Single Reflex


I’ve been bitten by the pyramid scheme of the glorious 100% coverage 0.73x magnification viewfinder of the Sony Alpha 900.

It’s the brightest viewfinder I’ve seen among the “affordable” full-frame dSLRs available (even looking through a Canon 5D MkII, I felt like I was looking through a polarizer.) The A900’s viewfinder is so big, you feel like you could live inside it. But not just that – it’s also very bright! I guess I’ll skip the optional Type-M precision focus screen to have the joy of a viewfinder that doesn’t look like it’s there at all.


oooH, a top LCD panel to hush the whiners who never understood why the Minolta Dynax 7 had the LCD at the back and at such a font size.

Coincidentally, most settings always showed inside the viewfinder, which is what I loved about the A700. I can tweak Drive mode and it would show inside the viewfinder!


A beefier grip with a curve fits my hand perfectly.

I will whine about the missing Eye-Start Continuous AF (I used it to activate AF-C because I usually use Direct Manual Focus). This was half due to users not wanting the feature (or using it) and due to EU regulations that ban nickel (which some people are supposedly allergic to.) The grip sensor found on the A700 was made of nickel, and EU models shipped without the grip sensor!


Devoid of stickers except at the bottom. NOM!

Mirror slap is felt when the mirror goes back down. I like it, it’s like a pump-action shotgun!


So what was the first shot I took of it? My faithful Sony Alpha 700, that’s what. Okay perhaps a more glamorous shot should’ve been done.

It’s taking a break for a long-needed servicing and maintenance. So no pixel-peeping comparison shots!


Sony 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 DT versus Boon’s Minolta 24-105mm F3.5-4.5.


Minolta 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 at 24mm F3.5. Yes light fall-off I know, but it looks… nice!


Minolta 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 at 105mm F4.5.


So what do 24.6 megapixels mean? It means that a 100% crop is that big!


Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX at 17mm F7.1.


100% crop! Madness. Try to spot what I was zooming in on, on the picture above!

Yes, it would seem rather noisy at ISO800. But make it a 66% crop and you get the same noise levels as the A700. I should’ve been able to get more sharpness at say F16 as diffraction doesn’t kick in so soon for bigger sensors. If my ol’ Sigma was up to it, that is.

The A900 definitely outresolves my eyes. However, much care must be taken to focusing due to the shallow depth of field caused by being closer to the subject when using a full-frame SLR.


Minolta 50mm F1.4 at F1.4. The A900 seems to pull much better glow and potential from this lens. I know I was inspired indeed! (Though not him, he was tired of waiting for his turn to touch it.)

So I had to sell some stuff which I don’t use much anyway (and will continue to offload.) Thanks to Anas, Ken, Jeffry, Yeong, Wong, Alexes, Malek, George and of course Alex (I owe you big time man!)


And now, we rewind to the Sony Alpha Convention 2008, a 3-day event at Meridien KL, KL Sentral. Wow I finally have Chinese squinty eyes in this one!


My lightsaber of daylight-to-tungsten gel.


There were various talks – this is a capture off Grant Corban’s excellent wedding photography talk.


Everybody took screenshots. 🙂


Some talks had the bad timing of being right after a hearty lunch.


Lunch, you say? Milk chocolate fondue, that was a first for me!


You could also be snapping babes with the Harleys parked in the hall.


Uhuh.


Macdude‘s talk even had a hands-on with studio lighting!


While I never got possession of the radio trigger, I used my F58 flash to trigger KJ’s F42 flash wirelessly.


(Cut to an A900 with the Minolta 16mm F2.8 diagonal fisheye.) Oh, and then there was a talk by George, the Product Manager of the Sony Alpha brand in Malaysia, for those walk-ins (400 seats were for Alpha customers only.) What I felt was really cool was that he was, at that time, explaining something technical I care a lot about – White Balance, in Kelvins. Ironic that it all started when he asked me to turn off AWB…


…and let’s crop this 24.6 megapixel file.


Ted-is-my-friend and some girl who wants to be his friend. With Ted’s A900 + 50mm F1.4.


On the last day, prizes were given out – the A700 + Sony 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DT went to Azrin for a blog contest.


Then there was the participation contest – ask a good question during the talks, and get a sticker. This uncle got the most stickers! There was a certain look on his face when he saw the crowd of green eyes. I think it was fear. After all, he just won an A900.


KJ didn’t win anything but he’s still happy.

10 thoughts on “Single Reflex

  1. TDR Post author

    "pump action shotgun" you know putting it that way, it does sound real cool!

    When the mirror is rising, it incredibly quiet, I think it’s even smoother then the D3’s mirror rising.

    Dang! Hot chick and motorbike?! why didn’t you tell me? I would have joined you hahahaahhaahahaah

    Reply
  2. KJ Post author

    shucks.. today is the first time i encounter the D3 and it’s shucks! omg.. it’s 9fps speedness.. and the shutter sound.. is awesome.. argh! poison.. the precision of the noise control and the number of focusing points.. hrm.. awesome.. but i dislike the vertical grip.. hrm.. =P liked their battery as well..

    Reply
  3. macdude Post author

    Congratulations! You must be a very happy shooter *hehehehe* I love the A900’s shutter sound. There’s such a fluid certainty with each take.
    Have fun!

    Reply
  4. Albert Ng Post author

    KJ: Thanks man!

    I like the D3 focus points but I experienced backfocus (which can be attributed to focus error.) The Wide Area AF on the A900, meanwhile, continues to amaze me.

    Will: Indeed! Will let you try it when you get your camera.

    macdude: Yes, I can hear 20 megabytes chunking away from my hard disk in each shot.

    TDR: I didn’t know about the babes either!

    Ewin: Yep. 🙁

    templar: Ah, you must’ve been next to him when I texted him…

    Reply
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