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Thread: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

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    Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Well, I picked it up this morning.
    Obviously I can't give any real impression of image quality until Aperture supports the ARW files, but I can give you an idea of my first impressions on 1/2 hour shooting with it.

    I think lots of us were rather disappointed that the camera seemed to be quite big - in fact, I was having second thoughts until I noticed that it was actually a little lighter than the Pentax K5 (and only a little larger).

    The thread title may seem a little odd, but for quite a lot of us the E1 was the first 'perfect' digital camera. Small, very very, quiet weather sealed and a delight to handle.

    We have an old E1 in the office (for sentimental reasons). Here they are together:


    A77; ISO 640, Zeiss 16-80, f4.5, 1/80th

    In fact, a comparison of the dimensions:
    E1: 141mm x 104mm x 81
    A77: 143mm x 104mm x 81

    The actual impression is that they are the same width, but the E1 is a little higher.

    After using the A900, everything falls to hand beautifully - there is absolutely no culture shock - the menus are familiar, the buttons are familiar, and probably slightly better - nice to have both an AE lock and an AF lock button. Continuity isn't usually Sony's strength, but in this case they have obviously really thought hard and kept the good bits.

    The real surprise is the shutter noise . . . erm . . . what shutter noise - it's really really quiet, shooting at 12 frames per second and it simply purrs along.

    The EVF is a revelation after the A55 and VF2 - I guess some will grumble that it isn't optical, but it's huge, easy to read and shows a fantastic amount of information without it getting in the way.

    So, to summarise, it's:
    small, weather sealed, very very quiet and a joy to handle. Just like the E1.

    with respect to image quality - as I said, I can't really tell yet as I'm looking at the jpgs. . . . and I've only shot 25 images, still, ISO 800 seems to be really good.

    Just for once I resisted the temptation of snapping away in the shop, so here is the very first shot with the camera, with the very best lens I could use


    Zeiss 135 f1.8 ISO 100 1/320 f1.8

    hardly high art, but better than the camera shop assistant!

    Here are a couple more with the Zeiss 16-80:




    I was a little worried about this lens with the 24mp, but it seems to be pretty good.

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Great! One of the short list of people, who I prefer, to have run a camera through it's paces... Looking forward to your comments, especially at the lower ISO settings compared to the 900.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    +1
    Jono, how is the write time to the card after a burst of say 15 shots?
    Joe

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by ecsh View Post
    +1
    Jono, how is the write time to the card after a burst of say 15 shots?
    Joe
    Hi Joe
    shooting jpg with a 16gb Ultra II it took 18 seconds to clear the buffer- not great, but not catastrophic, but it's a slow old card. It keeps on taking shots, but obviously at a much reduced rate.
    I'm not very good at speed testing (boring and I don't really shoot burst anyway). I think it'd be good to wait for the first reviews come out (dpreview is good for that stuff).

    all the best

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by dbogdan View Post
    Great! One of the short list of people, who I prefer, to have run a camera through it's paces... Looking forward to your comments, especially at the lower ISO settings compared to the 900.
    Oooh! thank you (I'll take that as a compliment) - Of course, the problem is the RAW support, I'm not sure that I can really be bothered to deal with the Sony RAW converter. There are a few new cameras around, so hopefully Apple and Adobe won't be too long.

    The jpgs look fine - with that Sony colour I'm so fond of!

    The real first point is that it's so much better than I'd expected:
    smaller
    lighter
    quieter

    the LCD - although it does come out in a variety of convolutions, will also work in a simple way the same as the a55.

    What I would really like to do, is to do some comparisons between the A77 with the Zeiss 85 f1.4, and the A900 with the Zeiss 135 f1.8 . . . unfortunately I don't have the 85mm!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Oooh! thank you (I'll take that as a compliment) - Of course, the problem is the RAW support, I'm not sure that I can really be bothered to deal with the Sony RAW converter. There are a few new cameras around, so hopefully Apple and Adobe won't be too long.
    Thanks for the report.

    I think, Capture One has A77 raw support out already.

    Cheers,

    N
    A and E mount Too many lenses.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by BackToSlr View Post
    Thanks for the report.

    I think, Capture One has A77 raw support out already.

    Cheers,

    N
    Hi There
    I have Capture One - but I don't really like it, and I don't use it these days - of course, I can do conversions - but to make it useful I'd have to then do all my other conversions for other cameras.

    No - to make a real comparison I need to be using a RAW tool which I understand well and use every day . . . and that's Aperture! (or possibly the ACR converter followed by Aperture).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There
    I have Capture One - but I don't really like it, and I don't use it these days - of course, I can do conversions - but to make it useful I'd have to then do all my other conversions for other cameras.

    No - to make a real comparison I need to be using a RAW tool which I understand well and use every day . . . and that's Aperture! (or possibly the ACR converter followed by Aperture).
    You should give C1 another try! I am using it in combination with LR these days, LR for import and archiving and C1 Pro for its great RAW engine! WIth the E5 the difference between LR3 and C1Pro are lightyears in favor of C1Pro.

    So again, don't be shy and try it!

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    You should give C1 another try! I am using it in combination with LR these days, LR for import and archiving and C1 Pro for its great RAW engine! WIth the E5 the difference between LR3 and C1Pro are lightyears in favor of C1Pro.

    So again, don't be shy and try it!
    Hi Peter
    I have 50,000 images in Aperture - I've spent a month on C1 exclusively on three separate occasions, and I have three problems with it:
    1. I don't like the interface
    2. I don't like the cataloguing
    3. I don't like the results.

    I really don't need to go there again - I really like Aperture, I'm good at it, of course, I understand that this is largely personal . . . but I'm simply not going there again!

    Thanks for the suggestion!

    PS I don't like lightroom either - and I've twice evaluated it with real effort

    PPS Maybe you should try Aperture again?

    PPPS I've sold my E-P3

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    Focus Tracking

    We walked to the pub tonight, and I tried out the focus tracking - the light was low, and this isn't something I'm experienced with, but the number of in focus shots was remarkable (85% maybe).

    I was using the 70-300 Sony G lens:







    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There
    I have Capture One - but I don't really like it, and I don't use it these days - of course, I can do conversions - but to make it useful I'd have to then do all my other conversions for other cameras.

    No - to make a real comparison I need to be using a RAW tool which I understand well and use every day . . . and that's Aperture! (or possibly the ACR converter followed by Aperture).
    Got it.

    N
    A and E mount Too many lenses.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    I think along the way I missed this new dog.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    The jpgs look fine - with that Sony colour I'm so fond of!

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I have Capture One - but I don't really like it, and I don't use it these days - of course, I can do conversions - but to make it useful I'd have to then do all my other conversions for other cameras.
    Agreed on C1; I have it as well but really don't use it anymore. The lack of plugins is the killer for me.

    Still, I think a lot of us would love if you'd go through the effort of running a few a77 files through it and see what happens to noise levels at various ISO. Unless like me yours is out of date and you haven't bothered updating (in which case I can see why it's not worth the hassle).

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Jono, The Zeiss 180mm looks great on the A77!

    I borrowed my friend's A77 for a few days and have tried it with most of the Leica R Lenses (35/1.4, 50/1.4, 100/2.8 and 180/3.4). Manual focus is so much easier and even better than my M Camera. Also, I can finally focus after stopping down which is possible with the A850. I already have the A850 and plan to go for the NEX-7.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I think along the way I missed this new dog.
    HI Terry
    It's Silas and Kate's dog - Milo he's called. Caspar's new buddy, he is staying with us for a couple of days.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Agreed on C1; I have it as well but really don't use it anymore. The lack of plugins is the killer for me.

    Still, I think a lot of us would love if you'd go through the effort of running a few a77 files through it and see what happens to noise levels at various ISO. Unless like me yours is out of date and you haven't bothered updating (in which case I can see why it's not worth the hassle).
    I Jan
    I realise I don't even have the latest version - so I've downloaded a trial of version 6 and I'll have a go later on this weekend.

    All the best

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    Jono, The Zeiss 180mm looks great on the A77!

    I borrowed my friend's A77 for a few days and have tried it with most of the Leica R Lenses (35/1.4, 50/1.4, 100/2.8 and 180/3.4). Manual focus is so much easier and even better than my M Camera. Also, I can finally focus after stopping down which is possible with the A850. I already have the A850 and plan to go for the NEX-7.
    HI There
    As you say - the manual focus is really splendid - with the dedicated MF button just next to the AE lock, together with focus peaking it really does work well.

    I wish I had some of those R lenses to put on it - incidentally, do they have modified mounts or an adapter to go on to the A mount?

    all the best

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Jono, that A77 sounds like a great companion to your A900. But boy, you sure go through the different cameras!

    In addition to other testing, could you please shoot some point light sources in the dark. The first SLTs showed some reflections from the mirror and I'd like to know if they've managed to get rid of those.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Jono, that A77 sounds like a great companion to your A900. But boy, you sure go through the different cameras!
    I certainly do! But I really enjoy trying out new cameras, a satisfying occupation, as they're all so incredibly good these days.

    I have absolutely no complaints about the E-P3, a lovely, well sorted and responsive camera with great colour, and a good range of lenses . . . I just can't resist the NEX 7 and it's higher resolution!

    I also really enjoyed the Pentax K5 - excellent sensor, weather sealed, small and quiet . . my only quibble being the number of lenses which had to go back. . . . . but the A77 is almost as small, lighter, and also quiet and weather sealed.

    I don't keep kit unless I really like it, and as long as things get passed on pretty quick (before they've dropped too much value) I can afford my indulgence in new gear!

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    In addition to other testing, could you please shoot some point light sources in the dark. The first SLTs showed some reflections from the mirror and I'd like to know if they've managed to get rid of those.
    I'll try and do some tomorrow (or tonight). Here's one from last night:


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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Jono - lovely...what lens?

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    BTW Jono You're E1 is starting to look a little dusty!
    So many cameras ago hey, but you just couldn't sell it.

    Standing in line for the Nex7 and waiting for the Ricoh A28 Leica M module.
    No need for mirrors in any form anymore.

    Nice deer shots!

    Best, Michiel

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    But I really enjoy trying out new cameras, a satisfying occupation, as they're all so incredibly good these days.
    They are probably all pretty good, but even more I suspect it's your Midas touch. To me it looks like whatever camera you use, the results are gold.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    They are probably all pretty good, but even more I suspect it's your Midas touch. To me it looks like whatever camera you use, the results are gold.
    That's the problem with Jono New Camera threads. Every one is a must-buy!

    It's a good thing he never got an S2.

    Matt

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Jono - lovely...what lens?
    Hi Terry
    thank you
    Sony Zeiss 135 f1.8 - it really seems to sing on the A77

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    They are probably all pretty good, but even more I suspect it's your Midas touch. To me it looks like whatever camera you use, the results are gold.
    Thank you . . .

    and Matt as well - the S2 was so close . . . I'd really love to have one, but I think it's too big for my casual (very casual) style.

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    Re: Sony A77 compared to the Olympus E1 (first impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI There
    As you say - the manual focus is really splendid - with the dedicated MF button just next to the AE lock, together with focus peaking it really does work well.

    I wish I had some of those R lenses to put on it - incidentally, do they have modified mounts or an adapter to go on to the A mount?

    all the best
    Hi Jono,

    All my R lenses are modified with Leitax mount and "chip" - it preset to the proper max aperture with Image Stabilization on.

    One thing to correct from my post above, I meant to say I can't stop down with the A850 as it darken the viewfinder too much for the focus confirmation to work.

    Yat

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