Product Advisory from Canon

Canon has released a product advisory for the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Looks as if there is a problem with the AF-system: If pressure is applied to the lens barrel while the lens is mounted to the camera , the autofocusing function of the lens may stop working.  Firmware releases that will address the issue are expected for August.

Press release from Canon USA:

To Users of the EF40mm f/2.8 STM Interchangeable Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Thank you for using Canon products

It has been confirmed that the autofocusing function of the EF40mm f/2.8 STM lens, which was released in June 2012, may not operate correctly. The details of this phenomenon are described below.

Affected Product
EF40mm f/2.8 STM
If pressure is applied to the lens barrel while the lens is mounted to the camera (pressure can be applied even while attaching the lens cap or while carrying the camera with the lens attached in a bag), the autofocusing function of the lens may stop working.
*This phenomenon does not occur during normal shooting.
*This phenomenon does not result in a malfunction of the lens.
When the above phenomenon occurs, detach and reattach the lens, or remove and reinsert the camera battery to restore the operations.
Market Support
The firmware to address this phenomenon will be available for download in late August, 2012.
Once this firmware is ready, we will make an announcement on our Web site.
This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

New firmware for Nikon 1 Mirrorless

Nikon has released a firmware update for the popular Nikon 1 J1 and V1 mirrorless cameras.

The improvements for this version are:

  • The exposure control program used with shooting in Smart Photo Selector mode, or still image shooting mode with Exposure mode set to P Programmed auto or Scene auto selector, has been revised for faster shutter speeds to prevent blurred subjects.
  • Auto white balance performance has been increased.
  • Exposure accuracy with ISO sensitivity set to Auto 100–3200, Auto 100–800, or Auto 100–400 has been increased with shooting using the optional Speedlight SB-N5 to photograph subjects at close distances.

The following issues have also been resolved.

  • An error message was sometimes displayed during interval timer shooting, preventing capture of the specified number of shots.
  • When the camera was turned on by releasing the retractable lens barrel lock on applicable lenses, there was sometimes a slight delay before the shutter could be released.

J1 :

V1 :


Fast & Furious Photo Walk

Photo by Michael Maloney

A big thank you to the participants of last weekend’s Camera West Photo Walk!

We had a great group of shooters who hopefully had fun and got more confident with their photography skills as the day progressed.

We photographed the Fast & Furious bicycle race – a series of races in downtown Pleasanton. Our group worked on shooting to both freeze action and also to create motion blur through a technique called panning. With the racers going by at speeds up to 40 mph, we were certainly challenged!

Go to our Camera West Photo Walk Flickr site and check out some great photos the participants came up with.

As always, go to the events calendar located on our blog for our next photo walk or workshop. (Hint : check the column to the upper right of this page!)

Photo by Michael Maloney


Great Whites in Super Slow Motion

The above super slow motion video was shot off the coast of Africa showing powerful great white sharks attacking a dummy seal. This incredible footage was shot using a very specialized camera similar to the one below.

The Phantom v12.1 camera was the first CMOS camera to break the 1,000,000 fps barrier.  This 1 megapixel digital high-speed camera is capable of taking more than 6200  frames-per-second (fps) at full 1280 x 800 resolution. And, up to 1,000,000 fps at reduced resolution.

For comparison sake, most video cameras shoot at 24, 30, or 60 fps.