Sony a7S Mark II

Sony a7S Mark II: heavier = 650g; same 12 MP sensor but now with 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system (IBIS) and internal 4K recording with higher dynamic range

I think that if the new a7S Mark II would have increased the 12MP, then thanks to its super clean base ISO it could challenge the sales of the a7 Mark II, that despite of 24MP would have lost resolution advantage over a7S.

Then for Sony, three niches keep its zone:

* a7R Mark II and 42MP: the greatest resolution for greatest prints; Super 35mm 4K movie recording

* a7 Mark II and 24MP: great resolutions but no 4k; and cheaper;

* a7S Mark II: great prints along base ISO to astronomical ISO (but between ISO 100-1600 the a7 Mark II offers bigger prints) and 4K

Seen all these features, the question for me a Canon user is what about 5D Mark IV?

I loved the concept of the a7S (I and II), but without a really good standard zoom, I can’t let Canon system (I know it`s my personal case). So I hope that the next 5D gives me an impressive better ISO 6400, maybe a slightly lighter body, and nothing else…

Canon don’t allow me dream about nothing really impressive: IBIS, touch screen, eye-controlled focusing (ECF), multiple AF point-linked spot metering (only in heavier bodies), a new body with just 700g, etc. Nothing.

I’m boring with Canon cameras. I don’t need a new toy to have fun… But that dream gear would make my work funnier, oh yes.

Canon 5D Mark IV

After some months the fog still covers the next 5D. Meanwhile the 50MP twins (5Ds and 5DsR) seem to be a great success. Maybe this is the main explanation about the delay in the announcement of the successor of 5D Mark III. Or maybe the power of Sony a7R Mark II has become in a challenge for Canon in order to reach those high parameters of the Sony sensor.

A serious source, Canonrumors (and not that nikon-fan page dpreview) states very clear that the new 5D will keep in the shadows some months more. And of course the Administrator assures that the 50MP twins are not the successors.

An interesting and indirect data will come with the 1-D X Mark II. This camera is coming very soon. Its features could give us some clues to guess those of the next 5D. Right now we can assure that the number of MP of the new 5D should be “conservative”: below 50MP and maybe 20MP or slightly more (24MP? 20MP). I doubt some 18MP that sounds months ago. I guess Canon will offer a sort of Sony A7 S II: powerful in low light, versatile 4K no doubt and faster. Therefore, the resolution won’t be a competition for the twins but the ISO 12800 will be a wow. So when Sony A7S Mark II appears (December more or less?) the great difference will be once again weight and glass system. I hope the 5D Mark IV loses at least 150g or 5 oz. Nothing impressive, but my back will say thanks.

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Olympus EM 5 Mark II, Canon 5DS, new Sony lenses


Olympus EM 5 Mark II

Canon 5DS

New Sony lenses


A quick pre-conclusion


Canon has chosen a smart strategy to face the war of MP. They’re offering an insane amount of MP for the pros who need them. Think that 50MP and a system very kind in order to let you managed the mirror (to lock up) is a system that work with tripod.


Landscape and fashion and commercial product photographers are the target.


I don’t think that 50MP in a full frame sensor yield excellent ISO 6400. It’s obvious that ISO 1600 or 3200 will satisfy the 90% of situations when you are able to command over light sources.


This 50MP camera is not exactly a medium-format gear. The sexy Pentax 645Z, a genuine medium format, owns a 2.15 inch sensor… And you have to pay for this baby $ 8.500. The new Canon price is less than $4000. But really size matters?


When you examine at 100%, the difference between the Pentax and a 36MP camera, you don’t find advantages for MF.  So, I’m very sure that if your bread with butter are billboards this 5DS should make your day.


EM 5 II of OLYMPUS is a surprise and a bizarre surprise. The 16MP remains. What a pitty!!! If you love studio work then this new EM-5 is a cheap way to obtain impressive huge files, almost like a Sony a7R… Yes. A 16MP is able to reach a 36MP and without blood of your wallet (the EM-5 II just begs you $ 1.100 to be yours).


And how does it work for God sake???


The way is the “High Resolution mode” that allows you to obtain files of 40MP in JPEG  and (take a glass of water) 64MP in RAW. The sensor is able to move meanwhile 8 frames are captures; then they are combined and voila !!!


Imaging Resource ( and other sites has published the JPEG and despite of  some tiny issues (at 100%) they are excellent. The bad story is that this mode just works in studio conditions.


AND SONY is boring me. There are a bunch of glasses coming right now, but I don’t find a precious zoom for street. A 24-240mm??  It`s just for tourists. I need a more compact lens with a medium reach, it`s a joke this 10X zoom.


I’ll be here waiting for a surprise from Fujifilm (???)  or for a 5D Mark IV that weights only 500g.


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The Japanese Compact Camera Market


Compact Camera Market: The Wild Jungle



bcnranking-2014-brand-sharesThe toughest aspect of the camera market is the changing technology. Patents come over and over. Some work, others don’t or even some never are born. Red numbers terrify every brand. Nobody is safe. Let`s see the Japanese compact camera market.
In 2014, in this wild landscape, with wounds and tears, Sony and Olympus appears like some sort of winners. They head the following chart elaborated by and commented in Fujirumors.


Remember: the chart belongs to the Japanese market (2014), the bigger in the world about photographic gear.
I just point some of the myriad of projections about the evolution of still photo camera market after checking the numbers.
1. Of course Sony and Olympus offer different products: the first one combines into the compact system two kind of sensor: APS-C and FF. Olympus mainly offers micro MFT and some MFT. None of them are bigger than APS-C. Nevertheless, the final camera managed to satisfy enthusiasts, semi-pros and even pros. And sometimes more than satisfying, Olympus has been able to become a love mark with its superb optics. Then, Sony and Olympus are selling tons of small cameras for very different users.
2. In this context, we can be sure that the evolution of the gear toward a general compact system is a fact and the pentaprism and the mirror will remain like a sort of exclusive system for some pros or snobs. But the actual electronic viewfinder (EVF) still should be better.
3. They say that Canon pretend to take a great share in the mirrorless camera market in 2017. If it were true, this year we should see the first serious effort of Canon. BS cameras like the M-serie never more… Some sources (CanonWatch) points that this 2015 we see a mirrorless FF. This fact could be an earthquake for Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm… Sony would face a great challenge for its small FF.


PS: Canon keeps the M serie… And the EV is optional… BS.



4. The sad story about this World War would be the disappearance of some brands. It’s not the first time we hear about this ending: Sony could absorb Olympus; Panasonic could buy Ricoh or build a joint venture with Fujifilm, but after that just one name will prevail. Pretending to foresee more it’s harder right now.


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Sony a7S: power in the darkness


Yesterday I noticed that according to Imaging-Resource, the Sony a7S is capable to yield ISO 6400 prints of 13”x19”. It’s the same size of a a7R file !!!!
The shocking detail about this result it’s that we are talking on two cameras with a huge, really huge difference (nominal) of pixels. The a7S owns a 12MP CMOS, an extremely atypical amount in this era of sensors with steroids; meanwhile, the a7R sensor reaches 36MP.  I said “nominal” difference, because the pixels in the a7S are bigger that those ones of the a7R. And that size allows that more light (more data) be used to form a better electrical charges, and so interpolation is not so massive like in the ordinary sensors.


But, really a 12MP camera is able to reach a 36MP gear @ ISO 6400 prints??? C’mon man!!!
William Brawley, author of  the tests of the review, have said me that there’s no typo; the a7S really makes ISO 6400 prints of 13”x19”. Even, -Brawley added, he observed that the results with the a7S are slightly better comparing with the 36MP a7R.
The prints are made using in-camera JPEGs at default settings.
Of course, at base ISO, the 36MP a7R offers prints of astronomical measurements. So the point it’s that if you don’t need more than 20”X30” prints (base ISO), the a7S is the monster of the darkness (or the hero).


Sony, I wanna marry you! But I need better lenses (a 24-100 mm or a 24-120 mm), and IBIS, and touchscreen…


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According to Fujirumors, Fujifilm is developing right now a bigger sensor, i.e. something bigger than an APS-C.


The bets go for three cards: an APS-H, a FF or a MF.


It’s obvious to me that there`s just one sure winner: a FF.


There`s no room for an APS-H or for a MF. The first one would be really weird in a world that tries to see changes under some well-known rules. Look, Sigma and Foveon sensor…; that elephant was thrown through the window very fast.


It would be a Fujifilm MF? No. A MF appears when your company accepts that you can`t get a bigger portion of the cake. Fuji selling a MF is a Fuji searching another market, maybe richer, but smaller. No, that concept doesn`t belong to vision of Fuji (Well a different scene it’s when a huge company is able to diversify the products that offer standing on a long and solid background; Fuji still is fighting to get a better position in the market).


I think that engineers of Fujifilm are trying to satisfy the expectations of many about more pixels. With the XT-1, Fujifilm should have seen that an APS-C sensor doesn’t allow more that 16MP with great high ISOS. Yes, there out Sony is selling tons of A6000 with a 24MP APS-C sensor. Nevertheless, Fujifilm desire not just a “decent” ISO 6400. The goal is something really better.


So, Fujifilm –maybe- is going to build a sort of Sony a7… With ergonomics more efficient and faster times and funnier… And if that small FF would own much better lenses…


Fujifilm has built a remarkable system of glasses for APS-C. If Fujifilm would be able to build glasses so good for a FF system, a new kingdom shall be born.


But, the question is how small and light could be that hypothetical line of glasses. And, the Fuji success with lenses for APS-C line is not a decree that the success in FF is sure.


In the while, Tom Hogan has said that the new 50-140mm f/ 2.8 could work in a FF. I`m not able to find mistakes on his technical explanation, so I`d say: “amen”.
And that piece of glass is impressive. It`s 100% outstanding. And it`s light. Very far from the heavier FF versions… So, there`s hope.


And what about the X-Pro 2? Would be this FF the X-Pro 2? According to the source of Fujirumors the new and bigger sensor still will take some time. So there would be chances to see a camera in a higher level over the X-T 1. Or the FF would mean the end of X-Pro lineage… ?


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Sony a7R y Sony A 6000: encuentro cercano

Muestras de mi trabajo fotográfico en:



Anteayer pasé por el show room de Sony.



Fue un poco decepcionante. El problema más alejado de las cámaras es que el personal de Sony carece de un genuino y cabal conocimiento de lo que pretende vender.



De otro lado, esa actitud se refleja en que el soporte técnico es casi nulo.



Ninguna cámara tenía una tarjeta clase 10. Fue imposible opinar objetivamente sobre la rapidez con que los procesadores trabajan en ráfaga. Incluso, un solo disparo le tomaba a la cámara una eternidad grabarlo; la A 6000 se bloqueaba unos segundos. Absurdo.



Lo que no depende de la casi insultante política de capacitación de Sony Perú es lo siguiente.



El cuerpo del delito

Los cuerpos de las a7, full frame, (me refiero a la a7 de 24 MP y a la a7R de 36MP) son casi idénticos así que mi opinión se aplica a ambas. Son livianas sin duda, pero extremadamente angulosas. Llegan a ser molestas en la mano. La ubicación del visor electrónico (EV) es también incómodo. Bastante en verdad.



Volviendo a lo del personal de venta de Sony, su pobre capacitación debe explicar que las cámaras no están configuradas más amigablemente. El problema más resaltante fue que para seleccionar un punto de enfoque había que navegar algunos segundos en el menú… Ridículo. Justo ese día, solo cargaba la Nex C3 y le mostré al amable joven (víctima de la política de Sony) cómo seleccionaba ene puntos con solo dos pulsaciones.



Entonces, el cuerpo de las a7 e incluso de la A6000 me dejaron mal sabor. Cuando volví a tomar mi 5D III, me admiré de sus amables curvas y hasta de sus texturas, lejanas de esos casi cortantes ángulos de las Sony.


Lo muy bueno: ISO 6400 y el autofoco
Lo que sí me dejó excelente impresión fueron los isos de las full frame y de la APS-C. Las zonas compactas de color oscuro quedaban bastante homogéneas en general. Los parches o lunares con luminancia solo se veían en alta magnificación. Parece que confirmé lo que las muestras online indican a favor de esos sensores.


El autofoco de la a7R no me pareció tan lento como algunas reseñas acusan. Se toma un poco más de lo conveniente, pero tal vez es llevadero… si no hace falta registrar acciones muy dinámicas. La A6000 sí me dejó la sensación extraña de “estar lenta”. Todos dicen que es una bala, pero la que me dieron en Sony parecía sufrir de hipo.


¿Un Carl Zeiss bamba?
Otro asunto triste fue la prueba del Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F/ 4. Lo hice poner en la A6000. Esa es una de las combinaciones que acariciaba. Increíblemente no logré una foto nítida contundentemente. No. No. Solo en las a7R obtuve buena nitidez… Y en todos momento el lente estuvo en F/8 y la velocidad garantizaba la eliminación de blur.


¿Qué pasó? ¿Sony Perú dispone de una Carl Zeiss golpeadito? ¿O tal vez las cámaras están descalibradas?



El factor Olympus
Cuando hace un año probé la Olympus OM D EM-5, la experiencia fue radicalmente diferente. El cuerpo, pese a su liviandad y pequeñez, dio un buen balance. Apuntar a través de su visor electrónico no dejó de ser un poco inusual para mi ojo, pero me sentí cómodo. El autofoco, todo el tiempo, se comportó como un tren expreso. Excelente. Como ya había estudiado la calidad de su imagen, estaba dispuesto a disfrutar de su ISO 3200 y acaso del 5000. Fue tan grato el contacto, que decidí comprarla. Solo me detuvo un detalle: no salía con el 12-50mm sino con un zoom más corto y carente del macro que el otro sí tiene.



Volveré a visitar Sony. Deseo darle otra oportunidad a la a7R y a la A6000. Si es cierto que vienen la a7R Mark II y la A 7000, quiero considerarlas.



Sin embargo, aunque demore acaso un año, Olympus podría lanzar una excelsa EM-1 de 20MP o más. O bien podría yo asumir que 16MP son más que suficiente. Sony ha invertido en Olympus. De allí debe de venir el notable estabilizador de 5 ejes que posee la a7 II. Tal vez, esa alianza podría darnos una EM-1 de más MP y siempre con las delicias de un cuerpo mucho mejor diseñado y un AF superior, y quién sabe un estabilizador IBIS mejorado…



/Muestras de mi trabajo fotográfico en:

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