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March 19, 2014
Posted in reviews

First feedback on the A7-A7r firmware update improvements.


A first menu and on/off speed test after the upgrade

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The A7 and A7r firmware update is finally available. Startup time, autofocus and the quality of high ISO JPG images improved. I would greatly appreciate if someone can share an image quality comparison to see the difference. I am at work now and have no time to do a proper testing yet. Anyway, here are a couple of feedbacks from SAR readers:

UPDATE: Here is a video from Jason Perry (Instagram) showing an increased AF performance.

Rowland: “I just updated my a7, it looks like sony did a great job this time. The camera do turn on quicker(not much but quicker is better :P ), and it seems the autofoucs speed is also incresed. And for the image quality, I think the greatest change is high ISO performance, especially form 1600 to 6400, the noise is reduced and maintain more details, and the false color is reduced dramatically.”

Minipixels: “Awesome! Definitely some improvements to AF and start up time but I’m still uncertain where the “image quality improvements” are….has anybody done any in-depth comparisons??

Roy:A7r: Startup is now 1 sec..Much faster. AF seems faster now as i tested it with the same lens on the NEX6 and it used to be slower now it’s faster!
NEX6: my 2470Z and 55Z are both now supported byt he camera with OSS (2470) and PDAF. Previously wasn’t.. Overall, it’s an update that actually improved something..Let’s hope Sony keeps this up.

ArneStartup time reduced from about 4 seconds to 1. AF in challenging low contrast against backlight seems to be improved too.

Firmware download links:

A7R
Mac – Sony US, Sony Germany, Sony UK, Sony France, Sony Spain, Sony Italy, Sony Holland, Sony Belgium, Sony Austria, Sony Switzerland, Sony Finland, Sony Sweden, Sony Norway, Sony Portugal, Sony Australia
Windows – Sony US, Sony Germany, Sony UK, Sony France, Sony Spain, Sony Italy, Sony Holland, Sony Belgium, Sony Austria, Sony Switzerland, Sony Finland, Sony Sweden, Sony Norway, Sony Portugal, Sony Australia
A7
Mac – Sony US, Sony Germany, Sony UK, Sony France, Sony Spain, Sony Italy, Sony Holland, Sony Belgium, Sony Austria, Sony Switzerland, Sony Finland, Sony Sweden, Sony Norway, Sony Portugal, Sony Australia
Windows – Sony US, Sony Germany, Sony UK, Sony France, Sony Spain, Sony Italy, Sony Holland, Sony Belgium, Sony Austria, Sony Switzerland, Sony Finland, Sony Sweden, Sony Norway, Sony Portugal, Sony Australia
NEX5R
Mac – Sony US, Sony Australia
Windows – Sony US, Sony Australia
NEX5T
Mac – Sony US, Sony Australia
Windows – Sony US, Sony Australia
NEX6
Mac – Sony US, Sony Australia
Windows – Sony US, Sony Australia

March 16, 2014
Posted in deals, reviews

A5000 is now shipping in Asia and Europe. First reviews roundup!

With all the A6000 buzz we forgot there is another new Sony camera that is now starting to ship in Asia and Europe!

In Europe it in Stock at Sony DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, AT, NO, FI, SE, CH, PL and at non Sony stores like Redcoon DE, Amazon DE and Amazon UK.
In Asia it ships at Digitalrev (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
In USA it will ship soon at Amazon US (Click here), BHphoto (Click here) and at SonyStore US (Click here).

First A5000 test:
You can read full reviews of the camera at Trustedreviews and ePhotozine. And some mroe image samples at Photograpbyblog.

March 16, 2014
Posted in reviews

Test of the new Zeiss 24-70mm on the Sony A7R (Guest post by Dierk Topp)

The following is a guest post written by Dierk topp. Please contact me (Andrea) at sonyalpharumors@gmail.com if you want to write an article to be published on SAR. Thanks!

Test of the new Zeiss Vario-Tessar FE 4/24-79 ZA OSS on the Sony A7R

This is no professional test and was planed for my own judgment of the lens.  After looking at these images I hope, that we soon will get profiles included in the next Adobe Camera Raw!

Setup:
autofocus, tripod, horizontal control with  bubble level, IR remote control
LR 5.3 default development, export JPG 92%, sharpening for screen during export
OOC JPEG images with camera defaults (I never use JPEG out of the camera and did not adjust any settings)
focal lengths 24, 50 and 70mm, with f/4, f/5.6 and f/8
I found severe distortions in all focal lengths and apertures  in the RAW files. These distortions seem to be very good corrected in the camera JPEG with the effect, that you loose parts of the 100% image!
I added the OOC images with f/4 for these three focal lengths. EXIF is included in all images.

You find all test images in full resolution on my flickr album (Click here)
together with a set of the OSS test images, of course a complete individual result!

as example 50mm at f/4 from RAW

and OOC JPEG

P.S.: The new Zeiss 24-70mm is in Stock in USA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, SonystoreUS, and in Europe at Sony DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, SE, PT (Click on country name to see the lens site).

March 15, 2014
Posted in reviews

Full A6000 review at SLRclub.

The Korean site SLRclub posted the full A6000 review. As usual they do post the text as jpg. picture and that’s why there is no english translation. But it’s worth to check out the site to see their youtube autofocus tests and the many image samples they posted.

For portueges&brazilian friend: An A6000 unboxing in brazilian portuguese  on youtube :)

Sony A6000 preorder list with US and Europe links:
Sony A6000 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama, BHphoto (Click here), SonyStore (Click here). In Europe at Sony DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, AT, NL, BE, CH, FI, SE, PT, WexUK.
Silver A6000 at WexUK (Click here).
Sony A6000 with lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama, BHphoto (Click here), SonyStore (Click here)Sony Canada (Click here), WexUK (Click here).
Silver A6000 with lens at WexUK (Click here).
Sony 70-200mm FE at Amazon (CLick here), BHphoto (Click here), SonyStore (Click here). In Europe at Sony DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, AT, NL, BE, CH, FI, SE, PT

March 14, 2014
Posted in reviews

Sony a99 with and without mirror at ISO 100 and 6400 (by Maxime Siegler)

SAR reader Maxime Siegler tested the Sony A99 Image quality with and without the semitransparent mirror. yes, he removed the mirror fromx his camera :)

This exposure of “mirror, ISO 100, 6s, f/1.4″ was matched to that of “mirrorless, ISO 100, 6s, f/1.4″ by using the exposure slider (+0.5) in ACR >>> mirror match, ISO 100, 6s, f/1.4, +0.5
mirror, ISO 100, 6s, f/1.4
mirrorless, ISO 100, 6s, f/1.4

This exposure of “mirror, ISO 6400, 1/13s, f/1.4″ was matched to that of “mirrorless, ISO 6400, 1/13s, f/1.4″ by using the exposure slider (+0.5) in ACR >>> mirror match, ISO 6400, 1/3s, f/1.4, +0.5
mirror, ISO 6400, 1/13s, f/1.4
mirrorless, ISO 6400, 1/13s, f/1.4

His conclusions are that the “mirrorless” shots have:
* cleaner high ISO files, i.e., the noise pattern remains relatively smooth at ISO 6400 by ca. 1/2 stop (maybe slightly more).
* slightly more refined details.

This isn’t a suprise for none of us. We already knew there is some (negligible?) loss with the mirror. If Sony keeps developing the SLT tech I hope they will offer a mirror lockup feature on future cameras. Not impossible

A similar test made with the A55 SLT camera has been made years ago by Thesybersite.

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