Generally speaking, I’m not the biggest fan of comments. People can be quite toxic at times when you and your staff are working hard enough to produce content. That’s why for a while I removed them from the site. But sometimes our comments actually come from people who realize that we are human beings too. And instead of responding to them in our comments section, we came up with the idea of writing them full letters. Inspired by The New Yorker’s Letters to the Editor, that’s exactly what we’re doing here.
On the autofocus of the Sony a7r IV
In our Sony a7r IV discount review, we explained that we never liked autofocus in all areas. Andy Lay said this:
“Chris, I can’t lie either, but I definitely prefer the R4 over the R3. The Sony a7r IV is my primary camera body for my professional work. The autofocus and eye stabilization feature looks noticeably better. I also found that the noise level on the R4 is much lower than on the R3 despite there being a lot more pixels on the same size sensor. If I recall correctly, there have been significant improvements in the R4 via firmware updates that came out some time after the initial release I’m curious if you had the latest firmware when you tried the R4 Thanks for your many articles and for including Sony in your topics.
Thanks for your comment Andy. And more importantly, thank you for writing it like a smart human being. Comments like these excite me. First of all, yes we have had the latest firmware updates. In fact, Sony is pretty bad at communicating with the press about firmware updates. And that hasn’t really changed until I contacted them recently. If you’ve been reading the site for a while, you’ll know that when firmware updates happen, we recall units for testing and update our reviews. We sometimes see firmware coming out, but not always.
I don’t know what kind of settings you are using, but even according to DXOMark’s findings, the Sony a7r III is still the better camera. Every time I pick up this thing, I pretty much fall in love with Sony all over again. It’s almost perfect in many ways. I was wondering exactly what you were saying about eye autofocus as well. But in the proprietary and third-party lens reviews, Brittany and Hillary seem to agree with me. Even the previous staff also agreed. A PR rep who works for Sony also told me he wasn’t surprised by the results given the megapixels. The Sony a7r IV had the processor from the Sony a9 II if I remember correctly, which had to handle almost 3 times the sensor output. The Sony a7r IV just seriously, consistently, never did it for me. And for the record, I had very high hopes for this.
I also generally have this idea that I don’t buy the “same” generation of cameras. With the exception of the Canon 5D Mk II, I have never seen anything so amazing. The X Pro 2 wasn’t an exciting enough upgrade from the X Pro 1 for me. But the X Pro 3 is my baby. The Leica SL2 came after the Leica SL2, so they improved the problems of the first and second version of the cameras in this series.
My experience aside, I think it’s wonderful that you have yours. I don’t know what you’re shooting, and I don’t know what kind of shooting situation you’re in either. But I purposely expose myself to a bunch of different scenarios when running this site. Also, Brittany and Hillary are both in different states and have completely different experiences than I have here in New York. Hillary has been doing this almost as long as I have, and Brittany has been touring longer than Hillary and me.
Thank you for reading and for your comment.
On the Fujifilm XH2 too late
In our review, I wondered if the Fujifilm XH2s weren’t arriving on the scene too late. Nick Turpin wrote:
“If you’re also a commercial photographer and filmmaker, this camera takes care of ticking both boxes.” Internal ProRes recording in 4k at 120fps, 14 stops of dynamic range in flog2. It’s the Fujifilm I’ve been waiting for to finally give up my Canons.
I ordered 2.”
Hi Nick! It’s been a while since we’ve introduced you, and I sincerely hope you’re doing well.
I agree with you. If you’re both a commercial photographer and a filmmaker, the XH2 sounds like a fantastic camera. But it is also a statement that comes with caveats. Let me explain:
- If you’re a filmmaker, I don’t know how Fujifilm is going to steal the limelight from Panasonic, Canon or Sony. More importantly, when we spoke to a group of filmmakers in 2021, they didn’t seem to be focused on the mirrorless camera market in general. They used dedicated camcorders instead.
- Commercial photographers can more or less use whatever they want. No one makes a bad camera these days, although we’ve never rated a Sigma camera above three stars and they average one or two.
- Hybrid shooters can do a lot more with Canon and Sony. With Sony you get a much wider choice of lenses and much more comprehensive support for flash and lighting.
What I honestly feel really sets Fujifilm apart from everyone else is the ergonomics and the film simulations. Many camera testers do not consider them due to the many standards created by previous generations. In our view, these standards are outdated. Fujifilm’s film simulations make the camera system unique and apply to RAW files. Plus, the superior ergonomics and retro feel are seriously appreciated by a ton of photographers.
And with the XH2s, those were more or less thrown out the window.
The XH2s looks like a camera that isn’t necessarily designed for Fuji photographers. Hillary and I love our retro ergonomics. The same goes for Brittany! But Brittany is seriously considering switching to Canon’s GFX format.
Will the camera make Fujifilm photographers much more versatile? Absolutely. But as Alex said in an article on the 19th, companies need to stop fussing so much with ergonomics. If you switch from your XH2 to your XT4 or X Pro 3, the whole layout will be completely different.
I hope your cameras serve you well.
Thanks for writing
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