October 29, 2011
Posted in reviews

Pocket-lint reviews the A77. It’s a “Hot Product!!!”


New Sony A77 reviews are coming in from all sides. The next one is from Pocket-Lint (Click here). The camera earns 4.5 stars of 5 and earns a “hot Product” status: “Super-fast and super-sleek: Sony’s SLT-A77 is a grand replacement for the long discontinued A700 model. The camera’s OLED viewfinder is fantastic (though still not perfection), and the camera’s 12fps burst mode and clever continuous autofocus are matched with a sterling all-round performance. The A77 will put SLT cameras firmly on the map.

I have heard that the Thailand flood will soon also affect the A77 shipments. There are plenty of A77 in Stock now in Europe and Asia but there might be a shortage of cameras in a couple of weeks. The only big country that has no A77 in Stock is USA. The good news is that Amazon US is shipping their A77 preorders (and has the A65 in Stock here).

Here are all the A77 links I usually check to see where the camera is in Stock. As usual click on the shop name to check the availability and price:

Australia: CameraPRO, Digitalrev, Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.au
Austria: Amazon.at, Calumetphoto.de, eBay.at
Belgium: PCH Store, Calumet.be, Amazon.de, eBay.be
Canada: Newegg.ca, B&H, TheCameraStore, Amazon.ca, eBay.ca
China: Digitalrev, Amazon.cn, eBay
Denmark: eBay
Finland: eBay
France: Amazon.fr, eBay.fr
Germany: Amazon.de, Calumetphoto.de, Photo Porst Neuwied, Fotomundus, eBay.de
Hong Kong: Digitalrev, Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay
Ireland: Amazon.uk, eBay.ie
Italy: Amazon.it, eBay.it
Japan: Amazon.jp, Rakuten, eBay
Netherlands: Calumet.nl, eBay.nl, Amazon UK, Amazon DE
Norway: eBay
Poland: eBay
Singapore: Digitalrev, B&H, eBay
Spain: Amazon.es, eBay
Sweden: eBay
Switzerland: Amazon.de, Calumetphoto.de, eBay.ch
United Kingdom: Amazon.co.uk, ParkCameras, Jessops, WexUK, eBay UK
USA: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay



October 28, 2011
Posted in news

NEX-5n news and review roundup (hotseller on Amazon US, UK, DE)


Amanda Schmidt: City Moments: Sony Nex 5n from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

The NEX-5n has been reviewed by Cnet UK (Click here): “That rather leaves us wondering why you’d choose a conventional dSLR over the NEX-5N, assuming you haven’t already bought into one manufacturer’s body and lens system. It’s smaller, more convenient and much more fun to use. In many cases it’s cheaper, too, which in our book makes it very highly recommended indeed.

Ricoh GXR Mount Sony Nex 5N comparison (Dpreview forum).

Sony NEX-5n Addendum – By Sean Reid on Luminous Landscape (Click here / scroll down to the bottom of the article).

A reader sent me this: “I’ve posted a video on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/29216506. It is a BTS video of an AHA Image Studios shoot for Sbyke. I’m using nothing but his lighting, 2 HMIs and one gelled 650 tungsten. NEX 5n with a 16mm f2.8 lens. The entire video was shot on the Program setting. The sound is from the built in stereo mics. The lack of volume control is a big problem. I spent a lot of time in post trying to match levels with less than complete success. I’ll be using double system sound for the rest of my projects. Hope you enjoy, and maybe learn something. I find real world videos more informative than the typical bug and flower test videos.

The good news for Sony is that the NEX-5n is selling very well in USA. Actually it is the only non-Canon and non-Nikon cameras that made it into the Amazon top-20 cameras (Clcik here to see the full ranking). And that success is also pushing the lens sales (Click here to see the full camera/lens mirrorless ranking). I guess the NEX-7 would have reached an even better ranking. But I guess we will have to wait ealry 2012 until we can see that camera in Stock.

The NEX-5n sells extremely well at Amazon UK too where it is on position one of the mirrorless chart (Click here to see the ranking).

The NEX-5n is on third position of the Amazon De ranking (Click here). The surprise here is that the NEX-7 is on top! Amazon de is still accepting preorders (Click here)!

And here are the rankings for Japan (Click here), France (Click here), Italy (Click here) and Spain (Click here).



October 28, 2011
Posted in rumors

(SR4) Sony is changing the NEX lens roadmap (including new NEX pancakes)


Good news folks! Sony is listening to their customers and I have been told that they updated their lens roadmap. The “old” roadmap you see posted on top has been modified and I have been told Sony develop one-two new pancake lenses. The only pancake lens to date is the Sony 16mm f/2.8. I don’t knwo yet when Sony will announce the new roadmap.

Just my personal wish, Sony, make a lens as small and as good as the Pentax SMC DA 40mm (Click here to see that lens on ebay) :)

Reminder (SR = Sonyrumor):
SR1=probably fake rumor
SR2=rumor from unknown sources
SR3=50% chance it is correct
SR4=rumor from known sources
SR5=almost certainly correct!


October 28, 2011
Posted in news

(UPDATED) Tricks and tips to get the best from A77 RAW images!


Our reader “QX” sent me a link to an article he posted on Dpreview Forum: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1037&message=39655557.

UPDATE: The test caused heavy discussions on dpreview forum and on Sonyalpharumors. Many questioned the conclusion and quality of the test. QX sent me an email that explains better the test and resutls of his test:

My apologies for getting you into that shitstorm.

I have posted a summary of my findings in the comments section, maybe that will help.
I was just trying to put the information out there, and maybe my Original Post in the forums was too strongly worded.
I was alarmed because my A700 did not exhibit this kind of behavior in RAW.

1) If you’re shooting JPEG, choose whatever ISO you want. For High ISO try NR Weak, Clear -2,+2,-2 settings. Those worked for me at 6400 in 6MP mode. 24MP JPG high iso isn’t really… acceptable. You’ll see what I mean.
2) If you’re shooting RAW, stick to ISO 1000, and underexpose by whatever you need to get the equivalent ISO. For example, ISO 1600 means ISO 1000 and -2/3EV compensation. You can bring exposure up later .
3) If you are shooting in good light, don’t bother exposing to the right, as it seems that the RAW file stores almost the same number of levels per stop, so there is no nett gain by exposing to the right. This was my beef in claim 2 in my original post – there is no way to buy yourself any more processing headroom by ETTR (stuff like increasing clarity and contrast will increase noise, and if you tried to boost a properly exposed, low contrast subject, you will get more noise. Traditionally, if you ETTR, reduced exposure in ACR and then boosted contrast, you’d get better results).
4) Make sure you tune the focus correctly for your lenses. The A77 is really high res – it will make you pay for any small front/back focus. I had to tune my 16-50 kit to +3 to make it spot on, and it’s been behaving ever since.

It seems that there are many who just looked at the first post in that thread and jumped to conclusions. There was a lively discussion in that thread punctuated by trolls.
I don’t claim to be perfect, but as in Science, any hypothesis will be tested rigorously, and I am happy that happened in DPReview forum. I also learned a lot from the other posters.

Once again, I’m sorry for the trouble that I caused you.

One more thing: Every RAW file has some form of compression (also Nikon NEF files!). Our reader Oneguy sent me this: “ In the DPR thread that you linked, one of the poster is ejmartin (Real Name:  Emil Martinec, Professor of Physics at  the University of Chicago and a member of the particle theory group. He is also creator of Amaze, Raw demosaicer algorithm). See his article on noise: http://theory.uchicago.edu/~ejm/pix/20d/tests/noise/noise-p3.html
Scroll down to “An aside on “lossy” NEF compression” section and read the conclusion:”Bottom line: The “lossy” form of NEF compression is a clever use of information theory to save space by eliminating redundant raw levels. The noise which is unavoidably present in light effectively dithers tonal transitions so that the compression is lossless in that the image is still encoded without loss of visual information. In this sense, “lossy” compression is perhaps an inappropriate appelation.”

October 27, 2011
Posted in deals

A77 finally shipping in USA (and Europe of course)


Many SAR readers contacted me to tell me that Amazon US is finally shipping the early pre orders from August and September. But also other stores are shipping like Simplyelectronics (1 A77 is still in Stock). You cannot preorder the camera now at Amazon but the little sisther the A65 is in Stock at Amazon (Click here). In Europe even people from Sweden or Italy contacted me that stores like Scandinavian Photo in Stockholm and Amazon.it are also having the A77 in Stock. Same status for Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk.

Dear SAR readers, if you own the A77 feel free to share your first impressions and tests! I will publish them on SAR! And enjoy your camera :)

The A77 can be pre ordered at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.

October 27, 2011
Posted in rumors

More news about the NEX-7 shipment and new production location (first preorders on eBay Europe)


I am continually receiving info from dealers and people that preordered the NEX-7. Thanks!!!

The situation is the following:
Sony is dislocating the production form the factory in Thailand. I don’t know yet how much it will take until the first bunch of NEX-7 cameras can be produced there.
Sony already produced a first Stock of NEX-7 cameras before the flood hit the factory. These cameras will be shipped regularly to the very customers that preordered the camera. This means that people that preordered the camera the very first days here on Sonyalpharumors could get their cameras. A few dealers contacted me to confirm that Sony will ship them small amounts of NEX-7 cameras in early November!
The lens production is not affected! These are produced elsewhere. The new E-mount lenses, the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8, the Sony 50mm f/1.8 and the Sony 55-210mm will ship regularly.

UPDATE: First preorders are now available on eBay too. In Europe the NEX-7 body (Click here) and the NEX-7 with 18-55mm lens (Click here). Ask for the availability time before to buy them!

Here is a part of the well written report by Imaging Resource: “On October 13th, efforts to repair a damaged dyke at Ayutthaya’s Hi-Tech Industrial Estate were abandoned. One notable plant located at Hi-Tech is Sony Technology (Thailand) Co. Ltd., which manufactures p
roducts including Alpha SLR and NEX compact system camera bodies, as well as interchangeable lenses. Shortly thereafter, Sony Marketing (Japan) Inc. announced that it was postponing Japanese-market availability of products including the NEX-C3, NEX-5N, NEX-7, and Alpha SLT-A65, and Sony Hong Kong followed suit with a delay for the NEX-7 in that market. Note, though, that the company has yet to announce any such delay in the US market. (A possible reason for this relates to the time factors involved in shipping by sea. Countries closer to the factory were likely scheduled to receive stock from later in the production run, where those further from the source may already have stock enroute from earlier production.)

And here are all NEX cameras and lens preorder links (Click on shopname to check price and availability):
Sony NEX-7 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Sony NEX-5n Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Sony 50mm f/1.8 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Sony 55-210mm Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
NEX-5n viewfinder Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.


October 26, 2011
Posted in reviews

Sony TidBits…


Sony HVL-F20S review

There is a new Sony Alpha NEX-C3 review at CameraLabs (Click here): “The NEX-C3 is smaller, lighter,and more fully featured than the first generation NEX models. It provides increased sensor resolution at little or no cost to its excellent image quality and delivers improved handling both for compact upgraders and enthusiasts. All-in-all, more than enough to gain it our Highly Recommended award“.

Sony E55-210 Vs Pentax F80-200 Brief Shootout (RiceHigh)

Sony 135mm f/2.8 lens tested on the A77 at Ctec.

Sony A65 image samples at Optyczne.

Sony A77 review at Kamera&Bild.

Test à hauts ISO des Raw du NEX-C3 développés avec Lightroom 3 (AlphaNumerique).

Sony NEX-5n review at Photographybay (Click here): “Once you become accustomed to the control scheme, the NEX-5N is fast, accurate and delivers solid images. The inclusion of a 1080/60p video capture is a huge bonus for those interested in overcranked footage for their 24p sequences. All-in-all, the NEX-5N is a great camera that is marred by an unfortunate problem with its audio recording capabilities“.

Sony 55-210mm tets iamges at DC.watch.

Sony VG-20 review at Slashcam (Click here to read the google translation).

Why you should chose SOny over Nikon/Canon (improvephotography).

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