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Old Jan 5, 2012, 4:05 PM   #1
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Hello everyone and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I'm considering buying the SLT-A35, but I was wondering: what are the main disadvantages of the translucent mirror technology?

Some say the mirror requires more maintenance and that its surface gets soiled very quickly, light loss is very present etc...is all this true?

As a student, I can't afford to change my camera every year!

Thanks...
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 7:05 PM   #2
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The is 1/3 stop lost due to the mirror compare to the sony dslr. I am not surprise the mirror maintenance is an issue. When the canon RT was around it was a pain as well. And it is very important to keep the mirror clean or spot can affect the image. I would seriously consider the dslr sister of the sony if you want a sony.
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 11:23 PM   #3
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I have not heard of any unique issues with the SLT's yet. Although if you needed to clean the translucent mirror for any reason I would not know how to go about it. I'm sure with time we'll hear of a way to clean it.

It is something to consider.

Considering that, I just picked a friends used A55 for a price too good to pass on. I plan on keeping the Sony 18-250 on it full time so I won't have to change lenses and thus reduce the possibility of the mirror getting dirty.

As for the light loss, I don't think it will make a big enough difference to even notice. I've experimented with high ISO (3200) and the noise is well handled.

Here is 2 shots. Both taken in M, ISO 3200, f/8, 1/4 second. Tripod 2s timer.
Top camera A700 with the Tamron 17-50 @ 50mm
Bottom camera A55 with the Sony 18-250 @ 50mm

If you can pull up the exposure values in the exif you can see the A55 is a little brighter (-3 vs -3.4), I'm guessing the ISO gain is factory adjusted to compensate for the light loss. The A55 shots look cleaner to me.
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Old Jan 5, 2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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ISO 6400, f/8, 1/8 second.
A700 top
A55 bottom
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Old Jan 6, 2012, 5:00 AM   #5
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The A35 has the same excellent 16MP image sensor that's in the highly aclaimed Nikon D7000 and D5100, the Pentax K-5 and other Sony's, the A55 and the A580, and the NEX-C3 and NEX-5N. According to DxOMark, of all those cameras, the SLTs have the most noise and the least dynamic range.

That is not to say that they aren't excellent cameras. It's just that they lose something because of the fixed, semi-transparent mirror and the ISO bias to compensate for the light loss.

What they do have over their brethren is the constant phase detect AF system that lets them AF during bursts and while recording movies. They also have an LCD electronic viewfinder instead of the optical viewfinder that's typical of dSLRs. This EVF is slow to react to changes in fast moving subjects, and the resolution isn't as good as an optical viewfinder, plus the exposure and camera settings info is superimposed on the image frame, but the EVF stays bright when shooting in low light.

Another thing that they don't have, however, is a vertical grip like the A580, and they use a smaller battery than the A580, so you'll need to change batteries more often.

They're also physically smaller and lighter.

There are pluses and minuses. You need to decide for yourself.
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Old Jan 6, 2012, 8:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marawder View Post
Hello everyone and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I'm considering buying the SLT-A35, but I was wondering: what are the main disadvantages of the translucent mirror technology?

Some say the mirror requires more maintenance and that its surface gets soiled very quickly, light loss is very present etc...is all this true?

As a student, I can't afford to change my camera every year!

Thanks...

I've had my A55 for over a year and never had a problem with the translucent mirror getting dirty or soiled. I have changed the lenses many times. I have cleaned the sensor once because of some dust spots but that was the sensor not the translucent mirror. I've used it for macros, inside family pictures, outside in the woods, on the beach, bicycling, marshes etc. I've been very happy with it.

There are some great review sites to more info on the A35 - for my 2 cents I don't think you'll have to worry about the mirror getting dirty and replacing the camera every year.
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Old Jan 7, 2012, 6:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lomitamike View Post
Here is 2 shots.
Top camera A700 with the Tamron 17-50 @50mm
Bottom camera A55 with the Sony 18-250 @50mm
The A55 shots look cleaner to me.
Thanks for posting those, Mike. The difference is pretty subtle, but the A55 does look a bit cleaner, as you've said.

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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
The A35 has the same excellent 16MP image sensor that's in the highly aclaimed Nikon D7000 and D5100, the Pentax K-5
Good to know!

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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
the SLTs have the most noise and the least dynamic range.
Bummer!

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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
constant phase detect AF system that lets them AF during bursts and while recording movies. They also have an LCD electronic viewfinder instead of the optical viewfinder that's typical of dSLRs. This EVF is slow to react to changes in fast moving subjects, and the resolution isn't as good as an optical viewfinder, plus the exposure and camera settings info is superimposed on the image frame, but the EVF stays bright when shooting in low light.
Yes, I was aware of all these features.
I was interested in the main disadvantages, overall satisfaction of the users etc. Once I buy the camera, I won't be changing it for the next 3 years, that's why I need to make the right choice!

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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
There are pluses and minuses. You need to decide for yourself.
That's what I'm doing. But I want to hear about the minuses directly from the users, not from some laboratory review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint501 View Post
I've had my A55 for over a year and never had a problem with the translucent mirror getting dirty or soiled.
I've been very happy with it.
I don't think you'll have to worry about the mirror getting dirty and replacing the camera every year.
That's all I needed to hear, grazie!
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Old Jan 7, 2012, 4:41 PM   #8
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I would not pass off the mirror clean issues. I have read on other sites, that it can be a pain. And the laws of physic say it will get dirty sooner or later. Even on dslr, sensors needs to get clean every now and then. But you only clean the front of the AA filter, now with the translucent mirror, you have 3 surfaces to clean. front and back of the mirror, and the AA filter on the sensor when it comes times.
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Old Jan 7, 2012, 7:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
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... And the laws of physic say it will get dirty sooner or later. ...
Well, the laws of Murphy have first crack at everything, but they say it will get dirty too.
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 8:39 AM   #10
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The translucent mirror is very easy to remove - I wonder what the cost is for a new one?
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