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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Reports State that Sony Will Kill Most of their DSLR Line

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (3 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

Though this report seems a bit crazy to hear, Sony Alpha Rumors is stating that the company may kill off almost all of their DSLR lineup of cameras to push consumers more towards the mirrorless options and pros more towards both mirrorless and DSLR (or SLT in Sony terms.) Instead, only the top end of the cameras will survive: with those being the A77 and the A99 series. Hopefully, this will also help to fix the marketing with all of the cameras now being included in the Alpha series.

Ever since the company announced that both E and A mounts are in the Alpha series, many have been very confused.

If the A mount is to only continue with two cameras, what that may also mean is that the next A77 or A99 models may be positioned more towards a higher level enthusiast than the pro. They’re a company that has always gone after that market segment more than professionals–with the exception of the company’s first full frame camera: the A900.

There is also the chance that the report isn’t true at all because of all of the consumer oriented lenses that Sony has created over the years. It would be a total waste to abandon all of that production.

Sony Releases Alpha Series and NEX-7 Firmware Update

At last, Sony outs the firmware updates for the A77 and NEX-7. They’re definitely something worth taking a look at as they involve some useful new capabilities as well as adding a number of new compatible lenses to your Sony arsenal.

NEX-7 updates include: 

  • Addition of capability to enable or disable the MOVIE button
  • Addition of exposure settings of bracket shooting (three frames /1.0EV,2.0EV, 3.0EV)
  • Improvement of response for showing auto review image.
  • Improvement of image quality when using a wide angle lens
  • Improvement of indication when setting “Flexible Spot”.
E-mount Lens updates include:
  • Hybrid AF E-mount capabilities with the NEX-5R/NEX-6. Lenses include 0SEL1855, SEL55210, SEL18200 and SEL24F18Z.

A77, A65, A57, and A37  updates include: 

  • Addition of capability to enable or disable MOVIE button
  • Expanded the number of automatic compensation compliant lenses: SAL30M28,SAL50F14,SAL2470Z,SAL2875,SAL70400G,SAL70200G,SAL35F14G,SAL1635Z
You will be able to head on over to Sony’s blog at 12 AM Eastern/ 9 PM Pacific tonight for the download links.

 

Sony Announces New 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 Superzoom A Mount Lens

Today, Sony has pulled the veil off of the highly rumored 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 lens for Sony A Mount cameras (with an APS-C sized sensor.) The new lens features Sony’s SAM (Smooth Autofocus Motor), one ED lens element, and that really seems to be about it. The Sony 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 SAM lens will be available in September for $300.

Check out all the tech specs you care about after the jump. If you’re in the market for a Sony DSLR camera, check out our A37 and A77 reviews.

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Quick Review: Sony 16-50mm F2.8 for Sony A-Mount DSLRs

The Sony 16-50mm f/2.8, best known as the “kit” lens with the Sony A77, is among one of the finest “kit” lenses I’ve ever tested. I wrote briefly about this lens in my Sony A77 Review, but I thought I would go ahead and post a full-on review of the lens, because I really can’t get enough of it. The build, the image quality, and the versatility of this lens make it a clear winner among the Sony A-Mount choices. Read on for more details!

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What’s In the Bag? Sony Artisan Brian Smith

I’ve known professional photographer Brian Smith for a couple of years now, and the work he does has consistently blown my mind. More importantly, he’s also perhaps one of the nicest professionals I’ve ever met: in fact, he’s looking out for all of us. His book: Art and Soul, belongs on every portrait photographer’s coffee table. Brian managed to talk to various celebrities after shooting their portraits, and got testimonials from all of them on why the arts are so important.

He’s even let me play with his gear before. While we all know that a photographer’s creative vision first, I couldn’t help but ask Brian to talk with us about what’s in his camera bag. After some quick emails back and forth, I was able to get the well-respected Sony Artisan to not only tell us what’s in the bag, but also give us a bit of a backstory on some of the pieces.

Before we start though, be sure to follow his updates and if you’re at WPPI, be sure to pop on by his Secret of Great Portrait Photography class. They’ll be giving away lots of freebies there too.

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Hands On: Sony A77

The other day, I finally got my hands on the extremely coveted Sony A77 camera. Though the reviews have already started to come out, I’m still waiting for my units to give them a full run through. However, this camera seemed extremely impressive during the brief time I spent with it.

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