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4K up to 120p, all new sensor and a prem



(Pocket-lint) – Sony has finally delivered the answer to so many video-makers’ prayers. Five years after it launched the last A7S full frame camera, the A7S III has been unveiled and it looks like an absolute beast. 

When briefed about the new camera, Sony told us it has built everything from the ground up. When it comes to internals, hardware and performance, it’s virtually all been upgraded to create what – on paper – looks to be one of the best run-and-gun cameras made so far. 

It starts with the sensor, and in order to give us quality video capture, Sony opted for a 12.1-megapixel sensor. That ensures there are enough pixels for 4K video, but also means that those pixels are quite large and enable better light and colour capture than a higher resolution sensor might, and there’s no pixel binning involved.

Sony says it’s its best full frame sensor yet for signal to noise ratio, and that also means cleaner images in low light situations even with the ISO cranked up. The sensor itself is an updated Exmor sensor, called the Exmor R, and is backside-illuminated for faster readout speeds and combined with a new Bionz XR processing engine for faster overall processing performance. 

Spec-wise, the A7S III in video mode has an ISO range of 40-409600 and is capable of 15 stops of dynamic range when shooting in the lower sensitivity settings. 

The company also says it has improved rolling shutter performance as well, with as much as 3x improvement over the last A7S camera. That much much smoother panning, and fewer jitters when you’re moving the camera. 

As for recording quality, that’s been upped too. 4K is the top resolution here, but you can shoot in frame rates all the way up to 120 frames per second at max resolution. For full HD that frame rate tops out at 240p. There is a slight 1.1 crop at the top 4K/120p end, however. 

It has a plethora of resolution/bitrate/frame-rate options, but you’ll be able to shoot them all internally on an SDXC V90 memory card on either or both of the SD card slots. The camera also supports a new kind of CFExpress card, which will launch alongside the camera. 

Sony

The only recording mode that requires this CFExpress card is the highest quality slow-motion setting, but otherwise, everything can be shot on a V90 SD card. 

As with most of Sony’s recent cameras, it has market-leading autofocusing and tracking features. It has 759 phase-detection autofocus points, taking up nearly all of the sensor’s available surface area, with an additional 425 contrast-detection autofocus points. 

You can use the built-in, flippy-out touchscreen (yes it has one now), to enable real-time tracking on any object, but you can also switch it to track human or animal eyes. 

When you do touch to focus, you can set the speed at seven different settings which means you can either program it to switch focus immediately or create a slow pull focus effect. 

Other features worth noting include the redesigned buttons, which make the movie mode button more prominent on the top. There’s also 5-axis IBIS to keep footage nice and smooth. There’s even an electronic stabilisation algorithm that can save any movement/shake data captured by the internal gyroscope, allowing to more accurately stabilise footage in post. 

For those worried about thermal performance, Sony has redesigned the heat dissipation system so that if you are shooting at 4K/60, you can get an hour’s worth of filming done before it needs to take a break and cool down. In less intense modes, it can go up to 95 minutes.

For professionals who want to shoot HDR, it has 10 bit HLG shooting capability and supports HDMI 2.1 out, so you can hookup an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja V and shoot up to 4K/60 using that method. 

The Sony A7S III will be available to purchase at some point in September this year, with prices likely to be around the £3,800/€4,200 mark for the body only. 

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Writing by Cam Bunton.





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Samsung’s 50MP GN1 camera sensor promises faster autofocus



Samsung has announced a new camera sensor for phones that potentially offers faster autofocus and better low-light photography.

The Samsung Isocell GN1 is a 50-megapixel sensor with 1.2μm-sized pixels – larger than usual. This, combined with Dual Pixel and Tetracell technology (for the first time in a single Samsung sensor), allows for more sensitive light capture and “DSLR-style autofocus speeds”.

Tetracell technology effectively improves a pixel’s ability to capture and process more light by binning four pixel signals into one. It therefore increases the pixel size to 2.4μm and enables much brighter 12.5-megapixel images – a quarter of the usual resolution but better low-light pics.

Dual Pixel technology utilises two photodiodes sitting side-by-side in a single pixel, with each able to receive light from different angles for phase detection. That means, when all pixels are deployed for focusing, it snaps into focus much more quickly that previous Samsung camera sensors.

As well as the two technologies, the GN1 comes with Smart-ISO technology for auto ISO selection, real-time HDR, and electronic image stabilisation.

It supports video recording in up to 8K 30fps.

The chip, which is seen as a direct rival to Sony‘s IMX689 alternative – found in the OnePlus 8 Pro and a few other recent handsets – will be going into mass production this month. We should see it in phones later this year.





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DJI presents Mavic Air 2, now with 48 Megapixel sensor and 8K 240 fps


The famous drone manufacturer DJI officially unveiled the new Mavic Air 2 , a light, foldable model with excellent technical characteristics. The drone weighs 570 grams (in flight order) and this makes it heavier than the model it replaces but the extra weight is certainly justified by the improved technical specifications and a more solid construction.

, the Mavic Air 2 is also equipped with APAS 3.0 (a sort of 3D mapping to also recognize obstacles in height) and a system called ADS-B

First of all, the autonomy is now 34 minutes thanks to the new engines, improved aerodynamics and better battery. Another novelty is certainly the 1/2″ sensor with 48 MP resolution and QuadBayer scheme that takes 12MP photos of great quality thanks to the pixel-binning technique but can also capture at 48MP in High resolution mode if the environment has a good brightness Although the photographic aspect is important, the main use is certainly the one related to the video world.

Here too important news: the maximum video resolution rises to 4K @ 60p with a bitrate of 120Mbps, but it is also possible to record in FullHD up to at 240 frames per second or create Hyperlapse in 8K format.

 

video resolution of Mavic Air 2  rises to 4K @ 60p with a bitrate of 120Mbps, but it is also possible to record in FullHD up to at 240 frames per second

 

There are many new intelligent modes such as HDR photo (take up to 7 photos with different exposure to automatically combine them) or Hyperlight mode (a sort of night mode that, like for smartphones, combines various photos with different shutter speeds and different ISO) and finally the automatic recognition of the scenes which is grateful to automatically adapt to the types of framing (sunset, snow, grass etc …) to optimize colors and details.

All automatic flight mode systems have also been updated, for example there is Active Track 3.0 (automatic tracking system), Point of Interest 3.0 and Spotlight 2.0 which allow you to perform complex shots in total autonomy. Improved drone safety with obstacle detection sensors on the front and rear, sensors and lights on the bottom for safe landings. In addition, the Mavic Air 2 is also equipped with APAS 3.0 (a sort of 3D mapping to also recognize obstacles in height) and a system called ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) which is able to detect if there are other drones nearby and then report them to the operator (well before you get to hear them).

As a last novelty we point out the presence of the OcuSync 2.0 system which gives the Mavic Air 2 a range of action of 10Km. The new Mavic Air 2 is already on sale on the DJI website starting from € 849 for the normal version or € 1049 for the Fly More Combo which includes an additional 6 propellers, two batteries, and a multiple charger. As soon as the first offers come out, we will publish them on our Telegram channel.





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