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Author Topic: Sony Alpha 850  (Read 22754 times)
Alex MacPherson
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« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2009, 07:27:33 PM »
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I wonder how the low iso images from the Sony a850 compare to the Canon 5D mkII ?

 I shoot mostly beauty under studio conditions. I rarely... if ever shoot above 100 ISO.

It is coming time to replace my aging 5D mkI . I am not hugely invested in lenses.
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pegelli
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« Reply #61 on: September 05, 2009, 09:09:05 AM »
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Quote from: Dolce Moda Photography
I wonder how the low iso images from the Sony a850 compare to the Canon 5D mkII ?

I think it'll do great, and the big advantage is in-body stabilization (but probably not that important in studio-beauty shooting)

Maybe read this review from Michael comparing the 5DMkII with the A900. The only practical differences between the A900 and A850 is a drop to 3 fps (from 5) and a 98% viewfinder (from 100%), but else (incl. sensor and IQ) they're identical (except for minor cosmetics).

In the end it's just a tool you need to be comfortable with, so can you go to a shop nearby and just handle both side-by-side? That will probably give you the best indication.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 09:09:46 AM by pegelli » Logged

pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #62 on: September 05, 2009, 11:06:17 AM »
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Quote from: Dolce Moda Photography
I wonder how the low iso images from the Sony a850 compare to the Canon 5D mkII ?

The Sony A900 is a wedding and studio camera to be sure.  The thing's just not optimized for low light(ISO400 is about as high as it goes).  A camera pretty much is like that - the sensors can be designed for high or low light performance, much like film(many of the same optical and physics limitations apply).  If you want low-light, get a Fuji.  Their new binning methods and on-chip HDR is really incredible for city type photography and night time work.  But they suffer from lower resolution to obtain that, which is a killer in studio work where every last pixel matters to the client(people as a rule examine studio work very closely compared to a picture of say, a building or some people at a cafe).

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA90...00HI_ISO_NR.HTM

You can see that 400 is about as far as it can be pushed before noise is a problem(800 looks nasty without NR).  NR of course is too strong above 400 as well, IMO.

But for lower ISOs it looks gorgeous.
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K.C.
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« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2009, 03:04:50 PM »
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Quote from: Dolce Moda Photography
I wonder how the low iso images from the Sony a850 compare to the Canon 5D mkII ?

 I shoot mostly beauty under studio conditions. I rarely... if ever shoot above 100 ISO.

It is coming time to replace my aging 5D mkI . I am not hugely invested in lenses.

Try the Zeiss 85 and 135 with the A850. You'll put you Canon gear on ebay.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #64 on: September 05, 2009, 03:16:09 PM »
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It's been known and discussed to death for nearly a year that the A900 IR images are underexposed.  Their tests aren't exactly the best for comparison.  According to Andrey Tverdokhleb and Iliah Borg (RPP developers,) the ideal ISO range of the A900 is ISO 320-800 with this camera.  ISO 800 is quite comparable to the competition, and it's at ISO 1600 where real ground is lost, but great high ISO comes at a cost of the low ISO color separation of the A900, which is class leading.  If you're primarily a low ISO shooter, the A900 is the easy choice over the 5Dii in regards to IQ.  For Iliah, the A900 is also usually the choice over his D3x cameras as well, unless the scene has a very high DR range, since the D3x has better shadow noise performance.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 03:17:13 PM by douglasf13 » Logged
sean mills
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« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2009, 12:06:57 PM »
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Quote from: Plekto
The Sony A900 is a wedding and studio camera to be sure.  The thing's just not optimized for low light(ISO400 is about as high as it goes).  A camera pretty much is like that - the sensors can be designed for high or low light performance, much like film(many of the same optical and physics limitations apply).  If you want low-light, get a Fuji.  Their new binning methods and on-chip HDR is really incredible for city type photography and night time work.  But they suffer from lower resolution to obtain that, which is a killer in studio work where every last pixel matters to the client(people as a rule examine studio work very closely compared to a picture of say, a building or some people at a cafe).

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA90...00HI_ISO_NR.HTM

You can see that 400 is about as far as it can be pushed before noise is a problem(800 looks nasty without NR).  NR of course is too strong above 400 as well, IMO.

But for lower ISOs it looks gorgeous.

Process those same shots in DxO... you'll see the files stay very clean up to 1600.
I have some very nice ISO 4000, 5000, and 6400 shots taken with the a900. Expose and process properly and the results beat 99% of the samples on the web.

No, it isn't a D700, but the default jpgs, and the way ACR and others deal with the high ISO files from the a900 make it look much worse than it actually is in reality.
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Plekto
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« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2009, 05:19:53 PM »
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Well, that's certainly good to hear, then.

The important thing to remember is that Sony bought Minolta but kept the employees and pretty much left them alone to do what they do best.  Yes, it's slow in getting into the semi-pro market, but they don't build junk, either.  Canon, OTOH, I think moved a bit too fast into this market and their quality issues are showing as a result.  Nikon always was the 2000lb gorilla of course and they work as expected, though at a price.
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ziocan
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« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2009, 04:20:43 AM »
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Quote from: douglasf13
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.
I agree for most of your points and I would add that noise at 640/1250 iso is actually quite good if processed with raw converter as RPP. Eventually we can give a light pass on noise ninja or equivalent just to fine tune the noise, but the noise from the a900 prints very well and the over all look of the image, even if shot with a regular sony lens and not a zeiss, is IMO more interesting than a canon image.
I'm actually glad that many colleague actually snub the Sony, one of the reason that I switched was that I did not want to use the same camera and lenses that everybody use.
If the 5d sells like "panini" at lunch time, it does not really matter to me. that is not going to make my bank account or my life style any better.
BTW, for the NYorkers, Adorama has two complete kits with all the best lenses for the a900 available for rental at a fraction of the cost of the other dslr.

And last but not the least, the sony cameras, using a little trick with the Pocket wizards can sink studio strobes up to 1/8000 of a second.
I do not know of many other cameras that can do that.


I have used canon for years and I do not regret one bit having replaced it with a sony system.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 04:21:41 AM by ziocan » Logged
ziocan
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« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2009, 04:29:37 AM »
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Quote from: K.C.
Try the Zeiss 85 and 135 with the A850. You'll put you Canon gear on ebay.
so true.
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laughingbear
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« Reply #69 on: October 09, 2009, 05:05:36 AM »
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Greetings,

to me the 900 was a true revelation for a very reasonable price, and of course, offers such as ZA 135 and so on make it a serious package. Yes, it looks a little like a zapper from a sience fiction movie  but I quite like the looks, which is not a important factor, but much more so, the usability is just plain excellent which came as a big surprise to me.

IQ is truly excellent with smooth tonal transitions and very usable up to ISO800 without any doubts.  Also, the fun factor is extremly high, it is just a joy to work with the zapper.

The final outputs, most important to me, even really large prints, on my Epson 11880 are excellent.









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ziocan
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« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2009, 05:13:11 AM »
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Quote from: Dolce Moda Photography
I wonder how the low iso images from the Sony a850 compare to the Canon 5D mkII ?

 I shoot mostly beauty under studio conditions. I rarely... if ever shoot above 100 ISO.

It is coming time to replace my aging 5D mkI . I am not hugely invested in lenses.
I do the same kind of work you do and I had a 5d classic and a 1ds markII.
I sold everything on ebay at the right time. I had canon lenses that were bought 4 to 5 years before, like the 85mm 1.2 and 135mm 2.0 to name a few, they were in good cosmetic condition and I sold them for about 50 to 150$ lees than the price I paid for new.
getting rid of canon gear is never going to be a problem.
As somebody said before, you put  the Zeiss 85mm and 135mm on an a900 and will never miss a canon.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 05:13:42 AM by ziocan » Logged
ziocan
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« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2009, 05:24:59 AM »
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Quote from: uaiomex
It could be around $1,500 and still I won't buy it.
I'm stocked with Canon glass. Also I rather keep myself within a "camera" brand than a TV brand. (in few years this will change).
Sony's incentive to discount this camera from factory is to win adepts. Canon doesn't need that. They only need a killer autofocus system, that's it.
Eduardo
Sony digital imaging technology may go well further back than canon's, if I'm not wrong.

We could argue that you are using cameras from a color copier brand, since that has been the core of Canon business for years.

On the press release from the Formula1 team Brawn GP, when they announced that Canon was going to sponsor them for the Singapore GP, they wrote that they "were very happy to welcome the famous "printer brand" on sponsoring their team".
So if you care about those things, you should be blushing when you go around with the thingy around the neck.  
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K.C.
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« Reply #72 on: October 09, 2009, 09:42:01 PM »
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Quote from: ziocan
On the press release from the Formula1 team Brawn GP, when they announced that Canon was going to sponsor them for the Singapore GP, they wrote that they "were very happy to welcome the famous "printer brand" on sponsoring their team".
So if you care about those things, you should be blushing when you go around with the thingy around the neck.

Canons presence in the professional office equipment market is far greater than in any other market they serve. Each division of the company operates with independent advertising and it is the professional office equipment division that is sponsoring Brawn in Formula 1.

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ziocan
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« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2009, 11:28:36 AM »
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Quote from: K.C.
Canons presence in the professional office equipment market is far greater than in any other market they serve. Each division of the company operates with independent advertising and it is the professional office equipment division that is sponsoring Brawn in Formula 1.
Therefore it is a "printer" brand more than a camera brand.
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pegelli
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« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2009, 12:44:26 AM »
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Can someone explain what making copiers (or TV's, game consoles or.......) has to do with Image Quality from DSLR's?

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pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2009, 01:10:38 AM »
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Quote from: pegelli
Can someone explain what making copiers (or TV's, game consoles or.......) has to do with Image Quality from DSLR's?
And what any of this has to do with a Sony Alpha 850?    

Mike.
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K.C.
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« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2009, 06:41:38 PM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
And what any of this has to do with a Sony Alpha 850?    

Mike.

A thread digressing off topic ?

Nah, never happens here.
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ziocan
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« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2009, 12:20:15 AM »
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Quote from: pegelli
Can someone explain what making copiers (or TV's, game consoles or.......) has to do with Image Quality from DSLR's?
Nothing.
But if you read quite a few posts back, you may understand where all this came from.
cheers.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #78 on: October 17, 2009, 01:26:38 AM »
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Ziocan,  what is the 1/8000 sec pocketwizard trick? How does it work? Thanks.
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K.C.
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« Reply #79 on: October 17, 2009, 04:47:20 AM »
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Quote from: douglasf13
Ziocan,  what is the 1/8000 sec pocketwizard trick? How does it work? Thanks.

Yes, please do give us the details on that technique.


My A850 and 24-70 CZ zoom arrived today. The build quality of both is exceptional.


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