Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

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robsphotography
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Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:38 am

Hello all, this is my first post on this forum. Earlier this year, I purchased a Sony A900, and I have been very impressed with the amount of fine detail that can be captured, even when the subject matter is several kilometres away from the camera!

I have designed and written my own New Zealand photography web site and I have included a special section that is devoted to displaying some of my A900 images that demonstrate the amazing detail that the A900 has captured. You can see this page here:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html

I have also given some thought to determining the print size that can be achieved with some of my A900 images. I have concluded that it is possible, without upscaling, to get very good quality 40 inch wide prints as demonstrated on this page:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Wellin ... large.html

I have just added a new page to my site which gives some brief information about how to determine print sizes for digital camera images (with particular emphasis on images captured by the Sony A900). You can see this page here:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Determ ... mages.html

I would welcome any comments or criticisms of the above material. Although I have posted these references on another web site forum and had valuable feedback, I thought you might also be interested to look through the above pages.

Regards

Rob

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby aster » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:20 am

Congratulations on your new website Rob and welcome to the forum. :D

Your website has a lot of useful information on image/photo processing when A900 output is the product and I enjoyed your photo subjects in the galleries. The amount of detail captured is indeed fine.

While waiting news of new cameras from the Sony headquarters to upgrade my system properly, I still believe I have the A900 to pick up should nothing exciting and fulfilling is introduced in the near future. :)

Thanks,

Yildiz

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:13 pm

Thanks very much for your welcome and kind comments. I became aware of Photoclubalpha only recently when I found this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=2079&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

It has a very good discussion about an article that made a print quality comparison between the Sony A900 and the A700. I was interested to read the conclusion that, it's only when you make a very large print of 40 inches x 27 inches, that prints from the A900 have an edge over those from the Sony A700, in that "fine structures" are better defined. But even then, if you stand back 40 inches or more from the pictures, it seems like it's very hard to notice these subtle differences.

So, if you already own the A700, I guess it would make you wonder whether it's really worthwhile upgrading to the A900?

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby harvey » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:26 pm

robsphotography wrote:So, if you already own the A700, I guess it would make you wonder whether it's really worthwhile upgrading to the A900?


There is one useful technique the FF and extra pixels get you. I recently took some pictures of a tall tower that is quite enclosed so it is hard to get it all in the frame. I used the Signa 12-24 at 12mm and 15mm and resisted the temptation to angle the camera too far from vertical. Then I crop the image and the result looks more natural than post-processing in photoshop to reduce the converging verticals. You can afford quite a crop given the pixel count you have.

Harvey

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:30 pm

Thanks Harvey, I agree that the high pixel count of the Sony A900 is a great benefit when you wish to make a large print from a crop of part of the picture. When you consider that, even if you crop out, say, half of an A900 image, you still have a cropped image size of 3024 pixels x 2016 pixels. If you print this image at 150 pixels per inch (ppi), you still get a good large print size of 20.2 inches x 13.4 inches.

When you compare the Sony A900 image size of 6048 pixels x 4032 pixels with the Sony A700 image size of 4272 pixels x 2848 pixels, if you print these images at 150 ppi, the A900 gives you a print size of 40.3 inches x 26.9 inches, and the A700 gives a print size of 28.5 inches x 19.0 inches. So the greater pixel count of the Sony A900 gives a print size that is approximately 42% larger than the A700, given that both images are printed at 150 ppi. But doubling the pixel rating of a camera from 12 mp to 24mp, doesn't actually give you double the print size that some people expect!

In this article: http://www.astroweb.no/a900/a700-vs-a900.html the author mentions that:

"At large format, 102 x 68 cm (40 x 27 inches), prints from the 24 Mp camera have an edge, but far less than most people would think! Fine structures are better defined in the 24 Mp prints. But moving away 100 cm (40 inches) or more and the differences are wiped out. Afain, differences in color, contrast and tonality would to more to the visual appearance than resolution. This looks more like breaking news! All 12 Mp camera owners should be pleased!"

But if you make a 40.3 inch print from a Sony A700 image that is 4272 pixels wide, you have printed it at 106 dots ppi, which is getting below the minimum 150 ppi that I discuss here:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Determ ... mages.html

So I guess it's a credit to the A700 that you can get acceptable 40 inch prints when they are printed at only 106 ppi. But with a print of this size, even at only 106 ppi, it will look good provided that your viewing distance is, say, at least 3 metres away.

Now if you print an A900 image at 106 ppi, you will get a print size of approximately 57 inches x 38 inches, which again, is about 42% larger than you can achieve with the Sony A700 at 106 ppi. So whatever way you look at it, would you agree that the Sony A900 has a 42% advantage over the Sony A700 in terms of achievable print sizes?

Regards

Rob

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:38 am

Sonolta said:

Two-words... Genuine Fractals



Thanks for mentioning this, I guess you are referring to this program:

http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=2

"It is renowned across the photographic and printing industries for its ability to increase image size over 1000% without the loss of sharpness or detail that you would normally expect."

Although many upscaling programs are obviously very good, I guess they can only enhance the fine detail that was originally created in the image? So my impression is that the 24 megapixel Sony A900 will capture extra fine detail over and above what could be captured by the 12 megapixel A700. So even if an A700 image is upscaled by a program that is as good as "Genuine Fractals", the fine detail in an unenhanced A900 image is still likely to better than that in an upscaled A700 image?

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/TN.html
(my favorite sunset picture of 2009)

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:26 am

Sonolta wrote:
robsphotography wrote: So whatever way you look at it, would you agree that the Sony A900 has a 42% advantage over the Sony A700 in terms of achievable print sizes?


No....and I will give you one example.

Consider you are shooting a telephoto subject with the longest lens you have...say 300mm. Now consider that the 300mm lens on an APS-C camera is providing the same FOV as 450mm on FF. So...to get matching FOV's you will need top put the a900 in crop mode or crop some pixels from the full a900 frame.

-Sonolta


When you compare prints made from, say, an image from the Sony A700 and an image from the Sony A900, I was assuming that everything about the two pictures is as equal as possible. For example, if you assume that the pictures are taken at the same place (using a sturdy tripod), at the same time, using the same field of view, the same exposure, the same printer, and the same photo paper etc., then this would probably give a fair comparison of prints made from these images. Assuming that the width of an image from the Sony A700 is 4272 pixels, and the width of a Sony A900 image is 6048 pixels, then provided the pictures are printed at the same pixels per inch (ppi), say 150 ppi, then the width of the Sony A700 print is 28.5 inches (4272 / 150) and the width of the Sony A900 print is 40.3 inches (6048 / 150). So in this example, the print from the Sony A900 image is about 42% larger than the print from the Sony A700 image.

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:34 am

Sonolta wrote:Blah, blah, blah...knock yourself out with your 42% a900 expenditure justification posts.

Put video on it and I may have purchased it.

Put live view on it and I may have purchased it.

Put 6.5-11 FPS on it and I may have purchased it.

Put high ISO performance like the D3/D700 on it and I may have purchased it.

Or, leave the camera as it is, and in the $3K kit include 3 free Zeiss lenses, a new computer, a big fat drobo unit, and 48-64GB of top of the line CF and I might purchase it. :wink:

Enjoy your a900.

-Sonolta


I agree that it would be nice to have lots of extras, such as a HD video option! On a web page I have set out why I have upgraded cameras several times over the last few years:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Upgrad ... amera.html

In my case, because I did not already own a DSLR, I thought it was worth the extra to get the very latest! But I agree that's it's a pretty hard decision if you already own a good DSLR, such as the Sony A700!

Regards
Rob

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby fastson » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:29 pm

Congrats rob, nice website and nice pictures. :)

The A900 really is a beast. I have seen some samples in the past from different cities and the clarity of some of those city shots is really impressive.
Flickr - Sony A100, Sony A700 - SAL50F14, SAL16105, SAL1870, Minolta 35-70 F4, Minolta 70-210 F4, Tamron 90 F2.8 Macro

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:42 am

fastson wrote:Congrats rob, nice website and nice pictures. :)

The A900 really is a beast. I have seen some samples in the past from different cities and the clarity of some of those city shots is really impressive.


Thanks very much for your kind comments. Yes, I didn't expect the resolution of the Sony A900 to be quite so good, particularly with the fine detail captured of objects that are several kilometres from the camera. Some friends have been telling me that the enlargements on my web site are a bit on the "small side", and have encouraged me to put a few bigger pics on. So, I have recently enlarged the city pictures on this page:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Wellington-City-2.html

The larger cropped picture certainly emphasises the "power" of the A900 more graphically. When I first designed my web site, people told me to keep the enlargements quite small to prevent people from copying my pics. But, because photography is mainly a hobby for me, I am not too concerned about the copying problem. You can save your images in Photoshop at a fairly low "quality" (there is a scale of 0 to 12), and the photos can look quite large on a web page, even when the file size at Photoshop "scale 3 quality" is only about 50 kilobytes.

Regards
Rob

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:58 am

Sonolta wrote:I have been through a few digital cameras myself:

Kodak 1MP - purchased new - my first digital - can't remember the model #.
Fuji F30 - purchased new
Minolta xT- purchased used
Minolta z1 - purchased used
Minolta s414 - purchased used
Minolta Dimage 7Hi - purchased new - Sony CCD Failure beyond warranty period - Covered under Sony sensor recall
Konica Minolta z10 - purchased used
Konica Minolta z3 - purchased used
Konica Minolta z5 - purchased used - defective when received - would not record images
Konica Minolta a200 - purchased used - defective when received - no macro focus
Konica Minolta a2 X2 - both units purchased used
Konica Minolta 5D - purchased new
Sony A100 - purchased new - Massive particulate in finder and particulate inside the LCD after only a month or two of delicate use - No service, ebayed that baby quick (with notations of particulate).
Sony a700 - purchased new - Total autofocus failure after 11.5 months - Sony replaced the AF module

-Sonolta


Yes, that's certainly quite an impressive list. All my digital cameras have been Sony ones, and I haven't had any major technical problems yet, that's why I have stuck with Sony for the last 10 years. I enjoyed looking at the pics on your site, and as a cat lover, I think you cat pics are great!

Regards, Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:59 am

Thanks for the links Sonolta, I really enjoyed looking at your work, well done!

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby robsphotography » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:28 am

Just one further reference for this thread. I have been interested to find out whether other Sony A900 owners have been able to get successful very large prints in the 30 to 40 inch (or larger) size range. The thread linked to below gives some valuable feedback on this issue.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... e=32066667

If you own a Sony A900, I would also be interested to hear your experiences about the maximum print sizes that you have made and whether you have been happy with the results.

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html
(Examples of outstanding resolution of some Sony A900 images)

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby Lonnie Utah » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:39 pm

Sonolta wrote:and it COSTS THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS which is TWO THOUSAND more dollars than the a700!


Easy solution. Get your wonderful girlfriend to buy you one. That's what I did! ;) :D

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Re: Amazing amount of fine detail captured by the Sony Alpha 900

Unread postby UrsaMajor » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:28 pm

Lonnie Utah wrote:
Sonolta wrote:and it COSTS THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS which is TWO THOUSAND more dollars than the a700!


Easy solution. Get your wonderful girlfriend to buy you one. That's what I did! ;) :D

Don's wife might object if a girlfriend were to buy him an A900 - or any other camera ! :lol:

With best wishes,
- Tom -


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