Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:18 pm

Scrotos wrote:That's on my wishlist for my Canon T2i but the lens I want is like $700. No image stabilization but hell, use a tripod?
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:54 pm

TheEmrys wrote:I think you were misinformed. They never stopped making FF. a850 and a900 have been in the market since 08.

And you shouldn't write off DSLT technology. The loss of light is far less important to me than I had feared, and the trade off in the evf more than makes it up to me. But, it will always come down to the individual's needs. With the in-body IS, my $60 Minolta 50/1.7 is immensely valuable to me vs the lens-based IS solutions. Moreover, 10fps burst on my $600 body is a feature you just can't get from most makers for under $1k. Shoot, the a55 can do it. For sports/kids/action, its hard to beat. So losing a stop of light was well worth it for me.

And the alpha's are far better than a cheap digicam. The IS works in video mode, throw in that you can record up to 1080p/60 28Mbps... I dunno how many cheap digicams can match it.

As always, it comes down to the needs of the user. Just like with computers. Brand loyalty is foolish when your needs are not being met. But if they are met, all is well. I have quickly tired of the community college photography instructor that tells people to go Canikon or they won't be taken seriously. Shoot what works for you.


I searched just to be sure, but it looks like you're getting an a850/a900 used if you want one. Not a bad thing, but they are four year old technology; but as it stands, Sony isn't making full-frame DSLRs.

I did overlook the burst thing- and that's something that will cost you on a Canon or Nikon, and I can see how that would be important. But losing light? That's a big deal for photography, and I can see where your instructor is coming from. You're not going to get a full-featured APS-C or larger body from anyone aside from Canon or Nikon either (some come close), especially in the price brackets those two compete in. Everyone else gives up something, be it actual video support, lenses, what have you, though some provide other stuff like Pentax's weather sealing.
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:15 pm

Airmantharp wrote:I searched just to be sure, but it looks like you're getting an a850/a900 used if you want one. Not a bad thing, but they are four year old technology; but as it stands, Sony isn't making full-frame DSLRs.

I did overlook the burst thing- and that's something that will cost you on a Canon or Nikon, and I can see how that would be important. But losing light? That's a big deal for photography, and I can see where your instructor is coming from. You're not going to get a full-featured APS-C or larger body from anyone aside from Canon or Nikon either (some come close), especially in the price brackets those two compete in. Everyone else gives up something, be it actual video support, lenses, what have you, though some provide other stuff like Pentax's weather sealing.


Can you point to where Sony's A99 is shown to be worse in low light than say a 5D Mark III or D800? The "30%" being redirected by the semi-translucent mirror (at least quoted in the dpreview.com review) does not seem to have near the impact you'd suggest. The review states a 0.5 EV light loss and the camera has high ISO results that are at minimum on par with cameras in its range. I think you're overstating this issue.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a99/3
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:49 pm

slowriot wrote:Can you point to where Sony's A99 is shown to be worse in low light than say a 5D Mark III or D800? The "30%" being redirected by the semi-translucent mirror (at least quoted in the dpreview.com review) does not seem to have near the impact you'd suggest. The review states a 0.5 EV light loss and the camera has high ISO results that are at minimum on par with cameras in its range. I think you're overstating this issue.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a99/3


It does take a hit on the amount of possible light that goes to the sensor as 30% is redirected to the AF motor. The flip side of that is that it does make yield results in the AF. But the physics of it are incontestable. That being said, the a99 is right in line with both Canon and Nikon's top end low-light performance. Sure the 30% less thing stands out to a lot of people as a huge negative.

As for my a65, the move to firmware 1.06 and above (not sure which update actually addressed it) really took care of the low-light performance hit. Gym's are still a challenge, but a f/4 how could it not?
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:00 pm

I'm not contesting the physics, it is a fact that light is being redirected away from the sensor. There are other factors at play though and Sony has done an excellent job on those. Resulting in cameras with comparable low light ability to the competition.
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:12 pm

So an update: I got the Sony a57 today. I drove from Cincinnati to Richmond, Indiana to get it. I haven't been to Richmond in two decades. Ugh, I made the wrong choice of which route to take to get there. Back road hell and Google Maps fail combined! I chose a much, much better return route. I got the last one in the store and maybe the last one Best Buy has anywhere. Crazy. And I got it at a good price - $598 after tax.

I'm pretty stoked. Now the journey begins.

This has set my Haswell purchase back by probably a considerable time frame. :roll:
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:40 pm

Congrats! You have a great camera. Now charge the battery and snap some shots. Let me know if I can be some help. Lots of buttons menu options to go through.
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:09 pm

Heck yeah! We all need to see some of those beautiful Sony colors on the forum :). Congrats!
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:40 am

I goofed around a little this morning, clicking through each mode of the camera and such. This thing is amazing. I'd have to have the D5100 sitting next to me to be sure but from memory the a57 feels more accessible. And the viewfinder is boss. It tells me when I'm level - I needed that!

I took a shot of a hot sauce bottle on the kitchen table about 10" from camera. One shot at f3.5 another at f22. Results were so cool. Interestingly, the f3.5 shot took immediately and gave the cool result where background and foreground are out of focus. The f22 shot took some time where the screen said "processing" and then spit out an image with everything in the scene in focus. I don't know if I should be, but I was impressed by that.

It takes great shots in low light with no flash. I love taking shots that way and capturing the real light of a space rather than light from a flash.

What are the recommended image hosting sites these days that will let me share images on the TR forum?
Last edited by flip-mode on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:44 am

I use Photobucket.
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:31 am

I personally use photobucket, but I am working to switch to Flikr. Reason being is that flikr will host RAW files, not just jpeg.

Also, there are a couple of excellent books out there on the camera. I have found them highly helpful. First is the one I have on Kindle, which is David Busch's guide. I like having it on the kindle.

However, the book that tends to be considered definitive, and that I would like to buy is Gary Friedman's print book. He does have digital, B&W, and color. Universally, the B&W is panned. Digital is good, because he updates them when there are firmware updates. The color is good, but isn't updated.

That reminds me! Get your firmware updates! It addes automatic, in body lens compensation for distortion. I think the version for the a57 is up to 1.04. You can check your current firmware version in the menu, at the end of the menu.

Also, remember that if you have an option grayed out, most likely you need to move into jpeg only mode. This is for creative styles as well as in-camera hdr. The in camera HDR is actually pretty good. It works best with a good monopod because it takes 5-7 pictures at varying exposure levels and then stitches them together. I love this for landscapes or anything really contrast-y.

Couple of things I've picked up: I find Aperture Priority to be the most useful for everyday stuff. However, the SCN features are pretty nice. And there are times, like night shooting, where the SCN option is better.

Isn't that in-viewfinder level just awesome? I need it bad, too.
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:12 am

Thanks for those tips. There is tons and tons to learn.

Hmm, I may as well change the thread title.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:31 pm

I'm quite happy with Flikr, other than the limited upload size per month. As I free user I can upload 300MB per month, which can be annoyingly small with 15MP JPEGs.

You should definitely post some shots!
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:49 pm

Outdoor conditions are quite crummy, none the less, these are the first pictures taken with this camera!

These are jpegs straight from the camera. Taken with the stock lens. Set the camera to auto and pushed the button. The colors and image quality look pretty good to me - what do you all think?

(Oh, doggy does not like camera!)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:05 pm

flip-mode wrote:What are the recommended image hosting sites these days that will let me share images on the TR forum?


I pay about $65 a year for my own site. That's kinda cheap but they give me a break, we go back a ways. Even without that it's under $100 a year for a personal site without too much traffic.

I can't imagine not having my own site. It allows me to do pretty well what I want and set it up how I want. Now I write all my own code, I don't know how to do it any other way, so you will have to excuse my tastes in web design.

http://carnagepro.com

Click on the cows.

Those pics are pretty nice, it's a dull day so no sparkle but true colours. Show us a full size one.
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Re: Buying a D5100 Today

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:23 pm

PenGun wrote:
flip-mode wrote:What are the recommended image hosting sites these days that will let me share images on the TR forum?


I pay about $65 a year for my own site. That's kinda cheap but they give me a break, we go back a ways. Even without that it's under $100 a year for a personal site without too much traffic.

I can't imagine not having my own site. It allows me to do pretty well what I want and set it up how I want. Now I write all my own code, I don't know how to do it any other way, so you will have to excuse my tastes in web design.

http://carnagepro.com

Click on the cows.

Those pics are pretty nice, it's a dull day so no sparkle but true colours. Show us a full size one.


My own site would be nice. I've wanted to do it for a while now. It's something to check into.

Full size:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8262/8664 ... d141_k.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8257/8664 ... 487e_k.jpg
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:28 pm

Actually, that's not full size. I don't know if Flickr will show anything larger than that.... Any suggestions?
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:53 pm

flip-mode wrote:Actually, that's not full size. I don't know if Flickr will show anything larger than that.... Any suggestions?

Put it where I can get at it as a file and I'll host a full sized one for you. Dropbox or whatever should work. Still those, I guess about half size or so, reveal a pretty nice camera, no doubt at all.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:23 pm

Edit:

Pengun, I'm going to try to share them from google drive....
Last edited by flip-mode on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:38 pm

Definitely some good pics there. I'd look to checking your autofocus a bit, thought. Maybe move the dial into SCN, which gives you some pretty cool options for what type of pictures you are taking. It has a Macro mode which would make #3 really sharp. The kit lens is pretty sharp on its own, but that photo shows some focus issue. Macro should (IIRC) allow you to pick your focus box. The AF type set to local will really get you some nice bokeh (the out of focus areas) at your widest aperture (f/3.5-5.6) on that lens.

And to be honest, days like that are great for shooting. Gives you great light and you don't have to worry about flare or colors washing out. My favorite days to shoot are overcast weather.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:47 pm

Links to Full Size:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0YgU7S ... sp=sharing (8 MP image)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0YgU7S ... sp=sharing (8 MP image)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0YgU7S ... sp=sharing (8 MP image)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0YgU7S ... sp=sharing (16 MP image)



Those do seem to display full size (3 of the images were taken at 8 MP, only the one with the gas can was taken at 16 MP), but the colors look different in my web browser (even when opening straight from the hard drive). That's with Chrome browser. That's kinda disappointing. The greens are taking on a bluish hue... it's pretty slight, but still. Maybe it's just a Chrome thing...
Last edited by flip-mode on Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:54 pm

TheEmrys wrote:And to be honest, days like that are great for shooting. Gives you great light and you don't have to worry about flare or colors washing out. My favorite days to shoot are overcast weather.


That's a positive way of looking at it. As for all the focusing methods: yeah, I've got a lot of learning to do...
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:59 pm

flip-mode wrote:
TheEmrys wrote:And to be honest, days like that are great for shooting. Gives you great light and you don't have to worry about flare or colors washing out. My favorite days to shoot are overcast weather.


That's a positive way of looking at it. As for all the focusing methods: yeah, I've got a lot of learning to do...


Do you have a kindle? I can loan you some good books.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:01 pm

Overcast days can end up with some very vivid colors. My favorite is the "golden hour" lighting that you get in the hour before sunset (or after sunrise). With the sun low in the sky, you get more interesting lighting and shadows than with it beating straight down from above at noon.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:05 pm

TheEmrys wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
TheEmrys wrote:And to be honest, days like that are great for shooting. Gives you great light and you don't have to worry about flare or colors washing out. My favorite days to shoot are overcast weather.


That's a positive way of looking at it. As for all the focusing methods: yeah, I've got a lot of learning to do...


Do you have a kindle? I can loan you some good books.


Alas, no I do not.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:10 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Overcast days can end up with some very vivid colors. My favorite is the "golden hour" lighting that you get in the hour before sunset (or after sunrise). With the sun low in the sky, you get more interesting lighting and shadows than with it beating straight down from above at noon.


I would have loved some golden hour, but I got grey hour. That's OK. I especially like the gas can image insofar as showing the camera's performance.

It's low-light performance is fricking epic, to the extent that my camera experience allows me to make such a statement. I just took a no-flash picture in a room where it was too dark to read and I can read just fine through the picture :lol:
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:15 pm

flip-mode wrote:
TheEmrys wrote:And to be honest, days like that are great for shooting. Gives you great light and you don't have to worry about flare or colors washing out. My favorite days to shoot are overcast weather.


That's a positive way of looking at it. As for all the focusing methods: yeah, I've got a lot of learning to do...


Oh no really. I have often gone out on dull days just to get real colour, unshaded by the sun.

I have only just started to use a digital camera and my FM2 was completely manual, it had a very fine spot meter, but you had to set everything. If I was unsure as to any damn thing in a photo I really wanted I would waste a bunch of film on it (now we can do that for FREE) exposing just a few exposure variations, I was pretty confident of my exposure, and a bunch of focus and aperture variations, I would nail that shot. All this on hand loaded and developed Fuji 50. Once you do your first, probably shaky, development and see how much better it is than that crap you got from the E6 line at your local guy you never go back.

Once you seriously start to shoot, and I mean 100 a day, you will get the ability to see the sun's influence. I have pictures of white horses in the snow, all on film, I really should spend a few days with my scanner, that are strange because the horse is blue. That is completely real, your eyes and mind do colour adjustment real time to hide these things from you. A blue sky, white horse, white snow reflects blue light from the sky and makes all the white blue. You only see this stuff after you 'dial in' your eyes. When I shot for money, not very much really, even a few days off would require some time to get back to 'good, and sharp'.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:43 pm

Yeah, I wasn't trying to spin anything. You want overcast days. Its having a natural light diffuser. Sharp light is harsh. You lose detail because shadows show textures.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:30 am

I wanted a golden hour, damn it! :lol: But I do understand what you guys are saying.
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Re: Just got a Sony a57 (name changed)

Postposted on Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:46 pm

Damn Flip, you're making me jealous! I just picked up Canon's 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 for light portrait work on my 60D, but when looking at the colors in your shots I realize that I'm going to have to get better at post-processing with this camera's ancient sensor.

And Sony's always do come out with some of the best colors. Shots from my friend's older a580 have such wonderful color with the Minolta 50/1.4 she's using!
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