Canon 6D Mark II Vs. 80D and 7D Mark II In-Depth Review

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Canon 6D Mark II Vs. 80D and 7D Mark II In-Depth Review
Sep 072017

The Canon 6D Mark II has not been the most well-received camera thus far. But how does it actually perform, and are the complaints justified?

The initial complaints were around the fact that this camera does not shoot 4K video. Discussions then moved on to its dynamic range and how it underperformed even against APS-C cameras. The most recent complaints are around the fact that its performance at higher ISOs may be worse than the original 6D. Personally, my biggest gripe about this camera is the fact that it only has one storage slot. This one individual point makes it less viable in a professional setting for me, however this may not bring as much concern to shooters upgrading from the original. The 6D Mark II has been referred to as a bigger Canon 80D and for good reason. There are a few minor differences between the two cameras except for the sensor size and price tag. The Canon 7D Mark II sits in between the 80D and 6D Mark II when it comes to the price and for that reason, it’s viable to compare these three to one another.

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Which Video Camera Would You Buy Today? Here’s a Comparison of 4K Systems from Canon, Sony, and Others

 Gear  Comments Off on Which Video Camera Would You Buy Today? Here’s a Comparison of 4K Systems from Canon, Sony, and Others
Aug 012017

Every time I’m on a set or grabbing coffee with another local filmmaker, we always end up talking gear for a bit, and inevitably the question comes up of “What camera would you buy if you had to buy right now, and why?” I decided to research things a bit and put together an article that explains what I’d buy if I absolutely had to right now, and the answer might surprise you.

First, let me just define a few parameters. I’m going to look at 4K-capable cameras that can capture internally, and cost less than $10,000. To further refine the list, fixed-lens cameras will not be listed, but don’t disregard them. They still serve a lot of event productions and run-and-gun shooters should really consider them a viable option when speed and versatility are more important than being able to change lenses. I’ll also being leaving DSLR-style cameras off the list, even though they are a popular choice. I wanted to keep the comparison as direct as possible.

Here’s a chart to get us started which should give us a quick glance at some major specs and price points. Below, I’ll hit on key points, note any special considerations, and finally end with my suggested picks for the kind of videographer or filmmaker you might be.

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Comparison Breakdown: The Lightest, Most Affordable, Professional Full-Frame System

 Gear  Comments Off on Comparison Breakdown: The Lightest, Most Affordable, Professional Full-Frame System
Jul 272017

In a world where less than a handful of brands are considered well-established in the professional full-frame camera market and where more than a handful of other brands have done a very healthy share of innovating to wedge their way into the market, where do we stand? If you’re going to buy a new system to start fresh or are just starting out and getting serious, this is for you. Here’s a thorough comparison of the major bodies and lens kits you’ll likely be considering. As long as you’re considering full frame, regardless of budget, here’s a comparison for it.

The DSLR establishment is extremely interested in the possibility of mirrorless cameras, and rightly so. They’re faster, cheaper, lighter, and more compact… or are they? If you’re thinking of Fujifilm’s X-Series cameras, you’d be right. And those might work for you. But for professionals coming from the top DSLR brands, they’ll be lacking in speed, versatility, and sensor size (not to mention ISO performance), as they’re all APS-C-based. But what about the full-frame mirrorless cameras? Of course, we’re now talking about Sony’s a7-series cameras.

YouTuber Duncan Dimanche recently published a video that compared the price and weight of an entry-level full-frame kit from four different brands, including Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony. NikonRumors has a great summary of that video, but there were a few issues in there. First and foremost, none of the combinations of lens kits were anything that any reasonable person would purchase together. It was a good first effort, but with a number of the zoom ranges of the cheap lens kits overlapping and with the results slightly skewed toward Nikon with a few interesting and cheaper not-quite-equivalent options included (and I’m a Nikon fan, even), the video didn’t quite do it for me. Still, it more than piqued my curiosity. Let’s dive into a comparison based on what we’d actually get. Scroll down to the conclusion for the final advice, or read on to get all the details.

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Lots of Canon Lenses Likely Coming at the End of August [Rumor]

 Gear  Comments Off on Lots of Canon Lenses Likely Coming at the End of August [Rumor]
Jul 162017

I think few people can argue that Sigma hasn’t been killing it lately, particularly with their 85mm f/1.4 Art and borderline audacious 135mm f/1.8 Art lenses turning in mostly rave reviews. It was only a matter of time before the big manufacturers responded, and from the looks of things, Canon is preparing to do just that.

Our friends over at Canon Rumors are reporting that Canon is preparing to announce the fabled EF 85mm f/1.4L IS lens at the end of August, along with three other lenses. Which mount these additional lenses will be for is unknown at the moment, though with Canon continuing to update their mirrorless models, it’s possible they may be looking to expand the EF-M line. Other lenses getting long in the tooth include the 50mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2L. The 85mm f/1.4L IS will not replace the legendary 85mm f/1.2L II lens, but if it improves wide-open sharpness over its f/1.2 cousin (bringing it at least near that of the Sigma Art) and adds image stabilization while only giving up a third of a stop, it could be an extremely intriguing lens for Canon users and would complicate the choice for fans of the Sigma lens’ performance. Be sure to check out the full report over at Canon Rumors for more.

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Canon Working on Global Shutter With High Dynamic Range, by Alex Cooke

 HDR Info, News  Comments Off on Canon Working on Global Shutter With High Dynamic Range, by Alex Cooke
Apr 132017

Canon has developed a 2/3″ sensor with a global shutter and high dynamic range, helping to pave the way toward future generations of video cameras.

The rolling shutter is a common issue in video. Because most cameras read each frame of sensor data by scanning across the frame either vertically or horizontally, this means that data from the sensor is not read simultaneously, which can cause artifacts, particularly with quickly moving subjects, the most common example being airplane propellers.

While certain cameras such as the Sony F55 have a global shutter, which reads all sensor data at the same time, the majority still use rolling shutters. Canon’s global shutter CMOS sensor initially had a smaller dynamic range that required two improvements to regain a wider range.

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Photos of Canon’s Mirrorless M6 and Removable EVF Leaked

 Gear  Comments Off on Photos of Canon’s Mirrorless M6 and Removable EVF Leaked
Feb 082017

Photos of Canon’s soon-to-be-announced EOS M6 mirrorless camera have leaked, and unlike the M5, it doesn’t feature an EVF. Instead, Canon is releasing a new removable EVF that has also leaked for your peeping pleasure.

These leaked photos come to us from Digicame-info, who regularly gets their hands on official product shots just days (or sometimes hours) before an official announcement. This time is no different. The M6 is expected to be announced this month before CP+, which starts February 23rd.

Scroll down to see all of the leaked photos of the black and silver M6 and the EVF-DC2 viewfinder, and keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement, probably in the next few days.

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Canon 5D Mark IV vs Nikon D810 vs Sony A7R II: Side-by-Side Comparison

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon 5D Mark IV vs Nikon D810 vs Sony A7R II: Side-by-Side Comparison
Jan 012017

If you’re in the market for a high-end full-frame camera, chances are good the Canon 5D Mark IV, Sony A7R II, and Nikon D810 are all contenders. Check out this side-by-side comparison if you’re having a hard time deciding which of the three is best for you.

This comparison was put together by JP Morgan over at The Slanted Lens, who enlisted the help of Kenneth Merrill to put all three of these cameras through their paces using native glass. They tested image quality, autofocus accuracy and tracking, dynamic range, and high ISO/low light performance to see where each camera excelled, or if there’s even a noticeable difference.

You should definitely check out the full video to see the comparison tests and judge the results for yourself, but if you’re in a hurry, you can read our summary below.


Image Quality

Canon really fell short here, but then again it’s also the lowest resolution camera of the bunch at just 30.4MP compared to Nikon’s 36.3MP and Sony’s 42MP. Both the Nikon and Sony came out very sharp, but each exposed the scene a little differently, and the lower res Nikon seems to have generated the highest quality image.


Sony won tracking hands down thanks to the plethora of AF points going all the way to the edge of the sensor and its nifty Face Detection mode. As far as accuracy, Nikon seems to hit the mark more accurately than Canon (the Sony had to sit this test out).

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HDR? This Canon White Paper Demystifies High Dynamic Range

 HDR Info, Technique  Comments Off on HDR? This Canon White Paper Demystifies High Dynamic Range
Nov 062016

High Dynamic Range. Heard of it? Canon recently released a white paper on HDR written by Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe, laying down the key concepts and preoccupations regarding this emerging technology.

HDR. You’ve probably seen it advertised all over the place: on the latest generation Atomos recorders, on silly smartphone apps that take the High Dynamic Range look way over to the extreme, on new televisions and monitors claiming to be HDR Ready… It seems like its something we should want… but what is it?

In his recent white paper about HDR, Senior Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe explains the trends in advancements in imaging technologies, and the main 5 parameters in which there has been particular preoccupation.

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Official Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Introduction

 Cinematography, Gear, News  Comments Off on Official Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Introduction
Aug 252016


Canon 5D Mark IV | This is It, Finally

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon 5D Mark IV | This is It, Finally
Aug 252016

So this is it; it’s finally here to clear up the speculation and put to bed the inaccuracies. I say that because this impending release has been grabbing blog copy and forum fodder for weeks, like a ghost that hangs around but never reveals itself. But here it is. Finally.

It’s hard to imagine a single Canon camera more anticipated than a new 5D, and this one maybe more so than the last because of Nikon’s comparatively big releases with the D500 and D5, and the leak about the 5D Mark IV with that one particular sticking point and marketing magic-soundbite: that Dual Pixel Raw (more on that further on). There’s much to say about the camera that’s in many ways a re-structuring from top to bottom, inside and out, but perhaps we’ll get into all of that in later discussion, and more when we get our hands on one to review in the very near future. So for now here’s the Cliff Notes…

The Canon 5D Mark IV is, though familiar in look and controls, a new animal. It has a new sensor, improved AF and metering sensors like the 150,000 pixel RGB+IR sensor that allows for better subject recognition and tracking; new processor; a built in GPS receiver for latitude, longitude and elevation; built-in WiFi and NFC connectivity, and all enclosed in a familiar but better sealed body. It’s an all ‘round update. Oh, and it also does 4k at 30FPS, has a 7FPS max shooting mode, touch screen, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and the brand new party trick, Dual Pixel Raw. That is, the 5D Mark IV on the half shell.


30.4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
DCI 4K Video at 30 fps; 8.8MP Still Grab
61-Point High Density Reticular AF
Native ISO 32000, Expanded to ISO 102400
Dual Pixel RAW; AF Area Select Button
Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF
7 fps Shooting; CF & SD Card Slots
Built-In GPS and Wi-Fi with NFC


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The Affordable Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is the Best E-Mount Lens DxO Has Tested

 Cinematography, Gear, Technique  Comments Off on The Affordable Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is the Best E-Mount Lens DxO Has Tested
Jul 032016


This is a big week for new top-tier gear at DxOMark. First, they crowned the Canon 1D X Mark II the best Canon sensor they’ve ever tested, and now the affordable Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary has been named DxO’s top-ranking Sony E-Mount prime.

The full review dropped earlier today, and if you’re looking for a super-sharp lens for your Sony E-Mount APS-C camera, you need look no further. According to DxOMark, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DN is “an excellent standard prime option for Sony E-mount cameras and ranks at the top for all lenses we’ve tested on the A6000.”


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Canon XC10 versus Sony RX10 III. The Canon is underrated!

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Jun 102016

The Canon XC10 is underrated on paper, not least by me! Having very little interest in one I decided anyway to give it a try.

Glad I did.

When Zeiss build a lens they do it at a very high technical level, but the also tune it subjectively to give it a cinematic look. It’s the same with cameras. What Canon do, in particular with regard to colour is that they don’t just ramp up the tech-specs, without tuning the image for a subjectively more pleasing result. When Sony build a camera they do so at a very high technical level, but they’re not currently applying an artisan touch in the lab. Never has this been more apparent with the Sony RX10 III.

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Sep 042015


Sachi Cunningham does it all. She’s a professor of journalism at San Francisco State, a documentary filmmaker, and a critically-acclaimed multimedia journalist. She’s won a handful of Emmy awards for her work for FRONTLINE along with a nomination for her most recent project, “The Rise of ISIS: An in-depth look at the miscalculations and mistakes behind the group’s brutal ascent”. Her documentary for the LA Times, Chasing the Swell, won the Associated Press Sports Editors Multimedia Award, along with countless other acclamations. On top of all of her notoriety, she’s one of the best big-wave surf photographers around.

Between raising her two-year-old, and planning a surf trip to Mentawais with 10 other women, Sachi sat down with us to talk about how, in between earning awards and accolades, she found her passion in surf photography.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, but I fell in love with the ocean when I’d visit my family’s beach house in Capistrano Beach during the summers. After college when I was teaching English in Japan, I bought a Canon EOS1N RS film camera and my first underwater housing and I apprenticed with a Japanese water photographer who took me to contests and taught me everything he knew. I then saved up enough money to travel to Indonesia when there happened to be a huge swell, and I became totally hooked. When I came back to the states, I was determined to make a living as a water photographer. Of course I had no money, and my parents thought I was crazy.


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Jul 292015


Last month, I took the Nikon D810 out on the Sierra High Route — one of the toughest adventures around. It got dirty, wet, and constantly banged around. Here’s how it performed.

Three years ago, my roommate bought a D800E. I’ve always shot Canon, but he let me borrow his Nikon for a couple of shoots. It was impressive to say the least. I vowed that when it was time for me to upgrade from my 5D Mk II, if Canon hadn’t released a comparable body, that I would give the D800 a shot.

Fast forward to this past April. While riding a $450 motorcycle through Vietnam, I lost my backpack with everything in it — including my trusty, dusty Canon 5D Mk II, and the only piece of glass that mattered. I started doing research on the current SLR market. Nothing out there seemed that impressive or able to meet the intensive demands of adventure photography — including the (at the time) recently-announced 5DS. That is, until I ran across the recently released 36 megapixel Nikon D810 ($3,000 Body Only.) It was time to give it a shot.



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Jul 192015


Imagine I gave you three ingredients to make spaghetti. I gave you the pasta, the marinara sauce, and cheese to top it with. The only catch was that you could only use each ingredient in certain amounts. What if I said you could have either 0, 500 grams, or 1,000 grams of each, but nothing in-between? Well, certainly, you’ll need pasta if you’re going to eat spaghetti, so let’s say you chose 500 grams. Unless you’re a marinara fanatic, twice as much sauce as pasta is going to be way too much. Even 500 grams to match the spaghetti is excessive, but then again, the only other option is no sauce at all. And what about the cheese? That’s going to be a lot of cheese.

The problem, of course, is that it’s not just how much of each ingredient is present that matters, but how much is present relative to the others. What if I gave you finer gradations, say steps of 100 grams each? You could probably make a pretty good approximation of your preferred meal, say 500 grams of pasta, 200 grams of sauce, and 100 grams of cheese. If I gave you 50 gram gradations, you could get even closer. For the record, the ideal meal is 473 grams of pasta, 167 grams of marinara sauce, and 56 grams of cheese.

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May 292015

Photo by Robert Caplin

Dear friends,

As you know, there has been great destruction in Nepal due to the massive earthquake that hit the Kathmandu Valley towards the end of April. It is clear that help is needed now and will be needed well into the future so this beautiful country and its people can recover.

Adorama in collaboration with The Photo Brigade and AdoramaPix has launched a campaign entitled “Prints for Nepal” to support the non-profit organization GlobalGiving in raising funds for the relief effort in Nepal.

Adorama thanks Canon, Nikon and Intel for helping us raise $22,000 so far through their direct corporate donations. We now need your help to raise awareness and drive our charitable cause.

There are 5 prints included in this fundraiser, available in a variety of sizes. These images, created by The Photo Brigade founder Robert Caplin and Adorama representative Joshua Wright prior to the disaster, showcase the heart and soul of Nepali culture and landscape:

AdoramaPix will graciously provide their superior printing service to make these photographs available for purchase. Each image is printed on premium Luster paper and comes with a hand-signed thank you card from Adorama. Shipping is free.

Prints for Nepal will be donating 100% of proceeds from the sales of these select images to GlobalGiving, and the fundraising effort will run through June 30, 2015.


May 122015

“It’s the middle of 2015. Affordable ooparge sensor cameras are well established in the market and 4K resolution is the latest trend. To this ever evolving market, here comes Canon with its latest innovation. A 1-inch, fixed lens, compact, ultra high definition professional camcorder aimed at “everyone”, according to Canon: 

“from next-generation advanced amateurs to professional 4K and HD videographers, from digital filmmakers needing a cost-effective 4K/HD “B” or “C” camera to multimedia journalists and news agencies seeking a 4K video camera”.

As not everything is about “film look” and not everyone is keen on / capable of working with large sensor cameras, Canon chose wisely to cater a specific niche in the market with the new XC10, and what’s left for us to examine is: How well did they do it?”

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Apr 202015

At NAB this week Manfrotto announced the Digital Director, a real-time monitoring solution for Canon and Nikon DSLR’s. Digital Director connects to the DSLR’s USB port and sends a live signal to an iPad running the Digital Director app.

But it’s more than just a monitoring solution. Users can interact with the camera and remotely change parameters. There are two main modes: Photo and Video. All camera settings can be adjusted, including ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and focus. The Interactive Focus feature allows a focus point can be set simply by touching the screen, and a digital zoom feature ensures it’s set accurately. The controls also include a histogram and audio meters, and they can be moved anywhere on the screen. Photos can be edited on in the app and then uploaded from the iPad’s camera roll.

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Apr 152015


A recycling of past rumors has made its way around again, this time talking about a direct replacement for the EOS 5D Mark III, as well as a cinema version for the 5D line.

First up, the Canon EOS 5Dc. These specs first appeared back in February.

  • 18MP
  • 61 point AF system
  • ISO 100-204.800
  • 4k video (source says Canon has yet to define the frame rate)
  • Dual Pixel AF III
  • Many advanced video features
  • Features taken from Canon’s Cinema cameras

Second up, the EOS 5D Mark IV. This megapixel count first appeared in March.

  • 28MP sensor
  • 12fps
  • Dual Pixel AF III
  • New and more advanced AF system (compared to EOS 5D Mark III), apparently it will not be the same AF as the 5D Mark IVc
  • Anti-flickr technology (seen first on the EOS 7D Mark II)
  • Crop mode (featured on the EOS 5Ds)
  • ISO 100-204.800 (expandable to 409.600)

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Mar 262015



Canon has long been rumored to have a small 4K camera up its sleeve, and now the world is getting its first glimpse of the new product. The company has unveiled the camera at a press event in China ahead of its rumored official launch in the United States at the NAB 2015 show in Las Vegas next month.

The 4K concept camera is roughly DSLR-sized and appears to have a rotating grip. Different views of the camera were captured at the event by the Chinese Photo Association, photographer Li Bai, and Chinese gadget site Evolife.

Canon Rumors suggests that the camera will have a 1-inch CMOS sensor, a 10X optical zoom 8.9-89mm (24-240mm in 35mm terms) f/2.8-5.6 lens, a 58mm filter, built-in Wi-Fi, and an external viewfinder. “This definitely looks to be Canon’s foray into the drone market,” they write.


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