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Archive for the ‘News’ Topic

2020.09.01

Today, Sony unveiled their 5th adapter to connect A-mount lenses to E-mount cameras. The new LA-EA5 joins the capabilities of all previous adapters in a new compact form-factor with absolutely no loss of image-quality. Like at LA-EA3 and LA-EA4, the new adapter is Full-Frame capable. Like the LA-EA2 and LA-EA4, it can also autofocus mechanically but unlike those two, it does not divert any light away from the sensor so that autofocus is performed by the camera rather than the adapter.

Sony LA-EA5

The Sony LA-EA5 adapter allows any A-mount lens to be used with full capabilities on any E-mount camera. When the body offers Phase-Detect AF, it will be used to autofocus the attached lens. When the lens does not feature an internal focus motor, the adapter will drive focus mechanically. Otherwise, it will power the internal SAM or SSM autofocus motor. Given that there is no semi-transparent mirror within the adapter, all light reaches the sensor to maintain maximum image-quality.

Availability of the LA-EA5 is scheduled for next month at a suggested price of $250 USD or $330 CAD.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.08.28

As already announced during one of their video interviews, Ricoh officially launched silver versions of four Full-Frame products: The Pentax K-1 Mark II, the Pentax HD D-FA*  70-200mm F/2.8 DC AW, the Pentax HD D-FA 50mm F/1.4 SDM AW and the Pentax HD D-FA 85mm F/1.4 SDM AW. All these new versions are identical to the standard black version except for their finish. Each of these new offerings will be produced in a limited series of 1000 units with serial numbers from 1 to 1000.

Pentax Silver Full-Frame

The Pentax K-1 Mark II is currently the only Stabilized Full-Frame DSLR on the market. It boasts a 36 MP sensor that delivers incredible dynamic-range and color-depth while exceeding at low-light performance. In fact, this camera has the widest dynamic-range of any DSLR and the best low-light performance. Including mirrorless cameras into the mix, it is still 6th in terms of dynamic-range and within the top 10 for low-light capabilities. Its 5-axis image-stabilization mechanism provides it with unique capabilities that make ideal for astro-photography.

Ricoh chose to make their newest lenses in silver to match their latest DSLR. These are all extremely high-quality optics that command a premium price tag with weight to match! While one is showing continued effort from Ricoh, the lack of new produces is concerning, particularly with the rumors that much of the new Full-Frame lens lineup is borrowed from a third-party manufacturer and hence cannot offer standout performance like the camera itself. One can only hope they are working on something to leap ahead once more.

In absolute terms though, the Pentax K-1 Mark II remains a top-notch powerhouse that will outlast any other thanks to its extremely tough build quality, ultra-long battery-life and huge feature-set. This comes at the price of being one of the heaviest cameras – even more so with lenses – on the market which is tilting towards dominance by significantly lighter and more compact mirrorless cameras.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.08.28

Venus Optics unveiled this week a pair of lenses that expanded their extensive lineup with one new Full-Frame option available for 3 mounts and one high-magnification macro lens for Micro Four-Thirds.

Venus Laowa 11mm F/4.5 FF RL

First up is the Laowa 11mm F/4.5 FF RL which is an extremely wide lens that provides a 126° field-of-view on a Full-Frame camera. This highly compact optic takes advantage of the latest short flange-distance of mirrorless mounts to achieve a 254g weight and 6.3cm length. This lens is available for Leica L, Nikon Z and Sony FE mounts.

This lens joins the 9 and 10-18mm to become the third-widest rectilinear lens available on all three mounts. As with other Venus Optics lenses, it is a completely mechanical lens which required focusing and setting the aperture manually on the lens.

Venus Laowa 50mm F/2.8 2X Ultra-Macro

The second lens is an all-new-design that brings 2X magnification to Micro Four-Thirds in a highly compact form. This lens offers the third-highest magnification ratio for Micro Four-Thirds, allowing it to create extreme closeups. It’s 50mm focal-length gives it a short working distance of 13.5cm and 24° angle-of-view.

Venus Optics upgraded the construction of their lenses with a more refined finish for this lens. As always with their lenses, this one is completely manual too. The Laowa 50mm F/2.8 2X Ultra-Macro weighs 240g and measures 7.9cm in length.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.08.11

Venus Optics just announced today a lens designed for cinematography which is launching a new series of ultra-high-end lenses for video.  This new OOOM series is constructed without compromise to deliver on image-quality and maximum consistency as aperture, focus and focal-length change.

Venus Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9

The new Laowa OOM 25-100mm T/2.9 offers a 4X optical zoom range that covers a Super-35 imaging-area which is slightly wider than 1.5X APS-C while being less tall due to the 16:9 aspect-ratio. Given that a circle is obviously always circular, this lens is usable on APS-C sensor cameras with the Canon EF and Sony E mount, plus the Arri PL-mount used by professional video cameras. All 3 mounts are interchangeable and included with the lens itself.

With a whopping 20 elements, this huge lens weighs in an astounding 2.5kg. It is a completely mechanical lens with three rings which driven manually or via a gear link for smooth changes required during filming. The front elements support 95mm filters and comes with a step-up ring for 114mm, which we suppose are more common in videography. Venus provided a sample reel filmed with this new and unique lens:

Given its imaging circle, the Laowa 25-100mm T/2.9 is equivalent to a 37-150mm lens which covers a field of view of 60 – 16° which is useful for natural perspective until close-up shots, including the flattering perspectives used for typical portraits. This new lens is available for ordering direct only the Venus Optics site.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.07.28

Sony Alpha A7S III

When Sony introduced the original Alpha A7S, they went in a completely different direct than everyone else. While the market chased ever-increasing megapixels, Sony introduced a 12 megapixels digital camera when most new cameras offered 24 MP. Even Sony was already making the 36 MP Alpha A7R Full-Frame Mirrorless. By launching a 12 MP camera with the same Full-Frame sensor-size, Sony created the most sensitive digital camera on the market. Its 12 MP resolution also allowed it to directly capture 4K video simply by cropping vertically from the native 3:2 aspect-ratio to 16:9.

Today, the third-generation Sony Alpha A7S III was officially launched. This latest models sports a new 12 MP Full-Frame High-Speed BSI-CMOS sensor with a 759-Point Phase-Detect AF system builtin. The sensor is mounted on a revised 5-axis image-stabilization system that can compensate for 5½-stops of camera shake compared to hand-holding. A new active mode allows it dampen sudden changes between frames during video capture. Naturally the sensor can capture 4K Ultra-HD video which is now possible at up to 120 FPS with internal 10-bit recording. RAW video can be output at 16-bits over HDMI for capture using an external device.

The main benefit of having such large pixels which now collect more light due to the BSI design of the sensor, is extreme sensitivity. The native ISO of the Sony Alpha A7S III is 80 and its standard range extends to 102,400. This further extends to an incredible ISO 40-409,600! Such low minimal ISO makes it possible to capture over 15 stops of dynamic-range which is beyond what any other camera can currently do. Photography in near darkness is enabled by ultra-high sensitivities and the AF system can even focus down to -6 EV.

Sony Alpha A7S III

The new Sony Alpha A7S III features a hybrid shutter-system with standard 1/8000-30s shutter-speed range plus support for Bulb exposures of unspecified duration. The mechanical portion of the shutter can operate at 10 FPS and dual BIONZ XR processors make it possible continuously capture over 1000 RAW files or HEIF images. There is no effective limit to the number of JPEG images that can be captured in a single continuous burst, until storage is exhausted.  Regarding storage, this mirrorless offers dual SDXC UHS-II memory-card slots. Both these slots also accommodate faster CFExpress Type A cards that are being launched along with the camera and a card-reader that can handle both SDXC UHS-II and the new format.

Although this going to be an exceptionally capable camera for ultra-low-light photography, Sony is emphasizing video capabilities of the A7S III and even certain choices preferred by videographers to the detriment of photographers. The most obvious is a rotating LCD hinge that is  truly cumbersome to use for framing stills and expands the bulk of the camera when shooting from odd angles, which also puts it in a more precarious position. The display unit is a fairly standard 3″ Touchscreen LCD with 1.4 megapixels.

Video features in this camera are class-leading. The headline 4K Ultra-HD video capture can reach 120 FPS, while 1080p FullHD is available at 240 FPS. New codecs are introduced to maximize the quality of vides from the A7S III. Compressed high-quality video can be saved using XAVC HS or XAVC S-I which is an All-Intra mode that makes video editing immensely more efficient. Stereo sound can be recorded internally, while the Multi-Interface Hot-Shoe supports a 4-channel digital microphone for incredible audio depth.

Sony Alpha A7S III

With an entirely new imaging pipeline, the familiar sony A7-series design is kept mostly intact for the A7S III. Externally, it sports nearly the same controls as the flagship Sony Alpha A7R IV review here. One custom button on the top of grip got replaced by a dedicated Video Record button and the tilting LCD replaced by a rotating hinge. The eye-piece around the viewfinder was changed to accommodate the best electronic viewfinder ever produced. This 0.65″ EVF has a whopping 9.4 megapixels which is far more than the human eye can discern at that size! At 0.9X, it also has the highest magnification of any viewfinder, electronic or optical. This EVF offers a refresh rate of 120Hz, 100% coverage and a new Eye-Start Sensor.

The same professional-level of controls is offered on the A7S III than on the A7R IV. There are triple control-dials, a 8-way joytstick, a traditional mode dial, an exposure-compensation dial and plenty of customizable controls. The body of this mirrorless is fully weatherproof too. A lock on the memory card compartment door was added for extra security.

Sony expects to ship the A7S III this September for $4800 CAD or $3500 USD. A pair of CFExpress Type A cards will be available around the same date. The 80 GB version will be sold for $200 USD or $260 CAD, while the 160GB one will go for $400 USD or $520 CAD.

Photographers and videographers have waited for years for the third A7S and so this is guaranteed to be one of the most in-demand digital cameras around. To secure one, it is highly recommended to preorder from a reputable store such as our affiliates B&H Photo and Adorama. Neither will charge your credit card until the camera is shipped out to you.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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