Canon Rules The Astrophotography Universe (pun intended)

Astrophotography

Yes they do: Canon is the most used camera gear in astrophotography (see image on top). That’s what came out from a recent research.

The folks at Skies & Scopes analyzed 828 images listed for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in the past six years to learn what equipment was used:

  • 315 Landscape Astrophotography images (including aurora)
  • 284 Deep Sky images (galaxies, nebulae, etc)
  • 229 Planetary images (including solar and lunar)

Here is a short list of their findings:

  • The trend towards mirrorless camera use increases every year – 58% Mirrorless vs 42% DSLR in 2023
  • Full-frame sensor DSLR and mirrorless models are overwhelmingly favored – 87% full-frame vs 13% APS-C
  • The most successful models are:
    • Canon EOS 6D
    • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
    • Nikon D850
    • Nikon D750
    • Nikon D810A
    • Nikon Z6 II
    • Sony A7 III
    • Sony A7R III
  • Camera Lenses
    • Sigma is the top lens maker
    • 14mm f/2.8 and 14mm f/1.8 lenses are the most used for landscape astrophotography

Get the story and more information at Skies & Scopes.

Is Canon Ready To Open The RF Mount To Third Parties? Didn’t We Already Know That?

Nab 2023 Canon Eos R5 Mark Ii Canon Eos R8 CP+ 2024 Mark Ii Canon EOS Rf 24-50mm R6 Mark Ii Rf Mount Eos R6 Mark Ii Rf 300mm Rf 35mm Canon Eos R100 Rf 24mm F/1.8 Rf-s Canon Eos R7 Eos R100 Canon High Resolution Eos R R10 Eos C5 Canon Canon Eos R1 Eos R5c Canon Rf 16mm Rf 35mm F/1.2L EF Lenses Tilt-shift Lenses Rumor

I might have mixed up some things, but…didn’t we already knew that Canon would open the RF mount to other manufacturer? Maybe I did and forgot to post about it.

Digicame-Info reports a third-party rumor that Canon might be set to open the RF mount specifications to other manufacturers. I do not know how much in this rumor is wishful thinking and/or plain speculation. Indeed, Canon already opened the RF mount specifications to licensed manufacturers, as they said in this interview:

Although still limited to a few companies, Canon has already opened up the RF mount to third-party lens manufacturers through licensing. If we receive a request for an open mount from a third-party lens manufacturer, we will consider whether to license it according to Canon’s own business plan and strategy. In fact, we are in contact with several third-party lens companies in this regard. We separate whether or not to open the RF door to third parties and whether or not Canon’s own product line is complete.

So, I guess this was another click-bait rumor with the aim to waste your and my time and to get some more clicks. That’s how it is in this shitty industry based on lies and crap ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Spend your time with actual photography and not with bs.

[via Digicame Info]

DxO PhotoLab 7 Released (new color calibration and editing tools)

PhotoLab 7

DxO released a new version of their award winning photo editing software, i.e. PhotoLab 7 (click here for more information). PhotoLab 7 does not require a subscription and can be installed on up to three computers.

Press release:

DxO PhotoLab 7 introduces unique color calibration and editing tools, revamped local adjustments, and a powerful B&W workflow.

Paris (France): DxO Labs, creator of pioneering photo-editing software for over 20 years, is proud to present PhotoLab 7, its complete RAW image-processing and correction software.

“Our goal has always been to give photographers the ultimate in image quality, and PhotoLab 7 takes this another step further. Combined with our ultra-wide gamut and soft proofing functionality, the introduction of the color calibration tool and support for LUTs creates a whole new level of control.” (Fabrizio Dei Tos Navalesi DxO Product Director)

New for PhotoLab 7

Commitment To Color

PhotoLab 7 enables photographers to apply true-to-life, scientifically accurate color profiles to their images. PhotoLab 7 unique tool, working in concert with one of six industry-standard color checker charts from Calibrite and Datacolor.

Cinematic-Style Grading

We are excited to introduce Look Up Tables (LUTs) into PhotoLab 7: now available with 17 DxO starter presets. LUTs builds on our previous advances made in color management where we re-engineered our color processing algorithms, introduced DxO Wide Gamut our extended working color space and improved Soft Proofing mode. Using LUTs will enable our exacting photographers to speed up their workflow and apply their favorite style adjustments to their images.

HSL Editing Can Now Be Adjusted Locally

PhotoLab first began to set the standard in color control through its innovative HSL Color Wheel. The spectrum of color control tools now available in version 7 is the result of years of concerted effort to deliver lifelike and expressive colors demanded by serious photographers. Photographers can now enjoy the powerful easy-to-use HSL ColorWheel as part of their local adjustments, enabling them to adjust the color of a subject’s clothing, or subtly warming the highlights of a landscape scene, all with the highest quality and total creative freedom.

A Natural Black-and-White Workflow

PhotoLab 7 has new tools that help photographers create their definitive monochrome workflow. The interface introduces a new tab to switch between color and monochrome and a range of new film renderings – plus PhotoLab 7 includes introduces a six-channel mixer for complete tonal control across black-and-white photography.

Local Adjustments Revamped

The ability to make precise local adjustments is a vital part of creative photo editing. PhotoLab 7 makes this easy by organizing local adjustment tools into a new dedicated palette in the workspace. This evolution keeps the interface cleaner and makes photos more visible while they’re being worked on, allowing even greater precision from our popular U PointTM tool.

Price and Availability

New customers can download Windows and macOS versions exclusively from the DxO website (https:// shop.dxo.com/en) at the prices listed below, a 30-day free trial is also available.

● DxO PhotoLab 7: $ 229
Owners of PhotoLab 5 or 6 can take advantage of a special upgrade price:

● DxO PhotoLab 7 upgrade price: $109
To upgrade, customers should log into their customer account at https://shop.dxo.com/login_upgrade.php/

Excire Foto 2024 Released, More AI Tools (and discounted for limited time)

Excire 2024

A truly impressive software for photo management that I am actively using has been released in a new version with many improvements, Excire 2024 – click here to check it out (trail version available). Excire Foto 2024 is available for both Windows and macOS. The software’s MSRP is $189, but a limited-time launch discount reduces the price to $149. Additionally, existing Excire Foto 2022 users can upgrade to Excire Foto 2024 for $59.

There are many improvements in Excire 2024. Highlights include five separate AI engines and two groundbreaking new features:

  1. Prompt-search AI, so that photographers can instantly retrieve any image in their photo library simply by typing in a text description (e.g., “Grand Canyon sunset” or “person by the Eiffel Tower with a yellow umbrella”).
  1. X-tetics AI, which intelligently scores images based on their aesthetic qualities and has been trained on data from hundreds of thousands of photos and input from expert photographers.

To learn more about Excire Foto 2024’s groundbreaking new features, please visit www.excire.com/en.

Press release:

Step Into the Future: Excire Foto 2024 Is Redefining Image Management

PRC’s Revolutionary Photo-Organizing Software Offers Prompt Search, AI Image Evaluation, and More

Lübeck, Germany – September 27, 2023 – PRC, the AI company behind the award-winning Excire software, has today launched the latest iteration of its innovative photo-management program: Excire Foto 202

Powered by five state-of-the-art AI models, including a prompt-search AI that allows users to instantly retrieve images by inputting text descriptions and an X-tetics AI that intelligently rates each image based on its aesthetic qualities, Excire Foto 2024 propels photographers into a new era of image organization – one where keywording, image evaluation, culling, and retrieval are almost entirely automated, enabling photographers to spend less time behind the computer and more time on their craft.

“Our vision was to combine cutting-edge AI with intuitive design to provide an unparalleled photo-management experience,” said Erhardt Barth, CEO of PRC and a machine learning expert at the University of Lübeck. “Photos cataloged with Excire Foto 2024 aren’t just stored. They’re always at your fingertips, ready to be revisited any time you wish.”
An Image Workflow Like Never Before
Fast, effective, and essential for any photographer seeking a time-saving approach to image organization, Excire Foto 2024 boasts an array of features designed to shortcut traditional file-management bottlenecks and eliminate tedious workflow tasks for both hobbyists and professionals. With Excire, photographers can:

Instantly retrieve any image with X-prompt AI, a revolutionary new tool that puts entire photo catalogs at users’ fingertips. Thanks to X-prompt AI, photographers can find files in their Excire databases by inputting a text description, such as “fast red motorcycle on a country road at sunset.” Using the prompt tool is highly intuitive – just type a sentence into the provided search field and instantly view the results. Excire’s powerful AI engine is capable of understanding complex sentences, context, and even abstract concepts such as “happiness” and “sorrow.” Gone are the days of searching endlessly for lost files; instead, if the user can describe it, they can find it.

Evaluate photos with X-tetics AI, a newly designed feature designed to accurately judge image aesthetics. Trained using hundreds of thousands of photos as well as extensive input from expert photographers, the X-tetics AI feature independently evaluates each image uploaded to a user’s catalog, then outputs a unique Aesthetics Score for each file. Aesthetics ratings can then be used to swiftly identify the most shareable – and most deletable – images from photoshoots, as well as to uncover hidden gems from deep within an image database.

Automatically categorize files with X-tags AI, the innovative tool that analyzes each photo upon import and applies relevant keywords to aid in search and categorization. Thanks to X-tags AI’s unique capabilities, users can skip the tedium of manual keywording and can instead let Excire do the heavy lifting, making it easier than ever to categorize and retrieve images based on their content. While X-tags AI has appeared in previous versions of Excire software, the latest version boasts a revamped engine with enhanced content-detection capabilities for outstanding accuracy.

Manage photos with X-face AI and X-alike AI, two more powerful features for finding, organizing, and culling images. X-face AI’s advanced facial-recognition technology allows photographers to categorize and retrieve files containing specific individuals as well as certain facial characteristics, such as age, sex, and the presence of a smile. And X-alike AI’s image analysis enables users to search for similar files – based on an initial image prompt – or even identify near-duplicate images for deletion. Like X-tags AI, these features first appeared in previous iterations of Excire Foto, but the latest version boasts upgraded AI technology for improved results.

Click here to open the rest of the article

Canon Patent: Electric Tilt-shift Lens Operation

Canon Patent

This is a rather interesting Canon patent application, and it might well go into production one day.

Canon patent application 2023135457 (japan, published 9/28/2023) discusses technology and methods to implement an electronic, motor-driven tilt-shift lens operation. The following excerpt from the patent literature should make this more clear:

An object of the present invention is to provide a control device that can reduce the effort and time of operation and improve the convenience of tilt photography and shift photography.

Background Art

Patent Document 1 describes tilt photography in which the in-focus range is adjusted by moving two optical element groups in a direction perpendicular to the optical axis, and tilt photography in which the shooting angle of view is changed and distortion is corrected. An optical system is disclosed that can perform shift photography.

In recent years, the number of situations in which tilt photography and shift photography are used has been increasing, and there is an urgent need to reduce the effort and time required for operations in such photography. However, in the optical system of Patent Document 1, there is no mention of reduction in operational effort and time.

An object of the present invention is to provide a control device that can reduce the effort and time of operation and improve the convenience of tilt photography and shift photography.

Means for Solving the Problems

A control device according to one aspect of the present invention includes an imaging device including an imaging device, and a tilt effect that tilts a focus plane with respect to an imaging surface of the imaging device and moves a shooting range. A control device used in a camera system having a lens device including at least one optical member for changing at least one of a shift effect and a shift effect, in which a first operation instruction based on an operation on an operation unit is acquired, A first control unit that moves at least one optical member in response to an operation, and moves the at least one optical member to a preset position when a second operation instruction different from the first operation instruction is obtained. and a second control section.

In this embodiment, by moving the sixth group lens 26 and the eighth group lens 28 in a direction perpendicular to the optical axis O, the tilt effect and shift effect can be changed. Specifically, by moving the sixth group lens 26 and the eighth group lens 28 in opposite directions, the tilt effect can be changed, and by moving them in the same direction, the shift effect can be changed. The lens-side CPU 9 controls the movement of the sixth group lens 26 via a drive section using a signal from a detection section (not shown) that detects the amount of movement of the sixth group lens 26. Further, the lens-side CPU 9 controls the movement of the 8th group lens 28 via the drive section using a signal from a detection section (not shown) that detects the amount of movement of the 8th group lens 28. The drive unit that moves the sixth group lens 26 and the eighth group lens 28 is, for example, a stepping motor or a voice coil motor (VCM). Note that it is also possible to change the tilt effect by tilting (rotating) the lens.

FIG. 3 [on top, editor’s note] is an explanatory diagram of the operation unit 500 for changing the tilt effect and shift effect. The operation unit 500 includes a direction key 501, a slide switch (selection unit) 502, and a decision/cancel button 503. The operation unit 500 is provided on the lens barrel 2 so that it can be operated by a photographer. Note that although the operating unit 500 is provided on the lens barrel 2 in this embodiment, it may also be provided on the camera 3. Further, a part of the operation unit 500 (for example, the direction key 501) may be provided on the lens barrel 2, and another part (for example, the enter/cancel button 503) may be provided on the camera 3. Further, instead of the direction key 501, an operating member such as a joystick, a lever, or an operating ring may be used. Furthermore, instead of providing the operation section 500, a screen for executing the same functions as the operation section 500 may be displayed on the display section 14, for example. Furthermore, the functions of the operation section 500 may be assigned to an existing operation member provided in the camera system 1.

More Canon patents are listed here.

[via asobinet]

Canon Patent: 200-1000mm F5.6-11 IS And 200-800mm F5.6-8 IS Lenses

Canon Patent

Here is a new Canon patent application: two super telephoto zooms for the RF mount.

Canon patent application 2023135180 (Japan, published 9/28/2023) discusses optical formulas for two super telephoto zoom lenses for the RF mount:

  • 200-1000mm F5.6-11 IS
  • 200-800mm F5.6-8 IS

From the patent literature:

To obtain a zoom lens whose entire system is compact and whose optical performance is suppressed from deteriorating due to focusing.

BACKGROUND ART

As an imaging optical system, a telephoto zoom lens having a long focal length at the telephoto end is known. (Patent Document 1) Such a zoom lens is required to be small, yet easy to perform high-speed focusing, and to suppress deterioration of optical performance due to focusing.

However, the zoom lens disclosed in Patent Document 1 has a large number of lenses in the fourth lens group, which is a focus group, and also has relatively strong refractive power. Therefore, it is difficult to simultaneously increase the speed of focusing and suppress deterioration in optical performance due to focusing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide a zoom lens whose entire system is small in size and whose optical performance is suppressed from deteriorating due to focusing, and an imaging device having the zoom lens.

Example 1

  • Focal length: 206.00-778.20
  • F value: 5.71-9.18
  • Half angle of view: 6.00-1.59
  • Image height: 21.64
  • Total length: 330.11-420.11
  • Back focus: 40.03-96.02

Example 2

  • Focal length: 200.00-998.33
  • F value: 5.71-11.00
  • Half angle of view: 6.17-1.24
  • Image height: 21.64
  • Total length: 346.80-456.78
  • Back focus: 43.85-105.49

Example 3

  • Focal length: 206.00-775.95
  • F value: 5.83-8.00
  • Half angle of view: 6.00-1.60
  • Image height: 21.64
  • Total length: 330.08-420.12
  • Back focus: 38.46-38.46

More Canon patents are listed here.

[via asobinet]