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When Is A $10K Camera A Good Deal? –>> NOW!

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Hasselblad’s 40 megapixel H5D-40 camera has a staggering saving applied to it at the moment.  You can pick one up for ‘only’ $9995, nearly a 50% saving on the regular price of $18,500.  The H5D-40 kit with the 80mm lens also has the same discount applied to it, making it a snip at only $12,495.

These are the kind of savings that might genuinely make a medium format camera a possibility for some professionals!  Staggering pricing that even had me glancing at my credit card :)

WordPress For Video Professionals

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I’ve just published my monthly article on ProVideo Coalition and this time it’s an in-depth look at using WordPress to create a portfolio website.

In this mammoth article I cover the following:

–>> Introduction – Why WordPress?

–>> How to start a WordPress website in 5 minutes

–>> 11 top WordPress themes for video professionals

–>>  Best WordPress video gallery plugins

If you create a lot of video content and your website is a bit long in the tooth, or worse, you don’t even have a website, check it out HERE!

 

Black Friday Photography Deals

Deals are done!

Click HERE to make sure you don’t miss out on any amazing Black Friday photography deals next year!

 

Yes it’s that time of year again when all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals start to come online.

Over on Shutter Muse I am running a dedicated list of all the best deals that I’ve come across so far.  This includes such amazing things as 25% off Peak Design products and 25% of all Graph Paper Press products + much, much more!  Head on over to the list and bookmark it because I’ll be updating it with any new ones that I find.

For those that are purely looking for the camera and lens deals, here are some quick links to the main retailers you might want to check out for that stuff:

 

7D Mark II Saves The Day

Last weekend I set out on a quick camping trip to make the most of some gorgeous clear weather we had here in British Columbia.  Of course I took the 7D Mark II with me as part of my ongoing test program for it and this time I’d planned to shoot some night sky images, particularly some star trails.  Since I needed to carry both camera gear AND camping gear, I transferred things into a much larger hiking pack.  I thought that I’d got everything, but I was in a rush and unfortunately the one thing that I managed to forget was my bag of remote cable releases.  A pretty essential accessory for star trails where you want to set up an intervalometer to capture a long series of long exposures for stacking later in Photoshop.  Kicking myself, I thought I’d have to make do with single images and not a star trail. The temperature was well below zero degrees and I wasn’t about to stand there and press the button 150 times at 30 second intervals!  Then it struck me…..the 7D Mark II has a built-in intervalometer!

Untitled2 copy_emailCanon 7D Mark II @iso3200 with Canon 24mm f/1.4 L II

Yes for the first time ever, Canon has included an intervalometer in the menu of the 7D Mark II and I was able to set it up to shoot the star trail shot you see here.  It’s not quite such a flexible solution as the remote cable control since it doesn’t allow you to define exposure lengths of longer than 30 seconds, but in a pinch it’ll do an admirable job.  Now I know I shouldn’t really get so happy about a feature that, let’s be honest, should have been in cameras 5+ years ago…… but what the heck! It saved my ass!  In fact I can definitely see myself shooting more images like this simply because it’s so quick and easy to set it up.  Put your camera into manual exposure mode, set the exposure number to 00 (infinite) in the intervalometer menu and then just press the shutter button once and it’ll happily click away until the battery runs out!

Lightroom 5.7 Includes 7D Mark II Raw Support

Adobe have finally released an update for Lightroom that contains support for the Canon 7D Mark II‘s Raw files, as well a number of other new cameras like the Nikon D750 and Canon G7X.  Head to Adobe’s blog post for a full list of new additions.

The good news for me is that I can now begin to evaluate the 7D Mark II’s image quality in more detail, particularly when it comes to high iso performance.  As a taster, here is a shot from a couple of nights ago that captures a sizeable meteor streaking across the night sky in British Columbia.  This is an iso3200 image and now that I’ve run it through Lightroom, I’m more than pleased with the quality at this sensitivity.

More to come…..
 
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Think Tank Production Manager

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This new roller bag from Think Tank Photo popped a few weeks ago but I was buys at the time and forgot to mention it.  I’m a big fan of Think Tank’s gear and I’ve used their tough-as-nails roller bags to travel with for many years.  The Production Manager is the largest one yet!  Really the photos do all the talking, so just let your imagination run wild with what you might be able to fit in this thing!  Designed primarily for lighting equipment, but equally at home storing your long lens collection on the road or at the office.  I’d actually love to get one of these for when I travel to location by car as I’d be able to throw this in the trunk and work right out of it.

Gear Profile

Holds 34 flash heads, 23 power packs, as well as monoblocks, umbrellas, medium softboxes (collapsed), small-medium light stands.

Tech Specs

  • Exterior Dimensions: 15.7” W x 40” H x 12.6” D (40 x 101.6 x 32 cm)
  • Interior Dimensions: 13.7” W x 38” H x 10” D (35 x 96.5 x 25 cm)
  • Weight: 17.8–22.2 lbs (8.1–10 kg)

Price: $549

As with all Think Tank purchases over $50, you’ll also get a free gift if you click though the links on this page as a friend of this site!

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Canon 7D Mark II + Canon 100-400mm L IS II – Perfect Match?

 

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For Canon folks, the 7D Mark II is definitely the most exciting camera announcement of 2014, particularly if your hobby (or job) is shooting sports or wildlife images.  The original 7D was popular in these niches as well, but Canon have gone after these markets in a much bigger way with the 7D Mark II.  The 65-point AF system is generally on a par with that of the 3-times more expensive flagship EOS 1-DX, and in fact features a much wider spread of AF points across the frame. I think it’s the best AF system I’ve ever used, and the customization options are frankly incredible.  Here’s an example of one of my 7D Mark II customizations that I call “Dual back button AF”:

Hopefully you are all familiar with back button AF, where the AF is only active when the AF-ON button is pressed on the back of the camera.  On the 7D Mark II I have the AF-ON button assigned to engage AI-Servo tracking, but I can also assign the * button next to it to engage single spot-focus in One-Shot focus mode.  This way I never have to use any menus to switch between AI Servo and One-Shot focus.  I simply hold my finger down on whichever button I need.  I can even squeeze the DOF preview button to engage full 65-point AF at any point as well.  Switching between AI-Servo and One-Shot in a fraction of a second is incredibly powerful, particularly with wildlife photography.  You can use the super accurate spot AF point to set focus on your static subject, but if they suddenly start to move, just move your finger to the AF-On button next to it and you unleash the full power of the AI-Servo system instantly.

As well as the incredible AF system, the 7D Mark II is also built like a tank and according to LensRentals.com, has the best weather sealing of any DSLR they’ve ever dismantled.  High praise from a company that’s probably got more experience with dissecting camera gear than anyone else in the business.  A solid build and strong resistance to the elements also make it a great wildlife photography option where you’re often out in the wild and want to have the option to brave all weathers while you wait for your critters to appear. Let’s not forget as well that when they do appear, and the lightning fast AF system locks on, you’ll be able to fire shots off at a blistering 10fps.
 

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Instagram

 Thanks to @rowanthorntonphoto for another killer photo of me on our #Chilcotins grizzly bear adventure this autumn. I love this quote, and credit has to go to @brookewillson for introducing me to it via her Instagram account. #exploreBC #exploreCanada @earthpix @nakedplanet @beautifulplanett @awesome.earth @doyoutravel @discoverearth @dream_image @exklusive_shot @fantastic_earth @wilderness_culture @theglobewanderer @livingonearth @travel.pic @tourtheplanet  Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. I had one night here on a trip last year. The photo gods smiled on me and conditions were well worth the 10hour round trip I made for just those few hours in the park. @earthpix @nakedplanet @beautifulplanett @awesome.earth @doyoutravel @discoverearth @dream_image @exklusive_shot @fantastic_earth @wilderness_culture @theglobewanderer @livingonearth @travel.pic @tourtheplanet
 Hoar frost. Beautiful. #winter #crystals #snow #macro #ice #wintersDiamonds #macro_spotlight #macro_secrets #macro_highlight #macro_holic  Fun walk this afternoon shooting some frosty vegetation with the macro lens. The forests of British Columbia contain such an incredible array of textures. Fascinating miniature worlds within ours. #pemberton #pembylife #macro

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Introducing: Shutter Muse

I’ve made some changes to where I post my photography content such as tutorials, reviews and reports from my trips and travels.  All of this + much, much more can now be found on this new site of mine; Shutter Muse.  Slowly I’m going to transition this blog here back to more of a personal blog. I hope you guys will come and join me and some of my friends over at the new site as well!

Visit Shutter Muse