Is my A900 dying?

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sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby sury » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:43 pm

The camera is now functioning as previously. Tried different battery and card combination
and after about 250 clicks, I did not see the erratic behavior I have seen before. For now,
I think things are back to normal but now the ugly head rises: the dreaded question of what
should be its replacement. I do have A700 still clicking away. Should I stay with it or get a
new FF body.


Henry, no apologies needed. :D
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pakodominguez
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:15 pm

sury wrote:For now,
I think things are back to normal but now the ugly head rises: the dreaded question of what
should be its replacement. I do have A700 still clicking away. Should I stay with it or get a
new FF body.

Well, you have the A900 as main camera, and the A700 as backup, right?
Well, if the sad day arrives for the A900 (or A700), get the best you can afford -Now the A99 is probably at the end of its production cycle, so you can get it for less expensive in few months, or get its replacement, if you consider it worth it.
Pako
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sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby sury » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:48 pm

Pako,
One thing I am grappling with is the total weight of camera lens combo (either CZ24-70/2.8 or 70-400G).
Though I am not sure switching to A7x like body is a significant weight saving.
A99 replacement may not be a bad choice though I don't know enough about
A99 to say A99 itself is a worthy replacement today and therefore its replacement is even
better.

Sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:10 am

sury wrote:Pako,
One thing I am grappling with is the total weight of camera lens combo (either CZ24-70/2.8 or 70-400G).
Though I am not sure switching to A7x like body is a significant weight saving.
A99 replacement may not be a bad choice though I don't know enough about
A99 to say A99 itself is a worthy replacement today and therefore its replacement is even
better.


The only ways to make a fairly significant lightening of the load:

1. Give up on the big, fast zoom lenses and stick with smaller single focal length lenses and/or smaller, slower zoom lenses.

2. Switch to a smaller sensor system that has smaller lenses and in most cases smaller bodies.

In case #1 you know what the lens choices are for your A900 or an A99. You could get yourself 3 single focal length lenses such as 28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 or old Minolta f1.7, and 100mm or the old Minolta 135mm f2.8.

In case #2 then you could investigate the wonderful Panasonic GH4 (or GX7 or G6) and Olympus E-M1 (or E-M10 or E-M5) and the m4/3 lenses. Check out the size of the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 and 35-100mm f2.8 along with all the other lenses. Some of the slightly slower zoom lenses are even smaller.

My suggestion to everyone is to consider what is the reason to pursue the "best" and latest tech. Some people have excellent reasons, especially if they do photography for money, and can make a clear explanation of what the "best" tech will do to help them make more money. Other people, I think, pursue the tech just because of an interest in tech and don't actually get much photographic benefit from all the size and weight and expense that they endure. I make no judgement about you or anyone else. People can choose for themselves. Getting too worked up about small differences in technical measurements that for most people don't translate into better photos is a frustrating treadmill to be caught on, IMO.

The whole idea of "good enough" is very powerful, I think, and applies to many tech things. As I have said for several years, I was at that point with my A700. I was satisfied enough with the IQ, the IBIS was good, the ergonomics were good, the lenses I could get were good enough, etc. The only area (other than the defect in my copy) that I wished was different was smaller size and weight for travel. As it turns out with the march of time my 2012 16mp Olympus E-M5 has better IQ than my 2007 12mp A700 even though the E-M5 has a smaller sensor.

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sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby sury » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:55 am

Henry,
Good suggestions all around. As much as I wanted the latest gear, my last camera body purchase was when A900 was introduced. I did buy a used nex5 a year ago for missus for our India/Thailand trip and when she felt even that is too big, I bought a QX10. I came close to picking up a HX400 or even HV50 point & shoot for addressing the weight issue. That is what I meant by grappling with weight issue. Should I stay with a DSLR combination or go down even non-interchangeable route. I have no qualms about it.

I used to believe in "good enough" quite a bit (I have about 20 odd MF lenses, and another 10 AF lenses - all acquired for cheap). It was the same rationale applied when I bought Tamron 200-500 for $800 instead of a $2K 70-400G lens five years ago. I felt that was good enough. Once I got CZ24-70 and 70-400G, quality of my images has gone up quite a bit and the personal satisfaction of "nailing that shot" has become very frequent. I am not as frustrated as I used to feel in terms of quality of my images (I hasten to add I have long ways to go :D ).

I am not disputing what you said but sharing my personal experience within the context of what you said.

Sury
P.S. All my major purchases have been celebrating my wedding anniversaries. :lol:
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby mikeriach » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:28 pm

Sury, Henry & Pako,

Many valid points in the last few posts. We all strive to get the best possible image quality with the gear we have and then we see someone elses shot which is better. We then start to question our equipment quality and look for options to better it hence the A900/A99, CZ/G lens route. Sury, you are not alone in this quest for the ultimate in IQ and handling. I also fall into that fold, once even stating to the wife that full frame was not in my planned upgrade route then 6 months later buying an A99. Fortunately I had the 70-200G and 70-400G by that point, I just lacked the wide option but did have a 16-80Z for the A77.

I think there are many advantages to some of the more compact 4/3 sensor offerings but having just returned from a 2 week trip to Japan, I can say that l fared better than one of my friends using Nikon (yet I did have a little equipment envy). I took the A99, A77, 16-80, 28-75KM, 70-300G and 70-400G leaving the 70-200G at home. There was only 1 occasion where the 70-200G would have been a better option but the 70-400G managed just fine although I find the handling poorer than the 70-200G (in particular the zoom). The 28/75 was put in my suitcase on arrival and it stayed there.

Before my A99, I bemoaned missing the true 70-105 gap in coverage and on several occasions wished I had a Sigma 50-150 f2.8. Since addng the full frame body I found that to be honest I didn't really miss it as much as I thought and because I mainly shoot aircraft, I really missed the longer end. So now I mainly use the A99 with 70-400 and if desperate for reach, replace with the A77. I've pretty much decided to sell the 70-200G as this year it has remained in the cupboard for far too long. I've decided that IQ wise, the 70-400G is a stellar lens and is without doubt the best investment I have made in A mount.

I discovered that an A77 with 16-80Z and A99 with the 70-400G is quite a good pairing, but for travel I now covet a full frame wide-tele lens. I'm thinking the new Tamron 28-300 might fit the bill when it is eventually released for A mount. Admittedly I'll sacrifice some of the IQ but I look at it this way, better a reasonably framed image at 80% IQ than a dot with the 28-75 (eventually deleted). I always ran out of focal length just when I needed it but expect only to be using the 28-200 range. The 28-75 is another lens which will be offloaded shortly I think along with a few other odds and sods. I did contemplate a Minolta 35-200 but the power zoom and lack of 28 option put me off.
The 70-300G proved its worth on the trip, mainly on the A77, as it handles much better than the 70-400, IQ is not quite as good but it is smaller and lighter with a lovely zoom action.

On my return I was generally pleased with my overall choice. My friend was using a D800 with grip and the new 80-400, a huge and heavy combination. It made my A99 with 70-400G look small. For wide shots he used a DX18-200 so lost some of the advantage of the 36mp. The 3rd guy used a pair of D7100s with grips, a Nikon 18-200 and Sigma 150-500. Heat haze negated the use of the 500 end on a DX sensor. My only real gripe was battery life. I often had to swap batteries by mid afternoon where he had the same pair in the grip lasting 2-3 days and he only charged just in case we had an intense day to follow. I was charging every night.

My A99 must be on 25,000+ frames (anyone know how to check?) and I'm very happy with it other than the rather small coverage of the focus sensors in the frame and the images lacking initial punch (mainly contrast) but that is what I have LR for. The processed images, in particular with the 70-400G, were excellent except where my excitement induced camera shake overcame the SSS.

Well that's my personal experience to go with Sury's, I hope you find it interesting.

Sample image...
Image

Mike
Some Sony stuff and now some Nikon stuff (shock horror). Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I'm branching out to someone who does.

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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby sury » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:07 pm

Mike,
Thank you. At least I don't feel alone. That is one fantastic capture. I love it.
Now, if I can get a tenth of that kind of captures or even a twentieth of Henry's
creativity, I would be so happy. :) Alas, talent is outside the reach of GAS.

Thank you all for offering some wonderful insight into your personal philosophies
and preferences and not to mention suggestions and recommendations.

Henry, your suggestion about good enough has inspired me to try the Tamron 200-500
for Birds in Flight using techniques I learned on the forum. For sure, good techniques can
certainly help supplement a tool's capability.

Sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby mikeriach » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:20 pm

I echo the comments about creativity....I'm not overly endowed with that. I suppose there is a limit to that aspect when shooting aircraft especially in flight. More scope when on the ground though.

Try the Tamron, in the end if it's not to your liking you can always move it on. If you don't try you'll never know. I have an old Sigma 170-500 which occasionally gets pulled out for a dust off, maybe I should try it out. Not even sure if it works with the SLT cameras.

Mike
Some Sony stuff and now some Nikon stuff (shock horror). Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I'm branching out to someone who does.

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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby Birma » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:42 pm

Wonderful shot Mike - looks like I could reach in to the screen and pick it out!

Sury, once you've got the camera and lens sorted, then you can move on to tripods, heads and camera bags, before PP s/w and a computer to run it ;)
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby sury » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:40 am

Andy,
I am way ahead there. Three tripods, 4 camera bags, and half dozen pieces of software later, I don't think I wanting in those departments. :lol:

Sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby mikeriach » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:11 pm

Sury,

I like a man who comes prepared!

Mike
Some Sony stuff and now some Nikon stuff (shock horror). Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I'm branching out to someone who does.

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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby sury » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:16 am

This was one of my key purchases for my recent trip to Costa Rica when I came to know that
we were going during rainy season. Fortunately, I used it only twice, but it certainly invited
"why didn't I think of it" looks. :D It did work well for most part including auto focus through
that plastic.

Image

Couple of examples of shots taken with camera tucked inside the thingamajig.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/p5cANR]Image


Image
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby the_hefay » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:34 am

Looks like it worked out pretty nicely. That first flower shot is especially nice with the soft rain streaks around the in-focus blossom.
Image

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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby mikeriach » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:55 pm

I like those shots Sury.
I also bought a rain cover to take to Japan but didn't need it luckily. The day of our long drive to the South Island was the only wet (and very windy) day as we travelled through a typhoon. We left before the next one hit.

Mike
Some Sony stuff and now some Nikon stuff (shock horror). Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I'm branching out to someone who does.

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sury
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Re: Is my A900 dying?

Unread postby sury » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:18 pm

Jeff, Mike, Thank you for your kind words on the photos.

Sury
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