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January 27, 2017
Posted in reviews

Sports Photography test: A99II vs D5 & 1DX Mark II

Sport Photographer Davey Wilson (article at SLRlounge) tested the new Sony A99II and compared it with the “classic” sports professional tools like the Nikon D5 and Canon 1DX Mark II. The conclusion is:

The Sony A99ii has been a camera we’ve been excited about since PhotoPlus last fall. On paper, it’s a veritable powerful taking the best of mirrorless and DSLR’s and compressing those features into a compact SLR-style body. It’s not perfect, no camera is, but it’s nice to see a company like Sony listening to its longtime users and delivering a high-resolution performance driven camera that actually appears to be as advertised.

Sony A99II at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.

January 26, 2017
Posted in reviews

Sony A7rII and Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 ready for sport photography?

This is a Guest Post from IzioPhotography:

Sony A7rII and Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 ready for sport photography?

You can already find a lot of reviews on the internet about this topic. Unfortunately they have used the 70-200mm f4 lens. Certainly a very good lens but not when you have to shoot sports like Hockey. Depending on the light this lens is just to slow. And since i have received my Sony 70-200mm f2.8, why not giving it a try. As one of my assignment I’m acting as team-photographer for the premier league Hockey Club EV Zug in Switzerland. A perfect playground for the test. During the last 3 home games of the EVZ I have used the combination of a Sony A7rII and the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 as my main “working-horse”. I have integrated them in my mobile pictures-creating work-flow:

  1. shooting pictures with the Sony,
  2. transferring them via WLan to an IPad pro
  3. quick post-processing them on the IPad
  4. uploading them to the social-media and news services

This work-flow is a bit different to a “classic” one. Were you would use a Notebook and perhaps a tool like Photomechanic to add description to the pictures. But since I create the pictures for the team and their social-media, websites and news-feed I have different needs. Like being light, mobile and fast. I do not have to write that much into the files. My first concern was how the autofocus of the Sony A7rII would perform and would the lens start hunting for the focus? Over or under exposed pictures can be recovered. But out of focus? They are lost. Therefore forget the Wide focus setting. It might look cool, to watch all those green boxes hunting for an objective to focus on. But first they are way to slow, second they will not always lock on the objective you want and third did I mention they are slow? My tests indicated that the Centre focus setting has the fasted and most reliable focus. The lens had never an issue with “hunting for focus”. Smoothly working lens, sharp and fast. The pictures that you find in this posts are all taken with this lens. The setting of the camera:

  • 1/800 shutter speed
  • f2.8 aperture
  • ISO 2000

Post process was done in Lightroom: straighten up, cropping, correcting white balance and contrast. In a nutshell, what did i like:

  • The lens is sharp, even at full open aperture
  • The lens does not hunt for the focus. Works smoothly
  • Autofocus is reliable when you set it up correct (Centre)
  • WLAN is working smoothly. Better than my Nikon WT-5

What did I not like?

  • I miss a second slot for a memory card
  • Battery performance is weak. The battery-grip is a must. You need those two batteries for the full length of a Hockey game
  • 5 frames per second is a bit slow. A few more would be great
  • More reliable autofocus settings to play with.

Let’s come back to the initial question. Is the A7rII ready for sport photography? Yes, but not for all sports. Hockey is fine, as you see with my images. For soccer we are missing longer lenses like a 400mm or 600mm. Some action sports would profit with more frames per seconds and a autofocus that you can tweak more. In my case I’m happy with the Sony. Picture quality is the same with my other Nikon cameras (D4s/D810), the WLAN work much more reliable compared to the Nikon WT-5 module.

I hope I could help someone with this short test. I’m not affiliated with Sony or Nikon.

70-200mm f/2.8 FE GM store links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay
70-200mm f/4.0 FE store links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay

January 26, 2017
Posted in reviews

Star Youtuber Casey Neistat switches over to Sony!

With over 6 Million follower Casey Neistat is quite a star on Youtube. And yesterday he posted that video comparing Sony vs. Canon. THe good news is he will get rid of his Canon stuff to buy the α7S II.

A7sII store inks: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay

January 24, 2017
Posted in reviews

DxO tests the new 70-200mm f/2.8 FE GM lens and it is “the sharpest and best low-light zoom lens we’ve tested”


The 70-200mm GM store links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay

DxOmark (Click here) posted the full 70-200mm f/2.8 FE GM test results. And the conclusion is that this is the best ranked 70-200mm lens on the market! This is exactly the opposite conclusion of the negative Lensrentals review. DxO writes:

It’s not only the sharpest and best low-light zoom lens we’ve tested for the a7R II, it also outperforms many FE-mount prime lens options, ranking as the fourth-sharpest lens we’ve tested on the a7R II. Resolution at f/2.8 is first-class between 100 and 200mm, and peak sharpness of over 80% acutance in the field occurs between f/4 and f/8 for phenomenally sharp results on the a7R II.
Costing $2,498 and coming in at 200mm in length, and weighing nearly 1.5 kg, it’s a big beast for the diminutive a7 series of mirrorless hybrid cameras. This ssaid, it packs plenty of high-end pro features for advanced autofocus operation, image stabilization, and all-round top performance in fast-paced environments.

The ne GM lens scores 5 more points than the f/4.0 FE zoom which is still a great choice if price and size matters:

Now let’s hope Sony can ramp up the production of the GM zoom because right now it’s nearly impossible to find it in Stock somewhere:
70-200mm f/2.8 FE GM store links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay
70-200mm f/4.0 FE store links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay

January 23, 2017
Posted in reviews

Reviews of Samyang XP 85mm f/1.2 and comparison with Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical

The following article is a guest post from Langstrum:

I live in South Korea and got a chance to have the new Samyang XP 85mm f/1.2 quite soon so I decided to make a user review and compare it to the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical as I have this lens for several years now. This review is based on the quality of a new copy of Samyang XP 85mm f/1.2 and a pristine copy of the FD lens (which is extremely hard to find now).

Read the rest of this entry →

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