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Thoughts on Sony DSLRs?


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Showing 26-50 of 61 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 12:12:23 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
I worry about the wear on the sensor travel and electrical contacts. As the sensor slides around, how long before it starts to develop some "play" that shows in the image. Also, how do they connect the data lines to the sensor so they can read-out the image and will we have to worry about those connections?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 1:03:29 PM PDT
"continuous phase-detection AF. It's a video thing"

Thank you. That's the best arguement for it that I have yet encountered. I don't do video, but I can see how it would have high value for someone who does.

The sensor based IS may be interesting, but as you point out, that doesn't require an SLT.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 5:39:42 PM PDT
Any professional video is likely using manual focus anyway -- as scenes are preplanned/scripted including camera and subject movement.

If shooting with a shallow depth of field, a director is unlikely to be happy if the camera suddenly shifts focus from the subject to an extra who just happens to cross into a focus sensor zone.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 8:15:27 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
@Dennis

"Any professional video is likely using manual focus anyway -- as scenes are preplanned/scripted including camera and subject movement."

I don't normally shoot scripted videos. Many consumers don't shoot scripted videos. How often do you shoot scripted videos? When consumers use the video mode on their entry-level SLT/DSLR, they don't do it scripted. You can't script your family members and friends to act when you want to capture their natural behaviors. I doubt many would script birthday smiles and do short retakes.

It's not difficult to see Sony's mindset here as their SLT products are targeted toward consumers, rather than professional video makers. They propose continuous phase-detection AF in video to make shallow DoF video recording more consumer friendly. How friendly that is will have to stand the test of time.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 8:21:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2012 8:25:56 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
@TC

That's definitely something to think about. One component that will probably fail first should be the electrical wires. It happens pretty often to folding laptops and flip phones. LOL it happened to my E-PL2 popup flash after two months of use. Glad I know how to unscrew and solder the wire down tight.

As for "play" on the sensor, that is definitely possible when it comes to mechanics. Current sensor-shift tech relies on sliders attached to piezoelectric actuators which are best known for its minimal "play", higher precision and speed. So far, there doesn't seem to be any report of anyone experiencing this issue (yet?).

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 8:32:16 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
@Neo: "I don't normally shoot scripted videos. Many consumers don't shoot scripted videos. How often do you shoot scripted videos? When consumers use the video mode on their entry-level SLT/DSLR, they don't do it scripted. You can't script your family members and friends to act when you want to capture their natural behaviors. I doubt many would script birthday smiles and do short retakes."

See... this is why James Cameron is rich, and we're not. I got this thought of what it must be like at James Cameron's house when they celebrate birthdays. I bet he makes his kids follow a script. ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 10:22:15 PM PDT
G. LO says:
Indeed, Olympus also has in-body sensor shift IS for a while. This is not unique. I used to own the Olympus e-520. Sensor shift Is can reduce the cost of the lens, no doubt. Lens IS arguably can deliver better IS for longer zoom lens, but the difference is small.

But I don't find sensor shift IS a big plus. I sold all my Olympus gears and have gone with Canon instead.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 10:41:14 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
LOL... birthday cake is tape metered to be exactly 3 meters from the camera, and there are visual markers on the floor where the kids must stand on and hit upon key frames. In post production, the videotape gets added with sound effects, you know the candle blowing should sound like a gentle "whoose."

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 10:42:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2012 10:48:16 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
@G. LO

What was your biggest reasons that pushed you to Canon? Perhaps Olympus DSLR lines were going under the water, and they won't concentrate their effort on DSLR lines anymore. I think simply you didn't have a choice to go on with Olympus; it's the end of the road.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 1:43:03 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
Neo Lee says: . . . I don't normally shoot scripted videos. Many consumers don't shoot scripted videos. How often do you shoot scripted videos? When consumers use the video mode on their entry-level SLT/DSLR, they don't do it scripted. You can't script your family members and friends to act when you want to capture their natural behaviors. I doubt many would script birthday smiles and do short retakes . . .

Using a dSLR for making family movies is MARKETING HYPE.

You don't need razor thin depth of field for home movies, and you also don't want to use an f/16 aperture indoors to get more depth of field. Unless you want to go back to the days were everyone cringed because Dad was breaking out the movie camera with it's blinding video light.

And for that type of shooting you are better off with a camcorder, or a $150 point and shoot in movie mode.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 2:51:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 2:55:45 AM PDT
Neo Lee says:
"Using a dSLR for making family movies is MARKETING HYPE."

It is only a marketing hype if it doesn't work and if it doesn't offer any value to the consumer. For instance 40MP on a consumer P&S would surely be a MARKETING HYPE, because it doesn't offer real benefits to the consumer.

"You don't need razor thin depth of field for home movies"

Well I do, and I want it that way, and I'm sure there are consumers who legitimately need video recording on DSLR. It is not a matter of "need" to get the job done. You can record birthdays on a flip camera if you want to; you'll get the job done anyway, but everyone has their own value and artistic taste, and that is why some would happily settle with iPhone 4 camera, while others would never settle with anything less than a professional grade camcorder or DSLR.

Shallow DoF is useful in videos (or stills for that matter). It helps guide viewer's eyes to the subject. It's about throwing all the distractions into the blurry background. It's neat. I'm sure shallow DoF is not desirable by everyone (nor even by the majority), and nowadays I do respect this kind of people much more than I did in the past, simply because it's their personal preference and if it makes them happy and satisfied, who am I to suggest they do otherwise?

"you also don't want to use an f/16 aperture indoors to get more depth of field."

Well if deep DoF is what I desire, I would switch to my camcorder. The reason DSLR video is desired in the first place is its shallow DoF. The other reason is DSLR's better light gathering ability, but anyway my Panasonic TM700 camcorder with three sensors and f/1.7 lens performs so well in low light too. The main desirable attribute of DSLR video to me is its shallow DoF.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 3:20:24 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
Well go for it dude.

But, now it make me wonder if you were kidding here or serious:

Neo Lee says: [. . .] birthday cake is tape metered to be exactly 3 meters from the camera, and there are visual markers on the floor where the kids must stand on and hit upon key frames. In post production, the videotape gets added with sound effects, you know the candle blowing should sound like a gentle "whoose."

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 4:59:14 AM PDT
Neo Lee says:
@Tom

Hehe... that was just a joke. You almost bought that huh?

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 6:10:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 8:46:12 AM PDT
Fishman says:
Great job at helping the OP guys....NOT...

Edit: Notice the score on this post, yet they STILL haven't helped you. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 6:24:12 AM PDT
Fishman says:
Canucklehead,

Unfortunately you have fallen victim to the usual preconceived nonsense from the Canikon lot, these people will have never picked up a Sony, never mind used one.

Please go and handle all the cameras within your budget. The simple fact is that ANY brand will suit your purposes. Don't concern yourself with talk of mirrors, ISO and fps, just buy the one YOU like in YOUR hands, the one that YOU like the menu system on, the one that YOU like the button layout on.

It is not possible to buy a bad dSLR/SLT, they all take excellent images and they all have plenty of lenses and accessories, far more than an average photographer would ever need.

What you have read in the replies here is a bunch of fanboy nonsense, they talk about brand and gear without bothering to answer your question, it's a dead give-away.

Instead, look at this guy's work. He shoots SONY, no doubt at a much higher level than the so-called photographers commenting on how bad Sony is here, he doesn't have any of this crappy nonsense about mirrors and light loss affecting his work.

Now if he can do it with a Sony and lenses, why couldn't you or anybody else here?

http://www.gkiburg.nl/site15/

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 7:19:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 7:20:58 AM PDT
Richard Hohn says:
Although Sony has some attractive features. At this price level you are investing in a company and just how stable is Sony? Their SLR technology as far as a lens mount is concerned in the old (and failed) Minolta system.
The Sony market share is less than half of Nikon's. Whereas, the Canon EOS (Electro-Optical System) autofocus camera system was introduced in 1987 and has dominated both the film and now digital markets. Canon's market share rose to a share of 44.5% in the DSLR market (2010), jumping far ahead of Nikon's 29.8% and Sony's 11.9%, becoming the worldwide leader of DSLR manufacturers. Buy something that you will have for a while and enjoy for a while knowing that any of the lenses you invest in will work on your next camera and you next camera and you next camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 8:21:46 AM PDT
"""
I don't normally shoot scripted videos. Many consumers don't shoot scripted videos. How often do you shoot scripted videos? When consumers use the video mode on their entry-level SLT/DSLR, they don't do it scripted. You can't script your family members and friends to act when you want to capture their natural behaviors. I doubt many would script birthday smiles and do short retakes.
"""

I wouldn't use an SLR for "family videos"... I'd spend the money on a dedicated video camera as the form factor is more conducive to video use, they have better microphones (many of them even going so far as to encode surround sound) and record less handling noise. HD video only records 2MP of data, so a 3-4MP sensor provides enough data for in-camera processing to final video resolution; there's no concern about sensor overheat from long clips (my recordings of the Masquerade and Variety show at Further Confusion are between an 60 and 90 minutes of continuous shooting).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 8:26:16 AM PDT
"""
You don't need razor thin depth of field for home movies, and you also don't want to use an f/16 aperture indoors to get more depth of field. Unless you want to go back to the days were everyone cringed because Dad was breaking out the movie camera with it's blinding video light.
"""
<G>

Or you're Clint Eastwood being tagged for another Sergio Leone western... Since Leone needed extremely heavy fill lighting on those sunlit Spanish desert sets that Eastwood had to squint just to see where he was.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 8:31:00 AM PDT
"""
Shallow DoF is useful in videos (or stills for that matter). It helps guide viewer's eyes to the subject. It's about throwing all the distractions into the blurry background. It's neat. I'm sure shallow DoF is not desirable by everyone (nor even by the majority), and nowadays I do respect this kind of people much more than I did in the past, simply because it's their personal preference and if it makes them happy and satisfied, who am I to suggest they do otherwise?
"""

And how many of your video shooting consumers even understand the uses of aperture control for depth of field? Combined with auto-focus shifting the focus point by three or four feet when someone waves their hand past a focus sensor?

That if the birthday cake is sharp, the kid's face may be a blur...

I'd still recommend Sony's APS-C /video camera/ over any SLR video mode IF video is a major concern for the buyer.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 10:57:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 11:00:25 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
@Dennis

"I wouldn't use an SLR for "family videos"'

This is where similarities end. You wouldn't use it doesn't mean others wouldn't or shouldn't too. I'm in for SLR/SLT video recording as long as they work.

"they have better microphones (many of them even going so far as to encode surround sound)"

Professionals use external microphone however expensive the camcorder is. I think everyone (who is a little more serious in video recording) should invest in a good external mic. Built-in mic will pick up unwanted sound from the camera, i.e. the sounds of camera operator touching the camera.

"HD video only records 2MP of data, so a 3-4MP sensor provides enough data for in-camera processing to final video resolution; there's no concern about sensor overheat from long clips"

It's not the number of megapixels per se that generates heat. It is the size of the sensor. How often do you shoot 20min+ clip? Most family clips start to get boring after 10min mark, so that is where most would stop.

"And how many of your video shooting consumers even understand the uses of aperture control for depth of field? Combined with auto-focus shifting the focus point by three or four feet when someone waves their hand past a focus sensor?"

Dennis you're the only one who understands aperture control and DoF here. Continuous phase-detection AF, how do they work?

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 11:53:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 11:55:17 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
The idea of SLT movie recording is not about fool proofing so that everyone and his monkey would be able use. The difference between SLT and DSLR movie recording is just the phase-detection AF. User can forget about pulling the focus ring in a SLT workflow. Continuous AF is an option. If the user don't want continuous, they could just half press the shutter button when and where they want to refocus, and user can switch between AF points/zones while recording a video, whereas in a DSLR workflow, you would have to pull the focus ring and confirm the focus in a tiny LCD screen.

It is just that. To think that SLT is as fool proof as a consumer camcorder is a mistake.

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 7:41:56 AM PDT
T. Campbell says:
When someone wants a DSLR to record video, I usually respond with caution. I realize that a lot of people are familiar with using a camcorder and the possibility exists that the buyer assumes they'll get a user-experience very similar to using a camcorder.

Nikon offers continuous focus while shooting video. Canon only focuses when you press the focus button. Both of them use contrast-detection to focus while in video because there's no mirror to bounce light into the phase-detection focus points.

Sony can offer to continuously focus via the phase-detection points, but phase-detection AF points live in "fixed" positions relative to the frame. If a subject is moving around while being filmed (somewhat likely) and they are no longer covered by any AF point, then the camera would lose the ability to track focus in that mode... actually worse: once it loses the subject you were hoping to track, it'd likely just pick the next nearest thing and switch to focus on that -- possibly throwing the intended subject well out of focus.

They would still be able to focus via contrast-detection (which doesn't particularly care where the subject is -- just so there're in the frame somewhere.) It seems like it would be a better strategy to use contrast detection.

Do we know for sure if they actually use phase-detection focusing in video mode? Does the user control the type of focusing system? I've played with a few Sony alphas for stills... but never for video. I don't know which focusing mode they use.

Posted on Apr 1, 2012 7:29:08 AM PDT
N. Allen says:
For the past few months, I've been a very pleased owner of the Sony A-65 SLT camera. In short, I love it. This is my first foray into SLT/SLR type photography. Many people here are arguing against the Sony without having any real world experience with it, it seems. Unfortunate. There are lots of reasons why people choose to invest in a certain camera body or technology. For people like me who don't own hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of lenses, it makes sense to consider ALL options before committing. Differences in picture quality from one camera to the next are minimal, and usually have more to do with the user than the technology. I bought the A-65 a month before my wife gave birth to our first child, and I wanted a good camera to chronicle the days to come. First of all, I love the feel of the camera in my hand. I can't stand any of the camera bodies from Canon or Nikon below $1000. Lousy grips. Second, I love how the A-65 actually has a useful live view mode. I can turn on the camera and take a picture in but a fraction of the second, using the LCD screen, and not the viewfinder. I tried that in a Nikon D7000, and it took around 7 seconds to accomplish the same. Why do I care? Because my wife doesn't want an intimidating camera. She wants to be able to turn it on, and take a picture without having to look through a viewfinder. No other camera that I know of offers the same live view experience.

In regards to lens options, there are many great options, from Sony, vintage Minolta, or third party manufacturers. How many lenses do most people need? Some people just want to take better pictures, with more control, and have a few different lens options. In fact, I dare say those people are the vast majority of people who buy into SLT/SLR systems.

In short, the Sony SLT cameras are phenomenal. For anybody upgrading from a classic point and shoot, you're in for a very welcome surprise. Easy to hold (even with one hand), easy to use, and more importantly, fun to use. Feature set is unparalleled in its class (or even above its class). People need to lighten up about the semi transparent mirror and the battery life.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 8:11:25 AM PDT
J. Howarth says:
It looks like Amazon has jacked up the prices of Sony Lenses this week (April 2012). The prices are lower from other dealers though.

I bought a Sony DSLR A580 which doesn't use the SLT and it kicks butt - and a pile of old Minolta lenses to go with it for cheap.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 9:43:02 AM PDT
L. Faust says:
One can certainly get caught up in reviews and such! keep a level head so as not to end up spending too much money on something you don't really need. I am a professional photographer and shoot a full-frame Canon with L lenses currently...so I have a lot invested. But for my own travels and personal fun stuff I purchased the Sony A77. Why did I do this? Because I'm addicted to good glass, but wanted to stay "small" but have great quality. I really like the fact that I can buy vintage Minolta lenses with GREAT glass for a very reasonable amount of money. In fact I'm enjoying the combination of the A77 with the vintage glass so much that I'm considering renting a full-frame Sony body to try for my portraits just to see how it stacks up against my Canon system. There are sooooo many great cameras nowadays, you really can't go "wrong", especially if you are a casual photographer. Just don't get caught up in all they hype! Consider buying a good used body...there's some great deals out there. Invest in something reasonable, but put most of your money towards a couple of nice pieces of glass (do your research) and you will be happy. Canon and Nikon glass (the good stuff) is really just too expensive, which is why I went with Sony.
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