Sony a9ii release — Sony makes no sense

The a7 and a9 cameras are starting to become quite a mess in my opinion.

The Sony a9ii doesn’t compete with the a7r IV

The ethernet port, beefed up mount and the extra dial could have been put into the a7r IV. There’s no reason for the pc sync port in 2019 either. This is their “pro” camera and it has to have everything, I get that. The problem is that it has everything only when compared to the Sony a7III — not the Sony a7r IV. If you want a high megapixel landscape camera i.e. if you want 61mp, you buy the Sony a7r IV. At least one camera should include the 61mp sensor, the extra dial, the ethernet port, etc. Otherwise you’re forced into a “do I want the extra features at the cost of the sensor?” dilemma.

There are studio photographers wanting a high MP camera who would benefit from that ethernet port. There are people who photograph houses (like me) who like to switch settings rapidly and they’d benefit from that extra dial.

Sports photographers aren’t the only type of professional photographers in existence either. It’s beyond irritating that I cannot bracket while controlling my camera with my phone for example. Give me a camera with everything; I understand that might sound very firstworldproblem of me, but sports photographers get everything.

Should there be a Sony a9r?

One way to tidy this mess up would be to give the Sony a7r V all of the improved features and sell the Sony a9 cameras as the vanilla Sony a7’s and then make a Sony a10 with a huge grip. Another way would be to continue what they’re doing but sell an a9r for $200 more than the a7r IV (I’m not paying more than that for a measly dial and an ethernet port).

Instead, they have all kind of have unique features and their target audience/purchasing demographic are the confused. Compare that to the Samsung galaxy s10 and the Samsung galaxy note 10, and you can see their intended sales demographic is quite clear: the one with more money gets everything.

Did they play into the lens mount complaints?

What I’m really confused about is why the Sony a9ii is advertised as having an improved / stronger mount for “bigger” lenses…

I’ve looked at the design of the e-mount lenses and they all (from what I’ve observed) have a breakaway point. So if you damage them, some lugs snap off and you replace the mount (it’s cheaper than bending parts and having to replace huge parts of the lens). This isn’t necessarily as good as you might imagine because the lens can still fall further and damage itself more once disconnecting from the mount. I digress… Is the improved mount even necessary, i.e. is it there just to stop people complaining, or are we to infer it is and you shouldn’t mount big lenses on the a7r IV?

It’s beyond me as to why they’re deliberately gimping the a7r IV in this way. The vanilla a7’s I get; this creates separation. But there’s not a high megapixel camera better than the a7r IV, so why not give it everything?

I’m just one person and I’m sure no one cares, but the way I usually react to this is by not giving them my money.

Sony a7r IV, Sony a7 IV, Sony a7s IV & Sony a9 II

Sony receives a fair bit of criticism for releasing too many different camera models. They use similar names and bodies, so perhaps that’s why?

Sony a7r IV, Sony a7 IV, Sony a7s IV & Sony a9 II vs Canon and Nikon equivalents

Where Canon has the Canon 5D (insert generation number here) and the 1DX (insert generation number here), Sony has the a7 and the a9, but clearly the Canon’s look quite different to each other in comparison to the Sony cameras. I quite like the style approach to Sony. If you like the Sony a7r IV body, you generally like them all. Plus the same batteries fit. Whereas with Canon, if you think the 5D Mark IV is perfectly shaped but you want a faster performing camera in that exact same body, you’re out of luck.

Who actually releases more models of cameras?

For people who are more knowledgeable than me about different camera brands… What models do Canon & Nikon generally release? Is it actually less cameras than Sony or does it just seem like less? I’ve been trying to count them but I’m not very up to date. There’s the Rebel (do they still exist?), 5D, 6D, 7D, 1D DSLRs but also the mirrorless R & M cameras. Sony has the a6, plus a cheaper version of the best a6. So I guess that competes with the Rebel & the 7D? But Canon also have the mirrorless EOS M cameras. Whereas Sony doesn’t seem to be releasing any APS-C DSLRs (correct me If I’m wrong?). The a7(x) competes with the 5D(x) and the a7r(x) competes with the 5DSR? Sony has alpha DSLRs & hybrid full-frame cameras, but the latter are semi forgotten. Whereas Canon release both DSLRs and Mirrorless full-frame cameras.

Does Sony deserve to be criticised for making too many different models of cameras, and are they actually making more camera models compared to the competition? I don’t know all of the cameras being manufactured by other brands so it’s hard for me to make meaningful comparisons here I guess.

Nikon Z8 Rumours using the Sony a7r IV sensor

I am not a nikon shooter, but there are rumours of a Nikon Z6 / Nikon Z7 replacement using the Sony a7r IV sensor. I really hope this will lower the price of the Sony a7r IV somewhat! I have learned with Sony that it’s silly to buy their products as soon as they are released. There isn’t really incentive to do so i.e. they don’t reward their customer. Usually within a few months the prices drop and I end up feeling bad, haha. Does anyone else feel this way?

Garmin InReach Mini & Mavic 2 Pro

For my trip next year, I have been looking at getting a Garmin Inreach Mini. I’m not sure if a new model is due to be announced; I’m guessing Garmin will use their solar technology in it if so. I have been reluctant to buy one because it’s a sealed unit, and battery quality degrades over time. After doing a bit of research, I believe replacing the battery isn’t actually that difficult. You just unscrew a few screws on the back. Perhaps someone with it could correct me if I’m wrong.

Completely unrelated, and I won’t be buying one, but I noticed these Mavic 2 Pro drones look pretty cool :).

Garmin Fenix 6x Solar Smartwatch & High Gamut 144hz IPS Monitor

I don’t know whether I’ve been sleeping this last year but a lot of new electronics have arrived on the market.

The LG 27GL850 high gamut 144hz photography & gaming monitor

The LG 27GL850; it is a 27″ inch 144hz monitor with “98% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut and a colour range 35% greater than sRGB 100%.” If the input lag is good, and the colours are advertised, that’s impressive. It’s not 100% Adobe RGB, but DCI-P3 is a little different. For some colours, it exceeds Adobe RGB and for others, it doesn’t. In terms of its specs, it’s suitable for professional work.

I wont be buying one for a while as I have an expensive trip planned.

Garmin Fenix 6x Solar Smartwatch

The Garmin Fenix 6x looks like a more impressive update to the Garmin Fenix lineup, compared to the Garmin Fenix 5x Plus vs the Garmin Fenix 5x. I feel they’re a little deceptive though. The Garmin Fenix 6x has a sapphire screen but the Garmin Fenix 6x Solar model uses “powerglass”. In reality, this is Gorilla Glass 3 i.e. it’s not as scratch resistant as sapphire. If it’s possible to buy a screen protector that would work with the solar panel, then there’s nothing to worry about but otherwise, it’s perhaps not the model to buy.

It has more storage for maps compared to the Garmin Fenix 5x and I can see myself making use of its features.

From what others have said, there are real world benefits to it but the technology is not perfected yet. I think I’d like to see a metal strap which somehow had solar technology built into it as well. Alternatively, being able to turn off the watch and charge it.

It’s a great idea and the watch has a few software enhancements that grab my attention.

What I’d like to see is this solar technology find its way in the Garmin Inreach Mini and perhaps even smartphones.

Lens aperture, f-stop and why it’s intuitive

There are a lot of beginners in photography who don’t fully understand lens basics. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you aren’t mathematically inclined, so there’s no shame in that. I also think experts in photography get a little confused by the digits and pass that along to beginners. As a demonstration, I typed “explain lenses to me” in Google and one of the top articles I was linked to is published at masterclass.com. It’s a great article, and the majority of it is accurate but I spotted a mistake.

You’ve probably read or seen a million and one articles/videos about lens basics, but I think the way I view it is different to those. Please let me know what you think in the comments below as I don’t want to churn out content exactly the same as everyone else :).

F-stops are counterintuitive, because the larger the number, the smaller the opening

This is a quote from the article, and you might think it’s accurate, right? That’s actually wrong; the bigger the aperture, the bigger the number. Aperture values aren’t expressed like ISO with a simple number e.g. 100, 200, 400, etc. They’re a calculation/ratio/equation: f/x. F (the focal length of the lens you have mounted e.g. 100mm) divided by (the slash) a value (e.g. 1.4). If you don’t complete the calculation and you only take digits from an equation, it will seem counter-intuitive.

Aperture values are expressed as a calculation/ratio/equation

A bigger aperture gives you more background blur when all else is equal; consequently, a bigger aperture number gives you more background blur as well. They are one and the same but not if you misunderstand the calculation. It’s intuitive when you realise you’re given a calculation and not a number.

Using two example apertures, both with a 100mm lens, we can calculate dimensions… For my first two examples, I will use f/1.4 and f/2.8, where f = 100mm:

  • 100mm / 1.4 = 71.4285714286mm (this is your aperture when expressed as a number i.e. a dimension, NOT 1.4; 1.4 is simply a VALUE from the equation).
  • 100mm / 2.8 = 35.7142857143mm.

As you can see, the bigger diameter/number (71.4285714286mm) is the wider aperture and gives more background blur (all else being equal).

Why have aperture expressed as an equation rather than a dimension/number?

A number on its own would soon become confusing. Let’s pretend we have a 35mm lens mounted; f = 35mm:

  • 35mm / 1.4 = 25mm.
  • 35mm / 2.8 = 12.5mm.

A 12.5mm aperture on a 35mm lens is the same as 35.7142857143mm on a 100mm lens. As you can see, it’s awfully confusing. So it’s a lot easier to have f/2.8 shown in camera. The bigger number is f/1.4 — not f/2.8.