Gary Friedman's A700 book is a great read!
Gary Friedman has some excellent tips and tricks regarding the A700 body. Ways to preserve battery power and numerous suggestions, options not mentioned in the owners manual.
The download version is reasonably priced and easier to read on my computer than the a100 book he released a couple years ago. (This may be due to an update to Adobe reader 8.1 version)
The experienced photographer will fly threw most of the book and only read what is pertaining to the new body. I highly recommend this book.
I concur with that. I always thought that user guides were a bit of a disappointment but found Gary's book very informative and it helped me with setting up and using the camera. I found Gary's rationale for his various menu settings very persuasive and on the odd occasion when I made a different choice it was because his reasoning had clarified my own thoughts. It explains the capabilities f the camera far bettter than any manual. I wish now that I had bought his guides for my A2 and 5D!
Very informative and a really good read. His enthusiasm is catching
I downloaded it yesterday and learnt more about the camera than all the reviews, articles and even Sonys own manual combined. Well worth it. I especially liked his coverage of the Minolta wireless flash system which has always been a mystery to me. And the history of the Minolta company and its innovative approach made me realise that it is a seriously good camera for any dedicated photographer.
Well done Gary - he must have been very busy preparing this book since it was only released in October.
Unless you are using the camera a lot. Turning it on and off waste more battery than leaving it on.
My 2007 Sony Alpha Showcase
I still have questions as to ISO 100 and should it be used at all? Would it help when using dro+level 4 in reducing noise and such
He did make a comment -bash Sony slightly on the native ISO being 200.
Today and during the previous week I have been trying some of the A700s newest features - those not available on any other camera I have owned or used in the past. For the most part this means the DRO settings , ISO and scene modes in various combinations.
I also tried comparing RAW files versus the in camera processed DRO JPGs. And then I spent most of yesterday reading Gary Friedmans new online operating manual for the A700 to gain some more insight.
I am still getting to grips with this impressive camera. All in all it is a big learning curve.
Some simple shooting tests were done - indoors and outdoors starting with the ISO then with DRO Advanced on , then with the DRO bracketing feature on Hi and Lo. I have used KM lenses with all photos taken so far: 17-35 f2.8, 28-135mm and the 70-210 F4 beercan. No problems there.
Types of photos taken were: portraits (using neutral scene mode for best results), action with birds and pets (5 fps is amazing), Indoor concert ( best results at higher ISO were again with neutral)
Personnally I think DRO above level 2 or 3 is too agressive but DRO is a great time saver and a great way to handle in camera JPG processing. I would be wary of using DRO levels in combination with ISO above 800. If you do then try to get as even tones as possible.
In camera DRO sure beats using RAW files and then trying to apply the DRO settings manually with the supplied software. In fact i couldn't spot any discernible differences between a DRO JPG and a manually converted RAW file.
An expedient and simple solution is to turn bracketing on with DRO. This gives the photographer more choices later on during post processing and saves more time. Gary also recommends using cRAW+JPG in combination with this setting if you really want to use RAW later. In this case you would have added advantage of having some reference photos to use before commencing pp on the RAW file. This is a bonus feature and another reason why I like the A700s ability to do auto bracketing so much.
I can see a lot of HDR buffs going for the DRO Hi bracketing setting. It will interesting to use this feature with an IR filter.
So the broad conclusion from my brief use so far this week can be summed up into one word: choice.
There are simply a plethora of ways of using the camera under all sorts of conditions. It is a very flexible and powerful tool for the serious photographer. With a tool like the A700, we, as Sony owners, no longer need to feel inferior in any way to our bretheren in other camps!
I have been impressed with the scene modes and the ease in which these can be re-configured on the fly.
ISO 100 is an interesting setting for the camera but not one I would use often. It will give the camera a much slower shutter speed than could normally be achieved in daylight - especially with filters.
ISO 200 works well under all scenarios so I can only see a use for ISO 100 when the camera is mounted on a tripod - not hand held. For instance it is not a setting I would choose for portraits. I can't see any advantage with IQ at ISO 100 when comparing it to the the standard ISO 200 setting.