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.
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.
No AA filter. That sounds like a great idea! Sacrifice image quality for slightly better DxO numbers.
I almost bought a Ricoh GR or Nikon A before I saw that many of the photos looked no better than what I get off of my cell phone.
New stuff comes out every 6 months, but upgrades I really care about, a bit less often. Perhaps 4-5 years is a bit long for me, but maybe once every 2-3 years.
I was thinking of dumping all my A-mount for a nice, compact, OM-D system, but the A7II seems to fill the gap. It's one of the upgrades I really care about.
Oh well. I'll probably get the A7III. Or maybe I'll sell my A99 if I ever find time to sell stuff (which has never happened before).
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
russbarnes: Also, can't believe they've released this before further lenses...
@russbarnes The metering and results are not questionable with the LA-EA1/2/3/4. E-mount and A-mount are designed for cross-compatibility.
Nice... are we getting a rushed review on the LX100 too? 'cause it's a pretty sexy trio, the RX100III, the G7X, and the LX100.
Menneisyys: "For those who prefer desktop computers over tablets Apple also introduced a new iMac with 5K Retina display that offers a whopping 5120 x 2880 screen resolution."
This is THE best news for me. (Even with the $2500 base model only sporting a weakish i5 and a severely underpowered GPU, meaning anyone wanting at least a semi-decent GPU will need to shell out $500 more for the CTO options.)
I REALLY hope the new iMac screens don't use PWM (see http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/pulse_width_modulation.htm ) - that'd pretty much rule it out for me. (I hate the PWM screen of my iMac 2009.)
I'll buy a Dell 5k monitor as soon as they also release a graphics card which is stable, sane (not a 200 watt gaming monster with whirlwind fans), drives it reliably under any system (Mac, Windows, Linux), and generally just works. Ideally, they'll also release a laptop which can drive it. I'm okay with low performance here -- 30Hz, USB, or whatever. I do want it to just work, however.
Right now, the panels look great, but getting them working looks like a disaster.
RedFox88: Google sold off their Motorola phone business a few months ago at a huge loss hanging onto patents.
You know, they bought Motorola for the patents....
1. Something minor2. A new mirrorless system3. A lightfield camera
I'm secretly hoping for #3. The 70D was a prototype lightfield camera.