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Canon launches EOS 60Da DSLR for Astrophotography

Canon has launched the EOS 60Da, a variant of its 60D DSLR tuned for astrophotography. The camera features a re-worked infra-red filter leaving the camera more sensitive to a specific emission frequency (656nm) of hydrogen, key to capturing images of features such as nebulae (gas clouds) in space. The 18MP camera continues where 2005’s 8MP EOS 20Da left off. It will be available from a limited number of authorized dealers at a price of around $1499.00/£1174.99.

NEW CANON EOS 60Da DSLR CAMERA FOR ASTRONOMY ENTHUSIASTS CAPTURES THE TRUE COLORS OF THE COSMOS

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the EOS 60Da Digital SLR Camera, a long-awaited successor to the EOS 20Da that is optimized for astrophotography. This DSLR caters to astronomers and hobbyists who enjoy capturing the beauty of the night sky by offering a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity. These modifications allow the camera to capture magnificent photographs of “red hydrogen emission” nebulae and other cosmic phenomena.

“The EOS 60Da is a testament to the constant desire to meet the needs of every customer, including those in specialized fields,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., “This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras but should be enjoyed and celebrated.”

The Canon EOS 60Da camera packs a powerful 18-megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-C) that produces sharp and high-contrast images of astronomical objects, a major enhancement over the EOS 20Da model’s 8.2-megapixel sensor. The improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or Hα wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.

Enhanced Features

Crisp images of the stars and planets can be viewed on the EOS 60Da’s improved 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots for detailed focusing. The flip-out Vari-angle screen allows photographers to adjust the screen for easy viewing without straining even while the camera is mounted to a telescope via a third-party T-ring adapter. Optimized for stargazing with friends or in an educational setting, astronomy enthusiasts can connect the camera to a TV with the provided AVC-DC400ST Stereo AV Video Cable and display the night sky on a TV monitor using the camera’s Live View mode. Moreover, the EOS 60Da’s Live View mode is equipped with a Silent Shooting feature that eliminates shutter-induced vibration for maximum camera stability when the camera is mounted to a telescope or super-telephoto EF lens.

Enhanced noise reduction on the EOS 60Da sensor offers photographers the ability to experiment with the wide array of ISO settings and increased ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800. Other features include an intelligent nine-point autofocus system, full manual controls, and RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG image recording capabilities.

Accessories

The EOS 60Da helps capture the wonders of the night sky with its use of Canon’s award-winning EF and EF-S lenses along with other EOS accessories. Additionally, the EOS 60Da is packaged with Canon’s RA-E3 Remote Controller Adapter, providing the ability to connect a Canon Timer Remote Control such as the TC-80N3 (optional accessory). The TC-80N3 is ideal for controlling time exposures longer than 30 seconds as well as capturing a series of consecutive time exposures that can be composited during post-processing for improved image quality. This is especially useful when the camera body is connected to a telescope[i] or an EF super telephoto lens.

Canon has also included an AC adapter kit with the EOS 60Da, allowing the camera to be powered through an AC wall outlet or a battery-powered inverter, ideal for long exposure image or video capture at home or in the field.

Availability

As a specialized product, the EOS 60Da is only available to order from select authorized dealers. The estimated retail price is $1,499.00 and it is expected to be available this month.

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Tamron releases image-stabilized 24-70mm F2.8 zoom

Tamron has announced a 24-70mm F2.8 zoom for full frame cameras that features inbuilt optical stabilisation – a first in this class of lens. The SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, to give it its full name, also incorporates an Ultrasonic Silent Drive motor for autofocus, which allows full-time manual focus. The lens is moisture-resistant, and features a circular aperture diaphragm for the attractive rendition of background blur. It will be produced in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts, with price and availability to be confirmed at a later date.

 Tamron develops full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in image stabilization – SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)

With class-leading resolution and Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation)

Tamron Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of optical equipment, announced the development of the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007), a full-size high-speed standard zoom lens equipped with VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), with resolution at the top of its class.

The price and availability of the SP 24-70mm will be announced at a later date.

Product Features

  1. A full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in VC ( Vibration Compensation). Even when shooting in low-light conditions with a slow shutter speed to render sharpness, Tamron’s acclaimed VC allows for stable handheld camera work, to more fully enjoy the benefits of this high-speed zoom lens.
  2. Uses special high-grade glass in the three LD elements, three glass molded aspherical lenses, one hybrid aspherical lens and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) glasses, delivering top-of-the-class quality images suited to this high-grade lens. Using a rounded diaphragm, the lens achieves gorgeous blur effects. This rounded diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape even when taken two stops down from its fully open state.
  3. Features Tamron proprietary USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive) to power a speedy AF drive together with a continuous manual mechanism.
  4. This high-speed standard zoom lens has a wide-end focal length of 24mm that expands the photographic area.
  5. The lens adopts the new technology including the latest optical design, VC ( Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive), all in a lighter and more compact package.
  6. Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent water from penetrating the lens.

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Canon announces EOS 5D Mark III 22MP full-frame DSLR

Canon has announced the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the latest in its enthusiast full-frame 5D series and successor to the popular EOS 5D Mark II. Based around a 22MP full-frame sensor, it can shoot 6 frames per second and features a 61-point AF system much like the EOS-1D X. It can capture 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30 fps and offers high quality intraframe (All-I) video compression amongst a host of movie-related improvements. It will be available from the end of March with an MSRP of $3499 / €3299 / £2999.99.

Creativity, redefined – Canon unleashes the EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Canon today announces the latest addition to its worldfamous EOS range with the launch of the new EOS 5D Mark III. The EOS 5D Mark IIIbuilds on the performance of the legendary EOS 5D Mark II, offering improved speed,greater resolution, enhanced processing power and extended creative options for bothstills and Full HD movies – providing unparalleled artistic freedom for the most demanding photographers.

Incorporating feedback from photographers worldwide, the EOS 5D Mark III offers improved performance in virtually every area. A new 22.3 Megapixel (MP) full-frame sensor offers the ideal balance of resolution for stills and HD movies and up to 6 frames per second (fps) shooting, whilst a 61-point AF system and 63-zone metering provide greater speed, flexibility and accuracy. Powered by the latest DIGIC 5+ processing technology, the EOS 5D Mark III also features enhanced video functions, offeringimproved image quality alongside greater audio control – redefining creative possibilities for photographers and amateur videographers alike.

“The EOS 5D Mark III represents a big step forward for the EOS 5D series” said Kieran Magee, Marketing Director, Professional Imaging, Canon Europe. “The EOS 5D Mark II is an exceptional camera and we’ve listened carefully to feedback from its passionate community of users to improve performance in every area. This camera has been designed to meet virtually any creative challenge – it’s faster, more responsive and features the tools to adapt to everything from studio photography to creative videography, while producing results of the highest quality.”

Enhanced performance

With its comprehensively upgraded specification, the EOS 5D Mark III is the ideal toolfor the growing number of photographers shooting both stills and movies. It incorporates a number of the features launched with Canon’s revolutionary EOS-1D X,providing vastly improved performance, flexibility, handling and durability.

The camera’s newly-developed 22.3MP full-frame sensor provides increased resolution and finer detail, enabling the capture of a wide range of scenes, from sweeping landscapes to beautiful portraits. Higher speed continuous shooting also offers expanded creative possibilities. With an increased 8-channel read out, the camera comfortably handles a maximum full resolution speed of up to 6fps in bursts of 18 RAW images or over 16,000 JPEGs1, without the need for additional accessories. Additionally, the sensor’s advanced architecture offers a huge native ISO range of 100-25,600, expandable to 102,400, making it possible to capture clean, high quality pictures, even in extreme low-light conditions.

The EOS 5D Mark III utilises the same 61-point wide-area AF system as the flagship EOS-1D X, providing exceptional sensitivity, precision and speed. One of the most advanced AF systems currently available, it features an impressive 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points, providing unsurpassed accuracy across the frame. The customisable AF pre-sets introduced in the EOS-1D X are also available, helping the capture of traditionally challenging subjects, and providing additional reliability in ituations where subject movement can be unpredictable.

Highly accurate exposures are provided by Canon’s acclaimed iFCL metering system, which incorporates a 63-zone Dual-Layer sensor linked to each point of the AF system. Focus information gathered from the AF system is analysed alongside colour and luminance signals measured by the metering sensor itself, enabling the EOS 5D Mark III to deliver consistently accurate skin tones and excellent results in a wide range of shooting situations.

Creative performance without compromise

The EOS 5D Mark III features Canon’s latest DIGIC 5+ image processor, which powers a range of new functions without affecting the camera’s performance. 14-bit A/D conversion provides smoother tonal gradation and transitions between colours, while in-camera HDR shooting combines three different exposures and allows one of five preset tone maps to be applied, enabling photographers to capture all the detail in high contrast scenes. With in-camera RAW processing and editing capability, photographers also have the option to immediately begin post-processing their images while still on a shoot.

The increased power of DIGIC 5+ also enables a range of tools which contribute to higher image quality. Lens peripheral illumination correction, Lens chromatic aberration correction (lateral and axial) and high ISO noise reduction are all performed in-camera without affecting performance, allowing photographers to continue shooting without any camera lag. Additionally, in-camera image rating via a dedicated button makes it easy for photographers to organise images ahead of post-production.

The EOS 5D Mark III features a new Creative Photo button, which enables users to quickly select Picture Styles and capture multiple exposures, as well as offering direct access to the HDR shooting mode. In playback, pressing the Creative Photo button displays a new comparative playback function, displaying two images side-by-side to allow photographers to view, magnify and compare the quality of different exposures mid-shoot.

For situations where photographers want to avoid being noticed, such as weddings, the EOS 5D Mark III also features a new silent shooting mode that dramatically reduces the sound of the shutter and mirror, ensuring they can work quietly in the background. A continuous silent mode is also available, enabling photographers to capture fastermoving subjects without attracting attention.

Next generation EOS Movies

The EOS 5D Mark III builds on the reputation of the EOS 5D Mark II, with a range of new features introduced following feedback received from photographers to provide even better Full HD video performance. As well as offering the depth-of-field control loved by video professionals, the new full-frame sensor combines with the vast processing power of DIGIC 5+ to improve image quality by virtually eradicating the presence of moiré, false colour and other artefacts. The addition of a movie mode switch and a recording button also offers greater usability, enabling videographers to begin shooting immediately when movie mode is engaged.

Additional movie functions include manual exposure control and an enhanced range of high bit-rate video compression options, with intraframe (ALL-I) and interframe (IPB) methods both supported. Variable frame rates range from 24fps to 60fps, and the addition of SMPTE timecode support provides greater editing flexibility and easier integration into multi-camera shoots. Users can also check and adjust audio during recording via the camera’s Quick Control screen and a headphone socket enables sound level monitoring both during and after shooting. Enhanced processing power provided by DIGIC 5+ also makes it possible to conveniently trim the length of recorded movies in-camera.

Professional build, easy operation

The EOS 5D Mark III has been built to offer photographers easy-handling and robust build quality. Its lightweight, high-grade magnesium body offers advanced weather proofing for protection against the elements, while the construction of the shutter has also been reinforced, with 150,000-cycle durability making it ideal for repeated, everyday use. An enhanced version of the Intelligent Viewfinder featured in the EOS 7D offers approximately 100% coverage, as well as an on-demand grid display via the builtin transparent LCD.

The same reinforced 8.11cm (3.2″) Clear View II LCD screen as used by the EOS-1D X provides high quality framing and playback in all conditions. 1,040k-pixels provide the resolution to accurately check image sharpness and focus, while the gapless structure design introduced with the EOS-1D Mark IV prevents reflections and protects against dust or scratches. A headphone socket and locking mode dial have been included, while the inclusion of a UDMA 7-compatible CF card slot plus an SD card2 slot enables shooting to both cards simultaneously, auto switching when the one in use becomes full and the option to copy images from one card to the other in-camera.

Digital Lens Optimizer – new in Digital Photo Professional v3.11

The EOS 5D Mark III comes complete with the most advanced version of Digital Photo Professional (DPP) yet – Canon’s free, in-box software enabling high-speed, high quality processing of RAW images. New in DPP v3.11 is Digital Lens Optimizer – a revolutionary new tool designed to drastically improve image resolution.

Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) precisely imitates lens performance, with a series of complex mathematical functions replicating each stage of the journey of light through the optical path. Using this information DLO can correct a range of typical optical aberrations and loss of resolution caused by a camera’s low pass filter, by applying an inverse function to each shot to take the image nearer to how the scene appears to the naked eye. This creates exceptionally detailed, high-quality images with highly manageable file sizes, providing photographers with maximum image quality and greater flexibility.

EOS System compatibility

As part of the EOS System, the EOS 5D Mark III is immediately compatible with over 60 EF Lenses, including the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM – the new, essential wide-angle zoom lens from Canon’s famous L-series. The camera is also compatible with a newlyannounced range of accessories designed to offer extended creativity, including the Speedlite 600EX-RT – a high performance TTL flash with wireless radio connectivity. Additionally, the new Battery Grip BG-E11 offers greater handling flexibility alongside the ability to double the camera’s battery life.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – Key features:

  • 22.3 Megapixel full-frame sensor
  • 61-point autofocus
  • Up to 6fps continuous shooting
  • Native ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity
  • Full HD video with manual control
  • 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor
  • Enhanced Weather sealing
  • 8.11cm (3.2-inch) 1,040,000-dot screen
  • HDR mode with presets
Additional images

 

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Canon renews full-frame lenses with 24-70mm F2.8 II and stabilized wide-angle primes

Canon has released three EF lenses, including an updated 24-70mm F2.8 II USM. The latest version features what is promised to be a more durable body, despite being a little smaller. In addition to this high-end full-frame standard zoom, there are completely redesigned semi-fast 24mm  and 28mm F2.8 primes, both of which feature USM focus motors and image stabilization.

Ultimately, the most interesting thing about these launches is the fact that Canon feels the need to update various full-frame lenses, almost as if something likely to test the quality of its existing versions was in the offing.

The wide-angle lenses update two of Canon’s oldest primes: both the EF 28mm F2.8 and 24mm F2.8 date back to the late 1980s. The new variants add Canon’s latest 4-stop IS and ring-type USM (complete with full-time manual focus), and look like they should be perfectly nice lenses. We’re just not entirely sure who they’re for; APS-C users have the 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM, and full frame users are more likely to be using the company’s L series optics. It’s also a little unusual to see stabilization added to lenses this wide but that’s the decision Canon has made.

Class-leading performance, unrivalled flexibility – Canon launches three new lenses

Canon today adds to its world-famous EF lens series with the launch of three new lenses for photography professionals and enthusiasts. The new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM professional zoom lens is an update to the popular EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, while the new EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM are the world’s first1 wide-angle prime lenses to feature optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology. All three provide the highest levels of performance for modern digital photographers, combining premium image quality with durable, userfriendly designs.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: the ultra-high performance standard zoom

The new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM features completely redesigned optics to provide outstanding clarity, image quality and durability. A compact design makes it ideal for carrying on every shoot, and a range of optical enhancements provide improved performance – capturing greater detail across the frame while reducing distortion throughout the entire zoom range, particularly at the maximum 70mm focal length.

With a redesigned optical system that includes two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) and one Super UD aspheric elements to minimise chromatic aberration and colour blurring, the lens delivers consistently sharp, high-contrast images. Each lens element also features Canon’s optimised Super Spectra coatings to reduce ghosting and flare and ensure excellent colour balance. Additionally, a fluorine coating minimises the amount of dust, dirt and fingerprints that adhere to the front and rear of the lens, helping to maintain superior image quality.

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM also enables photographers to capture their subjects up close, with a minimum focusing distance of 0.38m at all focal lengths throughout the zoom range. A ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) works in combination with a highperformance CPU and advanced AF algorithms to ensure accurate, silent and ultraresponsive autofocus. For those who prefer to maintain full control in every shot, fulltime manual focusing allows photographers to precisely tweak or alter the focus of their shot at any time, even when AF is engaged.

Distinguished L-series design

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the latest lens from the elite L-series to offer Canon’s high-grade and user-focused design enhancements. The mechanical structure of the lens has been improved to offer enhanced zoom durability and greater shake and shock resistance within the lens barrel. The size of the lens has also been reduced by 10mm compared to the previous model, providing enhanced portability and greater convenience in everyday use. A new Zoom Lock lever also enables photographers to lock the zoom position at the extreme wide end to prevent damage to the lens in transit, while a water and dustproof construction2 enables users to continue shooting in harsh conditions.

Introducing the world’s first wide-angle primes with IS

Canon today also launches the new EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM – the world’s first 24mm and 28mm fixed wide-angle lenses to feature optical IS technology. Ideal for landscape and reportage, both lenses offer outstanding flexibility allowing photographers to shoot an even broader range of scenes and subjects – combining fast apertures with IS to enable sharp results when shooting handheld, even in low light conditions.

Offering an advantage of up to 4-stops over lenses without IS, both lenses are ideal for capturing more of the scene thanks to their wider focal lengths. Both feature a wide f/2.8 aperture, allowing photographers to explore shallow depth of field, or to shoot in lower-light conditions. Wide apertures and IS technology also make each lens ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects, while Canon’s advanced IS technology is able to detect intentional panning movement and automatically switch from Normal IS mode to Panning IS mode – helping users to capture movement with greater accuracy.

Silent, high-speed AF performance is provided by the inclusion of a ring-type USM and additional features including optimized AF control. Full-time manual focusing also ensures adjustments can be made even when AF is engaged, while a minimum focusing distance of 0.20m (EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM) and 0.23m (EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM) allows photographers to get even closer to smaller or more detailed subjects.

Designed to perform

Both the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM feature redesigned optics to improve image quality and reduce the need for post-production. An aspherical glass moulded (GMo) lens element is incorporated to correct aberration throughout the optical system, while Canon’s optimised Super Spectra Coatings reduce ghosting and flare for stand-out image quality. Externally, both models also boast a number of design similarities with Canon’s professional L-series lenses, with a similar coating on the barrel and a similar design on the focus ring. A distance scale is also included to assist with landscape photography, while the compact design makes these lenses an unobtrusive addition to any kit bag.

1 According to Canon research as of February 2012
2 Waterproof construction around the lens mount, switch panel, zoom ring, focusing ring and zoom lock.
Weatherproof when used with weatherproof EOS bodies.

Additional images

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM

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Nikon D800 and D800E 36MP full-frame DSLRs announced

Nikon has announced the D800 and D800E 36MP full-frame DSLRs. The pixel count of the long-awaited replacement for the D700 means it also trumps the D3X as the highest-resolution camera in Nikon’s lineup. As well as the ‘stock’ D800, Nikon has also revealed a more expensive model, the D800E that will be free from the effects of an anti-aliasing filter. Aimed at studio and landscape professionals the D800E should theoretically begin to rival medium format digital equipment in terms of resolution.

EXPECTATIONS SURPASSED: THE 36.3-MEGAPIXEL NIKON D800 IS THE MULTIMEDIA HD-SLR THAT SHATTERS CONVENTIONAL RESOLUTION BARRIERS FOR MAXIMUM FIDELITY

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

 Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers.  A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations such as a high resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, Advanced Scene Recognition System and many other intuitive features designed to create the preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.

Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon’s highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and astonishing image quality to satisfy a myriad of client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate practical features that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility and Full HD 1080p video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI output, and incredible low-light video capability. With this innovative combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

“Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The D800 is the right tool for today’s creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or full HD content, with maximum control.”

Extreme Image Quality

The new Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor realizes Nikon’s highest resolution yet, and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range. Nikon’s first priority is amazing image quality above all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the ability to portray even the smallest details, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness or crop liberally with confidence. Photographers also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility, because only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.

For shooting with minimal noise in a variety of lighting conditions, the D800 features a wide native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2). Nikon engineers have created innovative ways to manipulate light transmission to the sensor’s photodiodes, giving users the ability to shoot with confidence in challenging lighting conditions.  Internal sensor design, an enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF) and 14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal to noise ratio all contribute to a sensor capable of excellent low light ability despite the extreme resolution.  Every aspect of this new FX-format sensor is engineered to deliver amazing low noise images through the ISO range and help create astounding tonal gradation and true colors, whether shooting JPEG or RAW. Images are further routed through a 16-bit image processing pipeline, for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users are also able to shoot in additional modes and aspect ratios such as 5:4 to easily frame for printed portraits or a 1.2X crop for a slight telephoto edge. For even more versatility, photographers can also take advantage of Nikon DX-format lenses for more lens options and enhanced focal range (1.5X), while still retaining sharpness and details at a high 15.4-megapixel (4800×3200) resolution.

Contributing to the camera’s rapid performance and amazing image quality is Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 image processing engine that helps professionals create images and HD video with amazing resolution, color and dynamic range. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal color, rich tonality and minimized noise throughout the frame. Despite the immense data, the new EXPEED 3 also contributes to energy efficiency, affording the ability to shoot longer.

The D800 also features the Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to provide unrivaled metering in even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core is a newly designed RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene, recognizes factors such as color and brightness with unprecedented precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. Additionally, this new sensor now has the ability to detect human faces with startling accuracy, even when shooting through the optical viewfinder. This unique feature is coupled with detailed scene analysis for more accurate autofocus (AF), Auto exposure (AE), i-TTL flash control and even enhanced subject tracking. The Color Matrix Meter also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces, allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. Even in the most difficult exposures the D800 excels, such as maintaining brightness on a bride’s face while retaining the dynamic range to accentuate the intricate details of a wedding dress beside a black tuxedo.

Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing images. The camera features a new enhanced auto white balance system that more accurately recognizes both natural and artificial light sources, and also gives the user the option to retain the warmth of ambient lighting. Users can expand dynamic range with in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture, and enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s Active D-lighting for balanced exposure. Another new feature is direct access to Nikon’s Picture Control presets via a dedicated button on the back of the body to tweak photo and video parameters on the fly, such as sharpness, hue and saturation.

True Cinematic Experience

The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s preferable for a production environment, yet is packed with practical and functional features. The D800 is ideal whether the user is a filmmaker on location or in the studio or a documentarian in the field who requires portability and the NIKKOR lens versatility and depth of field that only a HD-SLR can offer. Filmmakers have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to 29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces higher quality video data without increasing file size for a more efficient workflow. The optimized CMOS sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion. The sensor also enables incredible low-light video capability with minimal noise, letting filmmakers capture footage where previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise be necessary. Users are also able to have full manual control of exposure, and can also adjust the camera’s power aperture setting in live view for an accurate representation of the depth of field in a scene.  Whether shooting for depth of field in FX-format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D800 allows videographers to retain full 1080p HD resolution no matter which mode they choose to best suit the scene. Users are also able to easily compose and check critical HD focus through the 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle.

For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2). This output signal can be ported into a display or digital recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections. This image can also be simultaneously viewed on both the camera’s LCD and an external monitor, while eliminating on-screen camera status data for streaming purposes. The D800 also includes features concentrated on audio quality, such as a dedicated headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording. Audio output levels can be adjusted with 30 steps for precise audio adjustment and monitoring. The D800 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. A microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction. What’s more, recording can be set to be activated through the shutter button, opening a world of remote applications through the 10-pin accessory terminal.

Wield Speed and Performance with Astonishing Accuracy

Whether shooting the runway or fast moving wildlife, the enhanced 51-point AF system of the D800 delivers blazing fast AF with tack-sharp results. Nikon has enhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module and algorithms to significantly improve low light acquisition, for precise focus to an impressive -2 exposure value (EV). The focus system utilizes 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and the system also places an emphasis on the human face, working in conjunction with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes nine cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8, which is a great advantage to those who need extreme telephoto focal lengths (single cross type sensor active with TC20E III). For maximum versatility in all shooting situations, whether photographing portraits or static subjects, users are also able to select multiple AF modes, including normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking to best suit the scene.

The D800 delivers upon a professional’s need for maximum speed when it counts. The camera is ready to shoot in 0.12 seconds, and is ready to capture with super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a burst, the camera shoots up to 4 frames per second (fps) in FX mode at full resolution, or up to a speedy 6 fps in DX mode using the optional MB-D12 Battery Pack and compatible battery. Further enhancing the speed of the camera and overall workflow, the D800 utilizes the new USB 3.0 standard for ultra fast transfer speeds.

Construction and Operability

The body of the D800 is designed to offer a compact form factor and a lightweight body for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, and is sealed and gasketed for resistance to dirt and moisture. Users are able to easily compose through the bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% frame coverage.  For storage, the D800 has dual card slots for CF and SD cards, and offers users the ability to record backup, overflow, RAW/JPEG separation, and the additional option of shooting stills to one and video to the other. For high speed recording and transfer, data can be recorded to recent UDMA-7 and SDXC / UHS-1 cards. The shutter has been tested to withstand approximately 200,000 cycles, and the camera also employs sensor cleaning. The D800 also features a built-in flash and is compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System, including a built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights.

D800E – Maximum Resolution Unleashed

In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and D-SLR versatility; the D800E. This model treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography when there is no exception to only the highest fidelity and sharpness. This unique alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.

Price and Availability

The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $2999.95.1 The D800E version will be available in mid April 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95. For more information about these models, NIKKOR lenses and other D-SLR cameras please visit www.nikonusa.com.

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Tamron releases image-stabilized 24-70mm F2.8 zoom

Tamron has announced a 24-70mm F2.8 zoom for full frame cameras that features inbuilt optical stabilisation – a first in this class of lens. The SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, to give it its full name, also incorporates an Ultrasonic Silent Drive motor for autofocus, which allows full-time manual focus. The lens is moisture-resistant, and features a circular aperture diaphragm for the attractive rendition of background blur. It will be produced in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts, with price and availability to be confirmed at a later date.

Tamron develops full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in image stabilization – SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)

With class-leading resolution and Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation)

Tamron Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of optical equipment, announced the development of the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007), a full-size high-speed standard zoom lens equipped with VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), with resolution at the top of its class.

The price and availability of the SP 24-70mm will be announced at a later date.

Product Features

  1. A full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in VC ( Vibration Compensation). Even when shooting in low-light conditions with a slow shutter speed to render sharpness, Tamron’s acclaimed VC allows for stable handheld camera work, to more fully enjoy the benefits of this high-speed zoom lens.
  2. Uses special high-grade glass in the three LD elements, three glass molded aspherical lenses, one hybrid aspherical lens and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) glasses, delivering top-of-the-class quality images suited to this high-grade lens. Using a rounded diaphragm, the lens achieves gorgeous blur effects. This rounded diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape even when taken two stops down from its fully open state.
  3. Features Tamron proprietary USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive) to power a speedy AF drive together with a continuous manual mechanism.
  4. This high-speed standard zoom lens has a wide-end focal length of 24mm that expands the photographic area.
  5. The lens adopts the new technology including the latest optical design, VC ( Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive), all in a lighter and more compact package.
  6. Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent water from penetrating the lens.

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Tokina adds focus motor to create AT-X 116 Pro DX II wide-angle for APS-C DSLRs

Tokina has announced an updated version of its highly-regarded 11-16mm F2.8 wideangle zoom for APS-C SLRs. The AT-X 116 PRO DX II adds a ‘Silent Drive-Module’ (SD-M) focus motor that enables it to autofocus on all Nikon SLRs. The latest version also includes improved surface coatings (which are particularly important for wide-angle lenses) and adds a ‘GMR’ sensor to locate the focus element’s current position, to speed up autofocus – a technology first introduced on the AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX full-frame wide-angle. US distributor THK Photo tells us the Nikon version should be available around April with a Canon version following around August.

Unlike version 1 of the lens, there is no mention of a Sony version.

Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II F2.8

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Nikon launches AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 G

Nikon has launched the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 G, an updated version of its popular moderate telephoto prime lens. The AF-S version of the lens is a completely new optical design and features a built-in focusing motor to allow it to autofocus on all Nikon DSLRs. The lens features an internal focus design and 7 rounded aperture blades. It can focus down to a distance of 80cm (2.6ft). The lens will be available from March 2012 for a price of around $499.

THE NEW NIKON AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G PRIME LENS COMBINES PRACTICALITY WITH PORTABILITY RESULTING IN A VERSATILE PORTRAIT LENS

New NIKKOR Lens is Ideal for Low-Light, Portraiture and Adding Dramatic Background Blur to Both Photo and Video

Nikon Inc. announced the addition of the new AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G FX-format lens to its legendary line of NIKKOR lenses. The new 85mm is a fast, fixed focal-length lens with medium telephoto capabilities and a large maximum aperture of f/1.8 that is capable of performing a wide variety of imaging tasks with amazing sharpness and clarity.

“Whether a professional photographer who needs extreme sharpness or a photo enthusiast looking for an affordable, lightweight lens with amazing clarity, Nikon photographers appreciate and rely on the vast selection and dependability of NIKKOR lenses for their imaging needs,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “The new 85mm f/1.8 is fully optimized for capturing amazing photos and videos, while providing the ability to utilize background blur to compliment the subject of their photo.”

A welcome addition to Nikon’s growing line of versatile prime lenses, the new AF- NIKKOR 85mm is ideal for travel, general photography, low-light, landscape, portraiture and capturing movies with extreme depth of field. The 85mm is designed to capture photos utilizing beautiful image blur achieved due to its large maximum aperture. Furthermore, the lens is lightweight, easy to carry, and provides an equivalent focal length of 127mm when attached to a Nikon DX-format D-SLR camera body.

The construction of the 85mm f/1.8 consists of nine optical elements, with a seven-blade diaphragm which contributes to a substantially more circular bokeh for a natural appearance to out-of-focus background elements. Additionally, instances of lens flare and chromatic aberration are suppressed using Nikon’s exclusive Super Integrated Coatings, which also help ensure vividly accurate color balance.

The new lens also comes equipped with a carefully engineered optical system optimized to deliver superior image quality. The integration of an ultra-compact Silent Wave Motor (SWM) ensures fast, whisper-quiet AF operation, which is essential when recording movies. The 85mm also features two focus modes, M/A (manual-priority autofocus) and M (manual) to further enhance versatility and adapt to a shooters needs. Additionally, Internal Focus (IF) design prevents the front element from rotating, allowing for the use of filters and attachments.

Price and Availability

The lightweight AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G will be available in March 2012 for a SRP* of $499.95. For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

To see the new AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens and other new Nikon products, visit Nikon at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at booth # 11039 from January 10-13th, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.

* Suggested retail price listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

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Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Sigma Corporation of America has announced that the Sigma 17-50 F2.8 EX DC OS HSM is now available. The lens, originally announced at the PMA exhibition in February 2010, offers a faster, image stabilized alternative for APS-C users wanting to upgrade from their kit lens. It is now available in Canon mount with Pentax, Sony, Nikon and Sigma-mount versions expected ‘in the coming weeks.’ The lens will sell with a recommended price of $980.

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Ultra compact, large-aperture, standard zoom packs OS functionality and new, FLD glass

Sigma Corporation, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce the release of its new 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens.

This large-aperture, standard-zoom lens, which was first introduced in February at Photo Marketing Association International, is designed for small chip, APS-C digital cameras and incorporates Sigma’s Optical Stabilization (OS) functionality and new, FLD glass. The 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM is an ultra compact lens with an overall length of just 3.6 inches.

The 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM covers a focal length from a 17mm wide angle, has a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5. The lens is currently available in Canon mounts at all authorized Sigma dealers for the MSRP of $980, and it will be available in Nikon, Sigma, Sony and Pentax mounts in the coming weeks.

The OS function offers the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible. Only Sigma has made it possible for Pentax and Sony shooters to utilize an anti-shake system in either the lens or the camera body. The compensation for camera shake is visible in the view finder for all mounts, which makes accurate focusing fast and easy.

“This lens is a must-have for any photo opportunity,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, general manager of Sigma Corporation of America.  “The fast aperture allows for shooting in low, existing light or at maximum range with a flash. This is an ideal, all-purpose lens for everyday shooting.”

Sigma’s FLD glass, which is used in the new lens, has an extremely high light transmission and anomalous dispersion, making it the top level of low dispersion glass available. With a performance equal to fluorite glass, this optical glass has a low refractive index and low dispersion compared to current optical glass. These characteristics offer excellent correction for residual chromatic aberration (secondary spectrum), which cannot be corrected by ordinary optical glass and ensures high-definition and high-contrast images.

In addition, the 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM also offers one hybrid aspherical lens and two glass mold elements for excellent correction of distortion and astigmatism. It has Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting with superior peripheral brightness and Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) to provide quiet and high-speed auto focus, as well as full-time manual focus capability. The lens’ rounded, seven-blade diaphragm creates an attractive blur to out-of-focus areas and its inner focusing system eliminates front lens rotation, making the lens particularly suitable for use with the supplied petal-type lens hood and circular polarizing filters.

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Canon EF 100mm F2.8L USM Macro with Hybrid IS

Canon’s announcement of its Hybrid IS technology comes the first lens to sport this feature, and to no great surprise it’s a 100mm F2.8 macro. The Hybrid IS system provides up to 2 stops stabilization at 1.0x magnification, and up to 4 stops at longer shooting distances. Canon’s third EF 100mm F2.8 macro lens is also the first to gain the flagship ‘L’ designation, and comes with such goodies as ultra-low dispersion glass elements, a nine blade circular aperture and weather sealing. The Canon EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM macro will supplement, rather than replace the existing 100mm F2.8 USM macro..

Canon announces the arrival of the first EF lens to feature Hybrid IS

Click the picture for more info

Click the picture for more info

Canon today announces the launch of the high performance EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, the latest addition to its prestigious L-series, Canon’s flagship professional lens range. The EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM incorporates image stabilisation in a macro lens for the first time in the EOS lens range. This enables photographers to capture stunning close-up shots without the need for a tripod.

The high quality, medium telephoto macro lens, has been developed for photographers who demand the highest level of optical quality.  The new Hybrid IS system features up to 4-stop correction, compensating for the effects of camera shake, during normal shooting. Low friction ceramic balls support the moving elements, which allows for the amazingly smooth movement – needed when compensating for camera shake during macro shooting.  Hybrid IS corrects shift movement – problematic when shooting up close -as well as angular movement providing photographers with the benefit of up to 2 stops at 1.0x magnification.

The EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM features ultra low dispersion (UD) lenses that correct colour aberration for high resolution, high contrast images while the addition of Super Spectra coatings effectively reduce ghosting and flare for superior quality images. A nine blade circular aperture makes subjects stand out amid beautiful background blur and a silent, high-speed ring type USM Autofocus motor quickly achieves focus. The lens also includes a three position focus limiter to tailor the focus system range to the desired subject.

As part of the L-series the lens features dust and water resistant seals.  Sitting ahead of the
EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, within the range, the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM supports a full range of accessories including: Tripod Mount D, Macro Lite adaptor 67, Lens Hood ET-73 and EF12 II and EF25 II extension tubes. The tripod mount attaches to the lens without the need for an adaptor enabling quick portrait or landscape switching without having to reframe the camera. Speedlites MR-14EX and MT-24EX can be attached using the MacroLite adaptor.

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