Cameras

Sony’s A7R IV has a massive 61MP sensor

Still king of full-frame mirrorless cameras

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After hearing of a Sony Alpha event, we at GadgetMatch crossed our fingers hoping for the A7S III. That’s a much-awaited update on their S-series full-frame mirrorless cameras specifically made for taking videos. The event though, was for the Sony A7R IV. And while it’s not what we were waiting for, it still has so much going for it.

For one, it’s world’s first 61-megapixel 35mm full-frame sensor. That’s a huge step-up from its predecessor’s 42.4-megapixel sensor. Sony’s samples during the presentation showcases how you don’t lose detail even when you zoom in on the images thanks to its massive sensor.

You don’t lose detail even after zooming in

It also has a 15-stop dynamic range, five-axis optical in-body image stabilization, as well as 10FPS shooting with continuous autofocus as well as real-time eye-tracking for every shot. Something new that video-makers might find really useful is the addition of the real-time eye AF to video recording.

Speaking of video, the A7R IV is capable of 4K recording with S-Log 2/3, HDR for professional editing. Still with video-makers in mind, the A7R IV comes with a new system that captures digital audio signal. With this, Sony introduced two accessories to take advantage of this new tech — a digital audio shotgun mic and an XLR mic adapter kit. The accessories cost US$ 350 and $600 respectively.

As for the camera itself, the A7R IV will retail for US$ 3,500 body-only and will be available in September 2019. In Singapore, the it will be available starting August 24, 2019 with a retail price of SG$ 4,999.

With Canon and Nikon launching their own full-frame mirrorless cameras namely the EOS R and the Z6 and Z7, this was a serious flex on Sony’s part. The company is letting the world know that they continue to hold the crown as king of full-frame mirrorless shooters.

Cameras

GoPro HERO9 Black launched with improvements across the board

5K videos below $500?!

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GoPro has released the latest iteration of its flagship camera. The new GoPro HERO9 Black brings major improvements across the board from bigger resolution to a whole new display upfront. It also brings battery life and performance improvements over its predecessors.

The main highlight of HERO9 Black is its improved camera resolution. This year, GoPro is upping the resolution for photo stills: it can now shoot 20-megapixel images. This is a considerable improvement over its predecessor’s 12-megapixel photo still.

Video performance has been given a boost too. Users can now shoot up to 5K videos on this camera. However, frame rates are limited to 30fps so users should stick to 4K for recording 60fps videos. HyperSmooth 3.0 is here too, bringing in-camera horizon leveling.

This year, GoPro is also bringing back a huge, missing feature from last year’s HERO8: detachable lens cover. The company is introducing a “Max Lens” mod this October to make use of the feature. This mod brings ultra-wide lens and max HyperSmooth technology allowing for a more cinematic effect.

Speaking of mods, users can still select from a variety of choices such as media mod, light mod, and display mod.

Another addition to the GoPro HERO9 Black is an LCD color display on the front. As such, users can now preview images and videos on the fly without resorting to the display on the back.

Meanwhile, the display on the back also gets some nifty upgrades. The company is sticking a bigger 2.27-inch touchscreen display this time around, which is a boost from its predecessor’s 1.95-inch display.

To accommodate all these improvements, HERO9 Black comes with a bigger 1,720mAh removable battery. The company touts 30% more battery life with this when compared against the HERO8.

Pricing and availability

The GoPro HERO9 Black is now available to purchase for US$ 449.99. It can also be had for US$ 349.98 when purchased with a GoPro Plus subscription. Each purchase comes with an included 32GB SD card to get users up to speed.

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Cameras

The Sony Alpha 7C is a compact full-frame camera

World’s first smallest and lightest full-frame camera

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If you’ve been waiting for a full-frame camera that’s easy to carry around then this latest from Sony was made just for you. The Sony Alpha 7C is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera.

The new camera features a 24.2MP (approx. effective) 35mm full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine, offering high sensitivity, outstanding resolution, 15-stop6 wide dynamic range and high-speed image data processing.

At 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm and weighing just 509g , the Alpha 7C is a similar size and weight to an APS-C camera. Sony achieves this build through upgraded 5-axis in-body stabilization and shutter units, and the utilization of monocoque construction, which is often used in the bodies of cars and aircrafts.

Full-frame image quality, Advanced Autofocus

Standard ISO extends up to 51,200 and is expandable to ISO 50-204,80012 for low-light environment captures with low noise. The Alpha 7C also supports 16-bit processing and 14-bit RAW output13 for natural gradations.

The Sony Alpha 7C is also equipped with Sony’s vaunted autofocus tech. It has the Real-time Eye AF for both humans and animals feature. In addition, “Tracking On + AF-On” is now assignable to a custom key. It can  be activated at once while the AF-ON button is pressed.

It locks onto the intended subject instantly without losing focus, thanks to its 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system covering approximately 93% of the image area, with an additional 425 contrast-detection points to ensure reliable focus, even in busy environments.

The Alpha 7C also features continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE and it’s also possible to shoot continuously at up to 8 fps17 in live view mode, with minimal viewfinder/monitor display lag for easy, stable framing, even with intense subject motion.

Shoot 4K video

Full-frame full-pixel readout without the need for pixel binning makes it possible to capture
more than twice20 the amount of data required for 4K video (QFHD: 3840 x 2160). It’s then oversampled to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

In addition, the Alpha 7C supports HDR (HLG21) and S-Log/S-Gamut profiles, Slow & Quick motion, high-speed full HD recording at 120 fps3 and other advanced video features which offer exceptional video capabilities to capture high quality video footage.

The Alpha 7C features a side-opening vari-angle LCD monitor, making it easy to record selfies, overhead shots, low ground-level shots or whatever the user requires. The Movie button has been placed on the top of the camera making it easier to operate while recording in selfie mode.

A digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe, allowing the ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit to be connected to input digital audio signals directly to the MI shoe for cleaner, clearer audio recordings.

New lens perfect for the Sony Alpha 7C

Launching alongside the Alpha 7C are the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 and the HVL-F28RM.

The new FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 offers the world’s smallest and lightest form factor in a standard zoom lens. From everyday shooting to scenery, portraits and travel, it’s the ideal lens for any type of on-the-go shooting in a wide variety of environments.

The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 is dust and moisture resistant and accepts a variety of 40.5mm filters.

The HVL-F28RM is a compact flash designed to match Sony’s mirrorless cameras for a compact, manageable system. This compact, easy-to-use flash unit delivers the capabilities and dependability to meet the needs of both professional and advanced amateur content creators.

Pricing and availability

The new Alpha 7C compact full-frame camera will retail for US$ 1799.99 (body only)/ US$ 2,099.99 (with kit lens) and will be available at selected retail shops and online stores from October 2020.

The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens will retail for US$ 499.99  and will be available at selected retail shops and online stores from January 2021.

The HVL-F28RM flash will retail for US$ 249.99 and will be available at selected retail shops and online stores from November 2020.

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Apps

Imaging Edge Webcam lets you use Sony cameras for video calls, live streams

Adapting to the new normal

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If you’ve been working from home, chances are you’ve attended more than your fair share of video calls. If you have a Sony camera, you can elevate the quality of your video with the new Imaging Edge Webcam app.

Considering we’re months into being quarantined already, Sony sure took their time in launching this product. That said, it should still be a welcome addition for anyone who might possibly need it.

It currently only supports Windows 10 64bit so you might have to wait a while if you’re using a Mac. You may download the desktop app here.

The Sony cameras supported are: Alpha 9 II, Alpha 9, Alpha 7R IV, Alpha 7R III, Alpha 7R II, Alpha 7S II, Alpha 7S, Alpha 7 III,
Alpha 7 II, Alpha 6600, Alpha 6400, Alpha 6100, RX100 VII, RX100 VI, RX0 II, RX0, ZV-1.

There are more cameras supported and we’ll update this article once we have the full list.

Quick note for anyone who will use it: The aspect ratio is automatically set to 16:9. It will remain set to 16:9 after using Imaging Edge Webcam, so set it to the previous value if necessary.

SEE ALSO: The Sony A7S III is a low light video beast

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