New Camera and Lenses from Canon

Canon has announced a new Rebel, the EOS Rebel T4i (650D). The new Canon Rebel T4i features a new touchscreen lcd, uses an 18-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, a DIGIC 5 Image Processor and can shoot up to five frames per second.

The T4i also features an extended ISO range of 100–12800 and a new AF system. It uses what Canon calls a “new Hybrid CMOS AF” system, designed to achieve faster focus when shooting stills or video in Live View mode.

Also new to the Rebel line is the T4i’s new 3-inch Vari-angle, Touch Screen Clear View LCD monitor II with “fingertip” controls, touch-menu and touch still and video capabilities. The flip-out, side-swiveling vari-angle screen has 1.04 million dots resolution to create clear and crisp image and video playback and Live View.
Canon says the T4i’s predecessor, the Canon Rebel T3i from 2011, will remain in the line but the older T2i will be discontinued.

Canon also announced two new STM lenses for the Rebel T2i. The lenses, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM zoom and the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM “pancake-style” prime lens, both use Canon’s new Stepping Motor technology, allowing the lenses to focus more smoothly and quietly.

When used in combination with the Rebel T4i Movie Servo AF feature, the two new Canon STM lenses can achieve continuous autofocus while recording video.
The Canon Rebel T4i, which goes on sale at the end of June 2012, will be priced at $849, (body only) and $949.99 as a kit when bundled with the non-STM version of the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens kit.  Canon will also sell a “Movie Kit bundle” of the Rebel T4i with the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for $1199.00.

The new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens and the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM will also be sold separately at the end of June. The 40mm f/2.8 pancake STM lens will go for $199.99 and 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM will sell for $549.99.

More info from Canon : pageKeyCode=pressreldetail&docId=0901e0248057dd10

Assigning Yourself a Photo Project

Photo courtesy of Leo Wang

"Working" on my self assigned eagle photo project. Photo courtesy of Leo Wang.

I came from a photojournalism background. Thirty seven years of full-time work for several publications, most recently, 30 years at the San Francisco Chronicle. With my so called “job”, I was shooting every day and when I was not shooting, I was thinking about my next shot.

I miss those days.

Since working here at Camera West, my photography has been pushed to the side. I found that weeks would go by without shooting a meaningful frame. I missed photography despite (or is it because of) being surrounded by cameras and photographers here at Camera West. Hard to get out and shoot when working full-time – many of you know exactly what I mean. You squeeze photography in between work, commuting, family obligations, house cleaning, and laundry. Not nearly enough time it seems to pursue your passion so it tends to get pushed to the side.

But I found a solution.

I’ve assigned myself photo projects. That gets me focused to make the time for photography. One of my current projects is the pursuit of a killer moonrise photo (still looking for it!). The other is a pair of nesting bald eagles – following their progress as they raise two young chicks. These projects are just for me. No clients, no pay, just for the love of photography.

So find yourself a photo project that interests you and pursue it. You’ll find that despite your hectic schedule, you’ll have the time. It’s just a matter of commitment.

An adult bald eagle delivers a fish for her two young chicks nesting in a PG&E tower.

A Hands on Look at Leica’s New Cameras

Yesterday, our good friend and Leica rep Tom Brichta brought a pre-production M Monochrom and the new X2 with finder and grip for us to play with here at Camera West in Walnut Creek. These cameras have yet to be released to the public so it was great to get a hands on preview. Tom also shared with us some images he shot with the Monochrom out at Fort Point in San Francisco where he pushed the ISO to 10,000! See the image below and note how even at that high of an ISO, the highlights do not blow out and the deep shadows retain detail. The Monochrome should be available in mid August and the X2 in just a few short weeks.

Camera West customer Steven Foon tries out the new Monochrom

Hal Kam looks at his images on the new X2

Photo by Tom Brichta shot at ISO 10,000. This is an untouched file other than a reduction/jpeg compression.

Check out a few more images from the Monochrom at ISO 10,000 on Tom’s Flickr site :

Cheat Sheet

If you like to use keyboard short cuts when working in your favorite app, but like me have difficulty remembering them, then CheatSheet is for you.

CheatSheet shows you the available shortcuts of the active application you’re in by simply holding the command-key for 2 seconds. A panel will then pop up displaying all the shortcuts. No need to tax your memory or use post-it notes like I’ve been doing.

And here’s the cool part. After the panel shows up you can either type the shortcut or click the item in the panel to execute the command.

Note : this handy app only works on a Mac running OS X 10.7 or later, and on a 64-bit processor.

After downloading the free app here :, go to your System Preferences – Universal Access – and click on Enable access for assistive devices. Then open up your favorite app and try it out. I’ve used it in Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, Photo Mechanic, Final Cut X and on Google Chrome. Works as promised!