Luminous Landscape Forum

Site & Board Matters => Rantatorials => Topic started by: rdonson on June 11, 2015, 08:55:35 AM

Title: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: rdonson on June 11, 2015, 08:55:35 AM
Thanks, Kevin, for calling out Sony's obvious innovation.  I think that you're spot on when you say the $3200 price tag is NOT outrageous for a flagship camera.  Heck, just compare it to Nikon and Canon equivalents.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Otto Phocus on June 11, 2015, 09:18:28 AM
That new Sony sounds like a sweet system. 

::Drool::
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Michael LS on June 11, 2015, 10:31:23 AM
Nice rant, Michael. Looking forward to LuLa's further exploits with the a7r part deux. Already hard at work talking myself out of buying it.

"Self !! You don't make prints large enough to need this."

Nevertheless, for those who can use this camera, and in particular,
incurable gear freaks, this gizmo is a wet dream.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: jwstl on June 11, 2015, 11:33:12 AM
I didn't see any mention of Sony adding uncompressed Raw. Will this camera still have the 11 or 12 bit (can't remember exactly which) compressed Raw?
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Isaac on June 11, 2015, 02:00:13 PM
Quote
"…a time to innovate and give the photographic community products that meet their needs, and as importantly, excite."

Sony also announced 2 other cameras - RX100 IV (http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-us/products/f5kd/) and RX10 II (http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-us/products/ht7k/).
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: amolitor on June 11, 2015, 02:08:01 PM
It is the perfect camera! It hits every point I ever asked for!

Oh, not quite. Because it does not support compressed RAW I am unable to purchase it.

(I have seen at least three people across the webernets saying, essentially, this, and thus we see the folly of trying to build THE PERFECT CAMERA which will cause all the enthusiasts to leap to buy it -- they won't. They'll find an excuse not to.)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Stefan.Steib on June 11, 2015, 02:22:49 PM
Beside of the camera - what I really like here is Sony´s spirit !
Do it right. Kaizen to the maximum. Stick to it and do it until it shines.
Japanese body and soul, the true samurai living the bushido.

よくやりました!

Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Telecaster on June 11, 2015, 02:35:32 PM
I didn't see any mention of Sony adding uncompressed Raw. Will this camera still have the 11 or 12 bit (can't remember exactly which) compressed Raw?

No uncompressed RAW apparently. Unlike with Andrew's "enthusiasts" this doesn't bother me…in all the real-world A7r photos I've taken it's never been an issue. But IMO Sony still should offer an uncompressed option, to shut people up as much as anything else.  ;)  (Maybe the compression is implemented on-chip in such a manner that it can't be turned off…which would be incredibly stoopid, but ya never know.)

As the A7x system is still incomplete lens-wise, I'll be taking a pass on this new camera at least 'til those eight unspec'd lenses on the Sony roadmap are announced & described in detail. Or until Zeiss announces a Batis in the 45–50mm range.

I hope the new ii finally implements sensible shutter speed choices in Av mode with Auto ISO enabled. Also not a deal breaker for me…but getting it right is so simple that not doing so suggests perversity rather than incompetence.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Kevin Callahan on June 11, 2015, 04:55:09 PM
Quote from: Telecaster link=topic=101111.msg828982#msg828982 date=

As the A7[i
x[/i] system is still incomplete lens-wise, I'll be taking a pass on this new camera at least 'til those eight unspec'd lenses on the Sony roadmap are announced & described in detail. Or until Zeiss announces a Batis in the 45–50mm range.

Have you tried the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8? It's outstanding.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Telecaster on June 11, 2015, 06:07:12 PM
Have you tried the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8? It's outstanding.

Yep, the 55mm is a fine lens. I just like the idea of an all-Batis setup…assuming the 25 & 85mms deliver the goods. (In practice I'm no purist. Most of my lens lineups have been & are multi-brand affairs.)

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: rogan on June 11, 2015, 06:54:56 PM
Michael,
 Everything but usb3. usb2???? So tethering with a 42 mp file really isn't an option unless one frame per 3 minutes in acceptable. Once again, so close yet so far.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: michael on June 11, 2015, 08:13:20 PM
Yup. Sony missed a few boats...

– no uncompressed raw

– no GPS

– no USB3 tethering

But, my point is not that they made the perfect camera, but hat they hit all the major bases this time round.

Michael
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: David Anderson on June 11, 2015, 09:00:27 PM
While Sony has certainly made another big leap, I don't think it's completely fair to suggest the big boys have been sitting on their hands.
Nikon took 35mm digital to new level the D800 and have a decent upgrade in the D810. I also see the steady issue of new lenses as a plus with both the 20 1.8G and new compact 300 f4 being quite tempting.
Canon ? A 50 MP 35mm DSLR is hardly asleep at the wheel, and even if it is just a new sensor in an older body, it's a big leap in resolution. Lenses like the 11-24 are also pretty exciting as is the prospect of a 5DIV.

That said, Sony certainly have their foot on the gas and I find the A7 series very tempting for both the tech, the vibe and the new lenses.
A couple things that put me off the brand are the single memory card slots in the A's (making them risky for paid work) and the confusion in two lens mounts in their system.
Assuming for a minute that Canon and Nikon will not be doing anything in mirrorless that rivals the A7's I can see myself getting one of the A7RII's and a couple of lenses for limited paid work and unlimited personal work.

Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Josh-H on June 12, 2015, 12:48:34 AM
While Sony has certainly made another big leap, I don't think it's completely fair to suggest the big boys have been sitting on their hands.
Nikon took 35mm digital to new level the D800 and have a decent upgrade in the D810. I also see the steady issue of new lenses as a plus with both the 20 1.8G and new compact 300 f4 being quite tempting.
Canon ? A 50 MP 35mm DSLR is hardly asleep at the wheel, and even if it is just a new sensor in an older body, it's a big leap in resolution. Lenses like the 11-24 are also pretty exciting as is the prospect of a 5DIV.

That said, Sony certainly have their foot on the gas and I find the A7 series very tempting for both the tech, the vibe and the new lenses.
A couple things that put me off the brand are the single memory card slots in the A's (making them risky for paid work) and the confusion in two lens mounts in their system.
Assuming for a minute that Canon and Nikon will not be doing anything in mirrorless that rivals the A7's I can see myself getting one of the A7RII's and a couple of lenses for limited paid work and unlimited personal work.



Just to be clear though - the Nikon D800e and D810 are driven by Sony sensors. And it is really the Sony Sensor at the heart of these two machines that has been the catalyst for their success.


Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 12, 2015, 02:16:12 AM
Just to be clear though - the Nikon D800e and D810 are driven by Sony sensors. And it is really the Sony Sensor at the heart of these two machines that has been the catalyst for their success.

The D810 has many qualities going beyond its sensor, but on the sensor front, that is true. What is also true though is that Sony Semi Conductor (a different company from Sony imaging) sold a large majority of their 36mp sensors, and 24mp sensors before that, thanks to Nikon's business.

So there is really no way to know whether we would have 36mp sensors today without the commitment of Nikon to buy parts in large amounts.

Back on topic, the a7RII is a very appealing proposal!

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Stefan.Steib on June 12, 2015, 03:45:09 AM
I think it is quite funny which kind of arguments are used about a camera that is not even released.

Non Professional because it has only one card slot.
OK - byebye all Medium format gear by Phase, Leaf and Blad. It is non professional ?   ???
Next : no USB3 Tethering. Well the camera costs 3200 $ and not 32000 $ as the MF backs . Maybe THAT is a reason ?
No GPS: whoha..... that´s my favorite. Nikon and Canon sell these additional GPS additions to their DSLRs and that is ok ?

and now: No Uncompressed Raw. Hmmm. Nobody has seen an ARW file from that new camera yet. The video section mentions a new Codec, I am pretty sure they also worked on the photographic part, as this BSI Sensor is completely new.
Just for info: ALL used Raws today are compressed. Tell me ONE single maker that stores uncompressed Tiff 16 Bit with Gamma 1.0 ?
................................................................Ok - I´m waiting. But there is none. Not one.

I understand that people want all in package , for half the price , at a quarter of the size and when they have it- it shall stay the same forever because it protects their investment....... But then innovation stops - like with the other makers.
To compare this camera with a list of features of the complete Photo market and  complain their lacking
is like complain about a sportscar because it´s trunk is so small.

I don´t even want to talk about the lacking lenses: one Word - more ZEISS coming, the ones which are already here and usable
beat the shxx out of the competition and they are afraid I guess.

and for a last word - here something written by George Orwell. I think that  fits pretty nice.

“It struck me that perhaps a lot of the people you see walking about are dead. We say that a man's dead when his heart stops and not before. It seems a bit arbitrary. After all, parts of your body don't stop working - hair goes on growing for years, for instance. Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea. Old Porteous is like that. Wonderfully learned, wonderfully good taste - but he's not capable of change. Just says the same things and thinks the same thoughts over and over again. There are a lot of people like that. Dead minds, stopped inside. Just keep moving backwards and forwards on the same little track, getting fainter all the time, like ghosts.”

― George Orwell, Coming Up for Air

Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: David Anderson on June 12, 2015, 04:05:06 AM

Non Professional because it has only one card slot.
OK - byebye all Medium format gear by Phase, Leaf and Blad. It is non professional ?   ???


I doubt most medium format shooters are doing the same number of frames and card changes that I do, though I could be wrong.

The single card slot is an issue for me because the camera uses SD cards and I've had them both fail and break - even good ones.
If it had a single CF card I would feel more comfortable.
(no experience with Memory Sticks - maybe they're more reliable ?



Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: davidgp on June 12, 2015, 05:42:35 AM
The D810 has many qualities going beyond its sensor, but on the sensor front, that is true. What is also true though is that Sony Semi Conductor (a different company from Sony imaging) sold a large majority of their 36mp sensors, and 24mp sensors before that, thanks to Nikon's business.

So there is really no way to know whether we would have 36mp sensors today without the commitment of Nikon to buy parts in large amounts.

Well, Sony it is doing the big money in the image sensor division with mobile phones (image sensor production grow 80% from 2009 to last year - http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com.es/2015/04/image-sensor-market-shares.html ). I read some time ago that Sony expects this sector to still growing, in an slower pace, for the next years thanks to the incorporation of cameras to cars. I think that sensors for cameras are at this point a small market for what Sony Image Sensors is doing.

About no 36mpx, yes, probably Nikon asked Sony if that was possible, but if we look about how sensor manufacturing works (or any other type of chips), really we have to thank sensors like the new BSI CMOS full-frame sensor to mobile phones, it is not the same for Sony (or any other chip manufacter) to spend money validating the manufacturing process into a tiny chip of less than 1" like it was required for mobile phones. Lots of chips are going to be wrong at the beginning, and that it is money that you lose. If those chips are tiny, the yields rates are higher per wafer than if the chips are bigger. When the manufacturing process it is mature enough, you can start making bigger chips with good yield rates (number of good chips per wafer). Probably the same happened with 36MP, at some point yields where good enough for Sony to do that at full-frame level.

Anyway, I agree with Michael comments in its rantatorial... since I played with the Olympus E-M1 for several days, I can not see the reason for not adding an EVF to a camera. I will wait to the reviews (and save money), but this camera maybe it is the one that I use to give some rest to my veteran Canon 5D Mark II (also, keeping and eye to how the A7r price goes down... even with shutter sock...)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: dreed on June 12, 2015, 06:34:03 AM
Yup. Sony missed a few boats...

– no uncompressed raw

– no GPS

– no USB3 tethering

But, my point is not that they made the perfect camera, but hat they hit all the major bases this time round.

Would you rank them in that order or importance? Or would USB3 tethering come in above GPS?
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: michael on June 12, 2015, 07:09:47 AM
Would you rank them in that order or importance? Or would USB3 tethering come in above GPS?

The question has no absolute relevance. For some people each of these is no more relevant than whether it comes with a a leather or synthetic neck strap.

Yes, these are missing items. But for me, none of them are a big deal. For others they might be.

The biggest mistake that people make is not being able to see the world through the eyes of others. The job of a reviewer is to try and separate those items that are important to the majority from those that are less so.

My new car has almost every gadget available, but lacks self-parking. Cute gizmo, but hardly something that I really want or need. Someone else who is not a good parallel parker might have rejected the car for this omission though.

Michael
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: dreed on June 12, 2015, 08:05:48 AM
The question has no absolute relevance. For some people each of these is no more relevant than whether it comes with a a leather or synthetic neck strap.

Yes, these are missing items. But for me, none of them are a big deal. For others they might be.
...

Ok, indirectly I was asking how important you thought the omission of lossless raw files and you've pretty much answered that with "its not really necessary" (in your opinion of course.)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: JackWinberg on June 12, 2015, 08:46:19 AM
"Thinking what I would do if I were Sony – seeing that Nikon and Canon are on the metaphorical ropes, and that my (Sony’s) sales and market share is increasing steadily, is that I would blow the entire wad on a new super-high-end model. Hit the marketplace with the whole enchilada – 36-50MP, in-body sensor stabilization, and 4K video with in-body recording."

A quote from the May 19th "No Guts, No Glory" rantorial by Michael - which proved astoundingly prophetic!  The correlation between what Michael proposed and the new Sony A7RII is very high.  I know that Michael has deep roots into and bonds with the photographic industry, but...seeing the future?  Well done, Michael!!!
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: rogan on June 12, 2015, 09:24:35 AM
"Next : no USB3 Tethering. Well the camera costs 3200 $ and not 32000 $ as the MF backs . Maybe THAT is a reason ?"

Nikon's D800. D810, D750,d600, d610 and Canon's mk3 all have usb3 at the same price as the sony(or cheaper)

Sorry Stephan but they missed the boat there
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Manoli on June 12, 2015, 10:08:59 AM
So tethering with a 42 mp file really isn't an option unless one frame per 3 minutes in acceptable.
Nikon's D800. D810, D750,d600, d610 and Canon's mk3 all have usb3 at the same price as the sony(or cheaper)

At the same price but not the same physical dimensions.
Entre-temps, the previous A7's all tether into C1 Pro fine ( even Lr with Sony's RCC). No reason why this one won't either, not even the extra 8MB file size.

At 3 minutes per shot, sounds to me more like you need a new IT man rather than a new cam.  ;D
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: NancyP on June 12, 2015, 12:24:17 PM
Yep, Sony did it.
I am not an early adapter of camera bodies, and this one would be used with third-party lenses I already have, so I shall need to see about an adapter (whether current adapters work - never know until someone (else) tests).
Stefan, you must be anxious to mate your 14-24 and 11-24 TS adapters to the new camera.

Their other offerings might not be of huge interest to most here, but  pocketable light purpose-built cameras such as the RX100# series have their place and are highly popular - camera of choice for hikers. Every once in a while I wonder about getting something even smaller than the Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Chris_Brown on June 12, 2015, 02:02:56 PM
Yup. Sony missed a few boats...
– no uncompressed raw
– no USB3 tethering

Can anyone please explain why these two features were not included? It seems obvious to include them.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Telecaster on June 12, 2015, 04:17:31 PM
In my tech experience when "obvious" features are missing it's usually due to deliberate decision rather than accidental omission. Sony, along with the other camera makers, almost surely has genuine reasons—however strange or shortsighted or even belligerently irrational they may seem to us on the outside—for leaving stuff out. (Or for including "unnecessary" stuff.) The more hermetic the company's decision-making process, the stranger their decisions are likely to seem to us.

Overall I'm impressed with how much good stuff Sony has included in the A7rii. IMO the omissions are trivial in comparison. Of course we'll have to see how it all comes together in actual use…

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: hjulenissen on June 12, 2015, 04:24:46 PM
Can anyone please explain why these two features were not included? It seems obvious to include them.
I have seen credible speculation that the lossy raw is actually how their on-sensor ADC works. You get high DR and readout speeds that enable good EVF/"liveview"/CDAF/4k, but the compromise is that the ADC is inherently nonlinear.

The same people suggested that Nikon took a different approach with their D8x0, giving them lossless raw but (supposedly) less-than-perfect liveview and CDAF.

If this is true, I can understand the compromise made by Sony.

-h
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: jjj on June 12, 2015, 04:29:40 PM
and for a last word - here something written by George Orwell. I think that  fits pretty nice.

“It struck me that perhaps a lot of the people you see walking about are dead. We say that a man's dead when his heart stops and not before. It seems a bit arbitrary. After all, parts of your body don't stop working - hair goes on growing for years, for instance. Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea. Old Porteous is like that. Wonderfully learned, wonderfully good taste - but he's not capable of change. Just says the same things and thinks the same thoughts over and over again. There are a lot of people like that. Dead minds, stopped inside. Just keep moving backwards and forwards on the same little track, getting fainter all the time, like ghosts.”

― George Orwell, Coming Up for Air
Fits very nicely indeed.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: jjj on June 12, 2015, 04:42:22 PM
Quote from: Michael from article
This stands in stark contrast with the rest of the industry that doles our new features slowly, an upgrade here, a tweak there, a new feature once a year or so. This is the norm for some companies… keep the development costs low, and keep selling new cameras with a bit of extra chrome and shiny wheels now and then to keep the faithful happy.
Yet I'm sure if Sony were the dominant player that is exactly what would happen. They used to very slightly un-cripple their £2-5k video cameras each year and have a huge price difference between the crippled cameras and the less crippled £20k+ cameras. This sort of behaviour is what annoyed Jim Jannard so much he started RED and is typical of dominant players in a market. Sony being the upstart in this area can afford to leapfrog with innovation rather than marginal tweak their range.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: LKaven on June 12, 2015, 08:05:37 PM
I have seen credible speculation that the lossy raw is actually how their on-sensor ADC works. You get high DR and readout speeds that enable good EVF/"liveview"/CDAF/4k, but the compromise is that the ADC is inherently nonlinear.

Note that the issue (correctly) identified here is "lossy" versus "lossless" raw files, and not what others have referred to as "uncompressed raw".  

I'd be disappointed if there were an inherent restriction on this as suggested above.  I really want few things out of a digital sensor, and clean lossless output is at the top of the list.  If that's the compromise for going mirrorless, then perhaps I'm not yet in the club.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 12, 2015, 08:32:32 PM
There are always pluses and minuses with any new camera. Since I'm not so wealthy that money is of no object, I always try to take into consideration the ramifications of new lens requirements for a new brand of camera.

I can't see much point in getting excited about improvements in certain new aspects of performance if certain disadvantages, or additional expenses, are not taken into consideration.

Having carried out my own tests regarding the difference between uncompressed 14 bit RAWs and compressed 12 bit RAWs with Nikon cameras, I tend to think the 11 bit compressed RAW of the A7R II will inevitably compromise the full benefits of a BSI sensor in respect of increased dynamic range in the deepest shadows.

If it's true that the full functionality of Canon lenses can be achieved through use of an adapter, then that's a huge advantage, but I wouldn't like to jump in before tests are available. Would there be AF fine tuning available for such 3rd party lenses, for example?

If there's also an adapter which allows full functionality of Nikkor lenses, that's another huge advantage. These are the issues which need to be fleshed out.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: telyt on June 12, 2015, 09:58:36 PM

If it's true that the full functionality of Canon lenses can be achieved through use of an adapter, then that's a huge advantage, but I wouldn't like to jump in before tests are available. Would there be AF fine tuning available for such 3rd party lenses, for example?

AF fine tuning is an artifact of the DSLR design/kludge.  Not needed at all when the AF is on the sensor.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Zerg2905 on June 13, 2015, 04:26:20 AM
To me, this shows who is the real competitor for Canon. From the beginning, this was the main idea. Both camera makers (Canon / Sony) have their own line of sensors, R&D, industrial power etc. But the first part is crucial. Canon was / is just lazy, and satisfied with the $$$, but, I think, they can switch to "war mode" soon. Their latest products are showing signs of that. Sony knows (obviously), and it seems they are doing everything they can to exploit the momentum. Canon cameras MIGHT be considered inferior, but that "inferiority" has a tiny margin in real life, and it is related mainly to sensors. On the other hand, it is hard to match Canon's lenses lineup, and this level things. However, however, once that sensor matter is improved...photographers will benefit even more. IMHO
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 13, 2015, 06:27:36 AM
AF fine tuning is an artifact of the DSLR design/kludge.  Not needed at all when the AF is on the sensor.

Thanks for that information, but I'm not sure it follows that autofocus with Canon lenses will either work perfectly or not at all, when using a Metabones adapter.

Having checked the Metabones website at http://www.metabones.com/products/details/mb-ef-e-bm3  I'm a bit alarmed to discover a long list of possible limitations when using a Canon lens with a Sony camera, as itemised below. Would all, or at least some of these limitations not apply to the A7R II?

Autofocus

"Autofocus is supported, with the following known limitations.
Autofocus speed is very slow and inadequate for most moving subjects. The autofocus speed is unfit for professional use for sure, and it would disappoint most enthusiasts.

Only Canon-branded lenses introduced in or after 2006 are officially supported. Autofocus may be disabled for older Canon lenses and most third-party lenses, including most Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses and all Contax N lenses modified by Conurus.

On NEX camera bodies in camcorder form factor (e.g. FS series), autofocus may be available only in photo mode but not in movie capture mode.

Continuous AF is not supported.

DMF mode (direct manual focus) is not supported.

For non-camcorder camera bodies (e.g. NEX-7), during movie capture, if the subject moves to a different distance, half-press the shutter release button to re-activate autofocus and lock onto the subject again. Since autofocus speed is slow, there may be visible disruption in the resulting footage.

The first two autofocus attempts are used to calibrate the lens and as a result may not lock successfully on the target. Half-press the shutter release button again and autofocus will lock successfully.

Autofocus may have difficultly locking onto subjects which are very close to the nearest focusing distance of the lens.

Autofocus accuracy depends heavily on the working condition of the lens. Lenses with hidden problems which may not be apparent on Canon DSLRs will lead to inaccurate and unreliable autofocus on Sony NEX. Typical problems of this kind that we have seen include an unsmooth/erratic autofocus mechanism (e.g. getting stuck intermittently at a certain focusing distance), a faulty/worn-out distance encoder or other faulty/worn-out internal sensors."
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: telyt on June 13, 2015, 08:03:59 AM
Thanks for that information, but I'm not sure it follows that autofocus with Canon lenses will either work perfectly or not at all, when using a Metabones adapter.

Having checked the Metabones website at http://www.metabones.com/products/details/mb-ef-e-bm3  I'm a bit alarmed to discover a long list of possible limitations when using a Canon lens with a Sony camera, as itemised below. Would all, or at least some of these limitations not apply to the A7R II?

Autofocus

"Autofocus is supported, with the following known limitations.
Autofocus speed is very slow and inadequate for most moving subjects. The autofocus speed is unfit for professional use for sure, and it would disappoint most enthusiasts.

Only Canon-branded lenses introduced in or after 2006 are officially supported. Autofocus may be disabled for older Canon lenses and most third-party lenses, including most Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses and all Contax N lenses modified by Conurus.

On NEX camera bodies in camcorder form factor (e.g. FS series), autofocus may be available only in photo mode but not in movie capture mode.

Continuous AF is not supported.

DMF mode (direct manual focus) is not supported.

For non-camcorder camera bodies (e.g. NEX-7), during movie capture, if the subject moves to a different distance, half-press the shutter release button to re-activate autofocus and lock onto the subject again. Since autofocus speed is slow, there may be visible disruption in the resulting footage.

The first two autofocus attempts are used to calibrate the lens and as a result may not lock successfully on the target. Half-press the shutter release button again and autofocus will lock successfully.

Autofocus may have difficultly locking onto subjects which are very close to the nearest focusing distance of the lens.

Autofocus accuracy depends heavily on the working condition of the lens. Lenses with hidden problems which may not be apparent on Canon DSLRs will lead to inaccurate and unreliable autofocus on Sony NEX. Typical problems of this kind that we have seen include an unsmooth/erratic autofocus mechanism (e.g. getting stuck intermittently at a certain focusing distance), a faulty/worn-out distance encoder or other faulty/worn-out internal sensors."


I'm a little lost as to how this relates to AF fine tuning.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 13, 2015, 09:58:57 AM
I'm a little lost as to how this relates to AF fine tuning.

All those who use autofocussing want it to be as fast and as accurate as possible. As you pointed out, AF Fine tuning is not considered necessary with the A7R2. However, a 3rd party adapter for use with other 3rd party lenses might introduce focussing inaccuracies for which no adjustments can be made.

Having searched for forum comments and reviews of the Metabones adapter for Canon EF lenses, for use  with the A7R, I find lots of problems expressed. Some people have problems with lenses that won't autofocus at all, despite the fact they are supposed to, and often those lenses that do autofocus tend to do so very slowly. Some folks are forced to use manual focussing.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: telyt on June 13, 2015, 11:16:55 AM
All those who use autofocussing want it to be as fast and as accurate as possible. As you pointed out, AF Fine tuning is not considered necessary with the A7R2. However, a 3rd party adapter for use with other 3rd party lenses might introduce focussing inaccuracies for which no adjustments can be made.

Having searched for forum comments and reviews of the Metabones adapter for Canon EF lenses, for use  with the A7R, I find lots of problems expressed. Some people have problems with lenses that won't autofocus at all, despite the fact they are supposed to, and often those lenses that do autofocus tend to do so very slowly. Some folks are forced to use manual focussing.

These problems have noting to do with fine tuning.  AF Micro Adjust, as it is frequently called, is required when the AF system's focus plane is different from the image focus plane or the lens deviates from nominal specifications.  With the AF system on the sensor the discrepancy between focus plane and image plane is eliminated and once the PD AF system has gotten close instead of saying "good enough" like a DSLR does it can switch to CF AF for precise focus which eliminates problems caused by deviation from specifications and by mechanical wear.

The problems you've rightly described have absolutely nothing to do with AF fine tuning.  AF fine tuning adjusts for the difference between "good enough" and "accurate", needs to be repeated as the camera and lens age, and may be different for each copy of a camera and/or lens even those with the same nominal specs.  On-chip AF eliminates the need for fine tuning entirely.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Telecaster on June 13, 2015, 04:05:07 PM
Having searched for forum comments and reviews of the Metabones adapter for Canon EF lenses, for use with the A7R, I find lots of problems expressed. Some people have problems with lenses that won't autofocus at all, despite the fact they are supposed to, and often those lenses that do autofocus tend to do so very slowly. Some folks are forced to use manual focussing.

These are almost surely mechanical/electronic issues with the lenses and/or adaptor. Best taken up with Metabones IMO.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: MatthewCromer on June 13, 2015, 04:34:35 PM


Having carried out my own tests regarding the difference between uncompressed 14 bit RAWs and compressed 12 bit RAWs with Nikon cameras, I tend to think the 11 bit compressed RAW of the A7R II will inevitably compromise the full benefits of a BSI sensor in respect of increased dynamic range in the deepest shadows.

The RAWs aren't 11 bits. Dynamic range in the deep shadows is not affected.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: MatthewCromer on June 13, 2015, 04:36:05 PM
Thanks for that information, but I'm not sure it follows that autofocus with Canon lenses will either work perfectly or not at all, when using a Metabones adapter.

Having checked the Metabones website at http://www.metabones.com/products/details/mb-ef-e-bm3  I'm a bit alarmed to discover a long list of possible limitations when using a Canon lens with a Sony camera, as itemised below. Would all, or at least some of these limitations not apply to the A7R II?

Autofocus

"Autofocus is supported, with the following known limitations.
Autofocus speed is very slow and inadequate for most moving subjects.

That's for previous Sony bodies.

Apparently things are very different with the A7R2.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 13, 2015, 07:26:44 PM
These problems have noting to do with fine tuning.  

They have to do with a lack of some sort of fine tuning. I've already accepted that the type of AF Micro-adjustment often required with DSLRs with a mirror, do not apply to the A7R2. My concern is not primarily with AF fine tuning. That was just an off-the cuff example of a possible limitation. My concern is with the full functionality of any Canon lenses that I were to use with an A7R2.

I already have sufficient Canon and Nikon lenses for my purposes. I don't want to feel pressured into buying additional lenses as a result of my Canon lenses not autofocussing adequately with the A7R2, or not  performing in other respects, as expected or hoped for.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: telyt on June 13, 2015, 07:29:48 PM
They have to do with a lack of some sort of fine tuning. I've already accepted that the type of AF Micro-adjustment often required with DSLRs with a mirror, do not apply to the A7R2. My concern is not primarily with AF fine tuning. That was just an off-the cuff example of a possible limitation. My concern is with the full functionality of any Canon lenses that I were to use with an A7R2.

I already have sufficient Canon and Nikon lenses for my purposes. I don't want to feel pressured into buying additional lenses as a result of my Canon lenses not autofocussing adequately with the A7R2, or not  performing in other respects, as expected or hoped for.


So what you're concerned about is basic function of AF with adapted lenses.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 13, 2015, 07:30:08 PM
These are almost surely mechanical/electronic issues with the lenses and/or adaptor. Best taken up with Metabones IMO.

-Dave-

Indeed! There are many comments on internet forums by people who have returned their adapters to Metabones and/or who have expressed puzzlement why some of their Canon lenses work reasonably well,  but other lenses don't. There seems to be a lot of 'hit and miss' issues.

Some folks have even found it necessary to use an allen key to unscrew the mounting plate and fiddle with the springs because their adapter has too tight a fit to the camera body. I just don't want to unwittingly get involved in such problems.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 13, 2015, 07:38:52 PM
So what you're concerned about is basic function of AF with adapted lenses.

Not quite. I want to know whether I can expect full functionality, when using Canon lenses. There are so many caveats on the Metabones website.

For example, I might be initially excited about the 4k video capability of the A7R2, then become disappointed if my Canon lenses, or certain Canon lenses, do not allow use of all the video features that the A7R2 boasts.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 13, 2015, 07:41:29 PM
The RAWs aren't 11 bits. Dynamic range in the deep shadows is not affected.

That's good to know. I don't own any Sony cameras so I'm not familiar with many details. I got the 11 bit RAW concept from comments on Dpreview.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 13, 2015, 07:44:33 PM
That's for previous Sony bodies.

Apparently things are very different with the A7R2.

Let's hope so. However Metabones own website doesn't make any such claims. I've seen one anecdotal comment at Dpreview of an example of a Canon lens used with the A7R2, which seemed to have an AF performance as good as the same lens used on a Canon body. But one can't draw conclusions from such isolated, non-scientific examples.

As I've mentioned, there seems to be a lot of 'hit and miss' issues when using an adapter. The Metabones website lists some the issues to be aware of. In particular, Canon lenses that predate 2006 might not work as expected. (My Canon 100-400 was bought in 2003).
Lenses that have some slight technical malfunction, perhaps due to a knock, which is not serious enough to noticeably affect performance on a Canon body, might  noticeably affect performance when attached to a Metabones adapter, and so on.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: dreed on June 14, 2015, 12:22:23 AM
That's for previous Sony bodies.

Apparently things are very different with the A7R2.

Yes, the way I read it is that Sony have designed the A7R2 autofocus in a way that it works well with metabones adapting to Canon lenses. Maybe that is taking it a bit too far but if it knocks down the price barrier to entry for your brand .... It would make a lot of commercial sense for Sony to have improved AF performance with metabones because it instantly expands their target market for the camera body.

If the A7R2 AF works at least as well as the 5D2 AF then I can easily see those that have not upgraded their 5D2 saying "Yes, finally I have a camera that I want to upgrade to!"
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: LKaven on June 14, 2015, 03:04:44 AM
The A7rII has "399 focal plane phase detection AF points" (cf, Sony Press Release).  I don't know why they don't say that it has "on sensor" PDAF, but I presume this is what they mean.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: AreBee on June 14, 2015, 04:10:21 AM
Luke,

Quote
The A7rII has "399 focal plane phase detection AF points" (cf, Sony Press Release).  I don't know why they don't say that it has "on sensor" PDAF...

Marketing.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: BartvanderWolf on June 14, 2015, 08:30:02 AM
Marketing.

Hi Rob,

It's probably similar to what several other manufacturers use, but with maybe more of them. Maybe they use a different system?
Are you suggesting that they aren't Phase detect sensors?  Any evidence for that?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Bernard ODonovan on June 14, 2015, 11:30:37 AM
That's good to know. I don't own any Sony cameras so I'm not familiar with many details. I got the 11 bit RAW concept from comments on Dpreview.

Ray this may interest you:


"Lucy Stooles reply to Dave Etchells • 4 days ago

The ARW 2.3 format lossily encodes an 11-bit subset of a 14-bit range of ADU values, at best. This is further reduced in some shooting modes, including bracketing. Does the A7rII use the same lousy "raw" format as the previous A7 bodies? *That* is the question whose answer distinguishes an expensive consumer product from a tool for real critical work.


   
    Dave Etchells reply to Mod Lucy Stooles • 3 days ago

    Same lossy compression scheme, but see notes elsewhere here. I underscored the seriousness of the issue with Sony, and they clearly understand the magnitude of the issue. They didn't promise any ETA, but I do think we'll see firmware updates at some point that will address this.

    The person I was talking with was Mr. Kimio Maki, the gentleman who's led Sony's entire mirrorless development strategy, since the original NEX-5. I think he's gotten the message, and is in a position to do something about it :-)"

   

From here:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/06/10/sony-rx10-ii-rx100-iv-and-a7r-ii-announced-were-blogging-live-from-the-pres

You will also find a petition here with 1,447 supporters to date:

https://www.change.org/p/kazuo-hirai-enable-uncompressed-or-lossless-compression-raw-files-on-the-a7-cameras-and-future-f-e-mount-cameras

 ;)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: AreBee on June 14, 2015, 12:56:50 PM
Hey Bart,

Quote
Are you suggesting that they aren't Phase detect sensors?

Not at all. Sorry for the confusion.

I cynically assumed that a marketing person at Sony figured that "399..." would sound more impressive to potential buyers than suitable alternative descriptions, such as Luke's.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Telecaster on June 14, 2015, 05:09:04 PM
Apparently things are very different with the A7R2.

I'd recommend a wait & see approach concerning the A7r2's AF performance with adapted SLR lenses. When the Oly E-M1 was announced, with on-sensor PD-AF for better compatibility with Oly's 4/3 SLR lenses, there were many early enthusiastic reports regarding AF performance with these lenses. In reality the PD-AF, while greatly improved over that of CD-AF only Oly m43 cameras, is neither as fast nor as accurate as the camera's CD-AF with native m43 lenses. The lenses themselves are the bottleneck. With the A7r2 the scenario is made even more complex via a required 3rd party adaptor that needs to "speak" both FE and EF.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: LKaven on June 14, 2015, 05:49:41 PM
The RAWs aren't 11 bits. Dynamic range in the deep shadows is not affected.

I'm thinking this needs more clarification.  I'd love it if someone has a technical reference to how these raw values are derived.  It seems to me at least at first that the demands of fast readout, both in terms of pixel clock speed and overall communications bandwidth, could compromise dynamic range on both ends.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 15, 2015, 05:24:07 AM
Ray this may interest you:


"Lucy Stooles reply to Dave Etchells • 4 days ago

The ARW 2.3 format lossily encodes an 11-bit subset of a 14-bit range of ADU values, at best. This is further reduced in some shooting modes, including bracketing. Does the A7rII use the same lousy "raw" format as the previous A7 bodies? *That* is the question whose answer distinguishes an expensive consumer product from a tool for real critical work.


   
    Dave Etchells reply to Mod Lucy Stooles • 3 days ago

    Same lossy compression scheme, but see notes elsewhere here. I underscored the seriousness of the issue with Sony, and they clearly understand the magnitude of the issue. They didn't promise any ETA, but I do think we'll see firmware updates at some point that will address this.

    The person I was talking with was Mr. Kimio Maki, the gentleman who's led Sony's entire mirrorless development strategy, since the original NEX-5. I think he's gotten the message, and is in a position to do something about it :-)"

   

From here:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/06/10/sony-rx10-ii-rx100-iv-and-a7r-ii-announced-were-blogging-live-from-the-pres

You will also find a petition here with 1,447 supporters to date:

https://www.change.org/p/kazuo-hirai-enable-uncompressed-or-lossless-compression-raw-files-on-the-a7-cameras-and-future-f-e-mount-cameras

 ;)

Thanks for helping to clarify that issue, Bernard. It seems that the RAW files are in fact 14 bit, but the in-camera processing pipeline uses a lossy 11 bit encoding algorithm.

The following blog from Diglloyd provides some details and examples of artefacts.
http://diglloyd.com/blog/2014/20140212_2-SonyA7-RawDigger-posterization.html

Considering that the main advantages of a BSI sensor are its greater light-gathering capacity resulting in greater dynamic range, as well as less interference and crosstalk from light bouncing around the electronics and wiring which are normally in front of the photodiodes, it seems very odd that Sony would not offer at least an option for an uncompressed 14 bit output to maximise the potential benefits of the BSI sensor, even though choosing such an option would no doubt slow down frame rates and result in larger files.

I can only presume that Sony's marketing department have advised that 90% of their customers wouldn't notice any improvement using uncompressed or lossless 14 bit RAW files. Also, I get the impression that most people using cameras with RAW capability don't even shoot in RAW mode in any case.

Perhaps of more concern is the possibility that the BSI sensor has its own technical disadvantages which are more significant than the disadvantages of 11 bit in-camera processing, and that an uncompressed 14 bit option would tend to reveal such flaws in the new technology. Just speculating here.  ;)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: hjulenissen on June 15, 2015, 07:00:19 AM
"...the disadvantages of 11 bit in-camera processing..."
I suggest that calling this 11-bit in-camera processing is as misleading as calling my inkjet printer 1-bit.

While it may have some correctness to it, it only serves to confuse the reader.

I think that "lossy 14-bit raw" is a better term. It seems to be a format that (at best) have the precision of 14 bits raw, at worst, something worse than 14 bits raw.

-h
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: LKaven on June 15, 2015, 09:34:07 AM
I suggest that calling this 11-bit in-camera processing is as misleading as calling my inkjet printer 1-bit.

While it may have some correctness to it, it only serves to confuse the reader.

I think that "lossy 14-bit raw" is a better term. It seems to be a format that (at best) have the precision of 14 bits raw, at worst, something worse than 14 bits raw.

In another sense, both are wrong.  The truth seems to lie somewhere in between the two, in a more complicated story.  There is a critical dependency on the local distribution of values.

Quote
This from Alex Tutabalin, via Lloyd Chambers:

1) In each 32 pixel block we have 16 pixels of single color.

2) For the 16 pixels of each color:
- two 11-bit values ('base pixels') are stored exactly. The minimum and maximum values in block
- two 4-bit coordinates of min/max pixels in block are stored too.
- and 14 7-bit deltas for remaining 14 pixels.

= 11 + 4 + 11 + 4 + 14 * 7 = 128 bits for 16 pixels = 8 bits per byte

3) 'delta' pixel value is calculated from delta, minimum and maximum:

step = (maximum - minimum)_rounded_to_the_nearest_largest_power_of_two / 128. This 'step' is the same for all 'delta' pixels in block
(smallest integer power of two (1,2,4....) such that step*128 > max-min)

pixel value = minimum + delta_recorded_for_this_pixel * step.

So, if data range within 16 pixels is too wide, then “step size” of each transition increases, so posterization occurs.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 15, 2015, 09:35:30 AM
I suggest that calling this 11-bit in-camera processing is as misleading as calling my inkjet printer 1-bit.

While it may have some correctness to it, it only serves to confuse the reader.

I think that "lossy 14-bit raw" is a better term. It seems to be a format that (at best) have the precision of 14 bits raw, at worst, something worse than 14 bits raw.

-h

Doing a bit more research on the subject, I came across the following explanation by someone with the name of Akuba on the Fredmiranda site at  http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1247655/147

Hope it's okay to reproduce his comment here.

"There is nothing unclear about the bit depth of the Sony RAWs. The encoding algorithm used for the Sony a7/a7R RAWs takes the original 14 bit values and maps them to 11 bit space (a bit more on this below) and then the 11 bit values are further compressed into 8 bits per pixel by delta-encoding them in fixed-length 16 pixel blocks as follows: 11-bit minimum value for the block, 11-bit maximum value for the block, 4-bit index of the minimum value in the block, 4-bit index of the maximum value, 14 7-bit deltas from the minimum value for the other 14 pixels. This uses 11+11+4+4+(14x7) = 128 bits per 16 pixels or 8 bits per pixel.

This encoding algorithm is why the a7R always produces files that are just over 36 million bytes (7360 x 4912 single color pixels multiplied by 8 bits per pixel divided by 8 bits per byte plus a small variable overhead for metadata). A good aspect of this algorithm is that it is computationally cheap as it does not need to do any data analysis and simply encodes with one pass over the data. A bad aspect is that it is not adaptive and as a result uses a fixed amount of storage which wastes space for images that don't need it and doesn't give additional space to files that would benefit from it.

Note that this encoding is doubly lossy: There is guaranteed data loss on the first step (the mapping from 14 bits to 11) and potential data loss on the second step (the delta-encoding in 16 bit blocks). The reason the second step may not lose data is that if the difference between min and max is less than 128 (the maximum value that can be expressed in 7 bits) then this step ends up being lossless. Since smooth gradients are most likely to have small deltas in values and since one is most likely to notice dataloss in smooth gradients, the second step is statistically more likely to be lossless when it counts most. It is this delta-encoding step that almost certainly explains the artifacts that some people have noticed on high-contrast transitions but these seem to me to be negligible in the grand scheme of things. The first step is for me much more concerning as it is lossy with regard to the total tonal range expressible in the RAW. Without new firmware, the a7/a7R will not produce a RAW file with more than 2048 values per channel.

Circling back to the "doing justice" comment, the 14 to 11 bit mapping is not quite as bad as it sounds as it is not a simple bit shift. A 3 bit shift would have the effect of binning every set of 8 consecutive 14-bit values into the same single value in 11-bit space. The Sony RAWs are instead mapped on a curve and devote more of the 11 bit space to the portions of the exposure range that should benefit from more tonality. I believe this is why Sony considers it "visually lossless". This mapping approach means that for example the mid tones might consider every set of 2 consecutive values the same instead of every 8. However since there are still only 2048 possible values the piper then gets paid in the shadows where 16 values might get lumped together in the down conversion. At the end of the day no matter how well they slice the 11 bits it still does limit the total tonality of the image and it means the files can't take as much processing as losslessly stored 14 bit files from the same sensor could."
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: LKaven on June 15, 2015, 09:59:40 AM
So, I'm reading this to say that the application of the inverse tone curve during raw generation pushes 14 bit sensor values down to 11 bit stored raw values, which are then inflated back to 14 bit values during capture by applying the tone curve.

It looks like the tone curve is not a continuous function, but a set of discrete multipliers.  It favors highlight compression.

I'm wondering, could this be done on the sensor?  It would certainly make moving frames off the sensor faster, and it can be done in a single pass on the fly.  That would certainly make it harder to change.

[Sometimes I think Sony loves compression.  Remember the minidisc?  They must have a compression laboratory.]

Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 15, 2015, 08:37:11 PM
So, I'm reading this to say that the application of the inverse tone curve during raw generation pushes 14 bit sensor values down to 11 bit stored raw values, which are then inflated back to 14 bit values during capture by applying the tone curve.

It looks like the tone curve is not a continuous function, but a set of discrete multipliers.  It favors highlight compression.

I'm wondering, could this be done on the sensor?  It would certainly make moving frames off the sensor faster, and it can be done in a single pass on the fly.  That would certainly make it harder to change.

[Sometimes I think Sony loves compression.  Remember the minidisc?  They must have a compression laboratory.]



I feel I'm not qualified to comment on the theoretical significance of these computer processes. I'm not a computer scientist. I'm more concerned with any consequential and noticeable limitations on image quality that might become apparent during the processing of my RAW images in Photoshop.

I always process my images, sometimes cropping extensively to make an image more appealing. For all I know, this concern about the convoluted compression techniques used by Sony might be a storm in a tea cup, except for very specialised photographers such as Astrophotographers. When I compare the DR of the A7R with that of the Nikon D800 at DXOMark, I see very little difference at base ISO and most other ISOs. However, at ISO 200, the A7R is half a stop worse, which is at the threshold of significance. For all I know, that result might be just an anomaly or quality-control issue.

I see this issue as one of expectations. The Samsung NX1 generated a lot of interest because it had the first cropped-format BSI sensor. There was an expectation that DR would be stellar. I was contemplating ordering that camera for myself, but decided to wait until the DXO results were out.

Now that the DXO results are out, I'm somewhat puzzled by the lack of a stellar DR. Despite having a BSI sensor, the DR of the NX1 (comparing normalised images) is 0.72 EV lower than the much older Nikon D7000, and a whopping 1.44 EV lower than the 'only slightly more recent' D7200, which doesn't boast a BSI sensor.

Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: TohN on June 16, 2015, 07:42:33 AM
Two questions/thoughts about the dynamic range given the discussion:

1) This is probably me not understanding but: if the RAW file of most manufacturers is indeed 14 bits, then how are some sensors being reported as having > 14 DR in DXOMark?  I can't see how that much data can be even measured.

2)

Quote
"There is nothing unclear about the bit depth of the Sony RAWs. The encoding algorithm used for the Sony a7/a7R RAWs takes the original 14 bit values and maps them to 11 bit space (a bit more on this below) and then the 11 bit values are further compressed into 8 bits per pixel by delta-encoding them in fixed-length 16 pixel blocks as follows: 11-bit minimum value for the block, 11-bit maximum value for the block, 4-bit index of the minimum value in the block, 4-bit index of the maximum value, 14 7-bit deltas from the minimum value for the other 14 pixels. This uses 11+11+4+4+(14x7) = 128 bits per 16 pixels or 8 bits per pixel.

So this reads to me like there's a weird compression algo that limits precision/contrast between certain pairs of pixels but not others.  For example, if there's one 16 pixel block that's at 2^14 bright, and a neighboring one that's 2^0 dark, this would be accurately rendered.  If the DXOMark DR tests were done by taking a big sheet of black paper next to a big sheet of white paper, we'd see 14 bits of DR (or more?  I don't understand if the 11 bits of value + 4 bits of index end up giving 15 bits...).  However, *within* a 16 pixel block, it looks like certain pairs of pixels can only be 7 bits apart.  So the micro contrast/precision might be limited.  I'm having trouble understanding the particular encoding of the "7-bit deltas" as I can't tell if the most or least significant bit values are being recorded.  

On the other hand, maybe in most situations this might not matter: a 16 pixel block is presumably 4x4.  Each unit of 4 pixels is appx 20 microns (please check me) which comes out to about 50 line pairs/mm.  Within each grouping, it'd be 50+ lp/mm.  For most lenses, the MTF contrast ratio is below 50% here, so the lens might have eaten a couple of bits anyway?  Please do check my math!

Addendum:
Digiloyd's star trails example is a perfect example of local high contrast, and that apparently shows large compression artifacts.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: jwstl on June 16, 2015, 11:24:59 AM
The Samsung NX1 generated a lot of interest because it had the first cropped-format BSI sensor. There was an expectation that DR would be stellar. I was contemplating ordering that camera for myself, but decided to wait until the DXO results were out.

Now that the DXO results are out, I'm somewhat puzzled by the lack of a stellar DR. Despite having a BSI sensor, the DR of the NX1 (comparing normalised images) is 0.72 EV lower than the much older Nikon D7000, and a whopping 1.44 EV lower than the 'only slightly more recent' D7200, which doesn't boast a BSI sensor.



The DXO numbers also show the NX1 outperforms all of the D7xxx series in low light performance (slightly in some cases). So, which is supposed to benefit most from BSI: DR or Noise?
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: michaelmph on June 16, 2015, 11:57:14 AM
It certainly looks very tempting though I have been slightly put off by comments on other sites about Sony's poor customer care/ relations. Also, what do you make of Sony's compressed RAW files? Is this a deal breaker? Having been heavily invested in Canon L glass over recent years, the fact that the Sony can use the best of those lenses with an adapter is very impressive. Very pleased that they've sorted out the noisy/ vibrating shutter.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: LKaven on June 16, 2015, 03:44:34 PM
Two questions/thoughts about the dynamic range given the discussion:

1) This is probably me not understanding but: if the RAW file of most manufacturers is indeed 14 bits, then how are some sensors being reported as having > 14 DR in DXOMark?  I can't see how that much data can be even measured.

2)[...]

So this reads to me like there's a weird compression algo that limits precision/contrast between certain pairs of pixels but not others.  For example, if there's one 16 pixel block that's at 2^14 bright, and a neighboring one that's 2^0 dark, this would be accurately rendered.  If the DXOMark DR tests were done by taking a big sheet of black paper next to a big sheet of white paper, we'd see 14 bits of DR (or more?  I don't understand if the 11 bits of value + 4 bits of index end up giving 15 bits...).  However, *within* a 16 pixel block, it looks like certain pairs of pixels can only be 7 bits apart.  So the micro contrast/precision might be limited.  I'm having trouble understanding the particular encoding of the "7-bit deltas" as I can't tell if the most or least significant bit values are being recorded.  

On the other hand, maybe in most situations this might not matter: a 16 pixel block is presumably 4x4.  Each unit of 4 pixels is appx 20 microns (please check me) which comes out to about 50 line pairs/mm.  Within each grouping, it'd be 50+ lp/mm.  For most lenses, the MTF contrast ratio is below 50% here, so the lens might have eaten a couple of bits anyway?  Please do check my math!


1) In "print" mode DR, the full image is reduced to an 8x10 output size, which requires downsampling.  Downsampling consolidates information from many pixels into one pixel, increasing the effective bit precision of the resulting pixel.  In that way, one is able to exceed the DR of the native A-D converter.

2) I think that the 16-pixel blocks may be consecutive pixels along the X-axis in this case.  I suspect that this is a compression scheme intended to be done on the sensor, which would explain why this was not just a simple feature request for Sony engineers to do in firmware. 

Remember that 14-bit samples coming out of A-D are squished to 11 bits through a simple division, and then re-inflated back to 14 bits on the capture end -- with some losses.  There are more losses in the highlights, because the squish function squishes more in the highlight tier than in the shadow tier (non-linearly).  The 11 bit sample represents 14 bits of DR.  It's the values in between that have been squished out. 
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 16, 2015, 11:15:26 PM
The DXO numbers also show the NX1 outperforms all of the D7xxx series in low light performance (slightly in some cases). So, which is supposed to benefit most from BSI: DR or Noise?

That's not my interpretation of the graph. Below is the DXOMark graph comparing the DR of the NX1, the D7000 and the most recent Nikon upgrade, the D7200.

The NX1 appears to have a slight, but probably noticeable DR advantage at ISO 12,800, compared with the much older D7000. That advantage, according to the test results, is 0.45 EV, which would be worth having at base ISO, or even ISO 800. But ISO 12,800?? I would never bother with such degraded images, so for me that's no advantage.

Also, the D7200 whips the NX1, regarding DR, at all ISOs up to and including 12,800.  At ISO 6400, the highest ISO I would ever consider using, the D7200 has over a full stop better DR than the NX1. Now that's what I call significant.  ;)

By the way, the DR specification also relates to noise, but noise in the shadows expressed in terms of Exposure Value. The other DXO noise test, SNR 18%, refers to the noise levels in the mid-tones. The performance at 18% grey is approximately the same for all 3 cameras, with the D7200 having an insignificant edge at base ISO.

To get a worthwhile improvement in SNR at 18% it seems one has to increase sensor size to full-frame.



Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: foxhole510 on June 17, 2015, 06:52:42 PM
 Well written and spot on. BTW as of today 6/17 B&H is taking orders. Why do I get the feeling everyone knows already. Steve
Title: Sony RAW a firmware fix
Post by: bokehcambodia on June 18, 2015, 03:43:59 AM
RAW is coming...

KM: Sony RAW is compressed, not uncompressed. But if we're getting a lot of requests for it, we should make such a kind of no-compression raw. Of course we recognize that. But I cannot give you a guarantee when we're going to fix or not fix.

DE: Right. When you're going to address that, yeah.

KM: Sure, sure. And so we recognize the customer's requirement, and actually we are working on it.

DE: So it's something that you're aware of. I'm sure that the image processing pipeline is optimized for the way that it is now, but it seems to me that, while it might involve some trading off some performance, that it could just be a firmware change. Could it? Would you be able to provide uncompressed raw as a firmware update, or would it require new hardware?

KM: Right, yes. So... not hardware.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/06/16/sony-qa-the-must-have-sensor-tech-of-the-future
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ethan on June 23, 2015, 11:08:30 PM
It might be worth noting that Dynamic Range is based on two factors: electron well capacity of the photosite, and Signal to Noise Ratio as determined by heat retention and the cleanliness of electronics in comparison to the well capacity.

BSI doesn't make for a larger well, just more light gathering which expands the SNR.

I'd like to see a few things in the future, one of which is a lithography process that allows for larger well capacity. The primary issue then becomes slower heat disipation and its accompanying noise on the sensor.

Anyway, I like the nerdum you guys are throwing into the discussion. I feel at home here.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: dreed on June 24, 2015, 03:14:46 AM
dpreview asks "Did Sony just do the impossible?"

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7945517371/opinion-did-sony-just-do-the-impossible (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7945517371/opinion-did-sony-just-do-the-impossible)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: BrianVS on June 26, 2015, 07:24:01 AM
http://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/sony-craw-arw2-posterization-detection

The above link gives a good overview of the Sony compression scheme. Basically convert 14-bits to 11-bits using a curve, probably done via look-up-table then compute row-wise differences and store as 7-bit offsets. It basically compresses each pixel to 8-bits, behaves line an 11-bit curve most of the time unless there is a lot of contrast within 32-pixel strips. Then it can go very bad. The average noise will be lower, peak-to-peak noise will increase dramatically based on image content. Pushing shadows in post-processing will cause the peak-to-peak noise to stand-out.

Too bad. Looks like a nice sensor. Wasted trying to get a 2:1 compression scheme. Idiots.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: stevesanacore on June 26, 2015, 07:39:53 PM
Michael,
 Everything but usb3. usb2???? So tethering with a 42 mp file really isn't an option unless one frame per 3 minutes in acceptable. Once again, so close yet so far.

Not sure if anyone else has responded to this but I've been shooting with the A7R on jobs for months, and while tethered it downloads raw files  quicker than my D800E with USB3. USB2 is a non-issue. In fact the connection of the micro USB connector is more secure than any USB2 or USB3 connector I've ever used. Always running C1Pro on my Macbook Pro using tether-tools USB extension with a standard USB cable into the camera.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: stevesanacore on June 26, 2015, 07:47:49 PM
http://www.rawdigger.com/howtouse/sony-craw-arw2-posterization-detection

The above link gives a good overview of the Sony compression scheme. Basically convert 14-bits to 11-bits using a curve, probably done via look-up-table then compute row-wise differences and store as 7-bit offsets. It basically compresses each pixel to 8-bits, behaves line an 11-bit curve most of the time unless there is a lot of contrast within 32-pixel strips. Then it can go very bad. The average noise will be lower, peak-to-peak noise will increase dramatically based on image content. Pushing shadows in post-processing will cause the peak-to-peak noise to stand-out.

Too bad. Looks like a nice sensor. Wasted trying to get a 2:1 compression scheme. Idiots.

What motive would Sony have to cripple the files in this manner? They are leaders in the video world so they certainly know what they are doing. Wouldn't this be an easy fix with a firmware upgrade? They must realize that it's an issue at some point which professionals would be concerned with.

Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: HansKoot on June 27, 2015, 07:23:15 AM
As I read, I see that some of the participants here reject the camera because theoretically its not possible to get the max from the raw files. Also issues like no gps (a battery drainer in my opinion, that already falls short) and USB 2.0 (kind of a miss indeed, but how much) feel to me a bit blown up. On dpreview i only did find one example of the limitation in the Raw files.. well...I was not seriously impressed. I did not find more, but maybe there are, I am open to see them.
Then, Sony seems to work seriously on it, and I believe they will indeed build a firmware update.

Personally I prefer to look what this camera will bring me. And I feel thats a lot, in fact more then I saw in the last years from the established brands (no need to write down the list again). I shot six years with the 5D2 with great satisfaction and last May I finally sold it. I bought a D800 that i knew I would only use temporarily. The Sony appeared at the right time for me, I am intending to buy it and i think it will do the job another 5-6 years for me again, probably till the next 'game changer'. I will see the test results before ordering one. I am not in a rush.

 :) Having said this I really enjoy the discussion here (and learned from it), and am very much convinced this will help to push the borders for the manufacturers (here sony)  once more. We all profit from that.

But, to finish, notify me please when the perfect camera has arrived, till that moment I will probably just wander around shooting with this or another "Idiots" camera.  :D
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: BrianVS on June 27, 2015, 10:43:00 AM
What motive would Sony have to cripple the files in this manner? They are leaders in the video world so they certainly know what they are doing. Wouldn't this be an easy fix with a firmware upgrade? They must realize that it's an issue at some point which professionals would be concerned with.



It may not be just firmware required to fix this- Looking at the 11-bit curve in the rawdigger link, the A/D converter might be just 11-bits with a non-linear scale. The a/d numbers might represent a more coarse quantization as they values get higher. Several CMOS sensors use this type of algorithm. The 7-bit delta function is most likely a firmware rev. I am not sure about the A/D as technical specifications are not available for the sensor.

In any event, this should be considered as an 8-bit compression scheme as it is. Firmware might get you to 11-bits or 14-bits, hard to say.

Sony was good at making TV sets and analog video cameras. With this camera- they do not understand Digital representation of imagery.

I'm mad at the idiot that decided to cripple a great best-in-class sensor with this really bad compression algorithm. All they needed to do was store full-value pixels followed by a delta for the next pixel stored as a byte with a "reserved escape". Use -127:127 for the delta, and 'FF'x to signal that a full raw value follows. You get almost 2:1 compression with some rare cases of storing full values. You do not lose data. At least store what the A/D converter reads out, instead of playing musical chairs.

It could be that Nikon or Canon has a "mole" in Sony that is making these stupid decisions. So it might not be an idiot making these decisions, but someone getting paid by the competition.

This is the Ranting Forum, right? Are Conspiracy Theories allowed?
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on June 27, 2015, 02:36:05 PM
It may not be just firmware required to fix this-


I've wondered about this. If the issue is just a matter of a firmware upgrade, surely Sony would have taken the opportunity when announcing the marvellous new features of the A7RII, to boast about a new lossless 14 bit RAW mode which they could have claimed would take full advantage of the improved performance and light-gathering capability of its first full-frame BSI sensor.

Surely this could have been a big advertising opportunity for them, even if in reality the improvement in image quality for most users of the camera, who probably shoot jpeg anyway, would not be noticeable.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Telecaster on June 27, 2015, 03:17:17 PM
Let's face it: the vast majority of A7r2 buyers won't give a frak about any of this stuff. I'm a geek and I get it from a technical standpoint…and I still don't give a frak. If I don't see issues with any of my photos—and with the A7r I don't—there's nothing of real-world significance to get worked up about. In fact there's plenty of drama in the outdoors, due to Michigan's ultra-crap "summer" weather, I'd rather focus on. So off I go!

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Iluvmycam on June 27, 2015, 03:30:30 PM
Yup. Sony missed a few boats...

– no uncompressed raw

– no GPS

– no USB3 tethering

But, my point is not that they made the perfect camera, but hat they hit all the major bases this time round.

Michael

None of these are of use to me. If it had a shutter speed dial I may have bought one.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Manoli on June 27, 2015, 06:09:37 PM
It may not be ... might be just ... might represent ... is most likely ... I am not sure about the  ... should be considered as .... Firmware might get you ... hard to say.

Sounds like a great basis on which to make an informed decision.

It could be that Nikon or Canon has a "mole" in Sony that is making these stupid decisions. So it might not be an idiot making these decisions, but someone getting paid by the competition.

Classic.

Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: BrianVS on June 27, 2015, 07:02:35 PM
Since Sony does not publish details of their camera: what is strange about the 11-bit compression function as shown by Rawdigger's website is that it is not a smooth curve, but is line-segments with a few steps. If this was all firmware, the smoothest curve would be a 22-bit to 11-bit square root function. Take the original 14-bit Raw value, bit shift left 8 places, then take the square-root. Use this in a Look-up-Table in the firmware. Fast, easy, nice point-spread function. This is very different from what Rawdigger claims that Sony is using. The Sony curve: looks like set points in a non-linear A/D converter. That usually means the hardware is limited.

What I liked about Leica when Kodak did the sensors- the technical data sheets for the sensors were published. No need to guess at what the camera was doing.

http://www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/KAF-18500-D.PDF

These days Leica will not even print what manufacturer makes their sensors.

Technical Data Sheets are required for answers, most manufacturers don't want to tell you how it works and hope customers do not notice the shortcomings.

But this is the Rant section of the forum. Sony Kick Butt? Mostly the customers that believe the camera produces a 14-bit image. Most users would be better off to stick with JPEG, the camera probably uses the uncompressed 11-bit curve to produce the Jpeg before destroying it with the 7-bit delta function. So- Sony is using an 8-bit scheme that might get a little better if they dump the delta function, might get as good as 11-bits and the Nikon Lossy-Compressed NEF algorithm.

Sony could easily inform us of how they do compression in their camera, then we could all make an informed decision. Until then, only the idiot/mole at Sony knows why they cripple the output from the first BSI full-frame sensor.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: LKaven on June 27, 2015, 07:16:54 PM
I've wondered about this. If the issue is just a matter of a firmware upgrade, surely Sony would have taken the opportunity when announcing the marvellous new features of the A7RII, to boast about a new lossless 14 bit RAW mode which they could have claimed would take full advantage of the improved performance and light-gathering capability of its first full-frame BSI sensor.

Surely this could have been a big advertising opportunity for them, even if in reality the improvement in image quality for most users of the camera, who probably shoot jpeg anyway, would not be noticeable.

I could be wrong, but I've suspected the compression may be done on the sensor itself.  It would produce a dramatic increase in frame bandwidth to put it there.  It's a simple on-the-fly method that can be done very fast in a fixed-size hardware register.

Then one wonders how much downstream processing is dependent upon that fact.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: barryfitzgerald on July 16, 2015, 06:15:11 AM
Thanks, Kevin, for calling out Sony's obvious innovation.  I think that you're spot on when you say the $3200 price tag is NOT outrageous for a flagship camera.  Heck, just compare it to Nikon and Canon equivalents.

Last I looked it was over £2100 in the UK making it more expensive than equivalent DSLR's
Granted we can talk about IBIS and 4k, however when all is said and done it's just a sensor shoved into a case and unquestionably costs far less to make than a DSLR (less parts quicker build time)

The camera industry continues to try to fool itself it can buck the trend and ignore the golden rule of electronics..ie "they get cheaper"
Cameras are grossly overpriced which is why the industry is in serious trouble and sales are poor.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: MarkL on July 16, 2015, 08:17:36 AM
Last I looked it was over £2100 in the UK making it more expensive than equivalent DSLR's
Granted we can talk about IBIS and 4k, however when all is said and done it's just a sensor shoved into a case and unquestionably costs far less to make than a DSLR (less parts quicker build time)

The camera industry continues to try to fool itself it can buck the trend and ignore the golden rule of electronics..ie "they get cheaper"
Cameras are grossly overpriced which is why the industry is in serious trouble and sales are poor.

The price tag does make me wonder (especially how quickly Sony's cameras depreciate) what was amazing about A7rII was it was almost a D800 in a smaller form factor for £1k less. Just about all other electronics get cheaper over time but the cameras prices just seem to keep going up.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: barryfitzgerald on July 16, 2015, 08:51:42 AM
The price tag does make me wonder (especially how quickly Sony's cameras depreciate) what was amazing about A7rII was it was almost a D800 in a smaller form factor for £1k less. Just about all other electronics get cheaper over time but the cameras prices just seem to keep going up.


Mark there is no doubt the price of the Sony will drop (as the other E mount bodies have possibly sharply over time) However one of the obvious potential attractions is "smaller camera, cheaper to make - less expensive" seems to have escaped many ILC makers. Until they start passing on some of those savings and stimulating the market I'll continue to ignore them.

I already have IBIS anyway so it's not something that would make much difference to me, I don't need 4k either
Cameras have got to get cheaper much cheaper otherwise the industry is going to be in terminal decline. If we had the "build" cost of the A7RII I bet jaws would fall all round it's just rip off pricing trying to bag some frustrated Canon users who want better DR. To them it might be a good deal to everyone else it's not 
Title: electronics gets cheaper mostly through downsizing the ICs
Post by: BJL on July 16, 2015, 08:57:02 AM
Just about all other electronics get cheaper over time but the cameras prices just seem to keep going up.
Maybe because a major factor is the decreasing cost of electronic devices is making the IC chips smaller, allowed by moving to fabrication with smaller feature sizes (IBM is demonstrating early versions of a 7nm process!).  The unit cost of making a 36x24mm format camera is instead dominated by the cost of a chip of fixed large size (36x24mm), requiring special fabricate techniques not needed for ICs of mainstream sizes (under about 33x26mm).

The main hope for cost reduction with a given format size is improved economies of scale through increased sales volume -- but with the ever-improving performance of cameras in smaller formats (24x16mm and down) with their inherently for less expensive sensors, I suspect it is going to be hard for 36x24mm format to increase its sales volume very much,and so hard to reduce costs much.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: rdonson on July 16, 2015, 01:55:12 PM
Just about all other electronics get cheaper over time but the cameras prices just seem to keep going up.


First of all cheaper is a really misleading term.  Cheap doesn't infer value at all.  If cheap were the criteria that governed all our purchases we'd all be using generic products and would only purchase the least costly tvs, computers, software, cars, homes, food, etc.  I doubt you do that.

I don't believe that cheap is the case for any electronics other than commodity items. Most of the reduction in price for those are based on longer term volume and recovery of capital costs of manufacture.   

I don't think DSLRs or mirrorless cameras can be considered commodity items.  In the markets that aren't commodity items you generally see price points or tiers that exist.  What that means is that you get more or better features with new models rather than lower prices.  This is exactly what we're seeing with the A7r to A7R II progression.  Competition enters into pricing also.  Sony obviously wants into the market in a big way and is willing at this point to accept lower profit margins to gain volume and market share not to mention mind share over Nikon, Canon, et al.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: barryfitzgerald on July 16, 2015, 09:55:36 PM
First of all cheaper is a really misleading term.  Cheap doesn't infer value at all.  If cheap were the criteria that governed all our purchases we'd all be using generic products and would only purchase the least costly tvs, computers, software, cars, homes, food, etc.  I doubt you do that.

I don't believe that cheap is the case for any electronics other than commodity items. Most of the reduction in price for those are based on longer term volume and recovery of capital costs of manufacture.   

I don't think DSLRs or mirrorless cameras can be considered commodity items.  In the markets that aren't commodity items you generally see price points or tiers that exist.  What that means is that you get more or better features with new models rather than lower prices.  This is exactly what we're seeing with the A7r to A7R II progression.  Competition enters into pricing also.  Sony obviously wants into the market in a big way and is willing at this point to accept lower profit margins to gain volume and market share not to mention mind share over Nikon, Canon, et al.


I remember the price of HD TV's when they first came out that was LCD too not LED the quality has improved not fallen and they are dirt cheap now. Watch the same with 4k sets. The cost of a FF sensor cannot be that high not a chance it's really not that hard to make nowadays and the original A7 price indicated that too (it's quite cheap) I don't need features most of them are not particularly useful. But you can't ignore reality cameras are consumer electronics products.

Demand is fairly low too. The industry sat on it's hands and allowed the compact market to collapse because they refused to tackle the rise of smart phones (all that was required was a l larger sensor) that would have distinguished dedicated cameras from phones, to a degree that no phone could really match (due to the size you can only go so big on camera phones) With other cameras they seem to be pushing premium products and new releases. Question is how many cameras do you need? I've quite a few I cannot honestly say the "features" on newer models makes much difference to me, thus there is little point in upgrading very often. If some amazing new "organic" sensor turned up with awesome low light abilities and major advantages it might grab my attention, but again we've hit that "good enough" point and have done for a while now.

Title: Cheapest 36x24mm "quite cheap" at four times cheapest APS-C prices?
Post by: BJL on July 17, 2015, 07:02:51 AM
The cost of a FF sensor cannot be that high not a chance it's really not that hard to make nowadays and the original A7 price indicated that too (it's quite cheap)
It depends on what one's scale for "quite cheap" is.  The lowest price I know of for a new model camera with 36x24mm sensor is about US$1600-1700, well beyond what the vast majority of ILC buyers pay.  For comparison, the least expensive DSLRs in smaller formats.t US$300-400.  That gap of over US$1000, or a factor of about four, seems mostly due to the higher sensor cost and related sales volume and economies of scale factors, because the cheapest 36x24s are not that rich in other expensive components.

One factor of course is the fabrication technology gap between sensors up to 24x16mm and those 36x24mm and bigger; fabricating ICs larger than 33x24mm requires on-wafer stitching, reducing yields.
Title: Re: Cheapest 36x24mm "quite cheap" at four times cheapest APS-C prices?
Post by: barryfitzgerald on July 17, 2015, 01:58:25 PM
It depends on what one's scale for "quite cheap" is.  The lowest price I know of for a new model camera with 36x24mm sensor is about US$1600-1700, well beyond what the vast majority of ILC buyers pay.  For comparison, the least expensive DSLRs in smaller formats.t US$300-400.  That gap of over US$1000, or a factor of about four, seems mostly due to the higher sensor cost and related sales volume and economies of scale factors, because the cheapest 36x24s are not that rich in other expensive components.

One factor of course is the fabrication technology gap between sensors up to 24x16mm and those 36x24mm and bigger; fabricating ICs larger than 33x24mm requires on-wafer stitching, reducing yields.

The original A7 is currently selling (with £100 cashback) for £699
I very much doubt Sony are making a loss on that model and I think it basically leaves the "FF sensors are really expensive to make" argument peppered with 38 cm naval shells... lying on the bottom of the ocean.

I don't doubt they are more expensive to make than APS-C sensor but they are not nearly as pricey to make as some would "believe"
A strong dose of scepticism does a world of good  :o
Title: Re: Cheapest 36x24mm "quite cheap" at four times cheapest APS-C prices?
Post by: BJL on July 18, 2015, 06:34:04 AM
The original A7 is currently selling (with £100 cashback) for £699
I compared new model prices because EOL discounts on superceded models can be very misleading about sustainable (adequately profitable) pricing; EOL items can even be selling excess stock at a loss.

Even then, that A7 EOL price is again three or four time the EOL prices on some smaller format cameras, so the question remains: what proportion of photographers will be wiling to pay over three times as much (and to buy and carry the bigger, heavier lenses needed to get the low light advantage claimed for a larger format sensor but ultimately due to bigger lens aperture diameters when comparing at equal f-stop) now that by the standards of the vast majority of ILC camera users, the mainstream ILC formats from 24x16mm down are providing excellent results?
Title: Re: Cheapest 36x24mm "quite cheap" at four times cheapest APS-C prices?
Post by: barryfitzgerald on July 21, 2015, 06:28:33 PM
I compared new model prices because EOL discounts on superceded models can be very misleading about sustainable (adequately profitable) pricing; EOL items can even be selling excess stock at a loss.

Even then, that A7 EOL price is again three or four time the EOL prices on some smaller format cameras, so the question remains: what proportion of photographers will be wiling to pay over three times as much (and to buy and carry the bigger, heavier lenses needed to get the low light advantage claimed for a larger format sensor but ultimately due to bigger lens aperture diameters when comparing at equal f-stop) now that by the standards of the vast majority of ILC camera users, the mainstream ILC formats from 24x16mm down are providing excellent results?

Say that again in English?

Full frame will always have some appeal but APS-C is more than good enough for many too I see both as interchangeable some of my crop lenses can be used on full frame (11-16mm for example) most of my lenses are full frame I am geared up for both formats but use mostly APS-C for digital. Bodies like the A7 do have some appeal due to their low cost (it's a way to shove your lenses on a FF sensor at a low cost) but I do lose IBIS which is a factor. If the newest Sony drops hugely in price over it's life time it might have some pull but it's going to have to be really good on price to appeal.

All that said as I have a near complete lens collection I would certainly not be interested in any native E mount lenses. It remains to be seen if that's the way things go for Sony they might find themselves struggling to move the lenses and mostly selling bodies. If ILC's offer freedom from being locked into a native mount then buying E mount lenses is putting yourself back in the same scenario again.
Title: Re: Cheapest 36x24mm "quite cheap" at four times cheapest APS-C prices?
Post by: BJL on July 22, 2015, 08:40:21 AM
Say that again in English?
you do a fairly god job of summarizing my meaning in the next sentence:
... APS-C is more than good enough for many too ...
To which I just add that (a) that "good enough for many" is true for Four Thirds too, and maybe even 1" (b) the price jump up to 35mm is a factor of about three or four however one compares, which is likely to make a large proportion of digital ILC buyers stay with one of those mainstream "good enough" options.
Title: Re: Cheapest 36x24mm "quite cheap" at four times cheapest APS-C prices?
Post by: MarkL on August 01, 2015, 09:33:06 AM
The original A7 is currently selling (with £100 cashback) for £699
I very much doubt Sony are making a loss on that model and I think it basically leaves the "FF sensors are really expensive to make" argument peppered with 38 cm naval shells... lying on the bottom of the ocean.

I don't doubt they are more expensive to make than APS-C sensor but they are not nearly as pricey to make as some would "believe"
A strong dose of scepticism does a world of good  :o

Also:
A7r price at release: $2198
A7r II price at release: $3,198

Quite a hike for an updated sensor and stabilisation.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: rdonson on August 01, 2015, 11:22:40 AM
Perhaps you're aware of how a market economy works.  The price is determined by demand and other factors NOT by the cost of production. 
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: MoreOrLess on August 03, 2015, 04:34:30 PM
The big problem for Sony is IMHO that the FE lenses tend to be overpriced relative to performance, that was easier to sell when the body was significantly cheaper than rival FF DSLR's but now its just looking like a very expensive system.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: peterottaway on August 03, 2015, 08:32:01 PM
New lenses will cost more than old production lenses - and not just from Sony. Have tou had a look at the price of the latest Nikon 300mm f 4.0 in comparison to the last generation lens ?

I/m not  blind to the facts that a number of Minolta and then Sony lenses were more expensive than their Canon or Nikon counterparts. Just keep an open mind on the subject.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: MarkL on August 04, 2015, 07:59:22 AM
The big problem for Sony is IMHO that the FE lenses tend to be overpriced relative to performance, that was easier to sell when the body was significantly cheaper than rival FF DSLR's but now its just looking like a very expensive system.

I imagine Sony must think the system has come of age and can compete on performance alone rather than price.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: rdonson on August 04, 2015, 09:50:11 AM
The big problem for Sony is IMHO that the FE lenses tend to be overpriced relative to performance, that was easier to sell when the body was significantly cheaper than rival FF DSLR's but now its just looking like a very expensive system.

If you're looking for quantitative data about performance then look at DXOMark lens results.  The recent Sony FE lens scores seem to indicate high quality when compared to Canon and Nikon.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: MoreOrLess on August 04, 2015, 12:13:42 PM
If you're looking for quantitative data about performance then look at DXOMark lens results.  The recent Sony FE lens scores seem to indicate high quality when compared to Canon and Nikon.

I wouldn't say the Sony lenses are poor performers(although they do seem prone to having a few more weaknesses, especially light dropoff) just that there worse value for money.

You look at say the UWA zooms and the Sony 16-35mm F/4 seems quite similar to the Nikon being good from 16-28mm but weak at the long end yet it costs 50% more, the same as the Canon 16-35mm F/4 that's good across the entire focal range.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: NancyP on August 04, 2015, 08:54:30 PM
Strictly speaking one cannot compare DXO lens scores across platforms, because the score is for a given lens used on a specific camera. A setup such as Roger Cicala has is indeed capable of measuring lens characteristics in the absence of a sensor. DXO does not do it that way. An identical optical design (say, Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 in different mounts) produces different DXO scores depending on which model camera it sits on - within brand and between brands.

What DXO scores are useful for is in comparing various 35mm f/1.4 lenses for a given camera body. Zeiss in Canon mount, Sigma Art in Canon mount, SamBowRokYang in Canon mount, and finally Canon in Canon mount.  ::)   This is a useful service.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: HansKoot on August 05, 2015, 02:55:21 AM
first sample shots Sony A7RII on Imaging resource: http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/08/04/sony-a7r-ii-sample-gallery-part-i (http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/08/04/sony-a7r-ii-sample-gallery-part-i)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: MoreOrLess on August 05, 2015, 03:44:47 AM
Comparing Sony and Nikon lenses doesn't seem like a problem since both can be tested with the same sensors. "Overall scores" for lenses on DxO seem meaningless to me as they make some highly questionable subjective calls on how the score is reached and use that dodgy "P-Mpix" rating that nobody knows how its worked out.  The useful info is in the detailed performance of resolution, light dropoff, etc I would say.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: jjj on August 07, 2015, 06:51:09 PM
Where Sony does not kick butt is after sales service it sadly transpires.
I've started a new thread here on Sony UK's dismal repair service. (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=102760.new#new).

I won't be buying any more of their kit that's for sure.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on August 07, 2015, 09:14:20 PM
Now that the Sony A7RII has started to become available, I notice that a lot of users are reporting poor performance with a number of Canon lens models when using the latest Metabones IV adapter.

This is a deal-breaker for me. Although I now use Nikon equipment, I kept all my Canon lenses in the hope that Canon would eventually produce a camera like a 5DSR but with an improved dynamic range that could compete with that of Nikon.

The DR of the 5DSR is clearly no match with the DR of the A7RII, but I would rather sacrifice a couple of stops of DR than sacrifice the compatibility of most of my Canon lenses. I was hoping the A7RII would be a better option than the 5DSR, but for my situation it now looks as though it won't be.  :(
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Tony Jay on August 08, 2015, 12:27:08 AM
I have much the same interest in how the Metabones IV adaptor plays with the A7R II, and the same concerns, but I would wait a little longer before completely dismissing the combination as it pertains to using Canon lenses.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: pegelli on August 08, 2015, 02:49:16 AM
A good reference on which Canon lenses work fine and which not:

http://www.getdpi.com/forum/sony/55651-a7rii-canon-af-database-reference.html (http://www.getdpi.com/forum/sony/55651-a7rii-canon-af-database-reference.html)]
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: Ray on August 08, 2015, 09:50:41 PM
The general situation seems far too messy and complicated for me, regarding lens compatibility. If it were a simple case of a particular Canon lens either working or not working with a particular adapter, then fine. One would know exactly what to expect.

Unfortunately, there seem to be various degrees of compatibility or functionality. One might think a particular lens autofocuses very satisfactorily with the A7RII and a particular adapter, then one later discovers it doesn't lock on Continuous AF, which could be frustrating in certain circumstances.

Or, one thinks a particular zoom lens autofocuses brilliantly, but finds that is not the case towards the maximum focal length where autofocusing is poor, or one finds that in dim lighting conditions, autofocusing is useless.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: pegelli on August 09, 2015, 02:26:49 AM
Agree there's some irregular hit and miss in using Canon lenses via a Metabones adapter on Sony bodies.
I think neither Canon nor Sony will do anything to fix that problem for us  ;)
I expect Metabones to continue developing firmware to address AF issues with Canon lenses
In the meantime IS works (and so does MF)  8)

Yes, the glass is half full, but it's damn good wine so there's still a lot to enjoy  :)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: howgus on August 26, 2015, 02:00:01 PM
Ok.  My turn to rant.  

I received my copy of the A7rII a week ago, replacing my A7r.  Incredible camera, much more than I expected even tho I had been drooling over the specs for 2 mos.  The IQ in low light blew me away.  Color and DR still make my head shake.

An ex pro photog friend's jaw dropped (literally) with a shot with the 55 1.8 at ISO 3200 inside a dim room with Steadyshot at 1/15.

What I want to talk about here is RAW format.  I shoot exclusively in RAW, as most here probably do.  I've been following the discussions ever since I bought my first Sony, a NEX-7.  

The theme I hear most of the time is 'one can't possibly see the difference even at large print sizes', unless you're an astro photographer.   I cant argue with that statement because I have never seen a direct comparison of images from the Sony camera taken with a lossless RAW format vs. the current format.  Staring all day at a print from the lossy format will probably never yield what the difference might be.  Looking for a bird in a photograph that you knew didn't have a bird in it is not what we should be looking for. It's possible a valid (to me) comparison could be done with the 36MP sensor by comparing Nikon and Sony derived images, but the vibration of the A7r shutter (and perhaps the Nikon as well) might compromise that result.

The analogous situation in the acoustic world is comparing equipment using an A-B comparison.  Without that method it is almost impossible to discern the effects of subtle changes.  Once they are perceived they are often no longer subtle.  And yes, it can take away one's enjoyment of a great product, but such is progress.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: jjj on September 04, 2015, 07:44:10 PM
As people were debating Sony's compressed raw files a bit further back in this thread, Ming Thein's review of the new Sony (http://blog.mingthein.com/2015/08/25/the-sony-a7r-ii-a7rii/#more-11625) and this article he links to on DPReview regarding Sony's lossy raw files (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2834066212/the-raw-and-the-cooked-pulling-apart-sony-raw-compression) may be of interest.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: telyt on September 04, 2015, 09:47:36 PM
The theme I hear most of the time is 'one can't possibly see the difference even at large print sizes', unless you're an astro photographer.   I cant argue with that statement because I have never seen a direct comparison of images from the Sony camera taken with a lossless RAW format vs. the current format.

I haven't done any A-B comparisons either but I have to wonder if artifacts would have appeared in either of these photos (not made with a Sony camera):

(http://wildlightphoto.com/temp/L1820903_green.jpg)

(http://www.wildlightphoto.com/mammals/mustelidae/nrotte16.jpg)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: telyt on September 05, 2015, 01:55:43 PM
I welcome another opportunity to admire your photos, but what exactly would lead you to wonder "if artifacts would have appeared in either of these photos (not made with a Sony camera)" ?

The bright points of light against a black background
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: ErikKaffehr on September 08, 2015, 04:12:01 PM
Hi,

My guess is that it would be possible. On the other hand I am not aware of similar artefacts on similar subjects. I have an A7r now, and I will post info on any artefacts I have seen.

But, so long I have just see a few cases of moiré...

Best regards
Erik


The bright points of light against a black background
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: pegelli on September 09, 2015, 02:08:31 AM
I haven't done any A-B comparisons either but I have to wonder if artifacts would have appeared in either of these photos (not made with a Sony camera):
I think the artifacts might have been there theoretically, but since you're almost presenting them as silhouettes with hardly any (or no) pushing of the shadows I really doubt they would be visible, even in a large print. Great photo's by the way  :)
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: howgus on September 15, 2015, 03:56:46 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of comparing two photos from a distance, not looking for artifacts, but comparing subjective IQ.  Especially in a situation where the theoretical issues may appear:  after pushing shadows fairly heavily.   
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: jjj on September 27, 2015, 04:57:48 PM
I haven't done any A-B comparisons either but I have to wonder if artifacts would have appeared in either of these photos (not made with a Sony camera):
Lovely photos btw.
Title: Re: Sony Kicks Butt
Post by: pegelli on September 28, 2015, 01:52:14 AM
I was thinking more along the lines of comparing two photos from a distance, not looking for artifacts, but comparing subjective IQ.  Especially in a situation where the theoretical issues may appear:  after pushing shadows fairly heavily.
If you push shadows heavily you can find artifacts, but if they show up in a print needs to be tested.

Btw, there's now a way to "repair" part of the damage, see here in this thread on Dyxum (http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/karwy-arw2-repair-tool_topic115213_post1385379.html#1385379). Also the firmware to make uncompressed raws is in the make for getting the whole problem out of this world.