This is a highly-protective case sized ideally for common camera kits.
Note the current $50.00 under regular street price deal at Adorama.
The Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Tough-55 Roller Hard Case is in stock at B&H | Adorama (on sale for $50.00 off usual street price) | Amazon USA
When multiple animals are in the frame, the composition challenge increases considerably, and the juxtaposition becomes critical to a good image.
Spending enough time in the right remote places aids in that good juxtaposition happening.
This day brought a blue sky background scenario. The camera's exposure was set to push the blue channel barely against the right edge of the histogram, retaining the brightest blue details.
During post-processing, I wanted the animals to be brighter than the original exposure provided. Therefore, taking advantage of the Canon EOS R5's exposure latitude, the same RAW file was processed at the initial exposure and again at brighter settings.
The two files were layered in Photoshop with a layer mask separating the animals and ground from the sky. The sky adjustment contained in a masked layer permits full control of the sky brightness in the final image. The result shared here has just enough blue dialed in to not be white.
The RF 100-500 has proven an outstanding choice for run and gun wildlife photography.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
"Photoshop users, rejoice! SmugMug Source—our workflow add-on that lets you upload, organize, and manage RAW files from anywhere—now includes support for PSD and PSB files. These files are visualized on Source just like RAWs are, too. Now all your working files have a safe, secure, and easily searchable home that’s accessible from any device. So what are you waiting for?" [SmugMug]
Do you have an online portfolio? If not, or if you are not happy with the one you have, I highly recommend SmugMug. The starter plan is quite affordable and full-featured. Try for free.
Just posted: Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review
The 90mm version is similar to the other five Sigma I series compact prime lenses.
Just posted: Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review.
This lens is another good addition to your your Sigma I series compact prime collection.
The warm early morning sunlight breaks through a small hole in the clouds at Monument Cove.
As is typical with landscape photography, being at the right place at the right time was the key to this image capture. While it is easy to control the when and the where, timing the clouds is a bigger challenge, one that often involves going home without the targeted image.
When photographing a large body of water, wave action is another image quality factor involving timing. Every wave is different, and the brightness caused by air in the water changes as the wave approaches, breaks, crashes, and recedes.
This image was captured at 28mm, well within the comfortable range of angles of view provided by the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens. When creating a composition, determine the elements that are helpful to an image and frame to include only those.
On this day, the sky was extremely bright and not especially photogenic. Therefore, I chose a downward camera angle combined with a focal length long enough to include only a small amount of sky, just enough to fit the ocean horizon.
As you likely guessed, I pressed the shutter release many times while this window of light availed itself. This image made the cut for the wave position and the shadow of a small cloud creating uneven lighting on the far edge of the boulder beach. The latter helps the monument to garner more attention.
A larger version of this image is available here.
Photographing animals from or below their level is often preferred, which means a level or tilted upward camera. However, when the scenario is right, the perspective from an elevated point of view can be excellent.
In this case, a large bull elk was defending his harem of cows in a large meadow. Getting lower was not an option, but the lush grasses and their curving seed plumes create a nice background.
The R5 put a lot of good images on the card during this bull's defensive stand. Still, the leg separation and differentiating body position especially led to this image getting selected for sharing.
As usual, the 600mm f/4 background blur makes the animal and its impressive antlers stand out.
Just posted: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review.
This lens is a lot like the others in the I series.
Do you enjoy photographing details? Telephoto zoom lenses are quite adept at this task.
The trees on the top of the mountain range that makes up Shenandoah National Park are loaded with light-colored lichen. I find this look highly attractive, but finding order within the chaos is the big challenge for photographing this subject.
In this case, a tree with red berries stood out among the oak trunks lining the edge of a clearing.
Not everything in a scene needs to be included in the frame. The small berries added a pop of color. Zooming in to nearly fill the frame with the berry tree excluded much of the forest surrounding it and created an interesting pattern of trunks entering the frame.
The Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM Lens was made for times like this.
This small, light, and affordable lens was ready for use, mounted to a Canon EOS R5 in a toploader case on the seat behind me. This lens's relatively narrow max aperture was wider than needed for this landscape image, and the lens's image stabilization system meant a tripod was not required, despite the strong wind pushing me around.
A larger version of this image is available here.
Just posted: Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review.
This is an impressively sharp lens with a low price tag.
As I shared in The Sony a1 and FE 35mm GM Lens Capture the Exit image, the time allocated to this shoot was very short. To speed the shoot, three cameras with prime lenses mounted were in the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L. The Canon EOS R5 and RF 50mm F1.2 L USM Lens got the call for this scenario.
Noteworthy is that this image was captured handheld at "Civil End". If you are unfamiliar with this term, estimate it to be about 30 minutes after sunset. It was dark.
Utilizing the R5's IBIS kept what was not blowing in the wind sharp, despite the awkward and unsteady near-ground level shooting position.
Need a clean background for your portrait subject's head? The sky often works well for this.
Want to make your athletic subjects appear large? Using a low camera position often works well for this.
Merge the two concepts, and this image is the result.
The Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM Lens's ultra-wide aperture had a big role in making this image possible, and that feature held complete responsibility for the strong background blur. Despite the incredibly wide aperture in use, the background remains recognizable at this subject distance.
When the background is supporting the subject, being recognizable can be advantageous. When a high percentage of the image area is background, the importance of what is in the background is elevated, becoming critical to the overall image. Spend the time to search out supporting backgrounds for your engineered images.
While this image was captured at ISO 2500, my eyes were not keeping up with the viewfinder brightness increasing relative to the ambient lighting. Therefore, this image required +1 EV of brightness adjustment in post.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Pattern and texture images usually rank among the least liked images I share. Still, I like them — and they are quite useful. Use pattern and texture images for subtle yet beautiful decor. These images are also ideal for backgrounds, including with words and other images over them. For example, this white ice scene would make holly leaves and red berries pop for a Christmas theme.
While hiking up a mountain toward a rockslide to find pikas, I discovered a small iced-over pool of water (welcome to the first day of fall in Alaska). The consistent pattern of ice crystals immediately caught my attention. The friends with me were not interested in interrupting the pika chase for ice crystals, but this ice pattern was one of those photo opportunities I knew I would later regret passing up. So, I quickly captured some handheld images.
With a flat, 2-dimensional subject, any focal length would produce a similar result if the same composition was included, and the Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens provides an extensive range to choose from. In this case, the widest available focal length was the easiest to work with, including the easiest to hold steady.
While the creatively blurred ice crystals option was available, keeping everything in focus seemed optimal at the time. With a relatively close subject and a telephoto focal length, the depth of field was limited. Especially since I was working quickly, f/11 seemed the best aperture, providing enough depth of field to forgive any misalignment over the flat surface without going too far deep into the softening effects of diffraction.
The longer I shot, the more I liked what I was shooting. So, I continued to shoot additional images, overshooting to ensure the ideal alignment and pattern was captured in sharp resolution – without motion blur.
After many minutes of this perfection attempt, I hurried to catch up with the others. While I did not have the regret of passing up an opportunity, my first thought in the field was that I regretted not taking the few minutes to set up the RRS TVC-24L Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and BH-40 Ball Head that were in the MindShift Gear BackLight 18L. Doing so would have made the alignment easier and would have ensured steadiness.
Fortunately, that concern was needless.
The f/11 aperture at ISO 100 meant that a 1/60 shutter speed was required to push the histogram to the right side of the chart area (white ice is a bright subject). Impressively, the R5 and RF 100-500 combination produced 100% sharp handheld shots in this scenario, despite the somewhat awkward straight down shooting position and unstable footing. Perhaps more impressive is that I managed to sufficiently square the camera over the ice (within the f/11 depth of field) for every shot.
A larger version of this image is available here.
Just posted: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD G2 Lens Review.
This G2 lens is an outstanding choice for general-purpose use.
The Capture One 22 (15.0.0) release notes provide the full details on this major release.
From Sony Japan (translated):
Notice regarding supply of full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera "a7 IV" (ILCE-7M4)
Thank you for your continued patronage of Sony products.
We have received orders for the digital single-lens camera "a7 IV" (ILCE-7M4), which we started accepting orders from December 7, 2021, far exceeding our expectations, and it will take time to deliver the product.
We are currently making every effort to meet the needs of our customers, so please wait for a while.
Just posted: Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD Lens Review
Is this the best portrait lens ever?
Firmware Version 2.00 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Sony Alpha a7R IVA firmware update version 1.10 is available for download.
Firmware Version 1.10 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Previously, I asked if the weasel was adorable or a vicious killer? Most would rate the other image as considerably more adorable, but on this day, both descriptions accurately described this little predator.
As I said before, the opportunity was a unique one. What started as a glimpse of a weasel hunting in the brush turned into an afternoon of waiting, with some watching and frantic photographing mixed in. Often nocturnal, weasels are seldom seen, and when they do show themselves, getting the fast- and erratically-moving critters in the frame is tremendously challenging, even without accounting for accurate focusing.
On this afternoon, a pair of weasels were raiding ground squirrel nests. Capturing photos of the weasels alone was extremely challenging, and capturing photos of the weasels returning to their underground caches with ground squirrels in their mouths was even more so.
A key to successful wildlife photography is knowing (guessing properly) where the subject is going, and finding an attractive composition it might enter into. I guessed right on this weasel's return path, and the near-ground-level Sony Alpha 1 with a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens mounted captured the weasel running over a rock with a clean background.
On this trip, I was primarily testing the new EOS R3 with the Canon RF 600mm F4 L IS USM Lens. However, I had the lightweight, compact, inexpensive Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM Lens on an EOS R5 readily available in a toploader case, handy to pull out when a wider need arose.
Each morning while heading to the favored deer photography locations, I passed an eastern overlook just before sunrise. A high mountain with no substantial mountains to the east that allows visibility of the sun at a very low angle is a great location to see colorful sunrise. Shenandoah National Park is one such location, and the percentage of photogenic sunrises here is quite high.
On this morning, I simply pulled over, set up the Really Right Stuff Ascend Tripod with the integrated head, mounted the RF 100-400 and R5, and took a few pictures before resuming the deer chase.
As illustrated here, the convenience and utility of the RF 100-400mm lens are very high. The long focal lengths can fill the frame with the color of even a compact sunrise show, and a wide aperture is not important in this case.
With the lens and in-body image stabilization, I could have handheld this shot, but strong winds made the tripod an easier choice for composition and steadiness reasons.
A larger version of this image is available on here.
From Sony (translated):
Notice and apology regarding temporary suspension of orders for digital imaging products
Thank you for your continued patronage of Sony products.
Currently, with regard to digital imaging products, parts procurement is delayed due to the effects of global semiconductor shortages.
Therefore, we will suspend the acceptance of orders from our distributors and customers at the Sony store as follows for specific models with tight supply.
Regarding the resumption of order acceptance, we will consider it while observing the status of parts supply, and will inform you separately on the product information page.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers.
We will do our utmost to deliver the product as soon as possible, and we appreciate your understanding.
[About the model that has stopped accepting orders]
After December 3, 2021, we will suspend the acceptance of orders from our distributors and customers' orders at the Sony store.
Digital single-lens camera: VLOGCAM ZV-E10 series
[Click here for information on past product supply "Products subject to suspension of order acceptance"]
· Digital single-lens camera: a7 II series / a6400 series / a6100 body (black)
· Shotgun microphone: ECM-B1M
· Professional camcorder: PXW-Z190
· Digital video camera Handycam "HDR-CX680"
· Tripod "VCT-P300", Multipod "VCT-MP1"
Some of the above-listed products are still in stock at B&H.
Patches of red berry bushes in Shenandoah National Park had my attention, and I was spending time near them, hoping that whitetail deer photo opportunities incorporating the berries would show up. A couple of days prior, I photographed a smaller buck eating the berries, but the images were not remarkable.
On this morning, I discovered an impressive 12pt point buck bedded near a berry-favorable area.
Bedded deer can get up at any moment, but they can also stay down for many hours. When it comes to antler size, bigger is almost always better, and I knew that few bigger bucks were in the area. Thus, I committed to hanging with this buck for the long haul.
Not too long after I sat down, there was a solid thump sound behind me. The doe and fawns hanging with the buck immediately got up and walked toward the sound. An apple had fallen from an apple tree, and the deer were going to eat it. Soon after this, the buck got up and began to move away — straight into the berries.
While incorporating the red berries was the goal, the thick berry bush branches were a visibility obstacle.
Traditionally, a camera attempting to autofocus on an eye in the brush led to the camera focusing on the closest branch in the view. In this situation, obtaining a keeper image typically required manual focusing, a challenge when the animal is erratically moving and the depth of field is shallow.
Game-changing is that the Canon EOS R-series camera's animal eye detection can often focus through the brush, creating a high percentage of properly focused images despite obstructions, such as those seen beside this buck's eye. This outstanding feature is one of many reasons to move to one of the latest mirrorless interchangeable lens camera models.
While this animal was not moving especially fast, its head was, and the Canon EOS R3's high frame captured the relatively few moments when the eye was visible in the obstructions.
I'll likely share more images of this buck. We spent the next 5 hours having an adventure together.
A larger version of this image is available on here.
Firmware Version 1.20 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Firmware Version 3.20 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Sony ZV-E10 firmware update version 2.00 available for download.
Firmware Version VERSION incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Sony Electronics’ Airpeak S1 Professional Drone Now Available to Order
World’s Smallest Alpha Mirrorless Camera-Ready Professional Drone Will Ship on December 24, 2021
SAN DIEGO, CA – December 1, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the availability timing of the company’s first-ever professional drone, "Airpeak S1." The introductory model in the new Airpeak line, the S1 is the world's smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha camera, opening up a new world of creative possibilities for cinematographers and other visual storytelling professionals[i]. Pre-sale opens today, December 1, 2021, with an expected customer ship date of December 24, 2021.
Introduced to the public for the first time earlier this year, Airpeak S1 drone is designed for the professional user, and is compatible with a wide range of Sony’s camera bodies including the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S series, the Alpha 7R series, the Alpha 9 series, FX3 and others. It leverages proprietary technology and delivers for smooth maneuverability at high speeds with highly stable wind resistance, enabling high-quality aerial images and video content.
“We’re excited to now make the new Airpeak S1 drone available for purchase, and for the amazing set of possibilities this drone opens for cinematographers,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “The drone’s compact size, new software features and advanced imaging, sensing, AI and robotics reflect the high quality the industry respects Sony for, and enables content creators and commercial professionals to capture images and video not possible before.”
The drone includes “Airpeak Flight”[ii] iOS®-based application which integrates and monitors all hardware related to the drone, giving the operator real-time status display and updates on screen. "Airpeak Base"ii web application is also available, allowing the operator to manage the equipment, create advanced flight plans, run the same pattern repeatedly, and fully manage and troubleshoot flight logs. For multiple operators, Airpeak S1 also includes a dual operation mode so one user can operate the drone as another operates the gimbal and camera, while each can monitor the content being recorded.
An optional cloud service, “Airpeak Plus”ii is available by paid subscription and provides additional data storage, advanced geofencing options, and import/export of flight logs.
Airpeak S1 suggested retail price is around $9,000.00 and will ship with two (2) pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two (2) batteries and a battery charger. A third-party gimbal made specifically for Airpeak S1 will be sold separately. Pricing for Airpeak S1 accessories can be found https://electronics.sony.com/more/c/airpeak. The optional “Airpeak Plus” subscription service will retail for around $300.00 for a 12-month period, with the optional “Protect Plan” coverage also available.
For more information, please visit: https://electronics.sony.com/airpeak
With this Airpeak news, Sony Group Corporation expands the possibilities for professional creators, enables unprecedented visual expression and drives a sense of Kando. In addition to empowering video creators, Sony will promote co-creation activities for industry professionals[iii] in a wide range of fields such as system integrators and industrial partners to explore the benefits of drone uses.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new Airpeak S1 and Sony's other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com and www.sonycine.com, sites created to educate and inspire fans and customers of Sony a - Alpha brand and Sony’s Cinema Line.
Airpeak S1 is made in Japan. Airpeak is a trademark of Sony Group Corporation.
Learn more at B&H Explora.
[i] Operating a drone in the United States is subject to federal law and regulations. State and local ordinances may also apply to certain operations. When operating an aircraft, it is the remote pilot/operator's responsibility to always comply with applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances.
[ii] Network services, content, and operating system and software are subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted or discontinued at any time and may require fees, registration and credit card information.
[iii] Those who use drones to provide products and services to customers. If you register as a professional supporter, you will receive emails about events sponsored by Sony, opportunities to experience aircraft flight, and the latest product information.
Just posted: Canon EOS R3 Review
So, this review has been live for a while now, but it has been a work in process. That process is not likely complete, but at some point I have to call it done to mark a psychological milestone.
The Canon RF 14-35mm F4 L IS USM Lens is an ideal lens choice when compact, light, and wide angles are on the requirements list, and such a lens is a perfect choice for hiking the canyons at Ricketts Glen State Park. The 14-35mm range proved perfect for the photo opportunities available on this hike.
This image was captured below Oneida falls, one of my favorite locations in this park.
At this specific location (and many others), the entire 14-35mm range of focal lengths can create nice images. At 14mm, the foreground falls become prominent, with the background falls appearing diminished in size. At 35mm, the background falls are emphasized, appearing significantly larger in relation to the foreground falls.
In the end, I chose an image captured at 23mm as my favorite.
The usual recipe for waterfall photography was utilized for this image. On a cloudy day, use a Breakthrough circular polarizer filter with a tripod-mounted camera to capture an exposure-bracketed set of f/11 images, including some extras to capture the constantly changing water flow. Additionally, options captured at higher ISO settings provided different amounts of water flow blur to select from.
As usual, the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L was the perfect option for carrying the gear, food, water, layers of clothes, etc. for this day hike.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Today is the day that those of us residing in the USA are celebrating our "Thanksgiving" holiday. As you probably guessed from the name, we set aside this day to give thanks for our abundant blessings (and eat lots of food, often including turkery). While thanksgiving should be a perpetual state of mind, this day can give that spirit a significant boost.
Near the top of my thankful list is you. The support you have provided over the years has made developing this site possible and for that, I'm very grateful.
My family and I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!
When cost, time, and effort are invested into a photography trip, generally only the best-available gear (or something new being reviewed) makes the pack. Milky way and aurora nightscape photography opportunities were on the potential list for a recent trip, and my three favorite night sky lenses were packed specifically for these subjects.
When the milky way is visible, the scene is extremely dark. While the milky way exposures are long, the earth is rotating, creating a form of action photography.
The aurora has varying intensities and can be pulsing and dancing around the frame. If the exposure is too long, the dancing and pulsing aurora turns into a big smear of color. Thus, aurora photography also involves action, an action that is often moving considerably faster than the earth's rotation.
Wide apertures are a big advantage for stopping action, and each of the lenses included in the above list is the widest available at its respective focal length. Just because a lens has a wide aperture does not mean that you want to use that aperture, as many wide aperture lenses are not sharp wide open, becoming considerably sharper as they are stopped down. However, those in the above list are outstanding performers wide open.
While the f/1.4 aperture is a clear advantage held by the FE 24 over the other two lenses, f/1.8 is still very wide. Motion blur is caused when subject details cross over pixel wells on the imaging sensor. Because the 24mm focal length magnifies subject details more than the 14mm and 20mm options, a slightly faster shutter speed is required to photograph the same subject at the same distance with an equivalent amount of motion blur. This shutter speed difference offsets some of the aperture difference.
Mostly, I selected between these three prime lenses based on the angle of view they provide.
The day started with a 5:30 AM alarm and a long search for moose. Upon returning late morning, we learned that the northern lights forecast was favorable. However, the weather did not appear to be favorable, with heavy cloud cover promising to block all higher altitude subjects. Still, the National Weather Service hourly forecast showed the skies expected to clear at 2:00 AM at our desired viewing location. That time coincided with the moon setting, yielding darker skies.
After a short nap, a 2-hour drive ensued, heading north for darker skies and a favorable viewing location. Intermittently checking the skies, the clearing began right on schedule. Unfortunately, the aurora was not yet apparent to the eye. Dim northern lights are considerably easier to see in a long exposure image, so cameras were mounted to tripods and put into action. Test images showed a small vertical column forming over Denali, the mountain in the bottom of this image.
Initially, the northern lights were small, muted, and stationary. The 24mm lens made the little show larger in the frame than the other two lens options, and also accentuated Denali in the foreground.
The show progressed, significantly increasing in intensity and motion, with this image requiring only a 4-second exposure at f/1.4 and ISO 2500. Eventually, the 20mm angle of view (sample here) was needed to take it all in, and the 14mm angle of view (sample here) became optimal not long afterward.
We pulled into the driveway at 6:30 AM. Aside from a short nap and a few eyes-closed rests, it was a 25-hour day. As is usually the case, I struggle to remember the details of the exhaustion, but the memory of the dancing northern lights is still clear, and the images will last a lifetime, keeping the memory alive.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
The whitetail buck were not cooperating this afternoon, the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens and Really Right Stuff Ascend Tripod needed a workout, some clouds were in the sky as sunset approached, and one of my favorite sunset locations was not far away. I did not pause to implement the plan revealed to me, and the show as and after the sun set was superb.
The Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens produced very nice image quality — remarkable for the size, weight, and price of the lens.
This image is a slight pano (to add some foreground rock) and HDR processed.
As suggested, a Really Right Stuff Ascend Long Tripod with Integrated Head provided the support for this capture.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Subjects that move are prime candidates for the use of servo AF, continuous focusing vs. the focus distance locked for one shot. Using servo AF requires a focus point or area continuously positioned on the desired point of focus.
Aside from vehicles, moving subjects usually have eyes, and usually that means the focus point or area must be on the subject's eye, with the subject looking into the frame. Maintaining the focus point or area over the eye of a moving subject while maintaining the ideal composition is often a huge challenge, especially for wildlife photography. An animal turning its head the other direction historically required a significant amount of joystick pressing when using a camera with an adequate number of AF points to competently accomplish the goal, and by the time the focus point was in position at the other side of the frame, the animal would turn its head in the other direction (one of Bryan's Laws of Photography). Add thick gloves, and this challenge increases significantly.
In addition to the joystick, the R3 has a pair of Smart Controllers for positioning the AF point or area. The AF-ON buttons have been enlarged, and a touchpad is built into them. Simply slide a thumb across the button to rapidly position the AF point or area.
With a conventional joystick and AF-ON button design, two thumbs are required to make focus point or area position adjustments while pressing an AF-ON button. In servo mode, the R3's Smart Controllers are functional while the AF-ON button is pressed, and this feature works even with thick gloves on.
In addition to having the ability to focus nearly anywhere in the composition, the latest mirrorless cameras have the ability to identify and track a subject, and more specifically, subject eye detection and tracking have been game-changing. When the eye is identified, the camera tenaciously tracks the eye throughout the entire frame, freeing the photographer to concentrate on composition and image capture timing. Thick gloves are not an issue.
The Canon EOS R3 adds vehicle subjects to its detection capabilities, filling in much of the remaining active subject identification needs.
Additionally, the R3 has body detection that takes over when the eye disappears. That feature was at times a hinderance with the whitetail buck as I wanted a looking away deer's antlers or head to be in focus vs. the deer's backside. However, the body is sometimes the next-best focus option, such as when an ice skaters spins.
The R3 brings us a very intriguing new method of AF point positioning. What if you could simply look at the subject you wanted to focus on? The R3's Eye Control AF allows the photographer to position the AF point or area at the speed of look. Look at the subject and the AF point is there, with no buttons to press or slide across.
Eye Control AF requires calibration for each user, and the calibrated performance can be individually different. Calibration is fast and easy. Select a menu option, and follow the prompts in the viewfinder that guide the eye to look at a dot in the center of a small circle sequentially positioned in the center and 4 sides of the viewfinder, with the M-Fn button press recording the look for each.
Canon recommends using the calibration process numerous times, including in different lighting and multiple camera orientations, to refine the data the camera has available. The lens in not involved in this process as the Infrared LEDs in the EVF (notice the enlarged viewfinder size surrounding the viewing area) track the eye position without eyeglasses, and a second set of infrared LEDs track eye position with eyeglasses. Separate calibration profiles are accepted, and useful for with and without eyeglasses and contact lenses and for multiple camera users. Profile data can be saved to a memory card for use on other R3 bodies.
Once calibrated, a small target consisting of two concentric circles (by default, configurable) moves around the viewfinder with your gaze. Look at the subject, and that is where the camera will position the indicator, and that is where the camera will focus or initiate subject tracking.
While the Eye Control graphic is needed, it is obvious and a bit annoying to always have over what you are directly looking at. This graphic, in addition to the focus area and subject tracking indicators, starts to create a busy viewfinder.
Using Eye Control involves a short learning curve as focus should be initiated before or after looking around the frame to study the composition.
My first experience with Eye Control was not stellar. After creating many refinements, I found the R3's calibration inaccurate for my eyes. Most of the time, the indicator did not position directly on the subject I was looking at. The experience was disheartening, but Canon shared that this feature would not work optimally for everyone.
On a whim, I deleted the calibration data and started over. The new calibration, even with only a few refinements delivered significantly improved accuracy.
Packing up the R3 along with many lenses in the review queue, I headed to Shenandoah National Park for five days of wildlife (and some landscape) photography. More specifically, the whitetail buck in rut were the primary targeted subject.
This shoot started with the R3 set to servo AF, animal eye detection selected, subject tracking on, and Eye Control AF enabled (by default, pressing the Set button quickly enables or disables this feature). Accurate focusing on the deer meant looking at the deer's eye and half-press the shutter release to initiate focusing. The R3 usually detected the eye and immediately locked tracking on it, tracking it throughout the frame while providing visual feedback in the viewfinder. While Eye Control AF is not always perfect, I was still using this strategy when I packed the camera for the trip home. The R3's AF performance with Eye Control outperformed any focus method I've used prior.
If Eye Control is found not performing well, immediately creating a calibration refinement can improve accuracy. Not too long into the shoot, I realized that the vertical calibration refinement was not yet created. In seconds, calibration refinement was created, and I was back in the game vertically.
When photographing with large telephoto lenses in strong winds, up to 40 MPH / 64 KPH on this trip, keeping even a motionless subject in the frame can be challenging, and keeping a manually selected focus point on the subject's eye becomes extremely challenging. With the R3, I could simply look at the deer's eye, half-press the shutter release, and then concentrate on fully pressing the shutter release when the framing looked right. This strategy works just as well with heavy gloves on (temperatures were as low as the mid-20s / -3 C).
AS mentioned, the R3's subject detection recognizes bodies, and it recognized deer bodies quite well. However, when the buck were facing away (I sometimes like images of animals facing away, looking into their environments), the head or antlers needed to be in focus vs. the closest body area. With the R3, simply looking at the antlers while initiating subject tracking worked very well.
The 10pt whitetail buck shared in this post came in fast and close, offering only seconds to grab the shot. A glance at the eye followed immediately by pressing the shutter release down made the quick capture easy.
Want an R3? Use one of the links on the site (supports us) to order it. As I write this, prepare to wait in line. This outstanding camera will be difficult to find in stock for a long time.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Create some comparisons!
Firmware Version 03 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
I think that you will like the image quality results. Create some comparisons.
From Vitec Imaging Solutions:
Vitec has agreed to acquire Savage Universal, a global market leader in backgrounds for the growing professional studio photographic market
Vitec Imaging Solutions, a Division of The Vitec Group plc (“Vitec”), the international provider of premium branded hardware products and software solutions to the growing content creation market, is pleased to announce that on 16th November 2021 it agreed to acquire Savage Universal Corp and its affiliates, with the deal expected to close by the end of November 2021.
Savage is a global market leader in backgrounds for the professional studio photographic market, based in Phoenix, US. Trusted by creative professionals since 1937, Savage manufactures an extensive range of high quality, specialist, seamless paper backgrounds, or backdrops, ensuring the essential flat, crease-free background surface.
Backgrounds are the largest consumable products in the commercial photography market. An essential tool in every professional studio, they’re quick and easy to set up, and enable photographers to dramatically reduce post-production time, by achieving the desired look directly from camera. For more than 80 years, Savage has led this category offering an extensive range which covers all possible applications and colours.
In the post-pandemic digital era, professional studio photography has dramatically expanded, led by the growth of e-commerce sales; 90% of online buyers report that image quality is the most important factor in the decision-making process.
Savage directly serves this fast-growing market segment, as well as fulfilling the demand from vloggers and influencers for easy-to-set-up backgrounds for their TikTok or YouTube videos.
Marco Pezzana, Divisional CEO of Vitec Imaging Solutions commented: “Savage backgrounds complement Vitec’s existing portfolio of accessories for professional image creators. This acquisition brings together the world’s leading supports and imaging accessories provider with the world’s leading backgrounds manufacturer, serving professional photographers, creators and vloggers with the best in class studio equipment.”
Hayward Richard Pressman, Chairman of the Board of Savage Universal Corp commented: “We have had a long and successful relationship with Vitec and know them very well. They share our business values and, as we have, always made the customer the focus of their business. The Savage tradition of offering innovative and quality accessory products supplied promptly and complete will continue. Our Company recently celebrated its 84th year in business. I must express my gratitude to all who have taken this journey with us and thank you for being our partner and bringing us to this point.”
A snapshot of The Vitec Group plc
Vitec is a leading global provider of premium branded hardware products and software solutions to the growing content creation market. Vitec's customers include broadcasters, film studios, production and rental companies, photographers, independent content creators, gamers and enterprises. Our product portfolio includes camera supports, video transmission systems and monitors, live streaming solutions, smartphone accessories, robotic camera systems, prompters, LED lighting, mobile power, bags and motion control, audio capture and noise reduction equipment. We employ around 1,800 people across the world in 11 different countries and are organised in three Divisions: Imaging Solutions, Production Solutions and Creative Solutions. The Vitec Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
More information can be found at: www.vitecgroup.com
Vitec Imaging Solutions
Vitec Imaging Solutions is a division of the Vitec Group, an international group principally serving customers in the broadcast and photographic markets. Vitec Imaging Solutions designs, manufactures and distributes premium branded photographic and video equipment such as tripods, bags, filters and lights for professional and hobbyist photographers, and content creators. The portfolio includes nine premium brands - Manfrotto, Gitzo, JOBY, Colorama, Savage, Avenger, Lowepro, Syrp and Rycote - that positions Vitec Imaging Solutions as the leading global provider of accessories within the fast-growing imaging market. Thanks to Vitec Imaging Distribution, all the products are directly distributed in 11 markets across the world and in many others thanks to a qualified network of retail partners.
From its beginning in 1937 as a manufacturer of quality board and paper products, Savage has provided photographers the essential elements for success. Family-run from the start, Savage has a commitment to quality and innovation that defined the company in the beginning and continues to define it today. Products such as photographic backgrounds continue to be a key focus of Savage’s manufacturing efforts, but there’s much more to the Savage story. The company continues to develop innovative products, especially in the digital arena, to meet the needs of today’s more diverse photography community – professionals and semi-professionals alike. All paper is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and 100% recyclable and Savage’s main paper mill supplier is net zero on electricity, having its own hydroelectric dam which covers all of its electricity requirements. In 2019, Savage acquired Superior Specialties Inc., which continues to trade under the name of Superior Paper Specialties, LLC.
More information can be found at: www.savageuniversal.com and www.superspec.com
Sony Electronics Becomes Camera Provider for USA TODAY NETWORK
Gannett to equip Journalists from USA TODAY and more than 250 additional outlets with Sony Imaging products
November 17, 2021 – SAN DIEGO, CA - Sony Electronics Inc. a global imaging leader, and Gannett Co, Inc., operator of USA TODAY NETWORK spanning more than 250 national and local media outlets including USA TODAY, have today announced that Sony will become the imaging products provider for Gannett’s photographers and video journalists.
The award-winning news organization will provide its team access to a wide variety of Sony’s imaging products highlighted by the Sony Alpha 1and FX Cinema Line cameras and G Master™ line of interchangeable lenses. The rollout of Sony imaging kits for Gannett will begin immediately in select markets.
Gannett’s Pulitzer-Prize winning content touches the lives of more than 150 million people each day. Their photo and video journalism team features more than 500 professionals covering more than 10,000 events annually, producing nearly two million edited images and thousands of original videos each year.
“Storytelling through images has been a large part of our organization throughout national and local coverage, and through our sports content,” said Bruce Odle, President of Imagn, Gannett’s in-house photo agency and sports image wire service. “We are excited to bring Sony’s innovative equipment to our journalists to allow them to capture the moments and emotions in new ways to complement the compelling stories of the USA TODAY NETWORK.”
In addition to product delivery, Sony will be supporting Gannett with extensive product service offerings, while also providing direct, on-site support for photo and video journalists at many key industry events.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to collaborate with Gannett, one of the world’s largest news organizations with an unparalleled commitment to delivering multimedia news and creating digital content,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “Gannett’s USA TODAY NETWORK is an innovative and venerable news brand, preserving local journalism and reinventing national news. We are honored that they have chosen to equip their talented visual journalists with Sony imaging products, and are confident it will allow them to capture, communicate and share stories in ways they never have before.”
Create some comparisons.
Aside from the distortion, the image quality results appear stellar. Make some comparisons.
The weather forecast indicated partly cloudy skies at sunset and a clear sky afterward, with low wind speed throughout the duration. That is a perfect recipe for an evening of landscape and nightscape photography over a mountain lake, and our workshop group headed to one of my favorite Rocky Mountain National Park locations. The plan was to photograph the sunset reflecting in the water and then the milky way doing the same after dark.
Which lenses to take? The best nightscape lenses are usually outstanding landscape lenses, and the Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens is an excellent choice for night sky photography. It made the small set in the pack this evening.
Post processing of this image involved a manual HDR process.
It's all about the scents. He's not physically stuck, but the desire to leave his scent was holding him against the tree.
Rocky Mountain National Park has areas of straight-trunked pines that call me to photograph them. Add an animal, and I'm all in for that image.
The lines in nature running in primarily horizontal and vertical directions result in a uniqueness to this image. Of course, it is hard to make a bad image when a 6x6 bull elk is in the frame.
In this case, the focal length range provided by the Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens permitted getting the ideal subject framing while moving in front of obstructions — other pine tree trunks. A high percentage of my favorite images are currently being captured with this lens.
As predicted by Tamron's MTF charts, this G2 lens is an outstanding performer.
Is this the sharpest Sony E-Mount general-purpose zoom lens? Here are some comparisons to get started with that answer:
The wide aperture and exceptional portrait focal length range has garnered this lens a lot of attention.
"Better Sensor, Dual-Camera System, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Smarter Flight Modes, and Longer Flight Times Make DJI Mavic 3 Drone the Ultimate Tool for Capturing the World from Above"
This statement likely comes as no surprise to you. From Sony Japan (translated):
Notice regarding supply of FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II "SEL70200GM2" lens for digital single-lens camera a [E mount]
Thank you for your continued patronage of Sony products.
Reservation started on October 26, 2021 (Tuesday) Digital single-lens camera a [E mount] lens FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II "SEL70200GM2" orders far exceeded our expectations It may take some time before the product is delivered.
We are currently making every effort to meet the needs of our customers, so please wait for a while.
The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens is expected to begin shipping on Dec 16th. However, it is expected to be hard to get for a long time. Getting in line ASAP is a good plan for those wanting to add this lens to their kit.
THE NIKON Z 9: UNSTOPPABLE PERFORMANCE, REVOLUTIONARY INNOVATION
Nikon’s First Mirrorless Flagship Defies Conventional, Debuts with a Series of Industry-Firsts for Still & Video Creators
MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon announced the Z 9, the most advanced Z series mirrorless camera to date. Powered by a completely new, Nikon-developed 45.7 megapixel stacked CMOS sensor and next generation EXPEED 7 image processing engine, the full-frame Z 9 renders ultra-high resolution images and offers unparalleled AF performance using a revolutionary new scene detection system built on deep learning technology. Additionally, the camera is capable of sustained fast continuous shooting bursts, in-camera 8K video recordings for extended periods, truly blackout-free Real-Live visibility in the viewfinder and a sensor scan rate so fast that it completely eliminates the need for a traditional mechanical shutter.
“The Z 9 is the complete package, offering an unprecedented balance of speed, resolution, reliability and performance that will exceed expectations for any type of shoot, including fast action sports, commercial fashion, low light, landscapes and more,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The Z 9 looks to the future, with innovations and features that give all types of imaging professionals and content creators the advantage when it matters most and the confidence to create in nearly any conditions.”
A New Kind of Pro Mirrorless
At the core of the Z 9 is the Nikon-developed 45.7MP BSI stacked CMOS sensor, coupled with the new EXPEED 7, Nikon’s most powerful engine yet, which is approximately 10x faster than the Z 7II. This combination brings significant increases in AF speed, burst rate, buffer capacity, video resolution and so much more. The Z 9 is the camera that can be trusted on the sidelines, in the field or in the studio, with the high-speed capture capability needed for the fastest action and the immense resolution to reveal the most subtle details.
Rely on the Fastest, Most Intelligent AF System Yet
The Z 9 features Nikon’s fastest, most sophisticated and reliable AF tracking performance ever, utilizing a new Subject Detection algorithm developed with deep learning technology, as well as 3D-tracking.
Unstoppable Performance and Speed
This is the fastest, most powerful Nikon flagship ever. Users can capture amazing images at unbelievably fast burst speeds, all with full AF/AE performance. Whether shooting full-resolution fashion or delivering a sports sequence when a split-second matters, the Z 9 is the versatile solution.
Nikon’s Most Capable 8K UHD Video Camera
The Z 9 offers an extensive suite of advanced video features to elevate any kind of production. Combined with the astonishing resolving power of NIKKOR Z S-Line lenses, video is rendered with absolute clarity and sharpness from edge to edge.
Built for the Toughest Assignments
The rugged body of the Z 9 is optimized for a professional workflow, thoughtfully engineered for a superb balance of reliability and usability. The body features an integrated vertical grip and controls, while the durable magnesium alloy chassis has drip and dust-resistance equivalent to the D6, yet is 20% smaller than its DSLR counterpart.
New Nikon Software The Ecosystem for the Nikon Z series continues to expand. Nikon has also released two new software solutions for professional image capture and workflow.
NX Mobile Air NX Mobile Air is a smart device app for managing and transferring images when working in the field. The new app will be compatible with many of the most current Nikon cameras, and will allow users to have a wired connection to their phone or device from the camera for fast wireless image transfer to an FTP server over a 5G cellular signal. Additionally, the app will support the transmission of IPTC, voice memos and more. The app will be available either as a free version or as a subscription for $5/month with enhanced capabilities. For additional details and device compatibility please visit https://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Imaging-Software/nx-mobileair.page.
NX Tether Nikon NX Tether is free software to enable tethering of Nikon cameras to instantly display captured content on a computer monitor. This software is an easy way for commercial, food or studio photographers to visualize their output for client review in real time. The software will work via USB or wirelessly, and will collaborate seamlessly with the current suite of Nikon software including NX Studio. For more information, please visit https://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Imaging-Software/nx-tether.page.
Pricing and Availability
The new Nikon Z 9 full-frame mirrorless camera will be available within this year (US) for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $5499.95*. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including the new Z 9, NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire collection of Nikon Z series cameras, please visit nikonusa.com.
# # #
The appearance of the product may differ from the photo shown above.
Specifications, equipment, and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.
1 . Among mirrorless cameras available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.
2. Among mirrorless cameras incorporating an image sensor of 30 megapixels or larger, available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.
3. In high efficiency RAW . When using NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S lens and ProGrade Digital Cobalt 1700R 325GB memory card; in [RAW + JPEG] or [JPEG + JPEG] recording, duration for continuous shooting is approx. 3 seconds; future firmware update within this year will further enhance this function. With AF/AE tracking. JPEG normal image quality only. The number of frames that can be shot is less than that of high-speed continuous shooting. Use of a recommended card is advised. With C30 setting, approx. 45-megapixel images can be shot at 30 fps.
4. With AF/AE tracking. JPEG normal image quality only. The number of frames that can be shot is lower than that of high-speed continuous shooting. Use of a recommended card is advised. With C30 setting, approx. 45-megapixel images can be shot at 30 fps
5. Smoothness of the viewfinder image will differ depending on settings such as shutter speed, etc.
6. In High Efficiency RAW?, the file size is approx. 1/2 of the conventional uncompressed RAW.
7. At a temperature of 23°C/73.4°F. With an EN-EL18d Rechargeable Li-ion Battery in use. When video shoot is started after powering on. CFexpress Type B cards with fast writing speed are recommended for video recording.
8. Among interchangeable lens digital cameras adopting a full-frame image sensor, available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.
9. Available only when [H.265 10-bit (MOV)] is selected for [Video file type].
10. Compatible with up to 4K/60p, except for Full HD/24p, 25p and 30p.
11. Synchro VR compatible lenses (As of Oct 28th include -NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S (firmware update required), -NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S, NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S
*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.
Sony has released the first quarter 2021 financial results to the Investor Relations page.
From Kenko Tokina:
Tokina atx-m 23mm F1.4 E, atx-m 33mm F1.4 E, atx-m 56mm F1.4 E worldwide sales date announcement
Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce the sales release of Tokina atx-m 23mm F1.4 E, atx-m 33mm F1.4 E, atx-m 56mm F1.4 E lenses for Sony E mount (APS-C) mirrorless cameras.
Sales will commence on November 12, 2021.
Tokina atx-m 23mm F1.4 E, atx-m 33mm F1.4 E and atx-m 56mm F1.4 E lenses for Sony E mount (APS-C) are designed as a highly popular optical gear for amateur or even semi - professional photographers to capture portraits, street portraits, street snaps and landscapes in still or video mode. Three lenses cover major focal lengths - wide, standard and semi-tele to meet 3 important genres in photography - landscape, street snap and portraits.
Order first, ask questions later.
The supply chain issues being faced today combined with the pent up demand should make the new Sony a7R IV hard to get for a long time.
As always, thanks for using the site's links to place your order!
Sony Electronics’ Alpha 7 IV Goes Beyond ‘Basic’ with 33-Megapixel Full-frame Image Sensor and Outstanding Photo and Video Operability
Sony Also Announces Two New Flashes to Evolve the Powerful Alpha Lighting System
San Diego, CA – October 21, 2021 - Sony Electronics Inc. today announced three new additions to its imaging line-up: the Alpha 7 IV interchangeable-lens camera (model ILCE-7M4) with a newly developed 33-megapixel (approx.,effective) full-frame image sensor, as well as two new flashes – the HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM.
The Alpha 7 IV takes “basic” to the next level for full-frame cameras with excellent image quality and performance, redefining the lofty standards set by the acclaimed Alpha 7 III. The new model features many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies, including the latest BIONZ XR™ processing engine and advanced AF (autofocus) capabilities from the flagship Alpha 1 combined with streamlined operability and enhanced reliability for photos and movies, making it the perfect all-around camera for today’s imaging enthusiasts and professionals. The Alpha 7 IV also boasts a 33MP (approx., effective) image resolution, rich movie expression and various features to support the growing demand for remote communication, bringing new meaning to what a “basic” camera can accomplish.
“Since its introduction over three years ago, the Alpha 7 III has made tremendous impact in our industry, completely redefining the expectations for what can be accomplished with a ‘basic’, or entry-level full-frame camera,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “Now, it’s time to break through all existing boundaries again. The Alpha 7 IV brings together the best of Sony imaging technologies in both photo and video to deliver a high-end experience to a wider range of customers. This gives today’s creators a new level of freedom to capture, create and share in ways that they’ve never been able to before, no matter the situation in which they find themselves.”
Alpha 7 IV: Innovation Never Ends
The new Alpha 7 IV is an exceptional hybrid camera packed with outstanding still image quality and evolved video technology with advanced autofocus, enhanced operability and improved workflow capability. The model was developed with the environment in mind by using Sony’s original recycled plastic SORPLAS™ for the camera body and packaging with recyclable[i] materials and less plastic.
Outstanding Image Quality
Thanks to a newly developed 33MP (approx., effective) full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor, superior image quality and Wide ISO sensitivity range expandable to ISO 50 - 204,800 is achieved. The high resolution enables the Alpha 7 IV to express smooth gradation, fine details and textures of the subject while reducing noise, and its 15-stop dynamic range allows a wide expressive range while Creative Look settings can help create original looks effortlessly for both stills and video.
Next-Level AF performance
The latest BIONZ XR™ processing engine is the same that is used in Sony’s flagship Alpha 1, delivering high-speed AF, uninterrupted continuous shooting up to 10fps[ii] with AF/AE tracking and a large buffer for a prolonged shooting experience. The Alpha 7 IV tracks subjects with tenacious Real-time Tracking and 759 phase-detection AF points in a high-density focal plane phase-detection AF system that covers approximately 94% of the image area. Additionally, for the first time, Real-time Eye AF can now track birds’ and animals’ eye for both still images and movies, in addition to humans. The Alpha 7 IV also has face and eye detection accuracy for humans that is improved by approximately 30% compared to the Alpha 7 III.
Evolved Movie Technology
The Alpha 7 IV inherits technology taken from real-world movie production, including the S-Cinetone™ picture profile adopted from Sony’s highly regarded Cinema Line cameras. This delivers a rich, cinematic look that has become popularized by a broad range of cinematographers and filmmakers who are shooting on Sony. High quality movie is achieved with 4K 60p recording in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling is available in full-frame mode. The new camera also features 10-bit depth 4:2:2 color sampling to enable natural gradation, XAVC S-I™ intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows and XAVC HS™ H.265 long-GOP for doubled compression efficiency.
To meet the growing need for precise autofocus performance when shooting videos, unique AF features are achieved when using the Alpha 7 IV with a Sony E-mount lens, including AF Assist[iii] that supports focus transitions when using AF, and Focus Map that visualizes depth of field. For the first time in the Alpha series, the new camera features Breathing Compensation[iv] to combat focus breathing and maintain a consistent angle of view throughout focus changes and can be switched on or off.
Advanced Operability as a Genuine Hybrid Model
The Alpha 7 IV is a hybrid still and video camera with outstanding operability and reliability that easily allows the user to switch from photo to video and back at their convenience. New to Sony’s lineup of Alpha cameras is a dual-layer mode dial, with a lower layer for selecting Still/Movie/S&Q and a top layer for Auto/P/A/S/M and MR (Memory Recall), enabling users to quickly select and switch between the dedicated settings. It also has 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step[v] shutter speed advantage, an improved grip for greater comfort, and a CFexpress Type A compatible media slot to support media with faster writing and clearance. Additionally, the 3.68 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder, benefiting users with an upgraded live-view image quality that minimizes false color and increases resolution.
Videographers can record 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video continuously for more than an hour thanks to the camera’s heat-dissipating structure. Optical ‘Active Mode’[vi] image stabilization further stabilizes movie shooting. They can also benefit from the 3-inch (3.0-type) 1.03 million-dot (approx.) side-opening vari-angle touch-panel rear LCD monitor, top-panel REC button and high-capacity Z-series battery.
The Alpha 7 IV body is built with magnesium alloy to achieve a robustness while minimizing its weight. In addition, the redesigned structure and lens lock button contribute to enhanced dust and moisture resistance[vii].
Enhanced Workflow Capabilities
By offering a variety of connectivity options, the Alpha 7 IV enables on-the-spot streaming and sharing of high-quality content to meet the growing need for remote communication in real-time without sacrificing excellent image and sound quality. The connection between the camera and Imaging EdgeMobile™ application[viii] is simplified via Bluetooth, and fast data transfer is possible by 5GHz/2.4.GHz Wi-Fi.
The camera also has a new feature called “Shot Mark” to enable easy access to the marked scenes in a video clip, within camera and on Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare applications.[ix]
Moreover, the camera has a range of new features to support live streaming and remote communication without needing dedicated software. UVC (USB Video Class) and UAC (USB Audio Class) turn the Alpha 7 IV into a high-performance live streaming camera when connected to a computer or smartphone[x]. High image quality such as 4K 15p and 1080 FHD 60p deliver realistic video for remote sharing and the Alpha 7 IV’s digital audio interface can be paired with a range of mics and accessories to deliver high quality sound.
Finally, Sony plans to offer a new cloud service next year, “AI Video Editing Studio”, for automated editing with AI technology. To allow creators to focus on more creative tasks, “AI Video Editing Studio” automatically performs initial editing in the cloud, using AI technology. Sony will continue to strive to offer a wide variety of imaging experiences and services through the active integration and advancement of cameras, cloud and AI.
Designed with the Environment in Mind
In line with Sony’s environmental efforts based on the "Road to Zero" initiative, environment was an important factor in the development of the Alpha 7 IV’s design, production and packaging. The camera uses recycled plastic, SORPLAS™, which does not depend on non-renewable resources and is produced at the sites by using renewable energy such as solar power generation. The product packaging also adopts recyclable plastic-reduced materials.
HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM: Powerful Flashes to Evolve Alpha Lighting System
The HVL-F60RM2 with GN 60 and 20-200mm[xi] coverage and HVL-F46RM with GN 46 and 24-105mmxi are powerful wireless flashes to offer precise control, enhanced high-speed and intuitive operability. They are designed to meet the needs of both professional and advanced content creators when shooting with a Sony Alpha camera, including the Alpha 7 IV, to offer the ultimate Alpha Lighting System by the detailed communication between cameras and external flash.
Both flashes have upgraded continuous shooting flash performance, up to 200 consecutive flashes at 10 frames per second[xii] for the HVL-F60RM2 and 60 times for the HVL-F46RM. The optimized flash algorithm ensures both flashes are overheat-resistant, and a set of four Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) batteries can power up to 240 flashes with a 1.7 second recycle time for the HVL-F60RM2 and up to 320 flashes with a 2.0 second recycle time for the HVL-F46RM[xiii].
When used in combination with an Alpha camera, they allow users to experience the unique communication and system benefits of the Alpha Lighting System that sets a new standard for mirrorless camera lighting systems. For example, with the Alpha 7 IV, P-TTL flash control metering for every frame in Mid, and Hi continuous mode has become possible in addition to Lo continuous mode. The flash release time lag is also shortened to capture momentary facial expressions and movements of the subject.
With the Alpha 1, the HVL-F60RM2 achieves a phenomenal up to 20fps of continuous shooting[xiv] and approximately 20 flashes per second can be produced for more than 10 seconds with the external flash battery adapter FA-EBA1 (sold separately). When the Alpha 1 is used with Sony’s flashes, including HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM, users can sync up to 1/400 second shutter speed to expand expressive capabilities when shooting in full-frame mode. In addition, with the silent electronic shutter of the camera, silent flash shooting is possible when absolute silence is required.
Other system benefits of HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM with an Alpha camera include:
Both flashes also feature improved robustness and operability. The Multi Interface shoe with Sony’s unique metal shoe foot with rugged side frame significantly increases strength and reliability. Shoe sealing helps the flashes to be more dust and moisture resistant[xvi]. The HVL-F60RM2’s original rotating head mechanism, “Quick Shift Bounce,” that enables flexible positioning and optimum lighting control has also been improved to prevent unintended change in the bounce angle.
They support wireless radio communication and can control up to 15 flashes and/or receiver units in 5 groups via wireless radio communication for enhanced lighting control versatility.
Visual Story is now Supported on Android
“Visual Story” is a mobile application for professional event photographers and video creators to enable immediate and automatic delivery of photos and movies[xvii] to their clients after an event through gallery creation, utilize AI (artificial intelligence) assistance for easy image selection, upload assets online and more. While the Visual Story app is already available to iOS users, Android user can now also take advantage of the benefits Visual Story provides to professional photographers and videographers.
When using the Alpha 7 IV, “Shot Mark” is also supported by Visual Story on iOS Version 2.1.
Visual Story on iOS is available to download for free HERE
Visual Story on Android is available to download for free HERE
Pricing and Availability
The new Alpha 7 IV will be available in December 2021 for approximately $2,500.00 USD and $3,200.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America. The PCK-LG2 Screen Protect Glass Sheet accessory for the Alpha 7 IV will be available at the same time.
A kit version with Sony’s FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens will also be available for approximately $2,700.00 USD and $3,400.00 CAD.
The new HVL-F46RM will be available in November 2021 for approximately $400.00 USD and $550.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
The new HVL-F60RM2 will be available in November 2021 for approximately $550.00 USD and $750.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
A product video on the new Alpha 7 IV can be viewed here.
[i] This product packaging is recyclable only in the communities that have appropriate recycling programs.
[ii] Up to 10 fps in continuous “Hi+” mode, or up to 8 fps in continuous “Hi” mode. Continuous shooting speed may vary depending on shooting conditions. Sony tests.
[iii] Not available when using the SELP1650, SEL18200LE or A-mount lenses.
[iv] Angle of view and image quality may change slightly when this feature is turned ON. Breathing compensation is not available for unsupported lenses, 120/100p movie recording, S&Q recording at 120/100p, or stills. For the supported lens, please check here.
[v] CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off. Still-image mode.
[vi] Slight image crop in Active Mode. “Standard” setting recommended for focal lengths of 200mm or longer. Active mode not available when recording at 120 (100) fps.
[vii] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.
[ix] Supported in Catalyst version 2021.1 or later.
[x] PC or smartphone OS must be compatible with UVC/UAC to use this functionality. Compatibility with PC and smartphones depends on manufacturers’ specifications. A commercially available USB cable and/or terminal adaptor may be used to connect to equipment with a USB Type-C port.
[xi] 35mm full-frame equivalent.
[xii] 1/32 flash output level using Ni-MH batteries
[xiii] When using Ni-MH batteries. Sony tests
[xiv] Alpha 1 electronic shutter in continuous Hi+ mode. Flash output level manually set to 1/32.
[xv] Visit Sony support webpage for functional compatibility information.
[xvi] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof. Dust and moisture resistance will vary also according to the body to which the unit is attached.
[xvii] Video delivery is only supported on iOS. Download app at Google Play and the App Store. Network services, content, and operating system and software subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted, or discontinued at any time and may require fees, registration and credit card information.