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PhotoPlus Expo – Redsnap

19th November 2013

High Speed Photography and More

As I was walking the aisles of the PhotoPlus Expo, an impressive photo caught my attention. It was a stop action of a glass bottle as it was shattering into hundreds of small pieces.

I was at the booth of a company named Triggertrap and they were showing off its Redsnap trigger. This device is unique in that you can use one of several sensors to trigger your camera or flash.

 

This is the Redsnap.

It accepts interchangeable sensors: laser, sound, infrared and lightning. It has three outputs to connect up to three cameras or flashes.

A sensor snap into the top of the unit. In this photo, the sound sensor is attached which was used to trigger to sample photo of the breaking bottle.


this photo from Triggertrap website

These are a pair of laser sensors. A laser sensor can trigger a camera when the laser beam is broken.

The Redsnap can also be set to take timelapse photographs.

 

The good news is that this looks like a promising product.

The bad news is that the Redsnap is not yet available. Triggertap has been raising money to build and distribute the Redsnap through a Kickstarter campaign. The goal was to raise £50,000 but they surprisingly raised £290,000.

I learned that the electronics and enclosures for the Redsnap are now being finalized. Small production batches will be available for Kickstarter contributors beginning in December and January and full production is scheduled to begin about May of next year.

Retail prices have yet to be determined. For more information go to the Triggertrap site.

It looks like an interesting accessory. I hope to review one when they become available.

Written by: Arnie Lee

 

 


 

 

 

 

PhotoPlus Expo – Sony a7

05th November 2013

Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

At this year’s PhotoPlus Expo, I made it a point to visit Sony’s booth to have a quick hands on their newly announced Alpha 7 camera. But first, here’s a little background that may help to explain why I take such an interest in the a7.

In 2010, Sony introduced the Alpha A55 with its unique translucent mirror. The non-movable mirror enables Sony to pack many innovative features into a space-saving SLT body that are missing from conventional DLSR cameras – accurate and continuous autofocus, real time electronic viewfinder, sweep panorama, multi-frame noise reduction, more. Since then I’ve been a user of two models – the A55 and a more advanced A65. Both produce excellent images. And since they are considerably smaller and lighter than the competitor’s equivalent models, they are less burdensome in the field.

These two SLTs cultivated my fondness for lightweight equipment. So I was very intrigued when I learned about Sony’s NEX series of compact camera. With an APS-C sensor, a NEX camera body is half the size of a DLSR yet accommodates interchangeable lenses owing to its mirrorless design. I soon acquired a lower-end NEX 5 to see if it met my requirements. I found it has image quality but I was not comfortable using the LCD finder with longer lenses. I then purchased the NEX 7 that sports an electronic viewfinder. Since then this has been my camera of choice owing to its excellent image quality, innovative feature set, compact lens size in an extremely lightweight package.

Several weeks preceding the PhotoPlus Expo, Sony announced the Alpha 7. It’s a direct descendent of the NEX series. Yes, it has a full frame sensor but its mirrorless design has been proven by several generations of the APS-C size NEX cameras.

You can see the thinness of the camera body with 35mm lens attached.

Specs: 24MP sensor, hybrid phase detection/contrast-detection autofocus, bright 2.4MP electronic viewfinder, articulated LCD, full HD video, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, E-mount and full E-mount lens compatibility.



the a7 with Carl Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens attached

dedicated mode and exposure compensation dials


I asked Meagan, the Sony rep, if the very compact E-mount lenses are compatible with the a7. She told me that they can be used but the view is shrunk to cover only the central 16MP of the sensor.

For the a7’s larger sensor you’ll have to use one of the new Full E-mount lenses: FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6; Sonnar 35mm f/2.8; Sonnar 55mm f/1.8 and Vario-Tessar 24-70mm F4. Also coming is a Sony 70-200mm G f/4 lens for early 2014.

Meagan says that delivery of the a7 begins December 1. Price is $1699 for body only and $1999 with the 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.


 

 

I am impressed with the small size of the a7. With the 28-70mm lens attached, the package is amazingly small and lightweight. While I wasn’t able to examine my test shots in detail, I’m confident that the full-frame sensor will delivery excellent images. In fact, I understand that Sony supplies this same sensor for use in Nikon’s D600 full frame DSLR.

So I remain in a quandary. Should I move from my very comfortable NEX 7 to this new full-frame a7?

 

 

Written by: Arnie Lee