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Crazy? Canon 1DIV to Sony A900

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Twoshoes

Guest
A quick introduction as I don't often post here. I'm a studio and location fashion / beauty photographer based out of Australia and have always used Canon.

After progressing a long the Canon line I finally ended up with the 1D Mark IV and it felt as though it was everything I wanted. After a few months using this camera I love MOST of it, but there's a few very annoying and potentially job threatening problems.

I was just wondering if I'd be crazy to possibly throw in my $12,000 Canon kit and jump ship to 2 x A900 with say 24-70CZ, 135CZ and (insert wide prime here).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated,
Luke.
 

roweraay

New member
As a former Canon shooter (1DS, 1DSMKII, 5D), I have zero regrets at getting rid of all of that gear and now shooting Sony (A900 + CZ24-70 + CZ16-35 + CZ135/1.8 + CZ85/1.4 etc). Would welcome feedback from the others who have done the same.
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
if you go through the Sony forum threads, you will see a number of people here who have done much the same; in my case, from Nikon D3/D3s to Sony. I had the 135CZ, but too long for my studio work. I use the 85CZ, Sony 50/1.4, 35/2, , 24/2.8, 100/2 and 100/2.8 macro, and a Mirex T/S adapter on two Mamiya lenses (35 and 45).

The files are the best I have seen in FF; I use C1Pro6 now (but Aperture does a good job, too).

Before you jump ship, though, can you elaborate non the "potentially job threatening problems"—depending on what they are, the Sony may or may not suit.

cheers, KL
 
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Twoshoes

Guest
I really appreciate the responses. The potentially job threatening problems is probably a bit of an exaggeration on my behalf but seeing as though I'd put so much money into a new camera (before then I was using a used 1dsII and 1DII combination) I really wanted something reliable. The Canon has been anything but. First I had lens / camera communication issues, and on my last shoot I had an AF system that was playing up under really basic shooting conditions.

Faulty unit or not, I've had a few problems here and there since first recieving the 1DIV.

Admittedly my line of shooting problem doesn't require a 1series body but I really fell for them.

What has me really interested in the Sony is the great reviews, but more than anything Zeiss AF glass. I don't need a huge lens lineup (I'd probably be set with a 24-70 and 135) and financially I can get a lot more value out of a switch.

As far as bodies go, I've read a lot of discussion of A900 vs A850. Currently there's an A900 on ebay here with just shy of 3000 shots @ just over $2000 which looks very inviting.

I appreciate all your help,
Luke
 
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Andrea Buso

Guest
Hello, I went from 1ds II to Sony a900 when it was introduced in 2008.
I did many fashion editorials without a single glitch, most of the times shooting between 2k actuations per job/day.
The rate of pictures I get in focus is close to 99%, especially after the FW upgrade.
I'm very happy with it and I'm especially happy with what I see as end results.
Most of the work in this gallery was done with the a900 (few exceptions of Phase and canon)
http://andreabuso.com/fashion/fashion_gallery/index_fashion.html
it is not a matter of the pictures them selves, that are significantly post produced, but it is matter of having done the same kind of work without a single problem, that normally are done with other camera brands.
 

edwardkaraa

New member
My last Canon camera was the 1Ds2 with over a dozen adapted Zeiss Contax lenses. Very happy with the current set up but need more Zeiss alpha lenses.
 

dhsimmonds

New member
I changed to the A900 with Zeiss ZA lenses from a Leica R9 with DMR digital back and a host of Leica R lenses over 2 1/2 year ago. I have never regretted it and I expect to keep it until either it packs in or Sony introduce something better! It will have to be darned good though.:D

Some of the Sony and Minolta G lenses are not to be disregarded either.
 

Terry

New member
Is it worth waiting for a month to see what Sony finally puts into the A77?
I know the viewfinder on the A900 is really nice and I also really liked the camera but the newer sensor technology is pretty darn good.
 

douglasf13

New member
A quick introduction as I don't often post here. I'm a studio and location fashion / beauty photographer based out of Australia and have always used Canon.

After progressing a long the Canon line I finally ended up with the 1D Mark IV and it felt as though it was everything I wanted. After a few months using this camera I love MOST of it, but there's a few very annoying and potentially job threatening problems.

I was just wondering if I'd be crazy to possibly throw in my $12,000 Canon kit and jump ship to 2 x A900 with say 24-70CZ, 135CZ and (insert wide prime here).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated,
Luke.
I still think that the A900 is the 135 camera I'd buy if deciding today. Great build, great color, great resolution, great viewfinder, great center-point AF, Zeiss AF lenses and built-in stabilization.

I will say that, as a studio photographer, keep in mind that Sony uses a proprietary hot shoe. You can get around nearly any issue from this by using a little adapter, but there are certain Pocketwizard features and products that are usable only with Canon and Nikon.

Good luck!
 

fotografz

Well-known member
Same experiences as many others here.

After a long history with Canon ending with the 1DsMKIII/1DMKII which disappointed me in terms of IQ requiring adapted Leica R and CZ lenses ... plus the 1DMKIII had all those focusing issues, I switched to Nikon D3X/D3 combo ... which were more reliable but the D3X just took to much post to get decent files ... I then looked to the Sony A900 because it was FF, but mostly because of the Zeiss AF lenses ... the camera turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

The A900 viewfinder was wonderful, but most importantly, the files straight out of the camera rocked ... reducing post work considerably. Handling is swift and the AF is very accurate ... and now faster since the last firmware update. Not as fast as Canon or Nikon, but close enough for me. The odd looking speed-light is actually a stroke of genius ... while the mount can be a PITA when using radios requiring an adapter, it really promotes easy and very fast/secure mounting.

I use a pair of A900s mostly for wedding work and (knock wood), neither have failed me despite the demands of wedding work for the past 3 wedding seasons. I do use other cameras, but when I absolutely must get the shot with no second chances, I grab the Sony.

I wish Sony had enabled parallel shooting of RAW files to the dual cards like Canon & Nikon ... and a new ZA 35/1.4 would be most welcome as a companion lens to the ZA 85/1.4 ... plus I do wish Lightroom would publish lens profile corrections for the ZA optics ... especially the 85/1.4 which exhibits some annoying CA.

-Marc
 

roweraay

New member
..I do wish Lightroom would publish lens profile corrections for the ZA optics ... especially the 85/1.4 which exhibits some annoying CA.
I use lightroom and DXO, and the lens correction modules of DXO are truly exceptional and they have lens correction modules for all of the CZ lenses when paired with the A900. The UI is a bit kludgy however.
 
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Twoshoes

Guest
Thanks everyone for the replies, I'm so close to switching I'm getting excited.

My initial set up will include an A900, 24-70, 85 1.4 and 135 1.8 and I'll be adding a second A900 when the opportunity for one comes up.

I mainly shoot studio / location fashion but there's a few wedding opportunities coming up for me.

I'm really looking forward to having reliable sharp glass and nice balanced body.

I really appreciate the responses.
 

Bill_Green

New member
Not to throw a wet blanket on the party, but wouldn't it make a lot more sense to buy a (used?) 1DsIII first to see if that solves your issues?

Regarding the Pocket Wizard issue, if you use ettl, you will discover you are SOL. As for the goofy hot shoe, instead of getting an adapter for the camera, I got one for the flash and one for the PW transmitter. When I got the camera, I thought the hot shoe was the dumbest thing I'd seen. Hot shoes work, why fix what's not broken? After using the Sony hot shoe for a while I realized it's genius, even if it is proprietary. Including a memory stick slot instead of SD or two CF slots ... not so genius.

The Sony AF is definitely not fast, but it never misses. The only real surprise I've had with the camera is shooting fireworks has been an incredible challenge in the way the sensor records light, but I'll know for next time. A part of me is strongly considering switching to Canon because we have standardized on Canon for video production, the Sony hasn't really given me a good reason to switch.
 

Bill_Green

New member
Not to throw a wet blanket on the party, but wouldn't it make a lot more sense to buy a (used?) 1DsIII first to see if that solves your issues?
A local lifestyle travel company wasn't happy with the images from a photographer they used and is using me to fix the images. Now that I have some hands on time with 1DsIII files, just get the Sony. There's more "there" there.
 

edwardkaraa

New member
Bill, I'm curious to learn more about your experience with the 1Ds3 files and how they differ from the Sony. Thanks!
 

Charles2

Member
A caveat about the future

Just a novice hobbyist. Got an A700 and can also report fine files out of the camera, especially distribution of dynamic range. It's a pleasure to operate, too. And for a hobbyist, the old Minolta Maxxum lenses are nice.

The only flag to raise is: where will you be in two, five, ten years? It appears that Sony is walking away from the ergonomics of A700, A850, A900. The A77 sensor is probably better, but Sony seems to be applying a cost-saving attack to the pleasure of the controls.

I guess this issue is why professionals sign up with Nikon and Canon. These companies want the pro market for decades to come. Sony ... signs of the opposite. Hope I'm wrong.
 

Bill_Green

New member
Bill, I'm curious to learn more about your experience with the 1Ds3 files and how they differ from the Sony. Thanks!
Edward, I'm not sure what your experience is with different cameras. The files from the Canon both required a little more work and seemed a little more fragile than the Sony files. The difference wasn't huge, and definitely not like the difference between DSLR and MFD, but it was there. The Sony files just have more meat to them. The Canon files weren't fragile in the same way that Nikon D2x files were, but more so than the Sony. Leica files are still another level better than the Sony.

All that said, I do not know the photographer who shot the files and whether he is any good or not. I can tell you that the compositions left a lot to be desired, he did some really stupid things with lighting, IMO the 24-70L lens he used should be sent back for calibration, and I'm being brought in to try to salvage the shoot. Still, to get the tonal range needed for the final image, I had to process the raws into a highlight, mid tone and shadow tiff in Capture One and blend the images in Photoshop. I am virtually certain that in the same conditions on the Sony I could have done everything in the raw processor. Most of their photographers shoot with either a 5DII or 1DsIII, so I will have some more experience with those files in the future.

The Canon does better with shadows than the Sony. Either the Sony holds highlights better, or just clips more naturally where the Canon tends to lose the reds first resulting in blotchy yellow skin that is virtually unfixable. If this makes any sense, processing the Canon files is more of a technical exercise where processing the Sony files is more of an artistic exercise. I suppose what that means is with the Sony files you have a lot more room for artistic decision in the raw processing stage where the Canon files feel almost like jpegs in that they are somewhat locked in. I may try to download DPP and see what that can do for the Canon files.

That said, I am still considering a switch back to Canon for reasons that have nothing at all to do with image quality.

The only flag to raise is: where will you be in two, five, ten years? It appears that Sony is walking away from the ergonomics of A700, A850, A900. The A77 sensor is probably better, but Sony seems to be applying a cost-saving attack to the pleasure of the controls.

I guess this issue is why professionals sign up with Nikon and Canon. These companies want the pro market for decades to come. Sony ... signs of the opposite. Hope I'm wrong.
And that pretty much sums up my concerns with Sony and committing to the platform. I can't tell you what the Canon 1DsV will look like, but I can be pretty certain that it will be a full frame 35 mm chip with a nice optical viewfinder, it will be a tank but can handle anything I can dish out. I know I've said this all before, but while the Sony A900 is a fantastic camera I hesitate to commit without knowing what the future holds. Swapping systems is just too expensive. I've minimized the damage in moving from Canon to Leica to Sony because the old Leica glass is relatively portable, but it is no longer meeting my needs.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
Edward, I'm not sure what your experience is with different cameras. The files from the Canon both required a little more work and seemed a little more fragile than the Sony files. The difference wasn't huge, and definitely not like the difference between DSLR and MFD, but it was there. The Sony files just have more meat to them. The Canon files weren't fragile in the same way that Nikon D2x files were, but more so than the Sony. Leica files are still another level better than the Sony.

All that said, I do not know the photographer who shot the files and whether he is any good or not. I can tell you that the compositions left a lot to be desired, he did some really stupid things with lighting, IMO the 24-70L lens he used should be sent back for calibration, and I'm being brought in to try to salvage the shoot. Still, to get the tonal range needed for the final image, I had to process the raws into a highlight, mid tone and shadow tiff in Capture One and blend the images in Photoshop. I am virtually certain that in the same conditions on the Sony I could have done everything in the raw processor. Most of their photographers shoot with either a 5DII or 1DsIII, so I will have some more experience with those files in the future.

The Canon does better with shadows than the Sony. Either the Sony holds highlights better, or just clips more naturally where the Canon tends to lose the reds first resulting in blotchy yellow skin that is virtually unfixable. If this makes any sense, processing the Canon files is more of a technical exercise where processing the Sony files is more of an artistic exercise. I suppose what that means is with the Sony files you have a lot more room for artistic decision in the raw processing stage where the Canon files feel almost like jpegs in that they are somewhat locked in. I may try to download DPP and see what that can do for the Canon files.

That said, I am still considering a switch back to Canon for reasons that have nothing at all to do with image quality.



And that pretty much sums up my concerns with Sony and committing to the platform. I can't tell you what the Canon 1DsV will look like, but I can be pretty certain that it will be a full frame 35 mm chip with a nice optical viewfinder, it will be a tank but can handle anything I can dish out. I know I've said this all before, but while the Sony A900 is a fantastic camera I hesitate to commit without knowing what the future holds. Swapping systems is just too expensive. I've minimized the damage in moving from Canon to Leica to Sony because the old Leica glass is relatively portable, but it is no longer meeting my needs.
unfortunately I only can back most of this! Unfortunately, because Nikon & Canon are both more down the Pro line with bodies and lenses than Sony. The RAW files (I used to have all 3 brands) were all ok for me. So I could not say I was SO much more happy with Sony RAWs, but I was much happier with Canon and Nikon bodies and lenses.

Having said that, for me the best RAWs and JPEGs come out of the Olympus E5. Although this is the case I am not so happy with the whole system, as their pro grade lenses are of course really heavy and bulky but this only for the 43 size sensor. Which lacks far behind any FF sensor and the future of FF sensors. I do not expect that 43 will be able to extend above 18MP in the future with reasonable high ISO and DR performance, while FF sensors will get in the range of 30+ MP plus good high ISO and DR.

So my future bet would rather be on one of the 2 big gorillas - Nikon or Canon. I am simply waiting to see what these 2 bring to the table in the next year and then decide where to go. And I also have in mind to get rid of my MFD system then, I know there are differences, but end of the day what counts for me is useability, flexibility and this mostly of 1 DSLR system. So this rules MFD out. Maybe a high res back on a tech camera, but that is a different story!

So the future is quite interesting - Canon or Nikon ? or still Sony ????
 

edwardkaraa

New member
My last Canon body was the 1Ds2, not exactly the latest technology, and before that the 5D. My first complaint with the Canon raw files echos what Bill said. I found them to be fragile and didn't take much manipulations to start to look bad. I find the A900 much better in this respect, and I don't even haven to manipulate them much, because they look very close to what I want out of the camera.
 
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