Thursday, November 28, 2013

Extended Christmas opening hours

We are open till late all December!

Monday to Friday 8am-7pm, Saturdays 9am-1pm.

Friday 13th December: 9am - 1pm
Tuesday 24th December: 9am-1pm
Wednesday 25th December - CLOSED
Thursday 26th December - CLOSED
Friday 27th December - 9am - 1pm
Tuesday 31st December: 9am-1pm

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Firmware for EOS 5D III

Canon has announced a new firmware update – Version 1.2.3 – for the EOS 5D Mark III DSLR, which includes the following improvements and fixes, the details of which are listed below.

EOS 5D Mark III firmware Version 1.2.3
Firmware Version 1.2.3 for the EOS 5D Mark III incorporates the following:

Fixes a phenomenon in which the connected Speedlite may not occasionally fire depending on the timing of when the shutter button is pressed.
Fixes a phenomenon in which the AF microadjustment value may accidentally change.
Fixes a phenomenon in which the LCD monitor may show a line of false colour along boundaries of high contrast.
Fixes a phenomenon in which the histogram of a LiveView image is incorrectly displayed when an HDMI cable is connected.
Enables the brightness of the camera’s LCD monitor to be adjusted even when an HDMI cable is connected.
Firmware Version 1.2.3 is for EOS 5D Mark III cameras with firmware up to Version 1.2.1. If the camera’s firmware is already Version 1.2.3, it is not necessary to update. To find out more and download the firmware please click here and enter your country and product details. Please read all of the instructions before downloading.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hands on review: 'Getting to know the amazing new Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM' by Domenic Aquilina

Recently I had the pleasure – courtesy of Avantech, official Canon distributors in Malta – to try out the latest lens in the range of Canon pro lenses - the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with an integrated 1.4x extender.

I had expressed my desire to try out this lens with Canon Malta and in no time at all Nakita Attard Vassallo let me know that it had arrived and I was on my way to pick it up. I tried it for the Malta Premier League matches that Sunday.

As with all Canon professional lenses the 200-400mm comes neatly packaged in a hard case.  One can opt to carry it as is or pack it inside a wheeled hard case as I do.

I placed it carefully in my case to transport accordingly.  This lens is not that heavy when you are already accustomed to carrying heavy lenses.  If you have a steady grip, thanks to this lens’ three mode Image Stabilisation feature you can even manage to shoot handheld.  In my view it will get a bit tiring after thirty minutes though!

Switching on the x 1.4 extender is a breeze, and it’s a wonderful feeling to see your normal 400mm view extend into a 560mm view at the click of a button.

I started photographing at the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali at the Premier League match in bright afternoon daylight; so shooting action football pictures was as easy as pie to be honest.

I tried this lens coupled with the faultless 1DX body – yes they do make a lovely couple indeed!

This lens is fast and almost faultless.  In some instances when shooting fast paced sports photography you do get a couple of odd images that do not look very sharp. This is not the case with the EF 200-400; if you fail to capture the image, don't blame the lens!

I started off using the lens set at the 400mm range before trying a couple of frames with the x1.4 extender switched on.

The 560mm range (particularly in daylight) is absolutely stunning.  I loved this lens because getting far end goal celebrations at the other end of the pitch is as easy as ABC.  Switch on the x 1.4 Extender and there you go – you have the celebrations taking place right in front of you.

I shoot using the RAW setting so I had no real problem getting the crop of what I really wanted for media purposes.

To be honest the latter part of my shoot was not that easy but I did push my lens to the limit and I was quite satisfied with the overall response of it in low light conditions.

The floodlighting at the National Stadium was not at its maximum so I did struggle in low light.  I pushed the ISO to 12800 in my final images (last image pictured below shot at 19:02:31) and I was quite pleased with the result (though I did have some blur in a few images which I dislike when not getting the action capture I am after – that is, totally “frozen").

Here I tried the Image Stabilizer options – from 1 to 3 on the lens.  I tried it on 1 and got some good results but I was not completely happy with my final results in low light.

I am convinced that such a dream of a lens can be easily used in exceptionally good artificial floodlighting; particularly abroad as it will not yield such good results in the lower lighting used in sporting disciplines locally.

Overall I rate this lens very highly.  The f/4 (or f/5.6 when the extender is activated) aperture makes this lens incredibly handy for daylight photography like wildlife or daylight sports.

This lens can achieve great sports photographs as long as the light is optimal.  Perferably, this lens should be coupled with a pro DSLR such as the 1DX because the 1DX body will compensate for the wide aperture of the lens using the high ISO ratings on the camera.

At the 70D launch held recently by Avantech I was speaking to Brutus Ostling and one thing I did ask him was the highest ISO he pushed his 1DX to.  His answer was that he regularly works using ISOs ranging from 10000 to 12000 – just like I do.
I think the above is fine and makes perfect sense.
One thing that surprised me is the clarity and sharpness of the images I took with this lens.
The 200-400 fared excellently with regards to clarity and sharpness.

Some good advice – if you can afford the Canon EF200-400 just go for it.

With Canon You Can!

Domenic Aquilina

All the above photos were taken by Domenic Aquilina.