Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sony ALPHA A7r and A7 TIPS of the DAY Part 3

 A7r+35 f2.8 ZA FE , f4.5, 1/640, iso100

Sony ALPHA A7r and A7 TIPS of the DAY Part 3

These are a few of my TIPS of the DAY  I have been posting on a Sony ALPHA - TALK  Group created on Facebook.  It "is" open to everyone ,  Just "JOIN"  by entering your FB name to the box with " + ADD people to Group ".

Sony ALPHA TIP # 49: YES,  the A7r can shoot the Sony Open  :)
Here is two links where ALL the wide shots was from the A7r + 35mm f2.8 ZA FE or 16-35mm f2.8 ZA + LAEA4

On the PRO-Jr day I used the A7r+LAEA4+16-35mm f2.8 ZA

Sony ALPHA TIP # 48: "YOU TOO" can contribute a  BLOG post  about  SONY products on the  SONY USA web site. :)
And, maybe become a part of a new program  "Super User by SONY"  too. :)

* Don't forget to give the Sony ALPHA Camera TALK Group "here" a LINK to your Blog post on the SONY site when you do it.

Below is the LINK to mine.   It's about my past tip on what I call  "Exposure Compensation  Priority".
Where you configure the camera so you ONLY use the one(1)  Exposure Compensation Wheel at the TOP of the A7/r and RX1/r to control Exposure.

fyi: I  am also a small part of a new program by SONY where I will also be posting on the SONY USA site as Hawaii-Geek and you will see this tag on my posts    #SuperUserbySony
This Exposure Compensation Priority Sony Site BLOG  also links out to my blog post where I  have more details on the TIP.
A7r+35mm f2.8 ZA FE , 1/400, f5.6, iso100

Sony ALPHA TIP # 47: RX1r II  ,   my feelings of what the Future Upgrade should be.
"imho"  I have seen the upgrade of the RX1r ... and it is the A7r. :)
Having been using both the  RX1 and A7r  I realized the A7r is NOT going to kill the RX1r ... it's going to make it BETTER !
The RX1 for me, still is the best Travel camera and best to keep with me every day.  The A7r is harder to keep every day with me and does not have a flash.

SONY has everything "on the shelf" for the RX1r version II  Upgrade.
They just have to ADD the Great Features of the A7r.  BOOM, DONE, WOW !

* 36mp NON-AA
* Optimize the Lens for this 36mp sensor , which should not be that hard.
* ADD ALL the features of the A7r (except the EVF)
* Talking  Tri-Nav I love it, if you don't - you can reconfigure.  All it does is give you more options
*  Keep all the buttons/wheels similar  ... gives it consistency ... they are on to something, and just need to Refine  ... also do that with the future ALPHA A-Mounts.
*  WIFI  with APPS  ... AND be able to use the SAME APPS  for ALL the new ALPHA cameras.  NO WAIT, for any model on APPS.  One APP the same in ALL ALPHA's.
* Use the same Out's and INs
* Flip screen
* At "least"  A7r  Speed.   more is better.
* ZEBRA ,  an Exclusive Sony Feature "for stills also"  that you will grow to Love.  use at 100+  imho
* with 36mp non-AA and a Great Lens at f2  ...  you can "easily" crop in to 70mm  and have more than enough Resolution. and the sharpness/res  will allow you to crop in farther.

This relates to the CROP idea of going to 70mm  ... When you experience this for yourself on a A7r or D800/e  you "GET IT". and it gives new meaning to 36mp  usefulness.  SAVES MONEY.   I have been shooting with a great 70-200mm f2.8 VRII  instead of a 300mm f2.8  on sports shoots.  Bank that one. :)  ....

* as my own personal Feature request ,  ADD RADIO to trigger (in camera) - Radio SONY Flashes.  So, you can fire big Sony Flashes like say a new 60mR (for Radio) "OFF camera".  and keep the RX1r II  light and small.   (and be able to use both the EVF and Flashes)

The TIP  is that it could "easily" happen ... and SHOULD .. imho :)

Just my feelings, do not read anything into it ...

Sony ALPHA TIP # 46: If you have a Feature Request.
* But, that's not all ... try to get some support from "OTHER"  Sony users here & DPR  ... and POST your LINK  to your Feature Request to get SUPPORT and "ME TOO" clicks.
IF Sony shooters WANT change , WANT Sony to move forward on "FEATURES" that matter to Photographers.  THEN, you need need to BOTH Speak Up, and Support Others  where it "just might"  MATTER !

And Tech support or Issues post here: SONY Community Support page:

So, here's the TIP of the DAY :  SONY SHOOTERS !   This is "your time" to help "Shape"  what the Future  SONY Cameras can be.  Make it a  "WOW" !
AND, when someone asks you what Camera you shoot with ... "you" DO NOT have to make Excuses !  Not any more.  Seriously.
Just say LOOK at DXO rankings.  Sensor , ALL SONY at the TOP.  and  Lens will be getting there , Sony/Zeiss Lens when they are reviewed.

SONY SHOOTERS ,  "This is a Different SONY".   Dream BIG !

Sony ALPHA TIP # 45: If you are in the US. you can set up a service request from this link.  ( )  You can get contact information here  ( )  if you are in another country or region.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 44: 2014 CES Keynote speaker Kazuo Harai SONY CEO (link to CES stream) to Sony Open Hawaii looking over the Sony Open Tent set up.
I shot this at the end of the day Sony Open PRO-AM, almost everyone was off the course.
A7r+35mm f2.8

Sony ALPHA TIP #43: New "Time Lapse APP" for A7r and A7  us$ 9.99

First, Update on your camera PlayMemories APP list by connecting to your WIFI access point (my fav way is using doing a "WPS Push" on the Access Point and then on the WIFI menu on the A7/r "WPS Push".
Next, go to Applications List > PlayMemories Camera Apps   ...  you will then see a updated LIST  when it goes to the WEB to update list.

1) Direct Upload: Facebook , Flicker
2) Photo Retouch: lets you CROP but not the Instagram Square, Soft Skin, Resize, Horizontal Adjustment, Brightness Control, Contrast Control, Saturation Control Even on a RAW it seems.
3) Picture Effect: Partial Color+ B&W and choose up to 2 colors, High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Mono, Miniature+, Watercolor, Illustration, Toy Camera+, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-Key+
4) Smart Remote Control
5) Direct Upload : Facebook , Flicker
6) Multiple Exposure $4.99
7) Lens Compensation $9.99
8) Time Lapse us$9.99
1/10/14 Eight(8) Time-Lapse Themes: Cloudy, Sky, Night Sky, Night Scene, Sunset, Sunrise, Miniature, Standard, Custom, You can choose to save the still images as a series of photos instead of a movie.
The Custom Setting allows you to shoot in modes other than Program.

Just make sure you set the shutter speed shorter than the interval. Switching off the long exposure Noise Reduction so that the image is written directly to the card.

Check out Mark Galer YouTube on the new Time Lapse APP:

Sony ALPHA TIP #42: Sony 60m Flash plastic Foot is a lot stronger than it looks.
I tripped in the rain today at the Sony Open today.  Protected my cameras , but the Hot Shoe on the Sony 60m Flash broke.
But, not where I "thought" it would when I  first looked at the Hot Shoe.
After having ALL the TOP flashes "now" with a Metal FOOT. and having two plastic foot Hot Shoes break (light stand blowing over in the wind)  when I looked at the Sony 60m Flash Plastic Hot shoe I thought it would break at the bottom of the Hot Shoe, because it looks a little thin.

Today it got knocked hard enough to break the Flash off the A7r  but at the BASE of the 60m Flash.
* the  bottom FOOT was still in the A7r Hot shoe.
In fact it broke off in a place "INSIDE" the  60m itself.
there is four small screws , which seem to make the Bottom Hot Shoe replaceable.  (fyi: I have replaced Metz Hot shoe feet myself before ... same four screws and bottom section replacement)

The interesting thing is ... the Foot was still in the A7r Hot Shoe.
And could NOT be taken OFF.
What I had to do is LIFT a Front  Pin Looking thing  ... and then it slide out easily.
If you are familiar with the 60m lock ... it "looks like it clamps down on the Hot Shoe Bracket (which it also does) ... but what I did not know it what stops it from sliding out is actually a PIN. and without releasing the PIN there is no way it's going to slide out.
Should have taken a pic ... but I threw it away.  was out on the golf course of the Sony Open at the time.

The way it is designed ,,  it probably puts less stress on that bottom FOOT part of the HOT SHOE.
And I am now curious if anyone actually saw (themselves) where the Sony 60m  Bottom FOOT  cracked (the wing part).

BOTTOM LINE:  I have a LOT "More" Respect  for the  Design of the new MIS SONY Flash HOT SHOE.
(though on "some" Radio Hot Shoe Adapters .. the MIS  Hot Shoe trigger PIN  does not line up)

Sony ALPHA TIP #41:  Watch his presentation on WHY  the FULL FRAME  A7r / A7  is Game Changing :)

So, this is my TIP of the Day (from the Sony Open Hawaii) ... well , more like "Mike Galer's" Tip for you today from Australia.

Sony ALPHA TIP #40: To Bracket RAW for HDR with Smartphone and PlayMemories APP
"AFTER" you connect your camera with your mobile phone, and run PlayMemories application- Key here is "AFTER", press menu button on the "camera". Then set image size. Set RAW (or RAW + JPEG). On your mobile device, you can choose if you want preview jpeg to be transfered and in which quality.

Have not run a Bracket yet ... but , when you run the PlayMemories APP  you DO NEED to change to RAW on your Camera AFTER you have the "Connection" set up

Sony ALPHA TIP #39: A MUST READ Review on DPR Connect !
"Smartphones versus DSLRs versus film: A look at how far we've come"

Why have I included it as a Sony Alpha TIP?
Because everything is "Relative".

Camera's , APS-C and Full Frame has to justify it's existence/Cost.
They will have to bridge to Smartphones MUCH better.
They need to be FASTER, Better AF, CAF , DOF control (fast lens) , WIFI.

And if you read the review, you will understand why I ONLY shoot 36mp minimum on my main camera.
So, you know that I expect of a A-Mount NEW PRO body.   36mp NON-AA and FAST AF.  -3 EV AF.
You want the BEST Image Quality in a FULL Frame ... look no farther than SONY's 36mp Sensor.
That's a TIP !

That being said,  Guess WHO  has  ALL the "INGREDIENTS"  ... Right Off the Shelf to build the very Best Camera "on a Smartphone".
and maybe make it FAST as well?
You guessed it , SONY !!!

What they would have to do is fit the RX100 II  1" sensor "and" a f2 Zeiss lens  into there WaterProof  SONY Z1.
and somehow make the  Battery last ,  which could happen with some NEW Battery tech coming.
IF,  Sony wants to be #1  in Smartphone Camera phone Imaging , and Sales World Wide ... it could.  NOW , or sooner than you might think.  :)
I am putting this down as a TIP. :)

So,  make sure you "REMEMBER"  that I said this NOW,  when there is barely a "peep" or buzz about Sony Smartphones taking over the world.  It's really not even part of the iPhone vs Samsung  Battle right now.   (p.s. I was a huge advocate of Galaxy S when it was not cool to do so lol  ... and T-Mobile did not have the iPhone, and had to push the Galaxy S), and yes I shot Olympus when that was not cool. :)

Sony ALPHA TIP #38: How I trigger/control off camera flashes with the A7r
Right now, I am doing it in a number of ways.

The one that gives me the fastest response right now is the RadioPopper JrX Radio Triggers. (and with some reliability issues a 1/250 flash sync on the A7r ... note on a 60m Sony flash + A7r you get 1/160 and any shutter in HSS , but the 60m overheats, has a delay, and has NO PC or 1/8 port, and does not zoom the flash to 200mm)
fyi: At night in a Event room I am pretty much at low power anyway.  My ISO probably around iso1600, to save on Flash batteries on a long event.
The RadioPopper JrX "party" trick is: it can also control Studio Strobes, Ring Flash and EVEN control POWER level via Radio (of AB strobes/Ring Flash, old type - NOT Einsteins) with the Phone wire connection.
The RadioPopper JrX system , with it's "made for" JrX Hot Shoe Adapter ... also lets you use a limited number of TTL Flashes with it AND be able to "CONTROL" the power level off the JrX Trigger via Knobs. (remember this is Manual power control, but via Radio ... NOTE: TTL flashes in Radio power control BUT Manual power levels).   The New Nikon flashes (sb900,sb700, sb910) DOES NOT work (it has to do with the new way it is controlling the shut off in TTL),  but the sb800 should (one of the reasons why the sb800 price was actually going up when the sb900 was having Overheat issues).  You really need to check the compatibility  list on the RadioPopper site or ask them.
This is purely trial and error on which flash works, and of course if someone tells you. :)
As far as Manual flashes I like this "Strobist" one LP180:

BUT, any Manual Flash will work , with any Manual Radio Trigger on the A7r.
At the  Surfer Magazine Awards Event  I used  A7r+LAEA4+50mm f1.4 ZA SSM  with a  RadioPopper JrX Trigger (basically a pain-old Manual Radio trigger) on the Hot Shoe , and two(2)  sb900 in manual mode Off camera.  Mainly at 1/64 power.

The PRIME lens I used really helped me keep my camera - to subject - to Flash - Distance consistent.
This one: Kelly Slater, Alana Blanchard,  Surf POLL Winners  .... f2.8, 1/125, iso1600 , two(2) sb900 at 1/64 off camera, Kicker camera left/back, main camera right - next to me.   Had only one shot at this as he was running thru the lobby to get out of there.
And had to take my shot before a crowd of iPhones scare Kelly away. :)
Those that know,  know what I am talking about  :)  ...

More of the Surfer Magazine , Surfer POLL Awards shot with a A7r and A7 + LAEA4+50mm f1.4 ZA SSM  and 55mm f1.8 ZA FE  :

Sony ALPHA TIP #37: Fireworks shots can be done with the Sony Smart Remote APP
Attached pic taken, when I was at a poolside New Years Eve Dinner.
All I did was set up the A7r + 35mm f2.8 ZA FE  on a Tripod and use the Smart Remote APP
Could enjoy the Fireworks from my table , and see what the camera saw, Live.
AND just take the shot from where I sat.
Attached shot: Settings 2 sec delay, f8, 6 sec, iso100
Manual Focused on a far palm tree. and a slight pull back from total infinity seemed right.  The crazy thing is once the Fireworks started I had to move my Tripod set up quickly because it was being blocked by watchers that stood.
Poolside Ihilani Resort at Ko Olina
What was nice was I could change settings easily from my Sony Z smartphone sitting right on the table.
This is the way to do it.  And it was a WOW at the table. :)

I have "Application List"  programmed on my "Custom Key Settings"  "Down Button"
A7r+35mm f2.8 ZA FE , 6 sec, f8, iso100

*** A SONY  TIP:  The Menus should do the Nikon Menu thing:  Have TABS with LETTERS, and each sub have NUMBERS.
So, on the A7r   the first menu Item is  A1: Image Size
Sony will need to KEEP Menu items that are on all ALPHA cameras on the same SPOT !  So, it is Consistent.
* THIS, will make it "easy" for  USERS and Tech Support  to   Direct others  -  to a MENU choice.

Would have liked the APP  to continuously Fire shots without me having to touch even my Sony Z APP trigger.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 36: When you have NO SD card in your A7/r,
Save the JPGs to your smartphone.
Just learned this today when I left my SD in my Usb3 reader on my computer.
And only had a CF back up with me. This is why I love two(2) card slots on a camera. :)
What I did was run the Smart Remote Control APP to my Sony Z smartphone.

* ran it in RAW + JPG,  but ONLY the JPG went to my Smartphone
* was able to SHOOT from the A7r , and could have the smartphone anywhere
* DMF works
* canNOT move the AF point,  BUT, you can move the AF point from your smartphone. You need to be careful No One touched the screen and moves your AF point.
* can adjust in Manual  , exposure from the camera.
* can use Fn button to go into the Menu and change stuff
* all buttons seem to work
* It will feel a bit Lag-gy , by guess is because it has to feed back to the Smartphone, screen view
* I have the newest updates installed on the A7r , and the Sony Z with v4.3 Android from Sony. and the WIFI connection was incredibly SOLID.
Should note: I also used the Smart Remote Control APP to take pictures of Fireworks.
* Slow for this use , because of the Live View Screen ... but really SOLID on the two days I have used it.  both for at least 15 min.
* Yes, you might want to be running a GRIP and two batteries when doing this. :)
* No and NFC of the image sitting in the camera internal memory DOES NOT NFC over to your smartphone. Direct Upload APP also will NOT work.
* I now have the "Down Button" = Application List.  on Custom Key Settings

SONY FEATURE Request:  Make ANOTHER  APP based on this one.
BUT,  DO NOT have  Live View on the Smartphone Screen ...
What I would love to do is just pick a gallery shot and push Fn button (send to smartphone) and have "JUST" that image go to the smartphone.
OR, have any image shot sent to smartphone , as a Choice.

* JUST  a  FULL screen view ...
* with small Filmstrip thumbnails (like Lightroom)  on the bottom , of the full Gallery.
* Ability to ZOOM in to 100%  on the images in your Smartphone full view ... the JPG size probably needs to be at least 2048px on the small edge.
* Save RAW to the Camera , send a Zoom-able  JPG  to the smartphone for a  Eye focus check.
* ALL Camera functions changeable. ON Camera.
* You Shutter from the Camera ONLY  ... the JPG on the smartphone is ONLY for Viewing. and Focus Check on the Smartphone.
* IF the Sony Z  Android v4.3  can now  "watch"  WIFI   and NOT be ON (WiFi scanning) , to save batteries ... this APP could use the same function.
and use WIFI only to send a JPG when you send it. BUT, HOLD a SOLID connection to the Smartphone.  As someone waits for you to send JPGs over.

This is great for  Commercial shoots when the Art Director wants to see the shot image ... like Tethering.  OR you can have an Asst.  Check Eye Focus.
* you "still" want control of which image is sent over , and do NOT want a  Live View of what you are doing. The Live View also seems to slow things down on the camera.

Sony ALPHA TIP #35: Two(2) new APPS on A7/r PlayMemories Application List.
To even see the new APP list I need to connect to my WIFI Access Point.
* Does anyone know if there is a email UPDATE Sony sends for this?
My guess is these APPS might be showing up pretty regular now.
The New ones
1) Photo Retouch: lets you CROP but not the Instagram Square, Soft Skin, Resize, Horizontal Adjustment, Brightness Control, Contrast Control, Saturation Control Even on a RAW it seems.
2) Picture Effect: Partial Color+ B&W and choose up to 2 colors, High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Mono, Miniature+, Watercolor, Illustration, Toy Camera+, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-Key+

Added to the already
3) Smart Remote Control
4) Direct Upload : Facebook , Flicker
5) Multiple Exposure $4.99
6) Lens Compensation $9.99

Sony ALPHA TIP #34: Trigger Trap is going to ship a Sony A7/r cord ... check out the Mobile APP video on the LINK.
Yes, I am on email List when it ships.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 33: This is the SONY site Link for Feature Requests.
We can discuss it here to refine it , and see if it might already be there or if there is a work around. BUT, ultimately it should be POSTED there. You should also post a LINK here- to- YOUR POST, so others can support your idea. AND those that agree with it should also post and "ME TOO" or KUDOS it. Even though there is SONY people in this group, it's best to also post it there on a SONY site created just for that.
You will see posts by me , under the name Hawaii-Geek :)
* most recent ... there is tabs to filter to just Cameras.
When you post , do not forget to TAG it to the right Division.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 32: Pressing the large center button in Shoot mode brings up the AF point (to Move , IF the Center button is "Standard" (works even with the LAEA4 Adapter), You can also move within the frame or even change the AF point size with FE lens (I use small AF point size)


TIP 89-109

TIP 88   A7r & A7 Back Button Auto Focus + ZOOM IN on any LENS

TIP 71-87

TIP 50-70

TIP 32-49

TIP 31   Exposure Compansation Dial "PRIORITY"

TIP 20-30

TIP 1-19

Hope this helps someone,

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light
SONY ALPHA Camera Ambassador

In addition ‪#‎SuperUserbySony‬
(and have been given SONY products for accepting this additional role)

Please follow me on Instagram:  @RDHphoto
Facebook Sony ALPHA - TALK  Group:
SONY Community ID:  Hawaii-Geek

A7r+35mm f2.8 ZA FE , 1/125, f14, iso100
sb900 flash on the Hot Shoe