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Sony @ Series DSLR Cameras

Hi, Im looking at getting a DSLR camera and was wandering if anyone had any info good/bad on say the Sony @ 37/55/65?

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  • bmarkeybmarkey Posts: 319 Deckhand
    A friend has a Sony DSLR and it makes good images. It doesn't match up to Canon and Nikon for AF speed and tracking or high-ISO capabilities, but it holds its own.

    Sony took over what was a great camera maker, Minolta. The higher end Minolta lenses and bodies were fantastic, but Minolta - despite building the first commercial digital camera in 1995 and marketing the first AF cameras in 1985 - dropped the ball. My 9xi film camera was the most solid, fastest focusing, toughest camera I ever used.

    http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Minolta_RD-175

    Bob Markey
    United Realty Group
    www.WellingtonHomes.com
    Sport, Event & Real Estate Photography
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    www.MarkeySportsPhoto.com
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,992 Admiral
    I've read that Sony makes the sensors for Nikon...so they should be good.

    I also saw one review lately that rated the top of the line Sony above even the D800 and Mk III....though I'm skeptical.

    Other than that....cant tell ya....
    Live music 7 nights a week: http://www.terrafermata.com/_events
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    Bob,
    i have to agree with you...
    minolta made some of the best cameras for its time...
    they also made just about the best glass in the business...
    sony made a major mistake when they dropped the minolta marque and changed it to sony....
    too many photographers over several generations knew the name and quality of minolta gear...

    tim
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Cane Pole wrote: »
    I've read that Sony makes the sensors for Nikon...so they should be good.

    I also saw one review lately that rated the top of the line Sony above even the D800 and Mk III....though I'm skeptical.

    Other than that....cant tell ya....

    This all true. At the sensor level, yes, the Sony is stunning or so the reports state. Then you have to run light through their half-mirror and the glass which is currently reported as not at the same level as Canon/Nikon. If Sony can learn to make a lens then, IMHO they will be a player.

    FYI-they did just come to market with a 500mm lens but it is so new there are no reports yet. I know this doesn't interest you as you are not a birder, but the fact they want to even make a 500mm lens is telling.
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    Craig,

    at last years air show in biloxi i saw a pro with a huge chunk of grey glass...
    thinking it was a canon guy, i went over to talk to him...
    much surprise that the huge chunk of grey was a sony 400mm zoom connected to a top of the line sony body...
    he had a couple other bodies as well...
    he was an old minolta shooter and stayed the course....
    he also made the comment that sony should have kept the minolta marque alive....

    tim
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Interesting. More than interesting actually.
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    Craig,
    yes that was second response after the surprise that the glass was sony....
    it was a busy flight line and he was kind of busy so i didn't get much from him about the glass.......

    tim
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    Trout man wrote: »
    Hi, Im looking at getting a DSLR camera and was wandering if anyone had any info good/bad on say the Sony @ 37/55/65?

    For starters, Sony has a lot to do with Nikon. Sony fabricates a lot of Nikon's sensors, but as a tradeout, Nikon shares a lot of sensor technology with Sony Imaging. Secondly the Sony company that fabs sensors is not the same Sony company who makes cameras. In fact, the camera division does not like the partnership Sony Imaging Sensors has with Nikon and Pentax. Moreover, Sony Imaging uses Nikon Steppers to fabricate sensors, especially in the new ultra low micron arena. You could technically say Sony makes some of Nikon's sensors and Nikon makes some of Sony's sensor makers. :huh

    Nikon also uses two other companies to fabricate its designs other than Sony. The new 24 megapixel DX sensor in the D3200 is a different 24 megapixel DX sensor than is what is in the D5200 and neither are Sony fabs. The 24 megapixel FX sensor in the D600 is mostly Sony's design and they released it in the new A99 about the same time Nikon released the D600, but the 36 megapixel sensor in the D800 was a consortium design by Nikon and Sony and Nikon retained the rights to release first. I'm not sure how long they get. I heard two or three years but it might only be a year or less. I don't know. Note well, Sony hasn't released one of their own at this flagship level.

    The Sony Imaging Sensor division has to make money like any other part of Sony and is forced to stand somewhat on its own. They'd be seriously hampered if they tossed out their deals with Pentax and Nikon to support only Sony's camera group. Sony Cameras has either broke even or lost money since they started from Minolta. Sony sensors has made money. Pentax is only using one Sony sensor in all their SLRs; it's the Exmor 16 mp model in various forms. It's basically the same one in the A57 Sony and the Nikon D5100 and D7000. I think it's also in the Sony Nex 5n as well. If it's an APS-C crop sensor and is 16 megapixel, it's probably that sensor in any of those three brands.

    When these sensors are delivered, they can be fairly complete as in that 16 mp model or they can be just basic silicone fabrications where Pentax and Nikon have to add the front end micro lenses and filters as well as the back end engine and pipeline, so it can be very simplistic to say Sony makes Nikon's sensors. :wink

    One thing I don't care for about Sony models is their rendering which to me can be almost Crayola vivid. It's done on purpose because point and shoot upgraders prefer it a lot of the time. Nikon and Canon sometimes pump up the entry levels that way as well, but not as much.

    Secondly, I don't like that Sony no longer makes a DSLR. They don't have a reflex mirror and use a translucent design. This robs the sensor of a little light which means they suffer somewhat in dim light. This means they also have to use an electronic eye level viewfinder instead of the traditional optical viewfinder. To me, the EVF is harder to use and tedious on my eyes. It also can't seem to keep up with fast action but are getting a little better in the high end models. You swing the camera and the electronic image follows a little late behind and you lose track. This also makes it hard for the tracking system in the autofocus to stay on target. The advantage is that you can up the gain in low light and change what is showing easily. You're looking at a miniture television screen instead of optically through the lens. Not my cup of tea. Maybe yours.

    Image wise, the Sonys do just fine. Heck, they share many of the same sensor technology as we've already discussed. Another issue to consider though is the lack of long term commitment, especially in gear and glass. They have already produced two mounts in the A and E mount and show a lot lacking in both, especially in the E mount where they are supposedly concentrating. Their better glass is also somewhat more expensive than Nikon and Pentax but don't have VR/IS and don't test any better optically. I prefer Nikon or even maybe Canon or Pentax.

    nikkor-80-200f28-10-17-12.jpg
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Guidenet wrote: "Their better glass is also somewhat more expensive than Nikon and Pentax but don't have VR/IS and don't test any better optically."

    Nikon glass better optically, no doubt. Sony (Minolta) camera bodies have in-body stabilization so none needed in lens.
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    Guidenet wrote: "Their better glass is also somewhat more expensive than Nikon and Pentax but don't have VR/IS and don't test any better optically."

    Nikon glass better optically, no doubt. Sony (Minolta) camera bodies have in-body stabilization so none needed in lens.

    I agree it's not needed because the Sony and Pentax models have IBIS but without that expense the price should be less and it isn't was my point. It's usually higher even though they get to skip the IS/VR.

    Sony buyers often claim they only have to buy the stabilization once in the camera and then save that cost every time they buy a lens. Unfortunately, that usually doesn't hold true. They rarely don't get any price advantage whatsoever. In fact with Sony and Pentax branded glass, they often pay much more for glass without stabilization in the lens than the Nikon or Canon VR/IS equivalent. Take a look at the Sony 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 consumer grade lens for $1000 as compared to Nikon's 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VRII for less than $569. Both have sonic ring motors. Both are top of the line for consumer grade lenses and both test close to the same. Why is the Sony product almost twice that of the Nikon and they don't have to include stabilization whereas the Nikon has VRII not just VR. That $430 could upgade you from a D3100 to a D7000. :-)

    Another point I'd like to make. Some Sigma lenses are made with OS in the lens for both Sony and Pentax. You can't use both at the same time so what do you choose? Do you use the IBIS or the in-lens OS? It seems that most users choose to leave the in-lens on and turn off the IBIS because the in-lens works considerably better, yet those same people will argue that both systems are equal if asked.

    I grant you that the IBIS is nice because all the lenses you attach are stabilized, but it's with a one-size fits all method whereas in-lens matches the stabilization with the focal length of the lens for more accurate stabilization. I also like that my view of the scene is stabilized so I can check focus and composition without the bird or whatever jumping around on the ground glass.

    On the other hand, it's a bit stressful thinking about all those parts moving around like the in-lens elements or the sensor attempting to freeze my movement. For that reason, I default all my glass to VR=Off unless I think I need it for a specific shot. I don't think VR/IS/OS/VC is a panacea for good technique from hand holding to support methods. I also understand that as I get deeper in my 60s, I'm not so stable myself and need a little help from time to time. A mug of beer doesn't help. ;-)

    Sometimes I wish that Nikon had both IBIS and VR in the lens so I could if I wished stabilize my older glass.
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
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