matthew saville: Too bad you forgot the most stable tabletop tripod of all, the Giottos QU 500B. I guess that's explained by the caveat of "larger and more adjustable than the common 'pocket' tripod" ...but still. I've tested a ton of tripods and one come close to the strength-to-weight ratio of that one.
I'd love to see a good recommendation for the "pocket tripod" lines. They're actually a little more useful overall to the mainstream reader. Ideally, you'd look at not just ones for dSLRs, but also mirrorless and RX100 class cameras. Maybe even down to cell phones.
I'll buy one when it hits Android. I've been considering a Sony QX100, but this looks just so much better. The Sony/Panasonic/Nikon/etc. apps are all junk, and the wireless connectivity isn't great. In addition, the QX100 form factor is a little wonky. Good app, wired connection, and good image quality are what I want.
Only improvement I'd like is if the focal length were a smidgen longer. 50mm equivalent would be nice. Personally, I do portraiture, so 85-135mm would be ideal, but I expect that's a niche market. However, 50mm has been standard for a long time for a reason.
blindshooter: Well, it is all wrong ;)If only Sigma designs its lenses in a way that allows users to change the mount by themselves....the mount modules would sell much better than one time conversion service, I suppose.And we could use the lenses with any of our toys..(Tamron used to have it in 'manual' era..)
There is a high level of calibration needed to change mounts and maintain optical properties. This goes from adapting optics to different thicknesses of sensor UV+diffraction+etc. filters, to calibrating mechanicals, to making sure autofocus doesn't need microadjustment.
None of this applies to film+manual focus.
Nevertheless, I'm very happy for the service. It gives me confidence in the lenses I buy. The might outlast the systems I shoot with.
I appreciate sell/rebuy philosophy, but (1) who has time to sell? (2) If a system dies, the resale value will shoot to zero.
Sergey Borachev: These prices just ensure that most people continue to go to M43. I really doubt how much better quality, if any, you can get out of this Zeiss 16-50mm than the smaller, lighter and much cheaper Panasonic 12-35mm or Olympus 12-40mm
Yeah, thanks, I can stop looking at Sony cameras from now on, since they are still making good quality lenses only at such prices. So long!
Well, I'll mention a few things:
1. I love Olympus prime glass. The 45mm f/1.8 and friends are phenomenal for overall image quality. People will point out that the Zeiss is sharper, and people will be right, but overall, color, contrast, bokeh, etc. matter a lot more, and in terms of overall image aesthetic, they're both first glass.
2. In terms of price/performance, Sony has a range of glass. I would not put Olympus ahead. Or behind, for that matter. It depends on what you do. Sony has great cheap primes, not to mention a boatload of great, cheap used Minolta glass. You can't fault them for having a few expensive lenses if they also have cheap stuff.
3. Overall, I'd still buy Olympus OM-D if I were building a system from scratch, or *possibly* A9II. The quality is good enough on the OM-D to not matter anymore, and it really is a lot smaller.
PicOne: Why does the camera with no low pass filter cost more?
The main thing I envy from the Canon system is the lens selection... The 17mm TS. Now this thing. For all complaints about Canon sensors, they have a few lenses no one can match.
Traditional way this goes is a settlement. For example, Nike values the logo at $50 million. Nike judges it has a 20% chance of losing the law suit. Nike decides a settlement for anywhere less than $10 million is worthwhile. Indeed, factoring in cost and hassle of a law suit, a bit north of there. Photographer does a similar calculation with his lawyer, but decides that he's a bit risk-averse -- he'd rather have a guaranteed $2 million than a 20% chance at $50 million. In the end, they settle for anywhere between $2 million and $10 million, probably closer to the lower end, since Nike has better negotiators.
The only time it goes to court is if the lawyers give drastically different estimates. Plaintiff's lawyer says 80% chance of $100 million, and defendant's lawyer says 20% chance of $1 million. That's not uncommon, since lawyers make more that way, but it usually happens if the lawyers are unethical.
Alphoid: I don't quite get the concept of buying off-brands for >$1000. Most Tamron lenses I've owned only lasted a few years (three out of three have developed issues of some sort), while only one of my other lenses has ever had an issue (one Sony-Zeiss had an AF motor issue). Tamron is well-known to have no useful support. I view Tamrons as basically a consumable/disposable product, and that really suggests maybe $500 as an upper bound; perhaps $750 for an f/2.8 zoom.
If I've got $1200 to spend, I'd rather get an f/4, or a little less zoom, or whatever, but get something that I don't have to worry about breaking. Canon. Nikon. New Sigma. Tokina. Sony. Pentax. Leica, Zeiss, Panasonic. Etc. Not Tamron, Opteka, Vivitar, etc.
Sure. On the other hand, according to Lens Rentals, the top failing lens is the Tamron 17-50mm. That is data.
LR stocks a total of 10 Tamron lenses. Most of those almost certainly do not have enough copies to make the charts. Of the remaining, 2 are in the top 10 failure rate lenses. Given that the 17-50mm has a small sample set, the only lenses I can imagine making the chart are the 70-200. the 24-70, and the 17-50mm.
That's 2 out of 3. That's pretty telling.
I'll also mention that I've done statistical significance testing on small sample sizes. I own about a dozen lenses, including 3 Tamron. That's enough to be useful data. I can't tell you if 50% of Tamron lenses will develop issues after a few years of light use, or 100%, but I can tell you it is more than the other brndns.
It is, indeed, possible. My equipment is there to be used, not to sit in a glass case. I use it as will maximize my odds of getting a shot.
Nevertheless, I have a whole collection of equipment from Sony, Sony-Zeiss, Tokina, Olympus, Panasonic, and Minolta. Many of those I bought used, including Minolta gear dating back decades. Except for my Tamron glass, the only lens which developed an issue was a Sony Zeiss which is (1) my second most commonly used lens and (2) I had bought used from Lens Rentals. At this point, all of those lenses have received many times more abuse than any of the Tamron lenses.
Not all of the Tammy issues were serious. The Tamron 18-200mm developed zoom creep, a bit of play, and the IQ got a little worse. The 200-500mm, which I've used a half-dozen times, had the lens hood stop clicking in place. The Tamron 17-50mm had degraded IQ, and made a rattling sound. I sent it to Tamron. They wouldn't honor warranty, and sent it back with a ring unglued....
They've stepped up their game for image quality a fair bit, although they do tend to focus on review-friendly aspects (e.g. sharpness) over ones that reviews cannot as easily measure (e.g. coma, contrast, etc.). 20 years ago, they were Quantaray-grade. Today, they're pretty okay.
They have definitely not stepped up their game for support. I tried to RMA a 17-50mm f/2.8 just a year back, within warranty period; it was a no-go due to a technicality (it was a gift), and out-of-pocket repair costs were half the price of the lens.
I don't believe they've stepped up their game for product quality either. As far as I know, they're still cheap, disposable lenses that break after a few years of use.
I don't quite get the concept of buying off-brands for >$1000. Most Tamron lenses I've owned only lasted a few years (three out of three have developed issues of some sort), while only one of my other lenses has ever had an issue (one Sony-Zeiss had an AF motor issue). Tamron is well-known to have no useful support. I view Tamrons as basically a consumable/disposable product, and that really suggests maybe $500 as an upper bound; perhaps $750 for an f/2.8 zoom.
I had this experience. I didn't go out of my way to be FF lenses, but most happened to be FF. I bought a FF camera. All my existing lenses were a little bit useless.
On the other hand, I disagree about the utility of specific lenses -- I love my nifty fifty on APS, and hate it on FF, and the 24-70 is a little too short for me on FF, and an ideal walk-around on APS (where it gets to be an okayish portrait lens). My 85mm became a little too short on FF -- I really wanted a 135mm. Etc.
My belief is that sensor sizes will continue to shrink, with improved lens design, resolution, sensor high ISO, etc.
ttran88: Nikon gots to stop protecting it's higher models, this AF system is really dated, A6000 will focus track better. Live view autofocus on the Nikon will be pitiful at best. Really defeats the purpose of flippy and touch screen. Face detection, autofocus point metering these features are so common and useful for this segment of users but there're still missing from Nikon. . A6000 is a Gold award camera in it's market segment, Nikon's offer is at best Silver Award like the D5300. ( only good going for D5500 which was actually already in the D5300 is the AA filterless sensor). It's already 2015 Nikon
@rinkos I don't think you get how gold awards work. It's probably getting it.
Regardless, I swore off Nikon when they killed the LPF. If I want relics, I'll use my cell phone.
Earthlight: Sony and Sigma have managed to pull off someting quite lovely. They are a breath of fresh air in this market.
Sigma needs to start cranking lenses out for the Sony mount. Would that not be a win-win scenario?
@wetsleet Some of the encumbrance of a dSLR. An aluminum tube is quite a bit smaller and lighter than a mirrorbox, pentaprism, etc.
@TheEulerId You changed your statement a bit. My claim is that legacy lenses can work as well with on-sensor PDAF as with dedicated PDAF, if not better. I did not compare optimized vs. unoptimized lenses. Regarding readout, it's already plenty fast enough to read out and integrate:
1. With PDAF lenses, you don't need especially frequent readout. You read distance, and focus.
2. You don't need it over the whole sensor; just near an AF point.
An A7s can do 1280x720 video at 120 fps. An A77ii can do full resolution at 12fps. 12fps is plenty fast for traditional PDAF. 1280x720 corresponds to taking 16%x16% of a 36MP sensor -- which is plenty of area as well. Even CDAF systems work fine there -- the GH1 was 60fps for CDAF. GH2 was 120fps. GH3 was 240fps.
We're way past the point where we have the technology already. We just need integration.
@TheEulerID Conversely, the dSLT/dSLR PDAF sensor only receive a fraction of the light of the main sensor. On-sensor PDAF can be substantially more sensitive.
There isn't a relation between pixel size and sensitivity. Per-pixel sensitivity is, of course, better for larger pixels, but overall sensitivity is a function of total surface area. Unless you run into limitations with fill factor or ADC (which modern dSLRs are far from), it doesn't matter whether you have 4 little pixels or 1 big pixel.
If you look at something like the 70D, the on-sensor PDAF has the potential to be *much* more sensitive than an independent sensor.
The question isn't about the dSLT 1/3 stop. It's a question of size, cost, weight, as well as the ability to use a modern, integrated autofocus system as new bodies come out.
The outfitter: I wouldn't consider the high end Nikon and Canon flashes "overpriced crap".The circuitry in them is frighteningly complex (and well made), called upon to direct precise bursts and pulses of high energy through that flash tube many times a second.What they are is over-engineered, and that comes at a price.It's not surprising many photographers are turning their backs on all that complexity and opting for simpler, cheaper units.Unfortunately, Metz was never one for keeping things simple once the dedicated flash wars began.
"overengineered" means poorly engineered. It means the device is heavier and more expensive than it ought to be, with minimal improvement in reliability and functionality. That doesn't help anyone.
The circuitry in flashes isn't rocket science.
Alphoid: Looks like I bought my a99 six months too early... This seems like a much better choice for what I do, but probably not worth the $MSRP upgrade. Still, it points to a very good direction
I'll be curious how the autofocus system works. I'll also be curious if it will be good enough to release something like the LA-EA4 without the mirror.
Aside from that -- which will surely be fixed -- it's hard to point out flaws. I lose GPS (but NFC+good cell apps could probably fix that). I prefer the larger A99 battery (but I'd be glad to put it in an external grip). I'm surprised it doesn't have 4k (but I guess that comes with the resolution). I think that might be all.
@draschan Sony has a history of shipping cameras with great specs which are barely usable in practice. I like to wait for reviews. Or play with one myself.
@Zeisschen 5 seconds is enough time to miss photos. I take off a lens, and put on a new lens. As is, I take out two A-mount lenses, swap adapter and rear lens cap, take off E-mount lens, and mount A-mount lens+adapter. That's a bit messy.
@TheEulerID That's true for CDAF. On-sensor PDAF and hybrid ought to be okay with screw drive.
ekaton: And the A7III will have a touch screen and no AA filter and will be a available in 11 months. Oh, and the A7rII and A7sII will be launched in between.
The cell phone photos have relics from noise reduction, overprocessing, and overcompression. The cameras without AA filters have relics from aliasing. In good light, both are equally crappy. In poor light, of course, the bigger sensors pull ahead. Both are fine for casual shooting, but if I'm spending more than a few hundred dollars on a camera, I expect to not have relics, as with virtually any other modern camera.
It's almost pointless. We still need better adapters. $50. Built in screw drive motor, so it supports all lenses. No dSLT mirror. Electrical connection.
I'd take all my A-mount lenses, permanently mount adapters, and switch to E-mount. The $200/$350 per adapter doesn't do it for me. Nor does fumbling switching lenses around with one adapter.
It will happen. If Sony doesn't do it, someone else will.
The A7II is probably the third Sony camera I'm genuinely excited about. The first was the A700, which was brilliant. The RX100 series was the second. This is the third. I'm not sure if I'll buy it or wait for the A7III, and reviews might sway me otherwise, but from the specs, it seems close to a home run.