November Vegetation in New England

Here are some photos I took in the last week or two.  Already all the more colorful leaves are now completely gone.  The hard frost last week took care of that.  The days are short and I’m looking forward to the Holidays to distract me until January.  Then I can remind myself the days are getting longer, as I shovel that February snow.

November Wild Cherry and Bokeh
November Leaves
November Forest Spot
November Leaves
November Leaves
November Leaves
November Weeds
November Weeds
November Leaves
Mushroom in November

SonyAlphaRumors (Almost) Got it Right

So, even though it wasn’t the A7 III or the A7S III it was an A7 series camera that came out yesterday.  And even though I really don’t need 42 megapixels for my file size I must say I am sorely tempted to buy this sucker.  It’s coming out at the end of November so I’ll pay attention to the reviews (and maybe rent it first to make sure I’m a good fit for it).  Basically, they’ve taken the A7R II and added a lot of the good stuff from the A9 to it.  It doesn’t have the enormous AF coverage that the A9 has but the AF capability is said to be close to the A9 performance.  It’s got a 10 fps mechanical shutter, dual card slots, enhanced high ISO capability, enhanced auto-focus modes, larger buffer, improved video options, a joystick, touchscreen AF placement and a lot of other fantabulous stuff.  It sounds pretty compelling.  Well, I was hoping for the 24 megapixel sensor of the A9 in a slightly less capable package for a lot smaller price tag but this A7R III checks every other box.  Could this be photog’s next camera?  I wouldn’t bet against it.  Stay tuned friends.  I’ll share my thoughts as the reviews come in but it sounds really interesting.

Sony A7S III rumor

Sony Alpha Rumors has an SR4 rumor for the A7SIII arriving next week.

 

(SR4) Sony A7sIII (or A9s) to be announced on October 18. It is a Full Frame GH5 killer?

 

Now that’s a camera I’m definitely interested in. They say it will have the auto focus of the A9. If that’s the case and it isn’t $5grand I have a feeling I’ll be getting it before Christmas (but let’s call it a Christmas gift). Now, SAR has been wrong before (oh brother have they) but I think they have it right this time. For you Sony fans Christmas may be coming early after all.

My week with the Sony A9

Only a seriously unserious photographer would spend 350 bucks to rent a camera like the A9 for a week and then use it as frivolously and haphazardly as I just did with it. My only defense is that I only wanted to establish one thing. I wanted to know whether the autofocus was great, good or as miserable as on my A7S. It’s not a good defense. Enough reports are out there to show that it’s much, much better than the A7S. In fact there is plenty of testimony for it being better than any of the A7 cameras and for it being at least comparable to high end Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
Well, call me Doubting Thomas. I needed to see it with my own eyes and experience it with my own hands.
Okay, big surprise, it’s really very, very good. Put the camera on center point focus and point it at anything inside or outside and it focuses instantaneously and flawlessly. Beyond that I did some tests with tracking and eye-focus of moving targets and it was pretty good. It wasn’t perfect or flawless but that could be attributed to my lack of understanding of which setting should be used when and my lack of technique for shooting sports or occasion subjects.
At this point you can see that there will be no big surprises or important information coming out of this post (unless you are a doubter like me and for some reason trust me more than the reputable reporters who’ve already sung the A9’s praises). What this is is a personal opinion about why the A9 is an important camera for Sony shooters.
As anyone who has been following my photography posts knows I have been a somewhat patient long-suffering Sony camera user. As an owner of the last full frame DSLR from Sony (the praiseworthy A-850) I have been waiting and suffering through the long chain of mirrorless cameras that Sony produced. From the NEX-5N up to and including the A7R II I have been disappointed by the incompetent autofocus and mediocre shooting experience of these cameras compared to a basic DSLR like the A-850.
Those days are over.
The A9 is a better camera than the A-850 in every way.
And here’s my take on why this is important. I don’t have to abandon Sony. I can keep my lense and buy into their overpriced stuff and at least I won’t have to sell it all in a fire sale and go over to Canon or Nikon. The features that the A9 has are remarkable. No black out shooting, excellent indoor and outdoor autofocus, low light capability, silent shutter, very short exposure time, you name it, it’s got it.
The only downside, $4,500 price tag. I am not that nuts. You see I’m a hobbyist. I don’t shoot weddings and I don’t work for CBS sports. I do not actually need 20 frames per second. Nor do I want to pay for it.
What I do want is that fantastic autofocus and the no blackout shooting experience. Well actually, I’d also like to get that bigger battery too. Unfortunately, it’s starting to get closer to most of the camera. Damn. Well anyway, I want an A7 III with all the goodies of the A9 but without the mortgage. Three grand? Sure. Thirty five hundred? Ahhhh, I dono. So come on Sony make it a Merry Christmas. After all I have been patient.

Close-Up Photography with the Sony A9 + FE 55mm F/1.8

So this is a bit of a joke.  The FE 55mm is in no way a macro lens.  Its closest focus is about a foot away and so with a 55mm focal length it’s basically a normal size image.  The twist is that because the A9 allows autofocus in a magnified view you can get incredibly exact focus on small things like insects from that 12 inches away and then you can crop the image to look like a macro shot.  What follows is a series of images followed by a crop of the focal point.  I found it pretty easy to get even hyperactive bugs like the bees and wasps to end up in focus.  This was my first day with the camera. These photos are just jpgs. I don’t have the latest Lightroom rev that works with A9 files so these are rough pictures and won’t be reworked to their fullest potential.  Tomorrow I’ll see if I can do anything more sensible with it.

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August in the Yard – Closeup Photography – Monarch Caterpillars & Translucent Sprouts

So Camera Girl found two interesting subjects in the yard.  These are all shot with the Sony A7S and the Minolta 200mm F\4 Macro.  This is using the manual focus ring because this is a screw drive AF lens and the adapter only autofocuses motor driven lenses.  But for caterpillars and plants that not such a problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plug for a Useful Video on the Sony A9

Tony Northrup is a well-known photographer/photo pundit.  He has used all the major camera manufacturers’ gear and has been a pretty honest critic of Sony’s mirrorless cameras over the years.  He is neither a shameless fanboy nor a Sony Hater.  He’s a good source of information.  In this video, he addresses several common allegations against the Sony A9.

I think he’s extremely convincing.  I have an A9 rental scheduled at the end of August for a family gathering but I already feel that he has put to rest the infamous “banding” uproar.  Good for him.  Anyway, if you’ve been following Sony for the last few years and were excited about the specs of the A9 (and the soon to be announced A7 III, A7R III and A7S III) you’ll be interested in getting Tony’s remarks on how these “terrible problems” turned out once he owned his own A9.

Check it out.