Archivi categoria: sony

Sony Unveils Cool ‘Digital Filter’ App: An In-Camera Graduated ND Filter

Sony has just released an interesting new app for its mirrorless and high-end compact cameras. The app, called “Digital Filter,” lets you divide your sensor into up to 3 sections and capture each of those parts differently. It’s like a graduated ND filter built right into your camera’s software.

Actually, it’s more than a grad. When you open up the app, you get several options: Graduated ND, Reverse Graduated ND, Color Stripe, Blue Sky, Sunset, and two Custom options for setting up your own presets. The presets will capture preset exposure and white balance values, and if you pick Custom, you can adjust the location and feathering of each boundary, the effect above and below that boundary, and more!

Here’s a video demo that shows exactly how it works, step-by-step:

Exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance can all be adjusted for each individual section of the image. Then, when you press the shutter, each section is captured separately and merged in-camera. It’s basically a powerful, customizable in-camera HDR capture and merge app.

The app could come in very handy; the only catch is that you’re gonna have to pay up for it. Version 1.0 just went up on the PlayMemories app store for a whopping $30.

That might be a deal breaker for some, but if you’re interested in adding some in-camera HDR capabilities to your Sony without carrying around a bunch of Graduated ND and Reverse Grad filters, this app might be the way to go. To find our more or purchase the app for your Sony, click here.

(via Sony Alpha Rumors)

Sony Put that Insane 960fps Sensor In Their New Xperia XZ Smartphones

Remember Sony’s crazy smartphone image sensor we told you about earlier this month? Well that sensor, which can shoot up to an insane 1,000fps in HD, is already making an appearance in Sony’s latest flagship smartphones.

When we first reported on this sensor technology less than a month ago, we said there was “no telling when this sensor will start popping up in smartphones.” But even our most extreme guess wouldn’t have had it on the market this soon. The new Xperia XZ phones, announced earlier today, will be the first to house the impressive Motion Eye camera with its super slow motion sensor.

Take a look at these demo videos to learn more:

The technological magic behind this sensor—as Sony points out multiple times in the videos above—is the RAM built right into the sensor stack. This allows for 5x faster readout and a max slow mo capture speed of 960fps at up to 720p resolution. That is not a typo, and it makes 240fps looks like a sad joke.

This impressive sensor—which weighs in at 1/3.06-inch and 13MP—is paired with other high-end smartphone camera features like on-sensor phase detect and laser-assisted autofocus, a bright f/2.0 aperture, and 5-axis digital stabilization to make sure the Xperia XZ is one of the most capable smartphone cameras out there.

To learn more about the new XZ, head over to the Sony website by clicking here. The XZ will be available in two models: the more affordable XZs with a 1080p screen and slightly slower processor that will ship in April; and the more expensive XZ Premium with its 4K screen and slightly faster processor that arrives this Spring. Both versions use the same impressive camera.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Beats Sony’s 85 ‘Across the Board’ for $600 Less

Sigma is undoubtedly, tantalizingly on fire. Their Art series lenses consistently undercut and outperform the competition, as they proved yet again by manufacturing an 85mm f/1.4 lens that is not only $600 cheaper than Sony’s top-of-the-line 85mm GM, but according to DPReview, it’s better ‘across the board.’

This news should come as no surprise. Even before DPReview got their mitts on the new lens, the Sigma 85mm Art earned the highest score DxOMark has ever given to a lens, beating even the famous Zeiss Otus.

But DxOMark didn’t pit the lens directly against Sony’s new 85mm GM. DPReview calls that lens “arguably the best modern 85mm F1.4 on the market (behind the manual focus Zeiss Otus, of course)” and so they wanted to see how the new king of sharpness held up against the impressive Sony. They slapped both lenses on a Sony a7R II, and even using a Metabones smart lens adapter to get the Sigma onto a Sony E-Mount camera, Sigma still outperformed the Sony lens in almost every single category.

Here’s how DPR put it in their conclusion:

…the Sigma beat out the Sony in nearly every category. Sharpness, vignetting, distortion and the handling of lateral chromatic aberration (though not LoCA, in harsh lighting situations, wide open) all went to the Sigma. It simply outperformed the Sony across the board.

Read that again, and then consider that the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 art costs $1,200, while the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM costs $1,800. At that price difference, you could buy the Metabones adapter and still have change left over.

To read DPReview‘s very comprehensive review, click here, and then try your best not to go order this lens ASAP.

Portrait Lens Shootout: Sony 85mm f/1.4 vs 70-200mm f/2.8

What’s better for portraits? Is it the versatility of a great 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens, or the bright bokeh-tastic performance of a solid 85mm f/1.4 lens? That’s what photographer Manny Ortiz set out to discover this week.

Ortiz’s latest video takes up inside the viewfinder of his Sony A7R II as he and his wife Diana go out for a photoshoot with downtown Chicago at sunset as their gorgeous urban backdrop. The first half of the shoot he uses the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens, the second half the 85mm f/1.4 GM lens.

Both of these lenses are exceptional, as the resulting photos demonstrate. Here are a few of his final shots captured with the 70-200mm:

And here are a few he shot with the 85mm:

You can make your own judgement based on the sample shots above, but Manny shares his own opinion after using both lenses during the same photo shoot. For him, the 85mm f/1.4 is the winner, hands down. And it’s not just about performance.

“With the 70-200, at 200mm, I feel very disconnected from my model,” explains Ortiz, citing this “disconnect” as the main reason he prefers the 85. Not that the performance is an issue… “The 85 is also a lot lighter, it’s sharper, and it’s got a wider aperture, which lets me get nice clean images even when it starts getting dim outside,” he adds.

Despite the versatility and “beautiful compression” that the 70-200mm allows—and at a respectable f/2.8—it just can’t compete with a purebred portrait prime like the 85mm.

Check out the full video to hear more from Manny about these two lenses, and then head over his website or give him a follow on Instagram and YouTube to catch more photos and videos like this one.


Image credits: All photos by Manny Ortiz and used with permission.

This is How Sony’s New Smooth Trans Focus Lens Captures Creamier Bokeh

Sony is making a lot of their new 100mm f/2.8 GM lens with its Smooth Trans Focus technology. But what exactly is this so-called STF, how does it work, and why does it produce smoother bokeh? This short video explains all.

The Sony video was published by The Pixel Connection on YouTube, and it explains in simple terms how something called an apodization (APD) element helps create “breathtaking bokeh” in your photographs. Essentially, the APD element acts like a circular graduated neutral density filter inside the lens, letting progressively less light in as you move from the center to the edges.

This graphic shows the effect this produces with the bokeh in your images:

In real-world portraits, that should mean the difference between the two portraits below, where the bokeh in the image captured with the STF lens is smoother than without:

And here’s a closeup:

This technology is not original to Sony. The same thing appears in Laowa’s 105mm f/2 STF, as you might have seen in this review we shared a couple of weeks ago. Of course, given Sony’s massive R&D budget and dedication to making their GM lenses the best of the best, one would hope the 100mm GM would outperform Laowa’s more affordable option.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

(via DPReview)