Author Topic: Which Sony Alpha to buy  (Read 3118 times)

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Offline force4ormore

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Which Sony Alpha to buy
« on: April 10, 2012, 11:29:28 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this forum. I found it while researching a problem with my Sony a55 (link below).

In short, I can't see through the view finder when in a studio setup. Looks like I need to buy a new Sony camera body as I can't work with this limitation in the studio. I tried doing a portrait shoot of children the other day and used the work around with the pop up flash covered with a piece of electrical tape and my strobe trigger and hot shoe adapter. The problem was that kids move around so quickly and the camera wouldn't take the shot when I pressed the shutter release. There were a few seconds of pause as the camera kept trying to meter or focus or something.

At any rate, that brings me to my question. Does anyone know what Sony DSLR camera body I can buy that gives me what I have in my a55 but without the above limitation?


Offline fother

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Re: Which Sony Alpha to buy
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 02:15:08 AM »

Welcome to the forum Tim.

Depends which other features matter to you...

I do a lot of studio portraits - mainly kids ( if you're interested ;)), for me the a900 is the main workhorse, and I have an a700 as backup.
The a900 is full frame, DSLR rather than SLT. The a700 is crop sensor DSLR. Both are a few years old (the a900 had been out for maybe 2 years before I bought mine). I've thought about th a77, but both a900 and a700 are performing beautifully, so cannot justify an upgrade just yet...

Offline rogprov

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Re: Which Sony Alpha to buy
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 06:05:00 AM »
I agree the a900/850 is the studio camera par excellence but of course it doesn't have all the gizmos of a SLT.

Offline REX (aka TG)

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Re: Which Sony Alpha to buy
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 06:12:29 AM »
First of all a big wellcome also from me :)

The SLT is the future so my opinion is not worth investing in DSLR except in a850/900 and as Fother said they are already 2-3 years old. They are the last Traditional SLR you can buy if you find one.

The a57,a65 & a77 are excellent camera but the a77 almost double the price of the a57.
With the a77 almost double the speed of focusing with DSLR and almost triple the frame rate per second With the DSLR you will get what you want. Even if Sony removed the double cross AF sensors from a77 the AF speed of the camera in dark situation is very good. Tracking is excellent so if the kids are moving there will be no problem.


Offline chappo1

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Re: Which Sony Alpha to buy
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 07:35:38 AM »
Firstly - welcome from me.
Secondly- take a look at a thread I posted in this same section May 2011 where I had the image below

My wife has an A55 and we ran into the same issue with studio shooting.  If you raise the flash then the problem is sorted but onece you raise the flash the transmitter will not fit on the hotshoe.  Solution
1 use a sony to ISO convertor attached to a ISO to Sony flash convertor and mount the Sony transmitter on this.
It raises the transmitter high enough to clear the raised flash.  The transmitter points backwards but is is far enough clear of the camera not to cause an issue.
2 Put a black mask over the flash so when it fires it does not interfere with the lighting.

I am using cheap Blazzeo gear out of China so the cost of the home made solution is less than $50 and it works

“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

Hector Berlioz

Offline force4ormore

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Re: Which Sony Alpha to buy
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 02:06:06 AM »
Thank you all for the very warm welcome! Cool!

Okay, so to sum it up, sounds like my a55 issue goes away with any newer Sony SLT camera (a57, a65 or a77). That's encouraging. I really don't want to unload all of my new equipment (body, 6 Sony lenses, cable shutter release, spare batteries etc.) and start anew with Canon or Nikon. I'm just too invested in Sony to change now and I've learned all of the software on the camera body. I'm a Sony guy now.

@ chappo1, thanks for that. So, I did something similar. I have a hot shoe ISO adapter (just one) that mounts on the Sony body hot shoe and let's me put my Elinchrome remote trigger on top of it. The Sony adapter ( wouldn't work because, to your point, the flash needs room to pop up. So, I went third party (a little different than what you have (ignore the Minolta speed light)

With my setup, the pop up flash is almost all of the way up (enough that the view finder "gains up" as required). But, I found that the shutter release would in some cases take forever to shoot the picture (several seconds with kids moving around). Maybe it's having trouble metering (not sure). But, I have a piece of black electrical tape over the pop up flash. Funny, because I had no issues with the same setup for still life photography recently. Mind you I had a lot less ambient light then because it was night out. With the kids, I had daylight entering the room.

When you say "Sony Transmitter", what is that? I wasn't aware of Sony having a transmitter but that sounds intriguing.

Thanks again everyone!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 03:33:55 AM by force4ormore »