Sony has pretty much revamped its entire line of Alpha cameras from the entry level A5100 all the way to its top of the line A7r. Now the Japanese camera company is launching a PRO Support service program for professionals picking up all its new models.
The premium service offers users—for a $100 annual membership—dedicated phone support, free camera maintenance, expediated repair services, and included loaners while their camera is in the shop. What’s more, Sony PRO Support service subscribers will also have access to loan equipment. So if you ever wanted to use that super expensive Sony 500mm f4.0 G lens without plunking down $12,998? Well now you can.
But before you enroll on the Sony PRO services site, there’s some criteria you’ll have meet. Firstly, you have to be the owner of two Sony Alpha full-frame interchangeable lens cameras, whether its part of the Sony A7 family or the A99. Subscribers also need to already own three Sony Zeiss and/or G-Series lenses. Additionally, you’ll have to prove that you’re a working professional photographer whether it’s in a self-employed capacity or as an employee of a larger business.
All in all it’s a service that follows closely to the model set by Canon and Nikon’s Professional Services. Call it unoriginal but Sony needs this to create this service as its full-frame mirrorless systems steal away more photographers like Jason Lanier.
In another bit of news Sony has also added more photographers to its “Artisans of Imagery” campaign to show just how good the Alpha camera line can be. The new roster of photographers includes 21 new renowned professionals including Joe Brady, Zabrina Deng, and Eli Reed.
DxO Labs has unleashed whole new fleet of photo editing software. Starting with DxO Optics Pro 10, the biggest and foremost change is that version 10 will work with all cameras no matter which edition you get. Optics Pro 10 also brings new features called ClearView to reduce the effect of haze. The software company says it’s the perfect way to bring back the contrast of images shot in fog or pollution.
Across the board DxO Labs has improved all the features previously seen on Optics Pro 9. Users can expect even better Denoising performance, an improved lens softness tool as well as Smartlighting to intelligently bring back details lost in shadow. Optics Pro 10 can also apply optical corrections for over 20,000 different camera and lens combinations.
The biggest kicker is DxO Optics Pro 10 will now work in Lightroom in a non-destructive workflow. This lets you edit your images and always return to the original photo whenever you please. This is also the first version of Optics Pro that will work seamlessly with DNG files created by Lightroom and Adobe’s DNG convertor. Lastly DxO Mark has overhauled the Optics Pro 10 interface to be more intuitive, follow the incoming flat look of the OS X Yosemite, and will load images 10 times faster on Windows and Mac systems plus.
To coincide with Photo Plus happening in New York, DxO Optics Pro 10 launches today. The Essential Edition rings up to $129 and the Elite Edition costs $199.
[click to continue…]
Ricoh has updated its Theta 360-degree camera with video recording. The latest Ricoh Theta m15 is a little handheld shooter can take up to three minutes of omnidirectional video.
This is all thanks to the Theta’s super wide-angle lenses placed on the front and back of the device. Each of the lenses and cameras capture 180-degree images and put together they create a seamless 360-degree view of the world. Additionally the Theta comes with Wi-Fi built in and Ricoh promises the wireless transfer speeds are nearly two times faster than the outgoing model.
Exposure control with the Theta is entirely automatic, so just point in the general direction of your subject (it’s a super wide-angle camera after all) and press the button. The Theta has a tripod mount hidden under its base, letting you set it up for timelapses on something as simple as a Joby Gorillapod.
Between the new Ricoh Theta m15, HTC’s new RE camera, and Sony’s ever expanding line of QX cameras we wonder how many more of these handheld, smartphone-connected cameras will come out in the future.
The Ricoh Theta m15 will be out out this November for $299.99 in your choice of blue, pink, white, and yellow. Check out more images of the Theta after the break and you can see some sample images on Ricoh’s website.
[click to continue…]
Reports state that Olympus had been working on a PEN camera prototype equipped with a vertical sensor. A source, who claims to have seen the camera, told 43 Rumors “The pen line isn’t discontinued, rather it’s being taken back to its roots.”
The vertical sensor harkens back to some of Olympus’ original film cameras like the Olympus PEN D2, which was a half frame SLR camera made with a vertical shutter. What do we mean by half frame? For each photo it shot, only half of a normal 35mm shot was exposed. What that means in practice is that a typical 24 photo roll could yield you 48 photos.
But the shutter different properties too. At the same time because of the vertical shutter, the camera would take portrait images when the users held the camera horizontally. To take images in landscape the photographer would have to hold the camera vertically.
Olympus has been purportedly toying around with this old design because of the way the sideways travelling shutter saved space for a viewfinder on top of the camera. Unlike the Sony A6000 or Panasonic GX7, this camera would potentially have an EVF hump on top of the camera body rather than a display bumped off to the left side–which is more ergonomically in line with rangefinders.
However, the source also said the camera will likely only remain as a prototype because management believes there’s too much risk in releasing such an unorthodox camera.
Though this report seems a bit crazy to hear, Sony Alpha Rumors is stating that the company may kill off almost all of their DSLR lineup of cameras to push consumers more towards the mirrorless options and pros more towards both mirrorless and DSLR (or SLT in Sony terms.) Instead, only the top end of the cameras will survive: with those being the A77 and the A99 series. Hopefully, this will also help to fix the marketing with all of the cameras now being included in the Alpha series.
Ever since the company announced that both E and A mounts are in the Alpha series, many have been very confused.
If the A mount is to only continue with two cameras, what that may also mean is that the next A77 or A99 models may be positioned more towards a higher level enthusiast than the pro. They’re a company that has always gone after that market segment more than professionals–with the exception of the company’s first full frame camera: the A900.
There is also the chance that the report isn’t true at all because of all of the consumer oriented lenses that Sony has created over the years. It would be a total waste to abandon all of that production.
In our continuing coverage of awesome, bang for your luck lenses, we’d like to inform you all that we updated our guide to better and more budget friendly glass. Go check it out at this link.
Let us know what lenses you think are the best budget lenses.