Leica S2 and Nikon D7000 Firmware Upgrades Released

A new firmware version for the Leica S2 is available free of charge for all registered S owners.

From Stephan Schulz, product manager for the Leica S-System : “Our close cooperation with professional photographers provides us with an opportunity to constantly develop and improve the Leica S-System. Our latest update contains many of the suggestions and wishes heard in discussions with professional users. The result is a whole range of improvements for applications, features and functions, and the handling of the S2, all specifically tailored to meet the particular needs of professional photographers”


Nikon also released Firmware v1.01 for the D7000 which fixes the occasional occurrence of bright spots while recording videos or in the live view mode.


Step by Step : Shooting Video with the DSLR

Can You Hear Me Now?

One of a series of posts aimed to help still photographers produce better videos with their DSLRs.

Audio in a film is as important or some will say more important than the visuals. The eye can forgive, but not the ears.

Recording good audio with DSLRs however can be a challenge. All video capable DSLRs have very poor quality mics which also pick up all the camera handling noises. Most also have an automatic gain control (AGC) with no way of turning it off. And without a headphone jack or visible audio meters, you have no idea what the camera is recording.

But we have a solution.

The best way around all of these issues is to record to a separate device with high quality mics. The Zoom H4N and the Tascam DR-100 are two popular compact recorders that take xlr mics, show levels and have headphone jacks. The only disadvantage to recording to a separate device is that it requires extra time in post (editing), syncing the video to the audio.

Another solution, for even better audio is to use a high quality preamp along with an external mic, recording that into your camera or recorder or both. JuicedLink and Beachtek make nice somewhat compact amps which can eliminate the AGC in the DSLRs and provides good clean audio.

My workflow involves using good xlr mics that are fed into my JuicedLink CX231 preamp. I can turn the gain (volume) up all the way on this device and still get good clean audio. I feed this into my H4n recorder with the amps turned down to a line out to my camera. On that line out to the camera is a splitter so that I can hear what is being fed into my camera. This way, I am recording dual sound – in my H4n and in my camera – giving me a back up audio track should I need it. If my camera does not have manual audio control, then I’ll sync the audio in post. If it does have manual audio control then I’ll most likely use the audio attached to the video to save time in post. In either case it’s good to have a backup audio track.

Getting good, clean audio can be somewhat confusing, especially for a photographer – but if you’re serious about your DSLR filming, then you need to go beyond the poor in-camera mics and use the tools that will produce the sound worthy of your film.

New Firmware Update for the Canon EOS 60D

Canon has just released the latest firmware update – Version 1.0.8 – for the EOS 60D.

Firmware Version 1.0.8 fixes a phenomenon in which captured images may become overexposed when using the camera’s built-in flash, or an external Speedlite, in combination with the following lenses :

  • EF300mm f/4L IS USM
  • EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
  • EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
  • EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

An Evening with Ray Olson

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our monthly lighting seminar with Ray Olson of the MAC Group this evening.  Ray showed off the Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5 and shared with us some tips on shooting wirelessly with flash. 
Ryan strikes a pose as Ray demonstrates shooting with off camera strobes.
Ray shows an X-Rite ColorChecker, used to evaluate and calibrate color reproduction systems.

Please feel free to give us some feedback as we continue to tailor these presentations to your needs.  We hope you’ll join us next month on the 19th for another lighting presentation!