Friday, September 7, 2012

Hands on with Sony's new NEX-5R

Hi everyone!

The time has arrived when Sony replaced the popular NEX-5N with its successor, the NEX-5R. In basically, the same form factor, Sony has managed to improve nearly everything and add some unique features in what I think will be a very popular camera.


The first thing that I wanted to try out was how fast the new hybrid auto-focus speed has improved from its predecessor as it was always my main concern with NEX cameras.. How fast compared to the competition remains to be seen but there is a noticeable improvement from my little hands on session.

NEX-5R side with WIFI logo

NEX-5R Application Menu

Next I was really excited about the WIFI. However, I wasn't able to try it out since PlayMemories (required app to be used with the camera) hasn't been released yet. However, a few of the apps were already installed on the camera and it worked perfectly.

NEX-5R flipped up

NEX-5R tilted down

Amongst its other improvements, the LCD screen can also flip up like the NEX-F3 but can still be tilted down for those overhead shots which the NEX-F3 can't do. The NEX-5R remains to be the only touch screen in the current NEX lineup and it also seems to be more responsive too. Not smartphone responsive but better than the NEX-5N.

NEX-5R Top 

One of the main complaints with the previous NEX-5 cameras was the lack of controls and dials. This appears to have at least helped with resolve the problem without compromising too much on the form factor. The addition of a function button as well as a top dial are of course welcome additions but the lack of a built in flash which is featured on the entry level NEX-F3 may disappoint a few.

NEX-5R Menu Layout

NEX-5R Shooting Layout

Those are the main improvements on the camera. The menu layout is slightly different with the addition of Application (side note: I think it should say 'Applications' instead) and the shooting layout virtually the same but with the addition of the horizon level. Its shaping up to be a good follow up to the '5' series cameras for the NEX line. 

For Australia, the pricing will be as follows:
Body only: $799
Single lens kit: $999
Twin lens kit: $1299

Stay tuned for my full review coming soon!
Happy shooting and thanks for reading! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

{CameraGear} Sony DSC-RX100

Hi everyone!

Its been a while since I've last posted anything on my blog but to get back into the habit I'll be posting some of my video review and tutorials as well some of my snapshots and opinions on cameras and anything photography related.

As the title suggests, this post is about the new Sony DSC-RX100 camera that has recently been released. It has been getting rave reviews on the web and as David Pogue of the New York Times writes, "The best pocket camera ever made". In this short review I'll be explaining to you why I agree with this statement and whether its worth it for you to spend your money on this camera.

Firstly, its svelete design is nothing short of excellent with its simplistic body and button layout, anyone can become accustomed to this camera. It has a nice selection of camera modes from Program, Aperture, Shutter speed and Manual settings all the way to its Intelligent auto modes and Sweep Panorama.

The control wheel on the lens allow you to change your settings easily without having to go into the menu or pressing a lot of buttons saving you time and hassle to get that certain shot.

The pop-up flash is tucked away at the top of the camera and will pop up when need be. What I like about this flash is that you can also bounce it by pulling back and facing up.

DSC-RX100 (top) and DSC-HX20 (bottom)

DSC-RX100 (left) and DSC-HX20 (right)

Now lets talk about how small this camera actually is. At first I was surprised because when I read it was going to have a large sensor, I thought it would be the same size as a Canon G12. I was wrong and its pocketable and not to heavy for me to carry around which is perfect for those times when I don't want to carry around my a77. The only thing I wish the body of the camera had would be a grip like the one in the DSC-HX20, although the style that Sony was going for would have to be completely different.

Featurewise, there are so many packed into this camera I wouldn't know where to begin. It has all the usual Sony features such as Sweep panorama, 10 frames per second continuous shooting, picture effects, auto-portrait framing mode and a whole lot more which I won't get into further detail.


Of course the big feature of this camera is its one inch sensor which is in fact the same size sensor in the Nikon J1 and V1 cameras but with a 20 megapixel sensor. This is a big advantage compared to other compact cameras offering better overall image quality and low light performance. Paired with the superb Carl Zeiss lens with an aperture of f1.8 at the wide end and f4.9 zoomed all the way in you're getting image quality approaching DSLR quality with smooth blurry backgrounds.

One new feature not seen in many Sony cameras is its ability to take photos whilst recording a video. Its a really helpful feature that I'm sure many people would appreciate. Its simple to do and just by pressing the shutter button, you'll be able to capture a moment in the video and turn it into a still without any interruption to the video itself.

As I mentioned before, image quality is the main advantage of this compact camera and it performs very well with clean ISO up to 1600. Noise does creep in afterward but its still acceptable till ISO6400.

Video quality is good as well with the ability to capture full HD videos in AVCHD format in 50fps or 60fps depending on your region or mp4 for use on the web. Active SteadyShot, a more efficient form of the standard SteadyShot is built into this camera to help stabilize whilst recording. 

After using this camera for a while I can definitely agree that this is the best pocket camera ever made. Although you are paying quite an expensive price, it still is a good purchase because you're buying a camera that approaches DSLR quality but in a compact and pocketable body and beats out the competition in the compact camera class. If you value excellent image quality in a pocketable form this camera is the perfect choice for you.

If you have any questions leave a comment or you can contact me on my facebook or youtube page.

You can also check out my video review below

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sony announce the NEX-F3 and SLT-A37 cameras

Hi everyone!

Sony have just announced two new cameras that replace the NEX-C3 and the SLT-A35, the NEX-F3 and the SLT-A37.

The NEX-F3's standout feature is the flip screen that lets the user see themselves as they take the photo. As well as the new screen, a host of new features debut on this camera such as clear image zoom and auto-portrait framing. Click here on the full press release and specs.

The SLT-A37 replaces the SLT-A35 and comes with an improved viewfinder and a tilt screen, similar to the one on the DSLR-A550. The standout feature of this camera like other SLT cameras are the continuous frames per second shooting speed. This camera can deliver 7 frames per second in tele-zoom mode and 5.5 frames per second at full resolution which is impressive for an entry level camera. Click here for the full specs and details.

Here are a couple of videos talking about the function and features of the camera with two lenses that were announced alongside these cameras (one for each mount).



Thursday, May 3, 2012

{CameraGear} Sony a57 and NEX-7 Review Videos

Hi everyone!

I recently reviewed the Sony a57, the successor to the award winning a55. With a new look, new features and improved ergonomics and viewfinder, I find out how well it performs and let you know what I think of it.

Show your support by subscribing to my YouTube channel here and click subscribe on the page and be sure to also like my videos =.)

Thanks and enjoy everyone!

And if you haven't checked it out yet, take a look at my previous review on the NEX-7.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{Snapshots} Hong Kong and Macau

Hi everyone!

I recently just went to Hong Kong and Macau and it was so much fun. Although, I only stayed for four days but during those four days, I did so much sight seeing, walking, eating and of course took so many photos that if I shared them all, this would be a very long post. I love the culture, the history and all the sites that I really want to go back there. It's obviously different from Australia as every country has their own unique identity but this place was amazing.

I brought two cameras with me. The a77 and NEX-7. I ended up using the NEX-7 the whole time with the standard kit lens. Also note that these photos are all straight out of the camera. No post-processing here.  Hope you enjoy some of my snapshots!

 Senado Square in Macau
The ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral in Macau

 The Venetian Macao

 The Giant Buddha at Ngong Ping plateau

 The Po Lin Monastery

The streets of Hong Kong

 No visit to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to the Sony store!

 Mongkok at night

 One of the best camera stores in Mongkok I visited during my trip. Be sure to check it out if you're ever there.

 One of the skyscrapers at Hong Kong

Hong Kong skyline. I didn't manage to get a photo at night so it looks like I may have to revisit =.P

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

{CameraGear} UPDATED: Sony announces new a57 DSLT camera

Hi everyone! 

The a55 is Sony's oldest DSLT camera in the lineup launching in 2010 also winning camera of the year by Pop Photo. The a57 replaces it continuing on with the Translucent Mirror Technology and with a number of upgrades that consumers will find interesting. The key features and upgrades are as follows:

 - 16.1 megapixel sensor (same as the NEX-5N)
 - a bigger body similar to the size to the a65
 - AVCHD 2.0 with P/A/S/M control 
 - high speed 12fps shooting in tele-zoom continuous
 - a new upgraded LCD tru-finder
 - auto-portrait framing
 - clear image zoom
 - ISO 100-16000

There are more features that have been upgraded that can be found by clicking here.

The feature that I find most interesting in this camera is the auto-portrait framing mode. If you're taking a photo of a person in this mode, the camera uses face detection and the 'rule of thirds' and crops the frame to give it a more professional look and this works in both landscape and portrait. It also saves both the original image and the cropped image. 

Below is a video of the a57 from SGNL by Sony and an ad for the Sony a57 to give you a brief rundown of the camera

Availability for Australia would be around mid April with pricing as follows:

Body only: $899
Single lens kit w/ 18-55mm lens: $1049
Twin lens kit w 18-55mm & 55-200mm lenses: $1299

Well overall, I think its a good upgrade to the a55 offering some new unique features and the bigger body is a good move in my opinion but I wonder why they left out the GPS option (not that I ever use it). I'll do a video review as soon as I get one in my hands. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

{CameraGear} New Review Videos

 Hi everyone!

I have a couple of new review videos that you can check out. If you haven't yet, subscribe to my channel by clicking here and like my videos. In these videos I'm reviewing the Sony 70-400mm f4-5.6 G Series Lens and the LA-EA2 NEX adapter.