September 13, 2013
Posted in News

Hack: A Canon PowerShot A530 with CHDK Used to Shot (and send) Pictures from Stratosphere

There is not only Magic Lantern to get the juice out of your Canon DSLR, CHDK is a firmware extension for Canon PowerShot cameras (with many many supported PowerShots):

CHDK is a firmware enhancement that operates on a number of Canon Cameras. CHDK gets loaded into your camera’s memory upon bootup (either manually or automatically). It provides additional functionality beyond that currently provided by the native camera firmware.

To see all features click here, for an overview go here.  So, what do you need if you want to send images from the stratosphere to the ground? A lot of stuff I guess, but for the photographic part you’ll not need the high end gear you may think. Chris Stubbs is an apprentice electronic engineer who started a pretty cool project concerning high altitude balloon flights. To shot images he uses a Canon PowerShot A530 (here on eBay) with CHDK installed, and a cheap Radiometrix NTX2 FSK radio module that is so small it fits into the battery compartment.

There are a lot of technical details in Chris’ post, the project is described in every detail. Not a DIY weekend project but something you could replicate with a bit of patience and some technical skills.

Ready to go high (image credit: Chris Stubbs)

[via hackaday]


September 12, 2013
Posted in Reviews

DPreview Canon EOS 70D Studio Test Scened Added to Ongoing Review

DPreview added a set of studio test scenes to their ongoing review of the Canon EOS 70D. All files can be downloaded in full resolution for your viewing and pixel-peeping pleasure.

The EOS 70D is an amazing DSLR. It’s for sure the best all-round, multi-purpose APS-C DLSR on the market, and kudos Canon: you made it right. Unfortunately since I got mine I didn’t have enough time to shot and learn about the EOS 70D. It’s simply a great camera and all reviews have confirmed it so far. To get an overview below is a DigitalRev video about the EOS 70D.

I am in San Francisco now and will soon go back home. Just have a little more patience and posting will start again as usual. Have a great day.

September 12, 2013
Posted in News

Canon Prototype Full-Frame Sensor Captures Fireflies at Less than 0.01 Lux

Screenshot taken from the video mentioned below

Canon published a press release about a prototype 35mm sensor (announced in March 2013). This sensor is capable to capture images in extreme low light, less than 0.01 lux. To give an example the full moon provides approximately 0.3 lux, the crescent moon approximately 0.03 lux. If you follow this link there is a sample video that shows what it is about.

The press release:

TOKYO, Japan, September 12, 2013—Canon Inc. has successfully captured video footage of Yaeyama-hime fireflies flying in darkness, a feat made possible by the high-sensitivity 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor developed by Canon for video capture that was announced in March 2013.

  • Yaeyama-hime fireflies amid jungle vegetation
    (Photomontage created from video footage)

  • 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor for
    Full HD video capture

The high-sensitivity, low-noise video-shooting capabilities of the dedicated 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor1for Full HD video capture were made possible not only through the integration of the high-performance sensor technologies employed in Canon’s digital SLR cameras, but also through the incorporation of new pixel and readout circuitry technologies that reduce noise.

Using a camera prototype equipped with the CMOS sensor, Canon, in cooperation with ZERO CORPORATION,2 succeeded in capturing video3 of the Yaeyama-hime fireflies that inhabit Japan’s Ishigaki Island, located off the northeastern coast of Taiwan. No artificial lighting was used during shooting, which took place after sunset amid the island’s mountains. Despite an exceptionally dark shooting environment4 of less than 0.01 lux, a level in which the naked eye would have difficulty discerning surrounding objects, the CMOS sensor was able to capture not only the color of the light emitted by the fireflies, each of which measures only a few millimeters in length, and their movements, but also the surrounding vegetation in which the species lives. Plans call for the footage to be used to benefit future research into the Yaeyama-hime firefly.

In addition to astronomical and natural observation, Canon is looking into applying this CMOS sensor to medical research purposes as well as surveillance and crime-prevention equipment. Through the further development of innovative CMOS sensors, Canon aims to expand the realm of photographic possibilities while cultivating the world of visual expression.

September 12, 2013
Posted in News

Rokinon 16mm T2.2 Cine Lens in Stock and Ready to Ship

Rokinon 16mm T2.2

B&H has the Rokinon (or Samyang or Bower) 16mm T2.2 Cine Lens in stock and ready to ship for $529 (click here). Free shipping in the US, and B&H now ships worldwide too. The specs:

Focal Length 16 mm
Comparable 35mm/Full-Frame Focal Length: 25.6mm
Aperture Maximum: T2.2
Minimum: T22
Iris Blades 8
Mount Type Canon EF
Format Compatibility Covers APS-C or smaller sensors
Angle of View 79.5° (Canon APS-C)
Lens Construction 13 elements in 11 groups (1 x aspherical element, and 1 x hybrid aspherical element)
Filter Size 77 mm
Minimum Focus Distance 7.87″ (20.00 cm)
Gear Pitch 0.8
Dimensions (Diam. x L) 3.3 x 3.5″ (83.0 x 89.4 mm)
Weight 20.6 oz (583.0 g


Product description after the break or check the B&H in-depth article about the Rokinon 16mm T2.2.

Read the rest of this entry →

September 11, 2013
Posted in Tips

Photography Hacks That May Make Your Life Easier (10 hacks)

In the usual fun way, Kai of DigitalRev shows 10 photography life hacks that (may) make things easier for you as a photographer. The best thing: these can all be done without having to pay big dollars. The egg timer hack is my favourite. Have a great day!

September 11, 2013
Posted in News

Humor: Ironic Posters get the Point About Photography (most of the time)

Check this posters at Shoppe Designs (lots of posters, they can be printed). Ironic posters that get the humor about what happens in photography and what people may tell you.

[via Demilked via fstoppers]

September 11, 2013
Posted in Deals

Deal: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS – $660

Canon EF 24-105mm

Pretty good deal by eBay seller bigvalueinc: get the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS workhorse lens for $659.99 (click here). Free shipping. The lens will soon be discontinued by Canon, read a related rumor about an upcoming Sigma 24-105mm lens here. Please note what the seller says:

  • This lens is 100% brand new.
  • These are lenses that were originally packaged with Canon Camera Kits. We sold the Canon Kits in a quantity order, and we had simply removed the Lenses and placed them in their own box with all original foam packaging.These Lenses are limited quantity only.