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December 18, 2014
Posted in reviews

Atomos Shogun previews at EosHD and 3Dkraft.

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Atomos Shogun Introduction from Atomos Video on Vimeo.

Note for German readers: You have plenty of new Sony Blitzangebote today (check list at Dealsrunner).

The Atomos Shogun is finally shipping (in Germany at Redcoon in USA at BHphoto). If you own the A7s and want to record 4K this is the way to go. So let’s read the first previews:

EosHD (Click here) writes:

Something which I am very much looking forward to testing is the support for LUTs. When shooting S-LOG 2 on the A7S without the Shogun it is very difficult to get the correct exposure monitoring from the flat image. The Shogun will allow you to record in S-LOG but monitor in Rec 709 or with a LUT applied so you can see the final look of the footage whilst shooting. It’s a high end IPS panel as well so colour should be absolutely stunning on the display. Additionally Atomos offer a tool to calibrate the screen, with their Spyder device. Further useful features include a start / stop trigger so you can trigger recording on the Shogun the normal way with the camera’s video button, along with time code, WIFI remote control and optional CFast card adapter.

3Dkraft (click here) writes:

The hardware ist finished but the new “AtomOS6″ video operating system currently supports only a subset of the announced features:

Atomos assures to release the remaining features in a few weeks. The good news is that the most important feature – the 4K ProRes HDMI recording – is available right now in order to enable the full 4K recording performance of the Sony A7S.

December 17, 2014
Posted in reviews

New Voigtländer Heliar 40mm f/2.8 E-mount lens tested.

Voigt_Heliar_40_28_4_A

The most curious new E-mount lens got tested at DSLRmagazine (google translation here). It’s actually an M-mount lens designed specifically to be used on E-mount cameras with the VM-E close focus adapter. The reviewer findings are:

– Center resolution is very high
– Corner resolution is only “sufficient”
– It has surprisingly little chromatic aberrations
– The lens value is not the performance it delivers but the unique kind of image quality and small size.

There are some image samples posted on that DSLRmagazine page. And DC.Fever also tested the same lens on the new A7II.

The new Voigtländer Heliar 40mm 2.8 for FE cameras is in Stock in Germany on eBay (Click here) and Hong Kong on eBay (Click here). It’s also available for preorder at BHphoto (Click here) and CameraQueest (Click here).

December 13, 2014
Posted in reviews

News Sony A7II tests by Dennis Biela, Paul Gero and Allin Popescu.

Reminder: A7II now in Stock at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Sony US and Digitalrev.

Dennis Biela posted the video you see on top with the following comment:

Sony loaned me a production a7II camera for a upcoming photo shoot and in testing out the camera I found that it has a huge image buffer. If you shoot in jpg fine and use a fast SD card like Sony’s new high speed SDXC memory cards you will not fill the buffer to the limit and can shoot continuously at 5 frames per sec. all day. In the video I only stopped shooting so not to bore people. As to raw files they are different you can shoot up to 25ish images still a respectable amount. Another interesting fact is the camera does not have a high speed mode like the a77II meaning that you can shoot at 5 fps at what ever f-stop you want unlike some cameras where shooting at high speed means you shoot at the maximum lens opening. 5 fps is not extremely fast like 12 or 8 but with the fact that you can keep shooting for a long duration of images and the camera can track focus at this speed I feel its a big leap for the a7 class of mirrorless cameras.

Allin Popescu (Click here) wrote a very detailed A7II test with many samples and videos. His findings on the 5 axis system and autofocus are:

To conclude on the stabilisation subject, I must say that 5 axis IBIS in Sony a7II works best on wide to medium focal lengths, but looses its effectiveness while you go towards tele zone (over 135-180 mm and beyond). At those focals, any simple movement translates to long jumps over the image sensor, and it’s movement to compensate for it it’s limited to millimetres. That’s why, for tele lenses, the best system is the Optical Stabilisation.
I tell you that this new model behaves excellently at focusing, much better than it’s older brother, especially in low light.

Paul Gero (Click here) writes:

I have been testing this camera and as you can see from the photographs below being able to shoot handheld at 1/4 of a second with a 200mm focal length is pretty impressive.  As long as your subject is stable, then sharp photographs are now possible in what we jokingly referred to as the “Hail Mary” range of light (hold your breath, dig your elbows into your body and say a prayer before you shoot at a slow shutter speed shot — thank you Bill Allard for that description). 

——

USA/Canada A7II links:
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 A7II links:
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 A7II link:
Sony A7II at Sony Store Australia, Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.

December 12, 2014
Posted in reviews

First Loxia 35mm reviews by VeryBigLobo, The.me and BackGroundBlur!

loxia-35mm


The very first Stock of Loxia 35mm lens are now shipping in Germany (on eBay) and Japan (on eBay). It will ship soon at BHphoto. And here are the first three reviews of the new lens:

VeryBigLobo (Click here) writes:

Zeiss Loxia 35/2 is made of high quality light metal and glass. The only other material that can be found is a blue (company color) rubber sealing gasket ner the lens mount. While Zeiss Loxia is not claimed to be weather sealed, this little detail will certainly help keeping dust and moisture away from the electric contacts and sensor. Loxia looks impressive so far and that is exactly what I expected after brief hands-on Photokina 2014. It is maybe not the sharpest lens in absolute figures in the center, but it has rather flat focus field and brilliant control of chromatic aberration. (I’ll have to check for LoCA) Distortion is also negligible. Corners wide open are good enough and they will certainly improve with more distant subjects.

The.me (Click here) like the lens but also metnioned one limit of the lens:

What disappoints me is the way that even a slight inadvertent touch of the focusing ring will change where you have put it. It is not loose — remember it is a Zeiss, but I had hoped for more stiffness. This is crucial for a manual focus system that you do not constantly want to adjust. And working with only a left hand, which I’m forced to do, now requires a dexterity of acrobatic-like precision just to avoid the slightest change of focus.

BackGroundBlur (Click here) writes:

To be honest I was expecting the Sony to be a tad sharper than the Loxia. From my initial tests it seems to be the opposite by quite a large margin. Nailing focus is also much easier on the Loxia due to the correct focus scale / infinity stop. Combine that with the significant difference in bokeh, and it looks like I won’t be using the Sony 2.8/35 very much anymore. Don’t get me wrong, the Sony is a very good lens with excellent 3D pop, but the Loxia lives up to its full expectation and it indeed as spectacular as its 2/50 brother. 

Zeiss Loxia preorders:
Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens for Sony E Mount at BHphoto, Adorama, WexUK, CameraPro, Digitalrev.
Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* Lens for Sony E Mount at BHphoto, Adorama, WexUK, CameraPro.
Zeiss Lens Hood for Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens at BHphoto and Adorama.
Zeiss Lens Hood for Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* Lens at BHphoto and Adorama.
Zeiss 52mm Front Lens Cap for Touit and Loxia Lenses at BHphoto and Adorama.
Zeiss De-Click Key for Loxia Lenses (5-Piece Set) at BHphoto and Adorama.
Zeiss Rear Lens Cap for Loxia E-Mount Lenses at BHphoto and Adorama.

December 11, 2014
Posted in reviews

A7II hands-on by Pulitzer winner Brian Smith (Camera has better High ISO and better heat dissipation).

Reminder: A7II now in Stock at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Sony US and Digitalrev.

Brian Smith (Click here) wrote a detailed hands-on of the new A7II. He confirms that some third party lenses will get the 3 and not 5 axis stabilization:

Other lenses will receive 3-axis IS from the camera IBIS – but even 3-axis is one axis more than what’s available with almost any other image stabilization system. Lens-based image stabilization only controls Pitch and Yaw (with one exception – Canon’s “Hybrid IS” in their 100mm macro). With this exception (at least for now), Sony and Olympus 5-axis IBIS are the only IS systems that offer X/Y or Roll compensation.

Another yet untold detail is that one:

The 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Stabilization mechanism also moves a magnesium-alloy heat sink that’s attached behind the sensor. This helps dissipate heat when shooting long video clips of long continuous still bursts.

Also no more “Phantom ISO changes”:

A relatively small change – but a good one – is that the control wheel no longer adjusts ISO without first selecting activating that control.

and:

ony A7II uses the same 24.3mp sensor used in A7 but it with different image processing that promises better high-ISO noise reduction for in-camera jpegs.

One more hands-on at ChipChick and noise test at Focus Numerique.

USA/Canada A7II links:
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 A7II links:
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 A7II link:
Sony A7II at Sony Store Australia, Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.

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