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Sony enables XAVC S recording to SDHC card with a7R II and a7S II firmware update

Published on April 27, 2016 by in News

Newly released firmware updates for the Sony a7R II and a7S II enable XAVC S format video recording to SDHC memory cards. Previously, XAVC S format video could only be recorded to an SDXC card. Sony makes a couple of notes on the use of SDHC cards for XAVC S video – any recorded files larger than 4GB will be split into multiple files to comply with a 4GB maximum file size limitation. Cards must also be at least SD Speed Class 10 and UHS Speed Class U1 or faster. Video recorded at 100Mbps or more must use a UHS Speed Class U3 card.

 
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The Canon that can: Canon EOS 80D Review

Published on April 27, 2016 by in News

The Canon EOS 80D is an enthusiast-level DSLR, and the successor to the 70D. It sports a new 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor which, like the 70D, offers Canon's Dual Pixel on-sensor phase-detection autofocus system. The 80D also gains a new 45-point hybrid AF system with all of the points being cross-type. This is a step up from the 19-point AF system in the 70D, though not quite at the same level as the 65-point coverage offered by the more professionally-oriented 7D Mark II.

Featuring a body sealed against dust and moisture, the 80D has a polycarbonate exterior and magnesium alloy chassis. It is nearly identical in design to its predecessor, with the majority of controls accessible via the articulating rear touchscreen, as well as via physical control points. Video is a major part of the 80D's total package. While it cannot shoot 4K, it does offer 1080/60p capture and continuous autofocus during video. A headphone socket has been added to compliment its microphone port.

Canon EOS 80D key features:

  • 24MP AP-C CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • 45-point AF system with all cross-type points
  • 3" 1.04M-dot articulating touchscreen
  • 1080/60p video capture
  • 7 fps continuous shooting with AF
  • Weather-sealed body
  • 7560-pixel RGB+IR Metering Sensor
  • Wi-Fi + NFC

Other improvements come in the form of a new mirror vibration control system (similar to the 5DS and 7D Mark II), which should help reduce the blur-inducing effects of shutter shock. The 80D also gains the same 7560 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor found in the Rebel T6s and T6i, a serious improvement over the 63-zone dual layer sensor found in the 70D. This new sensor gives the camera some degree of human subject awareness for subject tracking through the viewfinder. However, unlike the 7D Mark II, the 80D does not have Canon's 'Intelligent Tracking and Recognition' (iTR) system, which uses the metering sensor along with distance info to subject track.

The new sensor

It's no secret that some Canon shooters have been frustrated as of late, as Sony's sensor technology marches ahead in terms of dynamic range. Fortunately, the 80D marks a significant step forward in Canon's sensor development, offering much better DR than the 70D or 7D Mark II. But the new sensor isn't interesting just because of the pictures it can capture. Dual Pixel AF not only allows for continuous focus during video capture, but during still capture (in live view mode) as well. We first saw this feature in the Rebel T6s and it is exciting to see it now making its way up Canon's food chain to enthusiast-level cameras.

Compared to its siblings

  Canon EOS 80D Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 70D  Canon EOS 6D
Sensor 24MP APS-C 20.2MP APS-C 20.2MP APS-C 20.2MP full-frame
ISO range 100-16000 (expands to 25600)

100-16000
(expands to 25600)

100-12800
(expands to 25600)
100-25600
(expands to 50-102800)
AF (viewfinder) 45 all cross-type points 65 all cross-type points 19 all cross-type points 11 point, center point is cross-type
 AF (Live view/video)  Dual pixel AF  Dual pixel AF  Dual pixel AF Contrast Detect, Phase Detect (in 'Quick' mode)
Intelligent Tracking and Recognition No Yes No No
C-AF in live view during still shooting Yes No No No
 AF joystick  No Yes No No
 Video capabilities 1080/60p 1080/60p 1080/30p 1080/30p
Burst rate 7 fps 10 fps 7 fps 4.5 fps
 LCD spec 3" 1.04M-dot articulating touch LCD  3" 1.04M-dot fixed LCD 3" 1.04M-dot articulating touch LCD 3" 1.04M-dot fixed LCD
 Weight 730 g (1.61 lb) 910g (2.0 lb) 755g (1.7 lb) 770 g (1.70 lb)

Aside from the 70D, the closest sibling to the 80D is the more professionally-oriented Canon EOS 7D Mark II. It uses a slightly lower resolution chip and offers less dynamic range than the 80D. While the two share the same basic video specs, the 7D Mark II is better equipped for fast action, thanks to greater AF point coverage, a dedicated AF joystick and the inclusion of Canon iTR, as well as a faster shooting rate. On the other hand, the 80D's touch focus capabilities make it a more appealing choice for video.

Of course the full frame Canon 6D now falls into a similar price class to the both the 80D and 7D Mark II, making it worthy of consideration. Although it's far from new the 6D remains a solid and popular camera despite its comparatively simplistic AF system.

Accessories

The 80D shown with PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter connected to the EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM kit zoom. This adapter allows for smooth zooming at variable speeds. 

Along with the announcement of the 80D, Canon announced the DM-E1 shotgun microphone (compatible with any camera that has a 1/8" socket). Canon also announced the PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter. It can clip onto the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM kit lens and control the zoom, with two speed options. The DM-E1 will sell for $250, while the PZ-E1 will run you $150. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get hold of either new accessory in time for this review, but we'll be updating our impressions as soon as we can. 

Pricing and availability

The Canon EOS 80D is available now for a body-only price of $1199/£999/€1199. Kitted with Canon's new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, the 80D will run you $1799. Kitted with the EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, the 80D will run $1349/£1089.

 
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Base Object 005 Aluminum Camera Stand Is Pretty, Probably Superfluous

Published on April 27, 2016 by in News
Base Object 005 Camera Stand - Aluminum

Class up your work space with a stand for your camera

This $44 aluminum stand keeps your camera off your desk, but looks good doing it…
 
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Canon Powershot G9 X premium digital compact camera awarded prestigious Red Dot international design award

 
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Eric Karr Photography – Alex – Custom Edit.

Published on April 26, 2016 by in Fitness

AlexB-1

 
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Eric Karr Photography – Shelby – Fitness Shoot.

Published on April 26, 2016 by in Fitness

Shelby04142016-5aa

 
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Interchangeable lens camera sales steady as Canon profits plunge

Published on April 26, 2016 by in News
Canon calls out the EOS 80D as a driver for strong unit sales in the interchangeable lens camera market.

Canon Japan reported flat ILC unit sales as one of the bright points in first quarter reports that saw a 17.5% fall in net income. A strengthening Yen, poor performance in the laser printer business and continued decline in compact camera sales combined to give the company a tough quarter.

Overall, digital camera sales are down 12%, due in large part to a 22% decline in the dying compact camera market, though Canon cites its G-series as a bright spot. Interchangeable lens camera sales were flat compared to Q1 2015, propped-up by strong sales of the EOS 80D and gains for the M3 and M10 mirrorless cameras in Asia. Interchangeable lens cameras account now account for 49% of total unit sales and 84% of the company's revenue.

While delivering 'flat' numbers might not sound very positive, figures provided by the Camera & Imaging Product Association show a nearly 10% year-on-year industry-wide decline in ILC unit shipments, as well as 17% YoY reduction in SLR shipments. In other words, Canon isn't doing quite as poorly as it may sound just looking at the numbers.

Looking ahead to 2016 as a whole, Canon expects compact camera sales to drop 24%, though more expensive models like the G-series will help protect margins. The company states that it hopes to increase profitability of this line 'through the standardization of parts and other measures.' It also says it expects unit sales of ILCs to fall by 7% across the year. But, while it has slightly lowered its projections for income from its imaging business for 2016, nearly all of the reduction comes from the expectation that the Yen will stay strong, lowering the value of overseas sales.

For more details, have a look at Canon's Q1 2016 financial statement.

 
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Magnum launches Photography Awards competition to celebrate its 70th birthday

Published on April 26, 2016 by in News
Image © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

The Magnum Photos agency has announced $18,000 worth of prize money for its first photography competition open to anyone 18 years or older. Launched as part of 2017’s celebrations to mark 70 years since the agency was established, the Magnum Photography Awards hopes to 'discover the best photographers from all over the world.' The agency has partnered with LensCulture and has set categories for Documentary, Street, Portrait, Fine Art and Photojournalism, as well as an Open section. The jury will look for a winning series and single image in each section, with the best series winning $2000 and the best single shot $1000. Additional images will be highlighted as finalists, Jurors' Picks and Editors' Picks, while five students will also be singled out for praise.

Cash prizes await the winners of the sections and those picked for other awards will be included in an online exhibition and a book, while all series entrants can request a review of their submission by an 'industry expert'.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday May 24th 2016, and it costs $20 to submit a single image, with further submissions costing $10. Entering 5 single images as a group costs $50, while a series of 10 photos costs $60. For more information see the Magnum Photography Awards page on the LensCulture website.


Press release:

Call for Entries: Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2016

Magnum Photos and LensCulture have joined forces to create one of the best new opportunities for photographers to be recognized and rewarded for their talent.

2017 marks a significant year for Magnum as we celebrate 70 years since our founding photographers toasted the conception of an independent photo agency. Ahead of these anniversary celebrations, Magnum Photos and LensCulture invite submissions to the inaugural Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards, an international call to discover the best photographers from all over the world.

Our distinguished jury will select 12 Winners and 20 Finalists from Documentary, Street, Portrait, Fine Art, Photojournalism and Open categories. In addition, the jury will select 7 photographers as “Jurors’ Picks” and give out 5 “Student Spotlight” awards to young, up-and-coming talents. Winners, finalists and top-rated photographers will enjoy gain access to an unprecedented level of global exposure and recognition from two of the largest organizations in the photo industry, as well as cash funding and career support.

“Magnum Photos is delighted to be working with LensCulture on this exciting new competition, which we hope will attract diverse photographic practices from all over the world. 2016 marks a significant juncture for the agency as we launch a new, stories-first website, in the lead-up to our 70th anniversary. We view this new award as an opportunity for our dedicated audience — and the photography community at large — to share in our celebrations.” – Martin Parr, Magnum Photographer and President.

 
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Consumer Reports Doesn’t Understand Why Wedding Photography Costs More

Published on April 26, 2016 by in News
wedding tax

Wedding photography costs more than other types of photography believe it or not

Consumer Reports uncovers a "wedding tax" that's more complicated than it seems…
 
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Helium Core turns iPhone into fully-fledged imaging rig

Published on April 26, 2016 by in News

A sleek iPhone case with plenty of room for mobile photography and videography attachments is seeking crowd-funding on Kickstarter. Read more

 
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