Sony A-99 11

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:40 am

It was never about cramming everything into a camera at a super low price point. They call it the "sigmoid function" it carries across many products they reach a certain point and then flatten out there is little innovation or real development left. The camera industry is in a similar position.

Early days resolution and DR were low..even the cheapest cameras now offer plenty. High ISO again up to a point where most will be more than happy. It's minor tweaking you can only cram so many AF points into a camera worthwhile for some eventually it too becomes academic. High fps also been nailed no longer that interesting nor needed by all. There is a lot I like about cameras such as the A77II the new AF is very nice and the large buffer is useful..but not really if you take photos of places/people and interiors (which is 95% of what I do) the additions are not very useful to me despite improved design and the better UI.

Some things Sony did were to tick boxes rather than being of practical use..the top LCD panel is one such area. I almost never use it why? It doesn't show me the ISO set (unless I press the button), doesn't show me how much exp comp I have dialled in (again unless you press the button), metering mode again nope doesn't show it nor any information about flash mode except if you have flash comp set..amazingly doesn't tell me how much. It's near useless as a feature only put there because "cameras of this price/type should have one". Not because it's been designed for users. A99II seems to have the same flawed top LCD I'd take the dual dials back over that any day it game me visual feedback on exp comp (and flash comp) and you can put the drive dial on one..brilliant design now a distant memory

Things like AF assist beam, GPS are a heck of a lot more useful than that or gimmicky stuff like art filters or auto modes that get crammed in there or smile detection. Stupid consumer nonsense that has no place on any camera

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:01 pm

Some of those "Picture Effect" and "Creative Styles" setting are gone from the A99II, which is in fact geared more towards the professional photographer type of consumer; people who are least likely to be interested in those features.

Not to be contrary, but when trying to save battery and shooting with the image on the rear screen, that top panel LCD is great. It provides information without having to toggle the display back and forth.

It also comes in handy at night AND the LCD screen is turned face in. I love it, and use it often... at least once per session and usually a lot more.

What you mentioned about stratification of features is a valid point and it points out the biggest flaw in Sony offering just a simple 3 camera line up. Your point about Sony making seemingly illogical decisions about which features to include is also valid. I do NOT understand why Sony took AWAY the GPS module when they added the Connectivity module. SERIOUSLY... there is NO good reason why they couldn't offer both. And with the cost back to the initial manufacturers suggested retail price, the decision to exclude GPS seems questionable... at least in my mind. (I too use the GPS function on the A77, and really do wish the 77mkII version had it as well.) But on the 77mkII the AF assist light has been replaced by increased low light sensitivity AND the pop up flash, which INCREASES the range of AF assist considerably over than the old IR light. The A99mkII can AF down to -4 EV, much more than the 77mkII's -2 EV and the 77's -1 EV.

The problem with offering only 3 cameras in their DSLR style line up is the difficulty in including features that discriminating consumers find will fit their individual wants and needs.

But that's where the market is unfortunately. There are fewer and fewer of us who even CARE about such things, much less are willing to spend money and purchase REAL CAMERAS.

Sadly, that trend is only going to change for the worse as time moves forward and we old geezers start dying off. :cry:00

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby the_hefay » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:46 pm

Barry, the LCD is a "tick box" only if you don't use it. I, like Cholly, use it quite often. To you it's useless, to me it's valuable. You prefer GPS. To me GPS is a "tick box" and not something I've ever desired to have or use on a camera. To me it's useless. To you it's valuable. I, like you, would prefer the 2-dial top. I haven't owned a camera with that since the a100. To us it's valuable, to others it's useless. The same goes with every feature you can think of. Everybody uses a camera differently. If you ask me, the most useless feature on any DSLR is "Auto" and all the other little symbol related presets on the dial. Garbage! All of them. However, to some people they are necessary. And in reality, they are probably necessary to sell the camera. I'd prefer to have a dial that is A, S, M, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. for presets. The a99ii has Auto, P, A, S, M, 1, 2, 3, Movie, and Sweep. Really!? Auto? You gotta be joking! Dump the Auto, P, and Sweep and then add 3 more spaces for custom presets. If this is a pro level camera bought by pro's, I'm pretty sure that these 3 settings are never, ever, used. But that's my opinion I guess and there will be enthusiasts and even newbies, that purchase this body and so they are included.

I say all this not to start an argument, but rather to say that we all have our preferences. The perfect camera for me, will never be made. So, I find the one that has the closest feature to my ideal, and purchase it. My only concern right now, is that when it comes time to buy a new body, will I have to change mounts. I hope not.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:28 pm

The top LCD is so poor I'm surprised they bothered to put it in. Every other maker has a far superior one which actually shows you the settings properly. Some functions just don't even appear such as AF settings, nor flash, metering it's a criminal waste of a top LCD. My take is simply this if you are going to have one do it properly.

The AF assist on the film 7 and A77 can focus on a subject with 0 contrast no pop up flash can do that you might wonder how useful that is but it creates the pattern for AF which is bulletproof it was by far the best AF assist light on the market far better and less distracting than the Pentax and Nikon ones. Interesting Canon seem to disagree with Sony on GPS either way I think an add on unit is sorely missing and should have been provided. We can talk about xyz features those are two that cost little but add quite a bit.

Back to the A99II this is worth a watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgWkqO7zlMk&t=4s

I see the request for smaller raw files is another one Sony need to look at

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:03 pm

I agree with the assertion that a professional level camera... or at least a camera targeted at professionals... has little need for Auto or any of the other "gimmick" settings, ESPECIALLY on the mode dial.

I also agree COMPLETELY that each photographer is different, and that they will use their cameras differently. It is up to the individual to decide which features he or she will use and decide if the camera is worth buying based on that analysis. As stated above, the "Perfect" camera will NEVER be made, because what is perfect for me probably won't be perfect for anyone else, and camera manufacturers just can NOT afford to worry about pleasing just a few of their potential (and existing) customers. 8)

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:29 pm

Barry, I saw that video when it was first posted. Max had already done a short review on the A99mkII and praised it as a STILL camera, but panned it as a video camera.

As you know, he is not only a video guy, but a canikon homer for stills. He loves Panasonic for video too, and throughout the video above you hear him constantly trying to put the A99mkII down.

Paul Nelson however, CONTINUALLY reminds him that he can get more "all around performance" out of the A99mkII than he can any other camera... and let ME remind viewers here that THAT performance comes at under 40% the price of the D5. 8)

To your point about file size, well; this would be the PERFECT place for a second FF A mount... like an A88, with perhaps a 24.3 mp sensor but similar fps performance to the A99mkII. :wink:

Market won't support that though. :(

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:08 pm

BTW, the file size bottleneck would not be as big a problem with the A99II if Sony had chosen to use XQD cards instead of SD.

It just one more of the Sony engineering and design quirks that you were talking about earlier; they put a dual SD/ANCIENT Memory Stick slot in the camera, but NOT the NEW, extremely fast XQD card slot.

Go figure. :?

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:23 pm

I was more interested in what Paul Nelson said as he's using it real world for that type of photography. Not really watched any of Max's other videos might have a look. My interest in video is fairly minor I can see the output looks good but always pondered why the artificial limit of F3.5 on AF. The modes also need working on a bit not that I shoot tons of video I'm a million miles away from Dave Dudgale I simply don't have an in depth interest or knowledge of video bar basic stuff which can be applied from stills shooting experience.

I think the issue with card speed might be more about using UHS-II type cards or supporting them I believe it only works with UHS-I speeds plenty fast enough for less megapixel cameras but uncompressed A99II raw files are pretty big I've seen then at 80MB+ shifting that number and size isn't easy. XQD might have solved it but they are not well supported in general. A crop camera can handle raw files pretty well on UHS-I surprised Sony didn't see that one coming. I think UHS-III is coming out II might be enough (about 300MB/s pretty quick) Still he seems to like it and that counts for something. Fairly easy workaround though just use compressed raw files some might dismiss that I've compressed 12bit raw to DNG lossy and saw very little difference in push/pull or noise patterns. Certainly a good alternative to jegs. I also tested the lossless raw on the D7000 v compressed again even with silly levels of pushing it's a bit of a non issue I think

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:51 pm

Barry, the f/3.5 barrier is another of those weird choices Sony the Engineering and Design team continues to foist on us A mount users.

There is a technical reason for that limitation.... but it can probably be overcome via firmware updates. Yet every single SLT to date has had it. Go figure. :roll:

I also think it borderline CRIMINAL to ship the A99mkII without UHS-II compatibility... ESPECIALLY when nearly every other machine in, above, and below it's class, offers that flexibility. Just plain CRAZY. :x

But XQD cards are the near future... in many respects, much more competitive and capable than CFast, and while they are expensive NOW, the best way to change that would have been to include the option in the camera (like Nikon does with the D500 and D5) thereby increasing demand.

Sony probably still has a sour taste in it's mouth after the firmware update allowing you to select RAW file compression sizes in the A7RII. Once they offered that option, people using it started to complain about lossy files. Go Figure. :|

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:56 pm

BTW, Paul Nelson says he shoots and has shot a LOT of modern professional and semi-professional cameras. The D810, D750, and D5 from Nikon.

But he says his A99 and A77 have created a "soft spot" for Sony, and he could not sing the praises of SLT cameras and Minolta glass enough.

I agree; I LOVE my Minolta glass... and wish I still had all my Kit from the 80's and early 90's.

He repeatedly said that NOTHING could do everything that his A99II can do; 42mp files at 12 fps in low light and every single lens stabilized were just the highlights.

I'll be buying one for sure. 8)

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:13 pm

I get the idea of not allowing smaller apertures at some point the AF won't get enough light (for some reason though I can use a silly high ND filter ND1000!) and get AF well on half decent contrast subjects. What doesn't make sense is you can use faster apertures never understood that.

I think SD is probably a safer bet long term UHS III doubles up 600MB/s can't really see that being blown out any time soon, but you are right UHS-II should have been included. It requires more contacts (the cards have extra ones behind) but they are still readable on normal card readers so compatibility isn't a problem just won't get the full speed with transfer. My Kingston reader external can handle them at full speed USB 3.0 (white model newer one). 82MB raw files UHS-I probably clearing at 100MB/s 3x that would make a big difference. You'd still hit the buffer but they were waiting around for it to clear. A77 uses UHS I A57 does not A77 clears buffer faster (by some margin) A57 deeper buffer same size less file sizes toss up on those 2. Any big buffer camera should really support UHS-II even if not everyone use it you can if needed

I do moan and a fair bit but yes there are things I do like about Sony one is that it's still around ;-), and sometimes they do have good ideas..just sometimes you think why did they do that when an easy solution is available? Interesting he rated the 80-200mm F2.8 as a better lens and worked fine using screw drive AF too. I don't need the super fast fps but wouldn't mind a more affordable body for low light. I'm not unhappy with APS-C though does 95% of what I ask it to.

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:57 pm

In that respect, Sony is following the "head scratcher" tradition made popular by Minolta. SOME of those Minolta ideas were great; the Minolta host shoe comes to mind, as does AF, a movable LCD, and sensor shift image stabilization. But some of those ideas were just plain crazy like plastic body of the supposedly PROFESSIONAL Maxxum 7. I mean... that was CRAZY.

I guess you could say going with XQD could be risky for a new make-or-break camera... but there really is NO excuse for not making those slots (in both the A77II and A99II) UHS-II compatible. :?

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:14 pm

Well not as crazy as the Nikon D7500. There might be some hope for Sony yet..

I've never seen such an angry backlash from Nikon users who seem to be venting on this one. Nikon have really messed up in a huge way they've gone to a full plastic body, no VG option, single card v dual card, UHS I not II, got rid of the good strap lugs now with the budget camera ones, no AI coupling for older MF lenses, lower res sensor, worse battery life, lower res LCD, no NFC. Yes tilt LCD, 4K and bigger buffer and faster fps.

Some of those downgrades a very significant indeed particularly the single card slot and no VG option which is important for a body that price. Let's hope Sony don't follow Nikon because that's one of the biggest camera release blunders I've seen to date. At least the film 7 was cutting edge for it's day even with a plastic body you could fit a grip ;-)

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:15 pm

For the price they are asking there is little logic in the stripping away of features on the D7500.

And it is an ADDITION to their line-up; not a replacement for the D7200.

And here's the thing; D500 sales are below projections and they have dropped the list price already.

Is this what desperate companies do when they fear bankruptcy around the bend? :?:

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Re: Sony A-99 11

Unread postby CHOLLY » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:48 pm

BTW: Remember all the "hot air" I was blowing earlier in this thread about Sony's marketing strategy? Well, take a peek at this:

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-ove ... ra-market/ (Click on the link for graph and full article and comments)

It’s official: In the US Sony did surpass Nikon and is now on 2nd place in the FF system camera market! It’s Canon that is still the king of the market (Their DSLR still do rule the Amazon sales ranking). But the day will arrive Sony will take Canon’s throne….

Here is the Press text:

SAN DIEGO, April 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Electronics – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has announced today that their continued growth has vaulted them into the #2 overall position in the U.S. full-frame interchangeable lens camera market. 1

Sony’s interchangeable lens cameras and lenses have seen record sales in 2017, in particular within the U.S. full-frame camera market, where they have experienced double-digit growth (+23%) 2 compared to the same period last year. The popularity of key models including α7RII and α7SII has been paramount to this success.

Additionally, Sony’s rapid growth has helped to drive growth of the overall full-frame interchangeable lens camera market compared to the same period last year. Without Sony’s contributions, the full-frame market would be facing a slight decline. 3

“Our commitment to the industry is stronger than ever,” said Neal Manowitz, VP of Digital Imaging at Sony North America. “We are always listening to our customers, combining their feedback with our intense passion for innovation to deliver products, services and support like no other.”

A variety of exclusive stories and exciting content shot Sony α products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com , Sony’s community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.


Notes to Editors

1The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Full Frame, Based on Dollars, Jan- Feb 2017
2The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Full Frame, Based on Dollars, Jan/Feb 2016- Jan/Feb 2017
3The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Full Frame, Based on Dollars, Jan/Feb 2016- Jan/Feb 2017


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