Using Sony professionally/limits

Started Jun 10, 2010 | Discussions thread
Alec Contributing Member • Posts: 695
Re: @ vwgn: it's an engineering tradeoff

I appreciate my A900 for the studio and good light work. I do shoot some indoor high ISO stuff but the ones where I can't bounce the flash and have to go beyond 800 ISO are very much a minority by volume.

I would DREAD the possibility of SONY choosing to sacrifice its low-ISO fidelity to provide some more high ISO performance, at least on full frame. It would make me ditch the brand in favor of the far more expensive and less flexible / mobile medium format choices. On APS-C esp 5 series and below, SONY can do as much as they please. And I do agree that, instead of endlessly varying the 2/3 series styling without advancing the basic value proposition, IMHO SONY would do well indeed by issuing an unapologetically high-ISO tuned body, 6 or 7 series, 10 to 14 megapiexls, APS-C, even if color is no better than the worse of Canon or Nikon contemporaries, as long as it really errs on the side of favoring high ISO and does deliver in that regard as the better of Canon or Nikon contemporaries.

But at the high end I would very much like SONY to remain a brand that can be counted to deliver, with 35mm mobility and compactness and speed, the best possible quality. In fact if natural sensor evolution yields say 2 stop improvement in sensitivity / dynamic range / noise floor, I would like 2/3rds of that advantage to go towards further color and resolution improvement (i.e. make even higher resolution sensors, with even more restrictive microfilters, for results that come even closer to the best of what medium format digital can deliver today or in the neat future), and only 1/3rd of the advantage to go towards mitigating the high ISO limitations. This applies to just 1 or 2 top of the line bodies, and perhaps 1 more mid-range body (in case non-pro folks have a similar sentiment).

In terms of the mode, my A900 is set to Neutral style, with Contrast and Sharpness set to -1, the rest at 0. Based on EXIF data to-date, I shoot at ISO 200 approx. 85% of the time, and use matrix metering plus Ev+0.3 much of the time, to shoot a bit more to the right.

I use LR3 for workflow and bulk processing, and DxO6 for top 10% of the event shots and most studio fine art shots. Both with my own defaults. I find LR3 performance, interface and blown highlight recovery superior to DxO6's, with DxO6 holding on to a slight edge in other quality aspects.

I still shoot film for fine art, notably my stash of Kodak Ektar/RoyalGold 25 (in 35mm) and Kodak TechPan on Pentax 6x7II and 35mm (Maxxum 9)

Alex Karasev
principal photographer
Karasev Studio

 Alec's gear list:Alec's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Nikon D800 Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Nikon PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D Sony 50mm F1.4 +34 more
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