March 4 2009 - Photo Jottings

March 4 2009


Well, I’ve been meaning to update the site for the last several days with the next lens reviews etc, but I thought I’d wait for any new and exciting information about Sony camera products from this years PMA.  Unfortunately, my wait was mostly in vain.  There is a new 20x 28-560mm super zoom Cyber-Shot camera, listed below.  It’s loaded with gimmicks like the “G” lens.  I remember Canon tried this a few years ago with the Pro 1 carrying an “L” lens, which as it turned out, wasn’t the best lens in the class, I think it was the Olympus 8080.  Hopefully, Sony engineered this lens with care, and it isn’t from a lens supplier that sells the same one to other companies.  Other tricks include a panorama sweep mode, where you wave the camera around (like a kid with a toy airplane) while it takes pictures, then stitches them together.  It also boasts 10fps, and a high-def movie mode with 1440×1080/30fps, in stereo. If you don’t have a super zoom camera, and are looking to buy one, I’d check this one out.  If you already have one, or a DSLR, I wouldn’t bother with this, especially for $500.

Remember the new lenses Sony showed us a year ago at the PMA show; well, they’re still showing them, and you’re still going to be waiting awhile to get your hands on one–if ever, read next paragraph.  A year ago (at PMA 2008) they produced mock-ups of several different lenses that were coming out in the future.  Now they’ve progressed to almost real looking models, but the language
the Sony reps are using doesn’t instill confidence that those lenses will actually materialize in the near future. They’re claiming a super telephoto lens, but no specifics yet; a couple of “DT” lenses, 18-55mm (kit type) it appears, and another 55-200mm? How many do they need?  Two “DT” primes, a 30mm F/3.8 macro and 50mm F/1.8.  Also, they’re listing a 28-75mm F/2.8, which is hauntingly similar to the Tamron and Konica Minolta models.  All the new lenses sport an AF/MF button on the barrel.  There must be a reason for that, maybe a focus implementation change.

Apparently, Sony wants to make clear these lenses are meant to express the possibilities of the Alpha system, and may not be an indicator of actual upcoming products.  This is corporate “safe talk” and leads me to believe Sony is operating on the “wait and see” method of launching new products for the Alpha system.  The “wait and see” is; “wait” ’till the economy stabilizes, and/or turns positive, then release the products, or “see” the economy swirl around the bottom of the commode, and down the sewer pipe, then forget about launching the products altogether.  Let’s “wait and see,” shall we?  I actually hope some of those lenses never see the light of day, as they are already represented in the current lens lineup, or are not significantly different enough to generate interest and make people want to cough up the money to buy them, at least in my opinion.  Bottom line; there’re plenty of very useful AF Minolta lenses out in eBay land, and I’d buy one of those before waiting on a Sony “possibility.”

Sony still seems a little timid and awkward in the DSLR world.  Their Carl Zeiss, and “G” lenses are great, but they still have a rather amateurish DSLR website, full of technical errors and overly simplistic descriptions of products.  If Sony wants to attract serious users, it should have a serious and professional DSLR website.  The current website is clearly aimed at the average snap-shot consumer.

On a final note; get yourself psyched up for the AF Minolta 100-200mm F/4.5 review, coming up next!

  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1
  • 9.1mp, 1/2.4 exmor CMOS sensor
  • 28-560mm F/2.8-5.2 “G”
    lens, WOW!!  Old Zeiss lenses are now junk!
  • Shoots 10fps at full resolution.
  • 3″ display, with 230,000 pixels
  • Image stabilization of course.
  • Six bladed mechanical aperture “produces beautifully defocused backgrounds” claims Sony.
  • Anti-blur mode takes six pics and blends them for a (hopefully) good shot, and is also supposed to help with noise reduction.
  • New panorama feature allows you to “sweep” the scene, and the in-camera processing will stitch them together.
  • Video recording at 1440×1080, (in stereo) 30fps, plus lesser quality.
  • Ships in April for around $500

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