April 7, 2014
Posted in rumors

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM for the first time in Stock for Sony A-mount!

For the first time the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 A-mount lens is in Stock at BHphoto (Click here). Great lens! Can’t wait to see the 50mm ART lens too!

UPDATE: 34 NABshow special deals now live on that BHphoto page (Click here).

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Today’s new deals on eBay Deal page (Click here) and Amazon deal page (Click here).

April 7, 2014
Posted in rumors

Sony A7s the morning after: Pros and Cons and a SAR readers Poll.

So here we are. Awake after the very long A7s announcement night. If you missed the A7s live announcement you just have to watch the latest 5 minutes of this 1 hour long video at Livestram. To quickly get all the information you need about the camera check out the 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.

My first impression: This looks like a 4K camera made a bit in a hurry. And the not shared price info confirms that. So it’s hard to judge the camera without to know how much it actually costs but let’s sum the A7s weak and strong points:

CONS:
- no 4K recording on SD cards (Panasonic GH4 does it!)
- almost same A7-A7r autofocus system (why not use the A6000 hybrid AF system?)

PROS:
- no pixel binning at 4K
- 409,600 ISO!
- -4 EV auto focus sensitivity (A7-A7r has 0 ev)
- It has likely the best dynamic range and color fidelity of any Full Frame camera yet!

Professional videographers will use external recorders anyway (for 4:2:2 output) so the first cons I mentioned by not matter at all for them. I think the biggest strong point is the superb Image Quality you should get with the new 12 Megapixel Full Frame sensor. Would love to see some RAW’s of it! But I guess we will have to wait a couple of weeks until reviewers can test the camera. If the IQ is the best of any FF yet and the price is not too high than this could be a good day for pure photographers too!

And here are some more new news about the A7s: Hands-on at Newsshooter, Hands-on pics by Dpreview,  New Atomos 4K recorder for the A7s (Cinema5d), French presentation at Alpha Numerique, German press text at Photoscala, Short Japanese text at DC.watch.

Let’s see what SAR readers think about the new A7s:

Do you like the new Sony A7s?

View Results

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Image samples (Click on it to enlarge):

Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS (SEL2470Z), A mode, 1/40 sec., F4, ISO 3200, Auto white balance

FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS (SEL70200G), A mode, 1/3200 sec., F5.6, ISO 12800, Auto white balance

Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA (SEL55F18Z), A mode, 1/320 sec., F1.8, ISO 800, Auto white balance

Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS (SEL2470Z), A mode, 1/25 sec., F8, +0.3 EV, ISO 100, Daylight white balance

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.

 

April 6, 2014
Posted in rumors

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

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

April 6, 2014
Posted in deals

First A7-A7r books available for purchase!

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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