Canon’s new ‘nifty fifty’ budget prime lens gets stepping motor for quiet autofocusing

canons new nifty fifty budget prime lens gets stepping motor for quiet autofocusing canon ef50mmstm 1
Canon has updated its popular “nifty fifty” prime lens with the new 50mm f/1.8 STM. The fixed focal length lens, a must-have for any new Canon DSLR owner, has a stepping motor (STM) for quiet autofocusing, especially when recording movies. Available at the end of May, the new lens has an MSRP of $126.

This new 50mm lens has a better build quality that the previous version, the 50mm f/1.8 II, which has another nickname, “plastic fantastic,” to describe its mostly plastic construction. Besides the stepping motor, the new 50mm lens has a metal mount for improved stability, and a new focus ring placement.

With its f/1.8 aperture, the lens is designed to deliver sharp portraits with nice bokeh (blurred backgrounds), and strong low-light performance.

According to Canon, the lens is “composed of six elements in five groups (and) features an optimized lens placement and Super Spectra Coating (SSC), translating into less ghosting and flaring than the previous model, while at the same time helping to enhance light transmission and optimize color reproduction accuracy. The new lens features a seven blade circular aperture, improved from the predecessor’s five blade non-circular aperture, helping to deliver a more visually appealing blurring effect, and producing sharp images of subjects that truly stand out against beautiful, soft backgrounds. The minimum focusing distance for the lens has been shortened to 1.1 feet from 1.5 feet (14-inch minimum focusing distance) with a maximum magnification of 0.21x, allowing for more creative close-up photos and videos.”

If you recently stepped up to an entry-level Canon EOS APS-C DSLR and are looking for an affordable, artistic lens to add to your collection, this new 50mm should be on that list.

canon_ef50mmstm_2
Mobile

Huawei can make superb phones, but the Y7 Prime isn’t one of them

We've adored some of the recent Huawei smartphones, including the excellent P20 Pro; but the firm also makes some cheaper hardware. We've been using the $220 Huawei Y7 Prime to find out if it's similarly tempting.
Mobile

Huawei and Leica’s monochrome lens is dead, so we celebrate its life

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro do not have a dedicated monochrome camera lens, unlike the P20 Pro, and various Huawei and Leica phones before it. It's the end of an era, and also the start of a new one, as Leica has worked on its…
Mobile

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.
Photography

Photography News: Raw edits on iPad and an A.I. research lab for PicsArt

In this week's photography news, Canon launched an iPad app that allows for RAW edits on the go. Popular mobile editing app PicsArt now has a research lab dedicated entirely to A.I.-powered tools.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The design still says retro, but Fujifilm's X-T3 is all about the future

If the X-T2 brought Fujifilm into the modern era, the X-T3 is focused on the future. With a new sensor and processor, completely revamped autofocus, and vastly upgraded video, it's the new APS-C camera to beat.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
News

Kodak’s ‘Digitizing Box’ service saves precious memories stuck on old media

If you've been meaning to convert your old family photos, videotapes, films, and audio recordings to digital but never seem to get around to it, then a new service from Kodak may prompt you to add it to your "to-do" list again.
Photography

You can finally throw away your PC; Photoshop is coming to the iPad

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.
Photography

Sony crammed 28x zoom, 4K into a $450 camera that weighs as much as a smartphone

The Sony HX99 is a tiny compact camera that mixes 4K and fast burst speeds with a 28x optical zoom. The travel zoom camera upgrades the processor over the earlier model for better video and super-long-burst captures.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Photography

Remove photo bombs, other unwanted objects with Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Fill

Photoshop's newest A.I-powered tool helps remove objects or fill in gaps for a distraction-free photo in the new Adobe Photoshop CC 2019. Here's how to remove an object in Photoshop using the new Content-Aware Fill.