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2016.12.01

Sony Alpha A99 II

Today, DxOMark released their scoring of the Sony Alpha A99 II, the latest Sony SLT Full-Frame camera featuring the same 42 MP CMOS sensor as the highly-acclaimed Sony Alpha A7R II which is a traditional mirrorless camera.

DxOMark scores the Sony Alpha A99 II at 92, an excellent score by all means. Breaking it down into its three component scores, the A99 II manages 13.4 EV of Dynamic-Range, 2317 High-ISO points and 25.4 bits of color-depth. The unusually low score of 2317 for ISO on a full-frame is quite telling of the compromise brought by SLT technology.

The Sony Alpha A7R II by contrast scores 98 on the DxOMark scale. This is made of 13.9 EV of Dynamic-Range, 3434 High-ISO points and 26 bits of color-depth, meaning that the A7R II beats the A99 II on all counts. Its high-ISO score in particular is 50% higher, leaving the SLT camera in serious doubts when it comes to low-light performance.

Recall that the A99 II uses a translucent mirror to send part of the light to a dedicated AF sensor and the rest to the imaging sensor. By all acounts, it blocks 1/3 of light from reaching the sensor. This forces Sony to raise the gain on the read-out to maintain the same ISO as the A7R II. This really makes the cost of SLT technology unnaceptable. In truth, SLT lost most of its advantages with the integration of on-sensor Phase-Detect AF which the A99 II also features.

While this could spell the end for Sony SLT digital cameras, it does not necesarily imply the same for the A-mount. They could simply remove the SLT mechanism and create a series of A-mount mirrorless. Unfortuntaly there would be very little advantage to this over an E-mount mirrorless which can still fully use A-mount lenses via one of Sony’s excellent adapters.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2016.12.01

Fuji X-A10

A new entry-level Fuji mirrorless was launched this morning. The Fuji X-A10 is an X-mount mirrorless camera build around a 16 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with standard Bayer Color-Filter-Array. This new model is based on the older X-A2 rather than latest X-A3 to offer an even lower-cost model while retaining the Fuji hybrid design which combines digital-era and retro elements. Despite being an entry-level model, the X-A10 boasts dual control-dials plus an aperture-ring is available on most compatible Fujinon lenses.

The specifications of the X-A10 are remarkably similar to the X-A2. It has the same ISO 200-6400 standard sensitivity range which expands to 100-25600. Full manual controls are available, including Bulb exposures up to 1 hour. The sensor records full 1080p HD video while being paired with a slightly faster processor but a smaller buffer, so the X-A10 can shoot at 6 FPS for 20 frames, rather than 5.6 FPS for 30. Battery-life remains exactly the same at 410 shots-per-charge.

There are only two more significant changes. The first is a hybrid shutter which lets the X-A2 freeze motion with shutter-speeds up to 1/32000s. The second is a new LCD hinge which tilts and slides away from the camera. This allows the display to be tilted up 180° and remain unobstructed by the camera.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2016.11.17

DxO ViewPoint 3

DxO announces DxO ViewPoint 3, a major update to its industry-leading wide-angle lens correction software. New automatic perspective and horizon correction tools are complemented by a miniature effect that perfectly mimics tilt shift lenses.

Special discounts on all DxO software through December 4, 2016

DxO, a world leader in digital imaging technologies, announces a major update to DxO ViewPoint, its simple but powerful software that automatically corrects problems inherent in photographs taken with wide-angle lenses. DxO ViewPoint 3 leverages DxO’s advanced image science to automatically correct skewed perspectives and horizons with a single click, making the process quick and easy. The update also introduces a brand new tool that produces a remarkable miniature effect, the first software of its kind to perfectly replicate the popular look made famous by tilt shift lenses.

DxO ViewPoint is simple, but powerful image processing software for Mac and Windows that thousands of photographers rely on for photos taken with their wide-angle lenses because of its ability to fix even the most complex perspective problems, as well as restore the natural shape to subjects situated on the edges of photos. DxO ViewPoint benefits from the automatic corrections provided by DxO Optics Modules, developed by exacting laboratory analysis of thousands of camera and lens combinations.

The existing perspective correction tools have been dramatically enhanced with an innovative, fully automatic mode that can instantly correct geometric distortion, straighten both horizontal and vertical lines, and automatically crop images, effectively eliminating keystoning while preserving the maximum information in the picture. The new auto horizon correction tool is equally efficient at correcting skewed landscape and architectural images. A single click detects the most relevant straight lines in the image, which are analyzed to determine the correct horizon.

“DxO ViewPoint has become an essential tool for me when photographing with my wide-angle lenses, which by their very nature induce all manner of odd deformations,” said architectural photographer, Luca Nicolao. “Its tools let me easily correct for distortions and keystoning, allowing me to achieve a much more natural composition in my images.”

DxO ViewPoint 3 also adds an innovative and useful new tool that perfectly simulates the depth-of-field reduction that’s identical to the type of creative looks that previously required the purchase of costly and tricky tilt shift lenses. To replicate the miniature look, DxO ViewPoint 3 displays the location and intensity of two blur gradients which the user can adjust symmetrically or asymmetrically. The application even enables photographers to simulate a precise type of bokeh.

With just one license, DxO ViewPoint works as both a stand-alone app, and as a plug-in for DxO OpticsPro, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. DxO ViewPoint 3 can be used as a plugin for DxO OpticsPro starting with version 11.3 (also available).

Pricing & Availability

DxO ViewPoint 3 for Mac and Windows is immediately available in the DxO Online Store and at photo resellers at a special discount through December 4, 2016:

• USD: $49 instead of $79
• GBP: £39 instead of £59
• EUR: 49€ instead of 79€ (Suggested retail prices, including VAT)

Photographers who acquired a DxO ViewPoint license on or after September 1, 2016 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 3.

A fully-functional trial version of DxO ViewPoint 3, good for one month, is available on the DxO website: http://www.dxo.com/us/photography/download.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2016.11.17

Black Friday is coming and we have already recieved plenty of deals leading up to it.

Adorama Pix is running two 50% Off the Second promotions running until December 15th with these coupons:

Running until December 24th, right up to last minute Christmas shopping, Adorama is offering up to $400 in Instant Rebates on Fuji products. Highlights include the superb Fuji X-T10 reviewed here with a high-quality Fujinon XF18-55mm F/2.4-4R LM OIS lens for only $999 USD, the previous flagship Fuji X-T1 reviewed here for just $1099 USD, an ultrawide and ultra-bright Fujinon XF16mm F/1.4 for $799. Those are the only two current Mirrorless Digital Cameras to acheive our rare Excellent+ score. Here is the full list of rebates.

For the next 3 days, until November 20th exactly, Best Buy is running their Beat the Black-Friday Rush Sale:

Best Buy

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2016.11.10

Nikon D5600

Nikon Europe just took the wraps off the Nikon D5600 which succeeds the D5500 while being nearly idential. It adds Bluetooth, NFC and Time-Lapse Video. Everything else remains the same. No availability date or pricing has been announced yet.

Those unfamiliar with its predecessor should read our in-depth Nikon D5500 review here. This is a 24 MP APS-C DSLR within a lightweight plastic body having a single control-dial. It has a cropped 95% coverage viewfinder with mid-size 0.82X magnification. Standing one level up from the introductory D3xxx series, the D5500 boasts a 39-point Phase-Detect AF system.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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