The first camera you really sink your teeth into is the hardest to let go. Some readers may know I've been testing the Sony E mount series for a few months now. I immediately fell in love with the size and weight of the camera, yet keeping the 35mm sensor. So I kept looking for those projects where I'd go "Oh, I need the Nikon for that job"...days went by. Weeks, now months.
The lucky young man on craigslist who inquired about it over the weekend walked away with it and 2 of the best lenses I had.
The two lenses were the 85mm 1.8D and the 50mm 1.4G. I bought the 85 first and the first picture I put on facebook got so much attention. I hadn't shot at wide apertures with any camera before. The picture was very silly, my wife holding our hairless dog with a toy in his mouth. But it was so sharp and the falloff and bokeh were amazing. I hope this kid loves it like I did. The 50mm was a solid contender as well. Sitting 1/3 stop faster at 1.4, I felt it was not very sharp until around f2 or 2.2. That being said, you lose a little when you have to stop down a lens to effectively make it sharp, losing the edge of buying a faster lens. (faster i.e. lower f stop or more light hitting the sensor)
Now on to the exciting news, I'm getting a new camera!! The a7r II is out and I've had it on order for a couple months anxiously awaiting the ship date. I've been watching the shipments follow the sun and with great excitement the US finally has dates! Like..yesterday. So...I may get batch #2 or 3 from B&H but it's going to ship soon. Some Best Buy stores have them already and are selling out quick. I may end up going to get it so I can use for my beach trip next week.
Brian Smith has been posting some great images and new features on his blog. He's one of the best sources when it comes to all things Sony. Brian Matiash has been testing it out as well as the new highly acclaimed Batis lenses. He took the 25/2 to Iceland recently.
Below are the product highlights: (Courtesy of B&H Photo)
- 42 MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
- BIONZ X Image Processor
- Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log2 Gamma
- 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
- 399 Phase-Detect AF Points & 5 fps Burst
- 0.5" 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF
- 3.0" 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
- ISO 102,400 and Silent Shutter Mode
- Durable Reduced-Vibration Shutter Design
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
The speed of the autofocus has been significantly increased. 5 axis stabilization in body means that you can use manual lenses or non optical stabilized ones and get up to 4.5 stops of shake correction. That's incredible as I've used some old Minolta lenses down to 1/20 of a sec and not had shake.
For landscape shooters like me, shooting bracketed is something we love to do and combine exposures to get the most out of the dynamic range of a scene. The a7r II supports 9 brackets up to 1 stop in difference. This will make for some amazing HDR.
I've already come to realize that Wi-Fi is not a big feature to tout on a camera these days, but it's still standard as is NFC. I like this because I can send an image to my phone for backup or to my ipad for larger viewing.
Internal 4K recording is something I'm looking forward to. I'm excited to work with video and without an external recorder, most cannot produce 4K to the card. Sony has made this a feature in the new body so you can scale it directly to your SD card. As monitors, content, and TV's all move to 4K, 8K, 16K and beyond, it's nice that Sony is keeping up and making a stills camera capable of shooting UHD formats.
The sample images I've seen so far look amazing. Very sharp, crisp, and detailed. We are bordering on medium format in a compact package with a 35mm price tag. With all the features and hype, the early release has indicated this camera will be one to beat this year.
That's it for now. Inspiration Tuesday resumes next week and then I'm off to vacation for a few days. A little beach R&R. And maybe an R ii :)
- Stay Focused -