Football jugglers and BMX acrobats are giving spectacular performances while a horde of visitors are taking as many pictures as they can. Action autofocus is quite obviously what Sony is most proud of. «It just works,» says Ben Pilling, an English-speaking expert from Sony Europe. I had a very good impression of the autofocus technology in my Sony A7 III and RX100 VI tests (in German), but I still want to see for myself if this would prove true. And I’m keen on picking up a few tricks on the way.
What I found out? It's true, it does work. And Ben doesn't need to give me many tips either. The AEL button lets me switch between Tracking AF and Eye AF. Both work extremely well. The same function can also be assigned to the button on the G lens. That’s about all I need to know.
Of course, not all cameras are equally powerful. As a high-end model, the Sony A9 offers a sensor that can be read extremely quickly. This means there is no distortion (rolling shutter) when shooting in silent mode. As in video mode, the mechanical shutter is constantly open in silent mode, which can cause these distortions. Yet, at the Sony stand and in my earlier tests, I never encountered this problem.
Sony's novelty for this year's Photokina is limited to one lens. Nothing like the A7S III – and no plans and promises for the future either. The new 24 mm wide-angle lens offers an aperture of f/1.4 and has a special aperture ring that can be adjusted manually for video recordings. The lens is said to be just as interesting for videos as for photography because of its almost silent autofocus.
Sony's exhibition stand is extremely popular and attractive, which goes to show that a trade fair isn't only suitable for product launches. For visitors, it's an opportunity to try out things for themselves.
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