10 Bit vs 8 Bit – Sony FS5 vs. a7S II vs. a7R II – Is 10 Bit Always Better?

Sony_a7S_II_4K

A title that’s a mouthful, I know. So instead, let’s have Dave Dugale explain:

You know how everyone says 10bit is better than 8bit when it comes to heavy grading, today I am finally testing that. It makes sense but I wanted to see it. Anytime I’m curious usually something unexpected happens.

Tests not about detail/sharpness, not about the codecs or subchroma. Not talking about rolling shutter, etc.

I compared the Sony a7Sii to the Canon C100, Sony FS5 and the Red Scarlet Dragon.

Sony Xperia X and X Performance Priced in Taiwan

The Sony Xperia X and Xperia X Performance have already been priced for Europe where they’ll begin to appear later this month. After their Euro invasion, Sony plans to bring the new handsets to Taiwan where they’ll be receiving favorable pricing and options.

Square Enix Labels “Final Fantasy Disease” as Root Cause for Series Decline

Nothing gets me riled up more than when companies are seemingly out of touch with consumers and the general marketplace. Square Enix is one such company. The modern incarnation of Final Fantasy which began on PSone with Final Fantasy VII and lasted through Final Fantasy X was nothing short of a miracle. Not only was Square able to release hit after hit, but the public was enchanted with each new title.

Final Fantasy XI aside (which was an MMORPG), something changed with Final Fantasy XII and then went terribly wrong with Final Fantasy XIII. Everything fell off the cliff with Final Fantasy XV which has been in development for nearly a decade. Once again I’m excluding Final Fantasy XIV because that is yet another MMORPG. The culprit? According to Final Fantasy XV Game Director Hajime Tabata, it is the Final Fantasy disease.

Why the Gran Turismo Sport Trailer Fails to Thrill

I’m not sure if at this point it’s me or there is something seriously lackluster taking place with the creative team behind Gran Turismo Sport. For those unaware, Sony finally announced a November 15th release date for the long time PlayStation-exclusive franchise. The one caveat from all this is that in order to meet the deadline, the game is skipping out on their initially-announced public beta – which seems like a terrible idea to me. That aside, when Gran Turismo Sport was first revealed, I had written how fairly generic the trailer was.

 Sadly, from what should have been an easy trailer to nail, we’re left with an awkward piece that fails to thrill and opts to show us a parked Mazda Miata and its interior. 

Giving the creative team the benefit of the doubt, I’d hoped for the official trailer to enlist more emotion and excitement. After all, I’m a bit of a petrol head and have played all games (excluding GT6) in the series. Unfortunately I walked away from the trailer wanting to fire up DriveClub instead.

Sony 22.5-Megapixel Exmor RS Image Sensor (IMX318) With Hybrid Autofocus Announced

Sony IMX318 Image Sensor

Some interesting news out of Sony today that the above headline doesn’t properly convey, due to size limitations. The better headline (which is directly from Sony) should read as:

 Sony Announces a New Type 1/2.6 22.5 Megapixel Exmor RS, the Industry’s First Stacked CMOS Image Sensor with Built-in Hybrid Autofocus and 3-Axis Electronic Image Stabilization 

So what’s all the hoopla about?

Sony Mobile FY16 Forecast – Sales Down 20%, Profitability Up

As is the case with Sony Mobile, with every bit of bad news comes good news. While from the outset, the division has been riddled with loss, Sony has actually been doing a fantastic job of driving Mobile towards sustainability.

Nearly 3 years ago, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai embarked on a mission to steer their mobile arm away from high-volume, low-margin devices (which make up a vast majority of Android vendors) and towards more premium handsets. For Sony, this has translated into devices with much higher ASP (average selling price) which has allowed them to leap frog competitors like HTC and LG. In fact, Sony enjoys ASPs higher than those found at Samsung and is only second to Apple.

Sony Forecasts an 8.3% Sales Increase for PlayStation in FY16

When Sony published their Q4 2015 earnings report in late April, they were forced to delay their FY16 forecast in order to assess the damage caused by earthquakes which struck the company’s image sensor plant in Kumamoto. With the factory beginning to become fully operational again, Sony has now released their forecast guidance for FY2016 and things in PlayStation land are looking good.

Sony Accidentally Unveils the Xperia E5

Sony Xperia E5 Leak 3
Over the years, nobody has tipped their own upcoming products better than Sony. From accidental social media posts to products appearing and disappearing from their website, Sony has played a critical role in letting others know in advance about soon-to-be-announced products. Today is no different with Sony taking to social channels to announce the upcoming mid-range Xperia E5, only to have it all pulled.

Uncharted 4 First Week Sales Surpass 2.7 Million

A game that’s worthy of selling 10 million copies – or more, frankly. Asad Qizilbash, Senior Director, First Party Games, SIEA:

 Millions of fans around the world have already joined Nathan Drake on his final treasure hunt. In the first week alone, I’m happy to report that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End exceeded 2.7 million units in global sales. For the North American region, Uncharted 4 is the fastest-selling PS4 first party title to-date. 

Of course as I wrote about here, there will always be a fairly short ceiling for what a game on PlayStation can sell unless Sony redefines PlayStation with PS5. With that, hats off to Naughty Dog for creating such a masterpiece series. It’s worth noting that the 2.7 million copies includes both digital and Blu-ray sales.

Sony Losing Apple as They Fall Behind on Dual-Lens Camera Production for iPhone 7+

iPhone_6_Camera_Sensor

One of the biggest eyebrow raisers from the Sony Q4 FY15 earnings report was the huge drop in Devices – down ¥75.3 billion compared to a year ago. For those unaware, Devices comprises mostly of Sony’s semiconductor business which supplies companies such as Apple and Samsung with components like batteries and camera sensors. At that time, I had heard from:

 a little birdie that Sony may have lost a major customer which could lend credence to the dramatic drop. 

Now it’s looking like my initial sources were spot on.

Gran Turismo Sport Beta Canceled, Probably a Bad Idea

Gran_Turismo_Sport_CoverLet’s play good news, bad news. First the good news – you can finally rejoice, Gran Turismo Sport has a ship date of November 15th. This means the PS4 is finally getting a very in-depth racer in what’s sure to be a gorgeous game with no shortage of cars, tracks, and customizable options. Now on to the bad news. Because of its ship date, the Gran Turismo Sport beta has been canceled, a move that flirts with disaster. Let me explain.

Sony Unsure If There Will Be a ‘PS5′ is Much Ado About Nothing & the Future of PlayStation

Sony_PlayStation_Family

The number one question I get asked when I’m stopped in the streets is what I think about comments made that there might not be a PlayStation 5. But instead of getting into whether I actually get stopped in the streets to be asked questions about the future of PlayStation, let’s instead start off this topic as frank as possible. Will there be a successor to the PS4? Of course there will be. Sony isn’t leading with the PS4, only to abandon it in the near future. Heck, there is already a successor of sorts in the pipeline in the form of the PS4K/PS4 Neo. Refresh models aside, one of the major pillars of Sony now is PlayStation which continues to be a major revenue and profits driver for the company. It would be pretty silly to abandon that, right? It’s as if Apple is pondering if there will an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7s. Of course there will be until something eventually replaces it.

So who would have made such an outlandish comment? None other than PlayStation president Shuhei Yoshida at a private dinner with Lorne Lanning during DICE. Here is Eddie Makuch who spoke with Lanning and wrote about his meet for Gamespot:

Lanning:

 What does the PlayStation 5 look like? 

Shu:

 You mean if 

Lanning:

 Whoa. Are you willing to say that on stage? 

Shu:

 Yeah, it’s an if. 

What an outlandish statement to be made by PlayStation’s president right? Except that it’s actually not – but don’t worry, I’m not contradicting myself.

Sony Xperia Z2 and Z3 Series Get New Firmware (23.5.A.0.575) Update

Sony_Xperia_Z2_Z3_Firmware_235A0575

If you’ve got a Sony device that falls under the Xperia Z2 or Xperia Z3 series then a new firmware update awaits you.

Sony Mobile is pushing a new small firmware update to the Xperia Z2 and Z3 family, which moves the build number from 23.5.A.0.570 to version 23.5.A.0.575. This appears to be a marginal update, with no noticeable changes – we don’t get STAMINA mode for example, which was recently released on Beta Marshmallow firmware. The update is out on most devices in the Xperia Z2 and Z3 series.

Sony a6300 vs Canon 80D Epic Shootout

Sony_a6300_vs_Canon_80D

If you’ve ever wondered how the well-received Sony a6300 would do against the Canon 80D, then wonder no more. Thanks to Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) who is a self-proclaimed freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist, we now have a very in depth video that pits the two cameras against one another.

Having just finished the lengthy video (just a hair over 26 minutes), I can tell you that Michael does a great job at highlighting what makes each camera unique while pitting them against one another. In fact in some instances, the clear winner depends on your needs as a photographer/videographer. As he says in the beginning of his video, just because a certain feature is touted by a company, it doesn’t mean the end results will be as claimed during real world usage which can produce vastly different results.

Another aspect of the video that I quite enjoyed is that for those of us who are less trained in the arts of photography like yours truly, Michael actually explains each test and fills you in on what’s taking place inside the camera. It’s also great to watch Michael perform the tests versus it being purely from his perspective which gives you a better feel for the testing conditions and how you could reproduce some of the same tests if you wish. Perhaps this says it all but nonetheless, the highly informative video will give you lots to think about.

 For a mirrorless camera, it’s the first one I’ve seen out-focus a DSLR in most conditions. 

Destiny Companion App 4.1.0 Now Live With LFG Support

Destiny_Companion_App_MatchMaking_3Just a quick follow up on a post from yesterday. Bungie has now officially released the Destiny Companion App 4.1.0 update which brings with it a host of new ways to connect with new players and form fire teams for raids and Heroic Strikes. The new features are now live for iOS (iPhone/iPad) and will presumably eventually come to Android. For those looking to run The Taken King raid but don’t have a core squad to play with, this update goes a long way towards making that easier on you. Well done Bungie.

What exactly is new in the Destiny Companion App 4.1.0?