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Sony A9 Image Samples

Now that the Sony A9 is announced, it is a good time to take a closer look at the image samples produced by this amazing mirrorless camera. Sony has made a total of 12 full size JPEG images available that we can pixel peep at, so below are the same images presented in their full resolution at different focal lengths, apertures and ISOs. Since the A9 is a sports and wildlife camera, the most used lenses for the sample images were the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS and the new Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS.

As expected, image samples look stunning. Based on the number of action shots captured by the A9, it looks like Sony was able to achieve remarkable speed and accuracy with its new autofocus system.

In order to look at the below images in full detail, please right-click each image and download it to your computer.

Sony A9 Image Sample #1
Sony A9 + FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA @ 16mm, 1/1250, f/4, ISO 2500
Sony A9 Image Sample #2
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 170mm, 1/3200, f/2.8, ISO 200
Sony A9 Image Sample #3
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 138mm, 1/2000, f/4, ISO 400
Sony A9 Image Sample #4
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 200mm, 1/2500, f/5.6, ISO 200
Sony A9 Image Sample #5
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 200mm, 1/1250, f/3.5, ISO 2000
Sony A9 Image Sample #6
Sony A9 + FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS @ 400mm, 1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 200
Sony A9 Image Sample #7
Sony A9 + FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS @ 274mm, 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 200
Sony A9 Image Sample #8
Sony A9 + FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS @ 232mm, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 3200
Sony A9 Image Sample #9
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 198mm, 1/2500, f/2.8, ISO 1250
Sony A9 Image Sample #10
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 173mm, 1/3200, f/4, ISO 400
Sony A9 Image Sample #11
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 200mm, 1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 3200
Sony A9 Image Sample #12
Sony A9 + FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS @ 198mm, 1/5000, f/3.5, ISO 1600

The post Sony A9 Image Samples appeared first on Photography Life.


Plugin Spotlight: Moog Multimode Filter Collection by Universal Audio

This plugin spotlight features the Moog Multimode Filter Collection by Universal Audio, a set of truly authentic, analog-sounding Moog filter emulations.

Moog Multimode Filter


The legendary sound of Moog analog filters have long reigned supreme as the most influential and musical‑sounding filter circuits ever designed. In a successful effort, Moog and Universal Audio have combined their renowned talents to design a new Moog Multimode Filter Collection for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Capturing the incredibly rich presence and sought after filter characteristics, the Moog Multimode Filter Collection comes bundled with the new Moog Multimode Filter XL plus the previously available Moog Multimode Filter, and the low DSP Moog Multimode Filter SE. These three plugins offer truly authentic, analog-sounding Moog filter emulation, coupled with powerful modulation and control functions that can be used as a tone-shaping secret weapon in a mix or a source of creative madness in a live performance.

Moog Multimode Filter XL

Moog Multimode Filter XL

Built for the modern music producer or audio engineer, the Moog Multimode Filter XL combines various incarnations of Moog designs with expanded modulation and envelope capabilities, improved filter design, and a full-featured, 16-step multi-lane step sequencer for modulating the plugin’s control parameter values over time.

Designed in collaboration with Moog Music Chief Scientist Cyril Lance, the Moog Multimode Filter XL is a more advanced version of UAD’s original Moog Multimode Filter plugin. The new design offers separate filters that can be modulated separately, more filter modes, a variety of filter slopes, a wider range of cutoff frequencies, an envelope follower circuit with a selection of sound shaping parameters and control destinations, endless LFO modulation possibilities, and an intuitive, full-featured, four-lane 16-step sequencer.

Key Features

  • Based on the Moog Sub 37, the improved nonlinear filter design includes four different filter slopes, a full 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range, plus Lowpass, Highpass, Bandpass, and Notch filtering with self-oscillation.
  • Drive control for increasing the amount of saturation gain before the filter, plus a Boost (+20) button that increases the gain range of the Drive circuit.
  • Independent Envelope Attack and Release controls borrowed from The Moog Ladder 500, plus four assignable Envelope destination selections for Filter Cutoff, Resonance, Modulation Amount, and Rate. Also, a Sensitivity control for setting the level of the input signal as it passes into the envelope follower and an Amount control for setting the degree to which the envelope destination is affected by the dynamics of the input signal.
  • Borrowed from the Moog Sonic Six, the LFO Modulation section features two fully independent, Tempo Sync/Tap Tempo controlled LFO Rate controls plus seven independent LFO Wave selections including Slewed Random from the Sub 37. This section also has global LFO Amount, Balance, and Width controls that affect the behavior of both LFOs simultaneously.
  • Borrowed from the Moog Voyager, the Spacing control detunes two separate hard-panned filters for creating stereo spatial effects.
  • 16-step Sequencer with four assignable lanes that feature Sequence Length, Amount, Glide, plus global Direction, Sync, and Swing controls.
  • Output section controls for setting final output volume, wet/dry mix, stereo/mono operation, and left/right balance.
  • The collection includes Moog Multimode Filter XL, Original Moog Multimode Filter, and DSP-lite “SE” version.
  • Comes loaded with artist presets from The Glitch Mob, The Crystal Method, Benno de Goeij, Christoffer Berg, and more.

The Moog Ladder Filter

Moog Multimode Filter

Turning electricity into music, the late electronic music pioneer and inventor of the Moog Synthesizer Bob Moog is famously known for developing legendary analog synthesizers that have inspired generations of musicians and audio engineers. What makes Moog synthesizers so unique is the Voltage Controlled Filter circuitry used in all Moog Synthesizers to this day. Moog’s Ladder Filter is the heart and soul of his instruments and is an essential element of the lush, thick sound that make Moog synthesizers so renowned.

On October 10, 1966, Bob Moog filed the patent #3,475,623 titled “Electronic High Pass and Low Pass Filters Employing the Base to Emitter Diode Resistance of Bipolar Transistors,” which became one of the most influential elements in the Moog sound. Interestingly, Moog’s design gained its name ‘The Ladder Filter’ from the original filter circuit schematic which shows two symmetrical cascades of four transistors and a capacitor between each pair of transistors that does indeed look like a ladder.

Moog Ladder Filter

The Ladder Filter was the first voltage controlled filter design. By using voltage control such as keyboards and envelopes to steer the harmonic content of music over time, the Ladder Filter allowed new ways of manipulating sound which massively advanced musical expression. The Ladder Filter became so revolutionary that it was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2013 for being a great technological achievement that has changed the world.

Nearly 50 years later, Moog’s Ladder Filter remains one of the most musical‑sounding filters heard on countless hit records and used by some of the biggest names in the music industry since its inception. The illustrious sound of the filter was so well received that it quickly become the design reference and sonic benchmark for nearly every synthesizer that has followed.

The great achievements of Bob Moog’s innovative designs and legendary sound has placed him in history as the founding father of synthesizers and the original inspiration for so much of today’s electronic music.

Take Away

The Moog Multimode XL plugin is truly an impressive emulation of the most musical audio filtering circuits ever devised. It delivers that classic Moog richness and personality of the original hardware while also offering modern functionality for sequencer-based music production. What makes this filter stand out from the pack other than its amazing sound and rhythmic precision is that it combines several classic and modern Moog instrument features into one simple, creative control set.

The Moog Multimode Filter Collection is a great set of tools perfect for sculpting and manipulating sounds like the pros. Enhance your music by adding subtle to extreme textures to synths, drums, and other sources or create various styles of expression across the stereo field with independent LFOs. The Drive circuit alone adds musical warmth that will push your sounds harder in the mix. Even better, is that the new plugin design offers modern features such independent control and an intuitive, four-lane step sequencer loaded with options for creating some filter madness.

Moog and UAD have done a stellar job with this plugin. It’s also inspiring to have the opportunity to work with a legendary processor that has been a major recording studio staple for so many decades. This set is remarkably one of the finest “character” filter plugins available today, and at an affordable price. Another great achievement for Universal Audio!


The Moog Multimode Filter Collection plugin for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is available to download at Universal Audio for $249.


About Universal Audio

Founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., Universal Audio has been synonymous with innovative recording products since its inception. A favorite engineer of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and more, the late Bill Putnam Sr. was a passionate innovator who is widely regarded as the father of modern recording — with many of his legendary studio and equipment designs still in use today.

Universal Audio was re-founded in 1999 by Bill’s sons, James Putnam and Bill Putnam Jr., with two main goals: to faithfully reproduce classic analog recording equipment in the tradition of their father; and to design new digital recording tools in with the sound and spirit of vintage analog technology. To that end, Universal Audio employs the world’s brightest DSP engineers and digital modeling authorities to develop our award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform. Featuring the most authentic analog emulation plug-ins in the industry, our DSP gurus work with the original hardware manufacturers — using their exact schematics, golden units, and experienced ears — to give UAD plug-ins warmth and harmonics in all the right places, just like analog.

With 165 employees and offices in Los Angeles, Colorado, and Amsterdam, Universal Audio is headquartered near Silicon Valley in Scotts Valley, California — where our classic analog gear is still hand-built, one unit at a time.

Software or hardware, every Universal Audio product is backed by a decade’s long legacy of innovation, superlative quality, and technical passion.


Kontour Tutorial

Sound Design Komplete Program

Finding the right sound can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Learn the fundamentals of synthesis and sampling and gain the depth of knowledge to shape sounds the way you want them or make your own sounds from scratch.

About This Program

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

What’s Included

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Production Techniques
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

Additional Information

Visit the Music Foundations course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.


The post Plugin Spotlight: Moog Multimode Filter Collection by Universal Audio appeared first on Dubspot Blog.


The Daily Podcast the-daily-album-art-superJumbo-v2

Back in the early days of iPad, The Daily was one of the early attempts at reinventing news for a new generation. It was the world’s first iPad only magazine. At a fair price for $40 per year, it was a no brainer for me. Unfortunately, it didn’t convince enough people to subscribe and was shut down..

Earlier this year, The New York Times launched The Daily Podcast. It’s a daily 15 minute podcast scratches that the same itch that the original “The Daily” did. It drops at 6:00 AM EST, and it’s a brief recap of the news of the day.



Apple Podcast


If you haven’t tried Overcast yet, be sure to check out why The Sweet Setup thinks it’s the best iOS podcast app.

Subscribe in Overcast


Apple’s Upcoming 2017 iPhone – Design Schematics


According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple’s plans, the iPhone 8 could include more advanced biometric features such as facial recognition or iris scanning, perhaps powered by a new front-facing camera system. Kuo has not elaborated on what additional biometric features would be used for, but presumably these would be alternate methods for accessing the iPhone or adding additional layers of protection.

Kuo also believes Apple will introduce new Touch ID technology for the iPhone 8, which will be built under the glass of the display and will “enhance transactions security.” He predicts Apple will switch from a capacitive Touch ID system to an optical system, and according to Taiwanese site DigiTimes, Apple will introduce new fingerprint recognition technology developed in-house. Apple is struggling to implement Touch ID under the glass and could delay this feature.

Citing unnamed “industry sources,” DigiTimes claims the iPhone 8 will include iris scanning technology, allowing users to unlock their devices with an eye scan. DigiTimes originally said the iris scanning function would not be ready until 2018, but later updated that prediction to 2017. The site does not have the most solid track record when it comes to Apple rumors, so it remains unclear if iris scanning is something we can expect this year. DigiTimes has also stated that other technologies like ultrasound for facial recognition are a possibility.

Apple is rumored to be sourcing iris scanning chips from Taiwan-based supplier Xintec, with Xintec planning to begin mass production on the component in 2017.

According to Fast Company, Apple is working with Lumentum to develop 3D sensing technology that will be included in the iPhone 8, but it is not clear how the feature will be used. It could be used for facial recognition, augmented reality, or camera improvements.

Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri believes the iPhone 8 could include facial and gesture recognition capabilities, which could be powered by a laser and infrared sensor located near the front-facing camera.

JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall believes Apple will eliminate Touch ID in the iPhone 8, replacing it with a 3D facial recognition feature that uses a front-facing 3D laser scanner.

Hall’s reasoning is that there will be no Touch ID fingerprint sensor because there won’t be a Home button, but Apple has patented techniques for building optical fingerprint scanning into the display. Facial recognition has benefits that include being able to unlock the iPhone even with wet hands. In the future, Hall speculates that the alleged 3D laser scanner could potentially be used for other purposes like augmented reality, but he does not believe this will happen until at least 2018.

We’ve also seen rumors suggesting Touch ID could be built into the back of the device if Apple is not able to implement it under the display, so Apple’s Touch ID and biometric plans are very much unclear at this point.


The iPhone 8 is expected to include NAND flash memory from Samsung, but it is not clear what improvements it might bring. With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple introduced a 256GB storage option, and it’s possible additional increases could be included in the iPhone 8.

One rumor has suggested the iPhone 8 will include increased storage space, which could make the device more expensive than previous-generation iPhone models, and another rumor says it will be available in 64 and 256GB capacities.


Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 8 is rumored to include 3GB RAM. While one rumor suggests only the high-end OLED model will include 3GB RAM, Cowen & Co analyst Timothy Arcuri believes all three models, including the 4.7 and 5.5-inch devices, will offer 3GB RAM. Arcuri does not explain why Apple might make this choice, but it could be to support improved camera features.

Taptic Engine

An enhanced Taptic engine is one of the features that could be included in the 2017 iPhone, according to a report from Japanese site Nikkei. Apple is said to be working on a “high-performance motor” that’s able to “create more complex tactile vibrations.”

Such an engine would perhaps be necessary if Apple is indeed eliminating the Home button in the iPhone 8, as has been rumored. Haptic feedback could offer vibrations to denote triggers like the unlocking of the iPhone and the confirmation of a Touch ID payment, two features currently tied to the physical iPhone Home button.

3D Touch

With Apple implementing glass bodies for the iPhone and introducing at least one OLED display, new 3D Touch technology may be required. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will need to use a new 3D Touch module with “additional graphite sheet lamination” for heat reduction.

Battery Life

We’ve heard few rumors on the prospective battery life of the iPhone 8, but one rumor from Fast Company says the device will include a “far bigger battery,” which could result in improved battery life. A larger battery could also be implemented to power features like an OLED display or new biometric features that are rumored, though, so longer battery life is not a guarantee.

Apple is said to be planning to use a stacked logic board design that will support longer battery life. With the improved logic board, the iPhone 8 will be able to offer the same battery life traditionally available in the 5.5-inch iPhone in a device the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone. An L-shaped two-cell battery pack with a capacity around 2,700 mAh could be included.

Battery life could be further improved through the use of a more energy efficient OLED panel.

Rear Cameras

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the dual-lens camera introduced in the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus will continue to be a feature exclusive to “high-end” iPhone models in 2017.

Kuo predicts a 4.7-inch iPhone with a single camera, a 5.5-inch model with a dual-lens camera, and an OLED model in an unspecified size with a dual-lens camera.

He believes that future models will include optical image stabilization (OIS) for both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses. In the iPhone 7 Plus, only the wide-angle lens features OIS. The camera in the 2017 iPhone could also support 3D photography effects if Apple opts to use an LG camera module.

According to Japanese site Mac Otakara, the high-end 5-inch iPhone Apple plans on introducing could adopt a new vertical dual camera arrangement instead of a horizontal dual camera system. A vertical dual camera has also been seen on alleged iPhone 8 design schematics and has been confirmed by Bloomberg, so with multiple sources pointing towards a vertical dual camera, it seems to be a likely feature for the OLED iPhone 8.

A vertical rear camera could potentially result in improved photos and it could enable augmented-reality based features.

Front-Facing Camera

For the front-facing camera of the OLED iPhone, Apple is said to be testing a dual-lens camera system, similar to the dual lens setup in the iPhone 7 Plus, allowing for improved front-facing images.

Rumors suggest the front-facing camera of the iPhone 8 will use a “revolutionary” system consisting of three modules that enable 3D sensing capabilities powered by PrimeSense technology.

The camera is rumored to include an infrared transmitting module, an infrared receiving module, and a traditional camera. With the infrared additions, the camera will be able to find the location and depth of objects placed in front of it, technology that could be used for facial and iris recognition or for future AR capabilities. It could perhaps be located under the iPhone display, technology Apple has been exploring.


The iPhone 8 may feature enhanced Siri functionality according to a rumor from DigiTimes. It’s not clear what an enhanced version of Siri would be able to do, but it could include an overall refinement to the personal assistant’s ability to respond to contextual requests and other dialogue.

Apple is said to be taking advantage of technology it acquired when it purchased AI startup Turi in August of 2016. It’s not clear if improved Siri capabilities will be introduced in iOS 11 and available for multiple devices or tied specifically to the iPhone 8


Sony A9 Announcement

Step aside Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 – Sony has just announced its A9, a high-end, full-frame sports camera. With a 24 MP stacked CMOS sensor, a whopping 20 fps continuous shooting rate without blackouts, up to 1/32,000 shutter speed (electronic, mechanical up to 1/8000), a 241 RAW image buffer, 693 on-sensor phase detection autofocus points occupying 93% of the viewfinder, AF joystick, full-frame 4K video capture, in-body five-axis image stabilization, fully weather sealed body, larger battery capacity, a built-in Ethernet port and dual SD card slots, the Sony A9 is one serious monster aimed at directly competing with the top-tier DSLR cameras. It is a pricey camera at $4,500 MSRP, but it is still $2K cheaper than the Nikon D5 and offers features the D5 simply cannot compete with. The Sony A9 is a very exciting release for a number of reasons.

Sony A9

First of all, this is the first time a mirrorless camera is aiming at something mirrorless has been struggling with when compared to DSLRs, which is autofocus speed, subject tracking and blackouts. While it is hard to say how well the new AF system on the A9 is going to be compared to high-end DSLR cameras, the message here is clear – Sony is going to do what it takes to make on-sensor AF as good as a dedicated phase-detection AF system. Second, the Sony A9 is a proof of concept that DSLRs have reached their limits for continuous shooting rate due to the presence of the mirror mechanism. While the Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 are limited to 12-14 fps of continuous shooting, the Sony A9 takes this to a whole new level at 20 fps. If it was not for sensor readout and bandwidth limitation issues, I am sure Sony could have easily gone over 20 fps. Third, the Sony A9 has the world’s first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor:

Sony A9 Stacked Sensor

While this might sound gibberish for those who don’t understand sensor technology, a stacked sensor is capable of insanely fast readout speeds, because data is temporarily stored in the integral memory of the sensor (#2 in the above graph) and a high-speed signal processing circuit (#3) is able to retrieve and pass all the data to the image processing engine (#4) much quicker than traditional sensor design that reads data from top to bottom of the pixel area (#1). Because of this sensor technology alone, the camera is going to have massive advantages for not just continuous shooting rates, but also for capturing high-resolution 4K video. In addition, the stacked sensor allows for much quicker analysis of the overall sensor data, which translates to increased focusing performance for both contrast and phase-detection autofocus.

To understand differences between this new stacked sensor technology when compared to a traditional DSLR, take a look at the below video:

As you can see, the stacked sensor on the Sony A9 opens up many opportunities for photographers. When using an electronic shutter, you no longer have to worry about either mirror slap or shutter shock either, which is very impressive.

Fourth, the Sony A9 pretty much lifts the limitations of the traditional autofocus system by allowing phase-detection AF points to be spread pretty much throughout the viewfinder:

Sony A9 Focus Point Coverage

You no longer have to worry about focus point spread and focus points being more accurate in the center of the frame. On-sensor phase detection pixels are going to perform very similarly no matter where they are located on the sensor, which means that you could continue tracking a subject even when they are not in the center of the frame. As long as you keep the subject within the viewfinder, you are good to go.

At this point, it is hard to say how good the autofocus system on the Sony A9 is going to be when compared to cameras like Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5, but you can take a look at the below interview with Gene Lower, a professional sports photographer from Arizona who is very pleased with the performance of the camera:

What’s impressive about the A9 is also its huge memory buffer that can fit up to 241 RAW images. With a 20 fps continuous shooting speed, one can continuously capture a scene for 12 seconds, which is more than enough for most sports and wildlife photography needs. The only puzzling part to me is the use of SD cards – I was expecting to see something faster and more powerful like XQD on the Sony A9. Speaking of which, the Sony A9 now has two memory card slots (finally!), but only one of them is UHS-II compatible. I think the idea here is that one would use a UHS-II card for shooting fast action, while the second memory card slot is used primarily for backup and the speed is not as important. I am not sure how Sony is planning to address buffer writing to two memory cards though and I hope that the camera won’t slow down while the second slot is being written to.

The biggest hole that Sony needs to patch as quickly as possible, is lack of good super telephoto options. At this time, the longest native lens Sony has for the FE mount is the newly announced Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS. While it looks like a great lens, it cannot compete with a super telephoto prime in any way. If Sony can quickly crank out 400mm, 500mm and 600mm lenses in the next 12+ months, the Sony A9 will be taken very seriously by many professional photographers. But until then, it will be tough to get sports and wildlife photographers to switch. Sony needs native FE mount super telephoto lenses as quickly as possible – adapting existing glass made for Sony Alpha / Minolta mounts is not going to be a good solution, since lenses need to be able to take advantage of the new technology on the Sony A9.

Fifth, Sony is finally addressing one of the biggest issues with mirrorless cameras – battery life. Thanks to the much more powerful and efficient NP-FZ100 battery, the Sony A9 is capable of shooting many more images (Sony claims 2.2x more battery power) – up to 650 according to CIPA testing. While this might sound still pretty far from a DSLR can do, always take CIPA numbers with a grain of salt. According to the video above, the photographer could get over 1,000 shots and only consumed about a quarter of the battery. So for high-speed shooting and situations where one can turn off the LCD screen for image previews (EVF and LCD screens eat up battery life quickly), I am sure this single battery can be used to take many more shots than 650. If the Sony A9 can yield over 1,000 images from a single battery, that’s already a huge achievement. Also, keep in mind that one can add a battery grip to use two batteries at a time, so the A9 could potentially compete with cameras like Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 even when it comes to battery life!

Sixth, the Sony A9 obliterates the Nikon D5 for video shooting by being able to use full pixel readout without pixel binning. Thanks to the fast sensor readout, the processor can read 6K of information, then down-sample the footage to 4K, creating video with very little noise. In comparison, the Nikon D5 uses pixel-level data from the sensor, resulting in an unimpressive 1.45x crop, which gives no advantage to resulting video footage. At the same time, nothing is said about being able to output uncompressed video through an HDMI port, something the D5 is capable of doing. Sony is clearly not wanting to make the A9 a premium video camera though – that will probably be left for the future Sony A9S.

And let’s not forget the ability to shoot subjects without ANY shutter or mirror sounds. That in itself is game changing for wildlife photography – imaging being able to photograph birds and other wildlife without disrupting them in any way! No DSLR can currently compete with that.

Speaking of which, the last point I wanted to bring out was the future A9-series cameras. Clearly, Sony has addressed many concerns that I and many others brought out in our reviews and conversations with Sony executives in regards to issues like battery life, ergonomics (joystick), dual memory card slots, uncompressed RAW, etc. It makes sense for the company to continue releasing different iterations of the Sony A9 for different needs. Within the next year or so, I anticipate Sony to release a super high-resolution Sony A9R that will have similar ergonomics, same battery life and other features introduced on the A9. If Sony prices it out right to be in-line with what the Sony A7R II costs (and hopefully discontinues the A7 series cameras), it will be a killer camera for landscape, architecture, macro and studio photographers. For the movie industry, Sony will probably release a Sony A9S with an amazing low-light sensor that will be able to shoot 4K-6K video at very fast frame rates and full sensor readout.

It is a great time to be a photographer, because technology is opening up so many opportunities. I applaud Sony for being brave to bring out the Sony A9 to challenge Canon and Nikon, and I thank the company engineers and executives for listening to our feedback and concerns over the years. While I was not a fan of the PR move Sony marketing pulled out last week, this particular announcement is definitely something I am very excited about. I cannot wait to get my hands on the A9 and test it out later this year, hopefully with more super telephoto options from Sony.

I hope Canon and Nikon are not just taking notes from this announcement. As I have said many times before, DSLR sales will only be declining in a technology-driven market. I hope the big two are working on something that can compete with the Sony A9 and upcoming A9-series cameras, now that the bar is raised to a whole new level…

Official Press Release

Below is the official press release from Sony:

Sony’s New α9 Camera Revolutionizes the Professional Imaging Market

Groundbreaking Full-frame Mirrorless Camera Delivers Unmatched Speed, Versatility and Usability

  • World’s First1 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP2 resolution
  • Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting3 at up to 20fps4 for up to 241 RAW5/ 362 JPEG6 images
  • Silent7, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec8
  • 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
  • 5-Axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step1 shutter speed advantage

NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new revolutionary digital camera, the α9 (model ILCE-9).

The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created, the new α9 offers a level of imaging performance that is simply unmatched by any camera ever created – mirrorless, SLR or otherwise.

The new camera offers many impressive capabilities that are simply not possible with a modern digital SLR camera including high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting3 at up to 20fps4, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second10, a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second8 and much more. These are made possible thanks to its 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor – the world’s first of its kind – which enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras11. This unique sensor is paired with a brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.

This industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting7 is combined with a focusing system that features an incredible 693 phase detection AF points. Covering approximately 93% of the frame, the focusing system ensures that even the fastest moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.

The new α9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter7 with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise, making it an extremely powerful photographic tool for any shooting situation that demands quiet operation. To ensure maximum usability and reliability, the camera features a new Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries, as well as dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards. An Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) is available as well, and there is a wide variety of new settings, controls and customizability options that are essential for working pros.

“This camera breaks through all barriers and limitations of today’s professional digital cameras, with an overall feature set that simply cannot be matched considering the restrictions of mechanical SLR cameras” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “But what excites us most about the α9 – more than its extensive product specs – is that it allows professionals to see, follow and capture the action in ways that were never before possible, unlocking an endless amount of new creative potential.”

A New Standard of Speed and Focusing Accuracy
Critical to the record-breaking speed of the new α9 is the combination of the new stacked 24.2 MP2 Exmor RS image sensor, new BIONZ X processor and front end LSI.

The immense processing power from these new components allows for faster AF/AE calculation while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer, enabling photographers to shoot at a blazing 20 fps4 with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 362 JPEG6 or 241 RAW5 images.

The camera’s innovative AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second10, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times12. This feature truly combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy and “in the moment” advantages that not even the finest optical viewfinders can match, and is available in all still image modes including high speed 20 fps4 continuous shooting.

With 693 focal plane phase detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the frame, the camera ensures improved precision and unfailing focus in scenes where focus might otherwise be difficult to achieve. The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and excellent tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25% faster performance when compared with α7R II, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are captured.

Professional Capabilities in a Compact Body
Sony’s new full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style.

The α9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The new Tru-Finder, which is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony α camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a level of corner to corner sharpness that is simply outstanding. The EVF also utilizes a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.

This all adds up to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the α7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, ensuring the most natural shooting experience. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is even customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps13 to best match the action.

The α9 is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.0 steps9, ensuring the full resolving power of the new sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting. Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.

The α9 also offers an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal), allowing convenient transfer of still image files to a specified FTP server at high-speed, making it an ideal choice for studio photography, high-profile news and sporting events and more. There is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.

New Features for Fast Operation
Sony’s new α9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the α9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.

Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.

For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.

Double Battery Life, Double Memory
The innovative α9 camera features an all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models, allowing for much longer shooting performance.

Also, based on extensive customer feedback, the new camera offers two separate media card slots, including one for UHS-II media. The same data can simultaneously be recorded to both cards, or the user can choose to separate RAW / JPEG or still images / movies. Movies can also simultaneously be recorded to two cards for backup and more efficient data management.

High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range
The unique design of the α9 image sensor represents the pinnacle of Sony device technology. The 24.2 MP2 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor is back-illuminated, allowing to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality. The sensor also enables the diverse ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 20480014, ensuring optimum image quality with minimum noise at all settings.

The enhanced BIONZ X processor plays a large part in image quality as well, as it helps to minimize noise in the higher sensitivity range while also reducing the need to limit ISO sensitivity in situations where the highest quality image is required.

The new α9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW, ensuring users can get the most out of the wide dynamic range of the sensor.

4K Video Capture
The new α9 is very capable as a video camera as well, as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor15, 16. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super 35mm size.

Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking17.

New Accessories
Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new α9 camera, including:

  • NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery – high-capacity battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. It also supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, making it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.
  • VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as theα9 camera, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.
  • NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit – External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z series batteries and as a quick charger. Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.
  • GP-X1EM Grip Extension – Grip extender with same look, feel and design as α9 body. Enables more solid hold on camera.
  • FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup – eye piece cup with locking mechanism
  • BC-QZ1 Battery Charger – quick-charging battery charger. Charges one new Z series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.
  • PCK–LG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet – hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. Compatible with touch operation and tilting LCD screen

Pricing and Availability
The Sony α9 Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship this May for about $4,500 US and $6,000 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

Additional Notes

  1. As of April 19th, 2017
  2. Approx. effective
  3. Electronic shutter mode. At apertures smaller than F11 (F-numbers higher than F11), focus will not track the subject and focus points will be fixed on the first frame. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  4. “Hi” continuous shooting mode. The maximum frame rate will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information.
  5. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, compressed RAW, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  6. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  7. Silent shooting is possible when Shutter Type is set to “Electronic” and Audio signals is set to “Off.”
  8. 1/32000 shutter speed is available only in the S and M modes. The highest shutter speed in all other modes is 1/16000.
  9. CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw stabilization only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off.
  10. At shutter speeds higher than 1/125 sec, smooth and blackout-free live view images are shown in EVF.
  11. Compared to the front-illuminated CMOS image sensor in the α7 II.
  12. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  13. When the auto or electronic shutter mode is selected the viewfinder frame rate is fixed at 60 fps during continuous shooting.
  14. Still images, mechanical shutter: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 50 – 204800. Still images, electronic shutter: ISO 100 – 25600 expandable to ISO 50 – 25600. Movie recording: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 100 – 102400.
  15. In full-frame shooting, the angle of view will be narrower under the following conditions: When [File Format] is set to [XAVC S 4K] and [ Record Setting] is set to [30p]
  16. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required for XAVC S format movie recording. UHS Speed Class U3 required for 100Mbps or higher recording.
  17. Sound not recorded. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required.

Product Images

Below are additional product images of the Sony A9:

Sony A9 Back Sony A9 Top

Sony A9 Chassis Sony A9 Dual Slot

Additional Coverage and Videos

Below you will find additional videos and coverage of the Sony A9:

The post Sony A9 Announcement appeared first on Photography Life.


We’re Kicking Off HODINKEE Friday Live Tomorrow Morning At 10:30 AM ET (With A Special Guest Too) Markxviii.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

Tomorrow we’re launching a brand new video series – Friday Live. At the end of each week we’ll be coming to you with a live video stream straight from the HODINKEE office (or somewhere else around the world) with a group of our editors reviewing the week in watches and looking forward to what lies ahead. Sometimes it will be just us and other times we’ll bring in interesting guests. To get things started, we’ve got something extra special planned.

On our very first episode of Friday Live, we’re bringing in the big guns. Cara and Stephen will be joined by Christoph Grainger, the newly-minted CEO of IWC. Grainger has been with IWC for over a decade, but comes from a design and architecture background – not exactly commonplace for watch CEOs. We’ll be talking about his path to the top job, IWC’s new collections, and the partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival.

To watch Friday Live, just visit or open your HODINKEE app at 10:30 AM ET tomorrow morning. It’s that simple and we’ll see you soon.


Intel Rumored to Debut Basin Falls Platform in May, Launch Coffee Lake Chips in August Intel plans to move up the launch of its 14-nanometer Coffee Lake processors, introducing them in August of 2017 instead of January 2018. According to DigiTimes, the launch is being moved up because of "increasing competition from AMD’s Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors."

The site says Intel will release several K-series Core i3, i5, and i7 processors starting in August, along with its Z370 chipsets. Additional CPUs will come at the end of 2017 or early in 2018.

Intel also plans to unveil its Basin Falls platform, with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors at Computex 2017, which takes place from May 30 to June 3, which is two months earlier than originally scheduled.

Intel’s Skylake-X series features 140W processors with 6, 8, and 10-core architectures, while Kaby Lake X-series features a 112W quad-core processor. Intel also plans to release a 12-core Skylake-X processor in August. Intel’s Basin Falls platform could potentially be used in future Mac Pro machines and the rumored high-end server-grade iMac.

Coffee Lake chips appropriate for Apple machines were originally set to launch somewhere around the second quarter of 2018, so if rumors of Intel’s updated timeline are true, the launch could be moved forward to either late 2017 or early in 2018.

Coffee Lake chips are manufactured on Intel’s 14-nanometer process and will be the fourth processor family to use the architecture after Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake.

Apple is rumored to have new machines in the works for 2017, including new iMacs, which are likely to use Kaby Lake chips.

Related Roundup: iMac
Tags: Intel,
Buyer’s Guide: iMac (Don’t Buy)

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Two NASA websites & three NASA social media programs are nominated for @TheWebbyAwards! Voting closes tonight:…

Apple to Dismantle Iconic Glass Cube at Fifth Avenue Store Apple will soon dismantle and remove the iconic glass cube entrance at its Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan, New York, which is in the process of being renovated and expanded.

On March 16, Apple filed a permit for the "full removal of the glass cubical structure at the Apple Store entrance," which, according to BuildZoom, was granted on April 17. The removal of the cube will cost Apple $2 million, and according to a second source, could commence on May 9.

Apple is planning to expand its Fifth Avenue store to double the size of the original location. The store is growing from 32,000 square feet to 77,000 square feet, giving Apple more space at its flagship New York location.

It is not yet clear what Apple is planning to do with the cube. It could be temporarily removed to allow for construction underneath, or the company could have bigger cube renovation plans in mind.

This will be the second time the cube has been dismantled — it was torn down in 2011 to allow Apple to reconstruct it from larger, more seamless glass panes. Prior to 2011, the cube was made up of more than 90 glass panes, but the new cube uses just 15.

While construction is underway at the new location, Apple has temporarily relocated the store to a nearby empty storefront that formerly housed the FAO Schwarz toy store.

Apple has not announced when the new store will be complete, but rumors suggest it will have some notable improvements, including a unique area for a Beats 1 radio station that will enable live in-store Beats 1 broadcasts.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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