April 6, 2014
Posted in rumors

Sony A7s announced! Can go up to 409,600 ISO!

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The A7s is here and it’s an amazing camera for both video and still photographers! You can read the full details at Sony US (Click here). The only bad news is that it doesn’t record 4K on SD card. You will have to use an external recorder. But for the rest this is an amazing camera. It has ISO up to 409600! The best dynamic range and color fidelity of any Full Frame Sensor yet.

A7s sites in different languages at Sony US, DE, UK, ES, FR, IT, NL, SE, FI, PL. The camera is listed at BHphoto but with no price or preorder option.

A7s characteristics
ISO 50-409600
extreme high dynamic range and color fidelity (So Sony says without to share numbers yet)
4K recording with no pixel binning
4K recording on external records only (internal recording only Full HD)
4:2:2 color sampling with external recorder
The “S” stays for “sensivity
Price will be announced later and release in “Summer”. Some other sites said price should be $1,699. But take this with a huge grain of salt!
Full press text follows on bottom of this post

Reviews, Image and video samples:
First shooting review at Fstopacademy.

Full A7s details and image samples disclosed at Sony US (Click here).

A7s Video release:

Surprise:
Sony also announced the Power Zoom 28-135mm f/4.0 development.

Press text:
Dpreview, Sony A7s PDF file, Sony press center, Photographyblog, DSLRmagazine, Lemoundedelaphoto, Imaging Resource, Quesabesde.

Official Sony Press release and A7s specs:

  • Wide ISO sensitivity setting from 50 to 409600 and unprecedented dynamic range
  • World’s first full-frame sensor capable of full pixel read-out without pixel binning process for movie and 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) HDMI video output
  • Professional video functions including XAVC S Full HD recording at 50Mbps, time code and optional XLR audio inputs
  • High ISO sensitivity range allows faster shutter speeds during low light shooting
  • α Mount System compatible with a wide range of high quality lenses, including power zoom lens ideal for movie shooting
  • Improved Fast Intelligent AF performance in light as low as EV-4
  • Ultra compact, light-weight body for comfortable pro-style operation

From starry night-time skies to atmospheric, candle-lit interiors: there’s now a camera that opens up extraordinary creative possibilities for capturing flawless, emotionally engaging movie footage and professional-quality still images.

Joining the acclaimed α7 and α7R – the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras – the α7S from Sony puts extraordinary sensitivity, low noise and spectacular 4K (QFHD: 3840×2160) image quality into the hands of serious photographers and videographers.

Equally suitable for still photography and cost-conscious movie production, the α7S delivers dramatic artistic possibilities in the smallest body of any full-frame interchangeable-lens digital camera in the world.

Key to the extraordinary sensitivity of the α7S is a specially developed new full-frame 35mm Exmor CMOS image sensor.

With a 12.2 effective megapixel count the size of each individual photoreceptive site is significantly boosted to increase their light-gathering power. Coupled with the camera’s powerful BIONZ X processing engine, this reduces image noise while increasing effective sensitivity range of the α7S to ISO 50 – ISO 409600 in expanded mode (ISO 200 – 409600 for movies).

This unrivalled sensitivity and ultra-low noise floor allows the α7S to capture beautiful images in low light conditions where a lengthy exposure would normally be needed. Thanks to the camera’s huge sensitivity, it’s possible to shoot crisp, low-noise stills and video using faster shutter speeds. Its immense dynamic range is also ideal for high-contrast scenes, effortlessly handling extreme highlights and rich, deep blacks in the same frame.

Because of the image sensor’s extraordinary sensitivity, the amount of light it can collect is dramatically increased compared with conventional cameras. The newly developed image sensor provides photographers/videographers with high dynamic range in all conditions from extremely low light to bright sunlight.

Using data read-out from every single pixel of the 35mm full-frame sensor (24p and 25p), 4K images created by the α7S are impressively detailed, with outstandingly rich colours and life-like textures in every frame. Refined by the BIONZ X processor, the high-speed data stream allows the α7S to output video at 4K resolution from the HDMI connector with 4:2:2 colour sampling, for recording onto an external storage device or viewing on a compatible monitor.

Thanks to the full pixel read-out from the whole of the 35mm full-frame sensor, there’s a notable absence of undesirable aliasing (moiré) effects and ‘jaggies’ that betray lower-resolution video. Stunningly clear images can be recorded on a memory card in Full HD quality with XAVC S[5] recording format at the 50Mbps data rate that’s highly regarded by professional videographers.

In APS-C crop mode, the α7S supports high frame rate shooting at 120fps or 100fps with HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels). The 120fps footage can be played back at 24p for a 5x slow-motion effect – ideal for seeing every detail of sports action or the balletic grace of a dancer.

There’s a wealth of other specialist functions to please professional videographers such as Picture Profile™ for wide ranging visual expression and S-Log2 gamma. Time code/user bit functions allow pro-style editing workflow, while an optional XLR Adaptor Microphone Kit supports high-quality audio acquisition.

As already proven on the α7R, high-speed, high-precision Fast Intelligent AF has been further improved to fully exploit the new camera’s extraordinary low-light performance as low as EV-4. Other features familiar to α7 users include a high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder, Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity and compatibility with the growing range of downloadable PlayMemories Camera Apps.

There’s a growing range of α lenses to take full advantage of the camera’s near-limitless creative potential. Currently under development, a brand-new full frame E-mount power zoom 28-135mm, F4 lens appeals to quality-conscious movie-makers. In addition, Sony is collaboratively working with third parties to support pro-quality 4K video workflow. A new XLR adaptor kit with a direct attachment mechanism is also under development.

The new α7S full-frame interchangeable lens digital camera from Sony will be available in Europe in summer 2014.

Key specifications

General
Lens mount α E-mount
Image sensor
Type 35mm full frame (35.6 x 23.8mm), Exmor CMOS sensor
Number of pixels (effective) Approx. 12.2 megapixels
Recording system (still images)
Recording format JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.3, MPF baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)
RAW output 14 bit
Recording system (movies)
Recording format XAVC S / AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant / MP4
Video compression XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio recording format XAVC S: LPCM, 2ch
AVCHD: Dolby Digital (AC-3), 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC, 2ch
Image size (pixels) 1080 60i compatible device XAVC S: 1920 x 1080 (60p/50Mbps, 30p/50Mbps, 24p/50Mbps), 1280 x 720 (120p/50Mbps)
AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28Mbps/PS, 60i/24Mbps/FX, 60i/17Mbps/FH, 24p/24Mbps/FX, 24p/17Mbps/FH)
MP4: 1440 x 1080 (30fps/12Mbps), 640 x 480 (30fps/3Mbps)
1080 50i compatible device XAVC S: 1920 x 1080 (50p/50Mbps, 25p/50Mbps, 24p/50Mbps), 1280 x 720 (100p/50Mbps)
AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50p/28Mbps/PS, 50i/24Mbps/FX, 50i/17Mbps/FH, 25p/24Mbps/FX, 25p/17Mbps/FH)
MP4: 1440 x 1080 (25fps/12Mbps), 640 x 480 (25fps/3Mbps)
Movie functions Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, Auto Slow Shutter, HDMI info. Display (On/Off selectable), Time Code/User Bit, Clean HDMI output for 4K, Picture Profile, Creative Style, Picture Effect, Rec Control, Dual Video Rec, Marker Setting
Picture Profile Yes (Off / PP1-PP7) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2), Black Gamma, Knee, Colour Mode, Colour Level, Colour Phase, Colour Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
Clean HDMI output
Clean HDMI output 1080 60i compatible device 3840 × 2160(30p/24p) / 1920 × 1080(60p/24p) / 1920 × 1080(60i),YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit/ RGB 8bit
1080 50i compatible device 3840 × 2160(25p) / 1920 × 1080(50p) / 1920 × 1080(50i),YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit/ RGB 8bit
Media
Media Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, SD memory card, SDHC memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card (UHS-I compliant)
Focus system
Type Contrast-detection AF`
Focus point 25 points
Sensitivity range EV -4 to EV 20 (at ISO 100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)
Exposure control
Metering type 1200-zone evaluative metering
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index) Still images: ISO 100-102400, Movies: ISO 200-102400 equivalent (both expandable to 409600)
Viewfinder
Type XGA OLED, 1.3cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder (colour)
Total no. of dots 2,359,296 dots
Field coverage 100%
Magnification Approx. 0.71x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1)
LCD screen
Type 7.5cm (3.0 type) TFT drive
Total number of dots 921,600 dots
Adjustable angle Up approx. 90 degrees, down approx. 45 degrees
Other features
` Camera Apps Yes
Interface
Wireless LAN (built-in) Wi-Fi Compatible, IEEE802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz band)*1
Playback of still images and movies on smartphones, PCs and TVs
NFC™ Yes (NFC Forum Type 3 Tag compatible, One-touch remote, One-touch sharing)
Multi Interface Shoe Yes
HD output HDMI micro connector (Type-D), BRAVIA Sync (link menu), PhotoTV HD, 4K still image playback
Shutter
Type Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
Shutter speed Still images: 1/8000 to 30 sec., Bulb
Movies: 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), Up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto Slow Shutter mode)
Electronic front curtain shutter Yes, On/Off
Power
Battery Rechargeable battery pack NP-FW50
Still images Approx. 320 shots (viewfinder) / approx. 380 shots (LCD screen) (CIPA standard)
Movies Actual*2: Approx. 55 min with viewfinder, approx. 60 min with LCD screen (CIPA standard)
Continuous*3: Approx. 90 min with viewfinder, approx. 90 min with LCD screen (CIPA standard)
External power AC Adaptor AC-PW20 (optional)
Weight
With battery andMemory Stick PRO Duo Approx. 489g (approx. 1 lb 1.2 oz)
Body only Approx. 446g (approx. 15.7 oz)
Dimensions
W x H x D (excluding protrusions) Approx. 126.9 x 94.4 x 48.2mm (approx. 5 x 3 3/4 x 1 15/16 in.)
Operating temperature
Range 32°-104°F / 0-40°C
Specifications and features are based on information available at the time of printing and are subject to change without notice.
*1 Configuration method/Access method: WPS or manually/infrastructure mode. When connecting to smartphones, the camera can always work as a base without a wireless access point. (Security: WEP/WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK)
*2 Indicated recording time is defined by repeating the following cycle: Power on, start recording, zoom, stand-by and power off.
*3 Indicated recording time is defined by repeating the following cycle: Pressing the MOVIE button. No other operations such as zoom are performed.

 

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April 6, 2014
Posted in rumors

D-day: Sony A7s announcement now live on SAR!

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Start the video on top to see the Sony A7s announcement live! Comment the event live using our comment system!

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April 6, 2014
Posted in deals

First A7-A7r books available for purchase!

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We finally have first books to learn more about our A7 A7r cameras! Here they are:

UPDATE: I completely forgot to mention the great book from Gary Friedman (Click here).
Sony A7 / A7R: From Snapshots to Great Shots at Amazon US (Click here). In Stock!
The Sony a7 and a7R: The Unofficial Quintessential Guide at Amazon US (Click here). To be released on July 1.

And now the writers have to hurry to write a book about the soon to be announced A7s too :)

All current Sony deals can be seen on that eBay page and on that Amazon page.

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April 6, 2014
Posted in rumors

Sony FE 70-200 is a Classy contender (DxOmark). Sigma 50mm ART is the best yet tested (SLRgear).

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Note for US readers: The new 70-200mm FE lens is now shipping at BestBuy!

DxOmark (Click here) tested the new Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 FE lens and writes:

The Sony’s performance is very good and sharpness levels are very high, and even though it can’t quite match the best in class – the Nikkor 70-200mm f4 – at 200mm, it’s still unlikely to disappoint. Coming bundled with a tripod collar, the Sony even slightly undercuts the rival Nikkor model, making the FE 70-200mm f4G OSS look good value without compromising on quality or practical features.

You can preorder the lens in USA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, BestBuy and SonyStore. In Europe at Sony DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT.

SLRgear (Click here) is the first worldwide site who reviewed the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART lens. They tested it on a Canon 5DMarkIII but as you know the lens will be available for A-mount too. And this is their test conclusion:

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art is the most exciting lens we’re likely to review this year. All competing lenses from Canon and Nikon fell short when compared to the resolving power of the 50mm Art. We haven’t (yet) tested the very best from Zeiss (Otus), but we are confident Sigma will trounce it in one key area: price.

Amazing! Now please Sigma, gives us an A-mount pricing and preorder option soon!

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April 5, 2014
Posted in rumors

Sony A7s live stream soon on SAR! And A7s rumor recap.

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Follow the live stream on SAR!

We are almost there! At 2pm Las Vegas time (10 pm in London and 11pm in Berlin) Sony will announce the new A7s E-mount Full Frame 4K camera with 12 megapixel and XAVCs recording. And if we are “lucky” we are going to see an updated FE lens roadmap too.

A7s rumor recap:
Over a month ago I started to get rumors about a 4K capable photo camera. As I have been told back at that time the camera wasn’t ready yet. So I assume the A7s will not come to market immediately and its main goal is to take away the spotlight from the currently only competitor in this class, the Panasonic GH4 (here at Amazon). The good news on the A7s is that while Sony focused on delivering a great 4K quality the positive side effect for photographer is that after a very long time we will get a new camera with low Megapixel count. A unique chance to grab a camera that has top clean High ISO, speedy processing and probably delivers enough resolution for most of our daily use. I just hope the price will not be much higher than that of the Panasonic GH4 ($1,700). Very important to know: The A7s is not the new A9 high end camera. The A9 is still scheduled for a late Summer release!

The surprise:
Sony could announce an updated FE lens roadmap. A couple of weeks ago mark Weir from Sony said new FE lenses would be announced soon. And he said fast primes are int he work too. Yesterday Sony FE lens designer said they would like to make a 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens. So let’s cross the fingers for that guys!

Again, be sure to be online here on SAR to follow the event live at 2pm Las Vegas time (10 pm in London and 11pm in Berlin).

Personal note:
Because the Sony A7s announcement took me by surprise this is how I ahve to work somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Tuscany (Click on picture to enlarge):

Hope this will work fine tonight :)

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