Review – Sony RX100 V

Introduction

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The RX100 series are well known for its 1 inch image sensor, high quality fixed Zeiss zoom lens, and numerous features packed in a well built compact body since it was first introduced in 2012. In 2016, the fifth generation RX100V was being introduced with incredible AF and buffer size, and some improvement over the predecessors. Let’s have a look at it now!

Camera Features

  • 1 inch 20MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • F 1.8 – F 2.8 24mm – 70mm equivalent zoom lens
  • High Speed LSI chip
  • Optical Steady Shot (OSS)
  • 24 fps continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking
  • 315 phase detection AF points with 25 contrast detection AF points
  • 0.05 second AF lock-on speed
  • 1/2000 second mechanical shutter, and upto 1/32000 second electronic shutter
  • Silent Shutter
  • Built-in 3 stops ND filter
  • Zeiss T* Coating 2.3m OLED pop up EVF
  • 180 degree tiltable 3.0 inches LCD screen
  • Eye-AF in AF-C mode (continuous autofocusing)
  • Dual Recording (capture 17 MP still image while doing video recording)
  • XVACS or AVCHD 4K video recording (limited to 5 minutes)
  • Double length of HFR (high frame rate at 1000 fps, 40x slow motion at 25fps playback rate) recording (8 seconds compare to RX100 IV’s 4 seconds)

Body and Design

Visually, the RX100V Continue reading

Review – Sony RX 1 R II

In 2012, Sony announced the original RX 1 and RX 1 R- a surprisingly small form compact full frame camera. Technically, RX1R is a RX 1 but without AA (anti alias) filter. Both of them come with an outstanding Zeiss Sonnar F2 fixed lens and output impressive images from the 24 MP sensor. (You may read my review for the original RX1R here).

Although the original RX1R gives impressive output but it still has a lot of room for improvement. After 3 years of waiting, Sony finally announced the successor of the RX1 and RX1R – the RX1R II.

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Body Build and Design
Opened the box, you got a battery, a pouch, a power adapter, micro USB cable, a portable battery charger (finally!), an eye cap, a metal lens cap, a box of user manual in different languages, and of course the RX1R II.

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The new RX1R II looks Continue reading

Review: SEL1670Z

The SEL1670Z has been introduced to the market for some time, it is one of the few Sony native APS-C standard zoom lenses. The little Zeiss blue badge indicates that this lens is designed to give high quality optical performance with the Zeiss T* coating, one Advanced Aspherical element, and one Extra-low Dispersion element.

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The lens filter diameter is 55 mm. It is smaller than the SELP18105 72mm (APS-C E-mount lens) and the SEL2470Z  67mm (full frame E-mount lens, you may read the review of SEL2470Z here) but larger than the standard compact kit lens SELP1650 40mm (you may read the review of SELP1650 here).

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The front narrower ring is the focus ring and the wider ring is the zoom ring. The lens zoom in/out without Continue reading

Review: Sony A7S II

Forewords

This is the first post in 2016, I have been working hard to bring a new and fresh look for this website. Started from this review onward, the camera/lens review will be focused on ‘more shots, less words’.  Hope you like the new changes 😉

Introduction

When the original Sony A7S came out, it impressed many of us with its amazing low light capability. Sony had introduced the 2nd generation of the A7 series which are well known with the powerful 5-axis image stabilizer, let’s move on to see how does the Sony A7S II perform with the combination of powerful 5-axis image stabilizer and the amazing low light capability.

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Sony A7S II

Pros & Cons

+ Improved autofocus algorithm with 169 contrast-detection AF points

+ Long Battery Life

+ Reduced-vibration shutter (50% less vibration compared to original A7S)

+ Full alloy-magnesium built body

+ Dust and moisture resistance

+ Better ergonomic, larger and more comfortable grip

+ Up to 12 customizable buttons

+ Powerful and smart 5-axis in-body image stabilizer

+ Wired and wireless remote control

+ 100% coverage and excellent quality of EVF with world highest viewfinder magnification 0.78x

+ NFC and Wifi capability

– Heavier and bulkier (compare to first generation A7 series)

– Same image sensor as original A7S

– Expensive

Continue reading

Review – Sony A7R II

Introduction

Sony A7 II was a hot stuff when it was announced and launched. So how about A7R II? Is it an A7 II with more megapixels count or an original A7R with 5-axis in camera body image stabilizer only? No. Sony A7R II has packed more than enough features to distinguish itself than the A7 II and the original A7R. Let’s have a quick look at what excited features it has come along.

The Sony A7R II uses world first 35mm back-illuminated CMOS sensor. Although the megapixels count is boosted to 42.4 MP from its predecessor 36 MP, Sony A7R II has better low light performance and lesser noise than the A7R thanks to the new back-illuminated sensor.

BSI Sensor
New BSI Sensor Illustration

The new sensor in A7R II is capable to output the captured data 3.5 times faster than A7R, with the combination of the 399 AF points and Fast Hybrid AF system, Sony A7R II’s AF speed is 40% faster than A7R as well. A new Zeiss T* coating EVF which features world highest viewfinder magnification at 0.78x is also equipped on the Sony A7R II.

Many owners of the original A7R feedback that its shutter has too much vibration that caused the blurriness of the images. The Sony A7R II now comes with a new shutter which has 50% lesser vibration than its predecessor. Besides, Sony A7R II allows you to do the in-camera 4K video recording in XAVC S format at maximum 100 Mbps now (You will need a SDXC memory card with UHS Speed Class 3 to do so).

Sony A7R II also features the 5-axis in camera body image stabilizer we have seen in its brother A7 II and it will support all native E-mount lenses and almost every non-native lenses up to 4.5 stops slower shutter speed. The other features are similar/same as what we had seen on the Sony A7 II.

Pros & Cons

+ 399 AF points, faster and more accurate

+ Better low light performance

+ Durable reduce-vibration shutter

+ Full alloy-magnesium built body

+ Dust and moisture resistance

+ Better ergonomic, larger and more comfortable grip

+ Up to 12 customizable buttons

+ Powerful and smart 5-axis in-body image stabilizer

+ Wired and wireless remote control

+ 100% coverage and excellent quality of EVF with world highest viewfinder magnification 0.78x

+ NFC and Wifi capability

– Heavier and bulkier (compare to first generation A7 series)

– Expensive

Body and Design

The Sony A7R II does not have much difference than the A7 II. The Sony A7R II’s body is fully built Continue reading

Hands On Preview: Sony RX100 IV

Sony Singapore had introduced two new exciting cameras in its Cybershot RX series on Thursday 2 Jul 2015, the RX 100 IV and the RX 10 II.

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Sony RX100 IV

Despite of the size difference, both of the cameras boast the world’s first stacked 1.0″ CMOS sensor with DRAM memory chip, 40x super slow motion capture, 4K in-camera video shooting, high-speed anti-distortion shutter and more. In this preview, we’ll focus on the RX100 IV.

You can say that the RX100 IV is essentially the RX100 III equipped with the new stacked 1.0″ CMOS sensor with DRAM memory chip because they use the same Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens, same retractable XGA OLED Zeiss T* coated Tru-Finder, same 180-degree tillable LCD monitor, and etc. The RX100 IV’s appearance is same as its predecessor the RX100 III, except the focus ring is now decorated with diamond shape.

Diamond Shape Focus Ring
Diamond Shape Focus Ring

Let’s see what does the new image sensor brings to the RX100 IV and RX10 II, and some feature highlights sample shots from the RX100 IV. Continue reading

Review: Sony RX1R Compact Full Frame Camera

Introduction

Sony RX1R
Sony RX1R

Sony RX1 and RX1R are the full frame compact digital camera that were introduced in 2012. The Sony RX1 and RX1R came together with a fixed (non-interchangeable) Zeiss F2 prime lens, a 24MP full frame camera sensor, and  a premium price tag that similar to the professional full frame DSLR camera that could easily overwhelm many of us.

It is 2015 when I’m writing this review, Sony had introduced the A7 full frame interchangeable lens mirrorless camera series, why would I still review a 3 year-old camera now? Well, the Sony RX1R is very compact and lightweight (480g with Zeiss F2 lens and with battery) vs Sony A7II (600g body only and with battery, 1.23 kg when attached with Zeiss SEL35F14Z), the Zeiss F2 fixed prime lens is one of the best lens in the current market, and none of other camera manufacturers introduces similar full-frame compact camera even though  the Sony RX1R had been introduced to the market for 3 years.

The most important reason is, the Sony Singapore is having mid-year sale for its camera, the Sony RX1 and RX1R are being sold at SGD 2,949 (USD 2,194), and the excellent external EVF that worth SGD 629 (USD 468) is free of charge as well when you purchase the Sony RX1/RX1R.

Pros & Cons

+ Lightweight and small form factor

+ Great full-frame image sensor

+ Great low light performance

+ Premium body build

+ A great Zeiss F2 prime lens

+ Creamy smooth bokeh

+ Buttons are customizable

+ Great LCD screen

+ Leaf shutter (nearly perfect silent)

+ 14mm of shortest focus range

+ Dedicated exposure dial

+ Manual aperture control ring

+ Almost instant processing for long exposure (almost no need to wait for the processing)

+ Wired tethering capability

– No dust and moisture resistant

– Pop up flash is not tillable as the NEX-6’s

– No tiltable LCD screen

– Less than desirable battery life

– The back dial is not much useful and not customisable

– No continuous focus mode

– No image stabilization for still image shooting

– No wireless remote tethering capability Continue reading

Review: Sony SEL2470Z

Introduction

In short, the Sony SEL2470Z is a Zeiss constant aperture zoom lens with dust and moisture resistance for the Sony E-mount full-frame cameras. Well, the short sentence more or less tells you that what is this lens is, and it is sure that the lens comes with a “matched” price tag (it is sold at SGD 1,599).

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SEL2470Z

Continue reading