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Old Dec 19, 2007, 1:18 PM   #1
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Just noticed Dpreview.com has just posted a review of the A700 today. I am just about to read it. See here....

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra700/

And Phil does compare it to the Canon 40D, Nikon D300 and Olympus E3!! Will be an interesting read!
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 2:03 PM   #2
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Looks like a pretty positive review. Strange about Sony applying NR to raw files though. Perhaps a firmware change to stop that? The lack of live view may be important to some but not really to me (after 5 months I haven't even TRIED live view on my mkIII :G).

It's interesting to note how close all the cameras are becoming in terms of standard performance. That's great news for all of us - it will force some real innovation. And, as long as a given system has the lenses a particular photographer needs it's gotten to the point where there is no bad choice anymore.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 2:06 PM   #3
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The most interesting thing in the dpreview was the DRO example and possibly the noise graph among the various cameras...

-> I kept a summary from Pop Photo here:

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Old Dec 19, 2007, 2:22 PM   #4
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JohnG wrote:
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The lack of live view may be important to some but not really to me (after 5 months I haven't even TRIED live view on my mkIII :G ).
Well I tried the tripod mode on the D300... and they'll need to perfect it somehow: the mirror still slaps up and down!
-> One would have imagined that if the mirror is already up to be able to do liveview (and AF), why don't just record the image as is?
Flipping the mirror would just induce motion in the tripod mode...
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 3:03 PM   #5
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JohnG wrote:
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Looks like a pretty positive review. Strange about Sony applying NR to raw files though. Perhaps a firmware change to stop that?
Part of that could be Adobe Camera Raw, too. I've already seen lots of posts complaining about how both PS 3 and Lightroom handle raw files from the A700, and Phil used Adobe Camera Raw for his conversions.

Even if Sony is applying some NR to raw files (and their literature does indicate some NR is going on at the A/D conversion level on the sensor itself), that's not necessarily a bad thing. Rumour has it that Nikon is using a separate A/D converter, versus the one built into the Sony sensor.

In any event, scroll down to the last set of crops on this page, and compare the Sony ISO 3200 image converted with Adobe Camera Raw with noise reduction turned off to the Nikon D300 raw image converted the same way.

Given the much higher noise level in the D300 crops, you probably wouldn't do much better yourself with noise reduction tools anyway.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra700/page18.asp

Also, these are 12 Megapixel Images, and we're looking at 100% crops (which would make for very large prints). ;-)

These images do quite well at ISO 3200 for print sizes I'd use from what I've seen from my A700.

I think the new Sony Converter output looks better than ACR at the highest ISO speed settings, too (Sony updated the raw conversion software at the same time they updated the firmware which made some changes to Noise reduction). So, the ACR version Phil used for the conversions may not be optimized for the newer firmware yet, either.

You've probably seen this example before. This post includes a link to a full size ISO 3200 image shot in raw using a camera with the latest firmware update, and converted with Sony's latest (recently updated) raw converter software:

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

The latest versions of Bibble and Lightzone now support this camera, too (and I suspect that they're both going to do better than Camera Raw at retaining more detail at higher ISO speed settings compared to Adobe Camera Raw, based on what I've seen with converters like Raw Therapee and dcraw.c so far).

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Old Dec 19, 2007, 3:38 PM   #6
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NHL wrote:
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The most interesting thing in the dpreview was the DRO example...
Did you notice that Phil got over 10 stops of Dynamic Range shooting in raw with the A700 and converting with ACR?

That doesn't even need Sony's DRO (Dynamic Range Optimization) feature.

I saw another review where someone tested 11 stops with it recently.

I have seen a very noticeable improvement in the way this camera's sensor handles highlights. It's a refreshing change for digital.

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Old Dec 19, 2007, 5:30 PM   #7
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Looks like the DPreview test of the A700 pretty much confirms what I thought of the 3 (40D, A700 and D300) and brought to light other interesting finds. So, for me (still being in shopping mode), it still comes down to either the 40D or the D300. No change.

Thing is if I don't buy the 40D this month I don't get to take advantage of the rebate offers made by Canon Canada. As fhe offer ends on the 31st.

Though, being as the D300's are selling like hotcakes, I'd have to wait till January any how. If I want one. 40D's and A700 are easy to find up here.

NHL,

Was Pop Photo doing a test of one of the5 cameras? Where was that chart from? And I wonder if they used a fixed 1DM3 for the test with the fixed sub-mirror and new firmware.Though the fixes most likely wouldn't affect those findings.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 6:10 PM   #8
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
Quote:
NHL,

Was Pop Photo doing a test of one of the5 cameras? Where was that chart from?
FYI:
http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4724...alpha-700.html
http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4911...ikon-d300.html
http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4924...ympus-e-3.html
http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4668...n-eos-40d.html
http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4314...-mark-iii.html



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And I wonder if they used a fixed 1DM3 for the test with the fixed sub-mirror and new firmware. Though the fixes most likely wouldn't affect those findings.
I highly doubt that since it was performed in June...
-> The AF speed tested are for the initial lock only... and not during track
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 6:13 PM   #9
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Thanks NHL for the URL's.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 6:29 PM   #10
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JimC wrote:
Quote:
Did you notice that Phil got over 10 stops of Dynamic Range shooting in raw with the A700 and converting with ACR?

That doesn't even need Sony's DRO (Dynamic Range Optimization) feature.
No doubt that this is an excellent camera:
1. Fastest AF in most light
2. Fastest write time to Flash (and longest burst without stopping)
3. Built-in IS
4. Zeiss lens availability
-> Can't wait till they package a D3 sensor in a 5D size package and they'll have a real hit on their hand - I might then have to dig my KM lenses out from the closet !!!
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