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Friday, 31 October 2008


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I had an opportunity to hold an A900 at Samy's Camera in Santa Barbara last weekend. Mike, I agree with everything you've said about the physical characteristics of the camera. I would add that I think there is more than a little bit of the old Maxxum 9 DNA in this camera and that's a very good thing.

...remember that scene in "Jaws" when Richard Dreyfuss says, "You're gonna need a bigger boat?"

Actually, it was the Chief of Police (memory is the second thing to go, Mike.)

'Tis All Hallows Eve;
maybe time to try the new rental camera
on the wild and woollies in the neighbourhood this evening?

My old fashoned attitudes keep kicking into
place when I see that "Sony" is into the photo business. Ditto for Panasonic.

My own feeling wouldv'e been keep the Minolta name, people at least knew the name.

And too suspect the A900 won't be the end of it at all. Newer models, more pixels per
cubic centimetre, more options and yes
more things to go amiss with the system.
Oh and more toys on the pile of discarded
gear in a few years.

Speaking of discards, that footwear that
your young son designed, now that's
what I call different, colourful and yes
beautiful. May he wear them in comfort
and style for many years.

Suspect the Nikon D40 which I use is just right for me, three points of focus, interchangable glass, very light in weight
and takes images which are adequate, for me.

May your new Sony (the wolf in Minolta
clothing) do you well and be enjoyable as an experiment. Isn't that what this is all about? Different hardware to play with and enjoy? And when you're finished with the
toy(s) pass them to somebody else or sell them!

digital madness

Nice to see the Raw version looks so much better than the Jpeg. Our ever-predictable pixel-crazed brand chauvinists obsessing on the noise were studying Jpegs (some people have yet to discover Raw, apparently).

Like you, I don't mind 'digital grain', but specks of color do bother me. I'm glad it's absent from the raw version.

Thanks for posting this. It's an intriguing camera. Of course one would want the very best Zeiss lens to hang on it. Maybe a bigger display and another terabyte or two of storage.

That's me at the metaphorical dock waiting for my proverbial ship to come in.


Tell Zander his kicks Rock! When I was his age, all we could do was wear two different colored Chuck Taylors.

Happy Halloween.


Those shoes are "cool". They remind me of some VWs.



I was impressed at the owner's artistry - until I found that VW sold them that way, in a few different combos.


"(By the way, PopPhoto.com says the D700 has a 2-stop advantage on the A900 when it comes to noise; they say the D700 at 6400 is about equal to the A900 at 1600.)"

PopPhoto.com is way off. At any given print size, the A900 is at less than a stop of high ISO noise disadvantage compared with the D700. I'd love if the D700 had a two stop advantage, because I shoot with a D700. It just isn't the case though.

When shooting RAW and downsizing to 12 MP (the size of the D700), the Alpha 900 is pretty much equivalent and indistinguishable up to ISO 3200. See here for an example.


Not that it matters all that much to me, but on my screen the raw sample looks grittier while the jpeg has looks softer but with some color specs. Weird. Which is less noisy?

Who cares about the camera - those shoes ROCK!

Jim Couch

Yeah, I couldn't care less about the A900 or any of the other 22,000 new cameras I could be reading about, but those shoes...

I'm going to get my kid and spend some quality time at converse.com!

Hi Mike,

Enjoy the A900. Another great tool to make pictures with.

As you know, showing a JPEG and showing a Raw without pertinent data means really nothing. We would have to know the camera settings (all of them) to judge the JPEG, and we would have to know the specifics of which raw converter, and which specific setting and which profile, and on and on and on. Plus the specific lighting at the time of capture will affect the comparison as will the White balance.

Kind of like when I was back in the golden eared world of the audiophiles. And someone would listen to a music reproduction and say "Wow, those speakers suck!." Of course their opinion may have been valid for them, but how do they know that it was not the amp, preamp, cartridge, arm, turntable, wire, or even the source recordings that sucked, and the "amazing" speakers sound so bad because they were accurately reproducing the "suckiness" that preceded them.

Kind of the same with the technical issues of photography.

Anyway, you know what I mean.

Enjoy the camera!

Michael Tapes

That would be Chief Brody who suggested they'd need a bigger boat.

We're a Sony family when it comes to game consoles and Televisions, but for some reason I can't get my head around the idea of a decent Sony camera. Is it my inner snob coming out?

Amin, it isn't just popPhoto that says it's a 2-stop difference. Anandtech says (and shows) it as well:


There is a setting to reduce the noise on A900. Refer to this link: http://flickr.com/groups/sony_alpha/discuss/72157608550474107
A note to add on, I just got the camera a week ago and I must say that I am totally blown away with the details from the camera and the beautiful color from jpeg.
It's definitely another step forward in digital photography.


The in-camera jpeg engine of the Alpha 900 is not very good, and the default settings for those jpegs make them look quite bad indeed. With the correct JPEG settings as eyesthrulens mentioned, the noise is much better. And by shooting with RAW, you can get images that are pretty comparable to the D700 up to ISO 3200 as the link I posted earlier in the thread shows.

For someone like myself who shoots landscape images, the Alpha 900 is a pretty compelling purchase. I'll likely pick one up in the new year. . .

So, lets see, you go to the Converse website and design your own shoe! What an idea! Now, if only we could get the camera makers to build components, sensor block, computer module, lens-shutter block, etc so that you could design your own camera.

That would be fun, wouldn't it? Leica has come the closest to this with its "A la carte" program.

Someone in the car thread the other day mentioned the Fiat 500. If you go to the Fiat 500 website here:


There's a thing called the "500 Video Configurator" that I went through just for fun. sort of a "build your car" feature like all the car websites have but taken one or two steps further. Well, by the time I'd finished, I swear I was ready to buy a Fiat 500. I had customized "my" car just so and was feeling very proprietary about it! They don't even sell Fiats in America. Probably a good thing, or I might have made the most colossal impulse purchase of my life. [g]

I honestly don't know how hard it would be to set up a camera product to be configurable in a similar way. The physical camera-to-camera differences could probably be limited to just a few, with the rest of the changes implemented in software. It would probably be good for marketing--the ability to make a personalized choice does make people feel proprietary about something they haven't even bought yet.

Mike J.

I almost started to anticipate that big old mirror flopping around in there, and develop "shooter's flinch" from the "recoil".

Michael Tapes Said "As you know, showing a JPEG and showing a Raw without pertinent data means really nothing. We would have to know the camera settings (all of them) to judge"

Mike, isn't Mike(the other one) showing 2 images of the same scene, same settings, etc, BUT just in different formats? The relevant sentence says "Same shot, ISO 800, both straight out of the camera."

The idea being it to highlight that RAW isn't as noisy as jpg.

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