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Posts Tagged ‘Canon’

Akvis, Fujifilm, Canon: Apps, Lenses, Allegations!

July 22nd, 2013 No Comments

A Revised App

Akvis have just released AirBrush v. 2.0.  If you’re a photographer, it allows you to play at being Cezanne or Gauguin.  

Available either as a standalone app or a plugin for Photoshop, AirBrush converts your plain jane photograph into an airbrushed painting with one click – choose one of the 55 presets and that’s it.  Or mess around with the effect settings.

The sample image on Photography Blog’s write-up indeed resembles a restrained expressionistic landscape.  You can also achieve a fine illustration effect, among others.

Photography Blog says that a “full-featured free evaluation download of AKVIS AirBrush v.2.0 is available at the Product Page.”

A New Lens

Fujifilm, capitalizing on its growing perception of being a big league camera-system maker, has been making lenses for a while.  The latest one is a prime pancake lens, the XF 27mm F2.8 (41mm equivalent).  This lens has just been reviewed by Mark Goldstein on Photography Blog.

Its design is based around five elements, including one aspheric, in four groups.  

Performance-wise it does extremely well where distortion and chromatic aberrations are concerned with edge sharpness being the only fly in the ointment.  An interesting quirk of this lens is that the aperture at which you can get the sharpest images is not two or three stops from wide open, but, all the way down at f/11.

Getting top marks in size and weight, Fujifilm’s XF 27mm F2.8 garners four out of five stars from Goldstein and Photography Blog.

A Fresh Allegation

In case you’ve been away from the rumour grapevine, Canon has lately been up to some mischief.  Rik Henderson on Pocket-lint puts it thus: “Canon allegedly testing 75-megapixel Pro DSLR camera.”  

Such a leap in resolution technology would put Canon squarely in competition with large format and digital back makers and separate itself from Nikon.

The piece also mentions giant advances in the rear LCD’s resolution and the frame rate.

The news of the monster MP number has been churning up the blogosphere for the past several hours; however, the sole source for all the hubbub seems to be one rumour published on Photography Bay by Eric Reagan.

That said, bookmakers are offering even odds that before 2014 closes, Canon will indeed announce such a camera.


Lenses – Seven, Hundred, Millions!

June 17th, 2013 No Comments

The past few days have seen a spate of news reports and articles about lenses.  Let’s make lenses today’s post’s theme; lenses by number and by major camera brand!

Seven Lenses with Pentax

The term ‘box set’ usually brings to mind CDs – at least of CDs during their heyday, as in ‘Bear Family box set’.  One does not associate photographic equipment with that term.  Pentax, however, wants to change that.  

Photo Rumors reports that the company has announced a limited edition box set that contains the Q7 mirrorless, a couple of filters, and seven ‘kit’ lenses, all neatly packaged in a box that’s a bit different than the standard camera packaging.  The edition is limited to 1000. 

The Photo Rumors page also includes some eye-popping news of a commercial lens-less camera and a Nokia smartphone with a 41 MP camera!

120 Lenses with Canon

Kevin Carter on DxOMark has been comparing lenses as to how they’ll function on an EOS 700D in Best lenses for you (sic) Canon EOS 700D: more than 120 lenses tested! with part 2 looking at more/other lenses

Numerous lenses have been tested as to how they perform on different Canon models and the resultant detailed report on a per-lens basis (such as Sigma 35mm F1.4) has been published.  Choose another model from the choicelist to see how the lens performs with that camera model.

More handily DxOMark has published a chart of tested lenses in order of score thus providing a ranking of sorts.  These charts are available by type of lens – prime, zoom, moderate telephoto.

One fact that pops out is the consistently high ranking and score that Sigma lenses have received coupled with their equally consistently affordable prices.  As Carter writes for one set of lenses, “For the value choice, look no further than the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM A.”

70 Million Lenses with Nikon

Congratulations are due to Nikon – and if current production and demand are anything to go by, BIG CONGRATULATIONS will be in order in about August 2015.

Mike Tomkins on Imaging Resource reports that it’s been only about a year since Nikon made its 70 millionth Nikkor lens but the company has already passed the landmark of 80 million lenses.  Ten million lenses in just over a year – that’s huge production and massive demand.

Tomkins closes out his report with a sprinkling of spice: “Nikon’s announcement comes hot on the heels of one from arch-rival Canon, which recently turned out its 90 millionth EF-mount lens.”

If he’s alluding to a race to the 100-million mark, the odds are surely with Canon. . . .

Photography’s Eternal Rivalry: Canon v. Nikon

February 26th, 2013 No Comments

—Well, from the 1970s until now is an eternity in electromechanical equipment and gadgetry with so many major names having fallen by the wayside; even vanishing – anyone remember Akai and NCR?  And, oh, what about Minolta and . . . Kodak?

—And here are Canon and Nikon, still duking it out with the latest face-off being brought to us by ePHOTOzine.  A head-to-head of the kind ePHOTOzine have laid out is not exactly unusual but it is a little extreme to split the difference in the ‘Dimension’ category and award partial victories!  Here’s how they do it:

       Nikon D600                                    Canon EOS 6D

141 x 113 x 82mm (WHD)          144.5x 110.5 x 71.2mm  (WHD)

Right – so Nikon wins on width and Canon takes it on height and depth.  Okay, so this is one seriously thorough comparison job.  The comparison is – as seen in the heading above – between the enthusiast or semi-pro DSLRs of each maker, the Nikon D600 and the Canon EOS 6D.

Canon’s drift towards the Cloud and connectivity and Nikon staying closer and truer to photography’s fundamentals is ‘exposed’ by what each has chosen to include and omit.  Canon’s DSLR has built-in WiFi and GPS while Nikon provides optional adaptors; Nikon provides a built-in flash plus hotshoe but with Canon you get only hotshoe.  

That said, these cameras are packed to the rafters with go-go features like HDR, that go-go feature from yesteryear, multiple exposure, and much more.

For the most part, they are extremely well matched with little to choose between them on any factor.  For the rest of them, for every left hook landed by one, its adversary connects with a right cross.  The Nikon nicks it in Switch on Time to Taking a Photo but the Canon runs away with image quality at high ISO.  Canon edges it in white balance performance in different lighting while Nikon lumps its opponent in focus points.

In truth, the Nikon versus Canon face-off is not about quality or features and never was: it was and is about subjectivity and personal preferences, plus the somewhat different territory each had staked out: Nikon, with its original all-mechanical F3 flagship, was a relatively conservative brand for traditionalist pros; Canon, with its innovative electronic AE-1 hit, was a relatively forward-looking brand for with-the-times pros.  Though that distinction is not quite so pronounced today, it’s still a fair one to make.

Anyone interested in this eternal rivalry should check out ePHOTOzine’s blow-by-blow account.  Scroll down to the bottom for their detailed tale-of-the-tape.


A Full Review, a First Look, and a Lacy Leak

January 25th, 2013 No Comments
English: Candid photo of Zsa Zsa Gabor at a so...

English: Candid photo of Zsa Zsa Gabor at a social function (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Full Review

Canon’s PowerShot A810 is the entry-level compact for the layman according to Photography Blog because “prove a hit with newcomers to photography.”  

At the price, this camera seems to be a just-right balance in features and specs.  In fact, it “appears to be identical, if not slightly better than models we’ve seen at a higher price point.”

Though it is an ultra-simple point-and-shoot, it also provides a plethora of buttons and camera options in the Main Menu for the tyro who wants to exert some finer control.  

In image quality the camera shows its low-budget colours, specially once ISO 400 is reached.  But then, it “is great value for money” specially in undemanding situations where the main requirement is to get off a shot fast

The First Look

Sony has recently released a slew of cameras, among them the ‘bridge’ H200, alongwith more modest models in their Cyber-shot range.  ePHOTOzine has just published a first look.  The H200 has 20.1 megapixels and a long 26x optical zoom.  At ‘first look’, it is styled rather like a ‘Big Two’ DSLR.

If you’re looking for a new compact, you can choose between the TF1, WX200 and WX60.  The TF1 distinguishes itself by being waterproof up to ten metres and also claims to be dustproof and shockproof whereas the other two boast superior specs in zoom, ISO, and continuous shooting.  What they have in common is those shapeless shapes that are a hallmark of the Cyber-shot range!

The Lacy Leak

PhotoRumors has a ‘leak’ comprising all of three lines about the Olympus XZ-10 which they close with “No other details are available.”  But when you have pictures like these, ‘details’ are irrelevant.  Cameras were made of aluminium, plastic, polycarbonate . . . now they’re made of chiffon and lace!  Somehow I don’t think George Schaller would have chosen this baby . . . Zsa Zsa Gabor on the other hand . . .

Regardless of whether or not this camera can even actually take pictures, it will appeal to Manhattan socialites and Nashville vixens alike.

Women have long had their ‘clutch purse’; now, thanks to Olympus, they have the ‘clutch camera’ for formal nights.



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Calling All Canonistas! — Part II !

January 7th, 2013 No Comments

We did this only last week but no, we’re not pushing Canon or playing favourites; it’s just that Canon is making both, cameras and waves.  All we wanna do is report the camera-making and the wave-making.

Looks like Canon has fallen victim to ‘The Instagram Effect’ for its new PowerShot N is . . . square-shaped!

Instagram influence is also evident in the positioning of the camera: Canon’s press release says you can add “a creative edge” using “Canon’s creative modes, including Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Toy Camera Effect and Monochrome.”  These ‘easy play’ and ‘play easy’ effects again smack of Instagram.  

The Powershot N’s main claim to fame is that it allows near-instant sharing of photos on social networks.  That’s because this WiFi camera can be coupled to tablets and mobile-phones.

Though the specs – such as the optical zoom range – are respectable, this gimmicky camera is one with Canon not only is making waves; it hopes to catch a wave.  

Somewhat less gimmicky are three PowerShot A’s and an IXUS that Canon has announced for February launch.  

The PowerShot A1400, A2600, and A3500 are progressively more expensive, each with some extra features, with the IXUS 140 topping out in price and features.  Note that “price and features” is advisedly written for the difference in specifications is minimal, if any.  For instance, there is no difference in pixel-count; all four are 16 MP cameras and they have the same sensor, and the same goes for other key specs like ISO range.

The minimal differences include LCD size, focussing modes, battery type and WiFi in which one or another camera varies from the other three.  Is this differentiation smart or is it just overdoing it on the price points and does it muddy the waters and confuse customers?  Thus far the market’s response has been to say ‘Smart!’ to whatever Canon does.  

Let’s see what 2013 brings for Canon, what with the ‘new wave’ that is the PowerShot N.


Calling All Canonistas!

January 2nd, 2013 No Comments
English: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, with Can...

English: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, with Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens (fitted with a B+W 010 UV-Haze 58mm filter). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s an all Canon post today as we take in four new Canon products.

Canon is almost surely the maker that is most aggressively pursuing film-quality digital video technology in ‘cinema cameras’.  Here we look at a review of their 1D C and an interview surrounding the 5D.

The 1D C’s calling card is that you can pull high-end photographic quality stills from a video clip as video can be made in such a way so that frames are blur-free are razor sharp.  As such this camera is not only a video-and-stills hybrid; it is both at the same time.

Thus, the 1D C is a game changer; the article quotes an expert: “I see the biggest step forward using motion image capture the ability to record many individual moments in time, all the while silently as there is no shutter being released. This could have great benefits in situations where you may want to remain more candid. Subjects could also feel more relaxed not knowing ‘photographs’ are being taken.” 

Quite a concept.  Shoot photographs while you’re making . . . a movie!

Make a movie is exactly what Sachin Kabir did on a Canon 5D Mk II.  Kabir said that this camera “had been well tested by now and was making waves as a pioneering technology for low budget/independent film makers,” and cited its large sensor size as the most attractive feature.  He also said that its “immediate advantage is the ability to rig and shoot much faster than any other camera giving such high quality.”

While Kabir points out a few “quirks,” the interview supports the general view that Canon is reckoned to be the leader in this technology.

Canon is not losing sight of the bread-and-butter paraphernalia, however.

It has released a new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 that is optimized for video performance.  Its construction, however, indicates that it is a modest and inexpensive lens.  Moreover, if you think the aperture range cries out ‘kit lens’, you’d be right – it is.

The review discloses that for an affordable kit lens it has an excellent stabilizer.

ePhotozine says that this lens is a solid value-for-money when bought as part of a kit but not when bought separately.

Actually, Canon is not losing sight of anything, it appears!

Though speculation about the 7D Mk II has been floating around for a few months, take a gander at the Japanese rumour mill’s latest sneak peeks on 7D Mk II and 70D


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Tuesday Grab-Bag

September 17th, 2012 No Comments

    In a post a few days back, I blogged about an expert dissing Nikon’s new D600 because of its slow’ish sync speed of 1/200.  Well, here’s a sync speed right at the other end of the scale: 1/1600!  This superfast sync speed is available using Schneider Kreuznach leaf shutter lenses on Phase One’s new 645DF+.  Its max shutter speed of 1/4000 is nothing to sneeze at either.

    Phase One makes medium format, high end, open platform camera systems, meaning that you can ‘plug and play’ with different digital camera backs, besides lenses.  They’re also sold under the Mamiya Leaf brand name.

    Those who like to take snaps and be hip and chic have been following those vapid celebrities and buying Diana cameras and getting into the ‘lomography’ act.  Well, now you can be hip and chic and have a real, top-class camera, thanks to . . . fuddy-duddy Fuji!

    Fuji’s XF1 looks as hip and chic as . . . well, as Audrey Hepburn in a 60’s film.  It has a faux leather front in your choice of tan, black or red over a stylish aluminium body.  Most importantly, it has serious photography chops for a small, playful kit.  How about a 25-100mm f/1.8 zoom lens?  This baby should do wonders for Fuji’s ‘image’.

    Canon has gone Cloud.  Their Project 1709, announced just before photokina, enables users to store all their photos on the figurative ‘Cloud’ such that they can be accessed transparently, regardless of type of system or device, from anywhere and anytime you have an Internet connection.  The project is in beta and is scheduled to go live in 2013.

    One doesn’t expect to find or share photography-related articles from non-photography publications but I stumbled across what I think is a pretty good ‘how-to’ on buying a DSLR in PCMag.  It neatly explains the differences between full-frame DSLRs and other types of cameras.  Worth a read.



No Studio? No Problem. Rent One!

September 14th, 2012 No Comments

    If you’ve ever idly planned to set up a home studio but never got around to it or simply wanted to shoot in a studio but ‘knew’ you couldn’t unless you set one up yourself, well, Russell Masters has some good news for you: rent one!

    Though renting a studio may seem like something a photographer in a different sector, say outdoor or industrial, may want to do from time to time, it’s actually an excellent way for an amateur to significantly sharpen his/her indoor photography skills and technique.

    Masters’s very original how-to is pretty frank in stating “Just like you I have always found the thought of shooting in a studio exciting but have until recently never been brave enough to actually try. . . . the thought of putting ourselves in a high expectation situation such as a studio shoot is enough to ensure we never actually do it.”  Reading this interesting how-to will make you jump up and want to ‘do it’!

    The main advantage of renting a studio is the considerable variety of lighting equipment and reflectors plus props and backdrops.  Masters explains how to use the Web to find rental studios near you and offers tips and hints as to how to approach the session including advice as to how to engage a model or whether to bring along a friend.  

    One point I would like to add is that the first-timer make his/her booking in person, doing so when the studio is not occupied.  Then, spend five or ten minutes acquainting yourself with the studio you’ll be shooting in and also take a gander at the rental equipment that will be at your disposal so that you don’t suddenly parachute into unknown territory.

    If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll recall that it was about Nikon’s newly announced D600.  Well, the Nikon-Canon Love Affair that revolves around the oh-so-romantic line “Wither Thou Goest . . .” continues.  Canon has “followed” Nikon and released a rumour to the effect that their “EOS 6D DSLR camera will be the direct competitor of the Nikon D600”!  Which one do you like?





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