Sony DSLR Alpha released

cgratti

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Dec 28, 2004
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andiwm2003 said:
10 megapixel, aps size, anti dust system, $999.

looks interesting. does anybody with more experience than me know if it's good?

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?ProductSKU=DSLRA100K&LCID=LCTR_alpha606


edit: Expected to ship on or before July 28th, 2006
What other lenses are available? Looks like it could be a decent starter camera, but I would spend the money on a Canon or Nikon myself. At least with them you know what your getting and what lenses and accessories will be available.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Yeah, I could get behind this (literally...)

I've been shooting with a Minolta 7i for a few years - good macro and zoom, a bit frustrating on the focussing front. Really, really want a camera with IS because almost all of my shooting is handheld in flower gardens, using zoom.

Looking forward to seing the Sony!
 

thumb

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2005
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i have been in the market for my first digital slr for a while, and just a few days ago i decided on the nikon d70s (used, $400). the next day, the alpha came out.

while i am very impressed by its potential, i do not regret my decision in the least.

the most compelling thing is the sensor, it is the same one (roughly) that is in the nikon d200 - everyones current camera du jour - but for half the price. lens look good, antishake in camera, etc.

all that said, it will be several years before the sony-KM system will be kink free and able to match the offerings of canon and nikon. don't get me wrong, in a few years, i am quite confident there will be three major players in the digital slr market, and sony might even be number 2 by then.

but dont go out and buy a system based on a single camera. buy a good lens or two, and the cheapest back available. learn how to use that camera until it is the camera that limits your photos, not your skill. then upgrade.

at this moment, imo, that means canon or nikon.
 

Grimace

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Feb 17, 2003
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I'm shocked no one pointed out that this is TRULY a Rev A product! :p Personally, I'll wait for Rev B (beta) :D

But, one of the more interesting features is Sony's SteadyShot technology (similar to Canon's IS etc.) -- it's built into the camera itself -- all lenses are image stabilzed because it originates from the body. Interesting...
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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thumb said:
all that said, it will be several years before the sony-KM system will be kink free and able to match the offerings of canon and nikon. don't get me wrong, in a few years, i am quite confident there will be three major players in the digital slr market, and sony might even be number 2 by then.
Depending on how well Minolta (or whatever's left of their company) develops lenses for Sony, it may be conceivable that some of us might switch to Sony DSLRs in a few years. In fact, any camera maker who's putting this antishake technology into the camera body itself has the right idea. I just wonder when Nikon will do it? :confused: Having it built into individual lenses doesn't exactly make those lenses cheap. :eek:

I just don't get it though....is Minolta designing lenses for Sony, or Carl Zeiss, or both? Or did Sony just buy Minolta to get to the lenses Minolta has made in the past? Is Carl Zeiss a good lens maker? I know it's in all of Sony's advertisements, even for their P&S cameras, but do they have a good reputation?
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
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with Hamburglar.
Abstract said:
Depending on how well Minolta (or whatever's left of their company) develops lenses for Sony, it may be conceivable that some of us might switch to Sony DSLRs in a few years. In fact, any camera maker who's putting this antishake technology into the camera body itself has the right idea. I just wonder when Nikon will do it? :confused: Having it built into individual lenses doesn't exactly make those lenses cheap. :eek:

I just don't get it though....is Minolta designing lenses for Sony, or Carl Zeiss, or both? Or did Sony just buy Minolta to get to the lenses Minolta has made in the past? Is Carl Zeiss a good lens maker? I know it's in all of Sony's advertisements, even for their P&S cameras, but do they have a good reputation?
IMO, Sony makes fantastic camcorders and p&s cameras. It doesn't have the optics research (like Canon, Nikon, Minolta) so it uses other lenses (Carl Zeiss.) I think a D50/70 or Rebel XT is still a much better buy than the new Alpha, but it will be interesting to see where Sony goes with this.
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
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CanadaRAM said:
Yeah, I could get behind this (literally...)

I've been shooting with a Minolta 7i for a few years - good macro and zoom, a bit frustrating on the focussing front. Really, really want a camera with IS because almost all of my shooting is handheld in flower gardens, using zoom.

Looking forward to seing the Sony!
Hey - I've been using the same camera (7x optical, 5.1 MP, right???)

Anyway, I like the camera because it takes pictures rather fast - it's got a terrific UHS mode, which I need because I take pictures of horses jumping all the time.

The color quality, however, is not as decent as my mom's Olympus, which costs half as much :eek:
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
AvSRoCkCO1067 said:
Hey - I've been using the same camera (7x optical, 5.1 MP, right???)

Anyway, I like the camera because it takes pictures rather fast - it's got a terrific UHS mode, which I need because I take pictures of horses jumping all the time.

The color quality, however, is not as decent as my mom's Olympus, which costs half as much :eek:
Well, if you mean the colour is not as vivid and exciting, I would agree. If you mean the colour is not as accurate, I would disagree. I do flower photography. Reds, in full sunlight in particular are a real problem for most digicams, and I specifically ruled out the competitive Sony .. what was it 727? 828? at the time because although the pictures were very pleasing, it overhyped the reds. The Minolta is more neutral, which is just what I need.

It's like speakers -- do you want studio reference monitors which are flat and precise, or do you want party speakers with the big boomy bass and an exciting forward upper mid and treble?
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
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CanadaRAM said:
Well, if you mean the colour is not as vivid and exciting, I would agree. If you mean the colour is not as accurate, I would disagree. I do flower photography. Reds, in full sunlight in particular are a real problem for most digicams, and I specifically ruled out the competitive Sony .. what was it 727? 828? at the time because although the pictures were very pleasing, it overhyped the reds. The Minolta is more neutral, which is just what I need.

It's like speakers -- do you want studio reference monitors which are flat and precise, or do you want party speakers with the big boomy bass and an exciting forward upper mid and treble?
Absolutely agree...

I do nature photography all the time: http://web.mac.com/c.peters06/iWeb/Site/Nature.html

As you can tell, the color reproduction is just fine...

...my mom's pictures may be gorgeous, but they exaggerate a bit and have almost have a 'fake' quality to them.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
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Abstract said:
Depending on how well Minolta (or whatever's left of their company) develops lenses for Sony, it may be conceivable that some of us might switch to Sony DSLRs in a few years. In fact, any camera maker who's putting this antishake technology into the camera body itself has the right idea. I just wonder when Nikon will do it? :confused: Having it built into individual lenses doesn't exactly make those lenses cheap. :eek:

I just don't get it though....is Minolta designing lenses for Sony, or Carl Zeiss, or both? Or did Sony just buy Minolta to get to the lenses Minolta has made in the past? Is Carl Zeiss a good lens maker? I know it's in all of Sony's advertisements, even for their P&S cameras, but do they have a good reputation?
Carl Zeiss was known for excellent lenses way back in the 1970s. They've only gotten better over time. I'm still shocked that they would allow their name to be associated with Sony, though.

Nikon need to design digital bodies to add anti-shake technology in the bodies, not re-use 35mm parts and adapt them to serve as digital equipment. That could happen soon since they've declared an end to film cameras but there is another problem. They've already created those special lenses and Nikon certainly believe in preserving the past, good or bad, so it may be a while.
 

ChrisA

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Jan 5, 2006
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andiwm2003 said:
10 megapixel, aps size, anti dust system, $999.

looks interesting. does anybody with more experience than me know if it's good?

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?ProductSKU=DSLRA100K&LCID=LCTR_alpha606


edit: Expected to ship on or before July 28th, 2006
The pronlem is there is not much of a "system" available for it. For example there is no lenses suitable for sports or wildlife photography and we don't know much about ergonomics or the camera. usability has been sony's weak point. Also we don't yet know about sensor noise. 10 megapixels is a lot for an APS size sensor. Likly this is all OK as they seem to be doing this with Minolta who has a 40+ year history making SLRs. he big problem now is the limited selection of lenses. Not much there and will they _ever_ catch up with Nikon and Canon. Or for that matter will they ever release a high end DSLR body should you want to move up or simply take pictures of birds.

People buy Nikon because Nikon has been building quality camera for 50 years and likely will continue doing so for another 50 years and Nikon has made a public commitment to never change the lens mount. We don't know about Sony and we won't know for many years. They may loose interest or only sell these entry level lenses and never offer pro quality optics. In 20 years they will only have a 20 year history with SLRs with is short.
 

ChrisA

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carletonmusic said:
But, one of the more interesting features is Sony's SteadyShot technology (similar to Canon's IS etc.) -- it's built into the camera itself -- all lenses are image stabilzed because it originates from the body. Interesting...
Pentax uses this same technology in their DSLRs. But Pentax has been making profesion level cameras for many, many years and because the Pentax K100 can use all the older Pentax lenses and all the old third pary optics every made there is hundreds of lenses available for it on day one.

This is really a minola and it looks like Minotla has done it again: Changed the lens mount and obsoleted all the old lenses. Expect this periodically from these guys.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
ChrisA said:
The pronlem is there is not much of a "system" available for it. For example there is no lenses suitable for sports or wildlife photography
Confused - Sony claim "20 years of A-series" lenses available
Now I admit I am a n00b to SLR but -- are these the existing Minolta compatible lenses they are talking about?

DPReview Preview

"Identical to the Minolta A-type bayonet mount, enabling the use of a large back catalogue of existing Minolta and third party lenses as well as avoiding the development of a whole new system."

"it seems likely that this is the same 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD used in the Nikon D200."

"the A100 allows you to shoot continuously at three frames per second at any image quality setting (apart from RAW) until the storage card is full"

DCResource
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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CanadaRAM said:
Confused - Sony claim "20 years of A-series" lenses available
Now I admit I am a n00b to SLR but -- are these the existing Minolta compatible lenses they are talking about?

DPReview Preview

"Identical to the Minolta A-type bayonet mount, enabling the use of a large back catalogue of existing Minolta and third party lenses as well as avoiding the development of a whole new system."

"it seems likely that this is the same 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD used in the Nikon D200."

"the A100 allows you to shoot continuously at three frames per second at any image quality setting (apart from RAW) until the storage card is full"

DCResource
It's a Minolta camera with "Sony" stuck on it. They're not just identical to Minolta parts--they are Minolta parts.
 

sjl

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2004
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bousozoku said:
Nikon need to design digital bodies to add anti-shake technology in the bodies, not re-use 35mm parts and adapt them to serve as digital equipment.
I could be wrong, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that anti-shake technology in the bodies can only go so far, whilst similar technology in the lenses can go a bit further. Anybody know for sure one way or the other? I can see pros and cons to both approaches, but I don't really know anything about the field, so my gut instinct could easily be wrong.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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ChrisA said:
For example there is no lenses suitable for sports or wildlife photography and we don't know much about ergonomics or the camera. usability has been sony's weak point.
I'm sure Sony will expand their lens lineup eventually. After all, they have people "backing them up" in that department......namely Minolta and Carl Zeiss.

......The big problem now is the limited selection of lenses. Not much there and will they _ever_ catch up with Nikon and Canon. Or for that matter will they ever release a high end DSLR body should you want to move up or simply take pictures of birds.
The new Sony Alpha takes old Minolta lenses. However, I doubt many people care how many ancient lenses that can't meter or autofocus they can use on their new camera, at least not the part of the market that would be interested in buying a Sony Alpha as their first DSLR. ;)

The people who look into buying the Alpha aren't going to know the history behind companies like Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, etc, nor do they care. People are starting "fresh." In fact, the entire DSLR market is fresh. Right now, there are a lot of people who want to be "amateur photographers" because digital makes it practical and manageable to own an SLR. Hence, there's very little brand loyalty for the consumer end of the DSLR market since nobody knows the past, or is locked into any one company.

As far as many novices are concerned, Sony has been in the digital photo game for as long as Canon or Nikon, so brand recognition in the DSLR market isn't as big an issue as you'd think. I wanted a Canon 350D badly, but I still went with what I thought was better, because I'm not committed to any company. I looked at Canon first not because of their lens lineup, but because me and my family have owned 5 Canon digital p&s cameras over the past 5 years. I only looked at the lenses available after a month of casually looking around.

Guess what? There are also many people who own a Sony p&s who will turn to Sony when they ponder the thought of moving on to something more advanced.
 

Abstract

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They may loose interest or only sell these entry level lenses and never offer pro quality optics. In 20 years they will only have a 20 year history with SLRs with is short.
Maybe. I'm interested in seeing how well they do in this field, because I think they could be bigger than Nikon eventually if they play their cards right. Nikon is big, but Canon has a much bigger part of the digital camera market right now. When the market went digital, it's almost as if these companies all started fresh.

Now DSLRs are much cheaper than before, and in the DSLR market, its as if these brands are armed only with their reputation in the point-and-shoot market to assist them. The DSLR market is young and small enough that people haven't picked favourites yet.

Like I said before, I don't think the number of ancient lenses in a company's back-catalogue makes a difference to new amateur photographers buying their first DSLR, or first SLR of any sort.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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bousozoku said:
Carl Zeiss was known for excellent lenses way back in the 1970s. They've only gotten better over time. I'm still shocked that they would allow their name to be associated with Sony, though.
Ah ok, that was before I was born. :D

Nikon need to design digital bodies to add anti-shake technology in the bodies, not re-use 35mm parts and adapt them to serve as digital equipment. That could happen soon since they've declared an end to film cameras but there is another problem. They've already created those special lenses and Nikon certainly believe in preserving the past, good or bad, so it may be a while.
Well I think both Canon and Nikon won't add VR/IS/Anti-Shake/Super SteadyShot because they probably sell their VR lenses at quite a premium over an equivalent lens without VR. It wouldn't make them any more money to take VR/IS away from their lenses, and just put it in their camera for a one time cost (ie: the cost of the body).

The crazeee thing about it are the price of the Sony/Minolta/Carl Zeiss lenses......$$$Linkety$$$

I mean, $2399 USD for a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens? It's not like the lens requires VR or anything of the sort. Even if it had excellent optics, it still shouldn't cost that much. At least Nikon has VR in their lens, so you at least know where some of the money is going, and yet their price is still $1539 at B&H. :rolleyes:

And look at the SAL 135 mm f/2.87 lens....... $1200. :eek: What the hell is f/2.87 anyway?
 

kwajo.com

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Jul 17, 2002
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Abstract said:
The new Sony Alpha takes old Minolta lenses. However, I doubt many people care how many ancient lenses that can't meter or autofocus they can use on their new camera, at least not the part of the market that would be interested in buying a Sony Alpha as their first DSLR.

I just wanted to point out that I think it's silly that these companies are restricting the old lenses like they are in order to force sales of new lenses. Obviously you can't add auto-focus to a manual focus lens, but you can have metering and focus assist. My Pentax for example, if I put even an old screw mount lens from the 60s on it, it still has full metering and the overlayed focus indicator on in the viewfinder still tells me when I've focused properly. There is no reason the other companies can't offer this either, except that they want greater profits off lens sales.


The new Sony Alpha system looks pretty good to me, except for a few things - It's a sony, and The lens prices are quite high, and there is only one body so far. Other than that it looks good, the body looks very capable, a nice mix of features, and the lens range has much to offer. It's almost enough to give me regret on choosing my system - almost ;) Given the capabilities of Sony's PR, I expect this to make a fair splash in the market
 

Linkjeniero

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Jan 6, 2005
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Abstract said:
Well I think both Canon and Nikon won't add VR/IS/Anti-Shake/Super SteadyShot because they probably sell their VR lenses at quite a premium over an equivalent lens without VR. It wouldn't make them any more money to take VR/IS away from their lenses, and just put it in their camera for a one time cost (ie: the cost of the body).
I don't know about that. I'm no expert, but for what I've seen, people tend to keep their lenses a lot longer that their bodies, and that should be specially true with dSLRs, because of the megapixel increase. So it might not be as much of a loss to the brands as you think.

Also, somebody said that VR in the body is worse than VR on the lens. But I don't see why can't both have it? So if you have a beefy VRII lens, you just turn the camera's off; and use it for the cheaper glass. Just like it happens now with AF lenses: some have the good, SWM ones, and the others are moved by the camera. It's certainly worse, but it sure is better than nothing...
 

thumb

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2005
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as for the question about the reputation of carl zeiss

not only do they have a good reputation, they might have close to the best reputation. however, as zeiss has shown with sony in the past, their reputation might be the *only* thing going into the lower priced lenses (ie not their engineering). most lower priced zeiss lenses are just kyocera rebranded (well, maybe zeiss designed by kyo manufactured).

that said, due to some of the extraordinary prices of a few of lenses, it is clear to me that it is indeed zeiss manufacturing the top line (or amazing marketing hubris). what this tells me, is that the alpha100 is indeed just the begining, and there will be an impressive pro lineup coming out to match those lenses.

since there is no real reason for dslr to look and be engineerred just like film slrs, and since sony has the least history in film, i bet they will begin to lead the way in designing cameras for being digital from the ground up, rather than fitting digital into the film framework.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
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kwajo.com said:
I just wanted to point out that I think it's silly that these companies are restricting the old lenses like they are in order to force sales of new lenses. Obviously you can't add auto-focus to a manual focus lens, but you can have metering and focus assist. My Pentax for example, if I put even an old screw mount lens from the 60s on it, it still has full metering and the overlayed focus indicator on in the viewfinder still tells me when I've focused properly. There is no reason the other companies can't offer this either, except that they want greater profits off lens sales.
I agree, and so it is with Canon bodies. The problem with Nikon is that for their "cheap" bodies they only allow electronic comunication with the lens, so only lenses with chips in them will tell the body what aperture they have, and then the body knows how to meter it.

Older lenses used a little stub thing to mechanically tell the body the same information, thus the expensive bodies have this mechanical couple.

I don't know what would happen if you tried to meter without a lens (screw mount or reverse mount) on any Nikon cameras. I would assume you would have to do full manual without the moving needle to tell you if you're close.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
2,967
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Seattle
thumb said:
as for the question about the reputation of carl zeiss

not only do they have a good reputation, they might have close to the best reputation. however, as zeiss has shown with sony in the past, their reputation might be the *only* thing going into the lower priced lenses (ie not their engineering). most lower priced zeiss lenses are just kyocera rebranded (well, maybe zeiss designed by kyo manufactured).

that said, due to some of the extraordinary prices of a few of lenses, it is clear to me that it is indeed zeiss manufacturing the top line (or amazing marketing hubris). what this tells me, is that the alpha100 is indeed just the begining, and there will be an impressive pro lineup coming out to match those lenses.

since there is no real reason for dslr to look and be engineerred just like film slrs, and since sony has the least history in film, i bet they will begin to lead the way in designing cameras for being digital from the ground up, rather than fitting digital into the film framework.
Are the Zeiss lenses they will be using auto focus? Cause When they announced they would start making Nikon mount lenses they only ported manual focus designs.