Why I’m Disappointed with Canon

I’ve been a Canon user for a very long time, in fact since 1984. Over most of that time, I’ve been pretty happy with Canon. I’ve liked their innovation and their support of what photographers wanted to do with their gear.

But over recent years, as my own artistic practice has grown and developed, I have become disappointed. My main disappointment is that it seems that Canon no longer understands my needs or the needs of similar creatives. You see, the problem is that I am no longer just a photographer and I am not just a filmmaker. I am both.

Driven by marketing decisions, it seems, Canon developed the EOS Cinema line for filmmakers and the EOS line for still photographers. This split, which does not take into account users who need BOTH capabilities, is best shown in the recent release of the 6D Mark II. Great still camera, like the previous 6D Mark I that I have, but while the rest of the world has moved to 4k video capture, the 6D Mark II is limited to Full HD.

Come on Canon. Even my iPhone (7S) can capture 4k and do so very well with any of the accessory lens systems, like the ExoLens shown below with a Zeiss lens.

Yes, I have a huge investment in L-series glass. But Canon needs to remember that with the rise of mirrorless cameras I can fit that glass onto a Sony or Panasonic body.

So I no longer view myself as a Canon camera user. I’ve become a Canon lens mount system user. My lens mount of choice is the Canon EOS one. I have Canon lenses. I also have a lot of Lensbaby lenses in the Canon mount. And I will have a range of camera bodies from a number of manufacturers, with lens mount adapters, where needed. My next camera body purchase will likely be a Sony or Panasonic.

By failing to recognise that a growing proportion of image makers require both excellent still image shooting and excellent video shooting in one body, Canon has dropped the ball on innovation. A bad move in my opinion.

Firmware Update Now Available for Sony Action Cam HDR-AS15

Sony Australia has announced that a firmware update for Action Cam HDR-AS15 is now available.

The firmware update includes PS Recording Mode (1920×1080/60p), which enables users to capture smooth images of fast moving scenes with a higher frame rate of 60p. A new “Water Mode” is also available on the Action Cam, which adjusts the camera’s white balance to an optimal setting for underwater shooting. Furthermore, the new ‘Beep Off’ setting gives users the option to turn off audio notifications of key camera functions, such as when recording is enabled or disabled.

Sony HDR-AS15

In addition, users of the Action Cam HDR-AS15 will get to enjoy ‘Seamless Mode Change’ functionality via PlayMemories Mobile from June 2013. The update will enable users to change from ‘Smart Remote’ mode to ‘File Transfer’ mode directly, without having to go through the Action Cam.

To download the software, please click on the link here: http://www.sony.com.au/support/product/HDR-AS15. The operation manual will be made available during the download.

Action Cam HDR-AS15 Accessories

Users can now capture the action in even more ways with the availability of mounts and attachments for the Action Cam HDR-AS15. The new Skeleton Housing (SRP $39) and Float Attachment (SRP $19) will let you take the action anywhere, while the latest Wrist Mount (SRP $39), Surfboard Mount (SRP $39) and Dog Mount (SRP $49) allow you to shoot from a totally new perspective. All new accessories will be available from late May at www.sony.com.au.

Sony launches NEX-F3 camera with 180° tilt LCD screen for easy self portraits

New NEX series camera from Sony

  • APS-C size 16.1 megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
  • Auto Portrait Framing for easy, top-quality portraits
  • 180° tilting LCD screen for self-portraits
  • Built-in flash for low-light shooting

 

Sydney, 17 May, 2012: Sony Australia today launched the latest Compact System Camera, the NEX-F3, packing DSLR- features into a small compact body and price, making it refreshingly accessible for all photographers. The NEX-F3 will allow users to enjoy the creative world of high-quality imaging with interchangeable lenses without the bulk and size of a Digital SLR camera.

The compact sized NEX-F3 features the same space-saving mirrorless design as other cameras in the E-mount family. Far bigger than sensors found in point-and-shoot compacts, the 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor captures more light for flawless, low-noise stills and crisply detailed Full HD video (50i/25p). Just like traditional DSLR cameras, it’s easy to create beautiful defocus effects with your subject focused sharply against a smoothly blurred background.

The NEX-F3 helps novice photographers craft top-quality portraits with ease. Auto Portrait Framing identifies your subject, trimming the scene to create beautifully composed, high resolution portrait photos.

Self-portraits are simple with a quick 180° flip of the LCD you can press the shutter button, or let Smile Shutter take the picture for you automatically with the three second timer.

Shooting options in dim light or indoors are broadened with the addition of a built-in flash. As introduced on the acclaimed NEX-7, this handy pop-up flash lets you brighten up portraits and other shots without the need to carry an additional flash accessory.

Getting close to the subject used to mean packing a more powerful lens but now you can enjoy high-quality close-ups with Clear Image Zoom which doubles effective magnification of the lens. Unique to Sony, By Pixel Super Resolution Technology maintains superb image detail, tones and textures. Ideal for travel and everyday shooting, it’s a great way to boost your maximum focal length without carrying extra hardware.

For beginners, the NEX-F3 takes the guesswork out of choosing the right camera function with the Superior Auto mode recognising a wide range of scenes and subjects and adjusting the settings with the skill of a seasoned photographer.

From the cameras premium feel, enhanced by a high-quality handgrip, to the battery boost of 18 per cent to 470 shots from a single charge and easy charging via USB, the NEX-F3 is a must have choice for photographers wanting to step up from their point-and-shoot compact.

SEL18200LE E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 telephoto zoom lens

An ideal travel partner for not just the NEX-F3 but the entire Sony E-mount family, the new SEL18200LE E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE offers a powerful 11x zoom range and superb resolution in an easy to carry lens. Smaller and 12 per cent lighter than its predecessor the SEL18200, the new E-mount lens features Optical SteadyShot, to compensate for the effects of hand-shake. Direct Manual Focus also gives precise control over touch up focus, for fine creative control over beautiful images.

The NEX-F3 Compact System Camera and the SEL18200LE E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 telephoto zoom lens will be available in Australia from mid June 2012 and end of June respectively.

Price in Australia

Product code

Description

SRP (inc.GST)

NEXF3KB

NEX-F3 BLACK SINGLE LENS KIT 18-55MM

$699

NEXF3KP

NEX-F3 PINK SINGLE LENS KIT 18-55MM

$699

NEXF3KW

NEX-F3 WHITE SINGLE LENS KIT 18-55MM

$699

NEXF3YB

NEX-F3 BLACK TWIN LENS KIT 18-55MM & 55-210MM

$999

NEXF3YW

NEX-F3 WHITE TWIN LENS KIT 18-55MM & 55-210MM

$999

SEL18200LE

E 18-200MM F3.5-6.3 OSS LE

$1099

 

Specifications Sheet

Features NEX-F3
Type Digital compact system camera with interchangeable lenses
Lens Compatibility E-mount lens system. Can also use A-mount lenses with optional adaptor (continuous AF supported with LA-EA2)
Image Sensor APS-C type (23.5 x15.6 mm) Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with 16.1 effective megapixels
Processor BIONZ™ image processor
ISO Sensitivity Range ISO 200 – 16000
HD movie record Full HD AVCHD 1920 x 1080 50i/25p; MPEG4
Electronic Viewfinder (Optional Electronic Viewfinder FDA-EV1S)
LCD 7.5cm (3″) wide type TFT (Xtra Fine LCD) with 921k dot resolution; tilts upwards approx. 180 degrees, downwards approx. 13 degrees
Clear Image Zoom, Smart Zoom, Digital Zoom Yes
SteadyShot™ INSIDE (Optical image stabilisation available with selected E-mount lenses)
Autofocus System Contrast detection AF system; Object Tracking AF
Picture Effect 11 types (15 variations): Posterization (Colour, B/W), Pop Colour, Retro Photo, Partial Colour (R,G,B,Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature
Continuous Burst Shooting Up to 5.5 frames per second (in Speed Priority mode)
Battery life (still images) Approx. 470 shots (CIPA measurement)
Built-in Flash GN6 (in metres at ISO 100)
Other features Auto Portrait Framing and Self-Portrait; Face Detection and Smile Shutter; Superior AUTO; Sweep Panorama (2D/3D); Auto HDR; DRO; Hand-held Twilight mode; Creative Styles; Photo Creativity interface; USB Charge
Media Memory Stick PRO Duo / Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo; SD / SDHC / SDXC
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 117.3 mm × 66.6 mm × 41.3 mm (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 255g (body only)

Approx. 314g (with battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo)

Supplied software PlayMemories Home

 

About Sony: With a diverse portfolio of businesses across electronics, music, film, gaming and telecommunications, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the world’s largest technology and entertainment company. Sony Australia Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sony Corporation of Japan, and a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Committed to producing innovative and quality electronic products, the range includes BRAVIA™ TVs, Cyber-shot™ digital cameras, Handycam camcorders, “α” (pronounced Alpha) digital SLR cameras, Walkman MP3 players, VAIO™ computers, READER™ eBook Readers as well as HD professional broadcast equipment. For more information on Sony Australia, visit www.sony.com.au/corporate.

Product Information: For further Sony product information or stockist details, readers can contact Sony Australia on 1300 720 071 or visit www.sony.com.au.

Social Media: Stay up-to-date with Sony Australia competitions, events, product reviews and videos via Facebook – www.facebook.com/sonyaustralia and YouTube www.youtube.com/sonyaustralia.

 

Initial Infrared Photography Review Testing of the Sony a77 dSLR

Here I present the initial test results of shooting infrared with a Sony a77 dSLR camera, using a Hoya R72 IR filter.

The Sony is a nice camera for shooting IR, with the tilting screen.

Leaving the camera in Program mode it gave an exposure of 20 seconds, f5.6 and 100ISO in a part cloudy situation but with much of the view in full, though late in the day,  sun. You can see the unprocessed result below:

By doing Levels in Photoshop produces a better result:

Lastly a return to Adobe Camera RAW to adjust the settings produces the image below:

If we examine the individual colour channels of this time you can see that the Sony a77 gives a vastly different exposure to the three channels, suggesting the blue filter on the sensor cuts out much deeper into the infrared than I have found common on most cameras recently.

Red channel
Green channel
Blue channel

I next switched to manual mode, which I generally prefer for infrared photography with most unconverted cameras. The reason for this is that the metering sensors in most cameras do not have an IR blocking filter, unlike the imaging sensor. Thus the camera always under-exposes in any auto exposure mode.

In manual I tried f4.5, 30 seconds and 100ISO. The lens in these shots in the Sony 11-18mm f4.5 lens:

and switching to 800ISO:

giving a much better result.

Below is a 100% section from the centre of the image so we can just image noise:

We can see noise but it is not too bad considering the ISO and length of the exposure. There was no noise reduction done in ACR.

Switching to the Sony 16-50mm f2.8 lens, here is a shot at f2.8, 30 seconds and 100ISO:

and the individual colour channels:

Red channel
Green channel
Blue channel

Again these show the substantial exposure difference between the channels. This means that if you are shooting to do a mono conversion from just one channel you will need to make substantial exposure changes depending on the channel you intend to use.

Below is another shot, this time done at f2.8, 30 seconds and 100ISO:

and a 100% centre section so you can judge noise:

Lastly here is a monochrome image produced from the red channel only after adjustments in ACR:

While this was only initial testing and I will follow up with a full infrared review shortly, I found the a77 to be quite suitable for infrared photography.

Another article, First Shots With The Sony a77 dSLR can be viewed here.

 

 

First Shots With The Sony a77 dSLR

I’ve had a Sony a77 dSLR for a few days for some testing. Yesterday was the first chance I had to get out with the camera and here are some of the first shots I have taken with the camera.

Early impressions are positive. I didn’t think I’d like the electronic viewfinder but I have to say it is the most like an optical viewfinder I’ve come across and the rest of the camera, including its 24MP images, are pretty impressive.

More to follow as I do more extensive testing. Thankfully I got a range of lenses with the a77, rather than just a kit lens, so I’ll be able to form a much better idea of the system as a whole as well as the a77 specifically.

Sony Photography Event This Saturday in Melbourne – Exhibition and Get To Shoot With The Latest Sony Cameras

SONY GETS ON BOARD WITH PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION ON SKATEBOARD DECKS

  • Photography exhibition housed on skateboard decks featuring some of Melbourne’s top urban photographers
  • Create your own skateboard deck at the Billabong ‘City Squared’ skateboard invitational at Queensbridge Square, Southbank – Saturday 14th April

 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 – Sony Australia is giving fans at the Billabong ‘City Squared’ invitational skateboard event the chance to see a uniquely urban photography exhibition.  Some of Melbourne’s top urban photographers, including Josh Robenstone and Luke Byrne, will be showcasing their work – not through traditional canvas – but on skateboard decks as part of the Sony Melbourne In Motion exhibition.

As part of the exhibition, fans at Billabong City Squared will have the chance to get involved and create their very own skateboard deck.  Sony’s range of Alpha interchangeable lens cameras will be available for loan throughout the event with members of the public given access to exclusive shooting platforms to put their photography skills to the test.  The top ten photographers on the day, judged by the Sony and Billabong teams, will have their winning shot transformed into a work of art on their very own skate deck.  To take part, all fans need to do is head to the Sony tent at the event, borrow a Sony camera and simply start shooting!

TIME: Noon till 4pm

DATE: Saturday 14April 2012

WHERE: Queensbridge Square, Southbank Melbourne

WHAT: Urban photography exhibition housed on skateboard decks

WHO: Australia’s best 40 street skateboarders plus a couple of international skateboarders take part in the Billabong City Squared Invitational

OBSTACLE: Billabong has commissioned a purpose built ‘gap-step-down’ feature. This build is inspired by Melbourne’s urban street stops.

Sony Ramps Up Full Frame Pressure with a New dSLR Model

Sony is working aggressively on its camera range with three new camera models. One of these, the a850, is a full frame model that uses the same sensor as the a900, giving a 24.6MP image but at a price point of US$2,000 for the body only. This makes it about US$700 less than the Canon 5D Mark II and Sony’s own a900. It shows how serious Sony is in building market share. All a900 accessories will work with the a850. Continue reading “Sony Ramps Up Full Frame Pressure with a New dSLR Model”