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Old Oct 26, 2007, 11:55 AM   #1
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I was the first one at the Sony booth on Thursday to check out the new model.
The lighting was set up and the model in place.
I put a CF card in the camera and took a few photos with one of the cameras. The camera was underexposing the shot because it was not set to the correct exposure so I swapped to another camera that was set properly and took about 20 shots of the model.
The kit lens was attached.
Later I got a chance to have the photos printed at the Noritsu booth and the fun ended. There were numerous dirt specks on both cameras sensors and NONE of the photos were very sharp. Photos from my Canon A620 were sharper when printed to the same size. I turned the cameras off when inserting and removing the CF card so I assume that the sensor would have run its cleaning cycle. As for the mages being sharp everyone that viewed them agreed that something was amiss.
I have a 28 to 70 2.8 and an 80-200 2.8 APO lens so I wanted to give the Sony a chance.
The files were Jpeg format not raw but I doubt that was the main problem.
Has anyone been impressed by the image quality of this camera when compared to a Canon or Nikon DSLR?
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 1:53 PM   #2
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photoz wrote:
Quote:
The camera was underexposing the shot because it was not set to the correct exposure so I swapped to another camera that was set properly and took about 20 shots of the model.
The kit lens was attached.
OK. What's wrong with this statement? ;-)

If the camera was underexposing, something was probably set wrong. That's not a camera problem.

Quote:
Later I got a chance to have the photos printed at the Noritsu booth and the fun ended. There were numerous dirt specks on both cameras sensors and NONE of the photos were very sharp.
What size were you printing to?

Seeing dust in images is also evidence of a settings problem. lol If you're grabbing demo models, people may have been making changes to the defaults and more.

If you're able to see dust spots in prints, you've got a very small aperture setting (higher f/stop numbers). You probably have the lens stopped way down to something like f/11 - f14 or so), and you'd usually need a bright background to see them even using smaller apertures. So, you'd see dust and start to get softer images from diffraction problems. If not using a flash, you'd also see motion blur from slower shutter speeds needed for exposure using a smaller aperture.

Quote:
Has anyone been impressed by the image quality of this camera when compared to a Canon or Nikon DSLR?
Yes, especially when printed. I've got some ISO 3200 images from my A700 in this thread:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=84

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I have a 28 to 70 2.8 and an 80-200 2.8 APO lens so I wanted to give the Sony a chance.
With those two lenses, what are you waiting for? Buy one.

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Old Oct 26, 2007, 2:21 PM   #3
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I currently own the A700 and have been shooting with it for about a month. I have found that my best settings are +1 saturation, +1 contrast, and +2 for sharpness. I shoot in the xfine jpg mode or raw. Here is a link to one of the photos I took during the first couple of weeks with the camera:

http://www.pbase.com/philgibson/image/86767610


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Old Oct 29, 2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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You are correct on the first statement , there was nothing wrong with the first camera other than some small dirt on the sensor.
The second sample had at least 7 spots on the sensor that were easily visible on 5x7 inch prints. They were exposed at F5.6 and 1/125 sec. The largest prints were 24" x 32". I did not get a chance to shoot and process any RAW images which would have been better.
Before I condem the camera on IQ I will have to shoot some RAW images with a good lens.
I realize that the conditions were not ideal and thank you for the links.
I have a slight bias against Sony as a company developed by my past experiances with their products and the recent rootkit/DRM mess.
I had my own color lab and am spoiled by the print quality that I achieved with my Hasselblad and Sinar equipment.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 2:09 PM   #5
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It was probably just poorly handled demo cameras. Those must have been large specs of something to be visible at f/5.6, and I wouldn't be surprised if the lenses had been banged around, too.

I think the sensor on my KM 5D has needed a good cleaning for at least 6 months. But, the dust that's on it is only visible when I shoot at smaller apertures with a bright background. Since I rarely shoot stopped down to more than around f/8 to f/11, I haven't worried about cleaning it lately. lol

That is a pretty large print though. So, a bit of post processing would probably be a good idea anyway (sharpening, interpolating the image to get more pixels per inch to prevent pixelation). From what I can see, Sony keeps the sharpening levels turned down by default (which is a good thing from my perspective, so that you have more lattitude for processing the image later).

Your lenses are very nice (28-70mm f/2.8, 80-200mm f/2.8 ). So, if I were you, I'd get the new Sony. Sony will also have a Pro model out next year (the A700 is considered their "advanced amateur" model). But, they're not giving out any of the details yet.

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