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Old Mar 17, 2012, 2:57 PM   #1
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Default Purchasing a new camera?

Last weekend I had an opportunity to shoot with the NEX-7, A77, along with my A55, A850 and Canon S-95.

It was nice to be able to try out these cameras all together and get a feel for each of them and find what my preferences are with each of these bodies.

I'm not a full time professional photographer but do get some gigs every now and then. So these are thoughts from someone who is more of an enthusiast rather then a pro.

There are so many choices and you should consider many different things before purchasing a new camera from any manufacture.

Limiting discussion to the 5 bodies I had last weekend, this is how I would best describe each of them if they where all at my use.

The Canon S-95 would be the camera I would always grab. It fits into my pocket and does not need any lenses. You cannot beat it for convenience and the image quality is great. Being honest with myself, this camera could probably cover 75% of all my photography needs. I find that shooting in M-mode with RAW files gets very good results. JPEG results leave a lot to be desired for me. I have been using the video a lot, having small grandkids it's usefull to capture thier little voices and the video quality is good as long as there is good light and they are not moving around too much. Wishful thinking.
First year with S95 in my pocket

The next go to camera would be the NEX-7. Again the size really adds to the convenience factor and the results are incredible for such a small body. I did not have enough time to get comfortable with the different layout of the dials
and buttons but once you master the layout I see little need for another APS-C body. For video it's the best. Here's some video's I took last week. The quality in these youtube videos is not even close to what the camera captured. But the point being, It was very easy to hold the small NEX-7 tilting the LCD screen up to be able to see it while ridding my bike and shooting. The lenses I had available were the 18-200, 50 f/1.8 and the 30 macro.
Some stills.
Quick shot of granddaughter

The next one to grab would depend on the subject matter. For general everyday type of shooting I would probably grab the A55. Mostly because of it size in relation to the A77. It,s a small body but it does not have the ability to switch settings as fast as the A77, for everyday shooting that is not as important. It takes great stills and videos. Excellent general purpose camera.

Then there's the A77. The replacement for the excellent but aged A700. I sold my A700 after acquiring the A55. Not to be a replacement although I think I can do everything with the A55 that I could with the A700, just not as easy to switch settings on the fly. But I really needed video and I got a used A55 package for very cheap. Getting back to the A77, the other place where the A77 really excels is in macro photography. With the 24 mp and focus peaking this camera takes macro photography to a new level.
It also does everything the A700 does but better. The A77 is a great upgrade from the A700. For sports indoor and out this is the camera to have in the Sony lineup.

That brings us to the A850. This is the main reason I did not upgrade to the A77. I got a great deal on a new 850 at the same time the A77 was released. Rationalizing my needs I figured a full frame camera would better suite my needs for portraiture as I still had my A700. It's an incredibly simple camera and the best IQ wise that I have ever used. Even though the NEX and A77 are newer technology, I just don't believe you can beat the images that a full frame camera can produce.

After using the NEX I don't know if I will ever upgrade to a APS SLT camera. Although there's still a ways for the NEX to go to be able to be a sports camera it's not that far away. The next generation or two will probably eliminate the need for mirrored cameras. With that, I'm a little skeptical with purchacing any more APS A mount lenses.

It's a unusual time at this moment being a Sony user. There is a transition taking place with the new technology and If you don't pay attention you may end up with a lot of lenses that will not work on your next new camera, at least without some kind of adapter.

Portrait with A850
NEX-7, 30 macro
Attached Images
Canon S95
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 8:40 PM   #2
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Nice addition, quality without the weight and size.
Canon 5D MKII, EF 24-105mm f/4L, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro, Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD, Sigma DG 150-500mm f/5.-6.3 APO HSM.
Canon EOS T3i, 7D and 70D EF 17-40mm f/4L, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, 430 EXII Flash.
Sony A200, SLT-A58 System with HVL-F42AM Flash.
Mirrorless APS-C camera: Samsung NX100, Canon EOS-M.
M4/3 systems: Olympus OM-D-E-M5 and Panasonic DMC-G3.
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