Thursday, October 01, 2015

Latest industry announcements

The pace of technological change seems to grow ever faster and it's hard to keep abreast of everything. Even if you try and focus on a narrow area, such as digital imaging, there are so many new announcements almost daily that it's a full time job keeping up with it all.

So, here are some recent announcements that caught my eye. First up is one from Sony (seeing as I am the proud owner of a Sony a6000).

α7S II E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor

The α7S II is Sony's latest offering in its full-frame range and continues the gradual improvement in the features of the range that we have come to expect from Sony. The key features include:

Sony has made much of the sensitivity of the sensor in its full-frame range and the latest model is no exception. Still images: ISO 100-102400 (expandable to ISO 50-409600), AUTO (ISO 100-12800, selectable lower limit and upper limit), Movies: ISO 100-102400 equivalent (expandable to ISO 100-409600 equivalent), AUTO (ISO 100-12800 equivalent, selectable lower limit and upper limit)






















4K movie recording now comes with full pixel readout and no binning. By using the XAVC S format,  4K recording at up to 100Mbps bit rate to capture detailed movies with minimal compression noise is possible. Files are saved in widely compatible MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format.



Image stabilisation has always been a strength of Sony's full-frame cameras and this model is no exception, coming as it does with 5-axis optical image stabilisation built-in. This gives (according to Sony) a 4.5-stop-faster shutter speed for stills, meaning you shoot at slower speeds hand-held and still be confident of getting a sharp image, especially useful in those low light situations where you don't always want to use the maximum ISO the sensor is offering.


Offering Sony's advanced Fast Intelligent AF featuring enhanced accuracy even in the dark and accelerated AF for movie shooting you can be confident of reliable focussing even in low light situations. Also, each of the nine central AF points are divided into 16 segments, helping to ensure accuracy. 


As well as still images benefitting from the Fast Intelligent AF System, movies also benefit from Pro-level features including Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, and S-Log3.

All in all, the camera is geared towards Pro-video as well as stills. You can read more about it at Sony's site here. Price in UK is to be confirmed and it should be available here in UK before end of the year.

Other announcements (in brief):

  1. Facebook launches 360 degrees video - read all about it here. It's here now in the News Feed.
  2. Lenses are already being announced for the forthcoming Pentax Full-frame camera (due 2016). Ricoh have announced the HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR, due sometime this October and expected to be around £1000. Read about it here.
  3. Nikon European Film Festival 2015 - your chance to win the Grand Prize of a Nikon D810 film kit plus a trip to the Cannes Film Festival. Enter by submitting a short film of up to 140 seconds filmed in HD on any device. Submissions open on 13 October 2015 and close on 15 January 2016. Read all about it here.
That's it for now. 

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