January 10, 2012
Posted in news

NEX-7 versus Fuji X PRO 1

The probably most popular Sony camera of the moment, the NEX-7 got a serious contender which is the Fuji X PRO 1. I share you some of my quick thoughts about the two cameras and you let me know if you agree or disagree with my short comparison:

Body quality (Fuji more solid, Nex lighter):
Top body quality is a characteristic I liked a lot back in the film camera age. Now on digital cameras this is becoming a tiny bit less important as your camera will not last for generation like film cameras. Highly electronic stuff will last for a couple of years or not survive your buyer instinct to buy a new much better camera after some time. While the Fuji X PRO 1 has a more solid feeling body the NX-7 is absolutely well made for being so much more lighter.

Usability (NEX wins):
I am surprised to say that, the Fuji X PRO 1 has absolutely beautiful looking controls but I think Sony TRI NAVI solution is far more faster and useful. You can customize it, it’s faster to use (I shot a while on the digital Leica MP and know how to use the dials that Fuji “copied”).

Viewfinder (Fuji wins, but not sure yet):
It looks like Fuji’s hybrid viewfinder is a real winner. You can have both, optical and electronic view of the scene. But the NEX-7 electronic viewfinder is surprisingly good and looking at the specs also better than the Fuji electronic viewfinder. I really have to test the Fuji to see if it is really a good solution.

Minor Features (NEX wins):
I like the Fuji film modes, but guys, the NEX-7 can do almost everything! Panorama mode, 3D and other stuff like that.

Image Quality (Fuj wins):
On paper it looks like Fuji made a step forward but I have to check a real photo comparison to be sure of it. My guess is that the difference between S PRO 1 and NEX-7 will be small with an edge for Fuji.

Video Quality (NEX wins):
There is no discussion, NEX-7 wins. Much better and advanced Codec!

Lens choice (Fuji wins if you look for prime lenses, but future is NEX):
It all depends from what you need. If you like me are a prime lens shooter than Fuji clearly made it right. I wish I could see those three lenses for NEX too:
Fuji 18mm f/2.0 lens.
Fuji 35mm f/1.4 lens.
Fuji 60mm f/2.4 macro lens.
But I think in long term Sony could have the edge when it comes to video dedicated lenses and when you will see the new NEX roadmap :)

Price (NEX wins):
NEX-7 costs $1199 at Adorama (Click here).
Fuji X PRO 1 costs $1699 (price was dipslayed here at Amazon).
UPDATE: Is there a price change? Expansys USA (Click here) and Expansys UK (Click here to see the preorder page)

Overall….NEX wins:
I am not a fanboy, and I am saying here that Fuji made a superb camera! But when it comes to balance price, features and usability the NEX-7 has still an edge. But that’s just my opinion based on the reviews I read and not on real world experience. And that is what counts at the end. So I am looking forward to get my hands on the Fuji.

P.S.: This is the NEX-7 full in Stock status check:

Australia: Sony.au, Digitalrev, Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.au
Austria: Amazon.at, Sony.at, eBay.at
Belgium: Sony.be, eBay.be
Canada: Sony.ca, B&H, Adorama, eBay.ca
China: Amazon.cn, Digitalrev, eBay
Denmark: Sony.dk, eBay
Finland: Sony.fi, eBay
France: Sony.fr, Amazon.fr, eBay.fr
Germany: Amazon.de, Sony.de, eBay.de
Hong Kong: Amazon, Digitalrev, B&H, Adorama, eBay
Ireland: Sony.ie, Amazon.uk, eBay.ie
Italy: Sony.it, Amazon.it, eBay.it
Japan: Amazon.jp, Rakuten, eBay
Netherlands: Sony.nl, eBay.nl
Norway: Sony.no, eBay
Poland: Sony.pl, Redcoon.pl, eBay
Singapore: Digitalrev, B&H, eBay
Spain: Sony.es, Amazon.es, Redcoon.es, eBay
Sweden: Sony.se, eBay
Switzerland: Sony.ch, Amazon.de, eBay.ch
United Kingdom: Amazon.co.uk, Warehouseexpress, eBay UK
USA: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay

January 10, 2012
Posted in news

Official: Sony new compact cameras and Bloggie Sport. Sigma announcement. Weird Fuji-Sony sensor rumor. A77 in Stock in UK.

It’s my obligation to inform you about new Sony camera stuff even if it’s not that really interesting :)
Sony announced the new Cyber-shot DSC-W630- W620- W610 – S5000 (Press release at Photographyblog). Probably cooler than any new compact camera is the just announced Sony Bloggie Sport (Press release at Photographyblog). It’s Water-, shock- and dustproof!

The two new Sigma NEX lenses are also official (Press release at ThePhoBlographer).

A few SAR reader sent me a link to Xitek images (Click here) that should “proof” that the new Fuji X PRO 1 camera is using a Sony fabricated sensor. To me this images do not prof anything and I highly doubt Sony is involved in that sensor technology.

P.S.: Our reader Leszek informed me that the A77 is in Stock in UK at Jacobs (Click here). It’s also in Stock at Amazon Japan (Click here).

January 9, 2012
Posted in rumors

(Boring) lenses coming from Sigma for NEX. And a new Alpha mount lens.

Sigma is about to launch two new unspectacular lenses for the NEX system. The 19mm f/2.8 lens which at least from the size point of view is less interesting than the Sony 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens. And the 30mm macro lens which isn’t really a lens we needed since we already have the Sony 30mm f/3.5 lens. Damn Sigma, you should have done it better! You alreayd amke some awesome lens for Alpha mount! Like that nice 50mm f/1.5 for example. Next time ask SAR readers what they want ;)

Here is the press release text:

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN: Sigma’s new 19mm f/2.8 EX DN has the effective FOV of a 38mm lens on a full-frame DSLR, which should appeal to street photographers and photojournalists.  Regardless of your choice of camera, the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN features eight elements in six groups that include three aspheric lens surfaces to correct optical distortions, color aberration and unwanted field curvature. The new lens also sports an internal focusing system and Super Multi-layer coating to reduce flare and ghosting while maintaining high contrast levels even when set at wider apertures. Other features include a new linear AF motor that eliminates mechanical gears or drives for quicker, near-silent focusing, seven rounded diaphragm blades for an attractive blur in out-of-focus areas, a 46mm filter thread, and a minimum focusing distance of 7.9″ (20cm).

Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN: Extending a mere 1.5″ (38.6mm) from the front of the camera is Sigma’s new 30mm f/2.8 EX DN. This lens has a full-frame equivalent FOV of a 60mm lens when used on a NEX format mirrorless camera. The new Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN features seven elements in five groups including dual aspheric lenses and a double-sided aspheric lens that help control edge sharpness and chromatic aberration. As with Sigma’s new 19mm f/2.8 EX DN lens, the new 30mm f/2.8 EX DN lens includes Sigma’s newly developed linear AF system for smoother and quieter operation, Super Multi-Layer coating for optimized contrast levels and reduced flare, a 46mm filter thread, internal focusing and a minimum focusing distance of 11.8″ (30cm).


And than there is that new Sigma’s APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens. It is the fastest 180mm macro lens on the market today, by about a half a stop. But the specialness of Sigma’s new high-speed macro goes beyond its f/2.8 maximum aperture.

Press release:

Shooting close-ups can be tricky, most notably when trying to capture life-size close-ups of skittish animals and insects without spooking them, or close-ups of small objects without casting your shadow on your subject. The longer focal length of Sigma’s 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM does away with many of these issues by allowing you to step back from your subject. The longer focal length also reduces optical distortions, which can be problematic when shooting close-ups, and also allows you isolate your subject from distracting foreground and background details, especially when used at its closest focusing points at wider apertures.

In addition to highly detailed life-size (1:1) image capture, Sigma’s 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM features three FLD glass elements, a floating internal focusing system, Super Multi-Layer coating, Sigma’s OS image stabilizing system, which enables the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops less than usually possible when shooting handheld, Hyper-Sonic AF focusing motors and a rounded nine-blade diaphragm for attractive bokeh.

January 9, 2012
Posted in rumors

(SR5) Sony delays the A99 launch :(

I have many new rumors I am working on but one of them is actually a bad news. That’s why I start with this. I learned from my TOP sources that Sony delayed the A99 launch. Reason for the delay is the (again) Thai flood. Sony needs time to evaluate the A77 customer response and the A77 production delay will not allow them to launch the A99 in Spring as originally planned. Instead the A99 will be launched in September at the Photokina show in Cologne. To make it worse the whole Sony FF roadmap has been shifted forward, this means the second FF camera (with integrated vertical grip) will probably hit the market in early 2013 only.
The A77 will be 100% available eveywhere in March. Right now you can find few cameras only at Amazon DE (Click here), Amazon Japan (Click here), with shipment in USA in March only (Click here), and overpriced on eBay (Click here).

Now guys, like you I am also in a bad mood because of this news. I understand that Sony has a very good reason for delaying the A99, and sincerely they really cannot afford to repeat some of the early A77 bugs experience on a camera that is supposed to appeal the pro market. But Nikon (with the D4) and Canon (with the 5DmarkIII coming in February) are pushing forward and Sony really has to come BIG at Photokina otherwise they will miss the train. In general Sony should decide first if they want to be a serious contender in the FF market and than develop a clear and reliable product strategy. I believe Sony has the technical knowledge to challenge Nikon and Canon. But they should really start to make us “feel” they are serious with FF.

A couple of suggestions:
- New sensor technology with quantum leap forward is needed. That would allow to create a massive advantage over current Canon-Nikon cameras. See what’s going to happen with the new Fuji sensor technology tonight to see how this will create a huge buzz.
- Push super video quality on FF cameras. it’s something that will hurt Nikon.
- More top quality FF lenses. A top lens system matters!
- The camera specs should not only look good on paper but work for real from the very first day
- Make a fullframe mirrorless system. Again, create an advantage over Nikon and Canon like they did with the NEX-7.

In sum Sony, make it right at Photokina…create a historical event! It’s the only way to win credibility! And one more message to my readers. To cheer you up I can share you right now that other rumors I will post soon are very positive :)

P.S.: The A900 which was marked as “discontinued” is now “in Stock” at Amazon (Click here) and Bhphoto (Click here).

January 8, 2012
Posted in news

Image leak of the new compact cameras.

I know this is not the kind of news you particularly like but it’s just a proof that you should not expect new NEX and SLT stuff. The images on top do show the three new Sony compact camera that are going to be announced at the CES show on Monday. The W610, W620, W650.

The reason for Sony not announcing any new “serious” camera stuff is the production delay because of the Thai flood. First they have to go back to full production capability. As I already told you now even the NEX-5n is facing some serious stock shortage. From all new cameras the A65 is the only one in Stock at Amazon (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here) and if I am not wrong the NEX-7 is in Stock at Fotomundus.

A bit of free Advertising: Probably the “Only” real new interesting camera announcement is coming form Fuji. neither Canon nor Nikon (a part of the D4) nor Panasonic really have to show somethign new. You can follow the announcement live on Monday at MirrorlessRumors (Click here) at 9pm London time.

In Stock status check:
A77 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay
A65 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony NEX-7 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony NEX-5n Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony 50mm f/1.8 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony 55-210mm Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
NEX-5n viewfinder Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.

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