a350 owners

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stevecim
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a350 owners

Unread postby stevecim » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:00 am

Hi All

Looks like my funds will not stretch to an a700, so looks like a350 is the next choice :)

I would like to know what a350 owners think it, pos/neg, when it works well/when it doesn't ? :)

Cheers, Stephen

David Kilpatrick
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:04 am

It's better than you might think. While it is not all that good over ISO 800, with careful processing even the 3200 images are usable. The focusing is not as quick to lock but seems just as accurate as the A700. At the best - ISO 100, highly detailed subject well focused at an optimum aperture like f8 where diffraction does not lower sharpness - the A350 will produce a better image than the A700. It also has very good dynamic range, came as a surprise given the pixel density but the raw files have lots of headroom for highlight recovery.

You can see a few full size images here:

http://www.pbase.com/davidkilpatrick/sony_alpha_350

There are some ways the A350 doesn't work well - live view is little use with studio flash because of the way it works in manual mode, but Sony has just launched a new flash adaptor which solves the problem.

David

stevecim
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby stevecim » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:34 am

Thanks David

Have you ever used a Minolta 600si film slr? if yes, can you guess how the focus speed of the 600si is to the a350? the 600si only shoots at 2 fps, so I'm used to the slow frame rate :)

My biggest concern with the a350 was all the reviews that seemed to suggest it had problems at iso400 ( which is what I tend to use in film, can't aford fast glass :) )

Cheers, Stephen

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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:51 am

The 600si has a pretty robust focusing motor, but the A350 is definitely on that level - the focus motor is 1.7X faster than the A100, and generally, will drive a lens like the 70-300mm Tamron I used for these shots pretty well: red legged partridge in Gran Canaria, Tamron at 300mm - first the overall shot:

a350redlegpartridge.jpg


Now for ISO 100 - not ideal, shutter speed only 1/125th, partridge singing was moving too much to be sharp:

a350-iso100-125thf8.jpg


Switching to ISO 400, OK there is now some noise, but really it's just the same as changing from ISO 100 film to ISO 400 film:

a350-iso400-640thf6p3.jpg


The difference is that the subject is now frozen at 1/640th, lens two thirds of a stop opened wider as well.

That's the difference. I've shot at ISO 400 and processed to reduce noise for many subjects and the results are fine.

David

jopereira
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby jopereira » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:21 pm

The most negative thing about this camera is ergonomics - I feel the camera is too small, though I wished it that way!
All the rest is very good for a camera in its market position.

I ended up buying a used A700 (eBay), which feels a lot more comfortable in my hands. Have to say that I also missed some of my Minolta A2 features and got them back with the A700.
The fact that A700 is more convenient to support a 'new' 100-400 APO was the 'click' to switch.

So, if I were to choose now I would go for an A700, even a used one.

ps - I will probably keep my A350 for what DK said
JP
Lisbon, PORTUGAL

Sony Alpha A700, A350
SAL 18-250mm + MINOLTA 70-210 f4 'Beercan' + MINOLTA 100-400 APO + SIGMA EF-500 DG Super

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Dr. Harout
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby Dr. Harout » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:40 pm

Ha ha, jopereira's first post. Welcome to the forum.
Have you updated your firmware on the A700?
A99 + a7rII + Sony, Zeiss, Minolta, Rokinon and M42 lenses

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jopereira
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby jopereira » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:18 pm

Dr. Harout wrote:Ha ha, jopereira's first post. Welcome to the forum.
Have you updated your firmware on the A700?


Hi,

Thanks for this slightly warm welcome (I never liked neutral or cold ones :D )!

Thanks for your concern about v4, but why do you think I jumped in this wagon? You guys never stop talking about the good thinks this upgrade is...

Once again, thanks for the welcome and your concern.
JP
Lisbon, PORTUGAL

Sony Alpha A700, A350
SAL 18-250mm + MINOLTA 70-210 f4 'Beercan' + MINOLTA 100-400 APO + SIGMA EF-500 DG Super

stevecim
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby stevecim » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:27 am

thanks all

picked up a a350 today ;)

now to start playing :)

Cheers, Stephen

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Dr. Harout
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby Dr. Harout » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:44 am

Congratulation Stephen and happy shooting. :D
A99 + a7rII + Sony, Zeiss, Minolta, Rokinon and M42 lenses

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Wayne
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby Wayne » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:31 pm

David, I am currently an A100 owner and am looking for a second body. I have the chance to obtain an A350 for a good price. Most of the reviews I have read compare this camera either with the 200, 300 or 700, but my experience and point of reference is with the A100.

Could you please comment on the image quality and noise of the A350 across its ISO range in direct comparison to that of the A100?

Your web site and reviews are great - I count on them as a basis for all my camera purchases. Thanks for a great resource.

Wayne

David Kilpatrick
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:39 pm

The A350 is not very noisy at ISO 100-200 - in fact, its noise levels in skies and midtones seem better than the A100, A200, A300 or A700. Maybe the image is a little less 'punchy' and this helps. It has a very good dynamic range and the image is not heavily processed. I'd use it at 400 without worries and at 800, confident that it would beat the A100. At 1600, it begins to produce fairly strong well-defined noise and at 3200 this noise is more like fast-film grain than any other DSLR I have used. It really is not softened at all in RAW. The A100 of course does not go to 3200 so the comparison is not there.

Size for size - downsizing to 10 megapixels - I'd compare it well with the A100 across the entire range. I really like the quality of the A350 files and it will be kept in use for that reason. The A200 is disappearing into a cupboard, the A350 is staying 'live' now that the A900 has arrived. Shirley is now using the A700 and I am missing some aspects of that (like the tele reach with the crop) but I must remember the A900 can do that too!

However, in good light nothing beats the A350 for resolution and therefore for tele cropping ability. It has a touch under 30 per cent more resolution than the A900, 20 per cent more than the A700. So, 300mm on A700 - pixel for pixel, worth 360mm on the A350 assuming you nail the focus.

David

alphaomega
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby alphaomega » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:05 am

I cannot improve or even reach David Kilpatrick's technical knowledge but I added an A350 to my A700 in the spring. I am very happy with it and my wife has now started to use it. She finds that it fits the size of her hands. She has just taken over 100 images in all sorts of weather and all the pictures look sharp. I did not see a single soft reject. These were taken at 400 ASA. I think the autofocus is more reliable than some of the reviewers have made it out to be. As David states the images are perhaps less punchy than the A700 but the dynamic range is useful. I really bought the A350 for the LV and I use it when speed is less important. I have found that the LV comes in handy in many situations because I have the facility. Stretching up to avoid an obstruction or to minimise distortion. Holding down to avoid having to lie down etc. When I have the A700 with me only I cannot make use of this facility and lose potential shots. My view is that the LV usefulness is underestimated and as I have said before my ideal camera would be a A700 development incorporating a 3" LV movable screen just as in the A350.

randy001
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby randy001 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:50 pm

Hi all. Stevecim, now that you have the camera, what do you think? I am really curious because I bought an A100 a year ago, was only somewhat happy because I felt images weren't sharp enough. My background is the Nikon CP990, Dimage 7i, Dimage A2; film (Nikkormat and Canon A1) way before that. Even considering they looked 'film-like' as some reviewers said, I felt there was just no comparison with the results friends were getting with their basic Canon and Nikon DSLRs. This was with the 18-70 kit, original Maxxum 75-300, original Maxxum 50/1.7. Switched to an A350 a couple weeks after it came out --- sold the A100 to a friend who is very happy (also has Maxxum lenses) but he comes from film. Just about no one I know uses RAW, so they have some sharpening going on that they don't even know about. But even then when I take my RAWs and sharpen them up, the results look like they have been sharpened, not "naturally sharp". Picked up a Sigma 18-125, very nice lens but still felt the sharpness issue was there, also switched to shooting aperture-priority typically around F/8. Now switched that for the Sony/Zeiss 16-80. Nice lens, have seen some good results, but nothing to warrant some of the positive review comments I have seen. Even when using flash (Sigma 500 DG Super) the images only become sharper, not SHARP. Am I expecting too much, coming from digital to DSLR? Am I too old and can't hold the camera steady anymore (wouldn't the flash overcome a lot of that?) Is it the mirror slap? I find even tripod (good tripod) shots leave me wondering. Also, one photo group I have read totally ridicules the use of a protective filter like a UV. How much difference does this make? I am still shooting aperture priority, F/8 or smaller. On the tripod, typically F14-29, even with flash. Sorry this is so long but trying to say "I'm no camera dummy" but wondering why I am so dissatisfied. Going on Alaska cruise in June, also just picked up the Sony 11-18 for this and looking to get a 70-200/2.8 also, yet may be going down the wrong path. Comments please...

alfake
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby alfake » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:09 pm

Randy001: First of all, welcome to the forum. There are so many variables in the digital workflow that it’s difficult to determine from what you say why you are getting soft results with your Sony kits. Both the A100 and the A350 Sony bodies as well as the Carl Zeiss 16-80mm lens are generally considered, as you know, very sharp photographic tools. (I am satisfied with the results I obtain with my A100 and CZ16-80mm, after having shot for two years with a Canon 350D plus 17-85mm IS.) I have only one suggestion for you: For the best image quality, don’t shoot at apertures smaller than f11. Beyond f11, diffraction begins to degrade the image quality.
Alfonso

stevecim
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Re: a350 owners

Unread postby stevecim » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:21 am

well... I've ony taken a few shots, I'm nearly happy with. I'm still try to get my head around working with RAW's and getting a feel on how the a350 works with all my old glass.
First thing I worked out, is that switching to manual focus dos not release the focus on my sigma 170-500mm, when I'm using it with a tamron tele-converter.
ALso the only time I've had a chance to take some photos has been on sunset after i get home from work, trying to take photos of local bird life at dusk, hand held, with my sigma does not work :)

I've also tried some moon shots, again hand held, none worked :)

Stephen


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