A900 crop vs. A700

Specifically for the discussion of the A-mount DSLR range
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robsphotography
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by robsphotography »

Sonolta wrote:Henry - nice shots. Of course he brand of the camera does not matter for the UWA usefulness discussion. :)

Rob - The a900 loses in the head-to-head long end resolution battle with the a700. Not only does the a900 provide less resolution, it does not have eye-start af, and you are wasting a bunch of memory, storage, and energy just trying to make the a900 frame match the a700 frame. Not only that it may not be as easy to make the capture in the first place because the subject will be smaller in the viewfinder on the a900 which may make it more difficult to hit your critical focus point as easily. No since guessing which will provide more resolution in the head-to-head long lens battle between the a700 and the a900 because we already know that the a700 wins the higher resolution prize.

See this page here as it is is one of the more well done pages on the subject:

http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/dslrsens ... ensors.htm

-Sonolta


I have had a quick look at the source you quote above. The article seems to be saying that it’s the “higher pixel density” of the Canon 20D that helps to give the 20D picture more detail than the picture from the full frame camera.

To be honest, I would far rather have a camera where the pixel density is not too dense, and the A900 seems to have less pixel density than the A700. We all know about the problems that arise when too many pixels are crammed on to a relatively small sensor!

In the pictures published of the bear’s nose in the above article, it’s almost impossible to see this claimed “extra detail”, and I certainly doubt whether you would see it at all in a large print viewed from a “normal” viewing distance.

Honestly, if you could actually see the fantastic print quality and large prints I am getting from even quite heavily cropped A900 images, you wouldn’t hesitate to always use your A900, even for long telephoto shots! But, as always, I fully respect the views of people who don’t want an A900, because it’s a huge adjustment to make if you are very satisfied with your APS-C camera.

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html
(Examples of the outstanding resolution of Sony A900 images)
Last edited by robsphotography on Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bakubo
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by bakubo »

Sonolta wrote:Hmmm...I am using twilight and 3.5.1 on my main system connected to my calibrated 'pro spec' monitor and the I am seeing quite a difference with the bold text.


I just now went back to twilightBB to check again. I have it figured out now. The default font size is very small so I always look at this forum using a bigger font (in FF hold the ctrl key and turn the mouse wheel). I bump the size up several increments and when I do that the bold is only slightly fatter than the regular characters. If I reset the font to the default it is clear. Fortunately, using subsilver2 bold is obvious even when the font size is increased. Anyway, no problems now.
robsphotography
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by robsphotography »

Sonalta

You have raised some interesting issues. But, in the meantime, I would just like to comment on one of these. You say:

“The fact of the matter is the A700 wins the true resolution battle”.

You quote this article in support of your view:

http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/dslrsens ... ensors.htm

Now the example in the above article was based on a comparison of the output of a Canon 20D 1.6 crop factor camera with a Canon full frame camera. However, in the case that has been discussed on this forum, the Sony A700 has a 1.5 crop factor, and this does alter perspectives a little. In the above Victorian Valentine bear example, if you used a crop factor of 1.5 instead of 1.6, the image size of the 100% crop of the bear’s nose would be reduced from 214 pixels wide to about 200 pixels wide, which is in fact the same size as the crop that was obtained from the full frame camera.

As mentioned earlier, I don’t think the 100% crop photos in this article conclusively support the view that the resolution of the A700 on long tele shots is noticeably superior to what you would get from the A900.

Now if you talk about resolution in general, in a very demanding review by Simon Joinson for “Digital Photography Review”, Simon concluded that:

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, given it's headline-grabbing 24.6MP pixel count, the Alpha 900 sets a new standard for resolution, edging past the EOS-1Ds Mark III by a whisker, and leaving its 12-ish megapixel competitors in a cloud of dust.”

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra900/page35.asp

Every review I have seen says the same about the world beating resolution of the A900, and I am sure that all readers of this forum are aware of how consistently these reviews state this basic fact.

Regards
Rob
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by David Kilpatrick »

The APS-C crop from the A900 is not a 12.2 megapixel crop. It is actually a density of 170.66 pixels per millimetre, which at APS-C is an image size of 4010 x 2672, which is equal to 10.7 megapixel camera - somewhere between the A200 and the A700 in image resolution.

I think the original question was really about whether this 10.7 megapixels is equal to, worse than or better than the A700's 12.2 megapixels (for example, when making an identical print size or when enlarging both to a slightly larger size such as the 5120 pixels needed by Alamy. I'll try to shoot a comparison today. My own experience is that the quality of attached lens makes a huge difference, and a crop from my A900 using something like the KM 28-75mm will have more absolute detail than an A700 shot using the Sony 18-250mm. Change that to using the 28-105mm Minolta on A900 and the 16-80mm CZ on A700, and the A700 almost certainly wins.

So, I will test these four instances.

David
robsphotography
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by robsphotography »

Sonalta said:

“If you purchase or already own the decent glass needed to match FOV's with the a700 then the a900 will win the resolution battle every time...if you can still get the shot. If you can't purchase or you don't already own the glass needed to match the FOV's that you had with the a700 then the a900 has no advantage when shooting at the long end. The point is not that the a700 will be far superior...the point is spending $3000 on a new body may not do squat for you if you don't dump some serious cabbage on some longer glass.”

I would like to refer to David’s article about the A900, which mentions that:

“So what do I do? I use the Alpha 900. I use it because once you have done so, there is no going back. Buy it, and your APS-C gear will be forgotten. Your cherished CZ 16-80mm won’t get a look in, even if you can’t afford a CZ 24-70mm and end up with a budget alternative like the 28-75mm D on your new full-frame. The accuracy of the focusing before you even consider using the micro AF adjustment, or try manual focus, will make you unwilling to return to the vagueness of the APS-C focus points again.”

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2008/10/1 ... alpha-900/

I know that the subject of this thread deliberately necessitates taking a rather narrow view of whether you should buy the A900 or not. I also realise that the financial aspects are very important, and that some people may even be prepared to make a decision on whether to buy the A900 based on whether they like just the “long end” capabilities of the A900 and using lenses that they have purchased for their APS-C cameras.

But, I know that everyone realises that most people take a very broad view of the whole situation and take into account all the factors mentioned in David’s article above. To isolate one very narrow aspect of a purchase decision and exclude all others, such as the wonderful benefits of the wide angle end of the Sony A900, may end up with you depriving yourself of the best Sony camera ever manufactured!

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz
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bfitzgerald
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

Interesting that most seem so fixated on resolution. But what about tonality and colours etc?

How does the A900 compare to the A700??

Just as a passing observation, but looking at the number of A700 posts, about tones and colours..well you can make your own mind up on that one
It gets tiresome to read resolution, resolution..all the time.
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by Lonnie Utah »

Sonolta wrote:The a900 frame must be reduced a lowly 10.7 MP frame to match the a700's FOV with identical lenses.


That is the most accurate statement (yellow text added). The user always has the option of changing lenses so both cameras have the identical FOV. You are making seem like that option is impossible. It isn't.
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by bakubo »

Here at Waikiki the surfers are pretty far offshore and I often see photographers with their big tripods, 600mm f4 and 500mm f4 lenses (sometimes with a teleconverter) and I have never seen any of them using a FF DSLR. Usually a Canon 50D/40D or Nikon D300/D200. I suppose it is possible they can't afford a FF Canon or Nikon even though they managed to get the big lenses. Or, maybe they know something. :) Just an observation.
Last edited by bakubo on Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by Lonnie Utah »

I didn't say there wouldn't be trade offs. I was saying compare apples to apples, identical FOV's. You have set this test up (using identical lens) in a way that you know "you" would win. The reality of the situation is, most pros don't do they kind of photography you seem to be restricting this "test" to (what you do, sports/wildlife). I would dare say that the most common shoot a pro goes would be the wedding shoot.

One could easily reverse the "test" for wide angle stuff and make it difficult for the 700 to beat the 900....


Oh, btw, while I was away, I was on the phone looking to make some serious lens purchases....
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by Lonnie Utah »

Stock photography, wildlife photography, and sports photography are three of the MOST popular photographic subjects.


I didn't say most common subjects, I said most common pro assignments/jobs.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

Don tonality is not some test chart slapped up by a French company, it's about taste and appeal, which will vary from person to person.
Bottom line is, you can rant all day long, but if someone gifted you an A900, you would be blowing off how awesome it was and what an amazing tool you had ;-)
Heard all this before, with the A700 bionz problem, you bashed it..then suddenly you bought one, and it was the best thing ever (even before the FW update to fix the NR problem in raw) You will sing any tune that suits your current situation.

Guess what, there are these wonderful things called computers, so whilst I cannot and won't talk about either camera handling wise etc, I can comment on the IQ side of things, I also see a printer lying around here too ;-)
If you think tonality and colour don't mean anything, then you have a very limited view of photography. You can mock my gear if you like, but I know what counts, shame you don't seem to grasp it.
They probably use your shots as you would talk them to death if they didn't :mrgreen:
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bfitzgerald
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

Don, you again go too far.

Let's see some decent landscape and portraits then :mrgreen: Well be waiting that's for sure

Here you go couple of action shots, oh and one is low light too. Yeah I have no clue.

Woodlands25thJan2009-201c1.jpg
(152.6 KiB) Downloaded 2087 times



StHelens34rs.jpg
(178.55 KiB) Downloaded 2087 times




Rather then bellyaching on a forum (about who has the bigger better camera), I just used what I had..try it sometime.
And I use the A200 mostly for flash work, the 5d for low light, and film (yes you hate it) for people ones at times, and almost always film for landscapes, so I guess to me, tones do matter.
But keep it up, the entertainment is hilarious..
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bfitzgerald
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

Well there are better action shooters than I, but you have to admit not too bad for ist ever attempt at football shooting, ist attempt at horse jumping, and def no worse than the snapshots you used to post on the KM forum (complete with insults are per usual, prior to your ISP ban on dp) :lol:

Glad you mentioned the kit lens..because that is exactly what I did use (the rare times I do shoot digital scenics)

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2638

Elvis Presley is the king of Rock
Michael Jackson the king of Pop
Don is the king of blowhards

You can try your insults with other here, and you might get away with it, but you start throwing the stuff about in my direction, and you'll be quick in getting it back. Do remind us why you sold the A100 them, something to do with tones and colours?? :shock:
robsphotography
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by robsphotography »

For those of you who are interested in why a lot of people consider that it really is very useful to have available 24.6 megapixels instead of a measly old 12 odd megapixels, you may care to browse this thread:

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/sony-a900-d ... page1.html

Now just a few comments in reply to the wonderfully positive comments that have been made in this thread about my great tiger pic:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sumatran-Tiger.html

Yes, you guessed it, my poor old tiger was also pixel peeped in the above Dyxum thread. So rather than typing out a response again, I will paste in below the response I made on Dyxum:

“For my purposes, at least, the Sony 70-300 mm G SSM lens was an ideal choice for a visit to the zoo. In the few cases where the animals were a long way away from the camera, the lens at a focal length of 300mm did a pretty good job. And if you needed to get in a bit closer, then the A900’s image size of 6048 pixels x 4032 pixels allowed you to “zoom in” a lot closer and still get a really good 20 inch wide print from a cropped image width of 3024 pixels.

But if you are a dedicated wildlife photographer, who spends days at a time on location in the jungle, then I would agree that a 1000mm lens and a heavy tripod might be ideal for some situations. But even then, I would take several lenses and be prepared to change them often (despite the potential dust on the sensor problem)!

With regard to the tiger’s whiskers, they actually look sharp and clear when you make a 40 inch print from the whole 6048 pixels x 4032 pixels image. If you were to see this print, and look at it from a normal viewing distance of a metre or so, in my humble opinion, there is no way you would suggest that the whiskers area of the picture needs improvement!! And the fact that you can see the whiskers at all is pretty remarkable when you consider that the tiger was quite a long way away from the camera.

Remember also that the images on the web site are saved at a very low quality, and shouldn’t be expected to look as good as images that are saved at the highest possible quality. I think that most people acknowledge that web images on most photographers’ web sites can give only a reasonable idea of how the finished product will look.

With regard to your “over exposed” comment, the sun was out at the time, so naturally there are some areas of the tiger that are brighter than others, but overall, I think the A900 did a pretty good job with this exposure! Unfortunately, neither the tiger or myself was prepared to wait around until the sun went behind a cloud so that an absolutely evenly lighted portrait could be taken!”

People often aren’t thinking broadly enough when they pixel peep into a 100% crop. If the main aim of my photograph had been to get a large perfectly sharp picture of tiger’s whiskers from a distance of 300 metres, then I would have used the longest prime tele lens that I could afford, preferably 1000mm, and put the camera on a sturdy tripod, and waited for several hours until the sun went behind a cloud so that no part of the whiskers would be “blown out”!

But when you look at a 40 inch print from a distance of 1 metre of the whole tiger picture, it looks fantastic and people have thought it’s a huge joke that some photographers could possibly be so critical and nit picking! I had less than 30 seconds in which to take this pic and I think that the hand held 300mm pic taken with the Sony A900 was a credit to the abilities of the camera, even if the photographer should have made a concerted effort to get into the enclosure with the tiger so a proper close up could be taken!

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz
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Re: A900 crop vs. A700

Unread post by paulmurphy »

The measly old 12mp A700 can still show some amazing detail with good glass and technique.

I hope you will forgive a couple of tiger shots

Hand held A700 + Minolta 200f2.8

Image

Crop from the above image (you can see the meat caught in the molars)

Image

That said I would love to try an A900 for landscapes which is my main photographic area.

Cheers

Murph
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