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Old Apr 9, 2011, 10:14 AM   #1
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Default Test Drive A55 @ Tamron 10-24

I finaly will have the opportunity to give the A55 a test drive this weekend along with the Tamron 10-24 that I have been interested in.

I did manage to get out briefly yesterday and get some shots and video.

My first impression is that coming from an A700 I hate the ergonomics right from the start. I love the quality of the video, with the 10-24 on it, it seemed to take sharp quickly focused video. Better video then the Canon 7D/17-55f/2.8 combo that I used last summer. The Canon seemed to struggle to keep focus often. For still photography I haven't used any of my other lens's to have an opinion about the IQ from the A55.

It's a very small body, actually a bit too small for me but I guess that could be an advantage for some (travelers). It's even smaller then my Minolta 5D. I guess thats why they came out with another battery for this camera. I hate having different batteries.

The rear lcd is something I will have to get used to. I did like the A550 flip up and down screen. It was very useful and seemed much stronger then the single pivot point thats holds the A55s lcd. It seems like there could be a potential problem there with the lcd accidentally snapping off if your not real careful or in a hurry.

For the Tamron 10-24, I think it offers the best wide zoom range for any APS DX sensor camera. Initially, I can see where some think it a little soft, but it does seem to nail a sharp shot when things are just right. That means composing your subject towards the center to mid portion of the frame, and never use it wide open. Just like the older Minolta,Tamron and Sony 11-18 things can get weird off to the sides and corners no matter how careful you are. But, the distortion seems to be controlled much better then the earlier designs.

Here's a couple of shots.
First one is indoors. the A55 with a KM5600 flash and the Tamron 10-24 @ 10mm, and ISO 1600. I think thats where this type of lens would be favorable. Just be sure to hold the camera level at horizontal or your lines get weird.

No PP, straight out of the camera raw conversion in Aperture3.
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 10:23 AM   #2
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Next the outdoors. The lens hood did not come with this combo so the ghosting may not have happened with it on.

RAW conversion only. 1/2000s f/8.0 ISO200 10mm
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 5:11 PM   #3
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Got to try the 100 macro on the A55 today.

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Old Apr 9, 2011, 5:13 PM   #4
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Some type of daisy being pollinated.
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 5:44 PM   #5
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the translucent mirror system is more prone to ghosting and flaring. A lens hood is a very good idea to add to your lens.

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Next the outdoors. The lens hood did not come with this combo so the ghosting may not have happened with it on.

RAW conversion only. 1/2000s f/8.0 ISO200 10mm
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 6:26 PM   #6
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I agree shoturtle. Unfortunately the owner of the camera and lens never uses lens hoods. When he loaned it to me it came without the hood. I have heard the A33 has had a problem with flare and ghosting but I have not heard any complaints with the A55. I just hope they fix the problem before the release of the A7??.
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 6:30 PM   #7
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It happens on both camera, I have seen some major ghosting and flares with an a55 photos taken in time square.
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Old Apr 10, 2011, 7:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lomitamike View Post
I agree shoturtle. Unfortunately the owner of the camera and lens never uses lens hoods. When he loaned it to me it came without the hood. I have heard the A33 has had a problem with flare and ghosting but I have not heard any complaints with the A55. I just hope they fix the problem before the release of the A7??.
I spent some time using an A33, and I didn't see any flare issues beyond what I'd expect with any other camera; and I did spend some time using the kit lens without a hood, too (although a lot of the photos I took with it were using different lenses that are reasonably flare resistant). That wasn't your issue (AFAIK, the lenses you were using should have shipped with hoods, so it's a good idea to use them).

But, unfortunately, Sony has gotten a bit cheap and stopped shipping hoods with kit lenses. Canon has been doing that for a while now with many non L lenses (hoods are optional on a number of their lenses). In today's marketplace, I guess every penny counts towards keeping prices competitive. :-)

Now I did notice a tad bit of veiling flare in some images when shooting some live music with spotlights [stage lights] in the frame, using mostly a Minolta 28mm f/2 and 100mm f/2. But, it wasn't anymore than I'd expect using a different camera with brighter light sources in the frame in those conditions.

I'd like to see some side by side tests using an A560 and A33 (both using a Sony 14MP CMOS Sensor); or A580 and A55 (both using a Sony 16MP CMOS Sensor) with the same lenses in controlled tests with harsher lighting, so that we could see how much of an issue it really might be. Given my experience using the A33, I suspect that most reported flare in harsher lighting has more to do with the lens/sensor/aa filter combo being used versus the SLT design.
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Old Apr 10, 2011, 11:51 AM   #9
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I agree with Jim - I've used the A55 for a while now and I have noticed no "issue" with flaring that was different from any other camera I've used. Using the hood helps and watching where your light source originates is important.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 12:10 AM   #10
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Well I just got back from a road trip with the A55 and I can say that this is a very nice camera. The IQ is great, it's a fairly easy camera to use (not as easy as the A700) and is a small light camera that makes it good for carrying around all day. I didn't particularly care for the EVF but I imagine that I may be able to get used to it in time (I hope).

I used the 100 macro and the Tamron 17-50 and can say that not once did I experience any unusual ghosting, flare or any veiling. I did experience some flare shooting inside a dark room with lots of bright lights but I think any camera/lens combo would have experienced the same in this setting.

I shot some video with the 17-50. it focused very fast and was very sharp. The live view is awesome, my only complaint would be wind noise seems to be excessive.

Most of the time I used the camera with the LCD closed and used the EVF so I would not accidently scratch the LCD but I soon discovered there was another good reason not to use the LCD. The battery life was poor compared to my A700 with a 70-400 attached. I carried both cameras and left them on for about 8 straight hours. I had to swap batteries in the A55 during a lunch break, about 6 hours in to be sure it didn't die while I was out in the field.

Overall I think it's a great small camera.

Some shots from the trip.
The observatory. The closest thing to flare I could see. And this was shot through a window.
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