I’ve previously tried using Nikon lenses with my Sony A6000 and I’ve been mostly pleased with the results. There were a few minor issues though. For one, the focus rings on the Nikon lenses that I own are really bad. There’s a significant lag between when you turn the ring and when it catches the mechanism underneath. This makes manually focussing a tad tricky. Secondly, you have to control the aperture with a ring on the adaptor which has no stops, so it makes setting a specific aperture quite difficult. Using the Metabones adaptor with my Canon lenses was a much better experience.
For the longest time I've wanted to try out one of Sony's A7 series of cameras, and I finally got the chance this weekend when a friend of mine let me borrow his A7II. I've been considering replacing my ageing Canon gear with a camera from the Sony A7 series (mostly for video), but I've had some reservations about it, and so it was a great opportunity to try out the system. I haven't spent that much time with it yet, so this isn't by any means a full review. Instead, consider this more of a hands on, first impressions kind of report.
Now that the Sony A7RII is shipping to customers, there are lots of reports coming in about the camera. More importantly there are now raw files available online that you can download and check out, and Lightroom and ACR (along with Capture One) all now support the camera too. I've been reading a lot about this new Sony for a while now, and I am very interested in it, as it seems like Sony has really listened to its customers and created a very impressive camera.
After my first rather unprofessional test of the A6000 with the new XAVC codec last week, I set out to create a better video on Friday. This time I used my good Nikon 24-120 lens and a tripod. Unfortunately I still had a few issues, but they were entirely my own fault. Still, I think it's a nice result, and I was lucky as some interesting things happened while I was filming.
There was a nice little surprise for Sony A6000 owners yesterday when Sony announced a new firmware for the camera. Version 2 added one big new feature, and that is the XAVC-S codec. Up till now, if you were recording video on the A6000 you were stuck with the rather awful AVC-HD codec and a low bit rate, and frankly the quality wasn't the best. You could record uncompressed HD from the HDMI port on the camera, and having tried that in the past, the difference is remarkable. But adding an external recorder defeats the purpose of having a small camera. With the new firmware, Sony is adding a much better codec and the results are pretty great.
I'm a big fan of Sony Products, and anyone who follows this blog knows that I've a soft spot for their cameras. I currently have an A6000 and I've previously shot with a Nex 7. I've also been eagerly following the developments of the A7 line with great interest. I've said it before, but Sony are one of the few companies really innovating in the imaging space. Not only are their sensors used by pretty much every other major company now, but they're constantly pushing the envelope in the camera market. From the RX1 which brought a superb full frame sensor to the compact camera form factor, to the A7 Line which made full frame really affordable and small. The A7 line certainly isn't perfect, but with the recently announced A7 R Mark II Sony are getting pretty close to it.
It’s hard to believe it, but a few days ago Canon announced the official 10th anniversary of its game changing 5D Camera. The Canon 5D was the first digital camera to make full frame affordable and to it to the masses. It was the first enthusiast camera to have a full frame sensor, and it brought with it a huge step up in terms of image quality when it was first released back in May 2005. I was one of those who bought one of the 5Ds in the first year of its release, and it was a game changer for me too, in terms of my photography.
I recently upgraded my phone to an iPhone 6 plus (from an iPhone 5) and I was curious to see what the camera was like, especially with Apple's recent publicity on the matter. I was out in the city today for a little while so I decided to try it out. I didn't spend too much time with it, so I don't really have any major opinions as to the quality yet, but instead here are some images that I shot, and some observations on using it.
Recently I had an opportunity to try out a friends Nikon D800 and I’ve been wanting to write about the experience ever since. I realise that the D800 is a few years old now and has been superseded by the D810, but as the camera is selling for quite a reasonable rate second hand now, I thought some people may still be interested. This isn’t going to be a review as such, but rather a personal take on what it was like to use it.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece about what the then rumoured 5K iMac would mean that for photographers, and how you would now be pixel peeping on such a display even just looking at images. It was sort of a tongue in cheek piece, but now that the Retina iMac is real, I thought it would be important to have another look at the implications of a 5k display for photographers. If you're considering one of these new iMacs (I know I am !) then there are a few things you may want to ponder first!