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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sony Alpha Web Resources

So far, the best and most complete preview of the new Sony Alpha A100 is Steve's First Look on Steve's Digicams. Shawn Barnett of Imaging-Resource has also written an excellent User Report (in the "Overview" section) from his firsthand experiences with the camera (including this amusing sentence: "I was so lost in shooting pictures of dandelions on my lawn...that while I was lying on my side to take multiple manual focus shots, some guy stopped his truck to see if I had passed out").

There are many briefer and/or more cursory previews online, but these two currently seem to be the best.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lesson to be learnt for Panasonic and Leica.
How to bring a product to market!

8:30 AM  
Anonymous 01af said...

Amazing how closely this picture of the Sony Alpha system resembles the picture of the then-brand-new Minolta AF sytem 21 years ago ...

8:44 AM  
Anonymous dazedgonebye said...

I wonder how good that sensor will be?

9:21 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"I wonder how good that sensor will be?"

It's probably the same one that Nikon uses in the D200, which is made by Sony.


9:27 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Anonymous said...

a lesson to be learnt for Panasonic and Leica.
How to bring a product to market!

Why yes! Cannibalize and rebadge an existing system and market it as your own development like it was cut out of whole cloth! /sarcasm

But seriously the bulk of this stuff is rebadged Minolta gear. Not complaining about that actually, I'm a Minolta fan. I'm actually happy that all these lenses, cameras and accessories are going to be in the hands of people who actually know how to do good marketing.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont want to extend the debate but cannibalizing could be one way of seeing it, saving could be another. Clearly, from a business perspective, many camera companies (in contrast to eletronics co's) have failed in assessing the change in the industry. Hasselblad being a great example of that. Yes, emotionally, I would feel better having a classic badge on my camera, but in the end what matters is what you make out of it.

Recently there was an article in a swedish photomagazine on a well known street photographer, he has just dumped his Leica equipment in favour for an IXUS 80.

I am using a Canon G5. No, I am not a street photographer nor am I a fine art photographer.

I just enjoy life.

11:16 PM  
Blogger John Roberts said...

A 10.2mp sensor? Why? For this camera's target audience, and the size prints they (we) usually make, 6-8mp is plenty. Why generate unnecessarily larger file sizes for no noticeable gain in image quality at most standard print sizes? The MP race is cooling off finally in the digicam category; I don't think it's necessary to continue it with DSLR's, at least not at this level.

Having said that, I think it's great news that now somebody besides Olympus is dealing with the dust on the sensor problem. Pretending it's not a real problem, the approach the other manufacturers have apparently taken, is not the answer.

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's going to be tough choosing between the sony alpha system and 4/3, now that sony has an anti-dust sensor.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By naming it the Alpha, the name used for Minolta Maxxum cameras in Japan for years, Sony has signaled that they're not at all concerned about their new camera's association with the Konica Minolta line. Nor should they be.

5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A 10.2mp sensor? Why? For this camera's target audience, and the size prints they (we) usually make, 6-8mp is plenty."

Doubtless you are right for the majority of users. But the 10.2mp sensor (in combination with integrated anti-shake) has me considering a switch from a Canon 10d.

Why? Trying large prints--16", 20", even 24" and 30"--from cheap on-line labs, and watching some images captured at 6mp begin to fall apart at those sizes, has made me yearn for larger files. While 10mp won't enable large prints for all subjects, it will enable larger prints of more images than 6mp (especially considering how well many digital files can be ressed up).

While that alone may not be reason to switch, 10mp plus the ability to capture more of the low light images I currently miss, might be. Doubtless Sony is motivated more by the general marketing benefits of 10mp than by the likelihood of attracting me, and the (few) customers like me, but the very real benefits of 10mp for some users does provide some defense for their sensor choice.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the last post. I had downloaded some RAW-processed shots from David Kilpatrick gallery and printed them into A2 (16"x24"). No way to stretch 6Mp to that extent. And most of 8Mp should look slightly worse at that size

2:49 AM  
Blogger ENS said...

I see this as a good thing as this will only stoke up the fires of competition from Canon and Nikon alike and lead to either better or cheaper or perhaps better & cheaper cameras. Consider the points.

First, Sony is a huge company and can be a big player in the DSLR wars against Canon/Nikon. They have the resources to stay in the fight for a long time. And since they just bought Minolta, they have a couple of feet in with a long line of some very good lenses -- perhaps the single biggest reason professionals won't consider other camera lines.

Sony is perhaps one of the best electronics marketing companies around. Like them or not, their marketing is top-notch. I believe them to be a better marketing company than both Canon and Nikon and the later will have to be more clever or continue to have better products to stave off Sony camera sales.

Third, with the anti-shake built in, Sony will definately grab some sales...maybe even Mike Johnson himself will buy because I know he liked the 7D for this reason. This will either lead to cheaper Canon/Nikon products or, hopefully, the inclusion of anti-shake sensors in their next products.

Fourth, Sony, being new into the crowed DSLR mix will need to be aggressive to make it, and their is no doubt in my mind that they will be very aggressive. I think Canon/Nikon will take them as a much bigger threat because they already have an impressive, even if borrowed, lens line up which usually takes years and years to develop. Two, they have anti-shake, so don't really need IS lenses, though they could still make some. Third, like Canon, they make thier own sensors (watch out Nikon). And lastly, the are a financial giant and can take some hits here and there for a while.

So this should all spell good, healthy competition and we should see better and cheaper products sooner from Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

P.S. Personally I am a Canon shooter and look at the anti-shake and anti-dust features with envy.

1:04 PM  
Blogger ENS said...

Sorry, Mike. I misspelled your name in my previous post. I know it is Mike Johnston.

3:30 PM  

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