Sony release the a7 Mk iii

Last week Sony released their latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7 Mk iii, not to be confused with the a7r Mk iii. That little "r" after the "7" makes a big difference.

The a7 iii is a 24MP full frame camera, whereas the a7r iii is 42MP. The price difference between the two is also big. For the body only, the a7 iii is likely to be very close to $3,000 when it becomes available in Australia, while the a7r iii is a shade under $5,000. Basically you are paying $2,000 for those extra 18MP on the sensor.

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While there is no way I could justify the $5,000 for the full frame a7r iii body, at around $3,000 I might be able to talk myself into the a7 iii.

If I finally, after all these years, went full frame then the total cost is going to be in the order of $5,000 because after the $3,000 for the a7 iii I would then need to buy a full frame lens. The Sony lenses I currently have are half frame lenses. While you can use a half frame lens on a full frame camera, you obviously don't get to use the full size of the sensor when taking pictures. Depending on the particular lens you only get about 60 percent sensor coverage, which would relate to about 14MP on a 24MP full frame sensor.

The question becomes, is 24MP enough?

There are presumed upsides to the lower MP rating of the sensor. In theory, it should be better in low light, thereby exhibiting less digital noise. Also, in theory, the dynamic range should be better on the lower MP camera. Finally, due to the larger sensor sites, the colour and vibrance should be better—although modern post-processing tools make this a non-issue.

However, the view is that the higher resolution a7r iii is better for landscape pictures, which is a lot of what I do. 42MP would obviously also be better for making large prints. But then, I rarely do large prints and these days tools like ON1—which I have—can do amazing enlargements with relatively low loss of quality. Finally, having 42MP to play with, you have a lot of latitude for cropping down. But being an ex-film photographer, most of my pictures are well framed and typically only nominal amounts of cropping is ever done in post processing.

The a7 iii should become available in Australian stores in early April. So I have some time to cogitate about it.

Perth property market to 'stabilise' in 2018

According to CoreLogic Data on PerthNow this morning, the Perth property market will stabilise during 2018.

As you read into the article, it seems that 'stabilise' means that during 2018 the Perth property market will not fall by as much as it has in the past three to four years. It is still going to fall by up to 1.9 percent, but this is seen as a slowing down in the falling Perth market that will lead into a flat market through 2019 and 2020.

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It would appear, from the CoreLogic analysis, that properties in Sydney and Melbourne are likely to fall a lot more than Perth during 2018.

If Perth only drops another 1.9 percent in 2018 then I will be happy. Much better than the almost 5 percent drop last year.

However, it has to be said, by and large all these property market forecasters have been wrong just about every year that I have been following them; so anything could happen in 2019.

I recall reading that the person who predicted the Global Financial Crisis said that Australia's property market is way over valued and is in for a 50 percent fall in the next couple of years. I sure hope he is wrong.

Rule 5: Featuring Jennifer Lawrence

In my travels through the Web I came across some pictures of Jennifer Lawrence that I thought I would share.

It is so long since I logged into my SquareSpace account I had to look up my password in my password keeper tool.

Anyway, here are some nice pictures of Jennifer that you may not have come across before. And if you are using a large screen device then don't forget to click on the pictures to see them at a higher resolution and larger.

Perth property prices predicted to 'flatten out' in 2018

After almost five consecutive years of price drops since the highs of 2012/2013, property prices in Perth are forecast to 'flatten out' in 2018.

While this is not exactly great news for anyone in or around the Perth metropolitan area planning to sell their property in 2018, such as me; it is good news that prices are not supposed to fall any further.

This is better than the forecast for New South Wales (NSW) where the average property price is tipped to drop by up to ten percent through 2018, mainly led by falls in the values of apartments.

I must add that this is just the thinking of 'those in the know', and they often get this wrong. Knowing my luck—my nickname is after all Bad Luck Barry—Perth property prices will drop by the most ever at the start of 2018 just when I need to sell as part of my overall downsizing project.

'All Ordinaries' index struggling to stay above 6,000

Back on November the 7th the Australian All Ordinaries stock market index punched through the 6,000 points barrier; presumably back on its way to 6,900—where it was when the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit in 2007/2008.

At the time the index made the 6,000 level there we two lines of thinking being written up in the various financial journals.

One was that now that the All Ordinaries had finally managed—after 10 years— to crack through the 6,000 barrier that it would now rapidly move back up to 6,900. This thinking was based on the view that, by and large, the Australian economy is basically doing rather well. Employment is apparently improving—if you can believe the current press—and wages, which have been sitting flat for just under four years, were about to start moving upwards again.

The other line of thought, as you might have guessed, was that the index would have trouble staying at the 6,000 level. There were even a number of forecasters prepared to predict that they did not think the index would manage to remain above 6,000 over Xmas. The thinking here taking into account Australia's massive debt load both at the government level and at the household level; along with real estate prices flattening out and even falling in some states (other than Western Australia, where they have been falling steadily for almost four years).

Well, six weeks after the All Ordinaries index managed to peek above the 6.000 line it would be fair to say is having a lot of trouble staying there. On Friday it closed at 6,087 having dipped below 6,000 several times in the past six weeks.

At this point, I for one would be reluctant to take an even money bet that the index will be above 6,000 at the close of the exchange on the 24th December.