Sony RX100 MKIII

Sony updates its very popular RX100 MKII with a new third version. The camera is already being heralded as the best-ever compact or point-and-shoot. But at $800, it’s also the most expensive. The new model touts a cool pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF) in lieu of a hot shoe, and an excellent new lens that mimics a fast (f/1.8-2.8) mid-rage 24-70mm (full-frame equivalent) zoom. The image quality is great, but at that price, Frederick Van Johnson and I ask, “Who’s this for?”

Sony a7/a6000 Intervalometer Hack

Update: It appears this entire project is no longer necessary. When I did this a few months ago, no one was offering an intervalometer for the Sony Multi-Terminal port. Now it appears there are some out there: http://goo.gl/Iy4zMJ

One weakness of the Sony a7/a7r/a7s and a6000 ecosystems is the lack of an intervalometer. There are a few options like TriggerTrap, but that and some others depend on a mobile phone, which seems unnecessarily complex and unreliable. There are a number of videos and articles demonstrating how to combine a Sony remote and an inexpensive intervalometer, but they don’t provide enough detail for those who don’t want to experiment. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

1. Get the parts.

I used a Sony RM-VPR1 wired remote and this intervalometer. You’ll also need some two-conductor narrow gauge wire (~22 gauge works), a soldering iron, and optionally a connector if you want to be able to use the remote without the intervalometer attached.

DSC01925

 

(Not shown: the cable that connects the Sony remote to the camera.)

2. Disassemble the remote.

Four external screws and one that secures the circuit board to the case.

3. Cut a notch for the wire.

Use a small knife or drill to cut a notch into the rear of the remote’s case for the wire to pass through.

DSC019354. Solder the wire to the remote’s switch.

DSC01929

Solder the two-conductor wire to the remote’s main switch as shown above. (Click to enlarge.)

5. Cut the connector off of the intervalometer.

I left about 8″ of wire coming out of the intervalometer.

6. Use a connector to mate the intervalometer to the remote.

As shown above, the wire connected to point A should mate with the white wire coming out of the intervalometer. Point B should mate with the intervalometer’s yellow wire. (Polarity matters!) The intervalometer’s red wire is unused.DSC01932

I used a 3-conductor molex connector as shown above. Because I keep the two components connected all the time, I’ve secured the connector using cable ties as shown earlier.

7. Test!

Connect the remote to the camera. Both the remote and the intervalometer should be able to trigger the shutter. Don’t forget to enable the remote in the camera’s menus.

8. Reassemble the remote.

Route the wire through the remote as shown below. This will act as strain relief and won’t interfere with the operation of the remote’s buttons.

DSC01928That’s all there is. You should now have all of the intervalometer’s functions as well as the original functions of the Sony remote.

Sony a7s

The Sony A7s is being heralded as “Camera of the Year” by some reviewers, Frederick and I take a look at the third camera in Sony’s a7 series. While offering a sensor with only 12MP, the a7s is getting a lot of attention for a sensor that can shoot up to ISO 409,600 as well as being one of the first still-image camera that also produces 4K video.

Does it live up to all the buzz? And who really needs a camera that can shoot in the dark? And what about that 12MP sensor? Isn’t that really heading in the wrong direction? I explains why 12MP may be enough for you and why a high-ISO sensor may be important to everyday photography.

Panasonic Lumix GH4

The long-awaited latest Lumix “G” flagship camera breaks new ground: It can shoot 4K video and save it directly to an SD card. So this week we invited video guru Dave Dugdale to join Frederick and me to give us his two cents.

Dave and I put the GH4 through some very different paces. I wanted to see what would happen if he shot 4K video specifically with the goal of extracting still images. Check out how well the GH4 did in both our tests.

Sony a6000

The a6000 replaces Sony’s NEX-6 and at only $600 (body only, street price) you might think this is just another entry-level camera, comparable to a point-and-shoot. But you’d be wrong. Sony claims this is the world’s fastest autofocusing mirrorless camera and is now the top-of-the-line in their APS-C sensor line.

I put the a6000 through some serious usage tests including an intense week of shooting on the streets of New York City. And while Frederick and I lament the fact that Sony still doesn’t appear to understand the value of features like touch screens and external mic jacks, you’ll also hear whether I think the a6000 is a good choice regardless of these weaknesses.

Fujifilm X-T1

Based on previously using the X-E1 and X-E2, I started this review with quite high expectations. And while the X-T1 is certainly one of Fujifilm’s greatest cameras to date, he didn’t find that it comes up #1 by every criterion. Controls? Autofocus? Bracketing? No touch LCD? (What’s up with that?) Hear what Frederick and I have to say about it.

Fujifilm cameras produce excellent quality images and Fuji has many fans, including me. To their great in-camera emulations of classic film stocks, Fujifilm has added the claim that their flagship X-T1 is the fastest autofocusing camera on the market. But does the X-T1 live up to the hype?

Curiosity, JPL InSight Lander Hearst Castle Chips Depth of Field (56mm f/1.4) Hearst Castle Roman Pool Paramount Theatre Lobby Detail LACMA Shoot Canon or Die! Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, California

Olympus OM-D E-M10

The OM-D E-M10 is Olympus’ smallest and least-expensive micro four-thirds camera to date. Is it an entry-level MFT body? A good second camera? And how does it stack up to the venerable E-M5? Check out the latest episode of All About the Gear.

OM-D E-M10 Product Shot

 

I put the new puppy up against it’s larger, older brother (E-M5) and the Panasonic Lumix GM1. Along they way I take a deep dive into the issue of diffraction and why MFT cameras seem to have plateaued at 16 megapixels. It’s a discussion that every photographer will want to hear, regardless of the size of your sensor.