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Image via DC Watch

Image via DC Watch

Sony outed two surprise announcements yesterday with the Sony A7 Mk II and the 70-300mm f3.5-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lens. According to DC Watch, Sony is also working on improving some of its older Alpha-series glass with a 24-70mm f2.8 ZA SSM II lens and 16-35mm f2.8 ZA SSM II lens.

Sony announced the two fast zoom lenses will have improved autofocus speeds. Additionally the glass will come weather sealing against dust and water. The lenses are expected to arrive by the beginning of spring next year.

Sony also announced updates to its lens road map. Although this year is nearly out, there are still a few more FE-mount lenses we can expect including a Sony PZ 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 OSS, 28mm F2, and Zeiss 35mm f1.4. Leading into 2015 Sony will also release a FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS lens. Check out the full lens road map after the break.

Via Photo Rumors

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Though the Sony A7 series cameras haven’t been out for very long, the company has just announced a newer version: the A7 Mk II–and only in Japan. The camera has the same 24.3MP Full frame sensor that the A7 has but this camera features a five axis stabilization. According to B&H Photo, it also has “improved handling, faster AF, enhanced weather sealing, and the addition of the XAVC S video codec along with the S-Log2 gamma curve.” Indeed, one of the first things that we notice is the new front dial.

The camera boasts 117 phase detection points, 25 contrast detection points, and the same ISO 25600 at the top end plus 5fps shooting capabilities. Otherwise, the new camera sports the same 3.0”1,228k-dot resolution tilting LCD monito and the XGA OLED Tru-Finder with 2.36m-dot resolution. According to the Verge, the company states that the A7 Mk II will lock focus 30% faster.

The company also announced a new 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G SSM II lens for the A mount. The lens features a new nano AR coating to prevent ghosting and flare, enhanced contrast, a new AF motor, weather resistance,

This updated telephoto zoom lens employs a new nano AR coating to better reduce flare and ghosting for improved clarity and contrast. The AF motor has also received a notable upgrade to quicken its overall performance, which pairs well with the weather-resistant design to benefit its use in difficult shooting conditions.

This lens construction incorporates extra-low dispersion glass to reduce chromatic aberrations and distortions throughout the zoom range. It also retains the 3.9’ minimum focus distance of its predecessor and features a rounded 9-blade diaphragm for smooth out-of-focus areas.

Tech specs are after the jump. The Sony A7 Mk II will come in at $1,600 roughly if it ever comes to America.

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Review: Sony A5100

by Kevin Lee on 11/20/2014

Kevin-Lee The Phoblographer Sony A5100 Product Images (8 of 9)

The Sony A5100 is a curious little camera. It combines the compact design of the Sony A5000 with the Sony A6000’s 24.3MP sensor and staggering 179-point phase-detect autofocusing system. Sony claims the camera isn’t meant to become a mid year replacement for the Sony A5000, but rather be a new mid-range system taking the place of the outdated Sony NEX 5T.

Well the truth is you should skip right past Sony’s entry-level camera and get the Sony A5100. With a price tag of $548 (or $698 with the 16-50mm kit lens) the Sony A5100 is the best device and most affordable way to get into the mirrorless camera world right now.

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Sony-Exmor-R exploded view

It looks like phase detection autofocus will be the new hot trick of smartphone cameras. First the iPhone 6 included phase detect AF and now Sony has announced a new stacked Exmor RS IMX230 CMOS image sensor for smartphones with an onboard image plane phase detection AF signal processing function.

Sony claims the 21MP sensor could use up to 192 AF points to achieve excellent focus tracking of fast-moving subjects. The IMX230 sensor itself is a 1/2.4 stacked CMOS image sensor, which also utilizes back-illuminated pixels. On top of taking high-resolution pictures, the sensor records 4K video in high-dynamic range as well as some more pedestrian 1080p video at 60fps.

Sony has announced it will release the its stacked CMOS image sensor in April 2015. There’s no word as to what will be the first device to utilize this new sensor. However, we’ll hazard a guess that the sensor will be first implemented into a future Xperia Z4 or another Android smartphone. Check past the break to see a few results from Sony’s new Exmor RS IMX230 sensor.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Great State Classic Skinny strap review images (1 of 8)ISO 1001-100 sec at f - 2.0

We were introduced to Great State camera straps recently through Facebook; and were inspired by their all American made mantra with the classic/minimalist aesthetic and emphasis. Based in Portland, Oregon the company hand makes the straps before boxing them in something almost like a jewelry box and putting a little tag telling you that it will essentially get better with age.

Great State shipped us their Classic Skinny strap, which they sell for $59–and which is very affordable for a strap like this. To be very brief, we’re in love. These straps have elements of both Tap and Dye and Cub and Co in their design; and you should wear yours like a special badge of honor.

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Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 8.36.54 AM

Though kit zoom lenses are rarely the ones that you’d want to see tested by a lab, DxOMark today released their results on the Canon 55-250mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM–a lens that was announced a little over a year ago. And according to their results, it’s not looking too good. When scored against its closest competitors that the company has in their database from both Nikon and Sony the Canon lens falls a bit short. Nikon takes the lead and Sony just barely beats out Canon’s offering though shows itself to have the strongest sharpness of the three.

More of an analysis is after the jump.

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