Monday, February 1, 2016

Preorder Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Now

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Camera Premium Kit
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Camera Premium Kit
(body only $5999)

Product Highlights

As a 1DX owner, I’ve been eager to see what Canon came up with for the replacement to my camera. Now the wait is over, and it’s official. Here’s the highlights of what’s  included:

  • Newly developed 20.2 megapixel 35mm Full Frame Canon CMOS sensor;

  • Continuous shooting speeds of up-to-14 frames per second (fps) with Auto Exposure (AE) and predictive AF for viewfinder shooting and up to 16 fps1 in Live View mode;

  • Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors that transfer image data at extremely high speed for extended bursts during continuous shooting – up-to-170 consecutive RAW images at 14 fps. When shooting JPEG images you’re only limited by memory card capacity 2;

  • Capable of shooting 4K 60P and Full HD 120P video with Dual Pixel CMOS AF;

  • Enhanced wireless functionality (with the optional accessory Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8) that supports the new high-speed IEEE 802.11ac standard and the ability to easily transfer photos and videos to compatible smartphones using Canon’s Camera Connect app*;

  • Digital Lens Optimizer to help correct aberrations in-camera (a feature that previously required post-processing on an external computer);

  • Improved 61-point viewfinder AF with expanded coverage and all AF-points selectable and supported to a maximum aperture of f/8;

  • Improved AI Servo III+ predictive AF algorithm for better accuracy;

  • Continuous red illumination of all AF points within the camera’s Intelligent Viewfinder II.

  • Compatibility with both CF and CFast memory cards for optimal performance and versatility.

Estimated ship date is 4/29/16. For a complete list of accessories CLICK HERE.

Compare the 1DX Mark II to other Canon DSLR’s and its predecessor using this awesome PDF.

If you are curious as to how that compares to the D5, then here’s the highlights for the D5:

  • 20.8MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor
  • 3.2" 2.36m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
  • Native ISO 102,400, Extend to ISO 3,280,000!!!
  • 12 fps Shooting for 200 Shots with AE/AF
  • 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor and Group Area AF
  • 14-Bit Raw Files and 12-Bit Raw S Format
  • 1000 Base-T Gigabit Wired LAN Support
  • Available in dual XQD or CF only versions (woohoo, they listened!)

See more in my D5 article.

Ron’s Take

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Rear View
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Rear View

Physically not much has changed beyond the greater resolution touch screen, and that’s a good thing as the 1D X body was very well designed. It’s also tough to re-learn a new body, especially if you keep your old body so I was glad for things to stay the same.

While some may be dissapointed that this wasn’t some 50+MP camera, I’m personally glad to see the 20.2MP sensor that should be on par or better than the D5. Hopefully this “newly developed” sensor will have the dynamic range and high ISO quality that meets or exceeds Nikon’s for the ISO they both offer. I was very dissapointed that Canon did match Nikon’s 153-point AF system and native 102,400 ISO, so I’m on the fence about what I’ll do next.

It also would have been a welcome addition to have the D5’s 2.3m dot touchscreen vs Canon’s 1.62m – especially when zooming in live view for critical focusing, so I’m dissapointed Canon didn’t do more for the LCD – especially given the price!

I’m eager to see how the new AF system works as the 1D X was a great improvement over its predecessors and the Nikon D4, but no match for the incredible performance of the D4s. The D5 is expected to top the D4s, so it should be very interesting to see how these to compete against each other. On paper Nikon should be the winner, but Canon’s better lens line up – including the amazing Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS with 1.4X Extender should prove a tough decision for wildlife and sports photographers.

I’ll test them both for sure and let you know what I think!

B&H First Look Video

More from the Press Release

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Top View
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Top View

The Ultimate EOS Camera: Continuing a Legacy of High Speed and Performance

Building on the success of the Canon EOS-1D X professional digital camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera is designed to deliver high-performance, speed, and image quality, with improved comfort for professional photographers. In addition to the new 20.2 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors, the new EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR camera includes an improved 61-point High-Density Reticular AF II system with all AF points selectable by the user (and up to 41 cross-type points depending on the lens in use). The improved AF system includes expanded coverage that supports AF at maximum apertures up to f/8 with all 61 points for high precision autofocus even when using EF super-telephoto lenses with an EF extender. The camera also boasts excellent dynamic range and reduced color noise compared to its predecessor throughout its standard ISO speed range of 100 - 51,200. Expansion ISO speeds of 50, 102,400, 204,800 and 409,600 are also available. A first for the Canon EOS-1D series, this camera also features a 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor with enhanced precision and performance compared to its predecessor, improving facial recognition and tracking, as well as nature scenes. Additionally, the advanced AE system can detect and compensate for flickering light sources such as sodium vapor lamps that are often used in gymnasiums and swimming pools. When enabled, this anti-flicker system automatically adjusts shutter release timing to help reduce disparities in exposure and color especially during continuous burst shooting.

For filmmakers and photographers looking to do more than still photography alone with a DSLR camera and EF lenses, the EOS-1D X Mark II camera offers high resolution DCI 4K video at frame rates up-to-60p, with smooth movie recording to an in-camera CFast 2.0 memory card. An additional card slot supports standard CF memory cards up to UDMA 7. The built-in headphone jack supports real-time audio monitoring. Two additional EOS ‘firsts’ include 4K Frame Grab and 120p Full HD recording. The camera’s 4K Frame Grab function allows users to isolate a frame from recorded 4K video and create an 8.8 megapixel still JPEG image in-camera. When combined with the EOS-1D X Mark II’s high-sensitivity full-frame CMOS sensor, the new camera’s ability to record Full HD video at frame rates up to 120p will allow videographers to produce high quality slow motion video even in extremely low light. To make video shooting even more intuitive, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera’s touch-screen LCD allows videographers to select the camera’s AF point before and during video recording with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which provides responsive, accurate and quiet camcorder-like video autofocus to DSLRs.

“The innovations within Canon’s new EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR camera clearly set a new standard for professional cameras,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “In developing the EOS-1D X Mark II camera, we looked to incorporate user-requested performance enhancements to bring professional photographers the ultimate EOS camera, a camera that has matured and been developed to meet their evolving needs.”

“Having f/8 capability on all 61 AF points is a tremendous benefit to wildlife photographers," noted nature photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Charles Glatzer. “In order to capture tight shots of animals without disturbing them, I frequently have to use very long lenses—sometimes with an extender attached, which further diminishes the aperture. The improved AF allows me to frame the shot exactly the way I envision it, without having to compromise.”

“This camera is a huge step forward,” remarked acclaimed photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Damian Strohmeyer. “Shooting sports in a gym at 8,000 ISO, it looked as good as 800 ISO from a generation or two ago. The images are tack-sharp, and the autofocus just doesn't miss. I've been amazed by what I've seen so far.”

“The autofocus was awesome,” agreed Peter Read Miller, sports photographer and Canon Explorer of Light. “The higher frame rate coupled with the speed of the CFast card was a definite advantage. It just never buffered out, even shooting RAW.”

The new EOS-1D X Mark II camera also offers a built-in GPS** receiver with compass for precise geo-tagged information of latitude, longitude, elevation and direction. This is especially valuable to wildlife photographers and photojournalists who need to track their locations, as well as providing sports photographers the ability to sync a multiple-camera setup with extreme accuracy and precision. It is also possible to use the camera’s built-in GPS to automatically sync the camera’s time to the atomic clock, an invaluable feature to professionals. An improved grip also makes the camera easier for photographers to hold and maneuver while shooting. In response to feedback from professional EOS users, the AF points in the EOS-1D X Mark II camera’s Intelligent Viewfinder II can be illuminated in red for improved visibility, especially when shooting in dark locations. AF sensitivity in low light has been doubled from EV -2 to EV -3 at the center AF point when the camera is set to One-Shot AF, enabling the camera to autofocus in extremely dark shooting conditions such as a moonlit nightscape. Viewfinder AF coverage has also been increased for greater compositional flexibility.

As with all EOS-1D series cameras, the EOS-1D X Mark II’s rugged construction and magnesium alloy body is weather resistant. The camera also features improved controls and more in-camera image quality enhancements than ever before, including a Digital Lens Optimizer function offering high quality aberration correction which can now be achieved without an external computer. This feature makes it easier for professional photographers to deliver finished files to their clients, especially in situations when access to a personal computer is impractical or inconvenient.

The estimated retail price for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is $5999 (MSRP) for the body or $6299 for the Premium Kit which includes a 64 GB CFast memory card and card reader. The new camera is scheduled to begin shipping to authorized Canon USA dealers in April 2016***. For more information and the full list of product specifications, visit: usa.canon.com/EOS1DXMarkII

Click here to see the full press release.

Where to order

Click here to learn more about this camera and all of the options available for it at B&H. Adorama is also taking pre-orders here (premium kit here).

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by donating a dollar or saving several dollars by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Topaz Labs Texture Effects 1.1 Update Now Available – Save up to 28% off Topaz Products! (new coupon codes)

Burning Dust Effect
Burning Dust Effect

If you were one of the many people who attended my Topaz LabsAdvanced Texture Effects Techniques” webinar then you probably noticed some new features that weren’t available in your copy. That’s because I was using the new 1.1 release, which is now available to the general public.

If you missed my webinar, here’s the video recording of it:

I also recommend that you check out my Texture Effects Review for an in-depth video tutorial of Texture Effects.

This product is so much more than just another texture overlay app so I demonstrate how it can be used alone to do powerful layering to create fine art images. If you don’t own Photoshop, you’ll definitely want to check this product out!

Here’s the before and after of the image edited in my video review using Texture Effects1.1’s new “Weather” texture presets:

New Rain Texture featured in 1.1
New Rain Texture featured in 1.1

Where to order (SPECIAL OFFER)

CLICK HERE to learn more, get a free trial or order yours today!

My readers can always save 15% off ANY Topaz Labs product using the coupon code:

ronmart

For the remainder of the month you can save even more off Texture Effects with a special $20 off deal using coupon code:

EASYTEXTURE

This last deal is only available for a limited time. Once it expires you can still you can use my discount coupon code to get the best price on the web on any (or all) Topaz Labs products. Here’s a screen shot to show you how to use coupon codes:

Enter the coupon code and click Apply Coupon
Enter the coupon code and click Apply Coupon

You may also be interested in adding these textures to your product as well:

Trey Ratcliff's Textures Tutorial
Textures also available separately here
See my discount coupon code page for discounts on this!

Other articles you may enjoy

Here’s some of my Topaz Labs software reviews:

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these articles:

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by donating a dollar or saving several dollars by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Nikon D5, D500 & SB-5000 Speedlight CES Preview

Nikon D5 DSLR Camera
Nikon D5 DSLR Camera

It’s no longer a promise, the incredible D4s is being replaced by a new super camera that even I’m drooling over. Here’s the product highlights for the D5:

  • 20.8MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor
  • 3.2" 2.36m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
  • Native ISO 102,400, Extend to ISO 3,280,000!!!
  • 12 fps Shooting for 200 Shots with AE/AF
  • 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor and Group Area AF
  • 14-Bit Raw Files and 12-Bit Raw S Format
  • 1000 Base-T Gigabit Wired LAN Support
  • Available in dual XQD or CF only versions (woohoo, they listened!)

Nikon isn’t messing around with this one, and as a Canon shooter I’m thinking this will probably blow away whatever Canon had in mind for the 1DX Mark II. Time will tell, but this is one that I’d definitely replace my 1DX for if I could afford – sadly, I can’t afford that nearly $6500 USD price tag!

Check out my review for the D4s, which really is one of the best sports cameras ever made now add this improved ISO, better burst capacity/speed, more AF points, and a better LCD (for 4k video) and you have the Ferrari of cameras right here!

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera
Nikon D500 DSLR Camera

The Nikon D500 is poised to be the Canon 5D Mark III killer with its very affordable < $2k USD price point for a camera that offers features that are superior to the Canon 5DM3 in every category except megapixels (which the Canon pushes to hard anyway):

  • 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor
  • 3.2" 2,539k-Dot Touch Screen LCD Monitor
  • Video: 4K UHD 30 fps & 1080p 60 fps
  • Multi-CAM 20K DX 153-Point AF Sensor
  • Native ISO 51,200 Extended to 1,640,000
  • 10 fps Shooting for Up to 200 Frames
  • Built-In Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
  • In-Camera Time Lapse, Up to 9999 Frames

For as good as the D610 and D750 are, this really creates a super compelling option for people who otherwise might be considering the now dinosaur-like 6D or disappointing 7D Mark II.

Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight
Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight

Canon was destroying Nikon in the flash department with the excellent 600EX-RT, so it was only a matter of time before they answered with their own SB-5000 radio controlled flashed. This is probably the longest over due product on the market, so it’s good to finally see it arrive.

Conclusion

This is really huge news and more than I think Canon was planning for. It’ll be interesting to see if they proceed with their 1DX Mark II and 5DM4 rollouts this year, or if they go back to the drawing board for a more compelling offer before they show their cards.

Given Nikon’s history, you can really expect to be able to get these products by this March whereas Canon has a habit of announcing 6 – 12 months before they actually build them – and even then they are in limited supply. The Sony A7R Mark II is one of the most compelling and hottest cameras on the market now, so Nikon really needed this to stay alive in the DSLR space. It’ll be interesting to see what Canon does this week to respond as they can’t afford to be second fiddle to either Sony or Nikon in this competitive market.

Where to order

Click the images above to learn more or pre-order.

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by donating a dollar or saving several dollars by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Ara's First Christmas
Ara's First Christmas
Canon 1D X 1/60 sec at f/4.0, ISO 1600 at 14mm (11-24mm f/4L)

I’ve been enjoying a vacation from life and the blog to bond with my new baby girl, so my apologies for the sparse content and holiday deals posts lately. I’ll be getting back to real posts very soon, so don’t forget to check back for new articles in January!

If there’s content out there you’ve been waiting for me to cover, then please post a comment and I’ll work and I’ll consider adding that content to my queue for 2016 articles.

In the meantime, I did what any new dad would do and posted a couple pics of his latest pride and joy. She’s a chubby little girl, but she does a job reminding me what’s most important in life.

Happy Holidays from The Martinsen Family!

Chubby Cheeks
Canon 1D X 1/124 sec at f/1.6, ISO 125 at 50mm (Canon 50mm f/1.2L)

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by donating a dollar or saving several dollars by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

35% Off All Topaz Labs Products Through December 31, 2015

Topaz Labs 35% Off Sale

Topaz Labs has a 35% Off Sale going on for the rest of 2015. Now is your time to get the best deal of the year on the complete collection or to complete your collection if you’ve bought products individually. Topaz Labs is like some of the competitors which perpetually has sales – this is a once a year thing, so if you are on the fence then now is the time to act.

Check out these Topaz Labs reviews to see why these are cool products are my #1 recommend bundle in my What Plug-ins Should I Buy? article:

Here’s some webinars that I’ve done to show I use these products (my apologies for the poor audio from the webcast recording software):

Here’s another that people often write me about to thank me for some of the tricks I show in this webinar:

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If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by donating a dollar or saving several dollars by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded.