Vivitar 7mm fisheye review at Kurtmunger

And there it is the next review at Kurtmunger. Kurt never rests :)
That time he tested a third party lens, the Vivitar 7mm F/3.5 fisheye lens on the Sony A700: “Optically, this fisheye lens is quite good, and I’d recommend it for people that have APS-C cameras. It’s pretty sharp stopped down, and control of color fringing, light fall-off and ghosting is above average. The Vivitar 7mm APS-C fisheye performs well stopped down, although it isn’t as sharp as the Sony 16mm fisheye in the centers with a wide aperture. However, the Vivitar corners seem to be sharper with more contrast at smaller apertures. Don’t use the Sony 16mm F/2.8 fish-eye (review) on an APS-C camera, as the distortive effects are diminished by the crop factor, that’s why it doesn’t make any sense to directly compare them.

Check out price and availability of the Vivitar lens at [shopcountry 6025].
Check out price and availability of the Sony 16mm lens at [shopcountry 6026].

Sony will use electronic viewfinders only. But is there a Sony future for Hybrid viewfinders a là Fuji X100?

Optical or electronic Viewfinder? It doesn’t matter anymore what you prefer! If you want to stick with Sony than electronic viewfinder is the only possible future. As you remember Sony officially announced they will drop the classic optical viewfinder technology. So is there really no other option?

Yes there is one…The hybrid Viewfinder! The new [shoplink 5969 ebay]Fuji X100[/shoplink] offers a dual EVF/OVF vision. The bad news is that such technology works with fixed lens only. I thought you might be curious to see how it works (see the video on top). The question now is, can the X100 technology be improved? In short yes. Sony should learn from the [shoplink 5968 ebay]Contax G2[/shoplink] that has the best viewfinder ever put in a rangefinder camera. It zooms as you change lenses, so it always has the perfect size! (Click here to read the review made by Ken Rockwell). Now the dreamers question:

Will you buy the A6500?

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I would love to get my hands on that camera!

You can preorder the Fuji X100 at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto and Amazon UK. There is also one single camera on auction at [shoplink 5969 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink]. It will not be cheap!
Check out the Contax G2 auctions on [shoplink 5968 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].

New Sony A580, A55 and NEX-3 reviews

Today we have a nice mix of new Sony camera reviews!

Whatdigitalcamera (Click here) tested the Sony A580: “The most important element of the Sony A580, the image quality, is impressively consistent if not quite as eye-catching as it should be. Results are of an equivalent level to the chasing pack and the camera performs reasonably well in low light, although above ISO 800 image noise becomes apparent.
Direct Sony A580 links to [shopcountry 3028].

Stayfocusedpress (Click here) posted a three part Sony A55 review: “When I first learned about the Alpha A55, I was amazed by the number of innovative features that Sony claimed to have packed into this new body. In the two months that I’ve used this camera, I remain impressed by the results that I’m seeing in the images and the ease with which I am able to capture them.”
Direct Sony A55 links to [shopcountry 3617].

Trustedreviews (Click here) tested the Sony NEX-3 which is going to be replaced soon by the NEX-C3: “The ‘negatives’ here are a ‘basic’ looking design, lack of body integral anti shake, omission of built-in flash (so you have to carry the clip-on variety around with you), and in the case of the NEX-3, video clips are ‘just’ 1280×720 pixels rather than Full HD. Howevermitigate, on the positive side, the price for the NEX-3 body plus twin lens kit combo on review feels very fair, at between £540 and £599 depending on where you shop. It’s also very easy for the amateur to get detailed, ‘professional’ looking results at the press of a button. It may not be truly pocketable, and has it’s issues but overall it’s well worth considering either as a smaller alternative to a DSLR or a step up from high-end compacts.
Direct Sony NEX-3 links to [shopcountry 3000].

Sony sensor beats the Canon sensor (DxOmark)

Warning! Don’t show that post to your Canon friends, they could become very angry ;)
It’s right, Canon has a much wider lens range and a more professional/complete system. But you can no longer say that Canon sensors are really better than Sony sensors. De facto DxOmark (Click here) proved that Sony do deliver a better image quality than Canon sensors! See the image on top. The new [shoplink 6011]Canon 600D[/shoplink] gets easily beaten by both SLT and DSRL Sony models. Also the much more expensive [shoplink 6012]Canon 7D[/shoplink] can’t come close to the Sony cameras (Click here to see that at DxOmark). Now let’s hope Sony can prove to be a reliable system by releasing new lenses too and by improving their customer service. If that happens I am sure they will get much closer at Canon in terms of sales share.

Check out those direct links to see price and specs of the cameras:
Sony A55 at [shopcountry 3617].
Sony A33 at [shopcountry 3620].
Canon T3i/600D a [shopcountry 6011].
Canon 7D at [shopcountry 6012].

Double new lens review: 18-55mm E-mount and 85mm lens reviews

Lenstip (Click here) tested the Sony 18-55mm E-mount lens for NEX cameras: “There are categories in which the Sony E 18–55 f/3.5–5.6 OSS fares really well – very good resolution in the frame centre, a decent stabilization level or good control of the coma. An accurate autofocus is hardly the advantage of a lens used on cameras with contrast detection system but nevertheless it is a valuable merit of the system as a whole. The list of the tested lens’s flaws is regrettably quite long too. In some categories its results can be only called a spectacular slip-up. We think here mainly about the weak work against bright light and the high level of chromatic aberration. Also the frame edge resolution leaves a lot to be desired, especially if we intend to use the maximum relative aperture at both ends of focal lengths range. The distortion might be quite bothersome and also you must mention the level of vignetting at wide angle.
Click those links to check the 18-55mm lens price at [shopcountry 2996].

Photozone.de (Click here) tested the new Sony 85mm f/2.8 fullframe lens. They tested the lens on the Sony A700: “The Sony 85mm f/2.8 SAM ( SAL-85F28 ) is an impressive lens when used on APS-C DSLRs – at least with respect to its optical capabilities. The lens is extremely sharp across the frame from f/2.8 to f/8. Diffraction is a limiting factor beyond. Lateral CAs are quite low which adds to the subjective quality perception. The lens produces only a very slight amount of pincushion distortion. Thanks to its full-format design there’s almost no vignetting to speak of on APS-C DSLRs even at max. aperture. The quality of the bokeh is good. LoCAs/Bokeh fringing can be visible at f/2.8 and the issues dissolves gradually when stopping down. A weakness is a tendency towards purple fringing at max. aperture.
Click those links to check the 85mm lens price at [shopcountry 5979].

Sony A33 review at Photozone

[shoplink 3620][/shoplink] Photozone is a well known lens review website but from time to time he tests camera too. Today they published their 9 page long Sony A33 review (Click here). The camera gets recommended by the reviewers: “The 14.2 megapixel sensor delivers a remarkable image quality at lower ISO sensitivities and the articulating display leaves nothing to be desired – the same applies of course to the good electronic viewfinder. Apart from the more conventional feature set the Sony SLT-A33 offers lot’s of more or less useful options from smile detection over panorama to a HDR functionality. Despite its very small size the camera handling is excellent. Subjectively we didn’t really like the camera’s finish due to the amount of plastics but objectively it did the job during the tests and that’s where it counts after all.

You can check price and availability of the A33 clicking those direct links: [shopcountry 3620].

Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 review at Kurtmunger

Image courtesy: Kurtmunger.com

Kurtmunger (Click here) tested the Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on the Sony A700 and A900: “Build quality is not great like the Sony, and the slot/screw drive focusing system is slow, but pretty accurate.  Unfortunately, there are no focus hold or focus limiter buttons to help out, that’s the down side.  On the up side, the lens performs very well optically, with relatively low distortion, good control of both axial and lateral color fringing, although color fringing is noticeable along the sides at the short end to about 135mm.”

For comparison: You can also read the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 review at Kurtmunger and Photozone.

The Tamron lens costs $769 at BHphoto (Click here)
The Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM Lens is just a little bit more expensive….$1,799.00 (!) at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).