Monday, September 17, 2012

Sony 18-135mm SAM f/3.5-5.6 Review

Sony 18-135mm SAM f/3.5-5.6 Review
September 2012, Carl Garrard

Sony 18-135mm SAM f/3.5-5.6 Review: Sony's Alpha camera division has shown some interesting cards in the DSLR game of late. They've shown that they are listening more intently to enthusiasts needs than ever, both in the product types and how the products are being designed. It's a refreshing change of events that I'll be honest has taken me quite a bit by surprise. Ever a fan of a good bang for the buck lens, Sony introduced the 18-135mm SAM lens earlier this year when the announced the Alpha A37 SLT model. Yet its just now, that I'm getting around to actually testing this lens on one of Sony's better camera models ever- the Sony A57.  Join me for a review adventure of galactical proportions (space helmet, on!).

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Best Price

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sony Alpha A57 Review and Thoughts (Updated 9-13 Gallery)

Sony Alpha A57 Review and Thoughts
August 2012, Carl Garard
Sony Alpha A57 Review and Thoughts: Recently I've had the pleasure to use Sony's Alpha A57, after quite a hiatus from using Sony slt/dslr models. The break was needed, I had to detach myself from the EVF/SLR concept Sony were trying to pull off on the market in order to let that concept completely sink in. After the hiatus a few models emerged, and one of them being the A57. To me the A57 is the most mature SLT Sony has brought to the market, with none of the glitches that plagued earlier models and a sensor which, quite frankly, I feel to be superior as an overall design decision than other models.

Prices Sony Alpha SLT-A57

Tamron Announces Development of SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD

Tamron Announces Development of SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD
September 2012, Carl Garrard

Woo hoo, another nice 90mm Macro lens. I reviewed Tamrons venerable older model so I'm quite excited to see how the new one performs. The older lens was tack sharp and made gorgeous images so its going to be difficult to improve upon that. Main improvements are the new optical design, addition of vibration control (VC), new sexy look, and USD (Ultra Sonic Drive). So a quieter, faster focusing, better performing optic is coming! Great news! By first impression this lens looks a lot like the very excellent 60mm f/2 macro that I fell in love with when I reviewed that lens at (both the 90mm and 60mm reviews are there). Can't wait to use this lens, sounds like it handles better and is faster and quieter to use in general. A great lens for portraiture more so than ever with those improvements.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

HOT- New Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 ZA SSM Lens Coming in Spring!

This was announced from Sony Japan on a website so I don't have a lot of information. Looks like the A-Mount gets a new Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZA SSM lens in spring of 2013. This is an excellent edition to the 35mm Zeiss (and others) already available by plugging that gap, and strengthens Sony's already very solid lens lineup for the A-Mount even more. I guess things are going well for Sony at Photokina this year. More info on this lens later on as it develops.

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-Cheers, Carl

Sony Alpha A99 Preview (Updated Additional Commentary)

Sony Alpha A99 Preview
September 2012, Carl Garrard

Sony Alpha A99 Preview: Today Sony announces the long awaited (and rumored) A900 replacement, the Alpha A99 SLT. The A99 comes in with the same 24mp of resolution as the camera it replaces, but in a completely different form factor, improved weather sealing, a raft of video features, and of course the SLT mirror design. This is Sony's new flagship still image camera for the interim and shows Sony's full commitment to the SLT design with its full lineup now complete with SLT cameras and no traditional DSLR design on the marketplace.

Sony A99 Best Price Check

Sony Cybershot RX1 Preview (Updated W/Brochure)

Sony Cybershot RX1 Preview
September 2012, Carl Garrard
Sony Cybershot RX1 Preview: The first fixed lens compact camera with a Full Frame sensor. Who thought it would be Sony, raise your hand? Of those few of you with hands raised, who thought it would be the Cybershot division? I doubt there are any hands in the air at this point. I am surprised, and pleasantly. Yes the price is high, yes this is a niche camera, but so what! Just when I thought (and I'm sure others did too) the Cybershot division were never going to make another "serious" camera again, Sony fire two shots nearly back to back. First the RX100 and now the RX1 model.

Sony Cybershot RX1 Best Price Check

Sony NEX 6 Preview (Updated Commentary)

Sony NEX 6 Preview
September 2012, Carl Garrard

Sony NEX6 Preview: Sony's NEX 6 is a bold move for the NEX lineup of cameras. Sporting the wildly popular 16mp sensor (found in many other makers cameras including Sony's in the Alpha and NEX line), a new hotshoe, improved handling, built in EVF, and revamped menu system- this camera could really end up being the biggest seller of the new announcements easily. If you ask me, it looks like the Sony V3 replacement with lines and heritage back to those Cybershot glory days.

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Four New Sony Lenses

Four new Sony lenses, three for the NEX mount and one for the Alpha Mount. All three for the NEX mount look great, and the Alpha mount lens will be a great addition to the A99. Wow!

Sony Lenses Best Prices

Friday, September 7, 2012

Samsung EX2F Review

Samsung EX2F Review
September 2012, Carl Garrard

Samsung EX2F Review- I love me some serious compacts. My time with the EX2f's predecessor, the EX1 (TL500) although short, was pretty positive. I remember when that camera came out and how excited I was for Samsung to bring something like that to the market. At the time I had my hands full and couldn't do a review of that camera, and just never got around to doing one afterwards. But now, my slate is clean, timing is indeed everything. Lets get started...

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Upcoming Sony A99

Predictions: This camera may not be the high performance camera many are hoping for in terms of speed of frame rate or buffer capability- probably similar to the A77 on the latter. Likely the rumor of 24mp will indeed be true, but I also think the ISO level will not be very high at all- definitely not the 102K or even 51K ISO level.
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