January 6, 2013
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Posted in deals

EU Deal: Amazon Germany Has The Sony NEX-6LB Discounted (starts at 2:00 pm EU time)

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Amazon Germany will discounted Sony NEX-6LBs with 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens on sale starting at 2:00pm (German time). It’s a “Blitzangebot“, so stay tuned at the right time to get it if you are looking for it, because it won’t last long. Click here to check the deal.

Sony NEX-6LB specs:

  • 16.1MP Exmor APS-C Size CMOS Sensor
  • 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens Included
  • Fast Hybrid AF With Phase-Detection AF
  • 3″ 921K-Dot TFT LCD
  • XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF
  • Captures 1080 HD Video
  • Wi-Fi Capable
  • Built-In Flash
  • Fast 10fps Burst Shooting
  • PlayMemories Camera Apps
January 6, 2013
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Posted in news

Update – The Multispectral Sony NEX-5 For B&W Photography

 

Update: you can own this modified camera by taking part in a black and white photography challenge. Read all details here. Good luck!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could shot RAW and get wonderful looking black and white pics just by desaturating and with almost no post-processing work? Photographer Ming Thein did an amazing hacking project on a Sony NEX 5 (price & specs). Before we get into details it is best to read Ming Thein’s motivation for the modification of the NEX-5:

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to black and white tonality both in the past, and of late in conjunction with my serious re-exploration of film; there’s something about the way film responds that gives it wonderful quarter and three-quarter tones. The look is achievable in digital, but it requires a lot of post processing simply because sensors do not natively respond to light in that fashion.

From a more technical point of view, the issue is that digital sensors are optimized to accurately reproduce the colors of the visible spectrum. That’s perfectly fine if you want to take color shots: you want a reliable reproduction of colors. Things, on the other hand, change with B&W photography. Not only it is, as Ming Thein states, a widely subjective aesthetic matter. Moreover, often, if not always, the artistic outcome lies within the tones. Hence, the matter is how to get a film like tone rendering without having to do heavy and time consuming post processing on the computer. A possible way to obtain such a result is to remove all filters from the sensor. Let’s go back to Ming Thein (emphasis partly mine):

Infrared, and to a lesser extent, ultraviolet, photography have been done for some time. There are companies out there which offer (not cheap!) conversions to either or both; there are even companies which offer services removing the anti-aliasing filter – though oddly, not both. But to create what I envisioned as the ultimate black and white camera*, all of this would have to go: no UV or IR filters, no AA filter. Just bare naked sensor. After several days of monkeying around with dozens of tiny ribbon connectors, and breaking one (caveat: the camera of course still works, but that connector will never be able to be opened/ released again) and nerve-wracking moments with various sharp implements, I’m pleased to report that this particular Sony NEX-5 has no filtration at all in front of the sensor, except for the Bayer filter, which is part of the sensor itself and thus cannot be removed. It’s about as close as you’re going to get to bare silicon […].

This is obviously more than a weekend’s DIY task. Ming Thein spent a lot of time to do the hack, and not everything worked at first glance. Opening such a tiny and densely packed camera isn’t for the faint of heart. But results are spectacular (don’t miss the awesome samples). Back to Ming Thein:

I’m going to be blunt here: the camera doesn’t hit full marks across the board. From a tonal viewpoint, the results are fantastic – just shoot raw and desaturate, and that’s all you have to do for almost every situation. All of the images in this post have had almost no work done on them at all – just desaturate. They came out of the camera 99% there, with this wonderfully filmic quality – even at high ISO. Is the more dynamic range? Not really. Skin tones are smooth yet delicately textured; deep shadows have that glow thanks to IR reflectance; and the detail is definitely better than a standard camera

There are also some drawbacks. Resolution isn’t at best, not because of the sensor but because of the lens (he used the 18-55mm kit lens). The lens resolves good in the center of the frame but isn’t apochromatic enough in the borders to be able to cope with the IR and UV rays reflected by the subject and caught by the sensor. An issue that is normally cut of by the filters that have been removed. The result is a sort of smearing in the corners. Quoting:

The smearing is caused by UV and IR spectrum image forming rays from the subject – cut out by the filter pack, normally – being registered on the sensor at a different physical location to visible light. There is still more visible light, of course, which means that focus is mostly where autofocus puts it, but not for all subjects – warm subjects in low ambient light – people indoors, for instance – tend to be a little back-focused because of this. Outdoors, things are fine (visible light > IR again)

However, the results are amazing. Don’t miss this interesting post and the images shot with the modified NEX 5!

The Multispectral Sony NEX-5 For B&W Photography

An image shot with the modified NEX-5 (image credit:

[via mingthein.com]

 

January 5, 2013
Posted in rumors

List of new Sony Cybershot compact cameras (no NEX-SLT announcement yet).

As expected Sony will not announce any NEX or SLT camera yet. This is the list of compact cameras that will be announced for the CES show that starts on Monday:

  • DSC-H200: 20MP, 26x zoom
  • DSC-W710: 16MP, 5x zoom
  • DSC-W730: 16MP, 8x zoom
  • DSC-TF1: rugged, 16MP, 4x zoom
  • WX80: 20MP, 8x zoom, Wi-Fi
  • Sony will announce also a dozen of new camcorders and some new accessories

But as I told you before major NEX and SLt announcements may be made in a few weeks from now for the CP+ show in Japan!

via Photorumors.

January 5, 2013
Posted in rumors

Sony TidBits

Sony SLT-A99V Slow Motion Test from Troy Gleason on Vimeo.

Sony related news:
Sony NEX-6 review at ThePhoBlographer.
Sony HVL-F60M Flash review at ThePhoBlographer.
Already $3,000 off on the F5 at Bhphoto (Click here).
Sony NEX-7 one year on (Soundimagesplus).
Sony NEX-6 test at Asahi.
New housing for the A99 at Equinoxhousings.

Readers mails:
Winston:Here is a vacation video that I shot with the NEX-7, A77 and HX9V.  If you ever get a chance to visit Wyoming, I think you’ll want to keep going back. https://vimeo.com/53995443 The NEX-7 and A77 were handheld, the HX9V mounted in the hood of the car. Also, while I wish the A99 was priced lower, I can’t help but think that a great value the A57/18-135mm combination was at $750 U.S.
Alex:I would like to send you a quick test of a Ride in Vienna: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_WfcRWKOoY Settings where 170°, 1080p 30p, no steadyshot and put in the underwater housing.
Gangrenous:Picture taken with a Nex-7 and now Editors’ Choice at 500px http://500px.com/photo/6835708
Riaan:Can the Sony A77 shoot good video in low light conditions? Well, you decide (video shot entirely on Sony A77): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o75WgBnL044
Rob:Hello, I’ve been shooting with a Sony A55 for quite some time now, refining my technique.  There are many things I like about the A55, but as I’ve transitioned into larger amounts of video work, the lack of fully manual controls has been frustrating.  Despite this, I believe you can still shoot excellent video with the A55, if you know how to use it, how it’s running itself, and some of the workarounds for greater creative control.  Having the camera set the shutter speed and ISO takes out much of the guesswork for those just getting into video, but obviously doesn’t allow as much flexibility down the line.  I find that generally the camera does a decent job of choosing a proper ISO and shutter speed under most lighting conditions.  There are situations (challenging lighting, concerts, etc…) where the A55 and it’s lack of manual controls comes up wanting, but for a body that you can find used for under $500 now, I think it’s a great value.
I recently completed work on a music video, shot at Garden of the Gods in Colorado as well as a mansion just outside of Boulder.  All video was shot with my Sony A55, 18-55 kit lens and Minolta 50/1.7 prime.  
The A55, while not ideal for video, still turns out great results if you know how to use it properly.  Here’s the link to my video for Useful Jenkins from Mankato, MN.  The song is called “Waitin to Die”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ2E5AaOJNY
Mattia:Let me share with you my last video, this time the weather was fine and the results IMHO are pretty nice! Shot on Nex 5N, with Smartslider Pro 560, Leica M Lenses (Summicron 90 and 35mm), Vidatlantinc anamorphic filter, Canon FD 300mm F4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0-T2eYB71g
Winston:Here is a vacation video that I shot with the NEX-7, A77 and HX9V.  If you ever get a chance to visit Wyoming, I think you’ll want to keep going back. https://vimeo.com/53995443 The NEX-7 and A77 were handheld, the HX9V mounted in the hood of the car. Also, while I wish the A99 was priced lower, I can’t help but think that a great value the A57/18-135mm combination was at $750 U.S.

January 4, 2013
Posted in rumors

Still working on the NEX FF rumor…

I am working on a triple front. The NEX cameras and lens rumors, the SLT cameras and lens rumors and the new Full Frame Mirrorless system. I already shared you some info about the first two fronts. The NEX-7m, the new Zeiss premium zoom and on the SLT front I told you about the four new A mount lenses and new entry level SLT that will arrive within the next few months.

And now the NEX FF: There is no news yet. I have been told Sony still has not decided the exact time frame for the official release. It all depends from the ongoing testing work. They are now testing two prototypes, one with 24Megapixel and one with 30-32 Megapixel sensor. Both sensors have new features and phase detection pixels on sensor. The AF performance is one of the key technologies Sony want to improve. The tested sensors are part of  a new generation of Sony sensors. I have no info yet if the 30-32 Megapixel sensor will be used by Sony exclusively or shared with Nikon. Also the viewfinder tech is being elaborated and will be different from what we have seen until now. Anyway, not much news yet but I guess that soon Sony will decide how the final NEX FF should be. And by than I hope I can share you some bits about it!

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