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Preview: Sony related news: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

sony related articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)



sony related articles from Digital Photography Review



Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:24:00 Z

Copyright: Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Digital Photograph Review
 



Sony's updated 3D Creator app can use your smartphone's front camera to scan your face

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:24:00 Z

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Sony's 3D Creator app with its 3D-face-scanning function was first introduced with the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact last year. Now the Japanese manufacturer is rolling out the update to version 2 of the app.

The most important upgrade of the new version is the ability to create 3D models of your face with your smartphone's front camera. This means, unlike with the previous version, you don't need the help of another person to create a 3D-model of your face and head. Of course, the option to use the main camera and get someone else to do the job is still available.

The updated app also lets you share the results straight to Facebook or order a 3D-printed copy of your model. And version 2.0 also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.

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3D Creator 2.0 is compatible with the Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and XZ Premium. If you're lucky enough to own one of these devices, you can download the newest version of the app from the Play Store now. If you are an iPhone X user, check out the Bellus 3D app for similar face scanning capabilities.




Sony fixes a7 lll 'blinking pixels' video issue with firmware 1.01 update

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 22:24:00 Z

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Sony has released the first firmware update for the Sony a7 III—version 1.01—and it was specifically released to solve a "blinking pixel" issue that showed up when recording video footage while using certain settings.

The flickering pixels would appear along the base of footage "during XAVC S 4K (PAL 25p) recording (depending on the combination of camera settings)." Additionally, the update resolves a problem that could occasionally make the rear touch screen stop working, and Sony says the camera’s system should run more smoothly with the new firmware as well.

For more information and to download V1.01 for yourself, visit this support page on the Sony website.

Release Notes

ILCE-7M3 System Software (Firmware) Update Ver.1.01 (Windows)

Resolves a "blinking pixels" phenomenon at the bottom edge of the image during XAVC S 4K (PAL 25p) recording (depending on the combination of camera settings)

Applicable Models

This information is for the following models: ILCE-7M3

About this download

Benefits and improvements

  • Resolves a "blinking pixels" phenomenon at the bottom edge of the image during XAVC S 4K (PAL 25p) recording (depending on the combination of camera settings)

  • Resolves an issue where the touch panel could occasionally become unresponsive

  • Improves the overall stability of the camera

File Info

File Name: ILCE-7M3 System Software (Firmware) Update Ver.1.01 (Windows)

File Version: 1.01

File Size: 282 MB (296,352,960 bytes)

Release Date: 18/04/2018




Sony 'striping': here's the fix

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:00:00 Z

Take a look at the PDAF stripes across the female model's face in this image (cropped from an original vertical shot). The bad news is that it looks terrible. The good news? There's a fix. When we published our original Sony a7 III sample gallery, we and our readers had some concern over odd striping artifacts viewable in some images, such as the one above. It's known as 'PDAF striping' and it's not limited to a single camera, or even a single brand. It's likely due to light reflections off the metal masks of on-sensor phase-detect pixels. Masked pixels, as opposed to a split dual-pixel design that obviates the need for metal masks, is to the best of our knowledge a design choice: the approach enables high performance AF even during 10 to 20 fps bursts.1 The unfortunate side effect is the potential - albeit rare - for single pixel stripes in transitions from blown areas to darker ones. Depending on your set of lenses and the kind of photography you practice, you might never see this issue, but if you do it can be unpleasant and distracting. Particularly if you print large, or pixel peep. The striping does seem to be limited to certain lenses: the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 is particularly prone to this issue In our shooting with the a7 III, prominent examples of bright stripes tended to show up up in images that contained a significant amount of flare or backlit subjects. It seemed to mostly be an issue with shots taken with the FE 85 F1.8, when subjects were captured with the intent of deliberately inducing flare (we saw it in a couple 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM shots, but it wasn't offensive). We investigated the issue further with the help of our very own knowledgable forum members, and are pleased to announce that as of today there is at least two fixes available. See the results for yourself: JPEG processed from original Raw JPEG from corrected (fixed) Raw This particular fix is courtesy of Professor Hank Dietz, who is none other than the fellow who developed a fix for Sony compressed Raw artifacts. His tool is available here. For now, it only works on compressed Raw files, but it works with Raw files from any Sony camera exhibiting the issue. That's important, because this issue is not isolated to the a7 III by any means (though its predecessor the a7 II doesn't appear to have any issues). It occurs with the a7R II/III, a9, R100 V - i.e., most cameras with masked pixels for on-sensor phase-detect AF (and not just limited to Sony). Higher resolution bodies are less problematic because a single pixel stripe is a smaller proportion of the image. The a7 III and a9 also have more phase-detection pixels than any other camera Sony has introduced, which makes the issue slightly more pronounced on these cameras. Striping does appear to be isolated to certain lenses though: the Sony FE 85/1.8 is particularly prone to creating this issue, and we were easily able to induce striping even in modest backlit shots like the one above (zoom into 1:1 on the flare above the toddler's hat). However, we've had less luck recreating the striping with many other lenses like the 55/1.8, FE zooms, or the various 35mm primes we've tested. There doesn't appear to be much aperture dependence, based on Jim Kasson's analysis of our test shots. You need not worry... just run problematic Raws through Prof. Hank Dietz's repair tool, and you'll get a Raw file largely devoid of any issues What does all this ultimately mean? Well, if you shoot a lot of backlit subjects and love flare, don't worry: you don't have to steer clear of the a7 III or Sony mirrorless cameras. Instead, you may wish to steer clear of certain lenses like the 85mm F1.8 or 50mm F1.8. But even then, you need not worry too much: just run your problematic (compressed) Raws through Prof. Hank Dietz's repair tool, and you'll get a clean Raw file in return. Click here for the fix on The Aggregator To take advantage of Professor Dietz' work, you simply drag-and-drop a compressed Sony Raw file into the web application, wait [...]



Adobe has quietly added support for Sony's .ARQ Pixel Shift files to Lightroom

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:00:00 Z

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Files recorded using the Pixel Shift mode in the Sony a7R lll can now be opened in Lightroom Classic CC after the latest update released on April 8th, although you wouldn't know it by looking at the update's release notes. Marc Alhadeff of Sony Alpha Blog spotted the update, which adds support for the ARQ files that are produced once the original a7R III files have passed through Sony’s own Imaging Edge software.

Note: Imaging Edge is still needed to combine the four ARW raw files into a single image, which it outputs as a raw ARQ file.

While we'd still recommend giving the third-party SonyPixelShift2DNG software a go if you're working with these files extensively, this additional support is definitely a step in the right direction for Adobe. Previously, ARQ files would need to be converted to DNGs in order to be edited in any of the Adobe products. But now, with Lightroom Classic CC 7.3, the ARQ file can be read without conversion.

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The Xperia XZ2 Premium is Sony's first dual camera smartphone, can shoot ISO 51200!

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:55:00 Z

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Most high-end smartphones these days come equipped with dual-cameras and in many cases the cameras are built around Sony image sensors. An yet, Sony's own Xperia range had no dual-camera models to speak of... until now. At the Mobile World Congress, the Japanese manufacturer displayed a demo model of a high-sensitivity dual-camera setup, and this technology will soon be available in a production model announced today: the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

Sony's new top-range device combines two 1/2.3" sensors in its camera—a 3-layer stacked 19MP RGB unit, and a 12MP monochrome imager. Image data from both chips is merged by the AUBE Fusion image signal processor in order to optimize dynamic range, noise and detail. Sony claims outstanding low-light performance with a maximum ISO value of 51200.

Like Huawei's high-end phones, the Sony offers a native black-and-white mode, and a background-blurring bokeh-effect is available as well. The 7-element G lenses come with F1.8 and F1.6 apertures respectively. On the video side of things, the Xperia XZ2 is capable of recording HDR footage at 4K resolution, and offers the same Motion Eye 1080p/960fps slow-motion mode as the standard Xperia XZ2.

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All non-camera specifications are worthy of a flagship smartphone, as well. The Android Oreo OS will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC and 6GB of RAM. And the 5.8-inch TRILUMINOS display offers a 2160 x 3840 pixel resolution and is covered by 2.5D Gorilla Glass.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium will be available starting this summer in Chrome Black or Chrome Silver. Pricing is yet to be announced. More details on the Xperia XZ2 and its dual camera are available on the Sony website.




Opinion: the Sony a7 III could be the new Nikon D750

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:00:00 Z

For the past few years, I've been recommending the Nikon D750 to enthusiasts and semi-professionals needing a reliable DSLR to grow in to – probably more than any other ILC on the market. It was even my Gear of the Year in 2015 for its excellent feature set to price ratio. Though it debuted in late 2014, the D750 remains a relevant and reliable workhorse years later. 24MP of resolution on a full frame sensor is a sweet spot for a lot of shooters, and the D750 still offers competitive dynamic range and excellent high ISO performance. It also has terrific autofocus, with Nikon's reliable 3D Tracking. The D750 has proven to be among the most future-proof full frame DSLRs in recent memory And as far as full frame DSLRs go, it's among the lightest ever made. But it's also a camera we know will likely stand the test of time thanks to aggressive weather-sealing and sturdy construction. In short, the D750 has proven to be among the most future-proof full frame DSLRs in recent memory. Even today it's still priced aggressively enough – with technology that is relevant – to warrant my recommendation, not to mention the recommendation of the DPReview staff in our Best Camera Under $2000 roundup. Time for a new recommendation? I swapped out my Nikon D750 to shoot a show with the Sony a7 III: the combination of excellent AF coverage and good low light IQ left me questioning whether it's time to recommend this Sony over the Nikon I've come to love.ISO 12800 | 1/400 sec | F4 | Shot on Sony FE 35mm F1.4 ZA | Edited to taste in ACR But like all of us, the D750 is starting to show its age. Though it offers an articulating LCD (a Nikon full frame first), the live view experience is just plain unrefined when compared to a modern mirrorless camera. This is because the D750 relies on Contrast Detect AF in live view, which is painfully slow and often misses. Though the 51-point AF system performs admirably, even in low light, it only covers the central potion of the frame, limiting compositional freedom when using 3D Tracking. And though the D750 offers decent-looking 1080/60p video, the lack of continuous AF in video limits its use. Plus the lack of 4K makes the camera's video spec feel dated. The a7 III just might be my go-to recommendation moving forward If only a camera matched or surpassed what the D750 is capable of, all for a similar cost! Enter the Sony a7 III. Its debut price is a couple hundred dollars less than that of the Nikon and as of this writing it can be had for just a few hundred dollars more than the now heavily discounted D750 (new). As a result, the a7 III just might be my go-to recommendation moving forward. On paper, it has all the ingredients to make it a relevant camera for years to come. This includes a 24MP Full Frame sensor, high-quality stabilized 4K video (with AF-C), AF points covering 93% of the frame with reliable subject tracking and Eye AF, solid battery life, a small form factor and good build quality. Plus, every lens you put on it – even adapted ones – automatically becomes stabilized thanks to its 5-axis IBIS system (rated at 5 stops). Sony a7 III, on paper vs in use AF performance from the a7 III is excellent, even in challenging light.ISO 12800 | 1/400 sec | F2.8 | Shot on Sony FE 35mm F1.4 ZA | Edited to taste in ACR Of course specs are one thing and in the field operation is another – something a few readers occasionally forget. That said, I’ve been really impressed by how refined this recent generation of Sony full frame cameras are – the Sony a9 was even my 2017 Gear of the Year. And thankfully one evening spent shooting live music with the a7 III proved that it largely operates like its $4500 high-speed sibling. The a7 III's lock-on AF is reassuringly effective at tracking a subject and nailing focus in low light, just like the D750's 3D Tracking. The main difference? The AF point coverage is significantly greater on the So[...]



Tech Insights teardown confirms Galaxy S9 uses Samsung and Sony image sensors

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 19:32:00 Z

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The analysts at Tech Insights have torn down the Samsung Galaxy S9 in order to analyze the device's camera sensors and, as usual, the summary of their findings makes interesting reading for anyone who has an interest in image sensor technology. The main takeaway from Tech Insight's report is that Samsung is once again using different image sensors by region.

Depending on where you buy the Galaxy S9, your device will either come with a Samsung S5K2L3 or Sony IMX345 chip.

Both imagers use a 3-layer stacked structure, comprising a CMOS image sensor, image signal processor (ISP) and DRAM. The Sony IMX345 is very similar in structure to the IMX400, the world’s first 3-layer stacked imager that was introduced on the Sony Xperia XZ flagship a year ago.

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The Samsung S5K2L3 ISOCELL Fast sensor is the Korean manufacturer's first 3-layer stacked model. In contrast to Sony’s custom solution with the DRAM in the middle, Samsung has opted for connecting the DRAM chip face-to-back on the ISP. The assembly also includes a dummy silicon structure filling the unoccupied space next to the DRAM chip.

This definitely won't translate into noticeable performance or image quality differences between Galaxy S9 smartphones, but it does seem to show that Samsung is far from its goal of dethroning Sony to become #1 in the global image sensor market—it's hard to dethrone the competition when you're still using their sensors.

For a lot more detail on the sensor structure and assembly head over to Tech Insights, where you can also purchase even more in-depth reports if you really want to dive deep.




Sony unveils FS5 II Super 35mm camera with 4K HDR and 120fps RAW

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 01:06:00 Z

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="326" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hFmsxLKjx4o?rel=0&autohide=1&wmode=transparent" width="580"> Sony has announced the latest member of its professional Super 35mm lineup, the FS5 II. Similar in looks and functionality to its predecessor, the upgrades to the FS5 II are mostly features that were available to its predecessor through paid updates—only now they're 'free'. Inside, the Super 35 Exmor CMOS sensor remains untouched. Likewise, the E-mount body of the camera remains identical aside from the updated nameplate and a different color neutral density dial. Where the camera gets the biggest changes is in its color science, Raw shooting modes, and high frame rate functionality. The stand-out feature of the FS5 II is the updated color science that's gone into it. Sony says it's taken everything it's learned from developing the 6K Venice camera and brought it into the much more compact (and affordable) FS5 II. The changes are said to yield 'rich mid-range colours, alluring facial tones, and a softer tonal look'. Also added are nine color profiles, including a few designed specifically for S-Log2 and S-Log3. Here's a closer look at the new camcorder: Press Release: Sony Expands Full-frame Mirrorless Lineup with Introduction of New α7 III Camera Versatile New Model Combines all the Latest Imaging Technologies into a Compact Package Newly Developed Full-frame 24.2MP[i] Back-Illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing Wide ISO range of 100 - 51200 (expandable to ISO 50 – 204800 for still images) and 15-Stop[ii] Dynamic Range at low sensitivities World Class AF system featuring 693 phase-detection AF points covering 93% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and fast and reliable Eye AF Continuous Shooting at up to 10 fps[iii] with either Mechanical Shutter or Silent Shooting[iv] and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step[v] shutter speed advantage High Resolution 4K[vi] Movie Shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning across full-width of full-frame sensor The longest rated battery life of any Mirrorless camera[vii] at 710 shots[viii] per charge Upgraded operability and functionality including addition of joystick for adjusting focus points, Dual SD Card Slots, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ Terminal and more LAS VEGAS, Feb. 26, 2018 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced yet another impressive addition to their full-frame mirrorless camera lineup, the α7 III (model ILCE-7M3). Sony’s unmatched innovation within the image sensor space is at the forefront of the new α7 III, as it features a brand new 24.2MPi back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with increased sensitivity, outstanding resolution and an impressive 15 stopsii of dynamic range at low sensitivities. By combining this sensor with a variety of impressive features including extreme AF coverage of 93%, fast shooting at up to 10 fpsiii with either mechanical shutter or silent shootingiv, diverse 4Kvi video capabilities and more, Sony has created a new tool that gives all types of creators – from enthusiast to professional – the ability to capture content in new and different ways than they ever have before. “We are continually pushing to deliver more for our customers – more versatility, more functionality and most importantly, more innovation,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging for Sony Electronics. “With the new α7 III, we’ve taken many of our newest and most advanced imaging technologies from the acclaimed α9 and α7R III models and paired them with an all-new 24.2 MP back-illuminated sensor to deliver the ultimate full-frame camera for enthusiasts, hobbyists and pro[...]