New Sony Action Camera RX0 II

Sony Action Camera RX0 II
Sony RX0 II Product Video

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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.

New CFExpress Type B Card Announcements

Prograde Digital CFExpress Cards

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Both Sony and Prograde Digital announced CFExpress Type B memory cards today. The new cards use the PCIe, Gen 3 interconnect with NVMe host controller interface and perform at read speeds of 1,600MPB/s. Prograde also announced that sample cards and readers are available for “qualified partners.” Prograde will offer two lines of the cards. The CFExpress Cobalt will perform at the full 1,600MB/s read speed and have burst write capability of 1400MB/s. The CF Express Gold feature a burst write speed of 600-1000MB/s. Read Prograde’s news release for more info.

Sony CF Express Card and CFExpress/XQD Reader
Sony CF Express Card and CFExpress/XQD Reader

Sony announced their own CFExpress Type B cards. The “Tough” cards. Sony claims performance of 1700MB/s read speeds and 1480MB/s write speeds. The “Tough” label highlights Sony’s tripling of the CFexpress standard to withstand force at 70N bending force and “five times greater reliability to endure falls from up to 5m high.” Read Sony’s press release here.

If all this XQD, CFast, CFExpress jargon has you perplexed, read this article by SLR Lounge. It does a decent job of clearing it up.

Sony FE 135mm F1.8G Master Lens and New Remote Commander Announced

Sony FE 135mm F1.8GM

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Sony announced the 135mm F1.8G Master Lens. The lens joins a growing lineup of G Master lenses. Sony claims the lens design maximizes the appearance of pleasing bokeh. The company built the lens with Super ED and ED elements that include “extreme aspherica (XA)” elements and four XD linear motors. An 11-blade aperture controls the roundness of out-of-focus highlights, allegedly even at F4. DPReview published an article on the lens and also has a sample gallery. Check it out here.

Sony Product Photo of RMT-P1BT Remote Commander
Sony Product Photo of RMT-P1BT Remote Commander

The new remote commander (model RMT-P1BT) features Bluetooth technology and precise camera control. According to Sony’s press release, the remote responds within 0.05 seconds. Both the lens and the remote will ship in April and can be ordered today.

Sigma Announces Eleven L-Mount Lenses and Mount Converter MC-21

Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art

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Sigma Product Photo of MC-21 L-Mount Converter

Sigma announced the launch of the Art series lenses in full-frame L-mount. The announcement specifies eleven prime lenses from 14mm to 135mm in focal length. All of the lenses are currently available for other systems. In addition to the lenses, Sigma announced the MC-21 mount converter. The converter allows Sigma SA mount and Sigma’s Canon EF mount compatible lenses to fit L-mount cameras and is similar in design to Sigma’s MC-11. The L-mount is a mount produced in partnership between Sigma, Panasonic, and Leica.

Sigma Offers a Lens Mount Conversion Service

Sigma’s announcement also includes discussion of Sigma’s Mount Conversion Service. The service modifies Sigma mount lenses to other camera mounts.

The lenses in the announcement are (links to currently available versions):

Read the press release for the lenses here and for the press release for the MC-21 here.

Recent Firmware Updates for Leica, Sigma, and Sony Cameras & Lenses

Leica released updated firmware for the Leica Q/QP cameras. Version 3.1 is available for download and the update addresses compatibility with Leica’s updated FOTOS app.

Leica SL Product Photo
Leica SL Product Photo

Leica also released firmware version 3.4 for the Leica SL. Click here to get it.

Sigma MC-11 Product Photo

Sigma also released a series of firmware updates for its Nikon F-mount and Canon EF-mount lenses as well as the Sigma Mount converter MC-11. Click here for more info.

Sony A9 product Photo
Sony A9 Product Photo

Sony also recently announced updated firmware for the A9, the A7III and A7RIII. The updates are not available yet, but Brian Smith has a good run down of the improvements to camera function once the software is available.

Sony VENICE System Camera

Additionally, Sony announced a firmware upgrade for its VENICE motion-picture camera system. Click here to read more.

Photography & Chill: What to Read, Watch, and Listen to This Weekend, January 26th 2019

What to Read

Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now — British Journal of Photography. An article about the Guggenheim’s year-long exhibit of Mapplethorpe’s work. The exhibit coincides with the 30th anniversary of Mapplethorpe’s death.

A World Silent — The Photographic Journal. A photo essay composed of mostly nude self portraits by half-deaf photographer Jesuuna. The images are an exploration of two months spent in Sweden, in a house that was “quiet and [she] felt completely free”

Is My Nikon to Your Canon Like My PC to Your Mac — FStoppers. Amusing, if nothing else.

Are You a Photographer or a FOMOgrapher: Part 1 — FStoppers. Interesting reading, especially if you find yourself following a lot of other photographers on social media.

The Great 400mm Teardown Comparison. Part II — The Sony 400mm f2.8G — LensRentals Blog. If you enjoyed Part I, the teardown of the Canon 400mm, you’ll probably like this.

How to Get Your Feature Film Streaming on Netflix — Videomaker

The Winners of Flickr’s Best Shot Competion — Flickr

What to Watch

Developing 4×5 at Home with B’s 4×5 Reel — Dave Rollans Films on Youtube. For the large format curious.
Street Photography: Documentary | Joel Meyerowitz 1981

If you want to travel back in time and see what street photography was like in 1981, check out the video above.

And Then There’s This

Fortnite Player Discovers Game Changing Heavy Shotgun Bug — Digital Trends