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Over the last weekend and on past ANZAC Day I have had the pleasure of playing with a couple of Sony's finest - the NEX7 and even better, the NEX FS100. Now the FS100 has already been put through its paces at Auscam, and in fact reviewer Chris Oaten summed it up with "I'm gonna be right up front with a pat on the back for Sony in what I feel is a well-accomplished objective."
You can read the full review in the next edition of Auscam (in the printer as we speak) or at www.auscamonline.com
The NEX 7 I have not seen before, but apart from one and a half little niggles, I am in love with this little beastie; it takes fantastic shots. And the niggle and a bit? The viewfinder as it brings up my left eye dominant issue is the big one. The half is as it has an auto LCD to viewfinder switch when you look through the viewfinder, if you wear glasses, sometimes it does 'sense' you unless you press hard against the rubber cup and this tends to smear your specs.
These things aside, the main reason I have these two cameras is as they are both NEX based, they of course can accept an interchangeable lens using the Sony E mount system.
Now it so happens that lens maker Tamron has licenced this system from Sony and Brendan Lee from distributors Maxwells gave me a buzz to see if I'd like to review one - their new 18~200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC.
That'd be a yes then.
In real terms, the 200mm on this lens and camera configuration is equivalent to 300mm on a 35mm camera and so is a serious animal for sports stuff - right up my alley. It also boasts 'Vibration Compensation' and internal focussing.
It weighs a bit less and is about 1cm shorter (460g / 96.7cm) than the equivalent Sony but add the petalled lens hood and it is much of a muchness. On the NEX 7 the balance felt fine to me but perhaps - oddly - a little front heavy on the FS100 at full zoom.
As expected, at minimal zoom, the image is pin sharp but even at maximum zoom the centre of the image is far better than average although there is minimal drop off as you get to the edges. Chromatic aberration is well controlled but there is a bit of flare when shooting into the sun; the lens hood does a fine job here however.
At $849, this is a very good quality lens. It feels solid due to a metal mount (the rest is plastics) and golly, you get a choice of black or silver!
On the FS100 it is a worthy competitor for Sony's own offering, even costing a tad less, but on the NEX 7, it makes a killer combination in my opinion. The only drawback is that it doesn't come with a case.
For more information see www.maxwells.com.au
David is the owner and publisher of Australian Videocamera. He has a background in media dating back to 1979 when he first got involved with photojournalism in motorsport, and went from there into technology via a 5 year stint with Tandy Computers.
Moving back to WA, David wrote scripts for Computer Television for video training for the just released Windows and Office 95 among others, and was then lured to Sydney to create web sites for the newly commercial Internet in 1995, building hundreds of sites under contract to OzEmail including Coates Hire, Hertz Queensland, John Williamson, the NSW Board of Studies and many, many more.
David can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
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