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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:38 am 
I wish I had money to get the gear I "wanted" :D , probably everyone wishes that.

Photography is an immersive discipline, and can influence many facets of your life. From how you interact with others to how you work and how you spend your leisure time.

I don't think it's wrong to want to upgrade just for upgrade sake and being a gear wonk doesn't necessarily mean that you don't understand the relationship and roles of the photographer and the camera (although many people online are quick to suggest this without knowing anything about you). However, I do think some people do become disillusioned with photography and think the latest gear will improve their photos ... but usually, these people figure out that this isn't the way it works and the only sure fire way is to go out and take pictures, do a lot of reading, and study the work of others.

But, I must confess, nothing in life is ever black and white, and no camera is perfect, which is why Canon, Nikon, Sony and whoever makes DSLR's will probably remain competitive for a long time, simple because incremental changes can have tangible impact and photographers feel compelled to upgrade . i.e. image stabilization and auto focus are fairly recent (relative to the long history of photography) developments, and very few people would argue against the fact that you would/could take better pictures more easily.

So, in the end, I guess its up to the photographer to understand his motives and figure out what problem he's trying to address, if any:

- Am I just gear lusting, or do I actually need feature X?
- Is it the camera that's holding me back, or is it an issue of skill and knowledge?

There is nothing wrong with owning and using a 6MP, or even a 1MP camera everyday, to awesome effect...simply because in the end, MP count doesn't affect composition, lighting, exposure and all the other things that make a photo beautiful to look at.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:01 am 
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Tests in the German photo-mag Colorfoto (ed. 10/2009) revealed not surprisingly that the IQ of the A850 is almost identical to the A900.
That means ultra high resolution at low ISOs (higher than D3x!) but still a problem with noise from 400 ISO on although loss of fine texture details and resolution is indicative of noise reduction kicking in.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:49 pm 
That would make it a really kick @$$ landscape and studio camera.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:01 pm 
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Here are the figures from the lens-test* in the same magazine:
Highest res on
- D3x: 1816 LP/PH
- A900/850: 2138 LP/PH
- 5DII: 1773 LP/PH
Two interesting observations:
- The D3x cannot pull away from the 5DII although the sensor has a 7% higher linear resolution and it is said to have a weak AA-filter.**
The Sony is almost 20% (!) ahead of both competitors at 100 ISO.
-----
*I took the liberty to choose the highest res measured from a wealth of zoom-lenses testes with each body, some from the original manufacturer and some third-party.
**Comparing Photozone results, the D3x best resolution pulls away 8% of the 5DII's best resolution. But still taking this into account, the A900/850 resolves >10% more than the D3x at base-ISO.
In Gordon's reviews the D3x had around 10% higher max-res than the 5DII, which in turn had 5% higher res than the A900. The first result falling more in line with expectations, the last one coming as a bit of a surprise.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:15 pm 
hey all,
I found this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4bKNSgoquE


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Finally, there's some price movement at a UK big name dealer. Park Cameras now have the A850 at £1639. However you can still get the A900 for £1680 at Jacobs. Doesn't seem any of the other big names have moved yet.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:07 pm 
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That was a very intersting video! Thanks for sharing!

Seeing the 16mm on full frame is sooo tempting... :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:58 am 
The price is still too high, given that the A900 costs roughly the same now.

As for the video, you can tell he's really trying to sell the camera :D. "There's nothing wrong with your photographs that a new full frame camera will not fix". That's what camera manufacturers say, not what the majority of photographers say. There's other stuff that he makes a big deal about, but should have been marked with disclaimers. Sure you can use your 16mm as a wide angle fisheye on FF, but then you can get 10mm lenses for APS-C so the advantage is moot. Sure, the A850 has weather sealing but if you don't have a weather sealed lens (the Zeiss lenses aren't, AFAIK) you're still vulnerable to the elements.

The A850 is looking like an attractive camera, but that dude in the video sounded too much like a salesman.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:49 am 
pgtips, to be fair, he never did call the video a review or anything similar. It seems more like a reflection of his enthusiasm for the camera and everything he's said is true if not unique or special.

I don't understand what the big deal about Zeiss lenses is. To my eyes, there is no IQ advantage between the Zeiss lenses and equivalent Zuiko, Nikkor or Canon lenses and Sony's own midrange/pro lenses are very good and the jump to Zeiss doesn't seem as magical as the glamous surrounding the name suggests. The IQ doesn't seem to be as special as it is for "real" Zeiss lenses, as in the ones that go on the rangefinders or even their manual focus EF and F-mount and m42 lenses.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:56 am 
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Graham, while I'm not familiar with Nikon lenses, I have debated the Canon and Sony/Zeiss lenses for when I do go full frame. I kinda agree at least on the tele-primes there's probably not much in it, although they don't have direct equivalents there, requiring a bit of extrapolation on value.

But the Sony/Zeiss 24-70 is easily superior to the Canon model. Canon suffer in part that a lot of their lens line up is ancient. Technology and design has moved on and a lot of lenses could do with a refresh for the modern age. This also applies to many Sony lenses which are pretty much copies of Minolta ones. As an example look at the newer Sigma designs released over the last couple of years for what today's technology can bring (now if they can just work on their build quality...)

On the other Zeiss lenses, you can't really compare rangefinder ones as they're a totally different design compared to DSLR lenses. The Canikon mount versions, from what little is known about them as they don't seem common, in general don't get very glowing reviews based on their value.

So overall, you have to put aside the marketing. They still follow the same laws of physics as the rest of the world. At the end of the day, they are providing an appropriate level of quality for the price on Sony mount.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:56 pm 
+1 with popo, My intention of the video was to show some new stuff about the 850... he's doing a good job to convincing amateurs like myself. I still got to learn to shoot better and work my PS. I tried a Zeiss lens and a regular sony lens (same type)... I can tell the difference, it's not huge, but the corners are better, and the sharpness is better. If I had to get a new camera today, I would get a used A900 and 2 zeiss lens. The price difference is still too close IMO.

I could use some help with this photo, please gimme some comments. Lay it on me, I can take it. http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17811


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Can I just join in and say that someone who knows quite a bit about the business (no, that's not me, even though I know a thing or two) said the Sony 300mm G WAY outperforms the Canon 300mm L. Of course, the price difference is still to big, but it shows Graham's not necessarily right.

Popo already mentioned the Zeiss 24-70mm vs. Canon equivalent. Nikon's 24-70mm has quite a bit of trouble with it's focussing. If you shoot a wall, and the center is supersharp, the corners lack clarity because of a fault in lens design (called field curvature). I must admit I haven't tried the lens myself, got the info from the Photozone review if I remember correctly, could have been another review too, but either way: it shows that Zeiss does indeed add something to the market.

The video seems a whole lot like an advertisement, but it's clearly a guy who is just excited about his gear and wants to share his experiences with viewers. I could have made a similar video.

EDIT: Here's the link to the photozone.de review I referred to:
click

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:53 pm 
lowliferider wrote:
I could use some help with this photo, please gimme some comments. Lay it on me, I can take it. http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17811


Well, for one thing full frame isn't going to make your photos become amazing. ;)

Bjorn, I wouldn't pay much attention to the Photozone review complaining about field curvature. The reason being that all lenses exhibit this and it's why the corners tend to be softer than the centre, especially at large apertures. No lens has a totally flat focal plane, so it's a bit silly to mention that as if it's a huge problem when talking about certain lenses.

Compare the Photozone tests of the Zeiss 24-70 and the previously mentioned Nikon 24-70 and you'll see that the two lenses are practically identical in performance. The slight differences can be put down to the different resolution of the sensors used, a 10 MP D200 is going to resolve less than a 12 MP A700.

I think we're starting to drift off topic now :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:33 am 
popo,

I completely agree with you there. There is nothing wrong with the CZ lenses, my confusion is to do with the community rather than the product itself. There seems to be lot of hype around the fact that it's a Zeiss lens when in actual fact, it's just a normal lens, good at what it does, but nothing special.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:33 am 
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I think Sony, Nikon and Canon have all great, good and so-so lenses in their portfolio. Unfortunately the days where the big three use the same lens-mount, the same mirror-box size, and the same electronic body-lens interface will never come. Thus you have to make up with the specific lens-profile of one manufacturer with some third party lenses thrown in for good (or not so good) measure :?
This might become one of the strongest points for the four-thirds standard one day :idea:

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