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Has anyone tried the new Sony Alphas?

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Old Saturday 6th September 2014, 13:57   #1
Stephen Mark
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Has anyone tried the new Sony Alphas?

I am thinking of buying a new DSLR. My Panasonic FZ200 works fine for record shots but I find I have more interest in general photography. Since I want an EVF it limits the choices. I will probably go with the Alpha58 which seems to be rated well for its class with a possible move up to the 77II if I get more into this. So any thoughts?
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Old Sunday 7th September 2014, 17:41   #2
kitefarrago
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I have an A77 myself, so can't really comment on the ones you have in mind. I'm happy with the camera, and I must say I wouldn't want to go back from the electronic view finder.

Sony's lens offering isn't as broad as you get from Canon and Nikon (but it's getting there), and lenses tend to be on the expensive side.

Sony dslrs have stabilization in the camera, which means that every lens becomes stabilized. Opinions are divided regarding which is more effective, in-lens or in-camera stabilization. What is a bit galling is that third party lenses usually cost the same for Sony even if there's no stabilization included. Because the market for Sony lenses is smaller third party lenses aren't always offered for that mount (or with considerable delay, such as the new, much discuss, Tamron).

I really really like the user interface you get on the semi-pros (I've had an A700 before the A77), where you get a lot of control at the touch of a button. If you go to my gallery you can find a number of pictures taken with my Sonys. By all accounts the auto-focus on the 77 II is improved (faster, more reliable), which is worth bearing in mind. It's also still possible to get deals on the 77 I and the 65.

So my advice would be: Make sure that the lenses you want are on offer (at a price you can live with), and go to a shop where you can play with one to see how it sits in your hand, and how you like the interface (dream up some situations where you may want to change settings quickly and check out how difficult it would be to make the changes).

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Old Sunday 7th September 2014, 19:11   #3
Stephen Mark
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Where do I find your gallery? I'm new to Bird Forum (a few weeks) and don't navigate the whole site well yet.
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Old Monday 8th September 2014, 08:49   #4
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If you click on any user's name you get a list of options, such as sending them a private message, or indeed viewing their gallery.

Something that might work even better is to go to the gallery, hit the search button, and type in Sony a77 as your term. That will get you all the images where users have filled in the equipment tag with that camera name. I couldn't find any photos tagged with Sony a77-II, but it's a fairly new camera. You could try something similar on the popular photo sharing sites such as flickr. That will also allow you to compare shots taken with different cameras.

Don't place too much weight on poor shots - they my have been caused by the operator, or have been taken under poor conditions but still have been considered worth keeping because of what they show. It's the shots you really like you want to pay attention to. Check out the lenses they were taken with (if that info is available) - if you cannot find any pictures you like taken with a particular lens then that lens may not be worth buying. On the other hand, if all the good shots are taken with lenses that are way beyond your budget then maybe the system wouldn't be a good choice for you either.

Going to a shop where you can play with different models (ideally from different manufacturers) would be a good idea as well, just in case there's something on one of them that really annoys you to the extent that it becomes a deal breaker.

Good luck!

Andrea
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Old Monday 8th September 2014, 10:39   #5
Stephen Mark
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Very nice! I like butterfly's and moths also. Have you tried the Sony 55-300 DT lens. That's what I was looking at till the new Tamron for Sony ships (or Sigma when it ships) and I can get some reaction to them.
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Old Monday 8th September 2014, 12:39   #6
Andrew Whitehouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Mark View Post
Very nice! I like butterfly's and moths also. Have you tried the Sony 55-300 DT lens. That's what I was looking at till the new Tamron for Sony ships (or Sigma when it ships) and I can get some reaction to them.
Thanks
Steve
I recently got that lens but haven't used it too much (in combination with an A77). It's quite nice and light and has much less CA than the cheap Tamron lens I had. Here are a few pictures taken with that lens:
http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....3&d=1400532224
http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....6&d=1400532247
http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....4&d=1400532233
http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....9&d=1400532531
http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....0&d=1400532538

Those were just fairly casually taken and I'm sure better shots are possible. I also use the 70-400 G lens, which is quite a bit better but bulkier.
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Old Tuesday 9th September 2014, 08:49   #7
kitefarrago
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Steve, I currently have the 70-300mmG lens. I can't really comment on the 55-300 from personal experience.

The 70-400 that Andrew mentions is reportedly a very nice lens (but there's a weight and bulk penalty) and I am thinking of getting the Mark II version of that one.

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Old Tuesday 9th September 2014, 10:35   #8
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Many of the Minolta lens's fit the the Sony DSLR's and they are reletively cheap. All the APO models can be very good. I use the APO 100-300 as a general purpose go anywhere lens. It takes good accurate photo's with a good colour. The autofocus is good, maybe a little slow.
Look on the Dyxum and DPreview websites for reviews of Minolta and Sony fit lens's.
Any you buy need to be A-Mount to fit. Minolta used 3 or 4 different mount types over the years.
Some of the prime 200/300/400/500mm although old, do go for a surprisingly large amount of money!
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Old Saturday 18th October 2014, 17:44   #9
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Maybe too late, but I recently upgraded from a Panasonic FZ150 to a Sony A58. I've taken 100s of 1000s of pics with bridge cameras; from the Fuji s8100d to Panasonics FZ28 - 45 - 150. The weight and convenience of a bridge camera has meant I'd not considered a DSLR/T before, but for a number of reasons I changed my mind.

The main advantage so far is speed of auto focus, and an EVF that's 4* the size of most bridge cameras; oh, and the EVF is OLED, so it's bright and clear. The A58 is limited in functions compared to what I'm used to, but I've read that this isn't the case with the more expensive Sonys (65/77). IQ is a better, but not as much as you might think. Noise at high ISOs is better too, but again, maybe not as much as you might think, until you get past ISO 800.

The main disadvantage is reach. I'm used to getting 1020mm focal length with a TCON17 attached to the FZ150; ATM I've only 300mm equivalent (55-200mm).

Anyway, I've not had the camera for two weeks yet; have a look at the last 9 pics in my gallery, starting with this one:

http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...9/ppuser/69033

All apart from the Gull in flight taken through double glazing and at slow shutter speeds (in camera IS is pretty good)

I've also attached one full frame image taken at ISO 3200 through double glazing and in poor light. I've done nothing except adjusted the levels slightly and resized for upload... no sharpening or noise reduction.

I'll let you know if I made the right choice if I get a chance to test the camera properly at my local reservoirs... providing the light is better
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