a55 EVF questions

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Neonsquare
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by Neonsquare »

@Greg
Its actually quite simple: SSS is available during exposure when you activate it. So if you record video it is available and will stabilize the EVF as a side effect. If you do stills it will only be available when the image is recorded and NOT in normal liveview. It would indeed be a nice idea being able to setup a button to activate SSS in EVF on demand. Maybe it would be an option to just activate SSS when using the magnifying mode?

ciao,
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agorabasta
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

So what's the state of play then?
Greg,

All's quite straightforward. The a55 SSS for the stills operates exactly the same as that of a700 or any other Sony DSLR.
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bakubo
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Re: a55 EVF questions

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agorabasta wrote:There's one more thing nobody seems to be quite aware of. The noise diff between a55 and a580 may be much larger than 0.5 stop caused by the mirror. If a580 is used with the OVF, its main sensor stays cold; the a55 sensor heats up. Some 30C diff in sensor temp can easily bring you another full stop of noise.

With the older a700 the additional 30C normally brings ISO800 noise above ISO3200 noise of lower temp. I'm not sure that a55 is as much dependent on the temp, need more testing in hot weather. But of the Nex5 I'm pretty sure that it's much worse than a700 in that regard - a hot summer night makes its ISO1600 very noisy pretty fast.
Hot sensors are a problem to solve too...
Another thing I didn't realize or thought of about the A55 and NEX 5. Even digicams have mostly lost their OVF so most of them also use the main sensor full time. It seems to be what people want though or at least what many of the companies have convinced them they want. I have nothing against main sensor LV using the rear LCD, but for cameras I buy I want the choice of an OVF or EVF too. Of course, as you say, and EVF has the same noise disadvantage as rear LCD LV since it is still LV.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: a55 EVF questions

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I don't think it's what people want just what they are given. I know quite a few folks who do actually want an OVF on a compact (no they're not all retired and yes they are pretty lousy the ones that are there) Cost cutting measure have to say I just hate using a back LCD and no VF I'll do it on my Fuji the odd time but it's not a lot of fun it's a great way to be disconnected from a scene.

An EVF does the same thing it does not immerse you in it as the electronic image just looks weird and feels uncomfortable to me the reason they don't put them on compacts again saving ££ $$. The ones they do on the bridge type super zooms are so awful frankly even the lousiest tiny OVF is an improvement.

Where the camera industry goes from here is sadly going to be consumer driven and not enthusiast photographer geared which is fine for consumer products but because something is "so" does not make it "better" by default.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

Ok, Henry,

Now turning to digicams, I must point out that those small sensors produce much less heat, especially if they are CCDs. Then that heat is much easier to drain off. So they just don't overheat that much.
Some [email protected] at +27C in the night would be better than a [email protected] after some 20min of reckless snapping around, especially if you take into account the larger DOF normally required for such reckless snap-around...

Such is the simple physics of the process.
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Greg Beetham
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by Greg Beetham »

Given that most of to-days compacts have large range zooms on tiny sensors, (possible in a small package mainly because of the small sensor); I don’t think you will see a view/magnification matching rangefinder OVF being available in any of those.
The complications of doing so would raise the price of the camera considerably; the zoom angle of view of the lens would have to be matched by the OVF mechanically and beyond a certain level of zoom parallax error would become a progressively large issue, so that would have to be corrected for as well.
But there is no reason why they couldn’t provide an EVF on some models at least, surely.
OVF’s would/should be easily made available on those rare cameras today that have a fixed focal length lens, or a much more moderate zoom lens range. Personally I think the EVF is a much more practical solution on compact cameras, IF they ever decide to put them back in that is. They probably decided that the camera real-estate was better used by providing a larger rear screen, either that or it’s the modern ‘in thing’ to do, and it saves on cost as well.
Another thing is; how many would actually buy a camera with an EVF in preference to a similar sized body that has a larger rear screen because it doesn’t have an EVF?
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bakubo
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by bakubo »

agorabasta wrote:Now turning to digicams, I must point out that those small sensors produce much less heat, especially if they are CCDs. Then that heat is much easier to drain off. So they just don't overheat that much.
Some [email protected] at +27C in the night would be better than a [email protected] after some 20min of reckless snapping around, especially if you take into account the larger DOF normally required for such reckless snap-around...
Okay, the heat isn't as much of a problem for tiny sensors, but the other issues of having no OVF/EVF are still there. You have made a really good case for serious compromises to the A55/NEX 5 still photo quality just so that they can have video mode. It makes me wonder how much video A55/NEX 5 owners are doing compared to still photo taking? 50%? 75%? 5%?
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

You have made a really good case for serious compromises to the A55/NEX 5 still photo quality just so that they can have video mode.
He-he.. No, Henry! I haven't. You have (here and now again).

I never really discussed their video at all. I'm not even sure I ever mentioned the video capabilities, but could be...

I hardly ever used video on my Lx3 that I bought in Sep 2008. I sorta tested it twice, though. I have a total of one instance of using the Nex5 video from last summer totalling of about 3 min in one chunk. Neither do I own any camcorder at all.
I simply hate amateur video, find it outright disgusting at best.

I think the problem is that some 'consumers' are not quite happy with using the regular consumer products, and they keep demanding for more elitist products for them the 'advanced' consumers. But there are the very specific manufacturers serving the 'more demanding' users/consumers, e.g. - Leica.
You see - elitism is available at a price. And that's normal. You have to deal with that. I do.
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bakubo
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by bakubo »

agorabasta wrote:
You have made a really good case for serious compromises to the A55/NEX 5 still photo quality just so that they can have video mode.
He-he.. No, Henry! I haven't. You have (here and now again).
I was sort of thinking that when you wrote the following you were saying that additional noise in the A55/NEX 5 compared to the A580 was not such a good thing. Yes, that is my value judgment, not yours. And it is not just because of video, but primarily the Sony SLT designs are to get video AF to be better than in DSLRs and the video experience to be more seamless. At least, I seem to recall Sony saying something along those lines several times.
agorabasta wrote:There's one more thing nobody seems to be quite aware of. The noise diff between a55 and a580 may be much larger than 0.5 stop caused by the mirror. If a580 is used with the OVF, its main sensor stays cold; the a55 sensor heats up. Some 30C diff in sensor temp can easily bring you another full stop of noise.

With the older a700 the additional 30C normally brings ISO800 noise above ISO3200 noise of lower temp. I'm not sure that a55 is as much dependent on the temp, need more testing in hot weather. But of the Nex5 I'm pretty sure that it's much worse than a700 in that regard - a hot summer night makes its ISO1600 very noisy pretty fast.
Hot sensors are a problem to solve too...
agorabasta wrote: I think the problem is that some 'consumers' are not quite happy with using the regular consumer products, and they keep demanding for more elitist products for them the 'advanced' consumers. But there are the very specific manufacturers serving the 'more demanding' users/consumers, e.g. - Leica.
You see - elitism is available at a price. And that's normal. You have to deal with that. I do.
As a reminder, I am the person asking for a simpler, more basic, more consumer, plastic p&s with a bigger sensor -- although some here, as you say, keep wanting more and more. I am asking for less and less. :)
agorabasta
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

As a reminder, I am the person asking for a simpler, more basic, more consumer, plastic p&s with a bigger sensor -- although some here, as you say, keep wanting more and more. I am asking for less and less. :)
So you want some company to produce a plastic soapbox cam that could probably sell to very few. And since there are so few buyers, that cheap plastic soapbox should sell at a very high price just to compensate for the low volumes.
A typical consumer doesn't use an OVF, they don't care if the sensor is small or large, they just want a prompt result at reasonable quality. Using a large silicon sensor in a tiny body would produce the image quality below that of some iPhone. If you want better quality, you need a 3D microlens array, just like those used in large-sensor Leica 'compacts'. That 3D microlens array would constitute over 90% of the cam costs.

All that constitutes a typical elitist product, no matter how cheap is the plastic... Either way, whether the quality too poor or price too high, it shrinks the buyers number to a zilch. Given the current state of technology, your dream cam would be about as practical as a 'toilet piano'.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

Well I said some time ago that makers have been fixated on small sensors now with super big zooms and mostly lousy IQ. There is a market for a larger sensor compact (I said 1" and up would be ideal) but of course unless you make a bridge type camera you'll have to have less zoom range. This is fine by me because a big zoom isn't on my want list.

Consumers don't use OVF's because so few compacts have them it's a natural instinct to put a camera up to your face it also promotes good hand holding technique. I also believe the market for lenses (at least new ones) on mirrorless models or ILC's is very limited with your average buyer very much less likely to be purchasing more lenses than the typical DSLR user.

For this reason ILC models are probably not entirely well suited to the market.
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bakubo
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by bakubo »

agorabasta wrote:So you want some company to produce a plastic soapbox cam that could probably sell to very few. And since there are so few buyers, that cheap plastic soapbox should sell at a very high price just to compensate for the low volumes.
You are guessing because you don't know and your repeated use of derogatory terms is just displaying your biases.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

No Henry, I'm not guessing.
I have told you of the specific reasons why a cheap small FF digicam is not viable now. I even told of specific developments that will eventually make them possible. And for some strange reason you paid no attention to those points. You just keep on crying 'I WANT, I WANT'.
Well good for you, to want is better than not to want. But it would be much better if you participated in this discussion with some more intelligent points to share.
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WaltKnapp
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Re: a55 EVF questions

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David Kilpatrick wrote:I second that ticking off - no need to sling insults like 'old' at Walt.

David
David-
I have to say being abused for simple analysis and logic has become the norm. And it does hurt Walt.

For those that have not listened, short of buying one, I've used the a55 fairly intensively in stores. Just as I did when considering the a700 I've carted gear in and tested what are likely problems repeatedly. And what I report is on that basis. I did not imagine it, I tested it.

I also have looked at why these problems exist and if it's likely they can be designed out. That's why I don't pan the a55 for it's lousy viewfinder color and such problems, those can and probably will be designed out in several generations. The problems I put forth are ones that have no or very little chance of being designed out. ie things that are almost certain to still be there in EVF with the a77 and beyond. Even if I were to buy into SLT for some reason the a77 or better would be where I'd be looking, not the a55. I see no reason to expect the critical problems will change much with the a77.

Photographing moving subjects: Yes I do a lot of herp photography ( that's both reptiles and amphibians. ) Frogs themselves are generally not the fastest subjects I photograph. Most of what you list I might could just get with the a55 with a pretty low hit rate. Most difficult shot I have that includes motion in frogs is documenting that some species of frogs close their eyes as they launch their jump. They are flying blind. That's a ongoing project as I'm working on documenting that in every species I can.

Other herps: Well there is the little brown snake, a small leaf litter snake. It took me over 100 tries to catch it's tongue at it's full out classic position. During that I learned that the snake does not poke it's tongue out and wave it. Each of those tongue wavings you see is actually a dozen or more repeats of sticking the tongue out and holding it still and then reeling it back in to test the particles it collects. Consider that the entire cycle of all the "waving looking action" occurs in less than a second and you will get some idea of this problem. Especially when you also notice that each of those cycles is at a random time from the previous cycle. So one has to fire the camera based on seeing the tongue cycle start. The tongue cycle would be near over before the a55 EVF would begin to show you the cycle start.....

Or another example: lots of butterflies when they land fold their wings. And then, make an occasional flip open of the wings to maintain the warmth of the flying muscles. Again these often occur not in a even timing but effectively at random. To photograph the open wings you have to detect as the wings start to open and fire so that the shot occurs as they reach full open. This is reasonable to do with the OVF with it's lack of lag in getting the image to your eye, but much tougher to do with the lag of EVF added in to the lag after the image reaches your eye. I do this shot lots with OVF, though even there some species are a severe challenge. While it's tough to get a butterfly in the store to work with I've done other things to simulate the timing with the a55 and the hit rate for shots of this type with the a55 is going to be low to non-existent depending on the species. Note how you have to detect with your eye that an event has started before you even start your own reaction time cycle. And you can't detect that event until the image reaches your eye of the wings starting to separate.

Or go off and look at the two photos of Clearwing Hummingbird Moths that are in my flickr photostream that I took last year. These move at roughly the speed of hummingbirds but can corner much better. The hardly hover at all, don't follow any kind of pattern as to moving between flowers and stay only a very short time at each flower cluster. Everything about them is seemingly fast and random. They are a tough challenge to track and shoot with OVF. The photos are not very good, I'm going after better this year, in fact planting the appropriate plants to attract them now. But with these there is no room in your tracking for EVF lag.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5046045306/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5045417639/

Don't anyone get the idea if they reproduce the shots above that all is fixed with SLT. I can provide thousands of other such shots you will have to reproduce too. And many of those are even harder. I've spent a lifetime on this stuff and know exactly what's needed in timing, and know my cameras very well. So I push timing to the limit with OVF.

Don't think my photography is limited to small amphibians. I cover a very large range of mostly outdoor photography. That's why I have a very large A mount system, because I use it. Pretty much anything is not safe from having me photograph it. Though humans are probably the safest.

I don't think a metronome will help to tell your timing and even less so can be used to test EVF lag. You are not even using your vision with that, but simple even tempo timing repeating in your brain. And that timing is after the EVF lag has completed. With either OVF or EVF your reaction time is likely to be the same or close to it, that's not the problem, but what the EVF adds to that time before your reaction time starts.

On audio, I've evaluated the audio preamps and the mics sony has for the a55. You should not have any trouble if the ambient base level of what you are recording is 40-50 dBA or higher, and your standards are not too high. But I record nature where the ambient background can easily at times be below 10dBA. Sony's mics have a self noise that is 20-30dBA times that meaning your nature recording background will be wiped out by their self noise. And the preamp in the a55 is also going to contribute some noise. I record with mics that are capable of not coloring the ambiance with their own noise, mostly top end Sennheiser MKH Condensor Mics, but also a Telinga Stereo Parabolic mic. And use top end portable preamps and recorders. Sorry, I checked out the a55 audio, as some of us once in a while have talked of taking on the task of making high quality nature recordings that would include video of the callers. (this is probably the only thing that has any chance of getting me back into video, and that chance is very slim)

Could I take some of my photos with the a55? Of course I could, not all my photos are so demanding and snapshots and stuff could mostly be done with the a55 without a lot more difficulty than with my a700s.

On the business of Macro, where did people get the idea that 1:1 macro was high magnification and challenging macro? It's just the start of macro. Which for me extends up to 40x macro and I shoot macro up to above 10x handheld at times. On living moving subjects. Tele, 300mm I barely consider tele, can pretty much be handled like a standard lens. Try up to at least 500mm for what's long tele. Again, I shoot moving subjects with such lengths too. The folks that noted the magnifications involved in macro and tele are absolutely right, they greatly increase the challenge of motion and timing. Especially as in so much of my shooting a tripod or other such support is not possible.

Walt
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bakubo
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by bakubo »

agorabasta wrote:No Henry, I'm not guessing.
I have told you of the specific reasons why a cheap small FF digicam is not viable now. I even told of specific developments that will eventually make them possible. And for some strange reason you paid no attention to those points. You just keep on crying 'I WANT, I WANT'.
Well good for you, to want is better than not to want. But it would be much better if you participated in this discussion with some more intelligent points to share.
Sorry, I totally missed this post of yours. Well, I suggest you look at a big thread I started some time back that is still active. :D
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