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Thread: a850 vs older MFDB?

  1. #1
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    a850 vs older MFDB?

    Has anyone used both? I'm curious for a direct comparison.

    I find my 11mp MFDB is about 2-3x sharper than my 12mp A700. I would therefore expect the MFDB to be still on par or superior to the A850 for everything short of printing above 12x18 or so.

    Of course, the A850 has the advantage of higher resolution (when needed), more portability, better ISO performance, and shallower DOF. If the DR is truly as good as they claim, and the higher res/softer AA filter improves the microcontrast, maybe the performance will edge out the MFDB?

    I have all the good lenses I need for the Sony, and could even sell off the 11-18 to offset the cost of the A850. But then I probably wouldn't shoot any more film, so I couldn't justify all my MF stuff.

    Thoughts?

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: a850 vs older MFDB?

    I used to own a Leaf Valeo 11, and the sensor is the same size as my A900's sensor. I've never made a direct comparison between the two (I sold the Leaf prior to buying the Sony,) but I certainly never looked back. The obvious difference with the Leaf is the lack of an AA filter, but a good sharpening routine with the A850 should get you close. Plus, you can also adapt your medium format lenses to use on the A850 if you want to retain their "look." As you mentioned, portability, high ISO, speed, resolution and lens selection are definitely in the A850's favor. I never noticed much of a DR advantage with the Leaf, either.

    You could always rent an A850 and see what you think.

  3. #3
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    Re: a850 vs older MFDB?

    Douglas,

    Thanks, I had considered renting...but it just seems like money down a rathole. I'd just end up buying one. I was going to use my MFDB for portraits at a fundraiser, but I need to be more portable. So I got thinking about the A850 giving me the best of both worlds.

    A friend of mine is intending to buy one, but hasn't done it yet. Coincidentally, her A700 just up and broke...so maybe borrowing mine for this weekend's wedding will push her over the edge.

    The irony is...that I don't need an A850 any more than I need my MFDB. I get by with my A700 plenty well for 95% of my stuff. But it was surprisingly inferior when tested head-to-head to the MFDB. And the "issues" with the A850 like no on-board flash, no A-mode with unchipped lenses, not stellar high ISO, and questionable WB and JPG performance give me plenty of fodder to convince myself I don't need it as an A700 replacement (if that makes sense). And if I only need it as a "studio queen", I have that already.

    If only Best Buy would sell the A850 for 50% off like they did with the A700.

  4. #4
    niamhcooper05
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    Re: a850 vs older MFDB?

    I use my A850 for seascapes, but occasionaly I bird. Don't overlook the very reasonable 500mm mirror (I bought a used Minolta). Auto focus, image stabilization! Mine is RAZOR sharp. See attached, monopod and focus tweaked with manual focus.

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