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Friday, May 24, 2013

Crumpler Bags & Accessories Arrive At DCW!

We’re thrilled to announce our new partnership with Crumpler and as of now are stocking the full range of Crumpler professional camera and photography bags online and in all of our retail locations! We’re super excited to be the largest photographic specialist stocking Crumpler’s pro photo and camera range in the country outside of Crumpler branded stores.


Our Crumpler wall-of-pretty is here!

Crumpler is an Australian owned company that designs and manufactures an extensive range of premium quality bags that include professional camera and photography bags, laptop and technology bags, backpacks, casual sling packs and travel luggage. Complimenting their wide range of bags are numerous accessories that include camera straps, tablet sleeves and even compact gadget pouches that are easily affixed to their larger bags. To top is all off, Crumpler offers a lifetime warranty on their products as they truly believe in the quality of their goods! 
 
So if you're in the market for a new camera bag or accessory, why not join the millions around the globe and see what the hype is all about? We know you will be pleased!

Click here to discover more!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Canon Releases the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens


 
Canon have finally released the long awaited EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens that was originally seen at a tradeshow in Japan two years ago in prototype form.  The trick this lens has is the inclusion of a built in 1.4 x extender that is activated via a switch on the lens.  This turns the focal length from 200-400mm to a massive 280-560mm and the maximum aperture changes from f4 to f8.  The lens also features all the usual high quality things you would expect from Canon including a fluorite element and four UD elements to give superior sharpness and contrast.  The great thing about this lens is the extender can be activated without the need to remove the lens from the body, greatly reducing the risk of dust and moisture getting inside your camera. 

Below is the official press release from Canon for those of you that want all the nitty gritty detail.  The lens is expected to ship to us at the end of May.

CANON EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Press Release

Sydney, Australia, 14 May 2013 Canon announces today the launch of a new addition to the company’s line-up of interchangeable EF lenses for use with Canon EOS-series SLR cameras: the EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x. The ground-breaking L (luxury)-series lens, the world’s first*1 super-telephoto zoom lens to incorporate an internal extender, delivers enhanced convenience and exceptional imaging performance on par with large-diameter super-telephoto prime lenses. Covering a wide zoom range from 200–560 mm, the new lens supports the advanced needs of professional photographers and contributes to expanding the possibilities in imaging expression.
 
Featuring a built-in 1.4x extender that employs eight lens elements in four groups, the new Canon EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x enables users to instantly change the lens’s zoom range from 200–400 mm to 280–560 mm with the single flip of a switch.*2 In addition, the super-telephoto zoom lens realises high image quality even when the extender is in use.*3 Offering superior convenience, the model is particularly useful for capturing sports, nature and other types of photography involving weight and shooting-space restrictions that limit the amount of equipment that can be brought to a location, or in situations where users are unable to get close to a subject.
 
Through a simple one-touch operation, the zoom range of the EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x can be extended without having to switch lenses, eliminating the risk of dust or moisture entering the lens or camera when changing lenses. In addition, with the attachment of an external 1.4x extender (sold separately), users can realise image capture up to a maximum focal length of 784 mm and auto-focusing at a maximum aperture of f/8.*4
 
The Canon EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x incorporates a new optical design that makes use of a fluorite lens and four UD (ultra-low dispersion) lens elements, which effectively correct for colour aberrations across the entire zoom range, making possible high-resolution, high-contrast imaging performance comparable to that made possible by large-diameter super-telephoto prime lenses. Greatly minimising the occurrence of flare and ghosting, the new lens employs optimal lens positioning and coatings, as well as Canon’s proprietary SWC (Subwavelength Structure Coating) anti-reflection coating technology.
 
In order to equip the new lens with an internal extender, Canon newly developed a compact IS unit that delivers image stabilisation equivalent to approximately four shutter-speed stops.*5 The EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x allows users to select from three different IS modes, including IS Mode 2, which is ideal for photography where panning is necessary, such as when shooting motor sports and moving trains; and IS Mode 3, which provides optimal image stabilisation when capturing fast-paced action, such as sports.
 
The new super-telephoto zoom lens has been thoroughly reduced in weight through the liberal use of magnesium alloy and features a construction that ensures a high level of durability and ruggedness in the face of harsh shooting conditions to satisfy the demands of professionals.
 
The Canon EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x super-telephoto zoom lens is expected to be available in Australia from the end of May with pricing at dealer discretion.
 
*1 Among interchangeable lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras (SLR and compact-system cameras). As of May 1, 2013 (based to a Canon survey)
*2 When switching on the internal extender, different restrictions may apply depending on the camera used
*3 When using the internal 1.4x extender, the amount of light is reduced in accordance with the amount that the focal length has been extended (one f-stop), making it necessary to adjust exposure
*4 When using a camera that supports auto-focusing at an aperture of f/8
*5 Based on a Canon standard. A shutter speed of 1/(focal length) seconds is generally considered the limit to prevent hand-shake blur during hand-held photography
 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Documentary and Photojournalist Tips and Techniques


Shooting in a documentary or journalistic style is a really good way to produce a strong and coherent body of work on a subject you are passionate about.  Unfortunately it’s not always easy to get the results you want.  We have a few preparation tips for events or assignments which you wish to photograph as a story. This could range from your kids first soccer match to a harder hitting subject.  Whatever the story is, there are some key things that will enable you to be capture-ready when that perfect moment occurs.  To get a head start on telling your story, read on....
 
The most important thing is to be prepared with batteries fully charged (both primary and spares), testing them in-camera to ensure all necessary gear is in good working order. Triple-check your camera settings before you begin to confirm everything is a-ok. Don’t forget to also obtain permission to shoot the event if required.  

Have a pre-determined idea of the story you wish to tell and think about the type of shots needed to tell that story effectively. An example might be a wide-angle shot of a factory to set the stage, a few portraits of factory workers and some candid photos of their day-to-day experiences.  Remember to be patient as you may not always get the shot on day one. The photographic style you choose can say a lot about the subject and the aim should be to always show the reality of the subject’s situation. The challenge is to capture the humanity in the scene and this only comes from practice, patience and experience.

Keep in mind you may need to do some homework before you start.  Check with the organisers (if applicable) of the event to see if there are any restricted subjects or areas and if you need a permit to shoot in a specific location. If it's a public event held on public property then you should generally be fine to simply show up and shoot.  If you do have a meeting with anyone in the lead up to an event make sure you are punctual and act in a professional manner.  This will give you credibility and shows that you have respect for them as well.

Some factors to consider during your project is – ‘How will you present the finished folio?’ ‘Will it be in colour or black and white (or both)?’ ‘Are you going to print them or will it only be viewable online?’ Also take note of locations, dates, times and names as you shoot because the photos will need to be given context with a few words attached to each image.  People need to know what they are seeing and their significance as it pertains to the overall portfolio.  Documentary photos rarely speak for themselves.

The equipment required is very personal and also dependent on the story type.  For some stories, being unobtrusive and ‘under-the-radar’ is essential so therefore using a compact but high-quality camera is important.  Some suggestions would be the Fujifilm X100s , Sony RX1, Leica X2 or Olympus OM-D-E5These are all compact cameras with serious sensors and high quality optics yet they are hard to notice and whisper quiet when shooting with them.

If there is no need for a low-profile then feel free to equip yourself with what you think will be needed and that you can deal with carrying around all-day.  For me it would be the Canon 16-35, 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f 2.8 (or equivalent lengths in your chosen brand) or a combination of two of these depending on the situation.  Also, two strobes may come in handy with two Gorillapods to hold them in position should an opportunity arise to set up some posed portraits. A small tripod with an adapter can work as a light stand or a tripod when required.

Check out these links to get inspired by some talented photojournalists.

*Please note that the following links are to external sites and may contain photos of a mature nature so reader discretion is advised.

Verve Photo - photos and links to some of the best photographers in this field.

The New York Times Lens blog - excellent photography with each entry telling a story from The New York Times.

Tatiana Cardeal - a mixture of travel and photojournalist work.

Sanjit Das - some great reportage stories and great photography.

Once you're feeling inspired why not give it a go and enter the Sydney Morning Herald Photos1440 Challenge!  Great prizes are on offer for the best of the best including a Canon 5D Mk3 Pro kit (includes a 24-70 f2.8 II Lens), an internship with The Sydney Morning Herald and prizes from Digital Camera Warehouse!  The challenge is 'Capturing the minutes of the day' and the winning entrants will be displayed as part of The Sydney Morning Herald exhibition - Photos1440 capturing the minutes of the day.  The exhibition is proudly presented by Canon Australia.

Good luck and don't forget to share with us your results on our Facebook page or right here on this blog.


 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prime Lenses - A Quick Guide

Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 II aka 'Nifty Fifty' 


A prime lens is a lens with only one focal length, like a 50mm or 100mm lens.  They are different from zooms which have a varying focal length such as an 18-55mm 'kit' lens most people buy with their first DSLR.  Shooting with a prime lens is one of the quickest ways to improve your photography.  It makes you think about your image more and forces you to get out of the zoom lens habit.  If you think that you've hit the creative wall and are looking for something to kick start your passion again or are looking for a different angle with your photography than read on to find out how a prime lens can help.

Advantages of a prime lens over a zoom -
Optical quality for even entry level prime lenses is usually better than or equal to all but the most expensive zoom lenses.  This is due to the fact that fixed focal length lenses are less likely to suffer from excessive chromatic aberration (colour fringing near the edge of the frame), barrel or pincushion distortion than a lot of zoom lenses.  A prime is also lighter and more compact than a zoom and is easier to carry around all day.


Disadvantages of a prime lens over a zoom -
You will need to carry around several prime lenses to cover the same range of a single zoom lens.  Changing focal length is sometimes the only way to get a shot if you can't physically move your position.  Changing lenses less often with a zoom can keep more dust out of your sensor area.  A professional level zoom can have very high quality optics but at a much higher cost (you get what you pay for). 

I carry around 24mm, 50mm and 100mm lenses in my kit bag for when I go out for a day’s shooting.  I also have a 24-70mm Canon L series lens for professional work as the optics are very good and there is no time to change lenses on a fast paced shoot.  For street and architecture I almost always use a prime lens as the situation is a bit more predictable, particularly architecture as buildings don't tend to move much.  The 50mm is my favorite for portraits as the shallow depth of field is very effective at isolating my subject and I find the perspective to be quite natural. 


Olympus Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 'Pancake'
A Few Tips -
With a bit of practice you can become quite quick at changing lenses on the fly.  Keep your surroundings in mind while changing lenses, keep an eye on things like rain, high dust environments and always face the camera in a downwards direction as this helps stop things falling inside the mirror box.

You can get a prime lens for a surprisingly small amount of money and it can be a great way to get inspired again, plus, isn't it always nice to buy some new glass?


Check out our wide range of lenses HERE

- Marc Busoli @ DCW