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July 27, 2014
Posted in news

World’s Fastest Auto Focus Technology explained by Mark Weir.

I hope Sony (and Mark) do not mind if I report their interesting article about the World’s Fastest Auto Focus Technology used by the A6000 :)
Here is the full text originally posted at Blog Sony.

Straight Talk from Sony – World’s Fastest Auto Focus Technology

Dear Readers,

Below is an overview of Sony’s latest technological advancement, The World’s Fastest Auto-Focus, written by Mark Weir, a Sr. Technology Manager here at Sony Electronics.  This overview can be very technical for some, so you’ll understand why Mr. Weir is known as the professor around here.  Please read on and hopefully, you’ll be as amazed by this technology as we are. 

World’s Fastest Auto Focus Technology

By Mark Weir, Sr. Technology Manager, Sony Electronics

Digital camera technology is changing all the time, but some recent developments indicate that we are entering a period of exciting innovation.  These developments are apparent in the revolution taking place in Auto Focus technology – and leading the charge is the AF system introduced in the new a6000.  Until very recently, cameras performed autofocus in one of two ways – Phase detection with a dedicated optical sensor, and Contrast detection measured by the image sensor.  “Hybrid AF” – autofocus systems that employ both approaches are reaching performance not possible just a short time ago.

Phase detection autofocus was introduced almost 30 years ago, and still operates on the same basic principles.  A beam splitter directs light from opposite sides of the lens to a dedicated sensor which analyzes differences in Phase (luminance patterns), and determines the direction and distance the lens must be moved for the patterns to be aligned, and thus in focus.  Phase detection AF has expanded to most all modern DSLR cameras, and has been steadily refined with the development of multiple AF points, predictive tracking and even specialized sensors for wide aperture lenses.  Phase detection AF is quick, but its reliance on optics and mechanisms makes it bulky and expensive, and has trouble covering the entire scene.

Another approach to Phase detection has recently been developed which utilizes the camera’s image sensor – eliminating the optics and mechanics of the traditional design.

Contrast autofocus is far simpler – the contrast in the scene is measured and the lens moved until contrast is maximized – the point at which the scene is in focus.  The advantage is simplicity and focus precision, although Contrast AF is typically not as quick as Phase detection AF.

The strength of the a6000 is use of both Phase detection and Contrast autofocus – while maximizing the performance of both with Sony’s Bionz X processor.  Phase detection AF is provided by the newly developed 24MP imager, which includes 179 embedded AF sensors covering more than 90% of the frame, with focus speed as short as 0.06 sec.  Covering more of the frame than most any other camera, a6000 can track even fast moving subjects and focus continuously at up to 11 frames per second.  Contrast information is read from 25 areas of the image sensor and combines with Spatial Object detection based on recognition algorithms.  Both Phase and Contrast detection AF systems can be used alone or together, based on direction from the Bionz X processor – even when shooting video.  With the support of these two systems, photographers can enjoy ultra-fast, accurate and intelligent AF across nearly the entire frame – a potent combination not possible with earlier technology.

Much of a6000’s autofocusing performance is possible because of advancements in device technology – imagers with embedded AF sensors, processors with faster throughput, object recognition algorithms, and lens drive design.  As device technology continues to advance, camera performance will advance with it, providing image makers with options for even greater creativity.


Sony A6000 store link list:
Sony A6000 at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, SonyStore. In Europe at Sony DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, AT, NL, BE, CH, FI, SE, PT, WexUK.
Silver A6000 at Amazon US, BHphoto, WexUK.
Sony A6000 with lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, SonyStore, Sony Canada, WexUK.
Silver A6000 with lens at Amazon US, BHphoto, WexUK.
Sony 70-200mm FE at Amazon, BHphoto, SonyStore. In Europe at Sony DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, AT, NL, BE, CH, FI, SE, PT

A6000 Gariz case on eBay in Black (Click here), Brown (Click here), Camel (Click here) and Red (Click here).

July 26, 2014
Posted in news

This week SAR readers photos selection.

Maxime Siegler
The Leap
Sony a99 + Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4

1) Submit your picture with a message and picture here:
2) Like and comment the pictures from other readers here:
3) A selection of most liked pictures by the community and by me SAR admin will be posted weekly on SAR.

Read the rest of this entry →

July 25, 2014
Posted in news

Sony TidBits…

A Chinese A7s ad :)

FE 28-70mm and 24-70mm test at Photojottings.
Full review of the Sony a6000 is up on Admiring Light.
A6000 review at BestMat.
Japanese SAL50F14 test at Ascii.
Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f4 FE OSS Review at ThePhoBlogrpaher.
Sony RX100 III – The Best Quality Point and Shoot I’ve Ever Tested (Review Part II of II) at Ronmartblog.
RX100mr review by Steve Huff.
Spanish A6000 review at Quesabesde.
Sony FE 55mm test at Fengniao.
New α7/α6000/RX100 III trigger at
Sony RX100 Mark III review at ThePhoBlographer.
Sony RX100 III Shooter’s Report III at Imaging Resource.

Michael:Hi Andrea, Album @ Flickr
It took me quit a while considering upgrade from the M2 to M3, and finally I did upgraded, here is my comparison before I let go the M2 to next owner.
M3 has wider zoom of 24mm (FF equiv.) comparing to M2 28mm, photo @
However M3′s 24mm (FF equiv.) is not as wide as in A6000, photo @
M3 has better control of CA at wide-open aperture f/1.8, photo @
Built-in ND filter is very useful for long exposure under day light, photo @
M3 still can zoom to 100mm or more by using the Clear-Image-Zoom (70mm x1.5 or x2.0), photo @
M3 does have longer lens throat 15mm vs 11mm by M2, photo @
M3 start up is faster
M3 time gap between shoot-to-shoot is faster
M3 auto-focus is faster
More testing I will do next is…
More comparison with A6000 & 16-50mm (24-70mm in FF equiv.) power zoom kit lens
Compare video quality with different codec

July 24, 2014
Posted in news

New Zeiss Touit 50mm firmware upgrade released!

Zeiss released a new firmware upgrade for the 50mm macro E-mount lens which fixes following issues:

• clearly noticeable shutter release delays when pressing the release button with activated flash
• ‘hunting’ for the focus point with the camera in AF-C mode

July 23, 2014
Posted in news

Sony TidBits…

Unleashing the Power of Your Sony A6000

70-200mm lens review by SonyAlphaLab.
Sony A6000 Review: Top-notch image quality meets great performance and affordability (Imaging Resource).
German A77II review at Dkamera.
Zeiss 55mm1.8 vs Mitakon 50mm 0.95 comparison at
In depth review of the A7r at

Alex:so many people have been asking me how i do i tethered shoot in the studio with the sony A7r. Here is a link to a little tutorial i posted:

Louis:Hello! I just wanted to share a video I made while scuba diving with my RX100 in the Philippines last November. It’s still the Mark One of the RX100 but it still does amazing images! (I took it with the more affordable but really great Ikelite Housing and a red filter with no artificial light). Enjoy!

Tino:A6000 with Sony G 70-400 SSM ant Sony LA-EA2 testvideo at

Hounsell:Andrea, from the video you can see that this was done with Sony Gear A99 & A7, nice to see these cameras performing well under tough conditions:

David:Hi, I thought you could be interested in share my last timelapse in your web. It is a flowers blooming timelapse, hope you like it

Josh:Just wanted to share a little project we did using an A6000 and an A7. Camera’s worked great and the small size was really handy for some of the work.

Luke:Here’s a quick travel video that I shot with it along with some photos with my A7r I am very impressed that such a small camera can give such a good image. What I’d liked to find is to see if anyone has come up with a small 3 axis gimble for it yet?
I did kickstarter of on these Pop and Locks which looks promising for a super-small travel stabilizer (can’t wait to get mine).

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