January 9, 2014
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Posted in Reviews

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Review (ephotozine)

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This is pretty interesting zoom lens. Though it is not part of Sigma’s newer, high level line-up, the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM for full-frame APS-C DSLRs (75-225mm on APS-C) has a constant f/2.8 aperture over the zoom range and optical stabilization, and comes at a price that will not put a hole in your pocket (less than $1000). The Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS is comparable to Canon’s similar specced EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II. The Canon, though, has a higher price tag (around $2499). ephotozine reviewed the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 and gave the lens a rating of 4/5.

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January 9, 2014
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Posted in News

New Canon EOS-1D X Firmware Released (ver. 2.0.3)

EOS-1D X Firmware

Download Firmware Version 2.0.3 for the EOS 1DX

Canon product advisory:

Details
Firmware Version 2.0.3 incorporates the following functional improvements and fixes.

  1. Auto focusing performance under low-light conditions has been enhanced when performing focusing before shooting in AI Servo AF mode. The enhancement comes from the improvement in tracking capability for the first image in the low-light conditions.
  2. The number of release parameters settings for the “AI Servo AF 2nd image priority” AF function has been increased to enable improved AF tracking in low light or maintain consistent high frames rates during continuous shooting.
  3. The number of parameters for acceleration/deceleration tracking in the AF Configuration Tool will has been increased.
  4. Exposure compensation can be performed when using manual exposure and ISO Auto.
  5. The minimum shutter speed limit for ISO Auto has been increased with shutter speeds up to 1/8000.
  6. A new function to keep the exposure constant by altering the ISO or shutter speed in manual exposure, when the aperture value changes when zooming or changing lenses has been added.
  7. A new option has been added to orientation linked AF point to enable only the AF point to switch as you change orientation rather than both AF point/ AF area settings
  8. A new option to continue to use the previously manually selected AF point as the initial starting AF point when switching to 61-point automatic selection has been added.
  9. New customization of the Exposure metering and AF controls has been added for more flexibility.
  10. The number of possibilities for controls to switch between one-shot AF and AI Servo AF using custom controls has been increased.
  11. A function has been added to allow the playback and review of protected images only.
  12. A phenomenon has been fixed in which the white balance may be disturbed by the timing of the shutter release when the drive mode is single shooting and a flash (E-TTL)is used.

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January 9, 2014
Posted in News

CES 2014: Canon Shows Inner Working Of Its Lenses in Demos (video)

At CES 2014 Canon showed the inner working of their lenses. The video was made by Popular Photography‘s Stan Horaczek and it shows the demos that Canon is running at their booth.

You can see how the stepping motor (STM), the electromagnetic technology used to control the aperture, and the image stabilization of Canon lenses work. Quiet interesting.

[via PetaPIxel]

January 9, 2014
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Posted in Reviews

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Review (ephotozine)

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 55-250mm 1:4-5.6
Lens Construction 15 elements in 12 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 27°50′ – 6°15′
Focus Adjustment Rear focus system
Closest Focusing Distance 2.79 ft. / 0.85m
Filter Size 58mm diameter
Dimensions (WxHxD) 2.8 x 4.4 x 2.8″ (71 x 112 x 71mm)
Weight 13.23 oz (375g)

ephotozine reviewed the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM. The lens is made of high quality plastics (the lens mount is also made of plastic, but do not let this fool you). Some excerpts from the review:

  • Autofocus is silent, swift and precise (but no manual override)
  • […] sharp hand-held images are possible around half the time at an impressive 1/25sec (four stops slower than the usual rule of thumb)
  • At maximum aperture and 55mm sharpness is already outstanding in the centre of the frame
  • […] zoomed to 135mm, sharpness at maximum aperture remains very high in the centre of the frame and good sharpness towards the edges
  • Peak sharpness across the frame at f/8
  • Distortion is well controlled

From the conclusion:

As this lens is intended as a budget option, it is quite surprising to see just how well it performs. Sharpness is outstanding in the centre of the frame for much of the zoom range, which is how you might expect much more expensive lenses to perform.

However, as this predecessor of this lens is still available, and as the STM focusing motor isn’t quite a revelation in terms of performance or usability, one may do well to look at snapping up the older version for now, while the price gap is so large.

The lens got a rating of 5 stars with the motivation: “The Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS STM lens delivers outstanding sharpness in the centre delivering better than expected performance at this price“. If you do not need the stepping motor (STM, good for videography) you may prefer the predecessor, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II which comes at a lower price: $267 vs the $335 of the newer version.

The review comes with charts and sample pics (original size), have a look if you are interested in this lens.

[via ephotozine]

January 8, 2014
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Posted in News

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS HSM Available For Pre-Order (B&H)

Sigma 18-200mm

The just announced Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS HSM is already available for pre-order at B&H Photo for $399. More after the break.

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January 8, 2014
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Posted in Deals

Canon Deals: 5D Mark III ($2919), 24-105mm f/4L IS ($774, ref.), EOS 7D ($939, ref.), PowerShot G16 ($454)

 

Refurbished EOS 7DRefurbished EOS 7D

5 interesting deals, first 4 at B&H Photo, last one on eBay:

Canon EF 24-105mm

January 8, 2014
Posted in News

CES 2014: Lexar Announces World’s Fastest Memory Card

CES 2014

To learn more about this new technology have a look at PetaPixel.

Lexar press release:

New Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 Card Provides Read Transfer Speeds up to 500MB/s* in Capacities up to 256GB

Fremont, CA, January 6, 2014 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory products, today announced its technological leadership in the digital imaging market with the immediate sample availability of Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 cards and the Lexar Professional Workflow CFast 2.0 USB 3.0 reader for the Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution. The CFast 2.0 specification is the next generation of high performance memory cards designed for professional applications in still imaging and video capture.

Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 Card
With capacities available for sampling in 256GB, 128GB, 64GB, and 32GB, the Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 cards demonstrate new speed thresholds to capture high-quality images and 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video. Designed to maximize the capabilities of the next-generation of high-definition camcorders and high-resolution digital SLR cameras, the new cards provide a read transfer speed up to 3333x (500MB per second)*, which is three times faster than any CompactFlash card.** Additionally, the new Lexar Professional 3333x CFast 2.0 cards will support the Video Performance Guarantee (VPG-65) specification for professional-quality video capture, and includes the latest version of Image Rescue software.

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