Archive for February, 2012

Canon Updates EOS-1D X Specifications

29 Feb

When Canon Inc first announced its EOS-1D X in October 18th, 2011, certain specifications such as battery life and burst depth, as well as memory card write speed requirements for video, were not given out. Canon has now filled in the blanks.

Burst Depth: At ISO 100, the EOS-1D X will shoot 100 full-resolution JPEG, 35 CR2 or 17 JPEG+CR2 frames in a continuous burst to a UDMA Mode 7-capable CompactFlash card.

The camera can capture the following number of frames per charge when powered by its 11.1V/2450mAh Battery Pack LP-E4N:

  • At 73°F/23°C, no Live View: 1120 frames
  • At 32°F/0°C, no Live View: 860 frames
  • At 73°F/23°C, Live View on: 290 frames
  • At 32°F/0°C, Live View on: 250 frames

Weight: The EOS-1D X, with battery and memory card, weighs 3.4lb/1530g.
Video: Canon projects the EOS-1D X’s typical video data rates to be:

  • 1080p, all fps, IPB compression: 235MB/minute
  • 1080p, all fps, ALL-I compression: 685MB/minute
  • 720p, all fps, IPB compression: 205MB/minute
  • 720p, all fps, ALL-I compression: 610MB/minute
  • 640 x 480, all fps, IPB compression: 45MB/minute

Canon recommends a CompactFlash card with a 10MB/s minimum sustained write speed capability for capturing IPB-compression video. For All-I, 30MB/s (Examples: SanDisk Extreme III, IV and Extreme CF). The same values are recommended for read speeds, to enable video to play back without interruption in the camera.

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Ben Spies Tops Rain Hindered Day 2 @ Sepang

29 Feb

Day two of the second Official MotoGP Test of 2012 at the Sepang International Circuit finished with Ben Spies leading the field after rain hindered testing and Honda riders were sidelined. Factory Yamaha Racing rider Spies topped the time sheets early in the day, before rain storms hit the Malaysian circuit on Wednesday and halted further time improvements for all the riders in the field.

An engine failure in Dani Pedrosa’s RC213V machine yesterday forced HRC to prevent all four of its riders from participating on the track today. The engine was sent to Japan for analysis last night, the results of which HRC claimed were positive and stating that the Honda riders will be back on track tomorrow.

Despite the rain, several riders continued testing, including Jorge Lorenzo who earlier set the second fastest lap of the day with a 2’01.293. The Yamaha rider took advantage of the rainy conditions after which the Spaniard claimed: “We have to improve traction on corner entry. The engine development is good and we are closing the gap from Honda.  Also the modifications to the chassis are working well.” Tomorrow Lorenzo will test a new chassis as the 2010 World Champion and his team diligently work to reclaim the title.

Third for the day was Andrea Dovizioso, who opted not to run on the wet track in the afternoon. The Italian was nonetheless pleased with a new found bike set up on his Tech 3 Yamaha that allowed for a more efficient riding position. “Today was the first day that I could run well and in a comfortable position, and being two-tenths off the official Yamaha is not too bad. I tested the new engine specification and so far it has been positive,” reported Dovizioso at the end of the day.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow wrapped up the day just over a tenth behind his Italian team-mate, also electing to stay dry in the afternoon, as did Héctor Barberá who had crashed his Pramac Racing Ducati in the wet earlier in the day.

Valentino Rossi also opted not to run his Ducati Team GP12 in the rain, the Italian worried that the rain was hurting the development of the new bike though admitted there was nothing they could do about it. Team-mate Nicky Hayden did take a few laps on a drying track later in the day after test rider Franco Battaini rode the Kentuckian’s Ducati on the wet track for much of the afternoon.  Hayden reported that tomorrow he will continue with some set up changes in search of better grip.

Colin Edwards was hindered again by a throttle connection issue and thought he would be sidelined for the afternoon, though the Texan made it out for an additional seven laps in the afternoon on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing machine, while Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez continued riding throughout the wet afternoon, completing 39 and 26 laps respectively as they continue with the development of their Avintia Racing BQR-FTR machine.

1 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha M1 2:01.285
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha M1 2:01.293
3 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha M1 2:01.522
4 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha M1 2:01.695
5 Nicky Hayden Marlboro Ducati Team Ducati GP12 2:01.748
6 Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team Ducati GP12 2:01.989
7 Valentino Rossi Marlboro Ducati Team Ducati GP12 2:02.130
8 Franco Battaini Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati GP12 2:03.566
9 Colin Edwards Forward Racing Suter 2:05.816
10 Ivan Silva BQR BQR-FTR 2:07.532
11 Yonny Hernandez BQR BQR-FTR 2:08.213
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Posted in Motorcycling


Repsol Honda takes early control of Sepang Test II Day 1

28 Feb

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheet at the halfway point of day one in Malaysia, as stormy weather conditions plagued the second half of the day at the Sepang International Circuit on Tuesday.

The first day of the second pre-season meeting at the Malaysian circuit wrapped up with Casey Stoner on top of the timesheets. The Repsol Honda rider’s fastest lap set in the morning session of 2’01.761 remained the fastest of the day, as heavy rain at the mid way washed out much of the afternoon’s testing. Riders commented that high track temperatures (40C) and slippery track conditions in the morning reduced the pace from the first Test in Sepang a month ago.

Stoner ended his day after just 16 laps, while team-mate Pedrosa ventured out after the weather cleared to continue working to find a better position on the RC213V. The Spaniard was happy to finish the day having found improvements that allow him to better handle the heavier 1000cc bike under braking. Yamaha Factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies completed the day third and fourth fastest, with Lorenzo testing a new engine though the slippery track in the morning and rain in the afternoon prohibited testing its full potential.

Alvaro Bautista completed 24 laps to end the day with his best time of 2’02.959 placing him in fifth position. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider is taking advantage of the test to work on riding position and geometry as he continues to adapt his riding style to the 1000cc machines, claiming “I think I will have to sacrifice corner speed in order to get more traction exiting the corner.”

Returning from surgery just three weeks ago, Nicky Hayden closed out the day in 6th place with a time of 2’03.132. The Kentuckian said via a Tweet that although he is not yet 100% recovered, he feels much better than he expected. He also reported to that he planned to work on improving traction through small bike modifications though it has been difficult to test thus far because of the challenging track conditions.

With water still on the track, Ducati team-mate Valentino Rossi was the first to return to the asphalt, donning wet tyres and continuing to work on GP12 electronic package, traction, and corner exit acceleration. His best lap from the morning of 2’03.245 placed the Italian eighth for the day. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso concluded the day in seventh and 11th positions, respectively. The Italian rider struggled with a rear brake issue as he continues to adjust his riding position to fit the Yamaha.

Héctor Barberá (Pramac Racing) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) finished ninth and tenth, with newcomer Bradl feeling confident with his progress on the premier class bike as he continues to work on the Honda’s electronics. Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) tested a new seat and a new chassis for the Suter-BMW, completing the day 12th ahead of Ducati test rider Franco Battaini and the Avinitia racing riders Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) withdrew from the test after right shoulder and back injuries he suffered in a big high-side crash at Jerez last week proved too painful to continue.

1 Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V 2:01.761
2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V 2:02.005
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha M1 2:02.436
4 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha M1 2:02.819
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda Gresini Honda RC213V 2:02.959
6 Nicky Hayden Marlboro Ducati Team Ducati GP12 2:03.132
7 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha M1 2:03.213
8 Valentino Rossi Marlboro Ducati Team Ducati GP12 2:03.245
9 Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team Ducati GP12 2:03.612
10 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP Honda RC213V 2:03.820
11 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha M1 2:03.830
12 Colin Edwards Forward Racing Suter/BMW 2:05.563
13 Franco Battini Ducati GP12 2:05.563
14 Ivan Silva BQR BQR-FTR 2:08.109
15 Yonny Hernandez BQR BQR-FTR 2:08.767
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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Cameras Used to Shoot “Act of Valor” Movie

28 Feb

Behind-the-Scenes on the set of Act of Valor, courtesy of Relativity Media

In an unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs in a film like no other in Hollywood’s history. A fictionalized account of real life Navy SEAL operations, Act of Valor blazes into theatres nationwide on February 24th and features a gripping story that takes audiences on an adrenaline-fueled, edge-of-their-seat journey. This fast-paced, depiction of daring covert operations delivers a thrilling mix of stealthy tension, intense human drama, and sudden fierce combat waged by lethal heroes armed with the world’s best training and firepower. Act of Valor is a Bandito Brothers film produced and directed by Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh and written by Kurt Johnstad. Crucial to capturing the film’s absorbing up-close-and-personal action was its use of lightweight, highly mobile EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR cameras from Canon U.S.A., Inc. As director of photography, and now member of Canon’s Explorer of Light program, Shane Hurlbut explained, the film could not have been made with any other camera system.

“Nothing is as small and nimble as our Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera packages,” said Hurlbut, a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, who has captured moving images using practically every film and video format currently available. “Never have I been so excited by the creative possibilities a camera offers cinematographers.”

“Because the Canon 5D Mark II is so light weight, we were able to defy conventional motion picture camera physics and capture a high-quality cinematic image, which ultimately looked incredible on a 100-foot theatrical screen,” said Scott Waugh, co-director, Act of Valor.


The Canon 5D Mark II delivers full 1920 x 1080 HD video recording at user-selectable frame rates of 30 (29.97), 24 (23.976) and 25 fps. Employing a 21.1-megapixel 35mm full-frame Canon-manufactured CMOS sensor measuring 36 x 24 mm, the 5D Mark II also utilizes Canon’s DIGIC 4 image processors, which employ sophisticated digital signal processing to maximize picture quality and provide advanced operational features. HD footage is recorded to universally available CF cards for exceptional workflow convenience. According to Hurlbut, the camera is nothing less than a “game-changer” for motion-picture production.

“I call the Canon 5D Mark II a ‘game-changer’ for several reasons,” Hurlbut elaborated. “The first is its big CMOS sensor’s ability to collect light in widely varying ISOs. It’s very clean up to 1600 ISO. Its light-gathering capability has a nice, very film-like gradient. The 5D Mark II’s sensor also delivers ‘VistaVision’ depth of field. No other digital HD camera out there will deliver that. I find that if you operate at the right f-stop with the 5D Mark II, you get a wonderful, shallow depth of field. You’re also getting skin tones unlike any delivered by other cameras. I don’t think the other manufacturers have put the kind of R&D into their cameras that Canon put into its 5D Mark II. Perhaps the biggest reason why the 5D Mark II is a game changer is because it’s so compact. You can capture perspectives with it that no other camera system can deliver.”

Guerrilla Tactics

Shot on sea, air and land in many locations around the world, Act of Valor owes much of its cinema verité‚ style to the compact size of the Canon 5D Mark II, which enabled Hurlbut and his six-man crew to be nearly as stealthy as the active-duty SEALs the film depicts. The crew was able to transport an eight-camera production package in the overhead bins of airliners and avoid transportation difficulties of shipping larger more sensitive equipment. Once on location, the crew went into what Hurlbut calls “platoon module,” a tactic for self-sufficiency in which they could hand-carry everything they needed, thanks to their compact 5D Mark II cameras and the minimal support and lighting gear required.

The compact size of the Canon 5D Mark II also allowed for a lot of set-ups each day that Hurlbut says would not have been possible with larger camera systems. Hurlbut had his crew outfit their 5D Mark II cameras for different shooting configurations that could be switched at a moment’s notice with accessories from such companies as Redrock Micro and Zacuto.

“More than anything, what I love about the Canon 5D Mark II is that it’s part of a global revolution,” Hurlbut concluded. “The 5D Mark II is causing a paradigm shift in the production industry because it provides film-like quality combined with lightweight operation and amazing mobility. It’s also affordable, so it’s giving a lot of people a voice who’ve never had one before. I think the style of filmmaking that’s going to come out of the use of the 5D Mark II will be a whole, fresh new style that hasn’t even been named yet.”

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Posted in Photography


Fujifilm Malaysia Launches X-Pro1 Mirrorless Camera

28 Feb

Fujifilm Malaysia Sdn Bhd has launch its newest and most advanced camera to join its X-Series lineup – the revolutionary Fujifilm X-Pro1 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera System. With a brand new, custom developed 16MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensorTM, incorporating a newly designed filter array and Fujifilm’s proprietary EXR Processor technology, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 is poised to deliver superlative image quality that will rival currently available mid and high-end DSLR models. Taking another decisive step into the premium camera market, Fujifilm has taken the X-Pro1 to the next level featuring a New 2nd Generation Hybrid Multi Viewfinder and three prime interchangeable FUJINON lenses.

A new colour filter array that is inspired by the random arrangement of fine film grain has been developed, removing the need for an optical low-pass filter to solve moire and false colour issues. In the array, RGB pixels are arranged in 6×6 pixel sets with high aperiodicity (randomness). Increasing the the degree of randomness eliminates the fundamental cause of moire and flase colours – a problem that occurs in conventional arrays when shooting stripes and other repeating patterns. The presence of an R, G and B pixel in every vertical and horizontal pixel series minimizes the generation of false colours and delivers higher colour reproduction.

Pricing and Availability:

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Body: RRP RM5,688, Lenses: Ranging from RRP RM2,288 to RM2,488.

Below are some quick grab shots by the Fujifilm X-Pro1 (not serious test session, hence the motion blur and such) after the official launch:


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SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC Card with 45MB/sec Speeds

28 Feb

SanDisk’s 128-gigabyte (GB) Extreme SDXC UHS-I card is targeted at photography enthusiasts who capture Full HD 1080p videos, even in 3D, and high-resolution photos. The 128GB SanDisk Extreme SDXC UHS-I card is based on the new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) architecture and is designed to capture hours of top-quality video footage. The card’s UHS Speed Class 1 rating surpasses the recording requirements of demanding video use cases—from home movies captured on a DSLR to high-quality 3D footage.

“Five minutes of Full HD video can consume one gigabyte of storage space,” said Susan Park, director, product marketing, SanDisk. “Our new SanDisk Extreme SDXC card can capture up to 10 hours of Full HD 3D video.”

The Extreme SDXC UHS-I card is designed to help imaging enthusiasts shoot like the pros, with the speed and capacity needed to capture high-quality videos and also high-resolution RAW+JPEG photos, which can reach up to 30MB in size. The card features 45MB/sec read/write speeds, enabling photographers to capture sequences of high-res photos using their camera’s burst mode and then quickly transfer the files to a computer. The card’s fast file-transfer speed lets photographers offload an hour-long Full HD video in five minutes or a batch of 500 high-res photos in as little as one minute, according to specs.

The SanDisk Extreme SDXC UHS-I card includes a built-in write-protect switch to help prevent accidental data loss. For added protection, the card includes a one-year downloadable offer for RescuePRO Deluxe data recovery software, which can bring accidentally deleted images back to life. The 64GB and 128GB SanDisk Extreme SDXC UHS-I cards carry MSRPs of US$199.99 and US$399.99, respectively.

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Canon EOS-1D X Availability Announced

27 Feb

Canon Inc today announces that its next-generation, flagship professional Digital SLR, the EOS-1D X, will be available to buy from the end of April 2012. The culmination of 40 years’ experience in developing professional cameras, the EOS-1D X is Canon’s most advanced EOS model ever produced, offering photographers an unparalleled combination of speed, resolution and image quality to capture stunning stills and Full HD movies.

Providing class-leading versatility, the EOS-1D X is the ultimate camera for professional photographers shooting anywhere from the studio to the sports field, and is able to meet any creative challenge. The model blends a suite of first-class technologies that make it easier to capture images in outstanding quality, including a new 18.1MP full-frame CMOS sensor with an incredible 100-51200 ISO range (expandable to 204800) for shooting in extreme low-light conditions. A redesigned 61-point wide-area autofocus system offers advanced sensitivity and accuracy across the frame, while a newly-designed 100,000 pixel RGB metering sensor detects faces and colour to ensure correct exposure levels.

EOS-1D X is the first-ever camera to feature dual “DIGIC 5+” processors, which are designed to handle huge levels of image data while simultaneously reducing image noise. Combined with the sensor’s 16-channel read-out, the processors enable full-resolution continuous shooting up to 12fps while a super high-speed mode extends the shooting speed to 14fps (JPEG format only).

The film-maker’s DSLR
In addition to stills, the EOS-1D X is capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080p) movies with the full-frame sensor. An extensive range of manual settings lets users control exposure, focus and frame rate (1920 x 1080: 30 (29.97), 25, 24(23.976) frames per second, 1280 x 720: 60 (59.94), 50 fps, 640 x 480: 30 (29.97), 25 fps), while sound levels can also be displayed and adjusted on the Clear View II 8.11cm (3.2”) LCD screen, ensuring complete control over every aspect of a shoot.

Canon EOS-1DX – key features

* 18.1 MP full frame CMOS sensor
* Up to 12fps and 14fps shooting
* 100-51200 ISO, up to H:204800
* 61 point AF system
* 100,000 pixel RGB AE metering with DIGIC 4
* Full HD 1080p EOS movie
* Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors
* Clear View II 8.11cm (3.2”) 1,040k LCD
* Ethernet port

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UK’s Digital Photographer #119

27 Feb

Bright & bold shooting techniques for photographers

Fantastic flower photo workshop – How to get sharper, brighter, more dramatic results.
Timeless baby portraits – Top tricks for capturing beautiful newborn photos.
Shoot planes, trains & automobiles – Twenty ways to capture exciting transport shots.
Creative flash techniques – Four hands-on ways to get creative with your lighting.
Also inside… – Print photos from your mobile phone – Your guide to buying second-hand cameras – How to smooth skin in Photoshop – Sony A77 on review – Win! £10,000 of pro photography kit – Get a job as a movie stills photographer – When does inspiration becomes plagiarism? – Inspiring photo talent – Your photo questions answered – How to become a photographer’s assistant – Capture the colour and culture of Delhi.

Free with this issue… Free award winners supplement, Photoshop video tutorials and resource CD, Plus free website templates worth US$30.

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Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies Visit KL International MotoXpo

26 Feb

Press Release and Photo courtesy of Yamaha Factory Racing

The Yamaha Factory Racing riders were present as VIP attendees last Sunday at the first ever International MotoXpo Show in Kuala Lumpur. The MotoGP riders arrived in Malaysia early for the second Sepang test to attend the MotoXpo event as guests of Hong Leong Yamaha Motor.

Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies spent the afternoon meeting and signing autographs for their Malaysian fans and took to the stage in front of the assembled media, fans and industry representatives for a Q&A session. There was also time to meet some of the stars of Malaysia’s national racing championships including Team Yamaha Maju Motor Racing, Team Moto Yamaha AHM Racing and Team Yamaha CKJ Sukimi.

The riders will now prepare for the second official IRTA MotoGP test of 2012 at the Sepang circuit next week. The Yamaha engineers have been hard at work following the first test last month and will be keen to gain further data and feedback from Lorenzo and Spies on the new updates to the 1000cc YZR-M1.

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OWC Expands Its Mercury Elite Pro Range

26 Feb

Other World Computing (OWC) has announced it has expanded the storage capacity of its high-performance OWC Mercury Elite Pro™ single bay and dual bay desktop storage solution line to 8.0TB. By utilizing the industry’s only 3.5” 4.0TB SATA 6Gb/s hard drive, OWC’s Mercury Elite Pro storage solutions deliver 33 percent more storage/back-up capacity per drive over current 3.0TB hard drives With up to a “Quad Interface” of FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA connections, the Mercury Elite Pro line offers Plug and Play data transfer speeds up to 300MB/s with Mac and PC computers.

Performance- Certified Models for All Backup and Storage Needs The OWC Mercury Elite Pro line of 4.0TB hard drive-based storage solutions are available in three configurations to meet any common to professional A/V production backup and storage need:

•       4.0TB Mercury Elite Pro with “Combo Interface” (FireWire® 400 and USB 2.0) US$429.99 •       4.0TB Mercury Elite Pro with “Quad Interface” (FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, eSATA) US$469.99 •       8.0TB Mercury Elite Pro Dual RAID 0 (4.0TB x 2) with “Quad Interface” (FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, eSATA) US$869.99

The Mercury Elite Pro Dual RAID is also available in RAID 1, RAID 0+1, and RAID- ready dual eSATA models up to 6.0TB. All Mercury Elite Pro models include a disk utility software bundle retail valued at more than $100 and all interface connection cables.

For more information on all OWC External Storage Solutions, visit:

Highest Capacity, Lowest Environmental Impact The new 4.0TB hard drive built into OWC Mercury Elite storage solutions employs a halogen-free design and power-efficient operation – up to a 28 percent idle power savings – to complement OWC’s well-regarded environmental practices. The drive also uses Advanced Format, which increases the sector size from 512 bytes to 4096 (4K) bytes, thereby increasing capacities and improving error correction capabilities.

Backed by the Best Support in the Industry The best warranty is one a consumer should never have to use, but should the need occur, OWC is proud to provide a superior level of support and warranty coverage. All OWC Mercury Elite Pro storage solutions come fully backed by free lifetime US-based 24/7 technical support and a three-year warranty which includes a 48-hour repair turnaround time with up to one year of complimentary Level 1 data recovery.

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