Fotodiox WonderBurst NEX Delivers Wireless Flash to NEX-3 and NEX-5 Series Cameras

Fotodiox Wonderburst NEX

Fotodiox has a new flash trigger system, the WonderBurst NEX, which features the unique NEX flash mount transmitter and a traditional hot shoe receiver. The wireless units feature 16 selectable channels and a 300′ range.

These are manual-only triggers and do not transmit TTL info and the manual flash sync speeds are limited to 1/160s. Still yet, it’s a very affordable system at only $40 for the transmitter and receiver package. Check it out here on Amazon.com.

Upcoming Sony NEX-5R to Use Phase Detect AF at Pixel Level

Sony NEX-5R Rumors

The Sony NEX line is already knocking it out of the park, so this news comes as icing on the cake.  SonyAlphaRumors.com has good word that the upcoming Sony NEX-5R (which will replace the NEX-5N) will sport a new 16MP CMOS sensor with phase detection AF sensors built as pixels directly on the sensor.

For those unfamiliar with the tech, phase detection AF is what’s used in all DSLRs; however, most mirrorless cameras to date have featured a contrast detection AF method.  The contrast AF system has gotten better in recent years – with Sony, Panasonic and Olympus doing a bang-up job of making it much faster in the latest models.  However, if you’ve used both a DSLR and a mirrorless camera, then you know that DSLRs just focus faster . . . and that’s due to phase detection AF.

The recently announced Canon EOS M features a phase detection AF method at the pixel level as well.  And, Canon even introduced the feature into the Canon Rebel T4i.  While the Rebel T4i certainly does a better job at AF than other traditional DSLRs, it still has a ways to go based on my early testing with the camera for full time AF during video.  Hopefully, the EOS M performs much better than the Rebel T4i’s AF.

But Sony is really sneaking up on Canon and Nikon.  Frankly, I think Sony is the manufacturer to beat at this point in the mirrorless market.  If the new NEX-5R steps up the game with an even better AF system than exists in current NEX models, then it’s going to be hard for others to really push past.

Sony NEX-F3 Pic Leaked, Due for Launch in May

Sony NEX-F3

Sony Alpha Rumors just published the above image of the upcoming Sony NEX-F3, which is due to replace the excellent Sony NEX-C3.

The new Sony NEX-F3 will sport a 16.1MP image sensor and is rumored to include a 180-degree tilting LCD, along with a built-in flash.  The presence of the AVCHD logo on the above image also suggest 1080p capture (hopefully, it will be AVCHD 2.0 for 60p like the NEX-5N).

The naming scheme is curious given the Sony PMW-F3, which is a PL mount cinema camera and commonly referred to as simply the “F3″.  Likewise, the potential spec-sheet further suggests that the NEX-F3 may outshine the (also excellent) NEX-5N, in which case we can probably expect a summer 2012 replacement for it as well.

For now, the Sony NEX-F3 is rumored to launch in May 2012, alongside the Sony A37, an entry-level DSLR-ish camera with Sony’s translucent mirror technology.

You can expect to hear a lot more about this camera in the coming weeks.  So, stay tuned.

Sony NEX-5N ‘Clicking’ Problem Update

Sony NEX-5N

I have heard from several Sony NEX-5N owners that the “performance improvement” offered by Sony for the NEX-5N’s clicking defect during video capture has been resolved.  I recently confirmed this for myself with several NEX-5N models that had the fix applied.  In all cases, the clicking was not audible to me anymore.

I’m revising my Sony NEX-5N review to reflect this solution and changing my recommendation for the NEX-5N as a highly-recommended camera.

Sony NEX-5N Review

Sony NEX-5N

The Sony NEX-5N is part of Sony’s second go-round at the mirrorless camera format. The NEX-3 and NEX-5 were largely regarded as a success – and for the most part the NEX-C3 and NEX-5N models which followed on a year later have been held with similar regard.

What you need to know up front is that the Sony NEX-5N is not a perfect camera.  It’s a solid (bordering on excellent) offering from Sony; however, it has some niggling problems and concerns that take some of the luster off of it.  (Update 11/9/11:  The core defect appears to have been fixed. See details below.) [Read more...]