Archive for December, 2010

Canon and Nikon DSLR Timeline

December 31, 2010 2 comments

Canon DSLR Timeline

click for larger view

So I was trying to figure out how old some Canon DSLR models were and I had trouble finding one source until I found the nifty little graph above in an on-line forum.  Click for a larger view and underneath the model number you’ll see the megapixel count and the sensor crop factor (1.0x = full frame, 1.6x = APS-C, etc.). For more on crop factors, check out this previous blog.

The graph ends in 2009.  For a list which includes 2012 check out this list on Wikipedia. 

The prices are interesting. Eight-thousand for the 1DS MKIII in December of 2007! Three years later it goes for about 6-thousand. Not bad depreciation.

I’m not leaving Nikon shooters out. Check out this similar graph on Wikipedia for the Nikon lineup through 2012. If you want a more visual presentation, Ken Rockwell has a timeline from 1973-2012 in reverse chronological order with pictures of each model beginning with the D1, the  “worlds first practical DSLR”, in 1999.

Nikon D1

Nikon D1

It’s also interesting to see how quickly or slowly Canon and Nikon replace some models. The 50D, for example, replaced the 40D in only one year. But the 5D MKII came along about 3 years after the 5D.  Nikon seems to average about 2-years between upgrades. This is why I tell people to invest in good lenses and not to worry too much about camera bodies.  My problem is… I want both!

Here’s hoping you get one or the other in 2011 if you didn’t for Christmas. On that note…Happy New Year!

Most Important Camera of 2010 and More in Photo News Round-Up

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

- If you have 14-minutes and 43-seconds, then you must watch this video of two of my mentors; Scott Kelby and Joe McNally talking to each other about photography.

- Wired named The 10 Most Significant Gadgets of 2010 and there’s a point-and-shoot camera on the list!

- I spotted this very cool item on the PetaPixel site:

Speaker that looks like a DSLR

Camera Speaker from

It’s a speaker that looks like a life-sized Canon DSLR with a 24-105mm L lens. You’ll notice it says “Caoon” instead of “Canon”.  It can play audio files from a USB, SD card or from a device plugged in to the included 3.5 audio cable.  It sells for $82.99.  Click the image to go to the site.

- Finally, my new Web site is live! Check it out at:

1500 Pound Camera Takes 10-million images…per second!

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Lightning X-Ray

National Geographic. Photo Courtesy Dustin Hill.

Scientists in Florida wanted to measure X-rays coming off a lightning bolt so they decided to take an x-ray image of one. Now, I’ve seen experiments where they fire a rocket into the air; a wire trails from the rocket which produces a static charge and…ZAP!

That’s what they did here (I suspect that greenish trail in the image above is the rocket exhaust), but to photograph it, they had to build a camera. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“You can’t just go buy a camera and point it at lightning,” he said. “We had to make it.”

The resulting 1,500-pound camera consists of an x-ray detector housed in a box about the size and shape of a refrigerator. The box is lined with lead to shield the x-ray detector from stray radiation.

X-rays enter the box through a small hole that in turn focuses them, like an old-fashioned pinhole camera.

Because lightning moves blindingly fast, the camera was required to take ten million images per second.  One challenge in taking such fast pictures is storing the data. To do so, the x-ray detector had to take pictures at a relatively low resolution of 30 pixels…

Click the image for the full Nat Geo article.

Nikon Lens Simulator and Lens Map

December 21, 2010 1 comment

If you’re a Nikon shooter wondering which lens is best for you, the Nikon site has some cool interactive tools to help you decide.

The lens simulator lets you see the angle of view of different lenses. You can select whether you’re using a DX or FX body or lens. You can even select from a list of lenses to view the attributes of that specific lens.

 (Useless sidenote: As you use the slider to zoom in, you’ll see a woman reading a book. If you zoom slow enough, you’ll see different frames as she flips through the book. Hey, I told you it was a useless sidenote!)

Then there’s the Lens Positioning Map.  This tool shows you a line-up of Nikkor lenses arranged by focal length and f-stop. Again, you can select DX or FX, manual or auto focus and even features such as vibration reduction (VR) and types of lens coatings.

Save Your Pennies for That New DSLR

December 20, 2010 2 comments

If you are saving your pennies for that shiny lens or DSLR, there’s an easy way to do it and keep your eye on the prize.

I saw this on the PetaPixel site over the weekend…

 DSLR Coin Bank

The coin bank looks like a Canon 350D with a 24-105mm L lens.

It reminded me of this USB drive I wrote about in a previous post:Camera USB Drive

 Or this miniature camera:


 They make good stocking stuffers for photographers. But you better hurry, only 4 shopping days left!

More Gift Ideas in Photo News Round-Up

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Christmas Tree Ornament

Today is my birthday, and that means Christmas is one week away. If you’re still looking for gifts, I’ve got some help.

Jeff Revell at the Photo Walk Pro blog, posted a .pdf of Last Minute Holiday Gifts under $100.

The Photoshop guys have more gift ideas sprinkled in with some Photoshop tips. You can watch it at Photoshop User TV.

Westcott has 12 weeks of Christmas Holiday Specials.

If you’re into Photoshop actions, check out MCP Actions. The Digital Photography School is offering a 10$ discount if you use the code: mcp-dps-10off.

Don’t forget to check out the Gift Ideas for Photographers and Stocking Stuffers for Your Favorite Photographer posts.

4-in-1 Lens Gives You Lo-Fi Photographs

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

If you’re a fan of lo-fi images produced by plastic or pinhole camera, you don’t have to carry around multiple cameras or lenses. The “Subjective” lens give you four shooting modes in one lens and is compatible with Nikon and Canon.

The four modes are: Pinhole, Plastic, Zone Plate and Glass and produce images like these:

All lenses have a 65mm focal length. The lens is available at the Photojojo store for $249, but you can get 10% off, courtesy The Digital Photography School if you use the code: photojojodps.

The Nifty Fifty, Renting Glass and Life’s Best of 2010

December 10, 2010 2 comments

Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens

The Nifty Fifty

The New York Times published its Holiday Gift Guide for Photo Hobbyist. It speaks in very basic terms to the beginner who just got a camera and wants to take the next step in both gear and education.

One item mentioned is a “fast” prime lens, like the f/1.8 50mm for both Canon and Nikon. For about 100-bucks you can get a wide aperture that lets in lots of light. Interestingly, Adorama published an article about whether 1.8 is better than 1.4.  I can tell you I’ve shot with both (Canon) and found the 1.8 produced ghosting and flaring. Just saying.

Whether you’re considering the nifty fifty or another lens, renting is a good way to test drive before you buy; not to mention saving big bucks. “The Complete Guide to Renting a Lens Online” breaks down some things you should know. For my Central Florida readers, it mentions local shop The Lens Depot which I’ve used before.

If you’re not sure which lens to rent or buy, the new site, helps you sort it out. Just enter your camera body, your budget and what kind of shooting you want to do and it spits out a list of lenses with prices, specs and reviews. 

Another thing the Times article mentions is education. You can find a lot of free tips and tutorials online, including YouTube. Here are “10 of the Best YouTube Channels for Photographers.”

Lastly, powerful, moving and sometimes graphic; Life is out with the 2010 Pictures of the Year.

Canon DSLR Used to Shoot NBC Stop-Motion Episode of “Community”

December 8, 2010 4 comments

You may have heard that FOX used the Canon 5D MKII to film an episode of “House”. Now NBC is using a 7D for an upcoming Christmas episode of “Community”.

If you’ve never seen Community, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s got great writing and an excellent ensemble of stars including Chevy Chase, Alison Brie (from Mad Men), comedian Donald Glover and Joe McHale (from The Soup on E!).

On Thursday, Dec. 9th, they’re going old school and doing a Rudolph-esq claymation episode. I don’t know why it never occured to me, but that kind of stop motion animation must use still cameras. Well, check out these two behind-the-scenes videos and you’ll see a Canon DSLR and lens being used.

They’re using a Canon 7D with an EF-S lens that kind of looks like my 17-55mm. My first clue was at the :46 mark where you can clearly see it’s a Canon lens. At 2:35 you can clearly see the 7D emblem. I thought it was interesting at 2:08 that the viewfinder is taped off; probably to block extraneous light from hitting the sensor.

Here’s another video shot by a couple of the cast members where you can get a better look at the camera and lens.

I think it’s interesting that HD video capabilities are making DSLRs more common place in Hollywood; but here it’s being used for still photography.

UPDATE: The YouTube videos are no longer available. But I did find this video on the NBC Community site.

The Elements of Photography and More in Photo News Round-Up

December 8, 2010 1 comment

If you’re still looking for gift ideas for photographers, check out this retro camera-looking Iphone/ITouch case from Etsy artist, Coolbeans 717.

Retro Camera Ipod Case

It’s 20-bucks plus shipping and the site says there’s only one available. But they are handmade (takes 5 days to make!) So I imagine the artist can make more. 

In other news, I wrote about this next item on the PetaPixel blog. It’s a concept design called the Underabove. As the name implies, it’s a camera with two lenses that takes a picture of what’s below the surface of the water and above and then stitches the images together.

The Underabove Camera

The Underabove Camera

The design won a 2010 Red Dot award and works like a submarine, with a water filled ballast on the bottom and an air filled one on the top. It even has a timer for self-portraits and a flash.

And now, proof that photography is elemental.

Photography Periodic Table

Click to download hi-rez versions

I think they did a good job of grouping things together. I just wish they’d tell me the atomic weight!

Lastly, if you have Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5, make sure to download new updates. The updates fix some bugs and include updates to camera profiles for the lens correction feature.


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