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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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Kevin-Lee The Phoblographer Sony RX100 Mark III Product Images (9 of 9)

Sony’s RX100 line just keeps getting better with every new iteration. In June 2012 Sony introduced the first RX100–a stunner of a compact camera with a f1.8 lens and great image quality. A year later Sony improved on the formula adding a hot shoe whilst improving autofocus and ISO performance. Now Sony is out with a Mark III version that’s added more apparent upgrades including a popup electronic viewfinder and a significantly faster f1.8-2.8 lens at the cost of some reach. These are admirable improvements that photo gear heads will love but do they make the Mark III Sony’s best premium point-and-shoot camera yet?

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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 Canon G1x product images (7 of 7)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

When walking around the streets of any big city, the best camera is always the one that you have on you. But lots of us here at the Phoblographer love point and shoots. These cameras are lightweight, better than a phone, small, and so low profile that no one will think that you look like a creep. But what we care about a whole lot more is the image quality–and many modern cameras perform more than well enough to please even the most snobbish of shooters.

Here are our picks for the best cameras for street photography.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Phottix Mitros+ Sony Product Image 1

Phottix already wowed us with the performance of its Mitros+ flash on Canon and Nikon cameras, and now it’s available to Sony bodies as well. Like the flash’s earlier renditions, the Mitros+ comes with a built-in 2.4GHz transceiver inside that can communicate with other Mitros+ flashes as well as Odin and Strato II flash triggers for TTL control.

Like the Canon version we reviewed earlier last year, the Mitros+ can’t communicate with Sony’s own flashes. On top of that it also needs Phottix’s Odin receiver or another flash trigger of some sort. But the shoe is the older Minolta shoe; not the new Multi-interface shoe that has been around since the Sony A99.

As a flashgun itself the Mitros+ covers a flash-zoom range of 24-105mm and features a 360-degree rotating head. The unit can also be set to a full range of manual and automatic modes including high-speed sync and First Curtain Sync for cameras with electronic front curtain shutters such as the Sony A6000 and A7 when used with the right adapter.

The Phottix Mitros+ for Sony is still on its way to stores but it will be available for $449.99. Until then you can gawk at some more technical details after the break and see more images of the flashgun.

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Metabones Canon EF to Sony E Mark IV Product Image 1

Metabone, the makers of Speedboosters, are out with a new Mark IV version of its Canon EF to Sony E-mount lens adapter. The new smart adapter adds support the Sony A7 and A7R letting users mount all their full-frame Canon glass while retaining nearly same autofocus performance and aperture control.

The added Sony full-frame E-mount support means there’s a bigger inside hole, which will also makes the adapter better suited for tilt-shift lenses. Metabones has also added a new a matte anti-internal reflection coating to prevent any additional light from bouncing around inside the lens adapter.

As with the company’s other smart adapters, this one will let the camera power and full communicate with any Canon glass. This includes aperture control, AF motors, relaying EXIF information, and in-lens image stabilization. Of course the translation won’t be one-to-one, but the Sony A7 family of cameras all have focus peaking to lend a helping hand when dialing in your frame manually.

Metabone’s new Canon EF to Sony E-mount smart adapter is available now for $399. We expect Metabones will update the rest of its adapters with the same design soon and hopefully users will also be able to attach their full-frame Nikon glass to full-frame E-mount cameras shortly. Click past the break for more images.

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