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Thread: Sony A850 discontinued...

  1. #51
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Oh, don't get me wrong, Jono. I'm not saying the A900 isn't sealed. I'm saying that I'd bet the A850 has the same seals.

    I've seen the A850 listed as not weather sealed a few places, but I've yet to see any tests to confirm it, and I've yet to see or hear of any A850s having weather issues. I'd say both the A900 and A850 do well in bad weather.
    Hi Douglas
    I didn't realise that's what you meant - it certainly makes sense - the body is so similar it seems unlikely that they would have made it differently.

    all the best

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    From sonystyle.com:

    "Moisture/dust-resistant design
    Sealed viewfinder optics and rubber gasket surrounds on all buttons, dials, and switches help resist the entry of dust and moisture into the camera, and allow for safe use in a wide range of environments."
    Looks like the most vulnerable non seal area would be the lens mount area.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    This might deserve a new topic, but one person's take on the A55 EVF...

    http://www.astroweb.no/a55/a55evf.html
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    This might deserve a new topic, but one person's take on the A55 EVF...

    http://www.astroweb.no/a55/a55evf.html
    HI Lonnie
    Interesting stuff - I've been there as well, and although the a55 is not really for me for other reasons, I agree with the report - a really good EVF has some serious advantages with respect to getting the DOF and the exposure correct, and many of the disadvantages disappear quickly with use.

    FWIW I usually keep the AE in spot mode, and use the AE lock button to hold the correct exposure like that.

    all the best

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Hmm,
    in one way the EVF might help to judge the output (WB etc.) but personally I allways feel like watching TV. I want to see the scene as it is (color wise) and also without delay.
    Shooting 7 frames on flying birds and choosing the best image is one thing. Another thing is to catch just one moment. And there I have still doubts with EVF. Where I saw the biggest advantage of EVF was for focus and in dimmer light.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    I visualize what an image will look like in print, what size to print, paper, etc. Seeing it on an LCD makes this much more difficult. It's bad enough that I have to look at a screen with an image projected by a lens wide open when it's going to be stopped down for the image, but this is just normal for any SLR and part of why i like rangefinders better. They show infinite DOF and it's easy to mentally add any subtle DOF layer I might want, than try to visualize something wide open as being in focus (which is much harder). The color and appearance of an image on an LCD is much the same way - it's "processed" but not in any way relevant to my work. An EVF might be a useful teaching aid when learning to visualize, but once that rather elementary skill is acquired people are going to want to expand on what kind of results they can visualize, and dump it for something less constrained.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    I hate to admit it, but, after shooting some pretty high quality OVFs most of my life, I find that using LCD/EVFs is fantastic, for the most part. I like seeing my DOF before the shot, and the live histogram makes things outrageously simple, so the large majority of my shots are exposed perfectly. I keep my camera in M mode + spot metering, and it allows me to adjust exposure until the histogram is dead on, and I can use the spot meter to check various zones. Pretty awesome. I almost feel like I'm cheating, as if that mattered! lol

    That being said, there still is a bit of a disconnect that forces me to look forward to the LCD/EVF technology improving.

  8. #58
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    I have a lot of issues with EVF, such as having my camera's settings influence what I see in the viewfinder; bottom line for me, I don't like it and it could very well be a deal breaker for me and the Sony system. Also, since Sony let the A700 replacement lapse for way too long (and it's still not here), and they may well let the same thing happen to their replacements for the A850 and A900 -- again, that's another deal breaker for me and and the Sony system.

    As of right now, I have no confidence in Sony anymore. I plan on buying an A900 and keeping my A850 as a back-up, and that will suffice for me for the immediate future; but frankly, the long term future of Sony (based on their recent performance) has me strongly considering eventually going back to the Nikon system. That's a shame, I just bought the Minolta 200/2.8 and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite lenses ever; I really like my A850 and it is my favorite camera ever; Zeiss is making some great lenses for the Sony system; and yet, I think Sony is on the verge of making all of that irrelevant for me by pandering to a bunch of amateurs with gimmicks like EVF and by not even bothering to keep cameras I would want to own currently available.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    I have a lot of issues with EVF, such as having my camera's settings influence what I see in the viewfinder;
    That seems counter intuitive to me (as opposed to changing your setting and NOT know what the effect will be). Please elaborate.
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    I am someone who does not have a strong opinion on this matter. OVF/EVF, it doesn't really matter that much to me. At the end of the day there are many pros and cons to both, and no matter what, OVF, like film, will die eventually. Whether Sony decided to prematurely drop the OVF, and whether it was a genius or stupid move, I guess we will find out in the near future. In the meanwhile I am still enjoying my A900 after 2 1/2 years, something that no other DSLR has ever achieved before Usually I dispose of them in less than a year
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  11. #61
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    That seems counter intuitive to me (as opposed to changing your setting and NOT know what the effect will be). Please elaborate.
    For one thing, I use uni-WB and other customized settings that allow me to see a more accurate histogram, and that would make the EVF appear green and dull. For another, I have a vision of the scene that will be accomplished in post-processing, I don't need or want Sony showing what one of the available controls on the camera will do to change what I'm seeing, I want to see the scene and not the camera setting's interpretation of the scene; I neither need nor want some tutorial being forced on me when I look into the viewfinder -- YMMV.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    For one thing, I use uni-WB and other customized settings that allow me to see a more accurate histogram, and that would make the EVF appear green and dull. For another, I have a vision of the scene that will be accomplished in post-processing, I don't need or want Sony showing what one of the available controls on the camera will do to change what I'm seeing, I want to see the scene and not the camera setting's interpretation of the scene; I neither need nor want some tutorial being forced on me when I look into the viewfinder -- YMMV.
    Then just zero everything out (ie make it look like the real world view) and adjust everything to you liking in post processing (that's what ACR is for). I use one of these to make sure my WB and exp is on the money....

    http://nativedigital.blogspot.com/20...dercheckr.html

    I really think many folks are just making WAY to much of this...
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  13. #63
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    Then just zero everything out (ie make it look like the real world view) and adjust everything to you liking in post processing (that's what ACR is for). I use one of these to make sure my WB and exp is on the money....

    I really think many folks are just making WAY to much of this...
    You obviously missed the part about using uniWB.

    As for making too much of it, the optical viewfinder on my A850 is what I like to use and I simply have no interest in an EVF with all of its current issues. You can enjoy EVF to your heart's content, I will probably dump Sony over it.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    You obviously missed the part about using uniWB.
    No, I didn't miss it. The fact is, that's a technique that you started using because we had a fancy new histogram on the back of our digital cameras and the ability to custom set WB in camera. It's a learned technique and it didn't exist in the days of film.

    With EVF, there will be new and different techniques and solutions to utilize. It's called evolution. To write off technology because it won't allow you to operate as you have in the past, when that same technoligy opens so many other doors is short sighted. If somebody here said they weren't switching to digital becuase it won't allow you to burn and dodge the print when printing to paper, they would be laughed at.
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I hate to admit it, but, after shooting some pretty high quality OVFs most of my life, I find that using LCD/EVFs is fantastic, for the most part. I like seeing my DOF before the shot, and the live histogram makes things outrageously simple, so the large majority of my shots are exposed perfectly. I keep my camera in M mode + spot metering, and it allows me to adjust exposure until the histogram is dead on, and I can use the spot meter to check various zones. Pretty awesome. I almost feel like I'm cheating, as if that mattered! lol

    That being said, there still is a bit of a disconnect that forces me to look forward to the LCD/EVF technology improving.
    Hi Douglas
    amazing that (or perhaps not). I came to exactly the same method for exposure with the A55 (m mode and spot metering - together with the AE lock) - fast and really accurate.

    I know that I've been a 'no EVF never ever' kind of a guy like Tony, but I think that we all owe it to ourselves to try this stuff out and make a judgement for ourselves rather than trying to impose our normal work-methods on to it.

    I've found shooting moving objects in single frame rather tricky, but I probably haven't practiced enough. On the other hand, going back to an OVF makes one feel like one's shooting 'blind' with respect to the exposure.

    I'm not using the A55 very much at the moment (because I really do like big bright optical finders), but I'm certainly keeping an open mind with respect to the A77, and I'm pretty certain I'll be buying one and giving it a fair chance before rejecting it, the concept, and Sony.

    all the best

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I know that I've been a 'no EVF never ever' kind of a guy like Tony, but I think that we all owe it to ourselves to try this stuff out and make a judgement for ourselves rather than trying to impose our normal work-methods on to it.
    Exactly my point. Thank you for being more eloquent than I am...
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    Exactly my point. Thank you for being more eloquent than I am...
    Lonnie - you've been very eloquent, just that you've sounded too convinced!

    It's human nature (mine anyway) to be resistant to something which threatens to change the way one is currently working, however, mostly it simply adds another string to one's bow. After all, there's no reason to stop using an OVF just because one actually finds advantages in an EVF.

    Personally I'd like to have a hybrid viewfinder, which could swap from an OVF to an EVF - wouldn't it be nice if Sony managed that for the A99!

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    just that you've sounded too convinced!
    It's not that, I'm just not willing, like so many other are, to write something off that I haven't seen or used.

    Honestly, I think a lot of this boils down to the fact that "nice" or "pro" cameras "aren't supposed to have EVF's" and a lot of folks are mentally wrestling with that fact.
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    I think many pros are perfectly willing to evolve. However, they generally don't want to be forced to do that until the 'improvement' is actually an improvement. That was my point about Canon a few posts ago. They clearly get this, and generally do not introduce a major technology change in their pro cameras without first testing it on the consumer cameras for a while.

    Hell, I still miss the focus screens of large format cameras (ever look through a 12x20 camera? They're not bright, but you can really compose something with that interface!), but I'm not going back to film for that.

    I get the advantages of EVF, but I think there is a basic disconnect that some people have in composition, and it is important in some compositional mindsets (this is not terribly important in fast-acting reportage, for example, but it can be useful even there). This comes very much from the perspective and process of using a view camera, so if you've never gone there, this may sound a bit laborious, but it becomes a natural part of the vision process, and can be done rapidly and intuitively with practice.

    The subject of the photograph is right there in front of you. Pull your eye from the camera and look directly at it. Move around and 'get' it's three-dimensionality. determine what the photograph should be before you even pull the camera up to your eye. Once you are familiar with your lenses and camera, you'll even know what the focal length will probably be before you start with the camera.

    OK, now, pull up the camera and see how well the limitless three-dimensional subject works when placing framing limits on it. See what happens when the third dimension is flattened to a two-dimensional representation. If things aren't as they seemed or desired, the composition can be 'worked' in two dimensions on the focus screen, or even three dimensions with some movement.

    EVF doesn't negate this approach, but it does disconnect the reality of the subject from the screen. While that will be very beneficial at times, for the way I photograph, I would prefer to be feeling the subject on the screen as close to the same way that I feel the subject when I look at it directly. Brightness, color, contrast are all compromised.

    Theoretically, an EVF is a more direct representation of what will be captured in the file. That's great for a lot of circumstances, but I do not believe it is a better representation of the subject, and that is where my hang-up is. Don't get me wrong, I'll learn to use EVF effectively like any other tool that I have had in my camera bag over the years. I just think there is a distancing of reality that is happening that I would prefer to avoid.

    I can just imagine trying to work in a dark place with an EVF; you are peering into the milky darkness of some cathedral somewhere and you see an architectural feature that emerges from the blackness, and you want to get a photograph of that. You pull the camera to your eye, and *bam* the magic is gone because the camera has adjusted exposure, color, and contrast to it's formulas before you had even a chance to do some basic composition with the subject the way your eyes see it. That's the disconnect I am talking about.


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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Hi There Michael
    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    Theoretically, an EVF is a more direct representation of what will be captured in the file. That's great for a lot of circumstances, but I do not believe it is a better representation of the subject, and that is where my hang-up is. Don't get me wrong, I'll learn to use EVF effectively like any other tool that I have had in my camera bag over the years. I just think there is a distancing of reality that is happening that I would prefer to avoid.
    Well, I quite agree with this, but as we've said, everything has it's pros and cons.
    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    I can just imagine trying to work in a dark place with an EVF; you are peering into the milky darkness of some cathedral somewhere and you see an architectural feature that emerges from the blackness, and you want to get a photograph of that. You pull the camera to your eye, and *bam* the magic is gone because the camera has adjusted exposure, color, and contrast to it's formulas before you had even a chance to do some basic composition with the subject the way your eyes see it. That's the disconnect I am talking about.
    You can get around that by changing to manual exposure - no *bam* required, and as Douglas and I were saying, that's exactly what we've been doing.

    Still, I think that there is another point, which is that the word on the street is that the EVF on the A77 is quite a different animal - and that Lonnie and my point is that writing it off as a concept before seeing what they've done with it is a little premature.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Jono,

    Not writing it off at all, I simply don't want it to be worse than an OVF. If it is, I'll be unhappy and won't purchase it.

    However, at this point, there may not be any reason to be concerned, because I can hold on to the a900 for a while and be completely satisfied with it. I would like to buy a second body; an a900 style camera with 35+MP, but beyond that, nothing needs to change for me to be very satisfied for a long time (the M9 has convinced me that there is really a good bit more to gain out of the sensors Sony is using with an AA filter installed). By the time the a900 craps out on me, Sony may be in the 3rd generation of pro EVF camera.


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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    I do agree that there is a bit of a disconnect with LCD/EVF, but, as Jono said, it's about trade offs. It didn't take me very long to adapt.

    The funny thing is that, while using LCD/EVF options, I've actually taken a step back and switched to all manual focusing, because it is so much easier to do compared to any (D)SLR that I've used. Kind of two steps forward, two steps back for me.

    Regardless, EVFs are inevitable in the majority of DSLR type cameras in the future. Sony is just getting there first.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Regardless, EVFs are inevitable in the majority of DSLR type cameras in the future. Sony is just getting there first.
    ^^^This. Until somebody decides to make a throwback camera and make a ton of $$$ of it with the "purists" <cough>fuji x100</cough>....
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I do agree that there is a bit of a disconnect with LCD/EVF, but, as Jono said, it's about trade offs. It didn't take me very long to adapt.

    The funny thing is that, while using LCD/EVF options, I've actually taken a step back and switched to all manual focusing, because it is so much easier to do compared to any (D)SLR that I've used. Kind of two steps forward, two steps back for me.
    Hmm not me this time!
    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Regardless, EVFs are inevitable in the majority of DSLR type cameras in the future. Sony is just getting there first.
    Shouldn't Panasonic get most of the credit for the G1? or doesn't that count because it doesn't have a mirror?

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  25. #75
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    No, I didn't miss it. The fact is, that's a technique that you started using because we had a fancy new histogram on the back of our digital cameras and the ability to custom set WB in camera. It's a learned technique and it didn't exist in the days of film.
    Look, without uniWB there is no ability to see where the histogram is. WB gain is also something that film didn't have, so disregarding the effect of WB gain on the histogram (or the light meter, which was available "in the days of film") handicaps your ability to understand optimal exposure.

    With EVF, there will be new and different techniques and solutions to utilize. It's called evolution. To write off technology because it won't allow you to operate as you have in the past, when that same technology opens so many other doors is short sighted. If somebody here said they weren't switching to digital because it won't allow you to burn and dodge the print when printing to paper, they would be laughed at.
    As far as I'm concerned, you are just making excuses why it's okay for Sony to impose EVF on users who don't want it. You can laugh all you want, I really don't give a whit what you think.

    There are no accurate histograms offered by any camera makers, but I would bet Sony will be the last company to offer one if it ever does start happening. This is what's wrong with Sony these days, they are apparently oblivious to what photographers want (for instance, just look at what photographers had to say about the user interface for the NEX cameras) -- EVF on all their cameras, dropping the A700 line with no replacement in sight, and dropping the A850 (and you can bet the A900 will not be far behind) are the kinds of things a consumer electronics company does; they are not the kinds of things a camera company does, especially a camera company that would bother to listen to photographers.

  26. #76
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...going back to an OVF makes one feel like one's shooting 'blind' with respect to the exposure.
    Oh please, what's an exposure meter for?

  27. #77
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    Theoretically, an EVF is a more direct representation of what will be captured in the file.
    Unless you are using uniWB and dull settings, it is not. Ironically, that is exactly how most will not use it, so in practice (as opposed to theory) the EVF is a gross misrepresentation of what will be captured in the file.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hmm not me this time!

    Shouldn't Panasonic get most of the credit for the G1? or doesn't that count because it doesn't have a mirror?
    Yeah, I guess my comment was a slippery slope, although I'd imagine we could lump the Sony DSC-R1 in there, too.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    Unless you are using uniWB and dull settings, it is not. Ironically, that is exactly how most will not use it, so in practice (as opposed to theory) the EVF is a gross misrepresentation of what will be captured in the file.
    I both agree and disagree.

    I've been a proponent of UniWb with Sony DSLRs for many years, and I certainly see its usefulness in eeking out exposure perfection, but I think the advantages of an EVF in regard to realtime DOF preview and realtime histogram (highly accurate or not) appropriately outweigh it, for me. In non-static settings, I'm getting a higher percentage of acceptably exposed, non-tripod shots compared to any regular DSLR, so it seems to be a net positive for my shooting.

    Surely, if you're a tripod only shooter, and you're breaking out the magenta filters with UniWB, an EVF may not be ideal, but I'm sure there would be ways to work around enough to be acceptable. How is it that Iliah Borg uses m4/3 cameras on occasion?

    The funny thing is, Sony took a very conservative approach to DSLR making for the first few years after taking over Minolta, and only recently, with the SLT and NEX cameras, have they become more cutting edge, and their sales are apparently proving that to be a good move.

    I see a lot of terms like "photographers" this or that in various forums, and I've never quite grasped it. Is one person using a Phase back manually more of a photographer than one using a Rebel in auto mode? I'd probably consider myself an average "photographer," but I'd personally be embarrassed if I couldn't make a respectable photograph from most any camera handed to me. Sure, I like my personal method of shooting, quirks and all, but I can imagine it's tough for any camera maker to reach every user's requests. Besides, it's only a matter of time before mirrored, OVF cameras are a niche product.

    All of this being said, it's all the quirks of various cameras that force us to choose various avenues, and it seems that Sony has chosen a direction, so I'd expect both a mass exodus from the system by some types of users and an even more massive adoption of the system from new users.

  30. #80
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I see a lot of terms like "photographers" this or that in various forums, and I've never quite grasped it. Is one person using a Phase back manually more of a photographer than one using a Rebel in auto mode? I'd probably consider myself an average "photographer," but I'd personally be embarrassed if I couldn't make a respectable photograph from most any camera handed to me. Sure, I like my personal method of shooting, quirks and all, but I can imagine it's tough for any camera maker to reach every user's requests. Besides, it's only a matter of time before mirrored, OVF cameras are a niche product.
    Well, any photographer regardless of what they shoot wants the camera to get the hell out of their way when using it. That's what a good OVF does, and that is currently what EVF does not do, both in terms of user interface and in terms of image quality. Also, that is why we want higher end cameras, because they do not force us into cumbersome user interfaces to accomplish things we are doing on the fly, and again Sony had that with the A850 and A900 but hasn't really matched Nikon's D300 or Canon's 7D (even with their A700). At this point I have no confidence whatsoever that Sony gets this, so while I will wait to see, my patience with them is wearing thin and I can easily see going back to Nikon because they do "get it."

    As for OVF becoming a "niche" product, the same can easily be said for DSLRs in general. Will electronic viewfinders ever really match optical viewfinders? Perhaps, but abandoning a proved technology for one that is currently riddled with flaws is nothing less than a boneheaded move.

  31. #81
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Well said Douglas. Obviously Sony did not reach the expected success with the conservative approach, even though it was able to attract people like myself to classic cameras like the a900. Admittedly my kind of people are a very small minority, just look at the 5d2 success not because of iq (it sucks) but because of video and live view. As you say, Sony only started to make money with the Nex and SLT introduction. I would expect them, very understandably, to continue down this path.

    As for uniwb, I have never used it myself, so I cannot comment on it's usefulness. But I have used the a900 without it for 2 1/2 years, longer than any other DSLR I have owned previously. I couldn't be happier with the camera performance, even without uniwb. I understand that it is important for some users, but it doesn't seem to be universally considered as an essential part of shooting with this camera.
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  32. #82
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    As for uniwb, I have never used it myself, so I cannot comment on it's usefulness. But I have used the a900 without it for 2 1/2 years, longer than any other DSLR I have owned previously. I couldn't be happier with the camera performance, even without uniwb. I understand that it is important for some users, but it doesn't seem to be universally considered as an essential part of shooting with this camera.
    UniWB is an extreme example of the fundamental problem with EVF technology. Being locked into your camera's settings when you look through the viewfinder is what the problem is, along with other issues such as refresh rates. Much is said about DOF and exposure preview. I like the old approach thank you very much. I like seeing the narrow DOF of a fast lens, it actually shows me where the most critical focus is, it's easy enough to visualize in my head how both DOF is influenced by my selected aperture. Ironically, if I were to use duller camera settings, I would actually be less able to critically evaluate focus. This is why I rarely use Live View on my D300.

    Well there is some good amount of exposure latitude in an A900 or A850 file, being able to utilize the available headroom without actually being able to see the exposure uninfluenced by WB gain and other camera settings quickly becomes a dangerous game and leads a lot of photographers to rely on bracketing their exposures, and that's why there is a minority of us that use uniWB and customize our camera's settings accordingly.

  33. #83
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    Well, any photographer regardless of what they shoot wants the camera to get the hell out of their way when using it.
    I'm not sure I'd agree. Viewfinders have always been used to allow the shooter to gauge various picture making guidelines and properties at the cost of a pure view. Sure, some are better than others, but we'd all just be shooting from the hip with no viewfinder at all if it wasn't for the fact that we want to see the same angle of view as the lens, or we want to be able to gauge focus, or we want to meter, etc. The more of those things we add, the less natural of a view it seems to have become, and EVFs, with their full time DOF view and live histogram, are just the next iteration, and they'll improve over time.

    BTW, the expected NEX firmware with focus peaking is going to take manual focusing to a new level, too.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    UniWB is an extreme example of the fundamental problem with EVF technology.
    Do you know how a scene will look like thru the A77 viewfinder when you use uniwb? No, you don't because you've never looked thru an A77 viewfinder. You are making assumptions....
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  35. #85
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    Do you know how a scene will look like thru the A77 viewfinder when you use uniwb? No, you don't because you've never looked thru an A77 viewfinder. You are making assumptions....
    It's a safe assumption to make, and to hope for or expect something else is a far more absurd assumption.

    Now this was (I think) a thread about the discontinuation of the A850, and certainly time will tell what the replacement for it and the A900 will be. That said, here's another assumption based on Sony's past performance, both the A850 and A900 are going to be discontinued and users will be left with promises and wooden mock-ups to replace them for months and perhaps even years while Sony eventually gets around to replacing them -- just like what has happened with the rumored quasi-replacement for the A700.

    BTW, I don't consider an EVF camera with a pellicle mirror an actual replacement for my A850, so in that regard this is the end of the line as far as Sony and old-school DSLRs are concerned. Will the third or fourth iteration of EVF be an adequate replacement (for me) for what I have with my A850? Frankly, I'm betting against it, and if Nikon has better cameras available at an affordable price (it was the obnoxiously high price of the D3x that drove me to sell my Nikkors and get the A850), well then I will undoubtedly jump ship, especially if Sony is pulling the same nonsense with the A850/A900's "replacement" that they are now pulling with the A700's "replacement."

  36. #86
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I'm not sure I'd agree [with "Well, any photographer regardless of what they shoot wants the camera to get the hell out of their way when using it. That's what a good OVF does, and that is currently what EVF does not do, both in terms of user interface and in terms of image quality."]. Viewfinders have always been used to allow the shooter to gauge various picture making guidelines and properties at the cost of a pure view. Sure, some are better than others, but we'd all just be shooting from the hip with no viewfinder at all if it wasn't for the fact that we want to see the same angle of view as the lens, or we want to be able to gauge focus, or we want to meter, etc. The more of those things we add, the less natural of a view it seems to have become, and EVFs, with their full time DOF view and live histogram, are just the next iteration, and they'll improve over time.
    I think you missed my point, in fact entirely. The viewfinder needs to do some things such as see the focus point and FOV of the lens, that's why we call them SLR cameras! OTOH, the viewfinder does not need to artificially apply the camera's image settings to what is seen through it (unless apparently it is an EVF), or to show a jittery image when panning due to slow refresh rates, or to go dark when a flash or studio lighting is being used with the camera. Stuff like that, as well as a general lack of user access to important settings on Sony's cameras (let me remind you that both the A700 and now the A850 have been discontinued, leaving only one camera that has the requisite controls and feel I would demand in any camera I own) is making Sony look less and less like a company that understands what photographers want, at least what I as a photographer want -- YMMV.

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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Rather than type a retort, it seems like there is only one solution for you...

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=29
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  38. #88
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    Rather than type a retort, it seems like there is only one solution for you...

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=29
    That's the type of fanboy bunk more appropriate to DPR. I'm not rushing for the door right now because I am rather enjoying my A850 right now. OTOH, I have every right to be concerned about Sony's future, and my future with Sony; and you can take your "love it or leave it" attitude over to DPR's Sony SLR forum where it is appreciated.

  39. #89
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    That's the type of fanboy bunk more appropriate to DPR. I'm not rushing for the door right now because I am rather enjoying my A850 right now. OTOH, I have every right to be concerned about Sony's future, and my future with Sony; and you can take your "love it or leave it" attitude over to DPR's Sony SLR forum where it is appreciated.
    That's not it Tony. It just seems like you can find nothing positive in anything the company is doing. I'm invested, and I can't change systems. So I might as well accept the positve aspects of what is coming rather than be a negative nelly about the whole thing...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ

    BTW, what's DPR?
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  40. #90
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Beach View Post
    I think you missed my point, in fact entirely. The viewfinder needs to do some things such as see the focus point and FOV of the lens, that's why we call them SLR cameras! OTOH, the viewfinder does not need to artificially apply the camera's image settings to what is seen through it (unless apparently it is an EVF), or to show a jittery image when panning due to slow refresh rates, or to go dark when a flash or studio lighting is being used with the camera. Stuff like that, as well as a general lack of user access to important settings on Sony's cameras (let me remind you that both the A700 and now the A850 have been discontinued, leaving only one camera that has the requisite controls and feel I would demand in any camera I own) is making Sony look less and less like a company that understands what photographers want, at least what I as a photographer want -- YMMV.
    I didn't miss the point. Viewfinders originally showed the approximate field of view of the lens. Then focus confirmation as added. Then metering results. Then shutter speed/aperture, etc. It has been a natural progression, and now we've moved on to much more. Most of the issues that you mention about EVFs will be taken care of in time as the EVF tech and software improves.

    FWIW, the mockups of the clear A77 seem to have just as many external controls as the A700/850/900.

  41. #91
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    That's not it Tony. It just seems like you can find nothing positive in anything the company is doing.
    That's because Sony is on a roll right now, at least as far as I'm concerned. No A700 replacement -- ever; the A850 is now discontinued, and it along with the A900 will never be replaced either.

    I'm invested, and I can't change systems.
    Yet you blithely tell me to do just that. Besides that, you seem perfectly happy and optimistic with the direction Sony is taking, at least based on your posts in this thread.

    So I might as well accept the positive aspects of what is coming rather than be a negative Nelly about the whole thing...
    Just as I don't know if the next iterations of the EVF will be a vast improvement over what is in the A55, or not; you don't either. Seems to me you are clinging to rumors to hang your hopes on, whereas I'm basing my pessimism on recent past performance by Sony.

    BTW, what's DPR?
    Digital Photography Review, and I would characterize their Sony DSLR Forum as being overrun by obnoxious fanboys. That's not to say you are one of those, but suggesting that I should be in the Buy/Sell Forum rather than here is a pretty obnoxious thing to say.

  42. #92
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I didn't miss the point. Viewfinders originally showed the approximate field of view of the lens. Then focus confirmation as added. Then metering results. Then shutter speed/aperture, etc. It has been a natural progression, and now we've moved on to much more. Most of the issues that you mention about EVFs will be taken care of in time as the EVF tech and software improves.
    Sorry Douglas, but I think you did miss the point, and continue to do so. All of those things you mention that are now common in optical viewfinders are at the periphery of what I see when I look into my A850 viewfinder; whereas the imposition of image settings to what is seen in the A55 electronic viewfinder is central to what you see in the viewfinder, and that's what I mean by the EVF getting in the photographer's way.

    FWIW, the mockups of the clear A77 seem to have just as many external controls as the A700/850/900.
    Still just a mock-up though, and now we can add the A850 to cameras Sony used to have that met my criteria for a camera that gets the hell out my way as a photographer but are no longer sold by Sony. The fact is, as of today there is only one Sony camera I would say is photographer-centric, and Sony just might have none before we have two, or Sony might continue to bump along with maybe two (but no more than two) in their line-up at any one time.

    With that in mind, I would say that what that mock-up is worth along with $4 will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

  43. #93
    curious80
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    For some period of time, I played with one of the old medium format TLRs and the view used to be nothing like an OVF. If anything I might say it was closer to looking at an LCD rather than the an OVF, as you are looking at the image rather than the world. And while I haven't used a view camera myself, I believe that even in that case you look at the image formed on the ground glass rather than the actual world. So photographers have definitely worked with methods other than the OVFs.

    At this point I will probably not be comfortable with moving exclusively to an EVF camera but I am sure as EVF technology improves I would be more and more compelled to ditch the OVF and adopt the EVF. For those who haven't actually tried the G1 or A55 EVF, one point to realize is that the EVF view is pretty different from the LCD view. My G1 EVF felt to me pretty much like an OVF most of the times (at least with the fast primes. With the slow zooms the camera has to bump up ISO which introduces noise). The only time when it gave away being an EVF was in very high contrast situations or in some rare cases when the white balance became way off.

  44. #94
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    To be honest, I do understand Tony's point of view. I at times feel upset at Sony too because of the change of direction they are taking without consulting with me we have read in the past that Sony will keep on making traditional OVF that will coexist with SLT versions. I wonder what happened to all those promises. Anyhow, the bad guys here are canon and Nikon. They are the ones who started live view, and video. They are the ones who kept on introducing useless innovations and convincing the stupid consumer they were essential. How many times Sony lost clients because a900 does not have live view, a gimmick created by canon because it's AF lenses are almost never able to focus accurately on their own. I have never had the need for live view, because my lenses AF accurately on the a900.

    Anyhow, the way things are developing, I have no doubt that we are going towards mirrorless DSLR, even in high end pro cameras. Sony wanted to be a leader instead of a follower, and they already have several years in research advance over the competition. I still wish we will have a choice but realistically we don't. Moving to canon or Nikon because they offer OVF is a dangerous move because who knows for how long they will keep on offering it. I would feel very unhappy to sell all my gear and invest in a new brand just to find out they also dropped OVF and their EVF is not even as good as Sony.
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  45. #95
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    To be honest, I do understand Tony's point of view.
    ...the bad guys here are canon and Nikon. They are the ones who started live view, and video. They are the ones who kept on introducing useless innovations and convincing the stupid consumer they were essential. How many times Sony lost clients because a900 does not have live view, a gimmick created by canon because it's AF lenses are almost never able to focus accurately on their own. I have never had the need for live view, because my lenses AF accurately on the a900.
    I don't have a problem with Live View, I can live either with or without it, but it is not imposed upon me every time I look in the viewfinder; that's clearly different.

    Moving to canon or Nikon because they offer OVF is a dangerous move because who knows for how long they will keep on offering it. I would feel very unhappy to sell all my gear and invest in a new brand just to find out they also dropped OVF and their EVF is not even as good as Sony.
    Well that's where I have don't share your confidence in Sony over Nikon or Canon. Fact is Sony dropped the A700 and still hasn't replaced it. Fact is that Sony simply doesn't have anything to competes head to head with the D300s or 7D (and the A700 never rose to that level, it was more in line with Nikon's D7000). Fact is that Sony doesn't have any cameras that competes directly with the D3s, D3x, 1Ds and 1D series cameras, and they probably won't ever have such a camera. Fact is that Sony has no tilt/shift lenses, and only one fast telephoto prime. Fact is that Sony has implemented a rather poor (for my purposes) EVF in the A55 and that is all we have to go on right now in evaluating what an "A77" or "A99" EVF will be like; I strongly doubt either Nikon or Canon would show an EVF to their customers with all the flaws the A55 EVF has and proclaim it the future of their entire camera line.

    It isn't just the OVF that would cause me to move back to Sony, it's the entire direction Sony has taken lately, which is epitomized by the EVF in the A55, the discontinuation of the A700 with no replacement (it seems the replacement was more an afterthought than anything planned, otherwise they would have never let it lapse for so long), and now the discontinuation of the A850. All Sony needs to do now to seal the deal with me that they are not a serious camera company is let the A900 be discontinued along with the A850 and wait around for months or years to replace it with some image quality compromised pellicle mirror sporting an EVF that is less enjoyable to use than than the OVF they so unceremoniously abandoned.

  46. #96
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Tony, I understand some of your angst, and not all of it. I have used OVFs for most of my shooting life, including the Olympus OM series and Nikon F Photomic heads.

    The lack of both Live View and no tilt-shift lenses kept me out of the Sony camp until I shot the A850 alongside the D3s and D700; as I wrote elsewhere, I just prefer the look of the Sony images (via Capture One Pro 6).

    I have cobbled a tilt setup together: Sony's remote control software for the A700 (which despite their site's claim to the contrary, works perfectly with the A850) will put a just-shot image in a folder; C1Pro's "hot folder" facility then instantly opens the image in C1Pro, and you can see the converted file on the biggest monitor you have. Way way better than Live View, for those situations where I need it (tabletop) IMHO.

    I am using a Mirex adapter with Mamiya 35 and 45 lenses, and am still playing with the setup; it's limited, and I have had to interrupt the experiments with a trip to Italy, but so far I am happy. This still is not anywhere as versatile as Canon's wonderful T/S lenses (both axes able to be rotated at will), but will do for now. And I really did not take to Nikon's implementation of Live View.

    My wish is that Sony and Zeiss release all the ZF manual focus lenses in the Alpha mount.

    Finally, is there any indication that the A900 will be discontinued?

  47. #97
    Tony Beach
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    It's not my intention to be posting the majority or even plurality of posts to this thread; but since I keep being addressed, I feel compelled to respond.

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    Tony, I understand some of your angst, and not all of it.

    I am using a Mirex adapter with Mamiya 35 and 45 lenses, and am still playing with the setup; it's limited, and I have had to interrupt the experiments with a trip to Italy, but so far I am happy. This still is not anywhere as versatile as Canon's wonderful T/S lenses (both axes able to be rotated at will), but will do for now. And I really did not take to Nikon's implementation of Live View.
    I'm going to try and save up some serious money for the Schneider T/S lenses that are due out soon. I'm not sure, but if they are like my Schneider 28/2.8 Super Angulon then I will be able to adapt them via optional mounts to either Nikon or Sony (I'm not interested in Canon at this time). The pair runs about $7000, but they do everything I could ask for and the image quality promises to be a solid match for the A850 and A900.

    Finally, is there any indication that the A900 will be discontinued?
    I would say there's as much indication now that the A900 will be discontinued as there was a few months ago that the A850 would be discontinued. All I'm saying is that I would be really disappointed in Sony if they let what happened with the A700 happen to the A900, and for me that would be a clear indication that Sony isn't trustworthy when it comes to meeting my photographic needs in the future.

    I'm not going to re-read all of my posts here, but I think I've already said (perhaps in not so many words) that I'm set for the time being with my A850 and plan on buying an A900. For now, I'm with you (and others here too), I really like the files I get from my A850. Neither Nikon nor Canon has anything that really matches it, at least not for the price I paid or can expect to pay when I get an A900 and relegate my A850 to back-up status. However, I'm clearly not alone in being less than confident about what will happen in the future with Sony cameras.

  48. #98
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Tony, I get all that, completely.

    I have been doing some serious mind-wrestling myself (you might have seen the thread over in Dante's Inferno, entitled "I hesitate to post this, but...") which encapsulates my own angst perfectly.

    From the Sony, the only way up is MF; an MF back means a tech cam is a reality and T/S problems would then be a thing of the past (not to mention C1Pro's implementation of its great "Focus Mask" tool). However, that is not an option for me presently, so it's Sony for now.

    cheers, KL

  49. #99
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A850 discontinued...

    Regarding live view, I have nothing against it as such, but it was the gimmick that started the whole disaster we are experiencing now. With the introduction of live view, people started to realize that video was also possible, so video was introduced. With video, it was only a matter of time before the EVF become the norm, as the LCD is not always ideal for shooting video. I am personally a purist, and I would have been extremely happy with a proper digital manual focus SLR like the R9 and DMR, with a proper OVF of the old days, not the joke of an OVF of current DSLR. Unfortunately, manufacturers follow what the masses want.

    In the near future, I would expect to find OVF only in the pro models from canon and Nikon. That means that one has to shed 7-8k to get one.
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