Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:26 pm

The Sony bundle is a bit cut down IMO with these cameras, and it's a problem across the range and has been for a while. Being honest they're not alone though, Pentax are pretty damn mean too. Their strap is too narrow and really not great, they do give you a hot shoe cover though..but the body cap is an even worse version of the budget Dynax 35mm models it has no ability to stay on the body! Even the K-5 has the same lame strap and weedy bundle, though Pentax's documentation is good with a beefy mostly well written and comprehensive manual. Nikon are a bit better here not a bad strap at all (quite good really) nice manual and hot shoe cover and real lens/body caps in the box.

The Sony strap isn't great has to be said feels a bit stiff and I agree the standard Dynax strap is better made and more comfortable overall. There is no eye piece cover on the SLT's hence nowhere to put the hot shoe if taken off camera, the remote cable holder's been gone for a while didn't get that on the a200 either. You do get a proper body cap at least, but I'm pretty unimpressed with the user manuals provided (really not well written and too small), and I need not comment on the "sauce tray" rear lens cap...which is IMO penny pinching taken to the extreme.

I know makers are trying to cut back (some of them) and save costs, I can get that for the super budget models. Has to be said the A77 isn't that cheap and one would expect to get a superior package out of the box. First impressions do count for quite a lot and I think Sony can do much more here. If I look at the bundle I got with the Km5d I bought brand new, I have no real complaints at all. Hot shoe cover, remote cable holder, proper body cap and rear lens cap (and lens hood on the kit lens) Decent well made strap, and good documentation which is well written and covers most of what you want. Someone at Sony seriously needs to look at how they did it, but then someone will say it put KM out of the camera business :lol:

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:54 am

dewarp wrote:One of the firmware updates cured the problem of accidentally pressing the red button (unless you were actually in video mode). Check that you have the latest firmware - Ver 1.07.

regards - Peter
Thanks Peter, the A77 is at Ver 1.06 and I have found a setting to fix this Movie issue in the Menu tree.

Not sure what benefit, other than optical control of lenses I don't have, Ver 1.07 will bring.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:05 pm

Birma wrote:There is a thread of ferry pictures I started below ...


I'll drop in one of that Kilchoan I took back in 02 using a Dynax7. I was only about four months the other side of a double cardiac arrest (by rights I should not have survived either of these so I was told) when I was there and learning to cope with a permanently part-crippled ticker, aided by a stent.

I bet that blow in the Minch was something to see. I take my hat off to anyone who works at sea when the weather gets 'interesting'.


To be honest didn't see much outside it being dark, the weather decks being cordoned off, except the waterfall down the for'ard aircraft lift as the green stuff came aboard. Working on 30 ton F4Ks in the upper hangar was 'interesting' as we used the forward section.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby dewarp » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:20 am

Omega892 wrote:Not sure what benefit, other than optical control of lenses I don't have, Ver 1.07 will bring.


According to Gary Friedman Ver 1.07 improved flash auto exposure. Can't say I've noticed this myself, but I don't do much flash work and what I do is normally in manual mode to balance light sources.

http://friedmanarchives.blogspot.com/20 ... .html#more

By the way, you mentioned setting up the rear control dial to adjust apurture and the front control dial to adjust shutter speed. I have set the front dial to control exposure override, which seems to make more sense to me. In manual mode it reverts to controlling shutter speed in any case.

regards - Peter

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:39 am

dewarp wrote:According to Gary Friedman Ver 1.07 improved flash auto exposure. Can't say I've noticed this myself, but I don't do much flash work and what I do is normally in manual mode to balance light sources.

As do I. I do hope that the A77 works OK with my flash units (somebody in a camera shop told me voltages may be different but he may be confused with cameras from A.N.Other), wireless being OK with those other than Macro Flash units:

Minolta 5600 HS D - I have two of these often used with wireless and sometimes in conjunction with

Metz 54 MZ-4i digital + SCA 3302 adaptor.

Minolta MFC-1000 flash controller +
Macro Twin Flash +
Macro Ring Flash

By the way, you mentioned setting up the rear control dial to adjust apurture and the front control dial to adjust shutter speed. I have set the front dial to control exposure override, which seems to make more sense to me. In manual mode it reverts to controlling shutter speed in any case.

regards - Peter

Thanks Peter, thinking (words unrepeatable) I quickly checked and found that like with the A700 before it (and A100 for that matter) my preferred settings are preserved in manual mode.

As for exposure override, are you indicating exposure compensation? If so, yes it would be useful to have a button or dial for quick adjustment of compensation, for flash too. This is where I liked the Dynax7, 7D arrangement with a double banked turret which was instantly visible for feedback and the rear panel on the D7D and A700 also was easy to read. I'll probably get used to the A77 and find ways to make life easier in this respect. At the moment I am still occasionally hitting the Menu button to switch the A77 on. Why oh why I have to ask was that changed. Maybe to look like a Canikon or perhaps easier to weather protect. Slider switches can often cause problems as they age and wear, this going by other items of electronics.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby dewarp » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:12 pm

I use a Minolta 5800 flash, and it works OK. However, not once but twice (can you believe ! ! !) I have been unable to set it to wireless, searching endlessly through the menus. Wireless can only be set through the Fn button!

I shoot only RAW and so set up the in-camera JPG options (Fn - Creative Style) to provide the best look to the EVF. I find that Portrait Style with -3 Contrast works best. (I do mainly landscapes). The EVF has its shortcomings, but it also has advantages when shooting in low light conditions. You can actually compose and focus through a heavy ND filter, something not possible with an OVF.

regards - Peter

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:51 pm

dewarp wrote:I use a Minolta 5800 flash, and it works OK.

regards - Peter

I didn't know Minolta produced one of those.

Thanks for the tip about wireless setting. How odd there not to be a Wireless option in the Menu tree under flash options - I had not twigged that one.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby dewarp » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:29 am

Omega892 wrote:
I didn't know Minolta produced one of those.


Oops - sorry. Finger/eyesight/dementia problem :oops:

regards - Peter

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:38 pm

dewarp wrote:I use a Minolta 5800 flash, and it works OK. However, not once but twice (can you believe ! ! !) I have been unable to set it to wireless, searching endlessly through the menus. Wireless can only be set through the Fn button!
regards - Peter


Having learned that there is unlikely to be a damaging mismatch between the 5600 HSD flash and the A77 I have given things a go.

I have tried switching between ADI and Pre-Flash TTL, some more trials to do there.

I often use Stofen diffusers on my guns and so Flash compensation is a must. OK so I have found how to set that easily enough but oh for such a simple switch for exposure comp' too.

Using one of the control wheels for this far from my favourite option. I like the way the Fn button on the A700 enables one to move around pertinent settings using the Multi-selector and then a control wheel to adjust whichever is highlighted. This way too I find it very easy to quickly scan across the backplate and check all other settings are as required.

I always find that when chasing aircraft across the sky one needs a degree of exposure compensation to avoid a silhouette effect, i.e. make underside detail visible. Of course at such time I would probably be set to shutter priority.

In working through the Menus of the A77 under Gear 2 there are Disp Button (Monitor) and Disp Button (Finder) options wherein one can chose Graphic Display where a Graphic Display can be set on for either Monitor or EVF or both. If the former is set and when using the monitor one can now get that A700 like back panel display (but on LCD screen only) but there is no way to put on Exposure Compensation using that. On occasion I have found it useful to be able to adjust both flash and exposure compensation simultaneously, now with this A77 I'll have to think differently.

The Stofen tends to warm the colours a little and so the ability to quickly adjust the white balance for this is useful. I was foxed at first because the Flash symbol under WB did not have an arrowhead pointing to the right. However if one moves the Multiselector to the right one gets up the colour square as with some other WB main settings. This is not as quick as the A700 (or A100, Dynax 7D) way of doing things where one could quickly cycle + or - for about 3 other settings according to requirements. I guess that colour square is more flexible but to have the option to move all round the colour space is a bit OTT and rather cumbersome in operation.

The other thing I have discovered is that with a 5600 HSD flash attached as the camera is switched on the flash powers up automatically - this is good. It does not however switch OFF when the camera is switched OFF. Maybe more recent Sony models do switch off with camera switch off.

I have just about flattened one battery pack just playing with settings and testing out some lenses and flash. I am about to find out how well it switches between battery packs in the grip.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Wed May 01, 2013 6:05 pm

Uh! Oh!

Having taken a number of testing shots I came to downloading to the PC running Windows XP (Service Pack 3 of course) using my hama USB 2.0 Card Reader 35 in 1. When plugged in the PC sees all the drives but any attempt to click on one produces a request to Insert a card.

Is it Windows or the card reader as I did find a link (at support.microsoft.com/kb/934428), by Google, to a supposed Hotfix for this but the article number with that reference drew a blank when I went in through MS front end support and tried a search using that same article number.

A computer tech' I know suggests that it is more likely the card reader.

The card reader does work, just tested, with lower capacity SD cards than the 8GB SDHC card I have been using in the A77.

What does the team think?
Last edited by Omega892 on Wed May 01, 2013 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby mvanrheenen » Wed May 01, 2013 7:02 pm

Is it one of those deap blue card readers? If so, when Windows detects a readable card, a blue LED should begin to flash. If this is not the case, Windows can not read the card.

What kind of card is it?

Mark

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Wed May 01, 2013 7:58 pm

Thanks for the reply Mark.

Yes it is a blue card reader.

The card is a SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card 8GB, I also have a similar 16GB card not used as yet.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Philip » Thu May 02, 2013 7:29 am

Sounds like the card reader may not be compatable with higher capacity cards - a problem I had with an inbuilt reader several years ago and which and which was only cured by installing new drives. Might be worth checking the manufacturer's website.

Philip

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Thu May 02, 2013 1:34 pm

Thank you for your replies.

I have been doing some digging and found that hama have different versions of what looks like the same card reader some which have this under description: 'microSDHC: Yes, with Adapter' or others with 'microSDHC: Yes'.

The model number of mine is 00055312 which is way lower than any of the look-a-likes on the hama site. There could be the answer.

Having looked at Amazon for these card readers it is uncertain what the dark blue hama's displayed are.

I have noted a tremendous difference in price between Amazon and my camera shop WRT price of SanDisk SDHC cards though. The ones I have are Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-1 8MB and 16MB but Amazon sell 32GB cards for the price that my 8GB came at. Now I like to support local shops but can I afford to? I will have a word next time I am in.

Thanks for all your help if I have any more with this perhaps a dedicated thread will be preferred.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby mvanrheenen » Thu May 02, 2013 9:01 pm

Did you try connecting your camera with card inserted to your computer. This should give an idea if XP or the reader doesn't support the card.

Mark


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