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Green Mountain Camera Blog

  • New Think Tank Photo SD Memory Card, Battery, and Gel Holder Accessories Announced

    Think Tank Photo Logo

    Think Tank Photo is one of the most popular bag lines we carry. A combination of thoughtful design, use of quality products, and detailed construction make Think Tank Photo bags a winning camera bag line, especially for professional photographers. We are pleased to report Think Tank Photo has recently announced new accessory holders for SD memory cards, batteries and flash gels. We are also excited for new Think Tank Photo products in the pipeline, so check back here to learn more about upcoming product announcements.

    Think Tank Photo DSLR Battery Holders

    The number one sin in photography is running out of power.  To help prevent that from happening, in May Think Tank Photo will release the DSLR Battery Holder 2 and the DSLR Battery Holder 4. These slim, collapsible, compact designs secure two or four standard size camera batteries.

    • Compact carrier for two or four standard DSLR batteries.
    • Compress flat when not in use, easily stored.
    • Hook and loop closure with top fold design.
    Think Tank Photo DSLR Battery Holder 2

    DSLR Battery Holder 2

    Think Tank Photo DSLR Battery Holder 4

    DSLR Battery Holder 4

    Think Tank Photo SD Pixel Pocket Rocket

    In May, with the release of the Think Tank Photo SD Pixel Pocket Rocket, you will be able to keep your most important photography storage device, your SD cards, secure and organized. The SD Pixel Pocket Rocket keeps those very small but invaluable SD cards safely stored in one place. No more lost SD cards, and no more found SD cards in the bottom of the washing machine.

    Additionally, it can be tethered to bags, clothing, briefcases, and backpacks for additional security.

    • Compact carrier for nine SD cards.
    • Clear pockets make identification easy.
    • Folds flat when not in use, easily stored.
    • Business card slot.
    • Hook and loop closure with fold-up design.
    • Tether with clips to for security attachment.
    Think Tank Photo SD Pixel Pocket Rocket

    SD Pixel Pocket Rocket

    Think Tank Photo Strobe Gel Wallet

    For all the Strobists out there, in May Think Tank Photo will release the Strobe Gel Wallet. This wallet stores photography gels in a neat and organized manner and keeps them protected.

    The wallet minimizes clutter by folding up and stashing away in photographer bags, cases, or backpacks.  The five pockets have a large capacity.  This enhances the ability to store and locate gels easily instead of having them mound into one big stack.

    • Compact five-pocket carrier for Rosco Strobist™ filters.
    • Clear pockets for gels make identification easy.
    • Folds flat when not in use.
    • Business card slot.
    • Can be tethered to any Think Tank product, clothing, or belt.
    • Hook and loop closure with fold-up design.
    • Includes tether with clips for security attachment.
    Think Tank Photo Strobe Gel Wallet

    Strobe Gel Wallet

     

     

  • Nikon School 2-Day HD-SLR Video Multimedia Workshop, May 5-6

    Ever wonder how to get the most from your HD video enabled digital SLR camera?

    The Nikon School is hosting a full-spectrum 2-day HD DSLR Multimedia Workshop in downtown Boston. Attendees will be provided with loaner cameras, gear, and Apple laptops for editing. The workshop is May 5th and 6th, and will include classroom instruction, real-world shooting, and basic editing. You'll also learn tips for capturing audio. The workshop is limited to 20 students and costs $599. You can register at nikonschool.com/teach.

    Nikon School HD DSLR Multimedia Workshop

  • Canon Announces EOS 60Da: Astrophotographers everywhere rejoice, "Finally!"

    Canon EOS 60Da Digital SLR Camera for Astrophotography

    Canon EOS 60Da

    New Canon EOS 60Da DSLR Camera For Astronomy Enthusiasts Captures The True Colors Of The Cosmos

    LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 3, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the EOS 60Da Digital SLR Camera, a long-awaited successor to the EOS 20Da that is optimized for astrophotography. This DSLR caters to astronomers and hobbyists who enjoy capturing the beauty of the night sky by offering a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity. These modifications allow the camera to capture magnificent photographs of "red hydrogen emission" nebulae and other cosmic phenomena.

    "The EOS 60Da is a testament to the constant desire to meet the needs of every customer, including those in specialized fields," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., "This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras but should be enjoyed and celebrated."

    The Canon EOS 60Da camera packs a powerful 18-megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-C) that produces sharp and high-contrast images of astronomical objects, a major enhancement over the EOS 20Da model's 8.2-megapixel sensor. The improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or H α wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.

    Enhanced Features

    Crisp images of the stars and planets can be viewed on the EOS 60Da's improved 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots for detailed focusing. The flip-out Vari-angle screen allows photographers to adjust the screen for easy viewing without straining even while the camera is mounted to a telescope via a third-party T-ring adapter. Optimized for stargazing with friends or in an educational setting, astronomy enthusiasts can connect the camera to a TV with the provided AVC-DC400ST Stereo AV Video Cable and display the night sky on a TV monitor using the camera's Live View mode. Moreover, the EOS 60Da's Live View mode is equipped with a Silent Shooting feature that eliminates shutter-induced vibration for maximum camera stability when the camera is mounted to a telescope or super-telephoto EF lens.

    Enhanced noise reduction on the EOS 60Da sensor offers photographers the ability to experiment with the wide array of ISO settings and increased ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800. Other features include an intelligent nine-point autofocus system, full manual controls, and RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG image recording capabilities.

    Accessories

    The EOS 60Da helps capture the wonders of the night sky with its use of Canon's award-winning EF and EF-S lenses along with other EOS accessories. Additionally, the EOS 60Da is packaged with Canon's RA-E3 Remote Controller Adapter, providing the ability to connect a Canon Timer Remote Control such as the TC-80N3 (optional accessory). The TC-80N3 is ideal for controlling time exposures longer than 30 seconds as well as capturing a series of consecutive time exposures that can be composited during post-processing for improved image quality. This is especially useful when the camera body is connected to a telescope or an EF super telephoto lens.

    Canon has also included an AC adapter kit with the EOS 60Da, allowing the camera to be powered through an AC wall outlet or a battery-powered inverter, ideal for long exposure image or video capture at home or in the field.

    Availability

    As a specialized product, the EOS 60Da is only available to order from select authorized dealers. The estimated retail price is $1,499.00 and it is expected to be available this month.

    Canon EOS 60Da Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens for Astrophotography

    Canon EOS 60Da with 18-135mm Lens

  • Launching A Digital Revolution: The Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera

    Did you catch this one? The announcement of the Digital Bolex D16 went under our radar. I think we've been so busy listing old Bolex cameras on our used camera site that we completely missed the release of this new digital Bolex. If you haven't seen it already, here's the press release:

    Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera

    SXSW Film Festival and Technology Trade Show, Austin, March 11, 2012
    Bolex International has leveled the digital cinema playing field with the announcement of the Bolex D16, the first digital camera from the 200 year-old Swiss company whose 16mm and 8mm cameras dominated the international consumer marketplace from the 40’s to the 70’s.

    The D16 is an interchangeable-lens digital cinema camera that features a Kodak CCD sensor and produces images with a frame size equivalent to Super 16mm. The D16 remarkably captures the look and feel of film at a price that finally makes digital cinema available to filmmakers on any budget. The D16 shoots RAW image sequences at true 2K (2048x1152), without the rolling shutter or line scan effects found with CMOS sensors. The camera’s large pixel size contributes to better light reception without any need to artificially boost the signal.

    Adaptability and Compatibility
    The D16 comes standard with a C-mount Lens mount, but lens mounts in PL, B4, and EF will also be available and are easily interchanged. The camera has two flash mounts so a monitor and a microphone can be mounted at the same time, an adjustable 2.4” angle display with focus assist, and, in Bolex fashion, a stylish pistol grip that allows for exceptionally steady hand-held shots.

    Under The Hood
    Like the classic Bolex cameras, the D16 has a carbonized steel frame that gives it a rigid body and unmatched durability. To Bolex, affordable means “high quality” and “digital film” means shooting frames per second. The D16 will offer Adobe’s Cinema DNG format along with other image sequence file types, to ensure the highest quality footage without the pitfalls of video compression. With an internal buss of over 200 Mbps and a 256Gig internal buffer drive, this camera churns through RAW footage like butter. Dual CF card slots make sure that data storage is relatively cheap and readily available. Power is supplied by internal battery, but with a built-in 4-pin XLR port, the D16 can also be powered by a traditional battery belt for long shoot days.

    Shoot to Thrill
    With a sleek body design, functional pistol grip, and Bolex’s iconic crank, the D16 is fun to use and has character to spare. The crank can be programed to adjust just about anything in the menu, from volume to focus to fps. This feature and the start/stop trigger on the pistol grip makes for a shooting experience that’s unique to the Bolex brand.

    Pricing and More Information
    The estimated retail price for the D16 and its accessories is $3299.
    To learn more about the Bolex D16, visit: www digitalbolex com

    Digital Bolex D16 in Action

  • 10 Awesome Quotes on Photography

    Ansel Adams with Speech Bubble

    Quotes are great. And, we've found that photographers are great quote makers. Here we've compiled a list of ten awesome quotes--in no particular order--photographers (mostly) have said about photography.

    We've heard so many customers make the same complaint as number 8, by Strand, and we find this especially relevant with the recent Kodak bankruptcy and overall uncertainty surrounding film. We don't agree with number 5, by Warhol, but found it interesting because during our search for awesome quotes we found most photographers commenting on the struggle they faced of making photography a recognized art form. It seems Warhol wasn't the only one who shared number 5's sentiment. Especially, it seems, during the early part of last century.

    1. It's not YOUR picture, it's MY picture! Garry Winogrand to a guy who told him not to take his picture.
    2. You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either. Galen Rowell
    3.  It's about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby. Elliot Erwitt
    4. Never boss people around. It's more important to click with people than to click the shutter. Alfred Eisenstaedt
    5. Photographers feel guilty that all they do for a living is press a button. Andy Warhol
    6. Photography is not cute cats, nor nudes, motherhood or arrangements of manufactured products. Under no circumstances it is anything ever anywhere near a beach. Walker Evans
    7. I don't care if you make a print on a bath mat, just as long as it is a good print. Edward Weston
    8. Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. Paul Strand
    9. There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. Ansel Adams
    10. Let the subject generate its own photographs. Become a camera. Minor White

    Do you have favorite quotes on photography? Please share. We'd love to see them.

  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta Now Available for Download

    Adobe Photoshop LogoInterested in testing the latest (and, hopefully, greatest yet)? The Beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS6 is now available for download. There is no serial number required to run the Beta version of Photoshop. In the welcome screen of installation, just select that you want to "Try" the software. The Beta version of this Photoshop includes all of the features of both Photoshop CS6 and CS6 Extended, which includes 3D image editing and quantitative image analysis. An Adobe ID, which is free from registering at Adobe's website, is required at the time of installation or within 7 days. Adobe notes this is Beta software and may be prone to issues, and users run the software at their own risk.

    For some of the new features of Photoshop CS6, check out this video:

  • Nikon D4 Includes Sony XQD 16GB Memory Card and Reader (for now)

    Nikon D4 Includes Sony XQD 16GB Memory Card and Reader

    A lot of customers have heard rumors that the new Nikon D4 is shipping with Sony XQD cards and readers included, and have been asking us if this is true. We can confirm that this is, indeed, true! Some have wondered if these freebies were only included with Nikon Professional Services (NPS) shipments of the Nikon D4. We can also confirm that we have already received both NPS and non-NPS shipments of the new Nikon D4, and they have all included the 16GB XQD cards and card readers. We aren't sure if--or how long--this will continue, but, for now, we'll take it!

  • Mark's AP Corner - 03/18/2012 - NGC2244/46 - The Rosette Nebula

    NGC2244/46 - The Rosette Nebula

    NGC2244/46 - The Rosette Nebula

    I had a chance to get set up for the night of 3/18 for about half the night. Clouds started to take over at around 11:30pm and I remained positive and stuck with it until 2:00am, at which point I could see flashes of lightning off in the distance. Time to pack up the lightning rods! Before that all happened, I was able to get some time on an object I hadn't imaged since February of 2011. I was hoping for at least 3 solid hours of shutter time on NGC2244. Unfortunately, for some reason, I was having guiding issues from the very beginning of the night. It's been a very long time since I've had any issues of any kind with autoguiding. Things sort of ironed themselves out over a period of time, but I ended up throwing out about half of the data I had captured due to trailing stars. I'm already on to solutions, and a new guide scope ships tomorrow.

    I shot in ISO800 Sunday night because it was pretty hazy in Waterbury for most of the evening. As the sun was setting, I could see the low hanging reddish/brown through the valley that's a good indicator that there's going to be some interference, and I know from experience it's going to show up in the frames pretty easily. I used a short 30 second Custom White Balance (CWB) for all the frames in order to get a more isolated color balance on things and it seemed to work pretty well in dealing with sky glow. The CWB is a regular practice to deal with the night-to-night varying sky conditions. It's too bad I had to toss half of the frames out due to autoguiding issues...that was rough. You win some, you lose some in this hobby. Luckily all was not lost and it ended up being a worth while night.

    Considering that I knew I had some usable frames from the Rosette last year, I decided to combine both nights and come up with an image of greater dynamic range. Last year's attempt was a little flat in terms of color, and I over-edited to make up for it. But seeing that it was generally good data, it could still be used with the new stuff from Sunday night. On Monday, I combined the files in a folder, moved them over to another machine, loaded up all of the noise calibration frames for both ISO settings, started the process, and walked downtown to go eat lunch as I knew I wouldn't be looking at a workable image for about 45 minutes.

    When I got back, I saw the screen and was immediately pleased with the straight-out-of Deep Sky Stacker initial image. I started with boosting the saturation and fine tuned the histogram to properly balance the RGB levels and was looking at a decent image for the two nights. After levels, and shifting the output midpoint ever so slightly with CS4, I opened the image in Nebulosity 2 for very minor star sharpening. Not too much, or it makes dark circles around every star. There's a very comprehensive plugin within Neb2 that's called GREYCstoration, and with some adjustments, you can coax some details out of the information there that otherwise wouldn't have been quite so 'defined'. Instead of the eye wandering, being attracted to noise from the camera, it tends to move more seamlessly from detail to detail with only a minimal amount of information missing. Without it, noise replaces those details and the eye tends to gravitate towards the noise and the image looks too busy. It's a powerful yet delicate plugin to use that can either make an image look twice as good, or over average the details and then it looks like you're peering through a frosted glass shower door. I try and keep on the lighter side of averaging and let the eye make the choice between what's noise and what's part of the object. This was a short edit by normal standards, which mainly has to deal with getting good data when things are actually going right.

    All of the images in this article were taken by Mark Byland and are his property. Please do not copy or distribute these images without his sole permission.

  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Free Accessory Opportunity

    Free Accessory Opportunity with the purchase of an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Digital Camera

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Front (Silver) with 12-50mm Lens

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Camera (Silver) with 12-50mm Lens

    The Olympus OM-D E-M5 can be purchased from our website here.

    We are pretty excited to see, and shoot with, the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 micro four-thirds digital camera. As a (in addition to new gearused camera equipment dealer, we've always had a soft spot for Olympus OM 35mm film cameras. There's something about the OM-4 and OM-4T that I particularly love, and I don't think you can really understand until you've had one in your hands. Here's a shot I took a while ago with an Olympus OM-4 and an Olympus OM 50mm f/1.4 lens on Kodak Ektar film. I had it scanned here at our retail store.

    Photograph taken with Olympus OM-4 and 50mm f/1.4 Lens

    Olympus OM-4 with 50mm f/1.4 on Kodak Ektar Film

    Sorry to get sidetracked... We just received word that Olympus will be offering a mail-in rebate for eligible purchases of an Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera and select accessories starting April 1 through May 31, 2012. No, unfortunately the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is not yet available, but Olympus tells us the OM-D E-M5 will start shipping in early April, just in time for the free accessory promotion!

    Here's how the promotion works:

    1. Purchase an Olympus OM-D E-M5 (body only or eligible configuration)
    2. Purchase one of these Olympus accessories at the same time:

    • FL-300R Wireless Flash
    • MMF-3 Four Thirds Lens Adapter
    • OM Adapter MF-2

    (only one accessory is eligible per camera purchase)
    3. Submit this mail-in rebate form
    4. Get a rebate for the retail value of the chosen accessory!

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Free Accessory Opportunity Image

  • Carl Zeiss presents a new Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Super Wide-Angle Lens

    The new ZEISS Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 opens-up a new world of creative possibilities.

    Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Lens Side

    Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Lens

    The super wide angle Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 will be available with a Canon EF (ZE) or Nikon F bayonet (ZF.2). With an extra-large angle of view of 110 degrees in combination with a fast f/2.8 aperture, the lens enables the features for dramatic perspectives and performance demanded by the most ambitious landscape and architectural photographers. With a unique ability to capture events in a natural and extraordinary manner, it is also an ideal companion for advertising, journalism and commercial photography.

    Thanks to the extreme angle of view of the lens, the fore and background can be creatively emphasized in landscape and architecture photography. These applications will also benefit from the large depth-of-field, which provides a wide range of image sharpness from close-up up to infinity. With a close focus of 0.25m (10”) – combined with a wide angle view, photographers can work in tight spaces, while also allowing focus on close-up details. Distortion is extremely well controlled, producing naturally proportioned photographs which are not typical of many other super wide angle lenses. "With the Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8, Carl Zeiss sets the standard in super wide angle photography," says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Consumer Lenses Program Manager in the Camera Lens Division of Carl Zeiss AG. "Even at full aperture it achieves outstanding detail rendition and opens up room for extremely imaginative design."

    The Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 incorporates two aspheric lenses and special types of glass material with abnormal partial dispersion to provide an extraordinary correction of chromatic aberration. A floating elements design guarantees high image quality from close-focus through infinity. Like the other SLR lenses in the ZE and ZF.2 series, stray light and reflections are well controlled by the Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating and the sophisticated treatment of the lens element edges with special light absorbing paint.

    The robust all-metal barrel of the Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 is designed for decades of reliable service. A long focus rotation and buttery-smooth action is perfect for photographers who want to take control of their picture making, as well as for filmmakers looking for superior focus control. A nine blade aperture provides a nearly circular opening, producing natural looking out of focus details.

    The lens shade is integrated into the design and helps to protect the lens surface from unintentional damage. The 95mm filter thread accepts all standard filters, including the recently released Carl Zeiss T* UV and POL filters.

    The lens will begin shipping in May 2012 at a recommended retail price of $2,950 USD.

    Sample images taken with the Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 lens can be found here.

    Technical data

    Focal length                                          15 mm

    Aperture range                                       f/2.8 -22

    Number of lens elements/groups     15/12

    Focusing range:                                     0.25m – infinity

    Angular field** (diag./horiz./vert.)             110°/ 100°/ 76°

    Coverage at close range**                      340 x 221 mm (close-up)

    Image ratio at close range                      1:9 (close-up)

    Filter thread                                           95mm x 1.0

    Length with caps                          132 mm (ZF.2), 135 mm (ZE)

    Diameter                                               103 mm (ZF.2), 103 mm (ZE)

    Weight                                              730 g (ZF.2), 820 g (ZE)

    Mounts                                                 ZF.2 (F bayonet), ZE (EF bayonet)

    ** Based on 35 mm format

    Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Lens with Filter

    With Filter In Use

    Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Slip-On Lens Cap

    Slip-On Lens Cap

    Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Lens Front View

    ZE Front View

    Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Lens Rear View

    ZE Rear View

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