Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Comcast Down - article postponed

I worked on a 1D X article for you, but Comcast prevented me from uploading it. I'll try again tonight. Thanks for reading! Check out the right column for lots of articles to keep you busy! Ron (via cell phone)

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Monday, July 30, 2012

REVIEW: Easy Release by ApplicationGap (UPDATED)


Those who know me, know that I love my iPhone – I carry it with me everywhere (yes, there too). However, as a Photographer, I’ve not really been excited about the offerings I’ve seen in the AppStore. Sure, I’ve been contacted by some vendors to try their apps, but I was so underwhelmed that I didn’t feel it was worth spending the energy to write about them – until now.

When one of the members of my former photography club pointed out this cool app called Easy Release by a company called ApplicationGap, I immediately thought – hum, this could be good. Fortunately, I was right as this is the kind of game changing app that every photographer with a iOS or Android device will want to have!

Seriously, how many times have you been out shooting and found yourself ending up doing an impromptu shoot of a pretty girl, college kids playing volleyball, a couple in love, etc…? The rule of thumb is to shoot first and ask questions later, but one of those questions you SHOULD be asking is - “can you sign a release”? If you are like me you frequently discover “crap, I’m out of releases” or  “dammit, I left my releases in the other bag”. While you may have just scored a great shot for your personal collection, there’s not much you can do with it without that release so you are SOL!

Finally a solution

This problem has plagued photographers for as long as lawyers and photographers have co-existed, but now there’s a great solution – Easy Release. If you have an iOS or Android device, then you probably don’t go any place without that thing, so having a program that can conjure up a release on the fly is a godsend! Of course, when I first heard about it I immediately thought:

  1. Yeah, but the contracts must suck
  2. It’s going to be a pain to fill out all the data
  3. It’s probably faster to just do it the old way
  4. How am I going to get this thing off the phone?
  5. It’s probably not flexible enough for my needs
  6. It’s probably way too expensive
  7. How are people going to sign it?

Good news, I quickly got answers to all my questions and the results were exactly as I wished they would  be! Of course, they have most of the answers right here on their web site, but I’ll enumerate my skepticisms along with what I discovered.

  1. The contracts are very good and cover both adults and minors as well as property releases. They were better than the ones I use and better than the templates on iStockPhoto, etc…
  2. The first time is a little cumbersome, but it remembers past data so it’s easier moving forward (especially if you work with a previous model). In the future it will also draw from the address book so it should get even better.
  3. Perhaps the typing and signing part, but the nice thing is that you can do this on the fly and in the field. You can even send an email with a PDF of the contract right there on the spot, so your model can have their copy on their phone instantly – that’s pretty slick!
  4. Easy – it creates a PDF that you can mail to yourself and/or the model.
  5. Sure there’s some features I wish it had, but it has almost everything you’d want including localized contracts! I frequently work with Asian models, so having a contract in their native language is a BIG plus!
  6. Get this – it’s only $9.99! That’s dirt cheap, because you know if it were on a computer it’d be like $99 or more! This is a no brainer impulse buy!
  7. Simply put – with their finger! Yes, that’s right and it works much better than you’d think! Using a Pogo Stylus you can have a much better experience, but the finger method works much better than I thought it would. See below for an example (a little crude, but about the same as I give UPS and FedEx for package deliveries – WITH a stylus):

It’s more than a template

One cool thing I discovered when using this app is that it is much more than a template - it is actually smart! For example, for illustrative purposes I just chose the current date for my model’s age and it figured out this must be a newborn and that a parents signature would be required. I thought that was pretty clever, and I discovered other cases where it actually applies logic behind the scenes, so that helps limit some of the useless questions you might get from a simple template app.

Conclusion

iPhone RotatorThe above animation was jacked from http://applicationgap.com/apps/easyrelease/

Overall, I’m very pleased with this app. It’s a dream app for photographers and definitely a MUST OWN. If you own a iOS or Android device then do not delay – get it today! It’s a fantastic value for what you get, and on an iPad it totally rocks!

I do wish they offered it for Windows Mobile phones, and easier contract editing would be a welcome addition. Better integrated support for TFCD/TFP, compensation, etc… would be a nice touch as well. Overall, I expect those features to come with time, so this app has my highest recommendation!

Other articles you may enjoy

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

Here's some other useful apps you might enjoy:

Disclosure

I was provided a review copy by ApplicationGap. If you make a purchase using links in this article, I may make a commission.

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, July 25, 2012

B&H Best Sale Ever–Canon, Apple, Samsung, Sony & More

Canon EOS 60D Digital Camera & 18-135mm, 55-250mm Lenses with Professional Value Bundle Special price $1299.00

  • Canon EOS 60 D
    Regular Price $1299.99
  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm Lens                                                                             Regular Price  $255.00
  • Pearstone - LP-E6 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack                                                  Regular Price   $34.95
  • Vello - BG-C6 Battery Grip for Canon EOS 60D                                             Regular Price    $72.50
  • SanDisk - 16 GB SDHC Memory Card Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS-I            
    Regular Price   $43.95
  • Lowepro - Adventura 170 Shoulder Bag                                                       
    Regular Price   $26.88
  • Total cost if bought Separate $1732.28

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera Professional Value Bundle Special Price $849.00

  • EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera Kit                                                                    Regular Price $799.00
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm Len                                                                               Regular Price $255.00
  • Pearstone - LP-E8 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack                                             
    Regular Price    $24.95
  • SanDisk - 16 GB SDHC Memory Card Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS-I   
    Regular Price $43.95
  • Vello - BG-C5 Battery Grip for Canon EOS T4i,                                        
    Regular Price $72.00
  • Lowepro - Adventura 170 Shoulder Bag                                                    
    Regular Price $26.88

Total Cost if bought separate $1221.78

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3” Sale
Apple MacBook Pro 13.3” Sale

Price Drop on Apple 13.3" MacBook Pro Notebook Computer MD314LL/A. Best price available.  $1,199

Also includes a lot of goodies when buying this unit:

Savings:

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Software for Mac and Windows (Boxed Full Version) – Save $50.
  • Apple AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook, MacBook Air & 13" MacBook Pro – 50% off - $95.00
  • Canon MG2120 Photo All-In-One Inkjet Printer – Save $39.40
  • Crucial Technology 8GB (2X4GB) SO-DIMM DDR3 Memory Kit for Notebook Computers – Save $9.82
  • Crucial Technology Solid State Drives – Save up to $46.90
  • Free Stuff With Purchase of Computer
  • Choice of Free Software - $59.99
  • Free: Kelby Training DVD: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Crash Course -$49.99 Value (if purchasing the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom above)
  • Total Savings of up to $351.10

 

B&H also has two great price drops

Samsung 256GB 830 Series SSD with Internal Desktop Kit and Norton Ghost 15

Samsung 256GB 830 Series SSD with Internal Desktop Kit and Norton Ghost 15 $190!

Samsung 256GB 830 Series SSD with Internal Laptop Kit and Norton Ghost 15  $190!

Refurbished Hot Prices

Canon EOS 7D SLR Digital Camera (Body Only)

Canon 7D Sale – only $1199.95 (refurbished)

Sony Pre-Order

Sony 55-300mm DT f/4.5-5.6 SAM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Sony 55-300mm DT f/4.5-5.6 SAM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found on this blog, then I may make a commission.

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.

Adorama Fujifilm X100 & X10 Special Offers

Fujifilm FinePix X100

You can check out my review of the Fujifilm X100 to see how it takes great images. If you’ve been lusting after one, now’s the time as Adorama has a killer deal for this highly sought after camera.

Fujifilm has a $200 Instant Rebate on the X100 (IFJX100)  bringing it down to $999 effective  7/26 thru 8/11.

Adorama has a promotion on the kits, offering  (IFJX100KA)  with 2 8GB cards, off brand battery & case for $2 more or (IFJX100KB) with 16GB card, original Fuji battery & case for $3 more.

In addition, Adorama will offer FREE overnight shipping on the camera & kits thru the instant rebate period.

The X100 special edition will also continue running the $100 IR and offers (IFJX100SEKA) with a 32GB card & original Fuji battery for $2 more. Both with free overnight shipping.

The X10 (IFJX10)  will have a $50 instant rebate to $549 effective 7/26 thru 8/11. See my x10 review to see why I love it so much!

IFJX10KA offers an 8GB card, battery & case for $2 more, (IFJX10KB) a 16GB card, case & battery for $3 more.

Adorama will offer FREE second day shipping on the X10 camera & kits.

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found on this blog, I may make a commission.

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, July 24, 2012

Save $100 off onOne Perfect Photo Suite 6.1 thru July 27th and get two free DVD’s!

Click here or the above banner to save $100 off the list price of Perfect Photo Suite 6.1 until July 27th, and get two free DVD’s (Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Crash Course and onOne University). That’s only $199.95 for the full product and $49.95 for the upgrade, plus two free DVD’s!

Click here to see my review of onOne Perfect Photo Suite 6.

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission.

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.

20% off - Discover the Art of Photography by Trey Ratcliff

Discover the Art of Photography

My friend Trey Ratcliff has a new class coming out that I think is going to be a huge hit! For only $149  $119.20 you get four LIVE webinar episodes on:

Episode 1: Getting Started

- Introduction to photography
- Learning through curiosity and discovery
- Setting up your camera
- Taking your first photo
- Editing your photo with Adobe Lightroom

Episode 2: Photo Composition

- Challenging the traditional teachings on composition
- Live example: Composing a landscape photo
- Live example: Composing a photo with people
- Editing the landscape and people photos
- Review examples of many different compositions

Episode 3: Finding Your Own Style

- Discovering your unique path to your own art
- Live examples: Photographing in a park and a candy shop
- Editing the photos from the park and candy shop
- Reviewing examples of small object composition
- More advanced techniques using Adobe Lightroom

Episode 4: Photo Editing

- Moving past the learning curve of post processing
- Sharing your photos with others online
- Playing with Adobe Photoshop
- Tips & Tricks with Adobe Photoshop
- Introduction to HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography

It’s a pretty decent deal, so if you’ve watched all the great stuff on KelbyTraining.com (discount) and are looking for more online classes to help you improve your skills, this is a great place to start!

Click here to register and enter the code DiscoverArt20 to save 20%!

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found on this blog, I may make a commission.

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.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Memoriam - Joseph Michael Gambardella

This past Friday the photography world lost a passionate photographer, and I lost a good friend. Joe Gambardella. I first met Joe last year when he was attending Bryan Peterson’s workshop and I was assisting Bryan. I really liked Joe and had a blast shooting with him.

Ironically, this year as Bryan and I were doing the meet and greet for his 2012 workshop in Seattle, Bryan informed me of the tragic news. I was shocked and very bummed out about this news.

My heart goes out to his with BethAnn and his family. Joe was a great guy and a photographer who was bursting with energy, enthusiasm and ideas. He will be sorely missed!

Here’s my last picture I took with Joe (left) when he assisted me in Times Square last year with my friend Clifford Pickett:

You can see our shots in the article entitled “Travel Photography: Photographing People At Night In New York City (Manhattan)”. Joe loved this shoot and was smiling ear to ear when we finished.

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.

Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera Available for Pre-Order

Canon EOS M - Front View
Pre-order the Canon EOS M now from B&H and Adorama

It’s finally happened and the rumors were true – Canon has entered the hot mirrorless compact camera market with the EOS M. I’m skeptical based on what I saw from the G1X from which this unit appears to be very related, but hopefully it will surprise me. Cameras like the Sony NEX-7, Fujifilm X-Pro1, and Nikon 1 V1 show that this is really want many consumers want, so it’s not much of a surprise to see Canon finally jump on the bandwagon.

Canon EOS M - Top View
Canon EOS M - Top View

The stereo input and video recording icon right off the bat suggest that this is really going to be the first mirrorless that takes video as seriously as its big brother – the 5D Mark III. Below you can read the press release to learn more. Please support this blog by using my links to place your pre-order for a EOS-M now from B&H or Adorama.

Canon EOS M - Rear View
Canon EOS M - Rear View

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., July 23, 2012 – Combining the perfect blend of advanced video features and excellent still image quality in a convenient size, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the EOS M Digital Camera. Canon has made significant advancements in the realm of professional-quality HD video capture, from advanced CMOS sensor technology to smooth, quiet continuous autofocus. Inspired by EOS technology, the EOS M leverages these core technologies and distills them down to provide outstanding video capture capabilities while retaining high-quality still image capture. When shooting still images, the EOS M camera's 18-megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor provides a shallow depth of field, incredible low-light image quality and a wide dynamic range to capture rich gradation and detail. This new addition to the EOS family offers a great solution to videographers and photographers of all levels, with two new lenses designed specifically for Canon's new camera format - the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens and the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens- and the ability to use the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses through the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M.

"The EOS M includes a unique feature set making it an ideal movie-making tool, while also offering incredible still image quality on its APS-C-sized CMOS sensor. The camera's size, image quality, advanced video capabilities and the versatility of Canon's full lineup of lenses make the EOS M another great option to help our customers record and capture their creative vision," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

Product Specifications and Features:

  • EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects also includes:
    • Manual exposure control
    • Multiple resolution frame rates
    • Built-in stereo microphone
    • Manual audio level adjustment
    • Video Snapshot mode with touch-screen editing
  • 18.0-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800 in H mode) for video recording, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) for still image shooting from bright to dim light and high performance Powerful DIGIC 5 Image Processor for exceptional image quality video and photos
  • Hybrid CMOS AF delivers fast autofocus speed for video and photos
  • Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II (approximately 1,040,000 dots) with smudge-resistant coating features multi-touch operation allowing photographers to use familiar gestures such as "pinch-to-zoom" and "swiping" to scroll between pictures and Touch AF for an easy and intuitive video capture experience
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode delivers expertly optimized photos and scene detection for amazing results even when shooting at night
  • Advanced imaging features like Handheld Night Scene mode, HDR Backlight Control mode, and seven Creative Filters provide added versatility
  • Multi-shot Noise Reduction helps preserve precious detail in photos at high ISO speeds
  • Compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, including new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards
  • Compatible with all Canon Speedlite accessories including the new Speedlite 600EX and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT
  • Compatible with Canon's GPS Receiver GP-E2

An Advanced Video Capture Device

The EOS M utilizes Canon's Hybrid CMOS AF system to deliver fast autofocus speed for both video and photos. The Hybrid CMOS AF system truly shines when shooting video with EOS Full HD Movie mode including Movie Servo AF for continuous autofocus and tracking of moving subjects. The Hybrid CMOS AF system is located on the CMOS sensor itself and combines phase-difference AF and contrast AF to achieve operational stability, speed and precision. The Movie Servo AF function on the EOS M is enabled by default which keeps images on the rear screen in constant focus, even before the shutter is pressed. This continual focus makes for sharp video capture in a snap or to help reduce shutter lag due to focusing when still images want to be shot. The camera employs three AF methods for video and photos, Face Detection & Tracking AF, Multi-Point AF for automatic selection and Single-Point AF, where users select one of 31 AF points. Through the camera's touch-panel operation, subject recognition and tracking is engaged at the touch of a finger, allowing users to track subjects accurately and focus on intended subjects with ease. In addition to subject tracking, the touch-panel LCD allows for simple, intuitive operation, menu navigation and touch features making it easy to shoot video and photos.

Thanks to Canon's new Stepping Motor (STM) technology, when using either of the newly announced M-series lenses - the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens or the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens - the AF system remains silent, helping ensure users only capture the sound of the scene being recorded. The EOS M also features manual audio level control to 64 levels, a built-in stereo microphone, which includes a wind filter and an attenuator function to reduce audio distortion in extra loud situations. The EOS M records MPEG-4 AVC H.264 video as an .MOV file in a range of NTSC and PAL professional frame rates, including 1080p Full HD video at 30p (29.97), 24p (23.976) and 25p, 720p HD video at 60p (59.94) or 50p and Standard Definition video at 30p (29.97) or 25p.

In addition to the creativity afforded by over 70 compatible lenses, the EOS M also includes Picture Style settings - including custom Picture Styles - when shooting video, allowing users to adjust color settings the same as when shooting still images. The camera also includes Canon's Video Snapshot mode for an easy way to record and create a fun highlight reel that can be easily shared. Video Snapshot mode combines a series of short video clips into a single file, all in-camera. Through the camera's touch-screen controls users can delete, cut or re-order the clips in-camera for quick and easy editing.

Optical Diversity: New M-Series Lenses and Accessories

Along with the EOS M, Canon is also introducing two new M-series lenses - with new EOS M mounts -that include STM technology allowing for smooth and silent focusing when paired with Hybrid CMOS AF.

The EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens is ideal for shooting video and still images. The fixed focal length lens has a great capacity for gathering light with an incredible aperture of f/2 and when combined with the camera's APS-C image sensor, provides beautiful bright images and background blur for both video and stills. For more focal range versatility, Canon is also introducing the new EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, which provides videographers and photographers with a variable zoom range for general use with video recording or photographing. Both lenses are designed specifically for use with the EOS M digital camera.

In addition to the two lenses, any of Canon's EF and EF-S lenses can be used with the EOS M with the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M. The EOS M camera's strong magnesium and stainless steel frame provide the durability and rigidity to support the full line of EF and EF-S Lenses in a lightweight convenient design. Using the adapter allows the camera to be fully integrated into the EOS ecosystem of lenses, adding creative options and versatility to this powerful camera.

Ideal for use with the EOS Mi, Canon is also announcing a new compact and lightweight flash unit, the Speedlite 90EX, designed for the photographer on the go. The Speedlite 90EX is capable of coverage for 24mm wide angle lenses (35mm equivalent) with maximum guide numbers of 30 feet (9 meters) at ISO 100. The flash unit can be controlled wirelessly for creative multiple flash shoots and uses the standard Canon EOS hot shoe mount for compatibility with all EOS DSLR cameras and PowerShot digital cameras that include a hot shoe.

Availability

The EOS M Digital Camera bundled with the new EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens will be available in October for an estimated retail price of $799.99.

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links on this blog, I may make a commission.

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.

Adorama D3100 Special–Save $150!!! (SUNDAY ONLY)

This $150 off sale ends EOD on Sunday (Eastern Time).

Nikon D3100 14.2 Megapixels Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens, 3in TFT LCD Display

Reg $646.95  Special $496.95

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens,32GB SD Memory Card, Camera Bag

Reg $646.95  Special $496.95

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens - Bundle - with 32 GB SD Memory Card, Professional Lens Cleaning Kit, FREE: Nikon D-SLR Camera Bag w/DVD Set

Reg $716.95  Special $566.95

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found on this blog, I may make a commission.

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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Look: Canon EOS-1D X with Real World Shots (Firmware 1.0.2) - Thanks CameraLensRentals.com!

Canon EOS-1D X purchased from CameraLensRentals.com
The unboxing moment for my Canon EOS-1D X
purchased from CameraLensRentals.com

Thanks to my friend Barry Jackson at CameraLensRentals.com (review), my wish to own the 1D X has come true, but would it be all that I hoped for? Read on to get my first impressions.

First Impressions of the camera body

This camera feels a bit more bulky than my 1D Mark IV, but the menus and features are very similar to the 5D Mark III (with the 5D Mark III being better and easier to use). I was a bit disappointed with the loss of the HDR menu item (although the multiple exposures feature seems to be a way to get yet WITHOUT auto alignment), and the lack of a SD slot now means no EyeFi support.

The new rear camera LCD feels larger and better overall, and the new redundant buttons are a welcome addition that took me only a few seconds to get used to.

I was glad to see the addition of WB button, but horrified to see that quick menu doesn’t allow me to change file formats (from raw to jpeg, etc…). Sure I can go to the smaller display and use the new button next to it to change those modes, but that’s cumbersome and requires me to use the light button (which results in a new hideous orange instead of the classic green backlight found on other bodies).

My biggest disappointment is that this cameras mirror slap is fairly noisy – way more so than my previous 1D Mark III or 1D Mark IV. Even in silent mode, it’s kind of noisy. The 5D Mark III is much quieter which really makes it the better choice for wedding photographers (or others who need a stealth camera).

I also find that I get a different look out of this camera (especially with a ring flash) than I do with the 1D Mark IV, and I kind of like that 1D Mark IV look better. This camera produces amazing saturated and sharp images that are ready to print right out of the camera, but even with the raw files my default processing workflow has to change which could be unsettling for some photographers.

Perhaps my biggest surprise is that the in-camera metering – especially using Auto ISO in manual mode – is brilliant! This camera has a dedicated processor for metering (not found on the 5D Mark III) and metering can follow the AF point (not possible on the 5D Mark III), so I was getting great exposures all night long (whereas the 5D Mark III tends to be about one stop too dark with auto ISO in manual mode).

Sample Photos

I have a dedicated gallery of images I’ve taken with the 1D X here. Except where noted on in the captions, all of these images were taken handheld. All images from July 19 and the bookshelf shots were all taken with the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. All images included are the original in-camera JPEG files at compression 10, sRGB colorspace, Standard picture style and Low noise reduction (except for bookcase which used the camera default settings).

The following flower shots were all hand-held and used auto white balance (AWB) with spot focusing and metering following the AF point. Most were shot in M(anual) mode with auto ISO except where noted in the ISO of the originals. No flash was used – only ambient tungsten light. Click to view the originals.


ISO 25,600


ISO 25,600


ISO 25,600


ISO 20,000


ISO 20,000


ISO 12,800


ISO 10,000


ISO 6400


ISO 5000


ISO 4000


ISO 3200


ISO 2500


ISO 640

Yeah, WOW! If you aren’t impressed by that, then I’d like to see your unprocessed in-camera JPEG’s of what you think is a better camera, because I haven’t seen anything that has impressed me this much.

I haven’t done deep analysis yet, but it sure as hell feels like a lot better dynamic range and way lower noise than the already excellent 5D Mark III. You sure as heck aren’t going to get these kind of results with the noise monster D800 and even the D4 didn’t impress me as much with its kettle shot (see my review).

I’ll be shooting and co-teaching with Bryan Peterson this weekend (last years workshop), so I hope to get a chance to put this camera through its paces this weekend.

Bookshelf Photos

Comparisons to come in a future article, below are a few to wet your appetite. All in-camera JPEG shots below were taken with the 1D X mounted to a RSS BH-55 head on a Gitzo GT1541  with camera default settings using a 70-200mm lens set to 100mm at f/8 and ISO 100 using mirror lockup and a 10 second timer. Exposure was set to the required value to get a proper exposure, and IS and AF were turned off after focus was achieved on the first shot.

Click for original
ISO 100


Screen shot of 100% Crop at ISO 100 RAW file
DPP 3.11 with Neutral Picture Style and no NR or Sharpening

Click for original
ISO 25,600


Screen shot of 100% Crop at ISO 25,600 RAW file
DPP 3.11 with Neutral Picture Style and no NR or Sharpening


ISO 51,200


Screen shot of 100% Crop at ISO 51,200 RAW file
DPP 3.11 with Neutral Picture Style and no NR or Sharpening

The screen captures were taken from DPP to see what the images REALLY look like, whereas the JPEG’s are Canon’s default processing which I find to be excellent. Lightroom 4 will read and decode the RAW files, but it’s clear that their not spot on yet with their default reverse engineering of these files.

For the anal retentive folks out there, here’s my DPP settings for each of the RAW files screen captured above:

Wondering where all of the 1D X’s have been?


iPhone shot (at night under tungsten light) of the 1D X menu when I turned the camera on

Me too!

This camera has frustrated me quite a bit as I learned about it last October and have been lusting for it ever since. I ended up with number 953 according to my serial number, so where are the others? My guess is that the startup screen says a lot – London! With the Olympics stating this month, Canon had to get these cameras to the Olympics and have them ready to perform.

I’m pretty frustrated that Canon USA – even up until last week – was telling me that they didn’t have any of these cameras and that there was nothing they could do to help me to get one. Even Adorama and B&H let me down and couldn’t get me one in a timely matter, yet there were plenty stories on the web of ordinary consumers getting one. This was a total fail on Canon’s part and something that will limit how much free advertising I give them on this blog in the form of review coverage.

About the $6799 (USD) Price Tag – Is it worth it?

I had my first chance to use a Canon EOS-1D X on October 27, 2011. I wrote about that experience in my popular article HANDS ON: Canon EOS-1D X (sample images and video) 2-11-12 update which was featured on CanonRumors.com. I was so impressed with what I saw that I literally sold a car and saved the cash so that I’d be able to buy this camera when it came out. Thanks to my friend Barry Jackson at CameraLensRentals.com (review), my wish to own the 1D X has come true, but would it be all that I hoped for? Now that the amazing 5D Mark III is out  and I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the D4 & D800 – would I really be satisfied with Canon’s flagship DSLR?

As a formerly very happy 1D Mark IV owner (also purchased from CameraLensRentals.com 2.5 years ago), I really was wondering if I should just keep the 5D Mark III and be happy with my 1D Mark IV. My 1D Mark IV had served me well for a wide number of events, including my dream to shoot the Seahawks with legendary sports photographer Rod Mar. As a result, I was really wondering if I could be happy taking a pass on the EOS-1D X.

Based on what I’m seeing in my first day testing (and I have a lot more to do before I draw my final conclusion), I’m pretty excited about what I’m seeing. The test unit I had in New York last year was able to bang out 52 RAW files at 12fps before choking (with the lens cap on and ISO 100), but this bad boy is getting 71 whereas my 1D Mark IV could only muster 45 under identical conditions with the same lens and memory card.

In my real-world test using my bookcase shot (so that lossless compression and complex JPEG thumbnail generation comes into play), I set my cameras to 1/30 sec at f/4 using ISO 6400. With the same lens and memory card I was able to get 49 RAW files (in 12 fps mode) with a 17 seconds buffer flush (i.e., red light off) versus 30 RAW with a 16 seconds flush for the 1D Mark IV. This is a great real world improvement!

Little tests like these and the previously mentioned image quality improvements really have me excited about this camera. However, $6799 USD is a shitload of money for a camera – especially when you consider the fact that the Nikon D4 is only $5999.95. Time will tell if this camera really seems to be worth parting with that much cash to get the state of the art DSLR that Canon has to offer right now.

Conclusion

I’m pretty happy with what I’m seeing thus far from this camera as the sample images blew me away. With in-camera processing, ISO 51,200 is totally usable, but the RAW is a little rough so I’d probably limit myself to 25,600 when possible. I’m very comfortable with this ISO though (which definitely feels at least 1 stop better than the 5D Mark III).

Stay tuned to this blog while I do a little more testing and report back some basic comparisons to other cameras I’ve reviewed like the D4, D800 and 5D Mark III.

Ordering Info

I purchased my 1D X at at CameraLensRentals.com (tell then ronmartblog.com sent you if you do too), but you can also buy one at Adorama, B&H and Amazon.

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Disclosure

I purchased this camera from CameraLensRentals.com with my own money. If you make a purchase using some (links – not all) in this article, I may make a commission.

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