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New Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai makes the first step to strengthen the imaging division.

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As Imaging Resource reports the new CEO Kazuo Hirai’s intention is “to make digital imaging one of three core pillars of Sony’s business.” And today Sony issued a statement saying that “Sony is positioning digital imaging, game and mobile as the three core pillars of its electronics business, and going forward aims to concentrate its resources in these areas to further reinforce the businesses.

In simple words, the digital imaging department has been elevated to an independent and strong arm of Sony’s strategy. I hope this step will simplify and accelerate the development process of new camera and lens products. With the new NEX and SLT systems Sony created a unique Chance to grow in a market that until a two years ago was merely dominated by Canon and Nikon. Good Luck!

P.S.: Talking about rumors…there is something in the air… ;)

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NEX-7 in Stock at Amazon. New NEX lens test by Photozone and Kurtmunger.

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The USA readers are having the biggest difficulty to find a NEX-7 in Stock. So it will may help you to know that at the NEX-7 body with 18-55mm lens is in Stock for the normal price at Amazon (Click here) and the body only at Cameta (Click here). In Europe you can find plenty of cameras at Amazon Germany (Click here), Amazon France (Click here), Amazon UK (Click here), Jessops (Click here), Amazon Italy (Click here), Redcoon Poland (Click here) and Redcoon Spain (Click here). In Asia at Amazon Japan (Click here) and Digitalrev (Click here).

But now let’s go back to the NEX-7 theme of the moment. Photozone (Click here) now published the 55-210mm NEX lens test and once again it proves that the NEX-7 demands top lenses to get superb results. Anyway, the lens isn’t as bad as the other NEX lenses: “The lens is surely not remotely capable of exploiting the potential of this sensor but the results are generally decent – at least from a real world perspective.
Kurt Munger (Click here) tested the 30mm macro lens on the NEX-C3: “Unfortunately, Sony’s hot streak has come to an abrupt end with the new 30mm F/3.5 macro lens.  It’s not that it’s a bad lens, it just isn’t very impressive.

In Short, if you like me want the best quality on the NEX-7 than go for the superb Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 (Here at [shopcountry 8450]) or the cheap and still good 50mm f/1.8 (preorder at [shopcountry 8448]).

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Is more Megapixel better? D800 Sony sensor test…and a secret weapon for Sony.

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Image credit: Lensrentals (Click here)

As I told you Sony is working on two new FF models, one with 24 and one with 36 Megapixel sensor. With the recent release Canon opted for a “low” resolution 22 Megapixel sensor while Nikon opted for the Sony 36 Megapixel sensor. Question is, how much difference will it make in the real world? Roger from Lensrentals (Click here) made a comparison by testing the same Zeiss 25mm f/2.0 and 100mm f/2.0 lenses on both cameras. There are some interesting findings:
1) The difference becomes clearly visible when using the best performing lens aperture. At full wide aperture the difference is almost zero.
2) You need super quality glass to get out the most from the D800. Interesting, the Zeiss lenses are slightly superior to the tested Nikon lenses.

Sony’s strategy to offer two different FF models is welcome but there is also a secret weapon Sony has to push. The Zeiss lenses. It seems they can give the A-mount camera the edge in terms of resolution over Nikon and Canon lenses. I hope the rumored A mount 50mm f/1.4 Zeiss SSM lens will arrive along the next FF camera!

P.S.: Nikon D800 rules the DSLR ranking (Click here) while Sony rules the mirrorless ranking (Click here). Looks liek Sony sensor and camera business is doing great!

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Domain name change on hold. Thanks for your support.

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Dear readers!

I have to thank you for the support you are giving me on SonyAlphaRumors. As you know I have to consider to change the domain name because of some “pressure” on my work here on SAR. I am still on hold to see if there is a chance to keep things how they are. I received more than 400 mails with domain name suggestion and support messages. Please understand that I cannot answer you all and I am writing this post to let you know that I read every single mail I got and it really helped me to get back some energy. Thanks again!

I want to make clear that I think so many people at Sony are doing a great work. It’s just pity “someone I don’t know” is trying to make my work on SAR a bit more diffcult. But I think in one way or another things will be solved soon.

And now let’s go back to work on Sony enws and rumors ;)

 

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Sony A57 news roundup (shipping April 22)

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THe US store BHphoto (Click here) expects to ship the new A57 on April 22. Meantime new tests have been published: ISO test at DCfever (Click here). A57 image samples at Lenstip (Click here). First impressions at DxOmark (Click here). Sony Alpha A57 at each ISO setting at ThePictureDesk (Click here).

The next new SLT camera should be the A37. And than the A99…

P.S.: Zeiss for NEX is back in Stock at Amazon (Click here).

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(SR4) A99 prototype has an “All Cross 102 point AF” !

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A couple of days ago I told you that there are already some A99 prototypes into the wild. Photographers are testing the SLT Full Frame camera and their new features. Until know we know that the prototype has a new kind of 24 Megapixel FF sensor with base sensitivity of 100-25.600 ISO that can be extended to 50 up to 102400. One of our sources now told us that the Sony A99 has also an incredible new AF system of “102 all cross point AF“! We are talking about the A99 prototype camera so we cannot be sure the features will remain the same in the final production camera. But sources told me that focusing is one of the main area Sony is working on to beat the Nikon D800 (Click here to read specs) and Canon 5DmarkIII competition. For comparison, the [shoplink 8461]A77[/shoplink] has a 19 cross points “only”.

For the record. Both, the [shoplink 3028]Sony A850[/shoplink] and the [shoplink 3032]Sony A900[/shoplink] cameras have been removed from all Sony website (from the Alpha DSLR camera presentation page not from the store!). They will be also the last optical viewfinder FF cameras from Sony. The A99 will use a new generation SLT and OLED viewfinder technology.

P.S.: Some new A850 can be found on [shoplink 3028 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and also some [shoplink 3032 ebay]A900 (Click here)[/shoplink].

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!

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Photozone: Most current NEX lenses are not good enough for the NEX-7!

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Image courtesy: Photozone.

Klaus from Photozone has some bad news for us. He tested three NEX lenses and all are delivering sub average results when used on the NEX-7. The 24 Megapixel sensors demands high quality lenses and the cheaper 16mm, 18-55mm and 30mm macro can’t exploit the full sensor potential. The only exception is the [shoplink 8448]50mm f/1.8[/shoplink] lens and very likely the still to be tested and wonderful [shoplink 8450]Zeiss 24mm f/1.8[/shoplink]. Here are the latest three tests from Klaus:

1) The Sony E 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS (Click here to read the review) kit lens isn’t good enough for the NEX-7: “it may perform decently on lower resolution NEX cameras (the 3 and 5 series). However, its capabilities are clearly overstrained on Sony’s 24 megapixel sensor. In so far it is very surprising that Sony is also offering it bundled with the NEX 7.

2) The 16mm f/2.8 pancake (Click here to read the review): “the Sony E 16mm f/2.8 may be a controversial lens on lower resolution NEX cameras. However, it seems rather pointless to use it on the NEX 7 – 24 megapixel are way beyond the capabilities of this tiny lens.

3) Klaus also tested the A-mount Zeiss 85mm Planar lens on the NEX-7 (Click here to read the review) and while it definitely performs much better there are still some issues: “even the mighty Zeiss isn’t perfect anymore on the 24 megapixel sensor. At max. aperture the center performance is certainly very good but the border quality is a bit lower than expected. This is somewhat surprising considering the fairly big lens to sensor distance due to the required adapter. The decrease in border quality either relates to a difficult sensor characteristic or, possibly, to a sub-optimal sample of the lens.

All these lenses do deliver a better performance on other NEX cameras with lower resolution sensors like the [shoplink 8452]Sony NEX-5n[/shoplink]. This is a call for Sony to focus on the development and release of good quality lenses! The NEX-7 remains a top seller surpassing the direct competition like the Fuji X PRO 1 and Olympus E-M5 at Amazon US (place 2), Amazon Germany (place 8), Amazon France (place 4) and Amazon UK (place 17). And they would sell ton of lenses if there would be more of them.


Sony NEX-7 preorder search links: [shopcountry 8454].
Sony 50mm f/1.8 preorder search links: [shopcountry 8448].
Zeiss 24mm f/1.8  preorder search links: [shopcountry 8450].

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