Sony a7 II gains faster focus for adapted lenses and uncompressed Raw
Sony has announced that its a7 II will receive a firmware update that will boost its autofocus performance with adapted lenses as well as add support for uncompressed Raw. Previously, the a7 II only used contrast detect AF with lenses adapted via passive adapters. That meant a lot of hunting, and unusable continuous AF.
Phase-detect AF with adapted lenses
The update enables the on-sensor phase detection system to work with adapted lenses. This should, theoretically, allow it to behave much like the a7R II, which is quick to focus many A-mount and 3rd party lenses, even able to continuously refocus quickly on approaching or receding subjects.
You can select phase detection for adapted lenses via a menu option the update will add. Depending on the option you choose in this menu item, the camera will use phase detection (for speed) or contrast detection (for accuracy, at the cost of speed) when using non-native lenses. We should point out that in our limited tests, on-sensor phase detection even with non-native lenses appears to exhibit the high accuracy of contrast detection. Therefore, enabling PDAF should bring many benefits, with little to no cost. And despite the a7 II's sensor having far fewer phase detection elements than the a7R II, and likely lower speed of readout, the company says the camera will be able to offer some degree of object recognition and tracking with A-mount lenses, meaning they are also likely to work with Canon lenses via third-party adapters.
Advanced subject tracking with adapted lenses?
Frankly, though, we don't expect the more advanced subject tracking modes, like eye AF and Lock-on AF, to function with adapted lenses, as they do not function on the a7R II. Rather, much like the a7R II, we'd expect the firmware to enable depth-based subject tracking - or the ability of the camera to automatically choose AF points to stay on a moving target using mostly phase information - in the camera's 'Wide' AF area mode. This is welcome, but if that's the only mode that allows general subject tracking with adapted lens, it won't suit many photographers, since 'Wide' never allows one to even specify what your subject is (the camera always chooses one for you). These, and other limitations like 3fps max drive for continuous AF, are real, and limit your ability to shoot sports in fast-paced, reliable manner. Face detection AF in continuous, though, works remarkable well, and with the phase detection support this update brings, makes for a usable way to ensure the primary face in your scene is in focus at the time of capture.
In addition, the firmware update will add the uncompressed Raw option Sony introduced in the a7R II and available in the a7S II. Uncompressed Raw avoids the compression artifacts we, and many others, found could be introduced by Sony's compression algorithms. Ideally, we hear you: a lossless compressed option would be nice, but this is a start, and it is encouraging to see previous cameras updated with an uncompressed Raw that avoids all potentially image degrading steps in the Raw file writing process. The update will also allow the movie record function to be assigned to a wider range of buttons. The update will be available around November 17th.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.
Now that our Panasonic Lumix S1R has final firmware, we couldn't wait to get out shooting with it - and we also tried the high-res mode, which combines files to get 187 megapixel images. Because sometimes, 47 megapixels just isn't enough.
DroneShield has announced a partnership with NASCAR to use its trifecta of drone-disabling technology at events held at Texas Motor Speedway.
In this article, travel and landscape photographer Mitch Green encourages us to spend more time in the the field.
the lens lacks any electronics whatsoever and is constructed entirely of glass and metal. Of course, that comes at the expense of weight — this thing weighs in at 1.1kg / 2.43lbs.
Drones can be useful tools in urban areas, where they're utilized for everything from news reporting to building inspections, but flying in these areas requires careful preparation. Here's what you need to know to do so safely.
Hasselblad has released a new cable release and USB double battery charger for its X1D medium format camera .
After a report published by NBC News, Flickr has taken heat for allegedly letting IBM 'scrape' photos for use in its facial recognition datasets. But the problem isn't what it seems on the surface.
Samyang has announced the impending arrival of the AF 85mm F1.4 FE lens for full-frame Sony cameras.
Some Photoshop shortcuts are simple and obvious. Others, not so much. Here are 15 shortcuts that are actually useful.
Twitter has redesigned its in-app camera for easier access from the timeline screen.
Independent cinema lens manufacturer SLR Magic has announced it will offer all of its existing MicroPrime range in the Fujifilm X mount and has even created a Fuji-specific 12mm lens.
We've updated our buying guides with three more cameras: the Canon EOS RP, Nikon Z6 and Olympus E-M1X.
CFexpress 2.0 cards will come in three different form factors, each of which will offer different maximum speeds.
Lensbaby has added a third tilt lens to its Optic Swap system, this time a 35mm lens, adding to the existing 50mm and 80mm options.
Sigma has released firmware updates for a number of its lenses as well as its EF-E adapter to address various errors and features with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras.
We've added the Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400 to our 'Best Cameras under $1000' buying guide. These two mirrorless models pack in a lot of features for just $900 body only.
Instagram, Facebook and other Facebook-owned services are down for users around the world.
Think Tank Photo has unveiled its new Vision series of shoulder bags, including the Vision 10, Vision 13 and Vision 15.
The OPPO Reno series will be launched on April 10 but some details have already been spotted on the web.
Insta360 has unveiled its latest camera, as well as a new VR headset app and a specialized smartphone cover that makes it possible to view 3D video on standard smartphones.
A fresh crop of ready-for-anything compacts has been added to our buying guide – just in time for Spring Break.
At the Hydrogen One launch RED promised a range of bolt-on modules designed to expand the device's feature set. However, there is now doubt if those modules will ever be released.
Due to growing concerns about drones around regulated airspace, no-fly zones in the United Kingdom will be more than four times larger than before starting March 13.
Huawei clearly hasn't learned its lesson and once again has been busted for trying to pass off DSLR photos as images taken with one of its upcoming smartphones.