5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

USB Follow Focus Controller PRE-ORDERS

Less than 48hs after the official release, the new USB Follow Focus Controller has run out of stock!

But we were notified that due to the very high demand the manufacturer (Okii Systems LLC.) is now accepting pre-orders.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT

The manufacturer kindly allowed us to give a Coupon Code to get $50 discount on your purchase. It is cumulative, if you buy two controllers you get $100 discount.

  • COUPON CODE: okii50

To place your order visit the manufacturer website: www.okii.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=FF-001

Please check our dedicated section USB FF Controller which includes a brief description, features list, some video tests and very important technical information and details that all potential customers should read.

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Quoted text from the manufacturer website:

Preorder Information

Due to the high demand for this item we are allowing preorders, which will reserve you a USB Follow Focus on a first-come, first-served basis. As inventory arrives, orders will be processed in the order they are received.

The next production run is expected to be ready the week of February 21, 2011. There are a limited number of units, so there is no guarantee that the incoming inventory will cover all preorders. Unfulfilled preorders will roll over to later production runs. At any time you may cancel your preorder and receive a full refund.

As with any kind of manufacturing, circumstances beyond our control may lead to production delays. Please be assured that we are working as hard as possible to meet our projected delivery dates.

Please refrain from emailing about preorder status. This page plus the Okii Facebook and Twitter pages will be updated regularly with status information.

Image on top courtesy of Okii Systems LLC.

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through above or following links:
Photography & Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software. There’s no additional cost to you.

Follow us on Twitter for special news, articles, important Promotions and Rebates . We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they’re great to save when buying.

Thank you very much for your support.

.

February 3, 2011 Posted by | EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 60D, EOS 7D, EOS T2i/550D, NEW Devices & Accessories, News & Info, PROMOS | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

USB Follow Focus Controller Released

Okii Systems LLC. has released today the Okii USB Follow Focus Controller for Canon HDSLR cameras. As mentioned earlier, this device can do MUCH more than controlling focus.

We have opened a dedicated section called USB Follow Focus Controller with full details, important information and some video tests for your convenience.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT

As previously announced, the manufacturer kindly allowed us to give a COUPON CODE to get a discount of $50 to all those readers interested to buy it.

Please check the USB Follow Focus Controller section for the coupon code and more details.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION & USER GUIDE

It is very important to understand that this is not a mechanical follow focus, but a USB one, with its advantages and limitations (the real limitations are due to Canon’s USB implementation).

To fully understand the capabilities and benefits of the Okii USB Follow Focus controller, you should read the following:

Once you really understand HOW the controller works, then you start taking advantage of its capabilities. It is VERY important to configure the controller to your specific camera and lens to avoid confusion. So take a bit of time reading the instructions.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

You will find lot of additional information, feedback and some video tests on the previously mentioned section. Please also check the manufacturer website for even more detailed technical information and pictures of the product.

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through above or following links:
Photography & Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software. There’s no additional cost to you.

Follow us on TWITTER for special news, articles, important Promotions and Rebates . We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they’re great to save when buying.

Thank you very much for your support.

.

January 28, 2011 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 60D, EOS 7D, EOS T2i/550D, NEW Devices & Accessories, News & Info, PROMOS, REVIEWS | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

USB Follow Focus Controller

PREVIEW:
Accessory for Filmmakers & Photographers

As far as we know, this is the first USB Follow Focus controller that will be released in the world. But the best part is that this device can do MUCH more than controlling focus!

As we have told in our previous article, we have been participating in the beta-testing process of a very nice new device compatible with all Canon HDSLR cameras that will be released by the manufacturer very soon.

Today we can unveil some more details of this amazing accessory that will be extremely useful for both filmmakers and photographers.

Please note: we are not the manufacturers nor designers of this device. We have been testing it and giving feedback, reports and suggestions since 2 months ago.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The controller is pretty well made, it feels solid and strong but it’s lightweight at the same time. Enclosure and knob are made of black anodized aluminum, giving it a very nice look.

It has a round shape design, easy to handle and a 1/4″-20 standard mounting hole on the back face, so you can easily mount it on any kind of support.

It obviously works via USB cable connected to the camera, so basically you can remotely control your camera, but with the HUGE advantage that it does not turn off the rear LCD screen! So think about the possibilities…

The controller can work in 3 different modes:

  • Focus Points
  • Settings adjustment
  • Focus Zone selection

As you can see on the picture it has 9 multifunctional buttons, 1 knob, a power switch and a very nice and helpful multicolor LED.

The controller usually comes with white buttons (except the Start/Stop button which is red), but the user can also replace them with other colors.

It’s amazing how well the manufacturer has implemented such a bunch of features in this device with a LED that changes its color to indicate almost all actions, helping the user to exactly know what he/she is doing.

There is a HUGE work behind this device, and a HUGE potential inside it (available to the user!).

Some of the features include:

  • Turn Live View mode On/Off
  • Start/Stop Video recording
  • Take pictures
  • Change/Pull focus using the knob or 2 dedicated buttons (Near/Far smooth focus buttons) even whilst recording video
  • Capability to save 4 focus points (2 “hard stop” points + 2 focus points) and do a Rack Focus by just pressing any of those buttons
  • Toggle Zoom level x1, x5 and x10
  • Change camera settings
  • and much more… (full details will be available after the official release)

Compatibility:

The USB Controller is fully compatible with the following cameras:

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR READERS

The manufacturer kindly allowed us to give all readers a COUPON CODE to get $50 discount!

This code will be published after the official release in just few days, so stay tuned!

Using the USB Follow Focus Controller

This very short video (without sound, sorry) is only intended to show some operations that can be done, and some of the controller’s features. Sorry for not being able to provide a HD video this time (see at bottom). Also, since the LED is very bright, in this video it is not easy to see how good it actually is and how much it tells once you learn the controller’s operation.

Basically, on this video we did the following operations:

  • ISO adjustment
  • Turn Live View mode ON (ISO, aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation can also be changed in LV mode)
  • Check focus of subject “David” using zoom level function, and save focus point #1 for later use
  • Move the focus zone to the subject “chair”, adjust focus using the knob with the help of zoom level and save focus point #2
  • Start recording video
  • Rack focus from focus point #2 to focus point #1 by simply pressing focus point #1
  • Stop recording video
  • Move the focus zone to subject “David” to show that the rack focus was done properly.

Setup: Canon 5D Mark II + Canon EF 24-70 2.8L @50mm

Additional Comments

After testing and using the controller for over 2 months, we can certainly say it is AMAZING. It’s one of those accessories you start to love especially if you are a filmmaker or someone who do macro photography (or do those kind of video/photography shootings that require avoid touching the camera/lens or when it’s hard to access to them).

It’s important to note that a USB Follow Focus doesn’t work exactly as a mechanical Follow Focus, especially due Canon’s USB implementation and since the controller is electronic and not mechanic. Both have their own limitations and advantages.

The user should read the detailed information provided by the manufacturer to understand the way this works, its possibilities, what it can and can’t do. That will be available on the official release.

We will post Full HD video and more details in few days after the official release, so stay tuned!

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through above or following links:
Photography & Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software. There’s no additional cost to you.

Follow us on Twitter for special news, articles, important Promotions and Rebates . We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they’re great to save when buying.

Thank you very much for your support.

.

January 20, 2011 Posted by | Accessories, Articles & Tech Info, EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 60D, EOS 7D, EOS T2i/550D, NEW Devices & Accessories, News & Info, PROMOS, REVIEWS | , , , , | 48 Comments

Firmware Update 1.0.8

Contents:

  • Firmware Update 1.0.8 – 1D Mark IV & 550D
  • Canon Official Announcements
  • Download
  • Comments

FIRMWARE UPDATE 1.0.8

Canon has just announced a firmware update that fixes the “iris jitter” issue that we previously reported here and here for the Canon 5D Mark II on April, 2010, especially affecting macro lenses (but not limited to that kind of lenses).

Fortunately all those efforts to report that issue also helped other users. This time the update has been released for the EOS 1D Mark IV and EOS Rebel T2i/550D.

We thank Canon once again for listen to their customers. That really makes a difference.

CANON OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Extracted from Canon website:

Canon has announced firmware updates (both called Version 1.0.8) for the EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS 550D DSLRs that incorporate fixes, including ensuring the set aperture doesn’t move when shooting EOS Movies in manual exposure mode.

Firmware Version 1.0.8 for the EOS-1D Mark IV DSLR incorporates the following fixes:

  1. Fixes a phenomenon in which the set aperture moves unexpectedly when shooting movies in manual exposure mode using some Canon lenses (such as macro lenses).
  2. Corrects misspellings in the French and Spanish menus for applicable products.

Firmware Version 1.0.8 for the EOS 550D DSLR incorporates the following fixes:

  1. Fixes a phenomenon in which the set aperture moves unexpectedly when shooting movies in manual exposure mode using some Canon lenses (such as macro lenses).

DOWNLOAD

Please, before downloading and updating your camera, read the entire contents of Canon download page.

You can download the new firmware from here:

http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/news/eos_mark_iv_550d_firmware.do

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

We received reports that this phenomenon also occurs in the EOS 7D, so we expect a firmware update for Canon EOS 7D in near future as well.

If you appreciate our efforts to help all Canon users, please consider supporting us.

Thanks a lot in advance.

July 7, 2010 Posted by | CANON, EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS T2i/550D, Firmware Updates, News & Info | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canon Firmware Updates

WHY to release Firmware Updates?

Adding and improving functions and features via firmware updates on current Canon cameras would be a very smart and important action from a business point of view.

Please note that many of the features mentioned here were already requested in the Petition to Canon Inc. since early 2009, signed by more than 3,000 amateurs, professionals and studios around the world.

On this post:

  • Update #1: Non-free Upgrades
  • Main factors & reasons for updating the firmware
  • List of Fixes & Improvements collected from thousands of users’ feedbacks

UPDATE #1: NON-FREE UPGRADES

There is a huge amount of users willing to pay for Firmware Upgrades with enhanced movie/video features like those ones listed below (also for some improvements on photography functions)

QUESTION TO CANON: If there is the need of giving resources to programmers and engineers to work on such improvements, then why not to give that option to those customers who really want and are willing to pay for them?

That would be another way to keep these cameras more featured and competitive for longer time, without any kind of hardware change and the obvious benefit that they are already in production.

Make a survey, do marketing research and read what customers write on dedicated HDSLR forums like www.cinema5d.com.

Most software companies do offer special upgrades for a fee. Why manufacturers of expensive devices, with a “long” life cycle like EOS 1D Mark IV and EOS 5D Mark II couldn’t offer the same? We would all benefit from it, since replacements for these models will not appear in near future.

This option should be considered very seriously.

MAIN REASONS

5D Mark II has huge potential inside not fully exploited yet, that leaves lot of “room to move on” whenever you (the manufacturer) want.

• Canon has a product that has no competition (until now): a Full Frame sensor camera with Full HD capabilities that can really be used for serious Video and Cinematography purposes (along with its great still capabilities). Canon has been in this situation for more than 1 year. This is very significant and also a unique case in a very long time.

• With firmware updates incorporating improvements customer satisfaction will increase notoriously. But what is even more important to any company: when customer satisfaction increases, sales are bigger and the loyalty to the brand also increases. Loyalty is a key factor for the long term company profit. Especially in a high competitive market area such as digital SLR cameras.

• It is much more convenient to “refresh” a camera (of this level) and then get more profit from it (already designed and already in-production model) adding features and functions than “leaving it as is”, getting lower value over time and being surpassed by competition.

• This “refresh” can be easily made via firmware update, because the camera does have the possibilities inside, with insignificant costs to the company when compared to designing a new whole camera with its own firmware (and all the processes and very big costs that imply).

• Customers have already demonstrated the huge interest on this camera and these improvements. Just remember all the requests for Manual Control, STANDARD 24/25/30p modes and frame rates, and all other features being requested to Canon. Please check here and here.

• The Filmmaking Community (Amateurs, Professionals and even Studios) has adopted the 5D Mark II far beyond anyone could have expected (Canon included). This camera has been selling like almost no other camera in the past for over 1 year at the same price since its release date. So, improving and adding features will broaden the usage scope, keeping big sales on it.

• The addition of FILMMAKING features (like Preset/Rack Focus, and all those achieved by Magic Lantern Project) is a hidden “card” that Canon CAN use if they want to make this camera more competitive, especially when competition arrives.

We sincerely hope Canon Managers and Executives consider this list very seriously (and before competition) for further Firmware Updates.

This is a big and free list of ideas that has been elaborated from thousands of users’ feedbacks on how to improve the camera with all the benefits mentioned above. Including them would make this camera unbeatable for a VERY LONG time.

LIST of FIXES & IMPROVEMENTS

Frame Rates as in EOS 7D Done
29.97 / 25 / 23.976 fps: STANDARD 30/25/24p video modes.

720p mode at 29.97 fps
It will allow LONGER video recording time before reaching the 4GB file size limit.

▪ Improve AF contrast detection algorithm and/or add Focusing Aids
Magic Lantern has done a lot on this, and proven it is extremely useful, even essential. See additional Filmmaking features.

Digital Zoom Video mode
To record on video a smaller area of the sensor as “digital zoom”. Very useful.

1:1 Crop Sensor Video mode – Like much cheaper T2i/550D
To record a native 1920×1080 area of the sensor (or 1280×720 or even VGA), which minimizes “jello” effect and completely eliminates aliasing issues/artifacts. This is possible in a similar way how Zoom level x5 and x10 works, but recording on video what you see on screen. This function could be part of the above one.

720p mode at 59.94 and 50 fps   X Removed from final release 2.0.4 (why?)

File Spanning function
A new video file is automatically created when 4GB is reached without stop recording. Very important for lot of users, and very easy to implement.

“EDIT” option in playback mode – for Video mode, like EOS 7D
This would allow Cut and Save part of recorded video clip. It is available on 7D and much cheaper P&S cameras.

Noise Pattern (Stills and Video mode)
FIX. Noise pattern/banding visible on shadows at high (and not so high) ISOs.

More frames in Bracketing mode
For still photography. VERY easy to fix.

Auto ISO with limiters – like much cheaper T2i/550D
For still photography, improved and with selectable limits.

REMAP” hot & stuck pixels function
This will save Canon Technical Support LOT of money and time. It is an essential feature. We still don’t understand why it wasn’t already implemented.

“Clean” HDMI output
A function to Enable/Disable the “white square” on the AV OUT and HDMI output.
VERY easy to do.

Full HD through HDMI output while recording (if hardware possible)
Also fix the delay of 5 to 7 seconds of “black” image after pressing the “record” button

Live Histogram for video mode   Done

Remote Start/Stop video recording using cable release – Like EOS 7D

Audio Manual Gain for video recording   Done
FIX. Very easy, and essential for acceptable audio recording.

LIST of additional FILMMAKING features

Hugely demanded and used (until now only via Magic Lantern)

▪ Control of focus
▪ Focus Assistance
▪ Focus Rack/Presets
▪ Focus stacking
▪ Zebra stripes (video peaking)
▪ On-screen audio meters
▪ Peaking, false-color and edge detection on LCD

Most of these functions have already been proven to be possible (and VERY useful) by Magic Lantern Project.

They are helping thousands of users on filmmaking jobs
, and Canon could do even a better implementation of them via Official Firmware update. That would be another BIG BANG to keep big sales on this great camera.

Focus Assistance System / Focus Detection Area
It would tell (in Live View mode, and in real time if possible) when a specific area of the frame is in focus or not. This feature would be very helpful and very much appreciated by filmmakers.

Magic Lantern’s New Features Request:  Check them here, you will get very good and creative ideas on new features.


 

As we said before, we sincerely hope Canon Managers and Executives consider this list very seriously for further Firmware Updates.

It will indeed benefit not only Canon customers, but also the company.

It would make this camera unbeatable for a very long time.

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 7D, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

   

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