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Thread: What do you use as a back-up camera?

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    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    What do you use as a back-up camera?

    I have gone against the trend! As a wildlife photographer I really do need a proper optical viewfinder on my cams whether as a back-up or as the main camera. So with a trip to Botswana and Zambia imminent, what should I use as a back-up for my A900?....A big dilemna as I very nearly bought the A700 back earlier in the year when the dealers were selling them off.......Sony have so far never replaced it either!

    I thought about the NEX 5, no good for me as no viewfinder and poor reports for use with long lenses. Then bingo, whilst searching for a good used A700, I chanced upon a brand new one at a multiple store in the UK....I snapped it up!

    Now I could go on safari in Africa with the 70-400g lens on the A900 and my reliable little lightweight but excellent quality Minolta 28-105 on the A700 (effectively 42-158). Just two lenses and two cams to make up a useful fairly lightweight wildlife kit. My collection of Zeiss lenses were not selected due to weight restrictions on the small single engined aircraft used between safari camps.

    It worked just fine for me and I am very pleased with my wildlife and people images "bagged" in Africa with this kit.

    Of course if I just wanted to capture landscapes or people.....my choice of main and back up cams with choice of lenses would be quite different and I realise that everyone will have their own personal preferences.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Not much help as I am still trying to figure that out.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Sounds like it worked out well for you Dave.
    I suppose an A55 might be the logical choice for a lot of people now.
    But I understand your need for an optical VF.

    I must admit I have not really bothered with backups for the DSLR body when on holiday, though usually my wife has a digital superzoom as an alternative. I did take the M8 last trip as well as the A900 but next time I am leaving one or the other behind as it was really too much, especially with airport security etc. A small TZ10 will do for my tele shots. Different matter if I was doing this for a living or a once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica or somewhere of course.
    David Anderson

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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    I have gone against the trend! As a wildlife photographer I really do need a proper optical viewfinder on my cams whether as a back-up or as the main camera. So with a trip to Botswana and Zambia imminent, what should I use as a back-up for my A900?....A big dilemna as I very nearly bought the A700 back earlier in the year when the dealers were selling them off.......Sony have so far never replaced it either!

    I thought about the NEX 5, no good for me as no viewfinder and poor reports for use with long lenses. Then bingo, whilst searching for a good used A700, I chanced upon a brand new one at a multiple store in the UK....I snapped it up!

    Now I could go on safari in Africa with the 70-400g lens on the A900 and my reliable little lightweight but excellent quality Minolta 28-105 on the A700 (effectively 42-158). Just two lenses and two cams to make up a useful fairly lightweight wildlife kit. My collection of Zeiss lenses were not selected due to weight restrictions on the small single engined aircraft used between safari camps.

    It worked just fine for me and I am very pleased with my wildlife and people images "bagged" in Africa with this kit.

    Of course if I just wanted to capture landscapes or people.....my choice of main and back up cams with choice of lenses would be quite different and I realise that everyone will have their own personal preferences.

    I got the A850 as backup camera and could not be happier. Price is great and for me, I do not see any difference in the pictures I take with my A900 compared to those I take with the A850. The fact that both cameras are exactly the same in use is a great advantage, so much so that these days I'll take both with me with lenses of choice fitted so that I do not have to change lenses that often.

    Cheers, Bob.
    Last edited by picman; 27th September 2010 at 09:16.

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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Well. I had to make a quick decision. I would have liked an A55, but they aren't here yet, so I got an A33, together with the Sony/zeiss 16-80.
    First impressions are good: very quick focus, EVF is fast and useable (even in low light) I'll be interested to try it with telephoto lenses (and will report back)

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Quick question Jono, can the mirror flip up for sensor cleaning? I guess it must.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Sounds like it worked out well for you Dave.
    I suppose an A55 might be the logical choice for a lot of people now.
    But I understand your need for an optical VF.

    I must admit I have not really bothered with backups for the DSLR body when on holiday, though usually my wife has a digital superzoom as an alternative. I did take the M8 last trip as well as the A900 but next time I am leaving one or the other behind as it was really too much, especially with airport security etc. A small TZ10 will do for my tele shots. Different matter if I was doing this for a living or a once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica or somewhere of course.
    Hello David

    Yep, the A55 might have been my choice too but the announcement of it just about coincided with my departure date! The A700 suited me just fine though as it's dust seals etc are as good as the A900 and the menu system and camera layout are virtually identical too. As I say a retro decision in many ways but one that has worked for me.

    My wife took a TZ10 and took some great shots....perfectly ok for the album stuff and sending back 5x7 's to some of the African people that we met along the way. However as I do club competition work and enter international exhibitions, I really do need the larger sensor sizes.

    As for back up cameras, yes I too had become a bit "blase" about the need to take a back up until my A900 with a 200-500 lens on the front suddenly refused to either focus properly or write to card at the beginning of a special location shoot for Red Kites in action in rugged North Wales.

    I missed all the shots! The problem turned out to be just a faulty brand new CF card and nothing to do with the camera. Beware of high capacity Transcend cards! But as always happens when you totally trust your equipment, that was the last thing that I checked when I had the problem. By the time I realised the cause of the problem and changed cards, these rare large birds were long gone!! Hard lesson learned! Another compatible camera body would have saved the day for me.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Hi Dave, all points noted. I also gave up on Transcend cards (on the A900) after similar problems with a 16GB one. I moved to Kingston 8GB and have had no troubles since.

    I did get in a panic the other day as the A900 had apparently got locked into MF, turned out to be the AF/MF switch on the 24-70 that had moved in the bag.

    I did own an A700 previous to the A900, only thing it lacked was microfocus adjust for individual lenses. (Which I do use on the A900).
    David Anderson

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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    HI David
    Yes, the A33 mirror does flip up for cleaning.
    As for using it, if you're used to the A900, then it's only a few minutes to get used to it. Most of the menus are the same, and the on screen menus (Fn button) are much nicer than the A900.
    Altogether rather wonderful.

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use as a back-up camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Hi Dave, all points noted. I also gave up on Transcend cards (on the A900) after similar problems with a 16GB one. I moved to Kingston 8GB and have had no troubles since.

    I did get in a panic the other day as the A900 had apparently got locked into MF, turned out to be the AF/MF switch on the 24-70 that had moved in the bag.

    I did own an A700 previous to the A900, only thing it lacked was microfocus adjust for individual lenses. (Which I do use on the A900).
    David

    Mine was also the 16Gb Transcend. I have used another one for years with no problem. I also have Kingston and Sandisk 16Gb cards which also have never caused me any problems.

    I noted the microfocus absence on the A700.....but the dust sealing was just a smidgeon more important to me for the dust of Africa! The versatility of ringing the changes if I had to with the lenses was also an appeal, ie my 70 -400 becoming a 105-600 on the A700. In the event the majority of my images were taken at only 150mm so need to change at all!

    Only some of the smaller birds might have benefitted from the 600mm but the A900 has so much "meat" on the pixel count that heavy cropping with a very good lens like the 70/400G has done the job well enough.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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