Saturday, 15 September 2012

10 Reasons Why I Can't Buy Sony

Hi. Firstly I need to make myself clear that I am not a Canon fanboy or a Nikon fag. I love photography and I love cameras. When I compare cameras, take me as if we are talking about cars; men love comparing specs, not owning them, just for the fun of talking about the specs. So, a few years ago Sony rocked the world with an innovation of translucent mirrors. Then two days ago Sony rocked the world again by announcing a new full frame compact camera. But the highlight is the new flagship full frame A99. It is still so new, no one really posted a review about it yet. 

Talking about me, as for my financial status right now, I would be a A57 owner or maybe the biggest I can go is the A77. I love the A77. I love the 16-50 SSM lens. But I can't imagine myself buying it. Let me present you 10 reasons why I can't make myself buying one even how much I love it. Sorry for the hate that's coming.

1. Translucent Mirror

It is a piece of glass that sits permanently in front of the sensor and it blocks some light from entering the sensor. Although the sensor is smart enough to boost its ISO to make up from any loss of shutter speed, I just want it out of the way. That translucent mirror design leads to the usage of an electronic viewfinder (EVF). I know about it having some plus side of having fast AF in video, in burst mode but I would appreciate it if there is some kind of translucent mirror flip design to get it out of the way when needed.

2. EVF

The EVF on the current A77 is amazing. The amount of detail and information that can be displayed is awesome. But no EVF is as good as an OVF. Turn off the lights and you see noise swimming in the EVF as it tries to gain something from the sensor to display in it. Sometimes we do need to work in the dark, such as shooting a concert or maybe in a studio setup. Many complain the noise is nearly unbearable. Tough luck. Again, no EVF is as good as an OVF.

3. Battery life

Again the A77 is a power guzzler. Using CIPA methods the A77 shoots 530 shots per charge. Not bad. Let's see the competitors. Nikon D7000; 1,050 shots per charge. Canon 60D; 1,100 shots per charge. Canon 7D; 800 shots per charge. The SLT design and the usage of an EVF sips battery power like a thirsty child with a glass of iced orange juice in a hot summer day. Some would say, buy a battery grip but hey, imagine how much a D7000 with a grip can shoot.

4. Shallow buffer

I know how we love the fast burst rate possible with a fixed mirror. 12fps on a sub 2000 camera is almost a like a gift from the heavens. But then the buffer was too small to support the files before it is transferred into the card. Fanboys were screaming, oh give it a chance, use a fast card. Even a Class 10 won't do much to help swallow the pictures in time for 12fps rapid fire. Give me a XQD card then?

That's the first four not so important reasons why I can't totally love a Sony SLT, in particular the A77. I call them not so important because I can still live with those small problems and still shoot fine. But the next ones are very important to me.

5. Video crop factor.

I used the A65 for a few minutes and noticed it almost right away. After some spending serious time framing for my video shot to make the subject fits nicely into the frame, then when I push the record button, it crops. Yup. The frame suddenly became smaller during recording. Reviewers out there worked out that the video crop factor is 1.86x. We are using 1.5x cropped sensor cameras. You know how hard we work on to get a wide field of view? I understood that the cropping was done to electronically balance the footage more. The stabilized video footage is awesome. But sometimes we need that wide field of view, turning the SteadyShot setting off solves nothing, it still crops! I would wish there would be some kind of workaround for this such as a setting to use only the sensor shift stabilization without any cropping or at least introduce the crop factor by cropping the preview even before we press the record button. Some did came forward about buying the old A55 or A33 that records video without the video crop factor. You want me to use interlaced 60i video when I can get progressive 60p? No thank you.

6. Tele-zoom high speed shooting mode

Just be honest. Another cropped feature. To save data space, the image from the sensor is cropped so that the images are smaller and data can flow faster through the processor into the buffer and into the memory card. Nice act to hide the shallow buffer. Again, we are using 1.5x cropped cameras. When we want to go wide, we mean it. By the way, why even bother to put a sensor with 24 million pixels on it? The resolution it must process is just so high and of course the files would be big. There are no workarounds except for making a faster processor or a deeper buffer. Please Sony engineers...

7. Small range of OEM lens lineup

I know that I would only buy a few lenses in my lifetime. But how about others? Different people have different needs in photography. I need to be honest here, Sony is still new in the DSLR market and their lens lineup is not really that wide when compared with Canon's or Nikon's. Say I need a weather sealed lens to complete the A77 focal length range after having the weather sealed 16-50 SSM lens. A 70-200 f/2.8 G? No it is not weather sealed. To the date I'm writing this Sony only has two weather sealed lenses; the 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM and a new 300mm f/2.8 SSM G. Canon fanboys are showing off their collection of weather sealed L lenses... Awww... What if I told you, not all L lenses (although a lot of them are well weather sealed) some of the L lenses need a UV filter attached to the front element to complete the weather sealing? Awww yess...

8. Mediocre Weather Sealing?

Don't get me wrong. Sony makes good weather sealed bodies but there are no weather sealed lenses for it yet. The Sony A99 is weather sealed, everybody was like 'YAY' and then it uses the old 24-70 f/2.8 Zeiss without weather sealing. Oh god why. Just like I said above, to the date I'm writing this Sony only has two weather sealed lenses; the 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM and a new 300mm f/2.8 SSM G. That's all folks. Sony, it's time to slow down announcements of new camera bodies and focus a little bit more on strengthening the lens lineup. Thanks.

9. Expensive Third Parties
ZEISS? Bitch please.. The Sony Zeiss ones are made by Sony with some kind of permission of Zeiss. Yup third party lenses might save the lack of lenses Sony has but it still poses some problems. Say the new Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC USD. Great lens. It has silent USD AF motor, weather sealed, has an optical stabilizer. But then Sony has their own sensor shift stabilization so when it comes to Sony mounts the people at Tamron just exempt it from installing the optical stabilization in the lens. The problem is, Sony mount buyers still need to pay the same amount of money as other mount users that has the optical stabilizer on it. Paying for some feature they don't have? Oh third party manufacturers.. What you did there.. I see it.. 

10. Low quality lenses?
I am not so sure about this but I do have some problems with the 16-50 SSM. For the money why it is reviewed as not as sharp as the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non VC version? There are some problems with chromatic aberrations too. If mounted on an A77, the A77 is smart enough to remove it but what if I'm using it on an old A700? Come on Sony.. You can do better in making better lenses.. Oops actually Canon has some problems too. Read up about the Canon 24mm f/1.8 USM that disappoints many in a similar way.

If you find any mistakes do tell me. Do respond by leaving a comment maybe. Thank you for all of your time reading this and let's go out and shoot using what we have! This is the time when we as photo lovers should just do what car lovers do; put down the catalogs, start the engine and drive, spend the time with others, just go out for the joy of driving. Let's rediscover the joy of photography without caring much about gear okay? To those who might think I have a bad stuff going on with Sony, no I don't. As you can see I do have problems with Canon too so I'm not a Canon fanboy lambasting Sony. I said nothing about Nikon doesn't mean Nikon is that perfect okay? Those people up there making these camera stuff are all chasing after for one same thing, your wallet. Goodnight everyone. Have a nice day.

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