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A700+Sigma 24-70 or A850
A700+Sigma 24-70, makes more sense you donkey 73%  73%  [ 8 ]
A850 for my money, even though I won't make rent this month :D 27%  27%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 11
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:42 am 
Firstly, I have absolutely no need for full-frame! Just wanted to clear the air and let everyone know that this is a frivolous post dripping with self indulgence and indecisive actions :D ... walk away now if this doesn't sound like something you'd like to read :D

Right, as it turns out, an A700+Sigma 24-70 is roughly the same price as an A850 (according to the Sony Style store). So I think to myself, why not get the A850 instead, and buy a lens a couple months later? The A850 far exceeds my needs, and although I am doing photography for money, I really can't justify buying it. I am currently doing a lot of printing, and most of my prints are 12x12 and look just fine coming from my A300, so I really don't need 24mp (does anyone really need that?).

I hope it would be more reliable and last longer, and that it can stand up to more abuse...but frankly, the A700 has a long standing reputation of being extremely reliable (who knows, maybe thats why the A850 is so cheap, dodgy workmanship...hmmm?), so thats not even an issue.

I can't imagine 1 single area in which the A850 would help me improve, as opposed to the A700. However, the A700 and a good lens would probably make more sense since my current lens collection is too embarrassing to mention in public :D.

The A850 might hold its resale value pretty well though, so from a value point of view, its probably better than the A700...but thats probably the only advantage :D

But, maybe I am overlooking something. Maybe my gut instincts know something I dont? Maybe one of you guys know something I dont? Maybe I'm an *** :D!

So, what will it be, A850 or A700+lens? I can pretty much guess the outcome, but, being democratic :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:30 am 
If portraiture is your goal, I'd stick with the A700, there is no need for a full frame for portraits. With the A850, you'll also have to spend more on lens because you will have to be pickier. If wide angle photography is a big part of your work, then the full frame may be a great investment, less distortion, easier framing, etc.

Dont expect the initial investment of the FX Camera to be the only added cost, you'll have to spend more to get as telephoto, and you'll also have to spend more on nicer lens that have good border performance.

Anyway, hope that indulged your frivolous indecisiveness, lol I feel like that a lot too...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:36 am 
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With α850, there's no built-in flash. Although the built-in flash is not the best idea, it certainly helps on filling-in some light in certain situations, and best of all, it can be used as wireless flash trigger for other Sony flashes.

Therefore, if you are getting the α850 and you want to use flash off camera, you should consider getting the Sony Off Camera Cable for Flash (FA-CC1AM) or the new HVL-F20AM as a trigger.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:27 am 
Yes, going full-frame has a big overhead, even if the body itself is "cheap".

But, as I mentioned some time ago, I don't intend to buy anymore DT lenses as I don't believe that their is much long term prospects for the APS-C format. Personally, I give it 3 more years before we start seeing seriously cheap FF camera bodies (sub 1000.00), and at that point APS-C might be shifting to more compact like bodies, such as the EP-1 and the GF-1.

I found this article sometime ago, and its been a very interesting read, and outlines the pros and cons of FF sensors http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2008/10/16/do-you-really-need-an-alpha-900/. Basically:

- FF is usually heavier and bigger.
- Have shallower DOF.
- Focal length on the telephoto end is expensive.
- No flash.
- Monstrous file sizes which require plenty storage space and computing power.

Basically, full frame is a whole new ball game. Things not looking good for the A850, but just like a relationship that will only end in tears, I can't help myself :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Since the Camera will be your primary tool and also assuming that being a professional photographer is a competitive business. How much stock does a prospective client put in the tools of the trade, and will your competition sell their services based on having the latest and better equipment.
Assuming that all photographers’ work is of similar quality, what is your selling edge: price, personality, better quality shots or both.

Client’s may not be interested in someone’s explanation of “why” a 12.3 MP camera produces similar results in a studio atmosphere to a New Full Frame 24MP one, and just want the “perceived” best.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:23 pm 
You don't look down on a builder who uses "Challenge" instead of "Black and Decker", so why would a client be unhappy if you didn't use the latest and greatest so long as you were able to fulfil their requirements?

More expensive gear = higher cost = higher fees. If they're that picky about the gear you're using rather than the results you produce, I would try explaining this to them. Otherwise, I'd look for other customers. Getting into a bargaining match over a trivial issue like this is not good for business.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:39 pm 
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pgtips wrote:
You don't look down on a builder who uses "Challenge" instead of "Black and Decker", so why would a client be unhappy if you didn't use the latest and greatest so long as you were able to fulfil their requirements?


Being self-employed is about “marketing” yourself and using every edge over your competition. You can bet that if the other guy has a FF 24MP camera and you don’t, this will be a deciding issue.
Living on a small island like “primitive” you can’t afford to loose business because your clients don’t understand the “technical” aspects of image IQ.
You can bet that the vast majority of people would choose 24MP over 12MP everytime.
Most people will choose a Bentley over a Mercedes, although the ride is the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:14 pm 
Get the a700+lens... Rent the A850/900 when needed to show off the megapixel count :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:25 pm 
Why not get the A900? I mean here in the UK its either the same as or cheaper than the price of the A850, at least for the time being.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:55 pm 
Wow, almost 50/50 ... Never thought about marketing "gear", but I can certainly see the argument for it...

Just looking around, I realize the most successful commercial photographers tend to be the ones who do something that no one else is capable of doing (Del Sol [trash the dress], Yervant [beautiful magazine style albums, etc.) at the time, or willing to do. Something that makes you stand out. A new hotel opened the other day, and they had huge printed copies of various fine art pieces from local painters...some are about 6ft x 12ft. Coincidentally, this hotel is becoming increasingly popular for weddings...how cool would it be to print a few pictures (most likely one) of that size, of the couple to help in the decoration? Might sound a bit much, but it would certainly make an impression on guests, and I can definitely see at least one person a year wanting this. Granted, I dont think thats a niche I want to try :D , but that was just an idea off the top of my head, so I guess having the resolution won't hurt ... but as pqtips said, not many people would care much about this, but I guess if you do something like this twice a year, you will get noticed, especially in a small place such as this.

I guess if your gonna spring $2000.00 on a body you best find a way to make it work for you!

As for renting, I wish they had that here :D, and the A900 seems a bit more expensive than the A850 on Amazon!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:23 am 
In my limited experience, buying a great lens instead of buying a feature packed body will get you much more for your money. As long as you have the basics- (good high ISO etc) an upgrade to the camera body won't get you as far. Though I understand it's hard to overcome GAS (gear aquirement syndrome) sometimes.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:47 am 
Yes, GAS is a killer...and in some cases, is silent and deadly :lol: !

But, more seriously, I don't think I'm lusting too much for a new toy. I think the A700 or the A850 have enough to keep me happy...and I do need a second body, at the very least for redundancy.

This decision may actually get made for me, i.e. I might not have a choice:

- A friend traveling to the US will be purchasing the gear for me (He's heading to Houston). The only place I know that has Sony camera gear, is Sony Style in Galleria, and they don't sell Sigma lenses, as far as I know.

- I'm concerned about asking him to go out of his way to find a sigma lens, which may not be that easy (unless someone can recommend a good place).

- If he does find a place, he might get the wrong lens, either incorrect model number, or worse, wrong lens mount (he's not a photographer by anymeans, and sales people are notorious for trying to sell tourists crap, fully well knowing that they can't return it)! This is a real possibility and this is usually why I buy complex things, such as lenses online. A camera body is much easier to buy.

- The Sony Style store is disappointingly, not very good. They usually don't have gear around, and it wouldn't be surprising if the A850 is "sold out" by then...and I also believe the A700 is off the shelves at Sony.

So basically, I need a recommendation for a quality camera store in Houston, that will sell Sony gear. And based on that, decide what's easier for him to buy.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:07 am 
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pgtips wrote:
I'd look for other customers.


I would be happy with 1:) But seriously, unless you have clients knocking down your door for you to photograph them, bad advice to turn them away.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:11 am 
DP-PARIS wrote:
pgtips wrote:
I'd look for other customers.


I would be happy with 1:) But seriously, unless you have clients knocking down your door for you to photograph them, bad advice to turn them away.


I wouldn't normally, but if they're being irate about the camera gear I use and demanding D3X quality for 5x7, 8x12 prints then I'm afraid I can't accomodate them. Such customers will never be happy and it's best to cut your losses early and get outta there. That's my opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:14 am 
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Fair enough. I would take a little time and explain to them why they are wrong. The only people likely to ask for it, would be amateurs anyway. your average Joe would be happy with any camera that looked large:)

Just show them some pics. If they are good enough, you will win the argument.


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