Sigma announces some new “Art” lenses

Sigma has announced the release of three (3) high-end ‘Art’ lenses: two primes and one zoom. All three lenses are designed for full-frame DSLR’s from Canon, Nikon and Sigma.

Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG

The first lens is the ultra-wide 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, which Sigma claims is the ‘world’s first and only F1.8 ultra-wide-angle lens.’  The lens has 16 elements, three of which are FLD (low dispersion) and four are SLD (super-low-dispersion). It also has a large (80mm) aspherical front element to reduce distortion and ‘deliver outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.’ The 14mm F1.8 has 9 rounded aperture blades, a minimum focus distance of 27cm/11in and a ring-type ultrasonic (HSM) focus motor.

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG Art

Next Sigma has announced a 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art. This lens features three SLD and four aspherical, nine rounded aperture blades and optical image stabilization. The lens is weather-sealed and made of a combination of metal and ‘thermally stable composite’ material. The minimum focus distance of the 24-70 is an impressive 37cm/14.5in and it uses 82mm filters.

Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG

And finally there is the Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM telephoto prime. Sigma says that this lens  I quote ‘offers the […] resolution required for 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs.’

It has a hypersonic (ring-type ultrasonic) focus motor that delivers fast (and ‘exceptionally stable’) focus speeds, while an acceleration sensor ‘detects the orientation of the lens’ so the AF system can respond to ‘varying loads on the focusing group due to gravity.’ The lens has 9 rounded aperture blades, dust and splashproof construction, and a weight of 1130g/40.2oz. This last lens in particular is likely to appeal to concert shooters where the “fast” f1.8 aperture will prove very useful.

February 2017

 

Replacement for Canon EOS 760D announced

Canon EOS 77D Announced: Move over Canon EOS 760D

Canon has announced the EOS 77D a new APS-C DSLR  which will sit between the company’s established entry-level DSLRs and the more enthusiast-oriented Canon EOS 80D.

In essence the 77D is a replacement to the current EOS 760D. But despite sitting below the 80D in the lineup, it shares that more advanced model’s 24.2MP sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus and adds an updated Digic 7 processor to the mix.

Thre AF system now consists of a 45 -point all-cross-type AF system and 7650-pixel RGB+IR metering system, which work together for better accuracy and subject recognition.

Rounding out the package is an ISO range of 100-25600, continuous 6 fps burst shooting with autofocus (4.5 fps when using Live View), 1080/60p video capture and wireless connectivity featuring NFC and Bluetooth LE.

The new camera gains a built-in interval and bulb timers, greater custom controls including an AF-On button, a top LCD panel and an eye sensor to shut off the rear LCD when the camera is raised for shooting.

February 2015

Canon EOS 800D Announced

Canon EOS 800D: New Entry level APS-C DSLR Announced

Canon has announced its latest entry-level DSLR, the EOS model the EOS 800D.

The new camera is the highest specified of the beginner-friendly line and maintains the same 24.4MP resolution CMOS sensor as its predecessor.

However What is new is a 45-point all cross-type autofocus system used for viewfinder shooting, and Dual Pixel AF in live view.

The camera uses Canon’s Digic 7 image processor, and provides a 6 fps burst rate. Wi-Fi and NFC are now complemented by Bluetooth, making it compatible with Canon’s first-ever Bluetooth wireless remote as well as smartphones. A 3″ 1.04 million-dot touchscreen is offered, as is a new interface designed to guide beginning photographers and help them get the shots they want.

February 2017

 

Sigma 85mm f1.4 “Art” : Optical Perfection?

We know that DxO lab testing revealed the new Sigma 85mm f1.4 Prime Lens was as good as it gets but what about real world testing?

Well Dpreview have published a full user review of Sigma’s new “Art” lens for full frame DSLR’s and here’s what they concluded:

From Dpreview

Conclusion

“The Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art offers some incredible image quality for the price, with outstanding class leading sharpness, excellent subject isolation and bokeh performance. The F1.4 aperture makes it a fantastic choice for low-light events and portrait shooting. The lens does experience some purple and green fringing when it’s shot wide open at F1.4 in harsh backlit conditions, but stopping it down to F2.5 eliminates it entirely. All in all this lens is one of the best portrait lenses we’ve seen to date and at a bargain price for the performance”.
No doubts there then?
February 2017

Sony Alpha 99 II Review

Sony Alpha 99 II : Sony’s “A” mount range of cameras is far from dead

Online photography review site Photography Blog UK has published a review of Sony’s “A” mount full frame SLT camera the Sony Alpha 99 II which uses a fixed transulent mirror and packs a 42 megapixel full-frame sensor, other specifications include 4K video recording, a tilting LCD screen, dual memory card slots, an electronic viewfinder and a Bionz X Processor

Sony A99 II Review thumbnail

From Photography Blog UK

“Sony has produced an excellent camera with the A99 II, following on from the excellent work of the original A99. We may have thought that Sony was giving up on its SLT range as it has been concentrating on its E-mount range for some time, but with this camera, it shows that the company is still concerned with larger, more traditional cameras too. 

Thanks to the high build quality and extensive range of buttons and dials, the Sony A99 II is pleasant to use – and of it feels like you’ve got a high performing piece of kit in your hand. 

Images are nicely saturated, but there is an issue of underexposure in some situations which mean that you often have to dial in exposure compensation where you might not normally want to do so. If you’re planning on shooting a lot of low light, low contrast shots, then this is something to be aware of – but perhaps if you’re mainly concerned with sports, wildlife, action and so on – it will be less of an issue for you. 

The A99 II performs well in those scenarios, being able to focus quickly and accurately, and having a high frame rate is useful for fast moving action.

Other manufacturers generally have resisted putting a manoeuvrable screen on their full-frame professional cameras, so it’s great to see one of those here – it’s particularly useful for video recording. Naturally, as we’d expect from an electronics giant like Sony, the A99 II is 4K compatible, too. 

It seems unlikely that anybody who is already a dyed in the wool Canon or Nikon user is going to be tempted over to the Sony system just yet, but, when you look at the price, you may think twice – it’s currently retailing for £500 less than the Canon 5D Mark IV, which was announced at a similar time, so if Sony can keep up this aggressive pricing strategy, it could convince people to switch and make savings over time”. 

My Take:

The previous Sony A99 was a bit of a dark horse, over-looked by many but appreciated by those who took the plunge and bought into Sony’s full frame SLT system. I tested the older A99 a few years back and I was very impressed.

The new A99 II is an even better camera with its 48mp sensor delivering the goods in spades.

Once again for those wanting to be a bit different and seeking to enter the full frame world and who are not already committed to either Canon or Nikon, like the Pentax K1 the new Sony Alpha A99 II is worthy of serious consideration.

Mark Baynham ( February 2017)