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August 26, 2015
Posted in deals, reviews

Sony A7rII in Stock in some US/EU/Asia stores. Shawn C. Steiner: “Sony has released a truly impressive camera”.

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A7rIIfocuscamera

The A7rII is now finally in Stock in many more stores:
In USA at FocusCamera (Click here), Microsearch, KenmoreCamera.
In Europe at FotoMundus.
In Asia/Australia at Digitalrev.

New A7rII reviews:

Shawn C. Steiner at Explora (Click here):

It is important to note that even though I did encounter a variety of small issues, the image quality makes many of these just not worth worrying about, and I would have no problem recommending this camera to most people. The only reservation I would have is with photographers who solely shoot in a studio, as a full-sized DSLR with proper ports, a more balanced build, and an optical viewfinder may benefit them, as the weight-savings of the mirrorless design doesn’t really matter too much.
In the end, Sony has released a truly impressive camera, and one that I expect to find at or near the top of many “Best Cameras of 2015” lists at the end of this year.

Also Admiringlight posted his full A7rII review:

Overall, despite the few shortcomings, the A7R II is well worth its asking price.  It’s not going to replace a main body for many event or sports shooters, but most everyone else will be quite pleased with what Sony has put in this camera. Landscape photographers especially will love the wide dynamic range and exceptional detail. While it’s not perfectly executed, the Sony A7R II is currently the best mirrorless camera on the market.  If you can swing the price of the camera and the price of the outstanding glass needed to fully realize its potential, it’s well worth a look for the serious shooter.

3D-Kraft posted another Sony A7RII Aerial report. Video can be seen o Vimeo and Youtube.

ThisWeekInPhoto video interview with Gordon Laing (main talk about the A7rII):

A7rII preorder list:
In USA: at Amazon, BHphoto, AdoramaSonyStore US, FocusCamera, Uniquephoto.
In Europe at Sony DEUK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
In Asia at Digitalrev, CameraPro.

A7rII case:
Gariz leather case in Black (Click here), Camel (Click here), Orange (Click here), Brown (Click here) and Red (Click here). Also available on Amazon US (Click here).
Gariz Alcantara case in Black (Click here) and Red (Click here). Also available on Amazon US (Click here).
Lim’s case in Black (Click here), Brown (Click here), Red (Click here), Yellow (Click here), Navy Blue (Click here) and Khaki (Click here). Also available on Amazon US (Click here).

August 26, 2015
Posted in reviews

Ming Thein dislikes the A7rII: “something designed for anoraks by anoraks, not a camera.”

Bildschirmfoto 2015-08-26 um 09.32.08

As we all know reviewers are all different and it’s quite normal to see how everyone sees a camera differently. For some the A7rII focus is excellent (read Dpreview) and for some it is not. For some the image quality is astonishing (and do not care about 12 or 14 bit RAW) and for some not because they know that in 0,1% of the pictures the lossless RAW compression shows posterization artifacts :)
We read a lot of good things about the A7rII but it’s now time to share a review from Ming Thein who dislikes many things on the camera…but at the end bought it anyway :) Here are just some of the negative A7rII points he mentioned in his review:

1) I have used all of the A7 series cameras except the A7S, and previously reviewed the A7R and A7II in detail. Each of these cameras suffered from significant shortcomings, and the A7RII is no different – though perhaps it has the fewest so far.

2) The menu system is typical Sony. It is passable to those familiar, and completely unintuitive to those who aren’t.

3) Operationally, this does not feel like a fast camera. Every action seems slightly delayed, as though damped in oil. Power on is slow. Reviewing images and zooming in is laggy

4) AF with normal E-mount lenses is not exactly speedy – just the right side of acceptable most of the time, but in even slightly backlit situations, be prepared to wait – and get a lot of false positives.

5) No matter how many times I profile the camera or what I do with the primary curves or HSL defaults in ACR, there’s some muddiness and color indistinction going on in the shadows if you want to extract the most dynamic range from it; on the other hand, if you want clean shadows, you’re going to be faced with fairly early clipping.

6) IBIS unfortunately also complicates the matter of sensor cleaning greatly – though there’s a function which basically shakes the thing using brute force, I’ve already got stubborn dust spots on mine that cannot be dislodged with blower or shaker.

Conclusion:

Sadly, the A7RII is not a camera that gives me any pleasure to shoot at the moment, and it bothers me that I cannot put my finger on exactly why. Logically, it ticks all the boxes. Yet it does not inspire goad you on, like the Leica Q, nor does it feel solidly dependable and razor sharp like the D810. It may well be unfamiliarity or a bad choice of custom key configuration on my part, but I suspect that isn’t entirely it. It just feels like a consumer electronic device in operation, something designed for anoraks by anoraks, not a camera.

As usual please don’t be a Sony fanboy. If you feel Ming Thein is NOT right on some points simply argument with reasonable logic. To be 100% fair Ming also listed some positives about the camera on his full review and at the end bought the camera for his personal use.

Personal view:  I do understand some of Ming Thein complains. And I am happy when reviewers highlight the limits of the camera and do hope Sony will take note of it. That said I always see the cameras as a whole package and for me the positives by far outweight the negatives. I have the camera since one week and in my real life use I found it excellent! If you want to see an A7rII review that really reflects my view of the A7rII watch the video review from Luminous Landscape.

August 26, 2015
Posted in reviews

First Nikon G to Sony E-mount autofocus adapter hands-on video by Matt Granger!


Nikon F to Sony E Adapter – with Autofocus & Stabilisation

Our friend Matt Granger (website here) posted the world’s first hands-on review of the Nikon G to Sony E-mount autofocus adapter. Please keep in mind that what you see here is a prototype and has no PDAF support which will be added soon too. So yes, autofocus sucks for now, but it’s a start. I am sure the final version will be much faster and maybe in a year or so we will have very useable ones. A good news for those folks owning a lot of Nikon glass!

The adapter will be sold by end of this year by Commlite on eBay (Click here). The same company alreayd makes a “decent” electronic AF adapter for Canon EF lenses on Sony E-mount (Click here).

August 25, 2015
Posted in reviews

Zeiss: “request for the new BATIS lenses is much higher than the production capacities”

Batis85mm

As you know it’s still almost impossible to find a Zeiss Batis Lens in Stock somewhere. There are a few in Stock on eBay Japan (worldwide shipment) and with 2 weeks shipment at Digitalrev. That’s it. A couple of SAR readers contacted Zeiss and got the answer that the request of Batis lenses is much higher than the production. So we will have to wait some more time before everyone can get their preorder fulfilled.

In the meantime check out those new reviews:


Michael Reichmann and Kevin Raber share their thoughts on the Zeiss Batis Lenses

Luminous Landscape writes:

I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to recommend the Batis lenses, but I would say that as a photographer using the Sony camera line you have choices and those choices should be factored in when determining which lens you need. For me, I will order the 25mm Batis lens as soon as possible. The 85mm lens can wait since I already have the 90mm Sony Macro lens. As I mentioned, I have a number of primes already, but I lust after the 55mm Sony 1.8 lens which is one of the sharpest lenses on the market. I am curious to see what Zeiss Batis lens comes next. A 135mm, 50-50mm and a 200mm would be on my wish list. What’s on yours?

Sony A7RII/ Batis 25mm , Batis 85mm and Sony 35mm 1.4 System Tests at Getdpi.com.

Batis store links:
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.

August 24, 2015
Posted in reviews

Dpreview: “A7rII has posterization artifacts in certain conditions”.

A7rII_amazon

Note: The A7rII waiting list is getting shorter. If you order the A7rII now at Amazon (Click here) you will have to wait 2-5 weeks to get it.

Dpreview just posted an article about the ISO behaviour of the A7rII. While the state that the A7rII has a very high dynamic range they also complain about the lossy Raw files showing some posterization artifacts in certain conditions:

With the a7R II, Sony continues the tradition of lossy Raw files, with no option for lossless 14-bit Raw. This isn’t going to affect all your photographs, but it can rear its unsightly head at high contrast boundaries of pushed files. The area around the sign in the ISO 100 + 6EV and ISO 200 + 5EV shots have artifacts not present in the higher ISO shots. These posterization artifacts are due to Sony’s lossy compression, which you can read more about in Iliah Borg’s excellent study here.
We think this Raw compression is particularly a shame, especially when you consider how ISO-invariant this camera is otherwise. As you saw above, the pushed ISO 200 shot has very little additional noise compared to the ISO 6400 shot. This is because of the high dynamic range, and ISO-invariance, of the camera, which means that realistically you can save much of your image brightening for post-processing as opposed to increasing your ISO setting in-camera. However, you’ll be limited in your ability to do so because of Raw compression, essentially meaning the camera isn’t as ISO-invariant as it could be.

I am 100% sure Sony will release a firmware update to allow current A7 owners to shoot real 14 bit RAW. The pressure on Sony is too high to not bring this feature.

One more interesting note: DearSusans actually claims the Sony RAW files on the A7rII are “tweaked”. They shoot stars with the A7r and A7rII and noticed a clear improvement on the A7rIi files:

Doing so with files from the A7r produces square artifacts around stars, as seen above. The same intermediate processing on A7rII files did nothing of the kind. Now, this is not to say lossy compression is ideal or perfect. And, if it adds significantly to the already improved image quality, we’re all for lossless RAW compression, here at DS. But something already has changed and, apparently, in the right direction.

Give us 14 bit Sony, we on SAR want to get the best out of our great Sony sensors! P.S.: My personal request…add 64 ISO too :)

A7rII preorder list:
In USA: at Amazon, BHphoto, AdoramaSonyStore US, FocusCamera, Uniquephoto.
In Europe at Sony DEUK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
In Asia at Digitalrev, CameraPro.

A7rII case:
Gariz leather case in Black (Click here), Camel (Click here), Orange (Click here), Brown (Click here) and Red (Click here). Also available on Amazon US (Click here).
Gariz Alcantara case in Black (Click here) and Red (Click here). Also available on Amazon US (Click here).
Lim’s case in Black (Click here), Brown (Click here), Red (Click here), Yellow (Click here), Navy Blue (Click here) and Khaki (Click here). Also available on Amazon US (Click here).

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