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How many A850/A900 shooters are going to hold on to their cameras?

jfirneno

Member
I am keeping the a900. After more than two years of ownership I am just getting the hang of the camera and really enjoy it. I would get another instead of the a99 but I am not sure my wife would permit me to get either.
Mikal:

I agree with you. I've been using my NEX-5N almost 90% of the time. I think being away from the A-850 for most of a year and a half has made me appreciate it more. Last weekend I took out my A-850 and took several hours worth of butterfly shots with a Minolta 200mm macro lens. It was a revelation to see how fast and accurate the AF was (I did miss the info in the viewfinder though). Later on at night I used the full-frame at an indoor party (boy that lens bag is heavy). The high ISO files were so much nicer than my NEX files. I know that the future is mirrorless but I don't think the future is here yet. The only thing that could convince me otherwise would be if the ISO 6400 files from the A-99 or the NEX-6N were nicer than the ones I get out of the A-850. That would do it, but I'm starting to doubt it will happen.

Regards,
John
 

alphaman

New member
I think that if Sony had continued with the A900 and had planned further OVFs, I would have stayed, or run both systems.
 

Dan Ortego

New member
I sold my Leica gear and bought the A900 with a Zeiss 135. It works well for my needs and skill level. Still, the A99 looks tempting but if I decide to buy one, it would depend on how well the A99 performs. Ideally, I would keep the 900 as a back-up or for those times when I may miss the OVF. Then again I may sell it while the value is still respectable. After all, I'm not a pro and I'm not sure I could justify having a spare body for those times (if any) when the A99 goes into the shop.
 

Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Well-known member
I've just returned from 3 weeks in the high Arctic with the a900 (24-70 CZ) and the a77 (70-400 G) and put better than a thousand shots on each camera. Both cameras operated flawlessly - but I do like the a900 better because of the OVF and its noise performance.

The a77 viewfinder is great in poor light and I like being able to review the just-taken image in the EVF without moving the camera from my eye. But for my purposes the a77 is restricted to ISO 320 whereas the a900 is fine at ISO 800.

So yes, I'll likely get an a99 if the noise issues are measurably better, but I'll be keeping my trusty workhorse a900.

(Pix will follow!)

Bill
 
Yes, I sense a consensus here. Viva la A850/A900!!!

Also looking forward to those images Bill.

I just completed two shoots today - one paid, one kid's soccer - with the A900 and Zeiss 135. Man, what an amazing combo that is. The continuous focus performed admirably on the soccer shots so I am even more interested in how the new AF tracking on the A99 is going to work out.

And some of the new A99 high ISO samples look excellent. Well worth the upgrade if you are a high ISO shooter like me.

My only concern so far is the dismal battery life numbers on the A99. Hoping they are under rated.

Chad
 

kanzlr

New member
Hm...I just got myself the A900 now that the upgrades buy their A99 :)
now I am off to skim the web for Minolta AF bargains!
 

MikalWGrass

New member
These were taken yesterday morning at the Escape To Miami Triathlon. I shot these for myself and my wife who did the sprint triathlon. All were shot at 6400 with the ZA 85/1.4. The colors were not corrected, and I since I don't really have a clue how to sharpen or unsharpen an image, I didn't fiddle with that in the post production.

The ferry took the athletes into a small island in Biscayne Bay, where they were dropped off. The olympic distance swimmers then swam from the island to the mainland, which was a distance of .9 miles. I would have loved to been on the ferry getting photos, but I am not a pro, nor do I work for any media, so it would've been tough to do on short notice. Instead, I was relegated to sitting around for a long while until the non elite races began. Besides, I was with my wife and 11 year old so it would not have been cool to leave them.

I will post more later as the shots are processed.
 
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Dan Ortego

New member
Hmm, the more I read about the A99, the more I think I'll hold onto my 900. I'm not really into video shooting and the rest of the stuff isn't worth it to me. After reading DK's excellent review I may well be done with buying any more ZA glass and look at a more conventional and predictable platform.

I think I'm more interested in the RX1 at about the same base price. At least it's clearly a different tool and would be very nice for my vacation trips but the price is hard to accept. The new ZA 50 f1,4 that's due out in the Spring could persuade me to stay on board. Not that I really need a 50-prime but a deeper commitment from Sony to carry on the Alpha FF lens family. Let's face it; it's pretty slim compared to Canon and Nikon.
 
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Hmm, the more I read about the A99, the more I think I'll hold onto my 900. I'm not really into video shooting and the rest of the stuff isn't worth it to me. Heck, I think I'm more interested in the RX1 at about the same base price. At least it's clearly a different tool and would be very nice for my vacation trips.
I've been hearing this quite a bit around the web.

For me, the improved sensor is all the enticement I need (if it proves to be as good as promised). As a concert photographer, high ISO is critical and the A900 was really a stop gap (coming from my Canon gear) until the A99 arrives.

I'm wondering how many will indeed jump if the IQ looks to be a substantial improvement or will the A900 be good enough.
 

fotografz

Well-known member
I've been hearing this quite a bit around the web.

For me, the improved sensor is all the enticement I need (if it proves to be as good as promised). As a concert photographer, high ISO is critical and the A900 was really a stop gap (coming from my Canon gear) until the A99 arrives.

I'm wondering how many will indeed jump if the IQ looks to be a substantial improvement or will the A900 be good enough.
I seriously doubt the A900 IQ will be surpassed anytime soon. Sometimes they get it right, and after that it either gets no better or even worse. Had that happen more than once.

However, for me, the critical piece of information on the A99 is still missing ... the high ISO IQ. I look forward to reports from those who shoot available light. If it delivers in this one area, then it is a strong candidate for replacing one of my A900s. I'll keep the other for normal shooting with a OVF.

-Marc
 
I seriously doubt the A900 IQ will be surpassed anytime soon. Sometimes they get it right, and after that it either gets no better or even worse. Had that happen more than once.

However, for me, the critical piece of information on the A99 is still missing ... the high ISO IQ. I look forward to reports from those who shoot available light. If it delivers in this one area, then it is a strong candidate for replacing one of my A900s. I'll keep the other for normal shooting with a OVF.

-Marc
I guess I am more optimistic than you Marc. Early buzz on that new sensor has been very positive as have been some of the high ISO samples.

Still, like you, the A900 will remain in my bag as a second body. It will be nice to have the option of OVF or EVF depending on the subject, environment or my mood. Something you cannot get on Nikon or Canon at the moment.

-Chad
 

Dan Ortego

New member
I agree with this Hank ... yet at the same time I do wish Sony would cut back on the minor variations with-in a model line every thirty seconds, and had offered an A950 or something using the same OVF, activated the dual card slots to shoot redundant parallel capture, instituted live view, and upgraded the sensor with this new one for a better IQ and high ISO ... which seems to be a minimal R&D endeavor, and would have further amortized their existing investment possibly producing a better pay-out per camera with an existing user base that is still relatively satisfied with the A900...

-Marc
Boy, do I ever agree with you on that! Sony is quite content with mass-market appeal and it seems to be working with their NEX line. Though I briefly considered jumping ship I’m staying on board although I’m currently reluctant to buy anymore Alpha glass. Running an updated OFV parallel product would have been a wise decision in my view. They would have retained or acquired a segment of shooters while refining the EFV to a more acceptable state. I like shooting portraits and I have yet to understand how to capture the subtle expressions of the face in a EVF unless you’re shooting Bart Simpson.
 
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I agree with this Hank ... yet at the same time I do wish Sony would cut back on the minor variations with-in a model line every thirty seconds, and had offered an A950 or something using the same OVF, activated the dual card slots to shoot redundant parallel capture, instituted live view, and upgraded the sensor with this new one for a better IQ and high ISO ... which seems to be a minimal R&D endeavor, and would have further amortized their existing investment possibly producing a better pay-out per camera with an existing user base that is still relatively satisfied with the A900.
-Marc
Marc,

Didn't you just describe a D800? As good as the A900 is (and I think most here are in agreement on that subject), I think it became clear to Sony that they will never gain market share playing third fiddle to Canon and Nikon tech. The EVF and translucent mirror are disrupter technologies meant to differentiate and excite. Sony is all-in and I think it is a good gambit.

Camera tech is changing dramatically as witnessed by the mirrorless segment. SAR reported today - via Sony's own numbers - that Sony is the market leader in the mirrorless space. I think Sony is carving out a niche that the big two have so far been reluctant to commit to in a convincing manner. By owning this space early, they can sap more customers from Canon and Nikon as users move up to a DSLR(T). A NEX user would be almost immediately comfortable using an A99 where a more traditional OVF experience would be a bit of a step backwards for that user.

Face it, Sony is playing to new customers, not to the old. If the old customers embrace this new direction - and many are - then they are welcome aboard the train. Otherwise, they are heading for the OVF world of Canon and Nikon - and how long before those companies go EVF? Maybe they will, maybe they won't but as EVF tech continues to evolve there won't be much argument for an OVF.

In my community I am starting to see more and more entry level Sony SLTs in the hands of my friends and neighbors. I think there is a powerful draw to seeing your photo before it is captured that gives a level of comfort to a beginner. That same technology can be used even more powerfully by a pro.

Sorry for the extended diatribe. As a pro who shoots more film cameras than digital, I get why people are passionate about the OVF but I see the merits of the EVF and think that is where the future lies.

Chad
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
Marc,

Didn't you just describe a D800? As good as the A900 is (and I think most here are in agreement on that subject), I think it became clear to Sony that they will never gain market share playing third fiddle to Canon and Nikon tech. The EVF and translucent mirror are disrupter technologies meant to differentiate and excite. Sony is all-in and I think it is a good gambit.

Camera tech is changing dramatically as witnessed by the mirrorless segment. SAR reported today - via Sony's own numbers - that Sony is the market leader in the mirrorless space. I think Sony is carving out a niche that the big two have so far been reluctant to commit to in a convincing manner. By owning this space early, they can sap more customers from Canon and Nikon as users move up to a DSLR(T). A NEX user would be almost immediately comfortable using an A99 where a more traditional OVF experience would be a bit of a step backwards for that user.

Face it, Sony is playing to new customers, not to the old. If the old customers embrace this new direction - and many are - then they are welcome aboard the train. Otherwise, they are heading for the OVF world of Canon and Nikon - and how long before those companies go EVF? Maybe they will, maybe they won't but as EVF tech continues to evolve there won't be much argument for an OVF.

In my community I am starting to see more and more entry level Sony SLTs in the hands of my friends and neighbors. I think there is a powerful draw to seeing your photo before it is captured that gives a level of comfort to a beginner. That same technology can be used even more powerfully by a pro.

Sorry for the extended diatribe. As a pro who shoots more film cameras than digital, I get why people are passionate about the OVF but I see the merits of the EVF and think that is where the future lies.

Chad
Chad, all,

VERY true!!!!

Myself coming from the film DSLR world, I am still more leaning to an OVF than anything else (EVF, LCD). BUT we have to admit, that the EVF even in high end pro models is just a matter of time before it happens. I dare to predict that in 5 years from now more than 50% of today's enthusiast, semi-pro and pro DSLRs will work with an EVF. Sure a EVF with maybe 5MP and 240fps refreshing or even higher numbers, but then this will mean actually no more difference in visual quality to even the best OVFs.

And another 5 years later even MF cameras will rely on EVFs - if not already earlier!

Maybe there will be kind of a retro line of DSLRs, which then for very high prices will offer OVFs but be based on the same sensor designs and electronics as their EVF counterparts.

We as the kind of dinosaur's need to understand this trend exists and either follow or just die out.

I am prepared :D
 

kanzlr

New member
Myself coming from the film DSLR world, I am still more leaning to an OVF than anything else (EVF, LCD).
I am pretty sure you used film SLRs, without a D :)

Myself I just got an A900 for small money and I love OVFs as well as shooting film cameras. Having used the NEX-5N with EVF I have to admit that it has reached a pretty usable state (whereas the Fuji X-Pro1 EVF mode can be considered a bad joke). Anyway it is almost there, but not quite, imho.
It is decent for a € 1000,-- camera, but with a 135 format DSLR I expect a bit more and I think Sony is a bit too early using it in that calibre of camera. But the video shooters will love it I am sure.

On the other hand it is a lot like shooting larger format film cameras :)
 

Mark K

New member
I bought D800 when it arrived, and I am very glad I am keeping all my glass with alpha mount
There are many things A99 being much better than D800.
I sold all my Sony A mount stuff in favour of Nikon; the combination of my dislike for EVF and the allure of the D800 proved too much and my A900, etc had to go.

I don't regret this move but there are some nice things about the Sony system which I wish I could have in the Nikon. These are:

1) in body stabilisation (I miss that more than anything else),

2) The way the Sony flash can adjust the colour balance to match the ambient,

3) Zeiss AF lenses.

All of these things can be overcome and aren't enough on their own.

There were things which Sony still need to address to get my vote:

1) Noise, noise and noise! The Nikon using a Sony sensor handles this so very much better (sorry Sony, but they do),

2) The exposure meter works much better in the Nikon, I don't have to work quite so much to get reliably exposed images, particularly with flash. Flash underexposure being a particular issue.

3) EVF; whilst I think this may become good enough in time, OVF is so much nicer on the eye and gets my vote.

I've still got my NEX7 which I love and won't change (has an EVF - a necessary evil but an OVF would be impossible in this instance!). I don't dislike Sony, it's just that they aren't meeting my needs at the moment.
 

Hank Graber

New member
I think it became clear to Sony that they will never gain market share playing third fiddle to Canon and Nikon tech. The EVF and translucent mirror are disrupter technologies meant to differentiate and excite. Sony is all-in and I think it is a good gambit.
I agree. I don't think there is much point in dumping Sony over the VF as like digital sensors its just a matter of time before digital VF (and integrated video/still capture devices) takes over everywhere. Sony had the least to lose getting out front on this and could become a major player by dominating the next technology transition.
 

alphaman

New member
I bought D800 when it arrived, and I am very glad I am keeping all my glass with alpha mount
There are many things A99 being much better than D800.
I think in an ideal world, I'd have kept my A900 and Zeiss primes as well as "going Nikon", that said, maybe in future when the world is in less of a financial mess I will be able to afford to run both systems.

I think that one must be objective and each person must use the tools they need for their work. In my case I'm perfectly happy with my transition to Nikon but I still have a liking for the A900/Zeiss combo. The SLT only option was what proved to be the killer for me.

Hope too many don't consider me a traitor to the cause, however, for me in any case the camera system is not the be-all and end-all, it's the actual pictures that interest me and my ability to earn a living from them.

As to the A99 being better than the D800, clearly I didn't agree but there will always be a new and better model from either Sony, Canon or Nikon for someone to gravitate towards.
 
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