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Sony A700 review is here!

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    MattGrayson
    2 Nov 2007 - 12:36 PM

    Hey everyone, the Sony DSLR A700 review is available in the reviews section or click here for the lazy. Wink

    Last Modified By MattGrayson at 2 Nov 2007 - 12:36 PM
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    2 Nov 2007 - 12:36 PM

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    davewaine
    davewaine  7115 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
    10 Nov 2007 - 6:30 PM

    Looks good. I'm saving up. Santa Claus brought me my A100, but I don't think he will be so generous this time round.

    Snapper_T
    Snapper_T e2 Member 10848 forum postsSnapper_T vcard United Kingdom
    11 Nov 2007 - 1:54 AM

    It will be next year before I consider getting an A700.

    Trev

    Thincat
    Thincat  7616 forum posts
    11 Nov 2007 - 3:50 PM

    I notice the bit about the LCD:

    "There's not much else to look at on the back of the camera. The large 3in LCD has 900k dots - as has been discussed at length, these are individual dots that are capable of only rendering a red or a green or a blue colour, not all three."

    OK, the Canon 40D (to which it is compared) has 230K dots, so the A700 has 4X the number of "dots" (920K) and therefore double the resolution. It's super sharp and super bright.

    As for the comments about softness relative to the 40D, I think this just relates to the level of in-camera sharpening on JPEG. I'm not sure there's much point in using either of these cameras on JPEG - my KM5D would probably outperform them both. They're designed for RAW and that's how they should be used.

    The A700 also has a handy remote control which apparently works at quite long range - a very handy gadget. How much do Canon charge for this, I wonder.

    strawman
    strawman  1022006 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
    11 Nov 2007 - 10:40 PM


    Quote: As for the comments about softness relative to the 40D, I think this just relates to the level of in-camera sharpening on JPEG.

    I am certain Matt will come back on this topic, but it has been picked in a few previews.

    Sharpness depends on the level of Anti Alias filtering (i.e the sensor assembly) and the software strategies, plus the lenses. From what I have read the A100 had very low AA filtering, and ran into some occasional problems (do the exist outside shooting test charts?) and Sony have lurched the other way with the new camera, so its in the sensor filtering or software? Never seen a problem with a work colleague's prints from an A100.

    The real question, is how the image looks after some processing. I found the JPEG images very soft in a 40D when I tried it, and about normal Canon softness as a RAW file. They sharpen well.

    With experience with the camera I have found that the picture styles can be adjusted to give very good results with a low level of sharpening afterwards. I find the landscape picture style quite good.

    So the same may be true of the Sony, i.e you just need time to learn how to set it up and process.

    As for which one, well I have Canon lenses and like the Canon handling so its easy. I should imagine that for well processed images it will be hard to tell which was used. At the moment the 40D has a price advantage and live view and to be honest I manage just fine with the display as it is. Its detailed and sharp enough to show focusing performance in live view and its easy to read.I have a sub 7 remote so that is fine for my use. And then their is the big range of Canon and Canon compatible lenses.

    The Sony has image stabilisation but the lack of a 2nd LCD would annoy me. Its amazing how I have come to use use it now I have one. That is the one area where I feel it is a shame Sony pinched the pennies.

    In short each will have plus or minus. Pick your own, a no doubt both are good, and its not like we are at school trying to see how far up the wall we can pee, or using a brand to justify ourselves Smile

    Last Modified By strawman at 11 Nov 2007 - 10:49 PM
    Thincat
    Thincat  7616 forum posts
    12 Nov 2007 - 10:07 AM


    Quote: In short each will have plus or minus. Pick your own, a no doubt both are good, and its not like we are at school trying to see how far up the wall we can pee, or using a brand to justify ourselves

    True. But I was trying to make a more general point about the review itself, rather than the merits of each camera - I think both the A700 and the 40D are great cameras and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between their IQ.

    The various controls on a camera are there to use and it's not very sensible to shoot at the default settings and then make comparisons. It's like getting two TVs out of the box, turning them on and comparing the pictures. The results are going to be fairly meaningless. The question is can you get the picture to your satisfaction.

    And the stuff about the LCD doesn't seem to have been cleared up. It's 921K, whereas the Canon is 230k - and that's the same units. It makes a big difference, but the report still seems to be implying it's 307k, by its reference to dots. A super sharp LCD may be of interest to many people. It is to me - I think the 230k LCDs are fairly useless. The 115k LCD on my KM5D is absolutely useless except for checking the settings.

    strawman
    strawman  1022006 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Nov 2007 - 10:21 AM

    It's funny the Canon screen looks sharp in live view, very easy to precisely focus in macro shots but it's not as sharp if you use it to zoom in on photo's you have taken. A software thing about a preview file???

    So for live view its a focus check, shots you have taken, not so certain. But then I am used to using the LCD as a basic check for composition, exposure,focus and do the detial on the PC. I could be missing something, fancy giving me a free Sony and lenses for the back to back Smile.

    If you buy it good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying my new camera.

    Thincat
    Thincat  7616 forum posts
    12 Nov 2007 - 10:40 AM


    Quote:
    If you buy it good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying my new camera.

    I'll get one next year when it's more like 700. It's at least 200 over-priced at the moment. Sony seem to have forgotten their intention to become #2 in the DSLR market. They won't do that by pricing their stuff way above the competition. They're probably also limiting their profits by restricting sales.

    strawman
    strawman  1022006 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Nov 2007 - 10:45 AM

    Funny I thought about 700 was the right price to jump too. I thought I would have to wait till easter, but with the cash back and price drops it occured earlier.

    so who knows by January the price may be right.

    MattGrayson
    12 Nov 2007 - 10:52 AM


    Quote: I am certain Matt will come back on this topic, but it has been picked in a few previews

    And here I am, but it was not my review.
    I know what you're thinking that surely a review as indepth and knowledgeable must surely have been from me, but no it was from our regular boffin Duncan. I shall mention this thread to him and see if he wishes to contribute. Smile

    mattw
    mattw  105189 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Nov 2007 - 11:10 AM


    Quote: I'll get one next year when it's more like 700. It's at least 200 over-priced at the moment.

    Shouldn't take long.

    Quote: I think the 230k LCDs are fairly useless.

    Tried one?

    Quote: It's funny the Canon screen looks sharp in live view, very easy to precisely focus in macro shots but it's not as sharp if you use it to zoom in on photo's you have taken.

    Image review is based upon a low res preview. (unless Canon have changed this recently)

    Duncan_E
    Duncan_E  7201 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Nov 2007 - 11:16 AM


    Quote: it's not very sensible to shoot at the default settings and then make comparisons. It's like getting two TVs out of the box, turning them on and comparing the pictures. The results are going to be fairly meaningless. The question is can you get the picture to your satisfaction.

    Then we'll have to disagree because where does this stop? To get the pictures to my satisfaction you have to use Photoshop - just the little tweaks to make it just right. So now were' talking about how good a camera is because of my skills with Photoshop. THis is nonsense. I set this out as a level playing ground. This is what the cameras are like at their default settings. Compare. Use the settings to make the picture better and more to what your tastes are, but this is the starting point. The Sony pictures are softer than the Canon pictures. Period. I shot both RAW and JPEG for both so forget the JPEG conspiracy theory. More advanced settings improve the pictures for both, Photoshop work makes them better for both. You have to read what I've said and apply it to what you want to do. Bottom line is both are excellent cameras.

    Thincat
    Thincat  7616 forum posts
    12 Nov 2007 - 1:23 PM


    Quote: This is what the cameras are like at their default settings. Compare. Use the settings to make the picture better and more to what your tastes are, but this is the starting point. The Sony pictures are softer than the Canon pictures. Period.

    The posted A700 pictures look terrible compared to the 40D. Sony are now on v2 of the firmware and, according to the forum, the JPEGs are very sharp - in fact if you use max in-camera sharpening they're too sharp.

    This is JPEG, of course. The V2 update makes no difference to RAW. You say that if you used PP the results would just be dependent on the user's expertise. How difficult is it to use USM? This is just something you have to use to get decent results. Full stop.

    Post Script: It occurs to me that it's all pretty academic anyway because the only people who are going to be buying the A700 are those who already have Minolta stuff or an A100, and they're going to know that the IQ is going to be OK. At the present price Sony are going to get virtually no new buyers of the A700 - they'll go Canon or Nikon.

    Last Modified By Thincat at 12 Nov 2007 - 1:28 PM
    mattw
    mattw  105189 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Nov 2007 - 1:48 PM


    Quote: The posted A700 pictures look terrible compared to the 40D

    The (Canon) 5D threw up some strange results as well. Oh well, Duncan can only report upon what he finds - indeed it his job to be critical.

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