24 October, 2013

SONY RX10 preview. make. believe

Sony has released a new camera in the RX series, using the RX100 as ground start but sporting a DSLResq design, that it will attract a wide range of people.

The most immediate remarkable feature is the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lenses that boost a 8.3x optical zoom with a large F2.8 maximum aperture throughout an expansive 24-200mm zoom range (35mm equivalent format). Total zoom 16.6x including Digital Zoom. Optical stabilization - Steady shot.

Here is the camera with lenses collapsed. At this wide setting the macro working distance is 3cm from subject to front lens with maximum magnification ratio of 0.45.

And here is the camera with the lenses extended. The "macro" working distance is 30 cm from subject to front lens with maximum magnification ratio of 0.38.

The construction of the lens assembly has 14 elements in 11 groups (7 aspheric elements including advanced aspherical AA lens), providing a  large F2.8 maximum aperture throughout an expansive 8.8-73.3mm focal length (24-200mm zoom range at 35mm equivalent format), range that gives you ample opportunity to express your creativity. To make a subject stand out — manipulate depth of field to defocus backgrounds for creative effect. We expect the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens’ to optimize image quality consistently from edge to edge.
Bokeh should be OK but not spectacular due to the iris diaphragm - 7 blades.

The camera use a back-illuminated 1 inch (13.2mm x 8.8mm) 20.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor technology with approximately 4x larger light-sensitive area that other compact DSC (digital still cameras).
Here is a comparative size between a DSC sensor (yellow color) and Sony 1 inch sensor (magenta color).

Size wise the camera is exactly as an entry level DSLR on the market.
Dimensions (W x H x D): 129.0 x 88.1 x 102.2mm (5 1/8" x 3 1/2" x 4 1/8")

Weight wise it is heavy as an advanced level DSLR, mostly due to the weather proof construction (moisture and dust) and magnesium alloy body: approx. 813g (1lb 12.7oz.) - Battery and Memory Stick Duo included) / Approx. 755g (1lb 10.6oz.) (Body only)
The top of the camera feature starting from left: mode dial selector switch, flash hot shoe, custom function buttons, witness LCD illuminated display, exposure compensation dial and shutter - zoom lever combo button. Zoom action is controlled by the rocker dial around shutter button or by the big dial on the lens. The detail that makes this camera particularly interesting is the STEP-ZOOM function which can be assigned to zoom dial on the lens barrel. When used, optical zoom moves in “steps” stopping on popular focal lengths: 24, 35, 50, 70, 100, 135 and 200mm. At the same time, rocker dial around the shutter button still function as infinitely adjustable zoom.
The front of the camera reveal a lens filter thread of 62mm for those in need of creative filters. Other nice feature of the lens is the aperture ring switch that disable the click sound the ring is making when changing the aperture, for those using the camera in movie mode.
The focus assist light is also located on the front and the flash, while small in size, it raise automatic or with press of one button.
The grip is quite generous, rubber textured and comfortable to hold, feeling instantly familiar to anyone who’s handled a DSLR camera.The index finger sits naturally on the shutter button area while the thumb finger sits on the rest area, close to exposure compensation dial. Sony included a built-in 3EV Neutral Density Filter, that enable creative use of large aperture during bright light for creative effects.
The back of the camera feature a large 3.0 inch type TFT LCD screen on 4:3 format with 1,228,800 dots, tiltable to approx. 84 deg. up and approx. 43 deg. down. Too bad for creative effects, I dream of a swivel type scren that you can turn around - it would be nicer.

The camera can be operated in shooting mode with one hand due to the fact that all controls are located within thumb reach. For playback you have to use the left hand as Menu button is located in the left side of the camera.
The viewfinder is 0.39-type electronic viewfinder (OLED) with 1,440,000 dots with diopter adjustment of -4.0 to +3.0m-1, and it is the same used on NEX-6 camera. It has proximity sensor so it will switch off the LCD screen when you look in the viewfinder.

While you press the shutter button the images are handled by the new-generation, groundbreaking image processing engine BIONZ X that writes the JPEG and/or RAW files on the following media:
- Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro*7, Memory Stick Micro (Mark2)*7, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card (UHS-I), SDXC Memory Card (UHS-I), microSD Memory Card*8, microSDHC Memory Card*7, microSDXC Memory Card*. 

Autofocus is fast and responsive, thanks to the new Direct Drive SSM mechanism.
Sony RX-10 has HDMI and USB connectors, 3.5mm microphone input and even 3.5mm audio output for sound monitoring headphones. Wi-Fi and NFC are also built-in and only GPS might be added to make it perfect.

There is still one open question though: the price. I have been told it will cost in the 1300 EURO range in Europe and that is quite steep (USA will get it for $1300 what is a bit cheaper). You could get Nikon D7100 or Canon 70D with 18-135 lens at this price and these cameras are better than RX10. Still, a lot of users do not want interchangeable lens camera and this might be the best all-in-one solution in years. The price will most surely fall in a few months time and this camera might a best-seller.

Sony Press Release:
Premium performance and portability; Full range shooting from wide angle to telephoto
Cyber-shot™ RX10 premium bridge camera offers DSLR-style creative power without the need to carry interchangeable lenses
  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm (35mm equiv.) zoom lens with bright F2.8 maximum aperture at all focal lengths
  • Superb quality images with rich detail from 20.2 megapixel 1.0-type back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor
  • New BIONZ X™ processor with approximately 3x faster processing speedi and new area-specific noise reduction
  • Fast, silent and accurate contrast detection autofocus with Direct Drive SSMii
  • Full HD (1920x1080 - 60p/25piii) movies with PASM control and professional-style XLR input for external microphone
  • New 1440k dot OLED Tru-Finder™ plus 3.0-type tilting LCD with WhiteMagic technology
  • 4K photo output and support for TRILUMINOS Display
  • NFC and Wi-Fi for easy connection with smartphones & tablets

There is a lot to say about this camera, for the moment I stop here. More to come as I cannot wait to buy one!

Suporter Benfica Lisabona

In scurta vizita in Lisabona, Portugalia nu se putea sa ratez Stadio De Luz, stadionul Benficai Lisabona. Poate nu la fel de impresionant ca si Camp Nou in Barcelona Spania, dar totusi, impresionant. Am vizitat muzeul si stadionul - la firul ierbii!

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22 October, 2013

Vitoria, the Eagle (Benfica Eagle)

Before every home match, an actual eagle named Vitória flies around the Estádio da Luz and lands on top of Benfica's club shield, creating a real life version of the club's emblem. When this tradition first started, the eagle would not land on the shield every time, so it was believed by fans that when the eagle landed on top of the crest the team would win their game.

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