Canon 5D Mark IV 4K Rumors, Godox Adds Wireless Sony TTL Triggers {Daily Roundup}

Posted by on Feb 27, 2016 in canon, Fashion, Featured, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, sony

Canon 5D Mark IV 4K Rumors, Godox Adds Wireless Sony TTL Triggers {Daily Roundup}

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements. 4K Canon 5D Coming? Trusted sources in the Canon rumor mill are stating that there will be a 5D camera announced this year that will shoot 4K video footage. The kicker is that it will not even be announced until AFTER the EOS-1D X Mark II begins shipping, which is expected in April. So, this means we still have a couple of months to wait before we will likely see the next 5D camera announcement. But, just as a refresher, here is what we are expecting at this point from the next 5D camera… 28mp 9fps DIGIC 6+ 61 point AF CFast & SD Touchscreen Built-in GPS & Wifi Lighter weight It will be interesting to see what Canon does finally unveil when the 5D Mark IV is announced. There is no doubt that the game is tighter now than it ever has been before, so Canon will have to be careful about the choices made in this camera. Godox Updates X TTL Flash System With Sony Support Beyond lenses, one of the other complaints about mirrorless systems – Sony included – is a lack of variety in lighting options. Well, Godox has heard those complaints and has added Sony TTL support to their wireless X series triggers. The new X1S will join the X1C & X1N (the Canon and Nikon versions) and will work alongside the newly announced version II V850 Speedlight unit, which also will have a built in X1 receiver for wireless TTL. The system supports HSS (High Speed Sync) and gives you control of speedlights from your camera, allowing you to make critical lighting adjustments on the fly, without having to run around to your various lights to make changes. You can find all of the details about these new Godox announcements over on their website here. We will also update you once these are available for purchase. Unsung Camera Review: Fuji S5 Pro The guys over at The CameraStore TV have started this new segment which I find to be a really fun concept. They take older cameras, review them in typical CSTV fashion, and at the same time, you get a fun history lesson about the state of the photography market around that time. In this first episode, they took a look at the Fuji S5 Pro, a Fuji camera stuck within a Nikon D200 body. It was an interesting look at a camera that, as the name of the segment suggests, was rather unsung. Looking ahead, I would love to see some medium format film camera reviews since those are...

Read More »

Pentax Officially Announces New K1 Full Frame DSLR

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Featured, pentax, Photography Tips

Pentax Officially Announces New K1 Full Frame DSLR

It seems silly to be writing an official announcement post for the Pentax K-1 considering how long it’s been since Pentax first said they were working on a full frame DSLR, and all the teasers since then. But, here I am, with a post on simultaneously one of the most interesting and baffling full frame cameras on the market. Pentax K-1 Now, that last sentence may have you wondering what the deal is, and so I am just going to get the specs out of the way first so that I can talk about why I am both really interested and somewhat confused by this camera. 36.4 effective MP, AA Filterless Full Frame CMOS sensor Newly Designed Prime IV Engine High Sensitivity 204,800 ISO SRII five-axis Shake Reduction System Pixel Shift Resolution System with motion correction function Continuous shooting at 4.4fps Selectable Anti-Aliasing Filter Effect 33 Point Auto-Focus System SAFOX 12 Autofocus Module Pentaprism Optical Viewfinder with 100% FOV 4-point LED Illumination of critical camera functions 3.2-inch Cross-Tilt LCD display APS-C Crop Mode for maximum lens flexibility and compatibility Built-in GPS and ASTRO TRACER Functions Built-in Electronic Compass Wi-Fi Camera Control and Image Transfer Professional H.264 Full HD video Dual SD card slots Fully weather sealed HDMI port In some ways (the high-resolution sensor, weather sealing, GPS and WiFi, unique tilt-flippy screen, etc.), the Pentax K-1 looks to be a really promising camera. But, in other ways (namely the relatively low 4.4 FPS burst shooting, the 33 point AF system), it seems like a camera that is a couple of years behind the times. That said, Pentax fans – those few of you still remaining – should rejoice. This is clearly a step forward for the company that has dropped so far since their film hay days. Add to the K-1 the newly announced lenses, and you can see the beginnings of what could be a really solid full frame system. Then there is the price, which is very competitive. The new K-1 will retail in the US for just under $1800, making it quite a bit cheaper than the cameras it is competing against. Those interested can pre-order the K-1 now over on B&H. What do you all think of this new option from Pentax? Are you like me, interested but confused by a few feature choices? Or do you fall into a different camp? Leave a comment below and let me know what’s up!        Share...

Read More »

Fuji X200, Pentax K1, Zenit Rumors {Daily Roundup}

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Featured, pentax, Photography Tips

Fuji X200, Pentax K1, Zenit Rumors {Daily Roundup}

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements. Fuji X200 Coming Soon? So the cat is out of the bag about Fuji’s new X-Trans III sensor, and now everyone is wondering when we will start seeing it in bodies not called the X-Pro2. Well, today we got word of some rumors that indicate its next destination could be in an X100 upgrade. Rumored specs on this supposed ‘X200′ include the 24MP X-Trans III sensor, as well as: A new bright 28mm lens (also the Fujifilm X70 features a 28mm lens) Enhanced hybrid VF with better EVF refresh rate Digital converter 35/50 Tilt screen Will we see an X200 this year? Probably. According to this rumor, the X200 would be announced sometime in the second half of 2016. Pentax continues their comically long FF DSLR Teaser Campaign It is almost comical how long this teaser campaign for the full frame Pentax DSLR has been, but alas, it continues. Ricoh updated the teaser site with some more details, as well as some new images. The following is from a leak, not the teaser, so take it with a grain of salt. Number of pixels: effective 36.4MP Sensor Size: 35.9 x 24.0mm Continuous shooting: 6.5 frames / sec. ISO range: 100-204,800 GPS built-in Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC Size: 136.5 x 110 x 85.5mm Weight: 925g Zenit To Make A Comeback, Aims At Leica? The Russian camera brand, Zenit appears to be on course for a comeback, and they apparently set their sights on Leica as they aim to be a luxury brand going forward. Russian media are reporting that the camera brand is being revived “to make it a luxury device, analogous to the Leica.” Currently, no timeline has been made public in regards to when we might see some of these new Zenit cameras on the market. I will be curious to see how they plan to take on Leica in that luxury camera maker market. What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!        Share...

Read More »

Understanding Normal and Cross-Type Focusing Points

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in canon, Featured, landscape, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, portrait, sony

Understanding Normal and Cross-Type Focusing Points

Look through the viewfinder of any DSLR camera and you will see several dots, or squares, that represent individual points at which the camera is capable of focusing. The purpose of these focusing points may seem fairly obvious, but not all of them are created equal. When you press the shutter button (or back button) halfway, some of these points will light up, indicating that everything at that specific spot is crystal clear and your photo will be nice and sharp. However, the speed at which your camera can focus on one of the points, as well as how accurate the focus will be, depends greatly on whether the individual focusing point is a single or cross-type. Understanding the differences in how they operate can help you decide which ones to use to take better photos. Most DSLR cameras use what’s called a phase-detection focusing system – whereas most mirrorless cameras, point-and-shoots, and mobile phones use a separate system called contrast-detect. In a DSLR, most of the light coming through the lens is reflected upwards by the mirror, to the optical viewfinder, which lets you see precisely what the camera lens sees. However, a tiny bit of light is also sent downward to a series of sensors that are capable of figuring out whether the image is in focus. The science behind this involves splitting the incoming light, and comparing two beams, to essentially see if they match up. If not, an electronic signal is sent to the focusing motor, to adjust the lens until the image is in focus. All this happens in a fraction of a second, but these fractions matter in photography, and can often be the difference between a tack-sharp image and a blurry shot. I used my camera’s cross-type focusing points to make sure this picture of a holstein cow was properly focused. The problem with traditional phase-detecting systems is they get a bit stumped if there are a lot of vertical lines in the spot where they are trying to focus. To see how this works for yourself, print a sheet of paper on your computer, with nothing but vertical lines. Tape it to a wall, and try to focus on it with your camera. If you are using one of the focusing points on the outside edge of your camera’s viewfinder, your lens will likely spend a few seconds hunting for focus but will probably never find it. However if you turn the paper sideways and try again your camera will likely get things focused fairly easily. This is because when light is sent to the phase-detection sensors in your camera, the sensors don’t have enough information to determine focus, if all it sees is vertical lines. While most of the time when you are out taking pictures, you are probably not shooting images of vertically-lined paper, this example does illustrate how...

Read More »

How to Use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to Obtain Perfect Color

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in canon, Featured, landscape, lightroom, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait, sony

How to Use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to Obtain Perfect Color

There are two ways you can approach color reproduction in photography. The first is to try and reproduce the colors of the subject as accurately as you can. If you take a photo of someone wearing a red sweater, then you want the photo of that sweater to have exactly the same shade of red as the real thing. The other way is to produce colors that are pleasing to the eye, rather than accurate. The key point to understand here is that your camera isn’t designed to produce accurate colors, it is biased towards the second approach. The reason behind this is probably quite simple. Camera manufacturers want you to be happy with the photos that your camera produces, and that means tweaking colors so that they look more attractive. The way your camera records color is determined by the color and white balance settings selected when you take the photo. This is especially true for JPEG files – if you use the Raw format you have the freedom to change those color settings when you process the file. Each manufacturer has a different name for the setting used to control color. Canon calls it Picture Styles, Nikon – Picture Control, Sony – Creative Style, Pentax – Custom Image, Olympus – Picture Mode and Fujifilm – Film Simulation. Let’s look at Canon’s Picture Styles as an example (I’m familiar with these as a long time Canon user). Their neutral and faithful Picture Styles are designed to give reasonably accurate colors, but the others aren’t. Portrait is designed to give good skin tones, landscape for strong greens and blues, and standard to make good reds. You will not achieve accurate color with the portrait, landscape or standard Picture Styles, but you may well end up with pleasing colors. But what if you simply want accurate color? There are a number of reasons why you might want to do this. When photographing something that needs to be recorded accurately, such as product shots for a commercial client. When photographing flowers, where it is very difficult to tell if the colors are accurate. To make sure that photos taken with two different cameras match as closely as possible. To simply start with a photo that has accurate colors as the first step in post-processing, so you can decide in which direction to go, from a neutral starting point. The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport The truth is that if you want accurate color, then for the reasons mentioned above, you can’t rely on your camera’s settings – you need some outside assistance. That’s where the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport comes in. This relatively inexpensive device is simple to use, and just as importantly from the point of view of a Lightroom user, integrates neatly with Lightroom. The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport itself is made of grey plastic, and opens up to display the color patches...

Read More »

Let’s Get Up Close with Extension Tubes

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in canon, Featured, landscape, macro, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, sony

Let’s Get Up Close with Extension Tubes

If you want to get up close to your subject, closer than you can by setting your lens to its minimum focusing distance, then extension tubes are an excellent way of doing so. When you turn the focusing ring of your lens away from infinity, the front element moves out from the lens body. The distance between the front element and the sensor (or film) plane is called extension. When your lens is set to its minimum focusing distance, the front element can move no further forward. You have reached the limit of the lens’s design. An extension tube is a hollow tube that fits between your lens and camera body. It moves the lens further away, increasing the extension of the front element. In turn, this lets you move the lens closer to the subject, increasing magnification, and in some cases even matching the 1:1 magnification of a true macro lens. This is the Fujifilm MC-EX 16 extension tube that I use. The electrical contacts, that allow the lens and camera body to communicate, are visible at the back (more on the importance of this later). This is the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens mounted to an X-Pro 1 camera. The distance between the front lens element and the sensor plane is the extension. This figure helps determine the closest point the lens can focus on (in this case 28cm), and subsequently the magnification. Below is the same lens with the MC-EX 16 extension tube added. You can see that the front element of the lens is now 16mm further away from the sensor plane. Now the lens can focus on a much closer point. Extension tubes versus macro lenses Extension tubes are a great tool, but for the best possible optical quality and the most versatility you should choose a macro lens if you can. The reason for this is that increasing the extension of a non-macro lens means that you are using it outside the limits it is designed to work within. Macro lenses, on the other hand, are designed to give their peak optical performance at close focusing distances. They can also focus at infinity – whereas a lens fitted with an extension tube cannot. The main benefit of extension tubes is that they are small and light. You can carry them around in case you need them, and leave your macro lens (if you have one) at home. They are ideal for anybody who travels a lot, or who wants to keep the weight of their camera bag down. Cheap extension tubes versus good quality ones You can buy inexpensive extension tubes from Amazon or eBay. These may look like a great deal but they break the electrical connection between your camera and the lens. If your lens has an electronically controlled aperture that means, you can’t stop the lens down. The camera also can’t...

Read More »