Archive for November, 2012

New Imac – Christmas Comes Early – Shipping Now!

The new redesigned Imac’s are now shipping…well at least the 21.5″ models. 27″ will follow in December.

From the Apple Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With powerful processors, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt…the new Imac’s are decent alternatives to the aging and expensive Mac Pro towers.  I will probably hold out for the 27″ 3.2 GHz model.  I’m looking at the setup below. Will get 32GB of RAM from somewhere like OWC later. Maxing out the video card sounds like a good idea at only $150, been doing more and more video editing lately.  Go here for more info.


Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1 TB Portable Drive – Review

 

After purchasing the new Macbook Pro Retina 15″ laptop I realized you cannot boot the computer from an external portable firewire 800 or USB 3.0 device in an emergency.

Pre – Retina display Mac’s would allow it. Which was nice because if you were out on location or traveling and had the internal hard drive fail you could connect your bootable portable clone and be back in business in no time.

I tried it with some existing portable FW800 drives and the Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter but it won’t work. USB 3.0 drives are a no go too. So had to purchase the overpriced (for now at least) Thunderbolt option. There aren’t a whole lot of portable bus powered options yet. I believe Lacie, Seagate and Buffalo are the only ones for now.  I Paid $199 on Amazon for the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1 TB model.

It has Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 port options and came with both cables. Nice to see they didn’t make you pay extra for the Thunderbolt cable. Construction seems decent, cable is nice and short.

Performance wasn’t mind blowing since it is a 2.5″ conventional hard drive, read and write times of around 110 MB/sec were achieved using QuickBench. Fine for a backup drive I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And by the way, programs like Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper! are great for making bootable backups.

 

The following is from the Buffalo website:

MiniStation Thunderbolt offers easy plug and play USB and Thunderbolt storage featuring the revolutionary Thunderbolt technology for unparalleled transfer speeds and a USB port for universal connectivity. With speeds up to 10 Gbps, the MiniStation Thunderbolt portable hard drive offers speeds 2X FASTER than USB 3.0, giving you the fastest portable storage interface ever. Perfect as a PC* or Mac portable hard drive, the MiniStation Thunderbolt portable hard drive offers the latest and fastest connection interfaces available.

  • Thunderbolt Hard Drive Technology
  • Interface Speeds up to 10 Gbps*
  • USB 3.0 Connectivity
  • Plug-and-Play
  • Pre-formatted for Mac®

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM & EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens Announcement

Interesting new lenses from Canon announced today.

I was wondering why the new 24-70mm f/2.8 II didn’t have IS…figured too much weight or cost?

The following is from a Canon press release:

Canon U.S.A. “Widens” Its Offerings And “Zooms In” On Creative Optics With The Introduction Of Two New Professional Lenses

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., November 5, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced two new additions to the Company’s EF lens family, the new EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lenses. Each of these two lenses features unique optical attributes for a variety of situations. The new EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM has macro shooting capabilities at the telephoto end and the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM adds Canon’s proprietary Image Stabilization (IS) to this popular prime lens focal length.

“The lens is the window to creativity, providing the unique perspective and vantage that allows photographers to turn a scene into art. It is our pleasure to introduce two lenses that will enable a wide range of photographers in diverse disciplines to explore their creativity through these new options,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

 

Featuring dynamic L-series optical performance in a compact, lightweight and durable design, the new EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens is well suited for all levels of advanced photography on the go. The ideal companion to Canon’s full-frame Digital SLR cameras such as the EOS 6D, the lens features a constant maximum aperture of f/4 throughout the entire zoom range with 15 lens elements in 12 groups including two aspherical and two UD lens elements and a 9-blade circular aperture diaphragm. The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens delivers gorgeous images with excellent detail at all focal lengths and includes a macro feature at the telephoto end with a 0.2m/7.9-inch minimum focusing distance and Canon’s Hybrid IS system (with up to four stops of stabilization). The macro feature can be engaged through a switch on the lens barrel. In addition, the lens features inner focusing and a ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for quiet, fast autofocus, and has full-time mechanical manual focus that’s enabled even during AF operation. Compact at only 93mm in length, with excellent dust and water resistance, the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens has a fluorine coating on the front and rear elements for easy maintenance and cleaning.

The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens is supplied with a lens pouch and reversible lens hood. It is expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $1,499.00.

 

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens

 

The successor to Canon’s EF 35mm f/2, the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens is a compact and lightweight wide-angle prime lens that provides a high level of image quality and functionality. The optics and mechanical workings are designed to improve image quality in the lens’s periphery and provide faster and quieter AF than its predecessor, as well as Optical IS and optional full-time manual focus, all in a durable lens body with a high-grade design. Featuring a circular aperture diaphragm and lens coatings optimized for minimal ghosting and flare, the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens achieves beautiful, soft backgrounds and amazing image quality.

The EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens is expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $849.99.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2011† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. In 2012, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the ninth consecutive year, and for camcorders for the past two years. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss.

###

† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

Availability, prices, and specifications of all products are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.


Macbook Pro Retina & Tethered Support with Phase One P65+ Digital Back

Just got my new Macbook Pro 15″ Retina laptop up and running. Needed a new capture laptop for studio and field use, older 2010 Macbook Pro 17 had only 8GB of RAM and no USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt. Not so fun when dealing with large amounts of 60-80MP digital files.

Macbook Retina and Thunderbolt Display in studio

And since the new Retina display laptops do not have a firewire 800 port we have been tethering through the Apple thunderbolt to firewire 800 adapter. The good news is that it seems to work just fine. Have had some problems in the past with various laptops and towers, different versions of Capture One and the camera bodies.

So for other similar Phase One Digital Back users, here is our setup for success (at least for the time being):

  • New Macbook Pro Retina 15″, 16gb RAM, 512gb SSD, OS X 10.8.2

 

 

  • Phase One P65+ Digital Back (Mamiya mount) ***Must use the batteries in the back and tell the back to force it to use the battery, it will not self power from the firewire ports.
  • Phase One 645AF Body
  • Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter

  • Phase One firewire 800 cables and firewire repeater (about 30′ long all together)

 

Other Observations:

Have fired 300+ frames tethered and have not noticed anything wrong (for now). Seems to work plugged into the back of the Thunderbolt Display or directly into one of the laptop Thunderbolt ports…but not very well plugged into the firewire 800 port on the back of the Thunderbolt Display. Which is odd I think, if you asked me ahead of time which port had the best shot of working I would figure the FW800 port on the back of the display.  I guess they are all going through Thunderbolt.

Overall pretty happy with the setup, USB 3.0 addition was long overdue and greatly appreciated. Not thrilled with the Thunderbolt Display color calibration, we have multiple NEC displays with Spectraview in the studio and I really dig those.

But the display is kind of a docking station since in the studio we use an external display, gigabit ethernet, and Firewire 800 simultaneously. The laptop only has 2 Thunderbolt ports and two USB 3.0 ports…so would be short one item. Thunderbolt Display has a 2560-by-1440 LED-backlit display, FaceTime HD camera, audio, three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining other Thunderbolt devices.

I guess we can always plug another NEC monitor in next to the Thunderbolt Display.

 


PixelReeder thoughts on 2012 Photokina

Photokina 2012 in Cologne Germany wrapped up a few weeks ago. Better late than never…

Here are some standouts:

D600

D600

 

  • Canon EOS 6D (around $2k)  20.2 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor, a wide ISO range of 100-25600, expandable to L: 50, H1: 51200, and H2: 102400, for incredible image quality even in low light, and a DIGIC 5+ Image Processor delivers enhanced noise reduction and exceptional processing speed. A new 11-point AF including a high-precision center cross-type AF point with EV -3 sensitivity allows focusing in extreme low-light conditions, and with continuous shooting up to 4.5 fps. Click here for more info

    Canon EOS 6d

Canon 6D vs Nikon D600? Haven’t tested yet but….Nikon looks a little more interesting with built in flash, more MP, higher frame rate (5.5fps vs 4.5fps).

 

  • Next up is the Panasonic GH3 LUMIX® 16 Megapixel Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic Lumix GH3

I currently have a GH2 and have found it to be a great HD SLR video camera (still are ok too), this new camera looks very promising. Click here for more info  Looks like better construction, reduced noise, etc.

 

  •  Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135  Carl Zeiss is presenting the new Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 during Photokina Visitors to the world’s leading trade fair for imaging technology can experience Carl Zeiss’ longest medium telephoto lens in the range of high-quality SLR lenses. With the Apo Sonnar T* 2/135, the company is substantially extending the creative possibilities available in the medium tele range. Photographers and HD video cinematographers now have a total of thirteen SLR lenses to choose, with focal lengths of 15 to 135 millimeters. -from zeiss website  click here for more info

Zeiss APO Sonnar T* 135mm f/2

 

 

  • Zeiss Distagon T* 55mm f/1.4  (EUR 3,000…ouch)  from zeiss press release, “Due to the high performance required, we were looking for a fresh approach. It is true that the Distagon type is predominantly found in wide-angle lenses. This is because wide-angle lenses also require additional design effort in terms of number and arrangement of lenses. Since we were aiming for the best possible imaging performance for the new family of lenses, we decided to manufacture the 1.4/55 as a Distagon. Due to the number and arrangement of lenses, this lens unit is slightly larger in size and weight but uncompromising in its performance.”