Friday, May 29, 2020

Purchase prints and support an amazing charity!

I have contributed a print to support NYC SALT's mission to help raise funds to ensure that high school students at NYC Salt continue to receive college guidance and creative development during this pandemic time where the students are isolated and at even more of a disadvantage.

My image for sale at the NYC SALT print event

Please visit https://printsbysalt.com/ to support the cause and browse many of the beautiful prints by professional artists.

NYC salt uses a camera as a tool to build futures. The program combines art education, college preparation, 1:1 mentorship, career exploration, internships, and job placement. It’s a one-stop resource for our students who are immigrants, from low-income families and primarily young women of color who dream to enter the creative industry in NYC. 

It is truly a great cause!!


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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
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Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

New video: Macro Photography - something you can do at home!

I just released another video tutorial on my YouTube channel. This time the subject is macro photography, with tips on how to create really cool photos right in your own home.

You can click here or you can click on the image below to open the video in YouTube.



And don't forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel HERE.

I hope you learn something from the video and go out and shoot something really outstanding during this long weekend.


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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Monday, May 18, 2020

Shooting a unique graduation photo and color swapping in Photoshop

Yesterday afternoon I had a request from our neighbor to take their son's graduation photo. He needed one right away since his school was putting something together last minute.

If you have been reading this blog for a long time, you may recognize Jeffrey. He has been my subject for many blog posts, including this one where he walked for the first time without a wheel chair. The following image is still one of my favorite photos ever...


Well...Jeffrey has grown up a lot in the last 8 years, and is graduating high school.

His mom (Becky) asked if we had any caps and gowns at our house (for props) but we did not. Being resourceful, Becky was able to round up what she needed, but only in the color blue. She told me that his school colors were burgundy, but that his real cap and gown would not arrive for another week. Well after the photo deadline.

I told her not to worry.  I figured that I might be able to work my magic and do a color swap in Adobe Photoshop.



Here is the original photo that I took in their front yard. I used my Canon 1D X Mark III with the Canon 70-200mm lens and the Canon 600EX-RT flash.


I took the image with the burgundy (gown) that Becky had sent to me via text and added it to the image so that I could pick my target color from it. 

I went into the Adjustments panel of Photoshop and chose "Replace color". I then selected the target color (the blue from the gown) and the replacement color from the burgundy gown image. And voila... 



It was really simple to do and quite effective.

After doing this, I realized that this may be a common situation right now in this Covid-19 world, and thought that this might be of help to others out there.


I took images of Jeffrey in portrait and landscape and did the same color swap to all images for them.


For all those kids that are graduating right now, I wish you all the best, and I hope that you have great photos to show for it!

Oh - and speaking of portraits, I just released my 2 minute video tutorial on focusing on the eyes. You can watch it here.

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
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Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Thursday, May 14, 2020

New video on photographing peak of action

When photographing things that are in motion, whether it is kids, athletes, wildlife or other subjects, you want to get the shot with them in the peak of action. Your best bet for capturing this exact moment is to have your camera in a burst mode when shooting. This video explains that and more.

I hope you enjoy it and learn from it as well.


You can click the image above to launch the video in YouTube.

And don't forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel to see all the future videos.

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Saturday, May 9, 2020

New video on one of my favorite techniques - Motion panning

I just released the second video in my series of new photography tutorials. This video teaches you how to do one of my favorite photography techniques, motion panning.

For those of you who are not photographers, this is when we slow the shutter speed of the camera and follow our subject to blur everything but what we are focusing on. It is a great way to photograph a subject (a person, a pet, a car, or any moving object) in a much more dynamic way.

Trust me, this creates really cool images that will inspire you to do more.

Check out the new video to learn how to do this yourself.



You can click the image above to launch the video in YouTube.

And don't forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel to see all the future videos.

__________________________________________________________________________
Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Monday, May 4, 2020

The first in my new series of instructional videos: Servo focus vs. fixed focus

I am really excited to release the first in my new series of instructional videos.

Each of these videos is kept short and sweet, trying to give you valuable information in a short amount of time.

This first video explains the difference between fixed focus and servo (or follow) focus in your camera. Knowing how to change these focus modes can make a HUGE difference in the quality of your photos. This video explains why that is the case.



You can click on the image above to watch the video. And, while on the YouTube page, don't forget to subscribe to the channel.

I hope that you enjoy this and the upcoming videos and learn from them as well.

Jeff


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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Saturday, May 2, 2020

A whole new series of free photo tip videos for you all!

After years of people asking me to do video tutorials of my tips and tricks in photography, the time has come. With the slowdown associated with Covid-19, I have have been using that free time to shoot and edit a bunch of short videos (usually between 2-5 minutes) that I hope will help all of you to take better photos.


You can click on the image above to see my short introduction. You will also notice a super cool new lead-in and lead-out that my buddy Jason created for me.

I have already completed 20 videos and plan to roll out a new video at least once a week.

Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to see them all!




And this is just the beginning. I have a long list of ideas for other videos, and hope to record them soon. And, of course, if you have any ideas of videos you would like to see, please leave a comment here on the blog or send me an email.


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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________ 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Zoom Bar Mitzvah during the Covid-19 pandemic

It seems like forever since I packed up my camera gear and photographed an event. It was actually on March 7th that I photographed a Bar Mitzvah, and ever since that the world has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 virus.

But last week, a client who was supposed to have a Bar Mitzvah at a temple here in the South Bay, called me and asked if I was willing to do some portraits of them (from a distance) before they had their virtual mitzvah over Zoom.

Knowing that we could still get really nice photos of them from a distance of 6 feet or more, I jumped at the chance to do this for them. I even offered to do it for free, since it was not a full day event and it didn't seem right to charge them during this time.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 200mm, ISO 250, f/4, 1/250 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)

I pulled up to their house and texted them that I had arrived. I stayed outside and waited for them to come outside. I usually start photographing the Bar Mitzvah boy first, so I followed my normal routine.

I had Ben come out into their front yard and started taking portraits. I was using my Canon 1D X Mark III with the Canon 70-200mm lens and a Canon 600EX-RT flash (powered down to -1.5 in ETTL mode). Luckily, we had overcast skies, so harsh sunlight was not an issue.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 150mm, ISO 250, f/4, 1/250 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)

After getting some nice shots of Ben, I asked him to get his brothers for some photos of the three of them. I saw that Ben was about 10 feet in front of his siblings and thought that it would make a fun shot with him in focus and his brothers slightly out of focus in the background.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 160mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)

Then I had the three of them sit on the front step to their house to get this more traditional photo of the three handsome boys.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 140mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)
After I was done with the boys, I had them get mom and dad outside for some family portraits. It was really weird to photograph them while forcing myself to keep a distance. Usually I turn the camera around and show them what I am capturing, but not this time.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 140mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/250 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)
Mom had the idea of getting photos of them wearing face masks, which I just loved.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 145mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)
The job of a photographer is to tell a story and nothing tells the story more than this photo.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 102mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)
I love that the family was making the best of a very tough situation. In that spirit, I asked them all to give me that "oh well...we are doing the best we can" look for this portrait (which is one of my favorites).

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 200mm, ISO 160, f/4.5, 1/250 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)
When I originally drove to their house, I scouted the area to see if there were other good locations for portraits. I really liked this one wall with nice foliage in the background. So, after getting portraits in front of the house, we all walked across the street to get some portraits in this second location.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 140mm, ISO 160, f/5, 1/200 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)
I finished taking portraits across the street from their home and we were saying our goodbyes when the family asked if we could do one more photo. They wanted me to capture a photo of them showing the tension that this shelter-in-place is causing in us all. I got this photo of them strangling each other.

When I returned home about 15 minutes later, I quickly retouched 5 or 6 of my favorite images and sent them to the family before they started their Zoom Bar Mitzvah. And then I logged on to watch some of this unique event.


This was definitely not your typical Bar Mitzvah service, but the essence of the service was still there.




(Canon 1D X Mark III, Canon 70-200mm lens at 160mm, ISO 320, f/7.1, 1/200 sec, Canon 600EX-RT flash at -1.5)
I liked this family portrait so much that I printed, matted, and framed it for the family. Later that afternoon I drove back over to their home and gave them this as a gift. I am not sure who benefited from this the most; them for having the photos, or me being able to do what I love to do so much.



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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Saturday, April 18, 2020

The new Netgear Meural Canvas II digital picture frame

We are now on day 32 of the shelter in place in Northern California and this means that we are spending a lot of time indoors right now. As depressing at this can be at times, there are some bright spots as well. About a month ago, I got the new Meural Canvas II to add to my office.


This is a new digital picture frame which I really love. I know...you are probably thinking "There is yet another digital picture frame out there?" There is, and this one is different from most that have come and gone over the years.  I have had at least 3 different digital frames in my home and all of those companies have tried entering the market and then gone under. This one looks like a product that is here to stay.

Here is why:

* The Meural Canvas frame is part of Netgear, which is a really large tech company who knows how to build and support their products. 

* This frame has a great quality display to show off the artwork.

* You have a choice of displaying your own photos (animated GIFs or videos) or using their curated art and photos.

* The frame can be used in portrait or landscape mode.

* The frame has WiFi built in for easy data transfer

* The frame is affordably priced between $399.95 (for the 16 x 24") and $599.95 (for the 19x29")


Display quality

The most important feature of any digital frame is the quality of the display panel. Since the Meural Canvas II was a lot less expensive than my previous frames, I was expecting a lesser quality image on the screen, but that is not the case. Both the smaller and larger frames use a 1080p Matte LCD display optimized for art at 1920x1080, and either can be mounted in portrait or landscape mode. I am using the 19x29" frame in landscape mode to show off my work.  Not only are the photos nice and sharp, but the color accuracy is excellent as well.

Frame options

Both sizes of the Meural Canvas II can be ordered with your choice of a black, white, dark wood, or light wood frame. The wood frames do cost $100 more than the black or white frames, but it is nice to have the higher-end options to match your room.

Content

One of the nice new features of the Meural Canvas II is that Netgear has negotiated deals with many different artists and galleries, so that you can display really beautiful paintings and photos on your frame. They have many different genres, which should appeal to almost anyone. Some of their images are offered at no cost, but many do require a monthly or annual subscription. But as a photographer, I have never chosen any of Netgear's content since I prefer to show my own images on the display.

The process of uploading my own images to the frame was not difficult, but the user interface could use some work. I have found that the managing of playlists was not intuitive, and I never seem to know where to go to select what playlists I want on the screen . The good news is, I see that they have been making changes to the interface and some things appears to be easier to find and manage now.

I have loaded 77 of my favorite images and one video file to the Meural II so far, and I am really happy with the image quality and video frame rate. The frame has the capability to hold 4GB of data, which is more than enough. I am currently only using ten percent of that space with what I have loaded.





Navigation

The frame has a built-in sensor which can recognize when a hand is waved in front of the panel. You can wave your hand left or right, and up and down in front of the frame to show image information or navigate the menus. Even though this is fun to show others, it is much easier to control the frame from the app on my phone or the browser on my computer.



Customizing and options

Setting up and customizing the Meural Canvas II is very easy, with simple online instructions and a straightforward settings panel, both on the app and on a computer browser. It is easy to determine the length of time that you want each image to stay on the screen, how you want the image displayed (to fill the frame or have a letterbox), and many more options.

I also really like the option of using the light sensor in the frame to turn it off when the room is dark, since there is no reason to have the images scrolling through the frame when nobody is there to view them.

Connectivity

My guess is that most people will upload content to their Meural Canvas II using the Meural app or web interface and the frame's built-in WiFi. This is by far the easiest way to get content to the frame. But the frame does also have an SD card slot for those who wish to show images directly from the card. The frame does also have a Micro USB port and an Ethernet port, but I doubt that many people would use these.



Overall opinion

I spend a lot of time traveling the world capturing photos and really appreciate a way to show those to my friends and family. I still print and frame images here at the home office, but love having a large variety of photos scrolling on the Meural Canvas II. This is a welcome addition at the house for sure!


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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Monday, April 13, 2020

The first Zoom get together was an absolute disaster! But now...

Let me start this blog post by apologizing to those 50 people who joined in on the Zoom get together the other day and were subjected to images, text and audio that nobody should be exposed to. I guess I assumed that people are inherently good and that posting a link and password in a public forum would be OK. I guess I was wrong.

With that said, I still feel that most of us have only good intentions, and that it only takes one or two idiots to try and break our beliefs. Well, that is NOT going to happen with me. I am not going to let these trolls stop what could be a great thing.




After I was able to remove the unwanted guests from the zoom session, we ended up having a really great conversation. I am thankful for all those who sat through the mess and soldiered on. Thank you to all of you. We were cut short by all the mayhem, but I am determined to do this again, keeping in mind all the lessons I learned yesterday.

Here is what I will do differently:

* I will not post a password in a public forum.
* I will make sure to turn off screen sharing.
* I will do this by invitation only

I know that this will limit the amount of people who might connect in, especially if they have to contact me first, but I would rather have less people involved and have quality time with those who want it.

So...if you are interested in being invited to another zoom get together, please fill out this form:

https://forms.gle/cRa9B2uMphDT6yjM7

I will then email all of you with a link and password.

And don't worry, your email will not be used for anything else.

I hope that this solves the issue and allows us only good things to talk about!

Thanks,

Jeff

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

I am going to try something new tomorrow - A zoom conference with you



I have done numerous FaceBook Live broadcasts in the last couple of weeks, but I hate that it is so one-sided. You see me, but I can't see you.

So, I am going to try something different. Tomorrow (April 8th) at 2pm PST, I am going to do a Zoom video chat with you. There is a limit of 100 people, so it is first come first serve.

Here are the details:

Topic: Jeff Cable Zoom Get Together
Time: Apr 8, 2020 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting:

https://bit.ly/3e0VBYN

Meeting ID: 846 545 787
Password: 0d989l

Come and join me tomorrow for an informal chat. I will answer any photography questions that you might have (as long as I have an answer).

I hope to see you all there!

Jeff

Monday, April 6, 2020

Stuck at home? Capture pet photos while sheltering in place

I was walking around the house the other day and felt the need to pick up a camera again. It has been about a month since I have worked and I needed to get my creative juices flowing. We decided that I should capture photos of our dog Cooper doing what he does best. Nothing!

You see, when Cooper is not out for a long walk with us, he is generally lounging around the house. His big activity each day is moving from one chair to another..  It is comical to watch him in his selection process as he moves from chair to couch and back to another chair.

Our 8 1/2 year old labradoodle is looking a little fluffy right now, with our daughter calling him the walking white cloud. But since all the dog trimming places are closed, this is how he will be for a while.

And hey, the job of a photographer is to tell a story through images, and so I set off to do just that.

(Canon 5D Mark IV, 24-70mm lens at 70mm, ISO 800, f/5, 1/60 sec)

I started with Cooper resting on the couch in our living room. He usually rests his head on pillows...

(Canon 5D Mark IV, 50mm lens, ISO 1000, f/2.8, 1/125 sec)

...or he plops his head down on the arm rests.

I started with the Canon 5D Mark IV with a 24-70mm lens and then I switched to the Canon 1D X Mark III with the 70-200mm lens to get in a little closer.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, 70-200mm lens at 200mm, ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/160 sec)

Later I caught him resting on the couch with that "how long is this shelter in place going to last?" look. I got down low on the floor to shoot right into his face, and waited for him to raise his eyebrows, so I could get the light in his eyes.

(Photographer's note: You will notice that in most of the photos you can see catch light in Cooper's eyes. Having that little bit of light in his eye really brings life into the subject. The hard part right now is that the dog groomers are not open and we can barely see his eyes.)

(Canon 1D X Mark III, 70-200mm lens at 200mm, ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/500 sec)
Believe it or not, once in a while Cooper will decide to lay down in his dog bed. I caught him here hanging out with his favorite tennis ball.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, 70-200mm lens at 88mm, ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/640 sec)
He does play with dog toys but not nearly as much as playing with his stuffed animals and other household items.



Heck, Cooper even tried doing Yoga with all of us. He was especially good at the downward dog.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, 70-200mm lens at 75mm, ISO 6400, f/2.8, 1/500 sec)
Since we are all running out of things to do here, my daughter decided to throw a plastic water bottle for Cooper to play with. It is his new favorite toy.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, 70-200mm lens at 75mm, ISO 6400, f/2.8, 1/500 sec)

He is like a child, where we get him dog toys, but he prefers the other stuff.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, 70-200mm lens at 102mm, ISO 800, f/4, 1/1600 sec) 
Before the rain started, I got Cooper outside for some action shots.

(Canon 1D X Mark III, 70-200mm lens at 150mm, ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/1000 sec)  
I got Cooper to sit down long enough to get this portrait of him in the backyard. I used the rule of thirds to get shoot him off center.  This particular photo really captures Cooper's personality.

For all of you looking for something to photograph, try capturing photos of your pet to tell the story of who they are.

__________________________________________________________________________
Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________ 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My Canon EOS 1D X Mark III Real World Review

As many of you know, I have been lucky enough to have a Canon EOS 1DX Mark III in my possession for more than a month now. People have been asking me to review this new top-of-the-line camera, but I really wanted to put it through it's paces in order to do a fair review.

There are lots of photographers or tech reviewers who write reviews of a new product, basically looking at the spec sheets, or holding it in their hands for a couple of minutes. But in my mind, there is no better way to review a product than to use it as my primary camera for a while and really get to know it in detail.

Now that I have become pretty familiar with the ins and outs of this camera, it is time to share my findings with all of you.

So...on to the testing...


I took the camera out of the box and was happy to see that the body is very similar to the previous models, with buttons and joysticks right where I expect them. I was also happy to see a familiar battery and charger, that is basically the same as the previous model.


The one big difference is that the new camera has two CFExpress card slots, which as many of you know, I was really hoping for. I like this for two reasons:

1. I like having the two extremely fast cards instead of one fast card and one legacy card format which slows everything down. This is really important because I always shoot RAW images to both cards for redundancy.

2. I like having 2 card slots using the same card format. I always found it frustrating to have a CFast slot and a CompactFlash slot in the same camera.



The first photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark III were taken in my backyard. I like to use a new camera for non-client shoots for a while to build trust and familiarity with the camera and memory cards. The last thing I would do is use this camera on a paying job before I knew how to control it. I need to know that the images will be captured correctly in the camera and stored correctly on the memory cards before using it in a real-world situation.

This was also a time for me to try out the new CFExpress cards from ProGrade Digital. I had inserted a 512GB card in slot 1 and a 1TB card in slot 2, so capacity was not a problem!

The first couple of photos were of my dog, Cooper, who was nice enough to pose for me. It was my first time holding the camera and trying to the new smart controller for moving the focus point (more on that in a little bit). No fast action here, but it gave me a chance to inspect the image quality of the camera, which looked really great.



We were dog sitting for a friend and our dog Cooper decided to play with Milo and give me some action shots. This was the first time trying the fast burst shooting of 16fps. The first thing I noticed with the 1D X Mark III was that it felt totally familiar in my hands. Having used a 1D X and a 1D X Mark II in the past, I felt right at home shooting with the new body. The one big difference is that the new model has a touch screen LCD. I have gotten used to this on my Canon 5D Mark IV and find it very useful when shooting in the field.


Shooting at the fast burst rate enabled me to catch this shot of Cooper with all four paws off the ground. (Cooper forgets that he is 8 years old and still thinks he is a puppy).

This was my first chance to play around with the new smart controller. What is the smart controller? Canon took the back button focus button and added a new twist. This button now acts as a virtual joystick, so that if I move my thumb along the back of the button, the focus point will move accordingly. This can be incredibly handy, but also takes some getting used to. There were a couple of times when I pushed the back button to focus and inadvertently moved the focus point to a location I did not want. But, with time, I have gotten used to this and really appreciate the feature a lot. What I have found is that the smart controller is optimum when shooting portraits, but I still prefer a locked single point of focus for sports.


My last trip, before all this Covid-19 craziness, was to Las Vegas for the WPPI show. I was not planning on bringing my 1D X Mark III to Las Vegas, but right before leaving, I had the offer to meet up with my buddy Drew, Canon USA's top tech guy, who offered to help me customize the settings to get the most out of the new features of the camera. That turned out to be awesome, and I will tell you more about that in a minute.

While at the show, there was a rain booth set up for people to photograph models dancing in water. I saw this as a perfect time to try out these new settings.


I used the new 1D X Mark III at it's full speed at 16 frames per second, with a Canon 24-105mm lens to capture the dancers. The super fast frame rate of the camera allowed me to capture them at the peak of action.


The newer focus system also did a very good job of locking in on the dancers as they moved around at a fairly quick pace.

As I mentioned, Drew sat down with me to give me pointers on the new camera. And there is a lot to learn on this new piece of hardware. The Canon 1D X Mark III looks a lot like the Canon 1D X Mark II, but looks can be deceiving. What is under the magnesium alloy body is very different from the previous model. One of the biggest differences of the 1D X Mark III is the new face and head detection. I was shown how to tweak the camera to take advantage of the face and head detection covering most of the frame. This means that once I locked in on a person, it would follow them even if they moved off center from the lens.


I got credentials to shoot the San Jose Earthquakes game, and put the camera to a test. I mounted the Canon 200-400mm lens to the 1D X Mark III and found the focusing system to be noticeably faster and more accurate than the 1D X Mark II.


I would lock focus on a particular athlete and then let the camera follow them from that point. As long as I kept the athlete in the frame, the tracking stayed on them, even if someone briefly ran in between them and me. This allowed me to capture images like this, where the Earthquake player is in perfect focus even though he is not in the center of the image.


The camera is capable of shooting 16 frames per second (fps) when using the shutter and 20 fps when in live view mode. This is great except that I can not imagine shooting a sporting event in live view, and trying to follow fast action using the screen on the back of the camera. But, needless to say, 16 fps is plenty fast and allowed me to easily capture the peak of action during the game.


Even though I was shooting in RAW mode, using the ProGrade Digital CFExpress memory cards, I never once filled the buffer of the camera. These cards can transfer 1600 MBs per second which is nothing short of amazing.


I kept the camera in Auto White Balance for the entire afternoon and found it to be very accurate in the representation of the colors.

Some of you may be wondering about the video capabilities of the new camera. But since I am primarily a still photographer, I will leave the video review to the experts who know that side of the business way more than I do.


My next test of the camera was in a completely different environment.  My niece and her husband asked if we could take portraits of their one year old son. This time I was using the camera at higher ISOs indoors and going outside with different lenses.


Patrick did not move at the speed of a soccer player, but he definitely moved faster than a year ago, when I took his baby photos. Once again, the 1D X Mark III (this time combined with the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens) was tack sharp on his eyes.

After taking a bunch of portraits of the little guy on the grass and standing, they asked if I could get some photos of him in the swing. As soon as I started photographing him, I realized that this was a perfect test of the new focus system.

The following images really help tell the story of this new face and head tracking.

Using back button focus, I locked focus on Patrick and then hammered the shutter at the full speed of 16 fps. Even though his head was moving off center of the frame, the focus stayed perfectly on him. You can scroll through the following images to see how accurate this was!








I figured that the black swing would interfere with the focusing of his face, but that was not the case.




This sequence is a perfect example of how I set up the shot. In this image (above) I locked focus on Patrick when he was dead center and the focus point was right on this face.


Then, as he was going back and forth, I just held down the back button and the focus points moved with him.



You can see here that his face is well off the center of the image, but the focus is still perfect. If I were to try this with the previous Canon models, I would have had to move the camera and lens to keep the focus point on his face. This would have been very difficult to do, and would have yielded a lot less useable images.


The Canon 1D X Mark III has a newly designed 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor which is ample for most of my photography. Do I wish for a little more resolution? Maybe. I do like the file sizes of the Canon 5D Mark IV which captures at 30.4MP, but having clean images at higher ISOs is still the most important thing to me. And I know that cramming more megapixels onto a sensor can degrade the high ISO sensitivity.



A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a portrait shoot for a young lady who was about to have her bat mitzvah. Well...until it was postponed due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak. For this shoot, I used the Canon 1D X Mark III with a Canon 600EX-RT flash mounted on the hot shoe of the camera.


Canon has designed a new low pass filter for better lens sharpness, and the image quality of the camera is exceptional, with the colors, skin tones and clarity being everything I was expect from a pro camera. I don't fully understand how the new DIGIC X image processor works, but I can tell you that everything in this camera is fast. From focusing speed, the processing of the image, to data transfer to the card.


There was one anomaly though. When I take portraits, I almost always do so in a slow burst mode. There is no need to shoot at 16 fps, and yet I never have my cameras set to a single shot mode. I don't like the single shot mode since I always want to be prepared to shoot multiple images when if a perfect moment arises. With every other Canon DSLR I have used, the slow burst mode is a predictable sequence of shots. I hit the button and I get "click....click....click". Weirdly enough, when I had my flash on the camera and I was shooting outdoors, the frame rate was a bit erratic. I expected "click...click...click" at a predictable pace and instead I got "click..click...click.click.click" or "click...cllick.click.....click". I am hoping that this is something that Canon will fix in a future firmware update.


After using the new camera for numerous shoots, I felt comfortable using it to create images at a client's bar mitzvah. For their portraits, I loved using the smart controller to easily move the focus point out of the center and taking full advantage of the 191 focus points.


While spending time with Canon in Las Vegas, I was also shown how to use the 1D X Mark III in mirrorless mode. Since the mirror is locked out of place, this allows me to shoot with absolutely no shutter noise at all. Combining this silent mode with the face tracking auto focus is a real game changer. For this bar mitzvah, I was using the Canon 200-400mm lens on the 1D X Mark III, mounted on a Gitzo gimball fluid head and tripod. It was awesome to lock focus on the boy's face and let the camera track his movements while I silently took photos.

While shooting this way, I came across another weird anomaly. As I mentioned earlier, I like to shoot in a slow burst most of the time. When taking these photos, I had the camera in Live View mode (essentially shooting mirrorless) and also had the camera set to slow burst. But when I hit the shutter release I saw that the camera was capturing at the fastest burst rate of 20 fps. This is complete overkill for an event like this. I sent a text to the Canon expert from the back of the Temple and he replied back and told me that when in Live View, the camera will capture either a single shot or full speed. There is currently no in-between. This is something else that I hope is changed in a future firmware release.


When I photograph events, it is quite common for me to shoot full RAW for the service and then switch to a smaller file size for the party. In the past, that meant that I would switch my files from RAW to MRAW. On the Canon 5D Mark IV, that meant that I was switching from a file size of 30MP to 17MP, and a resolution of 6720x4480 down to 5040x3360. So you can imagine my surprise when I got to the party and went to change the 1D X Mark III to MRAW and it wasn't there. All I saw was RAW and something called CRAW, but both were listed at the same resolution of 5472x3648. It was time for another text message to my Canon contact asking for urgent help. He explained to me that MRAW has been replaced with CRAW (in the new CR3 files) and that even though they are the same resolution, the CRAW file is more compressed. I recently tested this and found that an image taken in RAW was 25.8MB and the same exact image at CRAW was 14.3MB in size. When zooming in at 400%, I could see how the increased compression decreased the quality a bit, but it was only a slight difference. I love the idea of having the same resolution with higher compression than a smaller resolution.


There are certain key moments during a bar mitzvah celebration, and the family members being lifted in the chair is one of them. For the last 6 years I have relied on the Canon 1D cameras to capture this moment. Why? Because the focus system is more accurate than the Canon 5D and the camera can write to two cards faster than the less expensive cameras. The Canon 1D X Mark III definitely proved that it could lock focus even in low light, and wrote to the two CFExpress cards faster than my flash units could keep up.

With all of this said, there are still features of the Canon 1D X Mark III that I have yet to explore, and I look forward to doing so in the near future. As many of you now know, the Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been postponed. This postponement is a major disappointment for the organizers, the athletes, the public and me. I was so excited to use this new camera at the Games. But I guess that will have to wait for a while longer before I get that chance. Looking on the positive side, it gives me that much more time to get familiar with the new camera before the big event.

I hope that this review has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment here on the blog.

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