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Sony SLT-A99, NEX-VG900, RX1 24MP Full Frame & NEX VG30, NEX-6, NEX-5R 16MP APS-C


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#1 A.Y.

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:15 AM

Three 24MP Full Frame (SLT-A99, NEX-VG900, & RX1) and three 16MP APS-C cameras (NEX-VG30, NEX-6, NEX-5R), as well as three E-mount lenses (10-18mm F4 OSS, 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Pancake OSS Power Zoom, 35mm F1.8 OSS) had been officially introduced!

A99 and VG900 are the first two FF cameras to feature Phase Detection AF for stills and videos AND 1080 60p HD. RX1 is the first digital FF point & shoot and it's almost as small as a MFT GX1.

FF is 2.4X the size of APS-C = 1 stop better high-iso IQ
FF is 3.6X the size of MFT = 2 stops better high-iso IQ
FF is 7.4X the size of 1" = 3 stops better high-iso IQ

Autofocus with Peaking:

SLT-A99: Dual Phase Detection AF - SLT Phase Detection & Focal Plane Phase Detection
NEX-VG900: Focal Plane Phase Detection AF with Contrast Detection AF Assist
NEX-6 and NEX-5R: Sensor Phase Detection AF with Contrast Detection AF Assist
VG30: Contrast Detection AF, SLT Phase Detection AF with LA-EA2 Adapter
RX1: Contrast Detection AF

Video:

The new cameras all feature 1080 60p/50P/24p HD.
Uncompressed HDMI Output: A99, VG900

Sony Lens System:

20 Full-Frame A-mount lenses & 2 converters:

16mm F2.8 Fisheye
16-35mm F2.8 SSM Zeiss
20mm F2.8
24mm F2 SSM Zeiss
24-70mm F2.8 SSM Zeiss
28-75mm F2.8 SAM
35mm F1.4 G
50mm F1.4
50mm F2.8 Macro
70-200mm F2.8 SSM G
70-300mm F4.5-5.6 SSM G
70-400mm F4-5.6 SSM G
75-300mm F4.5-5.6
85mm F1.4 Zeiss
85mm F2.8 SAM
100mm F2.8 Macro
135mm F1.8 Zeiss
135mm F2.8 STF
300mm F2.8 SSM G
500mm F4 SSM G

1.4x Teleconverter
2x Teleconverter

A99 and VG900 will be able to use APS-C A-mount lenses in crop mode!

14 APS-C A-Mount Lenses:

11-18mm F4.5-5.6
16-50mm F2.8 SSM
16-80mm F3.5-4.5 Zeiss
16-105mm F3.5-5.6
18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM
18-70mm F3.5-5.6
18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM
18-200mm F3.5-6.3
18-250mm F3.5-6.3
30mm F2.8 Macro SAM
35mm F1.8 SAM
50mm F1.8 SAM
55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM
55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM

VG900 will be able to use E-mount lenses in crop mode!

12 E-mount APS-C lenses and 2 converters:

10mm Fisheye Converter for 16mm F2.8
10-18mm F4 OSS
12mm Wide Converter for 16mm F2.8
16mm F2.8 Pancake
16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Pancake OSS Power Zoom
18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Active OSS
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Active OSS Power Zoom
24mm F1.8 Zeiss
30mm F3.5 Macro
35mm F1.8 OSS
50mm F1.8 OSS
55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS

I'm most interested in the phase detection video AF performance of the A99, NEX-6, and NEX-5R.

Hopefully, housings and lens ports for the new products will become available soon, especially the 10-18mm F4 OSS. The OSS on the 10-18mm will be great for stabilizing video.

Edited by A.Y., 12 September 2012 - 07:38 AM.


#2 Mirounga

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:25 AM

The 10-18mm F4 OSS is too thick for the Nauticam mini port opening. Maybe we will see the NEX housing with the full size ports.

#3 rtrski

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:32 AM

I'm also very intrigued by the A99. I'm worried Ike won't house it though - same 'joystick' that supposedly was one of the reasons they didn't house the a77.

The dual-AF system has some neat sounding features like a kind of software-based 'AF range' limiter - look thru the view and use the front and back dials to set 'near' and 'far' focus limits, and the AF system will only seek in that range until you reset. I also imagine with both on-sensor and reflected PDAF, some onboard firmware trickery could conceivably 'autocalibrate' the reflected PDAF spots on a per-lens basis by comparison at similar positions in the field of view. The full specs indicate it does have AF calibration but that could be just the usual user-dials-in-microadjustment values, so we'll see.

FF lenses are a bit of a worry though, again, especially for Ike housings. The Sigma 24-70mm is 3.5" diameter so too big to even fit inside the ID of the Ike ports. The Sony 24-70mm is 3.25" max diameter so it "fits" in the port ID, but probably not in the zoom sleeve ID. Would have to rig up your own way to get it to couple back to the zoom dial, and it would be very tight....

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#4 oskar

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:20 AM

Oh I see, I thought that this might be the point when i join the sony NEX system for UW-use. But I'll see how the housing mfg deal with this.

Otherwise, NEX-6 does seem like a good alternative to both 5N/R and 7, doesn't it? I wonder if there is any IQ improvements or if most of the improvement is with the AF.

The 10-18mm F4 OSS is too thick for the Nauticam mini port opening. Maybe we will see the NEX housing with the full size ports.



#5 jmauricio

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:31 AM

The 10-18mm F4 OSS is too thick for the Nauticam mini port opening. Maybe we will see the NEX housing with the full size ports.


Really? That's a disaster. Was really looking forward to this lens for NEX. Sony says the diameter is 2 7/8in (70mm). How big is the Nauticam port opening?

#6 A.Y.

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:24 PM

Sony 10-18mm (15-27mm) has 70mm diameter.
Panasonic 7-14mm (14-28mm) has 75mm diameter and it fits inside Nauticam port system correct?

#7 Mirounga

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:26 PM

Ports for my NA-NEX5 have 69mm openings.
They might do a modular port to solve this problem.

#8 oskar

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 02:04 AM

Although I'm tempted at a NEX-6, I fear that it will be a in-between model when it comes to housings. Thera are already hosings for the 5series and the 7, so the upgrade value of NEX6 may be to little for a separate housing line. Instead housing manufacturers will produce housings for the 5R and the next high-end NEX (9?)

Is this a reasonable guess?


/O

Otherwise, NEX-6 does seem like a good alternative to both 5N/R and 7, doesn't it? I wonder if there is any IQ improvements or if most of the improvement is with the AF.



#9 gobiodon

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:03 AM

Although I'm tempted at a NEX-6, I fear that it will be a in-between model when it comes to housings. Thera are already hosings for the 5series and the 7, so the upgrade value of NEX6 may be to little for a separate housing line. Instead housing manufacturers will produce housings for the 5R and the next high-end NEX (9?)

Is this a reasonable guess?


/O


The dimension of nex-6 is very similar to nex-7:
http://www.dpreview....ny-alpha-nex-6/
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#10 jmauricio

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:43 AM

Although I'm tempted at a NEX-6, I fear that it will be a in-between model when it comes to housings. Thera are already hosings for the 5series and the 7, so the upgrade value of NEX6 may be to little for a separate housing line. Instead housing manufacturers will produce housings for the 5R and the next high-end NEX (9?)

Is this a reasonable guess?


/O


It will all come down to how many units NEX 6 sell. If a lot, housing makers won't want to miss the opportunity.

#11 A.Y.

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:02 AM

Not counting the in-stock models, NEX-6 with 16-50mm pancake is currently the #1 "pre-ordered" camera on Amazon U.S. and surprisingly RX1 is #2, way ahead of NEX-5R. It'll be hard to imagine housing makers not coming out with a NEX-6+10-18mm solution.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The most exciting part about the RX1 is that Sony can produce a FF camera with a 35mm F2 Zeiss this small, and it is getting a lot of pre-orders at $2,800. A FF 35mm F2 Zeiss costs $1,120 and it's a lot bigger.

IMO, the upcoming NEX full frame will be a huge hit. Can't wait!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[youtubehd]UcE3pxC2hhQ[/youtubehd]

For top side use, I just realized that NEX-6 does'nt have a touchscreen which is a deal breaker for me since I really like using it to select focus areas for videos. 5N's contrast detection video AF works really well, but can't track moving subjects as well or as fast as phase detection video AF so I'm interested in upgrading. BTW, youtube converted the 60p source to 30p therefore it appears choppy!

Edited by A.Y., 14 September 2012 - 12:17 AM.


#12 A.Y.

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:13 PM

[youtubehd]cCwwi-Hr5zk[/youtubehd]

NEX-6's on-sensor phase detection autofocus shown in this latest video from China is indeed a lot faster and more accurate than my 5N's contrast detection AF. I really like 5R's new touchscreen shutter feature - touch any subject and the camera will take the photo. For AF tracking, touch any subject and the PD system will instantly lock on and track continuously.

[vimeohd]40369782[/vimeohd]

However, I don't yet know if the NEX on-sensor PDAF can track fast-moving subjects as well as the NEX LA-EA2 lens adapter with SLT PDAF shown in this movie, since SLT is currently by far the best video AF system on the market (see footage 50 seconds and 10 minutes into the video). SLT-A99's dual PDAF should be even better; unfortunately, I can't use my Canon lenses on it so I'm waiting for the upcoming NEX-9 FF instead.

Edited by A.Y., 20 September 2012 - 04:02 PM.


#13 blaisedouros

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:43 AM

I'm surprised more people aren't excited about the RX1. Nobody else has done a full-frame compact, and f2 is a pretty fast lens. With the right housing and adapter ports (always wanted to see someone try something like this with wet adapters), this could be an extremely nice compact system for a serious shooter who needs to travel really light.

Obviously the price is high, which will be a barrier.

#14 rtrski

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:47 AM

Yeah, the limitation that the dual-PDAF (adding the on-sensor points to the separate PDAF module points for better tracking prediction) on the A99 only works with selected Sony lenses now (and probably more, but still only Sony in the future) is a bit of a let-down. The CZ 24-70 is a stellar lens, but per Ike 'too large to fit in a port system'. (We'll see, I might try to figure it out...seems like it fits the port body ID but won't allow a zoom sleeve...might take some finagling to get it to work. Still waiting on my 3D printer for my custom part playtime ;) ).

BUT the camera-mediated software AF Range limiting works for all lenses, and doesn't require the dual-PDAF mode. Being able to set front/back focal range limits on any lens might make for faster composition underwater (and then of course when a large pelagic surpises you out of the blue, make for even more frustration when you have to disable it! :D )

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#15 A.Y.

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:38 AM

I'm surprised more people aren't excited about the RX1. Nobody else has done a full-frame compact, and f2 is a pretty fast lens. With the right housing and adapter ports (always wanted to see someone try something like this with wet adapters), this could be an extremely nice compact system for a serious shooter who needs to travel really light.

Obviously the price is high, which will be a barrier.


Since RX1 is the first of its kind, maybe divers are waiting to hear from manufacturers what underwater solutions are possible with a camera like this.

Online polls show that most people prefer a NEX FF interchangeable-lens camera with an equally tiny FF 35mm F2 Zeiss.

Yeah, the limitation that the dual-PDAF (adding the on-sensor points to the separate PDAF module points for better tracking prediction) on the A99 only works with selected Sony lenses now (and probably more, but still only Sony in the future) is a bit of a let-down. The CZ 24-70 is a stellar lens, but per Ike 'too large to fit in a port system'. (We'll see, I might try to figure it out...seems like it fits the port body ID but won't allow a zoom sleeve...might take some finagling to get it to work. Still waiting on my 3D printer for my custom part playtime Posted Image ).

BUT the camera-mediated software AF Range limiting works for all lenses, and doesn't require the dual-PDAF mode. Being able to set front/back focal range limits on any lens might make for faster composition underwater (and then of course when a large pelagic surpises you out of the blue, make for even more frustration when you have to disable it! Posted Image )


Yes, older A-mount lenses were designed for stills only so they need firmware update to work fully or better with the latest SLT dual PDAF system. To get the most out of the A99 requires lenses with the latest AF motors and I/O protocols optimized to work with this bleeding-edge technologies. In fact, older NEX lenses also need firmware update in order to be fully compatible with the latest NEX-6 and 5R's on-sensor phase detection AF system.

Other camera makers face similar challenges also - Canon T4i on-sensor PDAF works best with the new STM lenses.

#16 rtrski

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:11 AM

Yes, older A-mount lenses were designed for stills only so they need firmware update to work fully or better with the latest SLT dual PDAF system. To get the most out of the A99 requires lenses with the latest AF motors and I/O protocols optimized to work with this bleeding-edge technologies. In fact, older NEX lenses also need firmware update in order to be fully compatible with the latest NEX-6 and 5R's on-sensor phase detection AF system.


I think that's only partially right (but reserve the right to be wrong ;) ). The issue with on-sensor PDAF isn't that lenses 'were designed for stills', as it's still just PDAF phase interferometry, just like from the module. I think it's more because the lens optics might have more complex light-cone behavior in different positions of the frame, and analyzing this from the plane of the sensor needs that 'calibration' info. I really don't think they'll change anything about the lenses (they're already designed for PDAF-based focusing instructions), just add the supporting info to the body. There was a good set of Q&A on Flickr about the a99 that had reps from Sony answering that the a99 body needed the calibration data for the additional lenses, not the lenses needed upgrades. That seems to reinforce my belief.

Consider the animation linked below. For the two light rays shown, their relative phase provides data for a 'focus point' near the center of the sensor, yet will impinge on totally different positions on the sensor. In fact on the sensor you'd need to measure the phase gradient across some portion of the height of the sensor (multiple 'phase detect' pixel locations) to get the necessary focusing data. On the separate PDAF module, however, additional microlenses provide further alignment so each autofocus zone is a much more concentrated subset of receivers. I don't think they can window in the PDAF 'pixels' on the main imaging sensor plane and add localized microlenses without creating gaping holes in the actual image array, so they probably have to do with calibration what is done with that set of microlenses. (And yes, I know imaging pixels also have microlenses of a sort...but on a per-pixel basis not over a whole multi-baseline array of pixels.)

http://graphics.stan...utofocusPD.html

Of course this also means some lenses might have some wacky phase ripples inherent in their optical design, especially as you get out further to the edge of the sensor (e.g. rectilinears and such), which argues either that not all current optical designs CAN get acceptable calibration info, or might only ever be made effective with a subset of the avaialble on-sensor PDAF points. (That probably has something to do with why they clustered the AF points in the center - I've seen overlays of Canon and Nikon and Sony PDAF points, and the main autofocus modules of all of them seem to cluster points near the center of the FF, but for the on-sensor PDAF points I had wondered why they wouldn't take advantage of more of the plane. Phase interferometry becomes more accurate with a longer baseline - but that's assuming the longer baseline isn't getting more and more 'corrupted' data from odd optics out at the ends.)

In the case of the NEX's, of course, this will be the first NEX with on-sensor PDAF which means absolutely, lenses were only designed for CDAF operation before and likely need upgrading to the way their motors respond to commands. I don't at all disagree with your there.

Regardless of all this, I'm glad to know that the AF Ranging feature (using only the 'module' PDAF points) will work with all lenses - that was also confirmed on that Flickr Q&A.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#17 A.Y.

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:43 AM

Yes, you're right! Existing A-mount lenses are already compatible with the SLT PDAF for stills and videos. Both A and E-mount lenses need firmware update to work with the latest SLT and NEX on-sensor PDAF.

The official list of A-mount FF lenses with the new firmware:
24-70mm F2.8 SSM Zeiss
28-75mm F2.8 SAM
50mm F1.4
70-400mm F4-5.6 SSM G
300mm F2.8 SSM G
500mm F4 SSM G

Haven't found the official list for the E-mount yet! But I know the following lenses have the new firmware:
10-18mm F4 OSS
16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Pancake OSS Power Zoom
18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Active OSS Power Zoom
35mm F1.8 OSS

There should be other! Anyway, more firmware updates will become available in the near future.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

On another subject, a Sony executive recently stated that their 36MP FF sensor used by the D800 was not considered for the RX1, SLT-A99, and NEX-VG900 because it lacked 1080 60p capability. Another advantage 24MP FF sensor has over the 36MP is better low-light performance - DXO low-light-ISO scores: D600 (Sony 24MP) 2980 vs. D800 (Sony 36MP) 2853 vs. 5D3 2293 vs. 5N (APS-C) 1079 vs. G5 (M43) 618. Keep in mind that the 36MP without anti-alias filter is widely considered to be less than ideal for videos.

Also, multiple hands-on reports mentioned that A99 and VG900 have 4.2.2 uncompressed HDMI out. Is this correct?? Sony should've included this important info in the official specs. I hope NEX-9 FF has 4.2.2 out also.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Totally off topic:

Posted Image

The most exciting sight ever! And it was also very sad to witness the last flight of the Space Shuttle. Sony NEX-5N with Canon EF 70-300mm @300mm F5.6

Edited by A.Y., 23 September 2012 - 08:34 AM.


#18 Aliens

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:42 PM

Greta photo! You havent listed the new E mount lenses comign from Zeiss. Macro 50mm

#19 A.Y.

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:11 PM

Thanks!

The newly announced 2013 E-mount lenses are:
12mm F2.8 Zeiss
32mm F1.8 Zeiss
50mm F2.8 macro Zeiss

Too bad none of the Zeiss E-mount lenses has OSS.

#20 gobiodon

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 12:11 AM

Thanks!

The newly announced 2013 E-mount lenses are:
12mm F2.8 Zeiss
32mm F1.8 Zeiss
50mm F2.8 macro Zeiss

Too bad none of the Zeiss E-mount lenses has OSS.


..and they will be too expensive, over 1000 USD (EUR) I guess. I would be happier with a much cheaper tamron 60mm or sigma 70mm option for half the Zeiss price. I'm not even sure that the zeiss 50mm macro will have a better optical quality.
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