Cameras

The Sony A7S III is a low light video beast

And then some

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Finally! After years of waiting, we now have the successor to Sony’s video-centric mirrorless camera — the Sony A7S III.

It’s been six years since the release of the Sony A7S II, and its successor carries on the many features that made it an absolute must-have for videographers both amateur and professional.

Taking professional video further

The A7S III offers in-camera 4K recording up to 120 frames per second(1), 10-bit depth and 4:2:2 color sampling. It has a more flexible and efficient post-production workflow with a variety of advanced movie recording modes such as All-Intra and MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 coding (XAVC HS).

If you’re worried about a mutli-cam production, the Sony Alpha team has taken that into account as well. It has three color gamut settings S-Gamut, S-Gamut3, and S-Gamut3.Cine that make it easy to match with footage shot with other cameras.

Footage taken with the camera is also ready to go as is. The S-Log3 gamma curves as well as support for HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile produces footage with a minimal need for post-production.

The A7S III also allows up to 4K 60p 16-bit RAW output to an external recorder via HDMI Type-A connector, offering additional post-production flexibility.

BIONZ XR for better image quality

The A7S III is equipped with the new CMOS image sensor and BIONZ XR image processing engine. This all in the service of producing that legendary S-Series sensitivity with significantly enhanced color reproduction and texture renderings for improved overall image quality.

The base ISO has been lowered to 80, resulting in a normal range of 80-102,400 (expandable to 80-409,600 for video and 40-409,600 for stills). This provides more flexible ISO plus wide dynamic range with low noise at all settings.

It also improves AWB (Auto White Balance) performance with a new “Visible light + IR Sensor” that helps to achieve more precise white balance under artificial lighting.

Advanced AutoFocus

AutoFocus (AF) has been one of the features that Sony just has been absolutely good at and that carries over to the A7S III. It offers Fast Hybrid AF by combining phase-detection and contrast-detection AF.

This means it can track subjects over a wide area with outstanding speed, precision and smoothness, even when using a narrow depth of field. This is further enhanced by Sony’s e-mount lenses capable of Fine focus expression.

For environments with a lot of movement, Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF are available to maintain constant focus on the intended subject.

Sony’s advanced Real-time Eye AF improves detection performance by 30% over the previous system. It ensures accurate, reliable detection, even when the subject’s face looks away.

The A7S III is now touch screen so real-time tracking can be done in that manner. Real-time Eye AF is automatically initiated when an eye is detected.

The camera includes several AF features for professional users including AF Transition Speed in seven settings. It has rack-focus transitions and five AF Subject Shift Sensitivity settings to customize how easily AF will switch or stay with the locked-on subject.

It’s now also possible to Touch Focus during manual focus mode on the LCD screen or remotely from the Imaging Edge Mobile application.

Better cooling implemented

Naturally, this much power will generate plenty of heat. The A7S III’s design takes this into consideration.

A newly developed unique heat dissipating structure keeps the image sensor and image processing engine temperatures within their normal operating ranges. This keeps things cool even during extended continuous recording sessions at 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video lasting an hour or more.

The new heat-dissipating structure requires no fan or cabinet vents allowing Alpha 7S III to maintain dust and moisture resistance.

Maximum stability

A camera built video can’t be without proper stabilization.The Sony A7S III is the first Alpha series camera to include Active Mode with 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization to support especially difficult handheld movie shooting.

It’s the first Alpha series E-mount body to feature a side-opening vari-angle rear screen. It’s perfect for gimbal-mounted shots, complicated angles, handheld operation and more.

The screen rotates sideways, up and down, and features a 3.0 type 1.44 million-dot (approx.) touch panel LCD monitor, for optimal visibility even in bright outdoor environments. FINALLY.

Not a slouch in photography

Just because it’s video-focused, doesn’t mean it neglected still images. The A7S III has a fast Hybrid AF system with 759 phase-detection AF points covering 92% of the image sensor.

Users can continuously shoot more than 1,000 uncompressed RAW images at up to 10fps, or up to 8fps in live view mode, with either the mechanical or electronic shutter.

High speed transfer, redesigned menu

The A7S III features two CFexpress Type A compatible media slots. These support UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards for high write-and-read speeds while keeping the camera body compact.

CFexpress Type A cards are ideally suited to high-speed continuous RAW still image shooting as well as 4K 120pi movie recording at high bit rates.

High-speed data transfer to a PC is possible at about 1.7 times faster than that of SD card. The dual slots can be set to relay mode for extended continuous recording of even the highest bit rate data as well as simultaneous recording and sort by format type recording.

The menu system, which some have noted to be somewhat of a black hole, has been redesigned for easier navigation. Switching to video mode automatically prioritizes video settings. Same is true for the various photo modes.

Pricing and Availability

The new Sony A7S III Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will be available in September 2020 for approximately US$3,499.99. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

In Singapore and the Philippines, it will be available in October 2020. Pricing will be announced soon.

Cameras

Fujifilm Introduces X-S10 mirrorless digital camera

Compact, lightweight, and high-end

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Fujifilm X-S10

The newest addition to Fujifilm’s X Series family of compact and lightweight digital cameras is the Fujifilm X-S10.

Being relatively small and light, Fujifilm hopes this camera will appeal to everyone. It has professional features for both photo and video, while also having the AUTO/SP (Scene Position) Mode. It automatically adjusts the camera settings without the need for tinkering from the user’s end.

Smaller IBIS for compact body

The camera’s in-body stabilization (IBIS) is around 30% smaller than the previous model. Despite this, it’s able to deliver up to 6.0-stop so five-axis image stabilization. The less shaky the footage, the better.

It’s the first midrange X Series camera with a motion sensor retention mechanism. It’s a mechanical shock absorber that guards against slight vibrations.

For more hand-held stability, the X-S10 has a large, ergonomic magnesium-alloy grip. This should make it easier to hold the camera even when a larger lens is mounted.

Film Simulations, updated AUTO functions

One of the X Series’ appeals is its ability to cater to both experience and beginner users. As mentioned earlier, the X-S10 will have the AUTO/SP Mode. This will have the camera automatically adjust the settings to suit the scene.

Whether you’re shooting landscapes or portraits, you’ll come away with a photo with your desired clarity, vividness, and tones no matter your skill level.

It also has Film Simulation modes. Fujifilm says this is to celebrate the history of photographic film. It mimics the look of most iconic analog films. There are 18 exclusive modes.

Capture with focus and speed

For quick and accurate autofocus, Fujifilm combines the X-S10’s high-speed AF woith the X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor’s 2.16 million phase detection pixels. What you get is an AF as fast as 0.02 seconds.

It has high-precision Tracking AF for moving subjects along with Face/ Eye tracking.

For capturing high-movement activities, the X-S10 has blackout-free high-speed burst shooting of 8fps.

Flexible LCD monitor

Shooting from different angles is easier too with the vari-angle LCD monitor and viewfinder. It can rotate up to 180 degrees so it’s also ideal for getting yourself in the frame.

The viewfinder’s Live View function has three boost modes: Low Light Priority, Resolution Priority, and Frame Rate Priority.

Extensive video-recording

The X-S10 generates 4K video from the amount of data equivalent to 6K for a high resolution, low noise footage. It supports recording 4K/30p 4:2:0 u-bit video onto an SD inserted in the camera, and outputting 4K/30p 4:2:2 10-bit video via the HDMI port.

It can also record FullHD at 240p. That’s up to 10x slow-mo footage of a split-second motion of a fast-moving subject.

The X-S10 also has Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) mode to assist its IBIS. It’ll compensate for any camera shake when walking with it.

The dedicated recording button is on its top plate, letting users record while taking still images. Exposure and focus settings are automatically recorded in AUTO mode.

Pricing and availability

Model

Color

Release Date

SRP

Fujifilm X-S10 body only Black Mid-november 2020 PhP 55,990
Fujifilm X-S10 with Fujinon XF 19-55 F2.8-4 R LM OIS Black Mid-november 2020 PhP 78,990

 

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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.

When the feature first launched in August 20, 2020, it only supported Windows 10 64bit. Now, it also supports macOS 10.13-10.15. 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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Cameras

A love letter to the Sony a6100

A poignant piece filled with yearning and regrets

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It’s been a month since my hands last held the Sony a6100. I can still remember its chic white colorway, reckoning a classic, sophisticated look. Like the grandeur of a white rose being admired by a white butterfly. Or like a swan gracefully dancing in the lake, during a majestic sunset.

I can still remember the first time I saw it. There was that familiar feeling, “Oh, hello there. I feel like we’ve met before.”

Maybe because I’ve used Sony’s mirrorless cameras countless times over the past three years. Or because cameras are inherently part of my life, no matter which brand I use. But one thing’s for sure: I liked the a6100 the first time I met it.

Page one: You bring out the best in me

Using the a6100 was like child’s play, grasping the controls and interface were easy when you’re used to Sony cameras. But currently, it’s also one of the best beginner-friendly cameras out there.

That was the reason why my friends loved shooting photos and videos with it while we were on the beach, before the world paused for a lockdown. Everything was just easy on their part, and I loved how the people I love got along with something I like.

During my stint, I was reminded of my potential and my ability to execute my vision and grand ideas. It was like when Shoyo Hinata skyrocketed as a promising player when he was paired with Tobio Kageyama in Haikyu!!.

For any situation, I can rely on the a6100 — my ex-mirrorless camera, companion, and partner. I can shoot using the 1.4mm dot OLED electronic viewfinder when I want to focus on my subject (and possibly lose myself in the art of photography).

But oftentimes, I found myself shooting using the 0.9m dot LCD tilting rear touchscreen. Shooting Live View gives you more awareness of what’s happening. The a6100 was just as versatile as me, and I loved how it can keep up on whatever crazy idea I have at the moment.

It’s true when they say it’s the photographer, not the camera. But I have to believe that having the right camera that perfectly suits your skills, style, and personality helps bring out the best in you. Just like finding the right person that lets you work on yourself so you can become better, and hopefully be more deserving to love and be loved.

Page 02: You were everything I was looking for

Everything I was looking for — and possibly praying for, for the last two years — manifested in the a6100. How I’ve always wanted to have what’s apt for me, through my lifestyle and personality, and of course, my money.

All the essential features I could ever need was here. USB charging, Wi-Fi for quick transfer of images to my devices, a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 4K video capture, and Flip Screen. There was also an advanced AF system, highlighting a dependable subject tracking.

No, they were not cutting-edge. There are a lot better cameras (probably) that gives enthusiasts better features, at a higher cost.

But my standards weren’t high for a camera nor in love. All I need is what’s best for me, not the best among the rest. What the a6100 did was give me a simple and effective system that made shooting fun again, whether it’s through photo or video.

On paper, the a6100 might not mean much. But my experience says otherwise. Moreover, it’s priced accordingly. Just like what I need. Keyword: need.

Page 03: You made me discover parts of myself

I miss it. The way I held it in my arms as I walked along the beach, wandering at the sight of beautiful waves crashing down the shore, washing my feet and worries away.

The carefree days that I yearn. To take another moment and capture it, hopefully preserving its memory on my Instagram account or printed for a photo album. It was so lightweight, compact, and portable — you can bring it anywhere you want to go.

Its looks can be deceiving, but it can be on par with professional cameras. So you don’t have to worry being held back by some law enforcement securities telling you it’s not allowed to shoot here and there. Point, shoot, love, enjoy discreetly.

The a6100 was madly powerful, that I brought it along with me on my journey to self-discovery. As I rediscover parts of myself through art, photography, music, and spiritual healing, I realized something.

This camera made me see parts of myself that I didn’t bother examining. That behind my aversion to creating videos, I really am capable and up for the job. After all, I did ace my audio-visual production class in college and even won an award for a collegiate competition.

I’ve never liked shooting videos until the a6100 and its grip — the Sony GP-VPT2BT — came into my hands. My life didn’t change when I started shooting, but I gained a deeper appreciation for videos and the shooting process.

Throughout the seven months I had it, I was able to remember why I love my job. I even discovered what skills I can hone and develop. It was like a whole new path opening before me, and I want to take it with me.

I created beautiful sets, shot graciously like it was published at a print magazine. I also shot unboxing videos and clips I never thought I would delight in doing. It was realizing these little joys that made you want to hold it more, and probably never let go.

Page 04: You were the one I’ve always wanted

The truth is, I didn’t have the a6100 longer than what I wish it would. And I took it for granted the whole time it was with me.

I spent more days hugging my laptop and my phone. I couldn’t find time to explore my hobbies, let alone play with the camera. Frankly, I only used the camera when it was convenient or when I need it, and now that it’s gone I wish I took more time to wrap my fingers around it.

Guess it’s true you realize the value of something once it’s gone. It struck me that maybe, just maybe, the a6100 was “the one” — my GadgetMatch. It could’ve been, but it’s no longer with me.

I’ve traded it for work because duh, I got bills to pay. But maybe when we’re free to go out and the pandemic’s over, maybe I can get a second chance. Until then, I’ll just keep doing what I need to do. Maybe next year, the price will be a bit cheaper or maybe, there’s another camera that’s waiting for me.

Who knows what the future holds?

Post scriptum

The Sony a6100 is the perfect mirrorless camera for beginners and those starting their journey on both photography and videography. It retails for PhP 49,999 (US$ 1033). It’s available in Sony’s official stores and authorized retailers. Visit Sony’s website for more information on the Sony a6100 and other cameras and accessories.

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