B&H Gear News Roundup: November 21, 2014
When did it decide to get so cold? The planet has tilted away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere and that means that it is holiday-shopping time! This week in the news, Sony rolled out the Alpha a7II, Zacuto announced the Gratical HD Micro OLED EVF, and you can pre-order your Parrot BeBop Drone Quadcopter.
Sony a7II Mirrorless Camera and 70-33mm G SSM II A-Mount Lens
It seems like the ink just dried on B&H's extensive review of the Sony a7 series of mirrorless cameras, but Sony Japan has created quite a stir in the photo world, with the unveiling of the new a7II camera.
The new camera makes several big-time improvements over its older a7 brethren. First among these is the first-ever full-frame 5-axis in-body image stabilization system. Yep, I had to look up what the heck the 5-axes are, as I first thought this camera provided stabilization in the time and the theoretical 5th dimension. Super cool. But, alas, I was disappointed to learn that beyond the three spatial dimensions (pitch, roll, and yaw), there are two more tangible movements of a camera sensor: horizontal and vertical translation. The new a7II allows up to 4.5 stops of stabilization.
For those of you keeping score at home, "5-axis" is a bit of misnomer.
Anyway, sorry for the digression. Back to your regularly scheduled program...
The a7II has the same 24MP sensor and BIONZ processor as the a7, with a few improvements made to the autofocus system and video performance. It also features a re-designed handgrip and some modifications to the interface.
Joining the announcement, Sony Japan also announced the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lens. This is an updated version of the long-reach zoom that features a new nano AR coating and autofocus motor.
Check out our take on the new Sony gear in this B&H article.
Zacuto Gratical HD Micro OLED EVF
Moviemakers rejoice! Zacuto has unveiled its newest electronic viewfinder for digital cine work. The Gratical HD Micro OLED EVF contains a tiny OLED panel that is packed with 5.4 million pixels to provide your eye with a true HD video display.
The extreme 10,000:1 contrast ratio helps in focusing by giving the image a remarkable range and true blacks. It's also weather resistant and features a versatile mounting system.
For more information on the Zacuto, check out this B&H report.
Parrot BeBop Drone
Last week I voiced my objection to the use of the word "drone" when describing unmanned aerial vehicles. I probably need to get off that soap box, as UAV manufacturers are now using the name to describe their own products.
Case in point: the new Parrot BeBop Drone is available for pre-order and it is packed with features that help it compete well against its competition in the rapidly crowding drone market. The BeBop features a unique image stabilization system for its 180-degree fisheye 14MP onboard camera, and the capability to pair with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headgear. Um, very cool.
If the marketing image at the top of this B&H article does not make you want one for the holidays, I am not sure what will!
- At the end of our "2014 Cameras of The Year" article, I made mention of how I like to see bold design in the photography world. The Blocks+ is a great example of another.
- If you enjoy, or want to get into macro photography check click here and here. If you have a Fuji X camera, check out your new extension tubes and XT-1 firmware update.
- Whoa... look what is coming... using Photoshop inside your Chrome web browser. Game changer.
- Shooting videos on Super 8? Check this out.
- The Removu R1; an awesome GoPro accessory. Get it here.
- LEDs are the rage. This one looks cool!
- Ezio's new monitor has a built-in color checker.
... and that's your gear news for the week of November 17th, 2014.