Category Archives: Honest Reviews

What Can We Expect From A Sony A7MarkIII Now That the A9 Has Been Announced?

We are used to see Sony release new cameras at a tremendous pace. Each and every year we have a new camera. The A7II has been released just a year after the A7, same for the A7r/ A7rII and A7s/A7sII. The A7rII is literally a flagship for Sony as it encompasses all the new technologies Sony has been working on the past few years, especially with the 5 axis stabilization combined with the world premier full frame back-lit sensor. Until the A9 has been announced on April 19th, 2017. The A9 is clearly a game changer. I know I know, we have been saying this for every single A7 that has been released the past couple years. But the A9 has a different flavor. The high-end professional flavor that was missing in the mirrorless world and that just put an end to the endless debate between DSLRs and mirrorless bodies. It brings the credibility, especially in terms of focusing capabilities, that mirrorless needed the most. That is not all of course but one of the main feature that will definitely kill DSLRs. One can still argue on the size of the body being too small for his/her hand but the fact is that performance wise, the A9 buries its competitors, including the kings Canon 1DX and Nikon D5, and icing on the cake, it is up to $2000 less expensive than its famous competitors. We’re not going to detail all the great features housed by the A9 as there are plenty of reviews out there for that but instead, I’d like to imagine what the A7markIII would be like, now that the new A9 flagship has been announced and shows what Sony has been up to. That tells us a little bit more on the way Sony is taking.

Sony A9 specs

But would it be accurate or fair? As a matter of fact, comparing the A7III that will be the entry level to the A9 that is the high-end pro model could be sort of… inappropriate. But we can expect Sony to introduce some of these new technologies to the newer bodies in order to ensure to stay ahead in the mirrorless run, or even in the Full Frame interchangeable cameras since Sony just took over Nikon in that field recently. In the past, Sony has always introduced the A7 then A7r and quickly after the A7s series, we can reasonably expect the next body to be the A7III.

However, it is important to note that the A7II was released in January 2015, a little bit more than 2 years ago which means that Sony decided to change and slow down its pace in renewing its cameras and instead work on the lenses offer. It is a good and a bad thing some would say, I will let you be the judge. But in my opinion, this is a very good thing. First, it will settle down the image of the cameras and they will lose less value over time, making them appear more credible and valuable against CaNikon competitors, and second, it shows that Sony is focusing more on developing the E-mount lenses, bringing more credibility to the system. Knowing this, we can assume that this system will reach maturity by the end of 2017 ( especially since Zeiss declared to iLHP being ready to release 2-3 others E-mount lenses in 2017). Considering the success of this system, third party manufacturers will also get more involved and start to make lenses as well. Sony A7rII iLHPSigma, for instance, has been stressed a lot in the past few months by A7 consumers and prosumers to produce their ART series for the E-mount. From the latest developments, it sounds like Sigma will soon release some E-mount lenses, which will add up to the already Sony and Zeiss offer as well as Rokinon/Samyang and some others.In total, that is more than 50 lenses that are available for the E-mount system. And the professional G-Master series is growing quickly, introducing the 100-400mm G with the A9 for sports photographers.

Sony will obviously keep innovating. This will not end here. They literately attacked Canon and Nikon by creating a new market and taking a significant share of the whole DSLR/mirrorless market. They’re now targeting their professional market, exactly where no one else could compete, not even close. Without a doubt, Canon and Nikon will react within a year or two, at least they should! Sony knows this and is obviously working on the A7II successor that we might be expecting for January 2018 if they want to stay ahead of the game.

What can we expect from an A7 mark III?

Sony A9 and A7rII size comparison
Size comparison between the A7rII and the A9. The A9 is mostly identical except for the grip that is a little bit more prominent and height is surprisingly one millimeter smaller. Weight is 673g, just 73g more than the A7II.

Continue reading What Can We Expect From A Sony A7MarkIII Now That the A9 Has Been Announced?

The Sony Nomenclature and Symbols

You might have heard that the Sony E-mount system hit the 50 lenses a few days ago with the much anticipated 14mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.4 from Samyang/Rokinon. It might be time now for a Sony guide as it is not simple at first to understand its nomenclature: there are different frames covered, several mounts and several product range. In addition, Sony optical technologies are bristling with sometimes complex acronyms. Do not worry, we will explain everything!

The Mounts A-Mount
E/FE-Mount
Adapters
Product range : Sony
Sony G
Sony G Master
Sony Zeiss
Nomenclature : Optical coatings and treatments A, AA, ED, Super ED, Nano AR Coating, T*
Auto-focus motors SAM, SSM, DDSSM
Optical stabilization OSS, Active OSS
Characteristics ADI, IF, FHB, FRL, RF, SMO

 

La grande famille des optiques Sony

The Sony Mounts

Sony has 2 main distinctive mounts: Continue reading The Sony Nomenclature and Symbols

The Curious Case of the Wide-Normal Primes – Sony 28mm f/2 vs. Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon

The wide-normal prime is somewhat of an oddity. Nestled between the 17mm & 20mm ultra-wides and the 35mm & 40mm normals, the wide-normal primes sit comfortably, or awkwardly (depending on who you ask), in the 24mm to 28mm range.

web_DSC02128
Shot handheld with a Sony 28mm f/2. The wide-normal prime is arguably the most versatile consumer prime lens.

In this lens shootout, we took two of the newest and most anticipated primes for the Sony FE mount to the Orange County County Fair. The County Fair is a public event that brings family and friends together for carnival games, petting zoos, and bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.

In typical iLHP lens review fashion, our tests will be broken down in several rounds as listed below:

  1. Sharpness and Distortion
  2. Vignetting and Flare
  3. Bokeh and 3D Pop
  4. Field of View
  5. Real World Handling

The Contenders & Their Specs

photographicwanderings
(c) John vR @ photographicwanderings.com. Despite the Batis’ larger size, it doesn’t weigh that much more than the Sony, and it’s materials are beautiful.

On the left, weighing in at a welterweight of 335g with a $1,299 price tag, is the brand new OLED displayed Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon. On the right, weighing in at a featherweight 200g with an equally wallet-easy $448 price tag, is the Sony 28mm f/2.

Both have completely silent AF systems. Both come with pedal-shaped lens hoods. The Zeiss blows the Sony out of the water in terms of build quality, what with its high quality plastics that resemble metal and the world’s first OLED focus scale. But at almost 3x the price, the build quality is expected and, honestly, necessary. The Sony is minimal yet still built very well. No complaints for either lenses then.

Continue reading The Curious Case of the Wide-Normal Primes – Sony 28mm f/2 vs. Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon

Is It Worth Using a 2X Teleconverter? Bower A-mount With Sony A7II (With LA-EA4 Adapter)

I’ve been wondering for a very long time if using a teleconverter, moreover a 2x one, was worth it or not. I’ve heard a lot on forums that I would lose light, the aperture is reduced 2x (f/2.8 becomes f/5.6) that it is not sharp at all and that I would even lose autofocus. That made me doubt a lot even if it is not that expensive, but still, from $120 to $180 on average, that is always money coming out of you wallet that would be lost in the end if this is really bad!

The Situation

I use this Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO macro lens for all my macro work that is very good but also big and heavy. I wanted to have this extra reach to do some wildlife photography without adding the bulk and weight to my backpack and without paying $1500-$2000 for a 300mm lens. A teleconverter then seemed like a good idea so I gave it shot. I bought this Bower Teleconverter on Amazon for $126.

Bower SX4DGS 2x Teleconverter for Sony
Bower SX4DGS 2x Teleconverter for Sony
I am extremely pleased with my purchase. This adapter is pretty small, 1 inch (2.5cm) wide, about 7oz (200g) so this is not much of a big deal to always have it with me in my backpack. As a reminder, I shoot with an Sony A7 mark II and use the Sony LA-EA4 adapter specifically for this Sigma lens. I thus add the teleconverter (A-mount) in between the lens and the LA-EA4 adapter. Continue reading Is It Worth Using a 2X Teleconverter? Bower A-mount With Sony A7II (With LA-EA4 Adapter)

Making the Switch from a Canon 5D Mark III to a Sony A7RII

This isn’t a typical camera review of the A7R2 though, it’s more like a journey on how I got here. You see, I’ve been watching the Sony mirrorless system for a while now but I couldn’t bring myself to take the jump, I use the Canon 5D Mk III and L Series lenses for my pro line of work and use the Fuji X-Pro 1 for my street and travel photography.

Some serious Gear Acquisition Syndrome!
My G.A.S was getting out of control with my existing cameras such as the Canon 5D Mk III, Fuji X-Pro 1, X-A1 and now the Sony A7RII.

Honestly speaking, I was quite happy with this set up until a couple of months ago when Sony introduced the A7RII with its 42 megapixel BSI sensor, a claimed 14 stops of dynamic range and super high ISO sensitivity and 5 Axis IS, they even packed in 4K recording natively!

Whenever people asked me if I was to start again, which system would I jump in to, I’d always tell them the Sony FE System but because of my current Gear Acquisition Syndrome, I was tethered to Canon and Fuji but what if there was this mythical camera that allowed me to merge these two styles of photography?

Continue reading Making the Switch from a Canon 5D Mark III to a Sony A7RII