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Author Topic: Sony Alpha 850  (Read 21085 times)
lisa_r
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2009, 05:51:44 PM »
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By the way the 5D2 is not the perfect fit for me, I'd really like better AF and a fix for the intermittent banding issues. I just mention the 5D2 because it's the one to beat in the price range. And it's killing the competition in terms of sales ( according to the sales dudes in NYC pro camera shops.)
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Mike Sellers
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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2009, 06:07:35 PM »
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Quote from: jasonrandolph
This camera may be the game changer.  With the announcement of this camera (and the almost unanimous rave reviews the A900 got), I'm sure Canon and Nikon are rethinking their strategies.  Sony is here to stay.  They have the brand recognition and the product quality to directly compete with the big two.  The fact that they are driving the price war is incredible, and I think we all stand to benefit.  As a Nikon shooter, I already use a Sony sensor, and unless they put their D3X sensor in a D700-size body, and offer it at sub-$2300, I may have to change.  Since I'm still in the DX world and don't have the FX glass yet, I'm positioned almost perfectly to move into FX full-force.  The clock is ticking, Nikon.  You have until Christmas!  
Will we ever see a Canon to Sony lens adapter? The Hartblei tilt/shift lenses will work on Sony but at a very steep price.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2009, 06:12:38 PM »
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Quote from: lisa_r
By the way the 5D2 is not the perfect fit for me, I'd really like better AF and a fix for the intermittent banding issues. I just mention the 5D2 because it's the one to beat in the price range. And it's killing the competition in terms of sales ( according to the sales dudes in NYC pro camera shops.)

  Doh, sorry to be presumptive.    I should have asked more questions first.  It doesn't surprise me that the 5Dii is selling so well.  There was a gigantic 5D user base to begin with, and the D700 is a year old.  Sony never really had a chance to compete in that regard.  Plus, in my daily non-camera-forum-geek life, the issues of the 5dii (like banding,) are largely unknown, and it is a great camera.  I don't think the A900's AF would be good enough to warrant a switch from the 5Dii.  If you can deal with no video, the 1Dsiii or D3x may be the better choice (or D700 if you don't need the resolution.)

  I would characterize the my time with the A900 (and I guess the A850) like this:  

-Wonderful low ISO (100-400), good mid ISO (625-1250), acceptable high ISO (1600-3200)
-great (maybe the best) center point AF, pedestrian outside points/tracking
-Outrageous viewfinder that is big and bright (A850 supposedly looks near-identical, even though it is only 98%)
-Average battery life
-Huge file sizes (36MB RAWs)
-Flash system better than Canon, worse than Nikon (but I'm not the best authority here)
-two memory cards is nice, but no auto-switching is ridiculous
-best vertical grip of any camera made (although a bit ugly)
-non-standard flash shoe is slightly annoying, but it has its strengths, too
-AF Zeiss lenses are incredible.
-I love shooting stabilized below 100mm
-I actually like the uncluttered, big numbered top LCD, but I'm in the minority
-The feel, handling, and overall "vibe" of this camera is unlike anything I've used in a while. Uh oh, could this be love? lol.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 06:14:05 PM by douglasf13 » Logged
K.C.
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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2009, 09:10:31 PM »
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Quote from: lisa_r
... the 5D2 because it's the one to beat in the price range. And it's killing the competition in terms of sales ( according to the sales dudes in NYC pro camera shops.)

That's changed now.

A little Leitz glass goes a long way. I'll gladly move my 5D II and Canon glass to ebay when the 850 becomes available.

I shot Leica R for years and though the cameras left a lot to be desired that was because of the arrogance of Leica. The lenses were (are) unparalleled.

I'd be willing to bet there are more good things to come from Sony. The 850 is probably an interim body to bring the market to them before introducing a refined 900 and new lenses.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 09:11:39 PM by K.C. » Logged
frugal
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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2009, 09:24:45 PM »
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Quote from: K.C.
I'd be willing to bet there are more good things to come from Sony. The 850 is probably an interim body to bring the market to them before introducing a refined 900 and new lenses.

I think you're right, the price difference between the 850 and the 900 is too much to suggest that the 900 is going to stay around given how little you give up. This seems like a very astute move from Sony, strip down last year's model a little bit and drop the price into territory never seen before in a FF DSLR; that's going to involve minimal R&D time which should help keep their margins pretty good and should bring some more converts over to their brand. Then, next year when the economy's recovered a bit and you're making lots of money off of what's mostly existing stock, put out a 900 replacement that's a higher spec'd body that throws in the few pro features people have found lacking from the 900.
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thomasmoran
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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2009, 09:39:03 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Good for Sony, cranking up the competition. I still think the lack of sensor-based LiveView is a fatal flaw for serious tripod work in the field or in the studio though.

I agree, awesome on Sony for mixing it up but as a landscape photographer i've fallen in love with live view and thats a deal breaker for me. Having said that I think this looks to be a perfect camera in terms of price/performance ratio for a whole boat load of people and I would suspect that there will be some interesting meetings going on inside the board rooms of Nikon and Canon in the coming weeks...

So about 7 years ago canon introduced the 1Ds at $8,000 with 11 MP and today you can get a Sony with 25 MP for $2,000.... So what will we be talking about in another 7 years?
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pschefz
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2009, 11:28:34 PM »
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a 24mpix FF under 2000 is a big deal....i was tempted by the 900 and i am tempted again....i really only use a 35 50 and 85 with my system and sony has that covered...maybe even better then canon/nikon.....but i shoot leica r glass on my canon now....the huge viewfinder is another reason for the sony....and their obvious drive to make a splsh in the market....

the 5DII is amazing..really is...but af, finder and a few other niggles make me want more, better,.....the video is also amazing, but there is no way to shoot video and stills and just switch back and forth and to really shoot video there has to be an articulated screen....

nikon is totally missing from this discussion, as they have been for a couple of years....the D3x maybe has the best 100 quality but the price and missing features (video, sensor clean?!?!) make it only soso.....

the question is what will canon and nikon announce in the next couple of months? sony obviously put the price pressure on...canon can probably follow (they can keep the price of the 5dIII or what ever it will be  roughly the same...i don't think anyone will sell all their canon gear only to save  a couple of 100 on the body...only to blow it on more expensive lenses! for the sony....i can get supercheap, good backup and filler lenses for canon...the top of the line are the same price but the variety and options at lower prices clearly speak for canon...)....nikon will have a hard time justifying a d700x for twice the 850.....

fun times for shoppers...the 850 is almost at the point where it can be picked up just to have....if those lenses weren't that expensive....

i am hoping for the m9....that will be the first true digi back substitute....
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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2009, 11:42:07 PM »
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Quote from: jwhee0615
My concern is that every Sony product that I have owned over the years has been crap. It has broken prematurely and they like to charge high flat rates for repair. I wonder if these DSLR's will be of higher quality. I agree that the best for me is to force Canon to get on their game and compete aggressively with Sony.

That is one of my concerns too. There is even a joke in Japan about the "Sony Timer" which cause whatever Sony product you have to break just as soon as the warranty expires. I do worry about Sony longevity and durability.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2009, 01:00:52 AM »
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Hi,

The Minolta/Sony mount has much longer flange distance than the Canon, it is one of the advantages with Canon that there are a lot of mounting options.
So no, it cannot be done. There are adapters with built in lenses but they extend focal length by 1.2 (or so) and won't give optimal image quality.

There is some Ukrainian stuff from Arax: http://araxfoto.com/specials/tilt-shift-35/

I happen to have an Arax tilt adapter and a Zeiss Jena 50 mm lens. Another option is stuff from Zork http://www.zork.com which is intended to be used with enlarging lenses. No real wideangles, but cheapers options to the Hartblei stuff.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Mike Sellers
Will we ever see a Canon to Sony lens adapter? The Hartblei tilt/shift lenses will work on Sony but at a very steep price.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2009, 01:23:37 AM »
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Hi Lisa,

I'd suggest that DxO-mark ( http://www.dxomark.com ) has some data on "raw" image quailty. in DxO-mark the Alpha 900 and the 5DII are pretty close with the Nikon 3DX being significantly better. (It's said to take 5 DxO-mark points to make a difference). DxO-marks are absed on raw data.

I cannot compare with other systems and very seldom shoot at high ISO, so noise has seldom been an issue for me. I use Lightroom normally.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: lisa_r
Good points Douglas, but I guess for me as a pro, the lack of lenses and lack of rental support could be deal breakers. And no video is a real let down - I am just now starting to tinker with video, and there is no turning back. Video is being asked for by many clients these days...and it can be very lucrative.
Anyway, how are you liking the a900? I handled it a couple times and it seemed pretty nice. (the noise some people were getting off of that chip scared me out of buying it though.) Which is the best RAW converter for it?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2009, 01:48:04 AM »
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Quote from: frugal
I think you're right, the price difference between the 850 and the 900 is too much to suggest that the 900 is going to stay around given how little you give up. This seems like a very astute move from Sony, strip down last year's model a little bit and drop the price into territory never seen before in a FF DSLR; that's going to involve minimal R&D time which should help keep their margins pretty good and should bring some more converts over to their brand. Then, next year when the economy's recovered a bit and you're making lots of money off of what's mostly existing stock, put out a 900 replacement that's a higher spec'd body that throws in the few pro features people have found lacking from the 900.

Totally agreed. They have learned from Nikon (think D3 -> D700), cannialize your own products yourself or somebody else will do it for you. Good for photographers, not sure if it is good for innovation on the long run, but future will tell.

I am wondering who is going to buy an A900 now though. Sony has basically pushed the barrier very far in terms of giving away the body at or below cost to secure money from the lenses.

Let's see how the other guys react.

cheers,
Bernard
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Christopher
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« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2009, 01:58:00 AM »
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Well, I don't know. I mean I think at the moment the 850 is to expensive. I mean it has to fall quite fast in price. I can buy a a900 for 2000EURs right now. So the a850 should be more towards 1500EUR.

What is the price for the a900 in the US ?
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douglasf13
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« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2009, 02:03:59 AM »
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Quote from: Christopher
Well, I don't know. I mean I think at the moment the 850 is to expensive. I mean it has to fall quite fast in price. I can buy a a900 for 2000EURs right now. So the a850 should be more towards 1500EUR.

What is the price for the a900 in the US ?


The A850 is $2000 in the US, and apparently just over $1800 US in Taiwan. The A900 is $2700 in US, and so is the 5dii
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 02:06:55 AM by douglasf13 » Logged
K.C.
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« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2009, 02:08:18 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Sony has basically pushed the barrier very far in terms of giving away the body at or below cost to secure money from the lenses.

I doubt that's the case here.

All they had to do was take 2 or 3 steps back from the final development of the 900 and they have the 850. Simplified assembly and less strict tolerances in production means it's cheaper to build and repair.

This is an interim camera. The 850 drives the market with little effort and it's based on what they already had. Pretty clever.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2009, 02:21:39 AM »
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Quote from: K.C.
I doubt that's the case here.

All they had to do was take 2 or 3 steps back from the final development of the 900 and they have the 850. Simplified assembly and less strict tolerances in production means it's cheaper to build and repair.

This is an interim camera. The 850 drives the market with little effort and it's based on what they already had. Pretty clever.

Aye, 100% viewfinders (especially when dealing with IS) are very expensive. Nikon claims they can't even put a dust shaker on their 100% VFs. I think Sony miscalculated that the A900 VF would make a splash, but it apparently wasn't neccessary in this price range. A parts list for the A850 leaked a few weeks back, and the price difference between the a900 and A850's VF and PC board was in the neighborhood of a few hundred bucks, which would translate into the retail price difference.
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thierrylegros396
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« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2009, 06:09:19 AM »
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Quote from: K.C.
I doubt that's the case here.

All they had to do was take 2 or 3 steps back from the final development of the 900 and they have the 850. Simplified assembly and less strict tolerances in production means it's cheaper to build and repair.

This is an interim camera. The 850 drives the market with little effort and it's based on what they already had. Pretty clever.


The price of a FF is mainly "dictated" by the price of the sensor, so is their sensor cheap to produce ?!

Thierry
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michael
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« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2009, 06:48:49 AM »
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Quote from: thierrylegros396
The price of a FF is mainly "dictated" by the price of the sensor, so is their sensor cheap to produce ?!

Thierry

That used to be the case, and still is for medium format (for the highest density sensors), but is not so much the case any more for FF 35mm.

And remember, Sony designs and makes their own sensors, and is a supplier to many other companies.

The price for full frame cameras is largely dictated by marketing and business concerns. Sony vs the others has proven that.

Michael
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Pelao
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« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2009, 09:26:43 AM »
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Quote from: michael
That used to be the case, and still is for medium format (for the highest density sensors), but is not so much the case any more for FF 35mm.

And remember, Sony designs and makes their own sensors, and is a supplier to many other companies.

The price for full frame cameras is largely dictated by marketing and business concerns. Sony vs the others has proven that.

Michael

I would agree: FF sensors have been in production long enough, and in great enough volumes, to allow much greater flexibility in pricing and marketing decisions.

My sense is that Canon will feel the heat a little more than Nikon. The latter is on something of a rol, and has made some interesting moves in the past 2 years. To my mind Canon has not made any significant moves since the 5D, which was all about the sensor size, since the body was pretty standard.

Setting aside lens investment, I would find it hard to choose a Canon over a Nikon if I were shopping today. Now Sony have gone and complicated the mix. For my needs their lenses are somewhere between great and incredible. Just one or two small tweaks to their bodies and it will all be good.

I am sure Canon will evolve their game. They have to. So when I am ready for a new investment in 12-18 months I should have even greater choice, and hopefully good prices too.
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2009, 10:38:25 AM »
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FWIW, Nikon may be showing us in the very near future whether or not the A850 changed the game.  I've heard that some stores aren't restocking D700 bodies...
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BJL
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« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2009, 10:55:24 AM »
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Quote from: thomasmoran
So about 7 years ago canon introduced the 1Ds at $8,000 with 11 MP and today you can get a Sony with 25 MP for $2,000.... So what will we be talking about in another 7 years?
Seven years ago the price of entry to 35mm format DLSR was $5,000 for the Kodak 14N (which also offered 13.5MP) and that was obviously over-priced as it was quickly reduced to $4,500 and eventually discounted to $3,500. On the non-digital side, the Sony A850 body is better than the 14N, but far from the class of the 1Ds series, so looking only at 1Ds pricing gives a misleading picture of price trends. It looks to me that prices are down to between 1/3 and 1/2 of what they were then, adjusting for body quality. Meanwhile, prices for mainstream formats are down by a similar but larger proportion: from about $2000 then to under $500 now for the basic models.

And if you want a body of 1Ds quality, the 1DsIII and D3x are not a lot cheaper now than the 1Ds was then; each came to market at that same $8,000. The high end seems stuck in a very low volume, high mark-up sector. And improving quality in the sub-$3000 options will probably make that even more so in the future.

Pixel count trends are fairly similar too: roughly doubling from then to now, though a bit less for 35mm format, a bit more for the smaller SLR formats.
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