Step aside Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 – Sony has just announced its A9, a high-end, full-frame sports camera. With a 24 MP stacked CMOS sensor, a whopping 20 fps continuous shooting rate without blackouts, up to 1/32,000 shutter speed (electronic, mechanical up to 1/8000), a 241 RAW image buffer, 693 on-sensor phase detection autofocus points occupying 93% of the viewfinder, AF joystick, full-frame 4K video capture, in-body five-axis image stabilization, fully weather sealed body, larger battery capacity, a built-in Ethernet port and dual SD card slots, the Sony A9 is one serious monster aimed at directly competing with the top-tier DSLR cameras. It is a pricey camera at $4,500 MSRP, but it is still $2K cheaper than the Nikon D5 and offers features the D5 simply cannot compete with. The Sony A9 is a very exciting release for a number of reasons.
There have been some interesting shifts in the relative importance of various segments of the camera market over the past number of years. I thought readers may like to view a few charts based on CIPA data as they relate to the relative importance of various regional camera markets.
As a brief follow up to Nasim’s excellent post, Sony “Overtakes” Nikon in Full-Frame Sales, this brief article shares some recent CIPA statistics regarding the shipment of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Depending on how a person interprets this data will determine whether the mirrorless interchangeable camera market is ‘growing’.
Another day, another headline-grabbing click-bait title we see surfacing all over the Internet on photography blogs and forums. Apparently, Sony overtook Nikon and came second in full-frame sales. And the source of all these titles is none other than Sony itself, who used data from a company called “NPD Group”, which researched the months of January and February to come up with the stats. The company was quick to issue a press release (you can see it below) and as expected, these news were picked up very quickly by many websites. Let’s take a look at these so called “news” and analyze the information in a little more detail.
Last night Nikon unveiled the new D7500 DSLR camera. The much anticipated update to the D7200 that was announced back in March of 2015 comes with a few updates that puts it close to the Nikon D500 in terms of features and speed – the same 20.9 MP APS-C sensor and EXPEED 5 processor, fast 8 fps continuous shooting (vs 6 fps on the D7200), a larger buffer that can accommodate up to 50 RAW images, the same 180K RGB metering sensor as on the D500 (although the AF system is still the good old 51-point Multi-CAM 3500DX II), a tilting touchscreen, a deeper and improved grip, Bluetooth + WiFi (SnapBridge), improved weather sealing and 4K video recording. In addition, the D7500 also gains some of the firmware functionality of the D500, such as “Auto AF Fine Tune” that allows to automatically calibrate focus on lenses. Overall, it looks like a very welcome update. Except for two disappointing blunders – Nikon dropped the second card slot and took away the ability to use a battery grip on the D7500.
We are happy to announce a rather significant update to the Photography Life design, which is focused on delivering a much cleaner user experience optimized for both both desktop and mobile use. We got rid of the large headers and the enormous slider on the front page and re-tweaked every part of the website to look very polished and distraction-free. A lot of the older content has been updated with more up-to-date information and we will be continuing our efforts in making sure that all the content stays relevant on the site, whether you are looking at articles published 5 years ago or today.
Ever since Sigma decided to revamp its line of lenses with its “Art”, “Contemporary” and “Sport” editions, we have seen a number of innovative lenses from the company, some of which claimed the “world’s first” title. Sigma has been working hard on producing fast, high-performance and durable lenses for Nikon, Canon and Sigma mounts at very attractive price points, allowing the company to quickly grow and establish itself as a reputable lens manufacturer. Today, the company revealed yet another amazing set of lenses in the form of Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art and 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary – four lenses designed specifically for full-frame cameras.
After a few delays, Nikon decided to officially cancel the DL Series of premium compact cameras citing profitability concerns. Sadly, despite the strong set of features these cameras offered for their prices, some of us saw this coming. And based on current market conditions and the serious losses incurred by Nikon in the past few years, the situation is not looking particularly good for the company, which has announced that it will let around 1,000 of its 25,000 workers go in order to restructure its workforce during the difficult times…
This week is an exciting week for Sony mirrorless fans, because two more lenses have joined the native FE mount in the form of FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM and 85mm f/1.8. While Sony has already brought out the stellar 85mm f/1.4 GM lens last year, it is an expensive pro-grade lens, so there was a gap to fill for an enthusiast-grade lens and that’s what the 85mm f/1.8 is all about. At $599, it is a third of the price of its big GM brother, so it will be an appealing choice for portrait photographers on a tight budget. The Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM joins the ranks of high-end GM lenses that are designed to deliver outstanding contrast, sharpness and other optical characteristics with the latest and greatest technology the company has to offer. Although it has a relatively slow aperture of f/2.8 (for a portrait lens), it is also designed specifically for portrait photography, since it is the first Sony FE lens to feature a sophisticated optical design that incorporates “Smooth Trans Focus” technology that uses apodization filter, similar to the Fuji’s 56mm f/1.2 APD lens. Sony promises very smooth and pleasing bokeh, so it will be interesting to see how the rendering of the lens would compare to its 85mm f/1.4 GM lens.
It is always exciting to see great lens announcements, because lenses play such a huge role in making images and making them appear special. This week we have seen two such announcements from Tamron. Without a doubt, the most exciting announcement is the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 designed for full-frame cameras from both Nikon and Canon. I am personally intrigued by the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8, since that lens is going to retail for a mere $1,299 – that’s less than half the price of what Nikon sells its high-end Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR for! I don’t know how Tamron managed to price its 70-200mm so low, but at this price, I almost wonder what corners Tamron had to cut to make it happen. After reviewing its MTF charts and other lens specifications, I could not really find any…