Posts Tagged ‘continuous’

Sony a9 firmware 2.00 brings improvements to continuous AF and more

12 Jan

Sony has released firmware version 2.00 for its flagship a9 mirrorless camera. The most notable improvements are to continuous AF, with the company claiming enhanced performance while tracking as well as more stability when zooming.

Speaking of stability, the firmware should bring general bug fixes and reliability enhancements, and the overheating warning function is more accurate, according to Sony.

There are also a number of improvements related to metadata which you can find in the press release below. The firmware update is now available for download.

Press Release

Firmware version 2.00 provides the following benefits:

Continuous AF Enhancements:

  • Enhanced performance of continuous auto focus on moving subjects
  • Enhanced stability of the AF-C when zooming

Added Functions:

  • Adds the function to assign Protecting images to custom Key
  • Adds the function to transfer (FTP) protected files at once
    Note: Only for images protected using version 2.00 or higher.
  • Displays wired LAN MAC address
  • Inputs IPTC metadata to files
    Note: IPTC information must be created beforehand using the IPTC Metadata Preset software.
  • Inputs camera serial number to metadata

Other Improvements:

  • Improves operational stability
  • Improves accuracy of the overheating warning function

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Frame by frame: ‘live view’ continuous shooting with the Sony a6300

13 Apr

One of the features we were excited by when the a6300 was announced was the promise of ‘live view’ while shooting continuous bursts of shots. Now we’ve used and tested it, what do we think?

What’s the big deal?

Autofocus systems on mirrorless cameras have been getting better and better with each generation of cameras, to the point that the best of them match (and in some circumstances, exceed) the performance we expect from similarly priced DSLRs.

However, many models still lag behind DSLRs in their ability to show you what’s going on while in continuous shooting mode. The common trick of showing a playback of the last captured image makes it hard to keep up with a moving subject, especially if it moves unpredictably, so that you can’t just compensate for the lag.

The a6300 isn’t the first mirrorless camera to try to offer a live view while continuous shooting (several Nikon 1 models, which use comparatively small sensors to allow fast read-out, even manage to give an uninterrupted feed), but it’s still a rare enough feature to make it worth investigating.

What did we find?

We shot the a6300 side-by-side with the Canon EOS 7D (a DSLR that offers the same 8 fps frame rate as the Sony) and found something interesting. The a6300 has a shorter blackout period than the Canon but turns out to only be showing a single updated frame between each capture. At lower, 5 fps shooting rate, we saw two or three frames on display between captures.

That sounds terrible. It sounds like cheating. but it’s not quite the end of the story. Watch the beginning of the video again – the real-time playback – it looks pretty convincing, doesn’t it?

The fact that it looks so convincing left us wondering: why does the screen ever black out? Why doesn’t the camera just continue to show the ‘live’ image until the next one is available? We think we know the answer.

Note the way that the image doesn’t just cut to black – it fades to black then abruptly cuts to the next update. We believe this is trying to achieve something like the ‘black frame insertion’ technology used in some modern TVs: inserting a black frame prompts your brain to imagine what’s happened between the two frames it’s seen, rather than being distracted by the contradiction between perceiving a sense of movement but seeing static images.

Does it work?

In real-world shooting this is pretty convincing: we only discovered the camera was just showing single images when we recorded it at 240 fps, and even then it took us a while to convince ourselves that we weren’t looking at an error stemming from a clash in display and capture frequencies (temporal aliasing).

So, while the display is only showing you eight frames per second (one between each capture), it’s doing so in a way that gives your brain a convincing sense of motion. The question we wanted to answer was: ‘if the blackout between frames is short enough, and the motion looks fairly convincing, is it as easy to follow action as with a DSLR?’

We spent some time trying to shoot rugby with the a6300 to see how easy it was to follow the game’s fast and unpredictable action. The results were mixed – the camera gave enough information for you to be able to follow the action to a reasonable degree, but not as much as you might want.

The a6300’s live view provided enough information to let us follow the action, but not as much as a high-end DSLR, which meant we reacted more slowly to anything unexpected.

Alongside the a6300 we were also shooting with the Nikon D5, not as direct comparison but because we also need to shoot sports with it. As you might expect, the $ 1000 mass-market a6300 wasn’t as good as Nikon’s $ 6500 professional sports-oriented camera, but it’s the way that it fell short that was interesting.

Although the video further up the page shows that the a6300’s live view looks a lot like real motion and its blackout is shorter than the EOS 7D’s, in use it becomes clear that your brain actually can make use of the extra information the 7D gives you about the subject’s movement.

For example, at the rugby we found that we could keep pace with the action when shooting with the Sony but it would take us longer to react if we made the mistake of believing a player’s dummy-pass and started moving in the wrong direction. With the DSLR we’d spot our mistake sooner and turn back to the real action faster. 

At set pieces, where you have a good idea of what’s going to happen next, the a6300 could shoot with confidence.

Having looked at what the camera’s doing and then put to real-world use, we’d conclude that the a6300’s continuous shooting live view more successful than its single frame update makes it sound. It’s convincing enough to let you keep up with fast action, but there’s still room for improvement as soon as anything unexpected happens.

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Tether Tools’ Case Relay provides continuous power for many DSLR and mirrorless cameras

26 Feb

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The Case Relay Camera Power System from Tether Tools offers ‘infinite camera power’ for most DSLR and mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panasonic. The system works via a DC coupler that plugs into both the camera‚Äôs battery port and the Case Relay. The Relay plugs into either a 5V USB external battery or a wall outlet.

Tether Tools says Case Relay, which includes a secondary 1200mAh battery, is a solution for time-lapse photography and other tasks that require uninterrupted, long-lasting power. External battery packs can be swapped without interrupting power, as the Relay’s battery will continue to power the camera while the external source is unplugged. 

The Relay Camera Coupler is available from $ 29.99 to $ 34.99, depending on camera, and the Case Relay is available now for $ 99.99. Tether Tools also offers an external 5V USB battery for $ 49.99 USD. Many Nikon and Canon DSLRs are compatible, as well as mirrorless models from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic. For a full list of compatible cameras check

Via: PetaPixel

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Firmware update enhances Nikon D4s features, including unlimited continuous shooting

22 Apr

Nikon has issued updated firmware for its D4s professional DSLR, altering the way numerous features operate on the camera. Changes include removing the limitation on the number of images that can be captured in a single continuous burst in the manual and shutter priority exposure modes. Firmware version 1.20 replaces versions 1.00 and 1.10, and appears to fix quite a range of glitches as well as adding functionality to the camera’s operation. Read more

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Nikon 1 V3 offers improved AF system and faster continuous shooting

13 Mar


Nikon has announced the Nikon 1 V3, the latest addition to the company’s mirrorless lineup. The V3 sports a new 18.4MP 1″-type CMOS sensor that lacks an AA filter, but has on-chip phase detection that covers nearly 100% of the frame. The V3 can now shoot at 20 fps with continuous AF, and 60 fps with single AF. Other features include twin dial control, a tilting 3-inch touchscreen LCD, manual exposure control, 1080/60p video, and built-in Wi-Fi. Something that’s disappeared since the V2 is an electronic viewfinder, which is now an optional extra (depending on region). Read more about the V3.

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Portrait Photography using continuous lighting

29 Oct

Gavin Hoey explores with the use of the 3 head super softbox continuous lighting kit to take portraits. The kit is powerful and versatile, this is an alternative to studio flash for taking portraits, the main advantage is that you see what you get. The kit uses energy saving compact fluorescent daylight bulbs which means that they produce great light and not much heat compared with tungsten redhead type lighting. It can be used as video lighting as well as still photography making this a very versatile bit of kit.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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