Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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Part 1: Photo Backup Strategy

Part 1: Backups at Home

RAID & hard drives - Back it up!

People often ask me what my backup strategy is so I thought I would outline what I am doing with the many images I shoot these days.  In the above photo on the very right, you can see a LaCie 2 TB RAID drive, set for the faster RAID 0 (striped) as opposed to the more secure RAID 1 (mirrored).  I wanted the best performance possible for storing my Lightroom image library which is why it is set that way. You can also see a couple of WiebeTech drive enclosures to the left, and there is one more WiebeTech behind the speaker on the left that you cannot see.

In the foreground is a smaller enclosure with a 128GB SSD drive that I use on the road with my MacBook Air as a shared drive.  My current working Lightroom image library and image files are on the SSD so I can work on stuff while away from home and then just plug the drive in at home and seamlessly resume where I left off without having to deal with library syncing etc.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

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Happy Holidays!

All the best for this holiday season!
Wishing you health, happiness and success for 2011 too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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Nikon Super CoolScan 9000ED - Last Chance!

After a bit of digging around the 'Net, it looks as though my prediction is coming true.  I had been telling people that my gut feeling was that the 9000ED might last through to the end of the year, but I wasn't hopeful that it would be around too much longer.

Well sure enough, various large online resellers are listing the Nikon Super CoolScan 9000ED scanner as discontinued. In addition, Nikon USA's website has the scanner in their "product archive" section too. I am fairly certain that when existing inventory at Nikon Canada is sold out, there will be no more available. We currently have stock (at $2,649) and are planning another small order, but that will likely be the last we'll see of this outstanding film scanner.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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Dec 2010 Specials!

There are lots of digital specials on at Beau Photo for December.  There are manufacturer's rebates as well as sale pricing on Nikon, Wacom, Lexar and more!  Also see the previous post with lots of Canon Rebates!

Wacom Intuos IV Tablets on sale!

We have Wacom’s latest Intuos4 Medium Professional pen tablets on sale for the holidays, in both USB (wired) and the wireless versions. The Intuos4 Medium has a pen tablet area of 8.8x5.5 inches and eight user programmable buttons, each with its own OLED display. Each button’s display will show you an icon relating to the function it will perform, and Wacom has many different preset configurations for you to download. For example, you can configure the tablet to show icons for your most commonly used Photoshop tools, such as crop, healing brush, cloning tool, so you can simply press the button to select the tool you need. There is also a circular touch pad that, among other things, can be set up to change your brush size in Photoshop. Spin your finger around the touch pad in one direction to make your brush bigger and in the other to make it smaller. All these functions are fully user configure-able on a program-by-program basis, so you can have customs settings for Photoshop, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro etc. For superb fine control when retouching photos, or to help reduce RSI (repetitive strain injury) due to always using a mouse, having a pen tablet is truly a godsend!

Intuos4 Pro Medium Sale! $ 379  (regular $ 429)
Intuos4 Pro Medium Wireless Sale! $ 429  (regular $ 479)
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Dec 2010 Canon Rebates

Canon has extended most of their November rebates through until the end of December and have even increased the rebate amounts on some items!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

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Handheld at night: Canon's EF-S 15-85mm IS Zoom

Canon EOS 7D - EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM - ISO 1600 - 1/6 sec at f / 4.0 - handheld

When I tell people what a great lens Canon's EF-S 15-85mm "kit" zoom is (introduced along with the EOS-7D in 2009), I often times get some pretty skeptical looks. After all, while Canon makes many superb 'L' lenses, they don't necessarily have a reputation for high quality kit lenses. Well people... take my word for it, the 15-85mm zoom rocks! The above gallery contains all images taken with this lens the other evening, all handheld and most are wide-open at f/3.5.  I did some perspective correction on several shots in Adobe Lightroom v3.3RC to square up the buildings when I wasn't quite shooting level and please note that LR v3 now does do some automatic distortion corrections for many lenses too, although even without correction it really is not bad. I have included 2000 pixel images as well so you can better see how sharp this lens can be. Images were shot raw with my EOS-7D, all at ISO 1600 and at shutter speeds ranging from a very long 0.4 seconds, to an 1/8 of a second with a handful being slightly higher. EXIF data shows below each enlarged image, so you can see the camera settings.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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Rebates, more rebates and promos!

Starting November 1st, there are tons of rebates available when buying gear from Beau Photo! Not only are there a whole slew of new Canon rebates on DSLRs, lenses and flashes, but for the first time in quite some time, there are also Nikon lens rebates! Add to this some great new Hasselblad promos and you've got plenty of stuff to consider, especially if needing to start your (generous!) Christmas shopping early for a loved one.

Lastly, there are also some Lexar specials running through until November 7th.  Of interest might be instant rebates on the following pro cards...

  • Lexar Pro UDMA 8GB 400x CF - $14.00
  • Lexar Pro UDMA 16GB 400x CF - $23.50
  • Lexar Pro 16GB 133x SDHC - $26.00
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Nov. 2010: Hasselblad Year-End Promos

Hasselblad has announced some aggressive promotions, starting November 1st and running through to December 31st. Call me for current CDN pricing if you are interested in one of the H4D or lens offers!

15% off Lens Promotion:
Endusers may purchase an HC(D) lens or HTS1.5 tilt-shift adapter at a 15% discount.

H4D-40 Lens Bundle
Enduser may purchase an H4D-40 with a HC(D) lens of their choice for a
promotional price of $19,995 US.

H4D-50 Free Lens
Enduser may purchase an H4D-50 for $28,995 US and receive a
FREE HC(D) lens of their choice.

Note: Promotions do not include the new HC-II lenses. Choice of HC-50 and HC-120 are subject to availability while supplies last.
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November 2010: Nikon Lens Rebates

Nikon Lens Rebates: Nov 1st to Jan 6th!

Nikon has announced some generous lens rebates on some of their best selling lenses! These are instant rebates we give to you directly, so you don't have to mail anything in...
  • AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8 - $100
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8 - $100
  • AF-S NIKKOR VRII 70-200mm f/2.8G - $100
  • AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G VR - $75
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G VR - $75
  • AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR - $75
  • AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4 IF ED - $75
  • AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8 - $50
  • AF-S Micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 VR II - $50
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Nov. 2010: Canon Rebates

November 2010 Rebates

For November, Canon has continued on with numerous lens rebates and has added flash and DSLR rebates as well. Remember, these are instant rebates which means we do the work to get the money from Canon so you don't have to.  These rebates are taken off right when you buy the items, so instant savings for you!  I have not included some rebates on this page as they are more to do with consumer products and P&S cameras and we do not stock those at Beau, although we can order them in if desired.  If a P&S is what you are after, you can call us for more details on those rebates.

Click the read-more link below for the long list of pro-oriented rebates...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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Zacuto! We finally have Z-Finders in stock...

Get 'em while they're hot!

Finally, after months of waiting, we have the Z-Finders in stock, both the 2.5x and the 3x versions. We have filled our backorders and have stock on hand...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

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Wide! Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Lens

I recently had a few minutes to quickly shoot with a very interesting new Sigma lens, the ultra-wide 8-16mm zoom. This lens is only for APS-C crop digital cameras and on my EOS-7D, which shot the test photos in the gallery, it equates to a (rounded off) 13-26mm zoom, in 35mm full-frame equivalent terms. Very very wide indeed!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

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Pre-Photokina: Nikon Announcements

Nikon has announced a variety of interesting new FX format (full-frame) lenses, starting with a big, beautiful new 85mm lens, the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G (Nikon details).  While the old AF 85mm f/1.4D was (and still is!) certainly a very good lens optically, it seems to frequently require an in-body AF adjustment to focus accurately with different cameras when shooting at near wide-open f-stops.  Initial reports indicate that the new AF-S version is more accurate across differing bodies and, on top of that, it also boasts Nikon's excellent Nano-Crystal lens coatings for excellent contrast and resistance to flare in challenging lighting conditions. The price will be a bit higher than the old 85mm, coming in at $1779, but not too bad when compared to the competition.
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Pre-Photokina: Canon Announcements

Canon has announced a slew of cameras, lenses and one DSLR in advance of the Photokina trade show as follows...

Canon EOS-60D  ($1149 - Canon Press Release)

In a nutshell, the 60D is an 18MP DSLR that is a combination of features found in the 7D and 5D Mark II, in a less expensive and more consumer oriented plastic body.  I would look at the 60D as more of a “Pro Rebel”, so maybe that will give you an idea where Canon is going with it and, like the Rebel series, it also takes SD and SDHC cards, not CompactFlash. However it will also support the upcoming larger and faster SDXC standard.  It does look as though the EOS-7D is indeed the “true” successor to the 20D/30D/40D/50D series.  The 60D has also lost the wonderful “focus point joystick” that all the previous cameras in the series had, and now relies on a more awkwardly positioned and conventional “D-pad” controller that happens to be inside the rear control wheel.  Until I have a chance to handle a 60D, I won't know how good (or bad) this arrangement really is, but to me it definitely seems to be a step backward from an ergonomic standpoint.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

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Special: Digital FOCI 8" Album ($149.95)

We have a clearance sale on some 8" Portable Digital Photo Albums from Digital FOCI.  Regular price was $269 and the clearance price is $149.95! While supplies last only...

Armed with a high-res 800x600 pixel LCD and bound in a soft leatherette, the Digital Album also sports 4GB of internal flash memory as well as slots for CompactFlash, SD/SDHC/MMC, xD, Memory Stick and MS Pro cards, so you can download or view images to it from pretty much any camera and it makes a perfect presentation tool for those times you don't want to lug around a full-blown laptop.  Not only does it support standard JPEG, BMP, GIF and TIFF files, it will also open RAW images from a wide selection of digital SLRs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

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Gallery: 2009 Abbotsford Airshow

Canadian Snowbirds Demonstration Team - 2009 Abbotsford Airshow

Nearly a full year late (just a day shy), I finally finished editing my 185 selects and posted photos from the 2009 airshow at the Abbotsford International Airport. This year, it looks as though I will have to miss it due to other commitments, but after the 1800+ photos from last year, amounting to 35GB worth of images, maybe it's best that I take a year off!

Gallery: 2009 Abbotsford International Airshow (4 pages)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

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SALE! Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

We have lots of stock on the excellent top-end flash from Nikon, the SB-900, and have decided to put it on sale.

While our current stock lasts (or until the end of August), you can get it for the great price of $485!

Contact us if you want to take advantage of this sale!
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NEW Hasselblad Promotions!

The following prices are in US dollars. For an accurate quote with current pricing in CDN dollars, please contact me. These promotions will be running from August 1st to September 30th, 2010.

H4D-40/Lens Promotion
Purchase an H4D-40 (with or without a 80mm lens) and be eligible to purchase any one HC or HCD lens of your choice at 25% off. Promotional lens purchase must be included on same order as the H4D-40.

H4D-50 Instant rebate
Purchase an H4D-50 (with or without a 80mm lens) and receive an instant $3,000 rebate as follows...

H4D-50 (without 80mm lens)
MSRP: $28,995
Promotional Price with rebate: $25,995

H4D-50 (with 80mm lens)
MSRP: $30,995
Promotional Price with rebate: $27,995

In addition, H4D-50 cameras purchased under this program will eligible for an upgrade to the H4D-60 for the difference in MSRP. Upgrade orders must be placed by October 31, 2010 to be eligible for this offer.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

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Canon DSLR and Lens Rebates Extended!

Canon has once again extended their instant rebates, this time until the end of August. Here is the list!  There are some video and P&S rebates as well, but these are the main ones. One item not on the list is the 1D Mark IV body, which also has a $300 instant rebate. For details click...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

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Gallery: Zombies!

I have updated my website with a few new image galleries finally, one of which contains the stills I shot last year on the set of a locally produced zombie flick, H1Z1.  I am not sure if that will be the final name for it, but in any case, that is what it was called when I was working on set.

Be warned that the gallery contains a few images with graphic special effects makeup, so if you are a squeamish type, you might want to use caution!  The vast majority of the images are "safe" however and should not be unsettling!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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DEMO Clearance: Canon iPF6100 Printer

We have just received our demo iPF6300 printer from Canon, so we are selling off the previous model, the 24" wide iPF6100.

We are selling our demo iPF6100 for $2,450 and it will still carry a full one-year warranty from Canon. Previously, this printer sold for nearly $4,000.  The new iPF-6300 will sell for $4,490, so this demo allows you to save over $2,000 off the price of the latest & greatest model.

The iPF6100 is a 12-ink, large format, floor standing printer capable of printing on roll media up to 24 inches wide. It uses twelve 130mL ink cartridges: photo black, matte black, grey, photo-grey, cyan, magenta, yellow, photo-cyan, photo-magenta, red, green and blue. Whew!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

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NIK Software - Save up to $99!

We have stock on NIK Software at Beau Photo and the good news is that we have some limited time special pricing! The Image Explorations show on Vancouver Island was a resounding success, but we still have a few copies of NIK software at the show special pricing. These prices are only going to be on for a limited time, so don't delay if you want to take advantage of these specials!

NIK Software
Regular PROMO
Dfine 2.0
$99.00 $75.00
Color Efex Pro 3.0
$299.00 $225.00
Silver Efex Pro
$199.00 $150.00
Sharpener Pro 3.0
$199.00 $150.00
Complete Collection (Ultimate)
$599.00 $500.00
Complete Collection (Aperture & Lightroom)
$299.00 $250.00

Trial versions of all the different plugins are available here: While you could buy the serial numbers for these plugins online... take note that our sale prices are way lower than the web prices!

Also note that if you are a student enrolled in a certified photography program, you would be eligible for educational pricing on NIK Software, and that's even lower than the above promo prices.  We have student editions of most packages in stock as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

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Canon EOS-50D: Sale!

***  $895.95  ***

While our supplies last, we have put the EOS-50D on sale for $895.95! A great deal for this 15 MP semi-pro DSLR! Contact us here at Beau: 604-734-7771

Note: above price includes Canon's $100 instant rebate which is on until the end of July August 2010!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

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This weekend, I spent some time working on photos that I took last year, and a flight theme came to mind.  Birds from a variety of locations and also shots I took at the 2009 Abbotsford Airshow.  Above left is a bald eagle at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary and the top right is a McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Super Hornet. Of course you can click on these images for a larger view.

Friday, July 9, 2010

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Phase One Summer Promo!

Phase One is offering its flagship DF camera and P 65+ digital back with an 80mm Schneider Leaf Shutter + two lenses of your choice for USD $39,990. Click on the above image for more info.

You SAVE up to USD $8,000!

The offer ends on August 15th so don't wait too long.  Contact either myself or Ken Shymka at Beau Photo for more information...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

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Rode Microphones at Beau Photo...

Beau Photo has just received a shipment of Rode microphones, specifically the VideoMic and the Stereo VideoMic. These high quality and ruggedly built microphones are perfect for use with your video DSLR and will mount right onto the camera's hotshoe. We will also have them available in our rental department, so you will have a chance to see for yourself... or rather, to hear for yourself, how much better these can sound that the built-in mics that the cameras have!
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Blue "Lasers"!

Well, okay... not actually lasers, but spotlights.  The Vectorial Elevation installation was on during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and I just decided to take some time and go through a few of the photos I took of it.  After white-balancing the photos to make the warm city lights fairly close to neutral, the spotlights take on a very blue look (although they did not look blue to the naked eye) and while strictly speaking, not very accurate, I nevertheless very much like the look.

I have been super busy at work lately, helping with upgrading our point-of-sale software (what a pain) but am finally seeing the end of it. Hopefully I'll soon be able to post some more galleries, perhaps the next being of these Olympic spotlights. There are a few more if you click on the link...

Friday, July 2, 2010

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Canon: rebates extended & price drops!

Canon has extended the vast majority of lens and body rebates until July 31, 2010.  The two exceptions are the 5D Mark II (the whopping $500 rebate is no more) and the 1Ds Mark III.  However, in its place, they did introduce price drops, although on the 5D Mark II it is not quite to the tune of $500, but the 1Ds Mark III did drop by $1000!

Price Drops -

Our new price on the 5D Mark II body is $2620, whereas before it was $2950.

The new price on the 5D Mark kit with EF24-105mm f/4L IS is $3425.

The 1Ds Mark III has dropped, now selling for $7400.

Lastly, the excellent and affordable EF 100mm f/2.0 lens has become even more affordable, now only $579, a whopping price decrease of nearly $150!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

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Olympic sights and a gallery tweak...

One of the many art pieces on Granville St. in downtown Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics

Well, I have tweaked the look of the TTG Highslide gallery plugin one more time and improved how things render in Internet Explorer as well. I might go live with some new galleries on my website - soon I hope! Here is the latest version, showing some images I took downtown during the Olympics...

Gallery: 2010 Olympics: Downtown Sights 

For more information on these Lightroom gallery plugins, see my last post from Sunday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

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Lightroom 3: Web module plugin compatibility

A note about web-gallery plugin compatibility with the latest version of Lightroom...

(Shortcut to the gallery mentioned: 2010 Olympics: February 22nd Festivities)

Adobe is finally shipping boxed copies of Lightroom 3, and we now have upgrades and full versions in stock at Beau Photo.  I have been using the beta version of LR3 ever since it came out, and one very obvious improvement is in image quality.  The new "Process 2010" raw conversion algorithm is vastly improved over the previous one, which Adobe has tagged "Process 2003".  Much better noise reduction (very near the quality of third party programs like Noise Ninja) with detailed control over luminance and chroma settings, including the ability to essentially turn NR off completely if you want to handle noise using third-party software. In any case, what I want to mention here is compatibility with third party gallery plugins, specifically those from The Turning Gate.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

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My domain is down...

Grr... I did not receive any notification of its impending expiry. I see that it expired just the other day and I am arranging to get it renewed ASAP. Sorry, but don't bother trying to connect at the moment! There is a chance that some of the embedded images in this blog might still be down because of this. I have already fixed the most important ones and am hosting them at another location for now.

Update: My domain is back up! Quicker than I thought it would be actually...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Sale: DataColor Spyder 3 Studio

We have some Spyder 3 Studio kits in stock still, on sale for $489, over $100 off the previous price. Everything you need to calibrate your inkjet printer and monitor, all in a slick padded aluminum briefcase!

This product has been replaced with the new Studio SR, but the as far as quality of calibration, they are essentially the same.  The major difference with the SR is faster reading of printer patches, although since you tend not to have to recalibrate most printers very often (usually just when you decide to standardize on a new paper), I personally do not feel the speed increase is all that important.  You can use the very latest Spyder 3 Print SR software with older Spyder 3 print as well.  Not to mention the Spyder 3 Studio SR is selling for $629, so the older package is a really sweet deal!
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Canon EOS-7D in stock again...

We finally got a shipment of EOS-7D bodies in again, luckily while the rebate is still running! Our price is $1825 and Canon's rebate is $150, so effectively $1675.  A good price for an awesome camera! I should know... I shoot with one myself.

We were also out of LP-E6 battery packs and they have made it in as well...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

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Lexar Instant Rebates...

These rebates on Lexar memory cards are running until Friday, July 4, 2010. You don't need to mail-in: Beau Photo will apply them at the till for you!
  • $10 off - CF 8GB (233x UDMA)
  • $13 off - CF 16GB (233x UDMA)
  • $18 off - SD 16GB (100x - PLAT-II Class 6) 
  • $10 off - SD 16GB (100x - PLAT-II Class 6)
  • $5 off - SD 16GB (100x - PLAT-II Class 6)
  • $18 off - SD 16GB (133x - PRO Class 10)
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Epson Printer Rebates...

Epson has several excellent rebates on in Canada at the moment! Rebate PDF files are linked in the following list...
  • Until June 30, 2010: get $1,000 off the purchase of a Stylus Pro 9900
  • Until June 30, 2010: get $1,000 off the purchase of a Stylus Pro 7900
  • Until July 6, 2010: get $200 off the purchase of a Stylus Photo R2880
  • Until July 6, 2010: get $150 off the purchase of a Stylus Photo R1900
We stock the R2880 at Beau Photo but the other printers are special order items. For all the current rebates, see the Epson Canada Rebate Centre...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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Zacuto Z-Finder Pro: Take our Poll !

Since becoming an authorized Zacuto dealer, we have been surprised at the demand of the Z-Finder for doing D-SLR video.  It is, I suppose, understandable since it really is an excellent product and is nearly indispensable when shooting video in brighter conditions, or when you are trying to do critical on-the-fly focusing when using wide open f-stops.  Our last shipment sold out in a matter of days and we have another order pending... with a 5-6 week stated delivery time unfortunately.  Ouch.

So... we need to do another order soon to get more in the queue, but we have no real idea of the pent-up demand.  Therefore, I have decided to post our first blog poll!  I will be doing another Zacuto order in the next few weeks and based on the results of this survey, I may adjust the order for quantities and/or ratio between the 2.5x and 3.0x magnifications. Yes, you can have an influence!  Needless to say, I would appreciate you voting only if you are in Canada and are planning on getting one from us!  However if you have one and love it, feel free to vote that way.

Both the new Z-Finder Pro models are $439 CDN. If you really want one ASAP, make sure you contact me and reserve one in advance.  Although I may be ordering a bunch more, there are no guarantees on how many we will be getting. If you have your name down for one, the chances of getting one sooner are better...

Beau Photo: Zacuto Poll - June 2010

- Voting closes on Thursday, July 1st at 1:00pm -

So there you have it: the first official Digital Imaging Blog poll.  Seeing as how this blog is so very new, I suppose there may not be all that many responses, but we shall see... and if you voted, thanks for participating!

Check the detailed review of the new Z-Finders by Philip Bloom.

Had some initial poll widget problems...
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Photos: Kitt Peak, Arizona

I am an astronomy buff (majored in it at UBC as well) and I really like Kitt Peak. Beautiful location in the desert (which I like) as well as a large number of interesting telescopes. One of the more unusual telescopes is the McMath Solar Telescope, a weirdly shaped building that is quite distinctive: if you've seen it once, you'll likely never forget it.

I just spent a few minutes going through some trip photos and thought I would post a few of the more unusual views I captured of this interesting observatory, courtesy of my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 and Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L.  Depending on the direction I was facing, there were some crazy deep blue skies.  All the following shots were taken without a polarizing filter!

Monday, June 14, 2010

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Hasselblad Promos • June 2010

There are tons of great new promos available from Hasselblad! These are only on until the end of June 2010, so don’t wait too long if you want to take advantage of any of these great offers!

  1. Purchase an H4D-50 and get ANY lens FREE! That’s right...ANY Hasselblad lens of your choice, FREE! This is a potential savings of over $7,000 USD!
  2. H4D-40 camera available without lens - $17,995 (USD). You now have the option to purchase just the H4D-40 (body and viewfinder) without the lens.
  3. H4D-40 w/ 35-90mm zoom kit - $19,995 (USD). This promotion is bundling the popular 35-90mm zoom lens with the H4D-40 camera body. This is a huge savings of over $5,000 USD!
  4. Purchase an H4D-40 get 30% off ANY one lens.
  5. Purchase an H4D-40 kit (includes 80mm) or body/viewfinder and get your choice of ONE Hasselblad lens at 30% off.
  6. Purchase a H3DII-31 without a lens for $9,995 or with a 80mm lens for $11,995 USD. Hasselblad has never been more affordable!  Please note that there are very limited quantities only for the H3DII-31 promo.
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Canon: Rebates and CPS orders...

Update: As of July 1, 2010, the rebates on the 1Ds Mark III and 5D Mark II are over but other rebates are continuing until end of July.

Canon Canada has some amazing instant rebates going on right now, but keep in mind, they are only until the end of June!  While there is a chance that Canon will extend the rebates, at the moment June 30th, 2010 is the deadline... so do you really want to take a chance and not take advantage?!  Here is a complete list of the EOS body rebates...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

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New subscription & feedback options...

I wasn't too happy with the subscription options I had originally, so decided to do a little work on that. Soon, news of this blog will be sent to all Beau Photo customers who have signed up for email updates, so I wanted to have the subscription services fine tuned and in place. Check on the right hand column of this blog, under SUBSCRIBE, for these new subscription options.

Since presumably not everyone is tied in to some social networking site, or online account that allows blog-feeds, I thought I would add in a simple email only subscription option. Quite simply, when I add posts to my blog, you will get a summary email of those updates once per day only, if you've signed up. Should you decide that you hate getting email updates or just find this blog incredibly boring... well, each email you get will also include an unsubscribe link.

Friday, June 11, 2010

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Online ID madness...

For years, I've been fighting to keep my online presence to a minimum. I have a website with a domain email, and I figured that was plenty good enough. When email reliability became spotty for a while at one point, I gave in and signed up for gmail. No MySpace, no FaceBook, no Twitter, no Flickr, no Pbase, none of that. Oh, at one point I did sign up for a hotmail account, for Skype or iChat or something, but I have long since lost track of that one. I do have a Mobile Me account as well, but at least I get a lot out of it: domain hosting with lots of free space and contact, calender, bookmark and email syncing between all my computers and my iPhone. All that's bad enough I figure!

Then I created this blog.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

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Canon Canada's New CPS Program...

If you are a serious Canon photographer, pro or otherwise, you should read up on Canon Canada's revamped CPS program.  I am not going to pass judgement on whether or not the new fees are generally worthwhile, however if you rely on your gear to make a living, and use it heavily, I would suggest it is worth a serious look.  Make sure you read the fine-print to see exactly what it is you get for the two different levels of service.

Here is a link to Canon's website for more info: 

The above link has been permanently added to the Other Blogs & Useful Sites page also.  One question I have been asked several times, is "...why is my older 'L' professional lens not listed as qualifying for this program?  It was expensive and qualified for a CPS purchase back when I bought it!"

Well, basically this new CPS program is a service program, so if your older 'L' lens or pro body is not listed, it means that parts are no longer being actively stocked to repair them, and could take some time to order in.  Since paying for the program entitles you to one of two levels of guaranteed turnaround times for repairs, Canon simply cannot allow these older bodies and lenses to qualify, since they would be unable to meet those guarantees.

Monday, June 7, 2010

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A little lighting...

... can go a long way.  I am just editing some images from a shoot I did for a friend of mine, who has brainstormed an interesting web-series that should start being filmed later this summer.  Before I went on my three week trip to the southwest, she asked me if I could do some promo shots of her and the other two main actresses.  While my Canon EOS-7D handled the ambient light just fine (it was much brighter in the forest than I had anticipated), there just wasn't enough contrast separating the three ladies from the background.  I had brought some minimal lighting along just in case, and decided to set it up after I saw how flat the contrast was.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

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Changed the look... obviously!

Well after much messing around, editing the code for the blogger template, I think I am now happy with how it looks.  The page is slightly wider with a revised banner, the alignment has been tweaked all over and I have given the postings themselves a border and a slightly lighter background. It bugged me before in that sometimes the embedded images looked like they were off-centre visually, even though they were not! Now that the eye has a more obvious point of reference with the box surrounding each post, they look centred.

I also added in a clustrmaps widget so I can see where everyone is visiting from.

If anyone has feedback on the look of this blog, good or bad, please email me!
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IR from Gila Cliff Dwellings NM

I have not been shooting much with my infrared-modded Canon EOS-20D.  I probably took less than 100 shots on my entire 3 week trip with it.  Just thought I'd post one that caught my eye, post-processed in Photoshop CS5 to simulate halation-glow and grain using actions I created for CS3 which, thankfully, still work perfectly in CS5.

Road to Gila Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico

Saturday, June 5, 2010

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CS5 HDR Toning & Topaz Adjust

Photoshop CS5 has introduced a useful new image adjustment control called HDR Toning.  I have found it to be useful on not only HDR images, but even on regular images that need a bit of extra pop.  It probably wouldn't be that good an idea to use it aggressively on 8-bit per channel images, but on 16-bit images or 32-bit HDRs it can work wonders with minimal effort.

On the left (click for the full size dialog box), you can see the adjustments I've made for the following image.  As with the Shadow/Highlight control in Photoshop, I don't find the defaults to be particularly good ones, but with some careful tweaking, the HDR Toning function can make some fairly subtle and natural looking adjustments, although over-the-top settings are readily available for those who really like the obvious "HDR Look" that seems so popular these days.

Friday, June 4, 2010

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Camera Raw v6.1 Lens Corrections

If you have bought Adobe Photoshop CS5, you should ensure you also have the latest update of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).  If you haven't upgraded to CS5 yet, Beau Photo has the upgrades in stock!

At first glance, ACR 6.1 might not look all that much different than 6.0 or, for that matter, the 5.x versions, but trust me, it is! First off, v6.0 has brought a whole new level of image quality, with massively improved rendering of fine detail, mainly due to its new demosaic, sharpening and noise reduction algorithms. Version 6.1 ushers in something that is truly huge though: automated lens corrections for chromatic aberration, vignetting and even distortion. This is the part of the new ACR window I want to draw your attention to:

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II - in stock!

Well, we finally received another shipment of these new and highly sought after lenses. We have filled backorders and now have a few available in stock for sale! Call or email if you'd like us to put one on hold for you!

NO this is not a Canon lens mug! -

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Back from the Southwest

Well, I’m back at work after three weeks of traveling in the US southwest! Almost 11,000 km of driving took me through Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Idaho! With well over 70 GB of photos and video to slog through, it will be a while before I get a full set of galleries from this trip on my website. For now, here are a few teaser images…

John Muir Wilderness - California
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Hello World!

Hello everyone! This is the start of the Beau Photo Digital Imaging Blog.

Watch for frequent small updates containing interesting tidbits on equipment I’m testing, cool things I may discover about new hardware or software, as well as mentions of updates to my personal website which may be of interest to others with respect to the equipment I am shooting with… or just because they like to explore my photography. In addition, if the Digital Imaging Dept. puts items on sale, receives stock on new gear that people are eagerly anticipating and so on, well these sorts of things will also be prime candidates for blog entries.

Choose from a blog category on the right hand side to filters posts, so you can quickly see what interests you most.  Or if you want to read the blog on a regular basis, you can sign up on the right side of each page under either the "Subscribe" or "Followers" sections.

Hope you enjoy…