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November 2, 2017
Posted in reviews

New Sony A7rIII can take around 63 Megapixel (Bayer equivalent) pictures in “Pixel Shift Multi Shooting” modus?

New A7rIII preorders:
Sony A7rIII at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK. Photo-Porst.de. Sony Netherland. Sony Australia. Sony Japan.
Sony 24-105mm at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK.

The one new Key Feature that certainly stands out on the new A7rIII is the “Pixel Shift Multi Shooting“. It combines 4 shots (every shot has a 1 pixel shift). The total pixel number is 169.9MP. After that you have to merge these pictures on a dedicated Sony computer  software and the result is a final 42MP pixel image where every pixel contains the full RGB color information.

This mode allows for higher resolution, color accuracy and less moire issues. The Sony China presentation claims the final image resolution compares to an image taken with a 99 Megapixel Bayer sensor. I hope to be able to confirm this via other Sony sources because I haven’t seen this mentioned elsewhere.

I tend to believe the number given by Diglloyd is more realistic:

  • “Resolution increases substantially but I see this as subjective more than objective; it depends on the subject matter, color, etc. I would rate a 42-megapixel sensor as being at least as good as a ~63 megapixel sensor. It’s not just an increase in detail, but a loss of spurious detail, elimination of aliasing, a gain in textural detail, etc. Subjectively, it is a huge step up, like skipping 3 generations of cameras.”

I hope we can see some tests soon to determine what’s the quality of those multi shooting images.

In the meantime check out these videos and images that do explain how the Pixel Shift mode works:

 

 

Join the A7rIII facebook group to discuss the camera features and tests!


November 2, 2017
Posted in reviews

Going against the flow: The reasons why Pascal Jappy will NOT buy the new Sony A7rIII

We posted all the “voice” from testers who got their hand on the A7rIII. And so far they all do agree that this is a great Sony camera. But I wanted to give some space to a critic voice that has yet NOT tested the camera. But still he got some arguments why he will NOT buy the Sony A7rIII. This post has been published first on DearSusans and gets reposted here with permission from the author:

Sony A7r3, diminishing returns & Maslow hierarchy of needs

So Sony announced the new iteration of their A7r range. And its promises are numerous and mouth-watering. Better AF, better sensor circuitry, a better battery, a better shutter mechanism, a better EVF, a better IBIS and the star of the show : pixel-shift. All at an unchanged price point. Sweet!

Probably.

Following the announcement, I resisted the urge to read the hundreds of comments that piled on at the bottom of the articles announcing this new gem, to be sure I would maintain an unbiased frame of mind when viewing the first samples.

Now that that’s done, I have learnt nothing, except that Sony are continuing their powerful push towards uber-technological cameras that have taken the market by storm. Definitely not the direction I’d personally want to see them go but, judging by the sales stats, probably the most intelligent one to follow to survive and thrive in a collapsing market.

A couple of years ago, the addition of a joystick at the back of a camera would have driven me nuts. But when I realised Sony’s commitment is to tech lovers and content producers, not old-fashioned photographers like me, all that angry mist evaporated and revealed the cleverness of the strategy.

I shan’t repeat what the dozens of videos produced by far more informed influencers have explained in the past days but will wonder instead whether all of this is enough. And my apologies if that seems unfair to a company that is pushing so hard and is evidently listening long and hard to the wants and complaints of the majority of its users (they make no fuss about it, but it’s pretty obvious they read all the comments and take them into account. Kudos for that !!!)

Objectively, and by any popular measure, the Sony A7r3 is a great camera. Really great.

The nagging question is: how much greater than the great Sony A7r2 ? Well, think of it this way: just about everything that matters in a camera is better in the new version. That’s how much! And that’s the brilliance of Sony. They take a camera that’s draining the market from under all their competitor’s feet and make it better in almost every conceivable way. Better still, they launch the A9 flagship that wows the whole planet then release a camera with 90% of its goodness and far better IQ, at a fraction of the price, just a few weeks later. A bit like the Tesla Model S and the newer Model 3.

So why isn’t Sony’s image as a photo incumbent growing as fast as their market share ? As Philippe asks in his latest post, why is Leica so respected in spite of crazy prices, outdated tech and a very shaky loyalty towards their customers, when Sony are constantly expanding the shooting envelope and receiving so little love for it?

If I knew for sure, Sony would probably pay me millions to explain … 😉

But my guess is that (beyond the inertia of brand dynamics) they are battling the laws of diminishing returns and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, both far more powerful than their photo division.

In our little list of DS contributors, 4 people (at least) own a Sony A7r2. 2 are on the fence about upgrading, 2 have largely decided against. Not good for Sony.

Me, I’m firmly leaning towards the NO camp. I have no interest whatsoever in tech gadgets and only image quality speaks to me. So far, nothing in the official literature has suggested image quality improvements over the A7r2 (pixel shift results initially seem a bit underwhelming, more like catching up than overtaking), but new joysticks and unwanted thingamabobs abound. This is a camera for camera lovers, not for image lovers. I’m unmoved.

But that’s just me. For others among us who enjoy technology and use it to the most, the differences are all welcome but may not add up to a strong enough USP to justify an upgrade. Sony have little competition, except for Sony. And the A7r2 is likely to be the A7r3’s greatest foe (financially advantageous upgrade plans, maybe ?) And that’s before we get into the whole smartphone thing (which of these pictures were made with my – now positively antique and battered – Samsung Galaxy S6 ?)

We’re all viewing images on the web and we’re all well-enough equipped for that. Who needs a marginally better cookie cutter that doesn’t make the shooting experience significantly better ?

And this brings me to my final point.

Ask a starving beggar how you can help him self-actualize and he’ll probably slap you in the face. Food & shelter first. New age comes after.

In our little group, several of us have faced catastrophic failures with our Sony cameras. That was years ago, but reputations stick. And Sony have done remarkably little to address that rep issue.

Ditto weather sealing. Some manufacturers plunge their bodies into streams for all to see on YouTube, but my A7r2 faints at the sight of clouds on telly. It’s hard to fathom that a company who can muster the genius and tech to perform the millions of calculations required for pixel shift, faster than a fly can fart, isn’t able to slap a few rubber bands at the appropriate places … In an age where every new smartphone is more hermetic than Rosicrucian masters, this just doesn’t cut it any more.

Neither do the sharing abilities. In a world where the home printing experience has never been so shitty, people love to share online. Heck they love to share online, even if they do print. Here again the phone needlessly crushes the mirrorless dinosaur. How hard can it be to include a well-implemented dedicated section in that endless pit of buttons, joysticks, dials, paddles, touchscreens and menus ??? Seriously, 2018 and no social ?

I’m not asking that Sony do things my way, just wondering whether an empire built on tech FOMO and that doesn’t solidify its foundation isn’t a likely candidate for an unsightly collapse when the all wrong conditions align. Reliability and IQ first. Joysticks and pixel shift come after.

All this being said, my greatest wish is to be proven 100% wrong. My respect for Sony grows with every passing year. Respect, and gratitude with it. It’s entirely possible that weather sealing and reliability have been quietly improved, while the marketing focus was elsewhere. It’s entirely possible that the IQ and colours are noticeably better, irrespective of pixel shift, thanks to better circuits and downstream signal processing. It’s entirely possible that you can now press a custom button to send your fave pic of the day to your Tumblr feed. If so, you’ll find me eating a double serving of humble pie waiting in line to collect my new toy, with a huge smile on my face 😉

How about youz ?

I found the critic mostly valid and fair. And I am sure that Sony is well aware that “tech” is only one part of the camera. Reliability, customer service, easy controls, social features are also crucial for a cameras success.

Personal note: I do own the A7rII and I am undecided if I should upgrade or not. And I don’t need ultimate speed and autofocus. IQ is all that matters for me. The only real reason to upgrade would be the battery life, improved EVF and maybe the multi-shot mode.

Preorders:
Sony A7rIII at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK. Sony Australia. Photo-Porst.de and Sony Netherland.
Sony 24-105mm at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK.

Join the A7rIII facebook group to discuss the camera features and tests!

November 1, 2017
Posted in reviews

Cutting edge sensor tech: Assessing the image quality of the new Sony 100 Megapixel monochrome medium format sensor

Back in May Phase one announced the new IQ3 100MP Achromatic Back. This sensor is way larger than current FF sensor and still bigger than the “small” medium format sensors used by the Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.

The back alone costs $50,000. but is it really making a big difference? Ted Forbes tested the new back:

So this is really a unique kind of image quality. And something 99,9% of our readers will never shoot with. But still, it is interesting to see what Sony sensor can achieve. They are really dominating the photography market with their sensors.

One more thing: This is the Sony medium format sensor roadmap for 2018:

 

1) New 100MP 44x33mm Medium format Back Illuminated sensor would be announced in 2018 (for the kind of cameras like the Fuji GFX and X1D)
2) New 150MP 55x41mm Medium format Back Illuminated sensor would be announced in 2018 (for the kind of cameras like the Phase One 100XF).
3) New 150MP 55x41mm Medium format Back Illuminated monochrome sensor would be announced in 2018

October 31, 2017
Posted in reviews

Sony A7rIII dynamic range test by Dpreview: Impressive results!

Dpreview tested the Dynamic Range of the new Sony A7rIII

1) The Sony a7R III retains its dynamic range even in bursts. That’s a big deal for a Sony ILC

2) The Sony A7rIII nearly matched the D850 performance. At ISO 100, the a7R III dynamic range actually exceeds that of the D850, thanks to incredibly low read noise. That’s impressive for a camera constantly running its sensor in live view.

3) The A7rIII has nearly half-stop improvement over its predecessor

4) As for Sony’s marketing, it sounds like the claim of 15 EV is believable, but only technically if you consider how your images look when shrunk to 8MP files. To be fair, there’s some benefit to comparing dynamic range figures after resizing camera outputs to 8MP, since it’s a common basis for comparison that doesn’t penalize cameras for having higher resolution (and therefore smaller pixels).

This is a good Job from Sony. But if Sony engineers could find a way to add a “real” ISO 64 to beat the Nikon…that would be lead to an even more impressive result!

Preorders:
Sony A7rIII at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK. Sony Australia. Photo-Porst.de and Sony Netherland.
Sony 24-105mm at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK.

Join the A7rIII facebook group to discuss the camera features and tests!

October 31, 2017
Posted in reviews

New A7rIII news roundup with first tethering test and A7RIII and A9 eye AF comparison

Here is my last roundup of A7rIII tests:

With A7RIII, Sony is heading to perfection – sample photos and hands on experience (Alin Popescu).
A7RIII and A9 eye AF comparison. 0:00~0:43 A7RIIIand 0:43~1:23 A9 youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=vcL5tF3vZOU

Preorders:
Sony A7rIII at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK. Sony Australia. Photo-Porst.de and Sony Netherland.
Sony 24-105mm at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK.

Join the A7rIII facebook group to discuss the camera features and tests!

Videos:

October 30, 2017
Posted in reviews

Sony A7rIII vs Nikon D850 RAW comparison by Tony&Chelsea Northrup

First the bad news: Tony’s and Chelsea’s preliminary conclusion is that there seems to not be any Dynamic range improvement over the A7rm2. But I doubt Sony can claim 1 stop improvement at Low ISO over the predecessor and then all testers don’t see any gain at all. So let’s wait for further test before we drew any final conclusion.

I also take once more the chance to remind Sony engineers to add a “real” ISO 64 on Sony cameras. I guess it’s something they could add via firmware upgrade.

The good news: All the rest of the camera is simply impressive. The image quality is basically on par with the Nikon but the Sony has many more features and faster autofocus and frame rate. Check out their video here:

Preorders:
Sony A7rIII at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK. Sony Australia. Photo-Porst.de and Sony Netherland.
Sony 24-105mm at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK.

Join the A7rIII facebook group to discuss the camera features and tests!

 

October 30, 2017
Posted in reviews

Sony 24-105mm lens is the lightest in its class


via CameraSize

The 24-105mm is considerably lighter than the competition: The 24-105mm FE weight is 663g. The Canon is 885g and the Sigma is 795g.

Join our new Sony a7rIII group if you plan to own this camera!

Preorders:
Sony A7rIII at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK. Sony Australia. Photo-Porst.de and Sony Netherland.
Sony 24-105mm at Amazon, Bhphoto, Adorama, BuyDig, FocusCamera, Calumet DE, Wex UK.

Join the A7rIII facebook group to discuss the camera features and tests!

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