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PHDX

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PHDX last won the day on October 16

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  1. 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
  2. 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 !
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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;
  6. 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 ?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 !
  10. And a small magicien (8 cm eight) holding a burning incense stick. Picture taken at F8, ISO 100, 3.2s
  11. Here is a picture of my son with the 110mm at F2.5, ISO 160, 1/125
  12. I was looking for a macro lens I could also use for other purposes (portrait and landscape short telephoto). The obvious choice could have been the excellent Sony 90 Macro, but I wanted to get out of the Sony lineup and also come back to my old times when autofocus was not a must. At the same time, I also wanted to get a lens with a modern design which could efficiently use the potential of my A7R III sensor. I found the Voigtlander 110 mm 2.5 which is a brand new one produced by Cosina in Japan. I had read very nice comments on the Voigtlander 65 mm macro but the focal length was too short in my opinion, and it had only a 1:2 magnification ratio. Then came the 110mm and I bought it. The lens : this lens has a somewhat unusual look, with different diameters in the front, rear, and middle. It is rather compact when not extended for macro. It is heavy, just 50g less than the big Sony 85 GM (820g), but as soon as you get it in your hands, you feel good and know it is a real solid and well built lens. You have to screw the good metal hood on the lens which is also unusual : you may like or not like that. On my side, I got used of this very quickly. The focus ring is wide and smooth enough to be capable to fine tune and find the right focus distance, with the help of the focus peaking: it is a real pleasure to use it. To this respect, my manual focus experience with the 90 macro was less good. Of course, there is no autofocus and this lead you to be more cautious, patient, and requires a little experience before being easy with that. In some circumstancies, when your subject is moving, you may miss the autofocus (although I rarely used it for macro) or the eye AF for portraits. I have compared it with the 85 GM, doing some shootings with both lenses and I was impressed by the 110mm even if I felt more secure on the result with the 85 GM. The aperture ring, closer to the camera body, is relatively narrow and not always easy to move without touching the focus ring : you need to pay little attention for that. But the real strength of this lens is its sharpness : it is the best FE lens I have used, on par with or even better than the 90 Macro and the 55 F1.8. It is really outstanding. Not only the center of the frame is very sharp, but the corners too ! And it is true from the wider aperture f 2.5 to f8. At f11 the diffraction is visible although it is quite usable. So do not hesitate to shoot wide open unless you need more DOF. I have also compared the 110 mm to the 100-400 GM (at 110 of course) for landscape and it seems to me that the 110 is a little sharper : this is quite a performance knowing that the 100-400 is an excellent lens as fas sharpness is concerned. Some people will think that the 110 is too sharp for portraits : I myself never consider a high sharpness as a drawback, and wide open this lens gives you a very short DOF which helps to blurr anything you want. On top of that, I am a Capture One user and I can do a lot in post if ever I really need to reduce the sharpness. You might think that a 2.5 aperture is not enough to get a nice bokeh but quite frankly what I saw with the 110 mm was really good and you get a smooth transition for the background. I did some comparison with the 85 GM at f2 and the result was fairly similar. I did not either notice any cat eyes with the 110 mm but to be honest the 85 GM seems to me a little better : however this is not something which has worried me. So, in a nutshell, if you are not afraid by manual focussing and you want an extremely well built lens with an outsatnding sharpness, do not hesitate. And by the way, it costs half the price of the 85 GM and almost the same as the 90 Macro.
  13. I own several GM lenses and tried the 24 105 which I bought recently for my daughter. I compared it at 24, 35, 55 and 100 focal lengths with my gear. In a nutshell, the 24 105 is excellent for what it is and you need to crop beyond 100% to see it is a little behind the 16-35 GM at 24 and 35, the 55 1.8 at 55 or the 100-400 GM at 100. You can see a difference, more specifically in corners, but in most cases it should not be an issue. I must also say that in some cases like when I was in the desert in Saudia Arabia with a windy weather, avoiding to change your lens would have been very welcome ! For my own main use at F8-F11 for landscape, it could be an option provided that I would also add in my bag a prime like the Zeiss Batis 18mm.
  14. Hi guys, I wanted to share with you my growing experience with the Sony 100-400 GM : When you buy such a lens, you are supposed to target a specific use such as sport or wildlife photography. And yes this is true, the first reflex may be to carry this heavy lens only for those purposes. Let's say immediately that the weight is a relative criteria : in fact for such a focal length zoom, it's not very heavy and quite frankly not difficult to hold. The price is much more an issue for most of us, but what a lens ! Paired with my A7RIII, it is fast and accurate (it might be even better with the A9 I guess), the autofocus works quite well and the sharpness at all focal lengths and apertures is very good, if not outstanding. The build quality is excellent and the focus hold buttons (there are three !) very useful (eye AF). Now what can you do with it ?. As already mentioned, sports and wildlife. Here are two basic examples : my son in action (ISO 1600, 1/1000, F5.6, 189 mm), it was a late afternoon with not a lot of light and I had to shoot at rather high ISO. Nothing is perfect and the 100-400 is not a F2.8 lens. This is the compromise you have to accept. But the picture is quite OK. The second picture is a classical one (ISO 400, 1/1000, F7.1, 400 mm) : it was hand held and the the stabilization worked well. To be honest, 400 mm was not enough and I had to crop a lot in post. Since that time, I bought the 1.4 teleconverter which works quite well and give the extra reach I was missing, the image quality reamining excellent. But you know what ? I did not buy this lens for the above pictures. I got it because I needed something to get closer to my subject in landscape photography ! There are many occasions when you cannot be close to the subject, and if you can be, it will not provide you the same view at all. In addition the compression can be very interesting for landscapes. So may be you will find this awkward but this zoom comes with me in my bag with my other landscape zoom, the 16-35 GM. Here are two simple examples of lanscape pictures with the 100-400 : for the first one (ISO 100, 1/200, F8, 400 mm), I was on the other side of the lake in the mountain. The only other alternative would have been to be in an helicopter and then shoot with a shorter focal length ! The second one (ISO 100, 1/160, F8, 218 mm) could not be taken being close to this Vauban castle in the Alps. Let's say also, that all those pictures were taken hand held. If you are really curious about landscape photography with such a lens, read the excellent Sony 100-400 GM review made by Albert Dros (www.albertdros.com): I am just an amateur and he is a real Professional. But you can do even more with the 100-400 GM : I tried some close pictures of flowers in my garden and it's not bad at all. May be, it's not as good as with the excellent 90 F2.8 Macro G lens, but I was very positively surprised by what I got. Here are two examples : the pictures of the first flower (ISO 100, 1/400, F8, 198 mm) and the second one (ISO 200, 1/200, F16, 221mm) have been taken on a sturdy tripod. The weather was a little windy and then the flowers did constantly move. However, as you can see, the pictures are reasonably sharp. Let's say also, that you need to close your aperture down since the depth of field is very narrow. The blurred backround was also a nice surprise knowing that with the help of Capture One, you can do a lot in post ! For this second picture, you may see a small insect in the top center of the rose. I did crop at 400 % and here is the result : Personnaly, I am quite impressed by the quality of the 100-400 ! Last but not the least : when I want to do a shooting for portrait photography, I use my 85 F1.4 GM which is one of the best portrait lenses I know. However, you can also get out of the logic box and use the 100-400 GM : I did some portraits hand held which are quite interesting and the sharpness was really good. Shooting at 100mm F4.5 brings enough blurred backround and the colors are awsome. So, in a nutshell, this 100-400 GM is a superb lens from which you can get many good surprises provided you are ready to keep open minded and carry it !
  15. I was walking around and found this old oak tree which was about to be chopped down, with one high branch which had already been cut. Since the inside was eaten by insects, it has created holes with as a result a screaming face, as if this old tree expressed its fear to disappear... With my A7RIII, 100-400 GM at 253mm, 1/1000s, F5.6, ISO 640. #sonyalpharumors
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