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a65 and a77

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Old Monday 29th August 2011, 09:49   #1
Wildmoreway
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a65 and a77

both have 24 MP sensors and some impressive specs

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/so...-cameras-17248
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Old Monday 29th August 2011, 11:26   #2
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I'm a fan of densely-packed sensors, and I'm in no doubt whatsoever that - properly implemented - more pixels can mean not only no noise penalty but a noise advantage. I see the truth of this every day with my 7D.

I mention this to show that I'm predisposed to a positive opinion of the sensor in these cameras - I'm not going to bash just because it's a Sony.

So with that said: I'm not at all impressed.

From the site linked to on the Ephotozine page, this is a 200 ISO example, and at full res (yes, pixel-peeping) it's very noisy indeed.

I don't habla Español so I don't know if this is because it's a pre-prod body (although that rarely matters much); or because the RAW converter used doesn't fully support the cameras, but it's not a good start.

I've also downloaded and converted some of the RAWs (Raw Therapee does support the A77), and although at low ISOs the conversions are OK, they're nothing to write home about, really.

The 500 ISO example I converted isn't pretty though. And - crucially - it's not good at the image level: even without pixel-peeping (instead resizing the file to 1000 px longest side), the image looks noisy and lacking in detail. A 1000 px, 500 ISO image should look noise free.

And at high ISO, I've never seen more chroma noise. I maxed out all of the chroma NR tools in Raw Therapee on a 6400 ISO image and still couldn't remove it properly, although luma actually seems fairly well controlled.

Results aren't helped by an apparent tendency of the cameras used in the article to underexpose by quite a lot.

As I say, I'm completely persuaded by the benefits of densely-packed sensors, and I'm not Sony bashing, but I don't think the sensor in the Sonys (which will presumably be the basis for the Nikon D400's sensor) is a good example of the breed, on the basis of what I've seen thus far.
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Old Monday 29th August 2011, 13:21   #3
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what suprised me was the shutter noise Given there is no mirrow to flip up and down it seems very loud to me.
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Old Monday 29th August 2011, 13:22   #4
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http://www.ephotozine.com/article/so...e-photos-17275
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Old Monday 29th August 2011, 14:07   #5
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They're better, SW - but the 500 ISO flower looks smeared and rather heavily NRd.
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Old Monday 29th August 2011, 14:26   #6
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100% crops from the 500 ISO Sony flower and a (400 ISO - close enough) Canon 7D file I had to hand.

The Sony definitely looks heavily NRd.

As I say, this might just be because of pre production issues - I'm not bashing...
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Old Monday 29th August 2011, 20:58   #7
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They haven't blown me away yet either - so far, they don't look like the JPG processing is as good as the A5xx series and their 14MP and 16Mp sensors - and the RAW show more blotchy noise than I've seen from Sony sensors in years. Then again, I do have to agree that two issues still should be considered to be completely fair - indeed, these are all preproduction cameras (so far, all the EXIF points to firmware of .58 or somesuch - haven't seen a firmware 1.0 yet)...and more importantly, Sony RAWs always required careful selection of RAW converter to get the best out of them, and I haven't yet seen any explicit confirmation of support for this new sensor from any of the RAW software makers.

I'd honestly wait to see what official firmware 1.0 and full RAW support from the right RAW converters brings to the table before coming to final conclusions.

I'm not bashing either - I shoot with a Sony A550, and love it - but was definitely a little worried when I saw the preproduction high ISO results. But I'm holding until everything's official to make my conclusions.
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Old Sunday 11th September 2011, 22:35   #8
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i just got this linc sent to me ,it looks very good lots of detail in the feathers.
Rob.
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forestbi...opic79581.html
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Old Tuesday 13th September 2011, 13:32   #9
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Slightly more favourable review from WDC, but with on screen sample pics only 5½" x 3½" just about any photo will look ok

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/new...pressions.html

Burst of 12 frames per second, when in the Continuous Priority AE mode, and with full-time continuous auto focus as you shoot. It can only sustain this for 13 shots at the Raw highest quality jpeg setting.

13 would be enough for me
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Old Tuesday 13th September 2011, 14:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Reeder View Post
I'm a fan of densely-packed sensors, and I'm in no doubt whatsoever that - properly implemented - more pixels can mean not only no noise penalty but a noise advantage. I see the truth of this every day with my 7D.

I mention this to show that I'm predisposed to a positive opinion of the sensor in these cameras - I'm not going to bash just because it's a Sony.

So with that said: I'm not at all impressed.

From the site linked to on the Ephotozine page, this is a 200 ISO example, and at full res (yes, pixel-peeping) it's very noisy indeed.

I don't habla Español so I don't know if this is because it's a pre-prod body (although that rarely matters much); or because the RAW converter used doesn't fully support the cameras, but it's not a good start.

I've also downloaded and converted some of the RAWs (Raw Therapee does support the A77), and although at low ISOs the conversions are OK, they're nothing to write home about, really.

The 500 ISO example I converted isn't pretty though. And - crucially - it's not good at the image level: even without pixel-peeping (instead resizing the file to 1000 px longest side), the image looks noisy and lacking in detail. A 1000 px, 500 ISO image should look noise free.

And at high ISO, I've never seen more chroma noise. I maxed out all of the chroma NR tools in Raw Therapee on a 6400 ISO image and still couldn't remove it properly, although luma actually seems fairly well controlled.

Results aren't helped by an apparent tendency of the cameras used in the article to underexpose by quite a lot.

As I say, I'm completely persuaded by the benefits of densely-packed sensors, and I'm not Sony bashing, but I don't think the sensor in the Sonys (which will presumably be the basis for the Nikon D400's sensor) is a good example of the breed, on the basis of what I've seen thus far.
Keith, as you pointed out to me in a thread on the D400, could the A77's shortcomings be down to a higher megapixel density coupled with less light hitting the sensor due to the need for an EVF?
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Old Tuesday 13th September 2011, 20:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hor Kee View Post
Keith, as you pointed out to me in a thread on the D400, could the A77's shortcomings be down to a higher megapixel density coupled with less light hitting the sensor due to the need for an EVF?
The definitive answer for that will be when shots can be compared from the A77 and the NEX7, which uses the same sensor, but with no mirror assembly at all...the NEX7 will be the purest example of what the sensor itself can produce.
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Old Friday 16th September 2011, 10:46   #12
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There is a short article on the A77 and NEX7 in this week's amateur photographer.
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Old Monday 26th September 2011, 14:28   #13
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Not a cracking shot by any means but this Gull was caught in flight in semi overcast conditions late evening on an SLT a33 camera using a 500 mm minolta mirror lens, quite an easy shot to get on what is suppossed to be the poorest and slowest of the sony SLT viewfinders. It was certrainly no harder getting this shot than it would have been on my a550.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1337271...in/photostream

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Old Monday 26th September 2011, 16:22   #14
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I don't think the SLTs have any issue with the EVF simply watching a flying bird or keeping up with it, nor the focus speed being able to keep up with movement. The only real issue some birders have had with the A33/55 EVF was when firing continuous frames while panning along with a flying bird - during the continuous burst, the EVF displays a flicking slideshow of last-frame-taken, which creates a bit of a delay between the real action of the bird and what you see in the finder. Something slow and predictable like a gull should be fine, but when getting to smaller, more erratic birds, it becomes much more difficult to fire continuously while tracking with the EVF than your A550's OVF. The A77's EVF however appears to be a significant improvement in lag/delay and panning during continuous shooting. How good will be up to when the birders start testing it out in anger.
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Old Wednesday 5th October 2011, 12:20   #15
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flicking slideshow of last-frame-taken, which creates a bit of a delay between the real action of the bird and what you see in the finder.
I don't seem to notice this, I don't have the camera set on "review" though.
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Old Wednesday 5th October 2011, 15:31   #16
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I didn't have a problem with the A55 on larger birds, which were just slow enough to keep up with, and usually track pretty predictably...so the slight frame delay didn't hurt directional tracking. Where my issue came up was trying to track and shoot continuous frames of small sparrows and such - very tiny, fast, and extremely erratic birds that quickly change direction. With my OVF, I can keep firing frames and immediatly detect directional changes...with the A55 EVF, by the time the bird in the EVF was suddenly lunging down in the frame and I started panning down, the action had already happened a fraction of a second before, and I was trying to reacquire the target by predicting where it actually was from 1 frame behind, rather than following in real time. I also experienced a bit of eye strain from the color tearing and separation when quickly panning across a scene. All minor issues, and definitely photographer-dependent...but those are some of the complaints of EVFs for some birders, and I did have a few issues with it myself which prevented me from considering the camera.

The A77 EVF seems to be a very significant leap in refresh rate, resolution, lag, etc. and may have solved most or all of those issues. Certainly the color tearing issue has been tackled, and the tracking while shooting appears to refresh much more quickly - just a minor fraction off real-time, which may have impoved action tracking ability.
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Old Friday 14th October 2011, 22:18   #17
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The latest Amateur Photographer review gives the a77 a 90% rating.
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Old Friday 14th October 2011, 23:23   #18
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Not sure there are enough A77's in the hands of birders, but Aarif has a tit-like capture here...
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/a77-103-...opic80724.html
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Old Saturday 15th October 2011, 07:45   #19
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I will also be watching the A65 with interest Carl, although the weather sealing of the A77 would probably tip me towards it. It looks a very promising camera for landscapes too, as long as its performance up to iso 400 is good I am not really bothered about how it behaves re black cats in coal cellars at very high iso settings.
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Old Saturday 15th October 2011, 07:49   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zackiedawg View Post
I didn't have a problem with the A55 on larger birds, which were just slow enough to keep up with, and usually track pretty predictably...so the slight frame delay didn't hurt directional tracking. Where my issue came up was trying to track and shoot continuous frames of small sparrows and such - very tiny, fast, and extremely erratic birds that quickly change direction. With my OVF, I can keep firing frames and immediatly detect directional changes...with the A55 EVF, by the time the bird in the EVF was suddenly lunging down in the frame and I started panning down, the action had already happened a fraction of a second before, and I was trying to reacquire the target by predicting where it actually was from 1 frame behind, rather than following in real time. I also experienced a bit of eye strain from the color tearing and separation when quickly panning across a scene. All minor issues, and definitely photographer-dependent...but those are some of the complaints of EVFs for some birders, and I did have a few issues with it myself which prevented me from considering the camera.

The A77 EVF seems to be a very significant leap in refresh rate, resolution, lag, etc. and may have solved most or all of those issues. Certainly the color tearing issue has been tackled, and the tracking while shooting appears to refresh much more quickly - just a minor fraction off real-time, which may have impoved action tracking ability.
I think I have spotted what you mean although I still seem to be able to live with the effect, I have also got an a550 and have had good results from it, but I do find myself using the a33 in preference to it.
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Old Monday 17th October 2011, 08:52   #21
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The definitive answer for that will be when shots can be compared from the A77 and the NEX7, which uses the same sensor, but with no mirror assembly at all...the NEX7 will be the purest example of what the sensor itself can produce.
It seems that the NEX7's picture quality does indeed trump the A77's as per this link http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/is-th...ty-of-the-a77/.

Again, the semi-translucent beam-splitter is suspected of causing this disparity.

Anyone can enlighten me further on this?

Thanks
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2011, 21:35   #22
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I received my a77 today but am still waiting for big lens. I can say that I think it will be suitable for birding with no time lag on evf for example. AF also seems acceptable ie. quick but will only know with the big lens. It also seems very solid and compares favorably with my canon 7d. Will post some pics soon .
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2011, 21:52   #23
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Well, the A77 even with fixed exposure at top whack of 12 fps can still track a moving object - this line from a report on the new 1Dx "And that 14fps is achieved with the mirror locked up and the focus and exposure locked on the first frame – strictly a tripod job or one for a steady hand, with no ability to see the subject once the shutter is pressed." says that $7000 can't....
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Old Thursday 20th October 2011, 17:44   #24
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a few from today
All taken at long range and cropped.
all at 400mm f5.6 iso auto ( 100 ) 1/750
as a comparison the flower is iso 1600
not sure about a lot of things yet ie I was using spot focus and will play with wide tomorrow. Af ok but still under appraisal .
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Old Friday 13th January 2012, 13:06   #25
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OOI, what is the current thinking on the suitability of the a77 for birding ?

I spent quite a lot of last weekend downloading RAW files from the web and getting a friend to post me some images from the a77. My current view is that a77 is no worse than 7D up to iso 1600. The noise from the a77 looks "blotchy" to me rather than "fine-grained" from the 7D which, to me, makes a77 look relatively bad. Above iso 1600, a77 looks worse.

Would be interested in thoughts from people here though.

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