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PHDX

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  1. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from Thad E Ginathom in A7RIV first (good) impressions   
    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.
     
  2. Thanks
    PHDX got a reaction from Peter Mitchell in The 100-400 GM : a great high quality versatile lens   
    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.

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.
    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.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.   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 !
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.   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.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. 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 ! 

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. 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 :

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. 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 ! 
     
  3. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from LiveShots in The 100-400 GM : a great high quality versatile lens   
    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.

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.
    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.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.   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 !
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.   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.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. 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 ! 

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. 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 :

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. 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 ! 
     
  4. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from Enormicon in From Lightroom to Capture One : a no regret move   
    Hi all,
     
    Following a previous conversation, I did leave the Adobe world (and more specifically Lightroom) to join Capture One. I shall not come back on the reasons which made
    me leave Lightroom after many years of use. They have been already shared by myself, among many others.
     
    I just wanted to share with you my first impressions on Capture One :
     
    It definitely took little time to adapt to this new environment but not with significant difficulties :
     
    1 / Lightroom is certainly more advanced and powerful for the management of catalogs but at the end I found my ways with Capture one. It was a good occasion to review my own organization without changing the basics : keep my raw pictures database organized with the simple time criteria. I must confess that the migration of my Lightroom catalogs has not been very easy and i had in some cases to reshape things (not all parameters are transferred)but it was worth the journey.
     
    2/ Pictures Color treatment : this is in my opinion quite a strong point in Capture One and since I do mostly portraits and landscape pictures, it is definitively a
    powerful tool. The way you can refine colors in capture One is just excellent. You need to get used to it and choose the advanced menu to get the best of it but once you understanfd how it works, what a pleasure ! I like verymuch the possibility to transfer a color change into a mask and then refine the picture where you want to have the right impact.
    Lightroom does not give you that, but, of course you can use Photoshop to use masks.
     
     
    3/ You can find in Capture One all what you need for your pictures, like in Lightroom,and sometimes more, but you have to test each piece since the algorithms are not the same and then the result may differ : to take a very simple case, the color saturation button does not give the same impact as in Lightroom : just a question of adaptation.
    To this respect, I strongly recommend to watch the available tutorials or webminars dedicated to Capture One : not only you will understand quickly how to use it but also understand what's behind each functionality.
     
    4/ About the price : I did leave the Canon world a few years ago (after having owned a 5D MKII that I loved) for joining the Sony world which I like verymuch (such a big progress in a few years !) and then I have bought the Sony version of capture One 10 for 50 Euros. Not such a big expense, knowing that I got the version 11 release for free.
     
    I must confess that after so many years of lightroom (from version 1 to version 6 !), my main workhorse, I was anxious to switch to something else : I can witness today that i have no regret and hope that capture One will sustain long with the right philosphy of making real progress in each new version.
  5. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from mack100 in The end of the standalone Lightroom version   
    Thanks guys for your quite relevant answers. I did start using Capture One and, although it takes time
    to adapt coming from Lightroom, it seems quite powerful.
    I need of course to learn and test much more (and presumably it will take some time to reach a good undersatnding of all the features) but the test I did with landscape pictures on Capture One sounds very promising.
     
    By the way, I was so used to Lightroom that I had lost somewhat my creativity, applying very often the same corrections or changes to my pictures : switching to another system with a different philosophy and structure forces me to adopt a new behaviour.
    As you all know, probably better than me, Photography requires patience and time, but it's defenitely worth the journey.
  6. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from Thad E Ginathom in The scream of a dead tree   
    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
     
     

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.
  7. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from LiveShots in The scream of a dead tree   
    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
     
     

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content.
  8. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from Kaspars Sili≈Ü≈° in From Lightroom to Capture One : a no regret move   
    Hi all,
     
    Following a previous conversation, I did leave the Adobe world (and more specifically Lightroom) to join Capture One. I shall not come back on the reasons which made
    me leave Lightroom after many years of use. They have been already shared by myself, among many others.
     
    I just wanted to share with you my first impressions on Capture One :
     
    It definitely took little time to adapt to this new environment but not with significant difficulties :
     
    1 / Lightroom is certainly more advanced and powerful for the management of catalogs but at the end I found my ways with Capture one. It was a good occasion to review my own organization without changing the basics : keep my raw pictures database organized with the simple time criteria. I must confess that the migration of my Lightroom catalogs has not been very easy and i had in some cases to reshape things (not all parameters are transferred)but it was worth the journey.
     
    2/ Pictures Color treatment : this is in my opinion quite a strong point in Capture One and since I do mostly portraits and landscape pictures, it is definitively a
    powerful tool. The way you can refine colors in capture One is just excellent. You need to get used to it and choose the advanced menu to get the best of it but once you understanfd how it works, what a pleasure ! I like verymuch the possibility to transfer a color change into a mask and then refine the picture where you want to have the right impact.
    Lightroom does not give you that, but, of course you can use Photoshop to use masks.
     
     
    3/ You can find in Capture One all what you need for your pictures, like in Lightroom,and sometimes more, but you have to test each piece since the algorithms are not the same and then the result may differ : to take a very simple case, the color saturation button does not give the same impact as in Lightroom : just a question of adaptation.
    To this respect, I strongly recommend to watch the available tutorials or webminars dedicated to Capture One : not only you will understand quickly how to use it but also understand what's behind each functionality.
     
    4/ About the price : I did leave the Canon world a few years ago (after having owned a 5D MKII that I loved) for joining the Sony world which I like verymuch (such a big progress in a few years !) and then I have bought the Sony version of capture One 10 for 50 Euros. Not such a big expense, knowing that I got the version 11 release for free.
     
    I must confess that after so many years of lightroom (from version 1 to version 6 !), my main workhorse, I was anxious to switch to something else : I can witness today that i have no regret and hope that capture One will sustain long with the right philosphy of making real progress in each new version.
  9. Like
    PHDX got a reaction from LiveShots in From Lightroom to Capture One : a no regret move   
    Hi all,
     
    Following a previous conversation, I did leave the Adobe world (and more specifically Lightroom) to join Capture One. I shall not come back on the reasons which made
    me leave Lightroom after many years of use. They have been already shared by myself, among many others.
     
    I just wanted to share with you my first impressions on Capture One :
     
    It definitely took little time to adapt to this new environment but not with significant difficulties :
     
    1 / Lightroom is certainly more advanced and powerful for the management of catalogs but at the end I found my ways with Capture one. It was a good occasion to review my own organization without changing the basics : keep my raw pictures database organized with the simple time criteria. I must confess that the migration of my Lightroom catalogs has not been very easy and i had in some cases to reshape things (not all parameters are transferred)but it was worth the journey.
     
    2/ Pictures Color treatment : this is in my opinion quite a strong point in Capture One and since I do mostly portraits and landscape pictures, it is definitively a
    powerful tool. The way you can refine colors in capture One is just excellent. You need to get used to it and choose the advanced menu to get the best of it but once you understanfd how it works, what a pleasure ! I like verymuch the possibility to transfer a color change into a mask and then refine the picture where you want to have the right impact.
    Lightroom does not give you that, but, of course you can use Photoshop to use masks.
     
     
    3/ You can find in Capture One all what you need for your pictures, like in Lightroom,and sometimes more, but you have to test each piece since the algorithms are not the same and then the result may differ : to take a very simple case, the color saturation button does not give the same impact as in Lightroom : just a question of adaptation.
    To this respect, I strongly recommend to watch the available tutorials or webminars dedicated to Capture One : not only you will understand quickly how to use it but also understand what's behind each functionality.
     
    4/ About the price : I did leave the Canon world a few years ago (after having owned a 5D MKII that I loved) for joining the Sony world which I like verymuch (such a big progress in a few years !) and then I have bought the Sony version of capture One 10 for 50 Euros. Not such a big expense, knowing that I got the version 11 release for free.
     
    I must confess that after so many years of lightroom (from version 1 to version 6 !), my main workhorse, I was anxious to switch to something else : I can witness today that i have no regret and hope that capture One will sustain long with the right philosphy of making real progress in each new version.
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