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GoPro Hero4 Session vs GoPro Hero4 Black vs Sony 4K Action Cam

I recently received the GoPro Hero4 Session camera and wanted to compare it to the GoPro Hero4 Black and Sony 4K Action Cam I already owned. I plan on producing a full review of the GoPro Hero4 Session camera soon. For now, take a look at the side by side comparison of each of these camera’s images. Without even zooming in, you can see the difference in quality. The GoPro Hero4 Black blows past the GoPro Hero4 Session and the Sony 4K Action Cam.

GoPro Hero4 Session vs GoPro Hero4 Black vs Sony 4K Action Cam

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Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens Review

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

This is perhaps the most excited I have been waiting for a lens to arrive. The Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens was released earlier this year and just now started shipping. My lens arrived and I got right to testing. One of the issues I have had with Sony is that the majority of the lenses available in FE format are f/4.0 aperture lenses. When I shot with Canon, I was used to my prime lenses offering as wide as an f/1.2 aperture. Shallow depth of field was my thing. I loved it. At first, switching to Sony was a sacrifice in that area. Of course there were many other features of the Sony platform that caused me to switch. I knew wide lenses would come soon.

Enter the Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens, a beautiful lens with focus fall-off so smooth and creamy that my mouth waters. A few months ago, I purchased a Mitakon Zhongyi 50mm f/0.95 Lens because I wanted some of that bokeh I was so used to getting with Canon, but had to sacrifice autofocus and the ability to control my aperture with the camera. This turned out to be a lot of fun, so when I read that the Sony 35mm f/1.4 was going to have the option to adjust aperture manually, I was excited.

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

Full manual is a lot of fun but it is stressful. You really need to know what you are doing as a photographer to shoot with a fully manual lens. Now that I have this lens, I am excited to have the best of both worlds, but before I get too deep into the rest of the lens, lets talk about the “Responsive Aperture Ring.” On a full manual lens, which means no electronic parts at all such as with the Mitakon 50mm f/0.95 mentioned above. This Sony 35mm lens has an Aperture Ring that allows you to manually adjust your aperture from the lens (cool for video) but it’s an electronic ring. This means that the ring is actually telling the iris of the lens to open and close according to where you set it. On most full manual (non-electronic) lenses, the ring directly controls the iris. I noticed that using the Aperture Ring on the Sony 35mm produces a stepping effect very similar to when you adjust the aperture in camera. Anybody who has tried to adjust aperture in camera while filming knows that the result is less than acceptable. This leads me to wonder why this feature needed to exist on the lens. With a non-electronic lens, you can smoothly control the aperture in a similar way you would use a variable ND filter. I love it because you can control the exposure live and make it feel real. The stepping that is present when you make the adjustment in camera is very noticeable as is the effect when you use the “Responsive Aperture Ring.” I will most likely leave the lens in auto so I can continue to control aperture in camera. The Aperture Ring can also be set to clicked or declicked settings which filmmakers often like because it allows them to make changes to the aperture (iris) without looking at the lens itself (so long as you remember where you started). I recognize that you can’t have the best of both worlds. Sony did their best to make manual aperture adjustment as smooth as possible.

With that said, the aperture ring is the only complaint I have about this lens. Sure it’s slightly bigger than the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens, but I will take that trade off for the f/1.4 aperture that gives me even more low light performance out of my already outstanding Sony a7II and Sony a7S cameras.

Let’s talk features for a moment. I already mentioned the Aperture Ring and what that does, you can also watch my video review where I describe and show what I referenced above. The Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF System makes this lens near completely silent. I was unable to hear this lens focusing unless I pressed my ear right up against the lens. This is important for those of you who want to use the lens for video shooting. This lens was designed for the Sony full-frame E-Mount cameras but will perform amazing on Sony APS-C E-Mount cameras as well. I tested the lens on a Sony a5100 APS-C E-Mount camera and agree that this lens performs amazing on anything it can be attached to.

Spherical aberration has been minimized in this lens due to Sony’s Aspherical and Advanced Aspherical Elements. This means that there will be less of a chance that your images will have any distortion or fringing which can happen when incoming light gets a bit jumbled up and ends up having uneven focal points. Wider lenses often fall pray to this because of the increased amount of light able to pass through the larger iris.

Of course this lens features the ZEISS T* (T-Star) coating famous for virtually eliminating lens flare. It is also water and dust resistant.

The Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens accepts 72mm filters and other thread on accessories. It weighs in at 1.39 lb (630 g) and is 3.09 x 4.41″ (78.5 x 112.0 mm) in size. Being that it is a prime lens (fixed focal length), the lens does not change length as you use it. All focal movements happen inside of the lens.

Performance!

The proof is in the pudding right? You have heard me complain about the aperture ring and brag on the rest of the features, lets see how this lens performs.

Outside on a bright sunny day you can see that sharp images are easy to produce.

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens Outdoor

Sony A7II, Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens – 1/160th, f/4.0, ISO 100

 

When I attempted to produce chromatic aberration, which is caused by high levels of contrast between two items, I was able to do so but only in situations where I had to overexpose the background in order to produce a decent exposure on my subject. To prevent this you supplement with off camera flash or by bouncing light onto your subject to decrease the amount of contrast between foreground and background. Regardless, this lens is on par and possibly would have outperformed my previous 35mm lens I used when I was shooting with Canon DSLR cameras.

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens High Contrast

Sony A7II, Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens – 1/400th, f/1.4, ISO 160

 

With wider focal lenses, you often get distortion on objects such as buildings or horizon lines but this Sony 35mm Full Frame E-Mount lens produces little to none of that. I was only able to produce distortion when I attempted weird angles to begin with.

##Insert building shot

Now for that shallow depth of field amazingness that this 35mm f/1.4 lens produces. In an effort to get this lens review up sooner than later, I have yet to have time to travel and find some fun places to put this lens to the test. What I have been able to do is have fun using this lens just about anywhere I turn. Lenses with this much range give you a lot of options.

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens Shallow Depth of Field

Sony A7II, Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens – 1/400th, f/1.4, ISO 160

 

We already know that the Sony a7II and Sony a7S perform well in low light and that is why I didn’t mind most of my lenses only having a maximum aperture of f/4.0 buy with this f/1.4 lens attached to them, they scream in low light. The Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens is going to make it just that much easier to capture in next to no light.

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens Low Light

Sony A7II, Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens – 1/160th, f/1.4, ISO 1250

 

All I can wish for now is that Sony will release more lenses like the Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens but at different focal lengths. I would love to see 50mm, 85mm and a 135mm lenses with wide apertures as well. I love my Sony cameras but I love them even more with fast glass attached to them.

If you want truly amazing performance out of your already fantastic E-Mount cameras, I highly recommend this lens.

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens on Amazon.com

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

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041 – Tracking Fast Moving Objects

Achieving tack sharp focus is hard enough on subjects that are standing still. In this episode I discuss how I go about tracking fast moving objects and give examples from a recent NASCAR Race I photographed.

Products seen in this video:
Sony a7 II
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 lens
Sony Battery Grip
GoPro Hero 4 Black
Peak Design Wrist Strap

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
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040 – How to Remove Chromatic Aberration in Adobe Lightroom

Chromatic Aberration happens when the lens is unable to focus on all of the colors at the same time. This usually happens in wider apertures when there is a stark difference in contrast between two items. Adobe has built a simple tool into Lightroom which we will use to remove the color fringing that happens due to Chromatic Aberration.

Don’t have Photoshop? Get a Creative Cloud Photography subscription for $10 a month (Includes both Photoshop and Lightroom)

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
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039 – Creating Separation with Shallow Depth of Field

Creating separation between your subject and the background can really bring life to your photo. You can achieve this in a couple of different ways. We will look at two different ways to create separation between the subject and the background. The first will be with wide aperture lenses and then we will discuss using telephoto lenses. We will save lighting techniques for another podcast.

Products seen in this video:
Sony a7 II
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 lens
Sony 16-35mm F4 lens
Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 lens

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
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038 – Reviewing Your Work with a GoPro

Attaching a GoPro to the hot shoe of your camera will give you the ability to capture your photoshoot as well as giving you some behind-the-scenes footage. Reviewing the footage will give you a better understanding of what you were doing right as well as what you were doing wrong.

Products seen in this video:
Canon EOS 5D Mk.III
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L Telephoto
GoPro Hero 3+
GoPro Tripod Mount
SMALLRIG Hot Shoe Adapter

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
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037 – Making Selective Color Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop Part 2

Last week I showed you how to make a Selective Color adjustment using the Quick Selection and Magic Wand tools. In this weeks podcast I show you how to Paint in Selective Color adjustments using the Mask and Brush tools in Adobe Photoshop.

Don’t have Photoshop? Get a Creative Cloud Photography subscription for $10 a month (Includes both Photoshop and Lightroom)

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
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036 – Ugly Lighting Setup – DIY Lighting Using Reptile Lights

Overview of a crazy ugly lighting setup for an unplanned filming at a friends condo in Florida. Sometimes you just have to work with what is available.

Products mentioned in this video:
Josh’s Frogs Green Gro LED Bulb
Exo Terra terrarium canopy
Sony a7 II
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 lens

Manfrotto 504HD Video Head
Atomos Shogun 4K Recorder & Monitor

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
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035 – Making Selective Color Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop Part 1

In this weeks episode I show you how to make a Selective Color adjustment using the Quick Selection or Magic Wand tools in Adobe Photoshop.

Don’t have Photoshop? Get a Creative Cloud Photography subscription for $10 a month (Includes both Photoshop and Lightroom)

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook Group

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034 – Using the Sharpness and Clarity Tools in Adobe Lightroom

Sometimes our images aren’t as crisp or sharp as we believed. The sharpness and clarity tools in Adobe Lightroom can help us bring back some of the sharpness that we’re missing. Learn how to properly use those tools in this episode.

Don’t have Photoshop? Get a Creative Cloud Photography subscription for $10 a month (Includes both Photoshop and Lightroom)

Learn how to shoot in manual mode on your camera with my Free course Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual
Check out our YouTube channel with the full Ditch Auto course plus tons more
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook Group

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