a580 to a99 - Crazy to upgrade? or go with an a77?

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
MikeNannie
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Re: a580 to a99 - Crazy to upgrade? or go with an a77?
In reply to Michael Fritzen, Apr 2, 2013

Michael Fritzen wrote:

Hi,

it may sound bold but going for the A99 is a "different experience in photography" - sounds good doesn't it? Perhaps I should contact Sony's marketing department. But kidding aside, coming from A700 and A850 (this one I still own) to the A99 I'd say there's hardly any individual feature over the A580 which will warrant "better photographs".

It's FF against APS-C - what may have some slight influence on high ISO performance but I have my doubts if it's that relevant. The A580 was among the best in its class. Of course the sensor of the A99 is from another generation. But from the pure shooting aspects I see the differences more in DR and of course the DOF-stuff related to the larger sensor. Pixel count would be important only when larger prints would be needed on a regular basis - and still 16MP vs. 24MP isn't that much. However starting to shoot with the A99 things get different than shooting with an OVF camera (as my A700, A850). Add the great hinged LCD, the lack of mirror slap and the electronic first curtain. Low weight (considering the natural bulk of a FF camera), handling (with and w/o grip - and I can only recommend the grip for both improved handling with larger lenses and for having juice for a whole day's shooting). Video - well I don't really care. GPS for sure a nice-to-have. All the info in the EVF: great even better with the levelling gauge enabled. Two-cards-slot with a lot of writing options.

MikeNannie wrote:

1) I assume that I would be able to shoot indoors with higher ISO and get better images than from the a580, but how much better? Significant, or not so much? Still need a flash most of the time?

As said above, probably not that much. To reveal detail light is needed and not higher ISO. Of course there are moments for candids w/o flash. However flash has its place and thoughtful use could make the difference between a great shot or people/subject in dull light where details dispute space with noise.

2) For landscape photography, is there that much difference between a crop sensor and a full frame sensor like the a99? Advantages?

Improved DR helps. Also more pixels for printing big. However when shooting from different/arkward positions, the hinged LCD makes a big difference.

3) Would I be better served buying an a77 and keeping my lenses and flash? My concern is a potential drop off in high ISO performance moving from the 16 mb a580 to the 24 mb a77 sensor.

For high ISO shooting I see A580 > A77 so this doesn't seem to me a very reasonable step.

I'd say unfortunately this case may not be solved by reasoning only. For me it has a lot to do with the pleasure of working with a great tool, so a pretty large portion of emotions, feelings. Of course the "tool" has to deliver. Perhaps best way would by renting the A99. Then you'd get a feeling whether this camera works for you or not. And if the feeling is positive, if you're ready to put the cash on the table - unfortunately one of the biggest disadvantages of the A99. Best wishes for your decision.

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Cheers,
Michael Fritzen

Thanks for the input Michael.  I think you're right, it is an emotional decision for sure. If  I hold off on my purchase, I like your idea of renting an a99 for a week or so. Might be fun on our next vacation!

 MikeNannie's gear list:MikeNannie's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM
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