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Sony A9 and Sigma 135mm lens review

Sigma 135 on Sony A9 Review

michael gane - www.thefxworks.co.uk9.JPG

Now I’m not a man of many words when it comes to writing Blogs in a technical manner, I’m very much a photographer who bases my impressions on what a camera or lens produces for me.

Very briefly I have just recently moved over to the Sony A9 and to say its incredible, the best camera i have ever owned, really doesn’t do the Sony A9 justice, but it is!

I shot this photo-shoot in the beautiful Botanical Gardens (in the historic City of Bath) using the Sigma 135 mm. Now i’m pretty sure the G-Master 135 mm lens could possibly provide better focus in low light, or possibly the image quality may be sharper (when Pixel peeping) but paying the extra £1000.00 for the G-Master just seemed a tad nuts to me as Sigma lenses are pretty darn good now.. but enough of me, please take a look at these images, all Jpegs with a some editing however to be honest they really didn’t need it!

I have reduces the rez to 72 - 1500x1500 for my blog but I can assure you, the quality from this lens is outstanding and focus nailed every shot!

Oh, just a little info with regards to setting - Aperture from 1.8/5.6 - Auto ISO and Shutter set not to drop below 1/250 - Mechanical Shutter as I used a tough of back flash and tracking Flexible spot (M)

Thanks for checking this out. Michael Gane

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Capturing images from 4k footage?

Can you capture images from 4k footage?

Girls dancing

I've been Photographing and Filming weddings for many years, I was always one of those photographers that always said “use a video for film and a camera for stills”

I have worked for some pretty impressive companies in my professional life such as Disney, Sky Sports etc etc.

Over the past few years I have been watching the technological growth of the Sony mirrorless cameras, patiently waiting for the camera that can really provide the option to provide my fusion wedding and Video services, where it would be possible to utilize one camera.

Michael Gane - www.thefxworks.co.uk8.JPG

I've had to eat my words! I have been using the Sony A7iii since it arrived on the market and the results have been incredible. I no longer have to carry several pieces of heavy equipment (or my wife lol) using two of these fabulous cameras with the 28-75mm Tamron and the 85mm sony lens, i'm getting the results.

I was recently asked to photograph a friends show rehearsal of the musical - Westside Story and i thought this would provide me with the opportunity to see if its possible to export individual frames from the 4k footage.

I was very impressed with the results and I have added a few of the images from this test for you to view.

I found the best settings for the 4k were 1/200 shutter speed, f2.8 and let the camera set the ISO. I had read that the footage could look a tad robotic at this frame rate however encoding the 4k footage to 1080p looked absolutely amazing in my eyes.

I captured the frames using Final Cut Pro, exported these into Photoshop, set up an action to increase the size, add sharpening and a touch of noise reduction.

I know a few of the images may not be perfectly sharp and ill need more testing but i’d Love to know your thoughts at this stage.

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Sony A7 mkiii 4K

Sony A7 Mark III


I have to be honest,  the main reason for buying the Sony A7 was because of the incredible low light capabilities.

I've been a keen photographer and filmmaker for about 27 year,  I've been very lucky I'm working for some pretty impressive companies including Disney, Sony, Halfords, Sky Sports just to name a few.

I've never been happy with noise levels in all the cameras I’ve owned, unfortunately I've never been satisfied with the noise in certain images when shooting above a certain ISO.

So although I've filmed with Sony video cameras for many years, I've never owned a Sony DSLR/Mirrorless camera, when it came to wedding photography. I've always wanted and wished for a camera that exceeds in low light, when pushing high ISO.

This Sony A7 is absolutely amazing with regards pushing the ISO,  I keep the in camera noise settings to low because it does tend to smear the images if set higher however keeping the settings low and importing the images into Photoshop, I've seen some pretty impressive photos, I've taken at crazy high ISO levels.

4k image grab Bird1.jpg

An added benefit to this camera is the focus, I use the eye Focus 90% of the time when shooting weddings with this camera,  I have been stunned how this thing locks onto the eye from a distance and catches those images pinsharp.

The speed of which this camera focuses is superb,  it's massively increased my hit rate and helped make being a wedding photographer even more enjoyable.

So a few months ago I was reading a lot of articles with regards to grabbing stills from 4K footage,  because I’ve filmed and Photographed weddings all over Europe, having an extensive knowledge of editing, using programs such as After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Premier, Canopus and Avid, I still find myself being asked to film a Dual service for weddings, I became very interested with the possibility of using the Sony A7 mk iii to film certain sections of a wedding, having the ability to grab images from the footage.

This is going to be my first introduction blog with regards to my initial tests and later after offering the dual service using this camera full wedding (Wedding number 24 with the Sony A7 mk iii)  It's now my workflow for weddings, when asked to provide the full service.

I have only added two images to this article, partly due to time but also so is not to bore you with my attempts at wildlife photography. I clearly remember these first clips were filmed in 4k Aperture setting f 5.6 -  shutter speed 1/1000 and ISO at 8000. I then imported the frames into Photoshop and grabbed 2 frames (of literally hundreds that I could have used) I was very excited and pretty impressed.

4k SonyA7 mkiii Bird2.jpg

Wedding Photography fads

Lets move away from the smile at the camera wedding images and get real with wedding photography

Real Wedding Photography

Real wedding's, true reportage wedding photography, a photographer who will capture the memories from your wedding, unobtrusively and natural wedding photography in the southwest. 

Wedding's in Bath

Very busy year, new Olympus E-M1 mkii, new little Flash and lots of wedding photography

Military Wedding

Wonderful Military Wedding at Guyers House in Corcham Wiltshire.

Olympus EM1 mkii versus Sony A7 mkiii

Blue Flower

Olympus EM1 mkii Lenses

I must admit I’m a bit of a a pain when it comes down to cameras and their gear, I get bored very easy. Don't get me wrong, photography is my absolute passion, i'm an experienced Wedding and Portrait Photographer near the beautiful historic city of Bath.

However after a year or so of using the same camera, I do feel the need to move on.
I have been using the Olympus EM1 mkii for the past year, with the 12-40mm f2.8 and a couple of other Olympus lenses.

Tractor in field

I have been watching the developments of the Sony mirrorless cameras and was extremely impressed with the Sony A7 mk iii and had set my mind on getting hold of this camera.

Very excited I pre-ordered from Amazon and excitedly anticipating the arrival, well on the day of arrival, the camera had not appeared at my door, I decided to call Amazon who told me that the camera would now not be delivered for another month! 

Goat or Sheep

After canceling the order, and having given myself a talking too, I decided that maybe I should help myself feel a little happier by purchasing four Olympus lenses, their latest Pro Lenses.

Black Sheep

Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro M.Zuiko ED

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO

Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 Pro

Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 Pro

Weed

I have now tested each lens and have decided that I'm staying with Olympus for the time being, these lenses are absolutely fabulous, they are all incredibly sharp, beautiful Bokeh and a superb rendition of contrast and of course the famous Olympus colours.

These four lenses are now in my Wedding kit bag, I feel that I can be happy with the Olympus Camera for another year, I'm now satisfied; or am I?


These images were all taken randomly using each of the lenses mentioned

St George Beckington

The quaint little village church of St Georges in the wonderful Beckington Village, fantastic place to have your wedding ceremony.

Fuji Xpro2 - four month's on

This is a small article about my experience with the Fuji Xpro2 after four months, the images are from a recent beautiful wedding, being the official Wedding photographer.

E-M1 mk2 Olympus

Using the Olympus E-M1 mk 2 on an afternoon walk, will I be using this camera as my main wedding photography tool? 

Olympus E-M1 mk11

How good is the new Olympus E-M1 mk11 and will I abandon Fuji?

Olympus E-M10 mk2 does B&W

Fancy a fun little camera, then why not see what the Olympus E-M10 MK2 produces straight out the box

Enough is enough

Thats it, I have finally decided, after 20 odd years as a wedding photographer, I'm shooting Jpeg, the fuji Jpegs are better from camera, than I can produce!

Wedding photographers get real

Wedding photography should tell the story, wedding photography is all about documenting your wedding day, Michael Gane of thefxworks, local to Bath on the Somerset border