Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alpha XX or Alpha XXX

Whenever I make evident my strong preference for Sony cameras, I'm often asked questions about the A55 and the non-moveable mirror technology, and at some point I mention that these cameras have an electronic, not optical, viewfinder.

Frankly, I'm not at ease on this subject; I know the difference between a good (optical) viewfinder and a normal one, so I'm a bit skeptical about electronic viewfinders.
They have well known weak points, but also a very good strong point: the in-camera computer can alter the image at will, superimposing useful information, or even changing it completely.
And this is not entirely theoretical, as this article suggests:
The prototype 500mm f/4 G lens on show at the Sony stand at CES features a Direct Manual Focus (DMF) control that, when pressed, presents the user with a 15x magnified view of the scene to be photographed, to assist in ensuring focus is accurately placed. This is a feature that can only be possible in cameras designed with electronic viewfinders, so its incorporation in a professional lens such as this suggests that all future Sony Alpha cameras, including the replacement for the A900, with be designed as SLT models with electronic viewfinders. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Need for Speed: α700 takes photos from a fast-moving train

On the way from Zurich to Arth-Goldau.
Photos are largely unretouched, except for some horizon-leveling rotations.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The past and the future

Sony seems somehow a bit too future-oriented and too past-hostile. The A700 was removed from the market for no reason ages ago, and we are still waiting for a replacement (and - my personal opinion - the same holds true for the A100, except that its heritage was just taken by the A580... how many years after?).
Truly, the new Axx cameras, like the A55, have an excellent and innovative design: they are smaller, lighter, have a superior autofocus.
But the evolution of Sony cameras was never linear, always convoluted, curved, two steps forward and half step aside; in practice, no new Sony camera is entirely better than its predecessors.
The excellence of the α DSLRs comes mostly from superior electronics, but a digital camera is not completely electronic; I hope that they remember the Minolta experience when they design the A77.
Those who don't learn from the past will repeat the same mistakes... or make some new mistakes.

Stacking filters

This is not a Sony specific link, but it's worth having a look...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Remember to never forget

Yesterday morning my grandmother Erica died at the age of 95.

As a curious coincidence, someone noticed that her twin brother died a few weeks after his beloved dog. The same happened to Erica and her old cat: they lived together for almost eighteen years.

Most of the best shots I have of my grandmother come from the worst camera, the worst lens, or both. Discussing this with a friend, we agreed that on the average, you are not ready, but you shoot anyway.
The first smiling portrait above is actually seriously blurred: I was just testing the gear, I never really meant to take a photo, but nonetheless I never deleted it.

Now it will help me remember, and I believe this is the point of it all.