My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Started Sep 25, 2012 | Discussions
Rooru S Contributing Member • Posts: 923
My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Hello everyone

I'm a Sony Alpha NEX shooter but Sony Panama offered people the chance to test pre-production A99 cameras (on sept 23) so I tried to take the camera on several situations to test the camera's capabilites. Note: Some pictures show wrong date (The ones from the A99). I set the date correctly later on. Sorry in advance for any gramatical errors, I'm not an excellent english speaker.

This is a non-scientific comparison of NEX-5 and A99 taken with my cellphone.

They allowed me to take the Carl Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8 (They had available the Sony G 300mm f/2.8, Sony 28-75 f/2.8 SAM and the Sony G 70-200mm f/2.8, but I decided to test the camera with the CZ)

I took several pictures at different ISO levels (NOTE: you can select ISO between the usual values manually) but with the current crappy ARW converter from Sony, I'm not allowed to convert them to JPEG so I'm left with the JPEG I took with the camera. This one was shot at ISO 6400. Downsized a little bit from the whooping 24MP (6000x4000) to something around 18MP (5250x3500) to comply with DPR rules.

Now something at ISO 100 (Note: there are ISO 50 and ISO 80 available too)

This was set at ISO 800. I took off the Carl Zeiss 24-70 and put my own old Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 (yes, I know, crappy lens compared to the Sony G 70-300).

This one, I think it was at ISO 100. Back with the Carl Zeiss 24-70.

I'm not used at all to the razor thin DOF of Full-frame cameras, but at least here you can see how sharp is the Carl Zeiss Zoom. Focus is on girl's hair.

Overall, I'm pleased with the camera. The EVF seems to be exactly the same as A77. The layout of buttons seems to be OK, with each button being different in shape (some have a concave design, others a proturding design, some even have a little dot to indicate the difference with other similar buttons to avoid getting your eye away from the beautiful Viewfinder). I had a small problem with the viewfinder proximity sensor at first, while being outside with a shiny sun, that I had to put my face against the camera to get the VF switched in auto mode, but don't know why moments later it was just fine and didn't had to stick my face against the back, in any case, you can select to switch manually from the LCD to VF if you wish. The inclusion of the quicknavi again is a joy. You can see almost all parameters there and even have histogram and spirit level. I can confirm there is audio level control on video. Will try to upload some HDR pictures, and other pics I got from this camera. Any question you may have, will try to answer as soon as I can.

NOTE: SLT-A99 was a pre-production version, so FW was not final (0.90)
--
Proud Sony NEX 5 user

 Rooru S's gear list:Rooru S's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +7 more
Sony Alpha a99 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony SLT-A77
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Shield3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,440
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Regarding the last picture - is this typical bokeh from the 24-70? Seems very harsh to me.

 Shield3's gear list:Shield3's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2 more
rtrski Contributing Member • Posts: 822
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Seems to me just like an extremely cluttered, colorful background. The individual defocused circles are circular, not obviously polygonal, and have a smooth gradation of brightness from outer ring toward center void...
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Insulted
Insulted Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Shield3 wrote:

Regarding the last picture - is this typical bokeh from the 24-70? Seems very harsh to me.

Yea that's about as creamy as a frozen pile of dog poo.

de7geitjes
de7geitjes Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

yeah it is typical bokeh for the 24-70. http://www.photozone.de/sonyalphaff/600-zeiss2470f28ff?start=1

It's only really visible at 70mm, but than again that is the most interesting focal length for bokeh.

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Thanks for sharing but the "full sized" (slighly downsized) files are not available for us to see.

Go to your profile, hit "change settings" at the top and check the box that says "Allow download of originals".

Alphamale77 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

thank you, great 6400 pic

 Alphamale77's gear list:Alphamale77's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM +6 more
OP Rooru S Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Done! Didn't knew about that option. Do you know what free ARW/RAW converter can I use to access the files? My crappy Image Data Converter from Sony give me error when trying to access the files (around 24MB each one). I got some ARW from ISO 50 I think, up to 25600, although that test wasn't done properly (started at f/4 but later on, realized I had to stop further down to f/10 since I was in bright sunlight.

TrojMacReady wrote:

Thanks for sharing but the "full sized" (slighly downsized) files are not available for us to see.

Go to your profile, hit "change settings" at the top and check the box that says "Allow download of originals".

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Proud Sony NEX 5 user

 Rooru S's gear list:Rooru S's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +7 more
OP Rooru S Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Yes, it's the Carl Zeiss 24-70 at 70mm. A lot of colours in the background as other has implied so maybe that's the reason. I had a UV filter put on since the guys at Sony didn't had a Lens Cap available (weird) so don't know if that affects something.

Shield3 wrote:

Regarding the last picture - is this typical bokeh from the 24-70? Seems very harsh to me.

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 Rooru S's gear list:Rooru S's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +7 more
TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Rooru S wrote:

Done! Didn't knew about that option. Do you know what free ARW/RAW converter can I use to access the files? My crappy Image Data Converter from Sony give me error when trying to access the files (around 24MB each one). I got some ARW from ISO 50 I think, up to 25600, although that test wasn't done properly (started at f/4 but later on, realized I had to stop further down to f/10 since I was in bright sunlight.

Asside from the crappy IDC Sony converter, no other converter has full support (including correct blackpoint and colour profile) yet. Which means that the few converters that may open the files (RAWtherapee and other DCRAW based converters for example), will not display the colours and contrast anywhere near correctly.

I'll wait for the next Adobe update to come out, in which case the free DNG converter should do the trick for those using older Lightroom or ACR products.

James A. Senior Member • Posts: 1,186
High ISO: Your opinion

Just wondering what your thoughts are on the HIGH ISO ability of the A99 compared to other cameras you have used.

Kappels Contributing Member • Posts: 796
Re: High ISO: Your opinion

Thank you so much for posting these here and for offering to answer some questions.

The ISO 6400 looks fantastic, but unfortunately this is not a real low light shot with settings 50 mm, ISO 6400, 1/125 sec, f8

Whenever I use those settings with my A77 and the sensor gets enough light, I never have high ISO problems. It is when it is really so dark that I HAVE to use ISO6400 to get an acceptable shutter speed, i.e. sth like f2.8/ ISO6400/ 1/30s

I assume you do not have any images at real low light?
Stef.
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 Kappels's gear list:Kappels's gear list
Canon PowerShot G10 Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony SLT-A77 Sony Alpha a99 +21 more
OP Rooru S Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: High ISO: Your opinion

Right now I don't have real Low Light images since this was a daylight event, but I can ask Sony guys to have the camera at night (They're more friendly here in Panama than in other countries Sony division, that's a good thing). If they allow it, I will put it on test with some fast glass and with the settings you described. I have another picture of a dark pitched place (I didn't managed to see the end of the chamber with my eyes) but checking the settings are almost the same (f/4 instead but other are the same ISO 6400, 70mm, 1/125) but is not a good place to see how sharp the picture is since it's a long chamber and using the FF at 70mm and f/4 the end is not focused at all. Not used at all with the DOF of FF cameras.

Kappels wrote:

Thank you so much for posting these here and for offering to answer some questions.

The ISO 6400 looks fantastic, but unfortunately this is not a real low light shot with settings 50 mm, ISO 6400, 1/125 sec, f8

Whenever I use those settings with my A77 and the sensor gets enough light, I never have high ISO problems. It is when it is really so dark that I HAVE to use ISO6400 to get an acceptable shutter speed, i.e. sth like f2.8/ ISO6400/ 1/30s

I assume you do not have any images at real low light?
Stef.
--
http://stefaniekappel.tumblr.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/

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Proud Sony NEX 5 user

 Rooru S's gear list:Rooru S's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +7 more
Insulted
Insulted Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

TrojMacReady wrote:

Rooru S wrote:

Done! Didn't knew about that option. Do you know what free ARW/RAW converter can I use to access the files? My crappy Image Data Converter from Sony give me error when trying to access the files (around 24MB each one). I got some ARW from ISO 50 I think, up to 25600, although that test wasn't done properly (started at f/4 but later on, realized I had to stop further down to f/10 since I was in bright sunlight.

Asside from the crappy IDC Sony converter, no other converter has full support (including correct blackpoint and colour profile) yet. Which means that the few converters that may open the files (RAWtherapee and other DCRAW based converters for example), will not display the colours and contrast anywhere near correctly.

I'll wait for the next Adobe update to come out, in which case the free DNG converter should do the trick for those using older Lightroom or ACR products.

So glad I have DNG every single shot.

chrisfromalaska Regular Member • Posts: 480
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Thanks for taking the time to share. The shot of the 24-70 on the Nex sitting in the bag shows no moire from what I can see, nice.

 chrisfromalaska's gear list:chrisfromalaska's gear list
Sony Alpha a7S Sony a5100 Sony Alpha a7R II
OP Rooru S Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Hello people. Don't know when, but I will try to get the A99 again soon, this time, with specific parameters for testing and checking features and if time allows, low-light conditions..

What kind of things would you like me to check/test and on which scenario? I'm not an expert (still a newbie with only 2 years shooting on APS-C cameras) but will try my best.
--
Proud Sony NEX 5 user

 Rooru S's gear list:Rooru S's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +7 more
jonikon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,945
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

If you look at the girls (purse?) strap, it appears you have some front focus going on in this photo. You should check your focus with this lens and make the necessary adjustments in the lens fine tuning feature of your camera. Also the girls pink hair tie is oddly blurred. Not sure what to think of that.

  • Jon

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Allan Olesen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,391
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

rtrski wrote:

have a smooth gradation of brightness from outer ring toward center void...

This does not sound as a description of good bokeh to me. In my opinion there should never be a bright outer ring in OOF highlights. Either the brightness should be uniform across the circle, or it should be highest at the centre (which is probably only possible with an STF lens).

OP Rooru S Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: My own SLT-A99 quick test with some pics (FW 0.90) - Panama

Will try to calibrate next time if I get enough time and they allow me to use the camera again.

jonikon wrote:

If you look at the girls (purse?) strap, it appears you have some front focus going on in this photo. You should check your focus with this lens and make the necessary adjustments in the lens fine tuning feature of your camera. Also the girls pink hair tie is oddly blurred. Not sure what to think of that.

  • Jon

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 Rooru S's gear list:Rooru S's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +7 more
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