About Me

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It's been a really busy December for me and now I'm on holiday and the internet is very unreliable where I am.

Next year will be a very busy year for Sony's NEX camera's with lens releases left-and-right if the rumoured 6-lens releases for 2012 is true. All I know is that there will be a G-lens.

I have also gotten my delivery of NEX-7 so when I come back from holiday, it will be put through it's phases.

Again, wishing you all the best this coming 2012 and keep shooting! Here's hoping to another Camera of the Year from Sony. Let's make it a hat-trick Sony!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sony's 'Tough Year'

2011 is supposed to be the Year of the Alpha! Sony is the only camera manufacturer that launched more cameras than their competitors.

The A65/A77, NEX5N/NEX-7.  These cameras are a class on their own.  I am guessing that these aggressive approach of Sony is paying off.  I have never heard so much buzz (good and bad) on the internet forums that I follow.  Finally, Sony can take another chunk at the market share of Canon and Nikon and maybe even Pentax.

photo taken from Bangkok Post
BUT nature doesn't want to cooperate with Sony. First there was the Tsunami disaster.  I don't know if this has delayed the release of these cameras but I am certain it has an effect one way or another. Then the final blow, typhoons and monsoon rain.  Sony manufactures their NEX cameras from Thailand and the flooding crisis have basically wiped-out the whole Sony Factory.  We are not just talking about finished cameras, ready to be shipped out.  Even the machineries that makes them are basically gone.  Just look at the picture below;  I bet underneath all that water are billions of dollars worth of electronic equipment.   Especially when the holiday season is just a month away, imagine all the sales / promotions that Sony will miss because there are no confirmed delivery dates yet for the NEX-7.  

Sony's competitors on the other hand have now got time on their hand to manufacture/launch a rival product.  Competition is good for consumers and I for one would want fierce competition to drive prices below, but just this once, I was really hoping that Sony will be very close to Canon and Nikon when it comes to market share.

The most important thing for now is that we get those people back to work and hope that Thailand can recover from this disaster in the earliest time.  

2012 is just around the corner and hopefully this will be a good year for Sony and all of us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Video 'Cropping' on NEX-5N

I have been doing a lot of googling to find out if someone has posted an approximate value on how much the video gets cropped on the NEX / SLT cameras.  Even emailed Sony Australia but because of the current situation (Thailand flooding) and an all-out marketing campaign on the current SLT/NEX cameras, no one has gotten back to me.  So I tried doing my own test using my NEX-5.  

I just saw this on the manual of the NEX-5N.  It is true then that what you see isn't what you get when you shoot videos using the NEX-5N.  Is this a bad feature? No, it is not.  I think one of the reason this is happening is to keep the aspect ration to 16:9.  In fact, NEX users has the advantage of actually seeing the grid where the video would fit compared to the SLT cameras.  I have friends who have tested it on their A55 and it does happen but it doesn't have any of the 'corner' markings compared to the NEX-5N.

NEX-5N User Manual

So, next time you are shooting videos with your NEX, be sure to check the grid first so you know that the scene you want to capture is all in the frame.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A77 Video Crop?

It has been reported that the video of the A77 is actually crop because of the Steady Shot System (Sony's In-Body Stablization System). 

There have been varying percentage of crop factor being reported ranging from 15% to 30%.  I have emailed Sony Australia asking what is the exact crop factor on the video and I should get an answer within the week.

LesNumerique (a French website) has reported almost 30% crop factor
The video capture uses only 10,9x19,4 mm of a sensor measuring 15,7x23,7 mm : with the kit lens 16-50 mm, set at 24 mm we get 31 mm in video.
How would this affect your video; since the FOV (field of view) does not get refreshed until you hit the 'Movie Record' button then what your seeing on your EVF is not exactly the scene being captured.

The A77 is still the best APS-C DSLR on the market for doing video because of its AF Speed and Sony's Peaking Level. 

NOTE: Apparently, the A33 does the same thing as stated on the Manual (page 81)
The angle of view of movies is narrower than that of still images. After you press the MOVIE button, the camera shows the actual range to be recorded (SLT-A33 only).
Looks like the Sony A55 is the only DSLT camera not doing any video crop...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NEX-5N Impressions - Part 2 (Sample Photos)

Sorry for the very late follow up on the NEX-5N impression.  I really need to find a way to manage my time properly.  Also, it was good timing since Adobe has updated Lightroom to be able to read the NEX-5N RAW file.

Follow the leader!
The week that I had the NEX-5N, we had a very cloudy/windy weather here in Melbourne.  My plan was to go on a photo walk with one of my friends but didn't manage to do so because of the '4 seasons in 1 day' weather.  Good thing we were invited to a party so I took the camera with me and started shooting. I can't post all the pictures here as much as I want to because I didn't tell them that I will be posting the photos on my blog.  Oh well, good thing the ducks were there :)

Picture Effect - HDR Painting (Heavy)
Picture Effect - HDR Painting (Light)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quick Update: SONY NEX-5N clicking issue

Just want to share that Sony will provide adjustment to the Sony NEX-5N to reduce the clicking sound when you quickly pan the camera left-to-right or up-and-down while shooting video.

Personally, if you didn't know about this issue, you wouldn't 'complain' about it. Here is the link to the US Support Site.

Since the NEX-5N hasn't been officially released yet here in Australia maybe the next batch of NEX-5N can have this adjustment done beforehand.

Thanks to Sony for providing this free adjustment. Too bad that you can only do it while it is still under warranty. I was hoping that since this was a 'defect' of a brand new release they should just cover it irregardless.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is the Nikon J1/V1 a threat to the NEX?

Sorry I haven't posted the pics and videos of the NEX-5N as scheduled. Work has been taking a lot of my time.

Anyway, I just want to share what I think of the new NIKON mirrorless cameras.  Kudos to Nikon for entering the mirrorless market.  Hopefully the more manufacturers get into this market segment the better the products will get.  I initially jumped to a conclusion that this camera is a 'joke' the minute after the announcement came out.  Why only 10MP? and a smaller sensor than micro 4/3rds? and a 2.7x crop factor? Sony has a 24MP APS-C sized sensor (NEX-7). Maybe Nikon doesn't believe that 'bigger is better'.

Nikon V1Nikon J1
After all the emotions/excitements died down, I re-read dpreview's initial impression initial impression of these cameras that maybe Nikon really is protecting their DSLR line-up. I wonder if Sony is doing the same, the NEX has been outselling the ALPHA line since its introduction and if this trent continues, Sony's flagship interchangeable system will be the NEX!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

NEX-5N Impressions - Part 1

I finally got the Sony NEX-5N Test Unit from Sony Australia. Too bad it came with the kit lens and not with the new Zeiss 24/1.8, SEL 30 Macro or  SEL 55–210. I was really hoping that at least the LA-EA2 adapter came with it so I can test the SONY SAL2470CZ lens. Anyway, the camera comes with Firmware v1.0.

To give you a bit of a background, I have been using the NEX since it came out. I have the 3 E-mount lenses that Sony has in the market at the moment and some old Minolta manual focus lenses, a Carl Zeiss 24–70 A-Mount lens that I use with the LA-EA1 adapter. I like the NEX because of it's Image Quality. I am not bothered that it is not pocketable. Personally, the NEX system is portable and suits my shooting style.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A77 - need for speed!

Here is a sample of the A77 in 12fps mode.  I didn't bother playing with the other settings as I just picked up the camera and basically just press the shutter because the excitement got the better of me that day.

I managed to get 18-20 shots in less than half-a-second.  I did intentionally stop shooting after that as I was just checking the EVF lag and to me it is just like a 'blink of an eye'.  The shutter sound is very muted as there are no slapping mirrors to add the extra noise.  

A77 12fps Mode - Flick Gallery

The 12fps mode in the A77 is a dial setting meaning you don't have to go the menu system.  I really need to test it again properly as I want to see what it does on the ISO, aperture and the AF-points it activates. I am assuming it is on Wide but I would definitely prefer if I can select the focus point during the 12fps mode.

NEX-5N Review Soon!

Hi everyone. Today I got an email confirming that Sony Australia will be sending me the NEX-5N with kit lens to use and write my own review about the NEX-5N.  I know that there's has been a lot of reviews already out but what I am planning to do is to actually use the NEX-5N in the real world.  I won't test it against test charts or on a controlled environment for this test.

Hopefully, the shipment arrives tomorrow (Sept. 9) as I have a weekend of parties / calisthenic competitions to test it on.

I am a bit disappointed though as they will only be sending the kit lens with it. At least I got some good glass (lens) to go with the it.   I am planning to use these other lenses SEL 18-200, 50/1.4, 100/2 and the CZ 24-70/2.8 on it.  Will be posting pictures / photos, both RAW and JPG files will be available (unedited of course) for you to make your own decision on the IQ / sharpness of the new SONY Sensor.

Here is the list of lens I will try on the SONY NEX-5N and also on the NEX-5 (firmware v4) to do a side-by-side comparison. I will try and highlight what I think is good about the NEX-5N and what's not.  If you are looking to use the SONY NEX-5N on a studio setup, then I can't test that as I only have limited time with the camera and I am more of a natural lighting kind of guy.  

Looking forward to the 5N but more excited on the NEX-7 which should be in my hands a few weeks after that.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Snow Trip

The whole family went up for a day-trip to the snow yesterday. It's a gruelling 3-4 hour bus ride all the way up.  But my daughter loves the snow so we made the trip anyway.

One thing that you need to consider when going up to the snow / ski fields is the kind of gloves you are going to wear. Especially with the NEX where everything is so small. I had to remove my gloves everytime I wanted to take a photo. I was planning to travel light as I know we will be riding chair-lifts and it is a bit hard trying to walk up in the snow. Anyway I ended up with 2 NEX-5 bodies, my old Minolta 12mm Spiratone Fisheye lens, Sony SEL18-55, Sony SEL 18-200, A700, Tamron 17-50. I should really look at the definition of traveling light :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

A NEX Panorama

One of the best features of the NEX camera is the ability to make panoramic picture.  If like me, you don't want to spend so much time trying to stich photos together in Photoshop or Microsoft ICE, then the NEX Sweep Panorama Feature is the answer to your needs.  You can also make 3D-Panoramas if you want and you can display your pictures on a spare 3D TV.

One thing that I wish Sony would fix is to allow us the ability to shoot in RAW format. I wouldn't mind having a 'leveler' to see if your panorama is straight.

Here are some tips for getting a good panorama picture:

  1. Stand with your feet wide apart. You will act as the tripod .
  2. Hold the camera straight out with both your hands.
  3. Move with your waist and not with your hands. If you do, you will be in an awkward position when you reach the 'end' of the panorama.
  4. Pan smoothly and follow the 'arrow' displayed on the back of the camera.
  5. ALWAYS look at the display at the back of the camera and not the scene itself.

If you have a NEX, Cybershot or the Sony Alpha SLT's, try it out. It's a lot of fun!

Please post your panorama pictures here if you have one.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Project, Reflect and Capture

Sony Australia's Facebook Page has launched a competition where they are giving away 5 (one a week) a brand new Sony Handycam HDR-PJ10E.  It's a handycam with a built-in projector.  I really wanted a new videocam as my Panasonic camera still uses a DV tape.

Contest rules are simple, you have to be imaginative on where you would project your movie. Others have submitted pictures of their baby's bum or a pregnant woman's tummy.  Time to get those sleeping brain cells at work..

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Australian Prices / Availability

Here are the official availability dates and Retail prices here in Australia. I finally managed to get hold of the new E-Mount lenses, accessories and Sony's new Alpha Mount lens.

NEX5NB Body Only Black September AU$   899.00
NEX5NKB Single (18-55mm) Black September AU$ 1049.00
NEX5NDB Double lens (16mm & 18-55mm) Black September AU$ 1199.00
NEX5NDS Double lens (16mm & 18-55mm) Silver September AU$ 1199.00
NEX5NDW Double lens (16mm & 18-55mm) White September AU$ 1199.00
NEX5NYB Double zoom lens (18-55mm & 55-210mm) Black Early November AU$ 1399.00
NEX5NYS Double zoom lens (18-55mm & 55-210mm) Silver Early November AU$ 1399.00
NEX7B Body Only Black November AU$ 1799.00
NEX7KB Single (18-55mm) Black November AU$ 1999.00
SLTA65VB Body Only Black Mid-October AU$ 1299.00
SLTA65VK Single (18-55mm) Black Mid-October AU$ 1499.00
SLTA65VY Twin lens kit (18-55mm & 55-200mm) Black Mid-October AU$ 1799.00
SLTA77VB Body Only Black Mid-October AU$ 1899.00
SLTA77VQ Single Lens Kit (16-50mm) Black Mid-October AU$ 2799.00
VG-C77AM  A77 Vertical Grip Black AU$   399.00
SEL2418Z Zeiss Sonnar E 24 mm f/1.8 T* Black AU$ 1199.00
SEL50F18 Sony E 50 F/1.8 OSS Silver AU$   449.00
SEL55210 Sony E 55-210 F4.5-6 OSS Silver AU$   499.00
LA-EA2 Sony LA-EA2 Adapter Black AU$   499.00
FDA-EV1SF External OLED VF for NEX-5N ONLY Black AU$   349.00
SAL165028 Sony 16-50 F/2.8 SSM Black AU$ 1099.00

Remember that the A77 uses the same battery as the A700/A850/A900/A500/A550 cameras.

SONY NEX-5N Double Lens Kit (BLACK)

SONY NEX-5N Double Lens Kit (SILVER)
SONY NEX-5N Double Lens Kit (WHITE)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Initial Preview (Sony A77)

Photo Courtesy of Sony Australia
The long-awaited successor to the Sony A700 DSLR, the Sony A77 DSLT, an APS-C sized sensor with a new EXMOR APS HD Sensor and a newly developed BIONZ Image Processor that packs a 24.3 Megapixel image.  This is Sony's flagship camera. 

The Sony A77 specs have been leaked for months now which is quite disappointing for Sony as they were looking for the 'wow' factor when the cameras are finally announced.  Nevertheless, it is a very impressive camera, have a look at the official promo video from Sony.

Category List

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