This Week in Photography 29th April 2012

Here’s what caught my attention on photography on the Internet this week:

A Broken Polaroid Camera Spits Out Amazing Abstract Art | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

10 Unmissable Apps for Ipad and Iphone Photographers

Acorn, a great Mac image editor, built for humans.

Exposure is a VERY Personal Thing! | BH Insights


First Shots With The Sony a77 dSLR

I’ve had a Sony a77 dSLR for a few days for some testing. Yesterday was the first chance I had to get out with the camera and here are some of the first shots I have taken with the camera.

Early impressions are positive. I didn’t think I’d like the electronic viewfinder but I have to say it is the most like an optical viewfinder I’ve come across and the rest of the camera, including its 24MP images, are pretty impressive.

More to follow as I do more extensive testing. Thankfully I got a range of lenses with the a77, rather than just a kit lens, so I’ll be able to form a much better idea of the system as a whole as well as the a77 specifically.

New Think Tank Photo Bags

Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced new additions to its best-selling Retrospective shoulder bag line.

The Retrospective® 7, scheduled for release in May, is designed for standard DSLR systems.  Its classic design along with modern improvements create the perfect shooter’s bag.  This lightweight shoulder bag comes in fabrics that offer a sense of “retro” style that appeals to many.  A rear pocket has been designed to hold an iPad or an 11” MacBook Air.

Retrospective® 7 features include:

  • iPad/MacBook pocket
  • cushioned and padded nonslip shoulder strap for all day comfort.
  • Sound Silencers™ to turn off the front flap hook and loop for silent operation.
  • Organizational and zippered pockets for accessories.
  • Removable divider set for custom layouts.
  • Convenient carrying handle for grab and go.
  • Seam sealed rain cover.
  • Expandable front pocket for DSLR body or accessories.
  • Business card slot under the front flap for identification.
  • High quality YKK zippers.

Along with the current fabric option of black polyspun or Pinestone canvas, Think Tank is introducing a new canvas color to the Retrospective line: Slate Blue.

In addition, in May ThinkTank will release its Retrospective® 5, Retrospective® 7, Retrospective® 10, Retrospective® 20, and Retrospective® 30 in a new color, Blue-Slate.

Here’s a link to a special landing page to signup to be notified when they are available for order.


Sony Photography Event This Saturday in Melbourne – Exhibition and Get To Shoot With The Latest Sony Cameras


  • Photography exhibition housed on skateboard decks featuring some of Melbourne’s top urban photographers
  • Create your own skateboard deck at the Billabong ‘City Squared’ skateboard invitational at Queensbridge Square, Southbank – Saturday 14th April


Tuesday, 10 April 2012 – Sony Australia is giving fans at the Billabong ‘City Squared’ invitational skateboard event the chance to see a uniquely urban photography exhibition.  Some of Melbourne’s top urban photographers, including Josh Robenstone and Luke Byrne, will be showcasing their work – not through traditional canvas – but on skateboard decks as part of the Sony Melbourne In Motion exhibition.

As part of the exhibition, fans at Billabong City Squared will have the chance to get involved and create their very own skateboard deck.  Sony’s range of Alpha interchangeable lens cameras will be available for loan throughout the event with members of the public given access to exclusive shooting platforms to put their photography skills to the test.  The top ten photographers on the day, judged by the Sony and Billabong teams, will have their winning shot transformed into a work of art on their very own skate deck.  To take part, all fans need to do is head to the Sony tent at the event, borrow a Sony camera and simply start shooting!

TIME: Noon till 4pm

DATE: Saturday 14April 2012

WHERE: Queensbridge Square, Southbank Melbourne

WHAT: Urban photography exhibition housed on skateboard decks

WHO: Australia’s best 40 street skateboarders plus a couple of international skateboarders take part in the Billabong City Squared Invitational

OBSTACLE: Billabong has commissioned a purpose built ‘gap-step-down’ feature. This build is inspired by Melbourne’s urban street stops.

Canon’s new EOS 60Da delivers top-class image quality and precision shooting to astrophotography enthusiasts

Editor’s comment – Sadly Canon has screwed this camera for infrared photographers by still including an IR blocking filter but just changing its characteristics so that the H-alpha band used by astrophotographers is not attenuated. That is a major shame as it would have been a great opportunity for Canon to properly support us infrared photographers. Press release follows.

Boasting optical characteristics designed specifically for astrophotography, the EOS 60Da allows the capture of night-sky images with exceptional high quality and lower noise.    

Sydney, 3 April, 2012: Canon Australia today unveiled a new EOS digital SLR camera tailored specifically for astro-photography enthusiasts: the Canon EOS 60Da. Building on and significantly advancing the pedigree of the respected EOS 20Da with the high-quality, high-performance characteristics of the EOS 60D, the new body offers the combination of high sensitivity and low noise which is critical to the creation of top-quality, detailed astronomical images.

Built around an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a DiG!C 4 image processor, the camera boasts a low-light, long-exposure shooting performance that will make it a must-have tool for anyone keen to capture the wonders of the night sky.

“The EOS 60Da takes Canon’s industry-leading sensor technology and pushes it even further to allow the accurate capture of red nebulae and other astronomical sights,” said Rebecca Pearson, Assistant Brand Manager – EOS, Canon Australia. “By combining superior sensitivity with very low noise, enthusiasts will be able to produce astrophotography images with more detail and colour accuracy than has previously been possible, allowing them to become even more deeply immersed in their hobby and satisfied with their end results.”

Superior optical characteristics for high image quality with low noise

The EOS 60Da builds on the excellent performance characteristics of the popular EOS 60D and adds features designed to meet the unique needs of astronomy enthusiasts.

Designed specifically for astrophotography, the EOS 60Da features a Low Pass infrared cut filter that allows the greater capture of hydrogen-alpha (H-α) light of 656mn length. The filter delivers approximately three times the transmission factor of the Canon EOS 60D and is designed to allow the capture of much clearer images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.

The low-noise characteristics of the CMOS sensor together with its high sensitivity normal ISO 6400 (expandable to H:12800) make it perfectly suited to the long exposures required to capture stars and other astronomical subjects.

Vari-angle clear-view LCD screen

To aid in the capture of images in low-light conditions, the EOS 60Da is equipped with a 3-inch vari-angle Clear View LCD screen. A user can position the 3:2 aspect screen at a comfortable angle while seeing exactly what is being captured by the camera.

The astrophotography capabilities of the EOS 60Da are further enhanced by the ability to team it with more than 60 Canon EF lenses to suit varied shooting requirements and conditions.

Complementary range of accessories

A number of Canon’s existing accessories will enhance the capabilities of the EOS 60Da:

  • The Timer Remote Controller (TC-80N3) allows accurate control of exposures of up to 10 minutes and the automatic shooting of repetitive shots via an interval timer. The EOS 60Da will be bundled with Remote Controller Adapter RA-E3 to allow connection of the Timer Remote Controller (TC-80N3)
  • The Remote Switch (RS-80N3) prevents camera shake during long exposure shots when using the camera’s bulb setting.
  • Canon’s battery grip (BG-E9) offers improved power supply for long exposure shooting.


Pricing and availability

The EOS 60Da will be available through Canon dealers from April  19th, 2012** as a Body kit only.

For more information customers can contact Canon on 1800 021 167, or visit the website at

Related links

–       Learn more about Canon EOS digital SLR cameras

–       Learn about Canon Professional Photography

–       Enter World of EOS – a world of inspiration that comes with every Canon EOS camera

About Canon

Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand that actively inspires with imaginative ideas that enable people to connect, communicate and achieve more than they thought possible through imaging solutions for business and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-four US patent recipients* for the past 20 years, and had global revenues of around $US46 billion in 2011. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit,,,

* Based on weekly patent counts issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

** Availability information correct at time of release


Thoughts on the Nikon D800

The Nikon D800 seems to be generating far more buzz and interest than other cameras released recently. Why is this?

On first sight it can be pure technological lust – here is a camera with a MUCH higher resolution than anything with a 35mm camera price tag. You need to go to medium format to find anything that competes on resolution. Is this all the interest is – size matters? I think the answer is partly yes, but only partly.

I think a lot of photographers are craving more flexibility in their cameras. This is one reason why so many of us accept the limitations but use our iPhones for a lot of photography. It is convenient and also flexible because of the enhancement of the shooting experience that apps bring us. One key part of flexibility is the ability to crop and crop savagely. With a digital camera this requires resolution and guess which camera is top of the heap on that regard at present? The D800.

Life is complex, we have so many competing demands on our time and there seems to be less time available to actually shoot. Think about the implications of having so much resolution available. I can go out with a 70-200, say, and crop to get the shot I might have taken if I had a 400, 600 or even higher focal length lens with me, without the hassle of paying for and carrying the damn thing, let along the time and possibly missed shots spent changing lenses, and still end up with an image with more resolution than I actually need for the end uses I have in mind. Yes I can use cropping as a substitute for swapping lenses or even having such a lens in the first place. This allows me to move the decision making to later, when I am sitting in front of a nice, large computer screen. It gives me flexibility in how I use my images later. I can really afford to not crop so tightly in camera and choose later whether I want a landscape, portrait or square shaped image.

Frankly, right now, if I had the spare cash I would get a D800 and a good lens or two even though I own Canon gear. It would make some of my landscape photography trips much easier. Even when going on holiday it would mean one camera and one lens could do it all, because I could crop the hell out of images to produce the shots I would have needed a telephoto lens for. One of the most common questions I get asked in my workshops is whether people can get away with just one lens when going on international holidays. The answer has always been that to get the range of focal lengths you need in one lens produces compromises in image quality. If you can get by with a much shorter focal length range and then crop to get the long end it becomes feasible at a higher image quality.

Photography should be fun and let’s be honest, it is not fun carrying a lot of heavy lenses around and having to swap them all the time. Having more resolution than you need gives you options. Use them.


This Week in Photography 4th March 2012 and reflections on the 5D Mark III

A roundup of some of the things about photography on the Internet that I found interesting this week.

I guess the most interesting thing to occur this week was the announcement of the new Canon 5D Mark III with only a minor change in resolution compared to the previously announced Nikon D800’s massive jump in resolution. As you would imagine the debate has been furious on various discussion forums and blogs.

My personal take on this is that there is a place for both cameras and it would be a really good idea for Canon to bring out an additional model that ups the resolution massively. The 5D Mark III provides plenty of resolution for many situations. However, and this is a big however, there are many situations when a much higher resolution camera would be a real plus. I shoot landscapes a lot, so I am not so worried about shooting rates, time to write to the memory card or even HD video capabilities. I want a camera I can take into the field that works well and gives me more than enough resolution to be able to crop substantially later in the studio depending on my intended image use and still print at a large size. This means turning landscape to portrait orientations, as well as creating panoramas by cropping. Even in the landscape things can change in the time it takes to take both a landscape and portrait orientation shot, such as birds being in the perfect location in the sky. This makes the ability to radically crop very attractive. So I would love to see Canon produce a 6D (say) with a 40-50MP sensor and, ideally, the ability to remove the IR blocking filter from the light path at the press of a button. This would be a dream camera for landscape photographers, and also many others, such as people shooting art works and such.

Apart from the above, not that much caught my eye this week on the web, but here it is:

Seven futuristic camera concepts

Adobe introduces ‘Primetime’ end to end video publishing solution

A Photo App That Makes “Awesome” a Verb

7 new iPhone photography apps that you should download now

Beautiful examples of black and white photography

70+ Stunning Abstract Photographs

The Week in Photography 27 February 2012

Our new weekly roundup of interesting material from the web over the previous week to do with photography. In this series I’ll point you at the content on the web that has caught my eye that is relevant to photography in some way:

Like a Kickstarter for photojournalism, helps finance visual storytelling

A Brief History of Children’s Picture Books and the Art of Visual Storytelling

5 Awesome Light Meter Apps for iPhone

20 HDR Photographers Worth Watching

Comments on the new Nikon D4 and D800

DPReview’s Run Through of the Nikon D800

Almost enough to make me want to swap to Nikon 🙂

Outdoor Photographer’s article on using sliders with dSLRs for video

ConeSquid suction cup mount mini tripod for cameras

Nice example of a photographer’s book selling website


ioShutter Lets You Trigger a Camera From your iPhone

ioShutter, made by Enlight Photo, is a combination free App for iPhone and a special cable that connects the iPhone to the shutter control port on a camera.

The free app gives you the following features:

  • 20 and 60 second timers
  • Bulb offers 60, 90 and 120 second exposures
  • Timelapse offers three options for timelapse shooting
  • You can use shake or sound to activate any of the above functions

The US$9.99 PRO version of the app offers full programability for exposure times, timelapse settings, sound trigger noise level and duration and more.

The cables come in different models to suit different cameras.

Camera Compatibility – model E3

Canon G10, G11, G12, 60D, 1000D, 1100D, 600D, 100D, 550D, 500D, 450D, 400D, 350D, 300D, EOS Digital Rebel series, Kiss F, X5, X4, X3, X50, XS, Elan II/ IIE, Elan 7/7E, Rebel Ti, T1i, T2i, Pentax K5, K7, Super, K100D, D110D, *ist Ds2, +ist D, +ist Ds, *ist, *ist DL, Samsung GX-20, GX-10, GX-1L, GX-1S, Hasselblad H1, H2, H3, H4, Contax 645 (dependent on your back)

Camera Compatibility – model N3

Canon 5D Mark II, 5D, 7D, EOS 1D X, EOS-1D Mark IV, EOS-1Ds Mark III, EOS-1Ds MARK II, EOS-1Ds, EOS-1D Mark III, EOS-1D MARK II, EOS-1D MARK IIn, EOS-1D, EOS 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, EOS D30, D60, EOS 3 and EOS 1V.

A Nikon cable is coming soon.

Enlight Photo was founded by New Zealand photographer James Madelin.

We hope to review the whole system when the cable and PRO apps are available.


iPhoneography and MagCloud For Photographers

As you might know, I blog for HP on their Professional Photography blog.

My two recent posts have been:

MagCloud and Publishing for Photographers

covering my experience using MagCloud to produce the DIMi print edition


Why Apple’s iPhone Can Be a Fun, Useful Camera for Photography Pros

covering my ideas on why we should embrace the iPhone even when we have far more sophisticated gear.

Both articles are worth a read and I’d encourage you to read the other articles on the HP Professional Photography blog. All the other contributors are great writers and photographers and the articles are informative.