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Thread: A900 comparisons

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    A900 comparisons

    A900 users - what do you like about the camera, what other full-frame DSLR cameras have you used, and how do you like the viewfinder for manual focus?

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    Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Looking for a dmr alternative ? Doug
    View finder excellent I sold my only manual focus lens the minolta 135 STF when I got this camera, did not work for me. Best bet is a canon body with split focus screen and good adapters with the chip, most even have micro focus adjustments built in

    Me,sold my dmr/r lens and moved on

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    I only have limited experience with an A900 and a 24-70.
    My comparisons were D700,K5 and S2.
    What I like about the A900 (with the 24-70):
    Color, great tonality,sharp, AF seems to work pretty reliable (I can only speeak about static things because I havent used it for sports), I like in particular the viewfinder, in body IS.
    If I didnt have the S2 I would keep the A900 and add more lenses.
    I would give the edge over the D700 in color, tones, viewfinder for the A900.

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    I have been using 5D II and sometimes D700 along with my Sony A850, a sibling of A900. What I like Sony is its colour, legendary lens, the mechanical design of its flash gun, inbody IS for prime lenses.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    I simply like the look of the files, SOOC (Raw, C1Pro6x).

    I like the experience of shooting the A850; it feels like a camera, rather than a computer.

    Re. MF: I have only used that with the 100/2.8 macro, and it works. The finder is very workable in that regard (plus it has focus confirmation).

    AF is not as fast or as accurate as AF with D3 or D3s Nikon bodies, but perfectly acceptable.

    I shoot tethered for focus-critical table-top work.

    I have used 1Ds, 5D, D700, and the other Nikon bodies mentioned above.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    There's no better viewfinder out there, currently, and the M screen makes manual focus a pleasure.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Both Doug and I are thinking of a Sony A900 as the digital platform for our Leica R lenses (if Sigmacumlaude can make a Sony Alpha=>Leica R mount conversion). I had been putting my hopes on a Sigma SD1....until I saw the expected pricing.

    I've heard rumors that the Sony 850/900 may be the end of the line for this system. Although it wouldn't be the first time I have bought into an "dead end" camera system, I was hoping to avoid that in this go round. I suppose if the quality of image files and usability re manual focus lenses from the A900 is good enough, then it might be worth the risk....

    Gary

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    I've heard rumors that the Sony 850/900 may be the end of the line for this system.
    Don't believe the hype.....
    SONY A900
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    There is a chance they might be the end of the line as far as OVF are concerned. But even then a high quality EVF could be exactly your best choice for alt lenses due to high magnification live view and focusing at working aperture.
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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    For Leica R conversions also look at Leitax mount swaps. Very good quality and fully reversible. Lots of positive experiences on the net.

    About 1/2 year ago there was an interview with a high Sony official saying the next FF would still be OVF, but that they were looking at FF EVF's for after that. Take it al with a grain of salt, but I don't think Sony FF is end of the line (yet)

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    For Leica R conversions also look at Leitax mount swaps. Very good quality and fully reversible. Lots of positive experiences on the net.
    Unless you also want to use the lenses on an R8/DMR. The idea was a backup for the DMR.

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    There is a chance they might be the end of the line as far as OVF are concerned. But even then a high quality EVF could be exactly your best choice for alt lenses due to high magnification live view and focusing at working aperture.

    Yeah, a 24x36 camera with an EVF and focus peaking would be a manual focusing dream.

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    I suspect that after using an a900 or it's replacement, you won't really feel the need to use the R8/DMR much anymore. I think you ought to go to a camera store and work with an a900/a850 a little and you may see what I mean.

    After using Canon gear for 25+ years, I switched to the a900 immediately after using one for a little while. It is a vastly superior VF to any of the current Canon gear, and I feel the color reproduction is more natural as well. Since the Leitax adapters are available, I was able to adapt my (at the time) small collection of Leica R glass to work directly, and have since then added a handful of other R lenses.

    I don't shoot a lot of telephoto images, so I can't speak to the camera with long lenses, but I feel it handles very nicely with normal and wide focal lengths. I don't think it is quite as comfortable as the Canon cameras in the grip, but I much prefer it to any Nikon camera I've used recently. If you put an AS plate on the bottom, you can get one that will permit a hand grip to be used. I find I prefer that approach to a neck strap most of the time.

    Just my opinion, but I think the a900 camera is special, and while it may not be followed-up successfully (we'll see!), I'm going to be happily using mine for a good long time. If the new version looks to be a step backward, I'll probably purchase a second before it is too late.


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    Senior Member ryc's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    I truly wish I had my 850 or 900 again. It was probably one of the best image rendering camera I have ever had. The colors are superior to anything out there currently even my D3S. I switched systems because I wanted to use more Zeiss and old Nikon glass which I really enjoy. But the Sony is simply a joy to use and I think one day, I will own one again. Even if with just one lens for landscape work. To be honest, the A900 with the 85 and 135 was my inspiration for creating ZeissImages.com. It all started thanks to the Sony/Zeiss combo.

    Here are hundreds of pictures with the A900 and A850 just for inspiration

    http://zeissimages.com/standardgalle...R-A850&showall
    http://zeissimages.com/standardgalle...R-A900&showall

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    The A900 is the only FF digital I've used. It's viewfinder is top notch, and the camera itself is wonderfully simple. As others have said, you feel like you're using a camera, not a computer.
    Doug, I know you shoot primarily with telephoto lenses, and can tell you that last winter I did some shooting with a Pentax 67 300/4 ED IF on the A900 with the
    M screen, often stopped down to f/8, and had no trouble focusing.

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    Member Quino Terceño's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Yeah, a 24x36 camera with an EVF and focus peaking would be a manual focusing dream.
    I thought I did not want an EVF and did not really cared about the a900 successor ...until I saw the focus peaking videos. Now I just can hope that it reaches the a900 lineage in an hybrid form of O/EVF.

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    I suspect that after using an a900 or it's replacement, you won't really feel the need to use the R8/DMR much anymore.
    Have you used a DMR? The photographer I bought a DMR from replaced it with the A900 and said he liked the DMR colors better. It may be subjective but the DMR's files really are superb. I also question whether there's much that can out-shine the 280mm f/4 APO and if at all possible I want to retain the 280's auto-diaphragm function, which means the DMR would be the primary camera.

    The responses here are quite encouraging and thanks to everyone, keep them coming!

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    HI Doug
    I had a D3 and D700 - it took just an afternoon with the A900 and the 24-70 to make me sell all my collection of Nikon glass, and the bodies.
    That was when the A900 first appeared, and I still love the simplicity and handling of the camera and the bright and lovely viewfinder, but the real buzz is the files, which are really excellent.

    I don't do much telephoto work either, but I really can't see it being a problem.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Have you used a DMR? The photographer I bought a DMR from replaced it with the A900 and said he liked the DMR colors better. It may be subjective but the DMR's files really are superb. I also question whether there's much that can out-shine the 280mm f/4 APO and if at all possible I want to retain the 280's auto-diaphragm function, which means the DMR would be the primary camera.
    It's hard to argue against a DMR and 280/4 - that's really an exceptional combination.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    The problem is, they keep on discontinuing the good stuff, and replacing it with lesser stuff, and in the case of the DMR, end of the line. No wonder why people get attached to a certain look even if the general quality of the file is a bit outdated. I wish we could go back in time about 10 years and stop the time there
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    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    What Jono said.

    The A900 produces beautiful, natural looking files, and is a joy to use. I love mine.
    My photoblog: http://josefskye.tumblr.com
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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Focus peaking has been the centrepiece of pro video focus forever (that, and waveform monitors; usually separate, and now incorporated in the display itself), and until very recently all pro video lenses were MF, as many of you know. I use this daily on my Panasonic video cameras (two HMC-152 units).

    If the A900 successor can use and EVF with this feature, your MF concerns are over, seriously.

    @ ben and doug: if you do get this conversion working, please let me know; I want a UVA for my A850, and that would be one way to go, for sure. cheers, KL

    And what about a hybrid finder like the X-100....

    P.S.: talk about back to the future; I will let Guy chime in here, but mounting Zeiss and Leica glass on Canon FF bodies (aperture stopdown, camera metering) was the main focus of the alternative DSLR thread over at Fred's for quite some time...

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    A900 users - what do you like about the camera, what other full-frame DSLR cameras have you used, and how do you like the viewfinder for manual focus?
    Other FF cameras used: Contax ND, Canon 1Ds/1DsMKII/1DsMKIII, 5D (have used a friend's 5DMKII also) ... Nikon D3S, D700.

    Current: ... 2 Sony A900s. longest lens used is a Sony70-200APO with 1.4X

    As you know Doug, I had and used a DMR/9 for a number of years ... longest lens used was a 180/2.8APO with 1/4XAPO.

    Subjectively, of all the above cameras, with-in their time frames, the best IQ and look/feel was: the Contax ND and the Leica DMR/9.

    IMO, with-in their time frames, the IQ/look/feel of both of these cameras was better than their contemporaries that sported much higher specifications on paper. There are those who feel this to still be true even now. Both cameras fell short in other user areas that truncated their ability to compete with the Nikon/Canon offerings. The Contax had very poor power management and even poorer software support, plus slower AF and older flash technology. The DMR had unfamiliar ergonomics and was/is a bit bulky (not bad, just unfamiliar), no AF, and no TTL flash.

    Both the Contax ND and Leica DMR/8-9 cameras have a few things in common ... they use CCD sensors, and both are discontinued . The Contax used a FF 35mm Phillips CCD sensor, that produced 6.1 meg that had been originally produced for Medium Format backs ... the DMR was a 1.37X crop 10 meg Kodak CCD with the electronics produced by the medium format back maker Imacon (since merged with Hasselblad). Full frame 6 meg and 10 meg 1.37X produced fairly similar IQ @ size ... with the chief characteristic differences coming from the Zeiss optics verses the Leica Rs. (I subjectively preferred the Rs)

    Had either of these cameras continued in production with continuous advancements, while maintaining the CCD sensor ... we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    IMO, and that of others, the closest successor to the Contax ND is the Sony A900. (I do not include the A850 because the viewfinder is not 100%). This opinion is based on the user interface/ergonomics of the A900 and the availability of Carl Zeiss AF lenses. Physically, the A900 even has a slight family resemblance to the ND.

    A900 IQ: While I agree that of current offerings from the big three Canon/Nikon/Sony, the A900 produces the nicest files right out of the camera, it is not the same as the image qualities of the Contax ND and Leica DMR/8-9.

    The Sony A900 sensor is the same as the Nikon D3X except the way Sony applies their proprietary in-camera processing produces an easier to manage mid-range color response and requires far less fiddling in post (I abandoned Nikon because post production took way to long). Conversely, the Nikon produced easier to manage B&W conversions compared to the flatter Sony A900 conversions. (Software solutions have since mitigated that issue somewhat with the A900).

    Before committing to a A900, I'd track down someone who has mounted R lenses in any way and see if the IQ works for you. I adapted many R lenses to a Canon 1DsMKII and felt the DMR still kicked its butt. It is hard to overcome the CMOS sensor's characteristics.

    Alternative thinking:

    1) If looking for a DMR back-up, I'd investigate the use of a Canon FF sensor camera with the AA filter removed ... same for something like a Nikon D700 if R lenses can use a R to F dumb adapter. I believe Bright Screen produces manual focus screens for both Canon and Nikon (I used a BrightScreen in a Nikon).

    2) Keep an eye on Sony's thrust into APSC sized cameras with EVF which now use focus peaking technology. The successor to the A55 will take EVF to the next level. I had a A55 for awhile, but it is had a ways to go yet.

    2) Wait for the Leica MX ... very strong rumors and indications that it will accommodate R lenses. If this is true, then it will mean the next Leica M will be a CMOS sensor to activate Live View ... which I am very suspicious of ... however, I'd bet Leica utilizes the weakest AA filter they can get away with (not to be confused with the IR filter).

    -Marc

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I do not include the A850 because the viewfinder is not 100%
    I did some very careful testing, and the error is less than my ability to line up an edge of the viewfinder with a straight line. In other words, less than the system's ability to resolve an edge (including my eye). About 5-10 pixels on the image. For all practical purposes the viewfinder is 100%. It may be optically inferior to the a900, but there's no error in coverage to speak of.

  25. #25
    jcoffin
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    [ ... ]
    The Sony A900 sensor is the same as the Nikon D3X except the way Sony applies their proprietary in-camera processing produces an easier to manage mid-range color response and requires far less fiddling in post (I abandoned Nikon because post production took way to long). Conversely, the Nikon produced easier to manage B&W conversions compared to the flatter Sony A900 conversions. (Software solutions have since mitigated that issue somewhat with the A900).
    [ ... ]
    -Marc
    There's actually pretty fair evidence that the sensors are (every so slightly) different between the two cameras. In particular, that the version in the A900 has slightly denser R/G/B filters.

    This a probably responsible for the slightly better color (especially highly saturated colors) and is probably also responsible for the slightly higher noise at higher ISOs (the denser filtration cuts the amount of light entering each sensel). I hadn't considered it before, but it's probably also responsible for the slightly increased difficulty in monochrome conversion (the Nikon is starting out with something just a tad closer to monochrome).

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    There's actually pretty fair evidence that the sensors are (every so slightly) different between the two cameras. In particular, that the version in the A900 has slightly denser R/G/B filters.

    This a probably responsible for the slightly better color (especially highly saturated colors) and is probably also responsible for the slightly higher noise at higher ISOs (the denser filtration cuts the amount of light entering each sensel). I hadn't considered it before, but it's probably also responsible for the slightly increased difficulty in monochrome conversion (the Nikon is starting out with something just a tad closer to monochrome).
    Agreed!

    Actually the A900 is very sensitive to color nuances, to the extent it is more difficult to get a homogenous white background for product shots. With my previous Canon cameras (1Ds2 and 5D), it was just a matter of hitting the color dropper in the raw converter, but now on the same background, I'm having much more trouble to get a totally neutral tone. I had the same problem with scanned film before.
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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Have you used a DMR? The photographer I bought a DMR from replaced it with the A900 and said he liked the DMR colors better. It may be subjective but the DMR's files really are superb. I also question whether there's much that can out-shine the 280mm f/4 APO and if at all possible I want to retain the 280's auto-diaphragm function, which means the DMR would be the primary camera.

    The responses here are quite encouraging and thanks to everyone, keep them coming!
    Doug, I was referring to the user interface of the camera, not necessarily the file colors. I have not used a DMR but I have heard and seen some excellent results from people (you especially).

    However, I think that you need to accept that any camera change will result in changes and compromises... and a different color palette is very likely to be one of them, as is the difference is pixel-level rendering associated with the addition of an AA filter. The same would occur with a new Leica digital camera as well, but the changes may be more subtle (one would hope).

    As I recall, I felt the color palette in the Sony is superior to the Canon 5D and 5DmkII that I used previously. Actually, what I saw was a more gentle rendering that I is more accurate to how I saw the subject. The Canon seems to have a level of saturation that was not present in the original, and this would cause me trouble, most especially in mixed-lighting situations (I don't shoot people, architecture is more my gamut).

    Clearly, if you are looking at an easy solution, the Canon cameras are the easiest to use with a simple adapter, and the Sony not so. I felt the Sony was superior enough to the Canon gear to disinvest and switch over. Not everyone will agree with me, but I have not yet regretted my relatively drastic decision.


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  28. #28
    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    However, I think that you need to accept that any camera change will result in changes and compromises...
    Understood, my questions are aimed at understanding what compromises there are along with the benefits.

    Thanks for your comments re: the 5D and 5DII color pallette, good stuff to add to my decision database.

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    There's actually pretty fair evidence that the sensors are (every so slightly) different between the two cameras. In particular, that the version in the A900 has slightly denser R/G/B filters.

    This a probably responsible for the slightly better color (especially highly saturated colors) and is probably also responsible for the slightly higher noise at higher ISOs (the denser filtration cuts the amount of light entering each sensel). I hadn't considered it before, but it's probably also responsible for the slightly increased difficulty in monochrome conversion (the Nikon is starting out with something just a tad closer to monochrome).
    Where would one find that evidence? Seems odd that the physical properties of the Sensors would be altered in actual production and reduce production efficiencies. ... verses each company's in-camera proprietary electronics accounting for the different responses. Sony makes the sensor for both cameras, but it seems to make more sense that each company then takes it from there with their own approach. Also, perhaps I'm wrong, but it is my understanding is that the Sony A900 is a 12 bit camera and the Nikon D3X is 14 bit.

    -Marc

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Sony makes the underlying silicon, but AA filter, color filters, etc. are proprietary to each company. Sony generally uses more opaque color filters than the competition, which gives some color advantage, but also gives a bit of a high ISO disadvantage, because more gain is required due to less light hitting the sensor. Sensor toppings, surrounding electronics and camera software all contribute to the differences between various cameras that use the same Sony sensors.

    Iliah Borg, who does the color profile's for Andrey "hardloaf's" RPP program talks about this a lot in various forums. You could probably PM hardloaf with more specific questions.

  31. #31
    Tony Beach
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Where would one find that evidence?
    DxO Mark has it:


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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Have you used a DMR? The photographer I bought a DMR from replaced it with the A900 and said he liked the DMR colors better. It may be subjective but the DMR's files really are superb.
    That would be me and I still stand behind that statement. The DMR does more with 10 MP than the Sony does with 25. The Sony may well have the best color of any currently available DSLR, but it can't stand up to the DMR's 16-bit CCD color. I don't give a rat's patoot what charts and graphs and color theory say. My prints (with the same lenses used on both cameras) from the DMR just have more depth, more "something" to them. If you are looking for a backup to the DMR, it would have to be a Canon 5DII so you could use your lenses with an adapter. Swapping mounts, as required with Sony and Nikon doesn't make sense.

    As for viewfinders, the Sony viewfinder is the best 35 mm viewfinder I have ever seen. However, I found the DMR with a 1.25x magnifier easier to achieve critical focus.

    Personally, I find the A900 a much more useable, practical camera that fits my needs better than the DMR did. I wanted the DMR to be a mini MFD, and it was, kind of -- it had the color fidelity and look of MFD, but all the negatives of MFD and DSLR. The A900 is probably the best all around DSLR currently on the market. It is no more and no less. I never believed people when they said they could see the difference in color between the A900 and 5DII, however my partner shoots one and I can clearly see the differences when editing files. Still, it is the best backup for a DMR.

    I'm not sure how long I have had the Sony, but every time I think I have really mastered processing the files from it, I look at the DMR files and hang my head in shame.

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    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    The DMR files produce much more saturated colour files than the A900, there is no doubt about that, but is that what you like? Personally I much prefer the subtler more natural (to my eyes) look of the A900 files and resolution is of course to die for with the A900. For me anyway, these and a higher DR are all characteristics that suit my wildlife photography far better than the DMR did.

    The only R lens I really regret selling is the 2.8 100 macro, I have yet to find an A fit macro that approaches it! On the A900 and A700, all my long lenses 400, 500 etc are far superior to the R280 I used with the DMR. This is due probably to shooting style as every lens I put on the A900/A700 enjoys the benefit of Sony's built-in anti-shake system! OK, I am getting on a bit, but d'ya know Doug, we all get there one day! You might also even get to appreciate accurate and fast auto focus one day!

    The A700 and A900 replacement's when they come are reputed to be approx. 25mpx and 36mpx respectively with much higher ISO capability without excessive noise. However I shall stay with what I've got as unlike Leica the after care for obsolete Sony/Minolota cameras and lenses is really great here in the UK.
    Cheers, Dave
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  34. #34
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Well explained Douglas. Thanks!

    -Marc

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    On the A900 and A700, all my long lenses 400, 500 etc are far superior to the R280 I used with the DMR...
    Dave, which 400mm and 500mm lenses are you using? The body-based anti-shake is very appealing to me. Which 280mm Leica lens were you using?

    Thanks for all the comments and observations, all very helpful.

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    That would be me and I still stand behind that statement. The DMR does more with 10 MP than the Sony does with 25. The Sony may well have the best color of any currently available DSLR, but it can't stand up to the DMR's 16-bit CCD color. I don't give a rat's patoot what charts and graphs and color theory say. My prints (with the same lenses used on both cameras) from the DMR just have more depth, more "something" to them.
    Right or Wrong, those are pretty SUBJECTIVE statements, and more reflective of ones PERSONAL taste than anything else. It's like ghost hunters, seeing what they want to see...
    SONY A900
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    One more thing I would like to add to this discussion is about using adapted glass. It is wonderful to be able to use one's favorite lenses on different platforms, and I've done that for the last 3-4 years, but at the end it gets very tiring. Nothing beats using native glass with full compatibility. This is at least my personal experience, and I have finally sold my adapted lenses.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Ed,

    I agree with on you on adapter-mount lenses somewhat.

    I'm not terribly old, but I remember the days before 'auto-everything' very well, and started out shooting on a Canon FTQL from 1966 that was my father's. I've also shot large format for many years, until ultimately giving up film a few years ago.

    Because of this background, I am very comfortable using a camera like the a900 in a similar manner to the old FTQL; in a manual, 'match needle' style mode. I barely use the auto capabilities of the camera otherwise. However, the SSS is very nice with the coded lenses I have, and the information display within the camera works very well for me, especially when in the manual mode, because the match-needle shows how far off center the exposure is at any given time.

    So I'm very pleased to be using the Leitax adapted Leica R lenses on the camera, mostly in full manual mode. My only wish is that the grid screen were available in the 'M' style, because without the classic split center and microprism collar of older MF cameras, the standard and grid screens can be a bit hard to verify accurate focus if I'm trying to employ shallow DOF.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

  39. #39
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Dave, which 400mm and 500mm lenses are you using? The body-based anti-shake is very appealing to me. Which 280mm Leica lens were you using?
    Doug, As I thought that this was a continuation of your similar post over at LUF, I tended to "shorthand" the lens descriptions that I gave you there, Sorry!

    I often like to use good variable focus lenses when I can for wildlife as the little (and big sometimes) critters have a habit of coming forward or back again just as you have finished composing, so I just zoom in or out to suit the composition whilst remaining in situ. In fact I thought that I had learned that tip from you, if so thank you as it really works!

    So, the 400 is really the Sony A70-400G which is a great professional quality lens, but you need to camouflage the lens barrel as it's bright silver!! It does have a well designed albeit plastic hood with a window for adjusting a polariser which I use for when I am near water. This lens is more easily hand holdable with either the A900 or A700 when it becomes of course a 105-600 zoom.

    The 500 that I mentioned is in fact the very under rated Tamron 200-500. this is one of my favourite lenses to use, it is in fact all black, which makes it easier to conceal. It is so sharp with the A900 and the latest firmware up date has also improved the AF speed with this lens, as it is a big lens to focus. It is really a pleasure to use and I love the resulting images that it produces with the A900.

    At a pinch it is handholdable with the A900 but I am usually using bean bags on something, often the ground! I know that you use a rifle stock type mount....I would be quickly locked up if I ventured into my local New Forest (actually a very old royal hunting forest!) which is one of my favourite stalking grounds!

    I was using the Leica vario Elmar R 1:105-280 which of course equates to something like 140-360 when used with the DMR. I had this lens sent from New York as I was unable to find one for sale anywhere in Europe at the time. Leica had long ceased to make it. I did have trouble hand holding this lens, almost impossible!

    Of course on this forum I can post images taken with non Leica cameras , so I will get down to re-sizing some images taken with each lens for you to see. The true value of an image is in print form but you might be able to judge something from a low res. web image.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  40. #40
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    Hi Doug,
    As promised a couple of small bird images which I thought might indicate what the lenses can produce.

    The first is a Nuthatch, a small forest bird using the Tamron 200-500 at 460mm, ISO 400 1/1250 @ F7.1, Handheld on the A900.

    The second is a Robin, again taken in the New Forest using the Sony 70-400G, at 320mm on the A700, so effectively 480mm full frame, IS0 400 1/400 @ F5.6
    using bean bag for support, but fired from on camera shutter release.

    In both cases the anti shake system is worth 2/3 stops, some say more.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  41. #41
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    I know exactly what you mean. I myself shot large format commercially during a certain period but wasn't very fond of the process. I found a way to convince my clients that shooting medium format was equally as good

    Compared to LF, shooting with adapted lenses is a breeze. One has just to remember to stop down the aperture after focusing



    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    Ed,

    I agree with on you on adapter-mount lenses somewhat.

    I'm not terribly old, but I remember the days before 'auto-everything' very well, and started out shooting on a Canon FTQL from 1966 that was my father's. I've also shot large format for many years, until ultimately giving up film a few years ago.

    Because of this background, I am very comfortable using a camera like the a900 in a similar manner to the old FTQL; in a manual, 'match needle' style mode. I barely use the auto capabilities of the camera otherwise. However, the SSS is very nice with the coded lenses I have, and the information display within the camera works very well for me, especially when in the manual mode, because the match-needle shows how far off center the exposure is at any given time.

    So I'm very pleased to be using the Leitax adapted Leica R lenses on the camera, mostly in full manual mode. My only wish is that the grid screen were available in the 'M' style, because without the classic split center and microprism collar of older MF cameras, the standard and grid screens can be a bit hard to verify accurate focus if I'm trying to employ shallow DOF.


    ---Michael
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  42. #42
    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    For those of you who have used non-native mount lenses such as leitax-converted R lenses, have there been any issues with non-linear metering such as happens with some Canon bodies?

  43. #43
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900 comparisons

    If I remember correctly, the exposure was a bit over below 2.8 and gradually under as you stop down. At 8, the underexposure exceeds 1 stop.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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