Shooting the Aurora Borealis with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and 6D Mark II (and pushing ISO to the limits)

aurora borealis

Astronomy and night sky photographer Phil Hart made two beautiful clips of the Aurora Borealis in Canada’s Yukon Territory. The results are beautiful and have a touch of magic.

To shot both Aurora Borealis clips, Phil Hart used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (price & specs) and an EOS 6D Mark II (price & specs) and fast Sigma ART lenses. With the EOS 5D Mark IV he  captured 1080p video at the camera’s maximum 32000 ISO setting. 4K video on the EOS 5D Mark IV didn’t work out well for Phil: the combination of the 1.7x crop factor and significant reduction in maximum allowable ISO speed were the bottlenecks. He used the EOS 6D Mark II to shoot 4K time-lapse video.

First, have a look at the mesmerising clips below.

Phil Hart tells the story of both clips on his site, with many details on his workflow.

[via PetaPixel]

Canon research publishes paper on global shutter sensor

global shutterCanon’s research division posted a paper named “Development of Gentle Slope Light Guide Structure in a 3.4 μm Pixel Pitch Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensor with Multiple Accumulation Shutter Technology” (Hiroshi Sekine, Masahiro Kobayashi, Yusuke Onuki, Kazunari Kawabata, Toshiki Tsuboi, Yasushi Matsuno, Hidekazu Takahashi, Shunsuke Inoue, and Takeshi Ishikawa).

The paper describes a concept for a global shutter sensor. The paper’s abstract states:

CMOS image sensors (CISs) with global shutter (GS) function are strongly required in order to avoid image degradation. However, CISs with GS function have generally been inferior to the rolling shutter (RS) CIS in performance, because they have more components. This problem is remarkable in small pixel pitch. The newly developed 3.4 µm pitch GS CIS solves this problem by using multiple accumulation shutter technology and the gentle slope light guide structure. As a result, the developed GS pixel achieves 1.8 e temporal noise and 16,200 efull well capacity with charge domain memory in 120 fps operation. The sensitivity and parasitic light sensitivity are 28,000 e/lx·s and −89 dB, respectively. Moreover, the incident light angle dependence of sensitivity and parasitic light sensitivity are improved by the gentle slope light guide structure.

Canon’s approach to the issue is two-fold (see also the picture after the quoted text):

[…] two key techniques to realize superior optical characteristics while suppressing the reduction of saturation more than the conventional GS pixels. The first technique is the multiple accumulation shutter technology. This technique improves pixel saturation. The second technique is the light guide structure. This technique improves optical performance. As a premise of adopting these two techniques, we first explain the idea of saturation allocation that is important in these techniques.

global shutter

The research paper is publicly available here, and was spotted by Image Sensors World.

Smartphones account for 50% of photos uploaded to Flickr, Canon EOS 5D Mark III most used DSLR

Flickr Blog published some figures about the device used by its users to snap pictures that get uploaded to the platform.

Smartphones dominate by upload volume, a trend we saw last year and that’s getting stronger:

Smartphones accounted for 50% of the photos uploaded to Flickr, up from 48% in 2016.
DSLR was 33%, up from 25% in 2016, and point and shoot was 12%, down from 21% in 2016.
Mirrorless remained at 4% of total uploads for the third year in a row.

Mirrorless still not playing a significant role on Flickr leaves me a bit puzzled. Where have all those Sony, Olympus and Fuji cams gone?

As for the the brands, we see Apple’s domination (54% of photos), accounting for 9 out of the top 10 devices. The first DSLR that follows in this list is the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (price & specs), the most used DSLR on Flickr. Canon is also the second most used brand, after Apple and before Nikon. Canon devices make 23% of the top 100 most used devices, Nikon 18%.

[Flickr Blog via Digicame Info]

Canon announce three new Full HD camcorders with 20x optical zoom (Canon X11, X15, Vixia G21)

Canon XA15

Canon XA15

More gear gets announced today (see here too). Funny is, no rumor site saw it coming :-)

The Canon XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21 Full HD camcorders are all scheduled to be available at the end of December 2017 for an estimated retail price of $1,899, $1,399 and $999 respectively.

Some of the gear is available for order/pre-order:

Canon press release:

Canon U.S.A. Ups The Videography Ante With Three New HD Camcorders

New XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21 Camcorders All Feature a Full HD CMOS Sensor, 20x HD Optical Zoom Lens

MELVILLE, N.Y., December 5, 2017 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the launch of three new compact and lightweight Full HD camcorders, the Canon XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21. Delivering first-class optics, powerful sensors and a range of versatile features, these camcorders are perfect for a broad range of video productions.

“The ability to capture high-quality video on-the-go in a compact and lightweight form factor is extremely valuable to videographers of all skill levels,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “These camcorders were designed to help professionals and enthusiasts who are in the field capture action as it happens.”

Professional Performance and Functionality
The Canon XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21 Full HD camcorders each provide videographers with a spectacular 20x 26.8mm-576mm optical zoom lens allowing a user to easily capture a variety of scenes with superb image quality. Canon’s HD CMOS Sensor and the powerful DIGIC DV4 image processing platform deliver great performance in low-light and the ability to capture superb Full HD images in 60p at 35Mbps. Wide DR mode supports the smooth compression of high luminance areas to achieve 600 percent DR making it possible to shoot with smooth color gradation and suppressed overexposure. This is applicable to any shooting environment where the difference between light and dark areas is prone to causing overexposure. Flexible image expression is supported by a Slow/Fast Segment function that enables users to select shooting speeds from 0.4x to a maximum of 1,200x, and a Hi-UD lens supports the reduction of chromatic aberration and drives vivid imaging.

These camcorders are capable of recording in both AVCHD and MP4 formats, at multiple bit rates, simultaneously, to Dual SD card slots. All camcorders offer HDMI, headphone jack, optional GPS support and the XA15 and XA11 models offer XLR professional audio terminals. Additionally, the XA15 model also features a HD-SDI output. Comprising of a compact and lightweight body, each camcorder is ideal for high-action shoots when both speed and mobility are essential. Dynamic Mode provides 5-Axis image stabilization – roll axis, horizontal roll, vertical roll, up-down and left-right – to help facilitate smooth image capture in various styles of fast-paced shots. The VIXIA HF G21 is identical to the XA15 and XA11 in performance, but does not include a handle.

Key Features:

  • High optical performance
  • Stunning Full HD image quality
  • Professional recording options
  • Professional interfaces
  • Easy operability and compact design

Pricing and Availability
The Canon XA15, XA11 and VIXIA HF G21 Full HD camcorders are all scheduled to be available at the end of December 2017 for an estimated retail price of $1899.00, $1399.00 and $999.00 respectively*. For more information please visit, usa.canon.com.

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Canon announce two new budget friendly PIXMA printers (TS205 & TS305)

Canon Announce Two New Budget Friendly PIXMA Printers (TS205 & TS305)
Canon Pixma TS305

Canon Pixma TS305

The Canon PIXMA TS205 will sell for €49 and the PIXMA TS305 for €59. Canon press release (and press release in German):

Keep your stories alive with stunning prints: Canon launches PIXMA TS205 and PIXMA TS305 for affordable, convenient home printing

London, UK, 5 December 2017 – Canon Europe, a world-leader in imaging solutions, has today announced the launch of two new home printers as part of its PIXMA range: PIXMA TS205 and PIXMA TS305.

  • Ideal for families and students, the affordable, compact, stylish printers are easy-to-use
  • Borderless 4×6” photos in beautiful crisp colours can be printed at home
  • With Wi-Fi connectivity, prints can be sent direct from a smart device to the PIXMA TS305
  • Copy and convert smartphone images into PDFs with the PIXMA TS305 using Canon’s exclusive Smartphone Capture and Copy

Borderless printing at home
Printing cherished moments with friends and family is made easy with the new PIXMA printers. Whether creating a photo collage or pinning a photo on the fridge at home, PIXMA TS205 and PIXMA TS305 print 4×6” borderless photos in just 65 seconds.

For the perfectionists in the family, Canon ink provides only the best. A pigment black ink for printing the sharpest texts and dye colours for the most vivid colour to achieve the highest quality printing.

Boost productivity
PIXMA TS205 and PIXMA TS305 have been designed with productivity and cost-efficiency at the heart, with features like the automatic ‘power on and off’ mode to save on energy costs whilst the printer is not in use. Users can also print and copy entire documents with improved bottom margins, and optional XL cartridges mean less refills and more printing. The Black XL cartridge can print approximately 2.2 times more prints compared to standard cartridges, representing fantastic value.

Time-consuming manual paper changes can be avoided as the printers come with hassle-free paper detection sensors.

Wi-Fi connectivity
Get online with PIXMA TS305, compatible with AirPrint1 and Mopria2 to benefit from wireless connectivity. Printing from your smartphone or tablet couldn’t be quicker or more convenient.

Download the Canon PRINT app3 for iOS and Android to get more from your printer. Print from your mobile device as well as from apps using PIXMA Cloud Link, whether it’s your latest Instagram selfie or important documents from Google Drive.

Stay connected with the PIXMA TS305 at every moment, even if your wi-fi connection lets you down, your printer wont. Easily and simply select wi-fi modes, choosing to connect via the conventional wi-fi router method, or without a router via the access point mode.

Connect via Bluetooth4 technology
Never worry about a paper jam or running out of paper half way through a print again. When the PIXMA TS305 is connected via Bluetooth, the Canon PRINT app lets you know about errors before they become a problem, directing you to the online manual with easy troubleshooting steps to follow.

Print and copy
The brand new PIXMA TS305 offers users the added benefit of copying, like a multi-function printer, when connected via the Canon PRINT app. The handy Smartphone Capture & Copy function allows users to take a photo of any document on their smartphone, be it a bus timetable or water bill, and convert it to a PDF to be saved, shared or printed.

The PIXMA TS305 has a specially designed grid top allowing you to neatly place your document on the printer; ready to copy and convert at the touch of a button. Even when capturing the document at an angle, the app straightens it up for a professional look every time.

Fun for the family
With the PIXMA TS305 you can send personalised, unique messages with Canon’s Message in Print5 app and share your stories with friends and family in a new, fun way. For a thoughtful touch embed invisible messages, such as a birthday message or YouTube video, for only your loved ones to see .

The entire family can now print like never before with the new PIXMA TS205 and PIXMA TS305. Whether printing important documents or bills on the PIXMA TS305 with the Canon PRINT app or having fun with personalised messages; the new printers meet the needs of everyone6.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV product advisory: a firmware update is coming, but in February 2018

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Product Advisory: A Firmware Update Is Coming, But In February 2018

Canon released product advisory for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (specifications, and price in your country).

Future Firmware Plan for the EOS 5D Mark IV

We would like to inform you that release of firmware to enhance functions of the EOS 5D Mark IV, which was originally scheduled for November 29 at the same timing as the firmware updates for six other models (EOS-1D X Mark II: Ver.1.1.4; EOS-1D X: Ver.2.1.0; EOS 5D Mark III: Ver.1.3.5; EOS 5DS: Ver.1.1.2; EOS 5DS R: Ver.1.1.2; EOS 6D Ver. 1.1.8), has been postponed until late February 2018 for reasons related to firmware preparation. We would like to offer our sincere apologies to users of this product who have been inconvenienced.

In the firmware to enhance functions of the EOS 5D Mark IV, we are planning to incorporate the following enhancements:

  1. Support will be added for chromatic aberration correction, peripheral illumination correction, distortion correction, and Digital Lens Optimizer when using Digital Photo Professional to process RAW images captured with the following TS-E lenses: TS-E 17mm f/4L, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, TS-E 50mm f/2.8L MACRO, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO, or TS-E 135mm f/4L MACRO.
  2. Support will be added to fix a phenomenon* in which standard exposure may not be obtained, or an irregular exposure may result, when Silent LV (Live View) shooting with the following TS-E lenses: TS-E 50mm f/2.8L MACRO, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO, or TS-E 135mm f/4L MACRO.
  3. Support for Exif 2.31 will be added.

*This phenomenon occurs when tilt or shift is applied on a TS-E lens (TS-E 50mm f/2.8L MACRO, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO, or TS-E 135mm f/4L MACRO) during LV shooting when Silent LV shooting is set (set to Mode 1 or Mode 2 on the menu). For this reason, until the firmware update, when performing viewfinder shooting or LV shooting, please shoot with the Silent LV shooting set to [Disable].