With a combination of nervousness and excitement I fell half asleep into the back of my taxi and was greeted with a strong smell of coffee and the sound of Oasis playing from the radio. It was 4:45am and I was on my way to Heathrow to catch a flight to Sony’s International offices in Amsterdam.
The Sony building was just around the corner from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam and as we approached the building I noticed the Sony logo sprouting up from what looked like an abandoned building site. In the people carrier that we had jumped in at the airport sat five of us and our Sony host, together we made up the UK group, one of six international groups that had been invited to Sony’s experience day.
As we walked from the dusty Car Park surrounded by rubble and building works into the Sony building it was like walking through a magic portal, inside the building everything sparkled from the white walls to the black tiled flooring.
After a while we were all ushered into a grand hall where we were addressed by Sony Europe’s vice president Yosuke Aoki. We watched an amazing looking concept video on the new G Master series which showed off what the lenses can do and the detail that can be picked up by them. The phrase ‘Tomorrows Lenses Today’ ended the presentation and was emphasised by each of the speakers that we heard from who included Nicolas Barendson who spoke about Sony’s market share, and Yoma Hori, the product manager of interchangeable lens cameras for Sony Europe, who ran through the specs of each lens, and showed a number of photos taken with the G-Master lenses compared to photos taken with their competitors lenses including those from Canon and Nikon.
We began the afternoon in the ‘Amsterdam Room’ where we were greeted with a number of new A6300 cameras to look at. On first glance the model looked no different to its predecessor the A6000; however, after a closer look I noticed some significant changes. The A6000 had magnesium alloy in the front section of the camera, whereas the A6300 was made up entirely of the material, it did feel extremely study and compact in my hands. The main thing I noticed when using the A6300 was the speed of the auto-focus system which Sony have cranked up to 425 phase detection auto-focus points, enabling it to achieve a lock-on in just 0.05, it’s incredibly fast!
Unfortunately we were not allowed to save any of the photos that we took on the A6300 so equipped with the A7 Mark II and the 24-70mm F2.8 and 85mm F1.4 lenses we headed over to a couple of studios that were set up to get some close ups of the objects they had on display.
We then proceeded into the ‘Paris Room’ where we were greeted by two models, a female, and a male lumberjack. I was able to test both lenses out playing around with the focusing, sharpness, and zoom resulting in a number of very different photos that I was extremely impressed with, especially as I have little to no experience in portrait shooting!
Our group then swiftly moved on the ‘London Room’ which contained a female model dressed as a Snow-Queen. We were told to set our cameras up as 1/250s at ISO400 with the f2.8 lens and were able to capture some great shots of smoke, dried ice and fake snow being blown over the Snow-Queen. Again, I was able to get some amazing action shots by playing around with the different lenses and positioning myself at different points around the room.
After begrudgingly handing back the camera and lenses that I had grown quite attached to, our group headed back to the airport for a chat about the day’s events. A great end to an insightful trip into the world of Sony!