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Seagate and DJI launch Fly Drive, a 2TB external HDD with a built-in microSD card slot

25 Apr

Seagate and DJI have jointly announced the Seagate DJI Fly Drive, an external storage drive with up to a 2TB capacity, as well as a built-in microSD card slot. The new drive is targeted at camera drone operators specifically, enabling them to rapidly transfer content from the drone camera’s microSD card onto the Seagate DJI Fly Drive. At 2TB, the Fly Drive is able to hold more than 60 hours of video recorded at 4K/30fps.

According to the two companies, Fly Drive features a built-in UHS-II-rated hub for rapid transfers of high-resolution content. The case itself features a USB-C cable that is ‘tucked inside of the [shock-resistant] bumper’ when not in use, eliminating the need to carry a separate data transfer cable. The drive supports both Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1, and it comes with two months of free access to Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

The Seagate DJI Fly Drive will hit shelves some time this summer for $ 120.

Via: Seagate

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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SLR Magic introduces E-mount Cine 25mm F1.4

25 Apr

SLR Magic will be showing off a new prime for videographers at NAB: the Cine 25mm F1.4. Costing $ 400 and available at the end of May, the 25mm F1.4 will be available in E-mount and will be compatible with both APS-C and full-frame Sony cameras. The lens is a quite compact 78.4mm / 3.05in and weighs 520g / 18.34oz. A manually controlled aperture uses 13 blades. NAB attendees can take a look at the lens in person at SLR Magic’s booth.

Press Release:

Hong Kong, China (April 24, 2017) – SLR Magic extends it’s full frame lens lineup with the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 wide angle lens. This product will be officially introduced during the upcoming 2017 NAB Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center. There will be a demo at the SLR Magic booth (Central Hall, C2663) during the NAB Show from 24 – 27th April 2017.

The field of view of the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 opens up many new creative composition opportunities, particularly in the fields of interior, architectural and landscape cinematography and photography. The compact size of the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 wide angle lens also makes it a good choice of lens to be used with gimbals.

We place our highest priority in the development on our lenses to fulfill the demands of professional cinematographers and photographers. The design and build of the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 is solid and reliable.

SLR Magic is currently looking for volunteers to test the SLR MAGIC CINE 25mm F1.4 E mount lens at a special price. If interested:

1 ) Send an email to support@slrmagic.com with the subject ” SLR MAGIC CINE 25mm F1.4 lens volunteer + (your name)”.

2 ) Include sample videos/photos or link to photo/video reviews you have done in the past.

THE SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 (MSRP: $ 399 US) will be available from authorized SLR Magic dealers by the end of May, 2017.

Technical Data

SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4

Lens Type: Fast standard lens

Compatible Cameras: FE-mount and E-mount cameras

Optical Design: 11 elements in 9 groups

Distance Settings:

Distance range: 0.25m to ?, combined scale meter/feet

Aperture: Manually controlled diaphragm, 13 aperture blades, Lowest value 16.

Filter Mount: Internal thread for 52mm filter; filter mount does not rotate.

Surface Finish: Black anodised

Dimensions:

Length to bayonet mount: approx. 78.40mm (approx. 3.05in)

Largest diameter: approx. 64.64mm (approx. 2.54in)

Weight: approx. 520g (approx. 18.34oz)

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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TriLens triple lens holder coming to Kickstarter

25 Apr

We’ve seen belt-mounted lens-holders before, but the TriLens from Swedish startup Frii Designs takes things to a new level. This holder lets you attach three lenses to a belt-worn device that is made of steel and fiber-reinforced nylon and can carry up to 100kg weight. 

“There’s nothing worse than coming home from a photo shoot and realize that you’ve missed irreplaceable moments because you struggled with changing lenses, or that you simply were too lazy to go through the process,” Frii Designs founder Jonas Lundin says. 

TriLens arranges three lens mounts on a triangle that rotates around its center. This way the heaviest of the attached lenses always points downwards and one open lens mount will be easily accessible at the top. In addition, the system comes with built-in stabilization to keep things less bumpy when walking or even running. The rotational friction of the system is automatically adjusted based on the weight of the attached lenses. 

TriLens is compatible with Canon, Nikon, and Sony-mount lenses and included in the package is a set of magnets that let you attach your lens caps to an open mount when the corresponding lens is in use. 

Frii Designs is planning to fund initial production through crowdfunding and will launch its Kickstarter campaign for the TriLens on May 9. The company’s goal is to secure around 600 pre-orders to get production going. Photographers  who think the TriLens could make their work day easier can sign up on the Frii Design website to register interest and for pricing information. You’ll also be notified about the campaign launch. If everything goes to plan, shipping is planned to start in October this year.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Fujifilm X100T in black listed as discontinued on B&H Photo

25 Apr

Is it the beginning of the end for the Fujifilm X100T? The camera has been listed as discontinued on B&H Photo’s website. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this camera show up on an online retailer’s website as discontinued; Digital Rev showed it out of stock back in September 2016, though it currently lists one version the camera as ‘in stock.’

The B&H Photo listing shows only the black version of the X100T as discontinued, while the silver version is still available. In contrast, Digital Rev shows the black version as currently available and the silver version as unavailable. Adorama still lists both the black and silver versions available for a discounted $ 1,099.99.

Via: FujiAddict

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sony a9: Why being better might not be enough

24 Apr

The Sony a9 is an impressive looking camera. At 20 frames per second, its able to shoot much faster than either of the professional sports cameras from the two big DSLR makers.

The Sony is also smaller and lighter than these cameras (even with a battery grip added, to get nearer to matching their battery endurance), and has autofocus coverage across a much wider region of the frame than a DSLR AF system can offer. On top of this, it’s $ 1500 cheaper than Canon’s EOS-1D X II and $ 2000 less than Nikon’s D5.

And, most importantly, my colleagues who’ve shot with the camera say that the AF performance is within the realms of that offered by the current generation of pro DSLRs.

So, game, set and match, Sony?

Our initial impressions, as well as the underlying specifications, suggest Sony’s a9 is a highly capable piece of kit. But is that enough for it to elbow its way to the sidelines of the world’s sports pitches?

Well, not necessarily. For moneyed enthusiasts, the Sony looks like a pretty competitive option. Though, of course, the cost isn’t just about buying the body. If you have to make a switch to a completely new system, the costs extend to every item you need to replace.

However, there are a number of factors that make it more difficult for a working professional to change systems. We spoke to a couple of photojournalists at The Seattle Times about the factors beyond sticker price that might stand in the way of switching (not specifically to Sony but to any other system).

Lenses

Lenses are one of the biggest factors in deciding whether to swap systems. Not only are lenses every bit as important as cameras themselves when making images but also, especially at the pro and sports end of the market, can easily cost more than a camera body. Often the bulk of the cost of changing systems lies in the need to sell your existing lenses and buy new ones, with the precise cost depending on which lenses you need.

Lens availability is another significant hurdle. Sony has been making strides with its GM lens series but there’s a distinct lack of the long and fast telephoto lenses that sports shooters depend on.

‘Go to any sporting event: the Olympics, the Super Bowl and it comes down to the same basic configurations: short zoom, long zoom, super telephoto’

‘Go to any sporting event: the Olympics, the Super Bowl and it comes down to the same basic configurations: short zoom, long zoom, super telephoto. Essentially a 16-35, 70-200 and 400 mm F2.8,’ explains Seattle Times photographer Dean Rutz.

‘What all these companies lack is the super prime telephoto,’ he says: ‘I can’t logically make the switch without a 400mm F2.8 or equivalent. At least a 300mm F2.8. A 70-200 equivalent isn’t sufficient.’

Bettina Hansen, Rutz’s colleague at the Seattle Times agrees: ‘for sports I use a 16-35, 70-200 and one of either the Canon 200-400, 400 F2.8 or 500 F4.’

Sony has introduced a 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM alongside the a9, but that’s not the same as having a 400mm F2.8 available.

Then, of course, there’s the issue of who owns the lenses. If your employer has spent money on a particular lens system or the rental house with which you have an account and a working relationship only supports certain systems, then this can become a significant barrier to switching.

This is certainly the case for Rutz: ‘my employer provides a generous amount of Canon gear for my work, which is predominantly sports related.’

‘The Times owns everything [I use],’ says Hansen. ‘Changing isn’t totally impossible, though. Our boss did say: “let us know what you want, next time we have to replace gear,” but we tend to replace bodies one year and lenses the next. Those super-telephotos are used on a pool basis, so you can’t necessarily change while everyone’s on another system.’

Sony has clearly looked at the needs of a range of pros, with the inclusion of features such as an Ethernet connector. ‘That’s how the wires do big events,’ says Hansen: ‘Olympics, World Series, etc – the shooters sit in designated spots and images transmit instantly to editors as they are shot via Ethernet.’

The short flange-back distance of the a9 leaves enough room to fit an adapter to allow the mounting of any DSLR lens, but there’ll be a significant change in performance associated with this. Sony only promises 10 frame per second shooting when adapting its own A-mount lenses, and we’re told that both subject tracking (Lock-on AF) and Eye-AF will be unavailable when using non-native mount lenses (this has always been the case even with previous a7 bodies).

‘Performance reportedly will degrade with the adapter,’ says Rutz: ‘I’d need to see the practical application of it before committing.’ 

Accessories

As well as bodies and lenses, changing systems incurs a range of associated expenses, Hansen points out.

‘Rain gear is important for sports like football,’ she says: ‘We use Think Tank Hydrophobia rain gear, which isn’t cheap. That’s pretty popular among photojournalists.’

‘The other thing is cards: we’ve invested heavily in Compact Flash,’ she says. ‘That might not seem like much, but we have nine photographers at the moment, so it really adds up. Then there’s cases. We’ve got bags that are designed to perfectly fit a pro level DSLR and everything you need to shoot a football game and get it on a plane. Are we going to have to replace those, too?’

Some of these expenses are likely to be small, but it’s all a question of unknowns.

Support

Professional gear tends to be built pretty tough, but it’s not indestructible. Focus motors fail, lenses get dropped, sensors need cleaning. Working professionals, particularly photojournalists and sports photographers need a good degree of support if anything goes wrong: since neither the news nor a big game will wait for their gear to get fixed.

This is what the competition looks like: Canon Professional Service’s loan stock for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

As a results, Canon, Nikon and Sony all have ‘Pro’ support schemes that promise a certain level of service, usually including a defined repair period and loan equipment being available in the meantime.

‘CPS is huge to us,’ Hansen stresses: ‘For instance, say I am shooting a Seahawks game, I break a lens, shear it off at the lens mount or it gets stuck on the camera: I can send it in and have a loaner pretty quick. Canon also has a rep in Seattle so we can just go to him if we need something, he’ll often come to the games.’

Sony’s Pro Support program has been expanded to include more countries, but can it offer the degree of service that pro sports shooters have come to expect?

Sony has said it’s beefing-up its Pro support system, opening two walk-in support centers and extending coverage to Canada. The program is also available in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the United Kingdom, though the service level may differ across territories.

This is a key requirement, says Rutz: ‘the challengers need better pro services and outreach, as well as big primes, to be able to push the other companies off their perch.’ One thing in Sony’s favor? If you mostly use the electronic shutter, your mechanical shutter will have a longer life. That’s something, at least.

Familiarity

Then, beyond the practical concerns, there are the personal aspects. Canon and Nikon’s pro cameras have been carefully iterated, generation to generation, so they include the improvements asked for, while also maintaining backwards-compatibility so that users who have spent years with one brand will find the latest model immediately familiar.

Rutz gives just a small example: ‘I think most sports photographers rely on back-button focus to balance framing and frame rate in a rapid-fire sequence. Canon has a big, fat button on the back of their cameras that’s easy to find, on the fly but most other cameras have made that button too flush to be as instinctive. That’s an area that needs to be addressed.’

Interestingly, Hansen highlights exactly the same thing: ‘Back button focus is one of the first things you learn when you’re getting into photojournalism and sports photography.’

Sony has clearly heard about this need and has added a dedicated AF-On button on the a9, so it’ll be interesting how our pros get on with it, once they’ve had a chance to use the camera.

The Sony a9 has a dedicated AF-On button, but is it pronounced and well-positioned enough to ensure your thumb hits it without having to think?

That said, if the performance gain is sufficient, most pros will take the time to learn new tricks and work around any oddities. ‘The quirks of these new systems can be mitigated – honestly – if there’s less difference in fundamental performance than what you’re already used to,’ says Rutz.

‘It does take time to get used to these new cameras,’ he says: ‘but most [professionals] I know are geeks and they’re more than willing to play with the assets until they get the swing of it.’

Hansen, having already moved from Nikon to Canon, agrees: ‘If you’re in the field, you’re always experimenting. Learning a new system isn’t so hard. You find the menus that are important to you and you learn those.’

‘Familiarity helps, though,’ Rutz says: ‘At a point photography is reflexive and the camera has to fit into that, versus you having to adapt to the camera.’

A question of inertia

Overall, then, there are a series of factors beyond just the cost that contribute to the inertia that acts against working professionals changing systems. As such, being better might not be enough for Sony’s a9 to make a significant dent in the pro sports market.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Roundup: Compact Enthusiast Zoom Cameras

24 Apr

The enthusiast compact market has exploded over the last couple of years, with several manufacturers offering a product with 1″-type sensors. Most of these cameras are small (and sometimes pocketable) and feature fast (but short) lenses. They also vary in terms of design, control points, video specs and whether they have an EVF, so you’ll have some decisions to make. In this roundup, we’ll try to help.

Here are the cameras that we’ll be covering in this article:

  • Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II
  • Canon PowerShot G5 X
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
  • Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100
  • Sony Cyber-shot RX100
  • Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II
  • Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
  • Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV
  • Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

As mentioned above, the majority of offerings in this category utilize 1″-type sensor, however two cameras offer even larger sensors. The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II is built around the largest sensor of the bunch at 1.5″-type, while the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 uses most of the area of a slightly smaller Four Thirds chip.

Sensor size tends to be a major indicator of potential – particularly low light – image quality. Also, cameras with larger sensors will generally allow for much more control over depth of field.

LensEquivalentApertures([“Equivalent focal length (mm)”,”Sony RX100″,”Canon G1 X II”,”Sony RX100 III”,”Panasonic LX100″,”Panasonic ZS100″,”Canon G7 X II”,”Panasonic LX10″,”Canon G9 X II”], [[24,null,””,3.84,”Canon G1 X II at 24mm: F3.8″,4.90909090909091,”Sony RX100 III at 24mm: F4.9″,3.7434,”Panasonic LX100 at 24mm: F3.7″,null,””,4.90909090909091,”Canon G7 X II at 24mm: F4.9″,3.8181818181818183,”Panasonic LX10 at 24mm: F3.8″,null,””],[25,null,””,4.224,”Canon G1 X II at 25mm: F4.2″,5.454545454545455,”Sony RX100 III at 25mm: F5.5″,3.9636,”Panasonic LX100 at 25mm: F4.0″,7.6363636363636367,”Panasonic ZS100 at 25mm: F7.6″,null,””,4.0909090909090917,”Panasonic LX10 at 25mm: F4.1″,null,””],[26,null,””,4.8,”Canon G1 X II at 26mm: F4.8″,6.0000000000000009,”Sony RX100 III at 26mm: F6.0″,4.1838,”Panasonic LX100 at 26mm: F4.2″,7.9090909090909092,”Panasonic ZS100 at 26mm: F7.9″,null,””,4.90909090909091,”Panasonic LX10 at 26mm: F4.9″,null,””],[27,null,””,5.3759999999999994,”Canon G1 X II at 27mm: F5.4″,null,””,4.404,”Panasonic LX100 at 27mm: F4.4″,8.1818181818181834,”Panasonic ZS100 at 27mm: F8.2″,null,””,5.454545454545455,”Panasonic LX10 at 27mm: F5.5″,null,””],[28,4.90909090909091,”Sony RX100 at 28mm: F4.9″,null,””,6.8181818181818183,”Sony RX100 III at 28mm: F6.8″,4.6242,”Panasonic LX100 at 28mm: F4.6″,null,””,null,””,6.0000000000000009,”Panasonic LX10 at 28mm: F6.0″,5.454545454545455,”Canon G9 X II at 28mm: F5.5″],[29,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,6.8181818181818183,”Panasonic LX10 at 29mm: F6.8″,null,””],[30,null,””,6.144,”Canon G1 X II at 30mm: F6.1″,null,””,4.8444,”Panasonic LX100 at 30mm: F4.8″,8.7272727272727284,”Panasonic ZS100 at 30mm: F8.7″,null,””,null,””,null,””],[31,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,7.6363636363636367,”Panasonic LX10 at 31mm: F7.6″,6.8181818181818183,”Canon G9 X II at 31mm: F6.8″],[32,null,””,null,””,7.6363636363636367,”Sony RX100 III at 32mm: F7.6″,null,””,9.0,”Panasonic ZS100 at 32mm: F9.0″,6.0000000000000009,”Canon G7 X II at 32mm: F6.0″,null,””,null,””],[33,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,7.6363636363636367,”Canon G9 X II at 33mm: F7.6″],[34,7.6363636363636367,”Sony RX100 at 34mm: F7.6″,null,””,null,””,5.0645999999999995,”Panasonic LX100 at 34mm: F5.1″,9.2727272727272734,”Panasonic ZS100 at 34mm: F9.3″,null,””,null,””,null,””],[36,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,9.5454545454545467,”Panasonic ZS100 at 36mm: F9.5″,null,””,null,””,null,””],[37,null,””,null,””,null,””,5.2848,”Panasonic LX100 at 37mm: F5.3″,null,””,null,””,null,””,8.7272727272727284,”Canon G9 X II at 37mm: F8.7″],[39,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,6.8181818181818183,”Canon G7 X II at 39mm: F6.8″,null,””,9.5454545454545467,”Canon G9 X II at 39mm: F9.5″],[40,null,””,6.72,”Canon G1 X II at 40mm: F6.7″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[41,null,””,null,””,null,””,5.505,”Panasonic LX100 at 41mm: F5.5″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[43,8.7272727272727284,”Sony RX100 at 43mm: F8.7″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[44,null,””,null,””,null,””,5.7252,”Panasonic LX100 at 44mm: F5.7″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[46,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,10.90909090909091,”Canon G9 X II at 46mm: F10.9″],[52,null,””,null,””,null,””,6.1655999999999995,”Panasonic LX100 at 52mm: F6.2″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[53,9.5454545454545467,”Sony RX100 at 53mm: F9.5″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,12.272727272727273,”Canon G9 X II at 53mm: F12.3″],[54,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,7.6363636363636367,”Canon G7 X II at 54mm: F7.6″,null,””,null,””],[65,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,13.363636363636365,”Canon G9 X II at 65mm: F13.4″],[66,10.90909090909091,”Sony RX100 at 66mm: F10.9″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[70,null,””,null,””,7.6363636363636367,”Sony RX100 III at 70mm: F7.6″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[72,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,7.6363636363636367,”Panasonic LX10 at 72mm: F7.6″,null,””],[75,null,””,7.4879999999999995,”Canon G1 X II at 75mm: F7.5″,null,””,6.1655999999999995,”Panasonic LX100 at 75mm: F6.2″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[81,12.272727272727273,”Sony RX100 at 81mm: F12.3″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[84,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,13.363636363636365,”Canon G9 X II at 84mm: F13.4″],[94,13.363636363636365,”Sony RX100 at 94mm: F13.4″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[100,13.363636363636365,”Sony RX100 at 100mm: F13.4″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,7.6363636363636367,”Canon G7 X II at 100mm: F7.6″,null,””,null,””],[120,null,””,7.4879999999999995,”Canon G1 X II at 120mm: F7.5″,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””],[144,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,15.818181818181818,”Panasonic ZS100 at 144mm: F15.8″,null,””,null,””,null,””],[157,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,16.090909090909093,”Panasonic ZS100 at 157mm: F16.1″,null,””,null,””,null,””],[250,null,””,null,””,null,””,null,””,16.090909090909093,”Panasonic ZS100 at 250mm: F16.1″,null,””,null,””,null,””]])

To further help you pick the right camera in this class, we’ve also created the chart below, which breaks down the equivalent aperture for each camera, as you work your way through the zoom range. Our article here explains the concept of equivalence, but at a high level all you need to know is that the lower the line is on the graph below, the blurrier the backgrounds you’ll be able to get and typically, though not always, the better the overall low-light performance.

The camera that stays the ‘fastest’ longest is the Panasonic LX100, due both to its F1.7-2.8 lens and Four Thirds sensor (which it uses a crop of). A number of cameras sit in the middle, including the Canon G1 X II and G7 X II as well as the Sony RX100 I/II. The Panasonic ZS100 is the slowest of the bunch, but it also has the longest reach by a decent margin.

On the following pages, you’ll find what we liked and didn’t like about each camera, links to our test scenes for image quality comparisons, and real-world galleries to give you a sense of how each performs outside the lab. Given that there are five Sony RX100s in this comparison, you might find this article helpful in making a decision between those. 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sony a9 shooting experience: Here’s why I’m impressed

24 Apr

Introduction

Sony’s looking to storm the sports photography market with its new a9 mirrorless camera.

When I started shooting sports for college publications, I was stuck working with 3 fps. Then I graduated to a new camera offering 5 fps, and gravitated towards weddings and events. Now that I’ve been with DPReview for a year and a half, I’ve gotten used to 12, 14, 18 and 24 frames per second for shooting just about everything.

To be blunt, past a certain threshold, burst shooting speeds don’t net me appreciably more keepers in my usual style of photography. But that won’t be the case with everyone, and honestly, it doesn’t hinder my enthusiasm with regards to the new Sony a9, even though that’s one of its headline features. Even setting burst speeds aside, this camera is among the best I’ve ever used, bar none. Here’s why.

Background

During my time at DPReview, Sony’s always left me feeling a little conflicted.

On one hand, the technology and features crammed into the company’s cameras are always impressive; during my interview for this job, our own Rishi Sanyal showed me Eye AF on an a7R II, and I accidentally blurted out an expletive as my jaw dropped – it was something I’d never seen before. On the other hand, I’ve consistently found the usability of Sony’s cameras to be a primary concern for me. The interface and general operation were laggy enough to be irksome, I got lost in the menus all the time (movie options should never be nonsensically shuffled among stills options), and there were times that I felt I was fighting the camera to get it to just do what I wanted.

Sony’s RX100 V is an incredibly capable pocket camera, but the series hasn’t seen any ergonomic or UI improvements in two generations.
Photo by Samuel Spencer

The list of qualms I have with the a7-series in particular is full of items that, on their own, are quite insignificant; but as the list grows, they all combine to make for cameras that I almost never choose for personal work or play. But the sheer volume of improvements and refinements in the a9 are having me singing a different tune.

So, what exactly has changed with the a9?

Despite similarities to the a7-series at first glance, a lot.

The buttons and dials all come with better haptic feedback. The AF joystick replaces an eternity of clicks when moving the AF point. When you flip the screen out, the eye sensor is disabled, which resulted in fewer missed shots when working at odd angles. Boot-up time is shorter. Battery life is way better. The interface is more responsive. I don’t get lost in the menus at all anymore. All of these changes add up to a camera that is more transparent, in the sense that it just ‘gets out of the way’ more than any previous Sony camera I’ve used, and lets me get on with taking pictures.

The controls, the feel and the operation of the new a9 have all been improved relative to Sony’s a7-series of full frame mirrorless cameras.

Even if you don’t use the full 20 fps (electronic shutter) burst speed, shooting anything you could want without any intrusive shutter noise (important for delicate moments during, say a wedding reception) without any blackout whatsoever is a revelation. Sure, the RX100 V and Olympus E-M1 II both also offer fully electronic shutters and silent operation, but neither has a full-frame image sensor, neither can show you a live view during bursts (only slideshows of images being taken), and the a9 suppresses rolling shutter so ably that it’s one more thing that I almost never have to worry about.

I had a big hand in the reviews of Nikon’s D5 and Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark II, and while the optical viewfinder blackout on both of those cameras is incredibly short, I have to stress that the Sony a9 goes one step further in that it shows no blackout whatsoever. None. This camera makes it easier than ever to simply follow the action, and catch exactly the moment you want.

An additional plus – this camera has taken the preliminary crown (review units are forthcoming) for the best mirrorless autofocus system I’ve ever used. We were given the opportunity to photograph hockey, figure skating and a full-on track meet, and the a9 rarely let me down. Watch our site next week, when we’ll be able to post actual photos and videos from these events for you to examine for yourself.

What’s the catch?

Okay, there’s a few catches here.

First of all, do you need 20 fps? I don’t. There are, of course, those that will. But that feature, that incredibly fast readout speed of that new 24MP sensor, is something you’re paying for if you shell out $ 4,500 for this new camera, even if you’re only interested in the other (not insignificant) improvements outlined above.

I shot over 2,800 images during our shooting experience with Sony in New York. That caused me worries about card space (even with a 128GB card), cost me hard drive space, and cost me time during downloading and editing. I’m no pro sports shooter, so take this with a grain of salt, but I’m having a hard time convincing myself that I got an appreciably greater number of keepers because of the a9’s burst rate than I would have with a slower-shooting camera. Heck, I even switched to 10fps halfway through to save card space, and I still came away with images I was pleased with. And it’s worth noting that the absence of any blackout whatsoever is still incredibly awesome, even at 10fps.

This image is from the first occasion where I really soaked a camera in the name of a shoot; photographing the King County Search and Rescue team during a training exercise as part of my job for Puget Sound Energy. That D800 and 24-70mm F2.8 are still in good working order, though the rubber zoom ring on the lens had started to come a little loose.
ISO 1600 | F4 | 1/100 sec
Photo copyright Puget Sound Energy, image via Flickr

Also, Sony’s made claims that the a9 is weather resistant, but after handling the camera and flipping out the port doors, battery door and memory card doors, I just don’t have the same faith that it would survive a downpour that a D5, 1D X II or E-M1 II could shrug off. That said, this isn’t necessarily a common requirement, but it’s something to keep in mind. Were I to take a personal a9 into a rainstorm, I’d gaff tape the heck out of it.

And lastly, where are the XQD card slots? Yes, the a9 has an amazing buffer that I never once hit, but that buffer takes a good amount of time to clear. Incorporating XQD cards would also have meant my download times would be appreciably reduced at the end of the day, plus they’re simply more durable for demanding situations. After having used them extensively on Nikon’s D500 and D5, I’m sold: for sports cameras, faster media is the way to go.

The wrap

Looking forward – does the a9 have what it takes to steal the hearts of sports shooters around the globe? Only time will tell. Okay, time, durability and quality of professional service and support.

Professional sports and action photographers have demanding jobs, and it goes without saying that learning a new camera system is not usually something they’re looking to add to their workload. But the a9 might just be worth it.

Sony says it’s rolling out more robust professional support, with one-day turnaround for loaner units when a camera needs repair, and walk-in service centers in New York and Los Angeles (with more coming soon), and better support throughout Canada. That’s promising, for sure, but in a chicken-and-egg dilemma, do you want to be among the first to adopt the Sony system and test the validity of those claims for yourself, or wait to see what other professionals who switch have to say? 

For a professional wedding and event photographer who isn’t spending hours in inclement weather, I’d say the Sony a9 is worth a look if you’re used to Dx-series cameras from Nikon, and 1D-series models from Canon. With the a9, you’ll save a ton of weight, have a higher frame rate (again, only relevant if you need it), and likely have an easier time following the action than with even the best DSLRs. 

But it must be said, the cost of switching systems isn’t something to be sneezed at – and it’s something we’ll be looking at in detail in a forthcoming article, so stay tuned.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sony a9 shooting experience: Here’s why I’m impressed

23 Apr

Introduction

Sony’s looking to storm the sports photography market with its new a9 mirrorless camera.

When I started shooting sports for college publications, I was stuck working with 3 fps. Then I graduated to a new camera offering 5 fps, and gravitated towards weddings and events. Now that I’ve been with DPReview for a year and a half, I’ve gotten used to 12, 14, 18 and 24 frames per second for shooting just about everything.

To be blunt, past a certain threshold, burst shooting speeds don’t net me appreciably more keepers in my usual style of photography. But that won’t be the case with everyone, and honestly, it doesn’t hinder my enthusiasm with regards to the new Sony a9, even though that’s one of its headline features. Even setting burst speeds aside, this camera is among the best I’ve ever used, bar none. Here’s why.

Background

During my time at DPReview, Sony’s always left me feeling a little conflicted.

On one hand, the technology and features crammed into the company’s cameras are always impressive; during my interview for this job, our own Rishi Sanyal showed me Eye AF on an a7R II, and I accidentally blurted out an expletive as my jaw dropped – it was something I’d never seen before. On the other hand, I’ve consistently found the usability of Sony’s cameras to be a primary concern for me. The interface and general operation were laggy enough to be irksome, I got lost in the menus all the time (movie options should never be nonsensically shuffled among stills options), and there were times that I felt I was fighting the camera to get it to just do what I wanted.

Sony’s RX100 V is an incredibly capable pocket camera, but the series hasn’t seen any ergonomic or UI improvements in two generations.
Photo by Samuel Spencer

The list of qualms I have with the a7-series in particular is full of items that, on their own, are quite insignificant; but as the list grows, they all combine to make for cameras that I almost never choose for personal work or play. But the sheer volume of improvements and refinements in the a9 are having me singing a different tune.

So, what exactly has changed with the a9?

Despite similarities to the a7-series at first glance, a lot.

The buttons and dials all come with better haptic feedback. The AF joystick replaces an eternity of clicks when moving the AF point. When you flip the screen out, the eye sensor is disabled, which resulted in fewer missed shots when working at odd angles. Boot-up time is shorter. Battery life is way better. The interface is more responsive. I don’t get lost in the menus at all anymore. All of these changes add up to a camera that is more transparent, in the sense that it just ‘gets out of the way’ more than any previous Sony camera I’ve used, and lets me get on with taking pictures.

The controls, the feel and the operation of the new a9 have all been improved relative to Sony’s a7-series of full frame mirrorless cameras.

Even if you don’t use the full 20 fps (electronic shutter) burst speed, shooting anything you could want without any intrusive shutter noise (important for delicate moments during, say a wedding reception) without any blackout whatsoever is a revelation. Sure, the RX100 V and Olympus E-M1 II both also offer fully electronic shutters and silent operation, but neither has a full-frame image sensor, neither can show you a live view during bursts (only slideshows of images being taken), and the a9 suppresses rolling shutter so ably that it’s one more thing that I almost never have to worry about.

I had a big hand in the reviews of Nikon’s D5 and Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark II, and while the optical viewfinder blackout on both of those cameras is incredibly short, I have to stress that the Sony a9 goes one step further in that it shows no blackout whatsoever. None. This camera makes it easier than ever to simply follow the action, and catch exactly the moment you want.

An additional plus – this camera has taken the preliminary crown (review units are forthcoming) for the best mirrorless autofocus system I’ve ever used. We were given the opportunity to photograph hockey, figure skating and a full-on track meet, and the a9 rarely let me down. Watch our site next week, when we’ll be able to post actual photos and videos from these events for you to examine for yourself.

What’s the catch?

Okay, there’s a few catches here.

First of all, do you need 20 fps? I don’t. There are, of course, those that will. But that feature, that incredibly fast readout speed of that new 24MP sensor, is something you’re paying for if you shell out $ 4,500 for this new camera, even if you’re only interested in the other (not insignificant) improvements outlined above.

I shot over 2,800 images during our shooting experience with Sony in New York. That caused me worries about card space (even with a 128GB card), cost me hard drive space, and cost me time during downloading and editing. I’m no pro sports shooter, so take this with a grain of salt, but I’m having a hard time convincing myself that I got an appreciably greater number of keepers because of the a9’s burst rate than I would have with a slower-shooting camera. Heck, I even switched to 10fps halfway through to save card space, and I still came away with images I was pleased with. And it’s worth noting that the absence of any blackout whatsoever is still incredibly awesome, even at 10fps.

This image is from the first occasion where I really soaked a camera in the name of a shoot; photographing the King County Search and Rescue team during a training exercise as part of my job for Puget Sound Energy. That D800 and 24-70mm F2.8 are still in good working order, though the rubber zoom ring on the lens had started to come a little loose.
ISO 1600 | F4 | 1/100 sec
Photo copyright Puget Sound Energy, image via Flickr

Also, Sony’s made claims that the a9 is weather resistant, but after handling the camera and flipping out the port doors, battery door and memory card doors, I just don’t have the same faith that it would survive a downpour that a D5, 1D X II or E-M1 II could shrug off. That said, this isn’t necessarily a common requirement, but it’s something to keep in mind. Were I to take a personal a9 into a rainstorm, I’d gaff tape the heck out of it.

And lastly, where are the XQD card slots? Yes, the a9 has an amazing buffer that I never once hit, but that buffer takes a good amount of time to clear. Incorporating XQD cards would also have meant my download times would be closer to three minutes instead of thirty at the end of the day, plus they’re simply more durable for demanding situations. After having used them extensively on Nikon’s D500 and D5, I’m sold: for sports cameras, faster media is the way to go.

The wrap

Looking forward – does the a9 have what it takes to steal the hearts of sports shooters around the globe? Only time will tell. Okay, time, durability and quality of professional service and support.

Professional sports and action photographers have demanding jobs, and it goes without saying that learning a new camera system is not usually something they’re looking to add to their workload. But the a9 might just be worth it.

Sony says it’s rolling out more robust professional support, with one-day turnaround for loaner units when a camera needs repair, and walk-in service centers in New York and Los Angeles (with more coming soon), and better support throughout Canada. That’s promising, for sure, but in a chicken-and-egg dilemma, do you want to be among the first to adopt the Sony system and test the validity of those claims for yourself, or wait to see what other professionals who switch have to say? 

For a professional wedding and event photographer who isn’t spending hours in inclement weather, I’d say the Sony a9 is worth a look if you’re used to Dx-series cameras from Nikon, and 1D-series models from Canon. With the a9, you’ll save a ton of weight, have a higher frame rate (again, only relevant if you need it), and likely have an easier time following the action than with even the best DSLRs. 

But it must be said, the cost of switching systems isn’t something to be sneezed at – and it’s something we’ll be looking at in detail in a forthcoming article, so stay tuned.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Huawei P10 camera review

23 Apr

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The P10 is Huawei’s latest high-end smartphone in a more compact form factor compared to the company’s Mate 9 phablet. A 5.1″ Full-HD display with very thin bezels allows for a design that easily fits into even small pockets. On the inside, top-end components, including Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core chipset and 4GB of RAM, provide top-end performance.

The Leica-branded camera comes with the same specification as its equivalent in the Mate 9 and combines a 12MP color sensor with a 20MP monochrome chip. Both lenses have an F2.2 aperture and the color variant also features optical image stabilization. As before, color and monochrome image information is combined for better image detail, higher dynamic range and lower noise levels. Other features include laser-assisted autofocus, a two-tone LED flash and 4K video recording.

On the software side of things a new ‘Leica-style’ portrait mode uses 3D face detection and applies a combination of fake bokeh, adjustable illumination and ‘beautification’ effects to your portrait subjects. We’ve put the hardware and software through its paces for our full camera review. Read on on the following pages to find out how the P10 performed.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • Leica-branded dual-camera with 12MP color and 20MP monochrome sensors
  • F2.2 aperture
  • OIS on the color sensor
  • 27mm equivalent focal length
  • On-sensor phase detection and laser-assisted AF
  • Dual-tone LED flash
  • 4K video
  • 8MP front camera with F1.9 aperture
  • Manual camera control and DNR Raw capture

Other Specifications

  • 5.1″ IPS display with 1080p resolution
  • Android 7.0
  • HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core chipset
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB storage
  • microSD support up to 256GB
  • 3200 mAh battery
  • Stereo speakers
  • Fingerprint reader

DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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The Sony a9 is a 24MP sports-shooting powerhouse

23 Apr

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Sony has announced the alpha 9 high-end full frame mirrorless camera at a live event in New York. The a9 has a 24MP, stacked CMOS sensor for super-fast readout, allowing a completely silent electronic shutter. It can shoot at 20 frames per second for more 241 compressed Raw frames. It can performing AF/AE calculations at 60 fps, all while providing a 60 fps live feed (meaning no blackout) during bursts. Sony claims improved subject tracking and Eye AF speeds, and focus down to -3 EV with F2 lens (a whole stop better than the a7R II).

The camera primarily uses an electronic shutter but also features a mechanical shutter mechanism, allowing a flash sync speed of up to 1/250th of a second.

Sony is also expanding its Pro support program, adding support for Canada and opening two walk-in centers in the USA (New York and Los Angeles).

The camera features 693 on-sensor phase detection points, covering 93% of the frame. It also has five-axis image stabilization that offers 5 stops of correction.

The a9 has a 1280 x 960 (QuadVGA) resolution viewfinder that runs at 120 fps with very low latency.

It has twin SD card slots (one of which supports UHS-II cards) and Sony says the battery has twice the capacity of previous models. A battery grip holding two batteries will also be available.

Features such as an AF joystick, AF mode dial and customizable ‘My Menu’ have been added. You can also instantly switch to one other AF area mode by assigning it to a custom button, to quickly adapt to changing scenarios.

The company says it’s the most capable camera ever: mirrorless or DSLR. Sony stresses it’s not even largely about physical differences between mirrorless and DSLR anymore, but instead about the capabilities of mirrorless that give it advantages over DSLRs. We’ll be curious to put these claims to the test.

The a9 will be available in May 2017 at a cost of around $ 4500/£4500.


Press Release

Sony’s New ?9 Camera Revolutionizes the Professional Imaging Market

Groundbreaking Full-frame Mirrorless Camera Delivers Unmatched Speed, Versatility and Usability

  • World’s First1 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP2 resolution
  • Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting3 at up to 20fps4 for up to 241 RAW5/ 362 JPEG6 images
  • Silent7, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec8
  • 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
  • 5-Axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step9 shutter speed advantage

NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new revolutionary digital camera, the ?9 (model ILCE-9).

The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created, the new ?9 offers a level of imaging performance that is simply unmatched by any camera ever created – mirrorless, SLR or otherwise.

The new camera offers many impressive capabilities that are simply not possible with a modern digital SLR camera including high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting3 at up to 20fps4, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second 10, a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second8 and much more. These are made possible thanks to its 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor – the world’s first of its kind – which enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras11. This unique sensor is paired with a brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.

This industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting7 is combined with a focusing system that features an incredible 693 phase detection AF points. Covering approximately 93% of the frame, the focusing system ensures that even the fastest moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.

The new ?9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter7 with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise, making it an extremely powerful photographic tool for any shooting situation that demands quiet operation. To ensure maximum usability and reliability, the camera features a new Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries, as well as dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards. An Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) is available as well, and there is a wide variety of new settings, controls and customizability options that are essential for working pros.

“This camera breaks through all barriers and limitations of today’s professional digital cameras, with an overall feature set that simply cannot be matched considering the restrictions of mechanical SLR cameras” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “But what excites us most about the ?9 – more than its extensive product specs – is that it allows professionals to see, follow and capture the action in ways that were never before possible, unlocking an endless amount of new creative potential.”

A New Standard of Speed and Focusing Accuracy

Critical to the record-breaking speed of the new ?9 is the combination of the new stacked 24.2 MP2 Exmor RS image sensor, new BIONZ X processor and front end LSI.

The immense processing power from these new components allows for faster AF/AE calculation while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer, enabling photographers to shoot at a blazing 20 fps4 with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 362 JPEG6 or 241 RAW5 images.

The camera’s innovative AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second10, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times 12. This feature truly combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy and “in the moment” advantages that not even the finest optical viewfinders can match, and is available in all still image modes including high speed 20 fps4 continuous shooting.

With 693 focal plane phase detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the frame, the camera ensures improved precision and unfailing focus in scenes where focus might otherwise be difficult to achieve. The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and excellent tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25% faster performance when compared with ?7R II, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are captured.

Professional Capabilities in a Compact Body

Sony’s new full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style.

The ?9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The new Tru-Finder, which is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony ? camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a level of corner to corner sharpness that is simply outstanding. The EVF also utilizes a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.

This all adds up to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the ?7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, ensuring the most natural shooting experience. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is even customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps13 to best match the action.

The ?9 is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.0 steps 9, ensuring the full resolving power of the new sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting. Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.

The ?9 also offers an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal), allowing convenient transfer of still image files to a specified FTP server at high-speed, making it an ideal choice for studio photography, high-profile news and sporting events and more. There is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.

New Features for Fast Operation

Sony’s new ?9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the ?9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.

Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.

For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.

Double Battery Life, Double Memory

The innovative ?9 camera features an all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models, allowing for much longer shooting performance.

Also, based on extensive customer feedback, the new camera offers two separate media card slots, including one for UHS-II media. The same data can simultaneously be recorded to both cards, or the user can choose to separate RAW / JPEG or still images / movies. Movies can also simultaneously be recorded to two cards for backup and more efficient data management.

High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range

The unique design of the ?9 image sensor represents the pinnacle of Sony device technology. The 24.2 MP 2 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor is back-illuminated, allowing to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality. The sensor also enables the diverse ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 20480014, ensuring optimum image quality with minimum noise at all settings.

The enhanced BIONZ X processor plays a large part in image quality as well, as it helps to minimize noise in the higher sensitivity range while also reducing the need to limit ISO sensitivity in situations where the highest quality image is required.

The new ?9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW, ensuring users can get the most out of the wide dynamic range of the sensor.

4K Video Capture

The new ?9 is very capable as a video camera as well, as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor15, 16. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super 35mm size.

Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking17.

New Accessories

Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new ?9 camera, including:

  • NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery – high-capacity battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. It also supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, making it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.
  • VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as the?9 camera, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.
  • NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit – External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z series batteries and as a quick charger. Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.
  • GP-X1EM Grip Extension – Grip extender with same look, feel and design as ?9 body. Enables more solid hold on camera.
  • FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup –eye piece cup with locking mechanism
  • BC-QZ1 Battery Charger –quick-charging battery charger. Charges one new Z series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.
  • PCKLG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet – hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. Compatible with touch operation and tilting LCD screen

Pricing and Availability

The Sony ?9 Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship this May for about $ 4,500 US and $ 6,000 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

Notes to Editors:

  1. As of April 19th, 2017
  2. Approx. effective
  3. Electronic shutter mode. At apertures smaller than F11 (F-numbers higher than F11), focus will not track the subject and focus points will be fixed on the first frame. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  4. “Hi” continuous shooting mode. The maximum frame rate will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information.
  5. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, compressed RAW, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  6. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  7. Silent shooting is possible when Shutter Type is set to “Electronic” and Audio signals is set to “Off.”
  8. 1/32000 shutter speed is available only in the S and M modes. The highest shutter speed in all other modes is 1/16000.
  9. CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw stabilization only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off.
  10. At shutter speeds higher than 1/125 sec, smooth and blackout-free live view images are shown in EVF.
  11. Compared to the front-illuminated CMOS image sensor in the ?7 II.
  12. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  13. When the auto or electronic shutter mode is selected the viewfinder frame rate is fixed at 60 fps during continuous shooting.
  14. Still images, mechanical shutter: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 50 – 204800.
    Still images, electronic shutter: ISO 100 – 25600 expandable to ISO 50 – 25600.
    Movie recording: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 100 – 102400.
  15. In full-frame shooting, the angle of view will be narrower under the following conditions: When [File Format] is set to [XAVC S 4K] and [ Record Setting] is set to [30p]
  16. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required for XAVC S format movie recording. UHS Speed Class U3 required for 100Mbps or higher recording.
  17. Sound not recorded. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required.

Sony Alpha a9 specifications

Price
MSRP $ 4500/£4500
Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 28 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
Processor BIONZ X
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, ISO 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
Boosted ISO (minimum) 50
Boosted ISO (maximum) 204800
White balance presets 10
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Image stabilization notes 5-axis
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Sony ARW)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Number of focus points 693
Lens mount Sony E
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,440,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.78×
Viewfinder resolution 3,686,400
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/32000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modes Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (H/M/L)
  • Self-timer
  • Bracketing (AE, WB, DRO)
Continuous drive 20.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2, 5, 10 secs + continuous)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth
Remote control Yes (Wired or wireless)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-FZ100
Battery Life (CIPA) 650
Weight (inc. batteries) 673 g (1.48 lb / 23.74 oz)
Dimensions 127 x 96 x 63 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.48)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS None

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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