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Nearly as exciting as fireworks on Independence Day is the new, potentially game-changing, on-chip phase detection AF on Canon's new 70D.  This technology has been used on other cameras prior to the 70D (see the Nikon 1 system for example) yet many of us are unaware of it despite its "wow factor".  We think it would be a shame if Canon's new and improved version of this technology were to go under-appreciated, so here is a brief explanation.  
 The 70D's AF system employs a "Dual Pixel CMOS AF'' design.  Each pixel is actually two separate photo diodes and the system works on 80% percent of the sensor's area - This is a tremendous improvement to prior sensors of this type.  Phase AF is possible in 0 EV situations and stopped down to f11!   What does this mean to us in practical terms?  Canon promises faster focusing in still mode and the fastest, most accurate live view AF to date.  It could very well change the way we use our D-SLR systems going forward.
We buy, sell and trade fine photographic equipment daily.  Our used equipment inventory updates can be found here: Equipment Updates.  Thank you for your continued support.  




Camera West 


New! Canon EOS 70D
Canon has unveiled the 20.2 Megapixel EOS 70D APS-C format DSLR - the first ever camera to incorporate Canon's new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, which offers stunningly fast autofocus capabilities when using Live View and smooth focus tracking when recording Full HD movies.

Other highlights of the EOS 70D include up to 7 frames per second (fps) shooting, a wide 19-point, all cross-type, AF system and a Vari-angle Clear View II LCD Touch screen that makes it easy to capture and review images and movie footage in stunning detail.

Key Features
  • 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor with ISO 100 - 12,800 sensitivity.
  • 7 fps full resolution continuous shooting rate.
  • Swift and accurate focus in Live View and Full HD movies with Dual Pixel CMOS AF.
  • 19-point wide area, all cross-type AF points.
  • DIGIC 5+ image processor - 14-bit processing for high quality images.
  • Large 3" capacitive touch panel Vari-angle Clear View II LCD 1040k dot, 3:2 ratio.
  • Intelligent viewfinder with 98% frame coverage.
  • Full HD movies with external mic port, stereo microphone, timecode, selectable frame rates, and a range of compression options.
  • Built-in WiFi capability for instant sharing and remote control.
  • In-camera HDR mode, Multiple exposure function.
  • iFCL metering system with 63-zone Dual-Layer sensor.
  • Electronic level, exposure compensation +/- 5 stops.
  • Integrated Speedlite Transmitter.
The 70D be available at the end of August for $1199. body only, $1349 with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, and $1549 with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.
Leica D-Lux 6 "Edition G-STAR RAW"  

Leica Camera proudly presents the Leica D-Lux 6 "Edition G-STAR RAW", a special edition created in collaboration with G-STAR RAW, an innovative fashion brand, popular worldwide. This is Leica's first D-LUX edition designed by a fashion brand.

G-STAR RAW, a Dutch designer label known for urban clothing, specializing in raw, unwashed and untreated denim approached the design concept for this limited edition based on their slogan, "Just the product". G-STAR RAW has a straight design philosophy where the product is always the focus of the communication and maintains its authenticity. This allows the product to stand out in a crowd. Innovative while remaining authentic, an approach which led to the Leica and G-STAR RAW collaboration. The D-Lux 6 "Edition G-STAR RAW" has painted surfaces in the typical G-Star grey, a nice handmade cladding for a better grip and one-of-a-kind accessories, the dedicated leather case, a carrying strap and a wrist strap complete the set.

The Leica D-Lux 6 "Edition G-STAR RAW" offers outstanding quality and reliability synonymous with Leica and can be yours for $1190.00.

New! Fujifilm X-M1   

FujiFilm has announced the X-M1, a lightweight compact camera that includes the same 16.3-megapixel sensor as both the X-Pro1 and X-E1.

The X-M1 tips the scale at 11.6 ounces, including the battery and memory card, but without a lens attached. The kit lens is a new f/3.5-5.6 16-50mm (24-76mm equivalent) lens with optical image stabilization, and will be compatible with the existing XF and XC lineup, including a variety of prime and zoom options. There's a 3-inch 920k-dot tilting LCD (but no EVF), a built-in flash, and on-board WiFi, letting you transfer images and movies to Android and iOS devices via a dedicated app.

The X-M1 will be available next month with black and silver finishes for $700, or $800 with the lens. A brown version (body only) will also be available in August for $700.

Fujifilm X-M1 specification highlights:
  • 16MP X-Trans CMOS APS-C sensor, EXR Processor II
  • ISO 200-6400; L (100), H (12800) and H (ISO 25,600)
  • Up to 5.6 fps continuous shooting
  • 1920 x 1080 FullHD movie recording at 30 fps; built-in stereo microphones
  • Twin control dials, top and rear
  • Focus 'peaking' display
  • Face detection and subject-tracking AF modes
  • 920k dot 3" 3:2 LCD display - tilts 120° upwards and 80° downwards
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for image transfer to smartphone, tablet or PC
New! Presentation by Gary Copeland  
Photo by Gary Copeland

Please join us for an evening with Leica shooter Gary CopelandGary is a hard working professional photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. You've probably already seen some of his photos, as he has worked with iconic companies like Oakley, Converse, and Arnette Sunglases, just to name a few.


Gary also covers the contemporary music scene, often times documenting events like the South by Southwest Music Festival, among others. Many of his images, all with Leicas are shot for various recording companies. Lately however, Gary has turned to a more personal project : documenting the backstage life of his friends in the metal band Valient Thorr.

Gary will share his photos with us and talk about how Leica fits in so well with his style of shooting.

Saturday, July 27, 2013 
5:00pm - 7:00pm 
Camera West in Walnut Creek


Please contact Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek to to assure your spot. 



Photo by Gary Copeland
New! Jason Bradley Seminar 
Hands On Printing Workflow




Join the staff of Camera West in Walnut Creek and digital photography expert Jason Bradley for a unique seminar. Move beyond computer photo sharing, get off of Facebook and Flickr and do what photographers are meant to do - make prints. Topics include raw processing, developing tips and techniques, color management, using ICC profiles, choosing the right paper and how to make a final print . During this seminar, you will get the opportunity to make a print that you can frame and take home.
    Friday and Saturday, August 23 & 24, 2013
Cost  : $150.  
 We must limit this to just 14 participants so sign up soon!
Call or email Michael at Camera West Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.  
New! Camera West Photo Walk 
Portraits at the Oakland Zoo
For our August photo walk, we will visit the Oakland Zoo. No need to fly to Africa to go on a photo safari! We go on our own mini safari right here in the bay area. Michael will lead us on a photo walk thru the Oakland Zoo where we will photograph all kinds of interesting, unpredictable animals.

This photo walk is ideal for the novice photographer, or for those who want to brush up on their photography techniques. With Michael's guidance, you'll get a chance to sharpen your skills, get very comfortable with your equipment, and work with a variety of composition, lighting and outdoor conditions...all while enjoying the company of some amazing animals.  
Whether you want to prepare for an African safari or an Alaskan adventure...or just photograph your pets, this photo walk will give you the techniques and confidence to make photos you'll be proud of.

   Saturday, August 31
Cost  : $25.00 + Zoo admission   
 We must limit this to just 12 participants so sign up soon!
Call or email Michael at Camera West Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.  
New! Sony Updates RX Series
Sony RX1R
Sony has introduced the new Cyber-shot RX1R full-frame compact camera. The RX1R is identical to the RX1, except it has no anti-aliasing  filter for even better resolution than the original RX1, with the trade-off of increased moiré. Everything else remains the same as before. 

Sony RX100 II
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II builds on the original RX100 but makes a number of key changes, including an updated sensor, the addition of wireless connectivity, the ability to use more accessories, and a tilting LCD screen.

The 1-inch-type CMOS sensor still comes in at 20.2 megapixels, but with higher ISO capability due to a new Exmor R sensor.

Also the new Multi Interface Shoe on the RX100 II means that it is compatible with a range of optional accessories including an electronic viewfinder, external flashes and a stereo microphone.

Other nice touches include the addition of a step zoom function, allowing you to quickly switch between popular focal lengths.

The new Cyber-shot RX100 II and RX1R models will both be available next month for about $750 and $2800 respectively. 
 New! Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8
Sigma USA has announced its 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art lens for APS-C DSLRs - the world's first constant F1.8 zoom - will be available in July at a price of around $799. The company has also said the lens will be available for Pentax and Sony mounts, as well as the Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts originally announced.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Lens for Nikon
  • Aperture Range: f/1.8-16
  • Fast Constant Maximum Aperture
  • Designed for APS-C-Sized Sensors
  • 35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 27-52.5mm
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor
  • Internal Focusing and Zoom Design
  • One Aspherical Element and SLD Glass
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
New! 320 LED Light Panel 
Here is an LED light that can do a lot more than just fill-in light. The new DLC DV320C, with variable light output and variable color temperature allows the HDSLR and camcorder user to produce a maximum light output equal to approximately 200 watts incandescent light and adjust the color temperature to match the ambient light's color temperature, all with a unit that can be attached to the camera's shoe and powered by a rechargeable battery . Two or more lights can also be stacked together and can be operated directly from AC outlet. In stock at Camera West for $279.

Details :

* 320 LEDs
* Adjustable light output - Full, 3/4, 1/2, & 1/4
* Adjustable color temperature - 2800°K to 6500°K
* Dimensions: 10" x 3.5" x 1.8"
* Accessory foot with tripod socket
* Accessory shoe on top of unit
* Diffusion Filter included
* Rechargeable Li-Ion Sony style NP-F750 battery
* Charger for battery
* AC 110-240v Adapter with cord
* Ball head with locking foot 

 New! Quick Release from Manfrotto 
Manfrotto has just announced the Top Lock Quick Release, a new quick release system for their heads, making them compatible with other arca style heads.

Key Benefits and Features of Top Lock Quick Release System :
  • Easier to use with fail-safe support 
  • Top Lock's clamp element allows the camera to be dropped in from above - easier than trying to align and slide it in from the side. It has a safety pin that stops the plate and camera from slipping out of the head, even if the QR lock is inadvertently left open.
  • Helps achieve straighter images and more accurate framing in-camera 
  • Three independent bubbles help level the camera against all axes of rotation, ensuring the full frame is usable and also reducing time spent in post-production.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry 
  • Made from light aluminum and stainless steel offering weight savings without any performance sacrifices.
Soon to be available as a plate, an adapter or in complete pro ball heads such as the Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head, with Q6 Top Lock Quick Release.

Recent Updates 


Nikon has released firmware updates for their 1 J1, 1 V1, 1 J2, 1 V2, 1 J3 and 1 S1 cameras. These updates offer support for the AF-C focus mode when the Mount Adapter FT1 is used with AF-S lenses. Also support for the 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2, equipped with a focusing ring, has been added.

Nikon has released a firmware update for the D7100. Firmware version C: 1.01 fixes the issue with the flash output level that was shown on the display when viewing photos, and with the images that didn't change while Live View was active when on certain camera settings. Also, with movie recording at 1920 × 1080/24p in M exposure mode, subject brightness did not change, even when shutter speed was adjusted. This issue has been resolved along with a number of other fixes. 


Canon has released a firmware update for the Rebel T4i. Firmware Version 1.0.4 fixes some freezing and focusing issues when the camera is used in combination with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM  and the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. Also makes the camera capatible with more SD card products.

Canon has released a product advisory for two of their pro model cameras. If you own a EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera or a EOS-1D C Cinema EOS Camera, you'll want to check your serial number to see if your camera is part of an autofocus recall. In some units, there is a possibility of autofocus errors due to wear caused by insufficient lubrication within the camera's driving mechanism. More info on Canon's 
product support page.


Fujifilm has announced a set of firmware updates for its X-Pro1 and X-E1 mirrorless cameras. Versions 2.05 for the X-Pro1 and 1.06 for the X-E1 offer compatibility with lenses that don't have aperture rings, and allow easier focus area selection when shooting with the eye-level viewfinder.

Fujifilm also promises to improve autofocus speed with existing XF lenses, and add the much-requested 'focus peaking' function to aid manual focus in an upcoming firmware update due to be available in late July.

PocketWizard has announced a new ControlTL firmware which provides compatibility for several new Canon and Nikon cameras, greatly improving the performance of PocketWizard's exclusive HyperSync feature and resolves bugs in previous versions. 

Matt Granz is a Bay Area photographer, who happens to chase storms. The bigger, the better. Matt has been roaming the US with his Nikons on assignment for Yahoo! - part of their Project Weather tour. His images are breathtaking. 
Read more about Matt on our  Camera West Blog.

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