A77 first thoughts and impressions

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bfitzgerald
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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:51 pm

Hi Pete I will do some tests to conclude the IQ thing. I have no real interest in 24mp as I've said I would much prefer a choice like Canon has for smaller raw files
I've also had the benefit of other models I've used from various makers. There is no doubt the SLT aspect does give a hit of about half a stop, though the differences in high ISO output are not huge (the D7k is a bit better, though IBIS takes the pinch off that or can do)

I don't think any APS-C camera is great at ISO 6400 (maybe the Fuji's though some say they are faking the ISO values, like Olympus evidently are) With good exposure you could get ok results from the D7k at ISO 6400 just..with care. You can with the Sony's too again you have no room for error here though. Half decent at that level is fine, if you want wow high ISO above that you have to buy full frame.

I rarely go above 3200 at a push, so I think these bodies will do the job.
I won't blame DPR they do what they do, but more often than not some of these review sites miss things or their tests might not be quite what they should be.
The A57 has a softer roll off highlights than the D7k, I know because I've shot both extensively..some sites will mention this some won't. It's really hard to get a balanced view on things just on internet reviews and chatter. I've seen some truly awful looking high ISO shots from A77 users, which don't really match up with my own findings

Partly down to bad exposure or processing, but I've used enough of these CMOS sensors to know they do have noise sooner than the CCD ones, it's just the way they are. I remember when the D300 came out and people said wow noise at ISO 200, the 6mp CCD was very clean at that..and good at ISO 800 up to 1600..over that things fell down fast. I think CMOS sensors (with current tech) are more noisy at lower ISO levels. Maybe too many pixels stuffed on there maybe the tech or sensor design.

I still think we've got it pretty good, noise doesn't scare me that much. I've ISO 400 film scans that would scare a lot of people, yet they look rather nice printed.
DK once sent me an A900 print (and a big one too) from the A900 ISO 6400 I think..bar some colour noise it looked good. And the A900 isn't considered to be a high ISO demon either.

What happens in a test studio and what happens with real picture taking don't always tie up.

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby Birma » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:37 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:... In future I think I'll just read DK's review or send him a message, it will save a lot of time with camera purchase choices.


+1 to that! There are lots of review sites on the web and most of them add something, but for me it is DK's review that is the one to wait for. How ever much technical stuff sites like DPR do as part of a review, it doesn't come close to real world use by DK. Also, a lot of reviewers don't have the Minolta, or now Sony, heritage and so they can't really put things in context. I remember that one site were unimpressed with the A77 mk 1 but only used some very poor glass on it, and another site thought it was brilliant after only using the CZ 24-70.

It is a great pity that Sony has not supported DK, and Gary F, who have been unsupported ambassadors for the brand.

Glad you're enjoying the new camera, Barry.

(A bit off topic, but I caught a review of the Sony HX 60 today - it has GPS and an AF assist light - what's up with that? :shock:)
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby peterottaway » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:32 pm

No pun intended but Minolta was a minority interest and many reviewers were / are wedded to the way Canon and Nikon did things. And it is only with cameras such as the A7 family that certain groups of Canon and Nikon users have stepped outside their long term habits and choices. And even then it would appear that it took some long term frustration on behalf of Canon users to get them to look elsewhere.

Many Minolta or Sony users have not only looked over the fence but have actually climbed over the fence to sample the grass on the other side. In my case I got fed up with Nikon with the way they so obviously crippled the D90 and what they expected to extort from me for getting what I wanted. And the frustration continues even with the D7100 and D610 which do have some very nice features but go missing on what I consider some basic expectations. Perhaps I am judging the other brands by what I have become used to with Minolta and then Sony but I think it is somewhat more than that.

And yes I hope that DK can survive his annoyance with Sony and continue to look at most brands with both some knowledge and independence. Because I don't have a lot of trust with a lot of the very lightweight rubbish floating around out there. And I have a lot of other things to spend my limited time on.

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby classiccameras » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:38 pm

I climbed that fence from Olympus to Sony for reasons I explained on another thread.
Recently I have got myself a used Canon 550D, low mileage and quite cheap and fitted it with the excellent 18-55 USM IS STM lens, Just to play about with.

Being a Jpeg nut I ran a few comparison tests between the A-57 with standard 18-55 kit lens and the 550D. This is probably where I agree and disagree with Barry. IMHO, the colour hue and temp on the Canon was nicer and not quite so in your face as the Sony [which I had left in standard mode]. Colours in scenic landscapes on the canon showed more realistic colours especially the many green shades in a landscape.

The 57 showed a bigger DR lattitude but required more PP to bring the colours and colour temp under control but once achieved, many sections in deep shadow and some in over blown high lights revealed themselves as having usefull definition. End result after PP with the 57, excellent IQ, but it needed some work to get there. May be DPreviews didn't attempt much PP to get the best out of the camera and just reported on default settings.

The Canon was almost there with only minor PP to get an equally or better result. Crop definition on the Canon was a tad better with images blurring up later on pixel peeping.
Over all, the 57 is a better camera for ease of use, excellent user adjust parameters, great colours after some PP and very user friendly. A slight difference, is, the Sony really does need decent glass to get the best out of the sensor other wise IQ is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I suspect the new 77 gives its best with decent glass as well.
Pete

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby mikeriach » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:29 pm

Barry,

Reviews from whoever or wherever are only partly relevant. Yes it's nice to get some techno info and others views but in the end only you can decide if it suits you.
I read all the reviews on the A77 before I bought it and yes some of them put doubts in my mind. As none of the shops here stocked it I couldn't get a hands on so had to take a leap of faith as I needed to get it prior to an upcoming event. I've not regretted it yet even with the little niggles.

Mike
Only a Tamron 16-300 left sadly. Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I've branched out to someone who does and I'm very happy.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:11 pm

I would say I don't always agree with DK on some things. But I do value his reviews they are well written, interesting and give you a hands on feel you rarely get from the technical review sites. I'd add I've no real problems with the super details reviews, they can be of significant use. On the other hand, I'm finding just like I have with some lens reviews, they don't always seem to tie up when you use them.

Pete the WB on these cameras is very different Canon are a bit more neutral and more accurate esp daylight. Sony can be a bit on the warm side, the Nikon's I've used the D90 was even more so warmer for daylight, D7000 not so much. Even the Pentax models..if you shot side by side there are quite big differences. If you equalise the WB settings things should be closer, but people will have their preferences.

Mike well at the time I think the price wasn't appealing so even if I wanted to try one I couldn't really justify the outlay going back a bit. £599 is a lot cheaper and it's really not a bad price at all. I can overlook some weaker elements.

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:13 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:I don't think any APS-C camera is great at ISO 6400 (maybe the Fuji's though some say they are faking the ISO values, like Olympus evidently are)


Probably it is this that you are thinking of:

Fuji X-T1

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-t1/16

By our tests, the X-T1's measured sensitivities are around 1/2 - 2/3EV lower than marked, which is unusual for a modern camera. This means that for any given light level, the X-T1 has to use a significantly slower shutter speed, brighter aperture or higher ISO to get an image of the same brightness as an accurately-rated camera.

It's unusual to see this sort of discrepancy and we're disappointed that Fujifilm persists with a system that, while technically compliant with the ISO standard, ends up appearing rather disingenuous.


Olympus E-M10

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m10/12

In our tests we found that measured ISOs from the E-M10 were accurate, meaning ISO 100 indicated is equal to ISO 100 measured.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:37 pm

I've tried the Fuji it's a very nice cam overall (borrowed it from a pal for an afternoon play)
I didn't try to compare ISO accuracy though. Not everyone agrees on this different places yield different results.

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:03 am

I have handled and played with the Fuji X-T1 a few times here in Japan. Nice camera that is very nostalgic of a 1970s 35mm SLR, but without the thumb operated film advance lever. :)

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby mikeriach » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:45 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:...... £599 is a lot cheaper and it's really not a bad price at all. I can overlook some weaker elements.


Totally agree, it's a good deal for a very good camera (with a few foibles).

Mike
Only a Tamron 16-300 left sadly. Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I've branched out to someone who does and I'm very happy.

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:41 am

bakubo wrote:I have handled and played with the Fuji X-T1 a few times here in Japan. Nice camera that is very nostalgic of a 1970s 35mm SLR, but without the thumb operated film advance lever. :)


I just noticed that an X-T1 review has been published:

http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/fujifilm-camera-reviews/fujifilm-x-t1-review.html

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:58 am

Thom seems on target with that review, it's a nice camera but some quirks as they all have. Fuji are getting there slowly but I'm not entirely convinced overall (esp flash they have nothing here)

Quick update, grip arrived it is nicely made..but it's not cheap, but as a new model supports it maybe worthwhile. It does (just) fit in my tamrac expedition 5x bag when the A77 is "gripped" it is comfy but adds to the bulk quite a bit (something I'd use sometimes but not always) I'd prefer a design without the battery "stem" aka Dynax 7 grip, because it's a pain to find somewhere to store the grip in a bag (awkward size)

A quick sample of the Tamron 17-50mm 100% at 50mm f2.8

DSC00011.JPG
DSC00011.JPG (262.5 KiB) Viewed 2199 times


No problems there even wide open decent. I've never been unhappy with the tamron at all (and used it on 3 mounts)
90mm f2.8 AF on nose..sample

http://minus.com/i/uFJnoCmztyBU

AF accuracy is good (so far) None of the lenses used so far falls apart on the sensor, so I'm wondering how many folks have AF issues.
Though I have to say also that 16 to 24mp is not a massive jump up..will show more on that later

Jpegs are as they are on the A57 pretty much, ie passable at low ISO (but you can get better in raw) at high ISO unless you're downsizing in camera (and even if you are) I don't like the jpeg output it's too strong for my tastes NR wise. Looking at the A77 II samples I like the new jpeg engine even less..even more NR. Seems the DPR forum folks like lots of NR. I'd prefer a choice.

I'm also a bit puzzled over the choice to abandon the rotating display (aka info display on the back LCD) This was quite handy and meant you could see settings quite clearly in the vertical position. Even the film 7 does this, seems like a step back (same on the A57) not something I'd lose sleep over but odd.

Handling is good, though I think it's second place to the 7d/7 film body I do like those dials quite a bit. It's still a nice camera (joystick works well) Main mode dial is stiff..can't see a locking mechanism is needed. I don't find the top LCD that useful it has some basic information, but doesn't show metering mode, doesn't show the set exp or flash exp comp, or ISO (only when changing it), nor the AF mode. It's of limited use really I'm not entirely convinced on that one. Sony just shoved it on there but didn't think about it properly.

It's of some use for tripod work, but honestly Canon do it better..and Nikon rule to roost on that one, their top LCD's show just about everything and then some more. Much less useful than the D7000's top LCD..though the Nikon is very much set with the top LCD and not the rear LCD (you can use the rear LCD but it's off mostly bar image review or main menu settings) Both cameras handle entirely differently though. Good and bad for both models though the Nikon was good in some ways (AF mode settings and the custom buttons) but not so good ISO and WB.

Hard to say which is better, maybe the Sony edges it out (lots of left hand button on the Nikon push/hold front/rear dial combinations for those) I prefer both to Canon for some reason, I simply hate hate hate Canon's menus esp their custom settings. But I do like their control dial position on the front

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bfitzgerald
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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:58 pm

Quick update I was out today doing some burst shooting (nothing super important school sports day playing around)
Using the 18-135mm

Camera locked up..wouldn't take a photo power on/off nope. Pulled the battery out and inserted it again seemed to work fine for the rest of the shooting.
I'm not too alarmed will keep an eye out for any problems. 12 months warranty if any issues turn up. I did have the a57 lock up once..rare event though

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby ValeryD » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:19 pm

It happened with a slow or old memory card quite often.
Everything in the life unusual!

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Re: A77 first thoughts and impressions

Unread postby mikeriach » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:29 pm

I had same with a friends PNY card. Locked up and required battery removal. Did the same with my RX100 so the card was binned.

Also had similar happen with a Hama equivalent battery. It just locked up after a single frame. Battery binned too.

Mike
Only a Tamron 16-300 left sadly. Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I've branched out to someone who does and I'm very happy.


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