Well, I picked it up this morning.
Obviously I can't give any real impression of image quality until Aperture supports the ARW files, but I can give you an idea of my first impressions on 1/2 hour shooting with it.
I think lots of us were rather disappointed that the camera seemed to be quite big - in fact, I was having second thoughts until I noticed that it was actually a little lighter than the Pentax K5 (and only a little larger).
The thread title may seem a little odd, but for quite a lot of us the E1 was the first 'perfect' digital camera. Small, very very, quiet weather sealed and a delight to handle.
We have an old E1 in the office (for sentimental reasons). Here they are together:
A77; ISO 640, Zeiss 16-80, f4.5, 1/80th
In fact, a comparison of the dimensions:
E1: 141mm x 104mm x 81
A77: 143mm x 104mm x 81
The actual impression is that they are the same width, but the E1 is a little higher.
After using the A900, everything falls to hand beautifully - there is absolutely no culture shock - the menus are familiar, the buttons are familiar, and probably slightly better - nice to have both an AE lock and an AF lock button. Continuity isn't usually Sony's strength, but in this case they have obviously really thought hard and kept the good bits.
The real surprise is the shutter noise . . . erm . . . what shutter noise - it's really really quiet, shooting at 12 frames per second and it simply purrs along.
The EVF is a revelation after the A55 and VF2 - I guess some will grumble that it isn't optical, but it's huge, easy to read and shows a fantastic amount of information without it getting in the way.
So, to summarise, it's:
small, weather sealed, very very quiet and a joy to handle. Just like the E1.
with respect to image quality - as I said, I can't really tell yet as I'm looking at the jpgs. . . . and I've only shot 25 images, still, ISO 800 seems to be really good.
Just for once I resisted the temptation of snapping away in the shop, so here is the very first shot with the camera, with the very best lens I could use
Zeiss 135 f1.8 ISO 100 1/320 f1.8
hardly high art, but better than the camera shop assistant!
Here are a couple more with the Zeiss 16-80:
I was a little worried about this lens with the 24mp, but it seems to be pretty good.
all the best