Some images from Photo Plus in NYC today. Sony, Zeiss, Leica…

Some images from Photo Plus in NYC today. Sony, Zeiss, Leica…

What a day! Whew…

Yesterday I flew out of Sunny AZ at 6am headed to NYC for the Photo Plus show going on this week. When I arrived in NY I did a big “UH OH” because I realized I only brought a light jacket with me, and here I was in NYC in 48 degree weather! The good thing is that it was not THAT cold so I survived a short walk to dinner with some friends and had a great evening. As always, I had a camera with me so for the chilly walk back I snapped a shot or two..

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This morning I woke up later than I expected, around 8:30AM. Had a business phone call at 9 through 9:30 and by the time I headed out to the show it was 10:30.

On my way I had to take a picture of myself in front of B&H Photo, the “Candy Land” for photo and tech geeks!

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I only had a 15 minute walk to the convention center from my hotel, and was cool that B&H is one block from my hotel. Makes it too easy to spend money though!

As I walked I snapped a few shots with a fisheye that I have been playing around with…

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When I arrived to Photo Plus I saw a few familiar faces and made my way to pick up my press pass.

I ended up walking around and it seemed every few steps someone who knew me would walk up to me to chat! Was so cool to meet so many readers of this site today, all were super nice and wonderful people.

I eventually found my way to the most crowded section of the show (from what I saw) and it was the Sony Booth. They had the A7 and A7r on display, as well as the new RX10 (which is ย looking better and better to me the more I mess with it). I even had a chance to borrow a Zeiss 50 1.5 Sonnar from a woman who was testing some old lenses on the A7. She was kind enough to let me take a shot or two with her lens mounted on the A7.

I snapped a shot of a guy who was chatting with me (a reader here) at 1.5, wide open. Sony would NOT let me put an SD card in the camera (they are saying the camera is still not FINAL in FW, so pre-production) but when I saw the playback it had the full on Zeiss character and was beautiful. I am telling you this..the camera was a breeze to manually focus with this Zeiss ZM lens. No focus shift because you are using Live View, so what you see is what you get.

The OOF transitions were creamy, the color was nice for being indoors with horrible light and I can tell that this camera is going to deliver on IQ, no doubt in my mind at all. After more hands on time with the A7 and A7r I can tell you that yes, the A7r does have metal dials on top where the A7 has plastic. They both feel great and I noticed no difference in feel or build when in my hand. I have a feeling that the a7r is going to be the Godzilla of resolution. A beast.

Shot with the 50 Zeiss Zm Sonnar at 1.5

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So after messing around and chatting with a few folks a woman walks up from Zeiss to show me the new Otus lens. This lens is a statement piece from Zeiss and coming in at $4000. The 55 1.4 design is gorgeous but man, this lens is HUGE (though light).

She wanted me to try it on the A7r and I used the Metabones Adapter to do so. When I looked at the results on the screen..WOWOWOWOWOW. This lens is something the perfectionist will want. Those who want ultimate IQ..this lens will do the trick and seeing that it is a pro manual focus lens (NO AF), it feels REALLY good in use. It is just large.

I HEARD MUMBLINGS…Sony was telling Zeiss..MAKE THIS FOR FE MOUNT! So we shall see. Below is the lens with hood attached and Metabones EF to E mount adapter. I may get to shoot with this lens on the A7r NEXT WEEK and this time, with an SD card in the camera ๐Ÿ™‚

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So as I left Sony I headed toward Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Panasonic. Not much new there. Saw the GX7 but I already reviewed it here. I saw the All weather Nikon 1 which was larger and much more solid than I expected and I saw a few other things around the convention center that were more interesting than what Nikon was offering..

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I stopped by the Olympus booth and they were busy with everyone checking out the E-M1 and even E-P5. I saw quite a few walking around today with OM-D E-M5’s and E-P5’s. The woman above was doing an act for Olympus demoing their wifi smartphone/ipad remote feature. Before I shot this I cracked a joke which was probably not good because she could have lost her concentration ๐Ÿ™‚ But she didn’t. Behind here you can see every Olympus Micro 4/3 and 4/3 lens ever made.

The Leica booth had a few gawkers but they were not showing anything new besides their “Glossy Black” D-Lux 6. Yet another refresh of the same old D-Lux 6 which appeared to be slapped together just for the show..I mean, they had to have SOMETHING new right?

They did have this on display…

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I stopped by Fuji as well and took a look at the new X-E2. Looks and feels like an X-E1. Same build. AF seemed faster but not a dramatic difference. The new 23 1.4 was fantastic though.ย ย This is a lens I would buy if I owned a Fuji. Smaller than you think as well.

So after the show I walked back to my room, stopped off at B&H Photo once again and am now laying in my hotel bed writing this update. What I learned today from Photo Plus is that there is MASS interest in the Sony A7 and A7r as well as ย the new RX10. Olympus is hot with the E-M1 and Nikon and Canon are still Nikon and Canon with their usual DSLR updates. (yawwwn)

Leica is holding steady with M sales doing very well for them and Panasonic had quite the crowd as well.

So without a doubt, the biggest thing here this year is the Sony A7 and A7r. Sales are STRONG, results are looking AMAZING and the camera is well made, solid and has very fast AF. When something this good comes along, it gets noticed and the people I spoke with today who were giving it a spin all said the same thing..”I pre ordered one already”. They were all happy with the fact that they did.

Remember, starting on the 28th I will have loads of samples and news and videos on the new A7 and A7r and RX10, so bookmark and come back because you will NOT want to miss it.

For those wondering, all photos posted here were shot with an Olympus E-P5.

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I will beheading back to the show tomorrow morning to throw a Voigtlander 12mm on the Sony A7 and A7r and to see what I see on the LCD. Of course, what I see you will see here right after ๐Ÿ™‚

 

80 Comments

  1. Wow, that Otus is some mega-sized lens! Still, I would love to see a ZM mount version… and a comparison against the 50mm APO Summicron. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Steve!
    There is one thing I’d love to ask you!
    Could you please by any chance try performance of some 28mm m mount lenses on A7r please…???
    I’m so very interested on how will my 28mm elmarit asph perform on a7r (or even a7..).
    Please if you could find some 28mm leica to try it with I’d be totally happy!

  3. Hi Steve. I have a Fuji XE-1 and kit 18-55 now. For travel I would love the A7R and could get by with a couple primes, 24-28mm for wide, and around 50 for normal length and I’d like 1.4 for low light.

    I like the Fuji lenses but am so-so on the bodies. Like a bunch of people when the A7R was released, I wasn’t sure what lenses I’d put on it. I don’t have an existing collection having sold everything.

    Do you have any lens recommendations for the above requirements? I don’t have a massive budget, but am familiar with lenses from Canon, Nikon and Fuji, and would pay for good quality and value.

    By the way I agree about B&H and was sad to see that both it and Adorama was closed last time I was in NY recently, due to holidays. ๐Ÿ™

  4. Hi Steve,
    I’m hoping you might be able to get some information out of the sony reps as to future firmware plans for current generation NEX cameras – specifically, if there are any plans to update them to the alpha-style menus.

  5. I’ll (be)heading over to the show today as well! Hope to see your there! I really want to pick up the Fuji X-E2 and decide if I should keep my pre-order active, or just stick with the X-E1. Also interested to see the 23mm f/1.4 in person. (Though it should be shipping any day now!)

  6. “I will beheading back to the show tomorrow morning…”

    I hope not too many beheadings…:-)

    Thanks for sharing on this busy week, Steve.

  7. Hello Steve

    Would you please be able to test a 25mm or 28mm RF lens on the A7r please (preferably Zeiss or voigtlander) . 21mm and 35mm are great but for street and architecture the focal lengths in between can be very useful.

    Thanks

    Nicholas

  8. Canon announced in recent results their ILC systems declined in sales for the first time in many years. Down 9million units to 8 million YoY…..

  9. Hi Steve!
    You told us in your quick look at Sony A7 that there is an adapter for Canon EF-lenses and that it will even have working AF with them. If you spot that adapter on the show please take picture of it. I have not managed to find any information on that adapter. Due to, in large part your, glowing reviews of the Olympus EM-5 I have invested i M43 and that resulted in me selling off my canon 5D MkII. I somehow never got aroud to selling my lenses though. If Sony has a viable small fullsensor alternative to Canons behemothcameras ™ that takes my EF-lenses I would be very interested, and I guess many others too. I feel that Canon and Nikon better watch out or they will just be tiny specks in Sonys rearmirror…

    • I think it’s the metabones adapter that enables AF, apparently quite slow but it works. I seem to remember TheCameraStoreTV blog showing it being used.

  10. Hey Steve–great update. When you do your A7/A7R review, can you comment on the shutter sound difference when you turn the front electronic curtain on vs. off in the A7? This is far more important to me and a lot of others than pure resolution. Thanks!

  11. That Otus looks amazing. I don’t know why, but I love huge lenses on small bodies. If they do make a native mount for the A7r I may have to start saving my pennies.

  12. Hey Steve,
    Could you please ask Fuji about the x-pro2(or lack of) and see if they have an estimated release date.
    (And perhaps ask them about the FF x200 rumor as well? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  13. Hey Steve,
    Ask the Deutschlanders at Leica when they will start shipping some M240.glad they didn’t show much they need to finish the stuff they already have.

  14. Really j for you Steve!

    Do anyone know where I could get a hands-on on these new cameras in Chicago? Do Sony stores carries them?

  15. Hi Steve,

    Long time reader here. Really hope you will get a chance to check the corners of some of those M lenses we all love on the A7R at the show. Still a huge degree of uncertainty out there on forums.

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    • I’m curious to see how their new noise reduction algorithm does – the one that takes something like 10 minutes a photo. That’s way too long for me, but it’ll be interesting to see the difference between that and standard noise reduction.

  17. Steve, could you please try to be more specific at the WOW factor of the Zeiss Otus 55 on the A7r? What made it stand out over say a Leica 50 lux ASPH for example? What was the magic in the Zeiss you could see on the LCD screen??!! I’m asking because I have the Zeiss preordered because I’ve heard so many incredible things about it. Thanks

    • They are Superb, same as the RX1 EVF. The Olympus EVF-4 and Sony EVF are the best two EVF’s on the market. I much prefer a good EVF over an optical these days. What you see, is what you get. These two are LARGE and a breeze to manually focus with as well.

    • Yeah, the viewfinder on the A7R is pretty great. Really large and clear. Beyond just acceptably good, you don’t realize you’re looking at a screen.

      • Try panning it in a lowish light situation, as I did, and you’ll find out pretty quickly it’s an EVF, not an optical viewfinder.

  18. Steve. Please give us a comparison on A7 vs A7r AF. Which one would you recommend for everyday shooters? Mostly family and travel pix. Price not an issue. Thanks.

  19. I was there today as well (and wrote about my impressions). I agree there were tons of people checking out the Sony A7/A7r (I was one of them), but I continue to be amazed how crowded the Nikon and Canon booths are even though they haven’t announced any amazing new gear.

  20. Looks like a fun event! Hopefully you can find some gossip/rumours to share (ie. the mysterious Nikon retro, the two new rumoured Sony FF e-mounts cameras to come in 2014, whether Elvis and Jim Morrison really do have lunch together every Wednesday at Carnegie Deli… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s a cine prime lens designed for Hollywood. Basically it is made to very high tolerances, marked in t stops with focus ring designed for focus pulling ring.
      My understanding is that many of the classic Panavision lenses were effectively rehoused Leica glass and obviously produced superb results.

      • I’ve just been informed that Panavsion lenses were all made by ELCAM (E Leitz Canada) before the company was purchased by Raytheon.
        Cine lenses are also usually made for super35 and are very carefully color matched with their branded stablemates to help with color grading in post.

  21. Great day spent in NYC clearly. When you go back, besides the 12mm Voigt testing, please can you borrow a Zeiss 18mm f4 ZM and try it on the A7r. The wider Voigts don’t work on the FF M’s, but this does brilliantly. Does it work on the a7’s though is my big query?

  22. ” After more hands on time with the A7 and A7r I can tell you that yes, the A7r does have metal dials on top where the A7 has plastic. They both feel great and I noticed no difference in feel or build when in my hand.”

    Besides the top dial differences, SAR said the A7 has plastic front cover. But A7 is about 9 gram heavier than A7r. That puzzels me. They both are weather sealed.

    • Admittedly the more complete mag alloy finish of the A7R was the one thing swaying me towards it – the A7 meets my needs better. Having had the NEX-7 (mag alloy incl front plate) and an A77 (the same), I was hesitant to downgrade the robustness of my camera choice.
      But all the hands on reviews say they feel identical in hand with the poly merely ‘warmer’ to the touch than the cooler of the mag alloy metal. Plus as I’ve remembered that the last SLR I owned – the Nikon D7000 was similar in construction to the A7 (alloy top plate, front polycarbonate) and felt solid in the hand, I’m happy to keep my A7 kit, 35mm & grip pre-order.

  23. Hi Steve
    Thank you for the update. The sony looks great but the Fuji XE-2 sounds a bit disappointing for the fastest focus in the world for its class..

    • Well, not really a change of mind as i have not yet used it or reviewed it, so all I was going by was the size in my 1st impression. But it is built very well and the lens is a top quality pro lens, not a cheap kit type lens. Versatile, super fast AF, great color and IQ..could be a perfect camera for someone looking for the 1 camera that can do everything

      • Totally agree, Steve. I have a Leica M and the RX10 might just be the best “second camera”…light, hopefully good IQ, and the lens looked great. BTW, I saw you at the show today but you were fully engaged so I’ll have to get your autograph some other time…haaaa! Please don’t forget to tell us more about the RX10…I know the A7/A7r can potentially steal the limelight ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. There are Lightroom / ACR profiles you can download to correct for the 7.5 Rokinon fisheye distortion if you’re interested and still playing around with it. I forget which forums I got them from.

    • Not out or shown but from the teasers looks as big as a DSLR and uses F mount DSLR lenses which defeats the whole purpose of a small mirrorless. My guess is that it will be an EVF restyled DSLR but on the large side. I am sure it will be amazing with IQ but all depends on what one wants. If I wanted to use Nikon F lenses, I would get a D700 used or D610 or the new rumored DF as it will probably be the same size. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • The F mount by itself isn’t a problem. The F mount actually sports a smaller diameter than Canon’s EF mount, which, of course, Canon used for their ‘M’ mirrorless camera. So it’s already specified for smaller lenses if Nikon can implement them with modern tech.

        The DF may well be DSLR sized, but I suspect it will be on the smaller size of DSLRs; D7000 or a bit smaller…and almost certainly not as chunky.

        There are some twists yet to come concerning this new camera, as I understand it.

        • It’s not an EF mount on the Canon ‘M’ – it requires an EF adapter to be able to use the EF lenses.

        • Judging by the teaser video it’s F3 sized, so that’s substantially smaller than stereotype “DSLR” size. The weight is F3 range as well; so far so good, particularly as it is rumoured to have a real pentaprism (and a mirror; it’s an slr). There’s no defeating the purpose of a mirrorless camera if it’s not mirrorless.

      • It seems the rumoured Nikon is creating a real stir online where a digital F has been awaited for years. This might be Nikon positioning itself as Leica dose: purveyors of the real thing. No one else makes a retro camera with a real pentaprism rather than having it for marketing style (OMD and A7). Leica make the only digital rangefinder. This is about positioning for heritage and perceived authenticity which works well for Leica, CocaCola and Harley Davidson. I think they’ll sell all they can make, progress or not.

        • My guess? Will have an OVF and EVF…will be large as a DSLR just a different shape and no mirror. It will be 2X the size of the Sony A7. Using standard F mount glass means large lenses and the teaser images show a body that is quite large. So other than shape, I predict not much different than a D600. Could be wrong of course, but we shall see. I’d be interested if they released RF style lenses like they made in the past but not with DSLR lenses. But yes, it will sell well and I am sure the IQ will be outstanding. Interesting times ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Two times the size of the A7 sounds good to me. I have man-sized hands and in terms of handling would much prefer a camera the size of of a Nikon FE or Leica M to anything as small as the Sony A7. This focus on smaller is better is something that seems to border on obsession at times. Give me a tool that does the job comfortably and well and I’m happy. ( Until the next new photo-gizmo, of course!)

  25. “I will beheading back to the show tomorrow morning …..” !
    I hope not!!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    man is that new Zeiss lens huge. Even for DSLRs. Can u ask Nikon to spill some beans on their supposed retro camera? There are teaser videos out now.

  26. Steve, I have seen some tests made on optical bench of the Otus some time back – it was incredible what that lens could deliver wide open – it was night and day even when compared to Zeiss 50/1.4 lens which is no slouch. Question is who needs that kind of lens, but it really is incredible optically. At nearly 1000g weight – I would not describe it as ‘light’ though ๐Ÿ™‚

    The A7r … I will give it a few months head time (to figure out my budget) ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yeah, sorry, but it was really impressive. Indeed the difference gets much smaller once you stop down a bit. But that is no surprise I guess..

  27. Thanks for letting us experience the show vicariously through you, Steve. I would have loved to go (living in Italy has its downsides!) but seeing as there wasn’t anything really noteworthy besides the Sonys and Zeiss lenses, I don’t feel quite so bad anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

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