make it mid-gray in brightness. Yes, you can use exposure compensation to adjust the brightness of the various auto exposure modes, but if the lighting is not changing frequently, I highly recommend using the manual exposure mode alternative. And, winter is a perfect time to perfect your manual exposure skills.
 
Have no fear: Using Manual Exposure Mode is Not Difficult.
 
In manual mode, there are three settings that work together to affect the brightness of an image. These three settings are fundamental to photography and learning them is going to be worth your effort. These are shutter speed (the exposure duration), aperture (how wide the lens opens) and ISO (the amplification of the image received by the imaging sensor).
 
Working backwards, I can't think of a time when I wanted a higher ISO setting for image quality purposes. I want ISO 100 if the other two parameters allow it and adjust upwards as required with noise as the penalty.
 
My aperture setting is usually selected to control the amount of depth of field in the image. The higher the number, the narrower the lens aperture opens and the greater near-to-far distance that remains in focus. So, if everything in the image needs to be in focus, select a high aperture setting number. There is a caveat with going to a very high number and that is diffraction causing the image to become soft. My compromise is usually to shoot at f/8 on an 18-20 MP APS-C body and f/11 on a 20-22 MP full frame body (I go higher/narrower at times). If I want a maximum background blur, I select a wide open aperture (the smallest number available – such as f/1.4).
 
The shutter speed is selected to control (show or avoid) motion blur in an image. If avoiding all motion blur, I can't think of a penalty for using a too-high shutter speed (unless flash is being used and that is a topic for another day). If handholding the camera, there will be a point where a too-high percentage of your images become blurred due to camera shake and usually those images will be sent straight to the recycle bin. Motion blur is sometimes desired in an image (such as moving water) and the right exposure duration is needed to capture this effect.
 
In a perfect world, you would simply select the three perfect parameters for your photo. In reality, there are compromises that are often required and the primary example is a lack of light. If there is not enough light, the shutter speed must be reduced, the aperture must be opened and/or the ISO increased with potential penalties for any of the three adjustments.
 
Dialing In Settings for Manual Mode
 
The more experience you gain, the easier it is to set your manual settings. However, it is not hard for even a beginner to get started and with digital technology where it is today, the learning curve is very short. In the old days (when film was popular), this is the time when the light meter would be pulled out. That piece of equipment is no longer needed for most situations and the meter built into the camera is all you need.
 
There are multiple ways to get the proper manual settings established. You can turn the camera to fully automatic mode and use the settings it picks for you as your initial manual mode settings. You can use the Sunny 16 rule: For a subject under a full sun, set the aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the 1/ISO setting. Or you can take a guess (what the most-experienced can do).
 
After establishing the initial settings, the next step is to take a picture of a typical scene you can expect to be photographing in (ideally with bright whites included). Then check the camera's histogram for adjustments needed. The histogram shows a graph of the relative brightness of the pixels in your image. This chart is your best friend – learn how to use it. Here is the Canon DPP histogram from the title image.
 
Histogram Example
 
Press "Info" while reviewing an image to turn the histogram on in Canon cameras and I recommend using the RGB histogram to allow all three color channels (Red, Green Blue) to be monitored. Dark details are mapped on the left side (RGB=0) and bright are on the right (RGB=255). Usually to be avoided are pixels stacked on either side of the graph, indicating a loss of details due to blown highlights or blocked shadows. If possible, adjust your manual mode settings to bring the details within the limits of the chart, but use discretion. Pay attention to the brightness of the details in your scene and reflect their relative brightness on the chart. You don't often want to make black or white colors into mid gray.
 
I highly recommend shooting in RAW and adjusting the final image brightness to perfection during post processing. Shooting in RAW, I generally like to expose to the right, commonly referred to as ETTR. This means that the brightest pixels in the image are at or very close to 255, the right-most extent of the chart. This method allows the maximum amount of color information (the most photons) to be captured for each pixel with dark areas especially benefitting from this strategy. Image brightness can later be reduced as desired in Lightroom, DPP, etc. ETTR does not work well in all situations and shutter speed is often what is compromised to get a brighter image, so as always, use this technique with discretion.
 
New York City Blizzard Forecast
 
Especially Useful in Snow
 
As mentioned, if shooting in the auto zones, cameras will usually underexpose snow images (unless adequate exposure compensation is called for). A manual exposure allows you to dial in the ideal settings and, unless the lighting is changing (such as dark clouds moving over), every image will be identically exposed, making batch adjustment (if necessary) a fast post processing task.
 
When shooting in bright snow, you are going to want the histogram to show pixels with very close to 255 brightness values (regardless of your ETTR strategy) and you might even want to allow some very small areas to go completely white (enable Highlight Alert and watch for the blinkies during image review). The brightest pixel in the tile image has a max RGB component value of 253. I know, this image is of ice, but there is enough air in the ice to appear nearly as white as snow and similarly confound an auto metering system.
 
While exploring a small stream deep in the winter, I came across this smooth ice with interesting patterns under it. Capturing this photo and many others like it was very easy. The day was very cloudy, giving me even light without shadows. I setup the tripod with the camera directed straight down, focused on the surface of the ice, determined the manual exposure needed to make the ice as bright as possible without blowing the highlights and took the picture. I then slid the tripod on the ice to the next composition and took that picture. Repeat.
 
With a manual exposure locked in, the biggest photographical challenge presented by this opportunity was finding a composition that I liked. The patterns were completely random and, in the end, I captured a number of images to sort through. This one is my favorite. I think.
 
Your turn. Get the camera out and turn the dial to the "M" mode. Learn to make your own fundamental camera setting decisions and your photography will be improved in all seasons.
Post Date: 1/28/2015 10:48:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
LensRacks Sample Image
From LensRacks:
 
About LensRacks
If you love photography as much as we do, then we are sure that you have a collection of lenses and other camera gear. We all know lenses can get very expensive and they are investments that can last a long time under good care. Our patent pending LensRacks system is the perfect way to store and organize your precious investments with style.
 

 
Who is LensRacks for?
LensRacks is designed for owners of Nikon or Canon lenses who want to be organized with their camera gear. With LensRacks’ modularity and expandability, the LensRacks caters to amateurs, professionals, and everyone else in between.
 
Check out the LensRacks Kickstarter Campaign for more information or to back the project.
Post Date: 1/28/2015 10:39:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshelter
From Photoshelter:
 
In The 2015 Photo Business Plan Workbook, get a step-by-step guide to help you implement a rock solid business plan, target the photo clients you want, and land more gigs. Download the guide today!
 
Download the Free Guide
Post Date: 1/28/2015 9:58:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Nikon Logo
From Nikon:
 
Updates included with 1.1.0
 
Modifications that apply to both the Windows and Macintosh versions:
 
  • Support for the D5500, COOLPIX S3700, S2900, L32 and L31 has been added.
  • When Capture NX-D is used to edit files that were once edited with Capture NX 2, additional adjustment of editing performed with Capture NX 2 is now possible.
  • However, only items in the Develop section of the Capture NX 2 Edit List can be adjusted with Capture NX-D. In addition, images that have been edited using Color Efex Pro may be edited after settings are reverted to their original values.
  • A PF Flare Control item has been added to the Camera and Lens Corrections palette.
  • This item can be used to reduce flare (ring flare, circular flare, etc.) caused by bright light sources in images captured with compatible lenses.
  • A Revert to Last Saved State option has been added to the Adjust menu.
  • This option resets adjustments applied with Capture NX-D.
  • A Launch Camera Control Pro 2 option has been added to the Tool menu.
The following issues have been resolved.
 
  • When images to which Distortion Control has been applied are opened, edges were fringed with color.
  • When Noise Reduction was applied, the application would quit unexpectedly.
  • When a RAW image captured with a camera that does not support the Picture Control system (D2XS, D2X, D2HS, D2H, D1X, D1H, D1, D200, D100, D90, D80, D70S, D70, D60, D40X, D40) was displayed, the icon indicating that the image had been edited was displayed, even if the image had not actually been edited.
  • When Quick Adjust was applied to RAW images captured at a Picture Control setting of Neutral, Flat, or Monochrome, and for which Recorded Value was selected in the Picture Control palette, the Quick Adjust value reverted back to "0.00" when the images were again displayed in Capture NX-D after the application was once closed and then launched again.
  • A Noise Reduction setting of Better Quality 2013 could be selected for JPEG and TIFF images.
Additional modifications to the Windows version
The following issues have been resolved.
 
  • Multiple images in the My Pictures folder could not be selected to copy or move under Windows 7 or an earlier operating system.
  • When files were saved with different file names using the Convert Files function, the new file names were not accurately reflected.
Additional modifications to the Macintosh version
 
  • Support for OS X version 10.10.1 has neen added.
  • OS X version 10.7.5 is no longer supported.
Download Nikon Capture NX-D 1.1.0
Post Date: 1/27/2015 2:37:23 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens
Post Date: 1/27/2015 10:37:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
ESPN Logo
ESPN Films has created a great documentary about one of photography's most exclusive clubs – those photographers that have photographed every Super Bowl. The film features John Biever, Walter Iooss, Mickey Palmer and Tony Tomsic as they recount their experiences and most memorable moments as history unfolded before their eyes year after year.
 

 
If you enjoy sports and photography, don't miss seeing this film. For DirectTV subscribers, set your DVR for Channel 209 (ESPN2HD) Thu, 1/29, 7:00 - 8:00 PM ET.
Category: ESPN News
Post Date: 1/27/2015 8:15:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Nikon USA YouTube Channel:
 
Nikon Ambassador Andrew Hancock talks about the fundamentals of sports photography and how to capture sharp images in the low light of an indoor gymnasium.
 
B&H carries the Nikon D4s and the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/27/2015 7:55:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 26, 2015
Thyme with Frost Macro
Lingering bitter cold with grey overcast skies can really put a damper on photographic aspirations (especially if you enjoy shooting lush, vivid landscapes). The solution? Try shooting macros!
 
If you can stand the cold, then there are lots of wonderful outdoor subjects that are likely very close by and just begging to have your camera pointed at them – icicles, frost and snowflakes, just to name a few. The image at the top of this post is from an herb garden on my front porch.
 
Black Peppercorns Macro
 
If you'd rather avoid the cold entirely, setting up a small indoor macro studio doesn't require much space. In fact, you could easily use your dining room table or similar [even smaller] surface. And there are tons of things in your home that would work well as macro subjects – spices (like sea salt, peppercorns, etc.), toys and flowers are only a few examples. And as Bryan has noted before, buying flowers will likely make your wife or significant other very happy. By the way, an off-camera flash paired with a small softbox makes an excellent tool for macro photography.
 
Dollar Coins Macro
 
Want a real challenge? Try your hand at shooting jewelry. With gemstones and curved, metallic, mirrored surfaces, jewelry can be an especially challenging subject to illuminate attractively (Hint: using several well-placed white (or other colored) reflectors can help accentuate jewelry's appearance).
 
Want to take your macros a step further? Try focus stacking (my technique can be found midway down the post).
 
Recommended Gear
 
  • DSLR Camera – Just about any modern DSLR will work just fine. One feature that can be especially useful for macro photography is 10x Live View as it can really help you achieve critical focus when your depth of field is very small.
  • Macro Lens (or Extension Tubes at the very least) – Check out Bryan's Canon Macro Lens Recommendations to figure out which macro lens is right for you (if you don't already have one). If you're on a tight budget, or you'd like to expand your macro capabilities, you might want to try using extension tubes to increase the magnification of your current lens collection (we recommend the budget-conscious Kenko extension tubes).
  • Tripod – A good, solid support system is essential for many types of macro shooting. A tripod will allow you to use longer shutter speeds while maintaining a sharp image. It will also allow you to lock down your framing of static subjects so that you can achieve the ideal composition.
  • Flash and Small Softbox (optional) – It's true that with a stable platform you can capture [static] macro images with just about any light source. However, a flash with a small softbox will open up many creative possibilities while also allowing for faster and easier image capture.
Shooting macros can be a fun and fulfilling activity when other types of photography are less enjoyable or satisfying. So be creative and have fun with small, everyday things!
Post Date: 1/26/2015 8:24:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens Review.
 
This is one of my favorite portrait lenses. The look that this lens can deliver is very unique (in a good way). The 7D II's high density sensor is showing the limits of this lens' wide open capabilities.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/26/2015 8:32:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 23, 2015
Sports Illustrated Logo
From the NPPA:
NEW YORK, NY (January 23, 2015) – The remaining six staff photographers at Sports Illustrated magazine were all laid off yesterday.
 
Staff photographers Robert Beck, Simon Bruty, Bill Frakes, David E. Klutho, John W. McDonough, and Al Tielemans were informed of the decision around noon Eastern time on Thursday.
 
Sports Illustrated director of photography Brad Smith confirmed the move this morning to News Photographer magazine.
 
"It's true," Smith said. "There was a decision made through the company to restructure various departments, including at Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately economic circumstances are such that it has cut the six staff photographers."
See the entire article on NPPA's website.
Post Date: 1/23/2015 12:51:44 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Image quality test results from the EOS 7D Mark II and 60D have been added to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens review page.
 
Direct links: 7D II | 60D
 
B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/23/2015 11:01:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Professional Network Logo
From the Canon Professional Network:
"Travel photographer and Canon Explorer Joel Santos has recently been using the newly launched EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM wide-angle zoom. As he reveals to CPN Editor David Corfield, the lens has quickly become a firm favourite...
 
The biggest endorsement any photographer can give a piece of equipment, is to actually go out and buy it. For Joel Santos, the new EF16-35mm wide-angle zoom was a recent purchase that has already been proving its worth."
See the entire article at the Canon Professional Network.
 
For what it's worth, this is also Bryan's favorite wide-angle zoom. Check out his full review for more details on this great lens.
 
B&H carries the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and it qualifies for a $100.00 mail-in rebate through January 31.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/23/2015 9:34:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens
The "Where is the Canon 400mm DO II review?" and "Where is Sigma 150-600mm Sports Lens Review?" questions are becoming more frequent. Those are indeed good questions as these two lenses are sitting at the top of my priority list. Unfortunately and unusually, I have not been able to get my hands on either of these lenses for long enough to adequately evaluate them. That I'm delayed on these reviews is not likely going to delay your acquisition of either lens as they are simply not available right now. High demand has been completely consuming the Sigma 150-600 production and that is likely the same reason the Canon 400 DO II is not available. What the production level of each lens is remains a question.
 
Those of you asking about the new Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens will be happy to know that we have one in house and have standardized testing of this lens as our current top priority. Stay tuned for more information, but ... this is a really tiny lens considering the super zoom focal length range covering a full frame image circle.
 
Contrary to some current rumors, the Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens has not been discontinued. According to Sigma Corporation of America, "The 24-105mm is most definitely not discontinued." This rumor most likely arose from the fact that this lens is very hard to find in stock right now. Sigma assured me that this lens is very much a part of their current line. "We are behind on production but are working on catching up." Sigma is experiencing "... really high demand and fulfilling all the orders across the world has been tough." That is good news to me as I really like the 24-105 OS Art Lens.
 
Find these four lenses at B&H:
 
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens
Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens
Sigma Logo
From Sigma:
 
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
 
The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce that the lens firmware update for the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports SIGMA, CANON and NIKON is available through SIGMA Optimization Pro, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK.
 
The latest firmware enables the lens to offer improved Optical Stabilization in OS mode 2, which is optimized for panning photography. By taking advantage of the new OS algorithm in OS mode 2, it provides effective compensation, not only in horizontal direction, but also vertical and diagonal directions.
 
For those customers who own the following product, please update the firmware of the lens via SIGMA Optimization Pro.
 
[Product]
 
  • Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports for SIGMA, CANON and NIKON
Should the version of SIGMA Optimization Pro not be updated to Ver. 1.2 yet, please be sure to update it before operating any lens firmware update.
 
You can download the latest version of the software from the following page;
http://www.sigma-global.com/download/en/
 
B&H carries the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens.
Post Date: 1/23/2015 7:34:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Canon USA has uploaded three tutorial videos in its new series, "Demystifying HD Video on a DSLR Camera." The first video in the series, "Lesson 1 – Introduction to Storytelling" is shown above.
 
Demystifying HD Video on a DSLR Camera Series
 
Post Date: 1/23/2015 6:40:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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