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Cyber-shooting: Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III video overview

Published on March 30, 2016 by in News

Sony's new superzoom may look a lot like its predecessor, but an updated 24-600mm lens makes the Cyber-shot RX10 III a much more versatile camera - in theory. We've been able to spend a bit of time getting to know the camera's new features and putting its long zoom range to work. Take a look at what's new to the RX10 series in our video overview.

 
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First sample images from 20MP Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

Published on March 30, 2016 by in News

DPReview is in San Francisco checking out the new Cyber-shot RX10 III. The RX10 III maintains the ergonomics and key specifications of its predecessor, but incorporates a massive 24-600mm equivalent F2.4-4 lens. We've been doing some shooting with the camera in a range of different situations, and we've created a (JPEG only, for now) gallery. 

 
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Mourn the Loss of Fujifilm’s Much-Loved Instant Film With This Awesome Lapel Pin

Published on March 30, 2016 by in News
Shoot Film Co. fujifilm FP-100C Memorial Pin

Say goodbye to FP-100c in style

Shoot Film Co. has created an awesome tribute pin for Fujifilm's discontinued FP-100c instant film

 
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Flickr may be up for sale as Yahoo Board of Directors looks to shed web properties

Published on March 29, 2016 by in News

The future of Yahoo and its many operations, including the photo sharing behemoth Flickr, is uncertain. According to reports, the company's board is now accepting bids for its web properties, with a deadline of two weeks to submit proposals.

While Yahoo has not specifically said which operations are up for sale, they have given hints to what a new, slimmed-down Yahoo might look like. According to Reuters, if the board's restructure goes through as planned, Yahoo will center around Yahoo Search, Mail and Tumblr, as well as four 'digital content strongholds,' which include News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle.

This seems to indicate that at least according the company's board, Flickr has no place in the future of Yahoo. But not so fast - there are several other factors at play that could put the kibosh on a sale altogether.

One of these factors is an attempted hostile takeover of Yahoo's board by activist investor Starboard Value. Many shareholders, unhappy with financial results, have run out of patience with the current boards plan to turn Yahoo around. This is where Starboard Value comes in. Last Thursday, they announced their intent to overthrow CEO Marissa Mayer, and presented a list of nine alternative board members to replace the current board at the annual shareholder meeting in June.

If Yahoo is unable to get the ball rolling on sales of its assets before June, there's a chance that a new board will be ushered in, and move the company in a different direction entirely.

On the other hand, more than 40 companies have expressed interest in owning a piece of Yahoo, including Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time and many more. Whether or not any of those companies specifically have an interest in Flickr is difficult to say. As of June 2015, Flickr had a formidable 112 million active users. That's not quite the 400 million users Instagram claims to have, but its still a sizable community. For the record, Flickr was first purchased by Yahoo back in 2005, for $25 million.

All the while, Mayer is sticking to her plan for turning around the company, which includes laying off 15 percent of the company's workforce, closing unprofitable ventures, all while spinning off Yahoo's stake in Alibaba Group as well as Yahoo Japan into a separate company.

Needless to say, if you're in the market for a photo sharing site, now's the time to bust out the checkbook and make an offer. We just hope if Flickr does make its way into new hands that it goes to a good home.

Via Reuters and The Associated Press

 
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Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

Published on March 29, 2016 by in News

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

Sony's already had a busy year, and it just got even busier with the announcement of an update to its RX10 series and two new FE lenses: the 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 OSS. We got to take a first look at them at a press event in San Francisco. 

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

The FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 is the first full-frame E-mount lens to reach 300mm. It offers SteadyShot stabilization, as evidenced by the OSS on/of switch seen here. 

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

The 70-300mm offers a minimum focus distance of 0.9m/2.9ft, a zoom locking mechanism and dust and moisture resistance. It's fairly compact when used at the wide end...

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

...and extends quite a bit to reach that 300mm mark. For the extremely curious, we noted that the lens maintains its widest F4.5 aperture until the 85mm mark, when F5 becomes the widest option. This changes again at 157mm, at which point it stops down to F5.6.

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

Sony has posted MTF charts for the 70-300mm, and they show that this lens might be a cut above the typical telezoom. The 70-300 will go on sale in May for $1200.

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

And now, something a little different: the Sony FE 50mm F1.8. At $250 it's going to be a much more wallet-friendly option than its 55mm F1.8 Zeiss-branded counterpart.

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

The 50mm features a 7-blade circular aperture and offers a 0.45m/1.45ft minimum focus distance. Sony emphasizes its compact and lightweight design and indeed, the lens weighs in at a svelte 186g/6.6oz.

Hands on: Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6

Here's another view of that 7-blade aperture. The lens comprises six elements in five groups, including one aspherical element. Like the 70-300mm, it's expected to ship in May. 

 
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Hands-on with the Sony RX10 III

Published on March 29, 2016 by in News

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III boasts a 24-600mm equivalent zoom lens, 14fps continuous stills shooting and 4K video capture. We've had the chance to get hands-on with Sony's newest flagship compact camera today for a few hours, and we've put together some first impressions. Click through this slideshow for a closer look at the new Cyber-shot RX10 III.

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

Cosmetically and ergonomically, the RX10 III is a near twin of its predecessor the RX10 II. It feels the same, looks pretty much the same and the key controls are laid out in the same way. The grip has been slightly redesigned (our impression is that it's slightly more comfortable when the lens is zoomed fully, but there's not much in it) but if you've used an RX10 II, the RX10 III will feel immediately familiar.

At just over a kilo (~2.3 pounds) in weight the RX10 III is not not quite as heavy as it looks, and in use (like the RX10 II) it feels solid and well-made. 

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

The RX10 III isn't a particularly 'compact' camera when it's turned off, but once it's turned on and the lens extends, it gets even larger. Here, the camera is shown with its lens zoomed out to 24mm...

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

...and here's what the camera looks like when zoomed in all the way to 600mm. This is a big lens and it takes around 4 seconds to go from 24mm to 600mm. 

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

To help frame your shot with such a long zoom, Sony has provided a 'Zoom Assist' feature that lets you jump back to wider framing so that you can re-find your subject, before releasing the button to jump back to your chosen zoom level.

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

The RX10 III boasts a powerful video feature set, based around 4K capture which samples a 17MP chunk of the sensor then down-scales to 4K, . In theory, this should mean that video quality is pretty darned good, and we'll be posting some samples as soon as we can. 

As we'd expect from a camera with such solid video credentials the RX10 III offers headphone and microphone sockets, as well as HDMI out and USB (2.0). This view also shows the articulating rear screen, folded out. As usual (sadly) for Sony, the screen is a magnet for finger prints and general crud, and isn't touch-sensitive.

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

The RX10 III's built-in flash is (as usual for cameras like this) pretty weedy, but its pop-up mechanism raises it unusually high above the lens axis, which should reduce the risk of red-eye in portraits, and minimize shadowing caused by the massive lens. 

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

The rear control layout of the RX10 III is exactly the same as the RX10 II. Twin control dials (one to the right of the movie button and one around the 4-way controller) allow control over exposure parameters, and a generous rubber thumb grip helps to get a firm hold on the camera. 

The RX10 III's electronic viewfinder is very nice indeed, boasting 2.35 million dots (giving 1024 x 768 pixel resolution).

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

The RX10 III is rated for 420 shots from its supplied NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery, which is a modest increase from the 400 shot rating of the RX10 II (as per CIPA ratings in both cases). For maximum battery life, deactivate the built-in Wi-Fi and NFC when not in use.  

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

One of the things we liked about the RX10 and RX10 II is the physical aperture ring. The RX10 III also boasts two additional rings for focus and zoom - the latter function doubled by a conventional compact camera-style 'W-T' rocker around the shutter release. And note that the shutter button is threaded for a mechanical cable release - a nice touch, and a subtle indication of the RX10 III's high-end positioning. 

Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

We'll be posting images and video samples from the RX10 III as soon as we can - keep an eye on our homepage!

 
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New Gear: Sony Announces the RX10 III Camera With a 24–600mm Equivalent Lens

Published on March 29, 2016 by in News
Sony RX10 III

Sony’s latest RX10 gets a stacked sensor, 600mm of zoom

Sony has announced a followup to its RX10 II super zoom camera called the RX10 III.

 
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New Gear: Sony Announces Full-Frame 50mm f/1.8 Prime and 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Zoom Lenses

Published on March 29, 2016 by in News
Sony 50mm f/1.8 full-frame prime lens

Sony's full-frame nifty fifty has arrived for $250

Sony has announced a 50mm f/1.8 full-frame standard prime lens for $250 as well as a 70–300mm full-frame telephoto zoom

 
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Mentor Series: Alex Sneiders Captures the Vibrant Hues of India

Published on March 29, 2016 by in News

This trip participant shares his tips for beautiful cityscapes

Alex Sneiders shares his tips for capturing the beautiful tones of India

 
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Sony announces 50mm F1.8 and 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 full-frame lenses

Published on March 29, 2016 by in News

Sony today announced a pair of FE-mount full-frame lenses for its Alpha and NEX mirrorless cameras. The first is an FE 50mm F1.8 prime lens, giving photographers a considerably less expensive option compared to the Zeiss 55mm F1.8 currently on the market. This compact and lightweight lens is priced at $249 and will ship in May.

The other lens is the 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS, which is the longest FE-mount tele-zoom available. It features four aspherical and two ED elements, optical image stabilization, and a Nano AR coating to reduce flare and ghosting. It's also sealed against dust and moisture. The lens offers a minimum focus distance of 0.9m/3ft, and uses a linear actuator for smooth and silent autofocus. The 70-300 will also be available in May at a price of $1199.


Press release:

Sony Bolsters Full-Frame FE Lens Lineup with New 70-300mm High-Resolution Zoom and 50mm F1.8 Prime Lenses

New FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Telephoto Zoom and 50mm F1.8 Prime Lens Extend Sony ? Shooting Possibilities

SAN FRANCISCO, Mar. 29, 2016 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced two new full-frame lenses for their E-mount camera system, the FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS telephoto zoom and 50mm F1.8 prime lens. 

The new FE 70-300mm F4.5-F5.6 G OSS zoom lens represents the first Sony ? E-mount lens to reach a 300mm focal length, featuring high resolution and excellent overall optical performance throughout the entirety of its range.  The new 50mm F1.8 prime lens is extremely compact, lightweight and affordably priced, making it an ideal choice for those looking to explore the benefits of a large aperture prime lens at a reasonable cost. 

“We’re continuing to build out our FE lens lineup, offering more variety than ever for today’s imaging enthusiasts,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics.  “Representing two of the most requested focal lengths by our customers, the new 70-300mm zoom and 50 F1.8mm prime become ideal choices for those looking to expand and enhance their Sony ? kits.

New FE 70-300mm F4.5 – 5.6 G OSS Telephoto Zoom Lens

Sony’s longest reaching E-mount lens to date, the new FE 70-300mm F4.5 – 5.6 G OSS telephoto zoom lens (model SEL70300G) features a state-of-the-art optical design including four aspherical glass elements, two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and Sony’s Nano AR coating, which all work together to effectively suppress spherical aberration, distortion, and chromatic aberration.  This ensures beautiful high-resolution results for both still and video shooting.

The new telephoto zoom lens also features class-leading close-up performance, with a minimum focusing distance of less than 3 feet (0.9m) and a maximum magnification of 0.31x, making it an ideal choice for tele-macro photography.  This outstanding close-up performance also factors into the lens’ excellent corner-to-corner sharpness.

The versatile zoom lens includes built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization that helps to reduce camera shake, making it easier to capture clear images when shooting handheld.  Additionally, the new SEL70300G model has a linear actuator that allows it to achieve fast, smooth and quiet autofocus and is also dust and moisture resistant1 to ensure reliable operation in harsh outdoor conditions.

New FE 50mm F1.8 Prime Lens

Weighing in at less than 7 oz (192 g), the new lightweight FE 50mm F1.8 “normal” prime lens (model SEL50F18F) delivers an outstanding blend of performance, compactness and value, making it a perfect choice for hobbyist photographers and videographers looking to experience the benefits of a wide aperture prime lens at an attainable cost.

The lens features a new optical design with an aspherical element that effectively compensates for all forms of aberration, resulting in beautiful, crisp imagery.   Additionally, it has a circular aperture with a maximum of F1.8, producing beautiful ‘bokeh’ in images that allows the subject to stand out against a smoothly defocused background.  For extended durability, the new prime lens is built with a solid metal mount.

Pricing and Availability

The new FE 70-300mm F4.5 – 5.6 G OSS telephoto zoom lens will be available in May for about $1,200 US and $1,700 CA, respectively. 

The new FE 50mm F1.8 prime lens will also be available in May for about $250 US and $350 CA, respectively. 

Both of the new FE interchangeable lenses will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.   

A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new lenses and other Sony ? products can be found atwww.alphauniverse.com , Sony’s new community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony ? brand. 

Content is also available for viewing at the sony.com product pages for the FE 70-300mm F4.5 – 5.6 G OSS telephoto zoom lens and the FE 50mm F1.8 prime lens.

Lens specifications

 Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSSSony FE 50mm F1.8
Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lensPrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length70–300 mm50 mm
Image stabilisationYesNo
Lens mountSony FE
Aperture
Maximum apertureF4.5 - F5.6F1.8
Minimum apertureF22.0 - F29.0F22.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades97
Optics
Elements166
Groups135
Special elements / coatingsFour aspherical and two ED elements + Nano AR coatingOne aspherical element
Focus
Minimum focus0.90 m (35.43)0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification0.31×0.14×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualYesNo
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Focus distance limiterYesNo
Physical
Weight854 g (1.88 lb)186 g (0.41 lb)
Diameter84 mm (3.31)69 mm (2.72)
Length144 mm (5.67)60 mm (2.36)
SealingYesNo
ColourBlack
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockNo
Filter thread72.0 mm49.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codeALC-SH144ALC-SH146
Tripod collarNo
 
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