Half a year after the camera's debut, Canon released promised firmware that updates its vaunted EOS 5D Mark II SLR with the ability to manually control camera settings while shooting video.
The much-desired feature lets users set aperture, ISO sensitivity, and shutter speed manually. It was the first Canon SLR to support video, and the only one so far that can shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second, but previously it only could shoot video in a fully automatic mode.
Still longing for a decent camera on your iPhone? All you need's an app and a Canon dSLR and the dream is yours. Well, not exactly, but OnOne Software's DSLR Camera Remote application lets your iPhone or iPod Touch control most Canon dSLRs going back circa the 20D.
Announced in mid-May but available now, the system is a combination of two pieces of software: the free DSLR Camera Remote Server application, which runs on a Wi-Fi-enabled host computer, and either DSLR Camera Remote Professional ($19.99 with an introductory price of $9.99) or DSLR Camera Remote Lite ($… Read more
Updated 7:16 a.m. PDT with further details from Canon in Europe, and 9:20 a.m. with further details from Canon USA.
Canon plans to release firmware June 2 to address a common complaint about its EOS 5D Mark II, a $2,700 digital SLR that's generally been lauded for its image quality but criticized for its lack of manual controls when shooting video, the company said.
SLR cameras give photographers close control over settings including shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity, and the enthusiasts and professionals who buy high-end cameras often understand and use those options. Since the 21-megapixel 5D Mark II was introduced a half year ago as Canon's first SLR to feature video abilities, the video operated in a fully automatic mode in which the camera selected those settings.
That became a common cause for complaint. For example, people couldn't select a wide aperture, or F-stop, to ensure a shallow depth of field that would direct attention to a video's subject while making the background an undistracting blur. The lack of manual controls contrasted with two big video advantages of the 5D Mark II, the ability to shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second, and a large, full-frame sensor that's particularly good at dealing with difficult low-light conditions.
"This new firmware will accommodate a great number of user requests for manual exposure control in the EOS 5D Mark II video mode. Manual exposure control while shooting video on the EOS 5D Mark II is expected to make a big impact with cinematographers and videographers using the 5D Mark II for high-end HD video production," Canon said.
A customer newsletter said the feature will permit control over ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Canon's European press release was more forthcoming, saying that shutter speed would range from 1/30th of a second to 1/4000th and that ISO would include the camera's regular span of 100 to 6400 and also the extended H1 setting of 12,800. … Read more
The products preserve Sony's three-tier strategy for its low-end SLRs. The cheap A230 differs from the slightly-less-cheap A330 by the viewfinder and the tiltable LCD, plus the A330 will be available in brown. And except for its higher resolution sensor--14 megapixels versus 10 megapixels--the A380 is otherwise identical to the A330. Sony's big marketing points on these models is lighter weight and friendlier, more point-and-shoot-like guided operation.
But perhaps most notably, these models have dual memory slots, one of which takes SDHC cards and the other Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Duo. I can only imagine the internal politicking it took to pull that off.… Read more
Medium-format digital cameras, which have larger sensors and higher price tags than even high-end SLRs, didn't fare so well in earlier tests of sensor quality by measurement firm DxO Labs, but Phase One's newly tested top-end technology has risen to the top of the DxOMark Sensor test.
Phase One's 60-megapixel P65+ camera scored 89.1 on the test, edging out the Nikon D3X, which scored 88, according to data released Thursday. In addition, the 51.7-megapixel Hasselblad H3DII 50, an older model than Phase One's, scored 78.2. Click here to compare the two models and Nikon's D3X.
The DxOMark sensor test measures a camera sensor's dynamic range, color depth, and low-light performance. DxO Labs cautions that differences of less than 5 points aren't really distinguishable, and of course many other factors including price, lens quality, autofocus, and resolution factor into overall camera quality.
The P65+ features the best color performance yet, but DxO Labs said its comparatively good performance in low-light conditions helped it carry the day. … Read more
Thanks to a rather public ad photo shoot, one of the most notable aspects of Nikon's new D5000 dSLR leaked early last week: its flip-down and 360-degree twist articulating LCD. This model, which more or less replaces the popular and long-lived D80, also includes perks such as video capture and a lower price. (Tables updated with corrections 10:30a 4/14/09)… Read more
Thus far, SLR camera sales have been a bright spot in the camera market, but analyst firm IDC expects the recession will hit the higher-end models, too.
Worldwide camera shipments are expected to drop 6 percent to 129 million units in 2009. Single-lens reflex (SLR) shipments won't be hit as hard, but still will drop 5 percent to 9.2 million units, according to an IDC forecast released Monday.
"Countries will emerge from the global recession in mid-2010, starting with the U.S. However, unemployment will lag behind the recovery, dampening consumer spending for the next two years, … Read more
Estimable former CNET freelancer and prolific book author David Busch took the time to solve the mystery and share the results in his blog: it's for the updateable lens database. Not the most thrilling news in and of itself, but interesting when you consider that it can also hold lens-specific distance information, which can theoretically improve performance of many of the subsystems, such as … Read more