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Thread: A900 Purchase

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    A900 Purchase

    Hello everyone. this is my first post to the sony board. i just recently sold off my d700 system with a collection of zeiss primes. great camera, but i think i got tired of manual focus. the zeiss lenses are amazing. i have had my eye on the a900 for a while. Jono says he loves the camera and i value his opinion. I would love to hear other opinions. handling, file manipulation and noise. I have owned d30,d60,10d, kodak 14n, olympus e1/e3 and the d700. I left the canon camp a few years back as i was not happy with focus and that plastic the look the files sometimes had. Any information would be great. I dont see alot of people shooting this camera compared to others, but really would like to know if all the haters are just that or if there are real downsides to the camera.
    thanks,
    todd

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Todd, I sold off my Canon 5D system for the d700. Sold that for the A900 and some CZ glass. Between the A900 and my M8, M7 I'm quite happy... no regrets.
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Moved from the D2x to the A900, and am very happy. I really miss the Zeiss 100/2 Makro Planar though. I don't shoot at high iso, so noise isn't a concern for me, but if you go through the threads from some of the more seasoned A900 users here, you'll find that the A900 is quite competetive until about iso 800. It is very much a "shooters" camera, very straight forward, no gimmicky bells and whistles, and a great viewfinder. Manual focus is a breeze. Unless you're a dedicated low light shooter, or need a super-tele, it's a great camera.

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    I moved from Canon to the a900 because I like the simplicity, the files and the lenses. To say nothing of SSS with all lenses.

    The Zeiss 24-70 and 70-400 G are two of the sharpest lenses I've ever used.

    Bill

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Great to know. are the files great to work with?

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I moved from Canon to the a900 because I like the simplicity, the files and the lenses. To say nothing of SSS with all lenses.

    The Zeiss 24-70 and 70-400 G are two of the sharpest lenses I've ever used.

    Bill
    Same here. Love the ergonomics, simplicity of use, and the above-mentioned lenses are absolutely fantastic. Combined with a few older Minolta lenses (50mm, 28mm, and the wonderful, those slightly over-rated "beercan"), I am totally happy with this as my DSLR. The files are just beautiful.

    Combined with my MFD kits (Horseman and Mamiya AFD III) with Leaf Aptus II 6 and my Ricoh GX200 for walk around, I'm set. Happy camper.

    -Josh

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Hi There Todd
    What a responsibility - I hope you'll be very happy together!
    I think it's a lovely camera - it's a delight to shoot with, and I still get that 'Oh!' feeling every time I look at the files.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Thats what i am looking for. the oh factor. someone had mentioned that there is noise in the shadows at even 200iso. is this true or is it not even anything to worry about?

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by toddbee View Post
    Thats what i am looking for. the oh factor. someone had mentioned that there is noise in the shadows at even 200iso. is this true or is it not even anything to worry about?
    IMHO there is no better 200-800 ISO DSLR to be found (and even higher ISO is OK or is tweakable with the right software). I come from Contax with Carl Zeiss lenses and was very demanding on quality. After the disappearance of the Contax brand some years ago, the A900 with the CZ lenses is a dream come true on all fronts important to me. Before getting the A900 I tried several of the usual suspects (D3 and 1Ds) with their best lenses. These are great cameras, but again, coming from Contax, I would not have bought any of them. My dealer could not let me test the A900 so I made a leap of faith. Best decision I could have made. Go for it and get the CZ lenses.

    Cheers, Bob.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by picman View Post
    IMHO there is no better 200-800 ISO DSLR to be found (and even higher ISO is OK or is tweakable with the right software). I come from Contax with Carl Zeiss lenses and was very demanding on quality. After the disappearance of the Contax brand some years ago, the A900 with the CZ lenses is a dream come true on all fronts important to me. Before getting the A900 I tried several of the usual suspects (D3 and 1Ds) with their best lenses. These are great cameras, but again, coming from Contax, I would not have bought any of them. My dealer could not let me test the A900 so I made a leap of faith. Best decision I could have made. Go for it and get the CZ lenses.

    Cheers, Bob.
    Exactly my experience, Bob. The A900 has inherited, beside the hard core Minolta users, many of the Contax/Zeiss aficionados. Unfortunately, some have invested too heavily in other systems to make the switch, and the Sony line does not offer yet sufficient Zeiss glass. I will need 2-3 more Zeiss primes and will be very happy with the line up.

    The body itself has produced the most amazing color I have seen since Fujichrome Velvia days. I Love its rendition with all NR off even at high-ISO. It has a film grain/texture that I find very appealing. One can say many things about the A900 files, but plasticky is not one of them, which I hated about Canon files. I hope Sony will remain faithful to the low-ISO high quality priority and not make sacrifices in order to get better high-ISO performance at the expense of the more important low-ISO.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    My experience with the a900 is exactly as described by my forum friends. I bought the a900 with 24-70 Zeiss initially to use alongside my Leica R9 with 16bit DMR digital back plus 6 R lenses.

    I quickly realised that whilst the a900 build quality is not up to Leica standards, it is is actually a very robust camera body and much more than adequate. In fact it is even more intuitive to use than the Leica. It is a photographers camera with the huge bonus of the superb Zeiss and G lenses.

    Suffice to say that after just a few days of using the a900, I sold my entire Leica collection, apart from my little D-Lux-4 compact.

    I rarely look at the menu, usually just to format the card after downloading, it is that intuitive. The image quality speaks for itself from the examples shown here....but the full size files are oh so very good!
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    thanks guys. just the feedback i wanted to hear. i shoot primarily at low iso so the camera sounds great. the fact that if noise does creep in and it looks like film grain is another plus.

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    You mentioned concern about noise in the shadows.....forget it. I can pull noise free detail out of a shadow area that otherwise looked totally black using up to 800 ISO. Never tried it at 1600 as I am not really a low light shooter, but others on this forum will tell you how to do it and still retain detail without noise. However there are a few tricks to learn first....all for free on this forum! Enjoy.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Todd,

    I shoot the A700...haven't bothered to get the A900 yet. I've been having too much fun fiddling with Mamiya 645AF, and now RZ67. With my 11mp back, I can get plenty of resolution for my needs with either digital system...or shoot three sizes of film.

    And all my medium format stuff cost me less than the A900...so it's easier to justify.

    When I go back to A700 shots after scanning film...especially if I'm shooting good lenses like the 100/2 or the 70-200SSM...I start to wonder why I'm even shooting film in the first place. The quality is that good.

    PS...Josh, good to see someone else in the Bay Area shooting Alpha and Mamiya digital

    Greg

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    Re: A900 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by toddbee View Post
    Thats what i am looking for. the oh factor. someone had mentioned that there is noise in the shadows at even 200iso. is this true or is it not even anything to worry about?
    The problem isn't the noise in the shadows as much as what the noise looks like: blotchy. The ADCs of the A900 can't quite handle the job and clip blacks, and you'll notice that the shadow areas are a little blotchy. Some have incorrectly theorized this as noise reduction, but it appears instead that just the way that the ADC clips. If you shoot ISO 320**, the extra bit of preamp gain seems to drive the ADCs better, and shadow detail is better, without much of a cost in noise and DR. I shoot at ISO 320 as my default setting now, and only go lower if the available light dictates it, or I need the minute difference in DR. Everyone here should test it out***, you'll be surprised

    -douglas

    **In actuality, with the A900, high ISO noise is ideal if you never go over ISO 320, and actually push in the RAW converter (assuming you don't use IDC or Adobe,) but that's another topic


    ***I've done my own tests by both looking at the files in C1, and looking at their histograms in RawAnalyze. Most of the A900's ISOs in Rawanalyze show strange clipping on the shadow side of the histogram, but ISO 320 seems to solve this...and I think ISO 640 does to a lesser degree, but I'm not sure about that yet.

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