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Author Topic: A900 One Year Later  (Read 13008 times)
JeffKohn
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« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2010, 11:51:56 AM »
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AFAIK, the Schneider 28 PC or a Mirex with 645 Pentax 35mm is about as wide as your gonna get with tilt or shift from the A900
Both of these are shift-only options though, and the Schneider 28 PC is an over-priced dud.

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RomanJohnston
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2010, 06:49:23 AM »
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My only complaint would be the lack of 14bit files. Open Skies with subtil transitions really sing when you have 14bit. And as landscape photographers our skies often benifit from that extra data.

Roman
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urbanpicasso
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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2010, 09:28:25 PM »
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My only complaint would be the lack of 14bit files. Open Skies with subtil transitions really sing when you have 14bit. And as landscape photographers our skies often benifit from that extra data.

Roman

I'm not with you on that one, Roman. I have thousands of landscape images from the D3, D700, and the D300 (less the D3x) and I find the transitions, true color and subtle tone to be much better in the A900 . In fact I kept the D700 and glass, while I warmed to the Sony, thinking a D700x was around the corner. Well, after I nailed a Sony workflow the 700 turned into a dust collector.
I still own some great Nikon glass though... we'll see what this year brings  


david
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2010, 10:08:47 PM »
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Hi,

My impression is that the two extra bits matter in shadows/darks. Highlights are limited by the "well capacity" and of course how much "to the right" the exposure is made.

Best regards


Quote from: RomanJohnston
My only complaint would be the lack of 14bit files. Open Skies with subtil transitions really sing when you have 14bit. And as landscape photographers our skies often benifit from that extra data.

Roman
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douglasf13
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2010, 11:22:38 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Hi,

My impression is that the two extra bits matter in shadows/darks. Highlights are limited by the "well capacity" and of course how much "to the right" the exposure is made.

Best regards

   Correct, the D3x's 14 bit mode gives it better detailed shadows.  The A900 actually has a smoother rolloff in the highlights, AFAIK.
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kers
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2010, 08:43:02 AM »
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With all digital workflows banding-visible stepping  is one of the mayor problems.
If you do not work 16 bit and /or do too much in photoshop you soon you encounter that problem.
(as  almost every action in photoshop is destructive)
The D2x had some problems even with Nefs developed in Nikon Capture NX to 16 bit tifs . With the D3x I have not seen it yet.
I like to underexpose a bit to preserve beautiful highlights since there is so much information in the dark parts...( so not expose to the extreme right)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 09:47:25 AM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 02:57:52 PM »
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Quote from: kers
I like to underexpose a bit to preserve beautiful highlights since there is so much information in the dark parts...( so not expose to the extreme right)

Why would you want to underexpose a digital capture? You're throwing away information, making for increased shadow noise with no gain whatsoever - except for less chance of blowing out highlights.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2010, 05:49:35 PM »
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since there is so much information in the dark parts
*******
The only thing that I can pull out of  "dark parts" is noise.  I thought the whole idea about ETTR is to improve the S/N ratio.  What am I missing?

Steve
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 05:50:02 PM by vandevanterSH » Logged
David Sutton
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2010, 06:50:36 PM »
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A very useful review. Thank you.
I nearly jumped ship a few months ago to Sony, but bought  a 5D2 instead as I wanted high iso performance,  live view, a 70-200 f4 for the lighter weight, and the cost of swapping systems was just out of reach. Also I felt that if I couldn't make a Canon system work for me I should pack the whole thing in.
Going to full frame has been an interesting exercise. I've had to work more on technique. I find the 70-200mm f4IS is even better. This is a stellar lens. I just love it. But the 400 f5.6 is now not that sharp, but usable I guess. The other lenses are usable, that's all. Thinking about it, it's really the glass that's most important to me. Looking at the files from a friend's A900, the quality of the sharpness and contrast from the Zeiss and Sony lenses stand out straight out of the camera. Certainly Canon have a much greater range, but a lot of it is not is not that good.
Sony's entry into the market has really caused me to re-assess what I'm doing. I look forward to seeing what they bring out this year. May have to get a third job.  
David
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K.C.
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 10:17:36 PM »
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I was glad to read this review. It reinforced my impressions from working with the SONY.

Actually, I went both directions. I have the new Canon 7D and 5DII but I also bought a SONY A850 and the CZ 24-70.

Every time I pick up the SONY and shoot with it I'm relieved by it's ease of use. Everything function, every button is far more intuitive and easy to find. The image quality is tremendous.
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kers
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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2010, 05:43:10 AM »
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Quote from: feppe
Why would you want to underexpose a digital capture? You're throwing away information, making for increased shadow noise with no gain whatsoever - except for less chance of blowing out highlights.


Often I feel the almost white has a kind of 'flare' = i think it is  caused by the microlenses? on chip  ... - it has nothing to do with the lens itself ...
For that reason if highlights have  important information I make sure everything is there and a bit more... Ususally I make about 5 exposures (-2...+2) to be sure everything is there-( architecture)
With portraits I really want to avoid overexposured skin  so i choose the safe side - darker side.
I am aware that exposure to the right in theory yields more information- however noise is a non issue with the D3x at 100 asa - even enlarged as big as 2 meter wide....
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Pieter Kers
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Allanvet
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« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2010, 10:51:07 AM »
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I have used Nikon DSLRs and glass for 30 years. I currently own a D2X and a D3 and a lot of Nikon lenses. Based on the reviews written on Luminous Landscape and my frustration waiting for Nikon to introduce a high MP sensor for those who are not independently wealthy (or are professionals), I took the plunge and bought a Sony A850 and a Zeiss Sonnar 24-70 lens. It is difficult for Nikon devotees to consider that a consumer electronics company should be taken seriously when it comes to real photography but, truthfully, the raw images that come out of the Sony are incredible in terms of resolution, contrast, colour, and dynamic range. They require very little tweaking in Adobe LR2. The images most resemble those I obtained when I shot with a Pentax 67 system. The camera is incredibly easy to use with the best viewfinder I have ever encountered. This is the first time I have used Zeiss optics and it’s as good or better than any Nikon glass (I include the Nikon 135 DC and 80-200 D in this comparison) I have used. I am keeping my Nikon glass in the hopes that Nikon will “catch up” in the near future but, in the near-term, I will be shooting almost exclusively with my Sony A850.
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kers
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« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2010, 12:16:03 PM »
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Quote from: Allanvet
This is the first time I have used Zeiss optics and it’s as good or better than any Nikon glass (I include the Nikon 135 DC and 80-200 D in this comparison) I have used. I am keeping my Nikon glass in the hopes that Nikon will “catch up” in the near future but, in the near-term, I will be shooting almost exclusively with my Sony A850. [/size][/size]

Using both Nikon and Zeiss lenses (1,4 50mm ZF and 2,8 25mm ZF) I can say the Nikon and Canon lenses are catching up so quickly that i find it hard to say what is best..
the 14-24mm nikkor is at 24mm is as good or better then the Zeiss ; the 24mm PCE nikkor is better than both...especially wide open
To make a long story short:  The new lenses made by both Nikon and Canon are as good as the Zeiss.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 12:16:40 PM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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Tom Montgomery
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2010, 05:35:12 PM »
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This turns out to be an expensive thread, for me!  I was still flipping coins between Nikon and Canon when Michael's initial A900 review made Sony a strong, new contender.  Other reviewers seemed to agree.  Bill Caulfeild-Browne's followup finally tipped the balance.  

Purolator delivered my A900 48 hours ago.  By the time the battery was charged, darkness had fallen. It's a cruel thing, shipping cameras with empty batteries!    Then yesterday it snowed hard all day, gray snow under gray clouds with gray trees, so I didn't get to play much. But today was clear and bright sun, and out I went.

First, I can attest that the A900 works fine at -17C with a northwest wind blasting in all day. Even after a hundred shots the battery showed more than 60% remaining.

Second, I find that I can work ALL the controls while wearing my Burton leather snowboard mittens! Thanks to the large lens release button, I could even change lenses with the mitts on. This is important for me because I have Raynaud's syndrome that affects both hands.  

Third, I'll just say that this camera reminds me very much of Sony's pro TV broadcast equipment. Solidly built, designed to be used rather than to be pretty, in my experience it always just worked, and worked reliably. The A900 has that same feel.  Here's hoping...

A quick scan in LR shows that all appears to be well, so I'm on my way to Phase 2 of digital photography.  And my son is dropping hints about my M4…  


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K.C.
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2010, 09:49:51 PM »
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Quote from: kers
To make a long story short:  The new lenses made by both Nikon and Canon are as good as the Zeiss.

But they don't look the same.

The Zeiss lenses still have a different image quality. One I feel is superior, though you may not.

You could argue that two comparable automobiles are as good as each other, but you prefer one for the way it feels. Same kind of discussion, matter of opinion.

The images from my CZ 24-70 on the A850 make not want to pickup my Canon 24-70 and 5DII. I just prefer the look of CZ/SONY.
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brandtb
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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2010, 07:57:55 PM »
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I am curious as to why most of the posters in this thread have not mentioned noise issues with the A900?  In early rounds of reviews including comps. with D3 etc. - the issue of noise always came up.  I noticed that the "one year later" poster...said nothing of the issue.  I love the feel of this camera in the hand-perfect, and like the Zeiss lenses...but am considering either the D700 or D3 for next cam. based on noise complaints.
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Brandt Bolding
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2010, 08:50:45 PM »
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Quote from: brandtb
I am curious as to why most of the posters in this thread have not mentioned noise issues with the A900?  In early rounds of reviews including comps. with D3 etc. - the issue of noise always came up.  I noticed that the "one year later" poster...said nothing of the issue.  I love the feel of this camera in the hand-perfect, and like the Zeiss lenses...but am considering either the D700 or D3 for next cam. based on noise complaints.
Probably you don't hear much about it from actual users because most of them understand the camera was designed to excel at low ISO. Not every camera needs to be a high-ISO champ...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2010, 01:31:10 AM »
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Hi,

The present version of ACR and Lightroom does not really work well with high ISO images from the A900. Lightroom 3 Beta is much better. According to DxO-mark the competition has about one stop advantage regarding high ISO. Also according to DxO-mark the Nikon D3X has significantly better DR at all ISOs.

I have the the Alpha 900 myself and I'm satisfied, with some reservations

1) I use it at low ISO normally
2) I would need to be desparate to go above 800 ISO (even if it may work acceptably at 3200 ISO with Lightroom 3), but I'm no high ISO shooter, "never" used more than 100 ISO in film days.
3) In my view there is a lot of "hype" about the Zeiss lenses, I only own the 24-70/2.8, which I'm satisfied with, and the 16-80/3.5-4.5 ZA for APS-C. I'd say that both are good lenses, but not necessarily better than the competition.
4) My understanding is that "live view" is a very good thing for accurate focusing and that is lacking on the Alpha 900.

Would I buy it again, yeah!

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: brandtb
I am curious as to why most of the posters in this thread have not mentioned noise issues with the A900?  In early rounds of reviews including comps. with D3 etc. - the issue of noise always came up.  I noticed that the "one year later" poster...said nothing of the issue.  I love the feel of this camera in the hand-perfect, and like the Zeiss lenses...but am considering either the D700 or D3 for next cam. based on noise complaints.
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urbanpicasso
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« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2010, 07:33:57 AM »
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I agree with Jeff and Eric.
Having shot Nikon since the D1, finally giving up my Canon A1 and moving to digital around 2000. I followed the Nikon upgrade trail, jumping through the pro bodies, very happy with the low ISO images I was getting.
When the D3 was announced I was a little disappointed that it only had 12 mp  as I had been shooting the D2x. People carried on about the super image quality being achieved with this new 12mp wonder saying that Nikon had somehow figured out a way to squeeze more image quality out of 12 mps.
I remember a well known sports photographer, Ed Betz or something like that, posting images of a quarterback and carrying on about seeing the veins in his eyes. I couldn't sell my D2x fast enough to get the new Nikon wonder. Well I was sadly disappointed.
No matter how I tried, different raw converters and or sharpening techniques, I could not achieve the micro detail I had gotten used to from the D2x at ISO's 400 and below. I really could give a rats a#$ about the high ISO. It doesn't effect my style of shooting.
Well I was contemplating buying a used D2x when winds of the new 24 mp D3x started blowing, I figured that that was my upgrade path till news of the $8000 plus price tag blew in right behind it. That's when I decided to give the Sony a try.
Three months later I decided to off my Nikon bodies, holding on to 3 lenses, the 14-24, 24-70 and the 70-200vr. A year now and I'm down to 2.  Need I say more?
If High ISO is important, fully knowing it will never match the quality you get from lower settings, go for it. It's all about compromises.

davidbogdan

Actually paying a visit to Michael's studio in Toronto, early last year,  really opened my eyes to even considering Sony . ... It's all his fault!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 07:52:57 AM by davidbogdan » Logged
Tom Montgomery
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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2010, 08:10:10 AM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Probably you don't hear much about it from actual users because most of them understand the camera was designed to excel at low ISO. Not every camera needs to be a high-ISO champ...
Exactly.  In my film days, I considered HP4 rated at 200 to be "high ISO".  It was a dark day for me when Kodak discontinued Kodachrome II.  I expect my A900 to spend 90% of it's time set to 200, which suits me perfectly.

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