Sony Predicts Canon and Nikon Full-Frame Mirrorless Are Coming Soon, Canon Confirms It’s ‘On the Offensive’




It’s not exactly news that Sony and Fujifilm are progressing by leaps

and bounds with their mirrorless offerings, while many are staring at

Canon and Nikon, waiting for a response. A Sony executive recently

predicted that just such a response is coming soon, and Canon confirmed


DPReview recently sat down with Kenji Tanaka, Senior

General Manager of the Digital Imaging Business Group at Sony,

during which he predicted that by CP+ 2019 (likely held in early March),

both Canon and Nikon will have entered the full-frame mirrorless

market. As I write this, both companies are likely trying to address the

issue of flange distance and if this means they’ll have to abandon the

huge lead they hold in lens libraries or embrace larger mirrorless

models or adapters. Nonetheless, I think few will argue that regardless

of what they decide, they need to enter the market sooner rather than


For their part, Canon has been increasingly adamant that they’re

taking mirrorless seriously and putting significant resources toward

research and development. At a recent corporate conference, CEO

Fujio Mitarai said that Canon will “go on the offensive” to take a

bigger share of the mirrorless market, with the overall goal of a 50

percent share of the total ILC market. Altogether, it looks like the

next year will be a very interesting one for photographers.

Drone Photography Tips

While summer is winding down in its final full month, there is still time left to get your summertime drone photography fix. The different perspective offered by drones can be used to make magic, and that summer vibe is hard to fake any other time of the year. If you’ve got access to a drone and are looking for some inspiration, look no further. COOPH has put together a little video with some great suggestions for making fun summer photographs from a drone’s vantage point.






Sony A9 Review

The Sony Alpha 9 is the company’s first camera aimed at professionals and sports photographers. It’s a 24MP, full frame mirrorless camera that can shoot at 20 frames per second with full autofocus. And, just as importantly, with very low viewfinder lag and no blackout while continuous shooting. That’s right, a mirrorless camera targeted at professional and sports photographers – a strike at the DSLR’s area of greatest strength. Olympus has pushed in this direction with its E-M1 Mark II, but Sony is promising both super-fast readout and full frame image quality, backed up with an expansion of its Pro Support scheme that will be needed to break into the pro market. This is ambitious stuff. All this capability stems from a stacked CMOS image sensor, which includes processing circuitry nearer the pixels and features built-in memory to deliver all this data to the off-board processors at a rate they can cope with. It’s this structure that enables the camera to shoot at 20 frames per second and do so with an electronic shutter that’s fast enough to minimize the rolling shutter effect. The fast readout also allows 60 AF/AE calculations per second, promising better subject tracking and prediction.


Key specifications

  • 24MP Full Frame Stacked CMOS
  • 20 fps continuous shooting with full AF (electronic shutter, 12-bit files)
  • Continuous shooting buffer of up to 241 compressed Raw files (362 JPEG)
  • 10 fps continuous shooting with AF when adapting lenses
  • 5.0-step 5-axis image stabilization
  • 3.7m dot OLED viewfinder (1280 x 960 pixels) with up to 120 fps update
  • 1.44m dot rear touchscreen LCD
  • Oversampled UHD 4K/24p video from full sensor width (1.24x crop for 30p)

The stacked CMOS design not only allows the super-fast readout that powers so much of the camera’s attention-grabbing spec, it also means it has all the benefits of BSI design. This means that the light-sensitive section of each pixel is closer to the surface of the sensor which, in turn, means the sensor is better at collecting light near the corners, where the incident angle will be high. It also generally means improved low light performance, and sharper pixel-level imagery thanks to lower pixel crosstalk.


The a9’s fast readout sensor has huge benefits for video shooting, as well as stills. It allows the a9 to capture UHD 4K video using the full width of its sensor, still with reduced rolling shutter. This means its 24p footage is made up from 6000 x 3376 pixels: oversampling the scene by 1.56x in each direction, for more detailed footage with less risk of moire. 30p footage is oversampled 1.26x in each direction, and comes with a 1.2x crop, but shows less rolling shutter. The camera also has the headphone and mic sockets, and option to fit an adapter for twin XLR mic input. Sony calls the video footage from the a9 the ‘highest 4K movie image quality of any full-frame ILC’, which makes it all the more odd that Sony has not included its Picture Profile system of video-targeted tone and color responses, such as S-Log2 and 3, and ITU 709.


Google Photos vs JPEGmini

JPEG Compression Test: Google Photos vs JPEGmini

In this article I will take a look at Google Photos’ new photo compression performance. I’ve been using a program called JPEGmini for a couple of years to compress my JPEG images. Its compression of JPEGs are lossy, but it claims to do so leaving the perceptual image quality virtually unchanged. As far as I can tell, its claims are pretty accurate, and it has literally helped me cut the size of some of my picture folders in half.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, Google just unveiled Google Photos, and with it announced unlimited storage space for photos and videos. The unlimited part comes with a caveat: Google will apply lossy compression to your files.

Like JPEGmini, Google claims to be able to apply lossy compression to images without changing the perceptual quality of the image. If you analyze the uncompressed and compressed images with a computer, you can see differences — but by eye, they look identical.

So I did a little test with a bright image to compare JPEGmini’s compression with Google’s compression. Take a look at this image:

This shows a comparison between the uncompressed image, Google’s compression, JPEGmini’s compression, and finally JPEGmini applied to an already Google-compressed image.

You can decide for yourself if there is any loss in visual acuity between the original, the Google-compressed, the JPEGmini-compressed, and the double-compressed image. To make it easier to view the images side-by-side, here’s an Imgur album with each individual frame, which you can load it separate browser tabs and click back and forth.

Below, I’ve produced a table showing the different compression ratios.