Tag Archives: Sony

Sony introduced A6500

Sony recently launched a new camera, their flagship APS-C sensor camera, the the α6500 (model ILCE-6500), the latest addition to their line-up of award winning mirrorless cameras.  When Sony launched their A6000 model, I had the opportunity to review the camera, shared my thoughts and experiences here. This series grew with the next model being A6300 and now it is the A6500.

Let me share with my readers more information and details of the Sony A6500 from the press release information below –

As the latest addition to Sony’s line-up of award winning mirrorless cameras, the new α6500 shares the same unrivalled 4D FOCUS™ system as the α6300 camera, which can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, the world’s fastest1 AF acquisition time. Similar to the α6300, the new α6500 features 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over nearly the entire image area – the world’s highest2 number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera. The new model can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking, and up to 8 frames per second in a live-view shooting mode that makes it easy to track fast moving subjects. At the same time, it combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of an optical viewfinder.

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The camera can shoot at these high speeds for up to 307 frames[1] thanks to its expanded buffer, which, along with the fast response speeds described above, are all achieved with the support of a new front-end LSI chip that has been added to the camera. This new front-end LSI also serves to enhance both still and video image quality.

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Additionally, the new α6500 features Sony’s acclaimed in-camera 5-axis optical image stabilisation, making it the first Sony APS-C sensor camera to offer all of the benefits of advanced in-body stabilisation, including a shutter speed advantage of approximately 5 steps[2]. It also offers touchscreen AF capabilities for focus point selection and adjustment.

Unmatched AF Capability

Sony’s new α6500 camera utilises the same 4D FOCUS system as the α6300 – a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines high-speed phase detection AF with extremely accurate contrast AF, allowing it to capture and lock on to moving subjects in as little as 0.05 seconds1. It also features 425 phase detection AF points and High-density Tracking AF Technology, which significantly improves subject detection and tracking performance.

Thanks to faster internal processing capabilities enabled by the front-end LSI, the maximum buffer for high-speed continuous shooting for the α6500 is an impressive 307 frames3, greatly increasing the chances to catch that decisive moment.

The camera’s 425 phase detection AF points, focusing tracking and accuracy are also available when using non-native A-mount lenses[3] with Sony’s LA-EA3 mount adaptor. Additionally, it includes silent shooting, Eye AF in AF-C mode, AF in focus magnifier modes, Expand Flexible Spot AF and more.

5-axis Image Stabilisation Provides 5 Steps Shutter Speed Advantage

One of the most exciting developments in the new α6500 is the implementation of 5-axis image stabilisation for the first time in a Sony APS-C sensor camera. Through a total revision of the internal design of the camera, this newly developed stabilisation system fits entirely within a body that is nearly the same size as the α6300.[4] This innovative 5-axis system provides a shutter speed advantage of 5 steps4, ensuring that the full resolving power of the sensor can be realised, even in challenging lighting conditions.

The shake compensation provided by the system works with a variety of lenses, including E-mount lenses without OSS (Optical SteadyShot™) stabilisation and A-mount lenses[5] when used with a compatible mount adapter. When an E-mount lens with OSS is mounted, pitch and yaw are compensated in the lens and horizontal, vertical and roll axes are also compensated in the camera body, resulting in optimal 5-axis stabilisation.7

Furthermore, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilisation can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored. This is available even when a lens without built-in shake compensation is attached.

New Touch Screen Focusing

The new α6500 comes equipped with touch screen functionality, allowing users to lock focus on a subject simply by touching it on the screen. This is a powerful complement to its advanced AF system and video shooting capabilities.

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A first for Sony cameras, the α6500 features touchpad functionality. When utilising the viewfinder for framing and shooting, the LCD screen can be used as a touch pad. Simply drag a finger across the screen to shift the focus point from one area to another.

Powerful 24.2 MP[6] Exmor CMOS Sensor, BIONZ X® Processor and New Front-End LSI

The new α6500 features an APS-C sized 24.2 MP8 Exmor CMOS sensor that works together with a BIONZ X® image processor and the newly developed front-end LSI to maximise processing power and achieve an impressive sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200.[7]

The image sensor employs a thin wiring layer and large photodiode substrate that maximises light collection efficiency, as well as copper wiring in its structure for outstanding read-out speed. The BIONZ X® image processor and newly developed front-end LSI ensure superior image and video quality with low noise even when using higher ISO settings, in particular those at high sensitivity values where other cameras typically struggle. The LSI is also responsible for the expanded buffer depth for continuous shooting.

Professional Video Capabilities

The new α6500 becomes the latest Sony interchangeable lens camera to offer internal 4K movie recording, as it can shoot 4K (3840 x 2160p) video in the popular Super 35mm format on the full width of the image sensor. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information – approximately 2.4x[8] (20MP equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD, and then oversamples the information to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

The α6500 also focuses exceptionally fast during movie shooting thanks to its Fast Hybrid AF system, which enables touch focusing for professionally smooth focus shifts, whilst also offering adjustable AF transition speed and AF tracking sensitivity. The camera supports the XAVC S codec[9] during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during Full HD shooting – ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats.

Other professional calibre video features include the ability to record Full HD at 100fps at up to 100 Mbps. This allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x slow motion video files in Full HD (25p) resolution with AF tracking.

New on the α6500 is the incorporation of a ‘Slow and Quick’ (S&Q) mode that supports both slow motion and quick motion. In this mode, frame rates from 1 fps to 100fps can be selected in 8 steps for up to 50x quick motion and 4x slow motion recording[10]. Footage shot in this mode can be previewed after shooting without the need for a PC-based post processing.

The camera also offers S-Log gamma recording[11] for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider colour space. Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.

Furthermore, shooters can now select, extract and save still images from movie footage directly on the camera. Approximately 8MP images and 2MP images can be extracted from 4K modes and Full HD modes respectively.

Enhanced Operability and Reliability       

The new α6500 has a refined design, maintaining the mobility of the α6000 series while adapting much of the usability of Sony’s acclaimed α7 II series. The new model features the same high contrast, high-resolution 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ as the α6300 that offers exceptional corner-to-corner visibility.

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New hardware features on the α6500 include a magnesium alloy body and a high-durability shutter with a tested life span of approximately 200,000 release cycles.[12] It also has several design features that are borrowed from the α7 II series of full-frame cameras, including a robust lens mount, a recessed grip to improve handling, a larger release button, and ten total custom buttons including ‘C1’, ‘C2’ and ‘C3’. The new α6500 also has an improved operation feel for its mode and control dials and rear face buttons, as well as a softer eyepiece cup for more comfortable usage.

On the software front, there is a new overall user interface that allows for a much smoother process for searching and adjusting menu settings, as well two new metering modes – Highlight, where exposure metering is focused on the brightest area of the frame, and Entire Screen Avg, which maintains an average metering for the entire image.

The camera is Wi-Fi®, QR and NFC compatible. It is also fully compatible with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ applications[13] available for Android™ and iOS platforms along with Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™. The α6500 further offers location data acquisition via a Bluetooth®[14] connection to a compatible mobile device and an updated menu structure to deliver a smoother navigational experience.

Pricing and Availability          

The new Sony α6500 interchangeable lens camera will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from December 2016. The current α6000 will also see a new colour introduction in December with the model also available in Graphite Grey.

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There is also a new genuine leather body case (model LCS-EBG) that will be available in November and a new eyepiece cup (model FDA-EP17) that will be launched at a later date.

[1] With “Hi” continuous shooting mode and “Fine” image quality.

[2] Based on CIPA standard. Pitch/yaw shake only. With Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lens mounted. Long exposure NR off.

[3] A-mount lenses with SSM or SAM only. Users can choose phase-detection AF or contrast-detection AF in AF System menu. “Phase-detection AF” is not available during movie shooting. AF-C in AF System menu is available only with “Contrast-detection AF” selected, but no motion tracking is performed during continuous shooting (Hi+, Hi, Mid).

[4] Excluding grip, frontal-view size and main body thickness are the same as for the α6300.

[5] All 5-axis stabilisation is performed in-camera when SEL90M28G is mounted.

[6] Approximate effective MP.

[7] Standard ISO range: 100-25600 for stills and movies. Expandable up to ISO 51200 for stills only.

[8] In 25p recording.

[9] SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required for movie recording in XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps recording.

[10] Sound cannot be recorded. SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required.

[11] S-Log2 and S-Log3 are premised on processing pictures.

[12] With the electronic front curtain shutter, under internal test conditions of Sony.

[13] Use the latest version of PlayMemories Mobile™.

[14] Can be connected via Bluetooth® with smartphones featuring (as of the date of release): Android (Android 5.0 or later, Bluetooth 4.0 or later; iPhone/iPad (iPhone 4S or later/iPad 3rd generation or later).

* Information and pictures courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications *

Sony announced RX100 V

Sony recently announced a new flagship model of their Cyber-shot RX series family of compact cameras, the RX100 V (DSC-RX100M5). The Sony Cyber-shot RX series compact cameras have been a popular compact camera and I had seen them innovate and improve over the series. I reviewed the RX100 II model before therefore I had a good idea of this compact camera, its capabilities and the improvements from the RX100 II model to the RX100 V model.

The RX100 series compact cameras are small and compact fitted with some pretty good technical specifications built inside it.

I would share with you more information and details on the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V from the press release information below ~

The exciting new camera brings a new level of AF performance and speed to today’s compact camera market. It is equipped with a Fast Hybrid AF system with the world’s fastest AF acquisition1 at 0.05 seconds[1], and world’s highest number of AF points on sensor1 with 315 points covering approximately 65 per cent of the frame. The camera can further shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps[2] – the world’s fastest for a compact camera1 – at full 20.1MP (approx. effective) resolution with AF/AE tracking for up to 150 continuous shots[3].

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The RX100 V is equipped with a newly developed 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor with a DRAM chip, a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm[4] F1.8 to 2.8 large aperture lens, and an enhanced image processing system with a new front-end LSI chip that maximises processing speed, expands the memory buffer and optimises image quality, in particular at high ISO settings. The camera also features 4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning[5], super slow motion recording at up to 960fps[6] with extended recording time and more.

Fast Focusing, Fast Shooting

A first for Sony’s RX100 series of cameras, the new RX100 V model features a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines the respective advantages of focal-plane phase detection AF and contrast detection AF. It ultimately enables the camera to lock focus in as little as 0.05 seconds.2 This high speed focusing is a perfect complement to the 315 dedicated AF points that cover 65 per cent of the sensor, and ensures that shooters will be able to capture their intended subject with high speed and accuracy, even if it is moving rapidly in unpredictable directions.

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Additionally, processing speed has been greatly enhanced through the addition of a front-end LSI that perfectly supports the camera’s BIONZ X™ image processing engine. These two components combined with the powerful AF system allow the camera to shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps3 at full 20.1MP (approx. effective) resolution for up to 150 shots4 with AF/AE tracking. Viewfinder blackout between shots has also been minimised in this high-speed shooting mode, which greatly improves photographers’ ability to follow fast action and capture the decisive moment. Silent shooting is also available in these high-speed modes.7

Other advancements to AF performance on the new RX100 V include the addition of AF-A mode, which allows the camera to automatically switch between continuous and single-shot AF modes. Users can also manually select if they’d like the continuous AF and phase detection AF areas to be displayed live on screen while they are framing a shot.

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The RX100 V has a high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second) that minimises the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects.   This fast shutter speed also allows the camera to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV19.[7] Shooting at wide aperture with the fast shutter speed allows photographers and videographers to capture beautiful content with sharply focused subjects and defocused backgrounds under some of the most difficult, bright lighting conditions.

Professional Movie Functionality

The pocket-sized RX100 V is packed with a variety of video capabilities that will satisfy even the most demanding video enthusiasts.

With Fast Hybrid AF, the focal plane phase detection AF sensor ensures accurate focusing and tracking performance, even for the severe focusing requirements of 4K movie shooting. AF drive speed and AF tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted via the menu system, giving shooters plenty of flexibility based on their focusing preferences.

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In 4K mode,6 the new RX100 V utilises full pixel readout without pixel binning to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moiré and ‘jaggies’. These high-quality results are achieved through the use of the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting[8].

The RX100 V is able to record super-slow motion video[9] at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, and can do this for about twice as long as the RX100 IV model. This extended time allows users to capture a series of high-speed, fleeting moments of action with incredible detail, resolution and clarity.

Pocket-Friendly Design, Premium Performance

The new RX100 V maintains the convenient pocket-sized design of the remainder of the RX100 family and is equipped with a high-contrast 2.35 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder™, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) conveniently retracts in and out of the camera body based on user’s preference, and features optics with ZEISS® T* Coating.

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The new camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC™ compatible, and can access Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Applications. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.

Another convenient addition is the ability for users to freely set the leading three characters of saved file names for easier sorting and organisation.

There will also be a new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) that will be available as a separate accessory for the RX100 V, as well as for all other RX100 series cameras. Designed exclusively to fit the RX100 cameras, the housing features a depth level of 40 metres.

[1] CIPA standard, internal measurement, at f=8.8mm (wide telephoto), EV4.7, Program Auto, Focus mode: AF-A, AF area: Wide.

[2] With “Continuous shooting mode: Hi”.

[3] With “Continuous shooting mode: Hi” and “Image quality: Fine”.

[4] 35mm equivalent.

[5] Continuous recording is available for approx. 5 minutes. The duration available for the shooting may change according to shooting conditions.

[6] Silent shooting can be activated via “Shutter type: Electronic” and “Audio signals: Off”.

[7] Using built-in ND filter.

[8] An SDHC/SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording and UHS Speed Class 3 is required for recording at 100Mbps.

[9] Sound cannot be recorded when shooting slow motion. An SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required.

Pricing & Availability

The new Sony Cyber-shot® RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5) compact camera will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from 27 October 2016 at a recommended retail price of S$1,499, while the MPK-URX100A underwater housing will be available from November 2016.

* Information and pictures courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications *

Sony introduced E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS lens

Sony recently introduced a new lens for moviemakers, the Sony E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS lens.

Let me share with you more details and information of this lens –

Offering moviemakers a powerful new creative tool, Sony has developed a new advanced Super 35mm / APS-C format power zoom lens that starts at 18mm wide angle and extends to 110mm at the telephoto end (27mm – 165mm equivalent in 35mm format[1]), with 6.1x high zoom ratio even with inner focus; while maintaining a constant F4 aperture throughout for beautiful depth of field effects and stable exposure control across the entire standard zoom range.

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From the PXW-FS7 professional camcorder to interchangeable-lens cameras such as α7 series and α6300, the SEL18110G top quality G LensTM delivers image quality that will satisfy the most demanding of professional users. It consists of 18 elements in 15 groups, including 6 aspherical elements and 3 Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements. It also features a highly intricate 7 blade circular aperture design that delivers extremely high resolution image quality, particularly suited to professional 4K movie shooting.

The SELP18110G is the second lens[2] to benefit from Sony’s Smooth Motion Optics (SMO) design and construction, which has been developed to eliminate unwanted image shifts while operating the lens during movie shooting. SMO addresses three particular aspects on lens operation that can have a significant impact on movie quality: Focus Breathing, where shifts in angle of view during focusing are minimised by an internal focus mechanism; Focus Shift, where small shifts in focus that can occur while zooming are eliminated by precise focus tracking adjustment; and Axial Shift, where axial image shifts while zooming, are minimised by a constant length design.

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The high level of operability and quiet operation of the new lens make it a compelling proposition for its integration into professional movie production environments. Its three separate rings offer control over focus, zoom, and aperture, with optimal torque for a satisfying responsive, professional feel. Both servo and responsive manual mechanical zoom are fully supported and the zoom ring direction is switchable to match individual user preferences. The lens length remains constant during any changes making it easy to use with matte boxes and other lens accessories. A first for α lenses, the SELP18110G has a 0.8mm pitch focus gear built right onto the lens, providing direct compatibility with standard focusing accessories.

Optimum optical performance and operability are complemented by a dust and moisture-resistant design1, making the lens ideal for location use. The SELP18110G further offers extra versatility thanks to Optical SteadyShot™ technology that provides in-lens image stabilisation during handheld shooting. Its compact and lightweight[3] design also means that it is a truly mobile solution. Users can also achieve added flexibility when the lens is paired with the SEL14TC and SEL20TC teleconverters for 1.4x and 2.0x extension of focal range respectively.

The SELP18110G Super 35mm / APS-C power zoom lens for professional movie-makers and photographers will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from December 2016.

[1] With interchangeable-lens digital camera incorporating an APS-C type image sensor.

[2] The only other lens to benefit from SMO technology is the SELP28135G.

[3] 1105g without tripod mount.

* Information and pictures courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications *

Sony launched ɑ99 II

Sony recently launched a new camera, a new A-Mount camera, the ɑ99 II. This is Sony’s new flagship A-Mount camera, successor to the highly acclaimed ɑ99. The Sony ɑ99 II camera comes up with some pretty good technical specifications and capabilities.

Let me share with you more information and details from the press release information below –

Press Release on 21st September 2016

Reaffirming its commitment to produce industry leading A-mount interchangeable lens cameras, Sony today launched a new flagship ɑ A-mount model, the a99 II. A successor to the highly acclaimed ɑ99, the new a99 II combines the best of Sony’s latest digital imaging innovations including a new Hybrid Phase Detection AF system with exclusive Sony A-mount features such as Translucent Mirror Technology™ (TMT). The result is a supremely specified, professional level camera that will be particularly appealing to sports and wildlife photographers.

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Redefining Autofocus

The newly developed Phase Detection AF System is capable of ‘full-time AF’ and is the first implementation of 4D FOCUS in the full-frame ɑ series, bringing a supreme new level of AF performance to ɑ99 II users. The Hybrid Phase Detection AF System is enabled by combining a precision 79-point[1] dedicated phase detection AF sensor with 399 focal plane phase detection AF points1 to produce a 79 hybrid cross AF point[2] array. These cross points deliver incredibly precise autofocus performance and advanced subject tracking of any moving objects right across the image, at high speed. In addition, as there is no moving mirror, TMT enables continuous AF operation and the finder image remains unaffected during any type of shooting, including live view and movie recording.

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Low light conditions present no problem to the ɑ99 II. The precision AF system will function properly down to EV-4[3] brightness levels where most other cameras struggle.

Data flow through the ɑ99 II has been redesigned to allow for high resolution and continuous shooting at high frame rates. A new front-end LSI works with the image sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine, as well as a newly designed shutter unit, to enable continuous shooting at up to 12fps2 with AF/AE tracking[4], all whilst harnessing the sensor’s 42.4MP capabilities. The result is an ultra-fast camera that will deliver incredibly detailed shots, even with fast moving objects in challenging light conditions. Thanks to a large buffer and sophisticated data processing, these shots can be viewed immediately after shooting even when in high speed continuous shooting mode and if shots are being taken indoors under artificial lighting, flicker is automatically detected and the shutter is timed to minimise its effect on the end image[5].

Improvements to the EVF display algorithm now deliver continuous live-view shooting at up to 8 fps[6] with AF/AE tracking with minimal display lag so that the viewing experience is essentially no different from that of an optical viewfinder. Exposure, white balance and other camera settings are displayed in real time in the viewfinder and continuous live view shooting can be set in 3 stages to match a variety of subjects: 8 fps, 6 fps and 4 fps.

Pixel Power

The back-illuminated full-frame 42.4MP[7] Exmor R CMOS sensor benefits from a gapless-on-chip design and allows for fast readout of large volumes of data as well as being extremely efficient in its light gathering ability. The net result is very high sensitivity with low noise, wide dynamic range and 42.4MP resolution across an ISO range of 100-25600, expandable to ISO 50 – 102,400[8].The ɑ99 II has been designed without an optical low-pass filter to allow the finest natural details and textures to be captured with unprecedented depth and realism and the photographer can select compressed or uncompressed RAW files, as required. 

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5-axis SteadyShot™ INSIDE Image Stabilisation

Having proved to be incredibly popular in the ɑ7 II series of cameras, Sony has designed a new in-body 5 axis image stabilisation system for A-mount cameras which debuts for the first time in the ɑ99 II. In addition to movement in the pitch and yaw axes that tend to occur at longer focal lengths, this system effectively detects and compensates for shift blur that can occur on the X and Y axes when shooting close-up, and roll blur that is often apparent in still images and movies that are shot at night. Newly implemented precision gyro sensors are capable of precisely detecting even tiny camera movements that can cause blurring, providing a 4.5 step[9] shutter speed advantage that can help realise the full potential of the 42.4MP sensor, in both stills and movies. The effect of image stabilisation can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen during live view when the shutter button is half pressed or the Focus Magnifier functions are used. This allows framing and focus to be accurately checked via live view when shooting at telephoto focal lengths or macro distances.

Improved design and operability

The design of the new ɑ99 II has noticeably evolved compared to its predecessor, based upon feedback from professional users. The new model is 8 per cent smaller than the original ɑ99 and has a newly designed grip, magnesium alloy body, dual SD[10] card slot and other upgrades that improve both hold and operation. All major buttons and dials are provided with seals and the media jack cover and enclosure edges feature tongue and groove – the result is a body that is both dust and moisture resistant[11] and can be used in the toughest and most challenging shooting conditions.

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In addition to being designed for faster response, the new shutter unit is also more durable and has passed endurance tests in excess of 300,000 shutter operations[12]. The XGA OLED Tru-finder has a ZEISS® T* Coating and has a 4 element lens group that includes a double sided aspherical element whilst offering a powerful 0.78x magnification, delivering outstanding clarity from corner to corner. It also has a fluorine coating on the outer lens to prevent fingerprints, dust, water, oil and dirt from sticking, thus ensuring a clear view.

The silent Multi Controller introduced in the original ɑ99 has been improved so that in addition to allowing control of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, AF area, AF mode and other settings, it now features a click-stop ON/OFF switch. When ON, the preferred setting for still image shooting, the control clicks, providing a tactile indication of the length of rotation. When OFF, the control turns smoothly and quietly, ideal for movie shooting. Location data acquisition has also been made possible via Bluetooth[13] connection to a compatible mobile device and it is now possible to select whether the storage location should just be on a tethered computer or also on camera for easy review without leaving the shooting position. Based upon feedback from a number of ɑ users, the menu structure of the ɑ99 II has also been updated to deliver a smoother navigational experience.

Movie Magic

The ɑ99 II enables internal 4K movie recording[14] featuring full pixel readout, without pixel binning[15], for ultimate high resolution video in the pro friendly XAVC S format. It is capable of recording high quality footage at 100Mbps for 4K recording. A new ‘Slow and Quick’ mode[16] (S&Q) supports both slow motion and quick motion. Frame rates from 1 fps to 120 fps (100 fps) can be selected in 8 steps for up to 60x (50x) quick motion and 5x (4x) slow motion recording[17]. A number of features designed for a professional movie production workflow are included such as picture profiles, time code and HDMI clear output and the new ɑ99 II now also offers gamma assist for real time S-Log monitoring and a zebra mode for easier exposure adjustment. S-Log3 and S-Log2 gamma are now included, making wide dynamic range shooting possible with blown highlights or blocked shadows making the ɑ99 II easily integratable into a fully professional movie production workflow.

The new ɑ99 II will be available in selected Asia Pacific countries from November 2016.

[1] The number of usable AF points may depend on the lens and shooting mode.

[2] Hybrid Phase Detection AF active. The dedicated phase detection AF sensor or focal-plane phase detection AF sensor may be used independently in certain photographic situations.

[3] Central focus point.

[4] The supported focus area will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. Furthermore, when “Continuous Shooting: Hi+” is selected, focus will be fixed at the first frame shot when Hybrid Phase Detection AF is active at aperture settings of F9 or higher, or when Hybrid Phase Detection AF is not active at aperture settings of F4 or higher

[5] When Anti-flicker Shoot. is ON. Flicker detection at 100 Hz or 120 Hz only. Continuous shooting speed may decrease. Does not function during bulb exposure or movie recording

[6] Continuous shooting mode set to ‘Hi’

[7] Approximate effective megapixels

[8] Still images only

[9] CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. SAL135F18Z lens. Long exposure NR off.

[10] One slot can hold an SD card or a Memory Stick.

[11] Not guaranteed to be 100 per cent dust and moisture proof.

[12] Electronic front curtain shutter activated.

[13] Requires pairing with compatible mobile devices running the PlayMemories Mobile app. Supported devices are Android smartphones running Android 5.0 or later and compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 or later. iPhone/iPad: iPhone 4S or later/iPad 3rd generation or later.

[14] SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required for movie recording in XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps recording.

[15] In Super 35mm recording mode.

[16] Sound cannot be recorded. SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required.

[17] In NTSC (PAL) system.

 * Information and pictures courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications *

A look inside – Sony FE 24-70mm G Master Lens

Photographers, have you ever wonder how the inside of a lens looks like? Would you be curious to learn and know more about the parts, components and optics that make up a lens.

Here’s a short video that brings you inside the Sony FE 24-70mm G Master Lens –

The FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master™ lens offers constant F2.8 24-70mm zoom with an unprecedented union of high resolution and creamy bokeh. There are a total of 93 items that make up the FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master™ lens – a blue rubber band that secures the frontal lens to the lens body, a horse-shoe shaped CL1038 board that controls all internal parts of the lens and is responsible for communication between the lens and the camera, a light shield, a grease-coated optical block, even the blades that make up the aperture mechanism, and many more!

*Information courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE-Communications*

2017 Sony World Photography Awards Now Open for Entries

The 2017 Sony World Photography Awards are now open for entries for photographers from around the world. If you are looking at participating in photography competitions, to put yourself to the test and compete against photographers from all over the world, the Sony World Photography Awards is a photography competition that you can consider!

Here are more key details and information from the press release information below –

Created by the World Photography Organisation, 2017 marks the awards’ 10th anniversary.

In addition to the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions, the hunt is also on to find Singapore’s best photographer in the Singapore National award.

The Sony World Photography Awards annually recognises the world’s best photography. Open to all photographers, the awards are an authoritative voice in the photographic industry that has the power to shape the careers of its winning and shortlisted photographers. Each year the competition attracts both emerging talent and established artists, and presents the world’s best photography from the last 12 months to a global audience.

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“I am deeply honoured and overwhelmed by this recognition. It’s my privilege to represent Singapore. This is such an immense inspiration to keep me pursuing my passion for photography further and further. Photography had been something to me and now it’s become everything to me. Smiling time!”Kajan Madrasmail, Winner, 2016 Singapore National Award

“Winning the Portrait category was life-changing. Professionally, winning the award helped kick-start my career.”Sophie Gamand, Winner, Professional Portrait category 2015

“Winning brought more attention to my work and I started receiving more collaboration proposals and job opportunities.”Kylli Sparre, Winner, Open Enhanced category 2014

“The award changed my life and beyond the great visibility obtained allowed me to create solid relations of friendships and professional collaborations that I otherwise would not have been able to obtain.” Andrea Roseate, 3rd Place, Professional Candid category 2016 and Italy National Award winner 2015

Photographers are welcome to enter their work for free into any of the awards’ four competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus via www.worldphoto.org. The newly re-launched website gives a greater visual platform to the awards’ photographers and makes the entry process simpler than before.

Entries to the Singapore National Award will be taken from those with Singaporean nationality entering any of the ten Open categories.

The 2017 edition also sees new categories introduced across the all competitions aimed at challenging photographers to push their creative boundaries.

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The Sony World Photography Awards offer a wide range of benefits for its winning photographers, including:

  • The latest Sony digital imaging equipment
  • Inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London
  • Inclusion in the annual Sony World Photography Awards winners book
  • USD$25,000 for the winner of the Photographer of the Year title
  • USD$5,000 for the winner of the Open competition
  • Worldwide media exposure and increased recognition

Scott Gray, CEO of World Photography Organisation, comments: “We are extremely proud to reach our 10th anniversary. Since launching in 2007 the Sony World Photography Awards has grown consistently in both size and credibility. Across the years the awards have discovered and celebrated a huge variety of photography. I am honored that emerging photographers across the world have been able to use the awards to launch their careers, and established photographers can use us to extend their networks. We are committed to challenging photographers to push their creative boundaries in the years to come.”

The 2016 Sony World Photography Awards attracted a record-breaking 230,103 entries from 186 countries. The Singapore National Award was presented to Singaporean photographer Kajan Madrasmail.

The 2017 Sony World Photography Awards shortlist will be announced on 28 February 2017, Open and National Awards winners will be revealed on 28 March 2017, and the overall winners will be announced on 20 April 2017. This includes an exhibition at Somerset House, London, running from 21 April to 7 May 2017.

2017 COMPETITION CATEGORIES – see full category descriptions here

  • Professional – Judged on a body of work
  • Art categories: Architecture, Conceptual, Landscape, Natural World, Portraiture, Still Life
  • Documentary categories: Current Affairs & News, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Sport
  • Open – Judged on a single shot
    • Categories: Architecture, Culture, Enhanced, Motion, Nature, Wildlife, Portraits, Still Life, Street Photography, Travel
  • Youth – For photographers aged 12 to 19, judged on a single image responding to the brief of ‘Beauty’
  • Student Focus – For photography students, judged on a single image responding to a brief

KEY DATES

  • 5 December 2016 – Student Focus competition closes
  • 5 January 2017 – Open and Youth competitions close
  • 10 January 2017 – Professional competition closes
  • 28 February 2017 – Shortlist for Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions revealed
  • 28 March 2017 – Open, Youth and National Award winners revealed
  • 20 April 2017 – Photographer of the Year plus Professional category winners and Open, Youth and Student competition winners revealed at ceremony held in London
  • 21 April to 7 May 2017 – Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London

*Information and Pictures Courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications*

Sony Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016

Father’s Day 2016 is just round the corner, it is on Sunday 19th June 2016. If you haven’t decide which gift to get for Father’s Day 2016, check out Sony Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016! The Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 III camera and AXP55 Handycam are pretty good recommendations for Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016!

Sony Electronics Father's Day Gift Guide (High Res)

*Infographic Courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications*

Capture Greatness with G and G Master™ Lenses from Sony

Sony is organising a photography contest inviting photography enthusiasts around Southeast Asia to participate in the G for Greatness Contest. If you are looking for a photography contest to enter and challenge your photography skills, check out Sony’s G for Greatness photography contest! Good luck and all the best!

Let me share with my readers more information and details of this photography contest with the press release information below –

Sony invites all photography enthusiasts around South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) to participate in the #GforGreatness Contest. The contest encourages photography enthusiasts to unleash their visions of photographic creativity. It also aims to showcase outstanding shots from amateur to established artists through the use of G or G Master™ lenses from Sony.

Advances in camera performance and soaring creative ideas require a new approach to lens technology. Through this contest, Sony aims to elevate photography to a realm of visual perfection by capturing the truth and beauty in every image. The #GforGreatness Contest will focus on creativity, originality, and quality – to showcase new creative possibilities for imaging and art with unique lenses from Sony. Interested participants will have to submit their entries using the G or G Master™ lenses. For interested participants who do not own a G or G Master™ lens, you can visit the contest website to find out how to loan these lenses.

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The judging panel will include Sony’s α professional photographers from across the region and representatives from Sony. Participants can submit their entries online from 24 May to 19 August, 2016 via the contest website. The contest will run in Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. One winner will be selected from each country and the winner will receive a Sony 85mm F1.4 G Master™ Series lens (SEL85F14GM).

Results of the #GforGreatness Contest will be announced on 19 September, 2016 at the contest website. Winners will also be notified by email. For further information on the #GforGreatness Contest, please visit www.sony-asia.com/GforGreatness/.

Representing the ultimate blend of high resolution and beautiful bokeh, the G Master™ brand of interchangeable lenses features Sony’s innovative optical element technology, design, and calibration. This allows users to produce still images and video content with a level of detail and expression that has never before been possible. Sony has taken the renowned lens technology developed by Konica Minolta and combined it with the industry leading Sony design and technology to produce the outstanding Sony G lenses. Learn more about G and G Master™ lenses at www.sony-asia.com/GforGreatness/.

#GforGreatness Contest Details

Contest dates: 24 May to 19 August 2016

Entry submission: Participants are required to submit photos taken with G or G Master™ lenses

Submission platform: Upload photos to the competition microsite: (www.sony-asia.com/GforGreatness/)

*Information and Picture Courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific*

 

Sony Launched New G Master™ Brand of Interchangeable Lenses

Sony recently launched a new series of lenses, the new G Master brand of interchangeable lenses. Let me share with you more information and details about the new G Master brand of interchangeable lenses from the press release information below –

Sony introduced their flagship G Master™ brand of interchangeable lenses. The new brand includes three new E-mount full frame lenses including a 24-70mm constant F2.8 standard zoom, an 85mm F1.4 prime and a 70-200mm constant F2.8 telephoto zoom. Representing the ultimate blend of high resolution and beautiful bokeh, the new lenses feature Sony’s innovative optical element technology, design and calibration. This allows them to produce still image and video content with a level of detail and expression that has never before been possible.

“The new G Master™ brand represents the finest and most impressive group of lenses that Sony has ever brought to market,” said Dai Tanaka, General Manager, Digital Imaging Division, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific. “With our knowledge of what the future will bring for digital imaging, we have designed these lenses and can ensure that the G Master™ brand will inspire and ‘wow’ photographers and videographers for years to come.”

New FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Standard Zoom Lens

Featuring some of the most advanced lens technologies in the market today, the new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM (model SEL2470GM) is the ultimate choice for those seeking the highest possible optical performance for portrait, travel and event photography or even simple everyday shooting[1]. The new lens is built with three aspherical elements including a newly developed, extremely precise XA (extreme aspherical) element that reduces aberration and delivers the ultimate resolution throughout the entire zoom range and aperture range, as well as from corner to corner of all image files. Additionally, an ED (Extra-low-Dispersion) glass element and Super ED glass element keep chromatic aberration to a minimum while maximising resolution and bokeh without any unnatural colouration.

SEL2470GM (1)

The new FE24-70mm F2.8 GM lens has a direct drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) focusing system that works with incredible efficiency thanks to a new set of algorithms that positions the lens elements quickly and accurately. The motor is smooth and quiet, making it an ideal choice for shooting both still images as well as movies.

To maximise usability, the lens is dust and moisture resistant and features a compact, streamlined design that includes AF/MF switch as well as focus hold, zoom lock and hood release buttons.

Two new matching filters for the FE24-70mm F2.8 GM lens have also been introduced, including the VF-82MP MC protector and VF-82CPAM Circular PL filter.

The lens features a 9-bladed aperture that maintains a near circular shape at all settings and is coated with Sony’s original Nano AR coating to suppress reflections and ensure spectacular contrast and clarity.

New FE 85mm F1.4 GM Telephoto Prime Lens

Designed as the ultimate portrait lens, the long-awaited new FE 85mm F1.4 GM telephoto prime lens (model SEL85F14GM) strikes a perfect balance between resolution and bokeh in a compact package.

The lens features a new XA (extreme aspherical) element as well as three ED glass elements that work together to ensure that the in-focus areas are captured in extremely high resolution while the surrounding out-of-focus areas dissolve smoothly into a beautiful soft backdrop. It has a circular aperture with 11 blades – the most ever used in an α lens – that ensures bokeh is smooth and visually appealing. Externally, the new model has Sony’s original Nano AR Coating, which is of particular importance in a portrait lens as it reduces flare and ghosting, even with backlit subjects or similarly challenging lighting conditions.

SEL85F14GM (1)

For accurate autofocusing, the FE 85mm F1.4 GM lens includes a ring drive SSM motor system that provides ample power and speed to drive the lens’ large, heavy focus group. It’s also equipped with two position sensors to support flawless focus control of the large, heavy lens elements.

This new professional portrait lens is dust and moisture resistant and also has an aperture ring with on/off switchable click stops that can be adjusted based on whether a user is shooting still images or movies. It also has an AF / MF switch and a focus hold button[2].

New FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Telephoto Zoom

Covering the frequently used 70-200mm focal range, the new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS telephoto zoom lens (model SEL70200GM) offers extremely high rendering, AF performance and image stabilisation, making it a versatile choice for shooting wildlife, sports, weddings and a variety of other events and locations1.

The new flagship telephoto zoom model delivers extraordinary sharpness and clarity throughout the entirety of its zoom range thanks to its three advanced lens elements including XA, Super ED and ED glass components, as well as its Nano AR coating.

SEL70200GM (1)

The new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS lens features a floating focusing system – implemented in an α zoom lens for the first time – that contributes to an impressive minimum focusing distance of merely 0.96m and ensures AF performance is optimised during both still and video shooting. The lens includes a SSM (Super Sonic Motor) plus dual linear motors that work together to move large lens elements quickly – a task that requires a high level of drive control and ensures focus accuracy. The new model also has built in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilisation for capturing sharp, blur-free subjects at all focal lengths and a rotating tripod mount that allows the camera to be quickly removed from a connected tripod as needed.

The new 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens is dust and moisture resistant with an additional fluorine coating added to the front lens. It also has a focus hold button as well as a focal range limiter.

Sony has also announced new compact 1.4x and 2x Teleconverters – models SEL14TC and SEL20TC respectively – that offer even greater reach while maintaining the overall streamlined design and feel of the 70-200mm lens[3].

SEL14TC (2)

SEL20TC

Pricing and Availability

The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Standard Zoom and 85mm F1.4 GM Telephoto prime lenses will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from March 2016, while the new 70-200mm F2.8 GM Telephoto Zoom Lens and its compatible 1.4x and 2x Teleconverters will be available from May 2016.

[1] A software update may be required to provide compatibility of lenses with some cameras. See the Sony support site http://www.sony-asia.com/section/support for additional details.

[2] Limitations apply to AF operation when shooting movies with certain camera bodies. A software update may be required to provide AF compatibility of FE 85mm F1.4 GM with some cameras during movie shooting. See the Sony support site for lens/body compatibility details.

[3] SEL70200GM is the only compatible lens at the time of announcement.

*Information and Photos courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications*

Sony Introduces New α6300 Camera

Sony recently introduced the Alpha 6300 camera, the latest addition to their award winning line-up of mirrorless camera. I had experiences with the Sony Alpha 6000 series before, with a review of the Sony Alpha 6000 mirrorless camera in 2014. The Alpha 6000 series were pretty impressive with its number of AF points and hybrid AF system and it can be seen here in the Alpha 6300. If the opportunity arises, I would do a review of the Sony Alpha 6300 and share my views and opinions on my photography site.

Let me share with you more information and photos on the Sony Alpha 6300 camera from the press release information –  

Sony introduced the latest addition to their award winning line-up of mirrorless cameras, the α6300. The camera boasts an unrivalled 4D FOCUS™ system that can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, the world’s fastest AF acquisition time1. Additionally, the α6300 has an incredible 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over the entire image area – the world’s highest number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera2, and can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking.

The impressive new mirrorless model also has the ability to support full live-view continuous shooting on the Tru-Finder™ or LCD screen at up to 8 frames per second, ultimately producing a real-time shooting experience that combines all the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of a through-the-lens optical viewfinder.

A6300 (1)

The versatile α6300 camera is equipped with a newly developed 24.2 MP[1] APS-C sized Exmor CMOS sensor that works together with a BIONZ X image processing engine to produce outstanding image quality throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range ISO 100 – 51200[2].

The new α6300 can also shoot and record high resolution 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in the popular Super 35mm format.

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Unrivalled AF Performance

Sony’s new α6300 camera builds upon the acclaimed 4D FOCUS performance of the α6000 model, utilising a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines high-speed phase detection AF with extremely accurate contrast AF and allows it to capture and lock on to moving subjects in as little as 0.05 seconds1. The camera’s High-density Tracking AF technology positions 425 phase detection AF points over nearly the entire field of view, allowing it to accurately focus throughout a wide area – even on small, fast objects that other cameras would fail to recognise.

In addition to the extensive AF coverage, the α6300 debuts a new high-density tracking AF technology that significantly improves subject detection and tracking performance. This new technology can quickly activate a large number of AF points surrounding a subject – approximately 7.5 times more density than the α6000 – and intelligently adjust them in accordance with the subject’s motion. This is a particularly powerful feature when used with high-speed 11 fps continuous shooting or the new 8 fps continuous live-view mode, which provides 100% accurate framing for fast moving subjects on the LCD screen or viewfinder.

A6300 Burst

Of note is the fact that the camera’s 425 phase detection AF points, enhanced tracking and focus accuracy are all available on the α6300 when using A-mount lenses[3] with a mount adaptor like the Sony LA-EA3. This is a first for Sony E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, as the only other cameras to feature this capability are the full-frame α7R II and α7 II models.

Other enhancements to the α6300 include silent shooting functionality, the ability to use AF in focus magnifier mode, expanded flexible spot AF, Eye AF in AF-C mode and more.

Powerful 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Processor

In order to maximise efficiency and overall camera performance, the α6300 features a new 24.2 MP sensor that is an ideal match for its BIONZ X image processing engine.

The new image sensor employs copper wiring in its structure, which improves light collection efficiency and significantly accelerates readout speed. The BIONZ X processor features an upgraded image processing algorithm designed to maximise the sensor’s overall capabilities. Together, the two key components work together to produce images with low noise and exceptional resolution in sensitivity settings up to ISO 512003, in particular in the mid-to-high sensitivity range.

Ultimate 4K Resolution and Other Professional Video Capabilities

In another first for non-full-frame Sony interchangeable lens cameras, the new α6300 offers internal 4K movie recording in Super 35mm format. When shooting in 4K, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 20 megapixels of information – approximately 2.4x[1] (6K equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD and then oversamples the information to produce high quality footage with exceptional detail and depth.

The camera utilises the XAVC S codec[2] during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps7 during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during standard Full HD shooting, ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats. Additionally, the camera will focus approximately twice as fast as its predecessor during movie shooting thanks to its new and improved AF system. AF speed and AF tracking sensitivity are also adjustable for expanded creativity.

A6300 Lifestyle (2)

Other professional calibre video features include the ability to record Full HD at 120 fps at 100 Mbps[3], another first for α interchangeable lens cameras with APS-C sized sensors. This mode allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD[4] (24p or 30p) resolution with AF tracking. The new α6300 also offers S-Log gamma recording[1] for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider colour space. Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.

Also included on the new camera is a microphone line input that accepts external microphones and also supports XLR input with Sony’s XLR adapter kit, as well as Gamma Display Assist, a new function that allows users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies. The new model has enhanced Zebra functionality for greater exposure control. Picture profile settings are available, as well as Time Code / User Bit and much more.

Enhanced Operability and Ergonomics

The α6300 camera is equipped with a high contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with approximately 2.4 million dots that offers exceptional corner-to-corner visibility. There is also a new mode available for the viewfinder that allows display of images at 120 fps, ensuring that action is displayed smoothly with very few afterimages, making subject tracking through the Tru-Finder™ easier than ever.

A6300 (36)

Aesthetically, the new α6300 camera features an extremely solid feel in hand thanks to its robust, magnesium alloy design. It can be customised to fit nearly any shooting style or preferences, with 9 customisable buttons that one of 64 different functions can be assigned to. The camera adds a digital level gauge as well as upgraded dust and moisture resistance[2], a reinforced lens mount structure and a new shutter release button and mode dial with improved operability and grip.

The new α6300 camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™, which add a variety of creative capabilities to the camera. It also supports QR code for easy connection to non-NFC smart phones.

The α6300 with SELP1650 lens will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from March 2016.

[1] S-Log2 and S-Log3 are based on processing pictures.

[2] This camera is designed for optimal dust and moisture resistance, but is not waterproof or splashproof. For FE lens only.

[1] 1.6x in 30p setting.

[2] An SDHC/SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording.

[3] UHS Class 3 memory card is required for recording at 100Mbps.

[4] Number of pixels required for Full HD movie recording is read out from the image sensor.

[1] Approximate effective MPs.

[2] Expandable up to ISO 51200 for stills and up to ISO 25600 for movies.

[3] A-mount lenses with SSM or SAM only. Users can choose phase-detection AF or contrast-detection AF in AF System menu.

*Information and Pictures Courtesy of Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and WE Communications*