Now amazing Capture One pro 10 is out, and for Sony users the express version is free.
The Capture One 9.4 before it was simply outstanding RAWC, much better than anything from Adobe or Raw Therapy.
Unfortunately, the free version of C1 does not handle Canon, Nikon or Olympus RAW, only Sony or DNG(Pentax and Leica).
So I guess It is another big reason for many of us to choose Sony over anything else. If you use Sony, you can get a full copy of Capture One pro 10 for just 50 USD.
AS far as I am concerned, this is an incredible deal, great Christmas gift for us from Phase One, the greatest company in Photography ever.
I think both Capture One 10 Pro and DXO 11 produce a bit better color than LR CC or LR6 for Sony, Canon,Olympus, or Nikon.
I suspect that Adobe programs are optimized for Canon but even for Canon CR2 files, LR6 and CC are not good enough, never produce the amazing amount details that Capture One 10 or DXO 11 does.
Seriously C Oen 10 pro for just 50 US is an amazing deal. nothing beats it for that price.
Capture One 10 is a much better more serious program than the LR crapware, and the biggest deal here is not need to deal with the Adobe subscription stuff. Many many Adobe users used the license and repaid it to re-activate it, it is really terribly unstable. I had one time could not use it when I was editing my images on site in a mountain area and they say my account is just trial although I paid it for full CC version.
So after coming back from the mountain, I decided to cancel all Adobe CC crap, and I just got Capture One express 8.32 for Sony free,then later in the same month (last April)I upgraded it to the pro version. I could not be happier.
Now, also DXO is offering me a copy FULL copy of DXO 11 Pro version for just 99 USD. I will get that too.
Honestly, there are still times we need Photoshop but I do have full copy of CS6, so I do not need CC anymore, and I’ve found life without Adobe CC crap is really much more relaxing and easier.
So in the long run, may Sony E mount be the most expensive system out side of the Leica SL and MFDBs arena?
Well it seems like that considering terribly expensive Sony service charge and repair price, and of course their lens prices.
As far as lenses are concerned, I can only compare the lenses that have been tested scientifically. Now please keep in mind that these tests were done with the A7R not version 2, but when Nikon introduces their higher resolution camera this will increase the final numbers for Nikon system as well, and Canon already have even higher resolution camera than both Nikon and Sony, but oddly enough DXO and most of others refuse to use the high resolution Canon body for testing their new gen lenses.
Sony 35 2.8, Nikon 35 1.8, Canon 35 2.0 tested with A7R, D810, 5DIII, oddly DXO refuses to test Canon lenses on the 5DS.
Anyway though,the Sony Costs $800, Nikon Costs $600, despite the Sony having less resolving power and a full stop slower than the Nikon. So we see how expensive Sony system actually is already here at the very first comparison below.
To be fair to Sony, there is also the Loxia 35 mm f2,which I recently sold off for some new macro lens for my Olympus. The Loxia 35 is a fairly good lens but not an amazing lens, not exceptionally sharp, not extremely well corrected either. It has a bit of serious coma issue at f2 and on, though it is still a better lens than the Sony 35 mm f2.8 in the areas of center resolution and longitudinal CA and Vignetting. But the Loxia is worse than the Sony 35 mm f2.8 in some significant areas such as coma, edge/corner sharpness and focus accuracy at infinity.
So in Sony 35 mm Full frame world , there is no value 35 mm prime at all.
Now move on to value 28 mm primes: Sony 28 2.0, Nikon 28 1.8, Canon 28 2.8, they are close enough to say the difference is irrelevant in real life use.
So move on to 70-200 mm f4: Of Sony 70-200 f4, Nikon 70-200 f4, Canon 70-200 f4, the Sony again is the most expensive despite the Nikon having more resolving power if we are to trust DXO lens rating. I personally do not trust their lens tests although I trust their sensor tests and I think their sensor test results pretty much mirror my own findings quite often.
But in case of the 70-200 mm f4 lenses, many other sites like SLRgear, lenstip tested and came to the same or identical conclusion to the DXO comparison. I also tested them at my work place with my own copy of DXO analyzer and got the same results.
If I have to pick the winner here, I would pick the Nikon for its obviously better resolution at 200 mm f4 setting. But it is more complicated than just optical quality, since the latest generation body IS of Sony is much more effective than most of in-lens VR or IS I tested.
So, while the Nikon is a bit better lens optically, I doubt that in real life handheld photography we see the better resolving power of the Nikon. The Sony 70-200 mm f4 comes with an excellent tripod collar that would cost 120 US if we buy it separately. Canon and Nikon do not include a tripod collar in their respective 70-200 mm f4 shipping package.
So maybe, is the pricing of the Sony actually reasonable?
Now move on to 35 mm f1.4 lenses comparison:Sony 35 1.4, Nikon 35 1.4. Interestingly in this test the Sony did a little better in resolution to the Nikon although its 22mm longer and 30 grams heavier than the Nikon and 26mm longer and 50 grams heavier than the Canon, so not so compact for a compact system any more.
What this fact tells us about is if you ask ultimate resolution in any current FF system, regardless of your camera body size, your lens must be big and heavy, thus your system won’t be small or cheap or light at all.
But in case of this 35 mm f1.4, we have to consider the extremely bad copy to copy sample variation issue of the Sony. The biggest issue of the DXO and the other typical online lens test sites is that they test only one copy supplied by the company.
But there is a great man testing literally 10-100 of copies of each lens and reporting his results most of times.
Personally, I take Roger’s opinion much more seriously than any other lens test site’s so-called review. I work at a mall which also sell cameras and I have tested many returned lenses before sending them back to the respective manufactures, we found that the copy to copy variation is much more significant than many people online think, it is sometimes even more pronounced than lens A to lens B difference.
So testing one copy of each lens is not enough, definitely in the case of any super complex modern optics such as this FE 35 mm f1.4.
I know the best copies of it is a fantastic lens, but about 75 percent of times you get a bad one or just an ok kind of one. It is really really deplorable, sad.
But no one so-called review site besides Roger’s report it, and I smell something very fishy here.
Now move on to 50 mm -55 mm value primes: the Sony 55 1.8 vs the Nikon 50 1.8 vs the
Canon 50 1.8 STM
The Sony beats out the Nikon and obviously the Canon because of the limited megapixels, but the interesting thing is when you compare pricing…$1000 for the Sony, $219 for the Nikon. Weight was another thing with the Sony coming in at almost 100 grams heavier than the Nikon and the Canon. In terms of Absolute resolution, the Sony is quite a bit better, though if you care about the money, then the cheap Nikon gets you about 90 percent of the expensive Sony performance at 1/ 5th of the Sony price.
now finally move on to 90-105 mm macro lens:
The Sony 90 mm macro is reported to be a better lens by likes of DXOmark, but according to Roger Cicala’s extensive optics bench testing with many many copies of it, it is not as good as we all once thought it must be because of the DXO result for it below.
But it is obvious if you get a good copy of the Sony FE 90 mm f2.8 G lens, it is sharper than anything else in the market, actually it even beats the over-sized over priced not much useful awkward brand lenses like the Zess Otus 85 mm f1.4 APO or the Zeiss 135 mm f2 APO Sonnar,which I sold as soon as I found it useless in real life application ,especially for travel photography and street work. I loved it for studio work, but for that use I do not need to actually own any lens, just rent it from my boss’s studio.
Anyway, my point here is if you get a decent Sony Fe 90 or 55 mm then it even beats the super-heavy ,awkward no compromise in design kind of d-SLR lens that priced about 4 times more than the Sony lenses.
The 90 macro is a cheap lens for what it is, there is no comparison to that lens in that relatively modest range of it.
So while I agree that Sony has made some very positive moves in recent years,it has come at a cost in pricing, f/stop and in the compactness to the system.Even then, the Sony lenses are not necessarily the best, especially when you take the fact that the Nikon/Canon Lenses often out resolved the Sony equivalents with faster f/stops for less money into serious consideration. The Canon lenses were at a deficit due to megapixels, and even with the obvious sensor resolution disadvantage, quite a few Canon lenses actually still out-resolve Sony Nikon equivalents, it was,to me,quite amazing.
So, I think if you need the ultimate best for now or the absolute best, most promising tech into foreseeable future, then the Sony system makes real sense here, but if you just need 90 percent of what the A7RM2 can do at the 1/4 of the Sony system price, then Nikon still makes better sense(value).
In my area it is even more glaringly clear, the A7RM2 body alone costs about 378000 yen, the Nikon D810 kit with the AF-S24-120 mm f4 VR costs 321000 yen,the Sony does not seem to be a great value although it may well be the absolute best camera in current camera market.
And most of people just go with the almost 95 percent as good as the absolute best kind of system that costs much less than the absolute best.
I chose the Zeiss Batis 85 over the Zeiss Otus 85 although I knew the Otus would beat the Batis in resolution(at a lab)……….but for me the much more manageable size and the weight saving, and more importantly the better overall practicality/usability of the Batis beat the absolute tripod resolution of the Otus. I think the same logic applies for choosing the right camera system.
Although, IMO, Canon still has the edge in lens line, flash,etc, and as a company most stable and profitable with a lot of key-core patents in this ILC technology, I personally never consider any of current Canon cameras seriously. The 5DS is just simply too overpriced, the 6D is just too long in the tooth, the 5D3 is about to be replaced, so no current Canon cameras make great value.
The 5DS-R costs 2 times more than the D810 and I think it is just too crazy, and that makes it absolutely the worst value camera for me. The 5DS at least a bit cheaper than the A7R2 to really justify its market position since it does not have the IBIS of the Sony, the 4k capability of the Sony, the high ISO performance of the Sony.
In the end, after comparing the prices of the lenses I need for the 3 systems carefully, I kind of realize that it is most logical to just stay with my current Sony system, just because I already have it. I guess I will hold on to my A7, A7M2, A7R for as long as I can, and see if Canon, Fuji or Samsung will answer to the a7R2.
The above logic just works for me, but I think for more budget minded people the Nikon may still hold the value king title with the D750..
The D750 is really attractive for event photography on a tight budget, and it is very very cheap now in the many many areas of the world, especially in my area.The Nikon D750 or D810 based system is at least 30 percent cheaper than the A7M2 or the A7RM2 based system with a few primes and a couple of zooms. But if you are a kind of person always wanting to shoot with a Otus or similar IQ lens and always carefully manually focus it, then Sony would suddenly become a much more logical choice for you.
The FE 55 mm f1.8 is sharper than the Otus 55 mm f1.4 at 1/4 of the Otus weight.
I do not have problem paying the Otus price for a great lens but the weight is.
The Sony FE 90 mm f2.8 G (assuming you get a decent copy) beats the both Otus and Batis in resolution and a few more areas.
I know the greater resolution alone does not make it a better lens than the Otus since Otus beats in the areas of CA, distortion and coma at wide open,etc.
But to me the better resolution of the Sony at 1/3 or the weight of Otus is very attractive.
The Batis 85 mm f1.8 is a great lens, honestly it is a bit different kind of lens than the Otus is with a bit more CA, a bit more distortion,etc, but it has the unique Zeiss look as with the other great Zeiss primes, and it is definitely sharp enough for its obvious intended use.
For landscape type of corner to corner sharpness, it may not be able to match the best primes in that focal range such as the FE90 mm f2.8 G , the Otus 85 mm f1.4 and the Leica 90 mm f3.5 APO, but still it handily beats all zooms and most of primes ever made in that specific focal range.
Many people compare the Batis 85 mm to the Nikon AF-S85 mm f1.8 G just because they both share f1.8 f numbers, but are they really comparable in quality?
Actually, in terms of sheer resolution and optical quality the cheap plastic Nikon may be comparable to the Batis. But it is weaker in a few key areas compared to the Batis.
The Nikon has much worse Lo-CA, much worse weaker flare resistance, a bit more distorted.
But the Nikon is smaller, lighter comes with 62 mm filter thread rather than the big 67 mm one on the Batis, it has a bit lower distortion and seems to have a bit lower amount of light fall off.
So it is actually closer match than we once thought it would be, and I see many many people mostly shooting all AF prefer the Nikon over the Zeiss in this case.
But unfortunately for me, the Batis is a better looking lens for my type of shooting since I am a manual focus kind of person, seldom use AF and having good MF ring is very important to me. So as my old man always said when I was a kid, it is always horses for courses, there is no one absolutely better camera system for all of us.
Finally as a side note, many many people guessing a lot of the technology inside the Leica SL seems to be from Panasonic.
I think Leica/Panasonic are testing the waters, with their first FF CSC with modern design more sophisticated UI than that of the Sony A7X.
I wouldn’t be surprised, if less than a year from now, Panasonic makes a shot directly at Sony A7 series with a cheaper and more practical version of the Leica SL.
If Canon and Nikon don’t come up with competitors in the meantime, Sony-Panasonic will be pushing this market very hard very far so that the old leaders will find themselves 7 laps behind all of a sudden. It may be easy for Canon to come up with something similar since they have all the tech needed to make something similar to the Leica SL, but is Nikon still safe, some how able to manage it to survive?
I know many Japanese Mega camera dealers that think in a matter of a several years Nikon won’t be around in this market.
If they are correct, I wonder if the new Tokyo Nikon camera museum was actually built by Nikon as their own camera indoor cemetery?
UPdate : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.
I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.
Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.
The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.
UPDATE2:Another serious issue all the camera makers will have to face but I did not really realize before is that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor type).
I never realized it before but while walking around down town Fukuoka with one of my long time friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it’s just simply annoying!
I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big body……I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G5X when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it’s a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway.
Then why not just go all the way up to FF or MFDB, or at least APS-C?
So maybe the one really doomed is not Nikon F or Pentax K or Sony A but m43?
Nikon and Pentax have historically had very enthusiastic and even fanatic core shooters and they are usually too old to adapt themselves fast to new EVF based gear even if they understand it is the more logical thing for them as they are aged. So D-SLRs may survive as antique cameras, but m43 or Nikon One?
UPDATE3: Nikon has just announced a new sensor fab development with Toshiba and it seems like their new sensor design uses very similar AF tech to the DP AF of the Canon EOS M5 sensor without losing almost no amount of light getting into the sensor.
Canon also patented a few new curved sensor designs with Toshiba. Toshiba seems to work as a special sensor designer for many companies rather than producing it themselves now.
And it found out that the Sony’s old curved sensor patent is no longer effective, and it was originally a Toshiba patent.
So if Sony really lost the patent to Toshiba , then Sony would have a big problem since Sony would not be able to use the curved sensor tech for their FF camera lines that helps them to design smaller and sharper lenses for the FE system.
UPDATE4: Now, I’ve just confirmed that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D5600 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).
So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don’t think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.
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