Cameras and Camcorders

Sony Pictures drags down Sony Q3 FY16 earnings with profits dropping 84%

(note that you can click on all charts for a much higher resolution version)

It’s been a rather tumultuous week for Sony with news coming out that Sony Pictures would be responsible for a nearly $1 billion writedown which you can see in the above profits chart. Though Sony begs to differ, I think Sony Pictures is either quietly being put up for sale or that was the result of a sale falling through which meant Sony had to balance the division out but I’ll leave that for another piece. I’ve already broken down the earnings report for two divisions:

So where does that put Sony as a whole for Q3 FY16? Profitable, but not by a lot. Jon Russell writes this for TechCrunch:

Nikon D810 vs. Canon 5D Mark IV vs. Sony A7R II


Here’s a fun Friday video for you to enjoy – a camera comparison between the Nikon D810, Canon 5D Mark IV, and the Sony A7R II. Put together by the gang at The Slanted Lens, while informative, prepare to take all the results with a grain of salt. Now this isn’t a jab at the team over there which are far more experienced with cameras than I am. It is instead something to consider while watching: it takes time to master any given camera. If you’ve been shooting with Canons your entire life, no matter how awesome of a camera Sony throws your way, there is a good chance you might not be able to immediately pull off the same shots as before, or know how to tweak the camera to accommodate your shooting style. Still videos like this give you a good general idea of how the three cameras perform in similar circumstances.

 Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan and Kenneth Merrill. Today on The Slanted Lens we’ve got a camera comparison for still photographers. We’re taking a look at the Canon 5D Mark IV, the Nikon D810, and the Sony A7R II. Our goal is to get a direct comparison, so we’ve got native lenses and our settings are the same on each camera to see how each system inherently stacks up. 

PSA: Fotodiox adapter is reportedly killing Sony E-mount cameras

fotodiox_fusion_smartaf_nikonSomething for all Sony E-mount camera owners with Fotodiox adaptors to take note of – apparently their latest adaptors, the Fusion SmartAF Nikon G mount to Sony E-mount, is bricking cameras. Gannon Burgett writes for Digital Trends:

 The first instance of an issue was noted by photographer Jason Lanier on November 24. In a blog post and accompanying video, Lanier said the $370 adapter started by draining the battery of his camera, then ultimately killed his Sony A6300 mirrorless camera. According to Lanier, his camera which he’s taken all over the world […] will no longer power on at all. 

Sony Will Spin Off Their Camera Business in 2018


Though the headline might first appear shocking, it’s technically not news. In 2015, Sony had announced plans to spin off their camera division, much like they’ve spun off their home entertainment and sound business. The reason for the spinoffs? Efficiency.

 The reorganization is meant in part to speed up the decision-making process and clarify accountability. The parent company will effectively become a holding company that focuses on such functions as formulating strategies for the entire group and creating new businesses. 

Humorous Sony 24-70mm GM Hands-on Review


You know what the British have on us Americans? Humor. Dry, dry humor and it’s absolutely one of the best things. Maybe I’m just anticipating the return of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May to Top Gear, I mean The Grand Tour, but when I ran across this video review of the Sony 24-70mm GM with pure British charm, I couldn’t help but post it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, because between the nuggets of humor are some outstanding pieces on what the massive lens can offer – and it’s brilliant.

Sony Image Sensor Production Returns to Full Capacity as Smartphone Sales Pick Up


The latter part of 2015 and well into 2016 has been a bit of a rollercoaster for smartphone manufacturers and the industries that have become so reliant on them, like chip makers. Though a decade ago under its previous CEO, it would have been blasphemous for Sony to make components for its competitors, under Kaz Hirai, Sony smartly began producing its CMOS sensors for Apple, Samsung, and other vendors which has been extremely lucrative for them – that is, until smartphone sales for the entire industry began to slow down.

Sigma to Make FE Lenses for Sony E-mount Cameras


Sony’s E-mount cameras are set to get a big boost in the future from Sigma. According to Sigma CEO Mr. Kazuto Yamaki:

 The future of EF mount is beaming. So yes we will come out of FE mount objectives in the future. 

For those unfamiliar with FE lenses:

Sony Product Feature Video Highlights Flagship a99 II Camera


For those with an affinity for the finer things in life or who simply need unparalleled shooting capabilities, there exists the Sony a99 II which was announced last week. As a recap, the full-frame 42.4-megapixel A-mount camera features:

 high-speed high-precision Hybrid Phase Detection AF, AF/AE tracking in 12fps continuous shooting, body-integrated 5-axis image stabilization, and advanced 4K movie functions. 

To go along with the camera’s reveal, Sony has a new product feature video which highlights what the camera offers.

Sony Announces Flagship 42-Megapixel Full-frame a99 II A-mount Camera


Earlier this morning, Sony unveiled the a99 II, their newest flagship full-frame camera. Jon Fingas writing for Engadget:

 Sony is launching the A99 II, a 42.4-megapixel pro cam that incorporates many of the upgrades you’ve seen in recent Alpha DSLRs and mirrorless models… and then some. To start, it promises to be an autofocusing champ. This is the first full-frame Alpha to use 4D Focus tech, delivering a hybrid autofocusing system that melds 79 dedicated phase detection points with 399 focal plane phase detection points. Between this and the lack of a moving mirror, Sony is promising “full-time” autofocus that can track fast-moving objects — important when you can shoot up to a brisk 12 frames per second (8FPS in live view). 

Is Sony Hindering Xperia’s Photo Capabilities On Purpose?


On Labor Day, I ran a little poll on Twitter to see what many of you thought of cameras found on Xperia phones. My question was simple – how do you find the camera on your Xperia phone to be? In hindsight, I should have been a bit more clear and perhaps asked ‘how do you find the image quality on your Xperia phone to be?’ but I think the majority who voted got the gist. As for the options readers could choose from:

  • Good
  • Bad
  • Competition is better

Since then, the results have been mixed at best. Only 50% found the image quality to be good while 17% found it to be bad and 32% thought competition offered something better. If you didn’t get a chance to voice your opinion, I’d love to know:


If you’d voted previously, please vote again as the poll mistakenly allowed you to vote for multiple options and skewed the results.

Sony Patent Explains the Advantages of E-mount

Sony E-mount Patent

Who better to hear from about the advantages of a given product than the company that made it, right? From SonyAlphaRumors:

 If you wonder what’s Sony’s reasoning behind the E-mount construction just read the recently published United States Patent 9392150. It describes in detail the elements and details of the E-mount and what the advantages are. 

Sony Announces Full-Frame FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens


Sony_ Full_Frame_FE_50mm_F2.8_Macro Lens_2

Sony has announced a new full-frame lens for the E-mount camera system, the FE 50mm F2.8 Macro lens (model SEL50M28). According to Sony, the:

 50mm macro lens features an F2.8 maximum aperture that offers outstanding image quality and bokeh, while its 1:1 macro capability allows the photographer to get sharp close-up shots of their subject. Additionally, its comprehensive range of controls including focus-mode switch, focus-range limiter and focus-hold button ensure an effortless shooting experience for a wide range of users. 

2016 Sony IFA Predictions

Held in Berlin, the 2016 Sony IFA keynote is just a month away where Sony is expected to show their latest mobile products. Though Sony has yet to send out official press invites (which I won’t receive), they have confirmed that come September 1st, Kaz Hirai and co. will take stage. So what can we expect?

Teardown of the FE 24-70 mm G Master Lens


A while back, Sony released a series of new E-mount lenses under a new branding dubbed G Master Lens which have been called exceptional by most reviewers. Now Sony wants to give you a peek at what’s underneath one of these pricy pieces of glass.

 Ever wonder what pieces make a lens? Here’s your chance to see what’s inside the FE 24-70mm G Master Lens. Watch now! 

So if you’re into tech teardowns or lens guts, this video should treat you just fine.

Sony a6300 Firmware Update 1.10 Arrives


Those lucky enough to own the highly awarded Sony a6300 need to make note of firmware update 1.10. The just-released firmware is pegged around 255.22 MB so make sure you set some time aside to download and install. According to Sony: