Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Michael Reichmann's Sony Alpha 99 test - some reflections  (Read 6526 times)
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7234


WWW
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2012, 11:47:51 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I'd suggest that this is not as a far call as you would think.

If we look at the Nikon side, it is quite probable that the 3000$ D800 and not the D4 that is the image quality champ. If you check DxO mark the cameras are close, and it is hard to ignore the added resolution. On the other hand the D4 outperforms the D7000 and the D3200.

I have used the A900 and the Alpha 77 SLT in parallel. For action I would use the Alpha 77, any time. It has better AF, live view and also less vibration as it has no moving mirror.

Once you take DoF into consideration, there are some benefits to a smaller sensor. An APS-C sensor gives you 1.5 - 2 apertures for similar DoF. This really compensates for some of the advantages of the larger sensor. Another factor is that an APS-C camera with a APS-C lens much smaller than a full frame camera with a full size lens. Shooting on the street I would much prefer my Sony Alpha 77 with a small 16-80/3.5-4.5 than shooting with the Alpha 900 and it's big and heavy 24-70/2.8. Image quality is pretty close between the two.

When shooting landscape and similar on tripod I would normally use the Sony Alpha 900.

If we return to Nikon, the only full frame Nikon I ever would consider is the D800, in my view the "flagship" D4 is clearly an inferior camera as it has half the resolution. Would I need high frame rate and a camera that can be bumped around, it would be a different thing. But for a landscape shooter using tripod I have little doubt that the Nikon is the king of the hill.

I did consider switching from Sony to Nikon when the D800 arrived, but I did not. Could be smarter to have done that.

Best regards
Erik

Interesting that there should even be a debate about the relative merits of a $1050 2011 APS camera and a $5500 flagship FF camera.

And just in the interests of disclosure I bought my first SLR a Minolta SR-T 101 in 1971 and have had other Minoltas, a number of Nikons ,and also Olympus, Canon and a couple of Contax. I have owned a number of Nikon DX cameras in the past but the Sony A77 is my only current small sensor DSLR and is likely to be my last as I have bought a Nex . During the 1990's I did decide to go Nikon and reduced my Minolta kit accordingly until Minolta introduced the Dynax 7. I do have a small secondary Nikon kit based on a D700 but my main cameras are the Sony A850 (tripod), the A77 (hand help mainly local sports and events)and the Nex 7.

I think I will wait out the 2012 releases and see what 2014 brings. Not to say that I'm not in the market for any new lenses that really, really appeal to me.
Logged

whiteheat
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 17



« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2012, 12:01:22 AM »
ReplyReply

Interesting that there should even be a debate about the relative merits of a $1050 2011 APS camera and a $5500 flagship FF camera.

+1 to that.  Talk about comparing apples with oranges.  No real findings based on anything realistic is possible considering the different camera classes and price differentials involved.
Logged

Nothing is as it first appears.
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7234


WWW
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2012, 12:19:49 AM »
ReplyReply

Oh,

Put a 500/4.5 on a D3200, A D800 and ad D4 and shoot an eagle in it's nest at 50 m. D4 will come last.

The price tag of a camera does not affect image quality, simply enough. Lens and sensor does.

Best regards
Erik

+1 to that.  Talk about comparing apples with oranges.  No real findings based on anything realistic is possible considering the different camera classes and price differentials involved.
Logged

allegretto
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 370


« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2012, 03:45:52 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I'd suggest that this is not as a far call as you would think.

If we look at the Nikon side, it is quite probable that the 3000$ D800 and not the D4 that is the image quality champ. If you check DxO mark the cameras are close, and it is hard to ignore the added resolution. On the other hand the D4 outperforms the D7000 and the D3200.

I have used the A900 and the Alpha 77 SLT in parallel. For action I would use the Alpha 77, any time. It has better AF, live view and also less vibration as it has no moving mirror.

Once you take DoF into consideration, there are some benefits to a smaller sensor. An APS-C sensor gives you 1.5 - 2 apertures for similar DoF. This really compensates for some of the advantages of the larger sensor. Another factor is that an APS-C camera with a APS-C lens much smaller than a full frame camera with a full size lens. Shooting on the street I would much prefer my Sony Alpha 77 with a small 16-80/3.5-4.5 than shooting with the Alpha 900 and it's big and heavy 24-70/2.8. Image quality is pretty close between the two.

When shooting landscape and similar on tripod I would normally use the Sony Alpha 900.

If we return to Nikon, the only full frame Nikon I ever would consider is the D800, in my view the "flagship" D4 is clearly an inferior camera as it has half the resolution. Would I need high frame rate and a camera that can be bumped around, it would be a different thing. But for a landscape shooter using tripod I have little doubt that the Nikon is the king of the hill.

I did consider switching from Sony to Nikon when the D800 arrived, but I did not. Could be smarter to have done that.

Best regards
Erik


Oh Erik, I am fully aware that the resolution of the D4 is not like the D800. It's just that one must have several conditions met in order to practically bring out those differences. Low ISO, open lens of high quality, perfect image match, stability/tripod etc. Of note, if you go to senseorgen the DR of the D800 is better at lower ISO's but after about 400-800 the D4 begins to show it's stuff. And for me, a person who takes a great number of natural light photos it always seemed that I needed more shutter speed (or aperture). So in my particular instance, the D4 made sense. The Qe of the D4 is simply unmatched by anything by a far margin as is the high ISO DR. Coupled with a very accurate AF system, several very high quality lenses, it just "gets the photo" that I tend to take like nothing else I've handled. Agree that the A77 and a DX lens is a smaller package for the street, but that equipment surely doesn't maximize the resolution and your street-shooting better not be in low light. An OM-D would give you similar results in an even more compact package one might think.

I do think I will get a D800E body at some point, but I'll rent one first to see if I really would benefit from the greater resolution. I assume, but may not be correct, that the AF of the D800 is just as good. It really is rare to find an OOF pic with this thing,. The auto ISO in concert with the Modes makes for some very sharp pics indeed in situations where failures have happened in the past. Who here has one body anyway?

As far as DOF, I'm kind of "meh" on that issue since sometimes one wants more or less of that. One of those 'never happy" in all circumstances issue and again, the greater light-gathering capabilities and smack-on AF make the Please Save Me mode unnecessary.

Sony and Nikon are both great however. Just where you are most comfortable I guess.
Logged
grzybu
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 45


« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2012, 04:33:51 AM »
ReplyReply

While I like to look trough OVF in my old SLR I prefer EVF because it shows me better interpolation of captured image.
I don't need OFV to see natural colors, shadows and DR of the scene. I just need to open left eye Wink
I'm using viewfinder to frame the scene and set exposure and EVF is better for this case than OVF.
And of course it's easier to set focus with EVF then with modern OFV.
Another great thing about EVF is that I can review photo without taking camera off my face. It works great on the street because people usually think you are still waiting for proper moment to take a photo Wink
EVF technology still has a lot of room for improvements, especially in DR. Resolution quite good already and when it hits 2M of real pixels (1600x1200) it will be enough.
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7234


WWW
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2012, 04:37:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

My point is simply that there is no best equipment and top of the line doesn't mean stuff is better. Horses for the courses...

If you check DxO-mark in print mode, which is normalized.for print size, you see that the high ISO advantage of the D4 is virtually nil. The D800 has the same AF as the D4. I have seen some presentations by Tim Parkin and Hubert Nesse of Zeiss, indicating that more pixels are good even with lesser lenses or stopped down to f/22.

In the long telephoto category a small pixel pitch APS-C camera would have advantages. I did consider switching to Nikon, and at that time I woud have bought a D800 and a D7000. I would also bought the 16-85/xxx VR for the D7000.

But I never would considered D4. Would I shoot sports or concerts, it may be a different thing.


Best regards
Erik

Oh Erik, I am fully aware that the resolution of the D4 is not like the D800. It's just that one must have several conditions met in order to practically bring out those differences. Low ISO, open lens of high quality, perfect image match, stability/tripod etc. Of note, if you go to senseorgen the DR of the D800 is better at lower ISO's but after about 400-800 the D4 begins to show it's stuff. And for me, a person who takes a great number of natural light photos it always seemed that I needed more shutter speed (or aperture). So in my particular instance, the D4 made sense. The Qe of the D4 is simply unmatched by anything by a far margin as is the high ISO DR. Coupled with a very accurate AF system, several very high quality lenses, it just "gets the photo" that I tend to take like nothing else I've handled. Agree that the A77 and a DX lens is a smaller package for the street, but that equipment surely doesn't maximize the resolution and your street-shooting better not be in low light. An OM-D would give you similar results in an even more compact package one might think.

I do think I will get a D800E body at some point, but I'll rent one first to see if I really would benefit from the greater resolution. I assume, but may not be correct, that the AF of the D800 is just as good. It really is rare to find an OOF pic with this thing,. The auto ISO in concert with the Modes makes for some very sharp pics indeed in situations where failures have happened in the past. Who here has one body anyway?

As far as DOF, I'm kind of "meh" on that issue since sometimes one wants more or less of that. One of those 'never happy" in all circumstances issue and again, the greater light-gathering capabilities and smack-on AF make the Please Save Me mode unnecessary.

Sony and Nikon are both great however. Just where you are most comfortable I guess.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 06:15:44 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

allegretto
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 370


« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2012, 07:39:57 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

My point is simply that there is no best equipment and top of the line doesn't mean stuff is better. Horses for the courses...

If you check DxO-mark in print mode, which is normalized.for print size, you see that the high ISO advantage of the D4 is virtually nil. The D800 has the same AF as the D4. I have seen some presentations by Tim Parkin and Hubert Nesse of Zeiss, indicating that more pixels are good even with lesser lenses or stopped down to f/22.

In the long telephoto category a small pixel pitch APS-C camera would have advantages. I did consider switching to Nikon, and at that time I woud have bought a D800 and a D7000. I would also bought the 16-85/xxx VR for the D7000.

But I never would considered D4. Would I shoot sports or concerts, it may be a different thing.


Best regards
Erik


As usual, no arguing with your logic. Just that the ability to get a picture without the hassle of flash in places where "you just can't get a picture" is amazing with this beast. You have to use it to believe it. I also have a Fuji XPro-1 for many other situations. I realize that it too has limitations, but again, takes magnificent pictures in less demanding situations. The D4 is no Swiss Army knife after all...

When I'm on a mountain top clicking eagle's nests maybe I'll carry something different. Indoors with moving objects I've just never had a machine like this, and produce good IQ and color! It's quite the light bucket. Want more DOF, well I have a few f-stops in my pocket with that kind of ISO performance. May not matter in a print with reasonable light, but low light...?

Cheers
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 08:47:06 AM by allegretto » Logged
Isaac
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2653


« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2012, 02:16:37 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
The 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors is complemented by a multi-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor with 102 AF points that overlays the image sensor.

Does it seem plausible that Sony can make the new "focal plane phase-detection AF sensor" work well enough; that the older AF system, along with the "Translucent Mirror Technology" that directs light to the older AF sensors, become obsolete?
Logged
peterottaway
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 57


« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2012, 07:31:21 PM »
ReplyReply

If I am reading the information put out correctly then the two PDAF systems compliment each other. The on sensor 102 points get you to the approximate focus and them the standard PDAF system which relies on the SLT mirror finishes off the focusing. The on sensor focusing would also require extra computing power.

So given the current level of development it would seem that the SLT will be required for some time.
Logged
viewfinder
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 80


« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2012, 05:45:04 AM »
ReplyReply

Fascinating thread........

The mystery to me is;.....why do you need the bulk/expense of any mirror when you have already decided on a EVF...?

Is it not the case that Sony missed a great opportunity to fill/build a unique market slot by designing A99 as a 'FF NEX' with adaptor to take Sony SLR lenses and by other adaptors, ANY lenses....   Micheal actually also touches upon somethign similar in his summing up paragraphs.

As things stand the A99 looks like a photographic 'Bristol Brabazon',......Beautifully designed, ahead of it's time, very sophisticated,...and obsolete even as it takes off!!
Logged
aaykay
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 359


« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2012, 04:52:42 AM »
ReplyReply

I believe Sony should have introduced a kick-ass FF NEX (a version with 36MP and another with 24MP), with a few key FF NEX lenses (an all-purpose 24-120 2.8-4.5 type zoom which should be small enough for a NEX lens, a 50, 35 and 85) and an adapter for the rest of the A-mount Alpha lenses.  Of course the aftermarket would take care of adapters for the rest of the universe of lenses ever made, independent of manufacturer.

The camera would sell like hot-cakes, IMHO.

I agree with Michael's views on the A99.  I am not going to add an A99 to supplement my A900.....a 36MP sensor might have been a bit more persuasive.  A FF NEX with 36MP would have me placing a pre-order, even prior to its release !
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 04:54:42 AM by aaykay » Logged
aaykay
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 359


« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2012, 04:59:12 AM »
ReplyReply

Now, going by the size of the Sony A-mount 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5 lens (very small and light !), I am sure if they designed a E-mount NEX 24-120mm f/2.8-4.5 lens, it would be one that is smaller than the A-mount equivalent, and would allow the camera/lens to be portable and light and also take care of most everyday shooting needs.

Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5120


« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2012, 01:38:53 PM »
ReplyReply

I believe Sony should have introduced a kick-ass FF NEX (a version with 36MP and another with 24MP), with a few key FF NEX lenses ...
I suspect that the mount would have to be different from the E- mount of tue NEX system, with a wider diameter to accomodate the 42.5mm diameter of the image circle needed for 36x24mm format. The position of the electrical contacts of the E-mount force it to have an opening of only about 39mm diameter, located 12mm from the focal plane. Though I am not completely certain, it looks to me that this would cause some vignetting of light resching the corners of the frame when using low f-stops, which involves light coming to each point of the sensor in a wide cone, not a single ray.

Not a huge problem: the only difference is that to use the new lenses for the larger format on a smaller format NEX camera would require an adaptor. Since using larger format lenses on a smaller format is not optimal anyway (due to factors like worse flare control), such compatability should not be a major factor in the designs of a "super-sized NEX system".

P. S. is there any actual evidence that the in-sensor PDAF in in anyway inferior to that traditional system, or that this is an inherent disadvantage? Could it be that Sony has simply decided to use them in complementary ways, like having more PDAF sensors in the main sensor itself, but the most sensitive ones for low light in the traditional AF sensor?
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7234


WWW
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2012, 01:56:24 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

My understanding is that Sony has a full frame NEX already, but it is a video camera. Uses the same sensor as the Alpha 99.

Best regards
Erik

I believe Sony should have introduced a kick-ass FF NEX (a version with 36MP and another with 24MP), with a few key FF NEX lenses (an all-purpose 24-120 2.8-4.5 type zoom which should be small enough for a NEX lens, a 50, 35 and 85) and an adapter for the rest of the A-mount Alpha lenses.  Of course the aftermarket would take care of adapters for the rest of the universe of lenses ever made, independent of manufacturer.

The camera would sell like hot-cakes, IMHO.

I agree with Michael's views on the A99.  I am not going to add an A99 to supplement my A900.....a 36MP sensor might have been a bit more persuasive.  A FF NEX with 36MP would have me placing a pre-order, even prior to its release !
Logged

ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7234


WWW
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2012, 02:03:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I did put an order on the Alpha 99 after reading Michaels review.

Here are the reasons:

1) The A900 lacks live view. I need it for focusing.
2) Plan to acquire a 24/3.5 TS lens from Samyang. Need Live View with TS-lenses.
3) Better noise performance comes handy.
4) I can live with an electronic VF. Use it on my Alpha 77 all the time.

On the other hand:

1) I would preferred 36 or 54 MP.
2) Improved EVF over Alpha 77 would have been nice.
3) Improved video quality would be nice.

Best regards
Erik
Logged

BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5120


« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2012, 03:25:09 PM »
ReplyReply

My understanding is that Sony has a full frame NEX already, but it is a video camera. Uses the same sensor as the Alpha 99.
Yes, the NEX-F900: see the press release at DPReview. But with E-mount (NEX) lenses, it crops to the NEX format:
Quote
As an extra refinement, the NEX-VG900 camcorder switches automatically from full-frame operation to APS-C mode when an E-mount or A-mount DT lens is attached.
and Sony has explained that current E-mount lenses do not cover the full 35mm frame.

More details from  David Kilpatrick at www.photoclubalpha.com in the link provided by peterv:
Sony Alpha authority David Kilpatrick wrote about this:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2012/08/19/should-nex-go-full-frame/
Logged
Pages: « 1 [2]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad