Though Sony was the first to the game with full frame interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras with autofocus, the company has traditionally played catch up in the digital photography world–and there seems to be a bit of that with the Sony a99 II. Granted, they’re now very much the leader in many ways and create understandably fantastic products–but the a99 II’s announcement after around four years or more feels a bit like what Canon and Nikon do. Granted, that makes sense in some ways; but Sony is now mostly known for their mirrorless cameras and that begs the question of whether or not the company is too late with this announcement.
Let’s be very honest there: you absolutely do not need to take classes or many tutorials that you need to pay for to learn the basics and a little bit more about photography–but photography classes do something for you that being behind a screen in a dark office at home can’t do for you. Classes, for many years, were the best ways for photographers for learn how to do their craft. But the internet has changed there. There are loads and loads of places where you can go to learn all of the basics. Photographers that just want to know the basics probably learned this way. There’s YouTube, The Phoblographer, Tuts Plus, and a load of other free resources that do a great job of teaching you some tips and tricks that you’ll be responsible for getting into a routine of.
And perhaps that’s one of the best reasons why you should take photography classes.
It’s been years since Sony has updated the a99, and at Photokina 2016 the company announced the successor–the Sony a99 II. Chock full of upgrades like a 42.2MP full frame sensor, hybrid autofocus detection, 4K video without pixel binning, 12 fps shooting capabilities in raw with a buffer of up to 56 images, and a new three way tilting LCD screen there is surely a lot to love here.
We got a chance to play with the camera–like 15 minutes if anything. And though we weren’t allowed to take home sample images, we’re quite impressed with what we’ve seen so far.
For a few minutes at Photokina 2016, I was able to personally fondle the hottest camera announced at the show: the Fujifilm GFX 50s. This is a medium format camera targeted at the full frame 35mm camera user and is the second medium format mirrorless camera in the digital market. Oddly enough though, it isn’t designed to resemble a Mamiya 7 II or anything else from the film days despite the retro aesthetics. A number of jounalists and I were taken through a presentation where we were introduced to the team who worked on the camera’s design and specifications. Fujifilm’s intention here is to find a way to appeal to professional photographers and high end enthusiasts without competing in the pool filled with sharks that produce full frame 35mm sensor cameras.
So far: they seem to have the world’s attention.
Last year, Lumu launched a Kickstarter for a brand new Light meter for the iPhone that would be able to meter color, ambient light, and flash output. For anyone that uses a light meter of any sort, this sounds wonderful (sans being able to trigger a monolight via the meter). At Photokina 2016, I finally got the chance to see their unicorn product: the Lumu Power. The company claims that it will be delivered this November, and that they’ve had a number of holdups along the way. Sure, they’re late on delivering their Kickstarter promises, but they’re now ready to get it out to the public.
At Photokina 2016, the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50S camera was announced. It features a medium format sensor that is larger than full frame 35mm sensors, but isn’t larger than full frame 645 format sensors. To see just how large they all are in comparison, we put them all in a comparison chart together. In truth, it’s really not much larger; but it is indeed larger than full frame and effectively targets the photographers that want something more.
If the trends in medium format photography have been any indication at all, then the idea of getting a truly large 645 medium format sensor is something to truly aspire to, but what most professional photographers may never accomplish. Years ago, back when film was king in photography, the 645 medium format size was something of a joke in some circles of photography. In photojournalism, it was a format valued for its smaller size yet larger negative than what 35mm film offered. Many professionals tended to want to reach for the 6×7 format instead. At this size, the photographer got a larger negative yet still retained a manageable size to work with. Photojournalistic applications tended to favor the 645 format.
But today, it sincerely seems like we’ve got what I’d like to call a new 645 format in some ways. At least that’s what Photokina 2016 makes it seem like.
At Photokina 2016, Fujifilm announced their new system called the Fujifilm GFX: their medium format camera system that has been long rumored. The new system sports a sensor size of 43.8 x 32.9mm; and the camera is being touted as something that is meant to be above full frame camera systems. This is being called the G format sensor and is 1.7x larger than 35mm. It has 51.4MP. At its full size, it as a 4:3 ratio. However, there are a number of different ratios available.
Oh right, and it’s mirrorless!
The new sensor has specially shaped micro lenses and has an optimized silicon process. It was indeed fully customized just for them. No word yet on who makes it.