And so, I tried the Sony Alpha 700 with the Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 with AF-C and Drive High (5 fps); that thing felt like a… photon-blasting… submachine gun as I focus tracked a customer walking about Sony KLCC.
Gotta love the approach Sony is taking (or had to take) with the A700; put all the upgrades in the body (anti-shake, direct manual focus, fast AF), since they don’t have that many lenses out with built-in motors or full-time manual focus.
This link shows the A700 with Minolta 600mm F4G with 1.4x teleconverter, shooting birds in flight:
I also went down to Sungei Wang Plaza, where I tried my Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 on it. Focus was indeed a lot faster, with a lot less hunting, and I tried focus tracking while panning the crowd walking outside the shop.
Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 at 200mm F5.6 ISO1600, with shutter speeds from 1/40 to 1/60 seconds. Wide AF, continuous AF mode, Drive High (5 frames per second).
What I really liked is how another person walked in front of him but the camera did not jump to focus on him instead.
Frankly, I cannot wait to get the A700 and use ISO6400 paired with the Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 and 1.4x Tamron teleconverter and 2x Kenko teleconverter (for indoor stalking) and the Minolta 50mm F1.4 (for extreme low-light situations.)
There’s also the improved Dynamic Range Optimizer, which in addition to the Sony A100’s DRO off, DRO on, and DRO+ modes, has 5 selectable levels of DRO. At DRO Level 5, everything is literally a High Dynamic Range image. It looks fake in the same way too, heh!
The HDR-like capabilities of the Sony A700 will make my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye a lot more usable in scenes where there are a lot of bright lights, which made the Sony A100 prone to underexposing everything else.
Even with DRO turned off, the camera seems to bring in a lot more detail in the moderately dark areas, quite like looking at a LCD monitor instead of a CRT monitor. You can even see it on the 640×480 3″ LCD, the same one used on the Nikon D300.
The Sony A700 is not for everybody though; if you’re a daylight shooter you’ll appreciate the weak anti-aliasing filter of the Sony A100. That, paired with the superb, sharp, contrasty, extremely resolving Carl Zeiss lenses, make for pixel-peeping goodness.
And so, I literally, honestly, am going to eat cup noodles to save money. I’ve been doing so for 3 weeks already. People can say they’ll eat bread/noodles, but who really does?
So what if I lose hair? I have a bit too much of it at the moment, and I refuse to let a pair of scissors touch it, so this is a natural way to lighten my mane.
(It’s also better than the food they serve at the mamak at my new office.)