More questiona about the a77 and a99

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Discussions
RoxanneY
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More questiona about the a77 and a99
Apr 29, 2013

Hi all!

I have a 550alpha SAM1855/SAM55200 and decided that I'd upgrade my camera to get better quality images. I received my a77 on Friday and so far have been happy with the outdoor/indoor pics w/flash that I've taken.  I can definitely see an improvement in my photos!  Still I have my doubts that this is sensitive enough for the chorus (dark theater with lit stage) type shots. We are not allowed to use a flash during the performance. I've been debating whether or not to return the a77 and get the a99 instead ..thinking an investment now will mean no upgrading in the future.

Is the a99 really that more sensitive than the a77?  I took an okay picture without flash from the 3rd row with my 550alpha a few weeks back, but it looked much better with flash.  Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?  Or would it be much improved if I were using these lenses with an a99?  I'd really appreciate you sharing your insights/experiences.

I would also like to figure out how much of an investment each will be.  Here's what I was thinking of in terms of lenses for the a77: kit lenses (18-135 4.5-6 and 70-300 F4.5-6), Sony 16-50 F 2.8, and Sony 70-200 F2.8 (later).  And for the a99: kit lens Sony 2.8-75 F.2.8/Zeiss 24-70 F2.8 and Sony 70-200 F2.8

Does this sound about right?
I am mainly using my camera to take portraits, school events, hula, and chorus pics (some in a dark church and some in a dark theater with good stage lights).

Thanks for your help,

Roxanne

Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99
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Edward Sargent
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

RoxanneY wrote:

Hi all!

I have a 550alpha SAM1855/SAM55200 and decided that I'd upgrade my camera to get better quality images. I received my a77 on Friday and so far have been happy with the outdoor/indoor pics w/flash that I've taken.  I can definitely see an improvement in my photos!  Still I have my doubts that this is sensitive enough for the chorus (dark theater with lit stage) type shots. We are not allowed to use a flash during the performance. I've been debating whether or not to return the a77 and get the a99 instead ..thinking an investment now will mean no upgrading in the future.

Is the a99 really that more sensitive than the a77?

Yes

I took an okay picture without flash from the 3rd row with my 550alpha a few weeks back, but it looked much better with flash.  Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?  Or would it be much improved if I were using these lenses with an a99?  I'd really appreciate you sharing your insights/experiences.

I would also like to figure out how much of an investment each will be.  Here's what I was thinking of in terms of lenses for the a77: kit lenses (18-135 4.5-6 and 70-300 F4.5-6), Sony 16-50 F 2.8, and Sony 70-200 F2.8 (later).  And for the a99: kit lens Sony 2.8-75 F.2.8/Zeiss 24-70 F2.8 and Sony 70-200 F2.8

Does this sound about right?

Yes, I'm using Sony 28-75 and 70-300 G, Sigma 70-200 with 2X TC. My A77 is now devoted to fish-eye and long telephotos to reduce lens changing. I have not used my A700 since I got the A77

I am mainly using my camera to take portraits, school events, hula, and chorus pics (some in a dark church and some in a dark theater with good stage lights).

Thanks for your help,

Roxanne

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A99| A77| A700
|8mm & 14mm Bower|Sony 28-75 & 70-300 G|
|35-70 & 50mm 1.7 Minolta |
|Sigma 18-250 - 70-200 - 50-500 - 2X TC|
|Tamron 90 - 1.4X TC|
Albums at www.sony-snapper.com

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shadowfax123
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

Of course, this is just based on my own experience.  The experience of a photo enthusiast and pixel peeper.

Sonystyle.com is still having their great sale on the A99 — a99, vertical grip, and flashgun for $2800.  You're essentially getting the A99 for 2k.  It may be worth the purchase in the end.

Indeed, I have no worries about setting the A99 auto ISO between 200 and 3200.  And, the results are very good indeed throughout that range.  Personally, I could never get those type of results with my A77.  I know others in this forum have achieved better results on their A77 than myself.  Regardless, I've many more keepers than I ever had with my A77.

You may want to wait for the a new version of the SAL70200G.  The current generation is nearly ten years old.  I purchased the newer sigma 70200OS to hold me over until the new gen eventually arrives.  I've heard that the fast Tamron 70200 is going to be amazing.  And, that will be out sooner.

Best,

Christopher

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shadowfax123
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to Edward Sargent, Apr 29, 2013

Edward Sargent wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

Hi all!

I have a 550alpha SAM1855/SAM55200 and decided that I'd upgrade my camera to get better quality images. I received my a77 on Friday and so far have been happy with the outdoor/indoor pics w/flash that I've taken.  I can definitely see an improvement in my photos!  Still I have my doubts that this is sensitive enough for the chorus (dark theater with lit stage) type shots. We are not allowed to use a flash during the performance. I've been debating whether or not to return the a77 and get the a99 instead ..thinking an investment now will mean no upgrading in the future.

Is the a99 really that more sensitive than the a77?

Yes

I took an okay picture without flash from the 3rd row with my 550alpha a few weeks back, but it looked much better with flash.  Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?  Or would it be much improved if I were using these lenses with an a99?  I'd really appreciate you sharing your insights/experiences.

I would also like to figure out how much of an investment each will be.  Here's what I was thinking of in terms of lenses for the a77: kit lenses (18-135 4.5-6 and 70-300 F4.5-6), Sony 16-50 F 2.8, and Sony 70-200 F2.8 (later).  And for the a99: kit lens Sony 2.8-75 F.2.8/Zeiss 24-70 F2.8 and Sony 70-200 F2.8

Does this sound about right?

Yes, I'm using Sony 28-75 and 70-300 G, Sigma 70-200 with 2X TC. My A77 is now devoted to fish-eye and long telephotos to reduce lens changing. I have not used my A700 since I got the A77

Edward, what type of results do you get with the Sigma w/ 2xTC?  And, do you have the current Sigma OS version?  I am contemplating a TC for the sigma.

Regards,

Christopher

I am mainly using my camera to take portraits, school events, hula, and chorus pics (some in a dark church and some in a dark theater with good stage lights).

Thanks for your help,

Roxanne

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Sarge
A99| A77| A700
|8mm & 14mm Bower|Sony 28-75 & 70-300 G|
|35-70 & 50mm 1.7 Minolta |
|Sigma 18-250 - 70-200 - 50-500 - 2X TC|
|Tamron 90 - 1.4X TC|
Albums at www.sony-snapper.com

 shadowfax123's gear list:shadowfax123's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +8 more
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RoxanneY
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to Edward Sargent, Apr 29, 2013

Edward Sargent wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

Hi all!

I have a 550alpha SAM1855/SAM55200 and decided that I'd upgrade my camera to get better quality images. I received my a77 on Friday and so far have been happy with the outdoor/indoor pics w/flash that I've taken.  I can definitely see an improvement in my photos!  Still I have my doubts that this is sensitive enough for the chorus (dark theater with lit stage) type shots. We are not allowed to use a flash during the performance. I've been debating whether or not to return the a77 and get the a99 instead ..thinking an investment now will mean no upgrading in the future.

Is the a99 really that more sensitive than the a77?

Yes

I took an okay picture without flash from the 3rd row with my 550alpha a few weeks back, but it looked much better with flash.  Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?  Or would it be much improved if I were using these lenses with an a99?  I'd really appreciate you sharing your insights/experiences.

I would also like to figure out how much of an investment each will be.  Here's what I was thinking of in terms of lenses for the a77: kit lenses (18-135 4.5-6 and 70-300 F4.5-6), Sony 16-50 F 2.8, and Sony 70-200 F2.8 (later).  And for the a99: kit lens Sony 2.8-75 F.2.8/Zeiss 24-70 F2.8 and Sony 70-200 F2.8

Does this sound about right?

Yes, I'm using Sony 28-75 and 70-300 G, Sigma 70-200 with 2X TC. My A77 is now devoted to fish-eye and long telephotos to reduce lens changing. I have not used my A700 since I got the A77

I am mainly using my camera to take portraits, school events, hula, and chorus pics (some in a dark church and some in a dark theater with good stage lights).

Thanks for your help,

Roxanne

-- hide signature --

Sarge
A99| A77| A700
|8mm & 14mm Bower|Sony 28-75 & 70-300 G|
|35-70 & 50mm 1.7 Minolta |
|Sigma 18-250 - 70-200 - 50-500 - 2X TC|
|Tamron 90 - 1.4X TC|
Albums at www.sony-snapper.com

Thanks Edward!!

If anyone could address this part, I'd appreciate it.
"Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?"

Roxanne

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RoxanneY
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to shadowfax123, Apr 29, 2013

shadowfax123 wrote:

Of course, this is just based on my own experience.  The experience of a photo enthusiast and pixel peeper.

Sonystyle.com is still having their great sale on the A99 — a99, vertical grip, and flashgun for $2800.  You're essentially getting the A99 for 2k.  It may be worth the purchase in the end.

Indeed, I have no worries about setting the A99 auto ISO between 200 and 3200.  And, the results are very good indeed throughout that range.  Personally, I could never get those type of results with my A77.  I know others in this forum have achieved better results on their A77 than myself.  Regardless, I've many more keepers than I ever had with my A77.

You may want to wait for the a new version of the SAL70200G.  The current generation is nearly ten years old.  I purchased the newer sigma 70200OS to hold me over until the new gen eventually arrives.  I've heard that the fast Tamron 70200 is going to be amazing.  And, that will be out sooner.

Best,

Christopher

Hi Christopher!!

Thanks!! I was actually thinking of getting the other package from Sony with the 28-75 F2.8 lens instead because I'm not sure that I'll be shooting that much video (hubby has a camcorder) and I already have a less fancy flash that I could use for photos.  I realize this would be a great package if I could get the Zeiss 24-70 that everyone raves about.

Thanks for the heads up on the SAL70200G!  Is it coming out soon?

Roxanne

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

RoxanneY wrote:

If anyone could address this part, I'd appreciate it.
"Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?"

Roxanne

Even if they are all F2.8 lens, 70-200 at tele end will receive less light, therefore you need to increase ISO or slow the shutter speed. Plus, you also need to worry about motion blur therefore a minimum safety shutter speed is required (and in turn can increase your ISO). So all in all, if you can sit at the front row you always get better picture.

Having said all that, if you do lots of portrait and available light shooting, A99 is the right choice within Sony system, the natural lens choice is 24-70/2.8 (or budget 28-75/2.8) plus 70-200/2.8 (could be Sony, or Sigma/Tamrom).

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shadowfax123
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

As far as I know, there isn't any news on a new SAL70200.  There is just speculation.

I've told this story before on how I ended up with the a99.  I saw the deal on sonystyle.com.  Passed it by my wife — mostly just goofing around — and my wife gave me a definitive NO.  I went to take a nap and my wife came upstairs about an hour later and gave me the OK.  Wow!  I read the reviews, including David Kilpatrick's review, and I went ahead and purchased the a99 w/ grip and flash.  It truly is a joy to shoot when you don't have to worry about tons of flaws with your camera.

I've had the 2470Z since it first became available.  If I could only keep one lens, it would be that one.  It truly has superlative optics, a good focal range on a FF camera, as well a nice build to it — although not weather sealed.  It's survived trips to Australia, France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, as well as, sub zero temps here in northern Illinois.  Also, it's quite a heavy lens compared to the 2875 or the APS-C 1680z.  I popped my wife's 1680z — which she now uses on the A77 or A700 — on the A99 the other evening just to test it out.  Wow, what a nice, light feeling it has to it.

Best Wishes,

Christopher

 shadowfax123's gear list:shadowfax123's gear list
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shadowfax123
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Apr 29, 2013

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

If anyone could address this part, I'd appreciate it.
"Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?"

Roxanne

Even if they are all F2.8 lens, 70-200 at tele end will receive less light, therefore you need to increase ISO or slow the shutter speed. Plus, you also need to worry about motion blur therefore a minimum safety shutter speed is required (and in turn can increase your ISO). So all in all, if you can sit at the front row you always get better picture.

Yes, if you can't get on stage, then a front-row seat is absolutely necessary.  I have a meeting this evening, otherwise, I would be shooting my niece's dance recital.  I was looking forward to seeing how the A99 performed under those conditions.

Having said all that, if you do lots of portrait and available light shooting, A99 is the right choice within Sony system, the natural lens choice is 24-70/2.8 (or budget 28-75/2.8) plus 70-200/2.8 (could be Sony, or Sigma/Tamrom).

 shadowfax123's gear list:shadowfax123's gear list
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JerryCurtis
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When is f/2.8 not f/2.8?
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Apr 29, 2013

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

Even if they are all F2.8 lens, 70-200 at tele end will receive less light,

Please explain this statement, with references, if you would?

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RoxanneY
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Apr 29, 2013

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

If anyone could address this part, I'd appreciate it.
"Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?"

Roxanne

Even if they are all F2.8 lens, 70-200 at tele end will receive less light, therefore you need to increase ISO or slow the shutter speed. Plus, you also need to worry about motion blur therefore a minimum safety shutter speed is required (and in turn can increase your ISO). So all in all, if you can sit at the front row you always get better picture.

Having said all that, if you do lots of portrait and available light shooting, A99 is the right choice within Sony system, the natural lens choice is 24-70/2.8 (or budget 28-75/2.8) plus 70-200/2.8 (could be Sony, or Sigma/Tamrom).

Hi!

Thanks so much for explaining this to me.  I'm going to have to give this some serious consideration!

Roxanne

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geoffrey6
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to shadowfax123, Apr 29, 2013

I do the official photography at school concerts and find the A77 with 70-400G and a monopod a great combination from behind the audience. I don't have the A99 but think I would prefer the 77 as the autofocus points cover more of the frame. In portrait, I can get a focus point over a child's face and get one child to fill the frame. Hope that's useful - Regards, Geoffrey

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RoxanneY
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to shadowfax123, Apr 29, 2013

shadowfax123 wrote:

As far as I know, there isn't any news on a new SAL70200.  There is just speculation.

I've told this story before on how I ended up with the a99.  I saw the deal on sonystyle.com.  Passed it by my wife — mostly just goofing around — and my wife gave me a definitive NO.  I went to take a nap and my wife came upstairs about an hour later and gave me the OK.  Wow!  I read the reviews, including David Kilpatrick's review, and I went ahead and purchased the a99 w/ grip and flash.  It truly is a joy to shoot when you don't have to worry about tons of flaws with your camera.

I've had the 2470Z since it first became available.  If I could only keep one lens, it would be that one.  It truly has superlative optics, a good focal range on a FF camera, as well a nice build to it — although not weather sealed.  It's survived trips to Australia, France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, as well as, sub zero temps here in northern Illinois.  Also, it's quite a heavy lens compared to the 2875 or the APS-C 1680z.  I popped my wife's 1680z — which she now uses on the A77 or A700 — on the A99 the other evening just to test it out.  Wow, what a nice, light feeling it has to it.

Best Wishes,

Christopher

Hi Christopher!

Ah, good to know.

Thanks for the cute story and the endorsement of the 2470Z.  I just got my hubby to agree on the a99 bundle with the 28-75 F2.8 lens.  I think I'll be happy. 

Roxanne

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MediaArchivist
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Re: When is f/2.8 not f/2.8?
In reply to JerryCurtis, Apr 29, 2013

f/2.8 is a mathematical relationship between the focal length of the lens and the diameter of the iris. It is not a measure of light transmission. The more elements in a lens, the less light gets through (in general). Many telephoto zooms operate at their long end by creating  larger image circle with the same amount of light-- thus the sensor itself is getting less.

This is better explained here: T-stop.

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cplunk
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

What sort of focal length are you using from those seats and have you considered a prime lens?

There will be considerable difference between f1.8 and f2.8, but the depth of field can also become an issue if you aren't far enough away to focus out near infinity.  Sony's DT 35mm f1.8 or the 50mm f1.8 are pretty solid choices if that focal length can work for you.  They are also much lighter and more compact that any f2.8 zoom.

On my A77 I used to be very careful whenever I started to push the ISO past 1600. Really even at 1600 with a dark scene you can start to see noise creeping up.  I haven't had nearly as much experience with my A99 but it does seem to push that limit up a lot higher.

The other thing I've begun to find really useful is auto ISO in manual mode, so that I can force the aperture wide open, select a minimum shutter speed and let the camera choose the ISO to complete the exposure. On my A77 and previous Sony cameras, I would have to either choose ISO in M mode and change with light, or use aperture priority with Auto ISO and just have hope the shutter wasn't too slow. (it often was).

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RoxanneY
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to cplunk, Apr 29, 2013

cplunk wrote:

What sort of focal length are you using from those seats and have you considered a prime lens?

There will be considerable difference between f1.8 and f2.8, but the depth of field can also become an issue if you aren't far enough away to focus out near infinity.  Sony's DT 35mm f1.8 or the 50mm f1.8 are pretty solid choices if that focal length can work for you.  They are also much lighter and more compact that any f2.8 zoom.

On my A77 I used to be very careful whenever I started to push the ISO past 1600. Really even at 1600 with a dark scene you can start to see noise creeping up.  I haven't had nearly as much experience with my A99 but it does seem to push that limit up a lot higher.

The other thing I've begun to find really useful is auto ISO in manual mode, so that I can force the aperture wide open, select a minimum shutter speed and let the camera choose the ISO to complete the exposure. On my A77 and previous Sony cameras, I would have to either choose ISO in M mode and change with light, or use aperture priority with Auto ISO and just have hope the shutter wasn't too slow. (it often was).

Hi Cplunk!

Thanks for taking the time to write. The focal length was 90mm and taken at 1600 with my 550alpha.  I am guessing that with my a77 I'd be able to take a similar picture.

I have a 50mm f1.8 and I love it for portraits.  The group I'm shooting is huge...about 120 people so a wide angle lens might be nice.  I was thinking the 16-50 might work??

I really need to learn more about how to adjust my settings.  I usually just use the programmed settings.

Roxanne

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success100
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

RoxanneY wrote:

cplunk wrote:

What sort of focal length are you using from those seats and have you considered a prime lens?

There will be considerable difference between f1.8 and f2.8, but the depth of field can also become an issue if you aren't far enough away to focus out near infinity.  Sony's DT 35mm f1.8 or the 50mm f1.8 are pretty solid choices if that focal length can work for you.  They are also much lighter and more compact that any f2.8 zoom.

On my A77 I used to be very careful whenever I started to push the ISO past 1600. Really even at 1600 with a dark scene you can start to see noise creeping up.  I haven't had nearly as much experience with my A99 but it does seem to push that limit up a lot higher.

The other thing I've begun to find really useful is auto ISO in manual mode, so that I can force the aperture wide open, select a minimum shutter speed and let the camera choose the ISO to complete the exposure. On my A77 and previous Sony cameras, I would have to either choose ISO in M mode and change with light, or use aperture priority with Auto ISO and just have hope the shutter wasn't too slow. (it often was).

Hi Cplunk!

Thanks for taking the time to write. The focal length was 90mm and taken at 1600 with my 550alpha.  I am guessing that with my a77 I'd be able to take a similar picture.

I have a 50mm f1.8 and I love it for portraits.  The group I'm shooting is huge...about 120 people so a wide angle lens might be nice.  I was thinking the 16-50 might work??

I really need to learn more about how to adjust my settings.  I usually just use the programmed settings.

Roxanne

the 16-50 is a great lens but has some distortion at the 16mm end which is fine for landscapes and such but will distort peoples heads in the corners of the pictures. You might want to look in to a WA prime if your going to be shooting large groups often.

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Brian_Smith
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

RoxanneY wrote:

If anyone could address this part, I'd appreciate it.
"Is the lens quality of the Sony 70-200 F2.8 such that this same shot have the same image quality if I took it from the back of the room  instead?  Or could I get a better image from the 3rd row with a 16-50 F2.8 or similar?"

Paired with the a99, a 70-200/2.8 is really the perfect lens for most stage performances. It will also be a lot quieter than a DSLR with a moving mirror. I just used it to shoot a tennis tournament and loved being the 'quietest' photographer in the pack.

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jks33
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to RoxanneY, Apr 29, 2013

Roxanne,

I have both a A65 (same sensor, etc. as A77) and an A99.   Glad to see you are going with the A99.  There is a HUGE difference in high ISO performance.  By the way, I just took some photos of my nephew's play and used the 70-300G lens.  I am not sure the 70-200 will give you enough reach with a full-frame camera.  Yes the 70-300G is only f4.5.5.6, but with the A99 you can boost the ISO and not worry too much.  That lens is known to be sharp at its largest aperature which is not always the cast with some f2.8 lenses (I have not particularly researched the 70200G as I am using some Minolta glass in that range).

Another A65 vs. A99 comparison was the EVF.   The full-frame sensors makes a dramatic difference in what is, I believe, the same EVF.

jks

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JusLookN
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,991Gear list
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Re: More questiona about the a77 and a99
In reply to success100, Apr 29, 2013

Roxanne, you have gotten some good advice. But you also have not gotten a reply that would tell you that you could have gotten a pretty great shot with your A-550 and a better lens such as the 70-200 f/2.8 for what you were shooting.  Also, you wouldn't have been at 1600 iso for that shot with the ability to have more light on your subject!  I realize that new equipment will improve on some aspects of a person's photography; especially at a cost!  If cost is no object, then by all means follow your dreams of equipment cravings.  I say this just to inform you that some of the thoughts you have about getting an A-99 for what you are shooting is really not necessary, when a lens or two would have gotten the shot!

You have the A-77 now, which isn't really that much better than your A-550 for low light shooting except for resolution(IMHO). Borrow or rent a 70-200mm F/ 2.8  lens(Sony,Sigma,Tamron) before you make the jump to the A-99, and see if this takes care of what you need. Should you make the jump to the A-99, you will gain a wider perspective view of your subjects, but will end up loosing the 1.5 crop as you are accustomed to.  In other words, your 70-200 should get the whole group from the third row(you got them with the A-550, I guess) but you will be able to get them from farther back without a problem,also.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I would suggest you try a lens purchase before you make another jump!  Now if money is not a concern, you will just be making these purchases for lenses to suit your needs all over again by going to the A-99!  Good luck in you decisions!

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Glenn
I'm kinda partial to video, but I'm hangin!

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