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November 26, 2015
Posted in reviews

Dpreview: The Sony A7rII is the best camera of the year!

Bildschirmfoto 2015-11-26 um 06.53.23

Dpreview (Click here) just claimed the A7rII as best camera of the year in the over $2,000+ category!

The Sony a7R II wins this group for many reasons: it is arguably the most innovative, most improved, and houses the most features of any camera in this category. 399 PDAF points offer the largest frame coverage and truly challenge full-frame DSLR AF. We were in disbelief at the incredibly high AF hit rates we observed across multiple shoots, so we baselined the system against DSLRs in a slew of continuous AF tests to find that, sure enough, the a7R II challenges some of the best DSLRs, even in low light. Continuous Eye AF is a boon for candids of even moving subjects, and better-than-DSLR AF accuracy ensures critical focus for shallow depth-of-field applications. Many of these AF benefits disruptively carry over to 3rd party lenses when using electronic adapters, an industry first. 

A7rII store list:
In USA: at Amazon, BHphoto, AdoramaSonyStore US, FocusCamera, Uniquephoto.
In Europe at Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Wex UK and ParkCameras.
In Asia at Digitalrev, CameraPro.

Dpreview also posted that Video Field Test with Theron Humphrey and the Sony A7R II:

November 24, 2015
Posted in reviews

Loxia 21mm review by Ming Thein: “it is a little jewel of a lens, and built to last a lifetime”


Ming Thein reviewed the new Loxia 21mm f/2.8 FE lens. And the conclusions are quite favorable:

“it is already remarkably sharp in the center at maximum aperture, and taking into account some field curvature, the edges, too. By f5.6 it is very difficult to find fault with anywhere in the frame – longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration are very well controlled and there is little evidence of smearing in the corners. I wouldn’t call it apochromatic, but it’s really not far off. Colors are deep and saturated, and in the typical Zeiss manner, microcontrast simply pops.

The Zeiss has the level of clarity we have come to expect from their best lenses, and is a perfect partner for the whole philosophy of ‘smaller, lighter, no optical compromises’ – it is a little jewel of a lens, and built to last a lifetime. It takes filters, and is my choice when working stopped down on a tripod or if weight is a priority.”

Loxia 21mm FE lens at BHphoto (Click here) and Adorama (Click here). In Europe at WexUK (Click here).

November 24, 2015
Posted in reviews

RX1rII autofocus hands-on video test. Shipment starts tomorrow.

Federico (Thanks!) sent me the link to that video and wrote:

You should check the following link to a video of Sony’s launch event in Korea, where they allowed video recording of the PPT presentation, where local mkt figures clearly show some interesting data on growth and mkt share, they also show an MTF chart comparison between the fixed 35mm F2 lens on the new RX1Rmk2 vs. an equivalent Leica lens of the same specs, and more interestingly, between the 5:00 and 7:00 minute marks, a hands on demo of the improved AF, where the presenter not only demos how the hunting AF has been improved (he even performs a demo of the issue with the older RX1R), but also how the AF-C uses the 399 phase-detection points for face following.
They don’t demo the AF performance under dark conditions, which is really where I’d like to see it, but it’s pretty good nonetheless.
I recognize the girl from the face-following AF-C demo, she’s in the Mktg Dept. for Cyber-shot in Sony’s Global HQ in Tokyo.
It’d be great if one of your followers would translate the many interesting data on this video that’s in Korean…!!!

P.S.: Dpreview posted a set of RX1rII image samples.

The new RX1RII will ship tomorrow at Amazon US (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here) and Adorama (Click here).


November 22, 2015
Posted in reviews

A7II AF performance firmware 1.21 vs. 2.0. Metabones fix coming tomorrow.

A couple of days ago Sony released a major firmware upgrade for the A7II (Download for Windows / Mac). And here are a few early tests with the new firmware.

Raúl A. Sanjur González sent me this video (embedded on top) :

Nothing fancy. Just a comparison of AF speed between FW1.21 and F2.0 using the ILCE-7M2, LA-EA1 (APS-C) and SSM/SAM lenses (SAL50F14Z and SAL85F28 respectively). A77M2 is still ahead in terms of overall functionality (Tracking, performance, etc) but this is a very good option for Dual System users like me who keeps both A and E-mount cameras and lenses.

Some initial testing with adapted Canon lenses and two adapters on the Sony A7 II with Firmware 2.0 by Admiring Light:

I feel that the Firmware 2.0 truly makes many Canon lenses viable for everyday use on the Sony A7 II. You’re not going to get fully native speed and compatibility, but provided the lens works well with the adapter, you won’t be too far off in most cases. It’s a dramatic change for the better in using Canon lenses, and it opens up some options for the focal lengths that are lacking in the Sony FE lineup, or are too expensive to bother with. It really opens up the use of Canon lenses for everyday use on this camera and the A7R II, and vastly expands the available lenses that can be easily used with full autofocus capabilities.

On Monday Metabones will releasea new firmware to fix an issue with the A7II af performance (SonyAlphaForum).
Sony a7 II firmware 2.0 uncompressed Raw samples (Dpreview).
An Article Talking about a Major Omission to the Sony a7ii firmware upgrade (TheCameraProject).
A7ii review after 24 hours of installing Version 2.0 on Youtube.

Sony A7II store price check at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.

November 20, 2015
Posted in reviews

Sony E PZ 18-105mm gets tested at DxO: “good center sharpness throughout the whole zoom range”


DxOmark (Click here) tested the Sony PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS E-mount lens. And the surprise is that it is as good as the Zeiss 16-70mm lens:

It might not have the Zeiss badge, but the Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS has good center sharpness throughout the whole zoom range, and that includes the initial aperture where zooms like this are usually poor, and particularly so at the longer end of the range. The downside is that it’s not as well corrected in other areas as the Sony Zeiss E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS, with which it is often compared. It still wouldn’t be an easy choice, even taking into account the $400 premium for the Zeiss. However the longer reach of the Sony is attractive, and for video users especially, the power zoom option may just swing it.

Find the lens on Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.

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