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Sony A55, what are the existing problems?


kombizz 15 601 1 United States
12 Feb 2011 9:16AM
I have heard from different photographers that the new Sony A55 has few problems. I read the DPReview and could find only few.
Do you own A55? If so, have you noticed any problems with it? If so, please write me. Thanks

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hobbo Plus
9 1.6k 3 England
13 Feb 2011 5:05PM
Hi..............I am a new owner of the SONY A55 after three years with the excellent SONY Alpha 300:

I love this new camera and have nothing bad to report at all..I admit to being a little concerned about using an elecronic viewfinder but after consulting with a friend who is a branch manager of JESSOPS I went ahead with the purchase:

I have had no regrets at all..............I shoot all the usual themes but have an ever growing interest in Macro photography and image stacking..........I am patiently waiting for the UKs insects to come out of hibernation:

I attach recent examples of what the A455 can do:

hobbaglobular-springtail-4-macro.jpg
suspended-animation.jpg
kombizz 15 601 1 United States
14 Feb 2011 6:21AM

Quote:Hi..............I am a new owner of the SONY A55 after three years with the excellent SONY Alpha 300:

I love this new camera and have nothing bad to report at all..I admit to being a little concerned about using an elecronic viewfinder but after consulting with a friend who is a branch manager of JESSOPS I went ahead with the purchase:

I have had no regrets at all..............I shoot all the usual themes but have an ever growing interest in Macro photography and image stacking..........I am patiently waiting for the UKs insects to come out of hibernation:

I attach recent examples of what the A455 can do:

hobba



Thank you hobby about your answer.
What do you think about GPS function of it. Is it true that take too much energy from the battery?
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2011 8:50AM
Give it a good try out before you buy an A700 owning friend got one and returned it because the video tearing upset him too much in the EVF. It depends how you use it. He is considering saving up for an A850.
Thincat 13 616
14 Feb 2011 4:29PM
It's new technology and there are some problems. The use of the in-camera IS to stabilise video uses a lot of energy and also generates a lot of heat from the battery which is a problem. When taking stills the IS works only when the shutter button is released but in video mode it's working all the time, which is why it drains the battery. This type of IS has never been used with video before, as far as I know, so there will be teething troubles. Apart from that there seem to be very few problems which is surprising considering how unconventional the camera is. The EVF looks, to me, to be excellent and I don't see many complaints on DPR (from people who have used it - rather than from Canon owners who haven't).

It looks definite now that the replacement for the A700 will be an EVF SLT so Sony users will have to get used to it - OVFs will be retained for full frame cameras. The A77 EVF is promised to be even better than the one on the A55 and it will have a new sensor that has even better high ISO capabilities - and still sell for no more than the price of a 60D. Rumours also say it will have 25Mp, but I doubt that. I'm saving up already.
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2011 10:19PM
Just for Thincat, seek and yeah shall find

Link 1
Link 2

Or you could just read through this lot. The problem with studio lights puts some off also. I hope for Sony users they keep a parallel optical viewfinder option going for their non-entry cameras. Forcing people to use EVF's if they do not want to is a way of loosing sales and while it may be acceptable at the entry point they need to fix its problems at higher end cameras, or offer cameras with hybrid viewfinders at least. Mind you some of the problems can be solved by improved software and hardware.

I think the problem with studio lights can be solved by altering the software so you can set a manual exposure but auto gain the EVF but that needs use with care. The problem @ 10fps is partially solved by more processing power but it and tearing would need faster read out of data from the sensor. The video IS problem can be solved by putting IS in lenses, buying Sigma lenses with built in IS solves this on Sony cameras. So it is perhaps solvable some time, but its a big step on from today's offerings. The problems in areas with strong highlights is probably solvable in software and increased processing power also.

For users that spot the above problems the moving mirror Sony's make most sense and it is interesting that Sony are protecting their high end cameras from EVF. But then that may well just indicate the market place Sony see the A700 etc being in the future. Not everyone will notice or be over concerned about these issues, it all depends what you want to do and how you wish to use your camera.


Quote:so Sony users will have to get used to it
Would it not be better if it were a positive not the only option?
Quote:and still sell for no more than the price of a 60D
I would hope not after all it is the direct competition just like the A55 should sell for no more than the 550D Wink
hobbo Plus
9 1.6k 3 England
15 Feb 2011 9:33AM

Quote:Hi..............I am a new owner of the SONY A55 after three years with the excellent SONY Alpha 300:

I love this new camera and have nothing bad to report at all..I admit to being a little concerned about using an electronic viewfinder but after consulting with a friend who is a branch manager of JESSOPS I went ahead with the purchase:

I have had no regrets at all..............I shoot all the usual themes but have an ever growing interest in Macro photography and image stacking..........I am patiently waiting for the UKs insects to come out of hibernation:

I attach recent examples of what the A455 can do:

hobbo

Thank you hobby about your answer.
What do you think about GPS function of it. Is it true that take too much energy from the battery?



The GPS system on the SONY A55 proved to be a bit scary...........when I posted a pic on another forum...........I was sent a Google Earth shot of exactly where I was standing when I pressed the shutter:

I may switch it off for home use:

Battery capacity:

Yes....I have noticed that the Battery on the A 55 runs down quicker than that of my previous Sony Alpha 300.......I usually shoot 80-100 frames in a session........say an afternoon stint...........the A300 would last three with battery to spare.......The A 55 does two and a half:

No worries though..............I will acquire a spare battery and keep a charged one in my pocket:

hobbo
Thincat 13 616
15 Feb 2011 1:21PM

Quote:I would hope not after all it is the direct competition just like the A55 should sell for no more than the 550D Wink


I have to be very polite to you SM or the moderators delete my post. Last time I replied to one of your posts I accused you of being inaccurate, verbose and boring and the post was deleted. Meanwhile posts replying to mine accusing me of talking "bollocks" were apparently acceptable.

The A77 may be in competition with the 60D but it's going to be in a different league as regards performance. For a start the sensor will be considerably better - the current A55 sensor is better than the 18Mp 60D sensor, and the new Sony sensor in the A77 is said to be a considerable improvement on the A55's. It's probably going to be made out of mag alloy and will have all the user-friendly features that the A700 had. It's probably going to be the best APS-C SLR ever made. Looks like Canon will have to up their game.

The links you posted are irrelevant. Whenever new technology comes along there are those who knock it, and there are plenty of people on the Sony forums who are complaining about the new EVF. Most of them haven't even used it.
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 2:06PM
TC you get in trouble because you apply expectation as a fact for example

Quote:The A77 may be in competition with the 60D but it's going to be in a different league as regards performance.
None of us have tried it yet, its not in the shops. So you can hope it is a different league but you cannot know. sorry but you apply faith not knowledge in your posts. Don't believe the rumour sites out there as they all said it would be out in January.

Just remember how much time you spent trying to tell me the A700 is in a different league from the 40D, when in reality, they are very comparable, different but comparable. Lets see the A77 out there in the open and real before we say how good it is. till then every dSLR out there is better than it and in a different league to it because you can use them to take picture whilst none of us can take a picture with an A77. Smile


Quote:the current A55 sensor is better than the 18Mp 60D sensor
Is it significantly different, or just a little bit. Send me some prints that show the difference. Till then I say the image quality of either is very very equal. Even looking at site like DP REVIEW if you bring the standard condition review images to equal levels of sharpness, contrast and saturation, you have a hard time producing big differences. To my mind the sensor wars are over so enjoy the fact its back to handling, responses and lenses.

And of course Canon have to up their game, but the A77 is not the driver. Sony are not strong at that level and the length of time they left the A700 out of production without replacement shows that that range of cameras is not important to them. They have chosen where to compete and been lukewarm in other areas. canon, Nikon, Pentax and even Olympus have been stronger in their support of that level of product.

Sorry I just hope Sony show more support to their users and keep that class of camera in production and develop it not letting it run out of production. And I hope they make an optical viewfinder variant so people can choose. It is sad how they did not keep up production of an A700 class camera and instead frittered away at the entry level.

To be fair to Sony why not just produce a camera using the A55 sensor but with improved body and functionality. a hybrid viewfinder would be good, best of EVF and optical viewfinder world, and I hope Sony do that. After all Pentax and Nikon have shown how to make very good cameras using that sensor. To me that would be good. Even better sensor bring it on, though history does tend to show that Nikon will make the best use of it. In fact their plan may be to just bring out a more rugged, higher performance A55, so it may be best to pitch your expectation at that level rather than hype up the to be announced camera to a level it may fall over at.

As for the links , you said you had not seen complaints at DPREVIEW so all I did was link to them. All cameras get a hard time over there. In fact it amazes me that anyone ever gets a picture Wink I just put it in to allow you to see them. As ever the user should read and decide if its important to them. Every product is flawed, some of us recognise that all camera manufacturers make flawed products Wink Even Canon wh olook to have impressed you and set the standard you judge by Smile
Thincat 13 616
15 Feb 2011 3:47PM

Quote:Just remember how much time you spent trying to tell me the A700 is in a different league from the 40D, when in reality, they are very comparable, different but comparable.


The A700 is reckoned by many to be a classic. Sony have stopped making it but it lives on in the Nikon D300 which uses the same sensor and has the same image quality as the A700, but is inferior in handling. Meanwhile Canon have moved on from the 40D to the 60D which now sells for about 700 while the D300 seems to still sell for near 1000. The market has spoken SM and it says that two further generations of the 40D are still inferior to the D300 - and by implication the A700.

A recent Amateur Photographer test put the 60D behind the K5 and D7000 (which both use the Sony 16.3Mp sensor) for sensitivity and IQ (4 stars relative to 5 stars). Canon IQ has never impressed me and it finally looks like the press have begun to give other manufacturers a bit of credit. Of course the acid test will be when Sony bring out their new APS-C sensor. All their previous sensors have been sold to third parties before Sony have used it in their own cameras. It looks like this time Sony might put the new sensor in their own camera first. It'll be interesting to see how well (or badly) it's reviewed. Most of these mags give a Nikon (or even a Pentax) more credence than a Sony - don't they make TVs?
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 4:17PM

Quote:The A700 is reckoned by many to be a classic.
So is the morris oxford, does not mean I would like one Wink

Quote:Sony have stopped making it but it lives on in the Nikon D300 which uses the same sensor and has the same image quality as the A700, but is inferior in handling.
SM does passable impression of the robots/aliens from the old smash advert Sorry difficult to type with the tears in my eyes.

I did think of reminding you that AP picked the 40D ahead of the A700 as enthusiasts camera of the year, but thought nah! why bother after all I did say they were comparable and who cares they are out of production and in their own ways history. Plus both take decent pictures etc etc To be honest the A700 is a decent camera, as are the A850 and A900 cameras in my eyes.

But bad news for you, if you want the market view just look at the sales numbers. Find me the number of 40D sold and compare it to the number of A700 sold when both were on sale. then if you want look at how many 50D and 60D and 7D were sold in the time from A700 launch to now. I could mention that canon have pitched in the 7D, but why bother after all only a camera with a Sony badge on the front is good enough. But what does that mean. Does it matter if canon sold 10x the number of 40D that Sony sold A700 and so the sales life was smaller but the number produced higher, not a jot. (sales numbers a guess, not worried)


Quote:Most of these mags give a Nikon (or even a Pentax)
No I think you are unfair there. The mags give them all a fair run but what you are seeing is the mag's recognising that Pentax have pulled up their socks and produced a good camera. So it gets a good review. They all know that sony's sensor technology is behind the new Pentax, but there is more to a camera than just sensor. And could it be that the reviewers are giving Sony a fair critique. I have never seen one say they are just TV manufacturers. They are Minolta and the old sony division. Lots of people, me included were Minolta users.

Sony's problem is they are running a bit scatter gun and not being consistent in support and development. I do not think you will find many saying Sony's latest CMOS sensor is bad, the CCD ones with big MP often fairly got stick. And if you let cameras like the A700 die out and have no replacement what do you expect your customers to do. where is the upgrade path for an A200 user that wants more than the A55 offers, Pentax and Nikon????? A850 is too big a price jump.

Its a lack of support for the loyal Sony buyer. and that deserves stick. sorry the problem you rail against lies with no one except Sony. they are the ones who left the large gap in the Camera range. Sorry even you cannot blame Canon for the lack of an A700 replacement on sale now. Unless you think Canon whipped them so hard in the sales stakes Sony gave up.

And reading their senior people interviews are they that committed to more than the entry to mid level of cameras, in the way that Canon and Nikon are? And if yes why the lack of camera and lens updates?.
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2011 5:44PM
To the original poster my thought is try the A55 and try the A580 to see which you like the handling and viewfinder best on if you like Sony's. I think they have the same sensor so which gives the functions you want? what one person another will hate etc.
Photogeek 15 605 6 Wales
15 Feb 2011 6:42PM
Strawman has hit it on the head. I am a died in the wool minolta fan, I love my x700, Dynax 7 and 700si. When I finally bit the bullet and decided that I had to look at digital, I got myself a Alpha 100 . . .Where do I go from here? . . . Certainly not the A55 or the rumoured A77 . . .In my case with a lot of saving the A850 is the only route. I don't want an EVF, I've got one on my A200 and it is just too limiting. I want an optical finder.

And I want a mid to high end camera with decent noise handling, and the only way I can see that happening is to change marques Sony are just too hit and miss with the products, and an EVF is a gimmick . . .Oooh look it allows you to take videos . . . I don't want to take videos, I want a decent stills camera, with no compromise!
hobbo Plus
9 1.6k 3 England
15 Feb 2011 9:58PM

Quote:Strawman has hit it on the head. I am a died in the wool minolta fan, I love my x700, Dynax 7 and 700si. When I finally bit the bullet and decided that I had to look at digital, I got myself a Alpha 100 . . .Where do I go from here? . . . Certainly not the A55 or the rumoured A77 . . .In my case with a lot of saving the A850 is the only route. I don't want an EVF, I've got one on my A200 and it is just too limiting. I want an optical finder.

And I want a mid to high end camera with decent noise handling, and the only way I can see that happening is to change marques Sony are just too hit and miss with the products, and an EVF is a gimmick . . .Oooh look it allows you to take videos . . . I don't want to take videos, I want a decent stills camera, with no compromise!



I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to this lively debate: Grin

I researched the A55 very carefully before I took the plunge..........I purchased when I did to take advantage of the VAT back offer (94) and so I could pass on my Alpha 300 to my son for Christmas:

I had to think extremely hard before I decided on wanting an EVF but after consulting a mate who is a JESSOP'S manager I went ahead after he sent me test shots done in his shop:

I think the proof of whether the A55 is up to scratch on the photography scale...........take a look at my recent posts in the Gallery:

As soon as the UK insects come out to play I will post macro shots:

Video mode....a gimmick?..........I don't think so.................things move on and someone has to lead ...otherwise we would all still be using Box Brownies or Glass-Plate cameras: Wink

I can see that I am going to enjoy the exchanges and banter on here:

hobbo
Thincat 13 616
16 Feb 2011 1:37PM

Quote:
I did think of reminding you that AP picked the 40D ahead of the A700 as enthusiasts camera of the year, but thought nah! why bother after all



That was exactly the point I was trying to make when I said it would be interesting to see how AP review the A77 - assuming that it's the first camera with their new APS-C sensor, which I think it will be. Their reviews of the Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K5 were glowing, but their review of the Sony A580 was quite a lot less than glowing. I'm prepared to bet that no one could tell the pictures taken by these three cameras apart and that makes the A580 pretty amazing value at less than 600. I accept that a camera is more than a sensor but the best thing about the K5 is the Sony sensor. Its AF doesn't seeem to be anything to write home about.


Quote:
Strawman has hit it on the head. I am a died in the wool minolta fan, I love my x700, Dynax 7 and 700si. When I finally bit the bullet and decided that I had to look at digital, I got myself a Alpha 100 . . .Where do I go from here? . . . Certainly not the A55 or the rumoured A77 . . .In my case with a lot of saving the A850 is the only route. I don't want an EVF, I've got one on my A200 and it is just too limiting. I want an optical finder.



When you talk about the A200 I assume you mean the late and very unlamented Konica Minolta "Dimage" A200. This was a cheap and nasty version of the KM A2 which IS now a classic and was the best bridge camera of its era. One of the penny pinching measures that KM made on the A200 was to replace the A2's brilliant EVF with a feeble 235k pixel affair that was only good for framing the shot. Don't judge the EVF by your A200. Try out the A55 before ruling it out - it has a lot of advantages over an OVF. Sony have already got a new production-ready EVF which I assume will go into the A77 and it's going to be even better than the A55's EVF. That's why they're probably ditching OVFs on APS-C cameras.

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