Why Wouldn't You Share Your Own Videos?

Technology changes very quickly and I remember back to when I published that first video on my YouTube channel recorded with my 4 megapixel Canon PowerShot camera. The video quality in comparison to what is possible nowadays was very poor, but the content was more than acceptable. 

My first YouTube camera … the Canon PowerShot A80

My first YouTube camera … the Canon PowerShot A80

That was over eight years ago and the advancements in technology, during such a short time, is simply quite amazing. I experienced compact cameras that gave us 720P video, soon followed by the same small photo snappers delivering 1080P video. Conventional camcorders giving up the ability to not only record in full HD, but also in 3D. Tiny little action cameras, that one could mount to a car, surf board, your body or even your pet dog. If we fast forward to the current day, all of these wonders of technology can now dazzle our visual senses with even more detail in 4K resolution. 

Throughout my journey of creating visual content to share online, I have helped many others with questions and product recommendations. One of the most common questions, or for want of a better term, "excuses" is that many people want to create videos, but use their lack of "expensive" camera as an excuse.
Emails I receive are often like this (what follows is part of an actual email I received)… "Hello Dave, I really want to start my YouTube Channel but need an amazing camera and microphone setup. Can you suggest something around the £1,000 to £1,500 mark. Once I have saved enough money I can then start producing videos like you". 
The perceived need for the so-called "best camera" could not be further from the truth. Look at how I started … with just the family point & shoot compact camera. Also, consider how smartphone technology has also evolved, with many capturing awesome 1080P and some even managing to deliver a crisp 4K experience too. So why wouldn't you share your own videos. Now is the time to use the technology you already have in your pocket or bag and share your story. We can no longer make the excuse that we do not have a great camera, 

Throughout December, Intellicig are running a competition to give away a £200 Red Letter Day experience for two. Check out their #WhyWouldntYou campaign here.

Written in collaboration with Intellicig.

Canon Sends Out Invites For March 22 Event; Canon 70D Inbound?

There have been rumors suggesting Canon might announce a new product—possibly the 70D—this month, and low and behold, press invites have gone out for an event on March 22. These aren’t your ordinary invites, either.

Recipients were sent a secretive black box containing a nondescript silver pen. So? So, the pens actually contain a hidden message one can only see in a dark room. That’s some Bond-level spy stuff right there.

The pen is actually branded PowerShot, so perhaps in addition to the possibility of the 70D, Canon will announce one or two other shooters for the spring season. It’s unclear what time the announcement begins, but we do have a date, so we’ll keep an eye out leading into next Friday.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Secret Santa AKA GadgetsBoy Delivered

Last week I told you about some exciting Christmas related news. The kind guys & gals at MoneySuperMarket.com had organised a Secret Santa Challenge. I was so excited that they invited me to take part and even happier when I learned that GadgetsBoy was my partner in the festivities.

The challenge began with me selecting a gift to send. That was a real challenge to buy something for a geek that has a lot of gadgets already. I won't spoil it for you in this article, so to find out what I gifted, check out the GadgetsBoy website.

Today, there was a knock at my door. Plain white box signed for … I sat next to the Geekanoids Christmas Tree and opened it with excitement. Well, fella, it proves you know me. I am a gadget freak for sure, but also a photography fanatic too. I love my cameras, using both micro four thirds, plus a Canon shooter too.
For those of you who have Canon gear, you will know that the red ringed L lens is top end optics & something to be proud of. On first looks I thought GadgetsBoy had gone crazy, blowing all his hard earned cash on this top end lens, then the smile or realisation came.

The gift I received is a Lens Mug, that's right a mug that is made to look like a Canon 28-135mm L Lens. The attention to detail is superb, check out the photos below to see how realistic it is. Not only do I have something here that looks the part, but in these cold winter months I can load it up with a warm hot chocolate … I love it. 
I did try mounting it on my DSLR, but alas it did not work !!! I joke … this is a great gift and I am really happy with it.

Many thanks for the gift GadgetsBoy and a big shout out to MoneySuperMarket for making this possible. 

Canon outs redesigned arsenal of printers and scanners for its PIXMA and CanoScan lines

Thinking about pulling the trigger on a new printer or scanner in the near future? You may want to sit tight for a bit. Canon has outed its newest grouping of the aforementioned peripherals with retooled frames and a smattering of other improvements. For those looking for an all-in-one solution, the PIXMA MG6320 and MG5420 carry the multi-function moniker and a snap-edge design that makes getting to those precious ink cartridges a breeze. The new exterior also relocates the paper handling to allow the unit to rest flush against a wall or the back of a shelf. What's the difference, you ask? Well, the MG6320 (pictured above) wields a 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD while the MG5420 houses a regular ol' 3-inch LCD. However, both feature a truckload wireless printing capabilities from both computers and mobile devices. No word on a ship date, but the pair will be priced at $200 and $150 when they make their debut in stores.

[Source: Engadget - Click here to read the full story]

Canon's upcoming 5D Mark III firmware update brings uncompressed HDMI output support, enhanced AF functionality

Proud owners of that sleek and relatively powerful Mark III will be happy to know Canon has just announced a firmware update for its flagship 5D model. The Japanese camera maker is touting this upcoming release as one that will bring clean HDMI-out support to the EOS shooter, which should be great for folks who would like to monitor their recordings in real time. Additionally, Canon's improved the Mark III's AF functionalities yet again; this time out by enabling the unit's auto focus system to adequately adjust to the type of lens that it is paired with. Unfortunately, it looks like users will have to wait a little while to install the new firmware, as the company won't be making it available until April of next year -- at which point it can be grabbed from the soon-to-be bookmarked source link below.

[Source: Engadget]

New Canon X Mark I Pro Launched

The X Mark I Pro is the latest addition to our award-winning X series line-up already consisting of business function calculators, mouse, keypads, pointer and portable printing calculators. The new model’s 610 advanced functions are the highest available in Canon’s X series line-up. It is intended for those customers who demand not only advanced functions, but also seek a unique and luxury product with a stylish design.

LOL … gotcha !!! I bet you thought this was a new camera.

The Canon EOS M Mirrorless is Here (almost)

Canon has announced their entry into the mirrorless camera market with the EOS M, due to be available around October 2012.

"An 18-megapixel interchangeable-lens compact system camera small enough to take anywhere. Enjoy simple creative controls and superb low-light performance for stunning images."

It sports a nice compact body and a large APS-C sized sensor. From what I have seen online, it does look like a bit too much plastic and not enough metal has been used, so I just hope the build quality is as good as the camera actually looks… which is very sexy.

"The EOS M keeps performing at its best, even when light levels get low. Hybrid autofocus ensures pin-sharp photographs and evaluative exposure metering picks the most appropriate shutter speed and aperture. Shoot hand-held pictures in low-light conditions without using flash or a tripod, thanks to a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800 (expandable to ISO 25,600)."

Alongside there are also two lenses, a 22mm and an 18-55mm, both of which are dedicated to the EOS-M line, but also use the recently introduced STM (stepper motor) which uses the new phase detect AF for improved focus during video use. There is also a new dedicated flash and an EF/EF-S lens adapter, so you can use your existing canon lenses.

Keep an eye on Geekanoids for the full review when this becomes available.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 8th June 2012 – Canon UK & Ireland today unveils two new compact, lightweight lenses - the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. Showcasing a number of new features, including continuous autofocus in Movie mode, both models offer superior image quality and enhanced flexibility to enable photographers of all skill levels to capture both stills and movies of practically any subject.


Fast, accurate autofocus for film-makers and photographers 
As well as offering full-time manual focus controls when shooting stills, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF 40mm f/2.8 STM are both also ideal for aspiring movie makers, allowing them to focus more accurately during shooting. The perfect companion lenses to the new EOS 650D, both models feature new stepper motor technology (STM), enabling fast, continuous focus when recording moving subjects - ensuring movies will be smoother and clearer than ever before.
Offering enhanced AF performance with high-speed, high-precision focusing, the two new lenses make it easy for photographers to capture more spontaneous shots, with exceptional detail and clarity. This is particularly useful for documentary, action or travel photography. With a minimum focusing distance of 0.39m and 0.3m respectively, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF 40mm f/2.8 STM allow you to get even closer to the action whilst keeping the subject in perfect focus.


EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM – versatile, high-performance zoom
Offering a focal range of 18–135mm, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM has been created to offer photographers a compact, versatile zoom lens which can be used to capture a variety of subjects, from portraits to landscapes and action shots. Ensuring high-quality stills at slow shutter speeds, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM features an intelligent optical Image Stabilizer which offers a 4-stop advantage over non-IS models. The lens will also sense whether the photographer is shooting normally or panning, engaging the most appropriate IS mode to capture the best possible image. When shooting movies, Dynamic IS automatically engages, countering any shake caused by the videographer’s movement to produce smooth, stable footage. 

For subtle background blur when exploring shallow depths of field in stills and movies, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM features a circular aperture with an Electro Magnetic Diaphragm (EMD) which permits highly-accurate control over aperture settings. High image quality is also assured throughout the zoom range thanks to four groups of lens elements including one Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) and one Precision Molded Optics (PMo) element to counter chromatic aberration. Canon’s optimised Super spectra coatings on each lens element also reduce ghosting and flare, ensuring images require minimal post-processing.


EF 40mm f/2.8 STM – super-slim, high image quality
The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is Canon’s first EF pancake lens with a fixed focal length of 40mm and wide f/2.8 aperture, making it ideal for photographers who want a versatile, compact and lightweight lens for portrait, reportage, travel or landscape situations. Precision control over the circular, seven-blade aperture is enabled by the EMD, producing a beautiful bokeh effect and an aspheric lens with Super spectra coatings ensures optimal image quality from the centre of the lens to the periphery for stunning shots of practically any subject.


EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM – key features
• Versatile 18-135mm zoom range – perfect for travel 
• Smooth, quiet STM focusing when shooting movies on compatible cameras 
• Dynamic Image Stabilizer for smooth movie footage 
• Fast autofocus with full-time manual override 
• Minimum focusing distance of 0.39m 


EF 40mm f/2.8 STM – key features
• Portable pancake design 
• Smooth, quiet STM focusing when shooting movies on compatible cameras 
• Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture for low-light shooting 
• Close focus to 0.3m 
• Fast, quiet AF for pin-sharp results 
• Great image quality right across the frame 


Pricing and Availability
The EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is available from July 2012, priced at £479.99/€569.99 RRP incl. VAT. 

The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is available from 15th June 2012, priced at £229.99/€279.99 RRP incl. VAT.

Canon Launch the EOS 650D

Canon have finally made the EOS 650D official, along with a couple of new lenses. The 650D does not replace the 600D, instead sitting just above it as a new model and just below the 60D. On offer is the same 18 megapixel stills, but on a new sensor that has phase detect added to it.
This is very exciting as phase detect allows for continuous autofocus during video capture. The sensor uses phase detect for the initial focus acquisition, then switches to the standard contrast detection to pull everything into pin sharp focus. All sounds very exciting.


This coupled with the news lenses, a 40mm and an 18-135mm, sounds very appealing. These two new lenses are stamped with an STM monicker, which means that have a stepping motor. In laymans terms this allows the lens to smoothly transition between focus points, rather than jump to focus. This should eliminate that awful hunting that we see on the current lineup of Nikon DSLR cameras and other brand compacts. Only time will tell if and how well it works, but it certainly sounds like Canon have done their homework.

On top of all this the 650D gets a new capactivie touch screen, a dedicated video switch and some nice auto-secene modes and filter effects thrown in for good measure.

Check out this first look from What Digital Camera.

And an overview from TechCentury.

Canon Launches New Legria (Vixia) Range

Canon today announced many new camcorders to their Legria (Vixia) range. Top of the tables is the new HF M52 which has some superb features. It sports Canons new HD CMOS Pro sensor, which has the exact number of pixels needed for 1920x1080 capture. This featured in some of last years models, including the top of the range and still current HF G10. They also added WiFi support to the HF M52, which allows for wireless streaming to supported devices. The 7.5cm touch screen is still very low resolution, which is a bit of a let down and there is still no 50P or 60P support. Check out the full details here.

LEGRIA HF M52 features:  
   • Wi-Fi with MP4 support 
   • Canon HD CMOS PRO sensor 
   • Optical Intelligent IS 
   • Audio Scene Select 
   • 10x HD Video lens, iris diaphragm 
   • Store direct to external HDD 
   • 32GB memory, SDXC slot 
   • Creative cinematic features 
   • 7.5cm touch screen 
   • Smart Auto (38 scenes), Face Detection, Instant AF

LEGRIA HF M56 features:  
   • Wi-Fi with MP4 support 
   • Canon HD CMOS PRO sensor 
   • Optical Intelligent IS 
   • Audio Scene Select 
   • 10x HD Video lens, iris diaphragm 
   • Store direct to external HDD 
   • 8GB memory, SDXC slot 
   • Creative cinematic features 
   • 7.5cm touch screen 
   • Smart Auto (38 scenes), Face Detection, Instant AF   
LEGRIA HF M506 features:   
   • Canon HD CMOS PRO sensor 
   • Optical Intelligent IS 
   • Audio Scene Select 
   • 10x HD Video lens, iris diaphragm 
   • Creative cinematic features 
   • 7.5cm intuitive touch screen 
   • Smart Auto (38 scenes), Face Detection, Instant AF 
   • SDXC card slot

Canon Launches PowerShot G1 X

London, UK, 9th January 2012 – Canon today introduces the PowerShot G1 X – a revolutionary new compact camera with a large CMOS sensor, designed to produce DSLR levels of image quality and control in a highly portable metal body. Created for professional and serious photographers, the PowerShot G1 X creates a prestigious new category at the top of Canon's legendary G-series line-up, and redefines the
performance achievable from a compact camera.
A high-quality camera in its own right or the perfect complement to a professional DSLR, the PowerShot G1 X combines EOS sensor technology with DIGIC 5 processing power, a new precision Canon lens and extensive manual control – creating the finest compact camera Canon has ever produced. Designed to be highly portable, the PowerShot G1 X features a zoom lens which retracts into a discreet, robust metal body, providing photographers with an unimposing camera that delivers high quality images and superior handling.
Professional levels of image quality
Incorporating Canon-developed technologies and expertise trusted by professionals worldwide, the PowerShot G1 X offers a level of image quality previously only possible with a Canon DSLR. It's Canon's first compact camera to feature a large, 4:3 aspect, 14.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor measuring 18.7mm x 14mm – similar in height to the APS-C sensors used within EOS DSLR models. Featuring the same pixel size and structure as the EOS 600D, and a surface area approximately 6.3 times larger than the sensor in the acclaimed PowerShot G12, it provides DSLR image quality in a body small enough to carry anywhere.
The increased sensor size allows photographers to have greater control over the depth of field, with increased potential to creatively and artistically isolate a subject from its background. Improved dynamic range enables users to accurately capture shadows and highlights within the same frame, while the 14.3 Megapixel resolution allows for the output of large-sized prints, or permits images to be cropped for more powerful compositions.
The PowerShot G1 X also features a range of benefits that result from the advanced CMOS sensor technology developed within Canon's EOS range. On-chip noise reduction ensures images are clear, even at high ISO speeds, while a 4-channel read-out provides high speed image capture – ensuring fast, responsive performance in all conditions.
Combining the large sensor with the DIGIC 5 image processor, the HS System in the PowerShot G1 X sets new standards for low-light performance, with a maximum fullresolution ISO range of 100 to 12800 – a level never before seen in a Canon compact. Photographers can shoot using the ambient light in even the darkest of conditions, capturing natural shots with incredible detail and low noise – providing a powerful basis for low-light photography.
Precision lens technology
Developed using the same design, manufacturing and quality processes as the world renowned EF lens range, the lens in the PowerShot G1 X is built to achieve professional levels of image quality. Utilising Ultra high refractive index Aspherical (UA) elements and precision glass moulding technology, the lens achieves both a compact size and pin-sharp clarity for the most discerning of photographers. The lens retracts compactly into the camera body while offering a flexible 4x optical zoom range of 28mm – 112mm, giving photographers the option to use the zoom creatively and change the framing and perspective of their shot. A 6 blade aperture also combines with the largesized sensor to produce beautiful background blur.
To help ensure optimum image and Full HD movie clarity, the lens features a 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer (IS), allowing photographers to shoot in darker conditions and use shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible without IS. The optical Image Stabilizer is supported by Intelligent IS which analyses the focal length, focal distance and type of camera movement and applies the most appropriate Image Stabilizer mode1. For example, when a panning motion is detected, Panning IS is activated and stabilises in only one direction for more artistic capture of movement across the frame. Hybrid IS technology is also included to capture macro subjects without the blur associated with shift camera shake.
The lens also includes an in-built 3-stop Neutral Density (ND) Filter, permitting the use of wider apertures in bright light to achieve a shallower depth of field, or to use slower shutter speeds to intentionally blur motion.
Extensive control
Following on from the control historically offered by the PowerShot G-series, the PowerShot G1 X offers Full Manual Control with shooting mode and exposure compensation dials for quick and intuitive access to a range of settings. For maximum control over the final image, the PowerShot G1 X fits seamlessly into the EOS photographer's workflow, supporting 14-bit RAW capture for smooth gradations and natural colours which can be fine-tuned using the supplied Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software.
Giving photographers the option to capture split-second action, the PowerShot G1 X features High-speed Burst HQ, capturing bursts of six full-resolution shots at 4.5fps to freeze fast-moving action. Alternatively, users can shoot continuously at 1.9fps right up to card capacity in JPEG format – ensuring longer sequences of action are captured.
High quality, Full HD movies
The PowerShot G1 X supports Full HD (1080p) movie capture instantly at 24fps, via a dedicated movie button. Taking advantage of the camera's large CMOS sensor, users can experience high quality movies, even in low light conditions, with the shallow depth of field associated with a larger sensor. Additionally, the 4x optical zoom can be used whilst filming, offering versatility, while stereo sound is also captured.

Canon EOS 550D hits UK shores

It seems that with every iteration of Digital Camera nowadays, manufacturers try to push the megapixel and feature boundary every single time. As an amateur photographer I always wait with baited breath in the hope that all the new features are not at the expense of image quality. Having owned and tested many cameras over the years, I stopped searching for the highest megapixel count and looked more for decent noise control and speed.

I am not brand loyal in any shape or form, but more often that not Canon seem to deliver the quality that I desire. When they announced their EOS 500D it was very interesting, as was their 50D and the very recent 7D offering. With the EOS 7D they upped the megapixel count yet again and also delivered 1080P high definition video capture. Hot on the heals of this semi-pro camera is the EOS 550D which has just hit the shores of the UK with some early adopters receiving their units this week.

On offer is a new 18 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, very similar to that in the higher priced 7D. Alongside this you get Canon's DIGIG 4 image processor (a single one, the 7D has two). The ability to extend the ISO range up to 12,800 is also welcome, as is the 3.7fps shooting speed. This model also sports a new 3-inch LCD screen with a massive 1,040K dot resolution. As a video producer for my main interest, the full HD movie capture with selectable frame rate is also of great interest. I will be bringing you a series of reviews covering the features and performance of the Canon EOS 550D over the coming weeks, so please do keep an eye on the website.

In the meantime, I managed to catch up for a chat with Gui de Basly from Park Cameras, check out the Q&A below... 

Q. Hi Gui, have you had any hands-on time with the new EOS 550D from Canon yet?
A. Yes, I got to use it this week when we received the first batch.

Q. What features stood out for you?
A. You immediately notice how good the LCD is, very bright and clear which makes using live view to compose shots and shoot video very pleasing. It also makes checking focus very accurate too. 

Q. Where do you see this fitting within the Canon range?
A. The camera sits near the entry point of the Canon range in terms of price, and it's bigger brothers have an advantage in speed and a couple of features but in terms of image quality it is very impressive, it's a match for much more expensive cameras such as the 7D. 

Q. If a customer was buying a 550D from you, what accessory do you think would be the most useful as their second purchase?
A. If they have a good range of lenses already then a high-speed, high capacity memory card would be the best options. The video is so addictive that you'll be taking up a lot of memory card space. Also a bag that you feel comfortable with is important, if you don't like carrying the camera then you'll not take it out with you and miss great shots as a consequence.

Q. Do you think a lot of people will buy the 550D instead of a dedicated video camera?
A. People may decide they don't need to buy an additional video camera if they have the Canon 550D but there are still benefits of a camcorder compared to DSLR video. The unique look from the DSLR video is actually attracting a lot of film and television producers.

Q. Would this make a good second body for a professional photographer?
A. It probably isn't going to be used as a back up to the pro cameras because it doesn't use the same batteries and handles differently which are not ideal for part of a professional kit. However, as the image quality is very good and the camera so light and portable I can imagine many professional photographer using this as their 'off-duty' camera, just for shooting the family or when out and about.

Q. Do you think the future of DSLR's will see every new model feature video capture?
A. Absolutely, there is no real reason not to incorporate video recording so I imagine all future models will have this feature and I expect the implementation to improve over the next few years. 

Geekanoids: Thanks Gui for taking the time to give your views on the 550D, that gives a really useful insight for our readers.

The Canon EOS 550D is currently available from Park Cameras in the UK.