June 9, 2015
Posted in rumors

(SR2) Strangest A7rII rumor so far: Two “testers” said it has curved Full Frame sensor.

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Sony curved sensor image via Spectrum.

First a recap: The A7000 and the A7rII have been rumored to be released in early 2015. But so far it seems that Sony had “production issues” on those cameras and the release keeps being pushed back in the hope they will fix these issues in the meantime. In the case of the A7000 we think to know the issue has to do with extreme overheating. The latest we heard from trusted sources who usually get right info from Sony is that the A7000 is at least coming within June. Please note that I got this kind of information from different good sources who shared correct info in the past. But this doens’t mean Sony can change their mind and schedule for a number of reasons we don’t know yet.

A7rII: I now got a very strange rumor from two different new sources. This means that you have to take them really as a very “wild rumor”. But sometimes wild rumors become true (A7S with half million ISO and Autofocus Zeiss Batis line were two of them). The two sources met official Sony A7rII testers. And they have been told in an “Informal” conversations that this will be the first Sony FF camera having a curved sensor. Now, I have to say I would be extremely surprised if the rumor turns out to be true! So far I have only found patents describing such a FF curved sensor for a fixed lens RX like camera. I don’t even know if current FE lenses would work on such a camera and if yes how Sony has solved that problem. One of the sources said that the FF curved sensor allows increased corner sharpness performance with all third part and current FE lenses.
P.S.: So far the only “real” Sony camera using such a sensor is the Sony kw1 selfie cam.

Recap of curved sensor news:
First real world Image of the curved sensor from Sony (SAR article here).  RX2 with 35mm f/1.8 lens and curved sensor (SAR article here).

VLSI Symposia tipsheet (via ISW) explained better how this sensor works:

Curved CMOS Image System: When light transmitted by a lens strikes a perpendicular target such as a CMOS image sensor, it forms a circle of light called an image circle. It’s difficult for a flat (planar) CMOS image sensor to deliver high image sensitivity at high resolution (highly scaled pixel pitch) because of the fundamental physical limit known as quantum efficiency. To break through that physical limit and to achieve higher sensitivity anywhere within the image circle at higher resolution, Sony built and will describe an imaging system that comprises a hemispherically curved, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (BIS) and integrated lens. It doubles the sensitivity at the edge of the image circle while increasing sensitivity at its center by a factor of 1.4, with a 5x reduction of dark current (Jd) compared to a planar BIS. Moreover, a common problem known as lens field curvature aberration (Afc) is mitigated by the curved sensor itself, and so the curved BIS enables higher system sensitivity with a brighter lens with a smaller F number (Fn) than is possible with a planar BIS. In addition, by controlling the tensile stress of the BIS chip to produce a curved shape in the first place, the energy band-gap (Eg) is widened and a lower Jd is achieved. (Paper T2.1, “A Novel Curved CMOS Image Sensor Integrated with Imaging System,” K. Itonaga et al., Sony)

In Summary:
Back in June 2014 Sony said they are ready to produce curved sensors in mass scale (Article here). And there are plenty of patents showing how it works. But so far we only saw them “applied” on a fixed lens RX camera. But if Sony really managed it to make it work on the A7rII and current FE lenses than chapeau. This yes would have been worth the long wait for the A7rII. But for now let’s be clear that this might only be a dream for now…

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Reminder (SR = Sonyrumor):
SR1=probably fake rumor
SR2=rumor from unknown sources
SR3=50% chance it is correct
SR4=rumor from known sources
SR5=almost certainly correct!

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June 9, 2015
Posted in reviews

SAR readers third party lens reviews roundup!

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SAFSAR

SAR readers are sharing plenty of adapted Lens test and image samples on our new SonyAlphaForum. If you like to see how third party lenses will work on your E-mount camera check out that list. And if you have some tests to show feel free to post them on the forum!
Sony A7m2 with the Samyang 14mm f2.8 E-Mount lens on SonyAlphaForum.
Tokina AT-X Macro 90mm 1:2.5 test at SonyAlphaForum.
Contax G 45/2 vs the Zeiss Loxia 50/2 and the Sony 55/1.8 on SonyAlphaForum.
A7S + Leica 90mm Summicron on SonyAlphaForum.
Samyang 135mm T2.2 VDSLR ED UMC on SonyAlphaForum.
Minolta MD vs Canon FD 2.8/20 comparison review on SonyAlphaForum.
Sony 70-200G f4 compared to Leica 90mm f2.8 on SonyAlphaForum.
Minolta MC/MD lenses images thread on SonyAlphaForum.
Canon FD lenses images on SonyAlphaForum.
A little 85mm comparison: Minolta 1.7/85, 2/85 and others on SonyAlphaForum.
Using Mamiya 645 medium format lenses on an A7r on SonyAlphaForum.
Minolta for Leica M-Rokkor 90mm f/4 on SonyAlphaForum.
A7S + Voigtlander Nokton 35mm 1.2 on SonyAlphaForum.
Minolta for Leica M-Rokkor 28mm f/2.8 on SonyAlphaForum.
Minolta for Leica M-Rokkor 40mm f/2 on SonyAlphaForum.
Voigtländer 40mm Nokton f1.4 on SonyAlphaForum.
Zeiss ZF.2 25mm f/2 on SonyAlphaForum.
Minolta for Leica M-Rokkor 40mm f/2 on SonyAlphaForum.

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June 8, 2015
Posted in rumors

(SR4) Zeiss has no plan to release any new Touit lens this year.

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Bildschirmfoto 2015-06-07 um 17.06.09

According to “Zeiss insiders” the company has no plan to release any new Zeiss Touit lens this year. And it’s yet unclear if Zeiss will launch any new Touit lens in 2016. As stated officially by Zeiss weeks ago their focus now is on Full Frame lenses. Zeiss will launch a wide angle Loxia FE lens in September/October. Just let’s hope Zeiss will increase the Loxia lens production because it’s still impossible to find them in Stock in USA (see BH).

P.S.: Zeiss US dropped the price on the APS-C E-mount Touit lenses:
$300 off on the Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 Touit at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
$221 off on the Zeiss 32mm f/1.8 Touit at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).

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June 8, 2015
Posted in rumors

Sony A6000 firmware 1.21 coming to the rest of the world soon (already available in Japan).

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A6000fw
Image via SonyAlphaForum.

Some of you may remember that the Japanese A6000 cameras already got a firmware 1.21 two months ago. The firmware fixes some slow AF bugs. But outside Japan A6000 camera owners still rely on the “older” 1.2 firmware version. One source just told me the 1.21 firmware will be available outside Japan soon too (and he sent me the picture on top).

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