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Canon EOS 5D MKIII 1.2.1 Firmware Update Now Live!

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
The latest firmware update to the Canon 5D MK III has just been released and promises to further improve this awesome DSLR.  This is what Canon have to say about the latest update -
“The upgrade, which was first announced in October 2012, enables the use of the HDMI output functionality for more efficient video editing and monitoring workflows by professionals in the fields of cinema and TV production. With HDMI output, users can record HD uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal, supporting minimal image degradation during video data editing for greater onsite efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video can also be displayed on an external monitor while being captured, for real-time on-site monitoring for HD video during shoots.

To further improve functionality, the upgrade improves the AF system with centre AF point now enabled at f/8 supporting the needs of photographers to achieve more from their camera when using fast super-telephoto lenses with extenders. Drastically increasing the shooting range, version 1.2.1 now makes it possible to use an EF600 f/4 lens and two-times extender to achieve a massive 1200mm focal length with precise AF performance. This will benefit sport and nature photographers who shoot over long distances. This upgrade also increases the range of lens options with full AF capabilities, including the EF400mm f/5.6 and the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS with 1.4x extenders, for zoom ranges up to 560mm.“

The short version being that this update makes possible the use of the HDMI output for uncompressed video output and improving auto focus performance at smaller apertures i.e. f/8.

You can download the update from here .

Pentax Announces Firmware Update for K-5 II/IIs DSLRs & Q Mirrorless Camera

The latest update addresses an issue in the K-5 II/IIs where some controls may cease to function on the status screen and also improves the overall stability.  The Q update fixes a minor issue with one of the Smart Effects filters.  Updates are now available from the Pentax website. 

Sigma Announces the 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Lens

18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM for APS-C Digital SLRs

Sigma today announced a new 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens. You read that right, f/1.8 the whole range through. The lens is made specifically for APS-C sensors and gives you the equivalent of a 27-50mm lens on a cropped frame body. It is part of the Art range of lenses and will be compatible with the upcoming USB dock for Sigma lenses which will allow photographers the ability to update the lenses firmware and set focussing parameters from their home PC. It has internal focus and zooming that make it easier to work with circular polarisers and Cokin-type filters. The focus has a full-time manual setting so you can take over focussing duties if the auto-focus is having a hard time locking onto your subject.

This will be an exciting new lens but no release date is available as yet from Sigma Australia. Stay tuned!!

Primary Specifications
Lens Type - Zoom Lens
Max Format Size - APS-C / DX
Focal Length - 18-35mm
Image Stabilization - No
Maximum Aperture - F/1.8
Minimum Aperture - F/16
No. of Diaphragm Blades - 9
Elements - 17
Groups - 12
Autofocus - Yes
Motor Type - Ultrasonic
Full-time Manual - Yes
Focus Method - Internal
Weight - 810g
Diameter - 79mm
Length - 122mm
Filter Thread - 72mm
Hood Supplied - Yes

The Compact System Camera (CSC)

To begin with, what exactly is a Compact System Camera (CSC)?  A compact system camera is a cross between a Digital SLR and a point-and-shoot camera.  They also have interchangeable lenses but unlike a traditional SLR they have no internal mirror. This makes them a lot smaller in size but maintains the image quality of a crop-frame DSLR.  This camera type is a good alternative to a full-size DSLR kit due to the high quality results housed within a much smaller and lighter set up. All the major manufacturers have released at least one CSC model - Canon have the EOS M, Nikon have the 1-Series and Fujifilm have the X-Series.  Panasonic and Olympus both use the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) standard which enables these two companies' lenses to be interchangeable. 

Fujifilm XE-1

We find two main purchases of compact system cameras with the first being the point-and-shoot upgrader who are looking to step-up to a better camera system with potentially much better results.  The second is the DSLR owner who seeks similar image quality as their current kit but in a smaller form factor and without the added bulk.
Advantages over full-frame DSLR cameras -
Smaller (more discrete), lighter and a shorter flange focal distance allows almost any lens ever made to be adapted to a CSC body. This allows you to adapt all your existing lenses to many CSC bodies.  Greater depth of field can be achieved due to smaller sensor size but shallow depth of field can be harder to achieve.
Disadvantages over full-frame DSLR cameras -
The sensor size is 35% smaller than an APS-C sensor (with the exception of the Canon EOS M series which utilizes an APS-C sensor) and 75% smaller than a full-frame camera. Generally, a digital SLR is easier to keep clean due to the mirror and shutter mechanisms offering basic dust protection.

Sony NEX-6

More and more people are discovering the advantages of a smaller system that still has all the functionality of a DSLR system. The weight advantage means it’s a breeze for photographers to travel with a full focal range of lenses and still be able to comfortably lift their camera bag. The lens selection is really starting to grow to a point where a lot of focal lengths and lens types found in a DSLR range are now available to the CSC photographer without compromise on quality.  Fujifilm have released a 14mm X-Series lens which is an excellent piece of glass while the Panasonic 25mm Leica lens is arguably one of the best lenses available in the CSC category. The focal lengths available range from 14mm wide all the way up to 600mm in 35mm equivalents.   

Metabones Nikon F to Sony E-mount Adapter
Additionally, this doesn't include all the lenses that can be adapted to the CSC format via a range of third party adapters that are fast becoming more widely available. This is great news as it means you’re now able to mount a majority of old lenses you may have in storage (such as any old Nikon or Canon FD lenses) to your new compact camera. Bear in mind that the focal multiplier for CSC systems vary from 1.6x to 2x depending on which system you adopt. Therefore your old 50mm lens could potentially become a 75mm or even 100mm in focal length!  

Lenses such as the Nikkor D-Series are popular due to its manual aperture ring and functions. If a manual aperture ring is absent, the lens will still function but will remain locked to the aperture’s setting when unattached to a body. E.g. Canon EF lenses will always remain at their widest aperture.

Olympus OM-D E5
The compact system camera is definitely here to stay. It's not for everyone but it does fill a void in the market for a high quality yet compact camera with interchangeable lenses and is becoming quite regular for amateurs and even advanced enthusiasts to sell their DSLR kit in order to set themselves up with a compact camera that is easier to use and more convenient to carry.  
Drop in to one of our stores and check out our range of compact system cameras including the three listed below to see if it’s the right move for you!

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF6 Announced!

Panasonic have just announced the release of their latest Micro Four Thirds camera, the GF6.  Connectivity seems to be the name of the game with this new camera which includes WiFi and the ability to connect with NFC enabled devices such as compatible smartphones and tablets.
Specifications include a 16 megapixel sensor powered by a Venus engine processor, the ability to connect the camera to a compatible smart phone or tablet by simply bringing them together, 19 filter styles in the creative control mode (increased from 14 filter styles in the GF5), Full HD 1080p movie recording at up to 60fps, the ability to shoot RAW and a 180 degree rotating touch screen (great for selfies).
Connecting to a smartphone or tablet is made possible by using Panasonic's Image App which allows the user to utilize their smart device/tablet for image monitoring straight from the camera. Additionally it also delivers shutter control, zoom (using the Panasonic Power zoom lenses PS14042 and PS45175), focus, manual camera settings and even starts and stops movie recording.

Autofocus is also improved with the ability for full time autofocus, AF tracking during video recording and improved low-light AF with the integrated Low-Light Autofocus mode.
The new 1040k (approx.) touch screen LCD is now easier to see in bright light and has better colour reproduction for more accurate previewing.  Now you may even activate focus and exposure by simply touching the area of the photo you want to be focused and exposed correctly.

Panasonic are yet to set a price or release date but stay tuned as we will keep you folks updated with price and availability the moment it’s approved by Panasonic Australia!
For further information, please click here
If you are interested in seeing what Panasonic are currently offering in their LUMIX range please click here

Happy Snapping!

- DCW Team.