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Old Jun 4, 2010, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default Another one jumping ship? Maybe

I was just handed a Canon 7D for 3 weeks to see if I would be interested in buying it and a nice collection of lenses. I guess I will be putting away my Sony gear for a while and give this camera and lenses thorough workout. Having played with it for only an hour I can definitely see that it's gonna take a while to get used to it. Navigating around the settings is completely different then my 5D and A700. The A700s navigation is gonna be hard to beat but the 7D does have a quick navi button.

As a dedicated Minolta / Sony user Since the 5D came out, and with a decent collection of lenses, it's gonna take quite a lot to convince me to jump.

These next few weeks will at least give me a good idea of how good Sony is compared to the Canon system.

Photo taken with an A700, Minolta 28-75 2.8D @ f/2.8 ISO 1600 fineJPEG
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Old Jun 5, 2010, 3:23 AM   #2
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That's awfully generous of somebody. Good luck with it.

I've found, after having switched from the KM5D to the Nikon D90, that I really miss the image stabilization. Nikon only has two stabilized macro lenses (and they ain't cheap), and nobody has a good, large aperture, stabilized, standard zoom at any price. I love the Nikon mount lenses I've got that either cost too much or aren't available for the A Mount, but I do miss my Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Sigma 90/2.8 Macro. And, of course, my Beercan.
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Old Jun 5, 2010, 3:25 AM   #3
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Professional camera. The A700s navigation is gonna be hard to beat but the 7D does have a quick navi button.

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Old Jun 5, 2010, 3:33 AM   #4
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Think about whether or not you'd have been able to take that photo with the 7D. That shot was at 35mm and 1/20 second, and my guess is that sensor shift image stabilization probably had a lot to do with the good result.
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Old Jun 5, 2010, 4:07 AM   #5
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Professional camera. The A700s navigation is gonna be hard to beat but the 7D does have a quick navi button.
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Old Jun 5, 2010, 9:51 AM   #6
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The 7D is pretty good camera.

I know one of one user (Gary Kohs) with dual systems that has both the Sony A700 and a Canon EOS-7D that's been impressed with the 7D for sports use. He's also bought a 1D Mk IV.

He had some intermittent problems with the first 7D body he got (focus inconsistency shooting sports as it would tend to start front focusing for no apparent reasons after using it for a while from what I can recall from his posts elsewhere). But, the vendor swapped the body for him and the second body has been fine, and he's been impressed with the 7D's AF.

He felt like the A700 was limiting him to a max of ISO 4000 for indoor sports before the quality became unacceptable at anything higher, whereas he was able push the 7D to ISO 6400. Of course, what's acceptable or unacceptable is going to vary by user perception, print sizes needed, etc. He prefers a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 for that purpose (he had one for the Sony A700 and also bought one for the Canon 7D).

He's had the 7D since October 2009 (about 8 months now), and seems very pleased with it.

He doesn't plan on selling his A700 though from what I've gathered from his posts about it. He's hanging on to his Sony/Minolta gear to see what Sony has in mind for an A700 replacement, since we know they're working on one from previous announcements.

Note that he is still using the A700 some; and is starting to use ISO 6400 with it shooting raw with DXO Optics for raw conversion. For example, this baseball album from April of this year was shot by Gary using his A700 at ISO 6400 that way. Just click on an image and you can see EXIF info under it, and he also has a bit larger versions of them online if you click on the link to "original photo" ( although they're still downsized, not full size originals).

http://kleinoakbaseball.com/10_galle.../JV/index.html

BTW, if you haven't tried Sony's latest IDC version 3.2 raw converter, make sure to give it a try. The NR algorithms are much improved over the older versions.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/so...-sr-3-2-a.html
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Old Jun 5, 2010, 2:26 PM   #7
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Thanks Jim and Tcav.
Hopefully the A700 replacement will have improved AF. Thats where it's weakest IMO.

I did not inquire about buying this system the owner of it shoots an A550 and has all of Sony's best lenses ( a nice friend to have ).

He already left Sony/Minolta once and went to Canon only to return to Sony. Another friend of his sold him the Canon gear for a good price so he bought it. He gets impatient with Sony and is considering going back to Canon again, but then he changes his mind all the time. I think thats why he said for me to take the Canon stuff for a few weeks, to help him with his decision.

It's fun having a new system to play with and i'll see if how much better of a system it is if any after a few weeks.

My friend told me he would give me a very good price on the gear if I liked it but thats a big move, and it would take me an awful lot to convince me to jump ship.

In body stabilization, that's hard to beat. Plus having a friend with all the best lenses who will let me borrow them for free. That's impossible to beat.

Jim I have downloaded the new version of IDC. I did notice a small improvement in the NR but I'm trying to figure out how to include it into my workflow.

As of now I download most files directly into Aperture 2. I love their filing system. My other files I hide into layers of other files (mostly nudes that I don't want my kids getting into).

With that workflow I can edit in Aperture or open with a TIFF in PSE8 for advanced editing.. You cannot open a raw Aperture file in PSE.

With my other files they are raw and PSE8 opens them, edits them and I usually keep the finished file as a jpeg.

I don't know if I could pass them through IDC prior to sending them to either Aperture or PSE8. I haven't tried.

I would only need to do that with ISO 800 and above anyway.
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Old Jun 5, 2010, 2:57 PM   #8
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...the owner of it shoots an A550 and has all of Sony's best lenses ( a nice friend to have )...
Smart guy (keep the new Sony instead). ;-)

It's not in the same league as a camera like the 7D. But, I was pretty impressed with the A550's performance when I had a chance to use one for a while. I'd rate it's AF system as being better than the A700's in all but the lowest lighting (which makes sense, since Sony's had time to refine it's speed, algorithms, etc. since the A700 production started in 2007). It's also *far* more responsive than the much higher priced A850 and A900 models. Frankly, I think their AF is slow in comparison to the A550, despite their better "on paper" specs.

I spent some time at the local race track with an A550, and I was getting consistently in focus multi-shot bursts of carts coming out of a corner towards the camera with it using Continuous AF at 5fps at close range (which would have given higher end Nikon models lots of problems keeping up with, with the A550 handling it with ease).

Using it's continuous AF system was virtually effortless in better lighting (as long as you disabled features like DRO, since they tax the processing too much), whereas I'd have to work at it with higher end models with competing cameras in those conditions, and still end up with a lower percentage of keepers. I think most reviewers make the mistake of using the camera's default settings, versus tweaking them, disabling DRO (very important, since it's enabled by default), etc.

They've also redesigned the AF sensor assembly used in the A550 compared to the 9 point sensor assembly used in previous models (even though it's still only 9 points and has single line sensors, not getting any cross type sensors except for the center point, versus the A700's 11 point sensor assembly with a double cross center sensor, or the similar sensors used in the A850 or A900). The A550's 9 point sensor is a better sensor design in all but very low lighting from my impression of it.

In very low light, the others start to pass it (but, only in very low light). The A550 is a very responsive camera at a very competitive price point. Personally, I think it's one of the most underrated cameras around for it's market niche.
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Old Jun 5, 2010, 5:28 PM   #9
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I agree with you Jim the A550 is a very nice camera but I would not trade my A700 for it. Although the A550 does some things better than the A700 the A700 is still a better all around camera IMO.

As for AF systems, double cross hair center sensor and multiple cross hair sensors is really the only way to maximize the AF system. I hope Sony gets it right.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 3:37 AM   #10
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Yep.. I like my A700 better in some areas, so I wouldn't trade it for one either. But, the A550 is a fun camera to use and it really surprised me as to how responsive it is, despite it's lack of more cross type sensors (and especially considering current price point).

We'll have to wait and see what Sony does with newer models. Since everyone else is putting nicer AF systems in their mid range models, Sony really does need to work on upgrading that area for an A700 replacement to stay competitive in that niche if they want to attract more sports shooters, as AF systems in models like the EOS-7D are much nicer now.

I've seen the rumors and if they're right, the A700 replacement should have a nice update in the AF area. But, you never know about rumors. We'll just have to wait and see. :-)
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