I just wanted to touch base with all of you on the future plans for Sonyalphalab.com, and show you the progress on the Lab. I wrote an article similar to this a while back, and it really seemed to be a popular one, so here it goes again.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately with the whole website thing, camera technology as a whole, and what I actually want to do? I enjoy reviewing cameras and helping out where I can with questions and answers, but I always want to take things to the next level. How can I do that?
A Quick History Recap – for those in need..
As you may have read on the About SAL Page, or if your a regular reader for a while, I used to be a Pro Photographer using all Canon gear. In short, the photography business grew so fast, Michele and I could not keep up with it and our full time jobs. To be honest it became so taxing it was no longer enjoyable. The customers were getting harder to deal with, because more time was required and we simple did not have it. The choice needed to be made weather to leave the great job with full benefits ect.. for the so-called “dream”.
|To help with the decision, Layla popped into the picture 🙂 It quickly became clear it was not a good time to leave the great job with benefits when a baby was on the way. So, we closed up shop, so to speak, and finished all our obligations. Since then I’ve been reviewing cameras and creating video tutorials for my YouTube Channel (Click Here) in my spare time. I found Sony alone the way when I first reviewed the SLT-A55 – Ebay Auctions >>, and was amazed with the technology. I then Reviewed the Sony Nex-C3 (Click Here) and was sold on the Sony technology, design, and image quality! SonyAlphaLab was official born, and JHPVideoTutorials was let go.|
Fast forward two years or so and here we are. I have reviewed and tested a lot of Sony photography gear in the last two years as you can see by the website content, and mostly focused my efforts on the Mirrorless Nex Camera System and some Alpha and cyber-shot cameras in between.
What Are My Future Plans??
I currently still have all my Canon pro gear, studio photography equipment, the Sony Nex-6 and a few Sony E-mount lenses, lens adapters, and old school Minolta lenses. The downstairs of our home, aka “Future Lab”, is really close to completion! What does this mean? Hardcore testing, much better quality control and consistency on reviews. I’m also thinking about reviewing some Fuji, Samsung, and Olympus Mirrorless Cameras if the demand is present based on the polling I will do. If you guys want me to review something, please let me know!
As I said above, I still have all my Pro Canon gear, so what is the deal with that? Well encase I lose my job or Michele loses here job, I need to be able to fire up the photography business immediately as a fall back, and I need a full assortment of gear to get the job done. I just can’t afford not to have something solid to fall back on with the family ect.. That being said, I could sell the Canon gear and replace it with Sony, but the SLT-A99 did not justify the amount of time and effort that would require in my opinion. The new full frame mirrorless Sony cameras coming in early 2014 may just be what I need though! I’m seriously considering starting to part with some of my less needed Canon gear. I pretty much never use it anyway, but Michele loves the Canon 5d Mark II, as do I. It’s hard to part with such an awesome camera and set of full frame L lenses when it’s all payed for. We shall see!
The Lab Progress
I made provisions in the Lab to set-up a full size studio lighting area with various lighting configurations, backdrops, floors, ect… This will allow for professional quality portraiture, commercial/ product photography, or anything else I want to do really 🙂 I plan to show you all exactly how I do everything with the Sony equipment. This way you can do the same thing if you want with ease, and create your own style of photography with a nice head start so to speak. If your already a professional, then you will benefit from the much better quality testing I will be doing on Pro Sony gear that is coming out in early 2014. I have a ton of A-Mount lenses to test and I still have not reviewed the full frame Sony Alpha A99 (slt-A99), or Sony DSC-RX1 for that matter.
The Lab is all primed and has the ceiling paint done, but still needs the actual wall paint, and then carpet/tile, molding, trim ect.. I can start using the lab now, but I don’t want to clog it up with stuff only to have to move it the next day for painting or whatever. So, I only have a little product photography set-up as you will see below. Once all the painting and carpet is done, I can get to serious business!
First, the before:
And I just took these next photos about an hour ago as I write this.
Lab Testing Thoughts and Ideas
I want to design some kind of camera and lens test chart that is unique. I’m thinking of something 3-demmensional with the ability to test sharpness, color, and the out of focus bokeh area produced by various lenses all in the same frame. In order to do this I plan on using a large 4×8 foot table with a square shelf unit that sort of resembles a ladder or the letter H. I want to have that set-up perfectly level and on the same plane as the camera and lens. I can then have the table about 10 feet from a wall which can be used for creating various out of focus renderings depending on what I use. The design is only in my head right now, but I will put something down on paper and sketch it up soon. I can then test all lenses and cameras with this same set-up for easier comparisons between cameras. Using studio lighting and calibrated white balance, will insure the colors are as accurate as possible every time. I will still do real world photography, don’t worry! This will just give a nice concrete ‘Lab Testing’ area for each review.
As you can see the Lab is nearing completion and I am super excited about that. It’s going to be awesome to be able to just run downstairs and do a quick test on a lens or camera. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining out, daytime, nighttime ect.. A few more weeks and we should have the carpet guys coming in. Most likely were going to be doing kids portraiture for the most part, so the carpet base is a good thing to have on top of concrete I think. I can then use a backdrop on top of the carpet, and not have to worry about the kids getting hurt when they fall. I also plan on having a portable floor I can slide around on-top of the carpet for when I need something like that.
This weekend we should get a lot more work done hopefully. Layla will be helping and be covered in paint no doubt, so I’ll grab a few snapshots for laughs 😉
Your support is also greatly appreciated, so thanks for checking in and all the continued comments, shares, and emails!
Have a goodnight everybody,
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