Sony DSLR-A900 First Impressions
I have wanted the A900 since when I first saw it, but really could not justify the $AU4000 they wanted for it. But the price has been steadily going down.
So I have a wedding shoot coming up and wanted a second camera for it, this was a great opportunity to justify the price that was now at $AU3700. I took my lens into a camera store and tried them on the A850 and A900 using my Memory Card.
So the 1st lens was my prime, a Sony SAL1680Z which is the 16-80 F3.5 to 4.5 Carl Zeiss a very nice and sharp lens which works great on my Sony DSLR-A350. With this lens your could see the barrel around the edge of the view finder but it didn’t show up in the shots. Cool it works (a mistake).
Next was my SAL16F28 Fisheye, on the A350 it gives me 110° view on the A900 full frame sensor it gave 180° and looked great.
The last lens I tried was my SAL70400G this a massive 70-400 zoom at F4.5 to 5.6 and weights 1.5 kg. But even hand held it took a great shot on the A900.
The last lens was a kit SAL55200 which I didn’t even try on it.
After I got the card back to the computer I looked at the pictures and they all looked fine and nice and sharp.
So everything seem to work, now to find a good price. My friend Bill at Camera action was the best price I could find, even those on eBay were higher. So still out of my budget unless I sold some pictures.
So a week later I saw 2 A900 being sold on eBay, they were under 6 months old and the seller was more than willing to give me the story behind it all.
So last Friday I picked up my A900 from the post office. With 499 clicks on the clock it was in excellent condition and for $AU1500 less than in the shops, it was a bargain.
So Saturday was my first shoot with it, bad move as I had not even had a chance to play with it. The first thing I notice as that it was cutting heads off, what was going on? ok so I quickly adjusted and worked out to use the inner guide marks to frame my shots.
Over all it was quick and worked well, the focus was faster that the A350, but was not a continuous focus as the A350 is (it focuses as you move the camera about and then locks when you depress the shutter release). The A900 doesn’t have live view, but has a quick preview button on the right bottom of the lens mount. With this you can then adjust setting before taking the real shot.
After 2hrs of shooting in notice I was getting a sore finger from holding the camera. My second finger (the longest one) was sore from the camera grip, I’m going to need padding in future.
Ok now for that mistake I mentioned. The SAL1680 (and the SAL55200) are APS-C only lenses the A900 automatically switches to APS-C mode at 11 mpx which is less than my A350 at 14 mpx. It would be nice if they made it so you could over-ride this and crop in post production. So it looks like I’m up for a new lens at some stage soon.
For the wedding in a couple of weeks, looks like I’ll be using the A350 as the prime and the A900 as backup.
Yesterday got an old Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D which is a full frame lens. Its not in the range as a Carl Zeiss but it is quick to focus, has a good zoom range and works at 24 mega pixels. So i will be using the a900 as my prime after all.
Got out on Saturday night with my son down at St Kilda Peir, took the a900 and my Minolta 24-105 and the fisheye out for a walk along the peir. The 5 frames a second seem much faster that the 2.5/3 that the a350 does and no slow down after the initial 5 frames like the a350 has.
Low light is good and so is colour definition, so i’m very happy with the purchase, once i got a good full-frame lens on it.