Thursday, 20 April 2017

N&R: Impressive new Sony A9, interesting Pana-Leica ultra-wide and the rather poor Nikon D7500


Nikon have announced the D7500, which DPReview has compared to the D500 and the D7200. Honestly, this is a fail camera for me for just one reason - they've removed the dual slots. So, if you want dual slot redundancy, you're forced to either stick with the D7200, or upgrade to the bigger D500.

I think it's a shame when a product goes backwards like this. The D500 has enough features in its own right that a D7500 wouldn't have canibilised its sales. This just doesn't make sense, and I think there should be more outcry than there is from respectable sites like DPReview.


Panasonic have announced a co-Leica branded 8-18mm f.28-4 wide angle micro 43 lens. It is a similar size to the older 7-12mm f4 lens, but can take 67mm filters. Retailing for 1,098USD, it should be an attractive alternative to the older lens if it can control flare better.

Also in Panasonic news, a GH5 firmware with 10-bit internal recording has been released, and they've admitted their video AF sucks. Plus, they have a new compact superzoom.


An AF joystick selector and dual slots - hallelujah!

So, the long rumoured A9 has been announced - and it's a serious Nikon D5/Canon 1DX competitor.

From the press release:

  • World’s First full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP resolution
  • Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting at up to 20fps for up to 241 RAW/ 362 JPEG images
  • Silent, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec
  • 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
  • 5-Axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage

The thing to bear in mind is that 20fps is achieved via an electronic shutter, using the mechanical shutter brings it down to 5fps. However, Sony claims the new stacked CMOS sensor will remove any rolling shutter effects.

For me personally, the stand out features are:

Those first 4 features were severe limitations on the A7R2 (for me) compared to the competition (Canon 5D Mark 3 and Nikon D810).

On the negative side of the A9 we have:

  • No log video (what the hell Sony?)
  • No control lever on the AF-On button - I always use this to change from back-button focus to Eye-AF.
  • Still just USB2 - though an ethernet port has been added.

Also not mentioned is if this camera can make use of hot shoe flash AF assist lights.

You can see a hands-on reviews from DPReview and FStoppers.

Will I get this personally? I'll wait for more in-depth reviews. If I were still shooting events as much as I used to, I would love this. If I wanted to get into weddings, this would also be my camera of choice. As it stands now, I might wait and see if an A9R or A7R Mark III is announced, and what it beings to the table.

As it stands, this is a very compelling offering from Sony. Even if I don't get it, I'm happy to know, every time I splash out for a new Sony FE-lens, that this camera exists.

Oh, they also announced a 100-400 f5-5.6 lens.

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