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Sony a7 iii - looks to be a game changer


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http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/18/sony-85mm-f-1-8-review/

 

Speaking of great full frame lenses for Sony...

 

That one has been on my list since it came out. The too-long-for-portraits crop multiplier bumping it out to about 135mm is the only thing that kept me from picking it up for the A6x00 bodies. Now, it one of the four full-frame lenses on my kit re-vamp.

 

Remarkable lens for the price.

 

Dave

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So I got the 18-135 lens last night. Nice and small and lightweight. Here are my first couple snap shots

enhance

 

enhance

 

I traded in my 15-105 on this - I think I will be happy with the gamble.

 

Vic

 

 

Vic,

 

Keep us posted on how this lens is working out for you. If it is significantly better as a next-gen replacement for the 18-105 PZ, I would be interested in it for the A6300 for small camera days or as a second body lens when using a long telephoto.

 

Dave

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Mine has arrived today as well (18-135mm that is)...however, I haven't arrived at my house yet - so I won't see the lens until tonight. At least I know the shipment got there.

 

I'm looking forward to checking it out. As I'm mostly expecting a kit lens replacement, it shouldn't be too difficult to match the 18-55mm performance. It was an easy choice for me compared to the 18-105mm, just because I'm not a fan of power-zoom lenses - it just feels more comfortable and natural for me to have a manual twist zoom.

 

Don't know how many test shot opportunities I'll have with the lens until I get to the weekend though. Plus, I need to update the firmware on my A6300 - the 18-135mm will work, but may not have the proper protocols and lens corrections without the firmware update.

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And the beat goes on...

 

NO INTERVALOMETER OR PLAY MEMORIES APP IN THE A7III????

 

DEALBREAKER!!!!

 

Or some such manufactured outrage in the camera forums. I haven't had an intervalometer built into the body since my Konica-Minolta A2 digicam. I liked the Play Memories concept but I can see where it may be short-lived tech since having an app talk to your camera via wi-fi, bluetooth or even USB is the more likely path forward.

 

I posted a link to a startup of a remote triggering control called Pluto Trigger a while ago and I just revisited the site to see if they had gone out of business yet and it seems they are still chugging along. Intervalometer, lightning trigger, sound trigger and a bunch of other functions (some requiring accessories). Their app is interesting and provides a lot of auxiliary info like sunrise/sunset times and a depth-of-field calculator. Was worth a second look.

 

https://plutotrigger.com/

 

Another more expensive option is MIOPS. It seems to do most of what the Pluto does but for twice the price.

 

https://www.miops.com/miops-smart/

 

Dave

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Yep - I always get a kick out of the 'dealbreakers' that people come up with. You might see 1 post in 4 years about some feature someone decided to use, but as soon as that feature is eliminated, 100 people declare that the camera is a no-go because of that crucial feature. I'm not saying intervalometers are not used or worthless - though I do wonder how many people need it built into the camera when there are plenty of options to add one - but no matter the feature, it always seems to be more important to more people than the number who actually used it while it was there...I suspect with a large number of those being people who just like to be part of the complaint peer group.

 

Then again, I'd probably join the group of complainers if some things were taken away from me...such as physical controls and menus being replaced by touch-screens. I'd not only complain, but probably that would end my relationship with that brand! I don't mind touch-screens as an OPTIONAL control interface, but never as the ONLY. So I guess everyone has a line in the sand somewhere. ;)

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Remember the "Give me film or give me death" predictions of the decline of photography due to the influx of digital "toys"?

 

I am heartened by the extensive revamping of the Sony controls and menus over the last couple of years. Bigger battery, touch screen control options (rudimentary, but there), more customizable buttons. All seemingly in response to user input. Input, not outrage. (Outrage was justified for the icon-based NEX menus!)

 

I hesitated for a agonizingly long time after Sony absorbed Minolta and while I have never regretted my decision, I have never felt better than now for sticking with the brand. Maybe it was the Minolta-like feel and function of the A700 when it came out or maybe it was memories of my parents near-immortal Trinitron TV that tipped me over the line. Maybe both. At any rate, I'm glad I did and am excited to start the next chapter in my life-long hobby.

 

Dave

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The lack of an intervalometer is a reasonable gripe, especially in the $3200 A7riii -- It's a pretty basic expectation on an advanced camera. That said, there is no such thing as a perfect camera. You can find reasonable gripes on every camera -- All Nikons still have lousy live view and why don't have have a radio-wireless flash that is compatible with all their cameras?!? Canon dynamic range is still quite poor compared to the leading Sony and Nikon cameras, etc.

 

So lack of an in-body intervalometer would be a silly "deal breaker" -- but I can accept being annoyed by it.

 

And the touch screens on Sony are indeed very limited compared to the newest Canon and Nikon cameras. When shooting with the A7riii, it does nothing but more the focus point. You can't use touch to focus (you can move the focus point but it won't actually initiate focus), you can't use for the menus. Certainly not a deal breaker, but a reasonable gripe.

 

Other reasonable gripes if you're considering the A7riii/A7iii -- Memory cards get inserted in the anti-instinctual manner... feels like I'm putting them in upside down. And I would expect the fast slot on the top, but it's on the bottom.

 

The delete process is a bit messy. You need to delete 1 card at a time. And by default, you can only delete 1 day of photos at a time. There is some confusing menu diving to be able to delete an entire card. Yes, you can re-format the cards -- but that's slow, especially for the slow card slot.

 

The menus overall remain a mess --- until you set up MyMenu and then it is greatly improved.

 

The bluetooth GPS feature is a bit finicky. It's almost random whether it links with my phone or not.

 

I wish there was a lossless compression option.

 

Ok... those are my nitpicks and gripes. I'm sure I could come up with a list for any camera.

 

Anyway... Dave... would you be interested in doing a post on my block about the thought process and active process of transitioning to full frame?

And Justin... any interest in doing a blog post of how to optimize the Sony system for birding?

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Anyway... Dave... would you be interested in doing a post on my block about the thought process and active process of transitioning to full frame?

 

I was actually doing a small article for my PPTPhoto site. I'll be happy to send it to you to post if you want.

 

Dave

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I was actually doing a small article for my PPTPhoto site. I'll be happy to send it to you to post if you want.

 

Dave

 

Sure, I'd love to post it, and I'll cross-link it to your PPTPhoto site...

 

Just send me whatever you got, whenever you want... picklepiephoto@gmail.com

 

I'm getting about 300-500 hits per day on my site (some days more.. and if I go too long without posting, then less)... so slowly building an audience.

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Dave, from your article, you indicated you would keep your APS-C for your wide angle. I have done that... for example, I did a Disney World Trip where I kept a 45/1.8 on my D750 and 10-18 on my Sony. But that's because I was prioritizing dark rides -- fast prime on full frame.

 

More often, if I was doing 2 bodies and 2 lenses --

Let's put it this way, if you put the 12-24 on the A7iii and the 70-300 on the A6300, then you are covered from 12-450!

If you put a 12 on the A6300 and the 70-300 on the A7iii... you are covered effectively from 18mm to 300mm.

 

And as you transition, you will see that wide angle is where full frame really shines. Able to capture wider angles... the extra dynamic range to exploit landscapes, etc.

 

39069115870_ee0121a1e8_b.jpgOssining Arch by Adam Brown, on Flickr

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Dave, from your article, you indicated you would keep your APS-C for your wide angle. I have done that... for example, I did a Disney World Trip where I kept a 45/1.8 on my D750 and 10-18 on my Sony. But that's because I was prioritizing dark rides -- fast prime on full frame.

 

More often, if I was doing 2 bodies and 2 lenses --

Let's put it this way, if you put the 12-24 on the A7iii and the 70-300 on the A6300, then you are covered from 12-450!

If you put a 12 on the A6300 and the 70-300 on the A7iii... you are covered effectively from 18mm to 300mm.

 

And as you transition, you will see that wide angle is where full frame really shines. Able to capture wider angles... the extra dynamic range to exploit landscapes, etc.

 

 

Keep in mind the article was describing the path...there will be more steps later. And a fork or two if history has taught me anything. :)

 

I made the decision to keep the wide end on the APS-C cameras (for now) since the vast majority of my shooting is in the range covered by the 24-105. For local travel or on a cruise walkabout I normally carry one camera with the wide to mid zoom and one in the waist pack with the ultra-wide or even the fisheye. Last time I was in Alaska, it was the same except for the wildlife tours where I carried one body with the long zoom and one with the wide to mid. I will generally pack a third lens which is usually the 12mm or fisheye with one or the other mounted on the second body. The A7III with the 24-105 will take the place of my A6300 with the 18-105 on it which is my 95%+ combo. The A6300 will typically carry the ultra-wide. On long zoom days, the A6300 will carry the 18-105 to compliment the long end. It could trade places with the 24-105 back on the A7III if I need the 1.5x crop for extra reach.

 

Wow. It actually looks like a plan when I write it down.

 

Dave

 

FYI, the FE 12-24 G is the fourth FF lens in my roadmap, so the wide APS-C plan is subject to re-evaluation.

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Though I haven't decided on full-frame yet, I definitely think I'd take the approach Adam suggests - as it is, my A6300 is already cranking out for wildlife and birding, so I would keep it as the primary wildlife system paired with the long lenses, while if I added a full-frame it would seem to fit perfectly into my landscape/wide/scenic shooting side...so most likely full frame would have an ultrawide to standard lens range, and the A6300 would pair with the telephoto stuff for maximum reach. I might swap around at times and put the long lenses on the full frame, and wide on APS-C, just for fun.

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Though I haven't decided on full-frame yet, I definitely think I'd take the approach Adam suggests - as it is, my A6300 is already cranking out for wildlife and birding, so I would keep it as the primary wildlife system paired with the long lenses, while if I added a full-frame it would seem to fit perfectly into my landscape/wide/scenic shooting side...so most likely full frame would have an ultrawide to standard lens range, and the A6300 would pair with the telephoto stuff for maximum reach. I might swap around at times and put the long lenses on the full frame, and wide on APS-C, just for fun.

 

That's because you don't live in an area limited to small brown birds and endless suburban sprawl. :)

 

I already own the 12mm Rokinon and since it is a very good performer, APS-C wide angle is my plan. Honestly, I shoot almost all the time inside the 24-105 range and the new G lens seems to be pretty fantastic. Except for the 85 f/1.8, I doubt I'll bother with any primes inside its range. Even the FE 12-24 is on the maybe list until I check out the new Laowa 9mm Zero-D lens for APS-C.

 

Besides, I still like to keep the walkabout kit small.

 

12mm on A6300 vs. 12-24 on A7III

p2789673103-3.jpg

 

Moving to the A7III with the 24-105 isn't really all that different for the daily driver.

p2789673104-3.jpg

 

Obsess much on details? Why, yes I do! :)

 

 

Dave

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Keep in mind the article was describing the path...there will be more steps later. And a fork or two if history has taught me anything. :)

 

I made the decision to keep the wide end on the APS-C cameras (for now) since the vast majority of my shooting is in the range covered by the 24-105. For local travel or on a cruise walkabout I normally carry one camera with the wide to mid zoom and one in the waist pack with the ultra-wide or even the fisheye. Last time I was in Alaska, it was the same except for the wildlife tours where I carried one body with the long zoom and one with the wide to mid. I will generally pack a third lens which is usually the 12mm or fisheye with one or the other mounted on the second body. The A7III with the 24-105 will take the place of my A6300 with the 18-105 on it which is my 95%+ combo. The A6300 will typically carry the ultra-wide. On long zoom days, the A6300 will carry the 18-105 to compliment the long end. It could trade places with the 24-105 back on the A7III if I need the 1.5x crop for extra reach.

 

Wow. It actually looks like a plan when I write it down.

 

Dave

 

FYI, the FE 12-24 G is the fourth FF lens in my roadmap, so the wide APS-C plan is subject to re-evaluation.

 

Sounds like a great plan!

 

All else being equal, wide angle and full frame are a good match.

 

But... usually, not all else is equal. I definitely would put my "priority" on full frame -- if most of my shooting and priority was "standard range," then that's where I would put the full frame.

 

If I'm doing long birding like Justin, would definitely put the telephoto on the A6300.

But even for telephoto.... for example, going to the zoo where the Animals aren't that far.... I'd put the telephoto on the A7iii

 

It's hard to put into words until you've shot it yourself... but full frame does just look better. Images are sharper. Not always a noticeable difference when viewing other people's images.. but you see it when you're shooting yourself.

 

When I was shooting the Nikon D750... I sometimes went with the A6300 to save size. But most of the time, the superior quality made me willing to carry the bigger camera.

The A7riii is the right size... that I haven't ever pulled out by A6300 to save size. Sure, the A6300 is a little smaller. But the A7riii with a small prime is small enough.

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Guest post by someone well known around here:

Sony A7iii: Sony enthusiast photographer's journey to full frame

 

DAVE - Say it isn't so ...

 

How else am I going to get news (and ditto Adam and Justin) about the A6xxx?

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DAVE - Say it isn't so ...

 

How else am I going to get news (and ditto Adam and Justin) about the A6xxx?

 

Justin is sticking with A6xxx for the foreseeable future. Dave is planning on keeping both... but... I still own both, but once I got the A7riii, I haven't touched the A6300. It's strictly back up/second body for me. Maybe Dave will keep using his...

 

I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on A6xxx stuff. My blog has morphed primarily into "Sony stuff." And I suspect that the next A6xxx cameras may start borrowing a lot from the A7x improvements, so all still relevant.

 

Putting the A7x side by side with the A6300... you start to understand all the ergonomic and use weaknesses of the camera. I tolerated those weaknesses when I was shooting with the D750 -- it was the trade off to go smaller. But the A7riii gives me something smaller but also feels great to use. (thumbstick is a huge improvement in moving the AF point, the video record button has a terrible location on the A6xxx, and of course the battery life!)

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DAVE - Say it isn't so ...

 

How else am I going to get news (and ditto Adam and Justin) about the A6xxx?

 

Not to worry, Tom.

 

When I got the A6300, the A6000 went to back-up status and still gets used on a pretty regular basis. On a cruise, it always has an alternative lens mounted and rides in my waist-pack. On our last cruise, it was responsible for about 30% of the photos. I don't like to change lenses all that much when out and about, so my second body gets used more than you would expect.

 

Besides, if the APS-C fairy blesses us with an A6+00 or A7000, I'll need to make sure my second body isn't too out of date! ;)

 

Dave

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Then again, I'd probably join the group of complainers if some things were taken away from me...such as physical controls and menus being replaced by touch-screens. I'd not only complain, but probably that would end my relationship with that brand! I don't mind touch-screens as an OPTIONAL control interface, but never as the ONLY. So I guess everyone has a line in the sand somewhere. ;)

 

So I take it no Tesla Model 3 in your future?

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So I take it no Tesla Model 3 in your future?

 

We have Teslas EVERYWHERE here where I live - combination of lots of rich people and a local Tesla dealership at the high-end town mall. I have driven the Model S a few times - it's a neat car...but yeah, that big laptop screen subbing for a center console would drive me nuts after the 'neat-O' factor wore off. There are lots of silly little touches in those cars that have no point whatsoever, but are fun - all computer-based (warp speed mode on the display screen, making your car show up as a spaceship, etc). Looks like the Model 3 just reoriented the screen horizontally - wouldn't help me much. I've had touch screen systems in my last two cars, but fortunately they still over real buttons and control joysticks for those who don't want to touch.

 

I still love to reach out for a button placed right where I know it is by memory and having that haptic feedback...be it a car, camera, watch, etc. Even on my laptop which is a touch screen, I continue to use the keyboard, mouse, or touchpad rather than touch the screen, 90% of the time!

 

I've had to adapt to the iPhone/smartphone since they offer no physical control alternatives - but I have never come to love or embrace it. I'd probably go back to a flip phone if I could...they're impossible to find anymore with current phone plans!

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