Sony USA: Sony Celebrates No. 1 Overall Position in U.S. Full-frame Cameras with Launch of Historic ‘Be Alpha’ Campaign

https://alphauniverse.com/stories/sony-takes-over-as-no-1-in-u-s–full-frame-cameras–launches-historic–be-alpha–campaign/

“… The ‘Be Alpha’ campaign will also feature programs that are designed to foster growth in both the current and next generations of imaging professionals, the most notable of which being the flagship ‘Alpha Female’ program. This multi-tiered, female exclusive program is Sony’s thoughtful response to the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges. It will include a variety of grants and mentorship opportunities for female photographers and videographers, as well as the production of several large-scale industry events. Additional details to be released soon….”

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Sony Alpha a9 mirrorless digital camera with Sony VG-C3EM vertical grip and Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS zoom lens.

Commentary

Details about Sony’s coming ‘Alpha Female’ program thread of the ‘Be Alpha’ campaign have yet to appear online but this is the very first time to my knowledge that any camera maker has done anything to address the huge imbalance in opportunities for and representation of female photographers and moviemakers.

It is likely that concrete information about the ‘Alpha Female’ program and the ‘Alpha Female’ photographers and moviemakers involved in it will begin appearing during the ‘Be Alpha’ campaign launch event on August 19th, World Photography Day, in New York City. 

I hope that the ‘Alpha Female’ program will be a beacon to all aspiring and established female photographers and moviemakers everywhere, not just limited to the USA, and inspire all camera and other hardware manufacturing companies to make a real change for the better.

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“Not enough lenses”? Sony A-Mount and E-Mount lenses in 35mm and APS-C sensor formats as of 2017.

Coverage of Sony products, as well as those by Canon and Nikon, has been sporadic here at ‘Untitled’ but Sony’s ‘Alpha Female’ program as well as the other two camera makers’ coming high-end mirrorless cameras are incentive to try to persuade all three brands to assist us in writing about their products with firsthand experience.

Another such incentive is Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming’s creation of Sony and Canon inclusive Leeming LUT Pro, “the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table (LUT) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading”.

“Multi-camera shoots are now much easier, because you are starting with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading. Once all your cameras have been corrected, you can optionally use the specially matched Leeming LUT Quickies™ for a one-touch creative grade designed to work seamlessly with the common baseline of Leeming LUT Pro™ corrected footage.”

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Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Sonnar prime lens for Sony E-Mount cameras with 35mm sensors. Photojournalist David Burnett describes it as “the sharpest, crispest 50mm lens I have ever used”.

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SmallRig: SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7RIII/A9 2122

http://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-l-bracket-for-sony-a7iii-a7riii-a9-2122.html

“This product is custom designed for Sony A7RIII, A7III and A9 cameras. Both the base plate and the side plate are of Arca-Swiss standard. It mounts to the camera’s tripod socket and extends 20mm height for more comfortable gripping. The side plate is detachable and slidable as per your needs. Accessories such as hand straps, and Metabones adapter support 1764 could be attached to it, providing more stability….”

SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7RIII/A9 2122

SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7RIII/A9 2122, SmallRig Cold Shoe Mount 1593 and SmallRig Lens Adapter Support 1764

Commentary

I was browsing through the pages of the SmallRig video camera accessories website this morning when I handed upon what appears to be the company’s very first L-bracket, for Sony’s Alpha a7 III, Alpha a7R III and Alpha a9 mirrorless 35mm sensor format hybrid stills/video cameras.

This is an exciting development especially as SmallRig’s design provides for mounting on Arca-Swiss tripods heads or adapters, allows access to the cameras’ batteries, and looks sturdy and well-machined.

L-brackets can come in handy when using hybrid cameras for video and stills, in portrait and landscape format, swapping rapidly from one to the next.

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3 Legged Thing’s QR11 is, apparently, “the world’s most innovative universal L-bracket”.

Some manufacturers such as 3 Legged Thing make universal L-brackets that can fit a range of cameras with varying degrees of usability and ability to easily access batteries, media cards and other essential hardware features but there is no question that custom L-brackets designed to fit their intended camera perfectly are the best option by far.

Regrettably though, custom L-brackets are not always available for specific cameras nor are they always designed and manufactured in the way one might desire.

For example, I am still looking for a good enough L-bracket for my beloved Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 hybrid professional rangefinder-style camera.

The GX8 remains one of my favourite and most-used professional-quality cameras for stills photography and video even though it was supposed to be “superseded” or “updated” by Panasonic with the enthusiast-level Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9, a marketing misstep about which I have written in several articles here at ‘Untitled’.

I and a good many others are still waiting for Panasonic to come up with the actual professional-quality rangefinder-style successor to the GX8.

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L-brackets like this BGX8 for GX8 by Really Right Stuff are invaluable when quickly switching from horizontal to vertical orientation during environmental portrait photography sessions. Tragically, Really Right Stuff discontinued making the BGX8 well before the Panasonic GX8 itself was supposedly “superseded” by the Panasonic GX9.

Meanwhile, getting back to L-brackets, the best GX8 L-bracket so far had vanished from sale just before I discovered it, though its design was far from perfect and was neither as advanced as SmallRig’s solution for the Sony A-series cameras nor as affordable.

Nor did that disappeared GX8 L-bracket offer the option of attaching a special cold shoe for mounting microphones or other accessories off to the camera’s side, or a lens adapter support below the lens while securely screwed onto the L-bracket itself.

I ended up buying a GX8 camera cage from SmallRig as a form of consolation gift to myself, but a cage and an L-bracket are two different things made to solve two different sets of problems even though, as SmallRig has illustrated in its Sony L-bracket product page, an L-bracket can be useful to moviemakers too.

I encourage SmallRig to consider making L-brackets for other cameras.

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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 is a true professional-quality rangefinder-style camera with weather resistance, a well-sized built-in hand grip and is popular with professional documentary photographers and moviemakers. I am still waiting for Panasonic to reveal the real pro-quality update to this camera as it clearly was not the GX9. I am still looking for an L-bracket for my GX8.

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