I’m reconsidering what to do with this blog. More to follow.
The Nikon D6 announcement dropped today is probably more frustrating than informative. With the 2020 Olympics around the corner, most photographers and people that track the camera industry fully expect Nikon, Canon, and Sony to release new flagship cameras aimed at professional sports photographers.
The rumor mill is buzzing with speculation on Sony’s A9 update. The Canon 1Dx replacement has a decent bit of chatter surrounding it too. So, thanks Nikon for confirming what everyone fully expected–you’re developing a D6.
I suppose it could confirm that Nikon’s next flagship camera will in fact be a DSLR, not a mirrorless body. The announcement also highlights that this is the Nikon D series 20th anniversary since the D1 came out in 1999. The announcement also provides information on a 120-300 f2.8 lens and highlights the upcoming 60th anniversary of Nikon’s F-mount.
I’m also perplexed by the lens announcement–does anyone really need a 120-300 f2.8 lens? Is there a huge market for that zoom range? Maybe there is, but I’m not so sure.
How much will the D6 improve on the D5? No idea. Why? Because there are no specifics in Nikon’s announcement at all. I suppose we’ll have to stay tuned.
Read the Nikon D6 Announcement:
NIKON IS DEVELOPING THE D6 DIGITAL SLR CAMERA AND THE AF-S NIKKOR 120-300MM F/2.8E FL ED SR VR TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS
MELVILLE, NY (September 4, 2019 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) – Nikon Inc. is pleased to announce the development of the Nikon D6 professional DSLR camera and the AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR telephoto zoom lens.
Nikon released the D1 digital SLR camera in 1999, making 2019 the 20th anniversary of the single-digit D series. Thanks to the imaging know-how cultivated over Nikon’s long history in camera development, Nikon’s professional DSLR cameras have continued to evolve by introducing some of the industry’s most advanced technologies and responding to the strict demands of professional photographers with the ultimate in performance and reliability, even in the most severe conditions. With the D6, Nikon is currently developing its most advanced DSLR to date.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Nikon F mount. The new AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR F mount lens that Nikon is developing will provide professional photographers in fields such as sports photography with even greater support.
Nikon is striving to expand possibilities for imaging expression and leading the way in imaging culture with both DSLR and mirrorless camera systems, as well as a rich lineup of NIKKOR lenses.
Details including release dates, pricing and specifications for these products will be announced at a later date. For more information on the latest Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.
About a minute after the announcement, I decided to buy the Sony A7R4. I sold my Sony A7R2 earlier this year and it didn’t take long for me to miss it. Why did I sell it? Because I didn’t think I needed it. I have a pretty decent pile of cameras and in the brand stack, Sony was my least invested system.
As I said, it didn’t take long for me to miss it. I often carried my A7R2 with the superb Sony Zeiss 35mm F2.8 lens attached. The compact form factor of this body and lens combination made it easy to throw in a bag and take just about anywhere. And that’s what I did. I just threw it in a backpack or whatever bag I carried and went. Or, I slung it over a shoulder with a Peak Design strap. Since the A7R2 didn’t have the new, longer-life batteries, I often carried a spare battery or two as well.
I photographed my family, motorcycle racing, dogs, travel, my brother’s wedding, and just about anything that happened in front of that compact little kit. So, again, why sell it? Because I have two Nikon D850s and a full stable of Nikon lenses, 14-500mm, and I felt an urge to pare down my gear. Plus, I have a nice Leica setup that I really enjoy. So, a third system felt like overkill.
Sadly, none of those other cameras quite measure up to the overall portability and capability of the Sony A7R2 and Sony Zeiss 35mm combination. The gripped D850s and lenses are colossal by comparison. They’re magnificent and I love working with them, but not for roaming around and carrying “just in case” cameras. The Leica M10-P, 35mm film MP, and my Summilux and Summicron lenses are also stellar kit when I want to slow down a bit. However, the simplicity and versatility of the A7R2/35mm combo was just too great to have. I overcame my temptation to buy an A7R3 because I had a hunch that Sony, embroiled in the recent mirrorless arms race since Canon and Nikon released direct competitors to the A7 line, would release something new.
The A7R4 Was A Surprise
I did not expect the A7R4 so soon. The 61MP A7R4 surprised me, pleasantly. The improvements, from what I’ve read and seen in early reviewers are great. I’m pretty stoked about the locking exposure compensation dial. It was one of my quibbles with the previous bodies. I often bumped that dial and occasionally missed some shots–or at least had to rescue some in post processing. It’s a testament to the quality of the raw files that I was able to same some that had been underexposed three stops.
Sony Face and Eye Detection Auto Focus & Real Time Tracking Are Enough to Buy a Sony A7R4
Sony’s eye detection is a killer feature. Both Canon and Nikon introduced similar technology, but Sony is still the leader on this front. Shooting candids is a completely new experience when you have an extremely reliable eye focus capability that is fast and accurate. Photographing kids, friends, street photography, etc., all get much easier. The feature removes another delay in getting that shot. I’ve gotten some great family photos that were hail-mary-point-and-shoot-just-to-see-what-you-get efforts and they worked because of eye detection autofocus.
I’m curious to try out animal eye detection. Depending on its reliability, it should be great for photographing pets. Accurate eye detection combined with a very fast autofocus system is enough for me to buy an A7R4.
The enhanced grip, button feel, and other ergonomic features are also a great selling point.
I’ll post real world review of the system in use later in the year.
My Preferred Sony A7R4 Kit
When I buy the Sony A7R4, here’s what my Preferred Sony A7R4 kit will look like:
- Sony A7R4
- Batis 18mm f2.8
- Batis 25mm f2.0 Lens
- Zeiss 35mm f2.8 Sonnar Lens
- Zeiss 55mm f1.8 Sonnar Lens
- Sony GM 135 f1.8
The lens that would be on the body 90% of the time would be the superb Sony Zeiss Sonnar 35mm F2.8.
Sony RX100VII: Compact, but Powerful
Sony continues its rapid march forward with new product releases. Today’s announcement of the RX100VII camera is no different. As with the recent release of the Sony Alpha A7R4, this lates release is packed with technology and significant improvements.
The compact camera boasts a 1″ sensor and focus technology featured in the company’s flagship camera, the A9. Among the many internal tweaks, the camera also gets a new audio port for external microphones–a feature sure to please many vloggers.
I own a Sony RX100III and have been very pleased with it over the past four years. I dropped, dinged, and generally abused it on a variety of adventures and it just keeps working flawlessly. If I destroy it, I’ll replace it with an RX100VII without hesitation.
The RX100VII features a longer lens than the III. The 24-200mm (35mm equivalent lens) originally debuted with the RX100VI. It’s an impressive engineering feat to fit the lens into such a compact body and seems like a bit of a magic trick when the camera turns on or off, extending or retracting the lens.
Combined with the Sony accessory grip and an external microphone, this camera is a great all around shooter that can handle a broad variety of situations. It lacks an internal neutral density filter, but given all the tech that’s jammed in a minuscule body, it’s a small price to pay.
Click here for previous Sony articles.
This post may contain affiliate links.
A Very Capable Sony Action Camera
Sony announced the RX0 II action camera, a follow up to the popular RX0. It’s a very compact camera with impressive specifications. The camera features a 1″ sensor worth 15.3 megapixels of resolution. The ISO range is also impressive at 80-12800.
The RX0 II has a fixed 24mm f4.0 equivalent lens that focuses down to 20cm. As with many sony cameras, the partnership with Zeiss continues and the lens is a Zeiss Tessar T* model.
Here’s Looking At You — Flip Up Screen
The feature that most people will talk about, however, is the flip-up rear LCD screen. It’s similar in design to the flip up LCDs on Sony’s RX100 cameras and facilitates blogging. When combined with the optional VCT-SGR1 shooting grip, and a microphone, it’s a very compact rig capable of all-weather operation.
The RX0 II features robust video capabilities with 4K/30P recording and a 1000 frames per second high speed recording mode. Additionally, the camera can export uncompressed 4K HDMI output. Advanced shooters will appreciate the availability of S-Log 2 and Time Code/User Bit features for color grading and post production work.
Notably, the RX0 II has eye focus capability similar to the brand’s flagship a9 camera. The RX0 will focus on a subjects eye and track it. This is a particularly useful feature and one that is currently part of the mirrorless camera arms race between manufacturers. Sony’s eye AF remains in the lead.
One of the most notable features of the RX0 II camera system is the Sony Imaging Edge mobile app. The app can control up to five cameras simultaneously and synchronize them.
In a future update, scheduled for later this summer, the app will be able to control up to fifty cameras. Further, the compatible Camera Control Box CCB-WD1 can control 100 cameras.
The Sony RX system is an attractive option for action camera shooters or anyone that needs a small, rugged, capable system. It competes directly with GoPro’s camera, and eclipses their capabilities in some ways. However, it does cost more than GoPro’s offerings without a grip or external microphone.
For other Sony articles follow this link.
This article may contain affiliate links.
Leica announced the M Monochrom Typ 246 “Your Mark” Limited Edition set. Leica produced eighty of the sets exclusively for US distribution. If you want a “Your Mark” Monochrom M, you’ll need to buy it at a Leica store. The set includes a leather strap and a Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens.
Both the body and lens are finished in black paint. Additionally, the retro lens design lens features red and white script and round removable lens hood. The camera is covered in Horween leather, sourced through Horween Leather Company in Chicago.
Leica’s Monochrom M features a 24MP sensor that only captures luminance values and creates black and white images only.
Leica claims the black paint on the body and lens as well as the Horween leather body covering will “age beautifully over time.”
This article may contain affiliate links.
Leica announced the Kyoto Edition of the Leica M Monochrom camera. Leica made ten of the camera sets to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Kyoto Leica store. The set includes a Leica APO Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens and a leather strap in matching green to the camera body’s grip.
This article may contain affiliate links.
Sigma announced the CINE 28mm T1.5 FF lens today. The lens ships mid-march. A “Fully Luminous (FL)” version will also be available. Sigma’s optimized their new lens for 6K-8K productions.
This article may contain affiliate links.
Leica announced the Q2 camera and it’s available from authorized retailers today. The camera is a significant leap forward from the Leica Q and features a 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor. The lens is a fixed 28mm F1.7 ASPH Summilux lens, but the camera features crop modes that correspond to 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm focal lengths. Notably, the body is weather sealed.
Additionally, the camera feature built-in Bluetooth LE and Wi-FI, 10fps, and a 3″ touchscreen. Watch Leica’s product video below or read Leica’s press release here.
On March 4th, Flickr finally announced the roll out of a Yahoo independent login system. According to the folks at Flickr and SmugMug, users made cutting ties with Yahoo their priority request.
SmugMug and Flickr will roll out the updated login process to its users in the coming weeks. It is not clear when new users will be able to create Flickr accounts without a Yahoo login. We tried it this morning and are still required to use a Yahoo process for a new account.
Read Flickr’s blog post and stay tuned for updates.