The new Sony Alpha A6500 with superior image quality, touchscreen, 4K over sampling with no pixel binning and 425 AF points was just announced alongside the updated Sony Cyber-Shot DMC- RX100 V. With a growing number of professional photographers and videographers using Sony’s mirrorless line, plenty of updated features have been included in these new flagship models. The Alpha A6500 The Sony Alpha A6500 sports a 24.2 MP sensor with redesigned front end processing, allowing for over sampling with no pixel binning from it’s 6K sensor (20MP equivalent) to achieve a sharp 4K image. It can record UHD (3840×2160) in 24/25/30p at 100mbps, as well as HD slow motion in 120fps at 100mbps also. Still images can be pulled from video clips too like we’ve seen in the GH4, in 8MP from a 4K video clip and 2MP from a HD video clip. It has a whopping 425 AF points, as well as 0.05s autofocus speed that can be controlled using the touchscreen at bursts of up to 11fps for 20 seconds. This is ideal for video, where users can ‘lock focus’ on a subject and track it through the frame. Auto focusing technology has got much better recently, so it will be interesting to see tests tracking and following subjects while recording. A new buffer has been added for long bursts of continuous shooting, as well as play back of photos and video clips. A new feature for the A6500 is the Slow & Quick mode that can capture frame rates from 1fps to 120fps in 8 steps, offering 60x quick motion and 5x slow motion. Slow and Quick is also included in the FS5, so it’s great to see Sony adapting the tech for cameras that videographers are using. The recorded clips can also be played back in camera, without the need for post processing. Sony has also included 5-axis in-camera stabilization like the one found in the a7S II and a7R II, optimized for the APS-C sensor and compatible with both E-mount and A-mount adapted lenses. The stabilization claims to compensate the equivalent of 5.0 stops of a faster shutter speed. The A6500 would be an ideal camera for gimbal use, or as a B-camera for those shooting with an a7S II, a7R II or FS5. Detailed specs of the Sony Alpha A6500 – 24.2MP APS-C sensor (1.5x crop factor). E-mount 5-axis in-camera stabilization (compatible with E-mount and A-mount lenses). 4K up to 30p at 100Mbps HD up to 120fps at 100Mbps 425-point auto focusing Slow & Quick frame rate control. 4K and HD photo pull from video clips. Touchscreen controls 0.05 second auto focus speed High density focus tracking New buffer for faster continuous photo bursts and quicker image playback. ISO range from 100-25600 (up to 51200 expanded). No headphone out. Menu redesign with grouped features. Check out our real world review and first impressions of the A6300 here, but how will the A6500 fare in low light? Our lab tests will show that in the coming future, but for now, check out our previous article on how the A6300 copes in low light scenarios. Also, if you’re undecided about getting an a7S II over the new A6500, check out this article on how the a7S II compares to the A6300. The Sony Alpha A6500 can be pre-ordered now from B&H for $1399.00, and will be available in the USA and Canada from November, and in Europe from December. The Cyber-Shot DMC-RX100 V The RX100 V is a 21MP, 1 inch sensor compact camera, with a 2.9x optical zoom and aperture of f/1.8 – 2.8. It has a built-in 3-stop ND filter which is fantastic for keeping the shallow depth of field in high brightness, and can record in 4K UHD up to 30p at 100Mbps. It has a full sensor readout with no pixel binning when recording 4K, for sharp images and minimized moire. It will be interesting to see if this produces an ‘overly sharp’ image though. Slow motion frame rates of up to 960fps can also be recorded, as well as up to 120fps in HD. Like with the A6500, you can pull stills from video clips at 8MP from 4K video and 2MP from HD video. The RX100 V also has similar fast auto focusing capabilities as the A6500, with a 0.05 second AF speed and 315 AF points. The auto focusing can track a subject, another handy feature for filming. Detailed specs of the Sony DMC-RX100 V: 21MP 1 inch sensor Fixed 2.9x optical zoom lens Variable aperture from f/1.8 – 2.8 No pixel binning when recording 4K 4K video recording in 24/25/30p at 100mbps. HD video recording up to 120fps XAVC and AVCHD video formats with varying frame rates. No headphone out. We took at look at how the RX100 IV fares for filming, here are the first impressions and review article. The Sony Cyber-Shot DMC-RX100 V can be pre-ordered now from B&H for $998.00, and will be shipping this month. A new underwater housing model, the MPK-URX100A, will also be available in November for around $350 in the USA and in Canada, $450 CA.Read more
As part of our aim to strengthen the connection between us and our readers, we decided to give our talented audience out there a stage to express themselves and share their success stories in our new weekly TALENT FEATURE. We hope that with time, these guest posts will become a source of inspiration to our colleagues wherever they are. If you are interested in participating, please upload your video to our VIDEOLOG and follow the rest of the submission process by reading the information here. (Intro by Johnnie Behiri) I started filmmaking as a hobby just a couple of years ago, but I quickly realized how passionate I was about it and that it could be more than just a hobby to me. I was studying civil engineering at the time, where you obviously don’t learn much about filmmaking. Therefore, I soaked up every bit of information about filmmaking I could find on the internet and improved my work. I just finished college in early 2016 and I’m still at the beginning of my filmmaking career, but I’m pushing hard to make a living out of it. Name: Tobi Schnorpfeil Age: 25 Currently based in: Germany, Country side (Koblenz) Language(s) spoken: German, English Occupation: Freelance Filmmaker, Editor and Cinematographer. How did you get started in our industry? It all started with videos from family trips. During my civil engineering studies, I realized how passionate I was about creating visuals. The internet provided me with the information I needed to improve myself – and of course lots of practice. Last year I got my very first paid assignment. Current assignments: I’m currently working on travel destination videos for a German start-up film production. We travel to different countries to produce commercial videos for tourism. I’m doing cinematography and editing on those projects. What types of productions do you mostly shoot? I find myself shooting travel videos the most, as I’m doing it as a hobby as well as a job. During recent years I figured that I’m very passionate about traveling to countries I haven’t been before. I’m always trying to do something I haven’t seen on the internet before – something off the beaten path. Of course, that’s very hard nowadays as almost everything is documented in a photo or a video, but I keep looking for those secret spots. What is your dream assignment or job in our industry, and what are you really passionate about? I still have to figure out what my dream assignment would be as I’m very new to this industry. At the beginning it was all about creating cool images. Now I want to create films that move the viewer. Great images, cinematic sound and a touching story in combination give me goosebumps. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish. In the work that you are presenting us, now that it is done, what would you have done differently throughout the production? As I traveled the whole country of Vietnam in just 30 days, I really had to rush through places which sometimes didn’t leave enough time to get to know local people in every location. Next time, I’ll try to make more time for those moments as the stories you hear are truly inspiring. What current camera, lenses and sound equipment do you use? Sony A7s (mark I) with Sony/Zeiss 35mm f/2.8, Sony/Zeiss 24-70mm f4 and some old Canon FD primes via an adapter (I still use a Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 from my dad’s hobby photography days). I also use a GoPro camera when it’s necessary. They come in really handy when you have to shoot action, POV or simply where a bigger camera is not usable. To match the footage of different cameras I try to shoot as flat as possible and dial down the sharpness a lot. GoPro cameras and Phantom drones sharpen the image way too much in-camera. Turn it all the way down, you can always add it in post again! What’s is your favourite lighting equipment and why did you choose that kit over other solutions? I mostly use natural light. For travel videos, it’s certainly the easiest way to light your scene. I’ve only worked with a lighting setup once. It’s great how you can change scenes with different lighting, but be sure to plan lots of time for it. Do you use drones/gimbals in your productions? If so, what is the most effective why you’ve found in deploying them? I recently bought a DJI Phantom 3 Pro, which I used for the first time on my current project. I still need to work with it for a while longer before I can give any advice. I prefer a Steadycam on my travels, as it’s way easier to transport and carry around all day! What editing systems do you use? This project was edited, graded and mixed in Final Cut Pro X. Some of the transitions are made in Adobe After Effects. I recently started to also use Premiere Pro, although I still prefer FCPX for usability and performance as it’s much faster than Premiere pro. I like PremierePro for it’s more advanced features in keyframes and the dynamic link to After Effects. How much of your work do you shoot in Log and what is your preferred way of colour correcting? I don’t shoot Log because I’m using the A7s and its Logs’ base ISO (3200) makes it hard to use in daylight. I prefer to shoot in a cine profile. I love to grade inside FCPX as it runs so smooth and you can easily extend the functions with plugins. I’m really starting to like the Lumetri color panel in Premiere Pro as well. How frequently do you travel, and do you have any tips when it comes to packing your gear? I’ve been traveling quite a lot lately, and packing my gear is always hard. My tip would be to strip down the gear to the absolute essentials. Don’t bring any lenses you’re not sure you’ll use – they are heavy and take lots of space. I keep my batteries in a small orange bag which is easy to find in my backpack. In there full batteries have a rubber band around them, empty batteries don’t. Last but not least, whatever you do, if you are really passionate about it then you should keep doing it. If you can’t make a living out of it, keep it as your hobby! Following your passion is the best thing you can do – but way too few people dare pursue their dreams. If you want to learn more about Tobi’s creative’s work, head over to his home page, or his Youtube channel. Participate in our initiative: share your talent and creative work by following these steps.Read more
Today, Sony has already issued a firmware update (v 1.10) for their new a7S II mirrorless camera that fixes the “black hole sun” problem that we reported about just over a week ago. A word from Sony: (…) It is designed to eliminate the occurrence of a black spot that may appear in frame when shooting in a specific set of high intensity light conditions. The new firmware, version 1.10, will be available for download through Sony’s e-support site http://www.sony.eu/support/ on the product page for model “ILCE-7SM2”. This is the direct link to the UK site for the a7S II firmware update: http://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/ILCE-7SM2 Wolfcrow has already posted a video demonstrating the fixed footage. via Sony Europe & NoFilmSchool (Wolfcrow Video)Read more
Before you watch the video: I was attempting trying a new audio wireless device which unfortunately does not work well with this camera. The result is a distorted audio track. The camera it-self produces better sound then in this video. A while back When Sony first introduced it’s new A77 to the cinema5D team, our first response was “Why is Sony not using the new XAVC-S codec with that camera?”. Fast forward to last week and a free firmware containing the new XAVC-S codec can be downloaded here. Equipped with one Sony A mount 16-50mm f2.8 lens, 2 batteries, a tripod and lots of positive energy to meet Sabine and her wonderful family, I did the 90 min drive to her little Christmas kingdom, hoping that rain will not spoil the day as I had only 3 hours till it gets dark and rain is the last thing I needed…. So how is it to work with the new A77mII you may ask. Well, Very much strait forward. If you are used to the latest Sony menu layout which can be found across the range, you will feel very much at home after turning the camera on. Also, assigning tasks to the FN button is very simple and useful. When it come to battery life, I felt like it keeps longer then the usual (or am I just used to the short battery life of the A7s)…. All in all the picture coming out of the camera is pleasant BUT soft. All the footage you see in this video was enhanced with 30% sharpness in post. Also, aliasing and rolling shutter are much evident in many of the clips I took. The low light capability is still to be check in our lab test but the night footage showed in this short film was all shot in ISO 1250 and looks usable. Additionally, the OLED viewfinder of this camera is OK. Focusing was not always easy. (you can use peaking as your focusing aid). Further more, “punching in” while shooting to correct focusing is not possible. (If you like to use “auto focus” while shooting video, it is possible but shutter speed turns “automatic” as soon as you flip the AF/MF switch on the lens). One area the A77mII really falls back is audio. With No headphone jack it feels outdated. Also, since this is the latest in Sony’s A mount camera range, I was surprised to see that the new XLR A2M attachment is not supported. Further more, other Sony audio wireless devices which attach directly to the hot shoe and do work with the camera, will turn the audio to AUTO mode leaving a lot to be desired (ECM-W1M) Summary: The new Sony A77mII will not make loyal Canon or Nikon users to replace their camera with that one (unlike the case of the Sony A7s). Also, if you are looking for an easy way to use your Canon lenses, then Sony’s E-mount is the way to go. If you are in the market for a good APS-C photo camera that can shoot good quality video, then the Sony A77mII is a very valid option. Strengths: -Zebra -Peaking -Tilting LCD screen -Modern efficient codec -Clean video picture -Adjusting audio levels while recording. Possible -Reasonable lowlight capability -Good battery life Weaknesses: -Strong aliasing -Strong rolling shutter effect -Soft picture. Needs enhancement in post -No flat video picture profile -No headphone jack -No “punch in” focus while recording -Does not support Sony’s latest professional attached audio XLR devices Camera settings for this video: XAVC-S codec, 1080/25p, Creative style: Ntrl (0-0-0) Edited on Adobe Premiere CC. 30% sharpness was added in post. FilmConvert filter was applied. A big thank you to: Sabine Gollnhuber from bad tatzmannsdorf https://www.facebook.com/weihnachtshausbadtatzmannsdorf Britta Tivan http://filmessenz.tv/ Music: The musicbed “Wish you a Merry Christmas” by Tracey ChattawayRead more
Sony was kind enough to send us an early sample camera from its latest Alpha range, the new A5000 (from that point on, all Sony cameras will be marked as “Alpha”. NEX no longer exists). Like its predecessors, this APS-C interchangeable E-mount lens photo camera, can shoot video in different frame rates. (region dependant: 24 to 60 fps in NTSC countries, 25-50 fps in PAL territories). As this is Sony’s most modestly priced Alpha camera, I was very curious to check “how well does it shoot video” and if there are any (significant) improvements when it comes to “video picture quality” with this new model. If you are in the rush and have no time to read on, the answer is no and yes…. There is no improvement regarding sharpness (soft image), codec (AVCHD) or aliasing/moire. Yes, camera will not shut off during recording because of overheating (at least during my extended indoor shooting day it did not happen – but it’s winter after all)! As this is an entry level model, Sony chose to leave out some of the features which are much needed for serious hobbyists and advanced users. Gone are the headphone/mic jacks, manual audio level controls and hot/cold shoe. Those are of course only significant if you are after serious creative work and better camera control (like we are). Personally, any camera that does not come with an EVF or the possibility to attach one, is already a “no go” for me as I find it nearly impossible to work outdoor with LCD only. An attempt to attach Zacuto’s Z-finder was not successful either as the magnified image on the LCD is very pixelated. As you can see on the photo below, I ended up building a “mini rig” that will help me work comfortably. Please note that interview audio was recorded externally. All other ambient audio was recorded in camera. All in all, let’s stay realistic with expectations as this camera is not targeted at advanced users. It will do JUST FINE as a “home video” camera and a fun compact travel companion to shoot video and stills with. Camera settings used for this short video: AVCHD 1080/25p Creative style: Portrait (-3 -3 -3) ISO: mostly 800 All was edited on Adobe Premiere Pro. 20% sharpness was added in post. Colour correction done with FilmConvert. Equipment used: Sony 18-105mm f/4 lens Sachtler ACE L Cineroid Retina EVF Sennheiser ew112 G3 Senal SMH-1000 Professional Headphones Tascam dr-60d Cineroid L2C-3K5K On-Camera LED Light SIX pro rig Wooden camera UVF mount V2 kit Music: http://www.themusicbed.com Highways of the Heart Tony Anderson Louder – Instrumental Secret Weapons Back to Where I’m From – Instrumental Joshua Radin Many thanks to: – Filius de la croix. If you want to learn more about his art work, please click here – cafe Korb for allowing me to film inside Johnnie Behiri is a freelance documentary cameraman/editor/producer working mostly for the BBC and other respected broadcasters. He is also co-owner of cinema5d.comRead more
The much anticipated Sony Alpha 77 was finally announced today in conjunction with a bunch of reviews and alongside the also much anticipated large sensor video camera VG-20, but more about that later on. Now let’s face the first question: Will the A77 be the next great hdslr? No comment. (… but no). Read much more after the jump:Read more
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