Author Topic: Do I make the leap and get an A900  (Read 6666 times)

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Offline Gee

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Do I make the leap and get an A900
« on: May 24, 2009, 05:40:03 PM »
Ok, since Xmas I've been doing the odd wedding and stuff to save up for the A700 replacement that everyone said was coming.  I am now only just short of an A900 body only price and as it doesn't look like an A700 replcement is going to be released do I just bit the bullet and get the A900.  I love my A100, but during the weddings i've done the nosie has been an issue, it's great and I love it but as I'm trying to push my images more I'm realising that my poor faithful friend is struggling.  My worries regarding the A900 are:

Are my lenses up to it, I have some film lenses from my old minolta, as well as a few Sigma and Tamaron lenses, will the fact that this isn't 'top glass' show up?

Noise, OK I've seen some pics at ISO6400, which look good, but I'm not to hot on post production, what is the noise really like, I do shoot in RAW and tend to use lightroom for quick edits and CS3 for more intricate work.

I'd really appreciate some advice as I'm really torn, I want to upgrade but.... Would the camera be wasted on me, and will it do what I want - less noise


   
My names Gee and I'm addicted to my A900, it even came to bed with me last night.

Offline Asher

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 08:08:08 PM »

Two points which might be very important for wedding photography:
  • A900 will be easier to focus manually (and spot miss focus in auto focus).
    The resolution will let you crop more.

I do believe that a full frame lens is just as good on the A900 and A700 from reading previous thread about it.

Alan

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 08:12:53 PM »
The a900 is a great platform for serious photography.  And from what I gather, so is the a700.

Lenses: the a900 rewards the users with the best glass ... at least if you intend to print large.  If your prints tend to be 15 inches by 10 inches (or smaller) then it won't really matter that much whether you use the a900 with good (but not stellar) glass or the a700.

Most of my lenses are Minolta.  I can vouch for the great performance of the following lenses when on the a900:

Minolta:
-100 f/2.8 macro
-28-70G f/2.8
-80-200G f/2.8
Carl Zeiss (Sony): -135 f/1.8

The Minolta 50mm f/1.7 does well on the a900, though it's not a lens I use very much.

I've only taken a few shots to date with the 20 f/2.8 ... news to follow (more use this summer, I hope)

Noise:  I tend to shoot ISO 400 and below (occasionally at 800) so I'm not the greatest reference.  Even at 200, the noise levels in the deep shadow areas are greater than I would have hoped.  BUT: when printing, or at final display size, such noise is not really perceptible.  Not sure how far up the ISO ladder one can take this.

With your lenses you might see more vignetting on the a900 than on the a700.

As to raw, that's the way to go.  I only shoot raw but convert on the fly to DNG when uploading to the computer.  That reduces the file size 30 - 50% and allows renaming, tagging, copyrighting, etc. (I use Adobe Bridge for that).

Overall: I believe the a700 is better noise wise, however it has benefited from a firmware upgrade that (among other things) improves its noise performance.  I thought that there would be such a firmware upgrade for the a900 as well, but the a900 is still on its original firmware release (which is more than most DSLR's can say... so there is some upside in that).

Offline mphotoservices

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 03:54:53 AM »
So far from what I have read and seen the older Minolta lenses were designed for full frame and perform great on the A900. I have not bit and got one yet from from many readings. I am excited since most of my glass is from film days full frame. Want the prices to come down a bit though.
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Offline Stef.

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 05:40:18 PM »
In former days... ;) (yep I have seen those...) one shot weddings usually with either a Hasselblad or Mamiya medium format cameras to get ultimate quality. The A900 is on par with medium format cameras- easily IMHO. The A900 is a compeltely different beast than the A100 in the sense that you have to deal with much bigger file sizes and you need good glass to get the best out of it. What is good glass? Well astonishingly with the A900 that's not as straight forward as it seems. Some glass that did not "behave" that well on the A700 might give you better results on the A900 and the other way around (!) I.e. the Sony 50mm f1.4 is IMHO better on the A700 than on the A900. On the other hand the old Minolta 50mm f1.7 gives very good results on the A900 but not soo good on the A700/ A100. The beercan gives better results on the A900 than the A700... and so it goes on.
The A900 IMHO needs a different approach to photography than the A100/700... I personally like the comparison to medium format gear. The A900 is NOT a point and shoot camera- you should shoot in RAW just to give one example- to get the best out of the files. If you never print over A4 than the A900 might be overkill as downsampling the files never does them any good.
The glass that I use successfully on the A900 is- these are the ones I use most (there are others that work well as well but I don't use them that often:
CZ24-70mm
Sony 70-200G
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Sony 50mm f1.4
beercan
Sigma 105 macro
Sigma 100-300 f4
Sony 135 STF
CZ 85mm f1.4
CZ 135mm f1.8
Sigma 15-30mm
lensbaby composer

If you have any more questions just shoot! Well one last point: be aware as most professional cameras the A900 has no flash build in!
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Offline Gee

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 03:00:06 PM »
Thank you all so much for your comments, I'm now feeling a bit more confident about making the leap.  For starters I have the Minolta 50mm 1.7 prime and the bearcan, and have always been happy with the results on the A100, so can't wait to see what happens on the A900...

Flash isn't a problem as my Sony Flash is compatible, so it looks like I'll be heading to our local ish camera shop to have a good play with an A900, and as long as I like the feel etc... looks like I could be coming home with one :-)

I'll keep you posted
My names Gee and I'm addicted to my A900, it even came to bed with me last night.

Offline Stef.

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 05:36:15 PM »
Gee- hehe- once you had a good play with the A900 you will NOT leave the camera at the shop...so better think first ;)
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Offline Rob aka [minolta mad]

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 09:21:50 PM »
Gee- hehe- once you had a good play with the A900 you will NOT leave the camera at the shop...so better think first ;)
Stef.

I did at the weekend ???
Had a play with the A900 and CZ24-70, very nice indeed.
The only reasons i probably didnt get one was that they only had the display model, and i want to wait untill the 70-200 replacement arrives.
But it is one hell of a camera, and the viewfinder is awesome.


Rob

Offline Stef.

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 09:44:56 PM »
I think if you can afford it- than the A700 and A900 together are pretty much unbeatable. I use both for different occasions. Yep...the A900 is outstanding. I always held back here on the forum as I did not want to tempt anybody...
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Offline Gee

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2009, 10:25:54 PM »
I brought my hubby an A300 for his xmas present at Xmas and the guy in the shop let me have a little play with the A900, but I wasn't in any position to even consider buying it so despite loving the full frame view finder, I didn't really have a good look.  Hubbys is very keen for me to get one (for him to pinch!) so it looks like we're be heading to Cardiff on Saturday :-)
My names Gee and I'm addicted to my A900, it even came to bed with me last night.

Offline Stef.

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2009, 11:17:36 PM »
Hubbys is very keen for me to get one (for him to pinch!) so it looks like we're be heading to Cardiff on Saturday :-)

Then RUN before he changes his mind and gives you his one in exchange for the A900... I am lucky- my hubby does not even know where to turn a camera on...but than...I don't know anything about wine cellars or handy man tools... ;)
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Offline Gee

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 04:39:12 PM »
I'm going to have to be nice to the hubby and let him borrow it, looking at the spec I can't use my flashes wirelessly on the A900, so if I ever need to I'll be going back to my A100 or Darrels A300....
My names Gee and I'm addicted to my A900, it even came to bed with me last night.

Offline Stef.

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 04:52:29 PM »
Well you could always persuade him that you NEED the 58HVL-FM as well ;)
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Offline Gee

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 10:55:45 PM »
Well you could always persuade him that you NEED the 58HVL-FM as well ;)
Stef.

Mmmmmm good idea!
My names Gee and I'm addicted to my A900, it even came to bed with me last night.

Offline winjeel

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Re: Do I make the leap and get an A900
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2009, 01:11:15 AM »
As you mentioned before, make sure your lenses are upto it. It seems that nothing but Carl Zeiss, G, and the Minolta classics like the 50mm 1.4, 100mm 2.8's are worth considering... but I'm saying that based on what I've read here and on the lens review forums. I think Stef might be a better source of info than me on that point. In anycase, I've been assembling a lens kit that should be good for the A900.
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