Canon 700D/Rebel T5i and 18-55mm STM Lens Announced

Along with the diminutive 100D, Canon has also announced a replacement for the upper entry-level 650D, the 700D (Rebel T5i). The new 700D, however, isn’t actually all that new, but a mild refresh. Despite Canon’s claims, improvements are as minor as they get. There’s the same 18 megapixel sensor with built-in phase-detect AF points, the same DIGIC 5 processor with the same ISO sensitivity and the same 9-point AF system with cross-type sensors. In fact, almost all the specifications are identical between the two models, except that 700D comes with a slightly different mode dial, has live preview of Creative Filters and a slightly different body finish. Are camera manufacturers taking the habit of announcing cameras for the sake of announcing? In any case, 650D was a popular and likable model. There’s no reason to think 700D will be any different (pun intended). What’s likely more interesting is the renewed kit lens. The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM now comes with Canon’s stepper AF motor for silent video recording during focusing.

Canon 700D Rebel T5i

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Canon Announces World’s Smallest APS-C DSLR

Camera industry has been obsessed with size lately and Canon has moved the standards of small DSLR cameras with the introduction of 100D (Rebel SL1). As of today, this is the smallest and lightest APS-C DSLR camera. At this point, you could say – big deal! Mirrorless cameras are the way to go if you want small. Well, perhaps in most cases. But the 100D is indeed tiny, not just as a DSLR, but even compared to some mirrorless cameras. The Panasonic GH3 – a compact system camera with a smaller sensor – is actually bigger in every dimension. Quite a feat by Canon, I’d say.

Canon 100D Rebel SL1 Announced

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Canon EOS M Review

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This is an in-depth review of the Canon EOS M camera that came out on July 23, 2012, the first mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera from Canon. Along with the EOS M, Canon also announced the first two lenses for the new “EF-M” mount: Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM. Among major camera manufacturers, Canon was the last to enter the mirrorless market. Aside from Panasonic and Olympus sharing the same Micro Four Thirds sensor and Nikon going with a smaller “CX” sensor, all other manufacturers chose large APS-C sized sensors (Samsung, Sony, Fuji and Pentax), each with its own proprietary lens mount. With the introduction of the EOS M system, Canon has officially joined the APS-C club. Instead of developing a new sensor format, Canon chose to reuse the same 18 MP sensor from the EOS Rebel 650D / T4i DSLR camera. Canon also released an EF-M to EF / EF-S adapter for mounting existing and future DSLR lenses on the EOS M, with full compatibility with all lens functions such as autofocus and image stabilization. In this review, I will go over the features and capabilities of the camera and compare it to other mirrorless options, including Nikon 1, Sony NEX series and Olympus OM-D E-M5.

Canon EOS M

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Canon 5D Mark II Discontinued

One of the best last generation full-frame cameras, the Canon 5D Mark II, has been officially discontinued. At its time the successor to the original 5D was only rivaled in its popularity by Nikon D700 in the full-frame market. Also, along with Sony A900 and A850, it was the cheapest high resolution full-frame camera (at a time when Nikon D3x would set you back a preposterous $8000) and the first to do Full HD video good enough for Hollywood.

Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon 5D Mark II

After Nikon D800 was launched, I’ve talked about how D700 is not obsolete. The situation is quite the same with 5D Mark II. It doesn’t have the best AF system, true, but is still used by many professional photographers to deliver stunning images. Very nice high ISO performance coupled to a high amount of resolution and excellent Canon lenses makes 5D Mark II as tempting as it ever was. When you consider it to be better built, with roughly same sensor and AF as the new budget Canon 6D, and for less money at that, the 5D Mark II is one of the best and cheapest ways into full-frame territory.

Fetch it new while stock lasts from our most trusted reseller, B&H, for a bargain $1599 (with $400 instant savings when added to cart). You will find great deals in the used market, too. If you’ve never bough used gear, read our detailed guide on “How to Buy Used DSLR Cameras”.

Battle of the Mirrorless – Part 1 (Dynamic Range)

As promised, I have performed some additional dynamic range tests on the mirrorless cameras I am testing (Nikon 1 J2, Canon EOS-M, Sony NEX-F3, Sony NEX-5R, Sony NEX-6, Sony NEX-7 and Olympus OM-D EM-5) and I have the data ready for your viewing pleasure. As expected, the Sony APS-C sensors performed the best, with the Sony NEX-5R and NEX-6 leading the game (although other NEX series are extremely close) followed by the Olympus OM-D EM-5, then Canon EOS M and then finally the Nikon 1 J2. Here is a comparison chart that shows performance of the various mirrorless cameras:

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Battle of the Mirrorless – Part 1 (Low Light Performance)

I have spent a considerable amount of time working with 7 different mirrorless cameras from Sony, Canon, Nikon and Olympus. I apologize for not being able to provide periodic updates on these cameras. I have come up with new ways to measure digital camera sensor performance, so it took me a long time to do it in a way that I believe will be more accurate and objective compared to my previous methods. Not only will you be seeing crops of sensor performance in a controlled environment, but I will also provide some numbers to quantify performance in colors and dynamic range. As I have already mentioned before, I will be measuring dynamic range myself going forward without having to rely on other websites for the data. It will be interesting to see how my data compares to other sites like DxOMark. I am not planning to do anything super intensive and I bet my measurements will not be without issues and errors, but I believe it is something worth trying. Hopefully it will give a different perspective to testing sensors.

Here is the first test that shows the low light performance of the following mirrorless cameras: Nikon 1 J2, Canon EOS-M, Sony NEX-F3, Sony NEX-5R/NEX-6, Sony NEX-7 and Olympus OM-D EM-5. Since these cameras all look excellent at ISO levels between 100 and 800, I decided to only show ISO performance at 1600 and above. Take a look!

Nikon 1 J2

Nikon 1 J2 ISO 1600 Nikon 1 J2 ISO 3200

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Mirrorless – The Quest for the Best

It is no secret that the mirrorless camera market has been growing rapidly during the last several years. With all the major camera manufacturers in the game, the competition has been fierce, especially during the last year. Each player wants a reputable position in the market, so they are developing lots of near cameras, lenses and accessories to complement their unique systems. Personally, I have been patiently waiting for a good mirrorless system that I can invest in and stay with. Exactly one year after my first evaluation of mirrorless cameras, I decided to give another try and see if I can find something I really like, something that I can take with me anywhere I go. I am extremely happy with my high-end Nikon DSLR system, but I have been craving for something smaller and lighter that I can take with me everywhere I go. And while waiting for my right hand to recover from a recent carpal tunnel release surgery, I thought that this would be a great time to re-evaluate small cameras.

Here is what I will be playing with for the next few months:

Mirrorless Cameras and Lenses

  1. Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 12-50mm kit lens
  2. Olympus 45mm f/1.8
  3. Olympus 12mm f/2
  4. Panasonic 25mm f/1.4
  5. Canon EOS M with 22mm f/2 + 90EX Speedlite
  6. Nikon 1 V2 with 10-30mm & 30-110mm
  7. Sony NEX-7 with 18-55mm
  8. Sony NEX-6 with 16-50mm
  9. Sony NEX-5R
  10. Sony NEX-F3
  11. Sony 50mm f/1.8
  12. Sony 24mm f/1.4

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Lifepixel Adds Anti-Alias Filter Removal Service

Lifepixel, perhaps best known for its high quality infrared digital camera conversions, recently added a new service to its list – removing your DSLR’s anti-aliasing filter. The price varies between $400-500 depending on your specific camera model. The notion of removing a DSLR’s anti-aliasing feature is not new. Maxmax.com has been doing this for years. Anti-alias filter removal, in the digital camera arena, has been thought of in a similar manner to overclocking your PC (before some manufacturers eliminated this capability) or perhaps souping up your car’s engine via a special engine conversion kit – a bit risky but capable of producing good effects. Why is this “risky” with respect to your DSLR? Voiding the warranty for one. Benefits? A sharper image.

With the non-stop onslaught of higher megapixel sensors and technology price reductions, I suspect many people lost interest in the idea of removing their DSLR’s anti-aliasing filter, if they ever contemplated it to begin with. As you may recall from some of the D800 articles on Photography Life, the anti-aliasing filter was introduced to reduce the effects of moire created when photographing subjects with fine, repeating patterns. The anti-aliasing filter accomplished this by slightly diffusing the image, which also slightly reduced sharpness. With the introduction of the Nikon D800E, however, Nikon once again raised this issue to the forefront by offering a camera model with the anti-aliasing filter removed as a product – not as a after-market service. Lifepixel, being one of the premier camera modification service providers, saw an opportunity to capitalize on the new-found interest and market for an anti-aliasing filter removal service. So for a mere $400-$500, you can have your DSLR’s anti-aliasing filter removed and be assured of maximizing your sensor’s resolution. Below is an example discussed by Nasim in his review of the D800 and D800E.

Nikon D800 vs D800E Low-Pass Filter

Chasing Sharpness

I know what some of you may be thinking, “Gee, that seems like a lot of money to gain a bit of sharpness.” Perhaps. But if life has taught me one lesson, it is this – never, ever underestimate people’s willingness to spend money to get a bit of an edge, however slight. That is not a criticism of my fellow man, but merely an observation regarding human nature. I recall when some of us found out about the ability to overclock our PCs. Despite the warnings about “frying” our machines, many of us marched ahead anyway. We were determined to soak up every speed advantage we could find. And while I never ended up turning my PC into a smoldering hunk of silicon and metal, quite a few of my DIY colleagues that were not so lucky!

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New Canon Lenses

In this article, I will talk about new Canon lenses – the 24-70mm f/4L IS and 35mm f/2 IS – and compare them both to most direct alternatives within Canon lens lineup. Both lenses have been very recently introduced and are best on full-frame cameras, such as the 5D series and the 6D, but will work well with APS-C sized sensors, too. By further implementing IS into new lenses, Canon is making them very tempting for photographers and aspiring videographers, but are advantages of new optics and IS worth the high asking price? A difficult question to answer, as Sigma and Tamron are now offering very well priced and high quality alternatives for both lenses. Lets see what Canon has released for its DSLR customers.

1) 24-70mm f/4L IS Lens

New Canon LensesThis lens was a huge surprise for me. The first thing I thought when it was announced – would I like a 24-105mm f/4L IS lens, but with a shorter focal length at the long end and for a lot more money? $1499, to be precise. I doubt first answer to come to your mind is “Yes, please!”. Obviously, it will have stellar optical performance with Canon’s latest Hybrid IS on top, but the old 24-105mm F/4L IS is no slouch, either. It is also a very popular lens and can be had for about $850 in the used market, brand new. Professionals use it for PJ work, as well as weddings. It’s also great for street photography and as a very versatile, lightweight travel lens. So what exactly does this new and, I must say, expensive addition to Canon L optics lineup offer? In a word – macro.
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Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D

With Canon having recently announced its take on budget DSLRs, the Canon 6D, the most obvious rival just happens to be the brand new Nikon D600. We’ve already seen how the latter stacks up, at least on-paper, with such great cameras as D700 and D800, but neither of those cameras were direct rivals. Priced at the same relatively low price for a full-frame sensor camera, $2099 body only, Canon 6D is as direct a rival as it can get. Lets see how it measures up against its Nikon counterpart spec-wise. Please keep in mind that this Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Canon 6D Review.

UPDATE: there has been a misleading set of specifications spread throughout the internet, indicating that the top shutter speed of Canon 6D is 1/8000th of a second. It’s incorrect – according to official Canon specifications, the top shutter speed of their newly announced “budget” full-frame camera is 1/4000th of a second.

D600 vs 6D

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