Archive for the ‘Castle Cameras’ Category

Canon EOS-1 DX MarkII

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The Empire Strikes Back!


EOS-1D X Mark II
Following Nikon’s announcement last month of their flagship camera, the D5, Canon today hit back hard with the announcement of the 1D X Mark II, its latest flagship DSLR. Canon calls the camera the “ultimate combination of image quality, resolution and speed”.

At its heart is a newly designed 20.2-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 51200 (expandable to 409600). The sensor has been improved to have less noise at higher ISOs.

EOS-1D X Mark II AE SENSOR BK BEAUTY FSL (24)

The autofocus system is a huge 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system that boasts 41 cross-type points and a coverage that’s 8.6% larger in the top and bottom of the central CF area (and 24% larger in the top and bottom of the peripheral frame). The sensitivity of the center point has been improved to -3 EV with compatibility down to f/8.

EOS-1D X Mark II AE SENSOR BK BEAUTY FSL (28)

The real weapon this camera poses is it’s Dual DIGIC 6+ image sensors giving it blazing performance. You can shoot at up to 16 frames per second when in Live View mode, or 14fps for standard continuous shooting (the same rate as the original 1D X), storing 170 RAW photos in just moments via the camera’s CFast 2.0 card slot. There’s also CompactFlash compatibility.
The shutter unit is rated for 400,000 frames, and the mirror mechanism has been improved to reduce vibration while moving up and down at high speeds.

EOS-1D X Mark II AE SENSOR BK BEAUTY FSL (25)

Video wise, Canon has pulled out all the stops. The 1D X Mark II can shoot 4K video at 60fps, pounding the Nikon D5 and it’s 4K at 30fps. There are “virtually no restrictions” to video recording, Canon says. exFAT support allows videos larger than 4GB to be recorded without having to merge files.

One of the interesting new features in the 1D X is built-in image optimization. Canon’s new Digital Lens Optimizer technology stores information about the optical flaws of lenses and then digitally fixes those things on the fly with virtually zero decrease in camera speed. For the first time in a Canon EOS DSLR, the camera can automatically correct for peripheral brightness, chromatic aberration, distortion (barrel and pincushion), and diffraction (blurring at small apertures) — things that were previously corrected in post-production.

EOS-1D X Mark II AE SENSOR BK BEAUTY FSL (18)

Another great new feature is a 3.2-inch 1.62-million-dot touchscreen LCD that allows you to touch to focus. A first for a EOS-1 camera.

There’s also a new Intelligent Viewfinder II that lets you make settings changes without taking your eye off your subject: it presents AF points in red (better for dark environments) and shows much more info in the LCD display than before. The viewfinder’s info/features include electronic level, a grid, flicker detection, white balance, metering mode, and AF details.

Other specs and features in the 1D X Mark II include a 360,000-pixel metering sensor with accurate subject tracking for stills and video, 8.8MP still frame grabbing while shooting 4K video, 1080p video (with uncompressed HDMI out) at up to 120fps for slow motion, and GPS.

Here’s a video introduction to the new Canon 1D X Mark II:

The Canon 1D X will cost £5199 and will be with us in May 2016. Pre-order yours now.

Canon announce G9X, G5X and M10

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

The best things in life are free, or come in three’s, or come in small packages or something like that! Anyway however the saying goes, Canon have today hit us with three new gorgeous small form factor cameras.

First up, two more additions to the GxX line. Canon’s G line of cameras offer better quality and controls than the typical cheap point and shoot. With two new members of the family, the G9X and the G5X, you have whole lot of options, depending just how much camera you want to carry.

Last year with the G7X Canon introduced a very nice 20 megapixel one-inch sensor into a pocket-size camera. This year’s G3X housed the same sensor but with a huge zoom lens attached. These new cameras are similar beasts. They have the same one-inch sensor, which means they’ll have very similar image quality. The big differences are their size and external features.

G5X – £629

EC395 FRT

The G5X is the beefier of the new cams, and it is mostly so because it features a built-in 2.36 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder. Yay!

EC395 BCK

EVFs have been growing steadily in performance and popularity, and Canon has stubbornly refused to include one in its cameras until now. Electronic viewfinders makes it easier to shoot in bright light and add stability when holding the camera to your face so it is a very welcome addition.

EC395 Lifestyle 004

The lens is the same 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent glas, used on the G7X. The camera inherits the Digic 6 processor as well inside. Additions include a hot-shoe for a microphone or flash, as well as an extra dial on the front for controlling exposure more easily. The camera aslo adds an LCD that flip-outs fully rotates.

G9X – £399

PowerShot G9 X BK FRT 02

Smallest possible footprint is the approach with the G9X. It’s about the size of Canon’s older Powershot cameras like the S120 and S100. You’ll have no problem fitting this one in your trouser pocket. It too has the same sensor and processor as its latest G-series brethren.

PowerShot G9 X BK Top Lens out

What you’re giving up with the small size is the tilting LCD—the G5X has a completely flat and fixed display, and some zoom range. Instead of a 24-100mm lens, the G9X has a 24-70mm f/2.8-4.9.

Of course, there are also fewer buttons and dials. You’ll be forced to rely on Canon’s touch interface for most settings changes—which isn’t the end of the world! Canon has pretty well-designed touch menu functionality. There is also a control ring around the lens, which performs different functions depending on the mode and settings.

The M10 – £399

Coming hot on the heels of the M3 released earlier this year, the EOS M10 has the same 18-megapixel resolution as the old EOS M, but it has Canon’s faster 49-point Hybrid AF II autofocus system (though not the Hybrid AF III system in the EOS M3).

EOS M10_WH  FST EF-M 15-45mm f3.5-6.3 IS STM (bk) BEAUTY

The EOS M10 also has a DIGIC 6 processor, Canon’s most advanced to date, compared to the DIGIC 5 processor in the original EOS M, and while this has little impact on the continuous shooting speed (up from 4.3fps in the EOS M to 4.6fps) or ISO range (still ISO 100-12,800), it does seem to make a big difference to the EOS M10’s buffer capacity. It can’t store many raw files before the buffer fills up (just 7) but Canon says the EOS M10 can capture up to 1,000 JPEG images in a burst.

The M10, G5X and the G9X will all ship early November, look out for our pre-ordering, coming soon!

Swarovski In-Store Day

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Meet the crown jewel of optics

Blog Twitter
Probably the best binoculars and spotting scopes in the world.

DSCF4055

Today we have Karl Fletcher from Swarovski with us in our Bournemouth store, he is here until 3pm with a range of Swarovski’s incredible optics.

He will demonstrate and answer any questions you might have about binoculars, spotting scopes and anything else Swarovski.

Come and try the fabulous EL, SLC and CL ranges of Binoculars and the ATX modular scope system.

When it comes to optical glass, there really is nothing better. 

DSCF4061

 

The EL c/w Field Pro Package binoculars from Swarovski with new pricing in-store from today, 10×32 now £1495 

 

The Big Butterfly Count Photo Competition Winners

Friday, September 18th, 2015

During the summer we were delighted to sponsor the photo competition for this years Big Butterfly Count in conjunction with Butterfly Conservation.

David Attenborough launched the count on the 17th July and people from all over the UK went out into the wild to record sightings of our nation’s butterflies. During the count the photo competition took place with people entering their images to the count’s Flickr photo pool.

Three winning images were picked from the many wonder entries and are as follows:

1st Place
20056432446_b87dcc0829_z

Samantha Batty’s delicately beautiful shot of a Common Blue claimed the crown for this year’s Big Butterfly Count photo competition. Horticulturist Samantha from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, took the picture in her wildlife-friendly garden. She said: “There are a number of Common Blues in the meadow area and I noticed this male on a Gaura flower looking stunning with its blue wings contrasting with the white petals.”

2nd Place

20062675605_415e33729b_z

Nick Hatton’s vibrant and striking shot of a Green-veined White nestled amongst saxifrage, claimed second place. Nick, a welder from Sandbach, Cheshire, who has been photographing butterflies for many years, captured the image in his garden.

3rd Place

19690312861_3a235b29c6_z

Wildlife enthusiast Allen Holmes needed an early start to get his stunning shot of two dew-soaked Marbled Whites. Warehouse operative Allen from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, arrived at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Brockadale Reserve early in the morning to photograph the soggy butterflies before the sun dried them out.

The judges were once again spoilt for choice with nearly 2,000 photos entered for consideration. Thanks again to everyone who took part. The three winners will receive vouchers donated by us, Castle Cameras www.castlecameras.co.uk

5DSR vs 5D3 quick detail comparison

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

I’m currently producing a video review of the new Canon 5DSR, in which I compare it to the 5D3 to see how much more detail the £3K you will be paying for 5DSR gives you!

Here is a shot of a microSD card in our Swarovski cabinet. I took the same shot of the scene on both cameras, using identical exposure settings, both on a tripod with the same lens.

Here is the 5DSR shot (click to see full size):

5DSR Review-1

 

And the 5D3 shot (click to see full size):

5DSR Review-5

 

And a very close up crop of both images (click to see full size):

Comparison1

 

The top half is the 5DSR and the bottom the 5D3. As you can see, there isn’t much in it! Look out for our full video review coming soon.

Nikon announce 3 stunning new lenses

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Nikon announced three stunning new lenses today, the 24mm f/1.8G, 200-500mm f/5.6G VR and 24-70mm f/2.8G VR

AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED

AFS_24_1.8G

Today Nikon extends its versatile f/1.8 line-up of prime lenses with the all-new AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED. Lighter and more compact than its brother, this fast FX-format lens easily captures dynamic, immersive images.

24mm_F18G_AS_01_2529_WEBsma

This new lens is a great addition to Nikon’s f/1.8 line-up and gives the wide-angle series a definitive edge. It offers exceptional image quality and low-light performance, ensuring photographers can capture beautiful scenes and atmospheric shots. Not only this, movie shooters who want to create a cinematic feel can achieve this and deliver excellent video. The compact and lightweight design also makes it an ideal travel companion, and ensures that it is built to last.

Available to pre-order soon, RRP £629

AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR

AFS_24_70E_ED_VR

Nikon updates its ‘holy trinity’ of fast zoom lenses with the brand new AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR. The beneficiary of a complete overhaul, the most widely used professional zoom lens in the NIKKOR line-up is now faster, stronger, and steadier than ever.

 24-70mm_F28E_CM_06_3064_WEB

The 24-70mm is a new and improved update to the already successful 24-70mm f/2.8G. Nikon has improved every aspect of this legendary lens in terms of image quality, construction, build and speed, as well as adding more stability with VR, minimising camera shake and allowing photographers to shoot at slower shutter speeds. This is an exceptional lens built to keep up with the demands of the professional photographer.

Available to pre-order soon, RRP £1849

AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Nikon unveils a brand new ‘big zoom’ and introduces a whole new level of super-telephoto versatility. Packed with the latest lens technologies, the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR offers incredible reach.

 AFS_200_500E_angle2

Whether you shoot wildlife, birds, planes, or amateur sports, this powerful new FX-format zoom delivers unwavering performance. The new 200-500mm lens is an exciting addition to Nikon’s super-telephoto range, as it offers exceptional reach, enables consistent speed and smooth control, and it won’t break the bank. The 200-500mm is an exciting option for photographers who want that extra reach when capturing distant subjects at an affordable price.

200-500mm_F56E_EG_04_6465_A3

Available to pre-order soon, RRP £1179

Dorset Macmillan Bike Ride 2015

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Once again Castle Cameras were on hand at the finish line to capture the riders as they completed their rides. Many Congratulations to everyone who took part, your efforts make such a difference to this very worthwhile cause. Enjoy a selection of photos of the riders from yesterday;

Nikon announce new 16-80mm f/2.8-f/4 DX lens

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

nikon-nikkor-af-s-dx-16-80mm-f2.8-4e-ed-vr-lens

Nikon’s latest DX-format lens is its most interesting and promising yet. Covering a 24-120mm full-frame-equivalent focal length, the lightweight 16-80mm f/2.8-4E features relatively fast apertures, an incredibly useful and dynamic focal length range (already proven with the popular full-frame 24-120mm f/4G ED VR), and professional treatments such as nano coating, an electromagnetic diaphragm, and even a fluorine coating on the front element.

While the electromagnetic diaphragm (a first for the DX format) helps give accurate and effective auto-exposure during high-speed exposure sequences (i.e. on “Continuous High” for action shots), full-fledged vibration reduction helps keep shots steady in the potentially shaky hands of any photographer.

The fluorine coat repels water, dirt, and oils on the front element and is a happy trickle-down addition that I didn’t expect would make it quite so soon to lenses for the mid-sized sensor format.

Finally, Nikon’s “Nano Crystal Coat” is the first of its kind in a DX lens as well and comes from a heritage of providing world-class ghost and flare control on Nikon’s most prestigious line of professional, full-frame lenses (for those without experience with such a lens, it’s actually difficult to get lens flare even when pointed directly into the sun thanks to the nano coat).

What may at first sound like a mess of features turns out to be the recipe for what will likely and easily become Nikon’s most versatile and impressive DX lens. While it won’t come cheap, the 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR is, in fact, a bit of a bargain considering it could easily replace three lenses in any kit.

Fujifilm make X-T1 firmware version 4.0 available

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Fujifilm made its previous announced firmware version 4.0 for the X-T1 available today.

The firmware offers a big step up in the AF performance of the X-T1, fixing previous issues with tracking moving subjects and enhancing low contrast AF performance. Groups of AF points in 3×3, 5×3 or 5×5 blocks ensure your subject is always held in focus.

zone

Eye detection AF is now in place, offering precise and accurate focusing in portrait scenarios, especially useful with Fuji’s fast primes like the 56mm f/1.2 where depth of field is very shallow.

Eye_detect

Macro focusing also becomes automatic, with the camera able to focus right down to minimum focus distance without the need to turn on the macro mode using the button. The macro button can now be assigned to another purpose making using the camera even more flexible.

 

To download this latest firmware, head to Fujifilm’s support page now.

 

Leica Q

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Leica has just released their new full-frame 24-megapixel camera, the Leica Q (Typ 116), which fashions a Summilux 28mm f/1.7 fixed lens. While following Leica tradition in many aspects of its beautiful design, the Leica Q doesn’t shy away from incorporating fresh advancements into the camera such as a 3.68-megapixel viewfinder, a 3-inch 1.04-million dot touchscreen LCD, quick autofocus, and the ability to shoot 10 frames per second.

Priced at £2900, the Leica Q comes in a couple of thousand pounds less than the beloved Leica M. The German-made Leica Q’s construction is made up of a top plate machined from aluminum and a magnesium alloy body. The fixed-focus, image stabilized 28mm f/1.7 Summilux ASPH lens sports 11 elements in 9 groups. Three of these lens elements are aspherical. Aperture size is set by a physical lens ring.

According to Leica, the contrast-detect autofocus system in the Leica Q is the “fastest autofocus in its class.” Using the newly developed Maestro II image processor specially adapted for this camera, the processor is able to speed up data transfer and allows the camera to get up to 10 frames per second with full resolution DNG raw files. Low-light shooters will be able to dial the ISO all the way up to 50,000 from its base ISO of 100. The mechanical shutter fires up to 1/2,000s shutter speeds, with an electronically shutter option giving the Leica Q shutter speeds of up to 1/16,000s. Other features include full HD 1080p video recording at 60 or 30fps, Wi-Fi and NFC functionality, and their digital frame selector (enables preview lines in the viewfinder for 35mm and 50mm shooting equivalence).

Order information coming soon.