Tag Archives: Cameta Camera

The Sony Full-Frame FE 28-70mm (F/3.5-5.6) Zoom Is A Truly Dreadful Lens!

by Anura Guruge


Amazon listing — but AVOID like the plague.


I Traded In mine with Amazon, on August 17, 2017.

Check here for resolution details.


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

a very soft image with Sony FE 28-70mm zoom lens Anura Guruge Sony a7II


I got this kit lens, as a kit lens within a BUNDLE when I bought my Sony a7 II, from Cameta Camera, on May 10, 2017 (via Amazon).

I was familiar with the limitations of kit lenses and had read the reviews on this.

At $348 it is a CHEAP lens and that is exactly what it is. As I always do, I used an Excel Spreadsheet to price out all of my a7 II buying options … individually, in kit form and as bundles. The Cameta bundle was such that I was getting this kit lens for about $150. So, I knew that I could trade-it in and essentially be ‘quids in’ (as we say in in Britain).

It is a marginally OK lens and will occasionally take satisfying picture (or two). But, the autofocus (AF) HUNTS a lot, indoor colors have an strange tint and the lens, overall, tends to be soft.

Yes, I got Sony FE 24-240 (f/3.5-6.3) at the same time as the bundle BECAUSE I knew I needed as much reach as I could get. So, that made the 28-70mm kind of superfluous to requirements, though I had hoped that I might be able to use the smaller, MUCH LIGHTER lens when using the a7 II indoors. That never worked out. I do like the 24-240 though it also tends to be SOFT. AF, however, is much, much better.

So, just a heads up. You get what you pay for and as such the 28-70 is a cheap (and on the main nasty) lens. Sorry.


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by Anura Guruge

10,000th Picture With My Full-Frame Sony a7 II.

by Anura Guruge


Check here for resolution details.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

yellow lily Alton New Hampshire Anura Guruge Sony a7II


I got my full-frame Sony a7 II, from Cameta Camera, on May 10, 2017.

So it has taken me 98-days to take 10,000 pictures. That comes to an average of 102 pictures a day. That is NOT bad.

I did, however, reach the 10,000 mark on my Fuji X-E2s camera, last August, in 76-days! So that was 22-days quicker.

One BIG difference. The Fuji was the only camera I had during that period.

I now have 3 cameras — one of them a brand new Sony a6500.

I have to say that I am extremely impressed and happy with my Sony a7 II. It is one heck of a camera. Best camera I have had … possibly ever!


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by Anura Guruge

‘Cardinal Camera’ — THE Very Best Place To Buy Sony Cameras ONLINE. Period!

by Anura Guruge


Please click to ENLARGE and savor.


As some of you know, and as some may have deduced, I buy a fair number of mid-range cameras per year — and though I haven’t counted of late I think it was somewhere in the 14 – 17 range in the last three years. So, by trial and error, some luck and some setbacks I have worked out the best places from which to buy cameras ONLINE — given that there are NO camera stores within 75-miles of me that carry the types of cameras I fancy.

So over the last 3 years I have bought cameras from Canon (directly), Amazon (multiple times), Beach Camera/BuyDig (multiple times) and Cameta Camera (multiple times). But I got the BEST PRICES from Cardinal Camera and they are the only ones who have sent me a lollipop with a camera.

I encountered Cardinal Camera on Amazon when they had a peek-a-boo $699 deal on the Sony a6000 dual-lens kit. The offer (i.e., price) would come and go. I kept an eye on it for weeks and then when I saw it appear I ordered it — THROUGH Amazon — at $699. It arrived, brand new with the lollipop. That was ONE heck of a deal! I got the a6000 to get me prepared for the Sony a6500 and I traded it in, at Amazon, earlier this Summer.

Then I had to buy the Sony a6500 dual lens kit.

I, as ever, did a huge amount of research. I had bought my Sony a7 II from Cameta Camera because I couldn’t resist some of the ‘freebies’ in their bundle — in the main the battery. But, I didn’t want to get another ‘useless’ bundle from Cameta and IF the truth be known I would rather NOT deal with them. Something about them that jars me.

Then I had an idea.

I called up Cardinal Camera directly and spoke with a salesman — Scott. Very nice guy. Explained my situation, what I wanted and that I had bought an a6000 kit from them earlier. He understood. He went and spoke with his manager — a couple of times. I got one heck of a deal! Straight price reduction and free 2-day shipping. No bundles … Yes, one heck of a discount. That is the way to go.

This MAY come as a shock BUT I currently have no plans to buy another camera! I am quite happy and content with my Sony a7 II and Sony a6500 (and Nikon P900) and some may, quite rightly point out, that I sure should be. But, IF I am looking for another camera next year I will definitely start with Cardinal Camera.


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by Anura Guruge

Updated The Firmware On My New Full-Frame Sony a7 II From 3.10 To 3.30.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.


Sony’s ‘Updater’ utility for Sony a7s — running on Windows 7.


Click image to access Forum post I started at DPReview.com


Firmware version 3.30 for Sony a7 II (i.e., ILCE7M2) was release on November 18, 2016.

Since I ordered my Sony a7 II from Cameta Camera (via Amazon) on May 11, 2017, I had just assumed that it would be at 3.30.

It was NOT!

It was at 3.10. There were ZERO (‘0’) shutter actuations and the camera does look new. So, I am hoping that this is STILL a brand new camera. IF SO, this does not make sense.

I have e-mailed both Cameta Camera and Sony seeking an explanation.

******

I was NOT happy being 2 version down on the Firmware.

So after some Googling to make sure that 3.30 was NOT a total dud, I went ahead and started the upgrade process this morning using the Sony instructions and tool.

On Windows 7 (64-bit) had to download the Sony ‘updater’ TWICE. First download was somehow corrupted and would not run. Though the download finished, without issue, the downloaded file was 169MB — when it should have been 219MB.

Second download was fine, and was 219MB.

After that everything went without a glitch.

Took 14- minutes — which is pretty damn close to the 15-minute Sony tells you.

So, I am happy with that. Not sure I notice any differences. That AF might be a tad faster might just be wishful thinking on my part.

 


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by Anura Guruge

First Pictures With My New Full-Frame Sony a7 II — From Amazon/Cameta Camera.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

First 4 pictures — 001 to 004.

Shot as a full-resolution JPEG
6000 x 4000 (4.9MB)
but reduced here to
1600 x 1067 (434KB).

No post-processing.
Straight-out-of-camera JPEG.





EXIF data from tools.science.si showing that this camera was BRAND new; i.e., no previous shutter actuations. That is a RELIEF. I am happy. I always worry that I might end up getting a previously used camera sold as ‘new’. Not so in this case.

I bought it from Amazon (given my wonderful relationship with them) though it was supplied by Cameta Camera as a bundle. I have a history with Cameta and I thought long and hard about it. The bundle was worth getting IF nothing else but for the ‘free’ Sony 64GB SD card, battery and Vivitar filters.

It worked out. I am HAPPY.

So on the first picture, i.e., ‘001’, it was ZERO shutter actuations.

Being I, I checked it on the 5th picture too. Shutter actuations are counted starting at 0. Hence why it is ‘4’ rather than ‘5’.

Did I say I was HAPPY?

Click to ENLARGE and admire here.


******


Unpacking the Sony a7 II …



Getting this Sony a7 II was a BIG DEAL for I!

Why?

Because it has taken me 1 year and 7 months to make this move!

Yes, 1 year and 7 months.

I reluctantly returned my 27-day old Sony a7 II on September 24, 2015 because I ran into a file-corruption issue.

From then onwards I have been procrastinating about my NEXT BIG camera.

I was, to be honest, waiting for the Fuji XT-2. Then I decided I did NOT like Fuji.

So …

That is how I ended up with the Sony a7 II.

So far, I am happy with it.

It has quite the FEEL. It feels like a REAL camera. It has all the dials and buttons I like.

Very satisfying shutter CLUNK.

It is big and heavy. So I still have to get a Sony a6500 to take to shows etc.

So, this was day 1. Hopefully I will keep this camera for some time. {SMILE}


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by Anura Guruge

If The Samsung NX500 Is Indeed Discontinued Then $798 Is Still Too Much For It.

by Anura Guruge


samsungnx500discontunyed

Click to access ‘B&H’ product page for the Samsung NX500.


Rumors have been around since September 2015 that Samsung’s camera division, despite the critically acclaimed Samsung NX1, was on the skids and that Samsung was looking for a buyer.

On Tuesday morning a number of camera rumor Websites were reporting that mega-distributor “B&H” had the Samsung NX500 marked as discontinued. I checked Cameta Camera and BuyDig.com. Neither of them have the NX500.

The NX500 is still listed on Amazon, by Samsung for one, at $797.99 with a 16-50mm kit lens. IF Samsung is discontinuing this camera, the baby brother of the much more expensive NX1, this is still too expensive. I have never considered the NX500 because it does not have a viewfinder — electronic or optical. And I wouldn’t get a camera at this price bracket without a viewfinder.

If it is indeed discounted the price will probably drop, quite quickly, by another $200. When it gets close to $500 it would be tempting to revisit it since it does have one heck of an impressive 28.2 MP APS-C sensor (though I keep on hearing that all the current Samsungs have autofocus issues).


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by Anura Guruge

Panasonic Lumix LX100 Prices Have Shot Up $100 – $200 Since Feb. 20, 2016.

by Anura Guruge


I ordered my Panasonic Lumix LX100 (which right now I just adore to bits (given the stunning pictures it can take)) from BuyDig.com last Thursday, February 18, 2016 — and paid LESS than the then current $697.99 for it.

3 Days later the list price has shot up $200! Yes, $200. Right now, it is on BuyDig.com for $897.99. See below.


buydiglx100897

Click to ENLARGE. Here is the link IF you want to go check it: http://goo.gl/zalv2p.


Others, for example Cameta Camera, who I was going to buy it from until they ran out of silver LX100s, are selling it now for $797.99. See image below from February 15, 2016 — and post on my Panasonic Lumix ZS100 blog on that day.

I called up Cameta (and asked ‘Lou’) as to what happened. He explained that a $100 (instant) Rebate from Panasonic for the LX100 had expired on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016.

That still doesn’t explain why BuyDig.com hiked prices by $200 when Cameta just went up $100. Strange.

cametalx100700

Click to ENLARGE. Here is the link IF you want to go check it: http://goo.gl/DB2pZZ.


Yes, you can STILL find it on Amazon for $697.99 or EVEN LESS. But they are not from names I am familiar with. So you can never be sure of the condition of the camera (the so called ‘gray market’ cameras).

I am JUST glad I lucked out. Wow. Doesn’t happen to me often.


Cameta Camera Panasonic Lumix LX100 kit prices on February 15, 2016. See my zs100.wordpress.com blog. Click to ENLARGE.


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A picture taken, 2 days ago, with the Panasonic Lumix LX100
— without a flash.

P1000050

Click to ENLARGE.


by Anura Guruge

I Ordered A Panasonic Lumix LX100, In Silver, From BuyDig.com (And Fate Played A Role).

by Anura Guruge


lumixlx100buydig


As is always the case I do a lot of intense agonizing before I buy a camera. It is always a compromise and I just like to really have a good handle on what compromises I am accepting. I had gravitated towards the Panasonic Lumix LX100 over 2 weeks ago when I stumbled upon the newly announced and not as yet available Panasonic Lumix ZS100. The ZS100, which is a smaller version of my heavily used Panasonic FZ1000, really intrigued me to the point that I went off and created a ZS100 blog (and I have had 560 hits in 10 days (which is a blast)).

I really struggled with the LX100. The 12.8MP resolution really, really bugged me. That said I will never be requiring ‘HUGE’, 11″x14″ prints off pictures I take off that camera (I hope). 99.5% of all pictures I take I use online, severely downsampled. Yes, it is better to start off with more Megapixels BUT for what I need the difference will be marginal.

People just RAVE about the image quality from the LX100 and that is my paramount requirement.

Plus it has a very nice (if a tad short (i.e., 75mm)) f1.7 to 2.8 Leica lens. That f1.7 was the final clincher. I have had f1.8 lenses in the past and they are a joy.

And then the TOTAL MANUAL controls. That is what I really want. I want to be able to instantaneously change exposure compensation, shutter speed or aperture without having to press buttons and then turn things. This is also the reason that I will be replacing the FZ1000 by September. I am going to get a Fuji X-T1 (or X-T2, if there is one) with full manual controls. Getting the LX100 will give me a chance to make sure that I will indeed enjoy the manual controls.

So that is that. If there is an LX200 in June I will upgrade. SMILE. That is a given. As I did with the Sony RX100 II will sell it on eBay.

So despite the ZS100 it seems I was fated to get the LX100 from the first time I read a review about it.


Fate then intervened again and I kind of feel that that was good.

I was going to get the LX100 from Cameta Camera because they offered a keenly priced KIT.

But, of late, I have been buying most of my electronics from BuyDig (and their sales-master Ray Messiah). The BuyDig kit was not as competitively priced. This morning I went to Cameta to order the KIT! They had run out of Silver LX100s! They had (at least) one at 1am this morning. Now it was gone.

I wanted this LX100 in silver to go with the whole retro-look. So I called Ray Messiah. He understood where I was coming from. So, as was the case with the Sony RX100 II I bought from Ray I got the LX100 at a discount. Wasn’t a huge discount, but a discount nonetheless. I feel safer and happier getting it from BuyDig. So that is the story of the LX100. Yes, of course, I will share pictures with you.


Click to ENLARGE.


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by Anura Guruge

Buydig.com (My Preferred Camera Store) NO LONGER Selling ‘New’ Fuji Cameras!

by Anura Guruge


budigfujino

Click to ENLARGE and stare at in disbelief. buydig.com


As I have made very plain I see Fuji figuring prominently in my photographic future. Sometime this year a Fuji X-T1 (if a X-T2 has not been announced) will replace my much liked Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 as my main camera. Now that I am actively trying to part with my 3-month old backup camera, the Sony RX100 Mk II I have also been looking at a smaller Fuji as a backup, possibly in the X-E2(S) range. [More this week on the stupidity in the pricing of the X-E2s (the newer camera available in Feb. 2016) and the OLD X-E2, where the new camera is cheaper than the old.]

Since I, for the last 6 months, have tended to buy electronics from BuyDig.com rather than Amazon (though I am an Amazon shareholder and have Amazon Prime), I went over to BuyDig to check prices. I first thought I was missing something. It kept on saying they only had 4 Fuji cameras — those shown above. No X-T1, No X-Pro2, No X-E2 etc.

So I called and got my friend, chief salesman, cousin of the owner and entertainer-in-charge — the aptly named Ray Messiah. It is always fun to talk to THE MESSIAH. He confirmed that they don’t sell many Fujis and that he is not surprised that they don’t list any of the new Fujis. SHAME.

Of course I can get Fujis from Amazon or for that matter Cameta Cameras (who are also immaculate thought they do not, as far as I know, have their own Messiah).

Just wanted to share this. Not good when one of the leading digital online retailers (and that is what the ‘Dig’ indicates — digital) stop selling Fuji.


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by Anura Guruge