Full Frame Sony a9 Announced

Best mirrorless camera yet produced : The new Sony a9 

Its been long rumoured but finally the Sony a9 a professional high end full frame mirrorless camera has broken cover.

The a9 has a full frame 24MP, stacked CMOS sensor (a world’s first) for super-fast readout, and allowing a completely silent electronic shutter. It can shoot at an amazing 20 frames per second for more 241 compressed Raw frames, that is some performance.

The new camera can perform AF/AE calculations at 60 fps, all while providing a 60 fps live feed which means no more EVF blackout during bursts. Sony claims improved subject tracking and Eye AF speeds, and focus down to -3 EV with F2 lens which is whole stop better than the a7R II.

The camera primarily uses an electronic shutter but also features a mechanical shutter mechanism to allowa flash sync speed of up to 1/250th of a second.

The camera features 693 on-sensor phase detection points (yes 693) that cover 93% of the frame. It also sports an effective five-axis image stabilization that offers 5 stops of correction.

The a9 uses anew high res EVF which  has a 1280 x 960 (QuadVGA) resolution  running at 120 fps with very low latency.

It has twin SD card slots (one of which supports UHS-II cards) and Sony says the battery has twice the capacity of previous models.

Useful features such as an AF joystick have been added to the body as well as a higher capacity battery.

All in all the new camera is a real powerhouse and probably the best mirrorless camera yet released?

And how much for this amazing camera? Apparantly £4500 body only… Ouch

April 2017

 

Nikon D7500 APS-C DSLR Announced

Nikon D7500 Announced

Nikon has announces its new mid-range APS-C the D7500 DSLR. The new camera inherits some features from Nikon’s flagship APS-C DSLR the D500. It uses the same 20.9MP APS-C sensor, Expeed 5 processor and 180k-pixel RGB metering sensor, and is capable of 4K video capture.

The D7500 looks very similar to the D7200 although it’s a bit lighter, and the grip has been deepened. Nikon also says that weather-sealing has been improved. While the LCD remains at 3.2″ in size, it’s now tilting and touch-enabled. Unlike the D7200 the new D7500 has only one SD slot which does not support UHS-II media, unlike on the D500. The D7500 includes a new battery, known as the EN-EL15a, but battery life is about 15% lower than on the D7200, at 950 shots per charge.

The new camera uses the same sensor, image processor and metering system as the D500. The sensor and image processor have allowed the ISO range to be increased by a full stop compared to the D7200, with a native range of 100-51200, which expands to 50-1.64 million. The autofocus module is the same as the D7200, meaning that it has 51 points, 15 of which are cross-type, with the center point sensitive down to -3EV, but now with input from the 90-times higher-res 180k-pixel RGB metering sensor. That means credible face detect AF even in OVF shooting (in Auto area mode), and remarkably precise subject tracking to maintain focus on subjects that move around the frame. For lenses that need micro-adjustment, you can now do that quickly in live view using ‘Auto AF Fine Tune’.

Burst shooting has been improved, with a top rate of 8 fps (up from 6 fps). The buffer is much deeper, as well, with the D7500 able to take up to 50 14-bit uncompressed Raws in a single burst, rather than 18. Speaking of which, the D7500 has gained the ability to batch process Raw images – handy for when you want to send a bunch of them to your smartphone.

As with the D500, the D7500 can capture UHD 4K video at a bit rate of 144Mbps, albeit with a 1.5x crop . If users drop down to 1080p they gain 3-axis digital IS and Active D-Lighting, and also lose the crop factor. Power Aperture has been added, allowing for more precise control over exposure. Other video-related feature include 4K output over HDMI, a flat picture profile (similar to log gamma), zebra pattern and Auto ISO. As you’d expect, the D7500 has both microphone and headphone jacks.

The D7500 has Nikon’s ‘SnapBridge’ wireless system, that uses Bluetooth for both remote capture and keeping a constant connection plus Wi-Fi for large file transfer. NFC, which was found on the D7200, has been dropped.

April 2017

Definitive Panasonic GH5 Review

Panasonic Lumix GH5:

As good a combined video / still camera you can find

News image

Dpreview has published its full, highly detailed Panasonic Lumix GH5 review and here’s their conclusion:

From Dpreview

“Panasonic’s GH cameras have consistently been at the vanguard of convergence between the still and video worlds, and the GH5 arguably represents the biggest single leap in the history of the series. It adds features typically associated with more expensive, pro video equipment, though Panasonic is quick to remind you that it’s a still camera too.

The importance of internal 4:2:2 color and 10-bit video cannot be overstated, and has an impact on what you can do with footage in post processing. The addition of 4K/60p video also makes it possible to insert slow motion 4K into a project without sacrificing resolution.

Panasonic has also provided the tools needed to leverage the camera’s advanced features, including waveform, vectorscope, Log gamma, and built-in LUT display. Log gamma is becoming more common on cameras, but less so the ability to apply a LUT in-camera. Uploading custom LUTs is unique to the GH5 in this class.

If you’re primarily a stills shooter, the GH5 would make a fine choice if you’re looking at the Four Thirds ecosystem, but there are arguably better options out there for the money. That said, the tweaks to the JPEG engine and the 9fps burst shooting with reliable autofocus make the GH5 an excellent all-around proposition for hybrid video and stills photographers.

If you’re serious about video, it’s hard to go wrong. This camera can probably deliver the goods unless you have very specialized needs, and if you’re just learning, it’s a camera you can grow with. But what if you’re already a GH4 user? Think of it like this: the GH5 isn’t just a camera that does everything your current camera can do, plus a bunch of other things. This is a camera that does everything your current camera can do, but better (often by a wide margin)… plus a bunch of other things. So yes, it’s probably worth it”.

Pros  Cons
  • New 20MP sensor gives increase in resolution without increase in noise
  • Highly impressive video specifications (4:2:2 10-bit color, 4K/60p)
  • Full sensor 4K capture with oversampling gives great detail
  • Big, high resolution viewfinder
  • Waveform and vectorscope displays
  • Optional Log gamma profile for video
  • Built-in LUT display when shooting Log
  • Auto ISO added for manual movie shooting
  • Improved AF performance and customizability
  • Improved temporal noise in video
  • JPEG color improved
  • Dual UHS-II card slots, support for faster V60 cards in the future
  • Solid, weather-sealed build
  • AF joystick
  • Improved menus
  • New 6K Photo mode, alongside existing 4K Photo and Post Focus modes
  • Wi-Fi with Bluetooth LE
  • Settings can be saved to card
  • Same battery as GH4
  • On the larger end of the Micro Four Thirds spectrum
  • JPEG sharpening improved over GH4, but still has room for improvement
  • Viewfinder resolution drops noticeably during high speed bursts
  • Necessity for AF tracking to be ‘cancelled’ gets in the way of shooting
  • Autofocus in video can exhibit focus hunting
  • Slight decrease in video quality when shooting high frame rates (180fps)
  • Battery life decrease

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 Pro Travel Zoom

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 Zoom: The perfect travel zoom

Online test – review site, Image resouring has tested the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro zoom a micro four third lens that offers the equivilent 35mm focal range of 12-200mm , so potentially very useful.

image of Olympus 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro M.Zuiko Digital ED

Here’s their conclusion:

“Olympus continues to crank out stunning lenses. The 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is yet another remarkable lens for their professional line of lenses. The Olympus Zuiko Pro family now has a smattering of primes as well as a trio of f/2.8 zooms, but now the 12-100mm squeezes into the lineup, aiming at those MFT photographers wanting “Pro” image quality, build quality and performance, but in an all-in-one package.

Optically, the 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is excellent, with tack-sharp images across its entire zoom range, even wide-open — that’s a really tough feat, and often a point of compromise for other long-zoom interchangeable lenses of the “travel zoom” category. Other optical qualities are also top-notch, and the rugged build quality is classic “Zuiko Pro.” At around $1,300, however, the 12-100mm f/4 is a bit on the pricey side.

If you’re shooting with the Micro Four Thirds system and want a top-notch single lens setup, perhaps for traveling, hiking, or just keeping your camera bag’s weight at a minimum, the 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is that lens. Its versatility and quality make it a winner for pretty much whatever you want to throw at it”.

Mt Take:

Well I have a 12-100mm f4 and I can tell you its a seriously good lens that offers the perfect focal range for a general purpose all-in-one travel zoom and here’s some images to prove it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mark Baynham ( April 2017)

 

Fujifilm X-T20 – More “X” factor for Fuji

Fujifilm X-T20: 5-star winner from Fuji

This weeks Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine reviewed Fuji’s mid range “X” camera, the Fuji X-T20 and like other reviews they rated the neat little X-T20 very highly giving it a “Gold 5-Star” rating.

In many ways the X-T20 is a slightly cheaper, smaller, lighter X-T2 and although more expensive than its older brother on release (very much a sign of the times) the newer camera is a lot more capable and like the other 24mp APS-C Trans X cameras from Fuji, it delivers superb image quality.

The magazine review is worth a read if your in the market for a neat looking, high performing, user friendly camera that also gives access to some fantastic optic from Fujinon.

April 2017