2 February 2016

The new Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon has just announced its new flagship camera, the EOS-1D X Mark II. Like Nikon's recently announced D5, this camera is full of exciting new and improved features.

Here are some of the more pronounced specs (with some comment as to how they compare to Nikon's D5).
  • 20.2 megapixel Full Frame sensor (similar to the 20.9 of the D5).
  • Continuous shooting speeds of up-to-14 frames per second (fps) with Auto Exposure (AE) and predictive AF for viewfinder shooting and up to 16 fps in Live View mode (faster than the Nikon D5).
  • Continuous shooting of up-to 170 consecutive RAW images at 14 fps (slightly less than the D5, but still plenty for even the most demanding action shooter).
  • Improved 61-point viewfinder AF with expanded coverage and all AF-points selectable and supported to a maximum aperture of f/8 (sure, not the 153 – all cross sensor – AF points of the D5, but these are all f/8 and 61 is still more than enough, if they're good).
  • Improved AI Servo III+ predictive AF algorithm for better accuracy.
  • Continuous red illumination of all AF points within the viewfinder (Nikon has offered this for years, quite surprised this wasn't offered on the Canons before).
  • 4K video at 60P (!) and Full HD at 120P (much better than the D5, but then Canon has usually been better at video anyway).
  • Enhanced wireless functionality with the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8 (probably similar to Nikon's).
  • Digital Lens Optimizer to help correct aberrations in-camera (you previously needed to do this in post processing, Nikon has offered this for quite some time on its cameras and works quite well).
  • Compatibility with both CF and CFast memory cards for optimal performance and versatility (so now we have two competing fast memory cards: XQD (Nikon, Sony) and CFast, not sure which which is better…).

9 January 2016

Mac users beware: bug in the latest Nikon Capture NX-D deletes files after renaming a folder

Important notice to Mac users of Capture NX-D: The latest version will delete all files in a folder (in the root) after you change its name in NX-D.

Update: Nikon has released an update to NX-D that solves this issue. You can download it from the Nikon website.

This is Nikon's official warning:
It has recently come to our attention that the following may occur with Nikon Capture NX-D RAW processing software for Macintosh.
When the user attempts to change name of a folder saved in root directory (the top-most directory in startup disk's hierarchy) on a Macintosh running a compatible version of OS X using the folder palette of Capture NX-D, all files (still images, movies, texts, etc.) saved in that folder will be deleted. Files deleted with the above operation will permanently be deleted and cannot be restored.
We are currently working to resolve this, and plan to release an updated version of Capture NX-D. Until that time, we ask that users do not use Capture NX-D's folder palette to modify name of a folder saved in root directory on a Macintosh computer. Should you need to save your image and/or movie files, save them in a home folder (Desktop, Pictures, Movies, Documents, etc.) located in the Users directory, or in an external hard disk drive.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Nikon remains committed to providing only the highest quality products and services, and we hope that you will continue to choose Nikon for your photographic needs.

6 January 2016

The new D500: the long awaited professional crop body from Nikon!

I nearly missed it in all the D5 news (in fact, the info I initially received from Nikon only mentioned it in a link; the news was too fresh to get included), but Nikon yesterday also announced a new professional breed DX (APS-C crop sensor) DSLR. Not the D400 everyone was hoping for, but something even better: a D500.

The specifications for this camera are quite astonishing, and truly make it a professional grade camera: 20.9 MP sensor, ISO 100 – 51,200 (extendable to 50 – 1,638,400), 4K Video, 153 AF points (same as D5), 10fps, 200 image buffer etc.

Suggested retail price: € 2369 (NL, inc. 21% VAT), $2000 (US, ex VAT)
Availability: March 2016

Here are some more specs:

5 January 2016

The New Nikon D5 DLSR: 153 AF points, up to ISO 3,280,000

The rumours where flying around already, but I just got the official announcement from Nikon Netherlands: The new Nikon D5 has been announced!

The new D5 boasts two things, previously unheard of: an all new 153 points AF system (their last top models had “only” 51 points) able to autofocus in almost absolute dark (-4 EV) and on top of that, the camera has a new record high ISO of 3,280,000. This latter is probably only usable for small prints, but at 102,400 the images are supposedly still quite clean and usable.

Suggested retail price: € 7109 (NL, inc. 21% VAT), $6500 (US, ex VAT)
Availability: March 2016

Some more specifications:
  • Sensor: 20.8 Megapixels.
  • ISO: 100 – 102,400, extendable from 50 tot 3,280,000 ISO equivalent.
  • Frame rate: 12 fps with AF/AE, 14fps with Mirror Up (no AF/AE).
  • Buffer: 200 14-bit lossless compressed RAW images.
  • AF: 153 sensor points (of which 99 are cross sensors!).
  • Video: 4K UHD, 25/30 fps.
  • Monitor: High res 2350kdots with touchscreen.
  • Storage: Double XQD 2.0 slot (I love XQD in my own D4: they're incredible fast).

Two all new Nikon AF-P 18-55 DX lenses (with and without VR)

Nikon has announced two new 18-55 DX lenses. These new lenses have a new denomination: AF-P, which indicates a new stepper motor technique allowing for fast and quiet autofocusing.

The lens comes in two flavours, one with and one without Vibration Redution (VR).

The full technical specifications of the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6G and AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6G VR lens:

26 November 2015

Nikon firmware update for the D750 and D4s


Apart from the software update mentioned in the previous article, Nikon today also released a firmware update for their D750 and D4s DSLR cameras. You can download the updates directly from Nikon's download centre:

Changes in D750 firmware C1.10

  • An External recording control option has been added to the HDMI item in the SETUP MENU. If the camera is connected via HDMI to a third-party recorder that supports the Atomos Open Protocol (the Atomos SHOGUN, NINJA2, or NINJA BLADE), selecting On allows camera controls to be used to start and stop recording. More information is available in a supplementary manual.
    Note:Choose an option other than 576p (progressive) or 480p (progressive) for HDMI > Output resolution in the SETUP MENU.
  • Fixed the following issues:
    • The brightness of the live view photography display would not change when a command dial was rotated to adjust exposure compensation with On (Auto reset) selected for b Metering/exposure > b3 Easy exposure compensation > Easy exposure compensation in the CUSTOM SETTING MENU.
    • Although the preview button would stop the lens down to maximum aperture when assigned the Preview role, the maximum aperture indicator would not appear in the monitor.
    • In rare cases, the shutter would not be released when the user attempted to take photographs in movie live view.
    • About 4 seconds of static could be heard on audio recorded with external HDMI recorders during movie live view.
    • The shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity displayed in the monitor during movie live view would differ from values in the final movie file.
    • Part of the focus point would disappear if the user zoomed in while the framing grid was displayed.
    • Volume could sometimes not be adjusted if movies were played with indicators hidden during full-frame playback (None (image only)).
    • Exposure compensation would fail to produce the desired results if a negative value was selected when NEF (RAW) images were processed using the NEF (RAW) processing option in the RETOUCH MENU.
    • Images would in rare cases fail to record correctly with HDR (high dynamic range) selected in the PHOTO SHOOTING MENU.
    • If On was selected for Exposure smoothing during interval timer photography, every frame after the first would be overexposed.
    • File numbers were not assigned in the proper sequence.
    • The focus point would not be displayed in the correct location in the monitor.
    • In some languages, characters or parts of characters would be missing from the SETUP MENU > Location data > Position display.
    • In some languages, characters or parts of characters would be missing from the SETUP MENU > AF fine-tune > List saved values display.
    • In some regions, nothing would be displayed when Conformity marking was selected in the SETUP MENU.
  • Some help text has been changed.
  • Optimal vibration reduction is now available with vibration reduction lenses.

Changes in D4s firmware C1.30

  • An External recording control option has been added to the HDMI item in the SETUP MENU. If the camera is connected via HDMI to a third-party recorder that supports the Atomos Open Protocol (the Atomos SHOGUN, NINJA2, or NINJA BLADE), selecting On allows camera controls to be used to start and stop recording. More information is available in a supplementary manual.
    Note:
    • Choose an option other than 576p (progressive) or 480p (progressive) for HDMI > Output resolution in the SETUP MENU.
    • Choose an option other than Auto for HDMI > Output resolution in the SETUP MENU when 640x  424; 30p or 640x  424; 25p is selected for Movie settings > Frame size/frame rate in the SHOOTING MENU.
  • Fixed the following issues:
    • In rare cases, the shutter would not be released when the user attempted to take photographs in movie live view.
    • About 4 seconds of static could be heard on audio recorded with external HDMI recorders during movie live view.
    • Exposure compensation would fail to produce the desired results if a negative value was selected when NEF (RAW) images were processed using the NEF (RAW) processing option in the RETOUCH MENU.
    • Images would in rare cases fail to record correctly with HDR (high dynamic range) selected in the SHOOTING MENU.
    • In portrait orientation, the monitor would not show the focus point in the correct location if 5:4 (30x24) was selected for Choose image area.