Sony Announces a Big Deal: The 42 Megapixel A7R II

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42 was the answer to life and the universe and everything, and it looks like it might be the answer to a lot of photographers, videographers and even small-scale filmmakers. The A7R II is a bigger upgrade over the A7R than the A7 II over the A7 was.

First up is the new sensor: While 42 megapixels really is not that big an increase over 36, this is an all-new sensor that back-side illuminated. If it represents an improvement over the already excellent 36 megapixel sensor, it will be a worthy upgrade. Continue reading Sony Announces a Big Deal: The 42 Megapixel A7R II

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Sony Tweaks A77 with A77 II

Sony A77 II with DT 16-50mm f/2.8 Lens Minolta lovers, Sony’s still not totally given up on the Alpha mount yet, and while the A77 II does not add much, the changes are likely to be welcome. The sensor is now a 24 megapixel sensor that will probably be best-in-class if not for the “translucent” mirror robbing about half a stop of light, thus making the sensor having to work that little bit harder. The autofocus is improved now, and features a 79 point autofocus sensor with 15 cross type sensors with additional options. I remember when having more than one autofocus point was something great, and now we have 79! Will we break 100 before 2020?

Other upgrades include a new LCD, which uses Sony’s newfangled “White Magic” screen that adds another bunch of white sub-pixels (resolution should still be VGA), and there is also Wi-Fi now, though GPS was lost in the process. The rest of the camera is still pretty much the same, including that rather nice EVF. It is not a bad upgrade, but I still think the overall concept is flawed; giving up half a stop of light hitting the sensor just for live view. Half a stop might not seem like much, but that means you are getting dangerously close to Micro Four Thirds level performance, while Canon and Nikon pull away with their more traditional designs.

The A77 II will be available in June for a body-only price of US$1200.

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Samyang Announces 10mm f/2.8 APS-C Ultrawide Prime Lens

Samyang 10mm f/2.8

Well, it took SOMEONE long enough. Even though it lacks autofocus and is much larger and heavier than the Nikon 20mm f/2.8 I used back in the film days, at least there is an option for those on APS-C cameras to use. Since this is a lens designed first for SLRs, it will not quite have the compact size needed for mirrorless cameras however, as the very short focal length compared to a typical SLR’s flange distance means more extensive retrofocus design is required. If it lives up to the usual Samyang reputation, expect a good lens at a decent price – the current press release is from the UK, so it carries the higher-than-average price of £470 for the Nikon version, and £430 for the other mounts, including less popular mounts like the Canon EF-M and Samsung NX.

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