Essentials is a brand new series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.
After taking a short break, we’ve decided to head right back into the Essentials for what we think an environmental headshot photographer would use. So what exactly do we mean by this? Well, here in NYC, lots of photographers like using a combination of natural/ambient light and blending it with flash. And due to the fact that they’re on location and sometimes without assistants, they tend to try to pack as lightly as possible.
While we often recommend using monolights, they aren’t as portable as a couple of hot shoe flashes placed in the absolute right positions to give the right amount of kick.
Sigma recently updated one of their most famous and well designed lenses: the 30mm f1.4. If you weren’t familiar with this lens, it is amongst the most recommended pieces of glass for APS-C DSLR photographers. It renders the near equivalent of a 50mm field of view depending on what camera you’re using. This lens has always been known to be sharp, compact, and permanently attached to the camera of some photographers.
Then, Sigma decided to make a good thing better. And today, we have the second version of this lens–which is now included in their Art lineup. Upon receiving our review unit though, we were treated to a very delightful surprise.
We all know the hassle with taking pictures of the latest fashion trends for our glossy magazines and designer outlet e-stores, right? No, not really. We don’t have a clue, because we’re not running a fashion e-commerce. But apparently, those that do are in dire need of a dedicated studio solution, according to a company from the Netherlands. They invented the StyleShoots, which is a dedicated, stand-alone, all-in-one photo studio for fashion e-commerces. And what the thing does is amazing. Not only does it take pictures with a built in Canon 5D Mk II, it also makes them ready for publishing by analyzing the structures and adding a true alpha-transparency background–something that can take quite a while if you have to do it by hand (second-assistant underscan rotoscopers will know what I’m talking about.) Finally, for extra convenience, the whole thing is operated by touch via an iPad.
So, if you’re running a fashion e-commerce and need to find a solution for the time-consuming editing process of your product shots, why not pay them a visit at their new NYC showroom? Details on the StyleShoots website.
According to the latest readings over at DxOMark, the website’s exhaustive lab tests are stating that Canon’s new 70D is just a tad better than the previous 60D and the flagship 7D in terms of sensor performance. And where this all seems to really count is in the high ISO performance with some variance in the dynamic range. A post on Reddit showcases a Canon user who is angry about this as Nikon’s newer cameras always outperform its predecessors by far.
So what does this actually mean in real life? Well, if you’re not going to use Canon’s new Dual Pixel AF for video recording and instead just going to take still images, you’re probably just going to get better high ISO performance over any of the other options. The 7D is still better for mostly everything else, though the 70D does have the 7D’s autofocusing.
After the jump, check out the comparison against the aging 5D Mk II and the 100D, otherwise known as the SL1.
Canon’s release of the 28mm f2.8 IS kind of had many photographers scratching their heads. For what good reason would a company put IS in such a wide focal length? To get a blur free image, you can shoot down to such a slow shutter speed due to the reciprocal rule of shutter speeds and focal lengths. At a fairly affordable price, one can still wonder why they would do something like that: but then you think about it. What if you wanted to shoot handheld with the aperture stopped down? Then you’ll need a slower shutter speed, right?
Magic Lantern just made another awesome announcement via their Facebook page. One of their coders has implemented double buffering–which therefore results in less frame tearing. For those not in the know, frame tearing is when artifacts from a previous frame carry over to the next. It can be quite unsightly if you can spot it. However, the company has made great strides since first announcing that they found the CineDNG RAW video codec. Just the other day, they found a way to record the video output.
The footage above is from a 5D Mk II, and the footage looks buttery smooth. Way to go guys!