One Sony Egg Is Left to Hatch: When Will We Get the A7S III and What Will It Be Like?

Lots of folks are waiting for the Sony a7s III

Sony has given us the [amazon_textlink asin=’B06ZY7GNKN’ text=’A9′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d112c10e-4fcc-11e8-acb2-01978c55e0e1′], the [amazon_textlink asin=’B076TGDHPT’ text=’A7R III’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d73c5c53-4fcc-11e8-a437-851952e61f51′], and the [amazon_textlink asin=’B07B43WPVK’ text=’A7 III’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ddae4b39-4fcc-11e8-a04f-0d8d7c0678a6′], so it is only logical that attention has now turned to the A7S lineup. There has been some reporting that Sony could announce the A7S III as soon as mid-late May (in a few weeks). This would make sense: all of the other cameras are out now and have been for some time. So, just taking that at face value for now, what can we even expect to see from the A7S III (or more accurately, what do we want to see)? Continue reading…

The Interfit S1 Monolight is Now Compatible with Sony Cameras

A while back, we tested the Interfit S1 and found it to be a pretty good alternative to Phottix and Profoto though not as good as the Flashpoint option in some ways. Today, the company announced that the Interfit S1 is now available to work with Sony cameras that boast the multi-interface shoe. This boosts the options that Sony strobists now have by quite a bit overall.

These lights offer TTL, HSS, wireless flash control via a radio transmitter, have a pretty great build quality, and are overall quite solid. Some of the reliability issues have been fixed from what I’ve been told and so it’s shaping up to become an even better monolight overall. Yet at the same time though, it’s tough to beat the Flashpoint Xplor600’s price point. However, Interfit’s light modifiers are some of the best bang for your buck options out there: like with their parabolic umbrellas.

More specs are after the jump.

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Which Sony E Mount Camera Is The One For You? The Easy Answers

Sony’s mirrorless cameras are at the forefront of an ever evolving photographic industry, and in a market where product cycles usually range from three to five years, Sony has blown up that trend and regularly updated their A7 series cameras much more often than the norm. This has led to there quickly being six relatively new A7 full frame cameras, in addition to the APS-C based A6000 and A6300. This makes shopping for a Sony mirrorless a little confusing; and you’re bound to be asking yourself stuff and wondering if you need the latest model, do you need the higher ISO, or resolution or faster auto focus, etc. In today’s post we break it down and share our picks for which Sony mirrorless camera is right for you.

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Review: Sony A7s Mk II

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7s Mk II extra product images (2 of 4)ISO 8001-160 sec at f - 11

With the release of the Sony A7s Mk II around a year after the original, one has to wonder how can Sony make the A7s series any better?

That was the major question going through my head during this entire review process. It’s a specialized camera that serves its target audience really well. The Sony A7s Mk II doesn’t have the resolution of the Sony A7 Mk II or the Sony A7r Mk II, but what it has is the ability to deliver usable images at nuclear high ISO results that end up throwing the laws of exposure right out the window. This is due to the 12.2MP full frame 35mm sized sensor at the heart of the camera. Further, this camera can see better than the human eye in the dark.

With the Sony A7s Mk II, the company decided to add an uncompressed RAW shooting ability new ergonomics to match that of all the other Mk II cameras, new features for video shooters, and improvements to the autofocus that makes it able to autofocus in situations where other cameras simply scratch their heads.

Sure, the Mk II won’t be for everyone: but will it be for you? Do you really need to shoot at ISO levels not even thought of years ago?

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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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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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The Sony 28-135mm f4 Power Focus Lens is Designed for the a7s

SELP28135G_A_Hood-1200

Given the fact that the Sony A7s is pretty much designed for videographers, Sony has decided to find a way to support the video front even more with their new 28-105mm f4 G OSS lens. This lens features power zooming capabilities more suited for news and documentary videographers as well as sports shooters.

In our meeting with Sony, they told us that a lot of work went into the design of this lens to ensure that focus breathing didn’t occur at all when focusing in and out, lest it otherwise mess with the quality and framing of a scene being shot. Additionally, the zooming was made to be very silent by using Sony’s SSM motor technology. Otherwise, it features aspherical elements, multi coating technology, and is designed to be very contrasty. For serious videographers, that will mean that you’ll get an extra boost of faux-sharpness due to how the human eye sees blacks. But it will also mean that your color profiles will need to be even flatter. Finally, a lens like this would be nothing would optical stabilization–and of course it’s built in.

Expect this lens to hit the stores at a $2,500 price point.

Reasons to Stick to Your DSLR Over Mirrorless Camera

 

NIkon Df GServo-20131231-0016

The internet is abuzz with professional photographers and enthusiasts who are dumping their DSLR to switch to mirrorless cameras such as the Fujifilm XT-1 or Sony A7s. The high performance and image quality provided by these small, compact cameras are convincing many photographers to switch not only models, but brands.

There are no shortage of articles that showcase that advantages of mirrorless over a DSLR and visa versa, but such comparisons alone are usually not enough to convince someone to make the change. The reality is that many photographers may not need to regardless of either the hype or the definitive advantages provided by mirrorless. Here are some reasons why you may want to stick with your DSLR.

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Review: Sony A7s

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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Why the Sony A7s Is Great for Street Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7s first impressions photos (4 of 22)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 5.0

While we’re currently in our testing stage with the Sony A7s, we’ve been seeing how it performs at high ISOs and out in the streets. And to be honest, the high ISO results make us believe that this single camera will change the street photography game. With results that are completely usable at levels we never even thought of (and those that aren’t can be worked with in Adobe Lightroom) it basically makes the traditional rules of photography obsolete.

Here’s why.

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Luminous Landscape Says Sony A7S Image Quality Rivals Medium Format

Sony A7s sensor

We knew that Sony’s new A7S would be a low-light monster. We knew it would provide outstanding image quality due to its super large pixels. We knew that it would put pretty much any other full-frame camera to shame. What we didn’t know is that it would even rival medium format systems in terms of pure image quality. Or at least, that is what Michael Reichmann with The Luminous Landscape claims.

Reichmann has just posted his first-impressions review of Sony’s new 4K-capable full-frame mirrorless camera, and he seems to be quite smitten with the product. Thanks to its large pixels, which are twice the size as those of the A7, and three times the size as those of the A7R, the camera produces not only super clean high ISO images, but also renders a certain look that Reichmann likens to that of medium format cameras.

Compared to the 36MP A7R, Reichmann finds that the A7S produces superior images at ISO settings beyond 1,600. And while the A7R’s output becomes pretty much unusable (in his opinion) at ISO 12,800, the A7S holds up well until ISO 51,200 “with some moderate noise reduction.” As for dynamic range, Reichmann claims he does not see a difference between the A7S and A7R, but admits that this may need further testing.

Another aspects that he likes about the camera, apart from the possibility to record 4K video, is its electronic front curtain shutter, which helps make the camera virtually silent during exposure. This is something that wedding photographers, among others, might find to be a great benefit, as it helps take pictures more stealthily.

After reading Reichmann’s first impressions over at The Luminous Landscape, we can hardly wait until our own review unit comes in and we can put it through its paces.

Via Sony Alpha Rumors

The Sony A7s Can Probably See Better in the Dark Than You Can

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7s first impressions photos (1 of 22)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 5.0

Sony’s A7s has already been touted to be able to have lots of dynamic range and some crazy low light abilities. But we didn’t expect that it was able to see in near pure darkness. The folks over at EOS HD decided to put the 12MP high ISO camera to the test. To do this, they shot in nearly pure darkness at ISO 8000-40,000 and shot with the Canon 35mm f1.4 L lens–one that is softer than the latest Sigma iteration.

What the video shows us is that the footage holds up really well up to 102,400 but then we start to see a loss of details after that–but that could also be YouTube’s compression doing it nasty thing. Still though, this is much better than many other cameras out there and in the real world all that matters is what folks see on their screens. NoFilmSchool has featured many different tests like one with Canon gear against Kodak Film and Canon vs Panasonic. But it seems like Sony is really taking the lead now. Canon may have to respond to this in some way or another–especially at the price point of the Sony A7s.

The video is after the jump.

Via Petapixel and EOS HD

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First Impressions: Sony A7s

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7s first impressions photos (1 of 22)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 5.0

Sony’s new A7s shocked quite a few folks when it was announced. No one would have thought that Sony would have announced a new full frame E-mount camera that soon let alone one that shoots at 4K and housed a 12MP full frame CMOS sensor. Being pretty much the same exact camera body as its brothers the A7 and A7r, this camera differs in that it is targeted at the video crowd and those that want to shoot in extremely low light situations.

We got a chance to play with a pre-production version of the new A7s at Sony’s headquarters in NYC. And for the most part, we can say that you can expect more of the same.

B&H Photo has the Sony A7s for $2,498Amazon also has it along with Adorama.

Update 7/2/2014: Image samples and autofocus performance thoughts are below.

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More Full-Frame E-Mount Lenses to Come in 2014, Including Zeiss Manual Primes

julius motal the phoblographer sony a7 product image

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.