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May 25, 2015
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Diglloyd tests the new Batis lenses and says the 85mm Sonnar “Rocks”!

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Diggloyd is the first photographer testing the new Zeiss Batis FE lenses. And his first impression is that he is…impressed :)

The Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar rocks. What a gorgeous lens (the Zeiss Batis 25/2 also). MUST HAVES for Sony shooters.

Short of Zeiss Otus you’re not going to do any better at 25mm and 85mm on Canon and/or Nikon. And the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 surely looks to be a better lens than the Zeiss ZF.2 25mm f/2 Distagon. Which raises a nagging question I’ve been wondering about for 2-3 years: when is Zeiss going to raise its wide-angle game in the DSLR arena?

A camera system depends on its lenses, and the Zeiss Batis line now solidly anchors the Sony mirrorless platform. Along with the Sony 28mm f/2 (more review coverage coming) and the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 and the prospect of a 50+ megapixel Sony A9, one wonders about Nikon and Canon and Fujifilm as distant runner ups in key markets like travel, landscape, wedding photography, etc. If only Sony would fix is dog excrement service and support.

It’s really amazing we have Zeiss 100% focused on the Sony FE system. With the Zeiss Batis and the Zeiss Loxia lens line we have some game changing options in for the Sony FE system. Now Sony it’s your turn to learn from the early FE camera faults and limits and improve them on the future A7 and A9 cameras! P.S.: And please, give us a proper bigger A9 soon!

Both Batis lenses are now available for preorder in USA and Europe (UK/Germany)
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens in US at Adorama, Bhphoto. In Eu at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 lens at Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.
In Europe and Asia the Loxias can be found in Stock via eBay sellers (Click here) and Digitalrev (Click here).

May 24, 2015
Posted in reviews

New Sony A7s ISO Sensitivity Test by BananaManaTV.

That new ISO test shows once again the impressive low light performance of the A7s!

Sony A7s store links:
Sony A7s in USA/CA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, Sony USA, Sony Canada.
Sony A7s in Eu at Sony DE, UK, ES, FR, IT, NL, BE, AT, CH, SE, NO, FI, PL. And Wex UK.
A7s Gariz leather case in Black (Click here), Brown (Click here), Red (Click here) and Orange (Click here).

May 23, 2015
Posted in reviews

Full FS7 review by Philip Bloom .

This is an almost one hour-long FS7 review by famous cameraman Philip Bloom. The FS7 E-mount is a yet unmatched camera in that price category. Watch the video!

FS7 store links:
Sony PXW-FS7 body only at BHphoto, Adorama and Amazon.
Sony PXW-FS7 with 28-135mm lens at BHphoto.
Sony VCT-FS7 Lightweight Rod Support System for PXW-FS7 at BHphoto.
28-135mm at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.
28-135mm powerzoom in Europe at Sony DE, UK, ES, IT, FR, CH, AT, NL, BE, FI, SE, NO, PT.
Sony 128GB XQD Memory Card G Series 400MB/s at Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 64GB XQD Memory Card G Series 400MB/s at Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 32GB XQD Memory Card G Series 400MB/s at Adorama and BHphoto.

May 17, 2015
Posted in reviews

Mark Galer finds faults in Tony’s Northup “Pixel Density vs Noise” test.

On that Youtube video (Click here) Tony Northrup claims that there is actually almost no noise performance difference on still images between the A7s and D810 (once you downsize the D810 images). Mark Galer spotted some “problems” with Tony’s test:

In response to Tony’s Northup “Pixel Density vs Noise” test.

There are a couple of problems with Tony’s argument. He is basing most of his judgement on a photograph of a white wall at ISO 6,400. The highlights of an image are more of an even playing field. The problematic area for noise in our digital images is to be found in the shadows and not the highlights. The test ISO has been capped at ISO 6,400 and the A7S low-light performance really becomes noticeable when the ISO is raised beyond ISO 6,400. 12,800 is the maximum ISO for the Nikon D810 (without artificially pushing it) and 25,600 is the maximum ISO for the A7m2 and A7R.

I would like to quote Ian Norman from the Lonely Speck website: “The sensor on the a7S is relatively ISOless between ISO 3200 and 51200. This means that for any given shutter speed and aperture setting, changing the ISO between these values shouldn’t change the relative level of noise in the image.”

http://www.lonelyspeck.com/sony-a7s-astrophotography-review/

This means that the A7S has two full stops more light collecting potential compared to the Nikon D810 for recording information in extremely low levels of ambient illumination, whilst holding onto the same levels of noise that is present in the files produced by the Nikon D810. I am not sure why Tony forget to mention this in his 22-minute video – but I can see why some people would begin to question his motive or expertise in making this assessment. This is a failure to recognise a significant leap in sensor development – and as Tony pointed out, the Video comparison at ISO 51,200 is profound – but Tony dismisses the A7S advantage as ‘in-camera software processing’ – truly bizarre.

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Click on image to see the full set of comparisons from Mark Galer.

Here is a link to the gallery of sample images.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/markgaler/sets/72157652903515692

This is a ‘real world’ test. No white wall and ISO values above and beyond the maximum setting capable by the Nikon D810.
I ‘exposed to the right’ and processed each file using the same settings in Adobe Lightroom. Noise reduction was switched off in camera. White balance was adjusted slightly to render the same colour for the pairs of files and a moderate amount of sharpening and noise reduction applied (+40 & +40).
The A7R stacks up well in these conditions (especially when expositing to the right) but the A7S still shows a clear advantage in additional detail and with less noise when the files from both cameras are exported as 4K files. The A7S still has a stop up its sleeve with noise at 51,200 not climbing above that being recorded at 25,600 although the low light conditions did not require any higher ISO values.

You can also discuss the matter on Mark Galer’s SonyA7 Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlphaA7/

Sony A7s store links:
Sony A7s in USA/CA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, Sony USA, Sony Canada.
Sony A7s in Eu at Sony DE, UK, ES, FR, IT, NL, BE, AT, CH, SE, NO, FI, PL. And Wex UK.
A7s Gariz leather case in Black (Click here), Brown (Click here), Red (Click here) and Orange (Click here).

May 17, 2015
Posted in reviews

A6000 with 500mm & 850mm telephoto (Guest post by Barry Wells).

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The following review is a guest post by Barry Wells. It has been first posted on SonyAlphaForum. Test with the Kowa 500mm (here on eBay) and Kowa 850mm (here on eBay) lenses.
Read the rest of this entry →

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