Alpha Universe Story Detail
Alpha Universe Story Detail
Shooting with Speed, Stability and Sharpness 

By Daniel Tjongari

Speed, stability and sharpness are what make Sony a triple threat in the photography realm.

An instance that supports this notion is my process with landscape shots. I usually take pictures of natural landscapes using a tripod. This ensures that my camera is stable for blur-free pictures, especially when using long exposure techniques.

However, I often capture beyond just the scenery, such as local cultural performances or religious processions happening on the sidelines. I sometimes include quaint personalities who live in the area. This requires a different photography technique as the activity is ever-changing with people constantly in motion. A moment is not to be missed.

Thankfully, Sony’s encapsulation of speed, stability and sharpness in its camera and lenses has helped me capture subjects successfully time after time.

I will elaborate more about these three wonderful features that you can expect from Sony.

Shot with the FE 24mm F1.4 GM and the Alpha 7R III, this photo captures the motion of a local flinging a fabric in the air in perfect sharpness.

Alpha 7R III | FE 24mm F1.4 GM | 24mm | 1/2000 sec | F8 | ISO 200

Speed

The superb speed of Sony’s cameras and lenses are best described in my recent photo trip in Solo, Central Java region.

I visited an area where locals made colourful fabrics with various motifs in a traditional way. After colouring these fabrics, locals would toss them onto the grass to be dried in the sun. This action of tossing these fabrics is something of a unique moment to capture.

I was using the FE 24mm F1.4 GM with the Alpha 7R III for this shot. The camera’s focus mode was set to AF-C (Continuous AF), which quickly captured the movement while maintaining total focus on the local. 

For the shot, I also used the burst mode at 10fps with uncompressed RAW file format into slot 1 (support UHS II). With its large buffer, the Alpha 7R III easily captures multiple images in great quality at one go. This way, I am provided with a range of shots that I can pick from later.  

Shooting on burst mode with the Alpha 7R IV ensures every moment of the racing horse is captured in the highest quality.

Alpha 7R IV | FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM | 70 mm | 1/800 sec | F4 | ISO 100

The marvellous speed of Sony’s gear is once more demonstrated in the above photo. I captured a racing horse and its rider in high quality with the Alpha 7R IV and FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM. The camera was set on burst mode 10fps with uncompressed RAW file format. Further boosted by the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM, the camera ensures every moment is captured in the highest quality with a buffering capacity of up to 32 frames. Nothing escapes its shutter speed! 

Sony's Alpha 7R IV's Animal Eye Focus effectively tracks the moving tiger for a top quality shot.

Alpha 7R IV | FE 600mm F4 GM OSS | 600 mm | 1/640 sec | F4 | ISO 100

Sharpness

At the zoo, I tested out the Alpha 7R IV’s Animal Eye Focus on a white tiger, together with the FE 600mm F4 GM OSS. 

I was in front of the cage of a white tiger prowling around until it came to rest. Thanks to the wider coverage phase detection from Alpha 7R IV, the photo-taking process was easy and precise. The Real-time Tracking of Animal Eye Autofocus works very well as it tracked the moving tiger. This allowed me to determine the appropriate composition before pressing the shutter button.

The sharpness of the FE 600mm F4 GM OSS is also shown, with its Optical Steady Shoots granting more precession in a high-quality shot. 

The Alpha 7R IV showcases its intelligence-based autofcous as seen in this shot of the racing horsemen captured in total focus.

Alpha 7R IV | FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS | 150 mm | 1/200 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Sony’s astounding autofocus system explained

The accuracy of a focus cannot be separated from how many focus points there are on the camera. In this case when I use the Alpha 7R IV which has 567 phase detection points that cover nearly 74% width and 99% height of the sensor surface, it is very easy for the camera to work to determine the focal point. Sony’s advanced AI technology optimises focus algorithm with Real-time Tracking, making it easier for me to capture moving objects with more precision.

What if the object that I want to capture is in a large area? Can the camera be able to read objects so quickly, especially when they are moving? I put this to the test using the Alpha 7R IV with FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS in mountainous areas, where horsemen were racing across the terrains. The results: The intelligence-based autofocus on the Alpha 7R IV worked very well, and this can be seen in the image above.

Sony's Alpha 7R III captures excellent shots, even in low light conditions.

Alpha 7R III | FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM | 31 mm | 1/8 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Stability

From the Alpha 7 II series to the latest full frame series, Sony has improved the Internal Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) that stabilises the sensor to 5.5 stops. This feature is very helpful when we are photographing in a state of low light levels. The Alpha 7R III and Alpha 7R IV both have a fantastic IBIS capability of 5.5 stops, plus the ability of low light sensitivity is -3Ev (F2 lens). With IBIS, there is more room for creativity in various shots.

An example is a shot captured in the city of Kathmandu, Nepal. While the cloudy weather made for low light conditions, I captured a poignant moment in a morning market with the subject in full focus, while the surroundings reflected a wee amount of motion by lowering the shutter speed. 

In two other low-light scenarios, I captured a shot in a temple at Boudhanath area in Kathmandu and a potter in Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Both photos showcase IBIS’ sensor stability that injects an artistic flair to an otherwise simple photograph. 

Sony's Alpha 7R III's Internal Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) proves helpful when shooting in low light conditions.

Alpha 7R III | FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM | 39 mm | 1/10 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Shot with the Alpha 7R III, this photograph boasts an artistic flair with a wee amount of motion by lowering the shutter speed.

Alpha 7R III | FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM | 29 mm | 1/10 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Understanding telephoto lenses

Sony’s telephoto lenses all boast Optical Steady Shot (OSS) and 5 axis in-body stabilisation that steady the position of the lens before firing off. A fine example is photographing natural sceneries using the Alpha 7R IV and FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS. The results were very satisfying where the image is extremely sharp and devoid of blurriness caused by shaking. Best part? Everything was handheld, a tripod or monopod was not needed. 

The telephoto lens of the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS boasts Optical Steady Shoot (OSS) and 5 axis in-body stabilisation for stunning natural scenery shots.

Alpha 7R IV | FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS | 70 mm | 1/250 sec | F10 | ISO 100

Stability in long exposure photography 

I usually take my pictures by using a long exposure technique. While using a tripod is important to anchor the camera in a safe and stable position, natural elements such as strong wind may shake the camera. However, this exception is almost minimal. Employing long exposure techniques is fantastic for shots of the sea or waterfalls, especially accompanied by dramatic clouds like the picture below in Bali.

Daniel employs long exposure techniques to capture scenic shots.

Alpha 7R IV | FE 16-35 mm F2.8 GM | 16 mm | 1/71 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Sony at the forefront of photography tech 

With the Alpha 7R IV as the pedestal, Sony has indeed ticked off all the boxes of powerful photography prowess: The number of focus points, the speed of the focusing process, the impeccable sharpness, and the stability of the sensor in low light conditions. 

Furthermore, most of Sony’s cameras are able to store more images, thanks to dual memory slots for UHS-II storage. A more comfortable and ergonomic camera handling also makes photo-taking a breeze.

With all these and more, I know for sure I can rely on Sony to get my shot. 

  

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of Daniel Tjongari. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Sony Singapore.

Daniel’s Gear
ILCE-7RM3
Alpha 7R III

ILCE-7RM3

ILCE-7RM4
Alpha 7R IV

ILCE-7RM4

SEL24F14GM
FE 24mm F1.4 GM

SEL24F14GM

SEL2470GM
FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM

SEL2470GM

SEL1635GM
FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM

SEL1635GM

SEL600F40GM
FE 600mm F4 GM OSS

SEL600F40GM

SEL70200GM
FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS

SEL70200GM

SEL100400GM
FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS

SEL100400GM