Canon 1D X Mark III: Includes IBIS, Increased Resolution, and More

The post Canon 1D X Mark III: Includes IBIS, Increased Resolution, and More appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon 1D X Mark III: Includes IBIS, Increased Resolution, and More

The Canon 1D X Mark III may be the last of its kind, but it won’t go down without a fight.

Information has leaked regarding the Canon flagship camera, predicting a 2020 release. This follows on the heels of Nikon’s D6 announcement and its claim that the D6 will be Nikon’s “most advanced DSLR to date.”

The Canon 1D X series and the Nikon D6 series have been longtime competitors, aimed at professional photographers in need of rugged, high-performing camera bodies. Hence, it’s no surprise that the 1D X Mark III should come out in 2020, most likely in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The leak also suggests that the Canon 1D X Mark III will have in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a feature traditionally offered by mirrorless models but kept out of DSLRs. This will be appreciated by low-light shooters who need to eke out every bit of stability they can get.

The Canon 1D X Mark III is also said to feature significantly increased resolution “for an EOS-1 series camera.” Note that Canon’s EOS-1 line is short on resolution but high on autofocus capabilities and shooting speed, which explains why the 1D X Mark II tops out at 20.2 megapixels, despite its ‘flagship’ label.

What would count as significant?

My guess would be a jump in the 4-megapixel range, to put the 1D X Mark III at 24 megapixels. But it could be less, considering the low bar for 1D X resolution.

Apparently, the Canon flagship will also include 6K video (without a crop) and an upgraded DIGIC processor, as well as dual CFExpress card slots.

As of now, the 1D X Mark III is looking on par with the Nikon D6, which is rumored to drop in 2020.

Both cameras will undoubtedly be pricey; the Canon 1D X Mark II retails at $5500 USD, and the Nikon D5 sits at nearly $6000.

But for the professional action photographer, the cameras will undoubtedly be worth the cost.

Are you looking forward to the Canon 1D X Mark III announcement? What specs are you hoping to see? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post Canon 1D X Mark III: Includes IBIS, Increased Resolution, and More appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More?

The post Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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Flatlay image: Jeff Hopper. Photographer image: Alexander Andrews

Equipment versus photographer, which matters more?

It’s a common question without an easy answer. It’s one that pretty much every photographer has asked themselves at one time or another.

In this article, I’m going to start by identifying the ways in which the equipment matters. And then I’m going to cover the ways in which the photographer matters.

Finally, I’ll address the main question:

Which is more important?

So let’s dive right in.

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How does equipment change your photography?

Here’s the thing:

As much as photographers hate to admit it, equipment does matter.

If it didn’t, why would professional photographers spend $5000+ on a camera setup?

It’s not a question of whether equipment matters, it’s a question of how much it affects your photography.

So here’s a list of the key reasons equipment matters:

Why your equipment matters

Continuous shooting speeds

Cameras with high continuous shooting rates make it possible to capture amazing action photos without leaving much to chance. A camera that can shoot 12 frames-per-second is going to maximize your chances of getting a gorgeous image in the thick of the action.

Autofocus capabilities

Cameras with more autofocus points, greater autofocus coverage, better tracking, and better autofocus points (e.g., cross-type points) will make it easier to quickly lock focus on your subject and track them as they move. This is useful for any genre of photography that is fast-paced.

Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More?

Ruggedness

Metal cameras with weather-sealing can handle much more difficult conditions than cameras made of non-weather sealed plastic. You can shoot for longer in the rain, snow, and freezing temperatures without your camera failing, which increases your chance of capturing a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

High-ISO capabilities

Cameras with the most advanced sensors are able to capture noise-free images when shooting at high ISOs. This makes shooting at night without a tripod a much more feasible option.

Resolution

The greater your camera’s megapixel count, the more you can crop your photos. This gives you additional flexibility in post-processing and helps you compensate for a shorter lens.

Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More?

High dynamic range

Cameras with a high dynamic range maximize the amount of detail you capture in a scene. This gives you more latitude when selecting an exposure. It also allows you to photography high dynamic range scenes without resorting to HDR techniques.

Accurate previews

Mirrorless cameras with high-quality electronic viewfinders (EVFs) give you fairly accurate previews of your images before you press the shutter button. This allows you to get your exposure and depth of field correct, right from the beginning.

Size and weight

Smaller and lighter cameras are easier to carry on long treks and on travel expeditions. And the easier your camera is to carry, the more likely you are to have it with you when a once-in-a-lifetime scene happens right before your eyes.

Image stabilization

Cameras and lenses with some form of image stabilization make it possible to handhold at low shutter speeds. This increases your shooting opportunities in low light and allows you to increase your depth of field during the day.

Optical quality

Higher-quality lenses are sharper and have fewer problems (such as color fringing and distortion). This makes it possible to get tack-sharp shots that look great straight out of the camera.

Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More?

Focal length

Lenses with different focal lengths allow you to capture different types of shots. If you want to capture sweeping landscape images, you’ll want an ultra-wide lens on hand. If you want to capture a detail shot of a perching eagle, you’ll want a 500mm or 600mm lens. Therefore, different lenses give you different photo opportunities.

How do you, the photographer, change your photography?

Now that we’ve covered the ways in which equipment affects your photography, it’s time to talk about you, the photographer.

What impact do you have in the photo-making process? How do you make a difference in your photography?

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Why you matter

Focusing skills

Even if you have the best autofocus system in the world, it won’t matter if you don’t have the capabilities to use it. It takes serious skill to track fast-moving subjects, and it’s something that takes lots of practice to master. If you want to capture gorgeous action shots, you can’t just press the shutter and hope for the best. The autofocus system is part of the equation, but so are you.

Handholding skills

Your ability to handhold is often the difference between a sharp photo and a blurry photo. You’ve often got to keep your hands steady while in the thick of the action, never an easy task. Image stabilization helps, but if your technique isn’t sound, you’ll end up with blurry photos anyway.

Exposure skills

Cameras are pretty good at identifying the right exposure for the scene. But there are plenty of times when the camera’s choice just doesn’t look good. That’s when you have to step in, as the photographer, and take control of your camera’s exposure.

equipment-versus-photographer

Working with light

As great as modern cameras are, they still can’t tell you how to find good light, and they definitely can’t tell you how to use the light for great shots. That’s all up to you, and it’s something that photographers spend their whole lives studying. Expertly used light can be the sole difference between an amazing photo and a mediocre photo.

Compositional skills

I’m putting this under a single header, but it’s a big one. Composition isn’t something that’s innate, and it’s definitely not something that your camera can control. It’s something that you learn through practice and hard work. And if you don’t bring composition skills to your photography, it’s going to look plain bad. There’s no way around it.

Working with aperture

Choosing a composition is a skill. It’s also a skill to be able to pull off that composition – to be able to use camera settings to your advantage. That’s where you have to leverage your knowledge to choose the aperture and shutter speed you need to capture the perfect shot.

Post-processing skills

This is another huge factor as post-processing skills allow you to take a shot and really turn it into something incredible. Post-processing is how you put the finishing touches on your photos, and it’s how you give your photos that professional flair.

Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More?

Equipment versus photographer. And the winner is…?

Now that you’ve read this far, you and I can surely agree that both the equipment and the photographer matters.

However, if you look over the two lists, you’ll notice that there are certain aspects of photography that the gear can barely contribute to such as working with light, choosing a composition, putting the final touches on a photo in post-processing, and more.

These are huge aspects of being a photographer. If you can’t do these things, your images will be consistently poor. There’s no other way to say it.

equipment-versus-photographer

But if you can do these things well, you’ll get amazing photos. Yes, high-quality gear will help. It will increase your chances of getting beautiful shots – if you’re already very skilled. However, while the equipment is important, gear will never get you an amazing photo. At best, gear will get you ultra-sharp, well-exposed, in-focus snapshots – and that’s all. At worst, gear will get you blurry, poorly-exposed images.

In other words, you don’t need incredible gear to get incredible photos. But you do need to be an incredible photographer to get incredible photos.

Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More?

So…

Which is more important, the equipment or the photographer?

The photographer.

No doubt about it.

What are your thoughts on equipment versus photographer? Do you agree that the photographer matters more than the equipment? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

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The post Equipment Versus Photographer – Which Matters More? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

5 Reasons Why the Canon 10-18mm is a Must-Have Wide-Angle Lens

The post 5 Reasons Why the Canon 10-18mm is a Must-Have Wide-Angle Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kunal Malhotra.

After buying a new camera we all start planning for our next lens, which can replace or complement the kit lens. This is when the real confusion starts, you have to choose one out of the so many options available in the market. If you are a Canon APS-C camera user and looking for a wide-angle lens, the Canon EF-S 10-18MM f/4.5-5.6 IS STM could be an ideal choice. I have been using this lens for almost a year now, so I thought of sharing my experience and views with you all. Let me share 5 reasons why I believe that Canon 10-18mm lens is a must-have wide-angle lens.

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1. Ultra-wide angle of view

If you are or have used the 18-55mm kit lens on your Canon APS-C body, there might have been situations when you wanted to go wider than 18mm. This is when having the Canon 10-18mm lens in your camera bag can help you click frames as wide as 10mm (P.S. do apply the crop factor).

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Imagine you are at a rock concert or an event and you wish to capture the entire stage in a frame. Or imagine yourself looking at a beautiful landscape with beautiful clouds and the sun is setting. This is when using the 10-18mm lens can help you capture ultra-wide angle shots even from a short distance.

2. Ideal for Vlogging

With companies such as Canon also focusing on video features, more and more people are adapting to the vlogging culture. Isn’t it fun to capture moments and experiences when you are traveling and at the same time show your surroundings in a single frame?

5 Reasons Why the Canon 10-18mm is a Must-Have Wide-Angle Lens

I have been personally using the Canon 10-18mm lens on my Canon M50 to record almost all my vlogs for the past year, and have never had a second thought about it. The only situation where this lens can struggle is in low light conditions as f/4.5 is the widest it can go, which might introduce noise. But then, at $300, you can hardly find such a wide focal length that matches your requirements.

3. Features Image Stabilization

There are very few lenses (as far as I am aware) that feature Image Stabilization, and are priced under $300. This lens is equipped with a 4-stop optical image stabilizer which comes in handy while clicking photos in low light conditions. In practical scenarios, I have managed to get a sharp and stable shot handheld at 1/2th sec using 10mm focal length. So even if it is an f/4.5-5.6 lens, you can let in more light using a slower shutter speed in low light situations.

5 Reasons Why the Canon 10-18mm is a Must-Have Wide-Angle Lens

But you must be careful while clicking images at such a slow shutter speed, especially when there are elements in motion in your frame. I usually use it while clicking photos of monuments/buildings or creative images like light trails.

4. Use it for close-up shots

You may be thinking, “why would I want to click macro shots using a 10-18mm focal length?”

Well, this is not the ideal focal length range for macro photography, but that is where the fun starts. If you wish to capture something different and with a unique perspective, you can get some amazing close-up shots.

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In the sample macro shot shared above, you can see that I was able to get close to the insect and at the same time capture wide frame with shallow depth of field. Isn’t that a unique perspective in itself?

5. Ideal for Street Photography

I believe there is no particular focal length that can be termed as perfect for street photography. Every photographer has their own way of capturing photos while traveling. Some may like ultra-wide, some may prefer a standard focal length, and some may go for a 50mm or 85mm lens.

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I tried clicking candid street photos while roaming in my city and to my interest, the 10-18mm focal length range impressed me for the sole reason that I could capture more elements in my frame. If I had shot this photo shared above at 24mm or 35mm focal length, I would either had to move a few steps back or capture only a part of this beautiful moment.

What are your views about the Canon EF-S 10-18MM f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens? Feel free to comment below.

 

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The post 5 Reasons Why the Canon 10-18mm is a Must-Have Wide-Angle Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kunal Malhotra.

Canon to Produce an 80-Megapixel Mirrorless Camera

The post Canon to Produce an 80-Megapixel Mirrorless Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

 

canon-80mp-cameraIf you’ve been hoping Canon will produce a high-resolution professional mirrorless camera, then you’re in luck.

Rumors that Canon has been working on a 70 or 80-megapixel mirrorless camera have been swirling for months, but several new pieces of information make it more likely than ever.

First, Canon has filed a patent for an 83-megapixel sensor, which may be at the heart of a new mirrorless camera body.

Second, someone claiming to have a prototype of the new camera has just revealed specs, including:

  • An 80-megapixel full-frame sensor
  • A larger viewfinder than the Canon EOS R
  • Dual SD card slots
  • A new joystick
  • A larger size than the Canon EOS R

If these details are accurate, then the new camera (dubbed the Canon EOS RS by Canon Rumors) will likely be a mirrorless replacement to the Canon 5DS/5DS R duo. The two DSLR cameras debuted in February of 2015, and Canon has failed to update them in the years since. Most notable about the two cameras are their sensors: 50.6 megapixels – the largest full-frame sensors in existence at the time.

The dual card slots will be a particularly welcome addition to the Canon EOS RS. Many professional photographers passed over the EOS R based on its single card slot, and it seems Canon got the message. So for photographers who require redundancy in their work, the Canon EOS RS will be a good choice.

And if the Canon EOS RS is truly 80+ megapixels, commercial photographers will appreciate the opportunity to push resolution to its limits.

Such a high-resolution sensor has its drawbacks, however. The larger the files, the faster you’ll fill up space. Plus, a sensor with 80 megapixels will have high pixel density, leading to small pixels. This can be a problem with regard to noise production: the smaller pixels are more likely to produce noise at high ISOs.

Let’s just hope that Canon puts out a high-quality sensor to complement the megapixel count! If you’re a Canon fan looking to make the change to mirrorless, then keep an eye out for news on the Canon EOS RS, which will likely be announced at the start of 2020.

Would you purchase the Canon EOS RS for its 80+ megapixels? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

The post Canon to Produce an 80-Megapixel Mirrorless Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Useful Ways You Can Use the Olympus Live Composite Feature for Long Exposures

The post Useful Ways You Can Use the Olympus Live Composite Feature for Long Exposures appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mark C Hughes.

Olympus has a number of unusual features for longer exposure photography. Aside from the classic bulb style photography, there are two other specific long exposure features available with Olympus cameras: Live Time and Live Composite. These two functions, although related, treat longer exposures quite differently and can produce quite interesting results. Both are really fascinating tools for photographers looking to experiment. Both use computational features of your camera to allow you to get an image in a different way. Although we will briefly discuss Live Time, this article primarily focuses on the Olympus Live Composite feature.

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The Live Composite feature on Olympus Cameras lets you mix light sources for long exposure

Live Time

Live Time is like the bulb function on old film cameras that held the shutter open as long as the bulb was depressed but with a twist. With modern cameras, you open the shutter by pressing once and then close it by pressing it a second time. As with any bulb function, you end up holding the shutter open for as long as you want but without a set time on the camera.

In the film days, you would just guess how long you wanted (or use a light meter and a stopwatch). With most digital cameras, there is a function to allow you to hold the shutter open for an extended time. However, for many makes of cameras, you won’t see the image until the camera has closed the shutter, taken a noise reduction image, and then processed the image.

Live Time in Olympus cameras is a little different. It allows you to see the image on your display developing during the process while the shutter remains open. As the exposure lengthens, you see the image form as more and more light gets added to the entire image. The image gets brighter on the back panel, and it is really cool to see the image created live.

This process allows you to decide when you have held the shutter open long enough. Like the old bulb settings, you decide how long the image progresses. You press to start the exposure and press to stop.

Image: Long Exposure images simply mean that light sources get brighter

Long Exposure images simply mean that light sources get brighter

Fundamentally, Live Time is just a manually extended exposure time that allows you to watch the image develop as you take it. It is still a pretty cool feature.

Problems with long exposure photography

The trouble with Live Time (and any long exposure image with any camera for that matter), is that bright things get brighter faster than the dark areas.

This means that dim, infrequent events in lower light environments with some point sources of light will be overwhelmed by the point sources. When you have enough light to expose the dark areas properly, this usually means that the lit areas have far too much accumulated light. Everything in the frame gets treated the same.

Image: A still Image of a fire provides lots of detail and freezes the action of the flames.

A still Image of a fire provides lots of detail and freezes the action of the flames.

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Long Exposures tend to smear the light as the light sources persist.

Enter Live Composite

Live Composite is a particularly unique feature present in Olympus cameras that is not currently offered by other camera makers at this time.

Live Composite is similar to Live Time, in that you are taking a longer exposure image, but Live Composite is just light additive for new sources of light, not existing sources. What this means is that Live Composite takes a base image and then only adds new light to the image that was not present in the original base image. This means that light sources seen in the original reference image do not get brighter. Only new lighting or new light sources that move in the frame will appear in the final image.

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Live Composite of a campfire shows that the entire image is not getting brighter

The mechanics of Live Composite

Using Live Composite is a two-step process; first, it requires you to take a base or reference image exposure. This image forms the base layer of the composite image. Then you take subsequent additional images at intervals with only new light in the field of view added.

This allows you to take a static image of a colorful background under low light conditions and add only new light sources.

Just like Live Time, you get to watch the image develop right before your eyes.

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After the base image is taken, only new light sources (such as a lightning bolt) show up

How to use It

Turning on Live Composite on your Olympus camera is not the most prominent process. It is a bit hidden. Live Composite is a type of manual mode setting, so that is where you find it on the camera.

However, before you use Live Composite, you need to decide a few key parameters for your base composite image – specifically initial shutter duration, ISO and aperture.

You set the shutter time duration in the menu (out of the function itself) before setting the camera to shoot. However, you set the ISO and aperture as you go.

Useful Ways You Can Use the Olympus Live Composite Feature for Long Exposures

Turning on Live Composite varies a little between cameras (the EM1X does it slightly differently), but for most Olympus cameras, you simply set the mode selector dial to Manual (M) and adjust the time to beyond the 60-second shutter duration. At that point, you get a Bulb, LiveTime, and then LiveComp setting. LiveComp is the one you want for Live Composite. On the EM1X, you set the mode selector dial to B (bulb) and then turn to LiveComp. Everything else is the same.

At this point in time, you set your ISO and Aperture. This, combined with the shutter time duration you set in the menu system for cycling the images, will be used to set your base composite image. For instance, if you set the shutter timing to 4 seconds, plan on using an aperture of f/4 and ISO of 800. You will use those values for the base reference composite image.

To activate Live Composite, set up your composition, focus your lens, and then press the shutter for the reference image. The composite is now ready to start.

Next, when you press your shutter button again, the image creating process begins! The camera will open the shutter and add to the image as each time period compares to the base image. Any new light gets added to the composite at the end of each cycle. The image changes and grows on your display as Live Composite progresses.

It is very cool to watch as your image develops.

Does Live Composite mean you can take images that you couldn’t before?

Image: Lightning storms work incredibly well with Live Composite, especially if there is a lot of ne...

Lightning storms work incredibly well with Live Composite, especially if there is a lot of nearby light sources (such as streetlights)

Yes and no. You could take the images separately and combine them as a composite, but as a single image, you would not have been able to do it. Also, there are certain types of images that are way easier to take with the Live Composite function than would be possible to achieve in a single image.

Live Composite also forces you to change your approach to certain images. As part of that change, it may actually take longer to take some images (because you need to create a base/reference every time), but you get the benefit of seeing if it is doing what you want.

What kind of image works well with Live Composite?

Several specific types of images can get the full benefit of Live Composite. These include star trails, lightning flashes, fireworks, night photography with bright lights present, and light painting.

You can take all of these in other ways, but using live composite allows you to see if the image is turning out how you want.

Most of these images all require manual focus and manual settings for your exposures. All require some trial and error and pretty much all benefit from the use of a tripod. In theory, you might be able to take these images without one, but in reality, the requirement to be steady really limits those cases.

Star Trails

In astrophotography, taking an image of stars can be particularly daunting. This is because the earth is rotating and the stars are relatively dim. What this means is that you need a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the motion of the star but also need to leave the shutter open long enough for the start to appear on your image. If you leave the shutter open too long, you will see a streak or smear instead of a star. If you leave the shutter open even longer, the stars leave even longer trails that are circular. In the northern hemisphere, these star trails appear to rotate around the North Star.

Image: Star trails occur when you take astrophotography shots and leave the shutter open for an exte...

Star trails occur when you take astrophotography shots and leave the shutter open for an extended period of time. The stars create a trail. This image was taken with the shutter open for 27 minutes

With conventional digital cameras (or film cameras for that matter), working at night can be a challenge. The shutter duration required to create star trails are long, and you can’t see what your image is like until you’ve completed the entire exposure duration. In addition, if you have made an error in focus or composition, you won’t see it until the entire process is complete. There are ways to combine star trails together in post-processing, but the Live Composite allows you to do it in a single exposure.

With Live Composite, you can see the image develop. Particularly with star trails, this allows you to quickly figure out if you want to have your image in a different setup or use a different point of interest so that the star trails work with your composition.

You also have the ability to have star trails show up when there is an illuminated object in the foreground.

Lightning

Another significant challenge for photography is capturing images of lightning, particularly in areas where there are light sources. As anyone who has attempted to take lightning images knows all too well, this is a difficult type of photography.

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Lightning strike captured using the Olympus Live Composite Feature.

The main difficulties of capturing lightning images are fourfold. Lightning is difficult to schedule, so you have to wait to find a storm to photograph. Depending upon your position relative to the storm, you need to find a vantage point to capture images that are reasonably clear (you need to be able to see the lightning from a distance) and have a perspective that forms a reasonable composition. More common vantage points are across a field, across a valley or from highrise building.

Next, you need to hope the lightning is not blocked or shrouded by rain (a common companion to lightning). This will interfere with your sightlines. Lighting is often at leading and trailing edges of storms, but if you are at the wrong end, the lightning will simply light up the sky.

Finally, taking images at night always presents a problem for trying to achieve focus. Focusing in the dark means that you can’t see what you are focusing on and the light from the lightning hasn’t lit up your subject yet.

If you have the right conditions, you can take the base image and wait for the lightning strike and the image to develop. You just wait until lightning strikes in the field of view.

For a detailed guide on photographing lightning, see this Ultimate Guide to Photographing Lightning.

Fireworks

Fireworks is an interesting subject for live composite. It actually isn’t faster to take images, but I think it takes better images. Fireworks requires you to manually focus where you think the images are, set the time, aperture, and ISO for a darker setting than your camera will want, then wait.

Image: Fireworks also work well, although it is a two-step process for every image.

Fireworks also work well, although it is a two-step process for every image.

Without Live Composite, you simply open the shutter and wait. The image gets brighter, and the duration is based upon a little trial and error.

With Live Composite, you take the reference image and then wait. When the fireworks start, you hold the shutter and watch the screen. You press the shutter when you have the image you want.

Unfortunately, you need to take a new reference image each time, so you end up with additional steps. However, the results are at least as good (and often better) as simply guessing an exposure time.

Night photography with bright lights and light painting

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Capturing car tail lights and headlights will appear but the street lights don’t get overly bright

Night photography featuring bright lights, such as carnivals or street performers using fire at night, can turn out really well with Live Composite. So can images where lights are moving, but you don’t want the background to get brighter.

You can also use Live Composite for light painting. This is particularly useful if you have someone helping you when you are taking a light painting image.

Light painting is a technique for taking an image under low light conditions with a long exposure and lighting up the object with controlled use of flashes or light sources. The neat thing about using Live Composite for light painting is that you can have light in the image when you are taking the image with the light painting because only new light gets added. It also means that dark objects won’t show up, and the bright surfaces behind them will remain illuminated.

Image: Live composite allows you to do light painting with light sources present in the image (not t...

Live composite allows you to do light painting with light sources present in the image (not the greatest light painting image!)

Conclusion

Live Composite is a unique feature in Olympus cameras that allow you to make composite images in-camera that previously would only be able to be created with two separate images and a bunch of post-processing. It is another useful tool for your photography kit.

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The Olympus Live Composite feature is a unique tool to allow you to be creative with low light images.

Have you used Olympus Live Composite Feature before? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comments!

 

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The post Useful Ways You Can Use the Olympus Live Composite Feature for Long Exposures appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mark C Hughes.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

The post Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Adam Welch.

I’ve evaluated and reviewed quite a few lenses over the years – twenty-three to be exact. Throughout those reviews, I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter many that were good, a few that were great, and an oh-so limited few that were absolutely magic. Yet, I can honestly say that I have never experienced the overwhelmingly universal praise and excited electricity surrounding a freshly released lens as I have witnessed with the new Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Di USD (for Canon, Nikon). This is the prime lens that is currently wowing the masses with its mind-bending sharpness and wide-open f/1.4 speed.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Ironically enough, this little beauty marks the 40th Anniversary of Tamron’s “Superior Performance” line of lenses. Tamron has specifically geared all of the glass in SP line towards meeting the needs of discerning professional photographers.

So, needless to say, whenever I get the chance to review any new SP lens from Tamron, I always feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Would the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 live up to the hype? Could it? I was incredibly curious to find out, and, of course, I want you to come along for the ride.

Out of the box

First things first; this is a gorgeous lens. It possesses a clean and simplistic style which in my experience has been the hallmark of virtually all of the modern SP line. The lens itself is a velvety deep satin black with white lettering and, of course, that signature metallic-colored ring finishes off the minimalist design.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

There isn’t a lot to see here aside from the focusing ring (which is nicely rubberized), and the AF/MF switch. Oddly enough, the SP 35mm F/1.4 lacks the Vibration Control functionality which leaves quite a bit of open real estate on the lens body.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

I say the absence of Tamron’s proprietary VC image stabilization is odd not because it will necessarily be missed on a lens of this focal length, but instead because it is present on the close cousin of this lens – Tamron’s 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Canon, Nikon, Sony). The exclusion of VC on this 35mm could very well be a weight-saving measure to avoid making an already robust lens heavier. More on this in just a bit.

This lens includes generous moisture sealing throughout, which if you’ve read any of my other reviews of Tamron glass, you’ll know that I absolutely love. There’s just something extremely comforting about the physical presence of that rubber gasket at the rear of the lens.

Image: Image courtesy of Tamron

Image courtesy of Tamron

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

It also comes with a very nice storage bag.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Overall, it’s safe to say that the look of the new SP 35mm lens impressed me right out of the gate.

Here’s the list of specifications for the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD courtesy of Tamron:

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

As you can see, this is not a feather-weight prime lens. The 35mm F/1.4 with the lens hood comes in weighing just shy of 2lbs(907g) on my home scales. That makes for a hearty setup when mounted on larger DSLR cameras.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

With that said, the overall balance of the lens, when mated to a Canon 5D MK III, is remarkably pleasant. It’s not light, but it’s not overly bulky either. Take into account the fact that the lens houses 14 elements, and you become somewhat surprised that it doesn’t weigh more.

That lens hood though…

“But Adam…it’s only a lens hood. Do you really think it’s worth its own section?”

Yes, yes, I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand how trivial this may very well be, and it’s most certainly only my highly subjective…borderline neurotic…opinion.

Tamron has recently introduced a locking mechanism to some of its new lenses. This is the second time I’ve encounter this hooded curiosity from Tamron with the first being the 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Canon, Nikon).

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

In short, I’m conflicted. Of course, the goal of this feature is to keep your lens hood from accidentally popping off your camera. The issue I see with this is that such a static locking mechanism could possibly lead to a broken lens hood, or worse, breakage of the front mount of the lens barrel. Instead of the lens hood simply popping off, there could ultimately be a situation where “something’s gotta give” should a substantial impact occur. What’s more, the need to depress a button to remove the hood is just a little tedious. Then again, I must say the locking mechanism is finely executed and works quite well for its purpose. It’s a feature that I could come to enjoy, but for the time being, not so much.

Relax. I’m finished talking about the lens hood.

A fresh take on Autofocus

Newly introduced with the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 is a revamped mechanism that supposedly aids in more speedy and less noisy autofocusing. It’s called the Dynamic Rolling-Cam System.

Image: Image courtesy of Tamron

Image courtesy of Tamron

Not only is that a pretty cool name but the Dynamic Rolling-cam System assists Tamron’s already capable Ultrasonic Silent Drive AF with moving that large f/1.4 focusing unit and is reported to make the entire AF experience of the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 much more reliable. I tested the AF with my Canon 5D MK III and my trusty Canon 7D Mk1. In both cases, the AF of the lens was quite snappy and accurate, even in low contrasted scenes. This lens also features a full-time manual focus override so that you can easily tweak focus manually while still in AF mode.

Performance and image quality

If you’ve heard anything about this lens already then you probably know it’s reported to be sharp – I mean scary sharp – with beautifully creamy bokeh and superb contrast. Well, it’s all true. So if you want to take my word for it, feel free to skip down to the sample images. If not, keep reading.

Sharpness

Yep. The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 is exquisitely sharp even wide-open at f/1.4. The center is tack sharp with only a minuscule softening at the corners. At smaller apertures beyond f/2, this lens absolutely shines with virtually no vignetting past that aperture mark as well – virtually zero distortion. Also of note is that as you move toward f/16, there are majestically pronounced starbursts at point sources of light.

Color and Contrast

Colors pop wonderfully with this 35mm lens. Equally, the contrast is great, and I noticed no chromatic aberrations even at f/1.4. I wasn’t as overly impressed with this area of the lens as some have been, but it truly does produce some beautifully contrasted photos with perfectly adequate color separation. Tamron has also introduced the second generation of their BBAR element coating which is purported to reduce ghosting and flare greatly.

Here are a few sample images for your inspection. There have been no adjustments to sharpness, color (except WB) or contrast.

Image: F/8

F/8

 

Image: F/4.5

F/4.5

 

Image: F/8

F/8

 

Image: F/16

F/16

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/2.8

F/2.8

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/2.8

F/2.8

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/13

F/13

 

Image: F/2.8

F/2.8

 

Image: F/4.5

F/4.5

 

Image: F/1.4

F/1.4

I’ve also put together a full-length video review of the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 if you would like to dig a little deeper into the characteristics of this lens.

Final Thoughts on the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4…

What else can I say about the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 lens? Fortunately enough for both of us, the results from this lens happily speak for themselves. I’ll admit that going into this review I had already been bombarded with tales of its sharpness and high contrast, so the bar was set alarmingly high. So high in fact, that I was concerned that I would be let down by the performance of this lens once I actually used it. Banish all such thoughts!

The SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD from Tamron is a perfectly executed fast prime. It combines all the best attributes of fine glass and bundles them into a sleek looking package that performs fantastically. It’s a fast focusing beauty that would be right at home in the field or on the street.

The best part? It will set you back considerably less than some other lenses in its class. At the time of this review, the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 sells for $899US.

Have you used the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 lens? Do you have any other “go-to” prime lenses that you absolutely love keeping in your bag? Let us know in the comments!

 

dps-tamron-sp-35mm-f-1-4-lens-review

The post Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Adam Welch.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

The post Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Adam Welch.

I’ve evaluated and reviewed quite a few lenses over the years – twenty-three to be exact. Throughout those reviews, I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter many that were good, a few that were great, and an oh-so limited few that were absolutely magic. Yet, I can honestly say that I have never experienced the overwhelmingly universal praise and excited electricity surrounding a freshly released lens as I have witnessed with the new Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Di USD (for Canon, Nikon). This is the prime lens that is currently wowing the masses with its mind-bending sharpness and wide-open f/1.4 speed.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Ironically enough, this little beauty marks the 40th Anniversary of Tamron’s “Superior Performance” line of lenses. Tamron has specifically geared all of the glass in SP line towards meeting the needs of discerning professional photographers.

So, needless to say, whenever I get the chance to review any new SP lens from Tamron, I always feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Would the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 live up to the hype? Could it? I was incredibly curious to find out, and, of course, I want you to come along for the ride.

Out of the box

First things first; this is a gorgeous lens. It possesses a clean and simplistic style which in my experience has been the hallmark of virtually all of the modern SP line. The lens itself is a velvety deep satin black with white lettering and, of course, that signature metallic-colored ring finishes off the minimalist design.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

There isn’t a lot to see here aside from the focusing ring (which is nicely rubberized), and the AF/MF switch. Oddly enough, the SP 35mm F/1.4 lacks the Vibration Control functionality which leaves quite a bit of open real estate on the lens body.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

I say the absence of Tamron’s proprietary VC image stabilization is odd not because it will necessarily be missed on a lens of this focal length, but instead because it is present on the close cousin of this lens – Tamron’s 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Canon, Nikon, Sony). The exclusion of VC on this 35mm could very well be a weight-saving measure to avoid making an already robust lens heavier. More on this in just a bit.

This lens includes generous moisture sealing throughout, which if you’ve read any of my other reviews of Tamron glass, you’ll know that I absolutely love. There’s just something extremely comforting about the physical presence of that rubber gasket at the rear of the lens.

Image: Image courtesy of Tamron

Image courtesy of Tamron

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

It also comes with a very nice storage bag.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

Overall, it’s safe to say that the look of the new SP 35mm lens impressed me right out of the gate.

Here’s the list of specifications for the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD courtesy of Tamron:

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

As you can see, this is not a feather-weight prime lens. The 35mm F/1.4 with the lens hood comes in weighing just shy of 2lbs(907g) on my home scales. That makes for a hearty setup when mounted on larger DSLR cameras.

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

With that said, the overall balance of the lens, when mated to a Canon 5D MK III, is remarkably pleasant. It’s not light, but it’s not overly bulky either. Take into account the fact that the lens houses 14 elements, and you become somewhat surprised that it doesn’t weigh more.

That lens hood though…

“But Adam…it’s only a lens hood. Do you really think it’s worth its own section?”

Yes, yes, I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand how trivial this may very well be, and it’s most certainly only my highly subjective…borderline neurotic…opinion.

Tamron has recently introduced a locking mechanism to some of its new lenses. This is the second time I’ve encounter this hooded curiosity from Tamron with the first being the 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Canon, Nikon).

Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens?

In short, I’m conflicted. Of course, the goal of this feature is to keep your lens hood from accidentally popping off your camera. The issue I see with this is that such a static locking mechanism could possibly lead to a broken lens hood, or worse, breakage of the front mount of the lens barrel. Instead of the lens hood simply popping off, there could ultimately be a situation where “something’s gotta give” should a substantial impact occur. What’s more, the need to depress a button to remove the hood is just a little tedious. Then again, I must say the locking mechanism is finely executed and works quite well for its purpose. It’s a feature that I could come to enjoy, but for the time being, not so much.

Relax. I’m finished talking about the lens hood.

A fresh take on Autofocus

Newly introduced with the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 is a revamped mechanism that supposedly aids in more speedy and less noisy autofocusing. It’s called the Dynamic Rolling-Cam System.

Image: Image courtesy of Tamron

Image courtesy of Tamron

Not only is that a pretty cool name but the Dynamic Rolling-cam System assists Tamron’s already capable Ultrasonic Silent Drive AF with moving that large f/1.4 focusing unit and is reported to make the entire AF experience of the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 much more reliable. I tested the AF with my Canon 5D MK III and my trusty Canon 7D Mk1. In both cases, the AF of the lens was quite snappy and accurate, even in low contrasted scenes. This lens also features a full-time manual focus override so that you can easily tweak focus manually while still in AF mode.

Performance and image quality

If you’ve heard anything about this lens already then you probably know it’s reported to be sharp – I mean scary sharp – with beautifully creamy bokeh and superb contrast. Well, it’s all true. So if you want to take my word for it, feel free to skip down to the sample images. If not, keep reading.

Sharpness

Yep. The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 is exquisitely sharp even wide-open at f/1.4. The center is tack sharp with only a minuscule softening at the corners. At smaller apertures beyond f/2, this lens absolutely shines with virtually no vignetting past that aperture mark as well – virtually zero distortion. Also of note is that as you move toward f/16, there are majestically pronounced starbursts at point sources of light.

Color and Contrast

Colors pop wonderfully with this 35mm lens. Equally, the contrast is great, and I noticed no chromatic aberrations even at f/1.4. I wasn’t as overly impressed with this area of the lens as some have been, but it truly does produce some beautifully contrasted photos with perfectly adequate color separation. Tamron has also introduced the second generation of their BBAR element coating which is purported to reduce ghosting and flare greatly.

Here are a few sample images for your inspection. There have been no adjustments to sharpness, color (except WB) or contrast.

Image: F/8

F/8

 

Image: F/4.5

F/4.5

 

Image: F/8

F/8

 

Image: F/16

F/16

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/2.8

F/2.8

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/2.8

F/2.8

 

Image: F/1.8

F/1.8

 

Image: F/13

F/13

 

Image: F/2.8

F/2.8

 

Image: F/4.5

F/4.5

 

Image: F/1.4

F/1.4

I’ve also put together a full-length video review of the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 if you would like to dig a little deeper into the characteristics of this lens.

Final Thoughts on the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4…

What else can I say about the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 lens? Fortunately enough for both of us, the results from this lens happily speak for themselves. I’ll admit that going into this review I had already been bombarded with tales of its sharpness and high contrast, so the bar was set alarmingly high. So high in fact, that I was concerned that I would be let down by the performance of this lens once I actually used it. Banish all such thoughts!

The SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD from Tamron is a perfectly executed fast prime. It combines all the best attributes of fine glass and bundles them into a sleek looking package that performs fantastically. It’s a fast focusing beauty that would be right at home in the field or on the street.

The best part? It will set you back considerably less than some other lenses in its class. At the time of this review, the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 sells for $899US.

Have you used the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 lens? Do you have any other “go-to” prime lenses that you absolutely love keeping in your bag? Let us know in the comments!

 

dps-tamron-sp-35mm-f-1-4-lens-review

The post Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Lens Review – A Perfectly Executed Prime Lens? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Adam Welch.

Canon Announces Two New RF Lenses: The 15-35mm and the 24-70mm

The post Canon Announces Two New RF Lenses: The 15-35mm and the 24-70mm appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon Announces Two New RF Lenses: The 15-35mm and the 24-70mm

Canon has just announced two more lenses for their RF lineup: the RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS and the RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS.

Note that the RF line is designed for Canon’s full-frame mirrorless bodies, which currently includes the Canon EOS R and the Canon EOS RP. This is excellent news for Canon mirrorless users, who have previously had to contend with Canon’s relatively weak mirrorless lens lineup.

So if you’re a Canon mirrorless fan, this is for you.

These two lenses were unveiled by Canon back in February. But we now have specifications, prices, and release dates to share.

The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS

If you’re a landscape photographer, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate a high-quality wide zoom such as the Canon 15-35mm f/2.8L IS.

Canon Announces Two New RF Lenses: The 15-35mm and the 24-70mm

The focal length is perfect for a mix of wide and ultra-wide landscapes, and the image stabilization makes it possible to handhold photos, even with a deep depth of field.

Plus, the image quality is bound to be stellar.

This lens could easily become a landscape photography workhorse. It could also make its way into the bags of wedding photographers who are looking for a high-performing wide zoom.

The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS will be sold for $2,299 USD starting at the end of September. While the price isn’t cheap, serious landscape photographers will appreciate the focal length, the optical quality, and the image stabilization.

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM

Compared to the 15-35mm, the 24-70mm is more of an all-around option and one that’ll hold its own with the best in the field.

Canon Announces Two New RF Lenses: The 15-35mm and the 24-70mm

First, the wide maximum aperture and standard zoom focal length make this lens a good choice for portraits. The 9-bladed aperture is also bound to produce some gorgeous bokeh. So for portrait photographers, this is a lens worth looking at.

Event photographers will also appreciate the fast aperture, while the 5-stop image stabilization will make handholding in low light easy to pull off.

Even landscape photographers should consider the 24-70mm f/2.8. For landscape photographers who like a tighter look, the 24-70mm focal length range is exactly what is needed.

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM will start shipping at the end of September for $2,299 USD.

Conclusion

If you’re a mirrorless landscape photographer, then this is a good day, because you’ve got two amazing new RF lenses to look forward to.

Same goes for portrait and event photographers, who should appreciate the image stabilization and fast apertures these two lenses bring to the table.

If this is a sign of things to come, then the future is bright.

What do you think about these new lenses? Will you purchase them when the come out? Share in the comments!

The post Canon Announces Two New RF Lenses: The 15-35mm and the 24-70mm appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Sony Announces New Compact Camera With Amazing Features

The post Sony Announces New Compact Camera With Amazing Features appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Are you searching for a pocket-sized camera that packs a big punch?

Look no further than the just-announced Sony Cybershot RX100 VII, which is an all-around amazing camera, from its small size to its impressive zoom to its powerful optics.

First, take a look at its lengthy zoom lens, which goes from 24mm to 200mm in moments. This is perfect for capturing wider landscapes, then zooming in to emphasize a few compelling details.

The Sony RX100 VII also promises stellar image quality, with a ZEISS lens and a 20.1-megapixel sensor.

But where the Sony RX100 VII really shines is in the thick of the action. The RX100 VII shoots at 20 frames-per-second, which is far faster than most competitors on the market. And the autofocus is especially notable, with 357 AF points.

Sony-RX100-VII

If you’ve worked with mirrorless or DSLR cameras before, then you’ll appreciate the electronic viewfinder on the RX100 VII. This is useful for shooting in bright conditions, or when you’re struggling to see the (touchscreen!) LCD.

Oh, and did I mention the 4K video capabilities? If you want a camera that will get you good images and beautiful videos while remaining nicely compact, the RX100 VII may be the way to go.

Who is the Sony RX100 VII for?

The RX100 VII should appeal to a few groups of people.

First, the RX100 VII is a good camera for beginner photographers looking to buy something a bit more long-term, but who doesn’t want to deal with the complexities or price of a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

And for those of you who have been using your smartphones as a primary camera, the RX100 VII will take your photos up a notch – without requiring much in the way of advanced settings or know-how.

Finally, the Sony RX100 VII is ideal for more serious photographers who want a second, more portable camera body. If you often get frustrated carrying around a DSLR or mirrorless camera/lens combo while traveling, then the Sony RX100 VII may be exactly what you need.

Are you excited about the release of the Sony RX100 VII? What is your favorite new feature? Let me know in the comments!

You may also find the following helpful:

The post Sony Announces New Compact Camera With Amazing Features appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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