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Review: Sony A7s

by Chris Gampat on 07/25/2014

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Sony A7s product images (1 of 8)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 4.0

The Sony A7s has to be the single camera that will shift the megapixels race to the ISO stage. When it was first announced, it was billed as a low megapixel high ISO territory trailblazing camera. Then tests started to come out that confirmed this. Indeed, Sony’s 12MP full frame sensor is quite capable not only of delivering very clean high ISO results, but also pretty darned good RAW file versatility. But there is so much more to the camera than this.

The A7s also is one of the fastest focusing cameras that we’ve tested on the site–and for that reason its reliability as a tool in your daily life increases. The camera is a dream come true for many photojournalists, concert photographers, and videographers.

On the other hand, still photographers are bound to be disappointed somewhat by fewer megapixels and the lack of detail at lower ISOs.

But Sony delivered some Editor’s Choice award winning products in the A7 and A7r. Is the A7s worthy of the award too?

Editor’s Note: this review is based solely on a photographer’s point of view. We will post another article later on comparing this camera’s video output to the Panasonic GH4.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 24-70mm f4 full frame lens review product images (2 of 8)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 4.0

When Sony first announced their mirrorless full frame E mount system, the 24-70mm f4 was mentioned as one of the first lenses to be offered. Fast forward a bit, and it has hit the retailers and is receiving reviews. As one of the first zooms offered to a brand new system, there is a lot riding on the 24-70mm f4 FE OSS due to to the fact that it will help to keep the system afloat in its infancy. So with that in mind, Sony made this lens splashproof and dustproof–whatever that really means.

Despite the build though, folks purchase a lens for its image quality. And boy, does it exhibit some pretty good image quality–emphasis on pretty good. This lens doesn’t seem to be the company’s sharpest zoom lens, and to be honest it’s very much more of a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none. But in the hands of the right creative, it can do some great work.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon 35mm f1.8 lead image (1 of 1)ISO 1001-40 sec at f - 4.0

Nikon released their 35mm f1.8 G ED lens earlier this year, and when it was announced it whetted the appetites of full frame lovers everywhere. Though not a direct replacement for the company’s previous lens offering, it was designed with the full frame customer in mind. We believe the 35mm focal length truly shows what the human eye sees and it is a lens that can be used for anything like street photography, wide portraits, events, weddings, candids, food, etc.

With the ability of focus as closely at 9.84 inches and housing seven aperture blades, 11 elements in 8 groups, and weighing 10.76 oz, it is a lens that will probably be on the camera of many a photographer looking to step up their game and become more serious with their craft.

And while we’re confident that this lens will satisfy most customers, we also know that later on you’ll want so much more.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Petzval Lens product images (13 of 13)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Lomography hasn’t always been known as a company that caters to the higher end crowd or market, but they’ve been taking steps to attract more of that market share without giving up their identity. And perhaps the best known attempt so far has been the company’s Petzval lens. This is an 85mm lens designed with a special interchangeable Waterhouse Aperture system along with some very swirly bokeh. There surely are lenses that still have this effect that are made in both China and Russia–in fact, Lomo teamed up with Zenit to create this lens.

Featuring a maximum aperture of f2.2, a 58mm filter thread for video shooters, and a minimum focusing distance of one meter, the Lomography Petzval lens is something that you probably won’t bring out with you often–just like any other specialized lens. But when you do, you’ll have loads and loads of fun.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon 35mm product images (1 of 6)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 4.0

Earlier this year, Nikon announced their update their new 35mm f1.8 lens. But unlike the previous version, this lens was specifically designed for full frame cameras. The company already had an f1.4 version out, but this new optic is aimed at the person not reaching for as high hanging fruit. It sports seven aperture blades, 11 elements in 8 groups, a minimum aperture for f16, and weighs just 305 grams.

Needless to say, it feels like a complete featherweight when attached to the Nikon D800. But it sure doesn’t perform like it.

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Review: Sony A6000

by Chris Gampat on 05/16/2014

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A6000 product images (2 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.2

When Sony first announced the A6000 camera, we were quite impressed at the autofocusing system that they boasted about. With 179 phase detection autofocus points, they sure do have a lot to live up to. Not only this, but the camera succeeds their excellent NEX 6. To add even more to that fact, the last time Sony put out a 24MP APS-C sensor in a camera, the world wasn’t too thrilled.

But it has been a couple of years now and Sony has had time to rethink their sensors and have made some dramatic improvements overall.

The new A6000 houses 24.3 MP APS-C Sensor beast of a sensor with a shutter that is capable of firing 11 fps. You’ll need that if you want to track subjects moving through its 179 phase detection points. To make it even easier to do, the company put a 1.4K dot EVF on the camera.

But is it enough to tempt you?

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