Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Canon 7D firmware! Version 1.2.3

Firmware version 1.2.3 incorporates the following fixes.
  1. Fixes a phenomenon in which the settings of the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 revert to the default settings when both the camera and the ST-E2 are set to auto power off.
  2. Fixes a phenomenon in which the Macro Ring Lite (MR-14EX, MT24-EX) and slave flashes do not sync while shooting wirelessly.
Firmware version 1.2.3 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.2.2. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.2.3, it is not necessary to update the firmware.
Note that cameras with the version 1.2.3 firmware (and also versions 1.2.0 through 1.2.2) cannot be downgraded to a previous firmware version (such as version 1.1.0 or earlier).

Link is here:

Questions or thoughts? Join us on the forums.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Unboxing Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS unboxes Canon's 500mm f/4L IS plus shows the size difference between this lens and the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS. To access the video directly, view it here:

Questions or thoughts? Join us on the forums.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Canon 7D in car explosion; magnesium alloy case saves CF card

How strong is 7D's magnesium alloy and weather sealing? It can protect your data from being blown up in a car explosion.

Read here for more information:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Canon 500mm f/4L IS + Canon 7D video = wildlife HD

We did a quick field test of the video quality of a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS lens and Canon 7D. You decide below.

Questions or thoughts? Join us on the forums.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sony vs. Canon DSLR: Sony's camera ads shot on a Canon 5D mkII?

Thanks to Engadget for posting this.

Oh yes, even competitors are paying respects to the Canon brand. Sony, which sells DSLRs under its Alpha line, recently released a new CyberShot camera and according to the EXIF of these new cool ads -- it was shot on a Canon 5D mkII.

Sony skips over the Alpha DSLR to use Canon DSLRs? Youch.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Making Your Canon 7D Fly - Aerial Video

This video clearly shows the advantages of a lightweight video DSLR camera. You can make it fly and take nice aerial videos or aerial photos. In the past you'd have to pay for pilots with helicopters or planes to get this type of angle and perspective. That could be rather painful for low budget indie filmmakers.

Try doing this on the Red One?

If you want to build your own, parts and instructions are available on microkopter. There's also an online store in the USA selling them for about $1900++. You can access Quadrocopter here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Canon 7D astrophotography moon video and Canon 550D + kit lens

In the past few days, I got Canon's EF 300mm f/4L IS lens in the mail as well as the Canon 550D (T2i) camera with the EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens. I used them all in this video to achieve the following:

  1. First to commemorate the valiant service of my grandfather, Damiano Estorco, who was buried a week before Memorial Day in Jimalalud, Negros, Philippines. He was a World War II hero who served in MacArthur's United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). He fought the Japanese and was captured along with 72,000 American and Filipino soldiers at the Battle of Bataan, but he made history by escaping. What kept him strong was his love for his home, the island of Negros. This island is highlighted in this video using the 550D.
  2. Secondly, to record moon shots with the Canon 7D using the 300mm f/4L IS lens plus two stacked TCs, 1.4x and 2x extenders. I shot this very low at a few feet above sea level. You can get more information on how to do this on this blog post. There's some pictures on how I stacked it.
  3. The sunset shots were done with Canon 7D and the Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens in Bacolod, Negros, Philippines.
  4. The remaining shots were done with Canon 550D with the kit lens, Canon EF-S 18-55 mm IS. They were shot throughout the island. Glidetrack was used.


After these shots, I was impressed with a few things...

One, the 300mm f/4L IS + two stacked teleconverters makes awesome astrophotography video. It's "sharp enough" and can actually record the natural movement of the moon as we have seen on this video.

Secondly, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens is no push over as some would expect. It can produce acceptable resolution and it's a cheapo $80 lens on eBay!

Third, Negros Island is a beautiful. Thanks grandpa for always making me feel home every time I come visit.

Last but not least, I haven't really tried a 7D vs. 550D video comparison in a lab setting yet. Partly because charts are soooo boring. In the field, 550D is holding its own. There's a few features I miss like the 8fps when doing photography, and also the microadjustments for lens calibration, believe it or not, I actually like doing that! And last but not least, the 7D can survive in much harsher conditions than the 550D because of its weather sealing, but in most video shooting conditions, the 550D is the best bang for the buck, hands down.

Here are quick links to the gimbal gear setup that fits on any tripod. If you are on our Facebook fan page, these links won't appear, you want to access directly.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Canon 300mm f/4L IS using 2x TC and 1.4x TC - Unboxing and Comparison Video

Here's a newly unboxed Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS. It is ultra sharp and a real alternative to the Canon EF 100-400mm lens. Why did we choose the 300mm f/4L vs. the 100-400mm? Mainly because of the extra sharp goodness and the extra speed. In most real life situations with good light, the comparisons wouldn't matter. But when it comes using two stacked extenders like the example below, the extra sharpness of a prime vs. a zoom truly does matter.

How does this matter for a video application? You can take astrophotography shots and video with this type of equipment:

  1. Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS [ Purchase link ]
  2. Canon 7D DSLR 1.6x crop sensor [ Purchase link ]
  3. 1.4x TC (teleconverter) [ Purchase link ]
  4. 2x TC (teleconverter) [ Purchase link ]
  5. Equals = 1344mm realized focal length
Here's our 300mm f/4L IS stacked with 1.4x and 2x TCs.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta organizes Canon video files

Adobe Photoshop LR3

One of the great things about beta releases is that you can use the software for free and get to see upcoming features. Today I would like to highlight Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (LR3) Beta from Adobe Labs.

For professionals that use video DSLR cameras for photography and video, this digital workflow tool will help you organize your photography and video files with great ease. This should greatly increase your efficiency and giving you more time to spend on shooting and attracting new clients!

By adding the same search and keyword capabilities to video as you would on your photos, you can now easily find raw video files and tag them appropriately.

I also want to highlight one more pleasant feature on LR3 Beta. It's noise reduction capabilities is far better than what it was on LR 1.x and 2.x. Check out the sample below.

While LR3 isn't available for sale yet, you can purchase a retail version of LR2 and upgrade later.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Canon EF 2x Extender II and Canon 1.4x II Extender - Unboxing and Comparison Video

What are lens extenders?

A teleconverter or otherwise called in the Canon world as an extender, is an inexpensive lens that attaches and increases any compatible fixed or zoom lens. The 2x extender will make your 200mm lens into 400mm. The 1.4x extender will make it 280mm.

In this particular video, we are unboxing the Canon EF 2x II extender and the 1.4x II extender. For a list of lenses that's compatible with these extenders, please see the information on our compatibility charts link.

Why should filmmakers care about these types of lenses?

If you ever need to have supertelephoto capabilities on the go without the additional weight and cost, this is the best option. Note that you will also need to multiply your aperture settings. For instance, a f/2.8 lens will become a f/5.6 lens if you use a 2x extender.

What are good examples of extender use? The 2x extender makes great moon shots. Some filmmakers use the 1.4x extender with Canon's EF 70-200mm L class lenses to have extra reach and there's hardly any loss in sharpness. It makes the maximum length of 200mm into 280mm (200mm x 1.4). Wildlife photography and filmmaking is a great example of when extenders could come handy.

To purchase the Canon 1.4x II extender, click here with free shipping.

To purchase the Canon 2x II extender, click here with free shipping.

Questions or thoughts? Join us on the forums.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cheap camera stabilizer for 7D and 550D / T2i - Zacuto alternative

A cheap alternative to Zacuto

Sometime ago I visited Hidalgo St in the Quiapo area of Manila to look for studio equipment. Hidalgo St is known to be the Philippines premier location to buy camera equipment wholesale. You can find some great deals on lighting, umbrellas, flash units, and other camera accessories manufactured directly from China. You can even find antique camera gear here.

In one of the shops, I found a shoulder mounted video camera stabilizer.

This is not one of those popular Zacuto rigs that cost $500+. Since I didn't bring my monopod or tripod on this trip, I wanted to test out this cheap $40 plastic stabilizer.

I put on a Canon 7D camera w/ battery grip and used a Canon 35mm f/1.4L lens. For me, this is a relatively heavy setup. I was naturally concerned if the plastic rig would hold up that much weight, so I made sure the 7D's strap was on my neck. After figuring out how to screw the camera on, I was set to go.


I was frankly impressed with the results. I brought back the video files and it was SHOCKING. I was able to get usable shots with this cheap old $40 shoulder stabilizer. An example of how reliable this was can be found here:

I'm not saying the build quality of this plastic stabilizer is sexy like the Zacuto shooter. But it is light, small, cheap, and can stabilize your shots very well. For me, that's practical. One thing of note, you want to use the included strap to tie it to the other side of your body or you will start feeling the imbalance of the weight.

I tried to find this product on B&H and it wasn't on stock, but I did find it on Amazon. You can try this out for yourself...heck it's cheap enough:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Canon setups new research and development HQ in USA

Canon is setting up a new research and development facility in the United States, according to Fujio Mitarai, the current chairman of Canon.  

"We will continue with research and development in Japan, but we want to drive our business diversification by developing new technologies in the U.S., which attracts brains from around the world," said Mitarai.

The move allows Canon to hire researchers in the United States, the home country of the world's most innovative companies like Google, Apple, and others.

"If it's true, it's a wise move.  I'll name off three reasons why.  First, the United States is Canon's biggest market by geography.  They have a great reputation in the film and photography segments and good brand recognition.  Second, it brings a lot of goodwill politically as Canon creates more jobs in the country.  Third, it brings them closer to their consumer and hopefully will bring faster and more rapid enhancements in their product line such as firmware updates in Canon's EOS DSLR cameras.  They will be in for a culture shock, Americans are quick to find opportunities in the products they love, but it's going to be good for Canon if they adjust well," said Don Sausa, a Canon USA CPS photographer.

Questions or thoughts? Join us on the forums.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Best $1300 laptop for video editing Canon 7D's MOV files?

Canon video files slow or skipping? Could be your computer!

I'm sure by now many of our readers have noticed that their Canon .MOV video files are playing really slow or it skips on playback. The general rule of thumb is: If it plays well on your camera but not on your computer, then your computer either is too slow and needs an upgrade or you are lacking resources due to other programs in the background.

Personal experience

My own personal experience has been largely the same. Even on relatively powerful laptops like my dual core AMD Turion 64 X2 1.9HGz or Intel's Duo Core 2 CPU, the .MOV video files were still skipping. My personal conclusion? I needed an affordable new laptop that could handle h.264 files easily.

The search for an affordable answer...

After an exhaustive search in December 2009, I found out about Intel's new Core i7 (quad-core) processors. These new processors had Turbo Boost, hyper-threading, and other features that would enable faster video editing and playback. Unfortunately, nobody had any i7 laptops in stock in 2009 and nobody would be able to give me a delivery date until mid-January 2010.

Arrived! Dell Studio 15 with Intel Core i7-720QM inside

My new Dell Studio 15 laptop arrived in March and boy, what a difference. Playbacks on these compressed Canon video files improved significantly, with no skips! I didn't have to use Cineform Neoscene to uncompress the h.264 file to make it play easier. I specifically waited over two months for this laptop and I was not disappointed with the results. The total cost? ~$1,230 shipped.

Dell's Core i7 is one fast beast. With Turbo mode it automatically overclocks a single core up to 2.8Ghz if it sees the other CPU cores are not in use. I don't have to touch it. The hyperthreading also helps in video encoding. Instead of processing video bits one at a time, it will divvy up the tasks so it will be processed simultaneously.


Intel Core i7 laptops are starting to hit the shelves and you can find some great deals online. While I would recommend the Dell Studio 15 laptop, you can get the same performance coming from Asus, HP, and other brands. Asus has an attractive offering because their new Core i7 laptops are about $100 cheaper.

I have provided some easy to use links below:

ASUS N61Jq-A1 16" Notebook Computer

  1. 1.6GHz Intel i7-720QM Quad-Core
  2. 4GB (2x2GB) RAM
  3. 500GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
  4. SuperMulti DVD Burner
  5. ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 Graphics
  6. 16" Widescreen Display
  7. Integrated Camera and Microphone
  8. Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n Wi-FiUSB 3.0
  9. Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), 6.4 lb

Questions or thoughts? Join us on the forums.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is a gimbal head? Why it might help your video DSLR!

Have you ever seen the way telescopes are mounted?  They pan fast and don't have any vibrations? They have what looks like a J or Y looking yoke on their tripods? These types of supports are available for your DSLR lenses as well. It is a favorite among wildlife photographers but it can also be helpful for video setups -- typically not possible for high definition video cameras in the past due to the bulk of their size, video DSLRs can actually take advantage of this device!

Gimbal heads essentially mount long telephoto lenses with this one goal: create a weightless environment for your shooting needs.  You can pan fast with as little vibrations as possible.  Without gimbal heads to balance your camera and the lens in their natural center of gravity, you have potential issues like your equipment tipping over or your lens/camera slowly goes towards the center of gravity.  This is the downside of ballhead designs that use friction to fight against gravity.  Instead of using gravity as a tool, it tries to fight against it.

Unlike ballheads, gimbal heads CANNOT flop over. You can move a 6 lbs lens with one flick of a finger. Unfortunately, most gimbal heads are very very expensive.  But there is a quality alternative from Manfrotto that I recommend. Most quality gimbal heads run from $300-$600, but Manfrotto's 393 Heavy Duty Gimbal Type Telephoto Lens Support is only $180. For folks that want sturdy support, this is the best value for the buck.

Thanks, -Don Sausa

Questions or thoughts? Join us on the forums.

Monday, April 26, 2010 vs eBay for used equipment -- case study review

I was in need of used camera equipment today (flash unit).  My Canon flash unit died and I sent it in for service.  While I have two Sigmas and an old Canon flash unit, none of them works natively with 7D's wireless capabilities.  My thoughts?  Buy another Canon flash unit, but a used one like the powerful 550EX.

I wanted to write about my used camera equipment buying experience.  I hope it actually helps someone when they search for used lenses, flash units, camera bodies, and other photography equipment.  While B&H, Adorama, and others have decent used equipment, the primary players in the used market seem to be eBay and KEH.  Who is KEH?  What is KEH?  Read on...

About eBay
We all know who eBay is. It's a platform, a service, and the great deals you get is solely dependent on the individual you are dealing with; hence, your experience varies.

About KEH
So I kept hearing about the goodness of and their quality service on the photography message boards, specifically on used photography hardware.  They sell the merchandise themselves.  As I understand it, they buy the used equipment, own it, and sell it.

As for the meaning of KEH, I have no clue.  I sent an email to their support team to ask.

I went ahead and started comparing the 550EX flash units on eBay vs.

eBay: $249 + $16 shipping, no warranties, no returns.  There was one in the UK being bid on at $200, but with U.S. shipping plus potential customs, I have no clue what the final number would be.

KEH: I found one used for $189 fixed price, no auctions + $9 shipping ($200) that carries KEH's 14 day no-hassle return policy and 60 day warranty.

The choice was a no brainer.  KEH's price and warranty won.  Now that I've ordered, let's see if the unit is functioning and see if it works!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Canon vs. Nikon: Why Hollywood's Tim Burton chose Canon

“ We originally selected the Nikon D2H because of the wireless ftp, the chip size, and the fact that we owned $90,000 of Nikon glass [lenses],” notes Watts. However, random noise was visible as pixilation in dark areas when the shots were played back as a movie. This pixilation effect was only visible in stop-motion photography, an application the Nikon hadn’t been designed for.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II, which uses a CMOS sensor and DIGIC II processor chip, was one of the most expensive still cameras tested, but the image quality was amazing, according to Watts. A way had to be found to mount Nikon lenses on the Canon EOS body. With the NEOS adapter, focus and aperture must be set manually, but that’s fine for stop-motion photography.

More of the article here:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sigma 50-500mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM vs. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS (reviews so far)

Minimum Aperturef/22
Minimum Focusing Distance1.6ft-5.9ft
Lens Construction22 Elements in 16 Groups
Maximum Magnification1:3.1
Angle of View46.8°- 5°
Filter Size95mm (stepdown available)
No. of Diaphragm Blades9 pcs
Lens HoodPetal-type
SRP$1600 (USD)
Diameter 104.4mm x Length 219mm
Available FittingsCanon AF, if nothing else, Sigma AF, Nikon AF, Pentax AF, Sony AF are secondary alternatives

The Sigma 50-500mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM is an ultra telephoto lens offering a 10x zoom ratio. Incorporating Sigma’s original Optical Stabiliser function, the Sigma 50-500mm f5-6.3 offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. Four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements provide excellent correction of colour aberration. The addition of the optional 1.4x EX DG or 2x EX DG APO Tele Converters produce a 70-700mm F6.3-8 or a 100-1000mm F9-12.6 MF zoom lens respectively.

On a crop camera like the Canon EOS 7D with a Sigma 2x, the maximum focal length of this lens is 1600mm. INSANE!


Does it take Canon TCs? No. Roger Cicala at was kind enough to confirm with Don Sausa that it does not take Canon TCs.

Sample shots and reviews

  1. Roger and the team took the first volley here:
  2. The test chart on a 5D MkII is available here:
  3. Jeffrey Friedl took some great shots with the Nikon mount. No doubt it'll look better with Canon cameras, but hey no one's perfect. (LOL)
  4. Another Nikon user took these great shots.  Yes, good shots are not impossible for Nikons.  We suspect he had Canon hands.
    With the sample shots so far + the OS and the extra +100mm, the Bigma II is on a rock solid start. It's a serious contender to the old Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS.

    Summary and Conclusion

    1. Sigma is competing against the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS. Both are priced in most shops at or around $1600.
    2. Is it sharp? Roger's test shot at 1/250 @ 500mm (5d MkII) shows the quality is impressive despite slower shutter speeds. I wonder what the sharpness would be like at 1/500!
    3. Sigma's TC's work but not Canon's TC's. (TC = teleconverter to multiply focal length)
    4. Video quality? Excellent. Close-ups, here we come!

    Flickr group!
    Got shots you want to share? If you have sample pictures and have a Flickr account, please join this group and post them:

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    House, a popular TV series' finale, shot on Canon DSLR!

    Just to highlight the respect of the film making industry of the new video DSLRs like Canon 7D and Canon 5D II, Fox's popular TV show, House will have their season finale filmed on a $2500 Canon 5D MkII camera.  Why would a studio independently (without Canon's endorsement) actually use a cheaper camera?  Because the shots were "richer".  Amazing!

    The interview can be found here:

    Naysayers, keep digging your holes.

    New Canon 7D firmware is out v1.2.1

    The firmware link is available here:

    Firmware Version 1.2.1 incorporates the following improvements and fixes.

    • Extends the timing at which the high temperature warning indicator is displayed and the timing of automatic shut down of the camera due to a rise in internal temperature during Live View or EOS Movie functions.
    • Optimizes program shift when the ISO setting of the camera is set to AUTO.
    • Corrects a misspelling in the French-language menu.
    • Corrects a phenomenon in which vertical magenta-colored banding appears in still images taken in movie-shooting mode. (This only occurs when in Manual exposure mode and when the ISO speed is set to "H". Note that this phenomenon only affects units with Firmware Version 1.2.0)

    Firmware Version 1.2.1 is for cameras with firmware up to version 1.2.0. If the camera's firmware is already version 1.2.1, it is not necessary to update the firmware.  Note that cameras with firmware Version 1.2.1, 1.2.0 cannot be downgraded to a previous firmware version (such as Version 1.1.0).

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    How to Clean Your DSLR Camera Sensor Like a Pro

    The experts at created an awesome video on how to clean your sensor. While we always recommend cleaning to be done at Canon's service centers as a default, sometimes you don't have a choice when you're in the middle of production (video shoot) or a photo shoot! This well documented sensor cleaning method is working for LensRentals, by far the leading rental experts on camera and lenses.

    So now your interested on where to buy this stuff? We've made it easier for you. You can buy the equipment through these images:

    1. Dust-Aid Silicone Dust Stamp
    2. Sensor Brush
    3. Acoustic Butterfly Sensor Brush
    4. Sensor Loupe

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Camera7D review of T2i / Canon 550D coming soon!

    So we finally are getting a shipment of the new Canon 550D (T2i in NAFTA market). We got tons of back logs in terms of reviews and more videos to spit out, keep watching Don Sausa's YouTube channel here for new T2i vids in the next couple of weeks:

    Need to see RAW thumbnails in Windows Explorer? Solution: Fast Picture Viewer Codecs

    Link: Free Codec Pack

    The Codec Pack, now at version 2.0, currently contains 22 different image decoders, or codecs, each in 32-bit and 64-bit variant, supporting 37 image file extensions such as DNG, CR2, NEF, PEF, ORF and many more, including specialists formats such as OpenEXR, TGA, PNM, DDS and JPEG2000, with additional format support likely to come in the future.

    For owners of digital cameras wanting to venture into "raw shooting" to get the most of their gear, our Codec Pack is a "must have" as it will make raw file handling in Explorer as simple and easy as it is with the usual JPEG format.

    Camera 7D recommendation
    The best codec in the market by far. The fact that they freely let you download it is a testament to their dedication to the community! With 64-bit support plus support of the newest RAW formats makes this tool invaluable.

    Canon Extender EF 2x II Compatibility Chart (and 1.4x)

    I have been looking for a quick compatibility chart online for the Canon EF 2x and 1.4x extenders. Thankfully B&H has been kind enough to translate the chart into an easy to read table found below. There's two sets of links below that will get you to the 2x and 1.4x charts.

    Canon 1.4x Extender II Compatibility Chart

    Canon 2x Extender II Compatibility Chart

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Indonesian 7D film

    Funny little couple film made on the Canon 7D.

    Abu Dhabi in 7D!

    Lovely video with glidetrack. Filipinos are rockin' this 7D!

    Video Montage: Urban Tranquility - Abu Dhabi, UAE (Canon EOS 7D) from mungkey on Vimeo.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Hoodman HoodLoupe 3.0 Review: Useful -- to a degree.

    I bought the Hoodman H-LPP3 HoodLoupe 3.0 Professional 3-Inch Screen Loupe from Amazon a few weeks back and just wanted to share my opinion on it for all of you Canon 7D / T2i / 550D video lovers out there.

    Why would you possibly need a viewer for your LCD?  Because when it's bright -- you can't see your LCD!  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Amazon for the following reasons...


    • Let's you view your focus on LiveView in the bright sun.
    • The lack of magnification doesn't burn your LCD if the sun accidentally gets in.


    • There's no magnification so there's really no reason to charge $80 on this except to bump up the margins. The cost to manufacture this runs around $8-$10 (my estimate only). Yes, you will feel ripped off as you buy this. It's like forgetting your toothbrush, being charged $80 for it, but you have no choice as there are no other solutions that's cheaper (until recently, see updated comments below). And yes, no one is forcing you to buy it -- but now you know what kind of build quality this is.
    • The camera straps that runs $16-17 are useless rubber bands. Do not buy.
    • Aside from the useless rubber bands (which I gave a separate review for), there's no way to hold the hood up except maybe perhaps glue it or you can build a 'trap' using the tripod hole which I've seen some people do.


    There's a new product out there called the LCDVF in the $150-$160 range.  It has a mounting plate PLUS the ability to magnify!  Let's see how this works out.  We are patiently waiting for its delivery -- as it is out of stock.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Creating your own camera slider

    Friedhelm Fischer just created a very easy, DYI tutorial on how to make your own camera slider, similar to the glidetrack but definitely less expensive. The tutorial can be found on his web site. Definitely worth a look!

    Apparently, most of the parts can be bought from:

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Manila's Hidden Hero - A Don Sausa short film, shot with Canon 7D

    Modern Manila has spectacular skyscrapers, modern super malls, yet its greatness doesn't come from these modern amenities, it's splendor comes from an older, often forgotten source. Manila's Hidden Hero highlights Intramuros, the city's oldest district, and the hero that sacrificed it all to bring Manila and the Philippines to democracy and independence.

    Canon's EOS Rebel T2i (550D) just made Nikon ask, "Why do I even exist?"

    The new Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D) was just recently announced, with similar manual exposure controls like the 7D's -- shooting 1080p at 24fps, with low light handling.  Nikon, bested in prosumer, bested in consumer -- why do you even exist?

    TypeDigital, single-lens reflex, AF/AE camera
    Recording MediaSD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC Memory Card
    Image Sensor Size22.3mm x 14.9mm (APS-C size)
    Compatible LensesCanon EF lenses including EF-S lenses (35mm-equivalent focal length is approx. 1.6x the lens focal length) 
    Lens MountCanon EF mount
    Image Sensor
    TypeHigh-sensitivity, high-resolution, large single-plate CMOS sensor
    PixelsEffective pixels: Approx. 18.00 Megapixels
    Aspect Ratio3:2 (Horizontal: Vertical)
    Color Filter SystemRGB primary color filters
    Low-pass FilterFixed position in front of the CMOS sensor
    Dust Deletion feature(1) Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit
    (2) Dust Delete Data appended to the captured image
    (3) Manual cleaning of sensor 
    Recording System
    Recording FormatDesign rule for Camera File System 2.0 and Exif 2.21
    Image TypeStill: JPEG, RAW (14-bit, Canon original), RAW+JPEG
    Video: MOV (Image data: H.264, Audio: Linear PCM) 
    File Size(1) Large/Fine: Approx. 6.4MB (5184 x 3456 pixels)
    (2) Large/Normal: Approx. 3.2MB (5184 x 3456 pixels)
    (3) Medium/Fine: Approx. 3.4MB (3456 x 2304 pixels)
    (4) Medium/Normal: Approx. 1.7MB (3456 x 2304 pixels)
    (5) Small/Fine: Approx. 2.2MB (2592 x 1728 pixels)
    (6) Small/Normal: Approx. 1.1MB (2592 x 1728 pixels)
    (7) RAW: Approx. 24.5MB (5184 x 3456 pixels)
    Exact file sizes depend on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, etc. 
    File NumberingContinuous numbering, auto reset, manual reset
    Color SpacesRGB, Adobe RGB selectable
    Picture StyleStandard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined 1-3
    Image Processing
    TypeAuto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten Light, White Fluorescent Light, Flash, Custom
    Color Temperature CompensationWhite balance correction: ±9 stops in full-stop increments
    White balance bracketing: ±3 stops in full-stop increments
    Blue/amber direction or magenta/green direction possible 
    Color Temperature Information TransmissionProvided
    TypeEye-level SLR (with pentamirror)
    CoverageVertical/Horizontal approx. 95%
    MagnificationApprox. 0.87x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1 m-1 (dpt))
    EyepointApprox. 19mm (from eyepiece lens center)
    Built-in Dioptric Adjustment-3.0 to +1.0m-1 (diopter)
    Focusing ScreenFixed, Precision Matte
    MirrorQuick-return half mirror (transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60, no mirror cut-off with EF600mm f/4L IS USM or shorter lenses)
    Viewfinder InformationAF information
  1. AF points and focus confirmation light

  2. Exposure information
  3. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level, spot metering circle, exposure warning

  4. Flash information
  5. Flash ready, flash exposure compensation, high-speed sync, FE lock, red-eye reduction light

  6. Image information
  7. Highlight tone priority (D+), monochrome shooting, maximum burst (1-digit display), white balance correction, SD card information

  8. Depth-of-Field PreviewEnabled with depth-of-field preview button
    TypeTTL-CT-SIR AF-dedicated CMOS sensor 
    AF Points9 AF points (center AF point is cross-type) 
    Focusing ModesAuto, One-Shot AF, Predictive AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF, Manual Focusing (MF)
    AF Point SelectionAutomatic selection, manual selection
    Selected AF Point DisplaySuperimposed in viewfinder and indicated on LCD monitor
    AF-assist BeamIntermittent firing of built-in flash
    Effective range: Approx. 4.0m/13.1 ft. at center, approx. 3.5m/11.5 ft. at periphery. When EOS-dedicated Speedlite attached, the Speedlite's AF-assist beam is emitted instead. 
    Exposure Control
    Metering Modes63-zone TTL full-aperture metering
    • Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
    • Partial metering (approx. 9% of viewfinder at center)
    • Spot metering (approx. 4% of viewfinder at center)
    • Center-weighted average metering
    Metering RangeEV 1-20 (at 73°F/23°C with EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
    Exposure Control(1) Program AE (shiftable)
    (2) Shutter-priority AE
    (3) Aperture-priority AE
    (4) Depth-of-field AE (A-DEP, non-shiftable)
    (5) Full Auto (Program AE, non-shiftable)
    (6) Programmed Image Control modes (6 modes)
  9. * Flash OFF, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait

  10. (7) Manual exposure (including bulb)
    (8) E-TTL II autoflash program AE
  11. * Evaluative metering, Averaged metering

  12. ISO Speed (Recommended Exposure Index)ISO 100~6400 (in 1-stop increments), H: 12800
    Basic Zone modes: ISO 100~3200 set automatically 
    Exposure CompensationManual: ±5 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments (can be combined with AEB)
    AE Lock(1) Auto AE lock
  13. * In the One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering, AE lock takes effect when focus is achieved.

  14. (2) Manual AE lock
  15. * With AE lock button. (AE lock is updated each time you press the button.)

  16. Enabled in all metering modes.
    TypeVertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically controlled
    Shutter Speeds1/4000 sec. to 1/60 sec., X-sync at 1/200 sec.
    1/4000 sec. to 30 sec., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode) 
    Shutter ReleaseSoft-touch electromagnetic release
    Self-timer10-sec. or 2-sec. delay or 10-sec. delay plus continuous shooting
    Remote ControlRemote Switch RS-60E3
    Remote Controller RC-1/RC-5/RC-6 
    Built-in Flash
    TypeRetractable, auto pop-up flash
    Flash MeteringE-TTL II autoflash
    Guide Number13/43 (ISO 100, in meters/feet)
    Recycling TimeApprox. 3 sec.
    Flash-ready IndicatorFlash-ready icon lights in viewfinder
    Flash CoverageUp to 17mm lens focal length (equivalent to 27mm in 135 format)
    FE LockProvided
    Flash Exposure Compensation±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
    Flash exposure compensation for built-in flash and Speedlite can be set with the camera.
    Drive System
    Drive ModesSingle, continuous, self-timer (10 sec. or 2 sec. delay)/remote control
    Continuous Shooting SpeedMax. 3.7 shots/sec. (with One-Shot AF or AI Servo AF)
    Maximum BurstJPEG (Large/Fine): Approx. 34, RAW: Approx. 6
    Based on Canon's testing standards with a 2GB SD memory card, ISO 100 and Standard Picture Style
    Varies depending on the subject, SD memory card brand, image-recording quality, etc. 
    Live View Functions
    Shooting ModesStill photo shooting and video shooting
    FocusingAutofocus (One-Shot AF): Live mode, Face Detection Live mode, Quick mode; Manual focus (5x or 10x manually)
    Metering ModesReal-time evaluative metering with image sensor
    Metering RangeEV 0-20 (at 73°F/23°C with EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
    Grid DisplayProvided (Two grid displays)
    Exposure SimulationProvided
    Silent ShootingNot provided
    Video Shooting
    File FormatMOV (image data: H.264; audio: Linear PCM (with internal mic: monaural, with external mic: stereo))
    File SizeRecording Size: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p, 1280 x 720: 60p (59.94) / 50p, 640 x 480 (SD): 60p (59.94) / 50p), Movie Crop recording in 640 x 480
    Continuous Shooting TimeApprox. 12 min. (1920 x 1080), 18 min. (1280 x 720), 24 min. (640 x 480)
    Based on Canon's testing standards using a 4GB card 
    FocusingAutofocus: Quick mode, Live mode, Face Detection Live mode; manual
    Exposure Control(1) Program AE for movie shooting
    * For shooting modes other than manual exposure.
    * Shutter speed (1/30 - 1/4000 sec., signal accumulation time), aperture, and ISO speed automatically set.
    (2) Manual exposure
    * For manual exposure.
    * Shutter speed (signal accumulation time), aperture, and ISO speed (auto/ manual) manually set. The shutter speed (signal accumulation time) is limited to 1/4000 sec. at the maximum and to 1/30 sec. at the minimum for 24/25/30 fps or 1/60 sec. or higher for 50/60 fps.
    Exposure CompensationUp to ±3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
    * Possible only with autoexposure. 
    Audio recording methodLinear PCM
    (1) Internal monaural microphone
    (2) External stereo microphone jack
  17. * Recording level automatically adjusted.

  18. * Sampling frequency: 48 KHz, Bits: 16 bit x 2 ch

  19. * Compatible with a commercially-available external microphone with 3.5mm dia. stereo mini-jack.

  20. Video PlaybackPlayback, slow motion (variable speed possible), jump to first frame, previous frame, next frame, jump to last frame, cut out first or last, frame, and audio volume (6 levels, including mute).
    * The audio level when the camera is connected to a TV set is adjusted with the TV set. 
    LCD Monitor
    TypeTFT color, liquid-crystal monitor
    Monitor Size3.0 in. 
    DotsApprox. 1,040,000 dots (VGA)
    CoverageApprox. 100%
    Viewing angle: 160° 
    Brightness Adjustment7 levels provided
    Interface LanguagesEnglish, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukraine, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese 
    Image Playback
    Display Format(1) Single image display
    - Two types of single-image full display and two types of shooting information display.
    (2) Index display
    - 4-image index and 9-index image.
    (3) Jump display
    - 10/100 images, shooting date, movies, stills 
    Highlight WarningProvided (Overexposed highlights blink)
    Image Protection and Erase
    ProtectErase protect (or cancel) each image individually
    EraseSingle image, selected images or all images in the SD card can be erased (except protected images)
    Direct Printing
    Compatible PrintersPictBridge-compatible printers
    Printable ImagesJPEG images compliant to Design rule for Camera File System (DPOF printing possible) and RAW images captured with the EOS Rebel T2i
    Easy Print featureProvided
    DPOF: Digital Print Order Format
    DPOFVersion 1.1 compatible
    Direct Image Transfer
    Compatible ImagesJPEG and RAW images
    Only JPEG images can be transferred as wallpaper on the personal computer screen
    Custom FunctionsTotal 12
    My Menu RegistrationUp to 6 menus, Custom functions and other top-tier options can be registered
    USB TerminalFor personal computer communication and direct printing (USB 2.0 Hi-Speed)
    Video Out Terminal(1) Video OUT terminal: NTSC/PAL selectable
    (2) mini-HDMI OUT terminal 
    Power Source
    BatteryOne Battery Pack LP-E8
    AC power can be supplied via AC Adapter Kit ACK-E8
    With Battery Grip BG-E8, AA-size batteries can be used 
    Number of ShotsNumber of shots (approx.)
    TemperatureShooting Conditions
    AE 100%AE 50%, FA 50%
    At 73°F/23°C550470
    At 32°F/0°C440400
    Live View shooting at 73°F/23°C200170
    Live View shooting at 32°F/0°C180150
    Movie Shooting Time1 hr. 40 min.1 hr. 20 min.

    The above figures apply with a fully-charged Battery Pack LP-E8.
    The figures above are based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) testing standards. 
    Battery CheckAuto
    Power SavingProvided. Power turns off after 30 sec., 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 min.
    Date/Time BatteryBuilt-in secondary battery
    Start-up TimeApprox. 0.1 sec.
    Dimensions and Weight
    Dimensions (WxHxD)Approx. 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.0 in./128.8 x 97.5 x 75.3mm
    WeightApprox. 18.7 oz./530g (CIPA standard, includes battery and memory card.)
    Operating Environment
    Working Temperature Range32-104°F/0-40°C
    Working Humidity Range85% or less