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January 12, 2012
Posted in news, reviews

A77 SLT mirror light test (in Stock in USA, UK, Spain, Canada and Cina)

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“HIDDEN”. One of the first short films shot with the A77 by philipnashphotography.

So many SAR readers still haven’t got the A77. Here is a short list of stores having the A77 in Stock: Expansys USA (Click here), Jacobs UK (Click here), Sonystore Canada (ships next week), Redcoon Spain (Click here), Amazon Cina (Click here) and in two weeks at Sonystore USA (Click here).

Now back to A77 related news:
There is a real A77 mirror measurement made by a German A77 owner. He took an A77 mirror and did a scientific test on the transmission as function of wavelength. That should finally stop the speculations on how much light is lost. The test description is in German language:
http://www.sonyuserforum.de/forum/showpost.php?p=1270217&postcount=206 (Click here for a google english translation).
This table from the same thread might help to translate the result into F-stops.
http://www.sonyuserforum.de/forum/showpost.php?p=1262520&postcount=119
In short, the test proves how the permeability is around 72-76% and it has a very “harmonious” distribution. And the light loss is indeed 1/3 EV “only”.

Stuckincustoms (Click here) wrote a quite “different” view on Sony SLT technology by  (conspiracy theory included).

Mike Kobal (Click here) posted some A77 + Zeiss 24mm image samples: “There is no need to stop this lens down, already very sharp at f2 I found myself shooting in the range btw f2 to f6.3. This lens is pure awesomeness!

Zeiss 24mm for Alpha-mount (not for NEX!) is avaialble at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.

January 7, 2012
Posted in reviews

Short tutorial: Which third party lenses will work fine on NEX cameras (without lens cast issue).

Image from Photozone. Also the famous lens review website noticed the lens-cast issue on the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 ZM.

A week ago I got my NEX-7 and I am going to use third party lenses on it (by using appropriate adapters). But is it really so easy and flawless to use whatever lens you want on your NEX?

There are is one fundamental thing you have to watch out before to chose your lens. The “lens-cast” issue which creates color shift (mostly cyan shift) in the corners of your image. That problem appears or is stronger under following conditions:
1) Lenses with symmetrical design are not optimized for digital sensors, while lenses with tele-centric design do work well.
2) Wide angle lenses do accentuate the problem.
3) Problem gets worse on bigger sensor. Leica M9 shows more color shifting than the NEX-5n.
4) Problem gets more visible on cameras with smaller pixels. The NEX-5n has less problem with lens cast than the NEX-7.

Example: The Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 M-mount lens (Click here to see it on ebay) does a wonderful job on film cameras but isn’t that good on the NEX-5n and completely sucks on the NEX-7. This because it has a symmetrical design and extreme wide angle. Does it mean you cannot use it on your NEX? There is a solution: The problem can be fixed with the use of the CornerFix software (there are both Windows and Mac OS X versions). It can correct Sony RAW files and transforms them in DNG files.

But if you like me don’t have time to convert every single file than you have to really watch out for the design of the lens you want.An alternative for the Voigtländer is the Zeiss 18mm f/4.0 lens (Click here to see it on ebay). Unlike the Voigtländer it has a tele-centric optical design. Those lenses are usually bigger than symmetrical lenses. That’s why the Zeiss is still bigger even if it has more or less the same aperture of the Voigländer.

In general wide angle Voigtländer lenses, Zeiss ZM Biogon lenses, Older Leica lenses come with symmetrical design. All new Leica lenses, most medium and tele lenses and soem Zeiss ZM lenses will work fine. With the help of our readers I will now collect info about a huge variety of lenses you could use on your NEX. It should become a sort of general guide to see how good a lens works on NEX cameras. I will post 1-2 guides per week starting from the next week.

To read more about the problem read that short text at LL (Click here), the guide at Digitalhapeman (Click here) and an M-mount index at Ken Rockwell (Click here).

January 5, 2012
Posted in reviews

Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 lens reviewed by Kurtmunger.

We didn’t talk a lot about the new A-mount 16-50mm f/2.8 lens. So let’s take a deep look at the lens by reading the latest review from our friend Kurt Munger (Click here). He tested the lens on the probably last ever made Sony DSRL with optical viewfinder…the A580. He posted many interesting detailed test about the lens. I am not going to disclose here all his findings but in short he writes: “Probably the best quality of this lens is the nice contrast and resolution at F/2.8-4.  In fact, there isn’t a reason to stop it down further if sharpness is your main concern, depth of field of course is another matter.  Low-light hand-held shooters will love this lens.  Other nice optical qualities include low light fall-off, no coma, and manageable distortion at longer focal lengths“.

Good work Sony….we now need more of these kind of new high quality lenses!

While Sony has hard times to ship the A77+16-50mm lens kit it’s a bit easier to find the A77 body and lens in Stock as separate items. The lens is in Stock almost everywhere:
In USA-Canada at Amazon, Sonystore, Adorama, BHphoto, and Sony CA (Click on shop names to visit the lens search page)
In Europe at Amazon DE, Sony DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Sony FR, Sony NL and Sony IT.
In Asia at Digitalrev and Amazon JP.

Of course this is a limited list of stores I check almost daily. Can’t really check every little store of the world :) Feel free to complete the list by adding your links to the comment section!

January 4, 2012
Posted in reviews

The NEX-7 gets an “Essential” stamp at Photographyblog.

One of my favorite websites Photographyblog (Click here) reviewed the NEX-7. Is it a surprise that they like they camera? Certainly not but you don’t see often a camera getting the “Essential” mark like it happened today with the NEX-7: “The combination of an excellent built-in viewfinder, handy pop-up flash, tiltable LCD screen and a high-resolution APS-C sensor, all in a light and compact body, simply can’t be beaten“. And I agree with them when they say that the real only flaw of the NEX-7 are the….missing good quality NEX lenses :)

More testes:
Soundimagesplus (Click here) red-did the NEX-7 vs A77 comparison using exactly the same lens on both cameras. The: “NEX-7 files are slightly softer, slightly less noisy and also slightly darker.
Some field test images by Outbackphoto (Click here).
And the German magazine Colorfoto (Click here) compared the NEX-7 with the GX1 and NX200. Easy to guess who won :)

In Stock….sorry…out of Stock status :)
I think most of you are now almost tired to read all those fantastic (for Sony) reviews. Most of you will still have to wait a couple of weeks or even months until you can get your NEX-7 camera. I am working behind the scenes to convince different online shops in Europe and USA to notify me in advance when they will receive the a stock of new cameras. As I said a couple of days ago preorder the body only and buy the lens separately to have more chances to grab one. The only problem is that if you want the all Black 18-55mm lens ships with the NEX-7 kit only (you cannot buy it separately).
Right now I didn’t find any store having the camera in Stock. There are some auctions on ebay but you have to perform two different kind of searches to find them all:
Ebay search for “NEX-7″ (Click here)
Ebay search for “Sony α (alpha) NEX-7″ (Click here). Yeah you will find more cameras here :)
Preorder search links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.

January 3, 2012
Posted in reviews

New NEX-7 news roundup and in Stock status!

I finally got a Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens for testing purpose only (don’t know if I will buy it at the end). I will soon post my first impression review on SAR. Meanwhile check these other news to learn more about the NEX-7:

Echenique (Click here) posted a NEX-7 first impression: “The Sony NEX-7 is a strange beast. As a Percy Jackson fan (and general mythology buff), I would call this a chimera rather than a camera. Its image size, image qualities, and file malleability encroach well into the low-end of medium format. Its sensor size, interchangeable lenses and bokeh characteristics plant it squarely in DSLR territory. Its body size and handling is definitely in the compact camera arena. So what is it? Well like the mythical chimera, its all of the above.

Canadianreviewer (Click here) also tested the NEX-7: “A true object of desire for photographers and the pinnacle of camera technology today, the NEX-7 is simply a game changer and the one device that might entice DLSR users to consider smaller bodies with similar features.

Really Right Stuff (Click here) announced new plates for the A77, NEX-5N, NEX-7.

NEX-7 in Stock status:
As I already told you it’s better to preorder the NEX-7 body only and by the Zeiss lens separately. The NEX-7+18-55mm or Zeiss kit will be shipped in late February only.
The NEX-7 is in Stock at Parkcameras UK (Click here) and on eBay sold by owners from Sweden (Click here), England (Click here) and Germany (Click here).
In USA you can find three cameras for sale on eBay (Click here). And that’s it :) Preorder the NEX-7 body at Adorama (Click here) and Bhphoto (Click here) if you want to get the camera as soon as possible (Amazon doesn’t accept preorders).

The Zeiss 24mm lens is in Stock in some stores. Click these search links to check for yourself: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.

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