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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NEX-6 external mic solution

One of the things that's missing in the NEX-6 is the mic input jack.  Sony has introduced on CES2013 an  external mic, the Sony ECM-XYST1M that uses the new multi interface hotshoe.  It retails for around US$149.00

Sony USA is accepting pre-orders with a delivery date of March 15, 2013.

image from Sony USA website

I am not sure yet if the power is drawn from the camera or it can be powered on its own.  I would love to test this and try it against the Zoom H1 which I currently use.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

a good zoom lens for your NEX - the SEL55210

If you are looking for a zoom lens for your NEX camera that is a native e-mount, you only have 4 options at the moment;

  1. Sony SEL 18-200
  2. Sony SEL 18-200 (LE)
  3. Tamron 18-200
  4. Sony SEL 55-210
I got mine as part of a dual lens kit for the NEX-6.

I won't waste your time in reading the technical specs as they are all over the internet. Just go to any Sony website and you can even do a comparison between the 3 Sony branded lenses.

The NEX SEL55-210 zoom lens is an underrated lens in my opinion.  The image quality I am getting from this lens is superb.  This is not a FAST LENS so when you want to use it in lowlight you have to bump up the ISO, which is not a problem with the NEX-7 and the newer and better High-ISO capable camera the NEX-6.

The weight of the SEL55-210 is perfect for the NEX camera compared to the 1st-generation SEL18-200.  Another advantage of the lens is the filter size which is 49mm, same as the SEL24F18 and the 18-55 Kit lens.  I have this lens on my camera instead of the 18-55!  

The SEL55-210 also has a OSS (Optical Steady Shot) which is great for both photo and video.  

Most of the photos taken were from the recent family holiday we had at Singapore and Hong Kong.  The only post processing done on the photos were to remove the sharpening in LR 4 and cropped.

Photos taken with the NEX-7:

Photos taken from NEX-6:

If you are in the market for a NEX Zoom lens and your budget is around $400-$500 USD, this lens comes highly recommended!  This is the ONLY ZOOM lens I have for my NEX system, the only thing that can replace this on my bag will be if Sony comes out with a G-lens for the NEX System!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

SLRMagic and NEX .. what's next?

While in Hong Kong, I managed to get in touch with SLRMagic's Product Manager, Andrew Chan. He hand delivered my new SLRMagic 35 T 1.4 lens!  The lens is packaged beautifully and initial impression is quite positive. I've been in contact with Andrew before through email but meeting him in person was great.  He's a lovely person to talk to during coffee and I was also able to find a little bit more about the company and their plans for the NEX mount. 

A brief history on what SLRMagic lens lineup so far for the NEX system:
  1. SLRMagic 35/1.7
  2. SLRMagic 28mm Bokehmorphic
  3. SLRMagic 35mm T 1.4
  4. SLRMagic Hyperprime 50mm 0.95
Their next release will be the SLRMagic 23mm f/1.7 lens.  Not having seen and use this lens myself, I am assuming that this will be a cheaper alternative to the Sigma 30mm and the Sony Zeiss 24/1.8 that is currently available.  I have heard of this lens before but SLRMagic has gone back to the drawing board to re-design the lens as initial reviews weren't favorable.  I commend them from doing this as instead of releasing a 'so-so' lens, they instead went back and fix whatever issues were reported.  This shows that the company really wants to be taken serious by NEX users.

SLRMagic will be concentrating on CINE lenses as other brand (e.g Zeiss CP.2, Angieux, etc) are out of reach for most people, price-wise.

As a treat, here's a sample video I took of the SLRMagic 35 T 1.4 lens with the NEX-7 @ 1.4.  It shows very good bokeh and colours!

Test Video : NEX-6 and SLRMagic 35 T 1.4 from Cris Gruba on Vimeo.

Sony's UWA (SEL1018)

 Before I went on my overseas holiday trip, I took these shots of the festive decorations around Melbourne City Square. I only had the NEX-7 and SEL10-18 and my Sony RX1.   I know that the SEL1018 and NEX-7 is not the BEST combination as with any other wide angle lenses on the NEX-7.  

Out of Focus SEL10-18 @ f/4.0 

More photos of the NEX-7 and SEL1018 all at f/4.0

SEL 10-18 @ 10mm

SEL 10-18 @ 12mm
SEL 10-18 @ 14mm

SEL 10-18 @ 16mm

I am bringing this lens with me on my holiday and will post more photos when I get back.  From memory, at f/8 the issue seems to have disappear.  And also, I have tried using a more greenish-color temp/filter as my WB instead of AWB and this seems to do a better job on the sides for my liking.  Maybe its just me but I am happy with this lens and the NEX-7 combination. 

The SEL1018 works flawlessly with the NEX-6 (which I also have).

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