Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:01 am

A move to mirrorless- actually it begs the question of why?

With Sony, they already have the APS-C NEX line, and Canon has the EOS-M, both of which can take A-mount and EF-mount lenses respectively (and will mount the others' with adapters).

In both cases, those examples are the mirrorless cameras. They present both of the advantages of mirrorless, in that you can reduce the flange focal distance of the system to bring the rear element of the lens closer to the sensor and reduce the minimum depth of the system thus designing much smaller bodies, as well as retaining the ability to use legacy lenses with an inexpensive adapter.

If they took the mirror out of the DSLR/Ts, what would they build other than the NEX/EOS-M?
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:10 am

flip-mode wrote:That pic of the mouse pad is awesome! It's visually uncomfortable, mildly, to look at but it's a wonderful illustration of camera optics.


Yup. I realized very quickly why people shoot macro with narrow apertures. The depth of field is razor thin on a decent macro lens wide open when focused at minimum focus distance and you need that extra depth. I was also surprised at just how sharp the focus zones are, I was expecting a smoother transition, though it may be better at narrower apertures.

It's also why I grabbed a cheap macro ring light. I found one that uses Canon's ETTL-II, at least to trigger the flash, but it apparently doesn't meter and seems to sync only to 1/250, so I'll have to be careful with it; but it does allow incredible shots with little or no ambient light.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:00 pm

Airmantharp wrote:If they took the mirror out of the DSLR/Ts, what would they build other than the NEX/EOS-M?


An image stabilized body without the loss of light from the translucent mirror. I think the NEX line would remain the small footprinted camera on the E-mount with some image stabilized lenses is while the Alpha will continue with the A Mount with no lens stabilization. The folks at Dyxum talk as if they had thought DSLT was a transition to mirrorless all along. I have my doubts of some of these prophets, but taking the mirror out of the equation does have its advantages. And if they made the AF up to par with the axx line, I'll be thrilled.

Here was what I dyxum'er who I've always thought knew their stuff said:

Mirrorless pros/cons:
+ no light loss due to mirror
+ shorter register possible (no mirror box needed), leads to slimmer body and allows to adapt non-native lenses
+ less expensive to manufacture
- with current technology inferior AF especially in low light and for tracking moving objects. IMO the greatest challenge to overcome
- AF may only work reasonably well with select optimized lenses, questionable legacy support (we shall see)

SLT pros/cons
+ full-time PDAF with tracking ability
+ fast AF with Minolta and most 3rd party legacy lenses
- 1/3 stop light loss due to mirror
- more expensive to manufacture (adds mirror, PDAF module)


If they get the AF sorted out, it seems like the concerns would be gone. I'd be very curious about the shorter register leading to the allowance of adapted non-native lenses. Could we see a Canon 24-105/4 on a Sony body? Talk about a selling point for me. I have lens lust bad for that particular range and aperture.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:26 pm

I just read Ken Rockwell's review of the Nex 5R. It looks like the AF issues are solved, at least for AF-S. Continuous AF is a bit buggy, but should be able to be worked out.

[quote=Ken Rockwell]To my pleasant surprise, the NEX-5R focuses and shoots nearly instantly. Autofocus is as fast as a DSLR for still shots, and much faster than DSLRs for shooting video, and there is no shutter lag if you know how to use it properly. Therefore, although there often is a slight delay while the photo records before you can make the next shot, for actual shooting, the NEX-5R is just as fast as a DSLR, and can track moving kids just fine. Bravo![/quote]

http://kenrockwell.com/sony/nex-5r.htm

If this is true, his niggles with the Nex 5R are primarily the ergonomics and how it isn't quite suitable for professionals (lack of an EVF or built in flash).

A move to a full sized body would solve this. I'm very intrigued now.

Also, I'm now convinced I need a macro lens now. Something that could double as a walkaround. hmm.. maybe the Minolta 50mm/2.8 macro.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:33 pm

Please pay no attention to Ken Rockwell. He is just good for entertainment.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:16 pm

TheEmrys wrote:If this is true, his niggles with the Nex 5R are primarily the ergonomics and how it isn't quite suitable for professionals (lack of an EVF or built in flash).


I think I remember him saying that he found the ergonomics of either the a57 or the a65 to be annoying and that the D5100 was much better to handle. He is therefore disqualified as any kind of authority concerning ergonomics. :D
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:28 pm

I know he's a Nikon-evangelist. However, when even he likes the AF compared to his beloved Nikon, I listen.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:36 pm

TheEmrys wrote: Could we see a Canon 24-105/4 on a Sony body? Talk about a selling point for me. I have lens lust bad for that particular range and aperture.
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/17-70 ... o-os-hsm-c
17-70 mm on an APS-C 1.5 crop factor = 25-105 mm equivalent on a full-frame body.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:43 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
TheEmrys wrote: Could we see a Canon 24-105/4 on a Sony body? Talk about a selling point for me. I have lens lust bad for that particular range and aperture.
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/17-70 ... o-os-hsm-c
17-70 mm on an APS-C 1.5 crop factor = 25-105 mm equivalent on a full-frame body.


Yeah, but the 24mm would get me essentially a 35mm - 160mm... perfect for me.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Airmantharp wrote:A move to mirrorless- actually it begs the question of why?


Actually, I'd say the bigger question is why stick with the mirror if you don't have to?

Cons of a mirror
* It takes up space
* It's a complicated mechanism
* Using a mirror for PDAF leads to potential calibration and backfocus issues (since you are not focusing the light rays on the sensor during AF operation)
* If you use a transflective mirror, you lose light (typically 1/3 stop) and can get optical artefacts (such as ghosting)
* Forces you to use a longer flange back distance, so thicker bodies and optical tradeoffs on lenses

Pros of a mirror
* Realtime view (although rangefinders do this better)
* TTL view (although EVFs do this almost as well in some aspects and better in others)

On-sensor PDAF looks like it's the way to go. Yes, there is some theoretical fidelity loss, and it still can't cover as much of the sensor as CDAF (due to optical limitations), but PDAF and CDAF can complement each other very well if tuned right.

As to where Sony will go without mirrors, pros still want bigger bodies for handling (especially with big fast glass), so I don't see an issue with a NEX/Alpha mirrorless line split. The low end Alphas might die out and high end NEXes might migrate,
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:56 pm

TheEmrys wrote: 24-105/4 ? I have lens lust bad for that particular range and aperture.
How about the Minolta or Sony 24-105 f/3.5-4.5, then?
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Minolta-AF- ... ens31.html
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:59 pm

flip-mode wrote:I think I remember him saying that he found the ergonomics of either the a57 or the a65 to be annoying and that the D5100 was much better to handle. He is therefore disqualified as any kind of authority concerning ergonomics. :D


Just read his review of the a55 (latest one in his Sony list), and he beats the hell out of it, but not without reason, and I agree with every concern. Ken is a photographer that writes reviews, not a reviewer that does some photography, and I find his reviews to be fairly on the mark after metering for minor enthusiasm/over-criticism. To balance his 'bash' of the a55, he loves everything about it that makes it special.

Also, that's the a55, Sony's SLT round one, not the improved a57 or a65; I'd bet he'd be less critical if he looked at newer Sony kit.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Voldenuit wrote:Actually, I'd say the bigger question is why stick with the mirror if you don't have to?


I subscribe to this perspective, with mechanics in the family- the fewer moving parts, the better.

The real problem I'm envisioning with a move to mirrorless all about is the question of what to do with all of this glass :). If you want an FF sensor, and we all do, the glass on the market will dictate a certain body depth. If you were willing to commit to EF/FX lenses only you could build a 'speed booster' into the body and use a smaller, denser sensor to get the same coverage and exposure as FF, but that might not sell.

In the end, a large (FF+) sensor with no obstructions and a shorter flange focal distance would be preferable, especially with larger lenses where the body becomes the accessory in place of the lens. Even then you'd be able to reduce the diameter of the lenses as well as the lens mount by bringing the rear-most element closer to the sensor, making the body little more than a grip with buttons, a focusing and composing aid, and a reviewing aid.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:16 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Also, that's the a55, Sony's SLT round one, not the improved a57 or a65; I'd bet he'd be less critical if he looked at newer Sony kit.


I would agree with this. The a57 is a vastly better body. The a65 and a77 are immensely better.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:29 pm

The recent rumors I've read suggest that Sony's lineup will be completely mirrorless in about two years, including at least one full frame camera using the A-mount. It makes sense. It will be interesting to see how Nikon and Canon move. The EOS 100D is quite an interesting little DSLR. Says quite a bit I think about Canon's awesome engineering talent, similarly their stubbornness. I'm still confused why Nikon went with the CX censor size... maybe they're working on something mirrorless and more substantial.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:25 pm

With the rx1 is a pretty amazing FF mirrorless, even if it is a non-interchangeable 35mm/2 CZ lens. But wow, some gorgeous shots from it. But at such an amazing price, as well. Only $2800-ish. But if nothing else, like the old EE Pentiums, its for a niche that also shows a pretty cool proof of concept.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:57 pm

TheEmrys wrote:With the rx1 is a pretty amazing FF mirrorless, even if it is a non-interchangeable 35mm/2 CZ lens. But wow, some gorgeous shots from it. But at such an amazing price, as well. Only $2800-ish. But if nothing else, like the old EE Pentiums, its for a niche that also shows a pretty cool proof of concept.


It's small and fast; but yeah, that price hurts. That's a 6D, 24-105 F4L and a collection of primes.

The real advantage of an FF MILC is that it will be:

Smaller due to the lack of a mirror box and separate phase-detection auto-focus sensor
Lighter because it's smaller
More durable and reliable because it'll have fewer moving parts
Faster because there will be no shutter nor mirror to induce 'shutter lag', also assuming on-sensor hybrid contrast and phase detection catches up to what DSLRs and video cameras can do
Cheaper due to smaller bodies and smaller lenses
A better camera because because faster future in-camera processing combined with phase and contrast auto-focus sensing along with always-on sensing (live view) will allow photographers to see their shots in the viewfinder while allowing the camera and lens to better meter, stabilize and focus.

Also, sensor-shift stabilization is cool (and all cameras should have it), but it's of limited use; it's less effective than lens-shift IS/VR at normal focal ranges and even worse at telephoto ranges. A combination of the two might provide the best of both worlds at a reduced production cost.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:41 pm

TheEmrys wrote:Also, I'm now convinced I need a macro lens now. Something that could double as a walkaround. hmm.. maybe the Minolta 50mm/2.8 macro.


That lens looks nice and inexpensive, and better than the Canon alternative (the 60/2.8 that only works on crops). I opted to invest in Canon's 100/2.8L IS because I wanted to be able to shoot something other than macro on a tripod- 100mm is just too useful, and I couldn't imagine trying to shoot macro hand-held with available light at 100mm and no IS.

Also, while I considered the 60/2.8 Macro for my 60D, the lack of working distance and IS kind of killed it, along with the lack of support for full-frame cameras on Canon's system. The other use for the 60/2.8 Macro is for portraits (it's murderously sharp), but I have a 50/1.4 for that, and the 60/2.8 is just too narrow and too slow to be off of a tripod in all but the best light.

*WRT full-frame- I stopped considering EF-S (Canon for '1.6x APS-C crop only') lenses after I bought the 15-85 IS. That lens will stay with the camera, but everything else needs to work on at least a 6D, which seems to continue to come down in price.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 5:21 am

Airmantharp wrote:
TheEmrys wrote: I couldn't imagine trying to shoot macro hand-held with available light at 100mm and no IS.
The depth of field can be incredibly thin, but the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM is still a nice lens.
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The edge of the flower stamen is in focus, but the gnat perched on it is too tall and is out of focus. :lol: Hand-held with a light breeze, this was an impossible shot.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 9:49 am

The splitting of lenses into FF and APS-C to me is just silly. Why cripple your line of lenses? Sure you might make a little when someone goes from APS-C to FF, but rendering some/many of the lenses mostly unusable is just bleh. Sony has recently released a few APS-C-only lenses, and its just a bad trend. I LOVE that all the Minolta glass is good on FF or APS-C. And yeah, I know there would be a bit higher manufacturing costs, but simplifying your production run has to count for something.

And I hear you on the APS-C macro front. I'd only get the Minolta 50mm because it will go FF and it will have pretty good IS. And the 75mm equivalent isn't a bad place to be. But a good Mino 100mm/2.8 would be nice.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 4:06 pm

TheEmrys wrote:The splitting of lenses into FF and APS-C to me is just silly. Why cripple your line of lenses?


They aren't crippled- most APS-C lenses from Canon/Nikon are manufactured just about as cheaply as possible while retaining optical and ergonomic characteristics. And they're mostly zooms; in Canon's case, the above mentioned EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM is the single crop prime in their lineup.

Canon's nicer crop zooms tend to perform on par with their full-frame counterparts a level or two above while being less expensive and lighter (the 17-55 being a notable, but positive, exception when compared to the 24-70 F4L IS). I'd rather have my 15-85 IS on a good crop than a 24-105 with less reach, a larger and heavier frame, and double the price tag. The difference in apertures isn't that big in overlapping focal ranges, and is better on the crop lens at the widest setting.

Really, I think Canon (and Nikon to an extent) hit a home run with APS-C bodies and lenses. Canon's current struggle is the aging, noisy sensors in the 60D and 7D, which are due to be replaced with sensors more competitive with Nikon's D5200 and D7100 by Canon's upcoming 70D and 7D II.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 7:19 pm

I hate that there are aps-c only lenses. Shoot, Sony has a great little 16-50/2.8 SSM and weather-sealed. Came out a couple of years ago and they made it an aps-c. Why? Why not simply make it FF? Every FF lens can work on an aps-c body, but aps-c lenses have to have weird chicanery to work on FF bodies.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 7:41 pm

Think how hard it would be to make something like this 10-22mm wide angle for full frame. These lenses exist to go with the cameras. The cameras exist because it used to cost an extreme fortune to make a full-frame sensor. Even today, yields are better on smaller sensors making them even more than proportionally cheaper.

Given that there are literally dozens of lenses currently in production, if you don't like the smaller lenses made for the smaller sensors, don't buy them.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 8:17 pm

TheEmrys wrote:I hate that there are aps-c only lenses. Shoot, Sony has a great little 16-50/2.8 SSM and weather-sealed. Came out a couple of years ago and they made it an aps-c. Why? Why not simply make it FF? Every FF lens can work on an aps-c body, but aps-c lenses have to have weird chicanery to work on FF bodies.


Because covering a larger sensor means more glass and tighter QC, which means heavier and more expensive lenses. If you're using it on a crop sensor, you may be using only the "sweet-spot" of the image circle, but you're also paying for and carrying around the extra glass you don't need.

It's senseless to be preoccupied with the idea of 'FF' as a purportedly ideal standard when there are even larger sensors (medium and large format) and corresponding glass that is used for even higher end work.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 9:09 pm

Voldenuit wrote:It's senseless to be preoccupied with the idea of 'FF' as a purportedly ideal standard when there are even larger sensors (medium and large format) and corresponding glass that is used for even higher end work.

That sounds rational.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 9:23 pm

So the new a57 is in my hands but I haven't had much time to play. I did take a couple snaps of some refracted sunlight shining on the carpet.

Excessive blurriness in the lower right and upper left in this first shot due to the odd angle of the camera to get the subject framed the way I wanted...
Image

Some fairly thin depth of field going on in this next one...
Image

I also obsessively checked for any signs of dust or other flaws and found none. :P
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 10:45 pm

I love it. Glad you got a good copy this time!
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Wed May 01, 2013 11:24 pm

Don't mind if I do; I've been lurking. Congrats on the return of your a57. It's a great camera!

I will plug the Minolta 35-105 f3.5-f4.5 lens, however. I got an OK version off eBay, and I haven't taken it off!

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Minolta-AF-35-105-F3.5-4.5_lens44.html

Other than that, great shots!
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Thu May 02, 2013 7:17 am

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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Thu May 02, 2013 8:31 am

Given our prior conversation, I'd look at the Tokina 11-16mm. It's got an constant f/2.8 that can make some pretty neat artistic work. There is also a couple of pretty good Sigma 10-20's and a 10-24mm and they tend to be significantly less money, as they are ~f/3-4.5 lenses. Probably the best value in UWA (Ultra Wide Angle) lenses is the Tamron 10-24/3.5-4.5. Its a new lens you can pick up for ~$479. There is also a cool $50 rebate out there on new Tamron's ($100 for a couple of models), so the price drops nicely. Moreover, I believe all new Tammy's have a 6 year warranty.

Also, while that Sony 20/2.8 is a very nice lens, I'd check out the Minolta 20/2.8. Same glass and design, but you'll save $100 if you buy one.

One thing about Tokina's.... they are heavy. Tend to be mostly metal construction on their lenses.

Glad you've got your a57 and all is well.

Once I finish my !@#$!@#$ 20 page take home essay final for my grad school class, I'm heading to Rocky Mountain National Park and hopefully get some nice sunrise pictures. I'll probably hit up Bear Lake and then go looking for more elk. Cannot wait. I am getting cabin fever, what with five inches of snow on the ground yesterday.
Sony a7
Sony Zeiss 55/1.8 SSM, 24-70/4 SSM
Minolta 17-35/2.8-4 D, 100-300 APO
TheEmrys
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