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December 11, 2014
Posted in news

Sony TidBits…

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Sony A7s vs GH4 vs C100 vs 5D Mark III (!!!) – Camera Shootout – Part III – Low Light / High ISO

First Sheepcam at Tour de France with SONY’s Actioncam (ActionCameraRumors).
Preview article on the A7ii by MyPhotoJourney.
A5100 review at ThePhoBlographer.
5 axis will not solve the shutter vibration problem (Diglloyd).
Lady of Shalott shoot BTS (Sony A7S up to ISO 409,600) Vimeo.
Sony A7R in “not weatherproof” shock (Tobinators).
Sony FE 70-200 mm f/4 G : notre test (Focus Numerique).

Jorge Torralba:t’s that time of the year again. The 2014 ZeissImages.com contest has officially begun.
Just like the previous contests we have hosted, A big thanks to Richard Schleuning of Carl Zeiss, Camera Lens Division for providing the winning prize once again. This time the winner can choose one lens from the following list.

Distagon 2/28 ZE or ZF.2
Distagon 2/35 ZE or ZF.2
Planar 1.4/50 ZE or ZF.2
Planar 1.4/85 ZE or ZF.2
Makro-Planar 2/50 ZE or ZF.2
Touit 2.8/12 E or X
Touit 1.8/32 E or X
Touit 2.8/50M E or X
Loxia 2/50 E
Loxia 2/35 E

This year’s theme will be “In the Open”. This could be any subject photographed outdoors where the surroundings blend well with the main subject and contribute to the overall image. For example, a nice landscape where the overall scene is the main subject, a cow grazing on a field where the surroundings make the cow seem interesting rather than boring, a portrait where bokeh from the surroundings enhance the subject, a fire fighter surrounded by a blazing building. Being captivated by the image is what we want.
Try and avoid portraits where you are only drawn to the main subject and ignore the rest of the frame. Avoid macro work and the proverbial cornucopias. Avoid heavy post processing that makes a photo look unnatural.
I think you get the picture now  The objective is to maximize use of the entire frame and captivate the viewer.
You are allowed three entries under the category 2014 – Contest. This time, the contest is open to Zeiss users and non- Zeiss users as well. This will give all photographers a chance to own a coveted Zeiss lens. The only catch is that whatever camera you use must accept a Zeiss lens.
The contest will close on Dec 31, 2014 23:59:59 GMT and the judges will include staff members of Popflash Photo and ZeissImages.com

December 10, 2014
Posted in news

(UPDATE: now sold out) Sony A7II for the first time in Stock at Sony US!

Bildschirmfoto 2014-12-10 um 21.15.05

The brand new 5 axis Sony A7II E-mount camera is in Stock for the first time at Sony Store US (Click here to grab it). UPDATE: Now already sold out.

And SAR readers told me that their A7II preorder at BestBuy and BHphoto shipped today (or yesterday). Good to hear there is no delay and you should all expect to get the camera before Christmas. It’ will be much closer for European preorders because their shipping date is expected to be December 17/18!

USA/Canada preorders:
Sony Alpha a7II (Body Only) for $1,698 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, SonyStore and Sony Store Canada.
Sony Alpha a7II with FE 28-70mm OSS Lens for $1,998 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, SonyStore.
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens for $1,148 at BHphoto.

EU preorders:
Sony Alpha a7II (Body Only) for 1.799 Euro at Sony Germany, Sony UK, Jessops UK, Sony France, Sony Italy, Sony Spain, Sony Austria, Sony Switzerland, Sony Netherland, Sony Belgium, Sony Portugal, Sony Sweden, Sony Finland, Sony Norway.
Sony Alpha a7II with FE 28-70mm OSS Lens for 2.099 Euro at Amazon Germany, Wex UK, Jessops UK, Verkkokauppa.

Asian/Australia preorders:
Sony A7II at Sony Store Australia and Amazon Japan.

December 10, 2014
Posted in news

Sony took inspiration from anti-seismic Japanese buildings to make the A7II 5 axis system!

stabilisateur_alpha7ii
The A7II 5 axis mechanism in pieces. Image courtesy: Lesnumeriques.

Reminder: A7II will ship tomorrow in USA. Preorder it here at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, SonyStore.

Lesnumerqiues has been told by Sony engineers how the Sony A7II fixe axis system works. It’s 100% confirmed that lenses with no electronic contact to the A7II will get the 3 axis and not the full 5 axis stabilization.

Sony also explained to Lesnumerique that the Olympus E-m1 5 axis system is not powerful and precise enough for a 4 times larger sensor. The Olympus version has a mechanical spring which “loses its elasticity with age”. Sony’s solution uses coils and magnets which also have the advantage that it uses less energy and is also very quite than the Olympus version (note that Olympus E-M1 stabilization is quite noisy).

In detail Sony’s A7II stabilization mechanism uses three coils and magnets points (in red on the image above) and a ball bearing system (in green on the image above) which is directly inspired by anti-seismic protection devices used on many buildings in Japan! There is no image of the ball bearing system so here is one of those used by the buildings:

Bildschirmfoto 2014-12-09 um 18.23.49

Source mceer.buffalo.edu

I think it gives us a very clear idea of how it works! Now wondering what else those crazy genius Sony engineers have in their mind for the future! Great job guys!

One more thing: Mark Galer extended his 5 axis stabilization how to videos:

USA/Canada preorders:
Sony Alpha a7II (Body Only) for $1,698 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, SonyStore and Sony Store Canada.
Sony Alpha a7II with FE 28-70mm OSS Lens for $1,998 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, SonyStore.
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens for $1,148 at BHphoto.

EU preorders:
Sony Alpha a7II (Body Only) for 1.799 Euro at Sony Germany, Sony UK, Jessops UK, Sony France, Sony Italy, Sony Spain, Sony Austria, Sony Switzerland, Sony Netherland, Sony Belgium, Sony Portugal, Sony Sweden, Sony Finland, Sony Norway.
Sony Alpha a7II with FE 28-70mm OSS Lens for 2.099 Euro at Amazon Germany, Wex UK, Jessops UK, Verkkokauppa.

Asian/Australia preorders:
Sony A7II at Sony Store Australia and Amazon Japan.

December 10, 2014
Posted in news

Sony China already lists the (super!) new A77II firmware update!

Bildschirmfoto 2014-12-10 um 10.14.38

 

Sony China already has the new A77II 2.0 firmware update on their site! And as you know this is a quite important upgrade because it adds XAVC-S recording! It also speeds up the autofocus performance (up to 2.5 times faster with the 16-50mm f/2.8 lens).

I haven’t found the firmware on other EU/US Sony sites yet. Let us know if you find them!

Sony A77II firmware page can be found here: Sony USA, Sony Australia, Sony Germany, Sony UK, Sony France, Sony Italy, Sony Spain, Sony Portugal, Sony Netherland, Sony Belgium, Sony Switzerland, Sony Austria, Sony Sweden, Sony Norway, Sony Finland.

December 10, 2014
Posted in news

New Circular Fisheye 5.8mm f/3.5 Lensbaby for A and E-mount cameras.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-11-25 um 14.38.30

There is a new A and E-mount version of the Lensbaby Circular Fisheye 5.8mm f/3.5 lens. That’s the kind of picture you take with it:

lens_baby

 

This is the full press text:

Lensbaby Circular Fisheye Lens 185-Degree View Sets New Standard for Creative-Effects Photographers/ Now Available in New Mounts for DSLRS

PORTLAND, OR–(Marketwired – Nov 24, 2014) – Lensbaby, providing lenses to creative-effects photographers that ignite their creativity and expand their unique visions of the world, today announced the availability of new mounts for the 5.8mm 185 degree Circular Fisheye lens. The company now offers the lens in Sony A and E, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, Pentax K, Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. Launched to rave reviews in April, extreme sports photographers and Google Sphere shooters are among the growing number of serious hobbyists with crop sensor cameras bringing new life to wide angle shots using this unique lens.

Digital Trends noted that with the incredible 185-degree view, the Circular Fisheye lens is able to look slightly behind itself. The reviewer concluded that the lens creates a perfectly circular image with a spectacular panoramic view. Popular Photography also noted the extremely wide field of view as well as a reflective internal barrel, which produces interesting reflections, flares, and light spills in a halo around the main image.

Media Photo Gallery
http://lensbaby.com/cfe

The Circular Fisheye is great for capturing the scale of endless landscapes and big events, fun self-portraits, quirky shots of pets or friends, creating extreme perspective, and experimenting with unique lens flare. This manual lens has built-in aperture control ranging from f/3.5-22 and features an ultra-wide 5.8mm focal length. It is capable of capturing a 185 degree angle of view and focusing from 1/4 inch in front of the lens to infinity. That extreme close-focus paired with the incredibly wide 5.8mm focal length produces other-worldly distortion with exceptional sharpness throughout.

“Serious hobbyists and professional photographers need innovative photography products to stand out from the crowd, to be different and unique, to create something imagined,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer. “The Circular Fisheye furthers our mission to lead the market in developing innovative new products. We’re looking forward to being blown away by what photographers create with the most versatile fisheye lens ever made.”

Circular Fisheye lens
Specs and Features

5.8mm focal length
185º angle of view
f/3.5-22
Focus type: Manual
Polished internal barrel for creative flare & reflection outside the image circle
Focus distance scale & hyperfocal scale to aid in focusing
Available for Sony A and E, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, Pentax K, Canon EF and Nikon F camera mounts
Size/Weight: 2.75″ (7cm) high x 3″ (7.6cm) wide / 10.5oz (298g)

Pricing
Circular Fisheye retails for $299.95 (MSRP). The lenses will be available in all mounts listed above beginning 11/28/14 through Lensbaby.com, B&H, Adorama and Amazon, and from select photo specialty stores worldwide.

About Lensbaby
For a decade, creative-effects photographers have relied on Portland, Oregon based Lensbaby to provide lenses that ignite their creativity and highlight their unique personalities. The company’s latest innovations transform a smartphone camera- LM-10 Sweet Spot lens, expand the Lensbaby ecosystem for optic swap-Sweet 50, and bring new life to wide angle shots for extreme sports photographers and Google Sphere shooters- Circular Fisheye. Lensbaby products are sold and distributed worldwide. Visit www.lensbaby.com

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