DxOMark: Sony A7r Mk II is at the Top of the Charts

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r Mk II first impressions (2 of 8)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 5.6

DXOMark released the results of their tests with the Sony A7r Mk II today–and they’re not really surprising. Why not? We kind of expected the Sony A7r Mk II to wipe the floor with everyone else–and it does. Receiving an overall score of 98%, it seems to excel in pretty much every area of their tests. With a 42.2MP full frame sensor, we would assume that the camera is bound to have lots of color depth and dynamic range information but not so great high ISO output. Right?

More of an analysis is after the jump.

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The Best Mirrorless Cameras for Photojournalists

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony a7 Mk II product photos (1 of 8)ISO 1001-50 sec at f - 5.0

While Canon and Nikon keep on trucking with their powerhouse cameras, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Samsung and Olympus have viable and noticeably smaller alternatives. In photojournalism, particularly in breaking news situations, you have to be able to react to split-second changes, and the size and amount of gear you have can help or hinder you. As mirrorless cameras have become more robust, there’s been a gradual shift away from bigger rigs in photojournalism. If a smaller camera can do the job just as well, if not better than a bigger one, why not go for the smaller one? There’s less strain on your neck! With that in mind, here are our recommendations for the best mirrorless cameras for photojournalists.

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7 Extra Features Sony Cameras Can Do Through Apps

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony a7 Mk II product photos (2 of 8)ISO 1001-50 sec at f - 5.0

The general consensus is that Sony cameras are quickly gaining more and more popularity amongst many photographers. Out of the box, they’re quite capable–but many of you probably don’t know that there are loads of other features that the cameras can do, but are not immediately available. We’re not necessarily talking about firmware updates and improvements that come that way, but instead we’re emphasizing extra features.

For example, did you know that your Sony A7 can shoot in timelapse mode?

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High ISO Samples: Sony A7r Mk II

ISO 12,800

ISO 12,800

Today is a day where I’m really, really eating my words. When working on our first impressions post for the Sony A7r Mk II, I kept thinking about how the high ISO results for a 42.4MP Full frame camera couldn’t be that spectacular. Indeed, the low ISO output is quite nice. Then we got the camera back in for testing just yesterday.

At first, I shot at ISO 3200 and was very impressed. Then I took the camera up to ISO 6400 and was also very pleased with the results. But it didn’t stop there.

The Sony A7r Mk II‘s maximum ISO output is 102,400. At 42.4 MP, you’d figure that the high ISO results wouldn’t be that stellar, right?

Right?

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Review: Sony 28mm f2 (Full Frame E Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 28mm f2 lens review product photos (2 of 7)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.8

Besides the 55mm f1.8 and 35mm f2.8, the only other compact autofocus prime lens that we have for the full frame E-mount is the Sony 28mm f2. It was recently introduced as part of the growing line of full frame E mount lenses. Targeted at street photographers, architecture shooters, candid shooters, and many more this lens is one of the few primes that also isn’t Zeiss branded.

With nine aperture blades, nine elements in eight groups, no image stabilization, and weighing in at 7.05 oz this lens has the potential to become a very standard lens for many.

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Review: Sony Zeiss 16-35mm F4 OSS (Sony Full Frame E Mount)

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 16-35mm f4 product photos (5 of 7)ISO 1601-50 sec at f - 4.0

Wide angle zooms are amongst some of the most sought after lenses by the photographers that love to shoot wide. Combine that with a constant aperture and you’ve got a photographer that will be happy for days. So when Sony announced their 16-35mm f4 OSS lens for the E mount system, we knew that it was going to be a hit. Due to the company’s collaboration with Zeiss for many years, the two have worked together to produce better and better lenses.

But while this lens will be highly sought after by many photographers, it probably shouldn’t be in everyone’s camera bags.

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Review: Metz 64 AF-1 Flash (Sony Alpha E)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Metz flash product photos (1 of 10)ISO 6401-50 sec at f - 4.0

Editor’s Correction: In an earlier version of this article, we called the flash the 54 AF-1. It is indeed the 64 AF-1. We apologize for this mistake.

Metz believes that the future of the flash is very…touchy. To be specific, we’re talking about a touch screen. So when the 64 AF-1 was shown to us around Photokina 2014, we were quite intrigued. The flashes are available for Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony and the Micro Four Thirds world. It tries to be futuristic with its massive touch LCD screen. Metz has been long known in the industry for having a more affordable alternative to the camera manufacturers, but in recent years they’ve stepped back to Phottix, Lumopro and Yongnuo.

The Metz 64 AF-1 otherwise is like many flashes on the market: it can rotate around and tilt its head. Unlike Sony’s flashes, the 64 AF-1 isn’t a cobra head design. But like many of Sony’s flashes, some of the settings can be controlled via the camera thanks to its interactions from the multi-interface shoe. This means that it will work with the NEX 6, A7, A7s, A7r, A7 Mk II, A99, A77, A77 Mk II and a couple of others.

The flash is also one of the first designed for the new Sony shoe since the company introduced it a couple of years ago. While it’s a good first attempt, it fails in certain aspects.

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Sony A7 Mk II Gets Officially Announced in America

sony a7 mk ii

Earlier on this week, Sony announced the A7 Mk II in Japan. But today, they’re finally announcing it here in the US. The camera is the world’s first full frame mirrorless camera with image stabilization built into the sensor. It uses a five axis stabilization system they Sony claims is not the same that Olympus has despite the partnership between the two companies. The company also claims around 4.5 stops of stabilization from the new image stabilized sensor. It will work with all of the lenses that Sony has created as well as third party options, though they state that some lenses aren’t compatible.

It houses the same 24.3MP full frame sensor in the A7 but adds a 35% performance improvement in autofocus responsiveness. In fact, it boasts 117 focal plane phase detection AF points and 25 contrast detection points. Sony also states in their press release that AF and AE now work while tracking subjects.

The Sony A7 Mk II gets a boost in the video capabilities by bringing with it the XAVC-S video codec that was previously only on the A7s. You also get time code, picture profiles and dual video recording to an external recorder and the SD card inside.

Sony is also claiming a 40% start-up time–which is a big problem with the current A7. It will come in at $1,700 body only on February 9th when it launches. But the company is announcing much more.

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The New Sony A7 Mk II Features 5-Axis Stabilization

ILCE-7M2-main

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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