Is Sony on your side??? Locked

Started Dec 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Ma55l
Contributing MemberPosts: 805
Is Sony on your side???
Dec 22, 2012

Is Sony on our side?

It was not that long ago that they used to say “Sony No baloney”! Has some of that changed and if so in what way?

I have been into amateur photography for almost 50 years starting with Minolta and extending into the Sony era. I have owned everything from Minolta film cameras to KM5D and the A700. And I still love both cameras. I have a dozen lenses.

My complaint is that Sony charges too much for its products. For instance the A99 is priced at 2799 and there is absolutely no effective discount or promotion. The Nikon D600 which is a slightly better camera in all of the reviews that I have read (including the feeling on this site) because of less noise (translucent mirror), better color accuracy and slightly better resolution is priced at $700 dollars less (when not on promotion or sale). I can attest to the performance of the camera as I own the D600 for the past three months. In addition you get double the battery life per charge with the D600 and you have built in flash. Those are nice things to have and still save $700.

Well what about the lenses. The Nikon 70 to 300 4.5 ~5.6 VR lens costs 589 when not on sale or promotion. The Sal 70300 always costs 895 – three hundred dollars more and there is no VR motor or built in VR mechanism in that lens. In spite of that the Nikon is fractionally lighter. OK so which lens tests out better. Going to the DXOmark.com site will show that they rate the Nikon higher (DXO mark at 17 for the Nikon and 14 for the Sony both on 24 MP sensors). From looking at the extensive parameter comparisons I would rate the lenses at about the same.

So you have to ask yourself why is the Sony zoom more expensive for the same or less performance. Most will counter that the antishake reduction for the Sony is built into the camera. However, the Nikon VR works better and it comes in the lens and included for the lower 589 price.

OK, I hear a lot of brains enraged now at how do I know that. That is because I have both comparable lenses. I can get an incredibly sharp photo at 1/15 of a second at 300mm while sitting down with the Nikon VR zoom on the D600. And yes the benefit to Nikon persists when standing as well. I can’t get close to that with a 70-300 Sigma non VR that I use with the A700, inspite of the antishake turned on. Well lets say that I might be biased (of course I don’t think so but you might, although I can assure you that the Nikon in lens system on this lens is far better) so lets rate the antishake as equivalent. Then why does Sony charge over $300 more for this lens which is undoubtedly easier and less costly to manufacture as it does not need the VR motors and tracks and cams etc in the lens. An additional point – Nikon offers the same optical quality 70 to 300 4.0 to 5.6 for less than 200 dollars but with no VR. Why the extra $700 cost in that case for the Sony lens without VR – is Sony on your side? You can confirm the lens comparisons at the DXO site.

Then we come to sales and promotions. I paid $2100 for my D600 before the promotion and I am furious that I missed the promotion. Nikon, for the holiday has dropped the price of the D600 to $1400 as opposed to $2800 for the Sony A99 body. Yes, that is correct - but you won’t exactly find that. What is offered is the D600 (and remember this for officially imported camera and lenses with American factory guarantees) with the 24 to 85 VR zoom included, Nikon case, 24 GB card and several other perks like a book from Nikon about photography all for $1999. The Nikon 24-85 VR zoom costs $600 unless you get the D600 during the few weeks that the promotion runs. One more point Nikon offers a 5 year warranty on the lenses if imported by Nikon USA. The Sony lenses are warranted only 1 year. – is Sony on your side?

I am not sure of the quality of the 24-85 VR Nikon zoom as I don’t have one yet but is rated as very good by Photozone.de site. So the price for the D600 has effectively been lowered to $1400 as if you don’t like the free 600 lens you can always sell it to recoup funds bringing your expenditure to 1400 or close to it.

And lastly the 70 to 300 VR F 4.5 to 5.6 which I do own and with the D600 is the most spectacular lens-camera combination that I have owned in over 50 years, can be had at a 200 discount when buying the D600. So now the comparable Nikon 70 to 300 VR zoom lens (most reviewers feel it is slightly superior to the A900 Sal 70300 combination) costs you 389 on promotion rather than 899 at Sony. So I ask again do you think Sony is on your side?

To sum this up, Nikon has dropped the price for Xmas for the D600 plus the 24 to 85 VR lens to $1999 as mentioned. Add the 70-300 VR at $389 (with the 200 rebate) and you are at under $2400 for the entire system. And that includes several other perks like a premier 32 GB card, the Nikon brand case and a Nikon book. It will cost you $400 more than that just for the Sony body and no lenses etc. Is Sony on your side?

Well what will the A99 with two similar lenses set you back? Start with $2800 for the camera body, $895 for the 70 to 300 non VR Sony lens, no case, no card and no break – comes to $3700 and then you have to find a 24 to 85 lens since Sony does not make one. However Minolta has one, (an old cheapie kit unit) F3.5 to 4.5 same as the Nikon VR lens, and it is selling new (but old very stock) on Amazon for $399. That brings the comparable system for Nikon at $2400 and for the Sony equivalent system to $4100 dollars. That is almost a $2,000 difference (more like $1600) not including the values of the free perks other than the lenses. I wonder how many other lenses you could get for the Nikon with that difference – how about the 50 1.4, plus a 35 2.0, plus a 60mm 2.8 micro Nikkor and still have 500 dollars left over. And remember you get a built in flash, more than twice the battery life on a single charge, sharper images (albeit slight) and lower noise with better color accuracy in the Nikon system.

Many have written about the overpricing of the A99. But what has not been said is the terrific additional savings that Nikon graciously offers. I still love my A700 and KM5D but I am so happy that I switched.

I suspect DPreview will find a reason to take this thread down possibly as being inflammatory, discourteous, abrasive or whatever – lets see how long they permit this to stay up. Does advertising revenue trump giving you the truth at DPreview? In fact the entire thread is based 100% on the truth, not as I report it, but what is in fact are the real prices today as well as several camera/lens reviews and testing by independent establishments like Popular Photography (the A99 was rated in this current issue), DXOmark, Imaging-resource lab photos, Photozone.de, as well as the 87% gold award for the D600 compared to the 84% Gold award for the A99 on this site. And it should be mentioned that is the higest rating of any camera ever reviewed on this site.

So I ask you once more to think about - is Sony on your side? And is Sony in the holiday spirit?

How about it Sony lets see some real sales discounts for all your loyal supporters before they switch platforms! Lets see realistic prices. And I don’t mean just a few screen savers thrown into the price or a generic cheapie bag.

Nikon D600 Pentax K-m (K2000) Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony SLT-A99
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