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PHDX

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PHDX last won the day on September 6

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  1. Having used the A7RII and RIII, I can witness that the RIII is significantly better than the RII in terms of AF performance. It did quite well associated with my 100-400 GM. The AF of the A7R IV which I own now is not better than the RIII, and I would say even less good due to its heavy MP count. I find it extremely good for landscape, architecture, and portrait but less for action. In my experience, the A7RIII is the best balanced body you can find but, of course, if you are targetting sports or wildlife only, then the A9 (I or II) is a no brainer.
  2. Hi, I am impressed by the number of lenses you own ! But quite frankly, I did onwn also several of your lenses (12-24 G, 16-35 GM, 24-70 GM, 90 G and 100-400 GM) until my back said : stop it ! I sold them all back. But it was not only a question of weight : even if I knew I was wrong, I could not prevent me from having a large set of lenses/ zooms and buy new ones. It did not at all make me a better photographer. I was not taking enough time to learn how to get the best of each lens. For a landscape use, I was not very happy with the 12-24 G and more specifically at 24mm. Same for the 24-70 GM. And they seem today somewhat outdated. I write "somewhat" because the quality of a lens is far less important than the talent of the photographer. I tried once the Sony Zeiss 35 but was not totally convinced. The very best 35mm is probably the sigma 35 f1.2, but much to big and heavy for me. Today I have four lenses in my bag for landscape (and general purpose): Sony 24 GM f1.4, Sony 35 F1.8, Voigtlander 50 f2, and surprisingly the Tamron 70 180 f2.8 : quite a light package, good IQ with the demanding A7RIV, and quite sufficient in most cases. Of course, If you like very wide angles, the new 12-24 GM is certainly a must and I would agree with your option 1. As far as portrait is concerned, I have the 135 GM (not in my bag) which is an absolute gem. But if you already own the 90 G Macro and the Sigma 85, they are excellent and you really do not need more ! I would even sell one of the two. As far as the 24-105 is concerned, it is such an easy walkaround zoom which covers such a large spectrum. May be F4 is not fast enough for your night cityscape pictures although you probably can compensate with low speed ? I then would also agree with your option 2. But of course, this is just my opinion... .
  3. I did a quick test the new Tamron 70-180 F2.8 a few days ago and must confess I am impressed. The build quality seems quite good (even if it does not reach the Sony or Sigma level), it is easy to use, light and compact compared to its peers, and above all the sharpness is really good (better than its 28-75 brother). I did compare this lens with my Sony 100-400 GM and my 135 GM mounted on the A7RIV at 135mm and F8 : On short and medium distance, the Tamron proved to be almost as sharp as the 135 GM and a little sharper than the 100-400 which is quite a good zoom lens. For portraits, I always use the 135 GM which is at top class lens : sharpness, AF speed and accuracy, blurring the background are outstanding. So, I was curious to see what could the Tamron give. I took a serie of portraits of my granddaughter (1 year old) with the Tamron from 70 mm to 135 mm at F4 : the results were impressively good. The AF and eye focus worked well, the skin color rendition was very good and the background not at all busy. It does not reach the level of the 135 GM in all aspects but quite frankly it is not very far. So this quick test convinced me that even if this lens is limited to 180mm, has no AF/MF switch or Focus Hold button, it is a very serious alternative to the existing 70-200 zooms, and at a much better price !
  4. I share the above comments. I owned the 24-70 F4, was really disappointed and returned it back to the shop. Sharpness was really bad at wide focal lengths and only average at 50mm. Nothing to do with the 24-105 which I tried and seems to be much better. If you are very demanding on IQ, knowing that you already have a 50mm, you could also buy two primes, for example a 24 and a 35mm. The Tamron 24 and 35 mm are quite good for a reasonable price.
  5. Hi, I am shooting landscape and portraits, previously with the A7RII and since a few months with the A7RIV. First, I did use the 55mm for landscapes during years and it is definitely a good lens. I also used the 24 70 GM but it was too bulky and heavy and the IQ was very good but not outstanding. On top of that zoom lenses are quite convenient but they make you somewhat lazy since you can frame your picture without moving. Now I have the Sony 24 GM which is definitely a gem and the Sony 35 f1.8 which is quite good. Those two lenses are light, rather small, and very convenient to use. If you want the very best 35mm, take the Sigma 35 F1.2 but you have to accept its size and weight. I tried the Zeiss Loxia series but was not convinced, specifically by the 35mm which is not very sharp and probably not adapted for very high megapixels sensors. In terms of IQ, the Loxia 21mm is much better. The Loxia 50mm is also good, but for landscape I would shoose the new Voigtlander 50mm F2 which is supposed to be as good as the 65mm and 110mm macro: those Apo Lanthar Voigtlander series are absolutely top class in terms of IQ. Having said that, I like to go out of the logic box, drop the wide angle primes, and often shoot landscapes with my 100-400 GM, which proves to be excellent for some distant shots.
  6. Hi, I have done a quick test, comparing the two lenses mounted on the A7RIV. Comparing the 35mm with a 61MP picture and the 24mm with a 26MP picture may be misleading. The fact that you use the APSC crop mode for the 24mm has consequences : you loose some definition and then sharpness.The field curvature is of course not exactly the same. To get the same size when comparing the pictures you need to crop more for the 24mm picture. The 100% cropped 24mm (26MP) picture has the same size on your screen as the 67% cropped 35mm (61MP) picture. With this level of cropping there is no visible difference in IQ between the two pictures : they look pretty good. But if you crop further, the 35mm picture wins both in the center and in the corners. If you forget this test, and based on my own experience with the two lenses, both are quite good. They are small, light and very easy to use. But the 24mm, which is a real gem, is sharper than the 35mm when compared on an arms length basis. To get the very best 35mm, you need to choose the Sigma 35 F1.2, but at the cost of big size and weight. I am quite happy to keep the two Sony lenses in my bag.
  7. You are right, not only the GM lenses can be used with the A7RIV, and we see more and more good E mount lenses coming from other brands such as Sigma or Tamron. A few tests with my gear and some family/friends lenses with the A7RIV body : - I did own the 35 mm Zeiss Loxia and sold it back : too soft with 61MP. I have now the Sony 35 mm F1.8 and it works well. It is may be the best 35 mm prime choice for the RIV body. I tried the Sigma 35 F1.2 which is definitely a high quality lens, faster and a little sharper than the Sony F1.8 but much too big and heavy to carry in my bag. - My 24 GM f1.4 gives very good results . It is in my opinion one of the best GM lenses. - My 50 mm Zeiss Loxia is quite good. I did not expect that and it is a good surprise. I also tested my daughter's Sony 55 mm F1.8 : it is good but not as it is with her A7RII. Despite the large number of 50 mm lense choices available on the market, I am still waiting for a very good (not heavy and bulky) one to pair with the A7R IV. - The 110 mm Macro Voigtlander, which by the way is one of the sharpest lens (all along the aperture range) I ever owned, behave very well with the R IV. - The 135 GM behaves also very well. Paired with the R IV, it provides fabulous portrait pictures. - I do agrre with you for the 100-400 GM. I did not see any issue so far (without the 1.4 converter I also own) except that noise coming earlier with the 61MP sensor, you need good light conditions to shoot clean pictures. - My daughter's 24 105 Sony seems to behave well. The only drawback is distortion which can be corrected of course but at a price of lower IQ. - I also tried the 28 75 Tamron from one of my friends and it was surprisingly good : not perfect of course but usable if you are not too demandind for corners sharpness. For family or events pictures, it can be an unexpensive all around lens choice. Tamron seems to do a great job with good quality lenses at affordable prices ( not like the GM lenses). Philippe
  8. Hi,I did do it and in a nutshell here are my pros and cons : Pros : - IQ is outstanding and better than the A7RIII . Let's be clear : the A7RIII is quite a good camera, but the MKIV gives even more detailed pictures. It is really impressive. - The pixelshift is quite good and give outstanding results under good conditions. - Focus speed and accuracy is excellent and eye / face detection works extremely well. - The IBIS is excellent : I was fearing some issues with hand held shoots, but it works quite well. I am impressed. - The ergonomics are better on the A7RIV : I like very much the new grip, the new buttons, SD cards slot and the quality of the viewfinder. Cons : - Noise is coming earlier when increasing your ISO, which by the way is not a surprise : the pixels are smaller. Same thing for diffraction. The 61 MP sensor is also more sensitive to shake than the 42 MP one. But so far, I did not find all that as a real issue. - Linked to the comment above, you need to pair your 61 MP sensor with the very best lenses : it has a cost if you are not already equiped with a top class gear. - The use of SDXC class II cards is highly recommended if you want a good data transfer. And a good PC / laptop is welcome. I have no issue with mine using Capture One, but it is a high end gamer one chosen on purpose. - If you don't go beyond the A3 format printing or don't need to crop significantly, the 61 MP may be of little use. - If you sell your A7RIII and buy the A7RIV, it is not a cheap switch. All in all, do not be misleaded by the "cons" : I have absolutely no regrets for having done the switch. The A7RIV has such a great potential !
  9. Hi, I got my new A7RIV one week ago and here are my first impressions for still photography: 1/ Ergonomics : This new body get closer to a real professional one than its predecessors. Many comments have already been made on that, so I shall not dig in. I just can witness that the improvement is real in many aspects and it is a pleasure to use this new body. Some weaknesses such as the fuzzy menus are still there but fortunately you can customize your functions. 2/ The 61MP sensor : - Sharpness and level of details is outstanding ! The gain compared to the A7RIII is clearly visible. Having said that, compared to the A7RIII, with 45% more megapixels on the A7RIV you will get a size increase of the image (cropped at 100%) of "just" around 20%. I do often print on A2 or A1 formats papers (300 ppp) and I welcome this additional capacity. For some of you, it might be of no use and the A7RIII remains an excellent choice. A word on the pixelshift : I tried it with the 16 shots option. I was not so much impressed by this option with the A7RIII, but, with the A7RIV, it is crazy ! The picture is much bigger than the basic uncompressed raw one . At 100% crop, you can print a perfectly sharp and detailed 63 X 42 inches picture ! Of course, the use is limited to scenes where nothing moves. I shall use it, among others, when shooting in museums. Despite its extremely good performance, the A7RIV cannot be compared to a medium format camera and I do not like the Sony marketing on this. A medium format body has a bigger sensor which means (for the same pixels count) less diffraction, shallower DOF, etc..and all in all a better image quality. But there is a price for that : very expensive, bulky and heavy bodies and lenses, and a much less versatile system. - In order to get the best from this new 61 MP sensor, you need the very best lenses. I did test my own gear (made of mainly Sony GM lenses) and also some other gear of my friends. The 61 MP sensor does not forgive anything. With no surprise the GM lenses were fine. With other brands, the results are uneven : a good result for example with the Voigtlander 110mm Macro, less good results with the Zeiss Loxia series. Let's remember that with such a high megapixel sensor diffraction comes earlier when you stop down. (By the way, I think it is strange to see lens manufacturers (including Sony) still selling lenses with a 22 minimum aperture). - Noise : I found that the noise comes earlier than with the A7RIII when you increase your ISO setting (beyond 800 ISO). On my side I do not care since shooting mainly landscapes and portraits, I always try to stick to low ISOs. - In Body Image Stabilization : good surprise ! the performance is very good with this demanding 61MP sensor and you really can shoot hand held at relatively low shutter speeds. Having said that, the A7RIV seems more sensitive to shake than its predecessors (I did see that with my 100-400 GM when shooting at 400) - Autofocus and eye/face tracking: no need to say that this new A7RIV is excellent. I am very impressed. - Color rendition : For what I have seen so far the new sensor gives warmer colors than the A7RII and III 42MP one. As a matter of conclusion : If not perfect, this new A7RIV is clearly an excellent product with a lot of potential. The 61MP sensor requires to be more patient and focussed on what you do : this is a small price to pay for getting high level pictures.
  10. Hi, I also own the A7RIV since a week and tested my gear and also some friends gear with it : it seems clear that the 61MP sensor does not forgive any average or just good quality lenses. If you stick to the Sony GM lenses, you will not be disappointed. The Zeiss lenses seem OK with the A7RIV for the Batis series and less for the Loxia one. As a general purpose lens, the 24-70 GM is may be the best to fit with the A7RIV. On my side, I like the 24mm GM. Although not a GM lens, the new 35mm f1.8 is surprisingly good.
  11. Hi, I also got the A7RIV one week ago : I do shoot mainly portraits and landscape and for those use the uncompressed raw to get the very best (I very often print with A2 or A1 formats). For other purposes such as action, events, I shall use the compressed raw which is quite sufficient;
  12. Thanks a lot for your comment. I do agree with you. It is true to say that the Cloud version includes new services. The question is do we need them ? I am not really sure yet. One major argument in favor of the Cloud is the capacity to store your pictures in a safe environment (safer than your own local one) and also have the possibility to access to your data at anytime and from everywhere (provided that you have an internet connection). Fine but, to my knowledge (may be I am wrong), once a file is gone to the internet, there is no obvious way to make sure that it is stored just in one location and no one can find it even if you did delete it. Another issue is the safety of the clouds. I read a lot of articles on this subject and there seems to be no evidence or very clear answer. It happens to me from time to time to work without an internet connection (there are still many locations where internet is hardly accessible) and I am happy to do my post treatment with the soft on my PC. As far as the data storage is concerned, I use several hard disks kept in two different locations. I have started this process in 2001 and since that time never had any real issue. I do accept the very low probability that all my disks would fail at the same time : there is no zero risk. The only thing in my opinion to be concious of is that technology is moving ahead and you need to renew your disks from time to time. As a matter of example, I still use a 1To SATA disk which was bought in 2007 and also new SSD disks bought recently.The transfer rates are obviously not the same, and I don't use them the same way. So what ?
  13. good job mack 100 ! I must confess that using Capture One now since 2017, I have no interest in coming back to LR6, although it is a good toolbox. Capture one makes me quite happy for my two main uses : portrait and landscape. For those who want to do more than purely photography, like some mix of photos and Drawings, the Adobe products are still quite attractive; but I just try to do good pictures and improve within the time : to this respect, Capture One is perfect for me.
  14. Hi, I have the 100-400 GM in my gear (among others) and find it quite a good lens. Its obvious use, as you mention it, is wildlife (or sports) photography. But I use it mainly for landscape (for the reach and compression) and also occasionally for outdoor portraits (moving subjects). It does a very decent job even if its widest aperture is 4.5 at 100mm and 5 at 135 mm which are usual focal lengths for portraits. At longer focal lengths, you can even increase the separation from the background and I like to shoot wide open (F5.6) at 300mm which is even sharper than 200mm on this lens. The focus on the eyes works extremely well (and this might be even better with the new A7RIII /A7III firmware release!). Of course, I prefer to use my 85 GM for portraits and more specifically for sudio work, but the 100-400 gives very decent results. It gives also very nice results for close photography of rather small objects like flowers, my favorite focal length in this case being 200mm. Since you own already the 24-105, you will have a significant overlap with the 70-200 GM : to my knowledge (I tested it) the 24-105 delivers quite a good performance in the range 70-105. So, except if you need to shoot indoors (with no flash or additional lights) where the 2.8 aperture will be a great advantage, , the 100-400 would be in my opinion an excellent complement to your 24-105.
  15. I also came from the Canon world and had the 5D MKII paired with the 24 105 which was great 10 years ago. Since that time a lot of improvements have been done and recent lenses are better. When I joined Sony, there was very little choice in term of lenses : I got the 24-70 Zeiss and the 55 f1.8. When the 55 was (and is still) impressive, the 24-70 was not at all. It was too soft at all focal lengths, 24 and 70 being really not good. I sold it back. I recently bought the 24-105 G as a Christmas gift for ma daughter and tested it : it is far better than the Zeiss 24-70. In terms of IQ, it is not far from the GM zooms (I own several), and the sharpness at 70 and 105 still remain quite good, which is a real performance. All what you have read in the reviews is true. It's not a perfect lens of course and distorsion is big at 24, but it can be easily corrected in post. So, in my opinion, you should not hesitate to swap !
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