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Author Topic: Is Sony a viable pro platform?  (Read 22763 times)
MarkWelsh
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« on: April 07, 2008, 05:25:12 PM »
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It seems likely that by the end of the year, Sony will be established as a major alternative to Canon and Nikon in the professional market, so we're looking very hard at the full system at 16:9 with a view to assessing its viability. Initial observations, to be followed by lots of lens tests, here:

Speculating on Sony
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2008, 06:07:19 PM »
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It seems likely that by the end of the year, Sony will be established as a major alternative to Canon and Nikon in the professional market, so we're looking very hard at the full system at 16:9 with a view to assessing its viability. Initial observations, to be followed by lots of lens tests, here:

Speculating on Sony
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187740\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hi Mark,

It's not working at present

Mike
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Marlyn
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2008, 06:25:50 PM »
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Not working here still either.

I will be VERY interested in this review, as it is something I'm considering.

Waiting for the A900 myself before ponying up a 20mp+ body.


Mark.
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MarkWelsh
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 03:04:02 AM »
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Hi Mark,

It's not working at present

Mike
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187747\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry . . . temporary outage: back online in the next few minutes!
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Kagetsu
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 08:05:40 PM »
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It's nice to read something an article like that. I don't think anybody can deny that this year will definantly be an exciting one for the 35mm format.
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Marlyn
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 09:38:22 PM »
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I agree, should be an interesting next 12 months.

I am currently having a huge tossup weather to get a 1Ds Mk iii, or wait and see whats comming with the A900 etc.  (Upgrading from 5D, and replace the LF)

Have to jump in some time, but just trying to pick the best time !

Mark
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 05:02:46 AM »
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Hi,

My guess is that the Alpha is intended as a "landscape" camera. High image quality, probably not very focused on high ISO performance, moderate frames per second.

For the intended audience a small set of high quality lenses would be just fine.

I'm not convinced that optical excellence is spelled "Zeiss" but hopefully the "G" and Carl Zeiss lenses will be good enough to make the 25 Mpicture sensor justice.

Best regards
Erik
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joneil
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2008, 12:16:44 PM »
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No matter how good the camera and/or lenses are, getting over the "SONY" name might be an issue of perception VS reality.  Don't get me wrong - all the more power to them if they can pull it off, but I see basic roadblocks in the way.

At one time, SONY meant the very best in TVs, VCRs, whatever, but over the recent few years, I've seen the SONY name used on some pretty poor quality electronics.  Not to say the camera companies haven't had their duds and failures as well, but the SONY name has, IMO, lost some of it's shine.  For me, seeing the SONY name on a camera turns me right off.  They would of been better, IMO, to put back on the old Minolta or Konica name.  Or even reuse one of the older medium format names like Bronica.  Your mileage may vary.

The last issue, as I see it, as much as I love the new Canon DSLRs, one thing Nikon did right was make all thier DSLRs backwards compatible with almost every Nikon lens ever made.  Personally I've been using Nikon for 25 years, and why would i dump 25 years worth of lenses that work just perfectly fine on my new Nikon DSLR unless SONY comes out with something truely exception and/or unique?

It will be interesting times
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 12:17:55 PM by joneil » Logged
Plekto
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2008, 01:56:32 PM »
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Still, it really is Minolta with a Sony badge on it for the most part.  Sony certainly didn't raze Minolta's operations and fire everyone when they took over.  So I expect good things from them provided they don't get distracted by the thousand other projects that they are doing right now.
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aaykay
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2008, 09:10:01 PM »
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Based on some lens tests in PopPhoto, the Carl Zeiss/Sony 24-70 f/2.8 has out-performed the new Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens.  And since it is a Carl Zeiss design, I would expect the same level of performance to be carried forward into the FF sensor too, corner-to-corner.

http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses/5232/...-za-ssm-af.html

http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses/5167/...8g-ed-af-s.html

Not a bad "walkaround" lens for the upcoming FF Alpha, which rumors say will come as a pair.  One of them with the already announced 24.6MP FF sensor and its companion with an as-yet-unannounced 14-16MP sensor with a higher Frame-rate (but with identical body and electronic internals of the larger MP-specced version).
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 09:11:08 PM by aaykay » Logged
aaykay
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2008, 09:57:28 PM »
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It seems likely that by the end of the year, Sony will be established as a major alternative to Canon and Nikon in the professional market, so we're looking very hard at the full system at 16:9 with a view to assessing its viability. Initial observations, to be followed by lots of lens tests, here:

Speculating on Sony
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187740\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mark, excellent thought-provoking article.  

I think one of the key advantages that Sony brings to the table, as far as lenses are concerned, is that they are designing and perfecting these in the digital age, with master craftsmen like Zeiss in the designer's chair.  With AF to boot !

I am certain that these lenses are probably bench-tested using some internal ultra-high resolution Sony FF test sensors (unavailable/unannounced to the public) and hence will be expected to last the test of time, with excellent corner-to-corner performance on a high-res FF sensor.

I will be watching for your upcoming analyses.
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MarkWelsh
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2008, 04:15:16 AM »
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The 24-70/2.8 ZA is an encouraging sign, continuing the trend of excellence set by the 135/1.8 and 85/1.4 designs. I like the way Sony is going about putting together its range: concentrating on delivering a small number of top quality (expensive) products targeted at uncompromising users. They'll need them with a full frame sensor with a 5.9 micron pixel pitch . . .

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Mark, excellent thought-provoking article. 

I think one of the key advantages that Sony brings to the table, as far as lenses are concerned, is that they are designing and perfecting these in the digital age, with master craftsmen like Zeiss in the designer's chair.  With AF to boot !

I am certain that these lenses are probably bench-tested using some internal ultra-high resolution Sony FF test sensors (unavailable/unannounced to the public) and hence will be expected to last the test of time, with excellent corner-to-corner performance on a high-res FF sensor.

I will be watching for your upcoming analyses.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=188357\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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douglasf13
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2008, 12:37:53 PM »
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The 24-70/2.8 ZA is an encouraging sign, continuing the trend of excellence set by the 135/1.8 and 85/1.4 designs. I like the way Sony is going about putting together its range: concentrating on delivering a small number of top quality (expensive) products targeted at uncompromising users. They'll need them with a full frame sensor with a 5.9 micron pixel pitch . . .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=188405\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

  I agree.  I'm used to shooting Hasselblad with 2-3 lenses for a lot of my work, so having a Zeiss 24-70, 85mm and 135mm is already more range than I really need. Sony's decided to skip a lot of middle ground (like an 85mm 1.8, or 50mm 1.Cool and go right for the high-end with these lenses.  Most expect the "rumored" (we've seen pics of these potential lenses) Zeiss 16-35mm 2.8 and 24mm 1.4 to be released with the fullframe, and that'll be a nice, high end range of glass.
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tetsuo77
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2008, 06:16:26 AM »
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"The last issue, as I see it, as much as I love the new Canon DSLRs, one thing Nikon did right was make all thier DSLRs backwards compatible with almost every Nikon lens ever made.  Personally I've been using Nikon for 25 years, and why would i dump 25 years worth of lenses that work just perfectly fine on my new Nikon DSLR unless SONY comes out with something truely exception and/or unique?"
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I so can not disagree more with that statement about lenses which, by the way, leaves us all Pentax users with a funny "smirk" in our faces, and with no response.

The so called "backwards compatibility" of Nikon lenses with Nikon mounts is just that the lens fits in the body, full stop.

And not all of them.
Sony will add up the Minolta slr lenses [some of them unsurpassed] to those they can build alone.

Most importantly:
SENSOR TECHNOLOGY, which I guess they can quite lead it, now canīt they?

Cheers.
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joneil
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2008, 07:11:46 AM »
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Quote from: tetsuo77,Apr 11 2008, 07:16 AM
The so called "backwards compatibility" of Nikon lenses with Nikon mounts is just that the lens fits in the body, full stop.


-snip-

      Your mileage may vary, as I always point out, but for me, at this present moment, I am using a 40 year old + 105mm Non- AI nikkor on my Nikon DSLR, and it works *great* for me.  My previous "workhorse" 35mm cameras were the FM and FM2, so using my DSLR in manual mode is not a huge step up from the FM2.

   another issue for me is I have a small fortune invested in adaptors & parts allowing me to hook up my Nikon film bodies to my telescopes (C8, 80mm ED and 145mm Mak-newt) for finding out that my  Nikon DSLR fits just perfect with absolutely no messing around is a huge advantage for me.  From first hand experience I can tell you the same is not true for other brands of DSLRs.

   So for me, in my specific case, Nikon IS 100% backwards compatible.  Again, your mileage may vary.

[/quote]

Most importantly:
SENSOR TECHNOLOGY, which I guess they can quite lead it, now canīt they?
Cheers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=188669\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
[/quote]

  That I agree with, and in fact, that was my first thought - if Nikon is going to brag about their high end SONY CCD sensor (or CMOS sensors) used in their DSLRs, and then SONY starts making DSLRs....hmmmm......      As others have pointed out, interesting times ahead.

  My main point however is this - I believe most people on this forum will know of the Minolta/SONY connection.  However, from a strickly business point of view, the SONY name, in my opinion, has been misused/tarnished over the past few years by allowing the name to appear on low end consumer products.  It will take time to overcame that "loss" of face, or however you want to call it.

   Also, putting the Zeiss name behind the SONY camera is not, IMO, a perfect guarantee of anything.  Direct example- Kodak using the Schneider name on their lenses.   On my 4x5 large format cameras, my Schenider lenses are some of the finest I own, but when I saw them appear on Kodak point & shoot digitals, my first thought was NOT -" hey, Kodak is getting better."

  No, quite the opposite, my first thought was "hey, what the heck is wrong with Schneider?  Better start moving over to Rodenstock  LF lenses I guess."

   Again - your milage may vary, but there's an old rule in business that was first termed in the day of Elizabeth the First that goes "bad money drives out good", which in this case means that using a good brand name with a lesser brand name does not always mean you go up, it may mean you go down in perception.

    Last comment - I am looikng forward towards the new SONY, not bashing it at all, just pointing out that I bought a SONY DVD/VCR player that turned out to be a piece  of complete crap a few years ago, and yes I know it's a different animal/thing altogether, but I think they will ahve some time overcoming perceptions like this, especillay outside this forum where people are not as well educated about the issues.
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2008, 08:45:23 AM »
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-snip-

   another issue for me is I have a small fortune invested in adaptors & parts allowing me to hook up my Nikon film bodies to my telescopes (C8, 80mm ED and 145mm Mak-newt) for finding out that my  Nikon DSLR fits just perfect with absolutely no messing around is a huge advantage for me.  From first hand experience I can tell you the same is not true for other brands of DSLRs.


    Last comment - I am looikng forward towards the new SONY, not bashing it at all, just pointing out that I bought a SONY DVD/VCR player that turned out to be a piece  of complete crap a few years ago, and yes I know it's a different animal/thing altogether, but I think they will ahve some time overcoming perceptions like this, especillay outside this forum where people are not as well educated about the issues.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=188682\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


My Canon DSLR work fine with my telescope using a simple t-ring. A much bigger issue for me is getting the mount tracking right:)

I think you may be right about the Sony image however - I recently was astounded at how poor the quality of my parents Bravia lcd tv was - though it had been bought unviewed because 'it's a sony'!!! If I'd ordered it it would have gone straight back.

However, it's seems likely that the new ff dslr will be a great camera and the zeiss lenses should be good, as well as some of the older minolta glass. Interesting times.

Mike
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Michael LS
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2008, 09:52:06 AM »
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When the Sony A100 hit the market a couple (?) years ago, I got one and tested it very thoroughly. I then returned it within the 30 day window, and bought a Nikon D80. After testing the D80, I found (my personal observations, of course) that the Sony had equal or better ergonomics; I liked that the Sony allowed the rear LCD to be used for exposure info, etc instead of only the hard-to-see top LCD; the Sony in-body IS worked very well- every bit as well as lens-based IS (based on my use of a Nikon zoom w/VR); the Sony kit lens was decent.

HOWEVER:

The gotchas of the Sony were a shutter that sounded like a barn door closing, and the metering consistently blew out highlights. In comparison, the D80 shutter is silky-smooth and much quieter, and the D80 metering is hard to fool- it gives great results in a variety of conditions. So, I kept the D80.

I'm willing to give Sony the benefit of the doubt that on the much higher-end A900, there will be no such issues. Obviously, when the camera hits the market, it will be used, abused and pixel-peeped until it screams for mercy. Then we will see. But eveyone knows there is a lot more to this than a high-rez sensor.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2008, 03:57:14 PM »
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When the Sony A100 hit the market a couple (?) years ago, I got one and tested it very thoroughly. I then returned it within the 30 day window, and bought a Nikon D80. After testing the D80, I found (my personal observations, of course) that the Sony had equal or better ergonomics; I liked that the Sony allowed the rear LCD to be used for exposure info, etc instead of only the hard-to-see top LCD; the Sony in-body IS worked very well- every bit as well as lens-based IS (based on my use of a Nikon zoom w/VR); the Sony kit lens was decent.

HOWEVER:

The gotchas of the Sony were a shutter that sounded like a barn door closing, and the metering consistently blew out highlights. In comparison, the D80 shutter is silky-smooth and much quieter, and the D80 metering is hard to fool- it gives great results in a variety of conditions. So, I kept the D80.

I'm willing to give Sony the benefit of the doubt that on the much higher-end A900, there will be no such issues. Obviously, when the camera hits the market, it will be used, abused and pixel-peeped until it screams for mercy. Then we will see. But eveyone knows there is a lot more to this than a high-rez sensor.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=188720\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

  The Sony A100 was basically a massaged Minolta 5D, and shared the loud shutter sound of both the 5D and 7D.  The Sony DSLRs following the A100 have all been built by Sony from the ground up (although still with a little Minolta DNA,) and don't have the loud shutter.  Interestingly, the D80 is somewhat known for unreliable metering, so I'm glad you got a good one.  

  As far as seeing Sony as a consumer company is concerned, I guess it's really just about where you're coming from.  I work on audio engineering and I do some work in broadcast, and Sony equipment is top notch in this regard.  Having spent a lot of time with retail repairs/returns in my younger years, I became very aware of how people's perceptions of brand were formed by personal experience.  One customer would come in with brand X for repair, and say that they'll never buy brand X again.  The same thing would happen with brand Y and Z as well.  I would snicker to myself, knowing that ALL of these companies will inevitably have problems with their stuff.  There are so many faulty products from so many companies, that people rely on their personal experience rather than broad numbers, and because we spend our hard earned money on a brand X, Y or Z, when it fails we decide that is the last product from that company that we'll ever buy again.  I personally had a Sony DVD player die after one year or so.  Big deal.  It happens with any brand, and Sony's is still one of the more reliable ones, and it didn't keep me from buying another one, which has lasted a long time.

  That being said, I think it'll be a bit before Sony is seen as a proper DSLR name, but that was once the case with movie cameras, and they are on top of that game now.  The Zeiss name helps (and the new Zeiss lenses are testing to be best in class, so they're more than just a name.)

p.s.  I don't have a Bravia, but they're still one of the better tvs.
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Quentin
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2008, 05:08:35 AM »
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Maybe a Sony A900 with Zeiss lenses is as close to a modern Contax dslr as you can get.  I too dislike the idea of the Sony name on the front of the camera - much better Contax, Minolta, or Uncle Harry's Pizza House for that matter....  But I'm sure we'll get over it when the price is announced!

Put my name down for one.

Quentin

P.S. Sony is a great name on the right product, but not on dslr's.  I also own a Bravia HD TV.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 05:09:59 AM by Quentin » Logged

Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
Nemo
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2008, 06:03:57 AM »
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Sony's pro lenses are impressive, not only Zeiss branded ones:

http://www.ecat.sony.co.jp/dslr/lens/lens.cfm?PD=30724

http://www.ecat.sony.co.jp/dslr/lens/lens.cfm?PD=30725

http://www.ecat.sony.co.jp/dslr/lens/lens.cfm?PD=24679

http://www.ecat.sony.co.jp/dslr/lens/lens.cfm?PD=24688

They are second to none here.
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