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Tag Archives: Digital single-lens reflex camera

Canon EOS 70D: Canon’s Newest DSLR Game Changer

ShutterStoppers think this new Canon released in the summer has some important new features.

The 70D isn’t called the game changer without merit, and you’ll quickly discover why. Intelligently engineered as a more refined replacement to the successful Canon EOS 60D, the 70D has a few new tricks up its sleeves. It is made for enthusiastic photographers, and comes with a variety of improvements that will create a buzz. The legendary Canon EOS is all grown up…

Canon EOS 70D: Canon’s Newest DSLR Game ChangerThe 70D improves from the 60D in many ways, a major one being within the sensor. It comes with the newest Dual Pixel CMOS sensor which is capable of capturing 20.2 MP images. The technology behind the sensor allows for a faster focusing during both Live View and video mode. 70D also has 19 cross-type AF points which is similar to the one present in the more expensive 7D. READ MORE HERE

 

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for a more in depth consideration of this latest mid range Canon DSLR DP Review adds this

During the early days of digital SLRs, Canon was pretty much the undisputed leader in CMOS image sensor technology. Almost every new EOS model came with an increase in resolution and high ISO range, and when the EOS 7D appeared in late 2009, the company had progressed from 3MP to 18MP, and ISO 1600 to ISO 12800, in just over nine years. But since then Canon’s APS-C cameras have all sported variants on the same basic sensor design, to the extent that you could be forgiven for wondering what on earth their engineers were doing all day. Now we know.

The EOS 70D is a mid-range SLR for enthusiast photographers that from the outside looks like a sensible, indeed desirable upgrade to the EOS 60D. It borrows many of the best bits from Canon’s existing SLRs, including the autofocus sensor from the EOS 7D, the fully articulated touchscreen from the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i), and built-in Wi-Fi from the EOS 6D. But on the inside it sports an entirely new sensor that is, potentially, revolutionary. It offers 20.2MP resolution, but uses a ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ design in which every single pixel is split into two separately-readable photodiodes, facing left and right. This means that in principle they are all capable of phase detection autofocus in live view and movie mode.

On-chip phase detection is nothing new – we first saw it in the Fujifilm F300EXR back in 2010. Since then it’s been adopted in one form or another by most manufacturers, with arguably its most successful implementation coming in Nikon’s 1 System mirrorless models. But because until now it’s used relatively few active pixels scattered sparsely across the sensor, it’s had practical limitations, often only covering a restricted area of the frame and struggling once the light drops below outdoor daylight levels. Canon says that its Dual Pixel AF system, in contrast, works across an area 80% of the frame width and height, in light levels as low as 0 EV, and at apertures down to F11. This means it could well be the most capable live view autofocus system we’ve yet seen on any type of camera.

We’ll look at the technology behind the EOS 70D’s live view AF in more detail later, but let’s not forget that it has to work as a conventional SLR too. To this end it uses the same 19-point AF sensor as the EOS 7D for viewfinder shooting, but with slightly simplified control options in firmware. It can rattle shots off at 7fps for up to 65 frames in JPEG or 16 in RAW, and its standard ISO range covers 100-12800, with ISO 25600 as an expanded option. Image processing is via the DIGIC 5+ processor first seen in the EOS 5D Mark III.

In terms of control layout the EOS 70D is a logical evolution of the EOS 60D, adopting many of Canon’s intervening updates and improvements. So it offers a full set of external controls to operate most key functions, and Canon’s well-designed Quick Control screen to cover pretty much everything else. It also adopts the superb touchscreen interface that debuted on the EOS 650D (Rebel T4i), which we’ve found to be more useful than you might at first think. The 70D also regains an array of features that disappeared between the EOS 50D and 60D, such as AF microadjustment.

Canon EOS 70D key features

20.2MP APS-C ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ sensor
DIGIC 5+ image processor
ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
7fps continuous shooting, burst depth 65 JPEG / 16 RAW
‘Silent’ shutter mode
1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
19-point AF system, all points cross-type, sensitive to -0.5 EV
63-zone iFCL metering system
98% viewfinder coverage, 0.95x magnification, switchable gridlines and electronic level display
Fully-articulated touchscreen, 1040k dot 3″ ClearView II LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio
Single SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
Built-in Wi-Fi
Single-axis electronic level
Built-in flash works as off-camera remote flash controller
AF microadjustment (can be set individually for up to 40 lenses, remembered by lens serial number)
In-camera High Dynamic Range and Multiple Exposure modes (JPEG-only)
‘Creative Filter’ image processing styles, previewed in live view

 

Currently Amazon have this for a shade under £999

Nikon D610 First Impressions Review

front-reflectionDP Review gives us the heads up on the new D610. Yes if you bought the recent D600 you might be wondering what Nikon are up to.

Nearly a year after the arrival of Nikon’s full-frame D600, its replacement has arrived. The new D610 is a very minor upgrade to the D600, with just three new features. They include faster continuous shooting, a ‘quiet continuous’ mode, and an improved auto white balance system. The first two features are courtesy of a newly designed shutter mechanism.

The D610 can now shoot at 6 fps, up from 5.5 fps on the D600. A new ‘quiet continuous’ mode shoots at 3 fps and, as its name implies, makes a lot less noise while doing so. Finally, the auto white balance system has been updated to produce more accurate color in artificial lighting, and more realistic skin tones.

The D600 was an excellent digital SLR, with top-notch photo quality, a well-built body, and impressive movie recording capabilities. Unfortunately for Nikon, the D600 is probably best known for collecting oil on the sensor – an issue for which the Company issued a service advisory, without admitting the actual cause of the problem. The official line in the US remains ‘as with all of our products, if any users find they cannot get their sensor clean using the methods outlined in the user manual, they should return it to a Nikon service center’.

Internet theorists have already suggested that the D610 was created to leave the troubles of the D600 behind. And the appearance of a new model so soon after the D600’s launch, with almost no changes other than a new shutter mechanism, seems to give that theory some credence. However, given the company’s refusal to acknowledge a problem with the D600, it’s not possible to get confirmation that the oil issue has been resolved.

With that out of the way, let’s take a more in-depth look at the D610, and what’s changed.

Nikon D610 key features

24.3MP Full-frame CMOS sensor (10.5MP DX-format crop mode)
ISO 100-6400 (expandable to ISO 50-25,600 equivalent)
Maximum 6fps continuous shooting; new quiet continuous mode shoots at 3 fps
39-point AF system with 9 cross-type AF points
Refined auto white balance system
Wireless flash control
3.2in 921k-dot LCD screen
Dual memory card slots
1080p30 full HD video
Uncompressed video recording via HDMI

 

If you want the full SP then go here

 

Flower Photography

One thing that has become clear from the years of teaching photography is that many, many people want to take pictures of flowers. They are beautiful, colourful, delicate and last only a short time and do not answer back, be difficult, require extensive walking and can be readily available. That said it got to a point on one of our more advanced courses when I realised that half the class were only photographing flowers that I had to ban them as a subject. It was not that I dislike pictures of flowers but just that once the techniques have been mastered the main challenge is finding beautiful blooms to photograph. The impact on the class was initially concern, what were they going to photograph but once they started looking they found many things that captured their interest.

This article on Lightstalking by  Izabela Korwel explains some of the basics of flower photography. Check out Iza’s amazing macro photography on her blog,. 

All of this article is useful, I would add that most zoom lenses  that come as a basic kit with a dslr camera can close focus to about  8 inches and are great for macro/close focus work. If you want to explore this with your zoom lens put it in manual focus and set the focus ring to it’s minimum focus distance (usually when the ring is extended furthest out) then put the camera to your eye and move the camera backwards and forwards until something close comes in focus, this will be about 6 – 8 inches. Using manual focus with macro flower photography is a better way to work that auto focus because you get to decide what is in sharpest focus rather than the camera.

Here is the start of the article:

Flowers are the easy subjects to come by and to photograph, even close to home. You can go to local park or find a flower bed downtown or at the mall. You can visit a botanical garden, there is one in every major city. You can ask the neighbours if you can photograph in their garden. You can also just go the flower shop and buy potted or cut flowers, and set them up in your living room.

The easiest way, as I discovered this year, is to plant small flower garden in front of your house. Even for the sole purpose of having a photographic subject handy, they do not require that much work, especially if you choose the local wild flowers. The diversity in types and colors will help keeping you interested and returning often to add to the collection of images. Each day, the flowers will looks different, some will be already dying, and some will just start to bloom. There are new and different photos to be taken each and every day.

Click Here: How to Take Incredible Photographs of Flowers 

Buying a digital SLR

This excellent article on DP Review explains why a dslr, and what to consider, essential for anyone about to buy a dslr

So you’ve decided to invest in a new digital camera and have made your mind up that you want to step up to a digital SLR, but the huge range of models on offer and endless flow of technical jargon have left you more confused than when you started? Fear not, this page will take the pain out of choosing the perfect digital SLR for you, whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a total novice.

Before we get down to business it’s worth stopping for a moment to ask the question: why would anyone want a digital SLR when compact digital cameras are so much smaller, lighter and more affordable? The answer can be summed up in two words: versatility and image-quality.

The versatility isn’t just the fact you can change lenses and add a wide range of accessories – from basics such as flashguns and remote controls to the more specialized equipment that allow SLRs to capture anything from the tiniest bug to the most distant stars. It’s also about the creative versatility offered by the more advanced controls and higher quality components.

And this leads on to the second factor; image quality. In broad daylight the quality difference between a good compact and a digital SLR is minimal; both will produce sharp, colorful results with little effort. But when you start to push the boundaries a bit more; shooting in low light, attempting to capture fast moving sports action or wildlife, or when you want to experiment with shallow depth of field (to add a soft background to a portrait for example), the advantage of a digital SLR’s larger sensor and higher sensitivity start to make a big difference. A digital SLR can’t beat a compact camera for ‘pop it in the purse or pocket’ convenience but for serious photography the SLR wins hands down. With prices lower than ever it’s not that surprising to discover that many people own one of each.

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What is an SLR?

The basic physical design of the SLR has remained essentially unchanged for over half a century. The name itself, ‘Single Lens Reflex’, refers to the hinged mirror that bounces the light passing through the lens up to the viewfinder for framing then flips out of the way when you press the shutter to allow the light to hit the sensor (or film).

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As the (simplified) diagram above shows, the mirror inside an SLR reflects the image formed by the lens up to the optical viewfinder (via a focusing screen and prism). When the picture is taken the mirror flips out of the way to allow the light to fall directly onto the sensor (or film), which sits behind a mechanical shutter. The mirror is also flipped up for live view operation (where the sensor is used to provide a live video feed directly to the screen on the back). 

 Read the full article here

Digital Photography Glossary

The DP Review site has an excellent glossary section where all those words you use on a daily basis as a keen photographer  which slide from your tongue as if their understanding were universal reside. Sections include: Digital Imaging; Camera Systems; Exposure etc

Here is just one of the numerous sections covered

Here is the entry on autofocus

All digital cameras come with autofocus (AF). In autofocus mode the camera automatically focuses on the subject in the focus area in the center of the LCD/viewfinder. Many prosumer and all professional digital cameras allow you to select additional autofocus areas which are indicated on the LCD/viewfinder.

Example of a camera with a multi selector button (extreme right) to select the AF area spot. The selected area spot is indicated on the main LCD by a red bracket.

In “single AF” mode, the camera will focus when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. Some cameras offer “continuous AF” mode whereby the camera focuses continuously until you press the shutter release button halfway. This shortens the lag time, but reduces battery life. Normally a focus confirmation light will stop blinking once the subject in focus. Autofocus is usually based on detecting contrast and therefore works best on contrasty subjects and less well in low light conditions, in which case the use of an AF assist lamp is very useful. Some cameras also feature manual focus.

This article is written by Vincent Bockaert,
author of The 123 of digital imaging Interactive Learning Suite
Click here to visit 123di.com

Go here to visit the glossary pages of DP Review

The Lomography Petzval Portrait Lens

Here is a novelty, but at $500 an expensive one. This is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a kickstarter (Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, more than 4.5 million people have pledged over $718 million, funding more than 45,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.)

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The Lomography Petzval Lens attached to analogue Canon and Nikon SLRs.

In the 19th Century, the vast majority of photos were shot with the extremely popular Petzval lens. The lens was invented by Joseph Petzval in Vienna in 1840 and had a huge impact on the development of photography. Photos shot with a Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their sharpness and crispness, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field. The totally distinctive look of Petzval photos is all about the fantastic lens design that gives you the satisfaction of the instant optic experience that goes far beyond using photo editing software and filters.

For this Kickstarter project, we are reinventing the Petzval Lens for 21st century photographers and videographers. It doesn’t matter whether you shoot analog or digital; the brand new Lomography Petzval Portrait Lens is designed to work withCanon EF and Nikon F mount cameras. So, for the first time, you can easily get the fantastic Petzval photographic look with 35mm analog cameras and DSLR cameras too. This will bring with it a whole new world of possibilities; from shooting Petzval photos with your 35mm SLR or DSLR, to creating amazing DSLR movies with the lens!

The Petzval Portrait Lens is a high-quality glass optic; it’s a must-have lens for anyone looking to enhance their creative potential and turn every photo into a timeless artwork.

Expected delivery date of the lenses is on February 2014. However, we are confident to have the first 1000 lenses shipped out by December 2013.

The Story of The Original Petzval Lens

When the original Daguerre & Giroux Camera was introduced in 1839, it used a lens designed by Charles Chevalier. This camera marked the very beginning of modern analog photography and was of fundamental importance. But Chevalier’s lens had several problems. It had a slow, small aperture of f/15; this meant that even in bright sunlight, exposures could take 10 minutes or more.

Joseph Petzval was a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Vienna and worked on a rival lens design which was introduced in 1840 (by the way, as well as being the place where Petzval lived, Vienna is the home of Lomography!). At f/3.6, Petzval’s large aperture design was about 20 times faster than the Chevalier lens and produced photographs which were extremely sharp at the focused area.

Obviously, the original Petzval lens was designed in order to work with the cameras manufactured in the 19th century. Most of these cameras were large-format analog cameras. It’s extremely hard to find a Petzval lens today which works easily with smaller format cameras. The new Lomography Petzval Portrait lens changes all this and allows you to enjoy the magic of the Petzval lens optic using your analog or digital SLR camera.

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The dos (and don’t) of summer photography

 on The Guardian Photography pages has hints and tips that he could have stolen from us at OSP Towers, as he didn’t and he has written them up with such clear prose we recommend you head over there and find out how to do it

The sun is out which means it’s time to get snap-happy. With a bit of know how and some advice from the pros, you too can take striking images……Summer’s here! At least it was when this guide went to press, though anything could have happened in the few days since. Still, the holiday season is definitely upon us, so here are a few dos (and one don’t) to help you take better photographs, whether you’re using a £1,000 SLR, a £100 point-and-shoot, or the camera built into your smartphone…..Read the article here

 

kids taking summer photos in Italy

Photograph: Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

88 Amazing Photography Links That You Won’t Want to Miss

With another terrific week in the world of photography passing us by, we find Toad Hollow Photography has been searching high and low in all corners of the internet for links to tutorials, reviews, special features, great photography and really interesting blogs to share with everyone here.  This week’s list features some really interesting articles and tutorials, as well as some incredible special features.  And, of course, we’ve got a comprehensive list of great images to check out as well, all carefully collected and curated by the Toad himself!  From Toad via Lighstalking

Here is a taste

TUTORIALS

A Mathematical Look at Focal Length and Crop Factor – this in-depth piece takes a close look at the physics and mathematics behind varying focal lengths and sensor sizes in modern DSLR cameras.  This highly technical piece explains it all in great depth, and even for those who don’t fully grasp all the points being discussed the article will still reveal a few of the secrets behind this topic.

New Fuji 55-200mm lens for IR! – Mark Hilliard writes a comprehensive article taking a close look at the new Fuji 55-200mm lens for IR applications.  Mark includes detailed notes as well as a handful of example photographs to visually show the topics being discussed.

Orbs — the easy way… – this is a terrific article complete with sample images and screenshots to take the reader through the entire process step-by-step.  This great tutorial by Sherry Galey gives an in-depth look into the process for the reader, one that can expand your repertoire in post-processing.

9 Low Light Photography Tips for Professional Photos – this is a basic, common-sense list of tips and tricks for low light photography.  This challenging genre introduces it’s own series of problems to overcome, and all the highlights behind these issues are covered in this article.

 Click Here: 88 Amazing Photography Links That You Won’t Want to Miss

Pentax offers K-30 in a variety of colors and finishes

k30_colors_logoOh yuk!

Pentax has announced a wide range of new colors options for its K-30 weather-sealed mid-level DSLR. Available in either a shiny ‘Crystal’ or matte ‘Silky’ finish, the 16MP DSLR now comes in dramatic tones like orange, yellow and blue. The cameras are available for pre-order at a retail price of $799.95, including the 18-55 kit lens. See below for a complete list of available color options. If you are tempted there is more information here

 

Canon EOS 100D

One comes along and then immediately another. This little camera is a departure from the trend in DSLR cameras in that is attempting to offer a full DSLR experience but in  a smaller lighter camera. It is on sale at Amazon for about £700 with lens

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Last year Canon made its long-anticipated entry into the mirrorless camera market with the EOS M, taking aim at compact-camera upgraders who desire better image quality but don’t want the bulk or intimidating controls of a DSLR. Yet the company has long hinted that another path to competing with mirrorless entries from Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic lay in the miniaturization of its familiar SLR design. With the announcement of the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1, Canon has laid its cards on the table. Billed as ‘the world’s smallest, lightest APS-C DSLR’, the EOS 100D unabashedly merges the Rebel-series’ DSLR operational hallmarks with an impressively small body.

Thanks to a downsizing of internal components that has resulted in a smaller shutter mechanism, thinner sensor module and smaller-footprint circuit board, the EOS 100D is significantly smaller and lighter than the co-announced EOS 700D, while offering the same 18MP pixel count, DIGIC 5 processor and, presumably image quality. The EOS 100D is, in fact, comfortably the smallest DSLR we’ve yet seen, and not so far off ‘SLR-style’ mirrorless models such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5.

As attention-grabbing as the EOS 100D’s small footprint undoubtedly is, what’s equally impressive is that Canon has been able to retain most of the controls and features typically found on a Rebel-series camera. A front dial and dedicated ISO, exposure compensation and AF/AE lock buttons are among the controls that will be familiar to any Canon DSLR user. Its touchscreen is identical in resolution to that on the EOS 650Dand 700D, but is fixed, rather than articulated.

The EOS 100D introduces version two of Canon’s Hybrid CMOS AF system, originally seen in the EOS 650D. While Canon is making no claims about focus speed improvements of its hybrid phase/contrast detect system, the new version covers a significantly greater portion of the live view area (80% of the area). This should make it a significantly more useful option than the version found on the EOS M and 650D. FROM DP REVIEW SEE MORE HERE

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This front view shows that the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 is substantially smaller than the co-announced EOS 700D / Rebel T5i – itself not exactly a giant.

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However, the 100D retains the majority of the external controls found on the larger camera. Although both cameras feature the same rear touchscreen, the 100D’s screen is fixed, not articulated.

The EOS 100D achieves its notable size reduction without sacrificing much in the way of external control compared to the EOS 650D. On the 100D the button at the center of the 4-way controller does double-duty as both the Q menu and Set button, and the surrounding buttons have lost their dedicated functions. The 100D has a lower capacity flash, with a guide number of 9m (versus 13mm on the 650D) and houses a mono versus stereo microphone, though it does retain a stereo mic input. And while the handgrip is not as deep as the one on its larger sibling, the 100D still provides a distinctly DSLR handling experience.