TWiP 417 – The Sony Onslaught Continues

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A7IIThe Sony onslaught continues. Without question Sony has been one of the stand­out movers and shakers in the ongoing digital SLR saga. And the company continues to push the envelope in terms of creating standard ­setting sensors. Last week Sony introduced their new flagship full­ frame mirrorless cameras — the A7 II and the A7R II.

The new A7R II features the world’s first 42.4 megapixel back­ illuminated full ­frame CMOS sensor, with light sensitivity expandable up to ISO 102,400. And the company claims auto focus speeds are up to 40% faster than in the original A7R (sorry early adopters) thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.

Wow… that’s a lot of progress, in such a short time.

Joining me to discuss Sony’s latest announcements and other photography news of the week, are Martin Bailey from Martin Bailey Photography & the host of TWiP Weddings -­ Bruce Clarke.

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Pre-production by: Bruce Clarke

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Intro Music by: Scott Cannizzaro


  1. Great show guys. FVJ, when Doug reviewed the smaller RX100 series, I think the second & third editions he really liked them , in fact I think he said he bought the 3rd edition. These cameras are hugely popular & with the 1″ sensor take great photos, some say they look better then the 4/3rds cameras. The RX10 & now the RX 10II have that big beefy Zeiss lens, it goes out to 200mm & takes great photos & videos but with the 4k upgrades especially the RX10II it’s going to be a video monster because it has all the ports, new codec, it’s just a great all a rounder. O, just wanna say Gordan & Doug are great & all on AAtG, but it’s not the same without u buddy.

  2. You have it right on Sony and their lens ecosystem. We have to go Zeiss and I’m honestly not impressed with Zeiss when I compare their lenses to my Nikon and Fuji lenses, and they’re huge. Originally I was going to the Sony camp because their cameras seemed to have more features for the money (and they do), but the lenses is what pushed me to Fuji.

    1. That was one of the first things I did with the camera, Its the only way I can focus. Almost every button on the camera can be assigned to a different function.

  3. Frederick – I often think to myself as I listen to an episode, TWiP could really use an engineer on the panel from time to time! One of the big benefits spoken for mirrorless cameras is size. Yet, when talking about a full-frame camera like the A7 series, we have to remember that the glass is about the same size as for full-frame DSLR. It’s just physics. I looked up the specs on Sony’s (one and only) 70-200 lens, an f/4, and compared it to the equivalent Canon 70-200 f/4 IS. The Sony lens is bigger and heavier. You absolutely do save quite a bit of weight on the camera (compared to, say, the 5D MkIII). But, one could argue that the DSLR with that lens attached is a better balanced kit.
    Now, the Sony has some impressive stats, and we know they have great sensors. Make a decision based on those and on ergonomics. But mirrorless is not all about size. Your Lumix is another matter. The micro-4/3 sensor allows everything to shrink a lot. I recently bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10 strictly to have a small and light camera to carry on personal trips. But, it has compromises like effective D-O-F, lower resolution, and reduced low-light performance. (And, have you ever tried to shoot with an EVF while wearing polarized sunglasses? Ugh.) But it is very light and easy to carry.
    The other “should have an engineer” discussion was about GPS on-board. The reason the 5D series still doesn’t have GPS or WiFi seems to be the desire to maintain an all-metal body. You just can’t bury an antenna inside a titanium shell. I suspect Canon thinks their customers for that line want the durability more than GPS or WiFi. Perhaps there is a clever solution, but I believe that’s the current reasoning. There are always compromises in any (affordable) design. The designers have to hope the marketeers know their business.
    That is all. Carry on. 🙂
    Tony Drumm

  4. Great show! Thanks for that. And thanks for tellin’ Canon and Nikon what their problem is 😉

    I would like to weigh in on the whole compact is dead thing.
    Americans/US-based podcasts tend to forget that Sony, Panasonic, Canon
    etc. are asian/japanese companies. But, more importantly, they are
    international companies. US market may tend to go for “bigger is
    better”. At least, that is my opinion. If someone wants to get a “good”
    camera, they go all in and buy the huge 5D MkIII…
    the EMEA market
    is different. In Europe and especially in Asia, the compact/bridge
    market is big. People there just don’t want to carry around all that
    fullframe DSLR stuff. They want a small camera, with interchangeable
    lenses, or they want a very small compact camera with optical zoom.
    Thats something that all those “I have my iPhone…” tend to forget. You
    have no real zoom on those Cell phones. And won’t until lens-tech makes
    a big leap.

    So, anyway, I must disagree on the compact discussion. there is a market. Its just not the US.

  5. I love the show, but I find that TWIP is just beating the mirrorless drum a little too often. For all the talk about how everyone Frederick and other hosts know that are ditching their DSLRs for mirrorless, sales of mirrorless are flat (and in fact slightly down so far this year). The only thing that makes it look better than it is, is that DSLR sales are declining faster. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Still, currently sales of DSLRs substantially outsell mirrorless – with about 3.5M cameras in the first five months of this year to about 1.1M mirrorless cameras. And mirrorless sales are projected to be down for 2015 (just not as much as DSLR sales will be down). Don’t get me wrong, all of the innovation is clearly coming from the Sony/Olympus/Panasonic camp, not from the Nikon/Canon camp. And, yes, i agree that if they don’t change course soon, we could be talking about Nikon or Canon being a case study for MBA candidates because they can’t get out of their own way and fail. But “everyone’s going mirrorless?” Please, it just isn’t happening, not when new DSLR sales are outselling mirrorless sales by 3 to 1. And when we talk full frame, the weight savings isn’t significant as Tony points out below.

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