Canon Takes a Shot at Virtual Reality with MReal

When it comes to next-gen tech, Google clearly has the lead with its Glass project. Google Glass might be premature for its own time, but it is creating a visible impact in the market, as more companies are getting serious about virtual reality. While Glass has a more social and augmented-reality based use case, other companies like Oculus Rift are focusing on a niche market like gaming. The next revolution in consumer devices is coming in the form of virtual reality, and Canon Inc., the imaging expert is joining this race.

canon-mreal

Canon is working on a virtual reality device called the Canon MReal. It combines Canon’s excellent imaging technology with the awesomeness of virtual reality to give us a mixed reality environment. The MReal device has a head-mounted display that is fed with a processed video for the wearer to see. There is a camera in front of each eye, which captures a live video, a computer combines the video with computer-generated visuals in live and puts it back on the screen for the wearer to see with assistance from a number of sensors.

Google Glass, Oculus Rift and the Canon MReal are all trying to capture different markets. However, all three are working separately on virtual reality. While the Oculus Rift has the advantage of being super affordable, Google Glass has the awesome Google infrastructure powering it. So, what does Canon MReal have to offer? At a price tag of $125,000, the MReal is not affordable, neither is it a consumer device. It has been showcased as a mixed reality environment creator, which needs a definite predefined behavior from the existing environment. Clearly, this is less of a Google Glass competitor and more of an industrial virtual-reality toy.

Google is playing a big bet with its Glass project. It is pitching Glass aggressively, and everyone’s attention is fixated on this one project; so much that it can easily be called the biggest thing that Google is working on right now. It would be sad if the project’s peak moment at Google were timed poorly in the context of the consumer electronics market. However, the very fact that it has aroused an interest elsewhere is a good indicator. Google is going beyond cellphones and is taking a lead in the consumer electronics sector for the first time, and as we can see, it seems like it is working great for them.

Canon Goes Mirrorless – Unveils Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera

After some long running rumors, Canon is officially entering the mirrorless camera market with the introduction of Canon EOS M with an EF-M mount and its compatible lenses. The new mirrorless camera shares many of its features with the Canon EOS 650D, including an 18-megapixel APC-sized sensor and a 14-bit DIGIC5 image processor.

The new addition will heavily compete with some of the existing big players including Nikon’s 1, Pentax’s K-01, Panasonic’s G Series, and Sony’s NEX series.

Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera

Featuring the DIGIC 5 processor, the EOS M is capable of shooting 4.3 frames per second with ISO ranging from 100 to 12,800 (expandable to ISO 25,600). Two new M lenses are available – the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom.

The new lenses will not have the auto-manual focus switch buttons, or the IS button, however, the user will be able to change this through the camera’s menu. Additionally, Canon is also introducing its Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, which will allow photographers to use their EF and EF-S lenses.

The Canon EOS M is capable of recording full-HD videos with stereo sound. It also comes with an in-camera editing mode that is simple to use in the three-inch Clear View LCD II Touch screen.

The EOS M is a video oriented camera even though it offers several similar features like the Canon 650D. It makes use of Canon’s Hybrid CMOS AF system to deliver fast autofocus speed for both video and photos.

The Canon EOS M will be available for $799.99 from October, with two colors to choose from: black or white. The white version bundled with the new EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens will be exclusively available through the Canon Online store, shop.usa.canon.com. To use your existing Canon EF and EF-S lenses, the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M can be purchased for an additional cost of $199.99.

Canon EOS M - White

Canon EOS M Key Features

  • New EF-M lens mount (optimized for APS-C sensor size)
  • 14-bit DIGIC5 processor
  • 18MP APS-C ‘Hybrid CMOS’ sensor
  • ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expandedCanon EOS M Adapter
  • 4.3 fps continuous shooting, 3 fps with AF tracking
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode delivers expertly optimized photos and scene detection for amazing results even when shooting at night
  • Advanced imaging features like Handheld Night Scene mode, HDR Backlight Control mode, and seven Creative Filters provide added versatility
  • Multi-shot Noise Reduction helps preserve precious detail in photos at high ISO speeds
  • 1040k dot 3:2 touch-sensitive ClearView II LCD (capacitative type, multi-touch support)
  • Standard EOS hot-shoe for external flash (no built-in flash)

[Press Release]

Canon Announces The EOS-1D C

Canon has just announced their latest cinematographer-centered camera, the EOS-1D C. The EOS-1D C looks the same as the standard EOS-1D X while adding a ton of spec upgrades which the professional videographer will love. The price is also “upgraded” to $15,000, which proves this camera isn’t for the amateur.

Canon EOS-1D C

The EOS-1D C offers 8-bit 4K (24 FPS) video recording with an 18-megapixel, full frame sensor. When recording 4K video, the 1D C only uses part of its high-end sensor which makes for a 1.33x focal length multiplication factor. However, this isn’t the case when recording 1080p (24-60 FPS) video as the camera utilizes its whole sensor and outputs the full 36mm sensor width. All of this footage is recorded on dual CompactFlash cards which you will need to purchase separately.

Canon also announced two new EF Cinema Zoom lenses which include the CN-E 15.2-47mm T2.8 L and the CN-E40-105mm T2.8 L. Both lenses are available in either EF and PL mounts to ensure maximum compatibility with Canon’s other Cinematography cameras. Keep in mind that the EOS-1D C is compatible with all Canon EF and EF Cinema lenses so you can continue to use your old lenses while attempting to raise more money for your short film.

Other notable features of the EOS-1D C include a built-in headphone jack for live audio monitoring, optional AC adapter kit and a Super 35 crop setting. This setting allows cinematographers to meet the industry standard in imaging format.

The Canon EOS-1D C will be available for purchase within the year. Since this camera is aimed at professionals, I doubt we will see this camera in stores.

[Source: Market Watch]

Canon Launches the EOS 60Da

Yesterday, April 3rd 2012, Canon announced their latest DSLR, the EOS 60Da which is a camera designed especially for astrophotography. If you’re curious, astrophotography is the photographing of stars. This is the first upgrade to Canon’s astrophotography lineup since the release of the EOS 20Da, which featured an 8.2-megapixel sensor.

Canon EOS 60Da

The Canon 60Da is essentially the same camera as the original 60D using the same 18-megapixel APS-c sensor. The only major change that has been made to the sensor is that it has been finely tuned for extra-sensitivity to the hydrogen-alpha wavelength by using a modified infrared sensor.

The 60Da also brings an improved version of Canon’s ClearView screen by jamming 1-million dots into the same 3-inch screen. Canon has also stated that they will be including an output cable to monitor the 60Da’s live view on a TV. This will be extremely helpful when your camera is tethered to a telescope. Unfortunately, the 60Da will not include a t-ring adapter for attachment to a telescope so you will have to buy this separately.

If you want to pick up the 60Da for yourself, it’ll run you $1499 for the body, $500 more than the standard 60D. Kit pricing and availability have not yet been announced. The 60Da will only be available at select Canon authorized resellers.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800 Comparison

After much waiting, Canon finally unveiled the EOS 5D Mark III last week, marking the 25th anniversary of the EOS system. The all-new EOS 5D Mark III has got upgraded from its predecessor 5D Mark II and sports several new features.

However, with the release of the Mark III, Canon expects to give tough competitions to its rivals. The on-going rivalry between Canon and Nikon is nothing new. Both the companies have recently upgraded their high-end version of cameras with Nikon replacing the D700 with the D800, while Canon replacing its EOS 5D Mark II with the EOS 5D Mark III.

Both the cameras have their own pros and cons, but none of them stand out of the box when it comes to originality or something new. All I can say is that both the cameras have been enhanced a lot in terms of features and specs.

BUY/Pre-Order: Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Nikon Cameras

Nevertheless, we’d still want to compare what each of the cameras have in different, particularly when it comes to features and technical specifications. Here’s a comparison of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800

Nikon definitely surprised every photography and camera enthusiasts on earth when it released its D800. The Nikon D800 sports a massive 36 million pixel sensor with a huge jump from the 12.1 MP sensor in the Nikon D3, which was released in 2007.

Certainly, everyone expected that Canon would release its next camera with a similar sensor in order to compete head-to-head against the D800. However, Canon decided to play a completely different game by releasing the EOS 5D Mark III with a 21 million pixel low-resolution sensor, focusing on better image equality and noise reduction characteristics along with improved features on AF features/performance and weather sealing.

The reason being is that Canon has been receiving a lot of criticism from the Canon community for over several years on these areas, and that isf why Canon decided to listen to what its community has been saying. It is definitely a smart move from Canon specifically with the autofocus features and performance.

Most of the  users from the community are stating that the EOS 5D Mark II should have sported the features what the EOS 5D Mark III currently has. I agree to some extent, but when it comes to image quality, I disagree with the statement.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has significantly improved in its autofocus features by introducing 61 points – a big upgrade from the Mark II, which only has 9 autofocus points along with 6 assist autofocus points. However, the Nikon D800 offers 51 AF points, with 15 cross-type sensors.

Nikon has improved the D800 video features a lot, especially with the options to shoot at different frame sizes for different focal length and depth of field effects, as well as 50p and 60p slow-motion capabilities. The video offerings in the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the D800 are pretty much the same, since both have the capability to shoot full HD videos.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs. Nikon 800

Here’s a full specification comparison of the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III –

 

Camera Feature

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikon D800

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canon 5D Mark III

 

 

 

 

 

Sensor Resolution

36.3 Million

22.3 Million

Sensor Type

CMOS

CMOS

Sensor Size

35.9x24mm

36x24mm

Dust Reduction / Sensor Cleaning

Yes

Yes

Image Size

7360 x 4912

5760 x 3840

Image Processor

EXPEED 3

DIGIC 5+

Viewfinder Type

Pentaprism

Pentaprism

Viewfinder Coverage

100%

100%

Viewfinder Magnification

0.70x

0.71x

Storage Media

1x Compact Flash and 1x SD

1x Compact Flash and 1x SD

Continuous Shooting Speed

4 FPS, 6 FPS in DX mode with MB-D12 battery grip

6 FPS

Max Shutter Speed

1/8000 to 30 sec

1/8000 to 30 sec

Shutter Durability

200,000 cycles

150,000 cycles

Exposure Metering Sensor

91,000-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering III

iFCL metering with 63 zone dual-layer sensor

Base ISO

ISO 100

ISO 100

Native ISO Sensitivity

ISO 100-6,400

ISO 100-25,600

Boosted ISO Sensitivity

ISO 50, ISO 12,800-25,600

ISO 50, ISO 51,200-102,400

Autofocus System

Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX with 51-points (up to 15 cross-type points)

61-point high-density reticular AF (up to 41 cross-type points)
AF Detection

Up to f/8 (up to 9 cross-type sensors)

Up to f/5.6

Built-in Flash

Yes

No

AF Assist

Yes

No, only with external flash

Video Output

H.264/MPEG-4 in MOV Format

AVI, H.264/MPEG-4 in MOV Format

Uncompressed Video Output

Yes (HDMI)

No

Video Maximum Resolution

1920×1080 (1080p) @ 30p

1920×1080 (1080p) @ 30p

Audio Recording

Built-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)

Built-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)

LCD Size

3.2 diagonal TFT-LCD

3.2 diagonal TFT-LCD

LCD Resolution

921,000 dots

1,040,000 dots

Exposure Compensation

±5 EV in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV increments

±5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments

Bracketing

2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV

±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments

HDR Support

Yes

Yes

Built-in GPS

No

No

Wi-Fi Functionality

Eye-Fi Compatible, WT-4A

Eye-Fi Compatible, WFT-E7

Battery

EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery

LP-E6 Lithium-ion Battery

Battery Life

850 shots (CIPA)

950 shots (CIPA)

Battery Charger

MH-25 Quick Charger

LC-E6 Charger

Weather Sealed Body

Yes

Yes

USB Version

3.0

2.0

Camera Construction

Magnesium Alloy

Magnesium Alloy

Dimensions

144.78 x 121.92 x 81.28mm

152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm

Weight

900g

860g

MSRP Price

$2,999

$3,499

BUY/Pre-Order: Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Nikon Cameras

Canon Unveils 22 Million Image Pixel, 6fps EOS 5D Mark III

Canon had been waiting for the right moment to announce their next masterpiece. In order to mark the 25th anniversary of the EOS system, and after months of agonizing waiting, the company has finally revealed the highly-anticipated EOS 5D Mark III at a press launch today, along with a few other new accessories.

The all-new Canon EOS 5D Mark III is packed with a 22-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor that supports ISO 100 through ISO 25600 (expandable to 102,400) in standard mode. It also features a whopping 61-AF point autofocus system, and has the ability to do a 1080p full-HD video recording in 30, 25 and 24fps.

BUY/Pre-Order: Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Nikon Cameras

Canon EOS 5D mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Features

Here are the main features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III –

22.3 Million Pixel Sensor

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III features a sensor with mere 22.3 million pixels, which is almost over a million pixels more than its predecessor, EOS 5D Mark II. However, this is comparatively way too lesser than its competitor’s masterpiece, the Nikon D800, which features a 36 million pixel sensor.

Although the advantages of having lesser mega pixels still remain, which not only reduces noise but also includes smaller file sizes, but this will certainly not delight consumers who were expecting a larger sensor and larger images with low sensitivity.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Autofocus

The 5D Mark III has a whopping 61 autofocus points. This is seriously a big upgrade from the Mark II, which only had 9 autofocus points along with 6 assist autofocus points. The 5D Mark II offers six AF modes: Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The camera’s twenty one focusing points in the central area are also standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The centre five points are ultra-high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8. The 20 outer focusing points function as high-precision cross-type points with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/4.0″ Canon

Design and Larger Display

Design wise, the EOS 5D Mark III is looks very much similar to the Mark II. The camera features a Magnesium alloy body with some weather sealing that is highly rigid and is designed in way to deal with different weather conditions and is dust resistance. It also has extensive gasketing around the seams for ensured protection.

Compared to the Mark II, the new 5D Mark III has a larger display with 3.2 inches in size and features an 1.04 million dot resolution, which is also higher than the 920k dot screen found on the Mark II. The camera also offers eye-level penta-prism with 100 percent coverage.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

It also has some slight tweaks to its top-mounted info display and buttons on the back. The camera comes with three dual memory card slots, supporting both CF and SD cards.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Specifications – At a Glance

  • Magnesium alloy body with some weather sealing. Highly rigid and is designed in way to deal with different weather conditions and is dust resistance.
  • 22.12 million Image pixel full-frame CMOS sensor with image resolution of 5760 x 3840 pixels.
  • 6fps top shooting rate. The 5D Mark III has two continuous-shooting modes: Continuous High (6fps) and Continuous Low (3fps)
  • Optical viewfinder with 100% frame coverage and optional grid display.
  • Supports ISO 100 through ISO 25600 (expandable to 102,400) in standard mode.
  • A top shutter speed of 1/8000 and x-sync speed of 1/200
  • 61-point AF system with 41 cross-type points
  • Has an in-camera RAW converter
  • HD video capture at up to 1080p/29.97fps or 720p/59.94fps with new H.264 compression options, time code embedding, and a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack.
  • Accepts the new WFT-E7 802.11a/b/g/n wireless transmitter, GPS Receiver GP-E2 and Battery Grip BG-11

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Price

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR will go on sale at the end of March, priced at $3,499 (body-only). A kit with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens will be priced at $4,299.

BUY/Pre-Order: Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Nikon Cameras

How It’s Made – Camera Lenses [Video]

Have you ever wondered how camera lenses are manufactured? Why it takes days to make a new lens? Well, here’s an interesting look into how lenses for DSLR cameras are made. It takes a total of six weeks to make one optical lens. Camera lenses go through several inspections to make sure that the glass gets to the final stage without defects or any dust particles on it.

Here’s a video that demonstrates how camera lenses are made –

The Process:

There are four main manufacturing processes.

  • Grinding and Polishing lens elements
  • Coating lenses
  • Producing the barrel
  • Assembling the lens

The videos show a step-by-step procedure on how a Canon 500mm lens is made. These videos were taken in Canon’s lens manufacturing factory in Japan.

 

 

The steps in  manufacturing  a  camera  lens is not (all) computerized. Camera lens requires  fine adjustment and testing until computerized machines are used.

In the above video, you can see that the manufacturing of the lens  goes through a series of steps. Here are the lens manufacturing steps as shown in the above videos:

  1. Material blending
  2. Pre-fusing
  3. Melted glass is allowed to cool naturally
  4. Cutting the glass into pieces
  5. Fusing
  6. Mixing
  7. Churning
  8. Clarification
  9. Homogenization
  10. Shape the glass into sheets
  11. Shaping and pressing process
  12. Grinning processes
  13. Heating the glass and form its shape by pressing (by hands or by automatic machines)
  14. Annealing
  15. Further polishing
  16. Rough grinding that produces that curved surface of the lens
  17. Fine grinding
  18. Polishing and surface curvature adjustment
  19. Optical inspection
  20. Clean with ultrasonic washing machines
  21. Alignment
  22. Coating
  23. The lens assembly process itself (done by hand for Canon L lenses)

Hat tip to Digital Photography Writer for sharing this.

iPhone 4 Tops Flickr’s Camera Popularity Charts

Six months back, Apple 3G topped the best camera device on Flickr and iPhone 4 slowly picked up it’s pace. Now, a year after iPhone 4 was released and Apple CEO Steve Jobs (at WDDC 2011), pointing out at that iPhone 4 was the second most popular camera on Flickr, has now topped Flickr’s camera popularity charts and is rated as the most popular camera in the Flickr Community.

According to the data released by Flickr, iPhone 4 is currently at the top of the list which overtook Nikon D90. It is followed by Canon cameras that are dropped down to third, fourth and fifth spots.

Most Popular Cameras on Flickr

It’s not just that. The iPhone 4 tops the “Popular Cameraphones” category surpassing Apple iPhone 3G.

Popular Cameraphones

The number of iPhone 4 usage has drastically increased over the year. iPhone 4 has been ranked 1 out the other 4 devices – iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch and iPad 2

The reason fact being that the iPhone 4 is at the top of the list is that Apple’s iOS offers web connectivity and brilliant photography apps. It is also that smartphones are social network friendly and its easier to capture and share photos as we carry it along everywhere we go.

1001 Noisy Cameras argues with the facts that the high ranking of the iPhone is more of a testament, the number of mobile phones and the probability of people having the phone rather than the success and popularity of the iPhone.

  • Every year there is exactly one new iPhone model released
  • For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010, Apple sold 14 million iPhones (that’s 14 million iPhones in 3 months)
  • In two quarters (half a year), Apple sold 30~ million iPhones. If they have two more similar quarters, the total number of iPhones would be half of the total number of digital cameras produced/shipped by the digital camera manufacturers in the whole of 2010

Apart from the features offered by iOS, the other reason could be the number of iPhones units sold. From the above stats its clear that even if DSLRs or point-and-shoot cameras had built-in Wifi/3G or were social network friendly, they still cannot stop/overtake the iPhone due to the high volume of iPhones units.

Flickr data suggests that more users are using camera phones to click everyday photographs, slowly abandoning the point-and-shoot cameras. However, Flickr’s indication of the popularity phones are accurate to the extent that they can only detect the camera that is used to take the photo or shoot the video and not the timeline marked with dates.