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Green Mountain Camera Blog

  • One-Week Only Sale! 20% off all Tamrac Bags and Cases

    Tamrac Logo, One Week Only Sale

    Save 20% on all in-stock Tamrac camera bags and cases

    The weather has been strange in Vermont. It is making all of us a little weird. One day it is -10 degrees F, and the next  it is 40. This morning it was snowing for the first time in a long time, and now there are puddles in our parking lot.

    We can't control the weather, but we can control our prices. We decided it would be nice to make the end of February a little more exciting by offering a sale. Now through the end of February (and this year is a leap-year!) get 20% off our already low prices on all, in-stock Tamrac camera bags and cases. Just browse over to our website here, and make sure to enter the promotion code "TAMRAC20" (without the quotes) at the last stage of checking out.

    All Tamrac bags on sale for 20% off

    Act now so you don't miss out. Sale limited to stock on-hand (no special orders or rainchecks). Sale ends at 11:59PM on February 29th.

  • LPA Design Announces New PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver

    PocketWizard Plus III TransceiverThe PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver is an easy-to-use, feature-packed radio flash trigger that is ideal for any serious photographer

    So. Burlington, VT – February 20, 2012 – LPA Design, manufacturers of PocketWizard Photo Products, the world leader in reliable wireless control of cameras, flash lighting and light meters, announces the new PocketWizard Plus III – a feature-packed, easy-to-use solution for remote flash and camera triggering.  This new simple but powerful radio provides professional and serious amateur photographers with the most reliable triggering system which they will never outgrow and never want to be without.

    “Our goals in designing the new Plus III were simple:  It needed to do more, cost less and offer the same reliability and simplicity as the legendary Plus II.  We believe the Plus III achieves all of this and more in its sleek new design,” said Dave Schmidt, LPA Designs VP of Marketing.  “Photographers need tools that will help them create images they couldn’t before and with less hassle and lower cost.  The Plus III is exactly that tool.”

    The new Plus III Transceiver features 32 channels and Selective Quad-Zone Triggering that enables photographers to remotely trigger flash and/or cameras in groups or individually all wirelessly from hundreds of feet away.  Performance enhancing features include Long Range Mode and Repeater Mode to help photographers tackle the most challenging shooting environments and open the door for never-attempted image ideas.  All features, channels and zones can be easily set using the soft-touch keypad and are clearly displayed on the backlit LCD display.

    The versatile new PocketWizard Plus III is compatible with all other PocketWizard radios and virtually every popular flash and professional digital SLR camera system. It also communicates with all PocketWizard-enabled photo gear including select Profoto, Dynalite, Norman and Photogenic flash systems and Sekonic light meters.

    The PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver will retail for $139, and is due to be available mid-March.

  • 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

  • Sponsoring Vermont Magazine's 4th Annual Photo Contest

    We are very pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring this year's Vermont Magazine photo contest. We have been the exclusive sponsor of this photo contest for the last 3 years, and will again be the exclusive sponsor this year. We are very excited to have partnered with Sony to offer 3 incredible prizes--all cameras! This year the grand prize will be a Sony Alpha NEX-C3 with 18-55mm zoom lens, second prize is a Sony A390 digital SLR with 18-55mm zoom lens, and third prize is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W560 digital point & shoot camera. Make sure to look out for the March/April issue of Vermont Magazine that will be available later this month. In there you will be able to find details about contest rules and submitting your photos for contest consideration. In addition, information will be available online at Vermont Magazine's website as things are updated there.

    In support of the photo contest, we will be running a fun, full page ad in the March/April issue of Vermont Magazine. Check out the ad below, and let us know what you think!

    Green Mountain Camera Full Page Ad in Vermont Magazine

     

  • Now carrying Rokinon lenses

    Green Mountain Camera now carries Rokinon lenses

    We are proud to announce that Green Mountain Camera is now carrying the Rokinon family of lenses. Rokinon lenses offer an incredible value for photographers wanting to get into more specialty type SLR lenses. We are currently carrying the 8mm f/3.5 fisheye, 85mm f/1.4 and 14mm f/2.8, all for both Nikon and Canon. We do carry the 8mm for Sony E-mount cameras too. We plan on carrying more lenses in the near future, including the 35mm f/1.4 and the new 24mm f/1.4. Please note that all Rokinon lenses are manual focus only.

    Here is a list of what we currently have in stock. Click through each for pricing and purchase details. The 8mm f/3.5 fisheye for Canon and Sony E-mount are currently on backorder, but we should have more shortly.

    Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens for Nikon, with AE chip

    Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon

    Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens for Nikon

    Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens for Canon

    Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon, with AE chip

    Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon, with AE chip

  • 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.

  • Sony Announces E-Mount Lens Expansion, Promises 5 New Lenses

    Sony E-Mount Lens Roadmap

    Click image for larger view

    Sony has announced intentions to grow their E-mount (Sony Alpha NEX Cameras) lens assortment significantly over the next two years, and plans to offer a total of  15 E-mount lenses in market by the end of 2013.   For those doing the math, that amounts to 8 new lenses in addition to the 7 currently offered.  Though official specs of the new lenses have yet to be released, we are able to share what Sony intends to offer for these 5 new lenses:

    2012

    1.  High-Magnification Zoom Lens
    2. Standard Zoom Lens
    3. Large Aperture, Standard Fixed-Focal Length Lens

    2013

    1. Mid-Magnification Zoom Lens
    2. Snap, Pancake Fixed-Focal Length Lens

    Any guesses on specifics? Check the chart above to see what is already being offered to help fill in the blanks.

     

  • Classic Olympus OM Design Revived Into a New State of the Art Digital Camera

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Digital Camera

    The Olympus E-M5 Unites an Intuitive Built-In Electronic Viewfinder with the World’s First*1 5-Axis Image Stabilization and World’s Fastest*2 Autofocusing System inside a Powerfully Portable and Rugged Dustproof and Splashproof Body

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

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

    CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 7, 2012, 9:00pm – Today Olympus builds upon the 40-year legacy of the OM SLR film camera series and marks the beginning of the new digital imaging era with the launch of the Olympus E-M5, the first of the new Olympus OM-D (OM Digital) Series of Micro Four Thirds™ products. Designed to meet the needs of advanced photographers, the Olympus E-M5 is packed with a built-in electronic viewfinder, superior image technology, blazing fast speed and total creative control in a classic, rugged body ready for sand, sun, sleet or snow.

    Evoking the classic design of the original OM Series introduced 40 years ago, and transforming it for the modern age, the Olympus OM-D Series is a new and entirely unique Micro Four Thirds camera system. It combines outstanding features found in the Olympus E-System DSLR line with those of the compact Olympus PEN® Series to meet the requirements of discerning photographers who demand more performance and portability from their interchangeable-lens cameras. The compact and ready-for-action Olympus E-M5 boasts breakthrough innovations inside, including:

    • A built-in 120-fps (frames-per-second) refresh rate, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) with outstanding image quality, eye detect and intuitive functionality that enables real-time viewing of shooting conditions
    • A 16.1-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and TruePic VI image-processing engine for superior image quality and high sensitivity
    • The world’s first*1 5-axis image stabilizer to compensate for multi-directional camera shake during both still photography and HD moviemaking
    • The world’s fastest*2 autofocusing system (FAST AF) plus new 3D AF tracking for improved performance following moving subjects at up to 9 frames-per-second sequential shooting
    • A lightweight magnesium alloy body that is enhanced with the same dustproof and splashproof durability of the Olympus E-5 DSLR
    • A tilting 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and new Movie Effects: One Shot Echo, for a semi-transparent frame at your whim and Multi Echo, for a multi-motion trail effect.

     

    Intuitively Designed Electronic Viewfinder

    The OLYMPUS E-M5 is the first Olympus interchangeable-lens camera to incorporate a 120-fps refresh rate, High-Definition electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor to seamlessly switch the display between the tilting, 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and the electronic viewfinder for ease-of-use, features a 100-percent field of view, maximum 1.15x magnification and an eye point of 18mm for fatigue-free viewing. Camera setting information, such as shutter speed, is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder so photographers can concentrate on framing shots and take full advantage of an EVF’s ability to display the effects of various exposure adjustments and Art Filter effects – all without having to take the eye away from the viewfinder.

     Olympus OM-D E-M5 Back with Tiltable LCD

    Superior Image Quality

    The Olympus E-M5 uses a new 16.1 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor offering improved performance and exceptional clarity and speed in all aspects of image capture. Olympus’ TruePic VI image-processing engine dramatically improves image quality in low-light environments. The camera’s sensor allows for a maximum ISO of 25,600, and the dynamic range has been expanded for more faithful color reproduction.

    Click any of the images below for full-resolution output samples from the OM-D E-M5:

     Olympus OM-D E-M5 Output Image Sample
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Output Sample Image
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Output Sample Image

    Unprecedented 5-axis image stabilization

    The Olympus E-M5 is distinguished by the world’s first 5-axis image-stabilization mechanism capable of reducing the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions on stills and video, even including motion blur caused by the photographer walking or running.     Previous IS mechanisms compensated for camera shake by addressing only two kinds of movement along the vertical and horizontal axis. However, camera shake can actually be caused by five different kinds of movement: horizontal shift, vertical shift, rotary motion, as well as the yaw and pitch. While some technology has attempted to correct for camera blur by building the Image Stabilization mechanism into the lens, the Olympus E-M5 IS mechanism is incorporated into the camera body itself so that all lenses mounted on the body can take advantage of this sophisticated technology, whether shooting stills or HD video.

    Blazing Speed

    Focus and shoot faster with record-breaking autofocus speed and imaging processing. The Olympus E-M5 employs the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, introduced in the PEN E-P3, but with even greater speed. The 16MP Live MOS chip drives image data off the sensor at a blazing 240 frames-per-second, a 2X speed increase in Continuous Autofocus, with reduced image blackout enabling photographers to track fast action, Maximum frame rates in sequential shooting have also increased more than 2X with a max frame rate of 9-fps in Single AF. A new 3D tracking AF system can follow the subject through the X-, Y- and Z-axes to dramatically improve focus on moving subjects. Paired with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50-mm f3.5-6.3 electronic zoom lens for optimum focusing speed, fast camera start-up times and operational speeds enable the photographer to keep up with the most challenging shooting situations, while dual control dials and dedicated function buttons help them adjust settings on-the-fly.

    Creative Freedom

    The Olympus E-M5 features a 3.0-inch tilting OLED touch-screen to enable photographers to get up high or down low for any shot. The touch screen interface offers intuitive focus and release of the shutter and review and enlargement of images in playback with the touch of a finger. The new Live Bulb feature updates the Live View image on the OLED screen at pre-set intervals during long exposures and enables the user to preview continually unfolding action such as fireworks or waterfalls and adjust the exposure time accordingly while capturing the image at the desired moment. An innovative new interface, EVF Creative Control, produces a tone curve overlay on the viewfinder screen to enable separate adjustment of highlight and shadow brightness, white balance, magnification and aspect ratio can also be manipulated via the EVF

    A new “Key Line” Art Filter joins ten other available filters on the Olympus E-M5 and enhances the edge lines of the image to make it look more like an illustration. New “Cross Process II” and “Dramatic Tone II” Art Filters provide variations on the popular existing filters, and the two new Echo effect for movies leaves a momentary residual image of a subject’s movements when activated during movie recording. Users who like to perform their movie post-editing on a PC will particularly appreciate the Full HD 1080i movie recording function, which adopts the MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264).

    Powerful Portability and Rugged Durability

    The striking, iconic design of the Olympus E-M5 is more than just looks; its magnesium alloy body is rugged enough to stand up to severe environmental conditions like heavy rain and blowing sand. The Olympus E-M5 employs internal seals extensively and, when the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens is attached, this combination delivers an integrated dustproof and splashproof camera system. The electronic viewfinder section of the body is also made of magnesium alloy to ensure durability, and the FL-LM2 Electronic Flash that ships with the camera features the same dustproof and splashproof construction.

    New Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge

    The HLD-6 Power Battery Grip, in the same dust- and splashproof construction as the Olympus E-M5 body, is an adaptable, two-part grip that can be used either as a landscape grip for easier handling or as a portrait grip with an additional shutter release. The portrait grip accommodates an extra lithium-ion battery to supplement the one in the E-M5, thus extending battery life. The FL-600R electronic flash (GN 50 at ISO 200 or GN 36 at ISO 100) offers improved recharge time and enhanced flexibility and operability for movie recording, and with a wireless control option. Equipped with a built-in LED, the FL-600R can be used to light movies and as a brighter AF auxiliary light. The MMF-3 Four Thirds mount adapter is designed for mounting a Four Thirds Standard-compliant lens on a Micro Four Thirds Standard-compliant camera body. The MMF-3, which also features dust- and splashproof construction, is ideally suited for use with Olympus’ similarly constructed High Grade and Super High Grade lenses.

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

    The Olympus E-M5 is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses, including two new lenses that Olympus will introduce later this year: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 macro. The 75mm lens is a high-quality metal design with fast aperture settings for portraits and indoor sports shooting, while the dustproof and splashproof 60mm lens features 1:1 macro and a closest shooting distance of just 7.5 inches.

    *1 As of February 2012. Among interchangeable-lens cameras.

    *2 As of November 2011. Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras on the market, and using Olympus’ in-house test conditions. In C-AF Tracking mode, maximum frame rate is 4.2fps.

    U.S. Pricing and Availability

    The Olympus E-M5 will be available in April and ships in the following configurations:

    Estimated Street Price:

    $999.99 (Body only, available in Black and Silver)

    $1,299.99 (Black or Silver body with black M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens)

    $1,099.99 (Black body with black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens)

    For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1583

    To find out more about the OM-D E-M5, visit the OM-D site at: www.olympusomd.com

    ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.

    Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

    Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

     

    *Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holders.

    ©2012 Olympus Imaging America Inc.

  • 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

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