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 Post subject: Quick update on the A77
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Just a quick update on the A77, from a very reliable source:

The A77, featuring Sony's translucent technology*, will be announced in July and hit the shelves a month later. It should have 24 megapixels (on APS-C), which shouldn't have any bad effects on high ISO performance.


*not too big a fan of the EVF either, but really, the A55 is fast! Wow!

- Bjorn -

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:25 pm 
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This should be one to watch! If they overcome the flaws and limitations of the A55, this has potential to be the ultimate APS-C body for moving targets.

Now I'll just sit back and wait for the obligatory comments about 24MP to come along... :D

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:38 pm 
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I withhold judgment until it's real and tested. Some things sound interesting, some are scary and unknown. Indeed the EVF had better be amazing to satisfy OVF folks. The battery better last as long as a DSLR with an OVF. There better be no ghosting issues and no ISO impact from the light loss. The mirror should have a lockup function to move it out of the way to shoot for long exposure and night work. There cannot be any chance of overheating, at all, under any still shooting scenarios, in any climate. IQ needs to be competitive with Nikon D7000 at least, for the price level. Do all that, for $1200 or under, with a body that has A700-like controls and build...and it could well be a huge winner. Miss on any of those things, and many an A700 owner, as well as folks like me who want to see a usable upgrade path from our current OVF bodies, will be disappointed.

Let's hope they get it right.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:59 am 
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Hi Justin, I think you will be disappointed with that list of requirements and expectations.

The battery life will almost certainly not be as long as an OVF DSLR because the sensor is effectively always on, as are either the screen or EVF. I also suspect there will not be a mirror lockup feature for exposures - only for cleaning. There will also of course be a light loss due to the mirror, so the camera cannot be as sensitive as one using the same sensor and a traditional flip-up mirror.

Sony is betting on the benefits of the semi-reflective technology to sell new bodies

But I could of course be wrong!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:12 am 
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I Actually have some hopes on the mirror being capable of optionally being flipped up for night shots or long exposures - with a larger body, there shouldn't be the same clearance issues that the A33/55 suffer. But then again, they might honestly just not care/worry about it. High ISO of course can just be made so good and so efficient that the 1/3 loss of light, and resultant gain-up, will still allow as good-or-better performance as current APS-C high end stuff. The EVF is a worry - as is the battery life - I don't think it needs to equal the very best of class up at 1,200 shots plus...but do feel like it needs to put a target around 900 shots CIPA. And the larger body might solve the overheating issues the A33/55 suffer from.

On the outside, I'm still hoping this turns out to not be the case, and OVFs will live on in some form with Sony. But I just remain somewhat open to the idea. EVFs as they exist now simply don't work for my shooting - but whether a future version will, I cannot yet say.

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Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:39 am 
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One thing I forgot to post before: the lens Sony will announce with this camera is a Zeiss 16-50mm f/2.8. Not sure whether that will hit the shelves just as early, we'll have to wait and see.

EDIT: Same source, same reliability. Almost directly from high Sony staff.

- Bjorn -

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Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:09 am 
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If that's from your previous source, I look forward to seeing that lens happen. At this rate I might even switch back to Sony from Canon :lol: After all, I left mainly as I got bored of waiting for the A700 replacement and this is it!

I think Sony is making the right strategic move here in fighting CaNikon. If they offer the same as CaNikon, I don't think they will be able to progress significantly. If you do something different, and do it well, that can really change things.

So looking at the weaknesses of the A55, what would they need to do to keep me really interested in the A77? In order of priority (highest first):

1 - exceed tracking AF performance of similarly priced SLR cameras.
2 - deliver a continuous live feed in continuous shooting.
3 - elimination of mirror ghosting issue, otherwise the option to flip mirror.
4 - "big picture" sensor performance competitive - this one is a non-issue really. Pixel peepers can whine if they want.
5 - no overheating issues when used with still photography - probably a non-issue anyway as the overheating in the A55 was in video mode only wasn't it?

The AF needs to be noticeably better than what's around now to offer the additional value. Following that, the viewfinder image needs to keep up with it!

The rest are comparatively minor. I'd rather not have to worry if any specific case will be subject to the mirror ghosting issue, but it isn't of deal breaking magnitude in itself.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:07 pm 
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zackiedawg wrote:
EVFs as they exist now simply don't work for my shooting - but whether a future version will, I cannot yet say.

Same here.

For higher end cameras, they will have to resort to EVFs and translucent technology...because of Sony's unique Quick AF implementation of live view. Live view, which everyone now considers one of the must-have features on a DSLR, won't work if implemented like Sony has done in the past. There just isn't enough space near the VF to put another sensor-thingy up there, I've been told. So it's impossible to implement it on cameras with a large pentaprism like the A700, A850 and A900.

Still hoping for less MP...I'm a bit worried that such a high pixel density might give problems regarding diffraction. As I often use relatively slow shutter speeds (1/160-1/250) in broad daylight, even at ISO 100 I can't but use small apertures (up to f/14 I can get a decent picture...any smaller apertures give soft pictures), so I'd rather have a 16 MP sensor than a 24 MP one.

As far as the lens is concerned, for my applications it would be far too wide and I think I'd better invest in the E-mount 'G' lens coming next year...that said I still lust for the Carl Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8 :roll:. I'm still tempted to call my dealer and just order it, despite its insane price (then again it's not that expensive...the 300/2.8 league of lenses is *cough* a tad more expensive).

P.S.: Bjorn, shouldn't you strongly consider coming back to Sony 8) ? Is this from the source I think it is ;) ?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:07 pm 
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EVFs are certainly getting better all the time, but for me, there are still several key downsides:

1: Rainbow tearing with fast pans or even glancing across the frame.

2: Noisy image with slow update in dark conditions makes them a pain for astro-photography or even just general low-light work.

3: Not so much an issue with EVFs, but electronic composition as a whole: the inability to deliver a live feed between frames during fast bursts is a current deal breaker for capturing fast or unpredictable action. Sony may offer fast shooting and continuous AF, but it's of limited use if you can't see where your subject is going. I hope quicker electronics in the future will solve this issue as they can currently show a live image when shooting at slower speeds.

Another issue I discussed at length in my A33 review was the assumption that phase-change AF is perfect. As we all know, this is not the case, as the entire system, including lenses need to be perfectly calibrated. The problem with the A33 / A55 is the live view composition lulls you into a false sense of security, with the belief the AF will be fine because you're looking at it on the screen or EVF.

But I discovered many occassions when the AF was slightly off. The real problem is the A33 and A55 offer no means to correct for it. No AF micro-adjustment, nor contrast-based AF to fall back on. This needs to be resolved for the next generation of products.

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Interesting observation, since the a55 has been tauted by most mainstream magazines as a breakthrough and even the "Camera of the Year", the other manufacturers must have been producing mediocre or marginal product at best last year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:14 pm 
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Popo, actually the overheating issue occurred in still shooting too - just not as often. It requires a few things in combination to prompt it - fairly frequent shutter use, or burst use, with steady shot on, and in warmer temperatures. The big problem for me is that probably represents 50% or more of how I shoot - burst mode, SS on, extreme heat and humidity. A friend who has the A55 had his overheat while shooting a stage show at Disney World, using burst mode and SS - it was indoors, temp probably mid-70s. I would have far too much worry on a 100 degree summer day walking around in the wetlands bursting on birds.

I also agree on the live feed during burst as an issue with EVFs - so far, they can't do it, and the previous-frame display doesn't work too well for me.

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Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:25 pm 
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For ultra-low light use, I find that an OVF and live view are about equally useless on small/faint subjects, but before you get there I'd take a noisy bright image over a faint one.

On a "7" class body, I would hope they put AF micro-adjust in.

The continuous burst display I think should be resolvable by designing it right. The electronics and programming are straight forward enough, providing they consider it early enough in the design. They've certainly been working long enough on the A700 replacement!

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Have you seen Sony's A5xx series' main-sensor live view mode? Often it's said that this is simply the main-sensor type live view that all the other manufacturers use, and Sony added it on the A5xx series alongside quick-AF live view so they'd cover both bases. However, I've learned that Sony's main sensor live view as implemented in the A5xx series is indeed very different from that on some other DSLRs. I never knew this would be the case until I spent a week at a Disney World photo meet with 20 other photographers...part of that meet was a night shoot around Epcot in which I was co-instructing others on how to deal with focusing DSLRs in low light when AF systems couldn't handle it. One thing I found very useful is the main sensor Live View mode on my A550, as it can allow me to nearly see in pure darkness, crystal clear, with 14x zoom capability for exact focus. However, while making this suggestion, I was rather surprised when the other photogs were engaging their live view modes on their Nikon & Canon DSLRs, and not a one of them could see a thing on their LCD screen...pure blackness, graininess, low fidelity, etc. I do not honestly know the tech behind it, but what I get with main sensor live view in extreme low light is a superbly bright, crystal clear image as if someone turned on some spotlights. There's no graininess, and detail is crisp and superb. It is at least 10x brighter and clearer than using Sony's quick AF live view mode, which actually resembled everyone else's DSLR. I have also tried this with NEX cameras (which are essentially full-time live view main sensor), and also next to an A55 - and neither could match the brightness and clarity of the A550 when using main sensor live view at night.

Just pointing that out if you've never seen it before - it's something else, and almost shocking how well you can see in low light in that mode, and strangely I've not seen any other DSLR or mirrorless cam that looks anything like it (unless they have a mode or setting that would enable them to imitate this feat - but they didn't know where it was, nor did I as I don't know Canon & Nikon's menu and settings options in Live View).

I definitely hope any A7x or A7xx series camera has this same main-sensor live view functionality as in the A550 - it's effin brilliant for manual focus in low light, far better than optical viewfinders or EVFs to date.

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Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:43 pm 
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i sure hope that zeiss 16-50 is full-frame compatible... a.k.a. not a DT lens

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:51 pm 
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Justin, I never looked into it in much detail, but I'd guess the live view thing is due to different effective shutter/aperture/ISO settings which might not be the same as set on camera. e.g. use a longer effective exposure in live view, or possibly even image stacking, both of those could help at the possible cost of reduced responsiveness or motion blur.

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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
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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