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January 11, 2013
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Posted in reviews

Sony NEX 6 Review At Cameralabs

Sony NEX 6 sample movie: continuous AF from Gordon Laing on Vimeo.

Cameralabs posted their Sony NEX 6 (price & specs) review. In the verdict they write:

For the first time the NEX series has a lens which perfectly complements its diminutive proportions. The E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS power zoom is small, lightweight and provides two zoom controls, the second of which also serves as a manual focus ring. With a 24mm super wide-angle extending to 75mm equivalent portrait length, it’s an excellent stabilised ‘standard’ zoom that doesn’t prevent you dropping the NEX-6 into your coat pocket.

But probably the biggest development is the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity coupled with downloadable apps that allow you to add to and extend the camera’s features. This is a very exctiing development indeed, and one which means that the camera is no longer limited to the set of features it left the factory with. Currently there are eight apps available for the NEX-6, but I’d expect to see app availablity expand over the coming months and years as new NEX models also incorporate this feature. Those apps will hopefully extend the ability of the NEX range to communicate with a wider range of social networks and photo sharing sites as well as adding new creative photography features.

The review comes with lots of samples and videos. Check it out!

Sony NEX 6 price and availability check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay

[via cameralabs]

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)

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 2, 2013
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Posted in reviews

Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS First Impressions

Image courtesy: Matthew Durr Photography

After having used Nikkor AI lenses for a long time with his Sony Nex7 (price & specs), photographer Matthew Durr decided to get an E-mount lens and bought a Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS. He writes:

So far, I’m liking what I’m seeing. Wide-open, there’s a bit of softness, but it doesn’t detract from images at normal viewing sizes in any way. Focus seems to be mostly consistent: using flexible spot at the center, focus is usually spot-on. [...] For focus speed, I’d say it’s about twice as fast as the time it takes for me to find focus manually with my Nikkors (on static objects). [...]

What I am loving without a doubt on the 35mm f/1.8 is the OSS. Not only does it help give another few stops of shutter speed advantage in low light and make handheld video smooth as silk (which I already knew it would do), but it makes composing photographs surprisingly easier! Framing can be much tighter when using the 35mm f/1.8; small movements which would translate to a jerk in the liveview with a non-OSS lens move the picture around very slowly with this lens. It’s a subtle, but nice touch to keep from needing to crop and rotate a bit in post-processing.

There are sample images and more in Matthew Durr’s first impressions review.

Sony Nex7 price check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay

Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS price check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay

July 29, 2010
Vendor:
Posted in news

Sony TidBits


Sony NEX-VG10 First Look Preview

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Sony Alpha NEX-3 review on Photoreview Australia
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Sony Alpha NEX-5 review on PCW.co.uk
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Sony DT 55-200mm F/4-5.6 review (Kurtmunger)
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Interview: Sony NEX of “E Mount strategy.” (in japanese, click here to read the terrible google english translation)
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Sony’s 3D Plan? We Can Fix It in Post (StudioDaily)
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Sony World Photography Awards 2010 Student Winners (Photographyblog)

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