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Thread: I'm sold...

  1. #1
    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    I'm sold...

    Two years ago I bought a G1. And have loved it for several reasons: (1) compact size (doesn't feel like I'm hauling a boulder around my neck), (2) good image quality, (3) decent optics (I LOVE the 20mm f1.7 and of course the option to use lenses with an adapter as I've seen on this forum is nothing short of astounding), (4) nice bright EVF that doesn't feel like you're looking through a peephole (as you do with a typical APS-C DSLR) and (5) the articulating rear LCD (which allows viewing at low and odd angles and makes portraiture a wondrous experience because the camera feels like I'm using a Hasselblad or twin lens reflex.

    But I was never wild about the brief blackout. And wished I could get more pixels for larger images at 300 dpi. Noise was tolerable (I shoot mostly at ISO 320 and Lightroom handles artifacts with total aplomb) but any improvements in that area would be welcome. Color accuracy is still extraordinary in my book.

    Much as I liked the optics I have to admit I've secretly lusted for Zeiss, having had a taste of them in the 80's when I had my beloved Contax 139 (I also lust for Leitz which I had with an R4sP and, later, an M6 and Digilux but today, while I, alas, sold my optics when I went digital and Leitz said it was IMPOSSIBLE to make a DRF, that option is simply, economically-speaking, not in the cards).

    Now Sony has unleashed the A55. A svelte DSLR with an EVF as opposed to a smallish optical finder that rivals (if not betters) the latest crisp EVF offering from Olympusonic (1.5 mp I believe), an articulating LCD and a sensor which if I'd read all the press from Sony about it, is 'backlit' a technology that promised less interference on pixel sites from wires and whatnot while delivering lower noise at higher ISO's--a problem Sony seemed to have in the past on ALL their models right on up through their flagship A900. So shooting at higher ISO is now somewhat more of an option (even though I know I'll continue to shoot around ISO 320, my proven ISO sweet spot for all around clarity and IQ).

    Now for the good news (or at least my interpretation of the possibility but I may be wrong here) a semi-reflective PELLICLE (a la Canon's classic film SLR) as opposed to a complex mirror box for continual monitoring of light (enabling LIVE view) and, wonderfully, continual phase detection AF. And, what I hope, continual viewing through shutter release with NO blackout (again I could be wrong here) now giving you the advantages of a DSLR (with, by one estimate, sacrificing a third of a stop in light gathering as a result of the fixed PELLICLE mirror), a hybrid (bright, crisp EVF in a compact body), a shoot from any angle bright, contrasty, crisp, articulating (Sony, of course) LCD AND...the continual viewing you get digital rangefinder (and oh yeah the GFI and PEN's with their optical and/or EVF--but they DON"T have the articulating LCD).

    Add to that Sony's Zeiss lineup which includes such wonderful performers like the 16-35mm (read 24-52.5mm) f2.8, the upcoming 24mm (perfect 36mm) f2, the 24-70mm (36-105mm equiv.) f2.8), the 85mm (127mm) and the utterly flawless 135mm (202mm equiv.) optics.

    And the ability to make really fine 12 x 18" prints at a very respectable 270 dpi with room to spare for crops and enlargements....

    All for $749 (US)???????????

    Count me in.

    (Plus I can now use the lenses if and when I decide to get a FF Sony...but now I'm not so sure it'll be all that necessary. The A55 may trump the higher res DSLR's with the extras it offers and its approach to digital photography that the DSLR's do not for me).
    Last edited by peterb; 26th August 2010 at 08:08.
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Re: I'm sold...

    I don't think any of Sony's dSLR sensors are "backlit". They have done that only on the smaller sensors used in p&s products. According to them, backlighting does nothing for such large sensors with large pixels.

    I have 4 of their FF Zeiss lenses (used on the A900) and I find the primes (85, 135) to be sublime. The zooms are top-notch lenses for zooms but the primes are definitely a cut above. The new 24mm Zeiss prime is also supposed to be an impressive bird.

    Also, going by the pellicle mirror approach, and since Sony already knows how to make FF sensors cost effectively, I say a FF version of a pellical-type camera is just a hop and a step away. Stick a FF sensor in the body, along with a FF sized pellicle mirror, borrow the shutter mechanism and the in-body-IS mechanism from the A850/900, and they should be in business.....especially since they already have a decent set of top-notch FF lenses to pair with it.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: I'm sold...

    Yeah, these new Axx Alpha cams have some cool things going for them. Phase detect with video is really interesting (although you are stuck at f3.5 the whole time,) and they are nice and tiny for DSLRs. Keep in mind that these cameras are still much thicker than any of their mirrorless competitors, because lens the registration distance is more than double.

    I believe that Roweraay is correct about the backlit sensor. Sony has stated more than once that the backlit technology doesn't scale up to APS-C sensors all that effectively. FWIW, the Axx lose more along the lines of 3/5 stops of light, and they shouldn't be quite up to NEX in terms of high ISO, but I'm sure it's all academic at that point.

    Let us know how it goes!

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: I'm sold...

    Some of the forums have hinted that with the A55/A33 announcement it's possible there could be more announcements prior to Photokina. If a mirrorless FF Sony offering were among them (and I agree it's a hop skip and a jump to do that) that would, indeed, open up a whole new set of possibilities.

    What I would REALLY like to see, is a weather-sealed FF with the articulating LCD that I find so useful.

    Fingers crossed (and bank accounts ready).
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Re: I'm sold...

    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    According to them, backlighting does nothing for such large sensors with large pixels.

    If someone else will brings out a larger backlit sensored cam, Sony will change their tunes.

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    Re: I'm sold...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Some of the forums have hinted that with the A55/A33 announcement it's possible there could be more announcements prior to Photokina. If a mirrorless FF Sony offering were among them (and I agree it's a hop skip and a jump to do that) that would, indeed, open up a whole new set of possibilities.

    What I would REALLY like to see, is a weather-sealed FF with the articulating LCD that I find so useful.

    Fingers crossed (and bank accounts ready).
    I would welcome such a cam as well. Preferably with a body cap.

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    Re: I'm sold...

    ...Yeah...

    ...and here I was, cameraless , just this week got a Minolta 20mm 2.8 and 28-135, thinking about going for A850 and 7D with telephotos... Well seems to me at the moment, good bye 7D... and will save/wait, a while concerning the 850...

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    Member LizaWitz's Avatar
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    Re: I'm sold...

    Sensor designers are always working to get wires out of the way and make the micro lenses bigger, etc. Backlit I'd just a term for one way of doing it... And while this particular method makes more sense for smaller cameras, Sony has made similar improvements on these larger sensors. I don't think we should get hug up on specific techniques.... Just know each sensor generation gets better.

  9. #9
    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: I'm sold...

    For the price of the an A850 body you can get the A55 SLT and the new Zeiss 24mm f2.0 (36mm equiv).

    Decisions decicsions...

    (Of course if I decide to pony up for whatever FF Sony has later I'll already have a superb lens to use with it.)
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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