Nikon and Canon have new stuff, but...

...But, do we need it? I'm the first person to be excited about 'new stuff' I love gadgets and I especially love new camera related tech, but it got me thinking earlier today, pre-launch of the new Nikon D800, Nikon D800E and the three new Canon lenses, the 24-70 f/2.8L II, the 24mm f/2.8 and the 28mm f/2.8... Really, how bad were the old versions.... Then, as if by magic, the power went off and I decided to pop out for a *6 minutes from home* look around my area for an example... I decided to go find some old 'stuff' that had been put out for collection, and, if possible, to see if it still worked!

Here's what I found...

Two perfectly functional couches...

More couches, some luggage, a little crockery and two boxes of clothes...

A computer desk in perfect working order...

A washing machine with one broken pipe (confirmed with the people who put it there)

A TV that took up too much space (confirmed by old lady watering garden)

There was no confirmation on this little toaster, so I have no idea.. but there was a perfectly good cat scratch pole / mat / bed beside it (brand new?!)

So, my post is a question... despite 'wanting' all this new stuff and understanding that economy partly works due to the desire for new stuff, do we actually really need all this new stuff?

Let's have a look at another aspect of all of this newness... let's go Sandro v Laforet

Nikon D800 by Sandro

Joy Ride from Sandro on Vimeo.

Canon C300 by Vince Laforet

Mobius from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

Of course we need new stuff...

Six | Around the block

Six images taken within a block of your house. Go. Inspired by a lovely new friend of mine, Katie Kolenberg, awesome photographer and quality camera bag user.. Here are six from around my block - there are a couple of skips as I had my shutter advance set to 'take lots' and stupidly took a couple of doubles.. alas, six arrive, straight from the block around my parent's house in Toormina, Australia.



Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

specs | press Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (MK 1 baby)

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland 5th January 2010 – Canon today adds to its acclaimed L-series with the launch of the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto zoom lens. This new lens launches as the successor to the immensely popular EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, offering improved performance in every area.

True to the L-series’ heritage, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM delivers optical excellence in the most challenging situations. As well as a revamp of the internal optical system, the lens has also been structurally re-developed as a direct result of user feedback, making it as robust and reliable as it is optically advanced.

“Reuters photographers have used the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM for a number of years and it allows photographers a great level of flexibility,” said Reuters Production Editor Kevin Coombs. “The focal length, fast aperture and Image Stabilizer all contribute to it being a workhorse lens and you’ll find it in many professional photographers’ camera bags. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the improvements offered by the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.”

Premium quality, premium performance The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM features a re-designed optical system, consisting of 23 elements in 19 groups to deliver truly impressive results. A high-performance fluorite element is used at the heart of the lens path, coupled with no fewer than five ultra-low dispersion (UD) elements, drastically reducing chromatic aberration throughout the zoom range to produce high contrast images with edge-to-edge definition.

A high-speed Auto Focus (AF) system perfectly matches the abilities of the recently-launched EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS 7D Digital SLR (DSLR) cameras. The new model also features a ring-type USM AF motor, which combines with a new high-speed CPU and an optimised AF algorithm to make auto focusing both faster and quieter.

A reduced minimum focusing distance of 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) and improved 0.21x magnification will allow photographers to get closer to subjects without needing to swap lenses – greatly benefitting time-pressured news and events photographers who require flexibility. An updated Image Stabilizer mechanism also offers a shutter speed advantage equivalent to four-stops, reducing the effect of image blur resulting from camera shake in busy shooting environments.

Enhanced design, exceptional ease of use As well as an update to the internal construction, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM features an enhanced external appearance to improve lens operation. The thickness of protruding exterior parts and switches has been significantly reduced, guarding against accidental switching and creating an improved overall look. The rubber focusing grip has also been redesigned and widened; with finely-patterned grooves making it easier to manually focus.

Being an L-series lens, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is fully weatherproof, making it ideal for use in all weather conditions. The mount, focus mode switch and focusing ring all feature a completely dust and drip-proof structure, preventing dust or water from getting inside the camera and lens when used with accompanying weatherproof EOS bodies. The lens has been designed to stand up to the daily wear and tear of professional usage, making it a highly durable, reliable lens for use day-to-day by professional photographers.

High quality L-series accessories The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is supplied with several accessories, including the new ET-87 Lens Hood and the Ring-Type Tripod Collar B (W). A brand new Lens Case LZ1326 is also included as standard, offering quick and easy access when users need to switch lenses in time-pressured situations.

Compatibility with a range of optional Canon accessories also allows users to pair the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM with the Lens Extender EF 1.4x II, Lens Extender EF 2x II, Extension Tube EF 12 II, Extension Tube EF 25 II, and 77mm filters.

Pricing and Availability The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is available from the end of February 2010 priced at £2,799.99 / €3,199.99 RRP inc. VAT

Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II

So, is it true? Well, When I tweeted this morning... I got the reply I wanted! Here's the tweet.

Canon 70-200 f2.8 MkII

The question immediately came in from Canon "What exactly is it that you have?"

THIS confirms it for me... I get a question about my tweet, someone's a tad nervous... Let's just hope that Canon have stock at Christmas... (Anyone want to put bets on that?)

While we're on the topic, for some reason I sold my 100mm f2.8 Macro to Nathan over at (In hindsight I should have just given it to him when he needed it...) But I quite like the look of the new one and now that I'm not going to be able to get out of the house as often for a little bit, I might just have to take to shooting things closer to home - this would do the trick...

Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro

Yeah, Thought you would agree...