Upload & Sell: On
I am apparently the only one here with this fine camera, so here is an extended post!
No big deal for me, being an outsider comes naturally to some of us. I am adding to this thread a link to a review by the respected (by me at least) Imaging Resource site, of the a99:
The first page features a ski pro doing a report and some images anyone interested in this level DSLR might take a look at. He mostly really likes it and is very positive re image quality. He had a few minor electronic wobbles and seems to be the kind of person to get worried about this kind of issue, transitory though it generally might be. Perhaps has not much experience with computers ;-)
We always use two cameras, as I know Sony will replace/fix whatever happens and I use insurance - so I don't worry. We just returned from eight weeks in Tibet and India.
Tibet had a temp range of warmest minimum of -10C down to around -25/-30C, in often dusty windy conditions, probably spent 4-6 hours a day outside for 18 days there. Max temps were 7-8C. Nary a problem, but battery life dropped to 150 shots per charge. Not a problem as China has a nationwide, enviable world class power supply.
The camera is returning images of the quality you can see in this review, and now Adobe has a very harmonious new RC engine in ACR7.2 (and no doubt in LR) that suits the new sensor to a tee.
Now - the big thing is dynamic range. Light in Tibet is extraordinary, the place has no real atmosphere, has 60-70% the oxygen you have at sea level, you can see clearly for 50-80kms, and has ultra bright skies and very deep shadows. I would say maybe 3-4 images I shot got past the sensor at both ends using my preferred neutral settings, whereas with the a900 it would have been (as experienced before) 50-60 or so. I am yet to see a shot I lost for anything other than my mistakes or unseen circumstances (pretty frequent for my material).
Next IQ related feature is the noise pattern, and noise performance at levels around 1600-3200 - it is very 'tight' and even, and does not interfere with the results almost at all, leaving good detail intact...despite the small loss to the SLT. IR, under 'Image Quality' appear to understand the fine balance needed for detail retention and noise smoothing. I feel Sony got the balance quite right for the kind of noise the sensor produces.
Tested against the 5DII, D600 and D800, they say this:
'Bottom line, the Sony A99 easily holds its own with the big boys from other companies.' In fact their image comparisons were a big factor in buying one 2-3 weeks before the trip.
The sensor is very good, and without exaggeration is a key factor in the images produced by the RX1, which has many experienced shooters very impressed indeed, me included. I'd love one. I have lenses every bit as good or better however, for my purposes.
But the real heart is the fine EVF and its features, also detailed upthread. A quote that mirrors my experience from this outdoor pro:
'I am also convinced that the electronic viewfinder is a great resource when shooting non-standard exposures as it gives you an incredibly good real-time impression of what your exposure settings will create.'
I now actually wallk around some interior locations looking through the finder as I am finding the capabilites of the camera are so much better than I can imagine - and I am looking at a very good representation of *what the sensor records*.
The 'cons' in this review seem a little petty compared with the IQ related 'pros' I feel, especially for my type of usage. They end with this:
'The A99 produces crisp, sharp, beautiful still images even at high ISO levels. The combination of the Sony Alpha A99's full-frame sensor, sensor-based SteadyShot image stabilization and, of course, some quality lenses, produced top-flight images with exceptional dynamic range. And its 14-bit RAW files allow for immense latitude and adjustment in post production.'
I wholeheartedly agree, the robustness of the files in post is astounding, and add that capture RAW file size is now ~24Mp compared with the ~36Mb of the a900. 620 RAWs to a 16Gb card, 1240 shots for 32Gb.
Other news: the price has dropped I see, prob around $2400-2500 or so now. Excellent value for money. And Sony is releasing firmware very soon, I don't known why.
Lest you feel I am just another over-oxygenated one-eyed fan, nothing is further from the truth, any more than these guys are. I hope everyone loves the images their cameras give them, and they are as happy with them as I am with this one. I have been doing this for decades and think there is a place for all kinds of cameras in the market - the more choice the better.