Canon to update 5D Mark III firmware in April 2013

I hope this is a new trend for Canon.. it certainly seems that way.. but after REALLY updating the Canon 7D with the latest firmware, Canon has announced they will be upgrading the Canon 5D Mark III firmware. The notable updates will include uncompressed HDMI output and an improvement to the auto focus system. The AF improvement will allow the Canon 5D Mark III to adjust its AF algorithms to the type of lens used on the body.

Its great that Canon has been adding new features to their existing bodies. Hopefully they keep it up.






So anyway..

Just wanted to publish a post to let the 2-3 people coming daily know that this is not an abandoned blog. I’ve been pre-occupied the past couple of years (don’t ask me with what because I don’t know either).

On the photography front, I shot drifting for a few years. I don’t post my images much because I can never decide on which images to post.. and when I do, I have to post process them (everyone PPs, don’t lie to yourself), then I need to post them around (, flickr, here, Facebook, etc) and then it just all starts to weigh on you.. like having the responsibility to care for your neighbors cat or something. Since my friend’s team is no longer drifting, it kind of took the fun out of it.. so I haven’t been shooting much drifting. I have been trying to get into landscape and stuff like that, but I haven’t actually gotten around to doing it (but I sure talk about it and think about it a lot, does that count?).

On the car front.. not much has changed.. I still think about putting my RX7 back together, but time is scarce. My G35 is still running strong.. not sure if I mentioned it before, but I’ve been rollin’ on KW Variant 3 coil-overs for the past few years. They are the G35 Coupe set.. for you G35 owners with Sport suspension, just let me say that my KW V3s ride better than the stock Sport suspension.

Oh, also something I been meaning to get off my chest.. I’m on my 3rd set of tires now.. I had Falken FK452s.. then Hankook V12 Evos.. and now Yokohama S-Drives.. the Falkens were whatevers.. I think they were loud and didn’t wear well (I only got like 10-12k out of the rears).. the Hankooks were the same as far as wear, but they were quiet, rode well, and handled well. The Yokohamas have lasted me 20k so far and I think I can still get another 7-10k out of them. They’re a little loud, but I’m much happier with these tires simply because they last a hell of a lot longer.

Anyway.. thats all for now..

Canon EOS 1n, 5D Mark II, and 7D Water Resistance

Reading various photography forums, you might believe that 90% of digital SLR toting photographers love to spend time shooting pictures in the rain. It seems to be one of those features people always claim to need. Additionally, whenever a manufacturer makes the claim of “water resistant”, the same people are quick to dismiss it as “weak” or “not good enough”.

I’ve seen rumored “specifications” thrown about. For example, some people perpetuate the rumor that a Canon EOS 5D Mark II can withstand 3, 5, 10, etc “inches of rain per hour”. Personally, I find that a very subjective measure (after all, what is rain? what size of rain drops are we talking?) and find it hard to believe that a company like Canon (or any company for that matter) would use such a gauge. It sounds like something a sales or marketing guy tossed out at a photo show once and has since perpetuated itself to become “fact”.

So in reading 5D Mark II and 7D marketing materials, they mention something to the effect of “weather and environmentally sealed like the Canon EOS 1n”. I have no idea what a Canon EOS 1n is. Film never did anything for me, so naturally, I never gave a crap about film bodies. I did find one “rumored specification” regarding the Canon 1n and the famed “rain per hour” though. It was on in a Canon 1n review. The writer said that he heard the 1n could withstand “1/3 inch of rain per hour”. Now, that sounds more likely, although I’m still not believing in the whole “rain per hour” thing.

Digging a bit more, I found that the Canon EOS 3 was made with the same level of weather resistance as the Canon 1n. Since I couldn’t really find much about the 1n’s weather resistance, I wondered if I’d find anything about the Canon EOS 3. Although this is anecdotal, I did find this review of the Canon EOS 3. In it, here is what the author said in regard to weather sealing:

Weather Resistant Design • The body sports water and dust seals and is build to the same durability and sealing specs as the EOS 1N. For example, all buttons and dials use rubber gaskets to block out water droplets. The back door has a seal as well. Important electrical contacts are bipolar and gold plated. I’ve been caught in tropical downpours many times with my EOS 3 and A2. Not once did the EOS 3 jam or lockup. It just kept on tickin.’ The A2, in a similar downpour, ate it. Luckily it rose from the dead after drying out for a week! If you frequently shoot in wet or dusty conditions this camera should be able to take it. [emphasis mine]

Additionally, I found (at the Canon Camera Museum) that the Canon EOS 1v (the successor to the 1n and grandfather of the 1D digital bodies), was “required to be completely resistant to water, sand, and dust.” Completely resistant. Pretty strong words. Now, again, that was for the Canon EOS 1v, not the 1n, which is supposed to be the level of sealing for the 5D Mark II and 7D.

But I think its pretty safe to say that the 5D Mark II and 7D are undoubtedly “weather resistant”. Now, maybe you get caught in a flash tropical downpour (like the EOS 3 reviewer) or maybe its a light shower. Either way, I’m confident that the 7D (and the similarly sealed 5D Mark II) would be able to continue functioning.

Now, if you’re talking about standing out in a typhoon or hurricane, trying to get images of the eye of the storm, then that may not be the case and you should perhaps invest in a Canon EOS 1D or 1Ds body.

What I wonder is, all these people thinking they need “true” weather sealing and water resistance.. do you guys carry a raincoat with you where ever you go? Is the cell phone you carry equally water resistant?

Canon EOS 7D Announced

Well, it looks like the stuff Canon said a while back about creating a high-end crop camera are being realized. For those of you who don’t read “camera news”, a while back, Canon said that they would (1) most likely do away with APS-H (1.3x) – although Chuck Westfall never actually said it, he did say APS-H was made to compete with the 1.5x of the other manufacturers and (2) Canon would eventually develop a “pro-level” crop (APS-C or 1.6x) camera.

Many Canonites doubted that the 7D would be the one, sticking to the perceived naming convention and claiming what many thought to be the 7D SHOULD actually be a 60D. The turning point for me was a few days ago while I sorted through the carious rumors. I, too, thought the Canon 7D should be full-frame. I was all but sure that the 7D would be a cheaper full-frame (if the 5D is FF, it stands to reason the 7D would be too).

But someone (sorry, dont remember which forum or who posted it) mentioned that Canon’s product line was essentially being “forked”. That is, on one branch, you have the 1Ds Mark III/Mark IV at the top. On the other branch, you have the Canon 1D Mark III/Mark IV at the top. The 5D Mark II sits below the 1Ds Mark III/Mark IV, while nothing sits below the 1D Mark III/Mark IV. So basically, if you look at Canon’s line up in terms of “Pro Studio” and “Pro Sports/Action”, then it makes sense. The 7D would fit the bill perfectly.

If the above is true, particularly if Canon does away with the APS-H 1.3x sensor, then that would mean the Canon 1D Mark IV MAY be a APS-C 1.6x camera. My guess, if I were Canon, would be to wait to see what the general reaction of the 7D is. It photojournalists and sports photographers welcome the format, then it would pave the way for a 1.6x Canon 1D Mark IV. If photojournalists and sports photographers scoff at the notion of giving up the 1.3x format, then Canon could always stick with it, I suppose.

In any case, here are the Canon EOS 7D specs:

  • 18 megapixel APS-C (1.6x) CMOS sensor
  • Dual DiGIC IV processors
  • 8 fps (frames/second
  • 94 FINE JPG/15 RAW buffer
  • 19 cross-type auto-focus points, 8 dual directional cross type (YEAH!)
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800)
  • 100% viewfinder with “intelligent display” and horizon assist
  • New iCFL metering system (64 zones or something like that)
  • 3″ 920k pixel version 2 LCD
  • Full HD video (1920×1080 30fps) with HDMI and mic input
  • Live View with Face Priority auto-focus (just like your point & shoot)
  • New flash system with built-in wireless transmission (like Nikon?!)
  • 150k shutter life

No MSRP, but there were earlier rumors of the 7D appearing in the Best Buy computer system with a MSRP of $2500 or something like that. I remember it was the same as that of the 5D Mark II. Its possible it was just a placeholder price, copied from the 5D Mark II.. but if that is true, the price is a little steep. Make it under $2k and I may have to go back on what I said before about keeping my 40D as my crop camera and making my next camera FF.

Canon announces the EOS 500D T1i and the Speedlight 270EX

I heard this rumor a while back, but didnt think much about it seeing as how it would just be an update to the current Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. But given Nikon’s aggressive updates and product lifecycles.. it seems as though Canon is rising to the challenge. Canon’s current line up is as packed as Nikon’s.. something I thought would be confusing for the first-time DSLR buyer.. but as my Strategy professor said.. “if you don’t cannnibalize your own business, someone else will do it for you”.. Canon’s current line up looks like this:

Canon EOS XS
Canon EOS XSi
Canon EOS T1i
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 50D
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EOS 1D Mark III
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

From the 50D and up.. the price differences are enough to justify each incremental model. But at the lower end of the product spectrum, you have a total of about $300 separating the Canon EOS XS from the Canon EOS 40D, not to mention the 2 model’s now sandwiched in between.

In any case, here’s the basic run down of the Canon EOS T1i:

15.1 megapixels
720p movie mode
Digic IV image processor
3.4 fps, 170 frame JPEG burst, or 9 RAW frames
3″ LCD 640×480 920k pixels
ISO 100-3200, with expansion to 6400 and 12,800
It uses SD/SDHC cards
Availability May 2009 @ ~$900 MSRP with kit lens

For a hands-on preview of the Canon EOS T1i, you can read about it at Imaging or DP Review

Canon EOS 500D T1i

Canon EOS 500D T1i

The Canon Speedlight 270EX will be a compact flash unit that’ll handle focal lengths from 28mm to 50mm automatically (head zoom) and will be powered by 2 AA batteries.. it should be pretty compact (and cheap).

To pre-order your Canon EOS T1i or Canon Speedlight 270EX, go to Amazon:

Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Body Only)

Canon EOS 500D T1i body only

Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens

Canon EOS 500D T1i with kit lens