The Sony RX100 Mk II, just like the original RX100, sports a lens that has a bright initial aperture of f1.8 at its widest setting, but that gets rather slow towards its tele end where the maximum aperture is a mere f4.9. This is not untypical for compact cameras, as making the aperture much wider would also result in an overall larger lens. Still, newly unearthed patents show that the next iteration of the series could sport a lens with a brighter aperture at the tele end.
Published by Egami, the patent sketches five different zoom lens designs for compact cameras sporting a 1″ sensor, and all of them are very similar to the lens inside the currect RX100 (Mk II). One design in particular looks like a potential candidate for an RX200 camera, sporting the same focal length range of 28-100mm equivalent, but a brighter aperture that goes from f1.8 at the wide-angle end to f2.8 at the tele end.
Another design is for a lens with a longer zoom range of 28-150mm, and an aperture range of f1.8-3.6, which is also relatively bright considering the longer focal length at the tele end. Both lens designs sport 12 elements, arranged into 10 groups in the shorter lens and 9 groups in the longer lens. Also discussed in the patent is the addition of a macro mode, which would allow for very short close-focusing distances.
The way we see it, both of these lens designs would make sense for a successor to the RX1oo Mk II. A brighter aperture at the tele end is something that many RX100 (Mk II) users have been calling for, so the first option would satisfy that department. But a slightly longer lens that provides extra reach could also find a liking with many customers, especially if its aperture at the telephoto end is as bright as described in the patent.
Via Sony Alpha Rumors
When Sony’s full-frame E-mount system was first launched last year, it comprised four dedicated lenses for the A7 and A7R cameras. These were the two primes, the FE 35mm f2.8 and FE 55mm f1.8, and the two zooms, the FE 24-70mm f4 and the FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6. An FE 70-200mm was also announced along the cameras, and will be available soon. While five lenses is quite a solid setup for a brand-new photographic system, these particular ones offer too little choice for demanding photographers.
The good news is, though, that Sony has been promising more lenses for the system, including a wide-angle zoom, another fast prime lens and a macro lens. Zeiss also announced that they are working on new lenses for the full-frame E-mount system, and theirs will be manual primes just like they made for various DSLR systems in the past. Another fast, manual prime lens has recently been announced by Chinese manufacturer Mitakon and should also soon be available.
Sony Alpha Rumors now heard from an anonymous source that over the course of this year, a total of fourteen lenses for Sony’s full-frame E-mount system will become available. This means that in addition to the five lens previously announced by Sony, there will be nine more coming this year including the ones from Sony and Zeiss that we mentioned above. Together with the Mitakon lens, these will make for a total of 15 lenses.
That’s actually not too bad for a system that by the end of the year will be just over a year old. Also, among these 15 lenses, there should be enough choice for most photographers that are contemplating switching to the A7, A7S or A7R. And let’s not forget, because these cameras are mirrorless E-mount cameras, you can adapt almost any full-frame lens to these cameras, and even use autofocus with some when you have the right adapter. So overall, the lens choice for these cameras is already pretty huge.
Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art is the successor to the company’s previous 50mm f1.4 lens that was also held in very high regard. However, the new lens has been brought in line both in terms of design and image quality with the company’s new Global Vision–and specifically under its Art lineup. The focal length and aperture are an iconic one that many photographers swear by. In fact, many only shoot with this one lens.
But is Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art offering enough to make you want to trade up?
Editor’s Note: Check out our first sample images, full review, and comparison posts against the 35mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 version 1.
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Today, DxOMark released new findings and a report on the Sony A6000 announced a little while back. According to their findings, it seems to be outdoing pretty much every other new camera on the market with the exception of the Nikon D5300 and D3300. Sony’s new flagship APS-C E mount camera has a 24.3MP APS-C sensor at its heart. And while many may still say that that is way too many megapixels for a small sensor, the results are surely in.
However, during our briefing with Sony, what they were really pushing was the autofocus–which is super fast and utilizes phase detection.
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We’re still falling over ourselves about how good the Sony A7 and A7r are as full-frame mirrorless cameras and now there’s a Sony A7s. At the video centric NAB conference in Las Vegas press event, the Japanese electronics firm announced a new model Sony A7s model that brings 4K video to the popular camera line (sort of). The “s” in the new designation stands for sensitivity, which in this case has extended the ISO range of this particular camera to a whopping 409,600—matching the Nikon D4s’ maximum ISO limit.
As a trade off the Sony A7s’ to 12.2MP sensor has seen a downgrade when compared to the Sony A7r’s 36.4MP full-frame sensor and 24.3MP on the Sony A7. Ultimately though the larger pixels on the Sony A7s allow it to take in much more light in achieving the higher ISO sensitivity.
What’s more the new sensor allows the camera to record 3,840 x 2,160 (QFHD) 4K resolution video…when using an external recorder to capture the footage, that is. Unlike the Panasonic GH4, the Sony A7 must be connected to an external third-party 4K recorder via HDMI to capture quadruple HD quality video. The camera, however, can still record 1920×1080 resolution video at 60p by itself, and 120 fps capture is also possible by knocking quality down to 720p.
The camera otherwise is basically identical to its siblings when it comes to looks. The new Sony A7s still comes with Wi-Fi and NFC built in, as well as the Multi Interface Shoe up top, to which users can attach Sony’s XLR mic adapter kit, the XLR-K1M. Sony hasn’t spilled the beans on pricing yet, but Sony expects the camera to start shipping this summer.
Check past the break for more images and specs in the meantime.
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Sony Alpha Rumors has shared a set of slides out of a presentation by Sony South Korea, which indicate that the company is focusing on the high-end A-mount and E-mount segments right now. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Sony has been focusing more on the entry-level and mid-range segments in the recent past. The A99 (our review here) is about to reach the end of a typical digital camera life cycle, and the A7 (our review here) and A7R (our review here) were quite obviously only the beginning of a series of full-frame E-mount cameras.
It is very likely, thus, that the near future will not only see a replacement for the ageing A99 and A77 (our review here) translucent mirror cameras, but also additions to the full-frame E-mount range. Per our own judgement, the single-digit Alpha range has room for at least a more high-end-model (possibly an A9) as well as a lower-end model aimed more at the consumer (possibly an A5 or A3.) In any case, there are many things about the A7 and A7R that can and should be improved.
The slides also mention some other interesting things. For one, they indicate that mirrorless cameras have gained hugely over DSLRs in 2013, though it is unclear whether the figures relate to Sony products or to the overall camera market. On the mirrorless market, Sony claims to have had a 53% share in 2013, which is pretty impressive. Also, Sony is hard on the heels of Canon when it comes to market share in interchangeable lens cameras. The goal for 2014 is to overtake Canon, at least in South Korea.