It seems like creative shooting modes are popular on this year's compact cameras. For example, though Canon has long given its cameras controls for playing with colors, this year it's just gone and added a handful of simple point-and-shoot options for getting more unusual results. One of them, Miniature Effect, applies a selective focus to scenes making full-size, real-life subjects look like miniature models.
The effect is similar to tilt-shift photography. (Here are some great examples.) Canon doesn't call it that, though, probably because those words don't mean much to most snapshot photographers and because it'… Read more
Apple has released two software updates today. One is for the pro application suite that includes Final Cut Pro, Motion, Color, Compressor, and Cinema Tools, and the other is for the latest printer drivers from Canon. These updates are relatively large at several hundred MB each, and are available via Software Update and from the following links:… Read more
One of the best $100 cameras you could buy in 2009 was Canon's PowerShot A480. It had minimal shooting options and features and shooting performance was slow, but its photo quality was great for the money. That model was split into two models for 2010: the A490 and the A495.
The PowerShot A490 is about $20 less expensive than the $129 A495, but it's available in silver only, sacrifices some shooting features, and has a less powerful Auto mode. Fortunately, though, they both have the same excellent photo quality; does that make them worth buying?
It really all … Read more
What's purple and can see things a long way away? Give up? It's the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS, of course. The SX210 packs a 14x optical zoom in a compact camera frame, but doesn't make for very good jokes.
Not to be confused with the Canon's own IXUS 210, the SX210 is the follow-up to the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. It's a more rounded piece of work, adding an undulating silver trim, although it loses the SX200's signature bent hand grip. It comes in this fetching purple, hideous gold, or boring black.
Read more … Read more
Like most compact-camera manufacturers, Canon offers point-and-shoots at a range of prices; its PowerShots start at $109.99 and edge up every $20 to $30. The A3000 IS sits right at $149.99. It's a good, if basic, snapshot camera designed for people who really don't want much beyond taking a nice picture.
Optical image stabilization is probably the biggest feature highlight since it's a rarity in a new camera at its price point. It also has a couple of new creative shooting modes--Super Vivid and Poster Effect--but its shooting options are otherwise bland.
I'm not … Read more
In an unusual move, Canon released a firmware upgrade for its high-end EOS 5D Mark II camera that substantially expands its video capability nearly a year and a half after the SLR was released.
Customers of the $2,500 camera had sought more flexibility in the 1080p video frame rates to better match their medium of production. The camera initially only supported 30 frames per second, but the firmware 2.0.3 update changes that to 29.97fps "to comply with TV production standards," adds a 23.976fps option for those in the cinema world, and for those who set the camera to use the European PAL video standard, there's also a 25fps option. (As is common, the terminology on the camera itself is rounded up to 30fps and 24fps.)
There are other significant changes in the update (downloadable from Canon's Web site). First, video can operate with a set shutter speed or aperture, with the camera maintaining exposure by varying other settings. Previously only fully automatic or fully manual settings were possible. The shutter speed changes let photographers choose between freeze-frame-style video or smoother but blurrier motion, and the aperture settings make it easier to keep a shallow depth of field to focus attention on the subject.
Second, the audio sampling rate has been increased from 44.1KHz to 48KHz for better sound quality desired by professionals, and input recording levels can be set manually. And third, a histogram can be overlaid in manual shooting to gauge exposure.
"I have been lucky enough to have played with the new firmware for the Canon 5DmkII over the past couple of weeks. It has utterly revitalised my love for the camera," said Philip Bloom, a filmmaker with 20 years experience. "The 30p has always been a problem. It's a frame rate that is of no real use to me as I need 25p or 24p for my work. Converting your rushes [rough video from the day's shoot] from 30p is more than a nightmare...This can take sometimes over a day depending on how long your rushes are."
Absent is support for 60fps modes for 720p video in the lower-end but newer 7D, the higher-end 1D Mark IV, and the newest Canon SLR, the lower-end Rebel T2i, aka 550D. The 60fps frame rate is better for slow-motion video.
Dawn of a new era The video SLR era is significant because it offers videographers higher-end features such as interchangeable lenses that are relatively expensive to come by in the video world. In addition, the 5D Mark II's full-frame 36x24mm sensor has much better low-light sensitivity. However, for professional use, where people need camera rigs to mount the SLR, separate audio recording gear, external monitors to aid in focusing, and expensive gear to edit video, the costs still can mount quickly. … Read more
YOKOHAMA, Japan--Japanese manufacturer Lumos, known for its X-Loupe portable microscope camera, has unveiled an attachment for the Canon PowerShot G11 shooter that lets users snap close-up shots.
Displayed at the four-day CP+ photo show here, the ring light is made up of LEDs that can illuminate up to 22,000 lux within a 12-inch range (or 1,200 lux from a distance of about 12 inches). The onboard battery is rated to power the light for about 2.5 hours and can be attached to the tripod mount. According to a company rep, an optional external power source can extend … Read more
LONDON--Jane Silber has been chief executive of Canonical for 11 days.
But she's no outsider swooping in to take over Ubuntu Linux's corporate sponsor. She joined Canonical in June 2004, two months after previous CEO Mark Shuttleworth founded the company with a few programmers he recruited from the Debian Linux project on which Ubuntu is based.
Since then Canonical has grown to about 320 employees and has made Ubuntu a major presence in the world of Linux--version 10.04, one of the important "long-term support" versions that arrives every two years, is due in April. It'… Read more