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  • Thinking about the Nikon D800E? Think About It Some Moire

    Nikon D800E FX Digital SLR Camera

    Nikon D800E

    Our Nikon representative sent us a very interesting article last night. In an email to us he talked about the role of the D800E in digital photography, and for whom the camera might be appropriate for. If you are thinking about purchasing the D800E, that's great! But, please make sure it is appropriate for you. I have copied some of the email our rep sent us, and am providing the link to the article he suggested. If you are interested in the D800E, it is worth checking out.

    "The reality of a DSLR without an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) (the D800E) is for only very specialized usage. I'm cautioning you to really counsel your customers who may think they want a D800E. Unless they have had the experience of shooting medium format digital cameras (they also do not have OLPF) and know that they will need to be in control of many aspects of the shoot. Not always practical for the general, all round photographer. We want you to avoid unhappy photographers who may not understand the control and special attention that would be needed to be used with the D800E, always. There are several discussion groups going on regarding this, even Scott Kelby, PhotoShop expert, said if he had to choose between an OLPF or the FEAR of Moire, he would choose the OLPF."

    Please note that the issue of Moire and Fasle Color are not present in the D800 like they are with the D800E.

    Nikon Article: Moire and False Color

  • New, Strapless Camera Carrying Solutions

    Straps are a pain in the front

    Let's face it, camera straps are a pain in the gut. Or a pain in the chest. Well, the traditional kind of camera strap, that is. The BlackRapid camera strap revolutionized the way we carry cameras...on a strap. Ever since the advent, and success, of the BlackRapid camera strap, a race to find the next revolutionary way to carry a camera seems to have taken flight.

    Three companies have shined in the "strapless" camera carrying solution. Notice "strapless" in quotations. The quotations are necessary because these products still require a belt. Some may argue a belt is a kind of strap. In this case, however, it is a more positive strap. A belt is multipurpose. It can keep you pants up, carry your camera, and all-the-while reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain. The BlackRapid family of straps are wonderful. Don't get me wrong. But, carry a professional, heavy SLR around with a good sized, fast aperture lens, and your shoulder and neck are still going ache at the end of a long shooting day.

    The three companies I alluded to in the previous paragraph are CPTech, Peak Design and Spider. They manufacture the B-Grip EVO, Capture Camera Clip, and Black Widow, respectively. Spider also manufactures a "beefier" solution called the SpiderPro SCS (single camera system).

    b-grip evo quick-release camera carrying belt

    B-GRIP EVO Quick-Release Camera Carrying Belt

    The B-Grip EVO is a light-weight plastic solution that includes a carrying belt. The included belt is not required, however; and it is possible to use your own belt with the B-Grip system. If you already have a belt on, you might as well use it. The B-Grip EVO features a quick-release plate that attaches to the bottom of your camera. It looks very similar to tripod quick-release plates you have seen before, and is compatible with the following tripods/heads (mostly Velbon and Manfrotto models). The B-Grip plate is set securely so your camera is unable to swing as you walk and move. There is also a lock that keeps your camera safe from accidentally coming off. See that longer piece of plastic below the quick-release? That helps to distribute the weight of the camera while it is mounted on the B-Grip. It sells for $59.95

    Peak Design Capture Camera Clip System

    Peak Design Capture Camera Clip

    The Peak Design Capture Camera Clip is very similar to the B-Grip holster. It does not include a carrying belt, however; but, it can attach to most any belt you would already be wearing. It has a more robust feeling build than the B-Grip. It is made from lightweight aluminum, and is durable. The Capture Camera Clip also includes a quick-release plate that locks into the system. With the push of a button it can be released. Like the B-Grip, there are no moving or swinging parts. Unlike the B-Grip, the quick-release plate can mount on any tripod head that accepts arca-swiss style plates. It sells for $79.99.

     

     

    Spider Holster Black Widow for lightweight DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras

    Spider Black Widow Holster

    The Spider Black Widow camera holster is similar to both the B-Grip and the Capture Camera Clip in that it attaches to pretty much any belt. It is also like the Capture Camera Clip in that a belt is not included. Unlike both the B-Grip and the Capture Camera Clip, there is no quick-release plate...only a pin. The pin is great for being able to quickly let your camera "fall" into the holster. There is an automatic locking mechanism that keeps the pin from jumping out of the holster. With the flick of your finger, you can release the pin and pull your camera out. The disadvantage of the pin is that it allows your camera to swing while sitting in the holster. In addition, it cannot double as a quick-release plate for a tripod head, but there is an optional pin that is designed to attach to your tripod's quick-release plate. It sells for $49.99.

    Spider Pro SCS (Single Camera System) Camera Holster Belt

    Spider Pro SCS (Single Camera System) Camera Holster Belt

    The SpiderPro SCS is perhaps the best solution for large, professional cameras. The included belt is necessary. Unlike the above systems, the SpiderPro SCS cannot be used with existing belts. The included belt is hefty, and helps to distribute a large camera's weight. The padded section just behind the camera is especially nice, and keeps the hips comfortable. Like the Black Widow holster, the camera is free to swing around. The SpiderPro SCS does include a plate that, although cannot work directly as a quick-release plate for tripods, a tripod quick-release plate can be mounted to it. It sells for $135.

  • External storage solutions by G-Tech

    G-Tech External Hard-Drive Solutions

    If you haven't heard of G-Technology, they make high-end external storage solutions. What does that really mean? G-Tech makes really good external hard drives. G-Tech is a garage story. The company started with the manufacture of external hard-drives out of a garage in California.  It wasn't long before G-Technology was acquired into the hands of Hitachi's storage unit. Last year, Western Digital agreed to purchase the Hitachi storage unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, and it is rumored Western Digital's aim was for G-Tech.

    With that background in mind, Green Mountain Camera is very excited to have become a Gold Reseller for G-Tech products. Many of our customers find the storage space in their computers an ever diminishing commodity. With all of the current high-megapixel count cameras, and especially all of the DSLRs peforming video, this comes as no surprise.  Luckily, G-Technology external hard drives are a perfect, high-speed solution for storing videos and images.

    Right now we have started carrying the 2TB and 3TB G-Drives. We have plans to carry more of their products in the near future too. You'll find that as a Gold Reseller our prices are as competitive as anywhere. See links below for more information:

    2TB G-Drive $237.49  $218.49
    3TB G-Drive $332.49  $313.49

  • Is it Linear or Circular? The Polarizing Filter Test

    There are many great sites on the internet that do a really good job explaining the differences between linear and circular polarizers. Instead of just regurgitating that information here, we want to show a really quick and easy way to identify if a polarizing filter is linear or circular. Here's a hint, just because the filter can rotate on its mount does not make it a circular polarizer. This is a widely thought misconception. Even linear polarizers can rotate on their mounts and provide varying degrees of polarization. Also, you would think that polarizers are clearly labeled, so one can simply just read the side of the filter. This seems to be hardly the case. Here's a quick and easy (also fun, I think) way to find out if you have a linear or circular polarizing filter.

    Required supplies:
    1. Polarizing filter
    2. Mirror
    3. Eyeball

    Step 1:
    Stand in front of mirror and bring the filter up to your eyeball with the lens mounting threads facing you. You should now be looking through the filter with one eye with the filter oriented like it would be when mounted on a camera. Notice what your eye and the filter look like.

    Determining what kind of polarizing filter you have

    The Setup. Here I am holding a polarizing filter in front of this camera's lens. Substitute one of your eyes where this lens is located (behind the filter).

     

    Linear vs Circular Polarizer

    Here's a close up of the filter in front of the lens. Don't mind the blur....

    Step 2:
    Flip the filter around so the other side of the filter is now facing you. If what you see doesn't really change, the filter is a linear polarizer. If your eye disappears and the filter goes dark, the filter is a circular polarizer. Make sure to keep the filter in front of your eye the whole time. Don't drop it down below your eye.

    Linear vs Circular Polarizer

    Linear polarizer flipped around

    Linear vs Circular Polarizer

    Circular polarizer flipped around

    As you can see in this last picture, you can't see anything behind the circular polarizer.

    This concludes the linear vs circular polarizing filter test.

  • Time For A Firmware Update?

    We have recently seen an increase in camera malfunctions as a result of outdated firmware and the use of newer memory cards. The most common one as of late has been with Nikon's digital SLRs and Coolpix point & shoot cameras, and their compatibility with the newer Sandisk SDHC memory cards. This affects the Coolpix P500, Coolpix L120 and the D5100 DSLR. We have also seen incompatibilities with larger capacity CF (compactflash) memory cards and the Canon EOS 5D (not Mark II). The good news is there is a fix that is simple and free: just update the camera's firmware!

    Here is a list of recent firmware updates for this issue:

    Nikon Coolpix P500 - Firmware Update to 1.1

    Nikon Coolpix L120 - Firmware Update to 1.1

    Nikon D5100 DSLR - Firmware Update to 1.01

    Canon EOS 5D - Firmware Update to 1.1.1

    While it is important to to keep up to date with the latest firmware, there are many cases where the updates are minor and unnoticeable. For full details on all firmware updates you should visit the manufacturers website. Detailed installation instructions are available for any firmware update. Please make sure to follow instructions exactly, and do not begin a firmware update unless you are using a fully charged battery. Visit the following links to see if you are up to date!

    Canon Support 

    Nikon Support

    Sony Support

  • A Common Cause for the Nikon "FEE" Error

    We sell a lot of used lenses over at our used equipment website: www.theusedcamerastore.com. Most of the lenses we sell are for either Canon or Nikon. We usually get more questions regarding Nikon lenses, however. In 1987, Canon introduced auto focus cameras and lenses, and switched the then FD lens mount to EF (electro-focus). The manual focus, FD lenses were no longer compatible with new, auto focus camera bodies. The mounts were completely different. It is possible to use FD lenses on an EF camera body, but an adapter is required, and infinity focus is only achieved with the presence of a corrective glass element.

    Canon FD Mount

    Canon FD Mount (courtesy Wikipedia)

    Canon EF Mount

    Canon EF Mount (courtesy of Wikipedia)

    Nikon maintained the same physical mount during the switch from manual to auto focus, however, so things are not so cut-and-dry as with Canon. This creates a bit more confusion among Nikon shooters because they often wonder about the compatibility of older lenses with newer bodies, or newer lenses with older bodies. Many of Nikon's more modern lenses (AF lenses) include a manual aperture ring. Most of Nikon's even more recent lenses, and Canon EF lenses, do not include a manual aperture ring. In this case, the aperture may only be controlled electronically by the camera body.

    If you have a Nikon lens and you are trying to use it on a more modern Nikon camera body, you may just run into the camera displaying an "FEE" error. This error is stating that the camera and the lens are not happy with each other. Essentially, the camera and lens aren't "communicating". If the lens is an auto focus (or "chipped") lens with a manual aperture ring, you may not be out-of-luck. Most likely you need to simply change the aperture to the smallest (largest number) value. This is often designated by being colored orange. Once the aperture is set to the smallest value, the camera is able to control the aperture electronically and everything is happy again.  Note that you cannot use the lens if you change the aperture manually from the smallest value. The aperture must be controlled using the camera's functions, and it must be physically set to the smallest value with the manual aperture ring in order for this to be possible.

    In order to see what we are describing, we made a quick video (see below). In the video you can see that the camera "locks" up when any aperture other than the smallest value is used.

  • Silent Auction for Irene Recovery Update

     

    Silent Auction to Benefit Hurricane Irene Victims in VermontIn case you missed our first post about this event, we are organizing a silent auction to benefit the Irene recovery by donating all of the proceeds raised by the event to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. We are silently auctioning donated framed photographs, camera gear, and more! This is an incredible opportunity to go home with a lot of cool stuff, and at the same time help out Vermonters in dire need. If you already knew this information, we would like to give you a friendly reminder so you don't forget to come to this worthwhile event. In addition, we want to keep you updated. We have received a lot of wonderful photographs for the auction and we have received some additional camera gear. We are happy to announce that Senator Patrick Leahy has donated a print to be auctioned off for the benefit. Also, Canon has donated a digital SLR (the EOS Rebel XS), and Lowepro has donated several bags, and this is in addition to many other great items that have been donated. To see a more complete list of the items that will be available, please click on the graphic above, or visit benefit.gmcamera.com. We hope to see you on Sunday!

     

  • Silent Auction to Benefit Hurricane Irene Victims in Vermont

    Photograph by Monica Donovan

    Photograph by Monica Donovan

    When: Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011
    Where: Green Mountain Club Headquarters

    4711 Waterbury-Stowe Road (Route 100)
    Waterbury Center, VT 05677

    We’ve all seen and witnessed the devastation that was caused by Irene here in Vermont.  You may have personally experienced the impact of this storm and are participating in efforts to clean-up and rebuild our beautiful state.  Our hearts go out to all those who have suffered losses as a result of this storm.  Our staff has not been immune to the effects of Irene as well, but, we have repeatedly asked ourselves, how can we best utilize our skills to assist in this effort?

    Photograph by Monica Donovan

    Photograph by Monica Donovan

    Our staff has generously agreed to donate their time to assist us in putting together a fundraising event that will be used to raise money for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.  We have decided to silent auction donated framed photographs by Vermont photographers in addition to auctioning off digital cameras and gear.  We would like to have a silent auction of work that is inspiring and reflects the best of what we as photographers have to offer for the restoration of one of the best places to live in this country.

    We have already started to organize this event and have scheduled a place and time. We will hold the event on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 at the Green Mountain Club Headquarters. We have set up a dedicated webpage with the details of the event. Please visit the webpage here. We have included some of the photographs and items we have received, and will continue to update the website as we get more. The response to our requests for donations has been incredible, and we are proud to have wonderful customers, neighbors, and business partners. We hope you will be able to attend to help make this benefit a success. If you are unable to attend, please consider making a donation to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund at Vermont211.org.

  • PocketWizard Releases New Firmware for ControlTL Products MiniTT1 & FlexTT5

    PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 Firmware UpdatePocketWizard has announced a new firmware update for the PocketWizard ControlTL products--MiniTT1 (Canon, Nikon) and FlexTT5 (Canon, Nikon)--for both Nikon (firmware version 3.0) and Canon (firmware version 6.0). The new firmware updates add the following features: HyperSync Automation, SpeedCycler, and Flash Power Control without a camera.

    The full PocketWizard press release with more in-depth descriptions of the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 upgrades can be found here.

    The firmware update is done through the PocketWizard Utility, which can be downloaded here. Each PocketWizard ControlTL device comes with a USB cable to connect that device directly to your computer. Once a ControlTL device is connected to your computer via the provided USB cable, the firmware update can be done quickly and easily using the PocketWizard Utility software.

  • Update: Availability of Sony A77, A65, NEX-5N, NEX-7 and New Lenses

    As noted in our previous post comparing the features of the Sony A77 and Sony A65, we have received a lot of interest in the new Sony cameras and lenses that were recently announced: Sony A77, A65, NEX-5N, NEX-7, SAL1650, SEL24F18Z, SEL50F18, and the SEL55210. A lot of the interest has been a curiosity in when these new products will be made available. We were able to get a release schedule from Sony, and we are providing this information here. Each item links to our website where you will be able to purchase the items when we receive them in stock. If you would like to pre-order an item to be one of the first to receive the product, please contact us at sales@gmcamera.com, or (802) 244-0883. All pre-orders are first come, first serve. We currently have all of these products on order with Sony, and will therefore be part of the first shipments as the products are released.

    Release Schedule for Sony A77, A65, NEX-5N, NEX-7, and New Lenses

    Sony NEX-5N Body Only (Black) First Week of September
    Sony NEX-5N 18-55mm Lens Kit (Black) First Week of September
    Sony NEX-5N 18-55mm Lens Kit (Silver) First Week of September
    Sony Alpha SLT-A65 Body Only Mid-to-Late October
    Sony Alpha SLT-A65 18-55mm Lens Kit Mid-to-Late October
    Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Body Only Mid-to-Late October
    Sony Alpha SLT-A77 16-50mm f/2.8 Lens Kit Mid-to-Late October
    Sony NEX-7 Body Only Early November
    Sony NEX-7 18-55mm Lens Kit Early November
    Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM Lens (SAL1650) Early November
    Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm f/1.8 Lens (SEL24F18Z) Early December
    Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens (SEL50F18) Mid December
    Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Lens (SEL55210) Mid-to-Late October

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