Bryce Bayer

Just about every digital camera sold today uses an internal pattern of colour filters over the image sensor. This pattern, known as the Bayer filter, was invented in 1976 by Kodak researcher Bryce Bayer.

Apparently Mr Bayer died this week, aged 83. While it must have been tragic to watch the firm he worked for much of his life go down the tubes, it must also have been an amazing thought to know that just about every modern camera out there contained his invention!

Canon lens news

So Canon have released two new lenses - a 24-70mm 4L IS USM and a 35mm 2 IS USM EF lens. But more interestingly, Canon have finally decided to join the rest of the industry by switching to centre-pinch lens caps! Exciting news.

Of course, I’m still waiting for a 24-105 2.8L IS USM lens. That would be my ideal!

Canon 5D III update

Canon keeps surprising us with updates. The company has announced a firmware update to the EOS 5D mark III, adding uncompressed HDMI and support for f/8 lenses when using the central AF sensor. Very impressive that they’ve enabled this functionality without hardware changes.

The only odd thing is that it’s a massive preannouncement. Users have to wait until April 2013 for these goodies!

Arrival of the Sixes

So, between Nikon’s new D600 and Canon’s new 6D, it seems that affordable full-frame (35mm equivalent) digital SLRs are finally coming of age!

Both cameras look like great bodies, with various advantages to each side. (Canon for high ISO, WiFi and GPS; Nikon for better AF and viewfinder) Pretty exciting stuff.

EF-M: Canon mirrorless

No, it’s not a resurrection of the strange manual-focus semi-EOS film body from 20 years ago… EF-M now refers to the new line of Canon mirrorless cameras that’s rumoured to debut this coming Monday.

Rumoured specs from this Japanese site.

Summary: APS-C size chip, 18 megapixels and touchscreen for the base model, EOS M as the marketing name, introductory lenses pancake 22mm and an 18-55mm.

The myth that flash damages art

Interesting piece on the ongoing myth that flash photography can damage artwork.

Personally I feel that museums should ban the use of flash, simply because it’s incredibly annoying to have bright bursts of light fired off while you’re trying to contemplate art. However, the way this tends to translate to blanket bans on photography altogether is frustrating.

EOS 7D firmware update

In a very unusual move, Canon have a new firmware update out for the EOS 7D. Very cool to see a whole set of new features implemented in a free download for a camera that’s been on the market for nearly 3 years.

The update bumps up the size of the buffer for continuous shots, adds auto ISO features, and adds audio record level control.

Roger Cicala examines the Canon 40mm pancake

Lensrentals’ Roger Cicala has a blog post detailing his thoughts on the new Canon 40mm “pancake” lens. Interesting reading.

Touchscreen arrives

I’ve been thinking for years now that it’s interesting that no DSLR maker has really implemented touchscreen technology. It seems such an obvious step, particularly given the resounding success of touchscreens on mobile phones.

So Canon have taken the first step, announcing the EOS 650D or Rebel T4i, which includes a complete touchscreen interface. It’s not a replacement for the usual buttons and knobs, but an optional way to use the camera.

They also introduced a new pair of lenses - STM or “stepper motor” lenses - which promise near-silent and smooth operation for video work.

Black tape solves everything

So the Canon EOS 5D mark III has an unusual problem - light can leak from the top deck LCD can throw off the light metering in early-model cameras under low-light conditions. Roger Cicala from LensRentals details the simple fix - Canon now cover the offending component with black tape.