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Old Mar 16, 2014, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default New camera, new issues...

Greetings fellow Sony-shooters,

As some of you may already know, I had become quite unsatisfied with my A35 lately.
The ISO performance was appauling and images were sharper when holding the camera in a vertical position compared to the usual horizontal mode. (thread in question)

I decided to sell it, and instead of buying another SLT, I went with a brand new A580.
There's this small family-owned camera store in Lausanne that sells Canon and Sony equipment, which I didn't know about since I'm living in Geneva.
But I found out about it through a friend of a friend, a Canon shooter, and they told me they still had one A580 left in their stock. Without hesitation, went out and bought it!

It is in fact my first dSLR, and it took me about a day to get used to looking through a viewfinder instead of the LCD screen like on my old SLT.
I'm amazed at the detail preservation even when shooting at ISO 3200.
Of course there's a better/quicker AF system. Vast improvement as well when it comes to the buffer and battery-life.
Most importantly, no sharpness shift when changing camera position.

- Nevertheless, as one might expect, no camera is perfect.
After barely 1 week of usage, I'm seeing many dust-spots that just won't go away with the on-camera dust-removal mode. Also tried with a powerful blower, but still no success.
Now I fear I must resort to wet-cleaning, and the thought of touching the sensor makes me nervous.

- I used the exact same 16Gb SD-card from my A35 and put it inside my new A580. The strange thing is, the number of available shots is displayed to be 1036. On my A35 that number was only 936.
I thought both cameras had the exact same resolution and sensor-type, so I do not understand why the 100-shots difference between them?
Oh dear, please don't tell me the A580 RAW files have less bit-depth (or whatever it's called) than the A35 RAWs!?

Any opinions, guys?
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Old Mar 16, 2014, 1:27 PM   #2
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I think I found my answer:
http://diglloyd.com/blog/2014/201402...erization.html
Sony’s 11+7-bit Delta Compression, Posterization in Some Situations

So it's confirmed...Sony applies a certain level a compression to their RAW files so as to "balance between high quality & lower storage space".

How revolting and insulting, the user manual or official website don't mention anything about this lossy compression method!

We probably would have NEVER found out if it weren't for the many people who tried out the A7R and were surprised to see that the RAW files were much smaller in size than those from the D800.

Sony must think we are idiots...

Right now, I'm seriously considering moving to either Nikon or Canon.
God, I feel so angry...
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Old Mar 16, 2014, 2:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marawder View Post
After barely 1 week of usage, I'm seeing many dust-spots that just won't go away with the on-camera dust-removal mode. Also tried with a powerful blower, but still no success.
Now I fear I must resort to wet-cleaning, and the thought of touching the sensor makes me nervous.
The idea of cleaning a sensor manually is scary, but the process is actually quite simple. Follow the instructions, do it in a clean space, don't drop any wrenches down inside the camera, and all should go smoothly.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 9:50 AM   #4
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Personally I would not touch the sensor. Instead, I'd send it to Sony to have it cleaned. If the cost is prohibitive, then I'd give it a shot but the odds are against you IMO.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 11:30 AM   #5
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With the right tools, wet cleaning the sensor of the A580 should be easy enough. As a novice DSLR user, I was forced to buy the tools and learn the technique when my A700 was spotting up after every day out with it. I believe that I had a mirror assembly that was over lubricated and which would shed blobs onto the sensor with any usage that warmed up the assembly via a series of rapid captures. I also use a Sigma 50-500 lens which I think acts like a balloon pump in that it will suck in small fines that make their way to the sensor. So... double jeopardy for me, lots of spots to clean.

After about 18 months the lubricant blobs settled down but due I shoot a lot of aircraft in flight I gained the habit of always checking the sensor and cleaning the night before in order to avoid blobs in the sky.

I do have a wet clean system from SensorSwab but towards the end of my A700's time with me I mostly used a LensPens SensorKlear with an Arctic Butterfly electrostatic brush and that was enough for touch ups. I had acquired a blower bulb but stopped using it due I found it was more or less useless for moving the more stubborn and the Arctic Butterfly was much more effective in picking off dust and pollen like specs.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 1:04 PM   #6
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What were you doing that you got it that dirty in less than a week? (I am impressed)

I am with TCav on this one. The idea of a manual cleaning is intimidating but can be done without issue if one is careful and methodical. One time, you could have the job done for less than the items necessary to do the job correctly, but not long term.

Lensrentals.com has a tutorial on how they do this but this is not the only video showing how to clean a sensor without damage. I only post the following link as an example not a recommendation. Good luck

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010...-camera-sensor

This is only a guess but my A550 should be similar to your A580.

Never take as gospel what the camera tells you for capacity of a blank card. Shooting the softball and baseball games I see the camera recompute the blank space on the card after most every shot string. I try to be anal about camera settings from the start so did not see any great advantage to shooting RAW. I have tried all of the available options for my camera and do fine jpg's. There is a Sports thread somewhere discussing the number of pro sports shooters that do not shoot raw and do not miss anything by doing so (If JohnG should see this would you please link to the thread I referenced as I did not find it)

I have posted numerous images for critique. Not once has anyone told me the crappy Sony software was holding me back from the photographic greatness I truly deserve.

Were I you, the dirty sensor in a week would bother me more than anything else. Were you using a Sigma 50-150 f2.8 APO lens by any chance?

Last edited by Old Boat Guy; Mar 17, 2014 at 1:07 PM.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 2:12 PM   #7
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The LensRentals tutorial that Old Boat Guy mentioned is one of the best I've seen, but I also like the one from Copper Hill Images.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 3:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
Personally I would not touch the sensor.
Too late...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boat Guy View Post
What were you doing that you got it that dirty in less than a week?
I changed lenses often...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boat Guy View Post
One time, you could have the job done for less than the items necessary to do the job correctly, but not long term.
Yeah, I'm taking it tomorrow to my local Sony center for cleaning...I called today and they told me that depending on the number of swabs used for the cleaning process, it will cost between 35-50 swiss francs. That's also the usual price for cleaning kits. Reasonable.

Anyway, I did more of a mess, introduced only extra dust with my nooby technique. I'll let Sony take care of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boat Guy View Post
Never take as gospel what the camera tells you for capacity of a blank card.
Even so, the 100 file difference is not at all negligible. And it's already been proven that Sony applies compression to the RAW files, which is outrageous.
The day when I'll spot banding in the shadows or areas of fine transition between colors while processing my RAWs, I'm changing camera systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boat Guy View Post
Were you using a Sigma 50-150 f2.8 APO lens by any chance?
I don't own Sigma lenses. My gear is listed in my signature.
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Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4
Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM

Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD XLD

Last edited by Marawder; Mar 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 4:17 PM   #9
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Horrifying, is it not?



BTW, how far away from a city do I need to be in order to get some decent star trails?
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 5:00 PM   #10
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So- aside from some RAW compression- (I'll blame you for the dust... ) you're happy with the A580...?
I like you had an SLT model (A37) briefly- and as you,wasn't impressed...
I did borrow an A580 briefly- and quite liked it....!

It is odd,however,why one feels the need to compress RAW... shouldn't that be up to the user...?
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