The new EOS 80D is packed with a diverse range of new technologies. In part 3 of the interview, the developers tell us more about the wider variety of shooting styles that the camera offers, such as Wi-Fi, the new kit lens and movie shooting with the Power Zoom Adapter. (Interviewer: Ryosuke Takahashi Group photo: Takehiro Kato)
(Back row from left) Kohei Furuya (ICP R&D Center 2)/ Koji Ikeda (ICP Development Center 2)/ Terutake Kadohara (ICP R&D Center 2)/ Takashi Ichinomiya (ICP R&D Center 2)/ Yuichiro Sugimoto (ICP Division 1)
(Front row from left) Takashi Kishi (ICP Development Center 2)/ Masahiro Kobayashi (ICP Division 2)/ Nobuyuki Inoue (ICP Development Center 2)/ Koji Sato (ICP Development Center 1)/ Yutaka Watanabe (ICP Development Center 1)
Wi-Fi and NFC functions that are more user-friendly than before
- Could you tell us more about the new Wi-Fi feature its improvements from the EOS 70D?
Ikeda: We have improved the ease of adjusting camera settings. Specifically, we took into consideration feedback from users of the EOS 70D and made the process of connecting to Wi-Fi more straightforward. For example, we have displayed the “Easy Connection” option at the top of the menu, also made it easier to register a nickname. In terms of function, compatibility with NFC enables the EOS 80D to be utilised in many more ways.
(1) Connect to a smartphone
(2) Transfer images between cameras
(3) Save images to Canon Connect Station
(4) Operate remotely using EOS Utility
(5) Print images using a Wi-Fi printer
(6) View images using a media player
(7) Send images to a Web service
The wireless Wi-Fi system enables easy connection to many different devices such as smartphones, thus revolutionising the workflow from shooting to playback and storage.
- What can you do with the NFC feature?
Ikeda: NFC is a standard for near field wireless communications. It can be utilised in various ways by moving the camera close to a device to establish a connection, such as Canon’s Connect Station CS100, a photo and movie storage device. By placing or moving the EOS 80D close to the CS100, you can establish a Wi-Fi connection for transferring data from your memory card to the CS100. As only the newly-captured data is transferred, the image-saving process is secure and hassle-free. You can also transfer an image to a smartphone even as you are reviewing it on the LCD monitor of the EOS 80D.This makes it easier to upload images to social media.
- What is the storage capacity of the CS100?
Ikeda: The capacity is 1TB. The CS100 can also be connected to a smartphone, which makes it even more convenient for browsing the images you have captured.
Connect Station CS100
A significantly more powerful movie shooting feature
- Overall movie shooting performance seems to have been enhanced on the EOS 80D. Under what situations does the customisable Movie Servo AF speed come in handy?
Kadohara: It is a feature for altering the speed when focusing in or out. You can increase or reduce this speed according to your preference.
Kobayashi: AF speed is also adjustable on the EOS 7D Mark II, but in response to popular demand for slower focus transition, we have added more parameters to allow further reduction of the AF speed during movie shooting. This allows users to enjoy greater flexibility in producing their own interpretations of different scenes.
- What types of scenes is the customisable Movie Servo AF subject tracking sensitivity feature effective for?
Kadohara: As with still images, this setting allows users to alter the sensitivity when the subject moves out of the frame. An effective way of using this feature for movies is that it helps to prevent the focus from falling on the background when panning the camera. Even in scenes where an unwanted object moves across the frame, the camera is able to maintain the focus on the subject.
- It seems like new options have also been added to the Creative filter menu for movie shooting.
Furuya: The three menus except for the one for Miniature effect movie are brand new features on our EOS DSLR cameras. You can find descriptions on each of their characteristics on our catalogue and website. They are basically similar to the effects available on Canon’s video cameras.
- Are there other recommended movie features besides those you have introduced?
Kobayashi: Generally speaking, Full HD 60p is available on the EOS 80D, and also supports the use of Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Other recommended features include time-lapse movie and HDR movie shooting. Besides “Miniature effect movie”, all the other four Creative filter options for movies have been introduced on EOS DSLR cameras for the first time. Also, using Camera Connect, a special application by Canon, broadens the scope of your photographic expression considerably as it allows you to carry out remote shooting using your smartphone. There are also movie shooting accessories, such as the Directional Microphone DM-E1, that allow you to create movies with more professional quality.
- What is so special about the Directional Microphone DM-E1?
Kobayashi: You can configure the angle at which it picks up sound. You can select a direction from one of the three settings—shotgun as well as two stereo settings (90° and 120°)—to suit the needs of the scene. Efforts have been made in various aspects, such as the use of a shock mount to prevent vibration sound of the microphone from being recorded.
Directional Microphone DM-E1
- What are the main changes made to the design of the body?
Inoue: As you can see, we have adopted a new design for the camera body. The overall body size is equivalent to that of the EOS 70D. We have also optimised the design around the remote release button for a better hold. Changes have also been made to the nameplate design including the EOS logo to enhance the high-end feel of the camera.
- Do you have a new catch phrase for the new shape of the camera?
Kobayashi: Our aim was to create a “bold and dynamic form” for the EOS 80D.
Inoue: We fine-tuned the design to enhance the operability during shutter release. We revamped the shape of the grip so that the index finger would rest naturally on the shutter button when you hold the camera in your hand.
Characteristics of the new Nano USM kit lens
- What are the characteristics of the new kit lens – EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM?
Sugimoto: This lens is evolved from the EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, and it has four highlights. The first is the actuator for AF, which makes use of the newly-developed Nano USM as the motor that drives the focusing lens group. You can’t tell from the model name of the lens, but the motor it employs is actually new. With the use of Nano USM, the drive speed of the focusing lens has increased by 4.3 times (telephoto side) compared to the EF-S18-135mm f/.5-5.6 IS STM, thus contributing to a faster AF speed. In addition to the speed, AF is also as smooth as that on STM lenses when capturing both still images and movies. The second highlight is that the EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is the first lens to support the Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1, while the third is the new stylish design. Last but not least, the IS performance of the lens has been enhanced from about 3.5 stops according to the CIPA standard of existing models to about four stops. It shares the same optical design as the popular EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.
EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
- Can you provide more details about the operating principles for the new Nano USM technology?
Sato: The Nano USM is a direct-drive USM that we have developed. It comprises a piezo element and a metallic elastic body, and drives the lens while generating vibrations on the slider that is positioned diagonally opposite to the metallic elastic body. By applying voltage to the piezo element to control the vibrations, both the speed and direction of drive can be adjusted freely.
Nano USM on the EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
- How does the Nano USM drive the focusing lens elements?
Sato: Direction of the movement of Nano USM is transmitted to the focusing lens elements through a connecting mechanism called a “rack”. In the case of Ring USM, vibrations of a ring-type piezo ceramic element is transformed into rotation, and it drives the focusing lens group in the forward direction along the cam groove. Meanwhile, Nano USM combines two types of minute vibrations, upward and forward, to move the USM back and forth on the slider. During this process, the focusing lens unit that is connected to the USM also moves back and forth in tandem. By connecting Nano USM directly to the focusing lens group, the power can be utilised efficiently as it enables more fine-tuned control while the force generated can be transmitted to the focusing lens group.
- What are your plans for the future development of Nano USM?
Sugimoto: Nano USM is an actuator that is suitable for both still images and movies, so we believe there is a lot of potential in it. Ring USM is characterised by its ability to move large-diameter and heavy lens elements including the L lenses, while STM is compact in size and capable of fine-tuned control. We take these characteristics into consideration and choose the best actuator according to the qualities required in our new lens. Of course, we also plan to expand the range of models compatible with Nano USM.
- The new lens now supports the Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1. What is this new accessory item capable of?
Watanabe: It is an external adapter unit that can be attached to a lens to electrically power zooming operations. At present, it is compatible with the EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. The unit requires four AAA batteries (alkaline or NiMH) to operate. To switch between the telephoto (T) and wide-angle (W) ends, simply push the zoom lever in the corresponding direction. You can also adjust the zoom speed to different levels depending on the how much the zoom lever is pushed.
Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1
- It seems like this accessory is compatible with movie shooting. Can it be used for capturing still images too?
Watanabe: Yes, of course. For still images, it comes in handy when you want to take zoom burst shots. It allows you to perform zooming at a constant speed to create beautiful light trails. When combined with the EOS 80D, it is possible to operate the Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1 remotely to carry out remote-controlled shoots for group photos and wild bird photography, for example.
- Lastly, could you give a message to Canon’s EOS 80D users?
Kobayashi: Compared to the existing models, we have updated the key devices on the EOS 80D to achieve a professional level of performance that is on par with the high-end models. Viewfinder shooting is the greatest appeal of DSLR cameras, and we have put in thorough efforts to ensure speed and comfort in that aspect. Meanwhile, we have also made the camera user-friendly for entry-level users with the hope that the EOS 80D can be enjoyed by a larger group of people. Particularly, the movie shooting feature has been perfected with the advancement of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF as well as a more complete lineup of accessories including the new Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1 and the Directional Microphone DM-E1. We sincerely hope that you can give the EOS 80D a try to have an actual feel of the camera.
- Thank you for your valuable time today.
Born in Aichi in 1960, Takahashi started his freelance career in 1987 after working with an advertising photo studio and a publishing house. Photographing for major magazines, he has travelled to many parts of the world from his bases in Japan and China. Takahashi is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).
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