Product News: SHOOTING FOR THE STARS: SONY BREAKS NEW GROUND AGAIN IN DSLR SPACE WITH NEW CAMERA, LENSES

•August 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment


Latest α (alpha) Offers Full HD Movie Capture, 3D Sweep Panorama and More

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 23, 2010 – Sony today introduced an α (alpha) DSLR camera (model SLR-a560) that leverages Sony’s Exmor ™ APS HD CMOS sensor to make it easier for active shooters to get the best shot without missing a moment. Along with the a33 and a55 cameras (also announced today), the α560 model is one of the only DSLR cameras with Multi-frame Noise Reduction, Sweep Panorama™ mode, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1920×1080 60i video capture.

This 14.2 megapixel α560 camera offers the same features of its predecessor, the innovative α550, which introduced Quick AF Live View, 7fps continuous shooting and Auto HDR to the step-up DSLR class.

Additionally, Sony is adding to its already strong line-up of more than 30 A-mount lenses with new models made for seasoned photographers and those new to the DSLR space. Today, Sony expands its A-Mount lens line-up for α DSLR cameras with three new lenses—a  Carl Zeiss® Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (model SAL24F20Z), a DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (model SAL35F18) and an 85mm F2.8 SAM (model SAL85F28).

“These new lenses and camera show our commitment to the DSLR market and that we will never stop innovating.” said Kristen Elder, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “These products complement our overall Sony® Alpha™ lineup, which we are significantly expanding today.  The camera offers a choice to those consumers who want to gain the benefits of professional level shooting speed as well as be able to capture video with in a traditional style DSLR.”

The α560 camera provides excellent picture quality, particularly in low-light scenarios. A new generation of Sony Exmor ™APS HD CMOS sensor employs low-noise processing for high-quality pictures. The BIONZ ® image processor has color-noise reduction that helps achieve low noise up to ISO 12800, without sacrificing fine detail. Multi-frame Noise Reduction stacks a high-speed burst of six frames, creating a single low-noise exposure that boosts effective sensitivity as high as ISO 25600.

Quick AF Live View

With Quick AF Live View, the α560 camera can focus just as quickly in Live View as when shooting through the eye-level viewfinder, which is unlike any other DSLR in its class.

Because composing shots on the LCD monitor is becoming increasingly important to DSLR users, Sony has equipped this camera with two Live View functions and a 3-inch (measured diagonally) LCD screen that tilts 90 degrees up or down. The α560 has a high resolution 921,600 pixel Xtra Fine LCD™ display.

Sony’s Quick AF Live View uses two sensors to maintain the same focusing speed as with the optical viewfinder. While the speed of Quick AF Live View is ideal for every day shooting, Focus Check Live View enables critical framing and magnification for setting precise focus in macro and tripod shooting.

Focus Check Live View mode simplifies critical assessment of the finest image details. A real-time ‘feed’ from the main sensor can be viewed on the LCD monitor, with switchable magnification allowing close-up confirmation of delicate manual focus adjustments. Contrast AF method is selectable in focus check Live View mode.

Temporary 7x and 14x zoom views enable you to focus on extremely fine detail while the 1x view shows 100 percent framing in the LCD.

Fast Shooting Speeds

With its unique sensor-processor combination, the α560 camera is a leader in its class with up to seven frames per second shooting speed for under $1,000. Using the optical viewfinder, you can shoot up to three frames with Quick AF Live View, which helps you capture the decisive moment when shooting fast moving subjects like in sports.

HD Movie Recording

The α560 α camera offers the extra convenience of high-definition video recording. This model also captures Full HD (1920 x 1080i) video in high-quality AVCHD™ files that can be easily enjoyed on a compatible HD television via the cameras built-in HDMI™ terminal (cable not included). The camera includes built-in stereo microphones for high-quality audio recording.

With multi-shot technology, the α560 camera’s high-speed sensor and processor rapidly captures and assembles many frames to realize unmatched low-noise, extended dynamic range, wide panoramas and 3D images.

The α560 offers versatile creative control even when shooting movies. Creativity is also enhanced by the ability to apply white balance and Creative Style settings, as well as Aperture Priority (A) mode aperture settings, to movies. What’s more, exposure compensation can be adjusted even while movie shooting is in progress.

Sweep Panorama Technology

Featuring Sweep Panorama technology, the α560 model captures breathtaking shots up to 180 degree horizontal or 126-degree vertical shots (18 mm focal length).

With 3D Sweep Panorama mode, the camera can shoot 3D panoramic still images with a single lens. The high-speed burst of frames is stitched together using innovative processing techniques to automatically create detail-packed 3D panoramas. These files can be enjoyed in stunning 3D on compatible 3D televisions (other accessories are required).

In-Camera High Dynamic Range

In-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) has been further enhanced incorporating three shots. It can capture highlights, midtones and shadows. Unlike HDR features in other DSLR cameras, Sony’s unique positional interpolation technology can overcome slight changes in camera position and align individual shots so that a tripod is not required.

The feature handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes like looking out a window into bright daylight. The in-camera auto HDR technology combines the highlight, midtone and shadow detail of three separate captures into one remarkably natural looking image. The α560 offers a maximum Auto HDR range of 6EV.

Multi Frame NR is a new function where, when the shutter is released, the camera automatically takes 6 frames at the currently selected shutter speed, aperture, and ISO setting, and then combines them into a single JPEG image with a reduction in noise at the selected aperture and shutter speed that is equivalent to approximately two ISO steps. In addition, ISO expansion achieves class-leading, ultra-high sensitivity equivalent to ISO25600, while accurate subject detection assures high-precision alignment of the 6 frames during compositing.

Accessories

The new camera accepts both Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately).  With a 30MB per second transfer rate, Sony’s Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX offers the best performance of all memory cards whether in continuous shooting mode or transferring data to other media.

Lenses for Active Shooters

Made for experienced and budding photographers alike, the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (model SAL24F20Z) functions as a wide-angle 24mm lens on full-frame cameras with 36mm (35mm equivalent) lens sensors, or as a 36mm equivalent lens ideal for general use on cameras with APS-C sensors. Jointly developed with Carl Zeiss, it features the highly-regarded Carl Zeiss Distagon designed for wide-angle lenses.

This lens is distinguished by its fast response focus and extremely quiet, very smooth operation thanks to its built-in SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor).

It offers a wide and therefore highly versatile focal range from 0.19m to infinity, and features a nine-blade circular aperture that along with the large F2 maximum aperture contributes to smooth, natural bokeh effects.

In keeping with traditional Carl Zeiss design, the all-metal lens barrel has been finished to a very high standard resulting in a visibly high-quality appearance.

Offering photographers at all levels great value and performance in a compact and lightweight design, the new DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) weighs just 6 ounces. It can be added to a lens kit system and carried without noticeably increasing the weight of the bag.

With an approximately 50mm (35mm equivalent) focal length on an APS-C sensor, this lens is ideal for snapshots and portraits under a wide range of shooting conditions. The high-speed F1.8 maximum aperture is particularly advantageous for hand held shooting in low light.

At just 0.8 feet, the DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) has the shortest minimum focus in its class, making it an excellent choice for dramatic close-ups too. Whatever the shot, the internal Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) drives the focusing group directly and ensures responsive and fluid autofocus operation.

The new 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28) lens is a full-frame lens in that offers performance and affordability. The 85mm focal length is a standard for portraiture because of the natural perspective that it provides. On an APS-C sensor camera the 85mm F2.8 SAM functions as a 127.5mm (35mm equivalent) telephoto lens – and features a Sonnar-type optical design that is considered ideal for mid-range telephoto lenses.

The lens is sharp center to corner, and features smooth defocusing thanks to its large F2.8 maximum aperture and circular aperture design. At two feet, the minimum focusing distance is the shortest in its class, and SAM motor technology ensures smooth autofocus operation.

The quality optical and mechanical features of the lens mean it is suitable for serious photography and should more than satisfy intermediate and advanced users alike.

Pricing and Availability

The α560 model with the camera body and 18-55mm kit lens will cost about $750 and will be available in October. With the body only, it will cost about $650. The Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (model SAL24F20Z), DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (model SAL35F18) and 85mm F2.8 SAM (model SAL85F28) lenses will be available in October for about $1,250, $200, $250 respectively.

The cameras, lens and a range of accessories will be available at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail) and at authorized dealers nationwide.

Did I Mention: SONY Presents the Art Of Photography Contest.

•August 19, 2010 • 1 Comment

The Artist In You
The Art of Photography Contest, presented by Sony, celebrates the artist in you. This unique interactive experience is an opportunity for you to learn from world-renowned photographers through a series of exclusive, tip-filled videos created specially for this program, and ultimately participate with them in a contest showcasing your own images.

The Contest is also cosponsored by Outdoor Photography and Digital Photography Magazines, and offers a chance to be published in one of the two magazines depending on the Theme that you compete in.

This Contest is open to all photographers regardless of skill or what camera you shoot with.   Go check out the competition or better yet learn form the four feature Artisans of Imagery Photographers.    The four Artisans of Imagery photographers cover the four themes of the Contest and even provide you with Video Tips to improve or enhance your photography.    The Themes include: Action Story Telling with SONY Artisan of Imagery David McLain, Conservation In Focus with SONY Artisan of Imagery Cristina Mittermeier,  Environmental Portraits with SONY Artisan of Imagery Brian Smith, and Light Is The Subject with SONY Artisan of Imagery Andy Katz.

This is contest will be rewarding regardless, weather you compete of not, because you also get to learn some great tips from four of SONY’s Outstanding Artisans of Imagery Photographers.  For more information, goto this link:   The Art of Photography Contest

Interesting: Meet the NEX Team

•August 16, 2010 • 1 Comment

From the SONY web site in the Philippines,  SONY introduces the Team that Designed the new NEX Camera, and gives you some personal insight to how and why the NEX Camera has come to be.

This great article will give you a complete breakdown behind the design from the GUI to the all totally new Lenses and how directing NEX Camera System will take it beyond the future.

Go read and view about the revolutionary team behind this revolutionary camera: The NEX Team

News: Sony expands A-Mount lens line-up for DSLR cameras with three new lenses

•July 27, 2010 • 1 Comment

27 July 2010

Sony is expanding its already strong line-up of over 30 A-mount lenses with new models that will appeal to seasoned photographers and those new to DSLR cameras alike.

The Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (SAL24F20Z) features the acclaimed Carl Zeiss Distagon design and rounds out the existing Planar (SAL85F14Z) and Sonnar (SAL135F18Z) models also developed in conjunction with Carl Zeiss. It is intended to appeal to experienced photographers looking for a large-aperture wide-angle lens of real distinction.

The DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) adds the important 35mm focal length to the ‘Easy Choice’ series. ‘Easy Choice’ is intended to provide great value, compact and lightweight lenses that are attractive to entry-level and advanced photographers alike. Each lens in the series is selected for a specific purpose, for example portraiture or macro.

The 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28) is another ‘Easy Choice’ lens, this time offering the 85mm focal length considered the standard for portraiture because of the natural perspective it provides. True to type it is extremely compact and light, weighing just 175g.

The Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (SAL24F20Z)
The Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (SAL24F20Z) functions as a wide-angle 24mm lens on full-frame cameras with 35mm sensors, or as a 36mm equivalent lens ideal for general use on cameras with APS-C sensors. Jointly developed with Carl Zeiss, it features the highly-regarded Carl Zeiss Distagon retro-focus lens configuration designed for wide-angle lenses.

This lens is distinguished by its fast response focus and extremely quiet, very smooth operation thanks to its built-in SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor).

It offers a wide and therefore highly versatile focal range from 0.19m to infinity, and features a nine-blade circular aperture that along with the large F2 maximum aperture contributes to smooth, natural bokeh effects.

In keeping with traditional Carl Zeiss design, the all-metal lens barrel has been finished to a very high standard resulting in a visibly high-quality appearance.

The DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18)
Part of the ‘Easy Choice’ series, offering photographers at all levels great value, compact and lightweight lenses, the DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) weighs just 170g. It can be added to a lens kit system and carried without noticeably increasing the weight of the bag.

With an approximately 50mm (35mm equivalent) focal length on an APS-C sensor, this lens is ideal for snapshots and portraits under a wide range of shooting conditions. The high-speed F1.8 maximum aperture is particularly advantageous for hand held shooting in low light.

At just 0.23 metres, the DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) has the shortest minimum focus in its class, making it an excellent choice for dramatic close-ups too. Whatever the shot, the internal Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) drives the focussing group directly and ensures responsive and fluid autofocus operation.

The 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28)
This is the first full-frame lens in the ‘Easy Choice’ range, so its launch represents an important development of the line-up as a whole. The 85mm focal length is a standard for portraiture because of the natural perspective that it provides. On an APS-C sensor camera the 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28) functions as a 127.5mm (35mm equivalent) telephoto lens – and features a Sonnar-type optical design that is considered ideal for mid-range telephoto lenses.

The lens is sharp center to corner, and features smooth defocusing thanks to its large F2.8 maximum aperture and circular aperture design. At 0.6 metres, the minimum focusing distance is the shortest in its class, and SAM motor technology ensures smooth autofocus operation.

The quality optical and mechanical features of the lens mean it is suitable for serious photography and should more than satisfy intermediate to advanced users.

Key technical specifications


Model
Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (SAL24F20Z) DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28)
Focal-length 24mm 35mm 85mm
Lens (groups/elements) 7-9 5-6 4-5
Aspherical elements 2 0 0
ED glass 2 0 0
Min. focus distance 0.19m 0.23m 0.6m
Max. magnification 0.29 0.25 0.2
Built-in Auto focus motor SSM SAM SAM
Image stabilization Yes

(body integrated)

Yes

(body integrated)

Yes
(Body integrated)
Filter dia. 72mm 55mm 55mm
Dimension Φ78×76mm φ70×52mm φ70×52
Weight 555g 170g 175g
Accessory Hood, case, front & rear caps Hood, front & rear caps Hood, front & rear caps
For more information please contact

Sony Europe Press Centre
e: presscentre@sony.eu

Up Date: A few Seats still avilible.

•July 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This is an update from SONY Artisans of Imagery Brian Smith.   There are still a few seats left for next Thursday’s workshop at Adorama in New York. If any of your readers come, they should come up and say “hi.”

This is an event that you should not miss.   This is indeed a opportunity to learn from one of the best and have fun learning at the same time.   And should I mention, at a bargain $25.00.

For More information or to reserve a seat in this great workshop go to this link:  Adorama Workshops

Did I Mention: EMERGE – A Photography Symposium in Miami, FLorida (September 10-12 2010)

•July 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Emerge Photography Symposium is geared towards photographers who advance best through small group, hands-on collaborative learning.

This event provide learning channels via three components:
– Instruction lectures by award-winning industry professionals
– Intensive hands-on photo shoot sessions
– Round table critique discussions of your images

Emerge Photography Symposium provides value by way of intimate interaction and a personalized experience. Listen to the the stories and experiences of industry professionals. Learn about how they developed their careers and ask questions about key pieces of information they wish they knew when they were starting out, or advice on how you can improve your craft and techniques.

Let me repeat: There will be no large conference room hall.  SONY Artisans of Imagery Brian Smith, Tony Yang and Norman Chow certainly will not have microphones. It’s personal. It’s about you, me, your future new friends, a wealth of knowledge, and an awesome weekend in Miami, FL.

Come with your brain ready to soak, a prepared trigger index finger and a laptop to show off your new skills.

Early-bird registration will close Friday, August, 6, 2010.

For more information or to register, follow this link:  Emerge

News: SIGMA APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM now available in SONY Alpha Mount

•July 13, 2010 • 2 Comments

The SIGMA APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens.  Photo provided by Sigma Corp.

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the new Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM.

This large aperture telephoto zoom lens incorporates Sigma’s original Optical Stabilizer function. The lens covers focal lengths from 70mm to 200mm and has a large maximum aperture of F2.8 throughout the entire zoom range. Two FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have the performance equal to fluorite glass, and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements provide excellent correction of color aberration. High image quality is assured throughout the entire zoom range and an optimum optical power layout provides superior optical quality in all shooting ranges from close-up to infinity. The OS (Optical Stabilizer) function offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. For Sony and Pentax mount, the built-in OS function of this lens can be used even if the camera body is equipped with an image sensor shift anti-shake system. As compensation for camera shake is visible in the view finder, the photographer can easily check for accurate focus and ensure there is no subject movement. Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghost. This lens incorporates HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), ensuring a quiet and high speed AF as well as full-time manual focus capability. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 140cm(55.1″) throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:8. The rounded 9 blade diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out of focus images. This lens is equipped with a Petal-type hood. For digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, a dedicated hood adapter, which expands the length of the lens hood, is supplied.

SIGMA APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

Case, Petal-type Hood (LH850-02),
Hood Adapter(HA850-01),
Tripod Socket TS-21 supplied.

Corresponding AF Mounts:SIGMA, SONY(D),
NIKON(D), PENTAX, CANON

Specification (for Sigma mount)
Lens Construction 22 Elements in 17 Groups
Maximum Magnification 1:8
Angle of View 34.3-12.3 degrees
Filter Size Diameter 77mm
Number of blades 9pcs (Rounded diaphragm)
Lens Hood Petal-type hood (LH850-02) supplied
Minimum Aperture F22
Dimensions 86.4mm x 197.6mm / 3.4in. x 7.8in.
Minimum Focusing Distance 140cm / 55.1in.
Weight 1430g / 50.4oz

  • The Pentax mount Tele Converter cannot be used with this particular lens.
  • Nikon and Pentax mounts do not have an aperture ring. Some functions may not work depending on the camera model.
  • For Nikon and Canon mounts, Optical Stabilizer (OS) function will not work with film SLR cameras except Nikon F6 and Canon EOS-1V.
  • For Pentax and Sony mounts, it is not possible to use the AF and the built-in OS function of this lens when attaching it to film SLR cameras as well as Pentax *ist series and K100D.
  • When using the OS function of a lens with a camera which incorporates a stabilizer unit, please turn the camera’s stabilizer unit off.
  • When using the APS-C Hood Adapter HA850-01 with digital cameras with a full frame image sensor, vignetting will occur. Please remove the hood adapter if you are using full frame cameras.

For More information, you can contact Sigma Corp at this link: Sigma Corp.

Did I Metion: SONY and Adorama are Sponsoring a Special Event with SONY Artisan of Imagery Brian Smith

•July 12, 2010 • 1 Comment

On Thursday, July 29, 2010   from 5:30PM – 7:30PM,  SONY Artisan of Imagery Brian Smith will conduction a workshop called   Secrets to Great Portrait Photography.

Price: $25.00

Great portraits capture the soul and spirit of your subject. This Special Event with celebrity portrait photographer Brian Smith will focus on ways of breaking down barriers and secrets of working quickly to capture the great portraits, whether you have minutes, hours, or days to get the shot.

Brian will share the lessons he’s learned over the past 30 years as a top magazine portrait photographer capturing the faces of the famous, infamous and even the un-famous. He will break down the approach he uses on editorial, commercial and personal projects from concept to execution to post, on productions large and small. Simple choices in lighting can affect the mood of an image, so during this evening’s presentation, he will detail his problem-solving approach to lighting and how he customizes his lighting to a particular situation, using light to create bold iconic portraits on location. Brian will show you ways to remain fresh and passionate about your photography, and the evolutionary steps you can take to allow your personal style to evolve as you move your photography to the next level.

Registration deadline for this Special Event July 28, 2010

Each attendee will receive a $25.00 coupon at the Seminar in exchange for a copy of their registration receipt.
The coupon will be valid for 30 days towards the purchase of any merchandise when presented at either Adorama’s retail store at 42 West 18th Street, New York, or for an online purchase at http://www.adorama.com

For more information Contact Adorama Workshops

Did I Mention: SONY Artisans of Imagery Andy Katz will be holding a Photographers Work Shop in August.

•July 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Photography Workshop – Healdsburg, Califonia –  August 20-22, 2010

Join SONY Artisans of Imagery Photographer Any Katz at his workshop designed for passionate photographers who want to capture the magic of Sonoma, a picturesque, pastoral countryside filled with beautiful rolling vineyards and stunning natural surroundings.

You’ll receive instruction on how to approach a subject, photographing people and landscapes and light usage.

Fittingly for a photographer whose works include Heart of Burgundy and Tuscany and Its Wines, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy private wine-tastings and tours at some of the world’s most noted wineries.

For photographers seeking to improve their technical ability, expand their creative expression and enhance their enjoyment of photography. These intensive workshops are designed to help photographers of all skill levels and imaging formats (digital and film).

Small class sizes provide an informal atmosphere in which all may learn and improve their photographic techniques.

Call 707.433.9396 or email: info@andykatzphotography.com to learn more.

You can also go directly to Andy Site:  andykatzphotography.com

Technical Tuesday: ‘Transforming’ a SONY Alpha a850 or a900 in to a Speed Machine

•July 6, 2010 • 1 Comment

I LOVE my SONY Alpha a850 but one of the criticisms I have with my SONY Alpha a850 is, from time to time, the Alpha a850 becomes a very slow beast.
You know what I mean, hitting the memory buffer after a mere 12 frames of shooting in rapid fire in RAW format.

This would be followed by the annoyance of waiting and watching the red ‘writing’ LED on the back right side of the camera as the data was written to Compact Flash card.   And at 25 megs plus per image, it can take a while to update the card.    Now I was thinking that the issue with this lack of speed was the fault of my camera, but I was very wrong and here is why.

I Photograph some very important people (Families, Brides and Grooms) and I needed to use the finest most reliable and latest spec cards currently on the market.  Many of these cards that I use are the biggest names in the Compact Flash Card Industry.  Many of the Cards had names like Extreme, or Ultra or Elite, and they all performed flawlessly.   Now, I am a frugal photographer and I try to keep my expenses down with each assignment, but I will not skimp on my Compact Flash Cards except in price.    Yes I seen the UDMA cards on the rack at the camera shop but was forced to take a card of a lesser price because I am cheap.    I was purchasing three replacement cards a month ago and came across a sale on some UDMA cards and so I took a gamble and purchased them.    I was assured by the sames person that I made a smart decision on my card purchase.

Several Saturdays ago, while I was shooting a Wedding and using a well known Brand Compact Flash Card, at a critical point during the ceremony, my SONY Alpha a850 stalled while the Compact Flash card was being written to.   Yes I did get some buffer space free to continue shooting, but now my camera was very slow.   With my card at 90 percent full, I pulled a new card out of my bag, a brand new card from Hoodman, the ones that I purchased to replace a bunch of older Compact Flash Cards.

Without looking at the details on the card, I powered up my camera and commenced shooting the rest of the ceremony.   It was not till the end of the recessional that I realized that my camera did not slow down or stop to write the memory.  Then Panic set in and I immediately started to check the stored images on the Compact Flash Card.   First, each image came right up on the display with any hesitation.  And I was able to scroll through the images without waiting to the card to catch up.  The Hoodman card a UDMA 8GB RAW Compact Flash Card is their state-of-the-art UDMA Class 6 external storage device that boasts a transfer rate of 675X, or 100MB per second write speed.

I had only purchased three of the cards at the time because I was trying to save money.  But all I will say, my SONY Alpha a850 was reborn.   I used the Hoodman cards during portions of the Wedding Reception that I needed speed and needed to have the card keep up with me.   My camera was keeping pace with me, as long as I was using the Hoodman Compact Flash Cards.

Back at the studio on Sunday Morning, I commence with the transferring the images from the Compact Flash Drives to Apple Mac Production Computer.   Using my Fire Wire Reader, I realized that the Hoodman Cards were dumping images to the computer much faster.  Infact, what normally would take 3 minutes for an 8gb card to dump was taking only 45 seconds with the Hoodman Compact Flash Card.

I was sold, I now plan to replace the rest of my inventory of Compact Flash Cards with the Newer UDMA cards that are on the market.

So you ask, what makes these cards so much better and faster?   Well thank you for asking.

The original Compact Flash technology utilizes ATA external interface technology. This is the method the Compact Flash controller chip communicates to the camera or other device in which it is used.
ATA interface was originally developed for hard drive technology. ATA technology originally utilized PIO (Programmed Input/Output) protocols which supported speeds up to 25MB/s, but to achieve higher speeds UDMA protocol was developed and added to the ATA spec. UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) transfers data from one storage device to memory to another device without using the CPU. Because UDMA is freeing up the usage of the processor, UDMA tends to be faster than PIO mode.
Early Compact Flash cards and cameras do not support the newer UDMA Compact Flash Cards.   It’s only been within the last few years, camera and Compact Flash manufacturers introduced products that support UDMA.  Most of these are higher priced products developed for the professional photography market.

Are there other companies that also have the UDMA protocol in their cards?   Yes and many of these cards are as good as the Hoodman in speed and reliability.  They include Delkin Devices, Lexar Professional, and SanDisk Extreme Pro,

Now another item that will affect your speed is the speed of the Compact Flash Card and the Price.  Speeds range from 200X to 675X but with the speed increase so too will the price.   But if you want your SONY Alpha a850, a900 or even your SONY Alpha a700 to perform faster in those critical moments, then you must be willing to pony up the extra cash.

Now there are other newer brands of Compact Flash Drives that are hitting the market that boasts 400X speed at very reasonable prices.  But be aware, some of these cards may not work in your camera.   I plan in the future to test these cards and report on them as well.   But so to be fair with these companies, they include:  TOPRAM Technology, A-Data, ProSpec, and WINTEC.

My advice is to check with the manufacturers and see if their UDMA Compact Flash Cards is supported on your SONY Camera.   But be warned, once you used one of these cards, you will want to through out your old cards.

For more information on Hoodman UDMA Cards go to their site:  HOODMAN

For more information on Delkin Devices UDMA Cards, go to their site:   Delkin Devices

For more information on SanDisk Extreme Pro Cards, go to their site:  SanDisk Extreme Pro

For more information on Lexar Professional Cards, go to their site:   Lexar Professional Cards

 
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