Archive for February, 2007

Canon’s striking blow to the competition

Canon was expected to make the announcements today for one or more of Canon’s new DSLRs. For now Canon announced only one new model, Canon 1D mkIII. It still has APS-H sized sensor (1.3x crop), but they bumped the resolution up to 10 mpix and frame rate to 10 fps. They also introduced a new (finally!) AF system with 19 cross type sensors and 63-zone exposure metering. The speculation regarding 3″ live view monitor was also correct as well as dual DIGIC III (to be honest I didn’t expect it). However the body stays the same, but they changed button layout and functions.

In my opinion, this is a striking blow for the competition, since it’s not even half close. If Nikon won’t announce D3H on PMA, it’s going to loose quite a lot of pro market (most of photojournalists, sport&wildlife photographers).


Here’s the official Canon press release:

Canon today sets new standards for professional photography with the launch of the EOS-1D Mark III. Delivering 10 frames per second at 10.1 Megapixels for a maximum burst of 110 Large JPEG images (30 in RAW), the EOS-1D Mark III replaces the EOS-1D Mark II N as the world’s fastest digital SLR. Dual “DIGIC III” processors drive the camera’s high speed, high resolution performance, and bring 14-bit image processing to the EOS series for the first time.

A ground-up redesign introduces a host of new features and advancements to Canon’s flagship EOS-1 series, including a 3.0” LCD with Live View mode, EOS Integrated Cleaning System, new auto focus system with 19 cross-type sensors, and 63-zone exposure metering. The camera’s APS-H size (28.1 x 18.7 mm) CMOS sensor enables a wider 100-3200 ISO range as standard, expandable to L:50 and H:6400.

“The EOS-1D Mark III represents a complete reappraisal of everything Canon has learned over the past 20 years of EOS development,” said Tsunemasa Ohara, Senior General Manager, Camera Development Center, Canon Inc. “In building this camera, we started with a blank canvas. Every facet of the photographic process has been refined, every design decision re-evaluated to bring us to this point: a camera that combines familiar EOS ergonomics with a vastly enhanced specification. Our engineers are overjoyed with the result.”

Key features

* 10.1 Megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor
* 10 fps continuous shooting for up to 110 frames
* Dual “DIGIC III” processors
* New auto focus system with 19 cross type sensors
* EOS Integrated Cleaning System
* ISO 3200 (expandable to H:6400)
* 3.0” LCD with Live View mode
* Wider, brighter viewfinder
* Picture Style1

The choice of professionals

The EOS-1D line has enjoyed massive popularity among the world’s leading sports, reportage and wildlife photographers, with international wire agencies AFP, Getty and Reuters choosing Canon for their photographers. “The people at Canon are great to work with because they listen to photographers. It’s their attention to detail and the pace of innovation that makes EOS the system of choice,” explained Stephen Munday, Director of Operations – Editorial, Getty Images.

Exceptional image quality

Canon’s dual “DIGIC III” processors deliver unprecedented levels of speed, responsiveness and image quality. Ready to shoot within 0.2 seconds of power on, the EOS-1D Mark III can capture and process over 100 Megapixels of image data per second, rapidly clearing the image buffer to allow up to 110 frames in one burst. Images are processed at 14 bits for a total colour depth of up to 16,384 tones per pixel, compared to 4,096 tones from 12 bit images.

The third generation CMOS sensor incorporates a new pixel design that works together with on-chip noise reduction circuitry to ensure high image quality at ISO 3200. The option to expand to H:6400 will benefit professionals working in news and sports locations where the use of flash is not permitted or desired.

Greater precision, more control

Canon has redesigned its auto focus system to include 19 cross-type sensors with sensitivity up to f/2.8, spread out across the AF area to better accommodate off-centre subjects. An additional 26 AF assist points are used to aid AF tracking for improved accuracy.

Responding to professional photographer requests, a dedicated AF button on the back of the camera allows users to instantly switch auto focus on or off while keeping their eye on the viewfinder. The viewfinder is now brighter and offers a wider angle of view. The camera’s new 63-zone metering system gives photographers greater level of control over exposure.

New LCD with Live View

The bright 3.0” LCD monitor provides 230K pixels resolution for precise framing and reviewing of shots. New to EOS, Live View mode enables photographers to frame without having to look through the viewfinder – particularly useful for shooting from awkward positions.

The menu system on the EOS-1D Mark III has been completely redesigned to take advantage of the LCD size – menus are easier to read and use. A choice of 57 custom functions gives photographers more options for customising camera settings to their daily working requirements. A new My Menu option allows photographers to store frequently used settings on a separate menu for faster access. Settings for new accessories such as the Speedlite 580EX II and Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 – also released today – can be controlled directly from the LCD.

Total reliability

The EOS-1D Mark III incorporates a range of practical enhancements for the working photographer. Shutter durability has been increased by 50% to 300,000 cycles. The body is protected by a magnesium alloy casing with dust and moisture resistant seals. The EOS Integrated Cleaning System provides further reliability by reducing sensor dust, minimising the need for manual cleaning on assignment. To avoid corruption of captured images, a warning appears on the LCD and an alarm sounds if the memory card door is opened while images are still being written. Interfaces include video out (for display in both NTSC and PAL formats) and USB 2.0.

Compatibility and accessories

Canon is marking today’s launch with the release of several additions to the professional EOS system:

* EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM – A fast, ultra wide-angle zoom lens delivering exceptional image quality throughout the aperture range.
* Speedlite 580EX II – An update of the Speedlite 580EX that offers weather resistance when attached to the EOS-1D Mark III.
* Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 – Smaller, lighter and more versatile than its predecessor, the WFT-E2 speeds up workflows by allowing photographers to transmit images wirelessly during the shoot.
* Original Data Security Kit OSK-E3 – Verifies the authenticity of images taken with the camera and supports image encryption for additional security.

Software

The EOS-1D Mark III is supplied with a comprehensive software suite to help the photographer’s workflow. This includes Digital Photo Professional (DPP), a powerful RAW converter that provides complete RAW image processing control.

DPP integrates with cameras features such as the Dust Delete Data and Picture Style. The camera also comes with EOS Utility, ImageBrowser/Zoom Browser and Photostitch.

Canon 16-35 2.8L USM preview

I returned the lens today and I intend to post the review by the end of this week. As you can see I didn’t go to Venice, the trip was canceled. I really looked forward to it, since I could really test the lens on a carnival with all those masks and interesting architecture. Instead of that I had to test it in Ljubljana, which was almost “maskless”. To be honest I wouldn’t even take this lens for the test if it weren’t for Venice, because UWA lenses really don’t interest me that much. Besides that I’ve decided that I’m going to test portrait primes almost exclusively.

I’m going to save you from all this talking and get straight to the photos, that I’ve taken today with my mean man Fločo. All of this in a few minutes. Models like this are really rare. They’re priceless. His specialty is appearing retarded. And I’m laughing out loud again, when I’m viewing them…

This one just has to be enlarged!

Šta da vam kažem…

Snapshot with Canon 16-35 2.8L

I took “my” new kit (Canon 1D mkII and Canon 16-35 f2.8L) with me to the local bar, where I met Blaž for a cup of coffee. I had to check the sharpness wide open and at f3.2, so I wouldn’t mess up any shots tomorrow in Venice. As I suspected, it’s pretty soft wide open, so I’ll use it in the f3.5-f5.6 range most of the time. For min DOF shots, I’ll take my 85 1.8 with me, which is razor sharp even when it’s wide open.

Out of 4-5 shots, this one came out best. Lighting was interesting, so I boosted up contrast (yeah, the skin is intentionally overexposed:).

Trip to Venice

I’ve equipped myself today for the trip to Venice on Sunday, where I’ll be one of the mentors (every mentor helps/teaches a group of people that attended the workshop). I got Canon 16-35 2.8L (a short review will follow next week) and Canon 1D mkII. It’s the time of carnival in Venice, which is known for its beautiful masks, besides the interesting architecture.


I just hope the weather will be nice, with no rain. There’s at least one good side, if it’s going to rain; my photo equipment is going to be 100% weather proof:).

15 minute balcony session

I digged this session in my archive. Shots were taken in early October 2006, when my friend Matias was testing studio lighting in Kazina. After a few shots that I made inside with the 2 sofboxes he had, I got bored (I hate studio photography since you are stuck in one place) and shooting at f9 made me sick so I had to ran out on the balcony and make a f1.8 series with Andreja. I’m going to show you a lot of the photos I took, so you can get a picture of what we were shooting.

I started with my tiny Canon 50 1.8 at f2.5 (because it’s not sharp below f2.5), the first 3 are made with it:




85 mm, f1.8:

Below you can see two 85 mm, f1.8 shots, with beautiful bokeh. Focused on the near eye:

Again 85 mm, f1,8 focused on the far eye:

Yeah that’s me (reflection in the eye). Huge crop f3.5, 1/80 handheld and still sharp:

Please help me decide on the crop. The first one is the original capture, second is cropped:


This come out best of all in my opinion – yeah you’ve already seen it in another post. 85mm f1.8

EDIT(added at 16.00): I forgot about this “ninja style” photo. I took a few photos like this one, to focus on her beautiful eyes:

Experiment

Today I went to the abandoned factory Rog with my friend Nikolaj. I planned on having a session there, so we went there to try a few improvised lighting setups, so I’d be ready for the session and wouldn’t be loosing time with finding the right setup. Ok, setup is probably not the right word, since I only have a single Canon 430 EX flash unit and a 95 cm reflector. So we played around with different reflector positioning, bouncing the natural light from the reflector and flash from the ceiling or just flash of the reflector (in most cases). I hoped I’d be able to shoot with available light only in some parts of the factory, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible. Besides that, my favourite prop was gone, a bed, a part of it really, made from wood and some kind of fabric, similar to velvet. I planned a big part of the session (with a female model, not with my friend:) around that bed. So I don’t think I’m going to have a session there. What a shame, I was so happy, because I thought I found a great spot for my next session…

This shot was taken with the Canon 18-55 kit lens wide open (f3.5:)) and Canon 430 EX flash bounced off the reflector on the lower left and window light on the right:

Assistant

Today I was assisting Ciril Jazbec, who’s in my opinion one of the best Slovenian photographers. We were shooting portraits of talented, promising young actors, painters, web designers etc for one of the slovenian magazines. The session took place in an abandoned factory Rog in Ljubljana. The environment was awesome.
It was a great experience working with Ciril and watching him in action. I took only a few photos, since we were on a pretty tight schedule, so nothing special came out, I’m posting these two photos, so you can see the environment we worked in.


Full Frameless

Yeah, Canon 1Ds mkII is gone. I had to return it yesterday. Damn, it was fun using it, I was doing real min DOF shots for the whole weekend. I plan on buying Canon 5/6D and Canon 135 f2L ’till the end of this year anyway. So sooner or later I’ll own the min (or mean:) DOF machine and use it all the time, not just from time to time like now. I can’t wait…

These are the last photos taken with it. It was on Sunday during the “coffee time”. I took just a few shots and those two came out pretty interesting.


1st photosession with Mina

I gotta say it was a good day. Session was great because I was working with the beauty and the beast. Mina was the beauty and the beast was Canon 1Ds mkII. It was pretty warm (12C) so she didn’t freeze in that mini-skirt.

All the photos are straight from Rawshooter (we finished the session 3 hours ago), so no Photoshop postprocessing is done. I’ve taken all the shots, except of the first one (with 50 1.8) with Canon 85 1.8.










Canon, Nikon, lens, depth of field, flash, aperture, raw, jpg, Pentax, portrait, portrait photography

1Ds mkII and my "retarded" friend

Lately I really enjoy taking these kind of photos. Relaxed, stupid and without any pressure on me (there sometimes is when I do something serious). Besides that it’s really fun for me and my friends, we’re laughing out our asses when we’re reviewing the photos. Some of you that are reading this, are probably thinking that this is a waste of a 7000 euros camera. But it’s not. It’s not even mine, besides that I have a session tomorrow for the cover of ONA magazine.

All of the photos are taken with Canon 1DS mkII and Canon EF 85 1.8. Most of them are shot wide open, the rest in the f2-2.5 range.





Another, normal friend joined the “session”

And here’s another I took right after I got the camera. Unfortunately battery was almost empty so I managed to take just a few shots