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

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
paradisephoto Regular Member • Posts: 146
Re: a580 to a99 - Crazy to upgrade? or go with an a77?

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I have both the A580 and the A77.   A580 is better for low light, no questions.   That having been said, my A77 was purchased used just over a month ago, and is a "new" toy.  I want to learn it forwards and backwards before I shoot weddings with it in May and June.   My daughter is doing theater, and as much as I know I should be using the A580 with my 16-50 and Sigma 50-150 (just got this week from an Ebay auction- totally KILLER!!), I decided to use the A77 anyway.   I'm basically taking photos during performances and posting them for the cast members and their parents on Shutterfly.   After a couple of shows, I worked out my best option is to set ISO to "Auto", lens to 2.8 or 3.2 on A mode, and let the camera take it from there.   The lighting changes dramatically and quickly, so no way I could keep up manually.   What I have learned is that the "AUTO" ISO tops out at 1600, and drops when the lighting is better.   I shoot RAW+JPEG (I have to cut uploads down under 10mb per photo anyway) the whole time.   While I fall victim to low light on some shots, I miss more shots either due to sudden changes in lighting, too low lighting, or focusing accuracy (due primarily to trying to move focusing points too fast!!).   When I review my photos afterwards, anything that looks good straight up gets uploaded.   Anything that looks good but needs PP ends up running the .RAW through Elements 10, then exported as a .jpg before uploading.  I'm hitting around 45% keepers in terms of exposure and focusing.

Ultimately, after shooting two shows each weekend for the entire month of March, I am seeing that the A77 has respectable low light capability.   Not great, but respectable.   If you can handle some PP work, and don't print above 8x10, the the A77 could work.   That having been said, I have plans on an A99 later this year simply because the low light capability is better than either the A580 or A77.   My advise, again, skip past the A77 and go straight for the A99 if you have the ability to do so.   The change from the A580 to the A77 for me was very dramatic, but I have never been happier with a camera since I bought my first  Minolta Maxxum 7000 while a Jr. in high school!!!   Prepare yourself for a dramatic change, then go with the A99.

 paradisephoto's gear list:paradisephoto's gear list
Sony a77 II Sony a99 II Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM II Sony 24-70mm F2.8 II +4 more
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