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November 15, 2015
Posted in reviews

A Sony Menu Redesign suggestion by Per Kylberg.

SAR reader Per Kylberg sent me this:

Many complain about Sony menu system and user interface. In my professional work with virtual systems, the thing that differentiates between a success implementation is the usability. Easy to learn and use UI equals not only happy users, management see lead time go down and quality up and thus are happy too.
Below is my idea about a more logical, photographer perspective, menu system. It would be interesting to see how a discussion and proposals from SAR community can improve this starting point menu organisation!

Complain and propose!

As with most camera manufacturers, Sony rightfully are critizised for the camera user interface and in particular for the menues. At the presentation of the A7Rmk2 a Sony official was asked about the UI and menues. The reply was (as I remeber): ”Menues are up to the engineers to decide”.
Engineers are very good at product development, yes. But they are not experts in using the products! Being in technical documentation and managing virtual systems (in automotive) for 40+ years, I have plenty knowledge from both sides of the matter. Engineers are great! They develop excellent cameras with great functionality! But the user interface should be developed by experts in UI and usage.
The reason for this is that engineers, naturally, think ”inside – out”. UI needs be developed ”outside – in! By UI experts
”Outside” are we: the photographers.

As – is analyse
The A7 cameras have about 17 outside physical controls. Nikon D8xx have 32 of them if I remember right.
In the menu structure the A7 has:
– 6 main menues
– 28 no-name sub menues
– 153 execution commands
Where is the logic in this hierarchical build? What is for instance the difference between ”Camera settings” and ”Custom settings”? And why no-name menues? There are 22 execution commands concerning focusing, spread out in 10 different no-name submenues under two different main menues. Why?

”Maybe To-be” alternative A – hierarchial structure
To reach execution commands, there should be no time/energy consuming search. The structure must have an easy to understand and remember structure. There must be a clear logic based on how photographers think. This should a core issue for Sony.
Below is my discussion proposal consisting:
12 Main menues
14 Named sub menues
153 execution commands

Photo/video setup
image quality mode and setting Shutter Flash Display
-image size Drive mode E-front curt Shutter Flash mode Grid line
-aspect ratio Auto Mode Silent shooting Flash comp Live view display
RAW/JPG Format) Scene select Auto slow shutter Red eye redux Auto review
Long exposure NR Reset EV comp Finder/Monitor
High ISO NR Bracket settings
Color space Zoom setting
Steady shot
Steady shot settings
Ten last used
My menu
JPG unique
Panorama size S Auto img extract
Panorama direction Soft skin detect
Creative style Auto object framing
Picture effect
Picture style
General AF MF
Focus mode Center lock-on AF MF assist
Focus area Smile face detect Peaking color
Focus settings Eye start aF Peaking level
AF illum Priority set in AF-S Focus magnify time
AF drive speed Priority set in AF-C Focus magnifier
AF track sens AF system
Disp cont Af area Per AF
Phase detect area Face registration
ISO and metering
Exposure comp Zebra
Exposure step Exp,comp,set
ISO auto
Metering mode
White bal
Video unique
File format Marker display 4K output sel
record setting Marker settings
dual video record Video light mode
Movie HDMI settings
Sound unique
Audio record
Audio record level
Audio out timing
Wind noise redux
Audio level display
Memory Function menu set Movie button
Memory recall Custom key set Dial/wheel lock
Disp button My menu set
AEL with shutter Dial setup
AF with shutter Dial EV comp
Finder/monitor Zoom ring rotate
Wireless and apps
Send smartphone WPS push App list
Send Computer Edit device name Introduction
View on TV DMAC address
Airplane mode Reset network set
Camera setup
Control Display Help Connect Manage
Volume settings Monitor brightness Demo mode Remote ctrl Copyright info
APS-C/Super 35mm Viewfinder brightness Exposure set guide USB conn Format (card)
Release w/o lens Finder color temp Mode dilal Guide USB power supply Select rec folder
Release w/o card Display quality NTSC/PAL select New folder
AF micro adj Display media info File name
Lens comp PWR save start time Recover image DB
Audio signals Version
Language Setting reset
Date/time setup Cleaning mode
Area setting TC/UB settings
View mode
Image index
Display rotation
Slide show
Enlarge image
Specify printing
Delete confirm

And what do you think?

November 14, 2015
Posted in reviews

Unboxing The Neewer Vertical Grip For Sony a6000 (Gary Fong).

Gary Fong made a video introduction to the Neewer Vertcial Grip for the Sony A6000. That grip can be bought at Amazon (Click here). The same company also makes the Neewer housing you can get on eBay (Click here).

A6000 grip alternatives:
Ownuser grip you can buy on eBay (Click here) or Amazon (Click here).
“Travor” A6000 battery grip on Alibaba (Click here).


November 14, 2015
Posted in reviews

New Loxia 21mm and Samyang 50mm f/1.2 lens tests.


ePhotozine tested the new Samyang 50mm f/1.2 lens on the Sony A6000:

Samyang are to be congratulated on a very interesting and relatively inexpensive lens. Sacrifices are made in terms of handling and convenience, but the results are there for the taking and with practice the success rate will definitely improve. An excellent lens for anyone who wants to work totally manually and is prepared to make the necessary effort. The reward will be some very fine images.

Rokinon 50mm f/1.2 Lens for APS-C E-mount at Amazon, BHphoto and Adorama.

DearSusans had a short Loxia 21mm hands-on test at Salon de La Photo:

Wow! Great detail, great sharpness, and absolutely not clinical! remarkable short-range performance. This lens puts paid to the theory that you can’t design a great wide angle that is small and light for the Sony A7.

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

November 13, 2015
Posted in reviews

Sony A7sII gets reviewed by Philip Bloom at BBC. Sony rooftop event with Tony Gale.


Let me catch up with some A7sII and A7rII news!

Tony Gale is presenting a RoofTop Sony event in New York (Twitter info here).
Filmmaking guru Philip Bloom tried out Sony’s latest low-light champion the a7s ii for the BBC. Watch the full video:
The secret of how to shoot with a 2/3 broadcast lens on the Sony a7R II in 4K (Newshhooter).
Completely Mobile with the A7rII by Spencer Pablo.
Sony A7R II Field Test Part II: Off to the Big Apple for some night-shooting fun! (Imaging Resource).
Sony a7S II vs. a7R II Test – Which One Is Right for You? (Cinema5D).
For the first time Amazon Germany is having both camera sin Stock: A7rII (Click here) and A7sII (Click here).

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.

A7sII store list:
In USA at Amazon, BHphoto, FocusCamera, Adorama.
In Europe/Asia at ParkCameras, WexUK, Jessops and Digitalrev.

November 13, 2015
Posted in reviews

Dpreview claims the Sony A6000 is the best Interchangeable Lens Camera within the $500-800 price range.

Bildschirmfoto 2015-11-12 um 21.01.59

Dpreview established the Sony A6000 as the best system camera within the $500-$800 price range:

“We really cannot say enough good things about the Sony a6000. Though we have it in the $500-800 category, due to its MRSP, it can often be acquired, body only, for closer to $500. And what does that get you? AF performance in line with the best in its class, great image quality, solid video quality/features with AF and no hunting, and a nice EVF, packed into a compact, enthusiast-friendly body.”

Probably that’s the reason why Sony didn’t hurry with the A6000 successor release. There is yet no real competition…

Sony A6000 store link list:
Sony A6000 at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, SonyStore. In Europe at Sony DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, AT, NL, BE, CH, FI, SE, PT, WexUK.
A6000 Gariz case on eBay in Black (Click here), Brown (Click here), Camel (Click here) and Red (Click here).

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