Yes, the a9 is sick-fast, arguably sickest-fastest general purpose camera out there. But I actually lost sleep after shooting with it for a full day, wondering “why this camera, why now, and for whom?”
We are in NYC at the Sony press event announcing the $4,500 a9, and one thing is staggeringly clear. Sony may demur in public, but everything about this camera --along with the simultaneously announced $2,500 FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G-Master OSS lens screams "DSLR technology is so last-century, especially for sports photography." Here's why.
The a99II [B&H|Amazon] is sick-fast with a unique pellicle mirror arrangement enabling hybrid phase detect autofocus. Along with a pile of other specifications including the 42 megapixel sensor from the a7r II, this a-mount camera is aimed at giving existing a-mount users a reason to keep investing -- and maybe even toppling the Canon 5D franchise. But it's never that simple, is it?
I've been hands-on with a press sample of the GH5 (thanks Panasonic!); I've pre-ordered it; but there's SO MUCH more I still don't know. If you want to learn more, too, check out the live stream B&H is putting out on Wednesday!
At the end of the day, a teleprompter is a pellicle mirror reflecting scrolling text from one side, allowing you to shoot through it from the other to give the illusion that the on-camera talent isn't reading. It works well, and you can even build one yourself for a few dollars. But the first high-quality, well-designed prompter and inexpensive prompter I've seen (for use with tablets and smartphones) is called the PRomptBox. At $139 (B&H), it's not only inexpensive -- it's brilliant.
It's a much smaller and more tightly focused set of winners this year, along with what I hope will become the annual Elephant Award. I began with a quick recap of 2016, and then go on to each of our winners. Camera of the year? Panasonic GX85 [B&H|Amazon]. Lens of the Year? Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G-Master [B&H|Amazon]. Trend of the Year, Peeve of the Year, and then the Elephant Award to...the Native American Drone Pilots of Standing Rock, ND. Let me know what you think!
The Sony a6500 [B&H|Amazon] is a great camera, as it is essentially an a6300 with in-body image stabilization, a few ergonomic tweaks, a much bigger buffer, and an imperfect touch auto focus system. Here's my freaking half-hour review, with plenty of footage. I tell you which of the two -- along with the original a6000 -- you should buy.
We sit down with Juan to go over the whats and whys of the FS7 II, an update to the incredibly successful original, including a new E PZ 18-110mm f/4.0 lens that looks to be a much better match to the camera's capabilities than either the E PZ 18-105 or the FE PZ 28-135.