I just heard that many of the non-native Sony lens (i.e., SIgma, Tamron, etc) are non working properly on the Sony A99II. How true is this? I'm a A99 owner who have really considered purchasing the Sony A99II; but am very concerned with this considering that I have several non-native lens.
Considering how the Electronic First Curtain Shutter affects bokeh at certain shutter speeds and how it affects HSS can you please either allow the option to be assigned to a button or even better allow us to set a speed where EFCS is automatically disabled.
I was wondering if/when the A7/A7R will receive the firmware update for XAVC-S and/or S-LOG 2 for video?
The RX10 has received the XAVC-S codec, and has the same BIONZ-X processor... I don't think it is a heat issue if it couldn't as the A7S is the same size body and can do even more (S-LOG2, 4k, higher bitrates...)
Right now, AVCHD just doesn't cut it, and an update wouldn't take any market away from the A7S (A7S has a better sensor, low light, etc) even just a higher bitrate at XAVC-S would mean the world.
It is important that your Alpha series (for sure the A7ii, maybe others) have better range finding and focusing support on-screen, like so:
Be able to toggle the focal distance indicator between Meters and Feet (aka Imperial units). Currently the firmware ONLY supports Meters.
When it is in meters, the on-screen the distance indicator should be improved by showing partial meters (tenths in decimal units)
This will improve the Alpha series’ ability to focus on more-precise distances, helpful to many areas of general photography.
Here is why... like many, I enjoy shooting travel, street and sometimes photo-journalism photos. These are not uncommon photographic styles, and they frequently use the following techniques:
a. Zone focusing
b. Hyperfocal distance shooting
Other types of photography use these techniques also, especially if you need to take pictures quickly. Both techniques involve selecting a specific 'manual' focal distance and doing point-and-shoot photography, trusting that subjects will be in focus if they reside between your Depth-of-Focus NEAR and FAR limits. There are many advantages to this common technique, the obvious one being that photos are more reliably and predictably in focus while taking fast shots of (often) not-centered subjects.
Sadly, I find that the Alpha 7ii does not facilitate this well AT ALL. Surprising for an otherwise all-around good camera.
Specifically, with the current Sony equipment I cannot accurately focus to the exact distance I want (say: "12 feet”) because the Sony/Zeiss lenses are fly-by-wire focus systems and rely mostly on on-screen user interface cues to get subjects in focus (e.g., a digital range indicator and focus peaking).
The biggest offender, in my opinion, is the current distance indicator, which shows only 'whole' meters... e.g. 2m >> 3mm >> 4mm etc. And the distance indicator is a sliding scale between each value… but I find it is hard to see if you are focusing on, for example, 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) or 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) because, as I understand it, the scale isn't linear. And even if it was linear, it's hard to eyeball. Note that in the U.S. market, for one, many photographers prefer to eyeball in imperial units, not metric. Anyway, in photography the difference in a few feet can be extremely important and can ruin shots you thought would be in focus.
For those that state that Focus Peaking might help here, I would argue that it is not a good fit for zone focusing. Photographers still need a subject at a fairly specific distance to focus on. There are numerous apps (like PhotoPills) and web-based calculators that will help you define your ideal focal plane distance. With the current Alpha cameras, I have two inconvenient alternatives for focusing on those distances: picking objects with a third party range finder or just eyeballing. And if the subject is not properly lit, thus offering enough contrast, focus peaking isn’t as helpful.
In summary: for zone focusing and hyperfocal to work best, you want to set your camera to focus at a specific distance. Many other cameras make this easier because the distance index scale is ‘notched’ onto the outside ring of the lens itself. Because the Sony Alpha relies on firmware and computer-screen UI, I would ask that you improve the UI to include the two important changes mentioned above.
With feet (imperial units) some of us are better at judging distances in feet and can be more accurate… and
in meters it will greatly help if we can see on screen when a lens is focused at 2.2 meters vs. 2.6 etc. through the use of a decimal fraction (tenths place should be sufficient).