Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Evaluating the A900

  1. #1
    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    474
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    198

    Evaluating the A900

    I borrowed a A900 over the weekend and shot it side by side with the 5DII and sometimes the D3. The only lens available was the Sony 50/1,4, so no Zeiss glass unfortunately. I also used the Canon 50/1,4 and Nikon's new 50/1,4.
    The most surprising find is the difference in colour rendition. Even when developed in the same RAW converter (C1), although generally I find Canon and Nikon files look best in their native developers. I didn't try the Sony converter.
    A900 files look notably better converted in C1 than in ACR IMO.

    This brings up a question: has anyone noticed a lack of highlight warning for A900 files when converting in C1? I was fooled by this at the outset and didn't apply the highlight recovery function or pull the exposure to avoid blown highlights. They were clearly indicated in ACR and also the identical 5D2 exposures were duly filled in with red in C1, but not the A900 files unless there was really extreme overexposure.

    I still have a bunch of files to evaluate, but initial impressions are good. I've only had time to print up to A3+ so far, but even at that size the resolution of the printer is the limiting factor as far as resolution of fine details is concerned. An interesting observation is that the difference in colour reproduction between the Sony and Canon is at least as visible in print as on the monitor.

    For the seasoned A900 users on this board, the following comparision shots will probably be of little interest, but for those of us on the fence: these were taken within seconds of each other with the 5D2 and the A900, both developed in C1 with default settings. WB: daylight. The A900 file has had the contrast boosted a little to bring it to roughly the same level as the Canon.
    Last edited by Arne Hvaring; 21st September 2009 at 11:21.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    474
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    198

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    Hmm, looking at the images posted, the differences are smaller than in CS4. I suppose the conversion process acts as a kind of equalizer.

  3. #3
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    Hi Arne
    so hard to tell at web size, and I'm not sure which is which. I guess the second shot looks better, but you need to look at a lot of different types of shot to get a handle on it.

    I like the little 50 f1.4, and I think it's much better than the older Nikon counterpart, but it's hardly the best way to look at A900 files.

    Still, I guess you'll have had time to get a feel for the camera. So unlike most Sony products and such an analogue 'feel' to it.

    I'll be really interested in your conclusions.

    Just this guy you know

  4. #4
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    Interestingly there isn't that much details in the reds in either shot, a typical Canon trait, but I didn't know that the A900 had it too.
    Carsten - Website

  5. #5
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Interestingly there isn't that much details in the reds in either shot, a typical Canon trait, but I didn't know that the A900 had it too.
    It doesn't Carsten.

    Just this guy you know

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    California/Thailand
    Posts
    1,206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    These kinds of comparisons are always difficult to do IMO. Of coarse we all appreciate the difficulty (or folly) of web-based evaluations, but we push against other obstacles as well.

    In some cases, one tries to be "fair" by using the same raw converter for each file, but that's not really fair either, is it? Some, as Arne mentions, are kinder to certain file types. And, some folks are more proficient at one software tool or another. And of course, there's the difference in capture nuances that may occur as one may be more capable with one body than another.

    All that said, it's great to see so many people calmly shooting the different kits and sharing their experiences. In this case, the 5DII file looks very similar to the Sony (and Jono felt it was the better file), but in other comparisons the Sony sings. Depending on one's tastes and requirements, it seems that both of the kits offer something. We're fortunate to have these choices. As the Sony line matures and the lens line fills out it will be quite a kit for sure.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    474
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    198

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Arne
    so hard to tell at web size, and I'm not sure which is which. I guess the second shot looks better, but you need to look at a lot of different types of shot to get a handle on it.

    I like the little 50 f1.4, and I think it's much better than the older Nikon counterpart, but it's hardly the best way to look at A900 files.

    Still, I guess you'll have had time to get a feel for the camera. So unlike most Sony products and such an analogue 'feel' to it.

    I'll be really interested in your conclusions.
    Hi Jono,
    I've found the Sony to be excellent in the greens, it separates for instance the conifers from other foliage much better than Canon/Nikon. Yellows OTOH seem a bit too orange (in C1). Skin tone is very good.
    The 50/1,4 is OK, but has a cheap plastic build and is awkward to focus manually. Center sharpness is impressive, but edges somewhat mushy.

    Here's a shot (bored student) at f2,8 with the 50/1,4 and a 100% crop.
    Last edited by Arne Hvaring; 21st September 2009 at 11:21.

  8. #8
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    I have the 50/1.4 and it is imho very crappy. You get superlative sharpness in the center, it is probably the king of resolution in the center. But the borders and corners are full of every optical aberration you can think of. I bought it just for fun, just to take a lightweight package for snapshots, but now that I know what it can and can't do, I will certainly not use it for any serious stuff.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  9. #9
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Evaluating the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Hvaring View Post
    Hi Jono,
    I've found the Sony to be excellent in the greens, it separates for instance the conifers from other foliage much better than Canon/Nikon. Yellows OTOH seem a bit too orange (in C1). Skin tone is very good.
    I totally agree about the greens and yellows. The skin tones are definitely superb, much better than what I used to get with Canon.

    For best color with this camera, I would advise to use IDC. I have tried every possible converter for windows, including C1, and while they are all better than IDC in every way, color is usually the domain of the manufacturer's converter, something which seems to be also true for Nikon and Canon as well.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •