Monday, 23 July 2012

Canon News: EOS M Compact System Camera launched

At last, Canon have bitten the bullet and entered the mirroless compact camera market, after several years of speculation... here is their new EOS M:

Highlights are:

  • 18 Megapixel APS-C Hybrid CMOS sensor.
  • The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body.
  • Scene Intelligent Auto.
  • Be versatile with interchangeable lenses; EF lens compatibility (via Mount Adapter EF-EOS M).
  • Create out-of-focus backgrounds for high impact.
  • Easy-to-use touch-screen LCD.
  • Atmospheric photos in low light.
  • Full HD video with Video Snapshot Mode.

More information here.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Canon News: 5D Mk III Firmware (1.1.3) released

Canon have launched new firmware for its new 5D Mark III DSLR.  Changes are:
  1. Supports the single focal length EF40mm f/2.8 STM lens that is to be released at the end of June 2012.
  2. Fixes a phenomenon in which an image may become underexposed when using the Auto Lighting Optimizer for continuous Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) shooting.
  3. Fixes a phenomenon in which the backlight of the LCD monitor may not turn off depending on the camera settings and timing.
  4. Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera's power may not turn on when a super-telephoto lens (*1) is mounted to the camera with an extender (*2). (*1) The EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM or EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses. (*2) The Extender EF1.4x III or Extender EF2x III.
  5. Corrects mistakes in the Dutch, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, and Swedish menu screens.
Firmware available here.

Nikon News: New Nikkor lenses released

Nikon have launched a couple of new zoom lenses.

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

DX format 16.7x zoom lens with versatile 18-300mm focal length (FX/35mm equivalent: 27 to 450mm)
Vibration Reduction II (VR II) stabilization system enables more flexible hand-held shooting and lets you use shutter speeds that are up to 4 stops slower.
Maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the telephoto end of the range.
Zoom-lock switch keeps the lens secure when not in use.
9-blade rounded diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements blend together smoothly.
Three ED glass and three aspherical lens elements ensure high resolution and superior contrast.
SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for fast, whisper-quiet autofocus.
Compact and lightweight design for a lens with this range.

More information here.


AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

  • FX-format standard zoom lens with 24–85mm focal range (36–127.5mm when used with a Nikon DX-format SLR).
  • Vibration Reduction (VRII) system enables more stable handheld shooting and lets you shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower.
  • Nikon Super Integrated Coating greatly reduces ghosting and flare and ensures outstanding color reproduction.
  • Designed specifically for use with Nikon FX-format digital SLR sensors.
  • ED (extra-low dispersion) glass and three aspherical lens elements ensure high resolution and contrast while minimizing aberrations and distortions.
  • SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for quiet and accurate autofocus.
  • Two focus modes: M/A (manual-priority autofocus) and M (manual focus).
  • Lightweight and compact body.
  • Weather-sealed rubber lens mount.

More information here.  



Canon News: EOS 7D Firmware Update

Canon have launched a relatively significant, free, firmware release for their EOS 7D DSLR, available from August.  It will upgrade the camera with the following features:
  • Improved maximum burst for RAW images (up to 25)
  • In-camera RAW image editing
  • In-camera image rating
  • In-camera JPEG resizing
  • Maximum Auto ISO setting (ISO 400-6400)
  • Manual audio level adjustment in movie recording
  • GPS compatibility
  • File name customisation
  • Time zone settings
  • Faster scrolling of magnified images
  • Quick control screen during playback
There is plenty of negative (and tedious) feedback about the reasons and timings of this release on various internet forums, but I think it's positive for the following reasons:
  • If you've already got the 7D, this gives it a new lease of life, for free
  • If you were considering buying the 7D - it will be a better camera
  • If you haven't got, or don't want the 7D, ignore the news!
On a more serious point, it isn't sustainable for any electronics manufacturer to develop new models and expect consumers to upgrade every 12 months or so.  With the EOS range of accessories, Canon already do an incredible job of this - effectively allowing new features to be added to the main body of the camera with new lenses, flash guns, etc.  Firmware is another way of achieving this - and it's free!

 More info here.

Canon News: New EOS STM Lenses Launched

In response to the growing use of SLRs for video capture, Canon have launched a pair of lenses with a new design - a STM (Stepping Motor) is used.  This allows for smoother, quieter operation, with compatible cameras.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

  • Versatile 18-135mm zoom range – perfect for travel.
  • Smooth, quiet STM focusing when shooting movies on compatible cameras.
  • Dynamic Image Stabilizer for smooth movie footage.
  • Fast autofocus with full-time manual override.
  • Minimum focusing distance of 0.39m.

 More info here.

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

  • Portable pancake design
  • Smooth, quiet STM focusing when shooting movies on compatible cameras
  • Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture for low-light shooting
  • Close focus to 0.3m
  • Fast, quiet AF for pin-sharp results
  • Great image quality right across the frame

More info here.

Canon News: EOS 650D Released

Canon have updated their xxxD line of Digital SLRs with the new 650D - and it's got some pretty innovative new features built-in

  • Newly-developed 18MP APS-C Hybrid CMOS sensor
  • Native ISO range from 11 to 12,800
  • Powered by Canon's Digic V processor
  •  7.7cm (3.0”) Vari-angle Clear View LCD II Touch screen - (yes, a touch screen, allowing you to navigate as you might on a smartphone)
  • Hybrid AF enhancing Full HD movies
  • 9 cross-type AF points
  • 5 fps
  • HDR backlit control
Canon 650D Body

More details available here.

N.B. There is a Product Advisory, which actually sounds quite serious - and could case allergic reactions.  In some cases, the black rubber grips on the camera can go white, which is caused by an unpleasant chemical reaction.  Check out your 650D asap!