Orange Box(es)

Not the one from Valve. These are from Sony.

Just got my new camera stuff today. As mentioned before, I went for the Sony A350 as it has the best live view implementation currently.

Originally I was going to go for the two lens kit, but everywhere that has them at a good price are either untrusted (possible grey imports) or out of stock. So I went for an alternate zoom lens, the Carl Zeiss 16-80mm. This sucker cost more than the camera body itself, but it is supposed to be a decent step up from the standard kit lens. The kit lens is generally regarded to have reached it’s performance limits when paired with the A350. I also got the 50mm f/1.4 for low light gathering potential.

Initial impressions are my arms are too weak XD The increased weight of the DSLR over that of a P&S can be felt after a while. I’m still getting used to the controls but in a few random test shots so far, it seems to give the expected increase in performance over a P&S.

Team Photo Two? That could be interesting.

Nice to have a decent bit of kit though. Wish I could afford a new one ATM :frowning:

Hmm… I wonder if there’s an alternate lens that can fire portals :smiley:

I wont be affording anything for a couple months now. I held off getting this due to the Korea trip, so I’ve spent this months and next months pay already. But I can offset it a tiny bit by selling my old camera.

Now I got an itchy erm… shutter finger? Nothing exciting to shoot at home, and dark outside now. Have to wait until tomorrow…

Be interesting in seeing your results with that, I’ve been eyeing up the Sony’s… Well the A700 to be precise but I keep hearing rumours that’s for the chop potentially revised with proper Live view so I’m fence sitting.

Anyhow saw the A350 and its peaked my interesting being somewhat cheaper I like their implementation of live view but my main concern is…

All the Sony Pics on the Web seem very soft in focus terms when compared to the likes of Canon / Nikon looks as they are out of Focus Slightly… ?

Could just the base setting on the Cam’s being softer and less processed but it been interesting to see a raw shot to compare with raw shots I have here from a Sony A700 to compare I think many of the pics are pre-release thus firmware not fully tweaked…

I’d be interested if you have the ability / webspace to grab a few ‘Raw’ off you sometime in the future once you’ve had a play to judge the quality.

Can certainly do so… any particular subject types?

Do consider that it is considered the kit lens is at or beyond it’s performance limit when paired with the high resolution of the A350. I don’t recall the same comments being made with the lower resolution higher end A700.

Am curious what new top end model they come out with. The live view of the A350 might be best currently available, but there’s still room for improvement. But that’s probably an upgrade far down the road for me…

More outdoors type where there is a bit of a distance to the shots would be ideal as they are the type of shots that with the A700 that seemed to not match the crispness of the other camera’s hopefully the A350 is one step up from the A700 in certain aspects.

A700 is a bit long in the tooth now been out a while, its well advertised that a 25MP A900 is on route but thats to compete with the Nikon D3 so that a few steps above replacing the A700.

I heard USA side shops are dropping stock of the A700 ready for a replacement, can’t be the A900 so must be a revised A700 ((He hopes)) and I can’t see Sony continuing the A700 without LiveView when the others in the range have it and are getting glowing reviews.

Carl Zeiss - cracking lenses the only advantage my two Practika cameras had over the others my mates owned - Ricoh Olympus etc going back some years now.

Looking forward to some RAW shots here and also your impressions of in-body stabilisation - will influence a possible Pentax K20D purchase…

Some nice boxes there :smiley:

And you got yourself a nice fast prime as well! :smiley:

Now get out there and give it a good thrashing!

Gonna take it into work now… there’s a bit of landscape nearby I can hit at lunch. Although not the prettiest it’ll do for a 1st play around :smiley:

Think I have pin pointed what the cause was of what I was seeing in the A700 images

So I will say… Wise choice getting the 16-80 lens :wink:

Been review lenses for differing makes of camera and looking at the resolution charts, what I was seeing was sub standard lens matching with the A700 looks like the default lens is not upto scratch thus cause for a soft focus.

Well got until Sept to decide as thats when the cashback offer also ends on the A700.

Not best pics, but didn’t have time at lunch to find a better spot. Can do more later.
jpegs and raws in there. Both with the 16-80 lens. 1st is at 16mm, 2nd at 80mm. Both f/10 ISO100. There’s more chromatic aberration than I’d like at 16mm end, but apart from that it looks ok to me. I’m thinking an urban landscape would help show any imperfections and qualities better.

Been doing random test indoors, definitely better than my previous camera at higher ISO although still trying to find the best point between noise and speed to prevent blurring.

Thx :slight_smile: I’ll have a gander at the arw’s tomorrow nice that you got some power wires in the pics :slight_smile:

Only thing on my quick look I did notice a spec of dust on the sensor in the image of 1st pic… top of image left of center in the 1st jpg image about 1/16 from top 3/8 from left in the sky area looks likes a round blob not noticed in the 2nd.

Assuming you had it at default settings on the sharpening it seems spot on at the focal point at each ends of your zoom looks good to me in the depth of field of the middle picture so thats my concerns thrown out the window.

I think the depth of field of the A700 does match up though and the reviews were at f8 its niggling me enough I think to rule out the A700 in favour of maybe a A350.

Though I’m sure I’m just being too fussy :frowning:

Well spotted on the dust! Took some test shots at smaller apertures to check, and there it is. Hardly visible at wider apertures. I can report the self clean does nothing to it :smiley: So I guess next on my shopping list are some cleaning bits. It’s annoying me now I know it’s there. Doh…

Left f/22, middle f/8, right from pic f/10

Settings wise, I didn’t change anything yet. Actually need to read up on some new features I haven’t had before, and some icons are not clear what they do. I just set it to aperture priority mode and let it get on with it.

I have mild envy since I want an upgrade from my Fuji s5700 too. Started saving the :2cents: to get a decent dSLR :smiley:

The dust won’t show on the larger aperture as the Depth of Field is smaller so it blurs away. Going to the higher F stop increases the DoF so making more in focus and give you that annoying blip.

Aperture Priority is certainly your best bet for an semi-auto mode for most shooting when getting used to the camera :nod:

When using the S5700 indoors, I often set it to aperture priority mode and f/3.5 to get as much light as possible. I guess it is my fave mode. The only time I use anything else is if I’m hand holding a shot and I need to set a minimum shutter speed to prevent blur.

The combination of image stabilisation, brighter lenses and bigger sensor certainly combine and help. I can get half decent hand held shots indoors now with only normal room lighting. With the S5700 it would really require a tripod and additional lighting. But I have seen one instance of what looks like motion blur at fast shutter speed which needs investigating. I wonder if the image stabilisation should be turned off unless needed?

Well typically new cam new raw format <scream> using a trial of Capture One at the mo.

I’m glad you took pic from same spot :wink: made for some interesting viewing…

Identifyed same spot in each pic at both extremes of your zoom

1st - 16mm - I’ve zoomed in 400% in software on the Pilon and this is a crop of a small area both pics have no form of processing.

Click here 400% @ 16mm

2nd - 80mm - cropped at 100% in software same pilon.

Click here 100% @ 80mm

Think that says alot when you look at the overall area covered in the photo and its resolving power picking up the other set of pilon wires further away in the pic also.

Further observations I have, bear in mind I’m still very much still on the learning curve.

The 50mm f/1.4 I’m now debating if I wasted my money on this. It’s not bad, but just not suited to my requirements. My primary use for it is taking close up shots in low light. So I’m using it as wide as it’ll go near its minimum focusing distance. But the depth of field is too thin at those settings I can’t get what I want. I know I can reduce the aperture, but what’s the point of getting the fast lens if I’m going to do that? :frowning:

Question 1: If we have two lenses, both f/1.4, let’s say one is 50mm and one is 100mm. Assume when in use, you move distance as required to get the same size output. What is the relative DOF like? This is based on the DOF guide on the prime lens, which implies the DOF increases as focus distance increases for a fixed focal length and aperature. I wonder how that varies with focal length.

Question 2: What is the practical implications of using “macro filters”? I have a set on order. They seem to reduce the minimum focal distance and increase magnification. I assume this has a corresponding cost on the light levels going through. I wonder if these will “rescue” the prime for my needs, allowing me to get a bit more distance.

The Zeiss zoom is easily my favourite of the two. The variable zoom helps with getting the shot I want without having to move around so much, and the aperture is still adequate.

I’m debating my next lens, although it will in part depend on the outcome of the macro filters. Sigma do a really cheap 70-300 macro zoom. I need something to fill in the longer range, and macro ability will be handy.

Hopefully all answered for you if you plug your figures into this…

Nice site actually worth exploring

Ooh, been through the site before, didn’t see this bit though :smiley:

Hmm… short answer seems to be, for constant aperture, the absolute depth of field seems constant if focal length and subject distance vary proportionately with each other. Which isn’t what I wanted to hear. The two things I’d want to do, either have longer focal length or move subject closer, both have the effect of making depth of field shallower :frowning: In short, I have no choice but to use smaller aperture.

Elsewhere, the reviews of the Sigma lens doesn’t seem to be glowing. I guess you get what you pay for.