Sony NEX new firmware: Hands-On Review by Luminous Landscape!

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As you might know Sony officially announced a new firmware update for the [shoplink 3000]NEX-3[/shoplink] and [shoplink 3003]NEX-5[/shoplink] cameras (it will be available by mid-October). There will be also a new firmware upgrade for the NEX-VG10 camcorder in November. Luminous Landscape (Click here) had the chance to test the new firmware!
Interesting notes:
– “Once you work the updated camera for a few minutes it then doesn’t take long to realize that this is a camera reborn.”
– “This firmware update now allows setting the aperture during video shooting, if the mode is set to Aperture priority beforehand (or the Background Defocus control is used). You can’t set the aperture during filming, only beforehand, but at least you can.”
– AF with Sony SAM and SSM lenses: “I tried six different lenses and all autofocused fine, but I found that the AF speed ranged from about two to four seconds. I would therefore judge this to be one of those nice to have capabilities, but frankly not something that I would use often, and certainly not at all if the subject is moving.”

I agree with what they say here: “Well done Sony! From complaints to shipping firmware update in three months shows that there are execs at the company that are listening to end users, and who care. This won’t go unnoticed or unappreciated by the user community.“. So now let’s hope Sony is listen to us: We want the A77 and next FF as soon as possible! :)

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The longest post ever: all the links and news SAR readers sent me during Photokina time :)

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Dear SonyAlphaRumors readers!

In these days I received something like 200-250 mails and comments and I had not enough time to answer you all. Please keep always in mind that:

1) I am doing all the work alone
2) I am doing that in my free time afterworks
3) I try to post a maximum of 3-4 articles per day. This because I have seen that most readers to read the posts on top only.

So please be patient when you send me rumors, news and reviews. I will always try to answer you but give me some time :)

So here is a selecetion of news I received from you. Many Thanks again for all your help!!!

Mail 1

Photokina in 12 minutes from Heiner Hänsel on Vimeo.

The video was produced with the Sony Nex-VG10 with 18-200 mm lens. In postproduction i tuned up the contrast a little bit. The original sound in parts of the film was recorded with the VG10-Micro.

Mail 2

Lofotens Islands with a Sony a55 from NSF-56k on Vimeo.

Nice A55 video with SSM and screw drive lenses.

Mail 3

Here are some pictures of the new sony A7xx And New sony flash: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29933008@N02/sets/72157624887549907/

Mail 4

Here are some images showing the range of the zoom from 18 to 200. The lens is tack sharp. Most of the time it focuses almost instantly. It did have trouble focusing at 200mm shooting into oncoming traffic on 6th Ave (which ends at Central Park
on the corner below). It kept seeking, not fixing on anything. The zoom ring is a bit tight (maybe because it is new. It is fluid though. No lens creep). The panoramic setting only
works at the wide positions. These are all jpegs for ease in sending them to you. The RAW images processed through Photoshop CS4 are excellent!
The new SEL 18200 lens sold out in 24 hours from the Sony Style store on Madison Ave. in Manhattan. That’s about it for today.” Click on thumbnails to enlarge!

Mail 5

Hi Andrea,
I was playing around with my NEX 5 today (it has the latest firmware) and found something funny was happening with the camera when I used adapters on it (so no electronic communication between the camera and the lens).
Under a certain type of compact fluorescent light, the NEX 5 becomes unable to properly render zoomed in versions of the photo it has taken. The RAW files are OK, as is the quick overview preview of the image, but when you zoom in on the camera screen, the colours become weird and with a rasterised effect.
I have documented this in the image below

http://twitpic.com/2qlmol/full

I have tried this with a Minolta Rokkor lens and adapter as well, and it yields the same result with that light, so this can be replicated (i.e.: its not just a bad combination of lens and adapter). It does not happen with the E-mount 16mm lens. The problem only happens with that sort of light, I suspect. Other shots in different light render OK, but if for example I shoot a scene which includes that light source, once again the rendering becomes trashed.
Cheers!
icie

Mail 6

London Drugs (Western Canada) has the A33 in stock. Notices Sonystyle retail outlet in Richmond, BC did not.”

Mail 7

“I’m in Japan and use α55.
I hope how thing buy think camera must attention about information of how long time can take movie.
in Japan,when around 30degree,
only few min can take movie.
(use anti-shake)some one 2min someone 7min.but not over 10min may be.
this camera can take good movie but can’t use like movie camera.I hope every body not misunderstanding
.”

There are of course more mails and messages but I will pot them later!

Bye

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Sonyalpha.es creates new Lightroom and Camera Raw profiles for our Sony cameras!

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I received following news from David Bejarano:

Hello!
Once again I’m David Bejarano, Spanish forum administrator www.sonyalpha.es photography, I am pleased to announce the creation of profiles for our cameras alpha for Lightroom and Camera Raw:

APS-C
Tokina 11-16/2.8 para A700
Zeiss 16-80 para A700
Minolta 24-105/3.5-4.5D para A700:Próximamente
Minolta 70-210/4 “Beercan” para A700: Próximamente

Full frame
Minolta 20/2.8 RS para A850 (JPG)
Minolta 20/2.8 RS para A850 (ARW)
Minolta 24-105/3.5-4.5D para A850: Próximamente
Zeiss 24-70/2.8 para A850: Próximamente
Minolta 70-210/4 “Beercan” para A850: Próximamente
Minolta 80-200/2.8 HS-G para A850 (JPG)
Minolta 80-200/2.8 HS-G para A850 (ARW)
Minolta 100/2.0 para A850 (RAW): Próximamente
Zeiss 135/1.8 para A850 (JPG)
Zeiss 135/1.8 para A850 (ARW)

more info: http://www.sonyalpha.es/portal/noticias.item.166/perfiles-de-objetivos-y-camaras-sonyalpha.html

to download de profiles:

http://www.sonyalpha.es/portal/modules/smf/index.php?PHPSESSID=fe894af2e2a2d5bd6a9b888dc9674ee5;topic=50402.new#new

Thanks David for sharing the news with us. You really did an awesome job Sonyalpha.es!

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Sony UK says the A77 will not have a flip-up mode.

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Paul Genge of Sony UK confirmed that the A77 will not have a flip-up mode to allow shooting without this extra sheet of glass in place.

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2010/09/21/sony-affirms-nex-future-and-slt-path-for-alpha/

So the ghosting issue won’t be fixed, nor we get better high-ISO.

:(

Thanks Sky for sending me the link!

P.S:: The ghosting issue has been described here: http://www.dpreview.com/news/1009/10090705sonya55reviewupdate.asp

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Photozone: Voigtlander Color Heliar 75mm f/2.5 tested on the NEX-5

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Image courtesy: Photozone.de

Photozone keeps testing third-party lenses on Sony NEX cameras :)

They just published the Voigtlander Color Heliar 75mm f/2.5 (on Sony NEX) Review (Click here to read it): “The [shoplink 4096]Color Heliar[/shoplink] doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and if you’re looking for an affordable medium tele prime lens it is certainly worth a look.

[shoplink 4096]Click here to see the list of current Heliar 75mm auctions on eBay[/shoplink]!

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Sone NEX firmware brings lots of improvements! And it goes underwater :)

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The NEX-5 can now go underwater! http://www.nauticam.com/news-detail.asp?id=25

Via Imaging Resource we learned that the new NEX firmware will bring following improvements:

  • Adds a user-selectable option to drop you back into whatever menu item you had last selected, vs. always taking you to the top of the menu system when you hit the Menu button. (A huge improvement in usability; one that frequently had us gnashing our teeth as we fiddled with the cameras many options while testing the prototypes.)
  • Adds a user-selectable option to make the NEX menus wrap so scrolling off the bottom will take you back to the top entry again. (Not quite as important as the first change above, but this still removes an enormous annoyance.)
  • Adds customizable buttons: A gigantic improvement for experienced users. The center button and lower-left button on the camera’s back (see illustration above) can now have a wide range of camera functions assigned to them. Sony reps at the press event didn’t have an exact number for how many functions could be assigned, but said it was “a whole passel” — potentially 20 or more. Configurable options include things like white balance, ISO, exposure mode, etc. The center button can have up to three functions assigned to it simultaneously, which can be selected by pressing multiple times or pressing and scrolling with the rear control dial. The lower left button supports just one function at once. Bottom line, you’ll be able to have up to four camera functions close at hand, rather than having to delve into the menu system.
  • Aperture control in Movie mode: Probably the biggest single request from video shooters, the new firmware will let you control the aperture used during video shooting in two different ways. In Auto mode, whatever amount of “background defocus” you select in still-image mode will apply to video recording as well. Likewise, if you’ve selected Aperture Priority mode for still shooting, the same aperture setting will apply when you switch to movie recording.
  • Support for A-mount Sony lenses with internal motors. Initially, the NEX cameras only supported the older A-mount lenses in manual focusing mode. The update will support autofocus operation with A-mount lenses that have internal focus motors. (We didn’t take time to do a full count, but we think that’s a total of about 12 lens models.) NOTE, though, that you actually have to upgrade the firmware in the lens adapter, as well as in the camera itself. (We were surprised to learn that the A-mount to E-mount adapter actually has a chip in it, to translate data between the lens and the camera body. As part of the update process, then, you’ll need to attach your Sony A-mount adapter to the camera, so the camera can update the adapter’s firmware.)
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Sony: “we think translucent mirror designs are better (than classic DSLR)”. A77 within one year.

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In an interview on CNET ASIA (via Noisycameras), Katsumoto said the SLT pro-model should arrive “within one year.”

How much higher up the line will Sony take the translucent mirror approach, also called a pellicle mirror? Katsumoto wouldn’t say, but it’s possible to use it on full-frame models whose sensors are as large as a frame of 35mm film for better light-gathering abilities than mainstream cameras with smaller sensors.

It can be used for full-frame as well,” he said, but what Sony will do depends on customer needs. “Many people like the optical viewfinder, but from a technological point of view we think [translucent mirror designs] are better.”

It’s important to underline the fact that Sony said that they will focus on the customers need. So let’s do a poll to check what SonyAlphaRumros readers want!

I bet on Sunday Sony will announce...

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