16 January 2013

First photos taken with my Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

Canon Poweshot SX40 HS
Photos taken with Canon Poweshot SX40 HS - AV Mode : ISO 100, Aperture f/5.6 with IS (Image Stabilisation). Various focal lengths.
Setting: Durbanville / Milnerton Cape Town

Objective: Demonstrating the various focal lengths / zoom of the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

Please note: The photographs where uploaded without any other in-camera enhancements or software post-processing (except for crops).  Click To Enlarge

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers 

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers

Photo Vernon Chalmers Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  Photo: Vernon Chalmers

02 January 2013

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS - The road to my first ultra-zoom camera

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Over the years I never really bothered owning anything other than a few Canon PowerShot A-Series digital cameras (A520 / A590). Nothing more than a few point-and-shoot holiday photos and for the fundamental understanding of the digital photography process and my hands-on Canon IT sales experience. But all changed in September 2012 while researching a client's requirement for a high-quality, ultra-zoom / telephoto digital camera, but preferably not a Canon EOS DSLR camera.

As an independent Canon IT product re-seller I consulted the Canon PowerShot pricelist and looked at the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS with 35x zoom lens, but it was discontinued and replaced with the more powerful PowerShot SX40 HS. On Canon’s USA website I was greeted with the esthetically beautiful and spec-impressive new 35x zoom lens PowerShot SX30 replacement. With it's 35x ultra zoom, Digic 5 Image Processor, 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor and Full HD video format I was more than impressed with the Powershot SX40 HS. I wanted one as well. And as quick as possible.

Canon camera research / purchase
After the product and price research and my countless review readings my client (WPCA / Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras marketing) purchased the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS with one 32 GB Philips SD Memory card (and Lowepro camera bag). As a non-DSLR camera the SX40 HS is ideally suited for their Social Media / internal marketing and general photo and short HD video requirement. Before delivery I had a weekend opportunity for setup and testing the SX40. With its ultra zoom and automatic image stabilser I took some great looking photos straight out the box. All on automatic and all true what most (professional) reviewers had to say about this camera.

Deciding between the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS or SX50 HS (for myself)
At time of ordering I had the choice between the SX40 and the newly available SX50 (with 50x zoom and other enhancements). It took some deliberation to work through the decision-making process, but at the end based my decision on the following criteria:
Same camera as client (decreased learning curve / quick support)
SX40 received very good to excellent reviews from professionals / current owners
Extended zoom and other enhancements on SX50 not a deal-breaker (for me)
SX50 was R1000-00 more expensive (at time of purchase)
Used the balance of my budget to invest in a Manfrotto tripod

Ordering, unpacking and 'shooting'
I ordered my SX40 HS camera from the Canon distributor early December 2012 and collected the product almost immediately. As with the client's SX40 the camera was exceptionably well packaged (as always from Canon) and started taking some decent looking photos after its first battery charge (included NB-10L lithium-ion battery was charged in 1.5 hours and last for up to +- 380 shots).

The operating and menu-system is typical Canon and I was quite impressed with standard / automatic point-and-shoot arrangements and image stabilisation. Its early days, but have started experimenting with the myriad of functions and settings.

Basic photography hardware / software home-office setup
Here some of the equipment I aquired / added to compliment the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS:

  • 2x 16 GB (Class 10) Philips SD memory cards
  • Multi-purpose camera bag
  • Manfrotto MKC3-H01 compact tripod 
For the occasional printing of photographs its hooked-up to my existing Canon Pixma MG 4160 colour multifunction printer. Once again a quality Canon product to suite a low to medium home/office budget. Great scanning/copying and automatic duplex printer with both USB and Wi-Fi connectivity.

For downloading photographs, image management and post-production I just use Google Picaso at the moment, but started experimenting with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.3 for more enhanced post-production (with my dual -display and workstation setup).

DSLR vs Point-and-Shoot / Bridge Cameras
The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is not a Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera and with its 35x optical ultra-zoom lens, LCD and Electronic viewfinder (EVF) is not a point-and-shoot camera either. By many it is refered to as a Bridge camera for 'bridging the gap' between the higher-end DSLR and entry-level digital camera technologies. More information on bridge cameras - read.

At this stage I am more than satisfied with my choice of Canon PowerShot bridge camera. There is still some significant learning, but with sustained confidence in Canon quality an plenty subject experiments I should be up to the task. Herewith a few photographs taken at my first real opportunity recently.

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Canon PowerShot SX40HS

01 January 2013

Canon unveils the f/1.8 PowerShot G15 and PowerShot SX50 HS

 London, UK, 17 September, 2012 – Canon today unveils the PowerShot G15 and PowerShot SX50 HS – two new innovative compact cameras that demonstrate Canon’s expertise in next-generation lens design. The PowerShot G15 features the brightest lens in a PowerShot G-series model to date, with a new f/1.8-2.8, 5x zoom lens, providing photographers with an extra-wide aperture throughout the camera’s entire focal range. The PowerShot SX50 HS is the world’s first 50x optical zoom[1] compact stills camera, offering ground-breaking power alongside advanced manual control and RAW format support. 

Designed for advanced users looking for premium quality, class-leading performance and compact bodies, both PowerShot models feature Canon’s renowned imaging technologies, delivering superior quality stills and Full HD movies. Both also feature the acclaimed HS System, which offers outstanding low light performance and exceptionally low noise levels in all conditions. Canon’s optical Image Stabilizer with Intelligent IS ensures the sharpest image quality throughout each camera’s zoom range, while manual control and RAW file support provides photographers with maximum control over how images are captured and post-processed.

Canon PowerShot G15
Next-generation lens design 
The PowerShot G15 and PowerShot SX50 HS incorporate new, cutting-edge precision Canon lenses that open up a range of creative possibilities. The PowerShot G15 features a super bright f/1.8-2.8 lens, which has been developed using new highly refractive glass with a unique multiple material coating engineered to handle specific wavelengths of light at the nanometre scale. Its 5x optical zoom provides outstanding versatility, offering an f/1.8 aperture at its 28mm wide-angle, and an f/2.8 aperture at its maximum 140mm focal length. This offers photographers extra freedom to shoot in low light, use fast shutter speeds for freezing motion, or add atmosphere to stills by using a shallower depth of field, throughout the camera’s entire zoom range.

For photographers who want to capture detail in distant subjects, the PowerShot SX50 HS features Canon’s most powerful optical zoom in a compact camera to date. A class-leading optical construction features 13 elements, with three UD lenses included in a 10 group optical arrangement – providing exceptional performance throughout the enormous 50x optical zoom range. A newly designed Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and Voice Coil Motor (VCM) ensure fast and near-silent zooming when moving from the 24mm wide angle through to 1200mm[2] maximum reach, while ZoomPlus digitally extends the zoom to 100x while maintaining high image quality.

Enhanced Zoom Framing Assist on the PowerShot SX50 HS now includes new Seek and Lock functions, which are designed to help photographers locate and lock-on to subjects at the telephoto end of the lens. Users can press a dedicated Seek button located on the lens barrel, which makes the lens zoom out to relocate subjects. Once the subject is located users can release the button, with the lens automatically extending back to its telephoto focal length. Additionally, a Lock button can also be used to engage a powerful optical IS mode that holds the subject in the frame until the shot is taken.

Pin-sharp clarity with optical Image Stabilizer
Canon’s industry-leading optical Image Stabilizer technology counters camera shake in both models, suppressing blur in stills and unsteady movie footage. 4-stop (PowerShot G15) and 4.5-stop (PowerShot SX50 HS) optical Image Stabilizers ensure that shots are sharp, crisp and detailed when shooting at telephoto focal lengths or in low light. Additionally, Intelligent IS automatically detects the shooting situation and applies the most suitable Image Stabilizer mode from seven variables. The PowerShot SX50 HS also features a new and advanced Dynamic IS mode that reduces the rolling motion style camera shake that typically occurs when movies are recorded whilst walking or moving.

Premium image quality and speed
Both models feature Canon’s HS System – a combination of a high-sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor and powerful DIGIC 5 image processing. The PowerShot G15 features a new Canon 1/1.7-type high-sensitivity CMOS sensor that offers even greater light gathering abilities than its predecessor, resulting in outstanding flexibility during low light shooting. High ISO shooting at speeds up to ISO 12,800[3] allows the use of fast shutter speeds and faster continuous shooting, even in poor light conditions. Powerful DIGIC 5 processing in each model is also optimised to work seamlessly with the high resolution sensors, keeping image noise to a minimum in all lighting conditions.

Improved Auto Focus (AF) systems on both models make it easy for users to capture sharply-focused stills. The PowerShot G15 AF speed[4] offers exceptional performance – at just 0.17 seconds at the wide-angle – representing a 53% improvement[5] over the PowerShot G12, making it the fastest Canon compact camera ever produced.

High-speed Burst HQ mode, available on both models, also allows the capture of high quality, full resolution shots of fast moving subjects. The PowerShot SX50 HS captures split-second action at 13 shots/second, perfect for wildlife photography, while a burst rate of 10 shots/second on the PowerShot G15 is ideal for capturing fast-paced action.

Creative flexibility with manual control and auto modes
Offering similar levels of manual control to those found on Canon EOS DSLRs, both cameras allow photographers to adjust settings such as aperture, shutter speed, white balance and ISO sensitivity. RAW in both models now includes multi-aspect support, allowing photographers to explore different aspect ratios in post-production.

A range of automatic shooting features also ensure users get the best shot. Smart Auto utilises advanced scene detection technology and selects the most appropriate setting from 58 different variables, while Face ID cleverly recognises pre-registered faces of friends or family and adjusts settings accordingly to ensure they always look their best. Multi-Area White Balance automatically adjusts colour tones in shots captured indoors with different light sources, so shots look more natural.

Designed for serious photographers
The PowerShot G15 features the signature design characteristics of the PowerShot G-series, offering excellent handling for everyday use. Its lightweight, robust aluminium body is approximately 17% smaller than the PowerShot G12, making it an ideal complement to a DSLR camera.

Designed for quick one-handed operation, the PowerShot G15 features a two-level top control dial, a front dial and dedicated Movie Record and shortcut buttons – making it easy for users to access and adjust camera settings between shots. A sharp 920k-dot resolution 7.5 cm (3.0’’) PureColor II G screen is ideal for composition and playback, with a wide viewing angle and a tempered glass layer offering enhanced durability and visibility. An optical viewfinder also provides an alternative to live view composition, providing a more traditional through-the-lens shooting experience.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Designed to offer the familiar feel of a DSLR in a more compact form, the PowerShot SX50 HS features an angled design with a grip that feels secure in the hand and is ideal for ultra-zoom shooting. Outstandingly compact for the flexibility of the 50x optical zoom range, the PowerShot SX50 HS offers a control dial for easy access and navigation through system menus, as well as one-touch action buttons including a dedicated Movie Record button. An Electronic Viewfinder, combined with a 7.1cm (2.8’’) vari-angle PureColor II VA LCD screen, allows users to frame their shots in their preferred style, and shoot from a range of different angles.

Instant Full HD movies
Perfect for capturing super-sharp video, the PowerShot G15 and the PowerShot SX50 HS also support Full HD (1080p) movie recording at 24fps. The cameras’ optical zooms can be utilised during recording, while AF in movies also ensures that subjects remain crisp, clear and in focus. High quality stereo sound is also supported by both models.

Experiment with Canon accessories
Both new PowerShot models are compatible with a wide range of Canon accessories, allowing users to expand their photography kit bag. A hotshoe allows photographers to experiment with creative flash photography using Canon’s Speedlite flash range, while Lens Filter Adapters offer compatibility with Canon’s range of EOS filters. Both models are compatible with the Remote Switch RS-60E3, perfect for controlling long exposures or shooting at night to reduce camera shake. A new Waterproof Case WP-DC48 is also available for the PowerShot G15 – perfect for users who like to capture stunning marine life.

PowerShot G15 – Key Features:

  • Bright f/1.8-2.8, 28mm, 5x zoom Canon lens 
  • 12.1 MP CMOS; HS System with DIGIC 5 
  • 4-stop Intelligent IS 
  • 7.5 cm (3.0”) LCD; OVF 
  • Front Dial, Full Manual, RAW 
  • Full HD movies, HDMI-CEC 
  • Quick auto focus 
  • Smart Auto and Face ID 
  • HDR mode 
  • Range of accessories

PowerShot SX50 HS – Key Features:

  • 50x ultra wide-angle zoom 
  • 4.5-stop optical Image Stabilizer. Intelligent IS 
  • 12.1 MP HS System with DIGIC 5 
  • Full HD, HDMI 
  • 7.1 cm (2.8") vari-angle LCD, EVF 
  • Manual modes, RAW 
  • Enhanced Zoom Framing Assist 
  • Smart Auto, Multi-area WB 
  • High-speed Burst HQ

Source: Canon Europe

Canon PowerShot G15 Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot G15
Reaching new heights in speed, agility and creative possibilities, the PowerShot G15 gives photographers plenty of reasons to be delighted over. The excitement starts with the newly developed 5x Optical Zoom with 28mm Wide-Angle, bright f/1.8 (W) – f/2.8 (T) lens that performs beautifully across the entire zoom range, even in low light, and can create dramatic soft backgrounds with shallow depth-of-field. Additional great features for the PowerShot G15 include Canon's HS SYSTEM, which combines a High-Sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor with the DIGIC 5 Image Processor for ultra-fast performance and phenomenal image quality, a new dual axis electronic level, plus upgraded video capture in 1080p Full HD with stereo sound.

Detailed Canon G15 PowerShot Specifications - Canon USA
Comprehensive / Professional Reviews - Canon PowerShot G15
Customer / User Reviews - Canon PowerShot G15

Canon PowerShot G15 Digital Camera Review

Press Release: Canon launches the small and simple EOS M

Canon EOS M Digital CamersLondon, UK, 23 July 2012 Canon today expands its award-winning EOS range with the launch of the new EOS M. The company’s first ever compact system camera (CSC), the EOS M is designed for those who use photography to share their everyday passions – from food, to fashion and culture, music and art. Offering DSLR-quality imaging, creative features and Full HD movie creation in a compact and easy-to-use model, the EOS M is the perfect, take-anywhere partner for a new breed of enthusiasts who chronicle their lives through images, without necessarily considering themselves to be ‘photographers’.

The EOS M is available in sleek black, glossy white, stylish silver or bold red colours, and condenses Canon’s renowned EOS imaging heritage into a stylish, compact design. The model launches alongside two new lenses, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the
EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom, as well as a new compact EX Speedlite – the Speedlite 90EX – providing everything you need to capture stunning images every day. For those who want to push their images even further, the EOS M can also utilise Canon’s extensive range of EF lenses with the new Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, for even more creative freedom.

The quality of a Canon DSLR
Print your favourite moments in poster-size or crop your image for maximum impact –whether shooting the atmosphere of your favourite club or the intricate stitching of the latest must-have handbag – thanks to the EOS M’s high-resolution, 18 megapixel APS-C hybrid CMOS sensor. The large sensor also allows you to artistically blur the background for beautiful portraits, or for close-ups with impact.

With the inclusion of Canon’s DIGIC 5 processor, colours ‘pop’ and skin tones are beautifully natural, whilst a super-fast shutter allows you to capture split-second action. The atmosphere of evening shoots and challenging night-time scenes are also easily recorded in stunning detail thanks to the EOS M’s sensitive native ISO range of 100-12,800 (extendable to 25,600).

For pin-sharp shots and professional-looking footage, this new design features a Hybrid AF System that supports super-fast, accurate AF when shooting stills and movies – allowing you to record any moment with confidence.

Shoot what you see and easily express your creative vision
Every aspect of the EOS M has been designed to make it simple to capture beautiful, creative, high-quality images. From the very first swipe across the bright, high-resolution, 7.7cm (3.0”), Clear View LCD II Touch screen, the EOS M gives you as much or as little control over your photos as desired. Simply select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons, or let Scene Intelligent Auto adjust the camera settings according to the subject and shooting conditions, leaving you free to focus on composition and selecting the perfect moment to hit the shutter release button.

EOS M users can shoot with the confidence that comes from having the world's most comprehensive photographic system behind them. Whether you want to capture every detail of a close-up or zoom in to frame a subject in the far distance, any one of Canon’s extensive range of EF lenses can be connected via the new Mount Adapter EF-EOS M for photographic flexibility.

With one of Canon’s Speedlite flash units, you can also explore creative lighting techniques to add an extra level of interest to your shots. Alternatively, create unique images with a range of Creative Filters like Toy Camera effect, Grainy B&W or even a filter that mimics the distortion of a fish-eye lens. The filters can be applied before the shot is captured, with the result previewed in Live View, allowing you to experiment with different effects before selecting the perfect treatment for your final image.

Turn film-maker with EOS Movie and Video Snapshot
When a moment calls for more than a still image, the EOS M lets you switch easily to Full HD video with stereo sound for superb results. Video Snapshot mode also helps family and friends avoid long home movie viewing sessions, guiding you to create exciting movies in-camera, with a professionally edited feel.

Extending the EOS System with dedicated accessories
In addition to compatibility with Canon’s existing EF lenses¹, accessories and Speedlites, the EOS M launches with its own bespoke range of compact accessories. Two new EF-M lenses offer portability and high performance when using the new model – the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. Both feature new Stepper Motor technology for exceptionally smooth AF performance, as well as precision Canon optics, while their compact designs offer the perfect form-factor to complement the camera’s pocket-sized body.

Additionally, the EOS M will ship with the new Speedlite 90EX flash unit as standard. Lightweight and highly-compact, it offers a maximum guide number of nine and supports wide-angle lenses, making it an ideal general-purpose flash for everyday use. A wireless master function also allows the control of multiple flash guns wirelessly, allowing more advanced users to experiment with a range of creative lighting effects.

EOS M – key features

  • The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body
  • Scene Intelligent Auto
  • Be versatile with interchangeable lenses
  • Create out-of-focus backgrounds for high impact
  • Easy-to-use touch-screen
  • Atmospheric photos in low light
  • Full-HD video with Video Snapshot Mode

Source: Canon SA Press Release

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