Canon release new Final Cut Pro converter

Canon today announces the latest update for EOS Movie Plug-in-E1 for Final Cut Pro – the company’s custom-developed software application that provides quicker and easier editing of EOS Movie footage in Apple’s Final Cut Pro software suite.

Launching to coincide with the start of the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, EOS Movie Plug-in-E1 for Final Cut Pro version 1.2 will make the importing of EOS Movie files even easier, allowing users to transfer files from any folder, without needing to mirror the folder structure on the camera itself.

The update also enables smoother importing from Canon’s EOS 7D, EOS 5D Mark II and EOS-1D Mark IV models, allowing users to import footage without requiring the THM file generated by the camera.

Originally launched in February 2010, EOS Movie Plug-in-E1 for Final Cut Pro is designed to quickly and seamlessly convert EOS Movie footage from Canon’s leading range of EOS DSLR cameras to Apple’s high-quality ProRes 422 codec. The plug-in allows users to convert footage at approximately twice the speed of Apple’s standard conversion, creating a smoother workflow for the rapidly growing number of videographers shooting HD video content on DSLR cameras.

EOS Movie Plug-in-E1 for Final Cut Pro version 1.2 will be available to download for free from 25th April 2011.

Canon video firmware update for 5D MkII

Canon announced today it will release a firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark II allowing users to manually control exposure when shooting video. The new firmware will be available for download from 2 June 2009 on Canon Europe’s support web site.

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Canon EOS 500D – 15.1 MP plus HD video

Received from Canon press office today: United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 25 March 2009: Canon announces the new 15.1MP EOS 500D which offers photographers an outstanding combination of features. Following the launch of the first Canon EOS camera to shoot movies – the EOS 5D Mark II in September 2008 – Canon now brings Full High Definition (HD) video capability to consumers in a compact and lightweight DSLR.

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Canon launch new pro network

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 02 February, 2009: Canon today announces the launch of the EOS Professional Network (EPN) across the UK & Ireland. The Network will consist of EOS Professional Centres and EOS Professional Stockists.

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Canon EOS 5D MkII, Nikon D3X, and Sony Alpha 900 compared

This set of full size shots was taken with the still life left set up, because the Nikon and Canon cameras were not here at the same time. The report originally appeared in December 2008 on photoclubalpha. It compares the A900, 5DMkII and D3X using the converters supplied by the makers – Image Data Converter SR2, Digital Photo Professional, and Capture NX2. Each small image in the article can be clicked to open a Level 10 quality full size JPEG – beware, the largest is over 13MB of data.

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Canon 5D MkII black dot problem

Much has been written in the past few days about the Canon 5D MkII’s so-called black dot problem, in which pixels to the right (as viewed) of extreme point source highlights appear as black dots. Canon has been asked for explanations; my feeling is that the explanation is already present in the way that the 5D MkII handles the necessary process of sharpening.

5D MkII files I have shot (around 500, I’m not a prolific shooter, before the test camera went back) display a far more aggressive edge sharpening policy than any other DSLR raw file I’ve seen. Combined with a very steep midtone curve – crushing the shadows a fair bit, but not unkind to highlights – this produces some of the sharpest looking images around ‘out of the box’.

But, if that visual acuity is to exist on moderate contrast contours and transitions (dark/light boundaries – the basis for all sharpening) it may be extreme on boundaries between dark midtone and small blown highlight pixels. The directional quality of the black dot problem points to a sharpening artefact, or more accurately an edge enhancement artefact – not to be confused with post-capture or JPEG process sharpening.

If so a firmware fix is possible. It may, in the process, make the 5D MkII images from raw appear a touch softer than they do right now. These ‘black dots’ are certainly not dead pixels, and don’t have much to do with the actual sensels on the CMOS. They are created after the image is read out from the silicon.

I may be wrong, but that’s my prediction – the black dots will prove to be an artefact created by a aggressive contour sharpening policy.

– DK

EOS 50D 15.1 mpixel DSLR announced

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 26 August 2008: Canon today strengthens its EOS range with the addition of a powerful new digital SLR: the EOS 50D. With a 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 6.3 frames per second shooting and Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processor, the EOS 50D delivers unparalleled speed and resolution at a price point that is unique in today’s market.

EOS 50D with 17-85mm IS lens

EOS 50D with 17-85mm IS lens

Outstanding, clean images

A newly designed 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor delivers ultra-detailed, low-noise images – ideal for large-scale reproduction or creative cropping. New manufacturing processes, plus redesigned photo diodes and microlenses, extend the light gathering capabilities of the sensor – allowing more pixels to be fitted on the CMOS sensor without compromising image quality. These changes ensure improved high ISO performance and low noise. High-speed, low light shooting is enabled by ISO levels of 3200, expandable to an ultra-sensitive 12800.

The EOS Integrated Cleaning System – including the improved Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a new fluorine coating – increases protection of image quality by helping to reduce, repel and remove unwanted dust from the sensor. Stubborn particles can be removed automatically in post-production with Dust Delete Data and Canon’s included Digital Photo Professional software.

Rapid-fire performance

Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor is fast enough to allow up to 6.3fps continuous shooting, in bursts of up to 90 JPEGs with a UDMA card. Used with Canon’s wide area AF system, which locks onto subjects with 9 individual cross type sensors, stunning action sequences can be captured – even in low-light conditions. This makes the EOS 50D particularly suited to sports and wildlife shooting.

DIGIC 4 works with the CMOS sensor to deliver 14-bit image processing, for smooth gradation and natural-looking colours – as well as ensuring ultra-fast startup times and near-instant image review after shooting.

See everything

A new 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD provides extra-large and wide angle-of-view image review, with plenty of clarity for accurate focus checks in playback. By switching to Live View mode – which displays a real-time image on the LCD – photographers can enjoy simplified shooting from awkward angles, or connect to a PC for remote shooting. Live Mode now offers three ways to auto focus: Quick AF, Live AF, and new Face Detection Live AF, which optimizes focus based on faces detected in the frame – for fast, spontaneous portraiture.

Control and ease of use

The famously intuitive EOS menu system includes a new Quick Control screen, for instant access to the most commonly-changed settings. A new Creative Auto mode offers automatic focus and exposure – while still allowing creative ‘tweaks’ to settings such as background sharpness.

“For advanced amateurs and semi-professionals – or professionals looking for a powerful backup model – the EOS 50D stands alone,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “No other camera in this price bracket offers a comparable combination of speed and image quality.”

Features at a glance:

  • 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 6.3fps continuous shooting, max. burst 90 JPEGs with UDMA card
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • ISO 100-3200, expandable to 12800
  • 9-point wide area AF
  • 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD with Live View mode & Face Detection Live AF
  • Magnesium alloy body, with environmental protection
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • HDMI connection for high quality viewing and playback on a High Definition TV
  • Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites

Pricing & Availability

The EOS 50D (body only) is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1199.99 / €1599.99 RRP inc. VAT.  The EOS 50D EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM kit is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1499.99 / €1949.99 RRP inc. VAT. (UK/Ireland prices).

The 18-200mm ƒ3.5-5.6 IS USM lens

Canon 18-200mm IS EF-S lens

Canon 18-200mm IS EF-S lens

Breaking Canon’s claimed resistance to designing ‘superzooms’, the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is designed exclusively for use with EOS cameras featuring an EF-S lens mount – including the new EOS 50D, EOS 1000D, EOS 450D, and earlier models. (The cosmetic design with the silver rings is unusual in a lens costing this much; it’s reminiscent of lower-cost Canon lenses, and an all-black design might have been better received. – Ed)

The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS features a 16 element, 12 group construction. This includes UD and aspherical lens elements, which minimise chromatic aberration and ensure crisp, corner-to-corner detail across the zoom range. A close focusing distance of just 45cm offers photographers total framing flexibility.

A Canon 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer – specially designed for the lens’ specific focal length range – works to counteract image blur that can occur when shooting handheld, or at slow shutter speeds. Automatic panning detection ensures effective performance when tracking moving subjects. Plus, because the IS system is based in the lens, results are visible through the viewfinder during framing.

Reflection off a digital camera’s image sensor can cause flare and ghosting. To suppress this, the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS uses optics treated with Canon’s patented Super Spectra coatings – for crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is available from end of September 2008 priced at £549.99 / €729.99 RRP inc. VAT.