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Author Topic: Sony A900 Announced  (Read 34841 times)
tho_mas
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« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2008, 03:05:04 AM »
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They have much better shots than DPR which seems to mangle many cameras. They claim at low ISO it beats the 1Ds M3.
based on RAW maybe not just in low ISO:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp...essage=29264436
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat...thread=29270850
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp...essage=29256050
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2008, 04:48:28 AM »
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I'm not selling it, I'm just suggesting that you could make direct comparisons using the same RAW converter using it. 
I have had a bit of a tinker around and whilst the results are not real good out of RPP, what I can see is there is a great deal of fine detail that the Sony RAW processor does not pull out. I'm convinced that a good RAW processor will be able to produce results that are right up there with, if not beyond, the 1DsM3.

I can't comment on noise yet but judging by the Imaging Resource results the noise is much the same as the 5D up to 800ASA, which is pretty good. Past that I'm not really interested - no camera is perfect.

Used as a tripod camera for max print quality this camera is awesome and the lenses are stunning.
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Nick Rains
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01af
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« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2008, 05:43:15 AM »
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Actually it is directly related to the focal length of the lens mounted. The 400 mm etc would have around 2.5 stops of handholdability, while the 135 mm, the 85 mm, the 50 mm, the 35 mm etc would have higher stops of hand-holdability ... up to 4 stops.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220483\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
This is not true.

Actually the variation in the quoted latitude of 2.5 to 4 f-stops (or actually, speed stops) is due to (1) the amplitude and frequency of the user's shaking (as always), and (2) the diameter of the lens' image circle. Longer lenses have wider image circles ... so a 400 mm telephoto lens will see a 4-stop advantage easily. It's the full-frame wide-angle lenses where the image circle is tighter---but on the other hand the amplitude of their shaking is smaller, too. So it's hard to predict which lens will see the least advantage from the in-body image stabilization ... and furthermore, image circles get wider at smaller apertures.

New Sony SAL lenses (including those which have been designed lately) will be designed with a few additional millimeters of image circle for sure. If issues arise (the operational word here being 'if') then it will be with older Minolta wide-angle lenses used in full-frame mode at full aperture. But I'm sure even those will benefit from the image stabilizer even if it may (MAY!) be only 2.5 stops here.

Don't be fooled into thinking that in-body image stabilization systems in general must be less effective at longer focal lengths. That's not true.

-- Olaf
« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 05:49:23 AM by 01af » Logged
Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2008, 05:53:10 AM »
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Don't be fooled into thinking that in-body image stabilization systems in general must be less effective at longer focal lengths. That's not true.

-- Olaf
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220795\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm afraid it is. For the same angular shake, the sensor will have to move twice as
far for a 200mm lens as compared to a 100mm lens. There is a finite limit on how
far the sensor can be moved around inside the camera, and that limits how effective
in-body image stabilization can be for longer focal lengths.

Ronny
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2008, 06:22:29 AM »
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Not correct. The sensor moves only a few pixels, each about 6 microns. Even a 1 mm of movement would correspond to around 80 pixels.

C't, a German magazine did tests based on a special vibration rig with a Sony Alpha and it was among the best of the combinations tested, the scope of the test was limited to a single lens, a 24-105.

I think that in lens stabilisation has advantages, it can be optimised for each lens. One disadvantage is that one lens or lens group is getting decentered.

Erik

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I'm afraid it is. For the same angular shake, the sensor will have to move twice as
far for a 200mm lens as compared to a 100mm lens. There is a finite limit on how
far the sensor can be moved around inside the camera, and that limits how effective
in-body image stabilization can be for longer focal lengths.

Ronny
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220797\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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01af
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« Reply #45 on: September 11, 2008, 06:42:31 AM »
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I'm afraid it is.
But you are wrong. Wherever your theoretical reasoning might arrive at---the proof is in the pudding, as the British say.


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For the same angular shake, the sensor will have to move twice as far for a 200 mm lens as compared to a 100 mm lens. There is a finite limit on how far the sensor can be moved around inside the camera, and that limits how effective in-body image stabilization can be for longer focal lengths.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220797\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Everything you're saying is correct---but you are still wrong. You are falsely assuming the sensor will hit the physical limits of its moving range at the longer focal lengths. But it doesn't---at least not at those focal lengths you'd dare to hand-hold anyway.

As a matter of fact, the in-body image stabilizer in my four-year-old Konica-Minolta Dynax 7D gives me three stops of additional hand-holdablity at focal lengths of 400 mm, 500 mm, and 600 mm. The latest in-body systems give about one stop more than that, i. e. four stops, at the same focal lengths. And by the way, upgrading to the latest generation of in-body image stabilizers requires the purchase of just one new camera body.

-- Olaf
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Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #46 on: September 11, 2008, 07:05:42 AM »
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As a matter of fact, the in-body image stabilizer in my four-year-old Konica-Minolta Dynax 7D gives me three stops of additional hand-holdablity at focal lengths of 400 mm, 500 mm, and 600 mm. The latest in-body systems give about one stop more than that, i. e. four stops, at the same focal lengths. And by the way, upgrading to the latest generation of in-body image stabilizers requires the purchase of just one new camera body.

-- Olaf
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220805\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If in-body stabilization can do effective 4 stops for a 600mm it should have
enough movement latitude to do effective 7.5 stops for a 60mm lens.  

Based on my own 300mm lens with IS, I would guess that the sensor would have to
move more than 1mm in each direction to get the same stabilization, and that would
leave a useless border of 1mm around the image. But I have never tried a body with
an in-body systems so I can't really compare.

Ronny
« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 07:06:40 AM by ronnynil » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #47 on: September 11, 2008, 07:11:42 AM »
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But you are wrong. Wherever your theoretical reasoning might arrive at---the proof is in the pudding, as the British say.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220805\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]




Close, but the thing the British say is this: the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Rob C (in pedant mode).
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01af
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« Reply #48 on: September 11, 2008, 07:28:43 AM »
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If in-body stabilization can do effective 4 stops for a 600 mm it should have enough movement latitude to do effective 7.5 stops for a 60 mm lens.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220808\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The underlying calculation is correct but the statement is not. Things don't scale up in that linear fashion here. In fact, I get more or less the same number of additional stops out of an in-body image stabilizer, regardless of focal length (i. e. three stops with my four-year-old camera; four stops with a current one). Don't ask me why that is; I don't know. Anyway, the number of stops doesn't decrease at long focal lengths.


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But I have never tried a body with
an in-body systems so I can't really compare.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220808\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
So you should stop propagating uninformed theories.

-- Olaf
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Ray
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« Reply #49 on: September 11, 2008, 08:03:01 AM »
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As a matter of fact, the in-body image stabilizer in my four-year-old Konica-Minolta Dynax 7D gives me three stops of additional hand-holdablity at focal lengths of 400 mm, 500 mm, and 600 mm. The latest in-body systems give about one stop more than that, i. e. four stops, at the same focal lengths. And by the way, upgrading to the latest generation of in-body image stabilizers requires the purchase of just one new camera body.

-- Olaf
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220805\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Olaf,
Have you actually compared shots with and without stabilisation at these focal lengths? 3 stops latitude seems impressive. My longest focal length is 400mm which becomes effectively 640mm on my 40D. For a really sharp image I use a shutter speed based on the 1/FL rule x2, ie. 1/2FL or 1/1200th with a 600mm lens without IS. The IS on the 100-400 provides a latitude of about 2 stops, which brings a 1/1200th shutter speed down to 1/320th.

If the A900 could provide 4 stops of IS with my Sigma 400/5.6 (Minolta-fit) I would be very pleased. That would translate to 1/80th exposure and might help compensate for the disappointing noise of the A900 at high ISO, at least with a stationary subject    .
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Kagetsu
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« Reply #50 on: September 11, 2008, 08:06:18 AM »
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I think the fact that we are talking about this $2999 camera as "practically on par from a data throughput" perspective, with a $8000 camera is impressive all by itself.  Not only throughput, but also the 100% viewfinder (bigger than the 1DSMKII and needs higher tolerances due to the 100%), in addition to the unprecedented I.S in the Full-Frame body, and the engineering around it (which none of the Canons have).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220745\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Agreed... I'm certainly not going to dissagree with that reasoning.
The price difference is certainly huge, and really, one has to wonder if the extra 5K is really worth the extra '2bits' of data per pixel, and the built in grip.

I will say though, in fairness though, the 1D also has the same throughput, as well as the D3 does too (roughly the same), but their prices aren't really that much higher then the likes of the A900 (Sure, resolution is different, but looking on the technology side).

I've always believe Sony would ruffle feathers, but baring in mind Sony's track record when it comes to intial prices, and tend to undercut their hardware price substantially even continuing to make losses (ala PS3, PS2) and making up for it in software sales, or perhipheral sales. When you look at the cost of their Zeiss lenses, they tend to be quite a bit more expensive then the equivalent from either Canon or Nikon too (personal observation).

Personally, I can't see how Canon can keep their 1Ds III price as high as it is now with such a 'competitor' on the market, especially when the 5D replacement will have to compete directly with it along with the D700.
And I think Canon is going to have a hard time all be it, not a hugely hard task, of working out a price that's going to save them face, while preventing the earlier adopters (because the 1dsIII isn't even a year old yet) the worry of having purchased the camera for as much as it costs now (back then).

Personally, I feel that once the descission is made, that's it. I made that choice, i spent the money... Now I have to get over it, and just put up with it. Technology progresses. What makes a 1ds III owner any different to say, someone who bought a 40D only to have seen a replacement a few weeks ago? (aside from say 6-7K)
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01af
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« Reply #51 on: September 11, 2008, 08:50:02 AM »
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Have you actually compared shots with and without stabilisation at these focal lengths?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Yes, I did. Specifically I am talking about the AF Apo 100-400 mm 1:4.5-6.7, the AF Apo HS 400 mm 1:4.5 G, the AF Reflex 500 mm 1:8, and the 400 mm lens with 1.4 TC which on the Dynax 7D are equivalent to 600 mm, 750 mm, and 840 mm, respectively, on 35-mm format. I also tried them on a Sony A700 which I had for a few days where I found out the A700 is giving about one stop more of latitude than the old 7D.


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Three stops latitude seems impressive.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It is impressive!


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My longest focal length is 400 mm which becomes effectively 640 mm on my EOS 40D. For a really sharp image I use a shutter speed based on the 1/FL rule x2, i. e. 1/2FL or 1/1200th with a 600 mm lens without IS.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Yes, this is a sensible thing to do because the 1 / FL rule is intended to yield 'sufficient' sharpness, not perfect sharpness, similar to the degree of sharpness you'd get at the ends of a depth-of-field range. For perfect sharpness it's advisable to use a faster shutter speed than the rule suggests---at least twice as fast, some even say four times as fast, particularly on digital which is more demanding than film with regard to lens sharpness.


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The IS on the EF 100-400 provides a latitude of about 2 stops, which brings a 1/1200th shutter speed down to 1/320th.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
With all the telephoto lenses mentioned above, the old Dynax 7D gives me perfectly sharp images at 1/200 s and shorter and mostly sharp images at 1/100 s - 1/200 s. For example, I feel perfectly confident with the AF Reflex 500 mm lens at 1/125 s. At speeds slower than 1/100 s, the success rate drops rather sharply. But even at 400 mm (= 600 mm-e) and 1/15 s, the occasional sharp image does happen.

And then the other day I fired a few frames with the AF-DT 11-18 mm (D) lens at low light and 1/10 s. All shots came out just perfectly sharp. Try that with Canon (or Nikon)! In-lens image stabilizers just don't exist in super-wide-angle lenses ...


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If the A900 could provide 4 stops of IS with my Sigma 400/5.6 (Minolta-fit) I would be very pleased. That would translate to 1/80th exposure ...[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I am sure this will work.


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... and might help compensate for the disappointing noise of the A900 at high ISO ...[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Huh!? What makes you think the A900's noise was 'disappointing'? Are you judging a new DSLR that hasn't even hit the dealers' shelves yet by JPEG images shot with pre-production models? Don't do that!

-- Olaf
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Ray
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« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2008, 09:23:08 AM »
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Huh!? What makes you think the A900's noise was 'disappointing'? Are you judging a new DSLR that hasn't even hit the dealers' shelves yet by JPEG images shot with pre-production models? Don't do that!

-- Olaf
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Imaging Resource seems to have gone to a lot of trouble comparing jpegs from the A900 with jpegs from the 1Ds3, with NR on and NR off.

Their results, which can be seen at [a href=\"http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA900/AA900HI_ISO_NR.HTM]http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA90...00HI_ISO_NR.HTM[/url] clearly demonstrate that at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 the 1Ds3 produces cleaner and sharper images.

Of course, you are right that the situation might change once RAW converters and production models become available, but I'd be surprised if it changes much. All previous Sony or Konica-Minolta DSLRs have lagged behind Canon on the noise front at high ISO.
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qwz
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« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2008, 10:01:26 AM »
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in my experience AS (in A1 and 7D and A300) benefit in stops is

a) statistical thing - if sony claims about 2.5-4 stop advantage - it will be in most cases, see below

 depends much of shooting style and steadyness of particular photographer and camera/lens balance - you need to add "bonus" tops to your own rule (not always 1/FL!)

for instance my A1 (first camera with sensor stabiliser but without swinging mirror and with leaf shutter) can shoot on wide angle 28mm (in 135 SLR terms) with 1/3s easily, sometimes 0.4"

on 7D 1/8 on same 28mm, slightly better with 2s selftimer
on A300 maybe 1/6s

on a700 and a900 i think is same or better
« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 10:08:22 AM by qwz » Logged
lovell
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« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2008, 11:25:47 AM »
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The camera might be a bit on the ugly side but those sexy Zeiss lenses make up for it. Going to see if we can get a copy of the camera in the studio this week to make my own comparisons as we are supplying the studio lighting for the launch in Shanghai today.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220469\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But are those lenses really Zeiss?  I suspect Sony just bought the name, the usage of the name, and I really don't think those lenses share the same attention to quality, and detail that the true Zeiss lenses had.

So did Zeiss sell out in the name of big profits and quality be damned?

My Sony Camcorder has a "Zeiss" lens too..it's craaap!
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s
lovell
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« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2008, 11:29:00 AM »
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Imaging Resource seems to have gone to a lot of trouble comparing jpegs from the A900 with jpegs from the 1Ds3, with NR on and NR off.

Their results, which can be seen at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA90...00HI_ISO_NR.HTM clearly demonstrate that at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 the 1Ds3 produces cleaner and sharper images.

Of course, you are right that the situation might change once RAW converters and production models become available, but I'd be surprised if it changes much. All previous Sony or Konica-Minolta DSLRs have lagged behind Canon on the noise front at high ISO.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220837\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray, I think it silly for that site to test those two bodies by shooting jpg...far better to shoot raw and compare the two images BEFORE any post processing is done.  I really don't understand these sites that analyze noise via jpgs!
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2008, 11:53:22 AM »
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Hi,

Most Zeiss lenses are quite good. Photozone has tested the 24-70/2.8 ZA and found that it was probably best of the lot, but that was on APS-C. The only good zoom in the ultra short range seems to be the new Nikon 14-24/2.8 and the venerable Sigma 12-24.

Regarding Zeiss lenses they can also have issues, and wideangle zooms are very hard to design. There is always a balance between quality, size, speed and cost.

I would not say that Zeiss lenses ever have been the summit of optical construction, Zeiss lenses have certain design characteristics, one of them is actually that they try to avoid very expensive constructions. Other characteristics are very high contrast but bad MTF at the edges at full aperture.

If you compare MTF curves of old Hassy Zeiss lenses with the new Fujinon lenses for the H# cameras the fujinons are generally significantly sharper.

Erik


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But are those lenses really Zeiss?  I suspect Sony just bought the name, the usage of the name, and I really don't think those lenses share the same attention to quality, and detail that the true Zeiss lenses had.

So did Zeiss sell out in the name of big profits and quality be damned?

My Sony Camcorder has a "Zeiss" lens too..it's craaap!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220855\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2008, 01:36:17 PM »
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All previous Sony or Konica-Minolta DSLRs have lagged behind Canon on the noise front at high ISO.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220837\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Actually the Alpha 700 is very much comparable with the equivalent Canon from a year ago, when used in RAW.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2008, 01:42:06 PM »
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Two things:

  Firstly, Zeiss ZA lenses are very much Zeiss.  They are designed and tested by Zeiss, and are built in a Japanese factory with Zeiss QC.  Zeiss ZF are also built in Japan, as well as many Contax Zeiss lenses.  Comparing ZA lenses with camera phones are camcorder lenses has been an en vogue talking point lately, but it's ridiculous.  

 Secondly, Sony's jpegs have never been great.  There is quite a difference between JPEG and RAW on the A700, so while I agree that Sony needs to get this under control, their jpeg should not be used for comparison for most users.  Also, I haven't been able to confirm what RAW NR setting that Imaging Resource used for their A900 RAW shots.  I'm worried they used "LOW" or "Normal" rather than "OFF," which could affect the detail of the shots.  I believe the A900 will ship with the RAW NR set to "Normal," which may cause some fluctuations with reviews, because some will have the good idea to turn it off.
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2008, 01:42:29 PM »
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Imaging Resource seems to have gone to a lot of trouble comparing jpegs from the A900 with jpegs from the 1Ds3, with NR on and NR off.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=220837\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't know any landscape photographers who shoot in jpeg.

Sony jpegs are terrible out of camera, and have been since the Sony 828 five years ago.

Fortunately, the RAW images are usually quite good, and I expect the same will be true of the Alpha 900 based on what I have seen so far on some preliminary conversions posted to DPR.
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