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Thread: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    In the December issue of Popular Photography there is a quite favorable review of the new Sony A850. Of note they found ISO performance to have improved by one stop over the A900. And if you also check out the M9 review which is also in the issue among other things you'll be pleasantly surprised to see is that noise levels are better than that $7000 thing.
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    Another interesting detail is the A850 performs better than A900 on their color accuracy test but nowhere close to canon and nikon.
    Also, looks like A850 color response on DXO site is not as good as A900, mainly blue channel not as good.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    The popphoto "color accuracy test seems a joke. I believe that they either use jpeg settings, or they just leave the supplied raw converter at default settings. I can't remember which, but, regardless, it's flawed. For goodness sake, according to them, the A330 spanks the A900 in color. lol. It seems that you're right in that the A850 and A900 are a bit different color wise.
    Last edited by douglasf13; 10th December 2009 at 14:51.

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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    In the December issue of Popular Photography there is a quite favorable review of the new Sony A850. Of note they found ISO performance to have improved by one stop over the A900. And if you also check out the M9 review which is also in the issue among other things you'll be pleasantly surprised to see is that noise levels are better than that $7000 thing.
    The noise levels of the M9 ""$7,000. thing" is just as good or better than the A900 ... one simply needs to know how to set each camera's NR filters in RAW development rather than using the generic default settings.

    The "$7,000. thing" is an excellent companion to the Sony since Leica abandoned the R10 ... and provides acess to super fast wider and normal ASPH primes missing from the Sony Zeiss line-up.

    -Marc

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    Let_Biogons_Be_Biogons
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    The a850 review is, unfortunately, not yet available on the Pop Photo website.

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ....The "$7,000. thing" is an excellent companion to the Sony since Leica abandoned the R10 ... and provides acess to super fast wider and normal ASPH primes.....
    Ahh! but the "$7,000 thing" now becomes a "$15,000+ thing" when you stick a few of those super fast primes. Even more as you well know when you go ultra fast (.95).

    However that being said, I do so miss my M8 and that delicious Leica glass. Leica's prices have gone beyond justifiable for me, now that I've come to love the Zeiss ZA's 3D look.

    An excellent companion for sure, but hopefully we'll get some luscious Zeiss ZA fast wide primes soon.
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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The noise levels of the M9 ""$7,000. thing" is just as good or better than the A900 ... one simply needs to know how to set each camera's NR filters in RAW development rather than using the generic default settings.

    The "$7,000. thing" is an excellent companion to the Sony since Leica abandoned the R10 ... and provides acess to super fast wider and normal ASPH primes missing from the Sony Zeiss line-up.

    -Marc

    Hey Marc, just curious, what are your settings for NR for both cameras? Are you using LR3 or using something like NN.
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Hey Marc, just curious, what are your settings for NR for both cameras? Are you using LR3 or using something like NN.
    Using LR3 Beta right now ... so I don't have user presets set up yet ... but will when they finalize and optimize it. For now I take the image into the Develop Module and to 100% while applying NR. One can apply this across all similar shots by batch sync'ing.

    Both the Sony and M9 seem very responsive to Color NR ... where in LR2 Luminance NR softened the image to much.

    In LR 3 it is important to view the NR at 100%. The full view in Develop doesn't show the NR applied ... but does when you toggle to Library and the full file view ... once it loads. The difference is shocking.

    Because the lenses are so sharp in both cases, I also tend to zero out the sharpening in RAW and apply it later in PS using Smart Sharpen based on print size. I will use Clarity in LR to add some POP.

    Marc

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    As per someone in another forum, I'm digging LR3 with Color NR at 8 with the edge detail at zero.

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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Using LR3 Beta right now ... so I don't have user presets set up yet ... but will when they finalize and optimize it. For now I take the image into the Develop Module and to 100% while applying NR. One can apply this across all similar shots by batch sync'ing.

    Both the Sony and M9 seem very responsive to Color NR ... where in LR2 Luminance NR softened the image to much.

    In LR 3 it is important to view the NR at 100%. The full view in Develop doesn't show the NR applied ... but does when you toggle to Library and the full file view ... once it loads. The difference is shocking.

    Because the lenses are so sharp in both cases, I also tend to zero out the sharpening in RAW and apply it later in PS using Smart Sharpen based on print size. I will use Clarity in LR to add some POP.

    Marc
    The version displayed in Library view has more detail than the one in develop even when I turn off color NR. This is weird. They should make both version's fit view look the same right? Like you said, the difference is shocking, just like how much more fine detail is resolved vs. LR 2.5.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Pop Photo review of Sony A850

    Yeah, it's a weird thing that needs to be fixed in LR3. That being said, as a very critical naysayer of Adobe raw conversion, LR3 is a big step in the right direction.

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