Canon EOS 1DX MK3 Firmware 1.4 March 2021

Firmware Version 1.3.0 incorporates the following enhancements:

Firmware Version 1.4.0 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
1. Adds [RAW (Light)] to the movie recording size and [IPB (Light)] to 4K to enable lower bit rate shooting. These settings can also be selected when RAW+MP4 is set.
2. The transfer time (estimated value) now displays on the camera monitor during FTP transfer.
3. Improves communication reliability when using FTP and USB simultaneously.

Firmware Version 1.4.0 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.3.0. If the camera’s firmware is already Version 1.4.0, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

The User Manual on our website has been updated accordingly. Please download the User Manual as well as the latest firmware. You can download it from the official website.

The following Applications have been updated accordingly:
– Camera Connect 2.7.30
– EOS Utility 3.13.20
– Digital Photo Professional 4.14.0
– Canon RAW Plugin 2.2 for Final Cut Pro X 
– Canon RAW Plugin 2.7 for Avid Media Access
Please download the Applications as well as the latest firmware.

Polar Bears of Svalbard 2021 Delayed

As has become an all too familiar occurrence over the course of this pandemic, the 2021 Polar Bears of Svalbard expedition planned for this July is being delayed until 2022. Although we now have quite a few different approved vaccines across the globe, the rollout of them has been agonisingly slow (especially in Australia and much of Europe). Australia’s international boarders remain firmly closed at present and although it is possible for me to leave the country on legitimate business I would have to do so without a vaccine at present; quarantine in Norway and then quarantine again on my return to Australia in a state facility (I would much rather quarantine with the Polar bears). Additionally, and of major consideration, is the ongoing restriction of 50% ship passenger capacity in Svalbard and Norway that make it logistically impossible to proceed at this point.

The new dates for the expedition are July 6th – July 15th 2022. Let us hope we can all safely get back to travel, photography and a sense of normality long before then. In the meantime, both myself and the shipping company remain committed to the expedition, ensuring we provide the best possible experience and we are looking forward to our new dates.

Adobe ACR Super Resolution and Mega Pixels

Those of you who know me well, know that I espouse low noise and clean files far above mega pixel count in order of importance. In fact, mega pixels are the least important consideration when choosing a new camera in my opinion and experience. Most high quality (not all) landscape and wildlife photographs are generally taken in low light conditions when the sun is either low in the sky or light levels are otherwise very subdued. As a direct result of these low light levels it is often necessary to shoot at higher ISO’s to maintain sufficient shutter speed (especially with wildlife). Hence, the emphasis on clean, low noise files in lieu of mega pixels. Mega pixels are really the domain of the camera manufacturer sales and marketing teams who seem hell bent on the ‘more is better’ marketing mantra. And let’s be honest, consumers lap this up – after all, this one goes to 11 right?

Typically, the more mega pixels you have, the worse your high ISO performance (its just physics). This is why professional cameras on the market such as the Canon EOS 1DX MK3 are in the order of twenty mega pixels. These cameras aim to hit the sweet spot of super clean high ISO files with ‘enough pixels for most applications’. The net result is super clean high ISO files. The benefit of a super clean file is you can then uprez the file in post production if you actually need more mega pixels to make a very large print (about the only reason you ever need more than twenty mega pixels). To date, I have ben using Topaz AI Gigapixel to do the uprezzing of my files when required. On the whole it does an excellent job and has been my preferred tool for this specific application – until now.

The post production game is always changing and evolving and my good friend Eric Chan over at Adobe has just published a fascinating first look at Adobes new ACR super resolution tool. The blog post has some excellent examples of how the tool works, what sort of results can be expected and how to to use the tool in Adobe Photoshop. Of note, is that the new tool will also soon be coming to Adobe Lightroom. The full article is available HERE and is recommended reading.

Honestly, it isn’t all that often I get excited about post production software. As a photographer who preaches ‘in camera artistry’ over being a photoshop technician I prefer to spend my time out in the field, rather than in front of the computer. As a result, it takes something pretty special in the software game to actually get my attention and Adobe’s new Super Resolution tool has me excited. Not because I need more mega pixels in most of my work; but because on the odd occasion I do need to make a really large print I now have an even more powerful tool at my disposal.

Photograph of the Month March 2021 Slinking Wolf

The photograph of the month for March 2021 comes from ‘no-mans’ land between northern Finland and Russia and is of a young wolf slinking across the water logged landscape during a late Autumn snowfall. This photograph appeals to me on multiple levels. There is a wonderful ‘hunters’ glean in the wolfs eyes that has both purpose and focus. The soft grasses in the foreground and the out of focus forest area in the distant background really add wonderful context and the first snows of winter add that wonderful touch of drama. Ultimately, this photograph works because it was taken at eye level with the subject, which draws the viewer into the wolfs world. Anytime you can photograph wildlife at eye level you have a strong chance of creating a far more intimate photograph than would otherwise be possible.