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Apr 272017
 

The Sony A9 Images! Action shots from a 1st time sports shooter (ME)!

IT’S THURSDAY! This means I can share my images from the Sony A9 from the one day I shot it. But instead of just posting images, I also want  to share a video with more thoughts, and the images are there as well. So see the video below, and then view the images here taken with the new Sony A9.

I am sure a slew of websites have already posted their images from the day Sony did a full on track and field event for us to test the blazing AF tracking speed of the new camera. Sony had some balls to do this, as many, like me, never shot sports before so putting us in this scenario with a new camera meant that they had uber confidence in this new camera. The A9 is one hell of a machine. There is nothing much it can not do (besides using Slog for video) and no situation it can not shoot in with ease. The Af speed is improved greatly from the A7 series, the feel is enhanced yet again, the battery life is much improved, and the EVF is beautiful.

MY VIDEO ON THE A9 IMAGE EXPERIENCE


The fact that I was able to get ANY shots in focus was amazing, as I have NO experience in this type of event. My 1st time and I walked away with a small handful of images that I like. If you need speed, look no further than the A9.My full review will be up after I get a review unit and at least 2 weeks with the camera. At that time I will post street images, low light music club shots, portraits, and everything besides speed to see how it handles the situations I normally shoot in. I look forward to it!Below are some of the fast action shots I managed to capture in my 1st ever fast action sports shooting experience of my life ; )

YOU MUST CLICK ON THEM TO SEE THEM CORRECTLY!

AND A FEW NON ACTION SHOTS

You can pre order the A9 below…

B&H Photo Sony A9 Page

Amazon Sony A9 Page

Apr 272017
 

FIRST LOOK: The Myer Optik NOCTURNUS II 50 0.95. Stunning!

In stock at B&H Photo HERE.

My hands on video overview of the Nocturnus II!

The Meyer Optic NOCTURNUS II has shown up, and what a beauty this lens is. In fact, it exceeded my expectations as I was expecting it to be like the Mitakon 50 0.95 but this lens is not the same (country to rumors, I clarify in the video below). With 15 aperture blades (vs 9 of the Mitakon) and a built quality that is much more Leica than anything, this lens is fantastic. It weighs less than the Mitakon, is sharper wide open, has a warm rich OOC color and nice contrast. The size is just about PERFECT for the A7RII I am testing it on, and while this is only my 1st hands on look, not my review! My full review will be coming soon but I have a feeling this will become a fave of mine. Much of the $11k Leica Noctilux but at $3000. Made in Germany. The build is astonishing in feel and finish. The design is unique and attractive. The focus and aperture rings are precision..smooth and silky and silent.

All three OOC color, with #2 in B&W. Click on them for much sharper versions to see how sharp the subject is at 0.95. Shot with the A7RII. 

This is not one of those off color, low contrast cheaper 50 0.95’s. This one is premo and I love what I am seeing from Meyer Optik. They also sent me their 100 f/2.8 Trioplan for Leica M mount, and I will be testing it on my Sony and a Leica. Stay tuned for that. But take a look at what they offer in regards to lenses. Beautiful!!!

In the video below I go over my thoughts after my 1st use, show some samples and explain why this is not the Mitakon in disguise as some rumors suggested ; ) FULL REVIEW SOON!!!!

Steve

In stock at B&H Photo HERE.

Apr 232017
 

LET’S TALK: My Sony A9 Shooting Experience and why it is not just a sports camera! (Video)

Hey guys! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! The Sony A9 fever is still in effect, though it has died down a bit from last week. Pre orders are now open at Amazon (HERE) or B&H Photo (HERE). Only a month until it ships and so many are excited to get their camera. Since I have shot with it for a full day, I wanted to make a follow-up video to my last one with my thoughts on shooting it, the speed, the quality and all things about this new A9. I can not share any images until later in the week, but at that time I will show a few shots from the 1st time ever in life I shot any sports or really fast action. So while my images are “meh”, the camera was flat out amazing. But watch the video below for my detailed thoughts on using this new Sony beast.

I also get into why this is so much more than a sports camera. I did not call it my “Desert Island Camera” for its sports abilities! Enjoy your Sunday and I will have more during the week. Also, a note. I am traveling from AZ to IL to OH and through PA for 10 days or so via road trip with Debby in about a week. So during that time the updates will be slower here, but I will have fun updates from the road at my YouTube HERE. I have some new stuff I am testing that is top-secret, and will be putting it all to the test on my trip!

And now, the video…

You can pre order the A9 below at my recommended Sony dealers whose I trust:

B&H Photo A9 Page

Amazon A9 Page

Apr 212017
 

Pre Order the new Sony A9 NOW! Links here..

PRE ORDER BELOW:

Pre Order the Sony A9 at B&H Photo HERE

Pre Order the Sony A9 and Half Grip at B&H Photo HERE

Order the Sony A9 at Amazon

YES! It’s time, the new Sony A9 is ready for pre order and will start shipping on MAY 25th!! (Links below to my preferred Sony Dealers). If you have interest in this camera I HIGHLY SUGGEST you pre order ASAP.  Why do I always pre order? For a few reasons, but when a camera is super hot like this Sony model is, orders go in FAST, and then a wait list starts. When you preorder early, you are guaranteed to be one of the 1st to get the camera. If you wait until the day of release, it will be out of stock and you will go onto a wait list at most dealers. 

I always pre order a camera or lens I know I want, so I do not have to wait forever to get it. The cool part is, if I change my mind before the ship date, my card does not get charged and I can cancel without risk.

I had the chance to shoot the A9 all day yesterday in fast action sporting events. Sony set up a full on track and field event and we were able to test the flat out amazing AF speed and AF tracking, and I could not believe the abilities of the camera. I am no action shooter, but I was able to track fast moving action without any problem or skill level. The camera locked on, and stayed on the subjects and when shooting at 20 FPS with no blackout, what you see is what you get.

The Sony A9 is a new breed of camera and unlike any I have ever used or reviewed. I am not allowed to post images from it until next week (no one is), but those images will be from the track & field event. What I am waiting for is a review unit so I can really dig into the camera and shoot it in my style as it is much more than a sports camera, that is just the tip of the iceberg. For me, this will indeed be added to my arsenal next to my well loved A7RII. As for the A9, this will end up being one of my “Mega” reviews by the time I am done. So a full review, and video review will be coming soon.

If you missed my 1st hands on thoughts on the A9 fresh after testing it out, here. ya go! 

 

Any photos I post next week (I can share more thoughts and some photos next Thursday) will still be part of my hands on first look. Then 2-3 weeks later I will have a full review unit to evaluate as deeply as I care to. Exciting times lay ahead for digital imaging and the A9 is a camera for pros, amateurs, enthusiasts and those who just want amazing tech..a camera that can handle about anything thrown at it. Wait until everyone experiences the no blackout EVF and LCD…as I said, nothing else exists like this today.

I will say this, and what I say mirrors what many other reviewers and journalists are saying. This Sony A9 is a GAME CHANGER. There is nothing like it and Sony came through with the speed, the technology and answered all of our needs and wants. As they said a coupe of years ago, Sony is in this for the long haul and dedicated to advancing digital imaging as far as they can take it. With the A9, they are proving that they are indeed delivering on that promise. Now that they passing up Nikon, they have their eye on the big C. Should be an interesting year..and my gut tells me this is only the beginning ; )

BTW, I shot almost 2000 images at the event yesterday and my battery was at 42% when done. So yea, the battery life is MUCH better here. Also, after using it more I can proclaim the EVF beats the Leica SL EVF here. It’s smooth as silk, ZERO lag, ZERO blackout (when using the Electronic Shutter) and the color and contrast is like an HD TV. It’s large and no way anyone would or could prefer an OVF to this. This is the future. I may sound excited but I have reason to be. There is nothing like the A9.

*Over the A7II  we gain the better battery system, the new EVF (best in the world at this time), new controls up top for setting focus and FPS modes, 20FPS shooting with no blackout of the EVF or LCD, Amazing AF tracking that locks and sticks to your subjects, even when they are fast moving, MUCH faster start up time over the A7, much more responsive feel, The new Q&S selection on the top dial to shoot 120FPS slo mo or 4FPS fast motion quickly and easily, slight ergo changes that improve upon the A7 series, a latched closing SD card door that now houses TWO SD slots, and we still keep gorgeous 4K video (no SLOG as the is ones built for the photographers, not documentary makers), an all new sensor with the latest tech, 5 Axis IS, and some little new additions I will go over in my review. The big ones for me are the EVF, no blackout, FPS (though I would rarely use it) and AF speed and tracking/accuracy. Hey, Sony even made the A9 logo in Gold lettering ; ) THIS IS their flagship.

PRE ORDER BELOW:

Pre Order the Sony A9 at B&H Photo HERE

Pre Order the Sony A9 and Half Grip at B&H Photo HERE

Order the Sony A9 at Amazon

The one negative I found was the fact that Sony seems to be aiming this at sports shooters and did not implement full weather sealing. (Even though I see the A9 as more like a massively upgraded A7II) It can be used for Portraits, Street, Studio, Everyday Life, Landscape, and sports. It is the one camera that exists that has no real weakness when it comes to performance. None. But Sony did not incorporate full weather sealing. While weather “resistant” some do not like that it is not a full on seal. I am sure Sony has reasons of this, though not sure what they are. I can say that I have been shooting my A7rII since it was launched and have had it in rain, a downpour or two, snow, sleet and in 115 degree temps and very cold temps. I have run it through a color run, which is torture for any camera. My A7RII has never had a hiccup or problem. Still works as good as new. So maybe the weather resistance is good enough, and Sony knows this or maybe their are other reasons.

Sony had pro OLYMPIC shooters test the A9, and they all sang the praises of it and now want to shoot with the A9. For me, that is pretty high praise for sports shooters. As for Lenses, the new 100-400 G master is gorgeous but I had VERY little time with it. From what I had seen, it was fast, and delivered the G Master IQ traits of nice contrast, color and detail. That’s about all I can say about that lens for now as I will have to wait until I have more time with it. I do know the lens does not ship until Late July 2017.

To wrap this up you may have noticed I called this A9 “The most advanced camera in the world”. This is a true statement. There is nothing made by Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Leica or anyone else that has the abilities of this Sony A9. I feel Canon and Nikon may be scrambling now to figure out how to combat this move from Sony, and I am sure they will..eventually. But for now, no one else has these kind of specs for a full frame camera.

Apr 192017
 

My Hands on 1st Thoughts on the Sony A9! (Video)

NOTE: I switched this site to a new server last night, and comments may or may not be working. If you have an issue posting comments here, email me at [email protected]

Wow, what a day! I posted something earlier about the A9 right as it was announced and that page has all the specs of this new powerhouse camera. But for now, I wanted to record all of my thoughts of this new A9 while they were fresh in my head.

But MAN OH MAN what a camera. Yes, Sony has created my Desert Island camera…see the video below to hear WHY:

PRE ORDERS START ON FRIDAY!!
I WILL HAVE A FIRST LOOK REPORT WITH IMAGES AND MORE THOUGHTS THIS WEEK! CHECK BACK ALL WEEK FOR MORE A9 COVERAGE!

Apr 192017
 

Finally! The new Sony A9 is here and so far, from what I have been hearing at the live event (streamed it live in my Facebook HERE) it is a beast. The awesome news is I get to shoot with it this week while in New York so I will have a first hands on look and video this week. Photo samples, thoughts and demos of its speed and abilities. This is the camera I have been waiting for, many have been waiting for.

If I were a. betting man, I would say this will be the most exciting camera release of the year. A game changer and I am pretty excited about it.

From what I am hearing the EVF is picture window like, the AF speed is incredible and the best Sony has ever offered. Sony says this camera IS THE BEST digital they have ever created, and it has to be!

Fully pro specs, full frame, blazing speed, and an all new sensor. New battery system with double the battery life of previous cameras, Dual SD card slots, silent vibration free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000s.

Pre Orders start FRIDAY, and the price is around $4500 US. Just about what I had expected and hoped for. Stay tuned for much more on this new camera.

Quick Specs: 

World’s First1 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP2 resolution
• Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting3 at up to 20fps4 for up to 241 RAW5/ 362 JPEG6 images
• Silent7, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec8
• 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
• Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
• 5-Axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage

Sony has also announced the new G Master 100-400 lens today, and that also looks like a beauty. I am still at the event, but will update soon!!!

FULL PRESS RELEASE:

NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new revolutionary digital camera, the α9 (model ILCE-9).

The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created, the new α9 offers a level of imaging performance that is simply unmatched by any camera ever created – mirrorless, SLR or otherwise.

The new camera offers many impressive capabilities that are simply not possible with a modern digital SLR camera including high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting3 at up to 20fps4, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second 10, a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second8 and much more. These are made possible thanks to its 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor – the world’s first of its kind – which enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras11. This unique sensor is paired with a brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.

This industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting7 is combined with a focusing system that features an incredible 693 phase detection AF points. Covering approximately 93% of the frame, the focusing system ensures that even the fasting moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.

The new α9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter7 with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise, making it an extremely powerful photographic tool for any shooting situation that demands quiet operation. To ensure maximum usability and reliability, the camera features a new Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries, as well as dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards. An Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) is available as well, and there is a wide variety of new settings, controls and customizability options that are essential for working pros.

“This camera breaks through all barriers and limitations of today’s professional digital cameras, with an overall feature set that simply cannot be matched considering the restrictions of mechanical SLR cameras” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “But what excites us most about the α9 – more than its extensive product specs – is that it allows professionals to see, follow and capture the action in ways that were never before possible, unlocking an endless amount of new creative potential.”

A New Standard of Speed and Focusing Accuracy

Critical to the record-breaking speed of the new α9 is the combination of the new stacked 24.2 MP2 Exmor RS image sensor, new BIONZ X processor and front end LSI.

The immense processing power from these new components allows for faster AF/AE calculation while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer, enabling photographers to shoot at a blazing 20 fps4 with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 362 JPEG6 or 241 RAW5 images.

The camera’s innovative AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second10, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times 12. This feature truly combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy and “in the moment” advantages that not even the finest optical viewfinders can match, and is available in all still image modes including high speed 20 fps4 continuous shooting.

With 693 focal plane phase detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the frame, the camera ensures improved precision and unfailing focus in scenes where focus might otherwise be difficult to achieve. The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and excellent tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25% faster performance when compared with α7R II, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are captured.

Professional Capabilities in a Compact Body

Sony’s new full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style.

The α9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The new Tru-Finder, which is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony α camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a level of corner to corner sharpness that is simply outstanding. The EVF also utilizes a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.

This all adds up to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the α7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, ensuring the most natural shooting experience. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is even customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps13 to best match the action.

The α9 is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.0 steps 9, ensuring the full resolving power of the new sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting. Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.

The α9 also offers an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal), allowing convenient transfer of still image files to a specified FTP server at high-speed, making it an ideal choice for studio photography, high-profile news and sporting events and more. There is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.

New Features for Fast Operation

Sony’s new α9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the α9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.

Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.
For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.

Double Battery Life, Double Memory

The innovative α9 camera features an all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models, allowing for much longer shooting performance.

Also, based on extensive customer feedback, the new camera offers two separate media card slots, including one for UHS-II media. The same data can simultaneously be recorded to both cards, or the user can choose to separate RAW / JPEG or still images / movies. Movies can also simultaneously be recorded to two cards for backup and more efficient data management.

High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range

The unique design of the α9 image sensor represents the pinnacle of Sony device technology. The 24.2 MP 2 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor is back-illuminated, allowing to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality. The sensor also enables the diverse ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 20480014, ensuring optimum image quality with minimum noise at all settings.
The enhanced BIONZ X processor plays a large part in image quality as well, as it helps to minimize noise in the higher sensitivity range while also reducing the need to limit ISO sensitivity in situations where the highest quality image is required.

The new α9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW, ensuring users can get the most out of the wide dynamic range of the sensor.

4K Video Capture

The new α9 is very capable as a video camera as well, as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor 15, 16. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super 35mm size.
Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking 17.

New Accessories

Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new α9 camera, including:

NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery – high-capacity battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. It also supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, making it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.

VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as theα9 camera, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.

NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit – External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z series batteries and as a quick charger. Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.

GP-X1EM Grip Extension – Grip extender with same look, feel and design as α9 body. Enables more solid hold on camera.

FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup –eye piece cup with locking mechanism

BC-QZ1 Battery Charger –quick-charging battery charger. Charges one new Z series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.

PCK-LG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet – hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. Compatible with touch operation and tilting LCD screen

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α9 Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship this May for about $4,500 US and $6,000 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

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