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Just Posted: Sony Alpha SLT-A99 review

By dpreview staff on Dec 12, 2012 at 20:49 GMT
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Just Posted: Our review of the Sony Alpha SLT-A99. The A99 is Sony's flagship SLT camera - featuring a 24MP full-frame sensor and dual AF system, along with the level of build and direct control you'd expect from a range-topping model. We've put the A99 through its paces in a variety of situations, including an investigation of how its AF depth control performs in challenging shooting conditions. We've also looked at the advantages the SLT system and articulated screen bring to a camera at this level, as well as looking at their downsides.

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Sony SLT-A99

Comments

Total comments: 498
12
legokangpalla
By legokangpalla (Jan 11, 2013)

A99 is nice...I demoed it with a couple of old Minolta lenses that I had. However, as much as I like EVF as much as OVF-I like them both- I do not see the point of "mirror less " camera that has the same form factor as a full sized DLSR...I mean couldn't Sony just make a Nex8 with similar specs? Also, I do not think SLT provide better image quality than other mirrorless cameras, I mean technically those two mechanisms are the same. ie) It is a MILC!

Also, call me cheap, but 2.7grand for body only MILC? That's kinda crazy...

0 upvotes
mark 808
By mark 808 (Jan 2, 2013)

Having used the A99 for about 3 weeks, I am impressed with the superiority of the EVF. It is like the difference, for those old enough to remember, between word perfect and Microsoft word. With the EVF, what you see is what you get. Certainly, an experienced and skilled photographer can make the needed adjustments in white balance, exposure and so forth based on experience while using a good understanding of light and the information from the OVF, but the EVF just makes the whole process so much easier. It is true that some light is lost with the fixed mirror ,which is why I preferred the Alpha 580 to the more popular SLT alpha 55. However, the quality of the sensor in the A99 makes up for this and more. Probably, the same sensor without the translucent mirror in front would give a bit better high ISO performance. Also the in-camera stabilization allows for a very wide range of excellent lenses to be used. I suggest trying the EVF before being too critical

0 upvotes
kumart75
By kumart75 (Dec 20, 2012)

Personally I think OVF is an ancient technology that is so outdated and will be obsolete in a few years time. EVF is the way of the future. If you dont believe me, go out and give it a good try or ask people who have used it. There is no need to take the eyes of the EVF to change settings and risk losing a shot ot two.

8 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 18, 2012)

I use my A99 for about 50% in video mode. Before I bought the camera I watched many movies of Canon 5D.3 and Nikon D800 as well. And Panasonic as well. They had one thing in common. They all have lack of emotion. Only for this part it makes easy to choose for Sony. I love movies and I want my videos to look fimish. I hate wenn the video look clinical. Wenn you use the best plasma screens you can easiliy see the difference in how they look between all the brands. Nikon still has a lot to learn in this part. I think Nikon and Canon lovers have to be happy Sony is competing in the same area. This will make there cameras better and more complete in a shorter time. Now there is the need to change even faster than in the past. Be happy!

6 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

" I think Nikon and Canon lovers have to be happy Sony is competing in the same area."
No, Sony's incompetence and incapability to understand photographers' needs and preferences makes CaNi lovers indifferent or amused. True and dedicated movie lovers in majority stay at video cameras.
PS : I am a lover of NO brand - I love the best still cameras. Now, for instance - in mirroless category - FUJI shows the right way how to understand photographers' wishes (especially where viewfinders are concerned) - NEX is again more TV toy for cell-phone lovers, than photographer's tool.

0 upvotes
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 18, 2012)

If you don't know how to take a picture with a camera like NEX then you are just not that good, don't give me nonsense reason as it is like a toy. Just admit your incompetence.

9 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 18, 2012)

Fuji knows how make viewfinders? Funny then that Fuji is using the OLED viewfinder made by Sony in X-E1

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

ET2: I'm sure you know what I meant, I'm sure you know that there is not only X-E1. And I've said that EVF is justifiable and acceptable in cheaper mirrorless and compact cameras.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 18, 2012)

Yes, and the Sony-made X-E1's EVF is superior to the crappy (limited with zoom lenses) hybrid viewfinder in XPro1. What good is the OVF part if it works with only a few prime lenses? That's why Fuji is dumping the POS viewfinder now. It's inferior.

Funny that DPReview rated A99's viewfinder identical to 5D Mark III and D800 viewfinders (both superior OVF than Fuji ever made) in the conclusion.

Overall, A99 is rated higher than both D800 and 5D Mark III -- all three cameras rated higher with better image quality and faster AF than any camera Fuji ever made.

Comment edited 6 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
gordocooper
By gordocooper (Dec 18, 2012)

Zinedi: why this anger vs. Sony cameras? who are you to make such a judgmental call? Take a hot bath and chill out!
Have you even tried a NEX camera with manual focus lenses (Voigt, Leica)?
Fuji may have understood your wishes but I don't think that you're entitled in any way to consider your wishes as a generality amongst photographers.

3 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

My personal view is DPReview-rating-resistant. I mean that I observe for some time and on some web sites, that professional independence has gone away in general. It's sad, but business overruns many pleasures of this world. But we still can use our own brain, points and percentages are for fools.

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

@gordocooper: Who is in anger? Read your own words. Sure, my opinion is only mine. You speak for yourself - it's allowed I hope.

1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 18, 2012)

Until Canon or Nikon can produce a FF camera with AF in video as good as for stills, articulating rear screen , the A99 is the best IMO. Sony also has focus peaking - this on its own is enough reason to choose Sony over Canon or Nikon.

Canlikon is for sure popular because people trust these brands, but they don't make the best cameras anymore. I think Sony lead the way now.

Some people just don't like Sony. That is their problem. The cameras are excellent..

5 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 18, 2012)

I think Canon and Nikon people doubt about the people who do these tests. I think Canon and Nikon make great products. And the people who are Sony haters or are negative about Sony. Do not handle from egoism. because this is by far the biggest shortcomming of us Human beings. Be happy for other people than yourself.

1 upvote
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Dec 18, 2012)

Some the guys here just name Sony as a gadget company, just do not consider, due to their ignorance, the professional division of Sony video and motion picture cameras, wich is state of the art and the yard stick for all.
After all I think we can only expect things to get better from Sony. There are all the ingredients for them to deliver good products:the Minolta legacy, they have an exclusive deal with one of the best lens designers (Zeiss) and they have the best expertise in digital imaging with their professional video camera and motion picture equipment department.
Sony Cinealta equipment is currently putting on the backfoot all the competitors, including Red and Arri. Of course Sony has decades of experience in motion imagery where they do not have it on Dslr making,so they are not going to displace Canikon anytime soon. yet they will be able to deliver product that will be as good and most of the times better. Like tha a99 is and to some extent also the a900 was.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Dec 18, 2012)

Worked with an A99 yesterday. If you do not need the resolution of the D800 all the times, the a99 is simply the most complete Dslr camera at the moment.
The EVF is just a joy to use and it does not hinder my way of taking photos at all. After a few minutes you would just forget it is an EVF instead of an ovf if wasn't for the wealth of informations that are displayed on it.

The only way I could buy a Canikon again, it would be if Sony stop making these kind cameras.
I'm some what old fashion on the way I use cameras, but the A99 just feels natural to use.

Cheers!

9 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

One correction : Sony A99 is not DSLR regrettably. It has a semi-transparent mirror in the way of light when exposing - it is a big difference - one more dust collector, light reducer and reflection generator.

0 upvotes
Paul07
By Paul07 (Dec 18, 2012)

Oh yes, and it's not a movable part anymore, prone to wear and tear, and it is the key to offering video capability worthy of the name, and above all, the images produced are just as outstanding as with a similar camera with old fashioned flip-mirror. When putting prints side by side, no one will be able to determine which one is taken with which camera :-)

5 upvotes
peyotl
By peyotl (Dec 18, 2012)

DSLR stands for digital Single Lens Reflex right? So where does it tells if the "Reflex" has to be fully or partially reflective or if it has to move or not? Semi transparent mirror is still a mirror...

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

"..with old fashioned flip-mirror."
Just opposite is true. Semi-transparent non-movable mirror is more old-fashioned - it was very soon replaced by movable mirror which doesn't impair the images. EVF is younger of course, but it has very underestimated parameters till now to be able to compare in purity, colour-fidelity, resolution, velocity and health-harmlessness with OVF.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

@peyotl : Sony itself names it SLT - for Translucent mirror.

0 upvotes
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 18, 2012)

zinedi,
get you fact straight. I have caught your nonsense at least three times by now in one day.

"Pentax was the first manufacturer to show an early prototype 35 mm behind-the-lens metering SLR camera, which was named the Pentax Spotmatic. The camera was shown at the 1960 Photokina show."

"Another clever design appeared in 1965, the Canon Pellix employing a pellicle mirror that is semi-transparent, placing the meter cell on an arm swinging into the lightpass behind the mirror for meter reading."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-lens_reflex_camera)

3 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Dec 19, 2012)

I knew that putting the A99 among its peers which are Dslr would have attracted at least one dictionary mosquito.
Technically it is a SLT, especially because Sony marketing department, decided this acronim may help to enanche the perception of their product.
The camera operate like a Dslr, at least for what the operator has to do in order to make it take pictures.
It replaces a Dslr (a900) and if i do not like it and want to buy a Canikon, I can only replace it with a Dslr.
For simplicity of the comparison I was making, i called it an Dslr

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Dec 19, 2012)

Yet what ever SLT is new or old technology I can care less and for my experience with others SLT, they do not degrade the image more than the mirror slap of a typical Dslr, which affect image sharpness up to 1/250 or even 1/500 if I well remember. I does not gater dust more than a flipping mirror and the last two generations of Slt do not generate reflections that anybody should care of. A part for maybe astrophotographers. I think only the a55 generated ghosting in some very specific condition, although my A55 never did it.....
As for Sony not understanding what photographers want, I cannot agree with it.
The Nex is one of the most enjoyable tools to take pictures with. It actually makes it very easy, which is what a good tool should be made for.
And please stop making TV comparisons, it just expose your ignorance.
And btw viewing images on a flat TV screen, pulling them remotely from an HD has its advantages, rather the pulling them out of a carton box or an album.

1 upvote
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 18, 2012)

The quality of the EVF of the A77 is not the same as that of the A99. Today I had contact with a person who used an A77 and now for some weeks the A99. He said: no it is not the same, and it is more than only 100% coverage. It is more clear and better in low light conditions.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Dec 18, 2012)

Less pixel pitch means better image quality and that means more clear and better in low light image in a viewfinder.

Still though - A77 EVF is the same as in A99.
First thing doesn't exclude second.

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 17, 2012)

Don't deceive photographers. Neither SLT principle, nor EVF are "new technologies" (as someone suggested here). In fact - the first one is a blind street of evolution known from 1960s (Canon Pellix) and EVF is cheap alternative for optical viewfinder. Both are justifiable in cheaper mirrorless and compact cameras league, but not in semi-pro or even pro. So say : cheap technologies instead of new technologies to be correct. EVF even in today's state-of-the-art form is very imperfect tool for serious and enjoyable photography. It was big error to escape from DSLRs to these TV toys.

4 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 17, 2012)

It is still a personal preference. I think it's a big advantage. I used DSLR for many years, but prefer EVF. For me it is very easy to get the picture I want. I do the changements and get that picture I have in mind. With DSLR it is more difficult to get what you want. The flipscreen makes you get even more control. I heard from a person who works for Nikon they will have this in future products as well. I cannot imagine not to have it anymore.

5 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 17, 2012)

Flipscreen has nothing to do with viewfinder - flipscreen is a substitute for angle-viewfinder, but viewfinder is the thing you look through with camera supported against your forehead.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 17, 2012)

If you truly trying to be correct, then please give me a camera from the 1960 with an EVF that can function exact the same as the A99's. Otherwise please stop being incorrect.

7 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 18, 2012)

The flipscreen gives you view about the picture you want to maken wenn you cannot use EVF. But again this is an extra bonus what gives you more control. Please read better before stuppid respons. Use your brain!

2 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 16, 2012)

Also making highend Panaorama photos is a nice bonus. I did it a lot and makes my hobby a lot more pleasant. The video quality really impressed me. With the xlr inputs and Rode Video mic pro the end results are stunning. It is much more complete compared to Nikon and Canon. I would say give the Sony A99 a try and make your own comparison with the camera you use now.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 16, 2012)

For XLR connectors, all you need is the JuicedLink mic pre-amp (the HDSLR industry standard) with a 5D3 or D800. And AFAIK, the Sony XLR-K1M doesn't have a mic pre amp, is only a passive XLR adapter which makes is extremely expensive for what it is.

As far as video quality, I have yet to see any truly great A99 videos (other than the Sony Korea production which is OK) comparable to the D800's Joy Ride which is superb and the 5D3 stuff.

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 17, 2012)

D800 has crappy video quality. Ugly moire. It's not better than A99. 5D Mark III is better, but if video is important, something like FS100, which is about the same price, blows the crap out of D800 and even 5D Mark III. D800 is a joke for video

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 17, 2012)

All the movies of Canon and Nikon are both clinical. There is no emotion in the way the look at my Samsung PS64D8000. Only for that it never can be an option. When you want the maximum in video you should always buy an F100 or even better an F700. For what the A99 does with video it is more than nice.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Dec 18, 2012)

Marike6 - XLR adapter for A99 isn't just a passive conversion. It's a true XLR output.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 16, 2012)

I am always looking for the best. I really don't care what the brand is. I am a perfectionist and always looking tot get the best quality in everything I buy. This year I went from Nikon to Sony only because I did a good evaluation. I wanted to see if there is a better option. And yess there was. I became a sharper image, more dynamic image and much more emotion in the photos as well. It was very clear Sony does a better job in this. I use my Samsung PS64D8000 withe the Audioquest Diamond hdmi. With the best screan in real colours in 2011 I can see all the parts in the pictures. Sony is a lot more colourful and more dynamic. Wenn I go back to my Nikon photos they look thin and less colourful. Wenn I go back to my Sony A99 I can feel the exitment. I smile and say yess this is what I want and need. There is a lot more what makes Sony superior to Canon and Nikon. I have more control with the EVF before I make the photo. I would never go back to standard DSLR.

11 upvotes
Nectar D Or
By Nectar D Or (Dec 16, 2012)

you are correct, yet this is not news.

Sony has been known to produce disney colors for years.

Enjoy your new camera.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 16, 2012)

Sony and Nikon share many of the same Sony sensors. Why do you think the colors are dramatically different?

As far as IQ, Sony has some good lenses, but Nikon and Canon have a much larger selection of high quality lenses at all different price points.

2 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Dec 17, 2012)

marike6 - How many of Canon and Nikon lenses are really of high quality? Not crappy ones like Canon 24-105/4...

1 upvote
Amateur Sony Shooter
By Amateur Sony Shooter (Dec 17, 2012)

marike6, beside the main sensor, there is image processor at work to determine the colour. Sony (and Minolta before) always have a rich, film-like colour. In simple words, Sony's image is made of pure colour pixels, Nikon's file is more like B&W image with colour overlay.

3 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 17, 2012)

It is very easy to see the difference. You do not need an education at the university to see the difference. I do consulting in sound and vision at high level. For me it is even very easy to see it. When I would like the 800 or 5D.3 I would have bought one of them.

4 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 17, 2012)

hahahaha...Disney colours. You are very funny. I had the Nex7 and Nex VG20 and yess the colours were a little overexposered. But the Sony A99 is extreemly natural in real colours. That is why I bought the most reaslistic screen in colours last year. That is why I hate led and lcd, I always say this are screens for dummys. My screen in combination with the best hdmi you can buy very 3d. It gives a lot of depth in all the pictures. Here you can see the differnece as well in depth compared to Nikon.

2 upvotes
Robert Garcia NYC
By Robert Garcia NYC (Dec 16, 2012)

Wow, they killed it. Great job. Surprise me with some great affordable lens though.

2 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Dec 15, 2012)

"Customers have no idea about what they want; we tell them what they want.", Steve Jobs said. Sony got it (since they failed to invent iPod, the natural evolution of the Walkman), and many will love the "Underdog" (a false Underdog, just another greedy Corporation, but still...). Cheers! :)

3 upvotes
RivRat
By RivRat (Dec 15, 2012)

Does anyone know why the Zeiss Zistagon 15mm 2.8 isn't available for the A- mount if if there are any plans for it introduced? It would help sway my upcoming purchase to the a99.

0 upvotes
Bobby72
By Bobby72 (Dec 15, 2012)

What I said earlier at the end it is all about the quality of the photo. And in my opinion the A99 is soo much more dynamic and has more emotion in the photos compared to Canon and Nikon. ( I used Nikon for over 6 years) When I see now my Nikon pictures I see what I missed all that time. And yess it's a lot. Beside the better overwhole quality it is also so much more fun to use. Since I use Sony the smile on my face is often there when I use it. The last thing I want to say to Nikon and Canon users; sometimes you need to take a look at the otherside. Just like I did!

16 upvotes
drbird
By drbird (Dec 15, 2012)

Certainly a nice camera....Just take it out in the cold (-26°C - 32°C) on day two both camera were still working perfect just both displays were unusable...the EVF went black/grey the rear LCD was black. This was the same with the 5DMK III but at least we could still use the OVF. This and the delay of the EVF for birds in flight or other action shots were seeing what you capture is important just makes it a no go for me. btw the displays came back to live when we got down from the mountains ...another drawback was that the camera was just eating batteries in the cold about 5-8 times more than equivalent cameras with OVF. Sure the camera is fine for many things but I pray that the OVF will stay with us for a long time to come.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

and since more than 99% of all camera users shoot at -32, such cameras have no reason to be. Man, you are a 1% er and you don't know it. How about a neoprene jacket for your gear, you do not run naked yourself as well at that temperatures. Concerning OVF, you still have the choice. Look what temperature ranges camera manufacturers announce for their material and you will not find many that match those specs you ask for.

11 upvotes
Alvar
By Alvar (Dec 15, 2012)

Shamael is right, but it'd be great if the A99 could work at those extreme temperatures.

What I also find that doesn't make sense on this otherwise great cam is that why one of the greatest features of this, Phase AF in live view, doesn't work in manual exposure for video.

That's a bummer!

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 15, 2012)

I think you are definitely what is known as an "outlier" there, my friend. That's a specialist need for a special camera !

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

Sony's A900 works perfect at those temperatures. Michael Reichman use it in the antarctis many times and it was among all cameras the only one that never failed. Nikon d3x and canon mk3 failed at those temperatures. Read Reichman's reports about that on Luminous landscape site.

5 upvotes
CortoPA
By CortoPA (Dec 15, 2012)

Those temperatures are very common during scandinavian winters, Nothing extreme about that at all.

3 upvotes
drbird
By drbird (Dec 15, 2012)

Where did I say this camera has no reason to be??? It is just another disadvantage of the EVF...it may well be it stops working earlier. And the battery-hunger adds a lot to the...don't use it when it is really cold. I know well that I am an "outlier" :-) in this respect...but I am sure there are others as well ...and this is hy I metioned it. Nothing wrong with the camera just not when it gets very cold, panning, or when you don't have a chance to charge the batteries....like trekking in the rain forest for a couple of weeks....Surely it does the job in most situations.

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Dec 15, 2012)

Phase detection AF can only work if the lens's aperture is open to f5.6 or larger. That's physics.

So, Sony had a choice, lock it out as soon as the aperture went below f5.6, which would confuse users because the AF would constantly be switching from PD to CD, or just lock it out, so it's consistently CD across all apertures.

One of those situations where, no matter what the engineers do, someone is not going to be happy,

0 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (Dec 15, 2012)

"Those temperatures are very common during scandinavian winters"
That's why so many of them moved to Minnesota, they thought it was a tropical paradise, and comparatively, it is.
But, as far as extremes, it's might be common in some parts of the world, but if you would consider being outside in those conditions for an hour or two without proper preparation dangerous, when exposure has to potential to cause death, it's extreme.
Most electronic manufactures aren't bothering to engineer for those conditions cause it'll unnecessarily raise the price for everyone. Cause really, all kinda things don't work in those temperatures, including cars, people have told me normal tires start to shatter at about -30.

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Dec 15, 2012)

Mark II failed miserable in Antartica http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/antarctica-2009-worked.shtml but I read Mark III has "enhanced" weather sealed it must be the reason yours survived. A99 is a SEMI professional camera and WAS NOT designed for extreme cold weather.

0 upvotes
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 16, 2012)

Exactly the problem. If that were shoot with a EVF, you would have know the WB was way off before you could hit the shutter. Now you can go read your first reply and please fill the blank yourself.

0 upvotes
TravisLind
By TravisLind (Dec 14, 2012)

I am about as far from Pro as you could want, I have played around pretty extensively with the Sony EVF cameras at the Sony store, and I have to say I personally like them and find them far more useful than an OVF, Having all the information you could want right there, is pretty powerful. I had an issue with strange glows where say a shiny floor would try to display through the legs of the person standing on it, and some other very strange artifacting when playing around, and I can see how that would be off putting to many, but truth be told I could see shooting just fine with a Sony EVF currently, and this tech is only going to get better over time.

3 upvotes
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Dec 14, 2012)

Just used the a99 for a three day conference here in Austin. The EVF was perfect for "pre-chimping" in mixed lighting for stage shots, etc. The 3200 and 6400 were very clean and the body and controls felt just right in my medium sized hands. I think it's a remarkably good camera for any professional who does not shoot fast moving sports stuff. Don't underestimate the appeal to working professionals of the EVF. It's a great addition for me. And the front dial on the camera, set to exposure compensation, means you never have to take your finger off the shutter to mess with EC when actively shooting speeches, etc.

Bonus, the EVF is much better than OVF under very low light.

Thing I thought I would never used that came in handy? The Smart Teleconverter.

I think DP Review's rating is just right. You buy this camera for the sensor and the EVF. If you are dropping $3000 you know why your are buying it and those features outweigh all the anti-fanboy rhetoric.

28 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 14, 2012)

Ah the famous EVF speeches are flowing. Ok Kirk open the door take your A99 out and ask working photographers what they think and would they use an EVF over an OVF. Hand them the camera see what they say

I think your bubble will burst very quickly. Most will just walk away uninterested. While you are here I must be missing all these threads on the Canon/Nikon FF forums where users are "asking for an EVF/A99 FF body" where are they?

Maybe the coin will drop eventually. I can see some advantages of the EVF (let's be blunt though we're not newbies so understand exposure and WB), by taking your advice Kirk, Sony have effectively made a product that most photographers simply won't even look at based on some SLT dream which isn't matching what uses want.

Like it or not reality speaks. Sony have not gained market share since they brought out the SLT range, and it was a huge error to abandon OVF models as Sony basically are losing their users to other makers. A lot of them FF ones.

8 upvotes
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Dec 14, 2012)

Hi Barry, you are very funny. In fact I spent some time yesterday with a couple teams of working photographers and all were interested in seeing the a99. When I showed them the EVF features they were, to a person, impressed. I may be an anomaly. I don't think many real professionals actually frequent DPReview because of all the contentious behavior here. And self-righteous hobbyists who have no clue what professionals use or how they really choose their gear. There will always be some drivers who love the clutch and the gear shift lever. The other 90% will understand that automatic transition makes driving easier.

Why would you categorize what I said as "a famous EVF speech?" I am a working professional and it was my real and accurate observation of my use of this camera in a real, three day job. For a real client. Why all the bile over an equipment choice? Do you own stock in Nikon or Canon?

37 upvotes
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Dec 14, 2012)

And by the way, they seem to be flying off the shelves at my local Sony dealer. But Austin's always been ahead of the curve on the adoption of new technologies.

13 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 14, 2012)

So, what do we have here. On the one hand we have Kirk Tuck, a working pro who is independent and buys his own gear, shoots to earn a living in the real world and also has one of the most visited photo blogs around.
On the other hand we have Barry - resident DPR anti Sony troll who , it seems, must have had Sony steal his lunch or upset his mum at some stage because he crops up at every Sony launch having a whinge....
Who has the most credibility here? Mmmm.... Let me think....

30 upvotes
Daft Punk
By Daft Punk (Dec 14, 2012)

Hi Kirk - without embarrassing you, I must say it is great to have a real life pro here , whose portraiture in particular I admire considerably. Real pros like you are outnumbered massively by armchair gear heads. I dare say you shoot more frames in a week than Barry Fitzgerald does in a year... It is also worth noting that I know you are not "branded " to any one camera maker. You used to shoot Canon FF did'nt you?
Anyway, welcome. Sorry in advance for the resident gear heads and branded fanboys.

12 upvotes
remylebeau
By remylebeau (Dec 14, 2012)

Me think's it's Barry's bubble that needs to burst, for his sake. To him we might be nuts but when he stands alone, who really is the outsider?

3 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 15, 2012)

Kirk likes to pretend he knows what goes on in the pro market, but is in complete denial about what working photographers want and need. If they wanted an SLT camera that bad you'll find the A99 hit the top sellers list quickly.

Of course it won't sell that well nice camera and all because Kirk represents not real working photographers but a small minority of people who feel they have to sell EVF's to everyone else. Meanwhile in the real world everyone is busy buying tons of FF Canikon bodies with optical finders.

Why? Because that is what they want not hobbyists but people who earn a living taking photos and not writing blogs trying to sell SLT cameras.

4 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Dec 15, 2012)

Barry Fitzgerald, died 14 January 1961.

5 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Dec 15, 2012)

Hey, better the Sony guys get stuck with Barry the Troll than us Nikon guys :^)

5 upvotes
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 15, 2012)

Clearly this Barry Fitzgerald must be too newbie on WB to snap this picture.
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/9094841975/photos/2318028/9572822f1c3d452ea211540338493b57

0 upvotes
Robert Eckerlin
By Robert Eckerlin (Dec 15, 2012)

If an inexperinced photograph may ask a question.

The following remark in this thread caught my attention: "...Open the door take your A99 out and ask working photographers what they think and would they use an EVF over an OVF".

Another remark (on the usefulness of a good EVF in a dark room) also caught my attention.

Question 1: Am I then correct to assume, that a lot of non-professional photographs will find that
- outdoors (in a bright sunny environment) a good OVF will provide a better and more enjoyable experience
- in a dark room / dark environment a good EVF will be more useful?

Question 2: Since the photographer community has so strong different opinions on the subject of good OVF vs good EVF: why are the manufacturers of expensive cameras not providing both an EVF and an OVF? Is that technically not reasonably feasible? Or will that make a difference of say more than 200US$?

0 upvotes
mauritsvw
By mauritsvw (Dec 15, 2012)

Kirk may be right about cameras, but I'm not so sure he's right about 90% of people driving automatic cars. Unless we're confusing America with the world. What's that you're saying? Oh, America is the world. Sorry, my mistake then.

5 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Dec 15, 2012)

Just ignore Barry Fitzgerald. He's a very conservative retro grouch who isn't good with change. He probably still watches a tube television and listens to a phonograph. His generation will soon pass. The next generation will not be so close-minded about EVF's. And pretty soon, Canon and Nikon will move to EVF's as well in many of their cameras, and soon it will be they who are selling "tons of FF Canikon bodies with electronic finders."

4 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 15, 2012)

You can make as many personal remarks as you wish, nothing changes most FF users want an OVF camera, yet Sony make an EVF one.

It is very obvious what the target market wants. And all the fanboy talk in the world won't be able to force feed buyers something they don't want. Until Sony work out SLT isn't going to grab people unless they price it as a budget offering (A99 is really a £1300 budget FF model) it's dead in the water really.

Of course if I'm wrong and it sell so well I'll eat my words. It's not even for sale on Amazon UK right now that's how much excitement it has generated.

4 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Dec 15, 2012)

What's funny is the personal attacks I see on Barry here yet he actually uses the A57, and, he's a paid professional photographer as well. Guys if you are going to insult, at least leverage educated ones... :).

OTOH it's safe to remember that our experiences in the world are vastly subjective and it's easy to think the rest of the world operates as you see it. I think both Kirk and Barry have good points and the truth is probably closer to being a sum of those polarized views.

Personal attacks on people should not be allowed on these forums and is one of the MAIN driving forces behind some members never posting here. There is simply no reason to personally attack someone when discussing camera equipment, especially when someone has not personally attacked others (and no, getting your feelings hurt about an opinion of gear does NOT qualify as a personal attack).

I myself have the A57, and have used the A99 (albeit briefly)- and there always will be pros/cons to evf/s and ovfs.

2 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 15, 2012)

The one that raises the temperature of debate where EVF's are concerned is Barry Fitzgerald. After all, he wasted no time to denigrate the opinion of Kirk Tuck. He could have let it be, but no.

Barry feels that he should opine every time an EVF is discussed. He clearly feels that everyone should have the benefit of reading his point of view, time after time after time after time...

The simple fact is that there are people who like EVF's. It does'nt matter how often he wants lurk on these forums looking to wade in with his opinion that "no-one wants them" , he should just accept that some people do. If he disagrees then, fine, he should get on with it.

But he should just butt out and leave the rest of us to it.

It's very, very boring reading him wade in predictably into any EVF debate when most of us already using A77/A99 simply want to exchange experiences, without the yapping dog that always seems to be in the yard, making the same noise over and over again...

4 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 15, 2012)

The only thing that matters is how this model sells and if it's a huge hit then we can assume the SLT concept is working well.

If it does not do well then we have to look again at what Sony have put forward here. It's less about OVF v EVF (be in no doubt though that most FF shooters will prefer an OVF that is beyond any debate) but Sony's position in the market.

Granted the UK price is quite poor at £2300 odd, but the idea of SLT will never really gain much acceptance until Sony promote it with the main advantage it can offer. "It's cheaper"
That is the only way it's going to work for them. And they show no signs of being willing to take that value based path.

4 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Dec 15, 2012)

Odd, our old Irish friend's posts always receive 1 Like. I wonder if he clicks the button himself...

1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 15, 2012)

It's like the sound of a dripping tap. It adds nothing to your life of value whatsoever, sometimes you blank it out, and other times one becomes aware of its inevitable, predictable, monotonous sound....you know what it is going to sound like, you can predict it coming and when it finally arrives you wish it had'nt and you know that pretty soon its going to happen again.

DPR forums need a plumber.

2 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 15, 2012)

But not as boring as the usual Sony fans blasting out the same tired stuff we've heard for years. Personally I have no brand loyalty but I'm not dumb enough to ignore what goes on in the market either.

People are not going to pay £2300 for this with a D600 at £1350 and no matter if you utterly adore EVF's that alone is a striking price difference. Wouldn't matter if this was an OVF model Sony are not competitive.

4 upvotes
Daft Punk
By Daft Punk (Dec 15, 2012)

Barry Fitzgerald is talking absolute nonsense. It is gibberish.

He says " be in no doubt that most FF shooters will prefer an OVF that is beyond debate "... Nonsense.

The FIRST pro level DSLR FF camera ever offered to the market is the Sony A99. It was launched just weeks ago. There is therefore ZERO data to make that assertion.

Anecdotaly, we can see that there ARE pros converting to the A99 - because we have some here on DPR. But we don't know how many. It is too soon.

Anecdotaly, we also know that an EVF certainly does not bother the legions of videographers who spend a fortune bolting a huge EVF to their DSLR rig. We also know that pro video cams have an EVF.

So we simply cannot extrapolate any substantial information to support Barry Fitzgeralds thesis. There are insufficient data points.

Just ignore him. He has nothing to say of any interest.

Have a :)

Just sayin...

2 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 15, 2012)

Barry - First you say its the EVF ( for you, its always the EVF, it's a pavlovian reaction with you now ) and now its the price.

The D600 UK list price at launch was over £1900. Nikon have heavily discounted it to shift boxes. Perhaps Sony may too, come the new year. Who knows? You don't for sure, so your words are meaningless and pointless.

No doubt Nikon reducing prices so heavily will be seen by you as marketing genius , while if Sony do the same you will see it as desperation.

Strange, your obsession. Strange. I can imagine trawling the internet venting your passion over passionate subjects like music or art, but popping up on Sony camera forums to complain about the electronic viewfinder on a mass produced consumer electronics item is a bit weird. If you don't like the Sony, don't buy one.

Now I happen to dislike the shape of the on/off button on my tumble dryer. Now where is the forum where I can post my dislike several times a day to anyone who will listen?

1 upvote
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 15, 2012)

Photographer is photographer,
Real photographer shoots with everything that can be used.
The best camera is the one with you, so the whole idea of differentiating FF photographer or non FF photographer is just nonsense.

please just go and learn how to properly use WB next time.

0 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 15, 2012)

Test shots are test shots WB was unimportant for that focus test it's not "art" nor portrayed as such.
Price and EVF are factors that will be important to a lot of buyers.
Yes the D600 was £2000 odd at launch which was entirely unappealing (esp with the D800 being so close to it at the time price wse)

Things move quite quickly in this market and the FF area is heating up a lot. Both Canon and Sony need to respond to Nikon's heavy price cuts. Their strategy is very obvious, to pull as many FF users in as possible it will probably work too.

2 upvotes
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 15, 2012)

Hey as a guy mention the WB first in a post as a tool to bashing one of the functionality of EVF and people who takes the advantage of it as newbie, the least you can do is not set your WB like a newbie in any kind of test shoot. I mean especially test shoots. you get all the time you want and need to set it up or do multiple ones if necessary to eliminate any possible variation that is going to show on the output. it is the very basic under standing for a test shoot and by the way if it was taken with a EVF. you will at least know the WB is gonna be way off because only a blind guy can ignore such a big BW off on setting when looking at the live view of a EVF.

1 upvote
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 15, 2012)

Instead of wasting all our time and calling people a newbie..learn to read exif it was not shot on an EVF camera. Why you waste your time discussing this 90% of people shoot raw and AWB so hey what WB argument?
Open your browswer and think wow I want a FF body

Hover over the buy button on a D600 and then try not to press it.
You've just made the most important step to understanding how the commercial camera market works. Pay less sell more = more users = more profit.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Robert Eckerlin
By Robert Eckerlin (Dec 16, 2012)

I hereby request, that
- as well Barry
- as all others who have not been able to behave in this thread
get excluded from this Website.

1 upvote
CraigD13
By CraigD13 (Dec 16, 2012)

Sony got into this market and is actually being innovative instead of offering what everyone else offers already. I, for one think the advantages of EVF outweigh the disadvantages. The advantages for me:
1) Seeing what the camera is actually CAPTURING
2) DoF preview (Grainy but better than OVF)
3) Plethora of information available without having to take eye away from the viewfinder.

For now, Sony is the Only OEM offering an EVF in an interchangeable "SLR". That alone gives them an advantage for folks that are interested in having this option. Time will tell if the company is successful. I hope they are and applaud them for going against the grain and not just releasing same-o, same-o that all the other guys offer.

2 upvotes
Cudacke
By Cudacke (Dec 16, 2012)

Exactly the problem. If that were shoot with a EVF, you would have know the WB was way off before you could hit the shutter. Now you can go read your first reply and please fill the blank yourself.

0 upvotes
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Dec 16, 2012)

Yikes. Now I'm not even a real professional photographer (according to someone I've never met). I'm late getting back to the thread, I was busy photographing a former U.S. president with my Sony SLT camera in exchange for money...

6 upvotes
Makinations
By Makinations (Dec 16, 2012)

A pro only photographs the current U.S. President.

2 upvotes
Vicenzoni
By Vicenzoni (Dec 14, 2012)

Where is that Marihuana trench I spotted on the globe in the picture? does anybody have the coordinates?

3 upvotes
Robert Eckerlin
By Robert Eckerlin (Dec 14, 2012)

About OVF vs EVF: When photographing, I want to enjoy what I see in the ViewFinder. For me, this is an essential part of enjoying to make photographies.

Question to the fans of EVFs:
1) do you really enjoy what you see with a good EVF? As much as what you would see with a good OVF?
2) Or is that aspect (= enjoying what you see inh the VF) not important for you?

My only experience with an EVF was with a relatively expensive Leica EVF for my Panasonic DMC-LX5. I did not like it at all and returned it. Of course the A99 is in another category than my LX5. Before being able to have an opinion about the EVF of the A99, I will need to grab a A99. But I am nevertheless curious about the answers of the fans of the A99 EVF.

3 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Dec 14, 2012)

The experience of using an EVF will cary greatly depending on which one you try. So in most respects it's really not just a question of OVF vs EVF, rather of a good EVF vs a poor EVF vs a good OVF. The OLED unit in th eA99 is about as good as it gets today, as far as EVFs go, so if that's not giving you a pleasing experience, you're better suited to an OVF. But, as you've said I wouldn't use the LX5 as a comparable experience.

13 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 14, 2012)

Just to add to Amadou's point - the viewfinder for the LX5 (assuming we're talking about the DMW-LVF-1), is about as far from the A99 as there could be. It's essentially a compact camera EVF.

For instance, the LVF-1 is a 202,000 dot /equivalent/ field sequential LCD. This means it shows red, then green, then blue, in sequence. This makes it 320 x 210 pixels, effectively.

The Sony EVF is a 2.4m dot OLED. This is showing all three colours at the same time to give 1024 x 768 pixels.

That's a world of difference.

14 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (Dec 14, 2012)

Definitely 2.

If I want to look at life around me, I put the camera down and look.

If I want to take a picture of something, I want to be able to quickly and efficiently get that picture as accurately as reasonable. And the EVF is more helpful in achieving that goal that the OVF. I not only know the exposure and white balance will be pretty close to target, but I can use peaking to check my focus and I can use the histogram to see any clipping BEFORE I take the picture.

The things I enjoy seeing from my camera are the pictures from it when I get home. Not trying to look at the world though the viewfinder when I'm out in that world.

9 upvotes
Daft Punk
By Daft Punk (Dec 14, 2012)

I like looking at the scene with my eyes.

When I choose to take a picture, I want the camera to let me know how IT sees the scene. The EVF let's you have a much better idea of how the image looks BEFORE you take the picture, rather than chimping AFTER the moment has passed...

You need to time to adjust your style, but you end up using your eyes more. You don't need to spend so much time peering through the camera because you learn to know instinctively how the camera "sees" the image from the EVF. You get more keepers in my experience. It does take some getting used to though...

9 upvotes
Robert Eckerlin
By Robert Eckerlin (Dec 15, 2012)

A sincere Thanks to all of you for your useful and helpful feedback: thanks to Amadou, to R. Butler, to cplunk, and to Daft.

You motivated me, to try to get hold of an A99 to gain my own experience with its viewfinder.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 15, 2012)

OVFs are more pleasant to use.

But EVFs have better functionality for manual focus, judging exposure, and accurate framing (if your OVF is less than full coverage). I was convinced to go with EVF after trying one in the camera shop (m43). I was looking for better manual focus. EVFs win by a lot there.

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

when I consider that all cameras have live view today, the viewfinder has become a tool you use when light conditions do not leave you see a clear and good picture on the LCD screen. So, does it than matter if a viewfinder is optical or electronic. I shoot with my Nikon bodies in OVF since they have no live view. I shoot on my Sony with live view when ever it is possible and use EVF when light conditions do not allow me to see the screen. Than I use EVF for manual focus peaking too. Do not forget that this feature is impossible with an OVF anyway and peaking on the LCD is not that accurate. There is a reason for everything, I prefer the EVF to the 100% OVF of the Nikon D300, but I prefer the A900 OVF to the EVF. In both cases, I never missed a shot anyway. Since I operate the NEX in MF almost all time, the EVF is a real bargain to me.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Dec 16, 2012)

EVF: Shows you what the camera sensor sees.
OVF: Shows you what the lens and eye see, which may not be what the sensor sees (depth-wise and exposure-wise) which means correcting the discrepancy in post... :)

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 18, 2012)

@ Amadou Diallo : If you admit that there is no majority acceptance for EVF it would be fair not to list it in both pro/con lists.

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Dec 14, 2012)

Nice to see Sony committed to this path, because otherwise we would not have alternatives. I don't get the resistance to different ideas. Don't like EVFs? Buy Canon or Nikon. I like to see innovation in the camera market.

Since using EVF CSC cameras I have no issues with them. The elimination of lens tuning and mirror lockup is a big bonus. The inability to see real-time tracking info for high speed burst, is disappointing but is the only real downside. Hopefully in future a live video feed will be possible in high frame rate modes, even if not full resolution...

Conversely SLT cameras are a far more successful crossover design for combining stills and video. If you have used an EVF camera for shooting video, and video production was a key part of your work, I assure you you would give the A99 a very serious look.

Sadly in the UK, Sony charges silly prices for their glass, and not many people sell it. Less third party support as well.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

There are a few more downsides like tearing and lag when panning and increased noise in low-light. And these are issues even with the better 2 million pixel OLED EVFs like in the NEX-7 or X-E1.

For video, it's still difficult to pull focus on such a small view which is why most videographers either an HDMI field monitor with peeking or an LCD loupe like the Zacuto Z-Finder. The EVF on the GH2 is great for checking focus for static shots, but manually focusing in real time while you are recording is extremely difficult.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Wally626
By Wally626 (Dec 14, 2012)

The A99 finder has higher resolution than the external LCD on the A99 or any of the displays on the Nikon or Canon models, so there is little advantage to using a LCD hood viewer on that camera or the A77 or A65 or NEX7. The primary use of the LCD for me is for picture review and tripod shooting. The OLED finders also have better contrast than the LCDs and less delay. I have never noticed any lag or tearing on my A77. An external HDMI HD screen would have higher resolution and may have some advantages to offset the greater size and weight.

As far as low light noise goes, yes it does have more noise, but in most cases you would probably not have enough light to focus a OVF by the time the light gets low enough for the noise to cause issues. I have also been able to frame and focus in situations where I could not even see with my eyes, let a lone have seen with a OVF. Granted I use the autofocus with the assist lamp, but I was able to frame the image.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

@Wally626
The EVF resolution may be higher but a magnified view of an LCD that you get with a 2.5 X Zacuto finder (as a run & gun videographer using a 5D might use) is MUCH larger which makes it much easier to focus with while recording. To check focus of course you can magnify both an EVF or LCD.

For the record, I've used the NEX-7 OLED EVF and it's more than useable and I have no problems major problems with it. I prefer an OVF, but that doesn't mean working with an EVF camera is something I can't make work.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (Dec 14, 2012)

The viewfinder in the A77 is the same as the A99 I believe. It is totally different than any of the external LEDs, much higher resolution and much brighter.
I've never seen any "tearing" or "lag" panning.
The A77 EVF does get noisy in low light, but let's categorize that and state that it's dark when that happens, not inside sports, not sunset, dark, no streetlights around, can't see the buttons on the camera. Maybe tonight I'm try and compare views out in the darkness between my A77 and my old Maxxum 7, I'm assuming that I probably won't see a thing though the OVF at the point the EVF get noisy.
If you are manual focusing, use focus peaking, it really is the EVF "killer app". (I keep reading reviewers mention the level, and while I've used it for some wide angle shots, I'd never consider it a selling point, focus peaking, on the other hand, convinced me EVF was the better choice).

1 upvote
Illumina
By Illumina (Dec 15, 2012)

I'm a Nikon user, and I don't like EVF.. I've tried A77 and OM-D EVF but I'm not impressed.. Maybe I'm an old school hahaha..
But, focus peaking is a different thing.. I really enjoy focus peaking to focus manually on my NEX.. And I wish my Nikon has it so I can use for my video work..

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 15, 2012)

There is no "tearing" on OLED EVF. More crap from marike6. Will this guy ever stop?

3 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 15, 2012)

I don't understand the noise in low light on EVF comments. This happens, but only when you can't see ANYTHING with an OVF! We are talking extremely low light.

In other words, an EVF is usable, with noise, in extremely low light, and an OVF is USELESS, and people are complaining about the EVF!

Unbelievable. You can't make it up...

3 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

this page has more than 400 comments and almost all treat this EVF against OVF viewfinder. Al that discussion is useless. Canikonians will always stick to this fact to downgrade Sony while Nikonians shoot Sony anyway. Others do not shoot Sony because of the name SONY.I have a shitload of Nikon bodies here, a Fuji S5, an F6, i use many of them, mainly my D40 that is a tool for just any occasion and the Fuji S5 I would never sell.
Now, I always dreamed of a camera with a small rangefinder style body, full manual working ability and interchangeable lens system. I have not been interested in the first NEX Models, also I have not been interested to change to Sony for any DSLR model. Once the NEX-7 came out, my first reaction was, "Lord, you heard my prayer". So, bought it and said inside of me, "Lord let this thing come on the market with a smaller sensor, 14 or 16 mpix", and again, it is reality today. I was impressed and I still am whit the EVF, it is hell of a good tool. My next, NEX-6

1 upvote
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 14, 2012)

Leaving aside the SLT/EVF love it or hate it (I still think most buyers prefer an OVF at this price point)

Sony's real problem is the FF stampede of late. If the A99 had turned up last year it might have had more impact. Right now the D600 offers much more affordable FF choice (far cheaper in the UK than the A99) I would be very worried about A mount users defecting to Nikon F mount. For pixel crazy folks the D800 is again cheaper than the A99

If Canon get around to pricing the 6d at more appropriate levels. Sony are going to have a really hard time with the A99, and unless a more cost effective FF body arrives for A mount or a big price cut on this model.

Sony will lose quite a few A mount users unless they can address this. For SLT to work it has to offer a cost effective reason to consider it, and right now it does not have that.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

On page 10, the review talks about Continuous Shooting. I thought the advantage of SLT was that the mirror didn't have to flip out of the way for each exposure allowing extremely high FPS. So why does the A99 shoot a max of 6 fps full res images instead of the 12 fps like the A77?

Since, as DPR mentions, the A99 buffer gets cleared "twice as fast as the 5D and D600" why "only" 6 fps like the Canikon? Clearly the Boinz processor is capable of moving data quickly, why is the A99 not like other SLT cameras with blazing fast FPS? And ideas?

1 upvote
Wally626
By Wally626 (Dec 14, 2012)

This has been discussed in the Sony forums, I do not think it has ever been verified what the reason is or I have forgot. The A77 can shoot 24 MP at 12 FPS with no issues. The A99 does have a 14-bit RAW which would require more data transfer, but they could have done a 12 FPS 12-bit mode instead of 14-bit. It could be the FF 24 MP chip is just slower than the APS version. It was said that the reason they did not go with the 36 MP sensor was because it was too slow for 1080p60 video. Or it could be the A1X, which has now been rumored to have been cancelled, was going to have the high speed modes and they wanted some more difference between models.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

The review makes it a point of saying that the A99 clears the buffer twice as fast as the 5D3 and D600 so clearly the Boinz processor is quite capable of processing the data. The point is all three cameras get about 6 fps, but I was thinking the top-of-the-line Sony would likely get more. A D4 or 1DX do something like 11 fps flipping the mirror.

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 15, 2012)

marike6. get educated. The image processor (such as Boinz) is just one of the factor. The sensor itself has to be able to handle 10 fps in ful resolution. A77 sensor is capable of that, but obviously A99 sensor isn't.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Dec 18, 2012)

A99 might clean buffer faster because it has better chip controlling SD cards, allowing for higher bandwidth - it doesn't have anything to deal with camera FPS.

1 upvote
obayedh
By obayedh (Dec 14, 2012)

LOL @ zinedi!!!

Never used an a77 or a99 EVF eh??
a99 EVF is stunning - use one then comment.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 14, 2012)

Sony has to lift their ergonomic design game on their flagship camera because... it doesn't really look like a flagship.

The design, shape and gadget controls look tired and copied over from competitors.

Perhaps Sony should form a new team totally unrelated to the mediocre staff running and producing the ergonomic design of the cameras.

.

3 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Dec 14, 2012)

Right, so if it *looked* like a flagship it would be ergonomically great? Indulge us in your vision, please.

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Evildogofdoom
By Evildogofdoom (Dec 15, 2012)

I find the Sony A77 and A99 very ergonomically designed, certainly easier to use then the equivalent Canikons.

4 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

The Canikon shooters are in position again. Look at your Canikon gear and see the same old stuff it was 20 years ago, have never seen any progress in any of Canon and Nikon gear. For sure, they get better sensors, the processing gets better. But honestly, look what a D600 or D6 offer to you and look what features A99 give you. Both cameras look like cripples compared to A99. Yes, A99 cost 750$ more, but is that not on the end the game of get what you pay for. Does the D600 has flip lcd, does it has focus distance range adjust, does it has 102 point focus, does it has MF focus peaking, does it has a GPS included, does it has a full magnesium body. So, that are just a few features A99 has included in the price. As I said, you get what you pay for. Don't want or need that? buy an entry level bulky old style D600. Want a better one? get a D800.

3 upvotes
shahid11235
By shahid11235 (Dec 14, 2012)

I haven't used a modern EVF yet, so it is better not to comment about that. But I think OVF will remain an appeal to many photographers even if the EVF gets adopted by Canon or Nikon.

Btw, I love the photos this camera(A99) produce.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
1 upvote
kadardr
By kadardr (Dec 14, 2012)

Sony's SLT design and OVF are patent protected, it will take time until someone can come up with an alternative.

DSLR makers have no choice but keep the buyers attached to OVF designs, and, hence, spread the propaganda about EVF's inferiority.

EVF and OVF are alternatives, not enemies. I wish Sony come up with an updated version of A900 just to keep haters shut up.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Dec 18, 2012)

Both, Canon and Nikon alredy have patents for their SLT equivalents.
As for EVF: both Sony and Epson sell high-end EVFs used on proffessional market (eg. In camcoders).

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

No doubt a very capable camera although a bit of a gift from DPR scoring wise. Reminds me of the blogger (won't mention any names but his rhymes with "Leave Duff") calling the not yet shipping RX1 "Camera of the Year 2012". But unlike some bloggers DPR is extremely thorough in their testing so as usual they get an A+ for effort and a big thanks for bringing us this great content.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Dec 18, 2012)

5D mk3 also got a "gift" from dpreview, greater then A99, same with D600. I'd argue that only D800 was scored well for what it is, never the less it doesn't change the fact that all things considered: A99 is superior to both: D800 and 5D mk3.

1 upvote
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 14, 2012)

Take it easy boys. If you are satisfied with cheap substitute of meat sausage by soya and colza mud - it's your option. But be informed that it is good for manufacturers health, not for your health. I am not against electronic progress ( in fact I work in technology development), but I prefer digital technology which brings better products then analogue ones, not the worse.

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 14, 2012)

Why OVF.
EVF is a cheap fake of optical viewfinder. It cannot even far-off simulate analogue natural look and feeling of OVF - feeling of nature.
EVF is harmful for human health - the eye was made by nature for natural analogue-fluent light. The flickering LED light is harmful - not only for eye.
EVF is cheaply constructed to be able even simulate OVF. When there is 6000x4000pix/250Hz 32million colours viewfinder I shall see if it is comparable with OVF and harmless and maybe.. .
EVF is and for long time still will be lagging after on-line reality - so it is difficult to do sport with this. And the picture not beeing fluent in panoraming e.g. is also rough and harmful for human health.
I have 20 years old SLR with pentaprism OVF - still functional. Do you believe that these small electronic dummy viewfinders will work at least 5 years?

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Dec 14, 2012)

You sound like a crazy old man afraid of change, and clinging to a lot of false beliefs. EVF is harmful for human health? LOL. Sure, pal. How about framing an image with the sun in it, through an OVF? That's more harmful to your eyes! You can go on and on about how EVF is "harmful to human health" until you are blue in the face, but the reality is that it's just silly FUD.

Sure, there will be people who prefer OVF's, just like there are people who still prefer to listen to vinyl records. But clearly, most of the modern world has gone digital. And I'm sure that at one point or another, someone probably claimed that digital music formats are "harmful to human health", too! LOL!

13 upvotes
David Fell
By David Fell (Dec 14, 2012)

Sigh, the march of technology rubbished by somebody's Dad. 'Ee Arkright, this new fangled technology is for boys. There are billions of computer users who are not blind from LCD screens. Some LCD screens don't reach 4ms refresh (250Hz) and only PC gamers 'need' this, yet miillions of sucessful photo's are taken with this technology. My photography is so much better with digital technology, and to be honest is is much cheaper than film. I spent '00s of not '000s on film, D&P etc, and could cheerfully buy a new camera every 5-years and digital would still have a lower TCO.

4 upvotes
TheDreamingWatchman
By TheDreamingWatchman (Dec 14, 2012)

Thousands of photographers every year get poked in the eye by their EVF.
Some even are attacked and stabbed to death - in their sleep.
The Mayans prophezised the world will end on Dec. 21th because the EFV will destroy the world.
That's how harmfull EVF are.
/irony off

6 upvotes
ventur
By ventur (Dec 14, 2012)

"EVF is harmful for human health"

try to frame the sun in a photo with an OVF

or pass a all day shooting surf with a tele with the sun reflecting in the water

it wont take long for you to have irreversal eye damege

5 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (Dec 14, 2012)

Yes, electronic bad, natural good, we got it.

That's why staring at the Sun is highly recommended by ophthalmologists.

I've got an SLR that is much more than 20 years old, and sure, it still works. I've also got a 4 year old DSLR that still works, but I never use anymore, and can't sell for a much, because even with it's working OVF the technology for it's sensor is dated and newer ones are just much more better.

4 upvotes
Mike Walters
By Mike Walters (Dec 14, 2012)

I doubt that EVF is harmful to the health, but having read some of the replies to this (some of which are unnecessarily rude) I do feel that some people are of the opinion that because it is digital it is better. That may not always be the case. Look at all the people who have gone digital in everything they do, constantly on their iPads, smartphones etc. I am not denying that the internet is a useful tool, it is very useful, but we have gone overboard with making everything smaller and digital. It isnt always better.

2 upvotes
Ionian
By Ionian (Dec 14, 2012)

Hey T3 - Millions of flies eat sh*t everyday. That doesn't mean it tastes good.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 14, 2012)

this page layout is weird. Press grey review on top, you come to main page, press red review, and you are on a review listing, press Sony and you get Sony cameras. So, on the end you have to press "Click here to read ...."

That is now a few years that I am bored by this "turn around 7 corners" to reach what I want. Why could there not be this "Click here....." on the main page. When you click there, you end on the comments page, the one we are on here. Then you have to press another button to continue. What is that good for.
Not all people on this globe have 1 gb second flat rate Internet. I live in the jungle and here I need 5 minutes to open DPR.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
ozturert
By ozturert (Dec 14, 2012)

Agreed %200. You go to a page to read the review, but it seems that you need to click again to reach the actual review. Is this to increase number of hits? I cannot think of a logical reason behind this.

0 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Dec 14, 2012)

That grey "REVIEW" really should read " Camera Reviews " ( not the s ) and the red block should read " All reviews ". Nothing really wrong with that part, but the legend is awful so to speak. And after the SONY tag click through square, there should really be one for the actual specific review also too

0 upvotes
lmtfa
By lmtfa (Dec 14, 2012)

Agree. I really enjoy looking at someone's hairy knuckles.

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

all good and fine, but still does not explains why I have to click a few times to change the page to read a review.

It would be easier to see a button "comment page" on the announcement, and another "read to review". I could then select where to go without being forced to open a page I don't want first to reach the other.

If buttons lead you to different page, name a dog a dog and a cat a cat, and not both by the same name, despite of the color you chose for it.

And, hitting the square of the camera you select leads you again to a generalized view where you have to go trough several other pages before you are able to read the review.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DRarchitect
By DRarchitect (Dec 14, 2012)

Someone is sabotaging this camera, the sample photos are terrible. Out of focus, composition is wrong, shot at the wrong ISO... It was all made to look absolutely terrible... DP I hope you did not do this on purpose........

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Dec 14, 2012)

thye gave the camera an 84%

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Dec 14, 2012)

If it was Silver Award, I say sabotage but I am very satisfied with DP's review and GOLD award!

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

I'm not sure what samples you saw, they actually look great. The Zeiss 24-70 is one of the best standard zooms available and DPR made good use of it.

And please explain what a "wrong ISO" is? They used whatever ISO they needed to get a shutter speed fast enough for handholding or purposely used an extremely high ISO to demonstrate how the A99 does at such extreme ISO settings.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 14, 2012)

It is not the gold award, it got 3 points less then the D600 and with all the problems that it has and if you compare what is comparable, D600 is a toy camera compared to Sony's technology. It seems to me, and I said it and repeat it, that the notation was only given for the one stop better noise ratio of D600. Despite that, D600 is a cripple compared to A99 when it comes to features and comfort and diversity of use.

2 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Dec 14, 2012)

Good point @Shamael. If you are after a lot of mediocre features then the Sony is it.

If you`re after best quality, meaningful features and top glass - then look at Canon and Nikon. The D 600 plays in a different league than the Sony P&S.

F.E:
EFV is a total nono. Slow, refresh ist tiring and the colors are off. Not a feature, a problem.
You seem to mix up markeneering with engineering.

2 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Dec 14, 2012)

One thing I always dislike DPR regarding their Camera Test is their use of different lens on different body ( even different lens on the different body having same mount )

Its very simple & scientific to say if we want to made a data viable and comparable. we want to made as few a variable in there as possible. Why can't DPR just go have a decent long focal ( longer focal than all the format difference would made , say a 250mm Hasselblad SA adopted and shoot at f/9.0 or f/11 ).

Those much difference(s) really made the comparisons and the data somewhat skewed and in some case inaccurate.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

@Shamael

D600 crippled? lol. I wish all my cameras were crippled like that.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

@wakaba, get one first, talk after. What you say here is nonsense.
D600 uses the same sensor in an old fashioned body, same as D7000 and with same AF. So, calling a A99 a P&S is stupid and shows clearly what your knowledge of cameras are. I used Nikons for more than 45 years and still have some, and, I still use them. I intend to get a D800 and a A99, the later is ordered. Where I live the delivery is not as fast as in the US.
For me D600 is an entry level camera with restricted feature, a plastic body with a magnesium upper deck. Yes, for someone who shoots simple photos, it is a good tool. For me, it offers me noting interesting for the price I pay for it, and not to forget, all the quality issues it encounters until yet. And, concerning top glass, I do not think that Nikon has any lesson to give to Zeiss, Nikon has tons of good glass and as many bad ones. You get what you pay for. D600 at 1600$ was the way to go. But, also A99 is too expensive, a fact I do not denie.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 15, 2012)

I bet all you want that you never have looked trough a Sony OLED EVF in your whole life. What you say about it gives me that impression. But, maybe when some day Nikon incorporates it in a camera it will look perfect to you. I would not change to any OVF, even if Sony made such a camera, despite that Sony's A900 OVF is the best I ever have looked trough. Unfortunately, those mediocre features you claim could not work with an OVF. Focus peaking in MF on LCD is not the yolk of an egg and here only EVF can handle this. D600 and A99 are both good cameras, but the first is a poor equipped toy compared to the second. Sorry if that hurts you and many others, I am not a brand boy, and, I sell all my equipment when I think that some other brand makes better. Despite that, I have kept all my Nikon, Fuji, gear, and even my Bronica film material.

1 upvote
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Dec 13, 2012)

I will wait and see all the posters who defend the OVFs when Canikon releases their first EVF on a serious (i.e. >D7000, >60D) because...

...THEY WILL !!!

Wake up! The film became sensor, the MF became AF and many many other techs that you now take for granted, were once innovations on obsolete designs.

I bet, were there internet forums back in the '80s there would be the same debate between the ones that found AF a sad joke and the "others".

OVF is currently the future, next they have to get rid of the shutter and then, oh well, lenses!

All digital is the (not so new) dogma. Realize that and be happy with what you have.

--EDIT
Typos

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Dec 13, 2012)

I disagree on several points.
With AF/MF, that wasn't an issue because you could always switch an AF camera into MF mode. That's not the case with dropping the OVF - you can't get the fast, clear optical view anymore.
With film/digital, digital just promised so much more flexibility that news agencies were willing to overlook the poor quality. When DSLR came out with better IQ, others jumped on too, based on speed and convenience. I don't see that happening with EVFs, because we can already get EVF functionality using the rear screen of modern DSLRs. The massive jump in speed/convenience/features just isn't there.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Dec 13, 2012)

You talk as if manufacturers based their products only on user feedback/demand. If that was the case we wouldn't need any more technology; and if we did, the advancement would be glacial. The current market features cameras that can more than enough cover every need. They just have to move "forward" to justify their existence. If EVF means convenience (because that's unquestionably its main strength) with reduced production costs and bigger profit, they will do it. They just will. This is business.

Also, the massive jump in functionality just isn't there YET. You can't talk for what happens *now* on a business that took 50 years to ditch the mirror. Just wait and see.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 13, 2012)

@chlamchowder

You can't sell a camera today--ANY CAMERA--D800, D600, A99, etc.) without EVF. If it's not in the viewfinder, then it's on the back screen. No EVF, no sale. Cameras are not even designed without EVFS anymore.

However, many cameras--the vast, vast majority--are sold without OVF.

You're sort of proving OP's point with your argument about the back screen of cameras in live view having an EVF. Of course they do. All cameras today do. They are unsellable without one.

EDIT: It occurs to me that if you buy a high-end camera with OVF, and EVF on the back screen, one way of looking at it (not the only way) is that you are buying an inferior implementation of EVF technology.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Dec 13, 2012)

--EDIT
Where -> OVF is currently the future (...)
I meant of course-> EVF is currently the future (...)

Sorry for spotting this too late. Bloody acronyms!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Dec 14, 2012)

The other way of looking at it is you have the best of both worlds.
Imagine phase detect off the sensor live view, and a nice big 100% OVF.
Choice is good
The market is not ready for EVF's esp not full frame cameras a good 80% of folks will dismiss it just on that. Sony need to "make a product for the target market" and not try to force something on people they don't want

If DPR ran a poll I bet a good majority would out of choice prefer an OVF for this type of camera

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

It's just a fact that the majority of enthusiasts and professional photographers prefer the clear, bright view of an OVF. Not sure why anyone would wish for the demise of a proper pentaprism OVF, but if you are a photographer who prefers an EVF, the are tons of cameras available to you.

The view camera and the SLR have remained virtually unchanged for decades because they are tried and true designs that work extremely well. Such is the case with the OVF and digital has done nothing to change that.

2 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Dec 14, 2012)

It doesn't have to do with my preference on EVF or OVF. I shoot film with an old Russian hag and I'm plenty happy with its 60% OVF coverage.

The debate is like the one between RF and SLR. The RFs dominated the (then) small camera market for almost 50 years until the SLR came and changed the game. See now where RFs stand. A niche product with diminishing sales. That's what the fate of the prism SLR will be. The A99 marks the beginning of this because it proposes the unto now unthinkable. And the others are sure to follow.

--EDIT
Funny, we're calling m4/3 and others mirrorless, but 35mm film started life in mirrorless cameras, the rangefinders. In fact the mirror was a not so elegant way (albeit a very successful one) of giving tele lenses a chance for survival. So back to where it started!

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Dec 14, 2012)

The debate between RFs and SLRs also can't be compared to the current OVF/EVF debate. SLRs offered through the lens preview and focusing, free from parallax error. Such an option was completely absent for rangefinder cameras.

Finally, if the massive jump in functionality isn't there yet and you're giving, how is it going to get mass adoption? Digital photography introduced a huge speed and convenience benefit right off the bat by removing the time consuming film development process.

@bobbarber: It's true that modern cameras all support some form of live view (preview off the sensor), but it's also true that DSLRs retain OVFs because OVFs continue to do a spectacular job. You're not getting an inferior implementation of EVF technology - you're getting a choice between an electronic preview and an optical preview.

And the vast majority of cameras sold don't have OVFs because good OVFs aren't practical/possible on those cameras. Basically, EVF/LV is better than no VF at all.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 14, 2012)

Personally, I prefer to shoot through OVFs (nicer experience), but I get better results and the functionality of an EVF is better for my style of shooting.

Manual focus = huge win for EVF, not even close. If you use manual focus legacy lenses (maybe not too many of us, but I do) you are better off with an EVF

Exposure = maybe not that different given modern cameras, but certainly it is easier to avoid mistakes when you can see how the photo will come out beforehand

Remember too, when you click the shutter, you are NOT taking a picture of what your eye sees. You are taking a picture of what the SENSOR sees. So in that respect, EVFs actually represent more faithfully what you are about to take a picture of.

I like OVFs, don't get me wrong, and to repeat, they are definitely more satisfying to use most of the time. But it is wrong to dismiss EVFs as inferior. They are functionally superior to OVFs in many instances.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Dec 14, 2012)

I agree with all of your points, with a few caveats:
I like OVFs not because of the nice view, but because they don't get in the way. I like how the camera gets back to you almost instantly after a shot, with no hesitation or talkback. Even when shooting continuously, it's not hard to track a moving subject. Power consumption is also low, so I don't think twice about looking through the camera to try framing.

The main reason I'm not too fond of EVFs unless there's no other way to get a VF is because I can get those manual focus aid with the rear screen. If I need the camera to handhold me with regards to exposure, I can also get that with the rear screen. I'm not losing anything by having a camera with an OVF and rear screen. On the other hand, I'm losing the action tracking potential of an OVF with a live view only (rear screen/EVF) camera.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 14, 2012)

Well, I don't like using the rear screen for focus too much, unless the camera is on a tripod. I did plenty of that with my E-510 (one of the first cameras to implement live view), and it was hard to hold the camera steady. That's why the EVF of m43 cameras was a revelation to me. I heard about it for manual focus, and had to try it out in the camera shop to see if it was true. Before I went with EVF cameras, I tried the expensive Katz-eye screens, did a bunch of tests with focus through viewfinders and focus with live view on targets, etc. I was having a lot of trouble focusing my legacy lenses on DSLRs. With EFVs, the problem was solved.

I'm not one of those people who wishes the demise of OVFs. I happen to really like them, especially if I don't have to do critical focus, which honestly, is most of the time. You're right, OVF cameras are snappier and more responsive, and more fun to use. And photography should be fun. Really, all of these modern cameras are amazing.

0 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Dec 14, 2012)

I think you are partially right, you will see it on consumer dslrs at some point from Nikon and canon, mostly because they will be cheaper to build. I think it will be quite awhile before you see it on pro models, and even then they will still have to offer OVF, some will not switch, ever.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Dec 14, 2012)

Yeah, it is a little harder to hold the camera steady when using the rear screen, but you can always focus using the screen, and then use the viewfinder to frame if absolutely necessary.

I've always been using LV to focus, but with the D600, I found that I could easily actually focus my 50/1.4 with extreme accuracy using the OVF. Such precise focus was certainly harder (but doable) with my old a580. I guess some OVFs are better than others when it comes to focus.

I personally value responsiveness a lot, because I do a lot of sports shooting. Battery life is also important, because I want to concentrate on shooting, not worrying about packing extra batteries and making sure everything is charged. That probably plays a rather large role in my preference for OVFs.

And yes, all of these cameras are amazing. I'm sure I could get away with using an a99 to cover a sports game...but I'd prefer to use my D600.

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 14, 2012)

"The market is not ready for EVF's"
I'd say - EVFs are not ready for serious market. When there is 6000x4000pix/250Hz EVF I will test it whether it doesn't harm eye health by flickering artificial light. What is made today is for photographic purposes harmful garbage. Why EVF is not at least like full HD TV/200Hz? And even then - natural analogue light is light for which nature has made our eye for - not for flickering led light. Optical is always better, more durable than electronical. And don't speak of backside LCD screen - it's not EVF.

1 upvote
cplunk
By cplunk (Dec 14, 2012)

When the A77 first came out, I read a whole bunch of remarks and conversations like this, and decided to buy one and try it anyways.

That camera does have some lag issues, but not on the EVF. Power up, saving video, capturing with the multi frame noise reduction are all slow, and shut the EVF off when processing, but when the EVF is working, it works great, no lag.

In low light, it will get grainy and you'll start seeing "streaks" or something like that once it gets dark enough, but that starts happening when it's pretty dark, and you start having to push the ISO past what it can do cleanly anyways. If the EVF is looking that bad, your photos are likely to be pretty bad.

The slideshow effect on repeated photos does happen, and I've gotten pretty used to it and can track stuff though it as well as I ever could with an OVF, but I never had a camera with similar frames per second. (Do any of those mirrors really flap up and down 10 times a second?)

I've heard the A99 is much better.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Dec 14, 2012)

I care far less about the "quality" of the view through the viewfinder than about the quality of the images the viewfinder lets me capture. The best quality optical view is without using any viewfinder. ;-)

By design, modern OVF screens give brighter images largely by sacrificing the ability to focus or judge DOF using them. Well, I want to be able to see focus even if the view is a little dimmer and has some annoying microprism/split in the middle (yes, my last DSLR has an aftermarket screen). However, EVFs can give so much more control than even the functionally-best OVF screen. For example, being able to see a usably-bright image with the lens at it's working aperture and focus peaking are particularly significant benefits that even an ugly EVF can have over the very best OVF.

The only real advantage I see for OVFs is the ability to view without power -- rather a moot point given that digital cameras can't capture photos without power.

1 upvote
jonikon
By jonikon (Dec 13, 2012)

With the recent price drop announcements* for the Nikon D800 body to $2799.95, and the Nikon D600 24-85 VR kit now reduced by $700, to only $1999.95, it is obvious to any reasonable person that the Sony a99 is WAY overpriced at $2800 for the body only. A thousand dollars to high!

How DPR ignored these huge price discrepancies in their value rating for the a99 is anyone's guess, but unless Sony substantially reduces the exorbitant price on the a99, they will not be able to sell very many of them, DPR gold award notwithstanding.

*
http://nikonrumors.com/2012/12/13/for-tonight-200-price-drop-on-the-d800-free-24-85mm-lens-with-the-purchase-of-the-d600.aspx/#more-50272

-Jon

2 upvotes
petrocan
By petrocan (Dec 13, 2012)

But that's just rumor right?

where can I buy it?

1 upvote
cplunk
By cplunk (Dec 13, 2012)

Well, hopefully that'll convince them to lower the price, cause I want one.

0 upvotes
Deeso
By Deeso (Dec 13, 2012)

Eventually every camera sells for (sometimes much) less than the launch price. That will happen with the A99 too.

I feel pity for the ones who bought the first Sigma SD1s ...if anyone.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Joe Shaffer
By Joe Shaffer (Dec 13, 2012)

The a99 has dropped $150 since release and another price drop is expected after the new year...

0 upvotes
crisno1
By crisno1 (Dec 13, 2012)

$2570 for a99 you get a $200 visa card in 6 to 8 weeks.
forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50417582

0 upvotes
Amateur Sony Shooter
By Amateur Sony Shooter (Dec 14, 2012)

For people already have good A-mount FF lenses, $700 is a drop in a bucket if you have to switch system. Who will do that? Even if I force myself accept dreadful Nikon colour (worse than Sony and Canon) I would have to wait for oil/dust problem settle down first. M friend's D7000 still can't make half of his lenses proper AF, after 2 years now.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 13, 2012)

IN defense of EVFs--

I started shooting m43 specifically BECAUSE of the EVF on the G1 (my first camera, now I have a GH2).

Before this I shot E-510, which has a small and crappy viewfinder, but I also have plenty of film cameras with nice OVFs.

1) The experience of shooting with an OVF is much more pleasant, no question, and it is better for action photography.

2) EVFs are functionally better for manual focus (there is really no comparison here, you can zoom in on live view through an EVF and you can't with OVF--I can focus a legacy f1.4 lens at f1.4 on an eyelash with an EVF, every time, without error, simply not possible with OVF).

3) EVFs are reputed to have more accurate autofocus, which is certainly true comparing my E-510 to any camera with an EVF, and I also noticed that some very high end Pentax, Nikon, etc. cameras have inaccurate autofocus--just read the forums.

IIt is WRONG to portray EVFs as substandard. They have strengths that OVFs can't match, and vice versa.

5 upvotes
David Fell
By David Fell (Dec 13, 2012)

Picture 2350243.jpg, the picture is about 2° skewed - doesn't this camera have a level indicator? I often find landscapes have some skew (just bought an EVF) as using a screen is not critical enough to avoid this. To be honest, even with a screen, in this case it would be evident.

Interesting review and having some nice Minolta (who?) lenses, I don't think its for me.

On an aside - I thought old lenses weren't ideal with DSLRs as the sensors have tiny lenses that are quite reflective so DSLR lenses have AR coatings to stop this affecting IQ?

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Dec 13, 2012)

Looks great, but then so does my NEX-7.... ;-)

The really big question is: How does this handle legacy lenses? The inclusion of focus peaking is great, but I really want to know two things:

1. What modes will work with unchipped legacy glass?
E.g., does it allow A as well as M, also allowing multi-shot modes?

2. How does SSS deal with unchipped lenses?
The old answer was assume 50mm (I want to tell it focal length).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
jdc562
By jdc562 (Dec 13, 2012)

Since I have a number of Minolta lenses, performance with legacy glass was critical for me. When I received my A99, I tested it with my Minolta 600mm f4 lens by shooting several hundred images of flying and swimming birds. The focus is as fast as with any previous Minolta and Sony cameras, and the images were very sharp. Sony notes that certain advanced "assist" focus features only work with their newer lenses. However, after trying the advanced features with the new lenses, I still prefer the standard AF-C focus features that I have always used by panning with the moving birds--shotgun style.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Dec 14, 2012)

I expected it to be very good with legacy A-mount lenses (my A55 is -- even with the Sigmas that are supposed to be problematic)... I'm more concerned with manual-focus M42 lenses.

0 upvotes
jdc562
By jdc562 (Dec 13, 2012)

One issue missing in the comparison of the Sony A99 to its peers is initial quality. The Canon 5DmkIII's had light leaks. The Nikon D800's had left focus problems. So far there are no reports of systemic manufacturing defects in the Sony A99.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (Dec 13, 2012)

Strange, DPR gives the A99 a better low iso rating than the full frame cameras w/o light absorbing SLT mirror and same sensor tech. Must clearly be a mistake. Moreover, DPR finds no nice words for the A99 AF system. Still gets the top score. Strange I find.

5 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Dec 13, 2012)

As we mention in this and previous SLT reviews, the light loss caused by an SLT design is negligible.
Our overall score reflects a number of individually weighted parameters. And AF tracking is only one component of overall AF performance.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
JPMontez
By JPMontez (Dec 13, 2012)

I've read that the light loss in the translucent mirror is equivalent to 1/3EV. If this is true I would not say it is negligible...

1 upvote
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Dec 13, 2012)

A 1/3 stop EV light loss (which is what Sony claims) 'sounds' bad, but is not a practical concern because of the very good noise performance of modern sensors. If camera A exhibits noise characteristic of ISO 5000 and camera B exhibits noise characteristic of ISO 6400, you'd be hard pressed to make a buying decision based on that difference with sensors of the type we see on DSLRs today.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
jonikon
By jonikon (Dec 14, 2012)

More than just strange, and more like an early Christmas present to Sony and their fans! Maybe the DPR staff does not care, but at some level they must know these kind of overreaching scores, awards and and recommendations for a camera with some major shortcomings (such as entry level APS-C- like AF performance in a $2800 FF camera body), only hurts their credibility as camera reviewers. I know it has with me.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

I'm with falconeyes. But aside from the light loss of SLT, without critical advantages like class leading IQ and AF tracking, I just don't see how the A99 beats out other FF cameras in DPRs estimation. Seems like those two critical elements should be weighted higher than other bells and whistles that don't effect the overall image the camera produces.

2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 15, 2012)

marike6 , boy, DPR has used all these cameras and concluded A99 is just as god -- if not better. You are just a Nikon fanboy.

1 upvote
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Dec 17, 2012)

Most of us must be feeling sorry for people like marike and jonikon.
Wasting their time with countless of negative posts about a tool they do not even own or plan to buy.
Complaining about a few fraction of points rating a reviewer is giving to a feature you guys did not even had a chance to test on your own. How moronic is that?

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Dec 13, 2012)

Not a bad camera by any mean but SONY clearly crippled certain functions to not step on SONY's professional cameras and upcoming SONY 1D X/D4 camera's toe.

Also a few hundred too expensive consider the recycled EVF from A77 and cheaper "mirror box"

2 upvotes
salamander1
By salamander1 (Dec 13, 2012)

what's this upcoming sony 1dx/d4 camera's foe? is this reliable information? thank you.

1 upvote
underxposed59
By underxposed59 (Dec 13, 2012)

It has been delayed by at least 10 months.
Big switch in Sony's road map.
It will now be mirror less A-mount
FF mirror less E-mount probably at same time.
Sony will be "all in" while others find the water too cold.
;-)

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Dec 14, 2012)

You're wrong, there won't be any mirror-less A-mount, not even in 10 months.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 14, 2012)

between what is said and what occurs, there are worlds.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Dec 14, 2012)

That EVF is not recycled, it is complete new design, different magnification than A77 or NEX EVF

0 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Dec 17, 2012)

Checking the 2 EVF of a99 and A77 side to side, I can see there is different magnification and there may be a difference in clarity.
What ever the difference is only given by the increased magnification of the a99, it just seems clearer looking through the a99 finder.
BTW. For those complaining that these EVF produce tearing while panning fast, it is clear that they never looked through one of these 2 EVF, because they do not even remotely do it.
I regularly use the a900 and digital haselblad which have the best ovf in their classes, although I may have some reserves for the a77 EVF, probably due to feel small, I have zero reserves with the A99 one. Nevertheless, I have a "toy" a55 and I still feel comfortable working with its small and not upto date EVF.

0 upvotes
Joe Shaffer
By Joe Shaffer (Dec 13, 2012)

So it preforms on par or better than "professional" cameras but you keep using the words "SLR enthusiasts" for the people who would buy it. Why enthusiasts and not professionals? Is it because it doesn't say Canon or Nikon on it?

1 upvote
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 13, 2012)

No, it is also because of inflammation of conjunctiva. Try to look through EVF all day long.

2 upvotes
Joel Benford
By Joel Benford (Dec 13, 2012)

Can you rent Sony lenses, anywhere near as much as Canon/Nikon?

I think that would be a big deal for many pros.

1 upvote
Cacophonic Visions
By Cacophonic Visions (Dec 13, 2012)

I easily look through A99's EVF all day long.

4 upvotes
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (Dec 13, 2012)

Is that the source of your, err, cacophonic visions?
:)

3 upvotes
Joe Shaffer
By Joe Shaffer (Dec 13, 2012)

I shoot an a77 professionally all the time. The lens rental is admittedly an issue, since you cant stop by your local shop and get one for a day. Lensrentals has a full lineup of Sony lenses available though, everything from the 300mm f/2.8 G to the the Zeiss 24-70mm.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jsis
By jsis (Dec 13, 2012)

I can't believe people complain about the EVF in a pro camera. Tell that to pro videographers everywhere...

2 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Dec 17, 2012)

I have worked professionally with Sony for 4 years now, I also shoot Blads.
Although the Sony perform as any other pro cameras and in some aspects are even better, the lack of rentals is a problem.
When I was using Canon or Nikon if I needed a lens that I rarely use, I was just calling the rental a having it delivered at my door. With Sony I cannot do it, unless I am in the USA.

0 upvotes
J Parker
By J Parker (Dec 13, 2012)

I'm always amazed at how territorial we can be when a new camera might possibly be superior to the one we own (I've been guilty of this myself). But I have to be honest -- as a very content Nikon shooter who has invested in some world class lenses, the Sony SLT-A99 is the best camera I've experienced in 25 years of shooting. The OVF allows me to know exactly how my image will look -- I press the shutter only once -- no bracketing or continuous shooting required to get the shot in most cases. This is the only camera I've ever considered to be the last camera I would need to buy. Thankfully, we photographers live in an amazing era where Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji and other companies all make state of the art cameras that great photographers of years past could only imagine. Just one photographer's opinion, speaking only for myself.

21 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 13, 2012)

Sony made a big gamble by dropping the OVF on all their cameras. A top level pentaprism OVF will always be the state-of-the-art, while in one or two years time, the A99 EVF will be old technology, superseded by new models. Just ask Fuji X-Pro1 users how they felt when the X-E1 came out with a higher specified EVF.
So perhaps one of the negatives of adopting an evolving technology like EVF is an increased need to upgrade. Whereas a 100% OVF of a 5D3, D800 or A900 will always be about as good as it gets.

12 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 13, 2012)

Very reasonable opinion. I agree, there are some things which do not age - like TTL pentagonal viewfinder, but electronics goes out quickly.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
rrizw
By rrizw (Dec 13, 2012)

of course! technology that keep improving is worse than technology that stop improving...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
16 upvotes
jonikon
By jonikon (Dec 13, 2012)

This is an excellent point that I had not really considered until your post! Sony is enjoying extremely high profit margins with their SLT cameras, but their cameras low resale values makes upgrading to a new camera with an improved EVF even more costly for Sony SLT owners. I think I'll stick with my Nikon DSLRs with their optical viewfinders that are not obsolete and worthless in a few years.

3 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (Dec 13, 2012)

And don't forget:
What will you do with a blind camera if your EVF fails ?
At least with an OVF you limit an other risk of failures. I know mirrors problems can occur...but my 30 years old OM-10 and my 50 years old M3 mirrors tell me they are all fine. I won't bet on an EVF in 5 years...

4 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (Dec 13, 2012)

It is interesting that Ovf are considered the same and equal to each other. I would never accept the OVF found in the d800 and d600 after owning an a900.

8 upvotes
VirtualMirage
By VirtualMirage (Dec 13, 2012)

OVF will not always be state of the art, in fact it is no longer state of the art. You are right, it is as good as it can get as far as OVFs go. But that doesn't mean that when it comes to viewfinders, OVF is still as good as it gets when compared to EVFs and anything else down the road.

The difference is that there are little to no improvements being done to OVF, so it has stopped growing. Since it has stopped growing, there is little chance that a better OVF will come out to trump your existing OVF.

EVFs, however, are still in their infancy and have a lot more room to grow due to their flexibility and potential. Yes, as newer and better EVFs come out some people will become envious when a better EVF is out than what they own. But that is a fact with any technology. Their current camera isn't unusable as soon as a new EVF comes out, its just that a new desire or lust has been created to want something better, something newer. Much like improved sensors, better AF, faster lenses.

5 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Dec 13, 2012)

starwolfy - You will still have an ability to shoot with the best Live View ever made, without any AF speed loss. It is more possible that mirror flipping mechanism will fail on a traditional SLR. In that case You'll have "dead" camera. But You''ll be able to look in Your OVF(without shooting) :)))

3 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Dec 13, 2012)

I don't see how an EVF will get worse just because newer EVFs are released. If an EVF is good now it will always be good.

It's the same with any camera spec, eg. the Canon 5D II didn't suddenly start taking worse pictures after the 5D III was released.

4 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 13, 2012)

Nice logic, but I don't think it will apply much going forward. Granted, use an earlier EVF camera like an A33 ( or even A57) and you can imagine wishing the EVF was better.
But from the A77\A99 onwards it is less of an issue. I would say that 80% of the time users of these cameras forget they are looking at an EVF. You really get used to it.

So improvements in the EVF from here onwards will see diminishing returns unless you are an outlier shooting a lot of sports for example, where there are still improvements to be made in the EVF.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Piesi
By Piesi (Dec 13, 2012)

@rrizw
I think you nailed it pretty well with your ironic statement.
I just want to add: What do win with an alltime decent OFV, if pretty much every other part of your cam is electronic and therefore superseded by future models?

2 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Dec 13, 2012)

Each has it's own advantage, an EVF is very good for most uses, though I get dizzy when I pan with the NEX7, and I don't know if it's just me, but my eyes get very tired.
The biggest advantage of EVF IMHO is the ability to "see in the dark"

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 13, 2012)

OVF = Omits Video Function

1 upvote
jdc562
By jdc562 (Dec 13, 2012)

What you're saying is that optical view finders can't get any better than they already are, while electronic view finders can keep improving. Since the A99's electronic view finder is already superior in many ways to optical view finders, future improvements will increase the advantages over the optical view finders. How is this a negative?

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 13, 2012)

You know what they say, "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

A 100% Pentaprism OVF like you find in a 5D3, 1DX, D4, D800, A900, et al don't need improving as they are already perfect and will be for years to come.

2 upvotes
ChristopherKnapp
By ChristopherKnapp (Dec 13, 2012)

This makes absolutely zero sense.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 13, 2012)

This is the dumbest post, ever, but that is marike6 for you. He is a genius around here.

" A top level pentaprism OVF will always be the state-of-the-art, while in one or two years time, the A99 EVF will be old technology, superseded by new models. So perhaps one of the negatives of adopting an evolving technology like EVF is an increased need to upgrade. "

In a few years Sony will release a better sensor, making Sony sensor in D600 "old technology". Does that mean one of the negative of D600 is that it is using a digital sensor (made by Sony) instead of film?

It doesn't even make sense. All digital cameras become old and are replaced with newer better camera with better electronics (including the sensor, the most important part in a camera). What are you going to do with the OVF if the rest of the camera (such as sensor) is old technology? Wouldn't that be a reason to update D600?

The original comment should be awarded the dumbest comment of 2012.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (Dec 13, 2012)

"You know what they say, "If it ain't broke don't fix it". "

If it can't support focus peaking, it's broken. Sony fixed it.

3 upvotes
Cacophonic Visions
By Cacophonic Visions (Dec 13, 2012)

The only two penta-prism OVFs I've enjoyed looking through was the A900's and my Maxxum 7D's. I never liked any of the Canikon OVFs I've looked through as they're nearly all discolored, and some of them are obstructed by the AF markings.
The hybrid-OVF in my X-Pro1 is more enjoyable to use than any Canikon OVF as well, along with being far more advanced.

All that said, manual focus through ANY OVF is an act of frustration. Have fun with your ancient OVFs, I'll be here in the now and the future with my OLED EVFs and hybrid-OVF HUDs.

0 upvotes
Dennis Phillips
By Dennis Phillips (Dec 13, 2012)

I bought the A900 because its huge viewfinder would help me with manual focusing.

But the A99's focus magnifier and focus peaking, all available with my eye to the camera's viewfinder, makes manual focusing much more reliable, not to mention faster, than with the A900's OVF, outstanding though it be.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Alpha Jack
By Alpha Jack (Dec 13, 2012)

Sounds like a good argument for why other manufacturers will embrace EVF; planned obsolescence. Anyway, I don’t think the EVF is the only thing still evolving with digital photography. By the time EVF becomes good enough to not be an issue, there will still be something evolving to entice us.

2 upvotes
underxposed59
By underxposed59 (Dec 13, 2012)

I'm pretty sure evolving change in sensor tech will drive the need to upgrade even for those using 50 yr old OVF tech.
Look at computers once one hits the market it is already obsolete.
Moore's law abounds.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 14, 2012)

Wow, it seems this clown ET2 has a man crush on me cause he keeps mentioning my name.

But dumbest comment ever? Is that why all the upvotes with people who agree?

Yes, that's the whole point: you cannot get a spec higher than a 100% Pentaprism VF, therefore a D600 or 5D3 OVF will NEVER go out of date.

Try to keep up.

By the way, G.F.Y.S.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Dec 13, 2012)

Looks fantastic. It would be nice if Sony produced a mirrored version, too, like the contemporaneous a580 and a55. The EVF is great but unfortunately it hurts my eyes after a bit. I've tried and wish I didn't have this problem. For now I can only choose OVF.

5 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 13, 2012)

Exactly my case. Constant inflammation of conjunctiva from EVF - after whole day of shooting.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 13, 2012)

Bacterial or fungal colonies on the VF eyecup perhaps. Swab it with solution of carbolic acid. Antbiotic or anti-fungal ointment for the eyes. Anything pressed to the eyes for a whole day will disturb vision and jab or poke the eye if jarred. An atriculated live view LCD is a valuable alternative and works without removing one's glasses.

1 upvote
zinedi
By zinedi (Dec 13, 2012)

Cy Cheze > No, I've never had these problems with my several SLRs and DSLRs with OVFs. Only EVF with flickering artificial light irritates my eye.

1 upvote
obeythebeagle
By obeythebeagle (Dec 13, 2012)

This camera is awesome, an embarrassment of riches, as are the offerings from Nikon and Canon. You have to admit Sony has been putting out more innovative products. To me, the big surprise this season was the pricing of the Nikon 600. If the 600 was the same price as the 99, then the discussion would be different, but Nikon changed the landscape with a very capable $2,000 ff.

I still tell friends to buy Sony, just because of the Minolta glass on craigslist, and the in-body vibration reduction.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
hippo84
By hippo84 (Dec 13, 2012)

Wasn't it Sony to introduce $2000 FF with A850? ))

3 upvotes
underxposed59
By underxposed59 (Dec 13, 2012)

Sony introduced the A850 back in 2009 "$1999 so NO no change in landscape.

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 13, 2012)

There are outliers who want the ultimate AF - they can get the Canon. There are people who want max resolution, they can get the D800.

For the majority of photographers , the A99 offers more advantages than both the Nikon or Canon , provided you aren't wedded to either because of your investment in lenses.

The better DR of the A99 over the Canon is a real plus point. And for most people A99 AF is plenty good enough, There don't seem to be any gripes about the AF from users.

The sensor is probably one of the very best available right now. The Zeiss branded lenses are great. And you have the articulating screen.

If you need specialist lenses or have an existing investment then Canon or Nikon are probably best for you. But for everyone else , this is probably the best DSLR type camera in the world right now.

You just need to dig the EVF.

And some people need to get over the fact that its a Sony. ;)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Dec 13, 2012)

I suspect most people buying a camera at this price already do have an investment in lenses.

2 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Dec 13, 2012)

Zeiss branded lenses are just - well brands? Nothing to do with real Zeiss - which again are just average compared to what Nikon and Canon have in their primelens portfolio. FX-lenses from Nikon are a good investment and the bodies are equallly so.

Gotta look beyond the brand and buy the engineering and there Nikon and Canon win.

PS. I still hold a grudge against Sony because of the DRM virus and haven`t bought a single Sony thing for 5 years now.

0 upvotes
Cacophonic Visions
By Cacophonic Visions (Dec 13, 2012)

Not just Zeiss branded, they're made with the same or better quality than the manual Zeiss that are available for everyone else. Glass, coatings, quality = all Zeiss. With the addition of Autofocus. Each one is examined for quality and receives a certificate to denote such.

Lens tests and MTF charts show that the Sony Zeiss lenses, especially the primes, are of no equal by any Canikon lens in the same category.
Also remember that Sony's lenses are engineered by the same engineers who used to do the job for Minolta and retain the color, detail, and feel of the older Minolta lenses.

1 upvote
underxposed59
By underxposed59 (Dec 13, 2012)

The AF Zeiss are also stabilized on Sony cameras.
Zeiss will never make OS lenses.

1 upvote
Nordstjernen
By Nordstjernen (Dec 13, 2012)

After using the A99 for a while I am impressed, also with AF performance when shooting action. There are plenty of keepers when AF is configured to match the type of action I am going to shoot!

The focus limiter removes one of the main problems with AF tracking: when focus is lost for a moment, the lens might hunt from closest distance to infinity and back. The AF limiter makes an excellent AF faster and more precise and helps me get even more keepers.

Also, using this camera is great fun! :-)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Dec 13, 2012)

No real viewer, slow and inaccurate AF, garrish coloroutput, too much sharpening, less than good lenses. Videocam with DSLR features. Expensive. Looks like a dog to me.

3 upvotes
philbot
By philbot (Dec 13, 2012)

I don't agree remotely, but it made me chuckle.. thanks for that!

7 upvotes
Cacophonic Visions
By Cacophonic Visions (Dec 13, 2012)

Slow inaccurate AF? Have you used any of the modern Sony's? They're anything but slow or inaccurate. AF tests of the A77 show it to be faster to obtain focus than even the 1DX and D4.
"Garish color output"? Guess that means you hate accurate color and probably enjoy the yellowed greens and muted, muddy reds of Nikons or the overly blue cast of Canons?
"Less than good lenses"? Say that to all the Sony lenses which rate higher in tests and MTFs than their counterparts.

Thanks for the laugh though.

3 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Dec 14, 2012)

Where are these tests you speak of that show the A99 faster than Canikon flagships?

0 upvotes
Joel Benford
By Joel Benford (Dec 13, 2012)

Damn. Seems so close, yet its rather short list weaknesses happens to hit things that are very important to me: AF performance, AF coverage, AF selection, and ISO3200-6400 midtone noise.

And I would adore having IBIS, and great dynamic range, and an EVF...

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Dec 13, 2012)

You have to realize that AF performance is more to do in relation to its peers rather than on a whole.

By itself the AF performance is VERY decent. True the AF points coverage is rather low and IMO is the true negative point.

2 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Dec 13, 2012)

Well, I would like to read Minolta instead of Sony in this review.
This is my only ...complaint!
Sony seems that produced an excellent cam...

12 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 13, 2012)

aris14....

Like you, I feel Sony blundered when they named their digital SLRS "Sony Alpha" rather than "Minolta Alpha." They had purchased both technology and heritage, and took the former and threw out the later. Such a pity. Even the name Konica would have evoked more to real photographers than the name Sony does.

And they continue to try to do this by branding the $2800 RX1 as a "Cybershot".... a name previously associated with cheap P&S cameras. Why not call it a Zeiss, since it does feature a Zeiss lens? They might have an easier time selling a very expensive high end compact camera if it was branded Zeiss and not Cybershot.

Of course, none of these names will mean anything to the Playstation Generation, but it will count for the older people who buy $2800 cameras.

I think Sony really misses the boat on branding.

5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Dec 13, 2012)

Tough call. There are probably just as many people who would buy on the Sony brand as there are Minolta. Arguably if Minolta had held enough weight in camera circles, the brand wouldn't have required to be auctioned off. People would still know it is Sony either way, so they might as well own it and put it into their complete branding scheme.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 13, 2012)

A Minolta Company still exists, and it would behoove the public not to confuse it with Sony. Use of the Cybershot name allows the RX100 to rank as the best of the P&S class, rather than as a wimpy alternative to an entry DSLR.

People are also apt to be suspicious of reincarnated brand names.

1 upvote
Cacophonic Visions
By Cacophonic Visions (Dec 13, 2012)

The heritage still lives on in the lenses, the menu and control layouts, grip ergonomics, and in the color rendition, not to mention in the lens mount.

0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Dec 13, 2012)

Sony wants to sell, nothing more, errr correction, with the highest possible profit margin...
So bye-bye Minolta brand (economies of scale that is in advertising at least)...
Sony seeks the quality that will return immediate profit and if there is a reason in the future for more profits if (case study) if old brands foe some reason have, let's say, an attractive appeal the next day all its cameras will rebranded as Minolta...
So simple...

0 upvotes
jeep
By jeep (Dec 13, 2012)

I like it apart from the price, now if it was around £1600.00 I might replace my A900.

3 upvotes
Cacophonic Visions
By Cacophonic Visions (Dec 13, 2012)

The UK missed the mark on the price tag.

0 upvotes
jeep
By jeep (Dec 14, 2012)

Yes it is nearly a $1000.00 more in the UK. UK body price equals $3705.00 and the US $2798.00. Well and truly a rip off.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 498
12