Woah! Canon Just Released a Camera Capable of ISO 4,000,000

Canon ME20F-SH with EF 50mm f/1.2L
Canon ME20F-SH with EF 50mm f/1.2L

Canon has released the ME20F-SH multi-purpose camera capable of an ISO rating of over 4,000,000. That’s right, a freaking 4 million! In short, it can basically let you shoot in near total-darkness.

The 35mm full-frame sensor can shoot Full HD video with subjects illuminated with nothing more than 0.005lux of light at its maximum ISO setting. This is dimmer than what you’d get on a overcast, moonless night with airglow (0.002 lux). The secret to this night vision capability is the 2.26MP CMOS sensor’s huge 19μm pixels—5.5x larger than what’s found on a high-end DSLR.

The camera accepts EF and EF-S lenses with autofocus, and has a built-in IR block and ND filters, both of which can be disabled if required. Being a professional camera, it supports Canon Log and Wide DR modes for maximising the dynamic range of your footage.

All these does not come cheap of course. You can pick up this baby in December this year for a cool US$30,000.

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Canon Announces EF 50mm f/1.8 STM: Goodbye Plastic Fantastic


Canon has announced an all new 50mm f/1.8 lens, the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. The previous generation, the 50mm f/1.8 II, was a favourite for many to get into as a cheap, large aperture lens. Its claim to fame was in its price, as it was usually anywhere from a quarter to a third cheaper than comparable Nikon or Minolta or Pentax.  Not surprising, given its all-plastic construction, and a very very noisy internal focus motor.

The new lens is going to change all that: The STM version has the silent and swift stepper motor, which means it will be good for video use as well, in particular with the Dual Pixel AF cameras, and the lens mount is now metal. There aperture diaphragm now uses seven blades, so the old pentagram bokeh at moderately stopped down apertures should be gone too.

At US$130, it is a bit pricier than the last generation, but I think the improvements will be well worth it, if you ask me. I could never stand the high-pitched motor of the 50/1.8 II, and the amount of slop and play in the plastic construction didn’t help my perception of it.

The new lens will ship sometime this month.

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FIFTY! Canon Announces 50 Megapixel EOS 5DS and 5DS R


Wow, it’s a Canon Friday! First up, Canon took the wraps off the EOS 5DS and 5DS R, and I am pretty sure everyone is going ga-ga at the megapixel count. That is seriously a lot of pixels. Though I might want to remind everyone that the extra linear size advantage over a 36 MP image is just 18%. Square-cube laws are such a downer.

Basically, the 5DS cameras are a 5DIII with a 50 megapixel sensor and a few tweaks here and there. The R version uses the D800E trick of cancelling the anti-alias filter. With the new sensor the continuous frame advance has dropped to 5 FPS, and there are now in-camera crop settings of 1.3x and 1.6x. Canon also reworked the mirror lockup feature a bit, but I always thought that the Canon way is always a little clunky, and I recommend using Live View anyway. This sets the camera to use an electronic first curtain shutter which results in even less vibration.

The exposure meter is now the 1500 pixel colour meter from the EOS 7DII. The autofocus system still remains the same as the 61 point system from 5D III however. Like all contemporary cameras, Wifi and NFC are now present. To make it work with the recently announced media station, the NFC tap location is at the bottom of the camera. Hopefully you will never need to engage NFC with your smart device while the camera is on a tripod!

On the video front, little has changed, with the same 1080p modes with ALL-I or IPB compression. In fact Canon for some reason decided to remove the headphone monitoring out. Maybe they expect 5DS buyers to not be interested in video.

I do wonder why Canon bothered with two versions. Given Nikon’s little experiment the 5DS R should have been the camera to be released. Moire is going to be even less of an issue with 50 megapixels, and the extra detail will be well worth it.

Both cameras will be available in June for US$3700 for the 5DS and US$3900 for the 5DS R. There certainly is a small premium for the 50 megapixels. June must seem pretty far to some of you now. Photos of the back and top plate after the break.

Continue reading FIFTY! Canon Announces 50 Megapixel EOS 5DS and 5DS R

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Canon Opens Wide with the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM

EF 11-24mm f4L USM Slant without cap_tcm14-1236921

With an amazing amount of resolution available, a nice wide angle lens to go with it will be nice, right? Canon thought so, and so has announced the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM. I know some will say 11mm is “too wide”, but that’s what they said about 14mm too. Now, even though it is not always useful, I still try to use that angle of view with my Panasonic 7-14. Ultra-wides are so much fun, and I can see Canon users having plenty of fun with this. The lens will arrive later this month for US$3000.


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Canon Announces a Pair of Rebels: The EOS 750D and 760D

EOS 760D EF-S18-55 IS STM FRT_tcm14-1237075

This… this is a bit odd. Canon have announced the latest update to their most popular line of DSLRs, the triple digit EOS cameras, or the Rebels as they are known in North America, and they have done so with not one but two similar cameras, the EOS 750D/Rebel T6i and the EOS 760D/Rebel T6s. Both cameras have some nice upgrades, with an all-new 24 megapixel sensor (still Canon designed and made), the very capable 19 point AF system from the original 7D and 70D, a new 7560 pixel colour exposure meter, an improved contrast-detect autofocus system, and new wireless connectivity with Wifi and NFC. The cameras retain the 5 FPS continuous shooting mode, 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24 FPS, and the very nice 3″ articulating LCD. Oh wait, there’s also a new battery, the LP-E17.

What makes the two cameras different? The EOS 760D adds a top panel information LCD, like that on its bigger brothers, as well as a thin second command wheel around the directional pad, again similar to the one on its bigger brothers. There is an eye sensor on the optical viewfinder, and in video mode the EOS 760D can do continuous (servo) AF while recording. It makes me wonder why Canon bothered to release two cameras if the differences are not great; surely releasing one model would have sufficed? The EOS 760D is quite a bit more compelling, and the initial price difference does not seem much. I can hear the dealers moaning at having to keep different inventory already.

If the image sensor is a big upgrade over the 18 megapixel one, I can see Canon selling plenty of these. The 19 point AF system is capable, and having two command dials does remove some annoyances with using most entry level cameras.

The cameras will arrive in April, with the EOS 750D going for US$750 for the body, and the EOS 760D at US$850 for the body. More pictures of the cameras after the break Continue reading Canon Announces a Pair of Rebels: The EOS 750D and 760D

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Canon Announces EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USMAfter a very long time Canon has finally updated the venerable 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens. The new design uses a rotating zoom ring instead of the old push-pull, which is nicer to use if you ask me, and the optics should finally be a match for today’s modern sensors, unlike its 16 year-old predecessor, which I always thought was a bit dicey on digital. Not too different from its Nikon counterpart then.

I actually like these lenses loads on DSLRs; the extra reach is nice to have, and needing f/2.8 is less of an issue compared to the film days. The only problem with Canon was that the old 100-400 was just not as great compared to the 70-200/2.8 II, but now Canon users will have a nice dilemma on their hands.

Arrives in December in the US for US$2199.



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Canon Announces EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lenses

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Holy cow. No, I am not talking about the 16-35mm f/4. Though has IS and will leave many tempted to get an ultrawide L that is better than the 17-40 without spending too much, my reaction is for the smaller lens: The EF-S 10-18mm. Not because it’s remarkable, but the pricing for it is, which comes in at US$300. That has to be the cheapest ultra-wide ever for a major lens mount. That’s barely S$400! For a 16-29mm equivalent lens! Even if the aperture is slower than the current 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 by about one stop, the IS can help with static subjects, so it is not a total loss either. The only other lenses that come close to this pricing are the mirrorless ultra-wide zooms for Nikon and Canon’s systems, which both did not sell well and are thus unlikely to have the same sales impact. If the performance is even decent, nevermind good, watch the lens get snapped up real quick. Heck, that might even push a few DSLRs, even with Canon’s ageing sensors.

Something to ponder: You can assemble a pretty complete system from Canon for cheap now, and it will cover 16 to 400mm in 35mm equivalent terms. This is Canon’s answer to the mirrorless tide it seems: Just undercut them with superior pricing based on economies of scale, using light lenses and small DSLRs to mitigate the size and weight difference. Continue reading Canon Announces EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lenses

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Canon Announces Powershot G1X Mark II, EOS 1200D (Rebel T5)

Canon Powershot G1X Mark IICanon has finally decided to replace the G1X, but while it is two cycles behind its little brother, the G15 and G16, the upgrade looks worth the wait. The new camera retains the same 14 megapixel 1.5″ sensor but now comes with a much faster and useful lens, a 24-120mm equivalent f/2.0-3.9 lens that also promises closer focusing. Much much better than the 28-112 f/2.8-5.8 lens in the original. The autofocus also promises to be quicker as well; anyone using the G1X will remember how leisurely that particular camera was. The new design also looks more compact, and comes with two control rings around the lens instead of the one on cameras like the Powershot S120. One ring will feature click stops, while one will not. While the LCD is no longer a swivel kind, it still flips up and down, and can do the full 180 degrees for selfies, and there is an option for an addon XGA EVF for US$300.

It is quite a nice camera, and it seems David is tempted. Ships in April for US$800.

Then there is the EOS 1200D. It is the EOS 550D brought back to life at a lower price. Same 18 megapixel sensor and 9 point AF, oh, but worse LCD with a HVGA resolution. Purely for Canon to flood retail space with. Ships in March for US$550 (but please don’t buy it, and don’t let friends buy it either!).

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Samyang Announces 10mm f/2.8 APS-C Ultrawide Prime Lens

Samyang 10mm f/2.8

Well, it took SOMEONE long enough. Even though it lacks autofocus and is much larger and heavier than the Nikon 20mm f/2.8 I used back in the film days, at least there is an option for those on APS-C cameras to use. Since this is a lens designed first for SLRs, it will not quite have the compact size needed for mirrorless cameras however, as the very short focal length compared to a typical SLR’s flange distance means more extensive retrofocus design is required. If it lives up to the usual Samyang reputation, expect a good lens at a decent price – the current press release is from the UK, so it carries the higher-than-average price of £470 for the Nikon version, and £430 for the other mounts, including less popular mounts like the Canon EF-M and Samsung NX.

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Actual Exciting Canon-related News: EOS 70D Goes On Sale

Canon EOS 70D with boxThe Canon EOS 70D is now on sale in Singapore, and I managed to have a quick go at it. Nothing really concrete, but there is one thing I can say:

Live view autofocus is really fast! It is on par with my GH3, but as it is phase detect based, it does not have the jitter that comes with contrast detect systems as the camera racks the focus for confirmation. Only disadvantage against my GH3, as far as I can tell, is that it does not focus in the dark as well as the GH3. Otherwise it was fast and sure of itself. Now imagine a EOS M with this system. Canon really should have made that camera with this sensor.

As for how the images look, ISO 3200 from raw files seems fine, but without a proper comparison against other cameras, it is hard to tell if it is really better than its predecessors or its competition. We will see if we can get a unit to review, or at least test. No promises though!

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