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Sony Launches the Alpha 7R IV

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched its latest addition to the Alpha 7R series full-frame mirrorless camera line-up – the Alpha 7R IV (model ILCE-7RM4). The Alpha 7R IV delivers stunning image quality with high resolution and wide dynamic range while maintaining outstanding focusing performance, high-speed continuous shooting and much, much more.

“We are continuing to drive innovation, break boundaries and redefine the expectations of digital camera performance,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa. “The new Alpha 7R IV combines medium format level image quality with high-speed shooting, extremely fast focusing and a long list of upgrades to design, connectivity and usability. This will allow professional photographers, videographers and all other types of creators in the Middle East to capture content in ways that were simply not possible before.”

The new Alpha 7R IV features a newly developed 35mm full-frame back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 61.0 MP. The new sensor’s back-illuminated structure and effective noise reduction techniques combine to deliver extremely low-noise, high sensitivity performance ensuring the absolute maximum image quality.  The camera also boasts an impressive 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights, and utilises algorithms from many of the latest Alpha cameras to maintain outstanding colour reproduction. 

This new full-frame model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a shutter speed advantage of 5.5-steps. Additionally, the shutter unit assembly has been carefully re-designed to reduce even the slightest movement that may cause blur. 

The Alpha 7R IV also includes Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder in any camera, a 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED Tru-finder EVF. About 1.6x the resolution of the EVF in the Alpha 7R III, this new viewfinder provides an extremely accurate, true-to-life depiction of the scene being framed. The display quality can be set to ‘Standard’ or ‘High’ mode, and to either 60 fps or 120 fps refresh rate to best match the subject and shooting conditions. 

Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in 1 or 0.5-pixel increments to capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 963.2 million pixels worth of data then composited into a 240.8 million pixels (19008 x 12672 pixels) image using the “Imaging Edge” desktop application. Ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life photography subject, this enhanced mode produces photographs with a level of detail and colour accuracy that is simply stunning. 

The innovative new Alpha 7R IV full-frame mirrorless camera can shoot full-resolution images at up to 10 fps with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to approximately 7 seconds in full-frame, full-resolution mode (JPEG / RAW), and approx. 3x seconds in APS-C crop mode delivering 26.2MP images.  These high-speed options ensure that fast-moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail. 

The upgraded focusing system of the Alpha 7R IV is comprised of 567 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 74% of the image area.  There are also 425 contrast AF points that add extra precision and reliability for low light and other situations that are best served by contrast AF. The higher AF sensor density and refined tracking algorithms of the new camera produce a notable improvement in tracking performance, allowing complex subject motion and sudden subject movements to be reliably tracked with greater precision than ever. 

The Alpha 7R IV also supports Real-time Eye AF, which employs artificial intelligence to detect and process eye location data in real-time, stay locked onto the subject’s eye with extreme precision. This is available for both animal and human subjects, with an option to select either animal or human Eye AF mode depending on the shooting situation. Additionally, the Real-time Tracking feature is available which utilises a newly developed subject recognition algorithm to ensure the ultimate subject tracking and persistence of the focusing system.  There is also an anti-flicker shooting mode, which automatically detects the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting in a shooting environment to minimise any impact on the final image. 

Sony’s new Alpha 7R IV full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of advanced connectivity features designed to enhance professional workflow.  The new model includes wireless LAN functionality to support the conventional 2.4 GHz band as well as a high-speed 5 GHz band for faster, more stable data transfer.  Wireless PC remote connectivity (wireless tethering shooting) is also available on the new Alpha 7R IV, a first for Sony cameras.  Requested by many working professionals, this will allow for much more freedom in studio and location shoots, where the photographer can move around freely without restriction.

In addition to high-speed Wi-Fi and wireless PC connectivity, the new full-frame camera is equipped with a SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.2 Gen 1) USB Type-C connector that supports extremely fast wired data transmission, with almost doubled data transfer speed achieved in combination with Imaging Edge software compared to the Alpha 7R III. It also supports FTP data transfer with background transfer capability, allowing photographers to send images to a specified FTP remote server while they are still shooting or reviewing images. 

To support an efficient, high-speed connected professional workflow, Sony has announced version 2.0 of “Imaging Edge” desktop applications (‘Remote’/’Viewer’/’Edit’). The ’Remote’ application allows users to control cameras and monitor live shooting on their PC screen; the ‘Viewer‘ application is used to quickly preview, rate and select photos from large libraries and the ‘Edit’ application can develop RAW data into high-quality photos for delivery.

In addition to its impressive still image capabilities, the new Alpha 7R IV performs exceptionally well as a serious filmmaking tool, offering 4K (3840×2160 pixels) video recording and full pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm mode. This ensures high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 are also available to maximize colour grading flexibility, with S-Log 3 offering a total of 14-stops of dynamic range. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is also available on the Alpha 7R IV to support an Instant HDR workflow.

For video autofocus, the versatile new full-frame camera utilises a refined Fast Hybrid AF system that achieves faster, smoother, more stable autofocus during video shooting – even if an object temporarily moves in front of the intended subject. The camera also includes Touch Tracking functionality during movie shooting, allowing the user to simply touch the screen on their intended subject for instant acquisition.

The new Alpha 7R IV debuts Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting, a first in any of Sony’s cameras. When activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content itself as opposed to what is in focus or not in focus. The Touch Tracking functionality will also automatically initiate Eye AF when a human subject is selected. 

Another notable video feature is the addition of a digital audio interface to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe (MI Shoe), allowing direct connection of the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit for clear, low-noise and high-quality audio recording.  Interval shooting for creating time-lapse videos is available, as well as full HD recording at up to 120 fps, Slow and Quick Motion functions and much more. 

Despite its 1.5x pixel count, the battery life has also been improved – with a CIPA measurement of up to 670 still images per charge using LCD monitor, or 530 images with EVF). For even more uninterrupted operating time, the new optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip holds two NP-FZ100 batteries, and the optional Multi Battery Adaptor (NPA-MQZ1K) can hold up to four Z batteries.  The body can also be powered via the USB connector.

Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new Alpha 7R IV camera, including:

VG-C4EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as the Alpha 7R IV camera, including upgraded dust and moisture resistance, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.

ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone – Eight high-performance mic capsules and advanced digital signal processing provide three selectable directivity patterns in one compact microphone of approx. 99.3mm (4 inches) in length with Super-directional pick up; when connected to the Alpha 7R IV via its Multi-Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible quality is achieved without noise or degradation.

XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit – Two XLR/TRS combo connectors and one 3.5mm stereo mini-jack for microphone and line input, with extensive control that helps facilitate the post-processing workflow; connected to the Alpha 7R IV via its Multi-Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible audio quality is achieved without noise or degradation;  supplied extension cable for Audio provides extra flexibility for camera attachment with rig, cage or bracket.

SF-M series TOUGH – Ultra-Tough UHS-II SD card with ultra-fast speed up to 277MB/s (read) is ideal for shooting in extreme conditions and streamlines the post-shooting workflow; supplied with file recovery software (supports both macOS and Windows).

MRW-S3 – Fast USB for PC hub with UHS-II SD/microSD reader, supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 100W USB Power Delivery (USB PD), contributes to the efficient workflow by ultra-fast, stable backup to PC or SSD. 

The new Alpha 7R IV Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will be available in the UAE from mid-September 2019 and will cost AED 14,999.

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Digital Cameras

Sony Launches “World’s Smallest and Lightest” F2.8 Standard Zoom Lens

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Sony Middle East and Africa announced the 67th lens in its mirrorless E-mount lineup – the highly-anticipated, FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II (model SEL2470GM2). Sony developed the world’s lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens1 using its leading lens technology to deliver stunning resolution and beautiful bokeh known to Sony’s “G Master” series. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is one of the most versatile lenses in the line-up and was created for photographers, videographers, and hybrid content creators.

“Six years have passed since Sony released the first 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master and in that time, our customers’ needs have changed,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa. “We are always listening to our community and have designed the new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II around feedback from creators in the region. Knowing the 24-70 mm focal length is extremely popular, it was imperative that we continue improving to bring our most advanced technology to such a critical lens in our customers’ kit. Today, we are thrilled to introduce the world’s smallest and lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens to the Middle East & Africa region.”

The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is great for a compact yet versatile setup and allows users to capture extremely sharp, detailed imagery for both stills and video. The new lens features high resolution across the frame—even with the aperture wide open. A completely redesigned optical path features five aspherical elements, including two high-precision XA (extreme aspherical) elements. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II also includes two ED (extra-low dispersion) plus two Super ED glass elements. Combined with a new floating focus mechanism, the lens effectively controls chromatic aberration, astigmatism, distortion, and coma so that outstanding resolution is achieved throughout the image area at all zoom and aperture settings.

Even when shooting in challenging lighting conditions, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves excellent clarity by effectively subduing flare and ghosting. This is thanks to Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II which produces a uniform anti-reflecting coating on the lens surface. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II produces stunning bokeh throughout the zoom range with beautiful and almost perfectly circular bokeh with its advanced optical design and a newly developed 11-blade aperture unit.

In this new 24-70 mm design, this lens delivers outstanding close-up performance with a minimum focusing distance of 8.25 inches (0.21 meters) at 24 mm and 12 inches (0.30 meters) at 70 mm, and with a maximum magnification of 0.32x. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves reliable focus by using four of Sony’s original XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, a floating focus mechanism, and advanced lens control – even when shooting a fast-moving subject. In addition, the lens supports up to 30 fps continuous shooting for stills and 4K 120p video recording with autofocus.

The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II enables full AF tracking performance even when shooting stills with the aperture stopped down, making it possible to use deeper depth of field to ensure that moving subjects remain in sharp focus when shooting continuously. The lens’ AF tracking performance while zooming is approximately two times better than the previous model.

With its constant F2.8 maximum aperture, astounding AF performance, versatile control, and solid reliability, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is designed for all types of video applications. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II offers extremely quiet AF operation, thanks to the XD Linear Motors and a newly developed aperture unit. Using the latest lens technology, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II reduces focus breathing, focus shift, and axial shift when zooming for smooth video footage. This lens also supports the breathing compensation function provided in compatible Alpha series cameras.

As an added benefit for advanced video creation, the newest lens includes Linear Response MF (manual focus) that ensures high repeatability when focusing manually as the focus ring responds directly and repeatedly to subtle control. It also includes an aperture ring making manual aperture/iris control fast, direct, and easy. The dedicated iris ring enables click-less control to achieve the smooth depth of field transitions.

Designed to perfectly pair with Sony’s compact Alpha system E-mount cameras, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is the world’s smallest and lightest1 24-70 mm F2.8 zoom in its class and offers unprecedented shooting flexibility and freedom in a wide range of situations. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II weighs just 24.6 ounces (695 grams), approximately 20% less (7 ounces) than the original 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master. The lens’ length has been reduced by 16 mm, and overall volume has been reduced by approximately 18%.

The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II was developed based on feedback from professionals to offer even better control and usability than preceding models. This model includes:

  • Zoom smoothness switch to adjust zoom ring torque to either Tight or Smooth
  • A newly added aperture ring with click ON/OFF switch and iris lock switch
  • Two customizable focus hold buttons
  • The focus ring responds directly and linearly to subtle control when focusing manually
  • New lens hood design with an opening to control circular polarizing filters (dia. 82mm)
  • The center of gravity back toward the mount for improved handling and operation

An updated dust and moisture resistant design provides extra reliability for outdoor use in challenging conditions. The buttons and switches are fitted with rubber gaskets, and a rubber ring seals the lens mount. The front lens element also features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants, while making it easier to wipe off any contaminants or fingerprints that become attached to the lens surface.

The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II will be available in the Middle East & Africa region from the end May 2022.

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Digital Cameras

Fujifilm Launches Instax Mini Evo Camera

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Fujifilm has unveiled the Instax Mini Evo, its new flagship instant film camera with a premium build, higher resolution than previous models and improved smartphone integration. As with other Instax cameras, you can take photos and instantly develop them to Fujifilm’s credit card-sized Instax Mini film, but it offers a number of features not available on previous models.

As a hybrid camera, you can review photos on the LCD monitor and choose the ones you want to print. However, the new model is the first Instax camera with a print lever and lens/film filter dials. That lets you take a picture then choose among 100 combinations of effects (including “Soft Focus,” “Light Leak,” “Monochrome” and “Retro”) and print the image afterward by pulling the print lever. Fujifilm said the camera also delivers better quality prints as it has twice the exposure resolution of previous models.

The Instax Mini Evo is also effectively a mini-printer for your smartphone. You can transfer images from your phone to the Evo Mini wirelessly, then print them using the “Direct Print” button. And for the first time, you can transfer snaps you take with the Mini Evo back over to your smartphone, complete with the film border. Finally, you can use your smartphone to take pictures remotely with a camera.

Fujifilm also unveiled a new Instax Mini film format called “Stone Grey” with a gray background. The new camera is priced at $200.

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Digital Cameras

Canon Launches a Very Unusually Shaped PowerShot PX Camera

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Canon has launched the PowerShot PX, a small, smart and friendly camera, which automatically captures high-quality 11.7MP images and 60p Full HD video. The PowerShot PX’s smart features such as automatic capture of still imagery and video are set to reimagine how families capture memories. With this clever camera, families can enjoy the moment and still capture it, without having to stay behind the lens.

From family photographers to gadget-lovers, this new intuitive camera incorporates smart functionality to document social events and everyday memories. With automatic capture and priority shooting, the PowerShot PX is an innovative addition to the home that complements photographers’ existing cameras, and a shining example of Canon’s technology algorithm and the forward-thinking features constantly being added to its product line-up.

When you want to capture life’s precious moments and be in the shot, the PowerShot PX is ideal – following the action and framing subjects intelligently to capture natural expressions and reactions. Once switched on, the portable PowerShot PX can be placed anywhere around the home to take candid shots of everyday moments, while voice command capabilities allow complete hands-free control to capture still images or dynamic videos.

Thanks to the simple yet portable design, USB-C charging, and built-in Wi-Fi – which links to smart devices – the compact PowerShot PX can go anywhere. With intelligent facial recognition features, PowerShot PX uses auto-subject searching to keep loved ones in the frame and capture photos that otherwise might have been missed. Its 19-57mm focal length range and flexible pan-and-tilt zoom lens offer a broad field of view of 340˚ horizontally and 110˚ vertically to follow the action.

Look back on a digital scrapbook of candid moments with PowerShot PX’s iOS and Android app and get recommendations from this clever camera on the strongest shots to keep. These cherished photos and videos are then stored on a memory card for easy upload to a computer. Manually control the camera with the app to compose the perfect shot and capture images from a distance, all without the need to run back and forth to check the device. Families can even customise automatic shooting settings, angle the lens to snap pictures in their own style and select familiar faces within the app to increase priority when shooting. The PowerShot PX can also double as a webcam with the use of the PC webcam utility app.

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