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The Auto Focus range control is something to set apart the A99 from others competitors for better. But I think will be even better and more easy to use if this feature is combine with the focus peaking, in this way the focus peaking can show me the area of I'm covering with the auto focus range selected.
It's been a while since I've owned a Sony digital camera product. In the early 2000s I was a Sony fan, impressed with the innovation that Sony was leading with in the digital photography revolution.
I took a new chance at a Sony product, impressed by the potential of the QX30. Something relatively light, giving me an optical zoom not available with my iPhone 6, was what convinced me to shell out $350 for this smartphone companion.
Let me get right to the points that I like, and what is needed for me to not sell this in six months from the frustration:
- Very solid build feel, fit and finish quality
- Gives 30x optical zoom to my iPhone (very innovative)
- Clips on nicely
- Battery in QX30 seems to last a good while
- Relatively much, much lighter and more compact than my dSLR (Panasonic GH2) and 14-140 lens
- MicroSD chip & Micro USB connector (non-proprietary!!!!)
- Simply no comparison in image quality to my GH2, and even my iPhone camera has much less noisy images
- PlayMemories Mobile iOS app to control the QX30 is only 60% finished. More on what that needs below.
- Sony needs to push on Apple to open up its NFC technology on the iPhone. This would make using the camera much more spontaneous. (I plan on writing Apple a letter as well about this).
- QX30 desperately needs a firmware upgrade to support Super Fine JPG quality, if not RAW. This may be the one reason I walk away from this camera and possibly the Sony brand. I spent $350 for the QX30 that has competitors in this price class that produce much better image quality.
- No Manual exposure setting, Shutter and Aperture priority don't go far enough
- No manual focus capability. Often enough the half-step or touch to focus doesn't get it right.
PlayMemories Mobile app comments and needs:
Okay, kudos for a generally good interface on controlling the QX30. I have no negative criticism on how they designed the interface to be as spry as possible in downloading 2MB images for preview and sharing. But here are some suggestions:
- Arrows to make settings changes on the screen, like shutter and aperture selections, are way too small even on an iPhone 6.
- Settings could EASILY have descriptions of the features. For example, the "Lock-on AF" setting could have a small descriptor on what that feature does. Same goes for the rest of the settings. This would help a lot since there is no manual that describes these features.
- Would be nice to have a button that takes me directly to the iPhone Wi-Fi settings page to switch over to the camera's Wi-Fi, saving a few button presses and quicker to "catch the moment."
That's my take of my three-day owned QX30. Again, I am impressed by Sony's innovation and daring to make a carry around lens to accompany a smartphone. Now, if Sony can complete the thought by tying up the loose ends and improving the image quality, I'll be back up on the pulpit preaching the tenets of the product to the masses.
Thanks for listening!
It is already possible in photo mode, please enable these features in video mode.
And if possible, please please please, use X-AVCs wrapper next to AVHCD2, as the quality of the A99 is crushed with the current codec.
Come on sony, keep current pro users happy with a firmware update, so they'll buy new sony products later on.