Hedge Fund leader makes pressure on Sony…

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As you know there is a very deep restructuring ongoing within the Sony company. This also affected the A-mount camera roadmap. There will be no new A-mount cameras this year because the new Sony strategy is to release a camera only when it’s really ready to challenge the big ones (Canon and Nikon). This means new A-mount cameras will be due in early 2014 and we are looking forward to get some specs of the new stuff.

In the meantime Daniel Loeb, CEO of Third Point LLC, the largest owner of Sony Corp. stock, published an open letter asking Sony to focus on few profitable areas, image sensors among them (Source: Image Sensor World). Loeb is that guy that made big profits on his bets on Greek bonds, mortgages, website operator Yahoo Inc and a fall in the Japanese yen. A real hardcore speculator! The investor believes that spinning off a portion of the entertainment business to Sony shareholders could sharpen the company’s focus and lead to higher profit margins, while helping to revive the core electronics business (Source NYT via The.me).

How could he influence Sony’s digital camera business? If Loeb pressure succeeds this will force Sony to cut unprofitable business even more than they did until now. This could mean for example, drop the compact camera business and focus on high quality RX cameras. But that’s just speculation for now. I don’t think Loeb will influence the new RX-NEX and A-mount roamdap.

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First Lens Turbo shipping from UK! New Speed Boosters for Nikon G coming too.

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Sorry to bother you again with Lens Turbo and Speed Booster news. But quite many SAR readers and NEX owners are interested to grab one of these. And since today they are now available in UK stores too:
[shoplink 18466 ebay]Canon FD to NEX (Click here)[/shoplink].
[shoplink 18464 ebay]Nikon Ai to NEX (Click here)[/shoplink].
[shoplink 18463 ebay]Pentax K to NEX (Click here)[/shoplink].

There is also a news on the original (and probably more high quality) Speed Booster from metabones. A new New Speed Booster Nikon G electronic adapter to be released by end of May. And Philip Bloom is right now testing the adapter on his Blackmagic Cinema Camera. We should see his reviews soon on his website.

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Three SAR readers Lens Turbo tests…

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We have the first three “Lens Turbo” feedbacks from SAR readers ([shoplink 18455 ebay]eBay auctions here[/shoplink]):

1) SAR reader Gary (Click here) tested the Pentax to NEX Lens Turbo and you can see plenty of images on his blog. Some of his early findings:

– The build quality on the unit is fantastic,
– The field-of-view is actually a bit narrower than I expected,
– There is also a hint of vignetting wide open, and the adapter seems to add a slight green tint to the image, as well as a hint of distortion,
– it does seem to smudge and swirl the bokeh a bit.

 

2) Southerns: I’m returning my Lens Turbo. There is a large bluish dot in the center. Shot with a FS700 – http://youtu.be/zYB0lesJaxo I used the Samyang 14mm and Samyang 24mm. I also tested at the same time with the MTF adapter and that was ok. No filters were used at all. The camera was in the shade and I get the blue dot facing the opposite direction away from the sun too.

 

3) SAR reader Donny shared his Len Turbo image samples. Click on them to enlarge. The George Takai magazine, 2 Flower Shots, and Payphone were all shot with the Nex 5n plus, Lens Turbo Nikon-NEX adapter, and Nikkor 50 1.4 AIS.The rest were shot with the Samyang 35 1.4. All with an aperture of /f1.4 on lens (which becomes f/1.0 witht he Lens Turbi).

 

Current Lens Turbo auctions:

1) Hong Kong store Roxens sells the Pentax K to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18380 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink], Canon FD to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18420 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and Nikon F to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18421 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and Minolta MD to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18422 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] 2) Shanghai store Jinfinance has three adapters:  Pentax K to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18381 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink],  Canon FD to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18382 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and Nikon F to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18383 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].

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NEX-5 Gold Box auctions and RX100 superkit for $625.

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There is a new Gold Box deal on the NEX-5 at Amazon (Click here).

And the deal of the day is that [shoplink 18442 ebay]RX100 superkit on eBay US (for $625 and free shipping)[/shoplink] that includes an External Rapid Charger for Sony NP-BX1, 16GB SDHC Memory Card (Class 10), 2x – Extended Life Battery for Sony NP-BX1 and a Deluxe Soft Small Camera Case

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Reminder: Sony A77 firmware update could be released in August.

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Yesterday Zeiss said that a new NEX-5-6-7 firmware update is due for August. This also indirectly confirms the rumor I posted two months. There I wrote that a new A77-NEX-7 firmware is coming in August. A77-A65 owners can expect some of their requests to be fulfilled by Sony…some, not all :)

What I don’t know yet is if there will be a new A99 firmware update too. Some source got some information about that?

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New Lens Turbo NEX adapter auctions (Minolta, Canon, Nikon and Pentax). And first impression report.

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There are four new auctions of Lens Turbo Adapters (the Chinese version of Speed Boosters):
1) Hong Kong store Roxens sells the Pentax K to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18380 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink], Canon FD to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18420 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and Nikon F to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18421 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and Minolta MD to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18422 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] 2) Shanghai store Jinfinance has three adapters:  Pentax K to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18381 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink],  Canon FD to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18382 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and Nikon F to NEX adapter on [shoplink 18383 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].

Please notice that I don’t know these stores. But you can pay via PayPal with all the guarantees you get through it. And the stores have a high 99,5% positive feedback. The real doubt we have is if these adapters are as good as the Metabones Speed Booster. There is a first feedback on Dpreview forum written by “Forpetessake”:

Adapter looks well made, lenses are coated, it feels heavy. The adapter fits very well on the Sony body, but the lens mount feels tight.
Optically it’s better than I expected. I took a few pictures with the Lens Turbo and with a dumb adapter from the same distance, only changing the FL to get the same FOV. The images looked sharper with Lens Turbo than with a dumb adapter, though I didn’t do any measurements, so I don’t know yet if the resolution or contrast improved or the lens is simply better on the long end. Since in real life shooting, all other things being equal, the lens will be closed more with Lens Turbo than with dumb adapter, the improvements in sharpness should be even better. But that’s my speculation. The light gathering improved, though I can’t verify if it’s one stop. Because of the variable aperture lens in this experiment, I got around 1.6 (1/160 sec exposure vs 1/100 sec) improvement.
Now, the negatives. There is a noticeable vignetting on the short end at a fully open aperture. It decreases as the aperture being closed. That was expected, and might not be a big problem in real shooting. There is also a glare in high contrast situations when shooting towards light source. It looks like a fuzzy bluish spot near the center. It might be the light reflected from the sensor and the rear surface of the Lens Turbo, which is flat. Other than that I didn’t notice any other problems.

Would be nice to see a Speed Booster vs Lens Turbo real world comparison! Some reviewers out there ready to do this for us? :)

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