Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SanDisk Extreme III 8GB CF Cards: $4 each

Here's a deal that you should take a look at, especially if you're waiting-listed for the HD video-powered EOS 5D MkII (note: the Nikon D90 does not support CF memory).

Adorama is selling SanDisk Extreme III 8GB compact flash cards for $57 each. With the $40 manufacturer's rebate, that works out to only $17 each.


If you read the rebate paperwork, Sandisk will pay a rebate of $160 (not $120) if you buy three of these cards at the same time. That means three of these cards will cost $171, minus the $160 rebate, for a total of $11 for three cards (that's 24GB of relatively fast memory!). I prefer to look at it as only $4 per card *. You can take a ton of night photographs in RAW mode with that much memory in your back pocket.

They also have similar deals on the 4GB and 16GB versions of this card, although they seem to be backordered on the 4GB and 16GB cards, right now.

* As you may have noticed, I'm a "round it off" kind of guy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Canon 5D MkII

Last week Canon announced the release of the EOS 5D MkII (daytime sample images are available here). Aside from the whopping 21 megapixel full-frame sensor, this new camera also offers very high ISO performance, as well as the ability to shoot HD video. While I regret to inform you that nobody sent me a pre-production loaner for evaluation, professional photographer Vincent LaForet was able to get his hands on one for two days.

(Photo by Canon, Inc.)

Although Vincent didn' t have the chance to test the long-exposure noise performance of the 5d MkII, he did get the chance to shoot some nighttime HD video under ambient street lights, and he posted some frame grabs from the video (here, here and here). Vincent has asked that nobody repost these images due to his agreement with Canon. So, you'll have click over to his blog to see them. And make sure you take the time to read his hands-on evaluation of this beast.

As you look at his shots, keep in mind that these are not 21 megapixel still photographs. These individual frames of HD video.

A Plea for Help: Since some of you will probably get your 5D MkII before I do*, I would be very interested posting any readers' long exposure tests at night. What I'd really to see is comparable frames taken under a clear, starlit sky with 5, 10 and 20-minute exposures at a low ISO. If you'd like to repeat the experiment at a higher ISO for comparative purposes, that would be even better.

* Since I don't have any immediate plans to order one, it goes without saying that some of you will definitely gets your before I do.

Thanks to Joe Reifer for pointing me to Vincent LaForet's blog.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Night News - September, 2008

September is the beginning of the "high season" for night photography here on the West Coast of the USA: the nights are getting longer and the night skies are clearing up along the coast. There are also a few night photography shows coming up.

Greta and Manu Schnetzler have a show called "Surreal Night" at the Sports Basement (1590 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA). The reception is Friday, September 5, 6-8pm.

(Photo by Manu Schnetzler)

Also, John Vias will have some of his night photographs included in the "Glimpes of Time" show at the Joyce Gordon Gallery (406 14th St, Oakland, CA) from September 5-29, 2008. The reception is September 5th from 5:30-830pm.

(Photo by John Vias)

There are more night photography shows coming up, including one in Texas! I'll have more information on that in my next post.

By the way, I'm still working on my review of Troy Paiva's latest book Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration. If you can't wait, here's the synopsis: It's absolutely stunning, and it's a must-have for any enthusiast of night photography. If you loved Troy's first book, you'll be amazed at the second book. So go buy it, even before you see my in-depth review.

And if that's enough, you should also buy a copy of Jill Waterman's Night and Low-Light Photography, which includes some of my color night photography from the past few years.