June 10, 2015
Posted in reviews

New Batis full size image samples!



Christian Dandyk posted some great new image samples shot with the new Batis lenses. You can find them here:
Batis 85mm samples on Flickr.
Batis 25mm samples on Flickr.

At first glance the performance looks outstanding! Still wondering if that OLED screen will be something I will get used too :)

Both Batis lenses are now available for preorder in USA and Europe (UK/Germany)
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens in US at Adorama, Bhphoto. In Eu at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 lens at Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.
In Europe and Asia the Loxias can be found in Stock via eBay sellers (Click here) and Digitalrev (Click here).

June 10, 2015
Posted in rumors

Small update on A7rII and A7000 rumors….(Sony announcement in 1-2 weeks)


Bildschirmfoto 2015-05-25 um 07.31.29

P.S.: The leaked official Sony roadmap (October 2014). Shows A7, A6 and RX camera announcement are (or were) planned.

This is just a short update on the A7rII and A7000 rumors. Here are some of the talks I head:

1) A couple of store owners said they have been told by Sony about a new A7rII and A7000 (or whatever the final name will be). They started to get info about those cameras back in March but Sony went quiet the last 1-2 months.
2) Two trusted sources still confirm that Sony had (or has) issues with the A7000 hardware. They don’t know if Sony solved them by now.
3) Two(!) of my trusted sources have been told by Sony that they have a mid June announcement. The sources are aware that Sony postponed some of the camera releases. They will send us a note as soon as Sony confirms the exact announcement date! And hopefully no delay this time!!!

Overall: I hope you can forgive me for that confusing time. But it never happened before that Sony had such issues on the release of cameras. I am working to find out the exact reason of why this happened. I should get a confirmation within the end of this week if we are going to see the A7000 and A7rII next week already!

A look into the future: Some “major” stuff should be announced by Sony during the second half of the year. I hope to learn from y sources if that roadmap has not change unlike the A7000 and A7rII delay.

June 10, 2015
Posted in reviews

28mm and 24-240mm FE review at ePhotozine. 90mm FE review at Focus Numerique.



ePhotozine reviewed the new 28mm FE lens and writes:

This lens has a lot going for it. It’s capable of delivering high levels of sharpness, it’s compact, relatively lightweight and not too expensive. It’s a shame the aperture has to be stopped down to improve performance towards the edges of the frame, and to reduce chromatic aberrations, but overall the lens performs well. As a result, it should win over many fans amongst those who own one of Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras.

28mm FE store links:
US at Amazon, Adorama, BHphotoFocusCamera, Sony US.
Europe at Sony Germany, UK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, AT, CH, SE, FI, NO, PT.
Asia at Digitalrev, Sony Australia.

ePhotozine also tested the 24-240mm FE lens and writes:

Depending on your expectations of what a lens designed for a compact system camera, that costs over £800 should deliver, will depend on how pleased you are with this lens. For starters, it is neither lightweght, or compact, in fact it is larger and heavier than some similar lenses designed for SLR cameras. Sharpness towards the edges of the frame could be better, as could control of chromatic aberrations and flare. Quicker autofocus and a constant minimum focus distance would’ve been nice features too. If you’re able to overlook these aspects of the lens, in the name of convenience, then this lens will still be able to deliver decent quality images and should make a decent addition to your Sony Alpha FE mount kit bag. However, despite its flaws, it is a good lens, it just maybe doesn’t meet expectations as well as it should in some areas.

Sony 24-240mm FE lens store links:
USA: Amazon, Adorama, BHphotoFocusCamera, Sony US.
Europe: Sony Germany, UK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, AT, CH, SE, FI, NO, PT.
Asia: Digitalrev, CameraPRO, Sony Australia.

The french review site Focus Numerique tested the 90mm FE macro and writes:

The image quality provided by the Sony FE 90mm f / 2.8 Macro G OSS is very impressive. The images are full of fine details from center to edges, and from f / 2.8 to f / 16. We rarely observed as perfect homogeneity and consistency.

90mm Store links:
In USA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.
In Europe at Sony Germany, Sony UK, Sony FR, Sony IT, Sony ES, Sony NL, Sony BE, Sony AT, Sony CH, Sony SE, Sony FI, Sony NO, Sony PT.
In Asia at Digitalrev, Sony Australia.

June 9, 2015
Posted in deals

Loxia 35mm in Stock at Focuscamera. Open Box A7 for $849


UPDATE: Two Loxia 35mm lenses are in Stock at FocusCamera eBay (Click here). P.S.: KenmoreCamera eBay (Click here) removed the $100 off deal on the Distagon 35mm FE lens.

And here are more new deals:
One single Open BOX A7 for $849 at BuyDig (Click here).
You have 24 hours left from now to get that Sony64GB Class 10 SDHC card for the record low price of $29 on BeachCamera eBay (Click here).
Gold Box deal on the EyeFI card at Amazon US (Click here).


June 9, 2015
Posted in rumors

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


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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