Photographing the Milky Way

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Gear Rumors

Sony A6100 Coming Friday? Canon 6D Mark II Rumblings | Daily Roundup

By Anthony Thurston on September 9th 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Sony A6100 Coming Friday?

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We have known for a while now that Sony was having an announcement on Friday, and until now, many have thought this would be the E-mount camcorder we have heard about. But according to this new report, it looks as the announcement may also include the successor to the A6000!

The A6100 (or A7000, whatever you want to call it) went cold after July when we thought it was going to be announced and it wasn’t. Now, according to the rumor, it is finally done and will likely be announced on this upcoming Friday in Berlin.

The A6100 is expected to feature a 24MP sensor, support for UHS-II SD cards, but the camera will NOT feature 4k recording capabilities. As an aside, the rumor also says there will no longer be a silver version of the camera, just black from now on.

I’m not sure I believe those specs. Sony has slapped 4K video in every other camera announcement lately, and if the RX100 series and RX10 series can do it, surely the A6000 series would be able to do it. But who knows, maybe they will be using the 4K as an incentive to buy the higher priced cameras.

Anyway, Friday is just a few days away, we will know soon enough.

Canon 6D Mark II Rumblings

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I know I am not the only one looking forward to whatever Canon comes up with next for the 6D series. The original 6D was my last DSLR, and if I am honest, I do still have very fond feelings for the camera. So this gets me all excited when I hear talk of the next 6D body.

According to the new report over on CR, the 6D Mark II is still a few months out, but some possible specs emerged today. The rumor itself is rated a CR1 (rightly so given how far out an announcement could be), but that said, it makes for a good discussion.

  • 24mp Full Frame CMOS
  • 1.5 stops better at higher ISO
  • Low-light autofocus (center point) at -5 EV
  • Two AF systems are currently being tested, or the EOS 6D Mark II and which was chosen is unknown at this time. There will be more AF points than the current camera.
  • WiFi with NFC and GPS
  • Wireless battery charging with the Qi standard
  • Internally Canon switches from VxWorks (Could have meant DRYOS) to an Android-based embedded OS, 6D Mark II will be the first Android-based camera from Canon.
  • Dual-pixel autofocus technology
  • Touchscreen
  • Swivel LCD
  • Will ship in a new box design in gold color.

The idea that the 6D could be Android-based is intriguing. It would definitely cause a stir in the Canon rank and file if they completely blow up their usual menu system in favor of a touch-based Android one. The rest of the specs seem pretty legit; better ISO performance is great, and improved AF is a must.

The inclusion of the swivel LCD I find suspect; so far Canon has been reluctant to put that on any high possibly pro facing cameras, so I think it is doubtful they add it to the 6D. That said, they could be looking to create more of a difference between the 6D and 5D series, and a swivel screen would certainly help in that regard.

What are your thoughts on these possible specs? Would you support a switch to Android? How about the swivel screen? Make sure a comment below!

How to Process the Milky Way in Lightroom

Ian Norman, from LonelySpeck.com, is back with another great astro-landscape tutorial. This time, Ian takes us through his process for editing his Milky Way images in Adobe Lightroom.

Processing the Milky Way can be a tricky process for those who have never done so before. It’s nothing like processing your usual landscapes or portraits; it is very much its own can of worms. Luckily, great astrophotographers like Ian are here to help guide newbies along, and this tutorial is a great start. Check it out below:

I learned a thing or two watching this, and hopefully you picked up a few new processing tricks as well. Ian shot the images in this tutorial with a Sony’s A7II and a couple manual focus Voigtlander lenses. Make sure to check out more of his astro-tutorials and learning over on his website, LonelySpeck.com.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Fisnik Islami

    my friends has both, but i think sony is better for night

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  2. Rony Bhuiyan

    canon & nothing else (Y)

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  3. Dave Haynie

    I’d be a little suspicious of the no-4K claim. I’m not sure Sony’s quite as committed to 4K as Panasonic, but they kind of seem that way: they’ve got some form of 4K in just about everything else they’ve done this year. Panasonic just put out an $800 m43 4K camera, the G7. I guess it’s who you think you’re in competition with, the other guys (like Panasonic clearly does) or yourself (Canon’s approach).

    The 6D is my current DSLR, so I’m interested in what they do next. I wouldn’t entirely discount the flippy screen. That has yet to appear in any “pro” Canon, but that might be a clever move. If you don’t believe such things are rugged enough, that might push you over to a 5D; but they’re really useful — this might sell a bunch of 6DII bodies to 5D shooters for those “over the head” shots.

    The one rumor I did hear that I hope is wrong — that the 6DII might move to a different battery, possible the latest Rebel battery, to reduce size a bit. That would be a bad move, IMHO.

    Far as better low light performance… I’d love it. The 6D was a good 1-1.5 stop better than the 5DII and even a bit better than the 5DIII. The -3EV metering rocks. But I sincerely doubt they’re going to get a 1.5 stop improvement AND an increase of 4Mpixels, unless Canon’s finally moving to a backside illuminated sensor. There are several factors in noise. The big one that gets improved, generation to generation, is “read noise”… the process of reading data from the sensor adds a relatively fixed bit of low-level noise to the image. For long exposures, there’s thermal noise… random electron activity due to heat. That’s why serious astro-photographers use cooled sensors. And finally, there’s “photon distribution” noise… you’re in a situation where there are so few photons available, one pixels sees more than the next pixel.

    There are three possible cures for photon distribution noise, all of which result in more photons being collected. One is simple: lower your ISO, take a longer exposure. Second is to make the photodiode more sensitive… lowering the dark current so that you get a better reading from less light. And finally, make the target larger, so that each photodiode will see more photons. That’s where the BSI sensor comes in. While the 6D has a 6.55um photosite, not all of that is photodiode — typically it’s about 50-60% in a traditional sensor. The rest of that space is support electronics, wiring, etc. On a BSI sensor, the sensor is on one side, the electronics and wiring on the other, so the fill percentage of the photodiode can be over 90%. Sony just demonstrated this: the A7R II gains 1-1.5 stops over the A7R, despite having a 42Mpixel vs. 36Mpixel sensor.

    I’m skeptical here just because, while Canon has actually been innovative, they tend to be looking it other directions than Sony and everyone else. Though given their recent announcement of a 120Mpixel sensor actually planned for production, I can’t imagine they’d be able to deliver a good result on that without going BSI. So it’s possible. I know it’s just the rumor mill at this point, and so many pundits don’t really understand where things like sensitivity come from, so they just accept the rumor without “doing the math” to see if it even could be true. As a polygeek, it’s my responsibility to do just that :-)

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    • Phil Bautista

      As far as the rear screen goes, I agree that a fully articulated screen would be a good way for the 6D to separate itself from the 5D and 1D series.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I’m a big fan of the articulated screen. I sold all my APS gear, so that went with the 60D, but I still have in my Olympus OM-D and my Fujitsu X-S1 (bridge camera). I bought the 6D for its mad low-light capability at a price I could manage, the back panel wasn’t a deal breaker. But I think these are rugged enough today that Canon could put it in the “entry level” pro body and not have a problem. There’s also been rumors that the 6D mk II would have a different battery — that one is a bad idea. This is a system, after all… the battery is part of the system.

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  4. Phil Bautista

    Considering how disappointing the 4k experience on Sony has been for me (RX100IV), I don’t really care if it’s included in this model or not. What disappoints me is the lack of IBIS. I love my a6000 but given how often I use it with 3rd party lenses, the inclusion of IBIS would be a dream. Unfortunately, Sony seems to think that the only people who appreciate IBIS are those who use full frame cameras so good luck trying to draw Oly and Pentax users to their fold.

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  5. Sean Goebel

    As someone who has been following Canon for many years, and currently owns two 6Ds as my main bodies, I will comment on the 6D2 specs:
    – 1.5 better stops ISO? For raw images, no way. Impossible. High ISO noise performance is determined by photon arrival statistics, which is basic physics. The last time Canon did a 1.5 stop improvement in high ISO was… the 5D2 compared to the 5D1? Maybe? The 5D3 raw images are nowhere near 1.5 stops better than those of the 5D2, despite what fanboys (and Canon…) may claim. Maybe 0.5 stops.
    – Android OS: I’ve been predicting for years that one of the major developments to come in the camera world will be open-source firmware. It will be great to be able to run custom apps on your cameras. Think of the possibilities for timelapse (intervalometers, bulb ramping, etc), help apps (for people learning photography/the camera), custom triggering (wildlife…), HDR and dynamic range hacks, horribly distasteful color washes like those found on Instagram, and so forth. I’ve often wished I could load topo maps into my 6D so I could use it for back-country navigation while hiking to remote places. Open-source firmware would enable that sort of thing. Will it be Android based, and will it appear on the 6D2? I dunno, but it WILL happen eventually.
    – Flippy screen? Hooray, I’ve been wanting one since about 2008. I have never owned a camera that had one of these.
    – Touch screen? Don’t care. Wireless battery charging? This is dumb for an assortment of reasons that I wont’ go into. Dual-pixel autofocus? Don’t care.
    – WHY IS DYNAMIC RANGE NOT MENTIONED ANYWHERE?!
    – box color? Who the heck cares?

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  6. Julien Massie

    Touch screen ….. Never …. I stay with my plan to buy the 6D mark 1

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  7. Dustin Baugh

    “…maybe they will be using the 4K as an incentive to buy the higher priced cameras.”
    So sick of this mentality in camera manufactures; I hope they don’t fall into that old trap.

    Similarly I hope the 6D2 does have a swivel screen because of how completely helpful they are. People say it’s a weakpoint, but not when the screen is folded up. Just don’t flip it out while photographing a spartan race run. A big benefit is folding the screen in to prevent damage, accidentally touching the touchscreen, and save battery if you’re confident with your pictures not to chimp.

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  8. Justin Haugen

    Here for Adam Sanford comments.

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    • adam sanford

      Ha! I’m here for Anthony Thurston, Matthew Saville and Stan Rogers comments.

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    • adam sanford

      The 6D2 rumor is so loaded with way too much ‘new’ to be a Canon product. Canon hasn’t delivered a 1.5 stop high ISO jump since perhaps the 5D3, so I peg that a zero chance of happening at an entry FF level. And Canon giving the keys of the handling/UI experience over *to Android* is about as believable as Kim Jong Un becoming my personal assistant. DPAF in an entry-level model is also somewhat dubious — consider that the much higher spec’d 5DS rigs don’t even have that.

      It’s not *all* crazy, though. The pixel count makes sense, the move to a swivel screen would fall in line with similar prosumer Nikon models, and more AF points are a certainty.

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    • Stan Rogers

      Stan Rogers tends not to have many Canon-related opinions; an ancient injury prevents his right thumb from reaching their rear control wheel in shooting position. (I understand why they put it there — it means that there’s only a single control in more-or-less the same place in both orientations with an integrated or accessory vertical grip — but *I* can’t use it effectively. And I understand that making a layout that works for me will put a “foreign thing” into the hands of habitual Canon shooters, which isn’t a good thing, so it ain’t gonna happen. So I have a deep and abiding ergonomics-based hatred going all the way back to the EOS 1, which had a higher wheel location and was just barely usable for me, and that necessarily colours everything else. I did love the F1n, though, and I don’t begrudge anyone else an improved tool for their work.)

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