Sony Tidbits…


Sony Xperia 1 Review: Lok finds out if this is the ultimate phone for video and photos?

Full list of todays Gold Box deals at Amazon, BHphoto, eBay, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.es.
High resolution Sony a7R IV pixel shift images added to studio scene, sample gallery updated (Dpreview).
Nitecore NP-FZ100 mit 2280 mAh und Bluetooth im Test (Photoscrubs).
Moving the largest high-performance lens ever built (Engadget).
Geared Tripod Head Roundup (Explora).
Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G sample gallery (Dpreview).
7Artisans Lenses Lend a Classic Feel to Your Modern Camera (Explora).

Personal photos and tests from SAR Admin Andrea on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and 500px.

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Sony to Release Six Types of Stacked CMOS Image Sensors with Global Shutter Function with Back-Illuminated Pixel Structure

Sony is pushing hard  on the new Global Shutter sensor tech. The question is when we will get this tech on APS-C and FF cameras. I guess we still have to wait a couple of years…

Press text:

Sony to Release Six Types of Stacked CMOS Image Sensors with Global Shutter Function with Back-Illuminated Pixel Structure
Compact with Higher Precision and Speed in Recognition and Measurement to Accelerate the “Smartification” of Industrial Equipment

Tokyo, Japan — Sony Corporation announced today the forthcoming release of six new types of stacked CMOS image sensors with a global shutter function achieved using a back-illuminated pixel structure for industrial equipment applications.

These new sensors will be both compact and capable of high imaging performance without distortion of moving objects. They will employ Sony’s Pregius S — stacked CMOS image sensor technology, which comes with global shutter functionality made possible by Sony’s proprietary back-illuminated pixel structure, first announced in March 2019.

As automation and labor-saving measures are increasingly implemented in factories and logistics, machine vision cameras play an increasingly important role. The Sony’s new image sensors target these applications, delivering both compactness and superior imaging performance, with higher precision and speed in recognition and measurement, thereby contributing to improved productivity and the “smartification” of industrial equipment.

To achieve advanced automation in factories and logistics by, for example, replacing conventional visual inspection with an automated process, it is necessary to improve inspection precision and efficiency by shortening inspection times. As such, machine vision cameras performing these functions require image sensors with higher resolution and faster speed than has been available so far.

Until now, increasing the number of pixels in image sensors to improve resolution has resulted in the downside of increased chip and camera size. However, if the pixel size is reduced to prevent increasing the camera size, then the light-accumulating area per pixel will correspondingly decrease, resulting in a drop in the sensitivity and saturation signal level. This results in image quality degradation, in turn leading to degradation in recognition and detection performance.

The new Sony sensor products provide a global shutter function enabling imaging without distorting moving objects. The proprietary back-illuminated pixel structure allows for a compact size of only 2.74µm square, which is about 63% of the conventional pixel area,*3 but still maintaining pixel characteristics such as sensitivity and saturation signal level. While using the same optical system as previous models, the number of pixels has been increased and the package size (area) has been reduced to about 91%.*3 This makes it possible to achieve a compact C-mount lens*4-compatible machine vision camera with higher resolution for improved inspection precision.

The new products achieve a readout frame rate approximately 2.4 times the speed of conventional image sensors*3 thanks to the highly flexible wiring layout of the back-illuminated pixel structure, and the use of the Scalable Low Voltage Signaling with Embedded Clock (SLVS-EC) high-speed interface standard developed by Sony. This results in shorter process time for measurements and inspections, contributing to significantly improved productivity.

Further, the stacked structure allows for embedding various signal processing circuits such as the high dynamic range (HDR) processing circuit*5 that can prevent distortion in moving objects, thereby enabling myriad functions for various machine vision applications in a package more compact than conventional image sensors.*3

*3: Comparison between Sony’s IMX253 and IMX531 CMOS image sensors (1.1 type, 12.37 effective megapixels)
*4: An industry standard mount for joining the lens and camera body.
*5: Installed in the IMX530/531/532.

Main Features
CMOS image sensor equipped with global shutter function delivering both high definition and compactness
These new products achieve both compactness and high definition, plus distortion-free images of moving objects due to their stacked structures with the global shutter function made possible by the back-illuminated pixel structure. Sensitivity and saturation characteristics are maintained while achieving a size of only 2.74µm square, which is about 63% of conventional image sensors.*3 This allows for a resolution that is approximately 1.7 times higher than current standards for an optical system of the same size, with a package size reduced to about 91%*3 of conventional image sensors. This makes it possible to achieve a compact, 1.2-type high-resolution C-mount machine vision camera with 24.45 effective megapixels, enabling flexible installation in equipment and production lines.

High-speed readout of image data
SLVS-EC
The back-illuminated pixel structure offers a high degree of freedom in wiring layout. Coupling this with SLVS-EC, an embedded clock*6 high-speed interface standard developed by Sony, produces a readout frame rate 2.4 times faster than conventional image sensors.*3 This makes it possible to shorten takt time of production equipment and devices, and to improve throughput.

Sony is providing an expansive lineup, including the high-speed IMX530/531/532 models for high-end cameras using high-speed bandwidth, in addition to the standard IMX540/541/542 models that support 5G bps supplementing the expansion in the application of USB 3.0 and 5GigE. These diverse products will contribute significantly to productivity improvements such as reducing the time needed for measurement and inspection processes for various applications, including inspection, image recognition, identification, and measurement.

*6: In this method, the clock signal is embedded in the data transmitted. Since there is no need to address skew between lanes, the method is suited to high-speed transmission and simplifies the board design.
Realization of high functionality to improve usability
The stacked structure makes it possible to mount various signal processing circuits, allowing for a CMOS image sensor that is both compact and highly functional. By arranging the signal circuits in a stacked configuration, it is possible to achieve many functions in a package that is more compact than conventional image sensors.*3 These include data optimization functions (ROI, self-trigger, etc.) that extract only the information needed from the image data, new features such as internal HDR processing using dual A/D converters preventing distortion in moving objects, and short interval exposure control, thereby responding to various needs in diversifying machine vision applications.

This week SAR readers photos selection


Mukesh Patel‎S
Fight in Air!
A7Riii, 400 GM + 1.4 TC, 1/3200 sec at f / 4.0, ISO 400
#sonyalphagallery

1) You can submit one single picture per week only.
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Voigtlander has announced the new 50mm f/2.0 Lanthar FE lens!

This is the google translated  text from the Photoscala article:

Announcement Voigtländer 50 mm / 1: 2.0 APO-LANTHAR E
The most powerful standard lens of all time in the history of Voigtländer!

 

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Voigtland Classic Line, we are today presenting the Voigtland APO-LANTHAR 50 mm F2.0, which was developed exclusively for Sony E-Mount full-frame cameras!

The name APO-LANTHAR is only awarded for particularly powerful lenses in the Voigtländer range. And with the new APO-LANTHAR 50 mm F2.0 we are talking about a real masterpiece! The development goal was to provide the highest level of imaging performance without compromising on design. For this purpose almost all technically possible registers were drawn to ensure this top performance. Two aspherical lens elements, five with anomalous partial dispersion, an integrated floating-focus system and an optical calculation that reduces chromatic aberrations to near zero ensure outstanding performance. The total of 12 diaphragm blades have a special shape, so that not only at aperture F2.0 but also at aperture F2.8 creates a circular opening. This allows for circular bokeh from a point light source. As usual from Voigtländer, the aperture selection and the focusing are done manually, with the focus peaking function, this can be done very precisely. The shutter snaps in 1/3 steps and can also be completely switched to stepless (and therefore silent).

The Voigtland APO-LANTHAR 50 mm F2.0 has electrical contacts that integrate the lens settings in the image acquisition with the Exif information. In addition, the lens is equipped with a distance encoder, which enables the support of 5-axis image stabilization on Sony cameras by providing the distance to the subject to compensate for camera shake.

Our new APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2.0 is a true high-performer and sets the tone in the top class. Especially in conjunction with the new high-performance sensors from Sony, one can expect outstanding results!
The main features summarized:

Designed and optimized for Sony E-mount full-frame cameras
Excellent performance through the use of aspherical lens surfaces
Extremely solid and durable construction
Manual focus with focus peaking for precise focus
Built-in shutter-click-stop mechanism for video
Optical design that eliminates chromatic aberrations
12 aperture blades allow a circular aperture in F2.8

Information on the market launch and selling price is not yet available and will be announced later.

I have been told it will have the same excellent performance as the 110mm Lanthar.

Sony Introduces Alpha 9 II Adding Enhanced Connectivity and Workflow for Professional Sports Photographers and Photojournalists

In a quite unusual fashion Sony announced the new A9II without an official live stream presentation and journalist gathering. That’s why you don’t find hands-on videos! Here is all we know so far:

Preorders:
Sony A9II at BHphoto. Adorama. Amazon. FocusCamera. BuyDig. Calumet DE. WexUK. ParkCameras.

Press coverage:
News on Explora. Product page at Sony UK. Image samples at SonyUK. Sony A9 vs A9 II – The 10 main differences (Mirrorlesscomparison).
The a9 II is the camera Sony had to make – but they didn’t make it for you (Dpreview).

Product videos:

Youtubers reaction videos (they have no loaner of the A9II !!!)

Sony Press release:

Sony today announced Alpha 9 II (model ILCE-9M2). The latest model from Sony’s acclaimed line-up of α™(Alpha™) full-frame interchangeable lens cameras has been created specifically to support working professionals in the fields of sports photography and photojournalism.

The new Alpha 9 II builds on the impressive legacy of the original Alpha 9, maintaining ground breaking speed performance including blackout-free continuous shooting[i] at up to 20 frames per second[ii] with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking, 60 times per second AF/AE calculations[iii] while incorporating even more functionality driven directly from the voice of professionals. Updates include significantly enhanced connectivity and file delivery, continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with mechanical shutter, evolved AF performance with newly optimised algorithms, a re-designed build to enhance durability and operability and more.

“The voice of our customers is absolutely critical to Sony – we are always listening,” said Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “The Alpha 9 II is the direct result of countless feedback sessions with agency, sports and news photographers since the launch of the original Alpha 9. We’ve added connectivity and network capabilities that drastically improve the professional workflow, while also making subtle adjustments to design, interface and processing power that complete the user experience. Complemented by our extremely versatile E-mount system – with 55 native lenses introduced at this point, including the super-telephoto 600mm and 400mm G Master™ series lenses – this new camera is a tool unlike any other for professionals either in the field or on the field.”

Raising the Bar for Built-in Connectivity in the Professional’s Workflow

The Alpha 9 II includes an in-built 1000BASE-T Ethernet terminal, enabling gigabit communication for high-speed, stable data transfer operations. Additionally, File Transfer over SSL or TLS encryption (FTPS) is supported for increased data security and PC remote (tether) shooting performance is improved, with decreased release time lag and reduced live view screen delay when using the ‘Remote Camera Tool’ desktop application[iv]. The speed of the camera’s built-in wireless LAN functionality has also been increased, adding a stable and fast 5 GHz (IEEE 802.11ac)[v] band, in addition to the 2.4 GHz provided in the Alpha 9. IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards are all supported.

Designed to improve the speed of news agencies’ workflow, the Alpha 9 II features a new Voice Memo function that allows spoken information to be attached to images in the form of voice memos that can be replayed when the images are reviewed. The voice data can also be included with images sent to an editor, giving them important information needed for effective editing. Alternatively, a field photographer can also use the ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ “Imaging Edge™” application[vi] to transfer voice tags with the images to their mobile device and have the voice memos automatically[vii] converted to text and added to the JPEG images in the form of IPTC metadata[viii]. All of this can be done automatically or manually, selectable by the photographer.

By combining wireless voice / image transfer and automatic voice to text conversion with the ability to auto transfer images with attached voice memos via FTP, it is possible to shoot and transfer the results to an FTP server without ever having to operate a smartphone. FTP settings within the app can also be sent to a camera via Bluetooth®, allowing for a faster workflow.

The Platinum Standard for Speed and Auto Focus Performance

The new Alpha 9 II shares the same acclaimed 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2 MP[ix] Exmor RS™ CMOS image sensor with integral memory as the original Alpha 9, giving it the same unmatched speed performance and outstanding image quality. The new model can shoot continuously and completely silently[x] at 20 fps for up to 361 JPEG images[xi] or 239 compressed RAW images[xii], with no viewfinder blackout, allowing the photographer to follow the subject and action with no interruption to the EVF during picture taking. For times when mechanical shutter is preferred or required, the new Alpha 9 II has been improved to shoot at up to 10 fps, about 2x the speed of the Alpha 9.

The camera is able to function whilst continuously calculating Auto Focus and Auto Exposure at up to 60 times per second, with newly optimised AF algorithms that provide notably enhanced AF precision and performance, ensuring that even the most erratic subject motion, often experienced in sports, is captured with high precision. Also useful for sporting events, the camera now offers an anti-flicker[xiii] shooting mode that automatically detects and adjusts for the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting to maximise image quality.

The advanced focusing system in the new Alpha 9 II is comprised of 693 focal-plane phase-detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the image area, as well as 425 contrast AF points. This Fast Hybrid Auto Focus system achieves extremely fast and accurate performance, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are accurately captured. Additional notable focusing capabilities include Real-time Eye AF with right eye / left eye selection, Real-time Eye AF for animals[xiv] – augmented with a new algorithm, Real-Time Eye AF for movie[xv], Real-time Tracking,[xvi] selectable focus frame colour, Touch Pad focus point control while using the viewfinder and more. AF can continuously track even in continuous shooting is greater than F16[xvii], providing further accuracy for shots that require slower shutter speeds.

Refined Build and Operability

  • Upgraded BIONZ X™ image processing engine gains maximum benefit from the sensor’s fast readout speed. Processor works with front-end LSI to enhance speed in AF/AE detection, image processing, face detection and accuracy, and more
  • Upgraded dust and moisture resistant[xviii] design to meet the needs of professionals in even the most challenging outdoor conditions. Stronger sealing provided at all body seams as well as the battery compartment cover and media slot
  • Latest image-processing algorithm reduces noise in the medium-to-high sensitivity range while improving subjective resolution and image quality
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.5 steps[xix]
  • Improved grip configuration for even greater comfort and sure hold. Compatible with Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip
  • Improved button design and feel. Increased diameter and feedback of the ‘AF-ON’ button; a refined multi-selector joystick design; an exposure compensation dial lock button and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial
  • Redesigned shutter mechanism to suppress even the slightest movement that can cause image blur. Tested for durability in excess of 500,000 shutter cycles[xx]
  • USB Type-C™ connector that supports fast USB 3.2 Gen 1 data transfer
  • Dual media slots that are both compatible with UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards, allowing higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds
  • Digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe) enabling the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit to be connected directly to the MI Shoe for cleaner, clearer audio recordings

Pricing and Availability

The Alpha 9 II will ship in Europe in October 2019, priced at approximately €5,400.

For full product details on the Alpha 9 II, please visit: https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-9m2

A product video on the new Alpha 9 II can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IonW0N9xXAU&feature=youtu.be

A variety of exclusive stories, videos and exciting new content shot with the newest cameras and other Sony α products can be found at

https://www.sony.co.uk/alphauniverse. Sony’s European photography hub is available in 22 languages and details product news, competitions and an up-to-date list of Sony events in each country.

[i] Electronic shutter mode. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds

[ii] “Hi” continuous shooting mode. At of 1/125 sec. or higher. In AF-C mode the maximum continuous frame rate will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. A software update may be required for some lenses. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information

[iii] At shutter speeds of 1/125 sec. or higher. The number of AF calculations will depend on the lens used

[iv] Version 2.0 or later required. For more information on the new application updates, please visit the ‘Remote Camera Tool’ website at

https://support.d-imaging.sony.co.jp/app/remotecameratool/l/index.php

[v] Models sold in some countries/regions support IEEE 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) wireless LAN only. 5 GHz communication may be restricted in some countries and regions

[vi] Version 1.1 or later required. Ver.1.1 will be released in October 2019. For more information on the new application updates, please visit the ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ website at

https://sony.net/ttad/

[vii] Only available in regions where Google services are available. Voice Memo exceeding 50 seconds cannot be converted to text

[viii] “IPTC Metadata” is standards of metadata included in digital images formulated by IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council)

[ix] Approximate effective megapixels

[x] Silent shooting is possible when Shutter Type is set to “Electronic” and Audio signals is set to “Off”

[xi] “Hi” continuous shooting mode, UHS-II memory card. According to Sony tests

[xii] “Hi” continuous shooting mode, compressed RAW, UHS-II memory card. According to Sony tests

[xiii] Only 100 Hz and 120 Hz flicker is detected. Continuous shooting speed may decrease. Flicker-free shooting is not available during electronic shutter, BULB exposure, or movie recording

[xiv] Stills only

[xv] This function does not track animal eyes

[xvi] “Tracking” in the menu

[xvii] When the camera [Aperture Drive in AF] is set to [Focus Priority], the aperture value can be set greater than F16. The continuous speed slows down.The compatible lenses are [SEL200600G][SEL35F18F][SEL400F28GM][SEL600F40GM]

[xviii] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof

[xix] CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off

[xx] Sony internal tests with electronic front curtain shutter