Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sony ALPHA A7r and A7 TIPS of the DAY Part 5

Sony ALPHA A7r and A7 TIPS of the DAY Part 5

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 # 87:   The LAEA4 = 15 AF points (3 cross)
Looks like the same AF sensor as the A55

Mounted a slower AF lens  16-35mm f2.8 ZA  ... so maybe the Differences in AF Speed could be seen a little better.

Both using the same Center AF point. ALL at 35mm @ f2.8.
Went back  and forth in  indoor light  (just to make it harder)

a99 + 16-35mm f2.8 ZA   VS  A7r + LAEA4 + 16-35mm f2.8 ZA    \

The  a99 + 16-35mm f2.8 ZA  did seem to AF  slightly FASTER.   The differance is small, but THERE.
* I also noticed a Differance in Lower Light.

Because the LAEA4   seemingly ONLY uses  the PDAF  on the LAEA4  AF Sensor  as you lower the light levels there is a point at which the a99 can still LOCK and AF on a low contrast target (as well as the A7r + 35mm f2.8 ZA FE)  ,  BUT, the A7r + LAEA4 + 16-35mm f2.8 ZA  could not. (or was clearly struggling)

a99= 19 AF points (11 Cross) ,

LAEA4=15 AF points (3 cross)

A55=15 AF points (3 cross)

Sony ALPHA TIP # 86: Shoot Wide Open at night Events on the 35mm f2.8 ZA FE + A7r
This shot A7r + 35mm f2.8 ZA FE  which I shot most with  that night.  Governor and wife, took only one shot and I choose to do it at f2.8 wide open, iso2500 , 1/125.    :)
Used a Nikon sb900 on the Hot Shoe in Manual.   and a remote kicker far right.
More images from the Honolulu Magazine Launch party for Fashion Week (in Nov 2014).
Latter that night , there is some dark in the Bar shots - After party.
Honolulu Magazine is teaming up with the Japan Team that puts on Fashion Week Tokyo.

 A7r + 35mm f2.8 ,  @ f2.8, 1/125, iso 2500

Sony ALPHA TIP # 85:  A7r + Nikon sb900 flashes , Right on the A7/r Hot Shoe you can Flash SYNC at  1/200 ... 1/250 has a very small sliver at the TOP , but very usable (note the supported Flash SYNC on the A7r is 1/160)  ... Have posted before (but worth mentioning)  that with RadioPoppers JrX Radio triggers. It also works at 1/200 & 1/250 (similarly). just "sometimes" there will be a curtain at the top ... but if you know where it's going to be, You can Plan for it.  ... I also "feel" the response is  faster than the Sony Wireless flash control. So, I have been using my Nikon Flashes and RadioPopper triggers for anything flash.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 84: NEW Organization on the SONY USA Support site:
There is also a SEARCH that you can get SPECIFIC INFORMATION (and Manual) of your Camera Model.

And some TIPS & Techniques and more here:


Sony ALPHA TIP # 83: FASTER to come OUT of SLEEP  or OFF  , "AFTER" the First time with a new battery.

There is a noticeable Difference.
This little piece of information "might" stop me from Turning OFF the A7r every time I am not shooting.  I used to think it was faster from OFF vs SLEEP.
After doing a few test , with the grip  ... AFTER  the first time after a battery change (or battery out)  Waking UP from Sleep does not seem as bad as I thought it was.
I even tried some DEEP Sleep times.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 82: 35mm f2.8 ZA FE  Sony-Zeiss-Sonnar-T  DXO
I should mention as of 2/3/14 on the DXO lens Rank the 35mm f2.8 ZA FE is the 2nd sharpest 35mm (on a A7r).
But, the RX1r is ranked (total score) higher.  and IF a new RX1r vII has a 36mp non-AA sensor , it might be the best 35mm moving past the much larger Sigma. But, only time will tell if that prediction happens.
If I was SONY , I would make sure that happen (RX1r vII w/36mp non-AA) :)

Sony ALPHA TIP # 81: How I configure my AF point on A7r / A7
"FE" Lens + Flexible Spot S =  Center Button push to Move the AF Point and more ...

First I should tell you a bit about my configuration on the A7r  with "FE" lens.

1)  On the "Function Menu Set"  I do have "Focus Area"   ... this lets me change quickly for "Flexible Spot S" which is my normal Default

2)  On the "Custom Key Settings"  = "Center Button"  = Standard

* So now ... on "FE" lens

* CENTER BUTTON PUSH ...   brings up  "AF point"  Highlight  ...  (in Flexible Spot S)  ... so now you can move it anywhere.

* You can being BACK to CENTER  with a push of the "Trash Can" button.

* You can Change the SIZE of the  AF point  ..  with a WHEEL TURN  ...   really useful  ... though I always keep it at small.
This helps me LOCK on a point of High Contrast in low light.
and know "quickly" if I choose a spot that does not have enough contrast.

imho, it is just as important to KNOW  "Quickly" when you DON'T  have enough contrast ... SO, you can MOVE ON quickly to another spot.
The faster you know that SPOT will "not" LOCK  that Faster you can Move ON and try to lock on something else.

 What I do notice is  ...  PDAF and SSM lens seem to be fastest at this (now) ... lets you know "Quickly" if you are not going to get a AF Lock. (the combo of A7r+LAEA4+SSM A-mount lens - new 50mm f1.4 ZA SSM) ... CDAF more accurate though and seems to Lock in lower contrast.

What Sony needs to do is have  a  "DYNAMIC"  PDAF  AF  Flexible Spot  AF point.   (as in Nikon Dynamic AF point)
The Chosen PDAF point would be the Main  and  SURROUNDING CDAF points would be HELPER AF POINTS to insure Accuracy and Low Contrast AF locks.   also helpful on CAF.   (you also need to be able to choose a  SMALL OR Large  dynamic area surrounding your center PDAF point , and depending on size could also include other PDAF points)

Sony ALPHA TIP # 80: When you are shooting Studio with Studio Strobes at settings of f11 (or more), iso100 , and some shutter to your flash/strobe SYNC. Your Live View goes black. :)   Turn  "Live View Settings Effects" = "Settings Effect OFF".
This is also why SONY "Needs" to have this (and ALL) Menu Choices Programmable to a "Button" (Custom Key Settings) or Fn Menu (Function Menu Set).
A YouTube by Curtis Hustance :

What I like to do is use the Sony Remote Camera Control
Seclect OS  Remote Software should be on the List.

1) Run it as your Tethering Software.
* And then POINT  the Software to your  "Watched"  Lightroom folder.
Minimize it so it runs in the background.

2) Open Lightroom v 5.3   and have it run full  screen to you can see the shots you take in Lightroom , And go to the IMPORT  Folder that you assigned the Watdch-ed folder to "IMPORT to".

3) Now, it will "seem"  as if you are shooting Tethered from within Lightroom.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 79: 4TB SSHD a BIG Hard Drive with SSD like performance
With a 3 year waranty.
IF, you are a A7r (D800/e)  RAW shooter , this TIP will come in handy at some point.

Just bought this , so I do not have a report of it yet. But, I do already use two(2) Seagate 3TB XT Barracuda Hard Drives with a 5 year warranty and they have been trouble free and fast.
IF, this drive is a good one I will be buying another.  The second is for a Mirror of the drive.
fyi: I also use two SSD drives , one for the OS the other for a working desktop, for current work. i7, 24gb of Tri-Channel ram.

Product SKU: STCL4000400
Product Name: Seagate® Desktop SSHD Retail Kit 4TB
Qty Ordered: 1
Amount: $234.99

Product SKU: SRSP3YR
Product Name: 3 yr. - Seagate Rescue Service
Qty Ordered: 1
Subtotal: $234.99

Shipping: $20.89
Tax: $12.05
Total: $267.93
Discount: $39.99

Sony ALPHA TIP # 78: SONY's Lens Mounts.
Simple really. Two(2) Mounts, Two(2) Sensor Sizes for each Mount  = total of Four(4) types of lens to support
There is  BOTH a  "APS-C" and "Full Frame" Lens ,   for BOTH  E-Mount and A-Mount.

On E-Mount all lens was "APS-C". ANY New Full Frame Lens will have  "FE" on the Lens.

On A-Mount ,  think all lens are "Full Frame" (for simplicity).  But, if any lens have "DT" on them they are "APS-C".

My guess is the ALPHA group of cameras (name change only) ,  should  "Eventually"  Share "MOST THINGS" (If not ALL). imho it should be ALL.

Example, "in a perfect Sony world" ALL the new APPS for ALL the new ALPHA cameras would be the same.
SO, any new APP that works for one new ALPHA camera would work for ALL new ALPHA camera with WIFI.
And  ALL ALPHA Accessories "should" work with any new ALPHA camera.
* THAT to "me"  is  what would make the name change to "ALPHA"  make sense.    That's just me. :)

Imaging Resource  LINK trying to explain it and the  Sony Adapters:

Sony ALPHA TIP # 77: DXO , 55mm f1.8 ZA FE  BEST  Auto Focusing Lens EVER .. mounted on a A7r !!!

Have to brag that I told you so, had a feeling it would TOP the DXO list (not counting the OTUS)  LOL

This 55mm f1.8 ZA FE lens on a A7r  is AWESOME , simply put.

Now , don't get me wrong.  imho,  I still feel the "first" lens any A7r or A7 owner should buy is the 24-70 f4 ZA OSS FE.
Even thought it might not rank as high , it is a Standard ZOOM and OSS , and all metal Zeiss.  Super Useful every day.

Look at how close the Ratings of the Zeiss OTUS 55mm f1.4 at us$ 4,000  and the Sony/Zeiss 55mm f1.8 ZA FE , and then tell me how it's not worth it. :)

Sony ALPHA TIP # 76: A7r + Grip and two batteries. The batteries do NOT seem to be draining even if I let it sit for a few days.
This is a good thing.   Because what I have been doing is ONLY rotating out the low battery. (which is easy to identify).

fyi: I have been leaving Airplane mode off as a test.  and even on a all day shoot two batteries seem to be lasting.  But, I have yet to use the A7r  all day as my "only" camera. But, it has been my main camera on many shoots.  Plus , I have a habit of turning the A7r OFF.
Sometimes I feel it is Faster to turn the A7r ON from a Off state vs  waking it up from Sleep.  which imho is strange.
I am also NOT a fan at how slowly the A7r starts up,  but I am less of a fan of the battery life and sleep start up. :)

Sony ALPHA TIP # 75:  The A7r Tear Down by Roger Cicala.
Now when the owner of LensRentals call the A7r and "Awesome" Full Frame Mirrorless Camera.
I think you need to weight that a little more, because he has seen a lot of cameras, and see's how they Hold up under "Use".

From Roger Cicala Blog: 
When it is "Teared Down" like this ... you can appreciate the Engineering and imho "Pride" of the design.

There is basically little space inside for anything else. :)
It's got to make you feel more like you are walking around with Electronics "Art".   Simplicity.

"  The good news is that the A7R’s grips are completely bonded to the camera body, not held on with sticky tape, because there are no screws beneath them. They’re never going to come loose over time, unlike some cameras we know all too well. The bad news is that we found this out by spending half an hour trying to remove the un-removable grips."

For any PRO that always sees there GRIPS come loose over time (and ask why) , THIS info about something as simple as a GRIP is "Great News" !

"This is rather amazing. The completely disassembled Sony A7R consists of about a dozen major pieces, held together with 29 screws of just three different sizes. A typical DSLR has around 120 screws of 11 different sizes. You might not care less about that, but do you know what I thought about? How much easier it will be to fix this camera when it breaks. How much simpler it must be to perform all the calibration that must be done during assembly. And how much simpler it must be to assemble the A7R in the first place. In other words, how much cheaper it must be to make this camera, than to make a DSLR."

Sony ALPHA TIP # 74:  a read about how the A7/r handle Lens Compansation.

* Curious,  has anyone seen on the web a better one.  I remember another link , but cannot remember it now :)

Sony ALPHA TIP # 73: Review to read, "Sony A7r teams up with Canon Glass"
More so if you are a Canon shooter moving over to the Sony A7r

The review mentions how it's a "No Brain-er" to move from Canon to A7r if you shoot Landscape or Studio.
As a Nikon D800/e shooter , I would say it is true for D800/e shooters as well !

In fact it is the D800/e shooter that seems to appreciate the A7r the most. Because they understand what the SMALL A7r is doing.
and then it is EASY (imho) to see how WELL the new "FE" Zeiss lens perform. I would say Better than the similar Nikon glass.
ANY Nikon shooter knows what a WOW that is !!!
and no more of that Nikon rubber glue coming off the zoom rings.

Sony ALPHA TIP # 72: 10 Reasons Why You Suck in Photography.
I had to add the TIP only because after hours of PP alone in my office, this is Funny (to me)

Sony ALPHA TIP # 71: SONY "GLOBAL" Ambassadors Program: posted on

SONY Global Imaging Amassadors web site:


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
(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

1 comment:

Geek Photography said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)