A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

Started Sep 27, 2012 | Discussions
ozgoldman Contributing Member • Posts: 618
A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

Like many I have been waiting for the A99 for some time. I was going to buy the A77 as it was a substantial upgrade from my A55, but decided to wait for the A99.

I am the unofficial photographer for my daughter’s school, and most of the pics I take relate to extensive movement (eg. Sports activities), where the 10 fps on my A55 is used a great deal.

However, I noticed that when using this facility with subjects approaching the camera quickly the continuous focus was somewhat wanting.
With the A77 going to 12 fps that would suit better.

I have no experience with the A77 but suspect that the continuous focus may also be lacking in some respects using fps mode. Hopefully others using the A77 can enlighten me in this respect.

In view of the A99 dropping back to 6fps, possibly this is as good as the technology is at the moment for continuous focus to be accurate, for the funds required to buy this camera.

I guess I could go to higher level Canon, Nikon, but would prefer to remain with Sony in view of the G lenses that I already have.

Can those with more experience with the A77, A99 give me some advice as to the quality of results from A77 and A99 using the fps facility thanks.

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ozgoldman

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linzdoctor7d Contributing Member • Posts: 924
Re: Soccer shot with a77 at 12fps!
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Glenn Veteran Member • Posts: 7,877
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

Every single automated system on every camera will fail to provide results you expect in some circumstances the more complex cameras maybe less prone to that, but still at some point you will have to figure out a different way to gett the shot. That's your job. Seems from that you might be expecting miles of improvement when in reality you'll Only get inches.

The a77 might be the best choice because you already Know from your experience thE .f ps is important to you. i think you might also be taken aback by the field of view on ff.
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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,992
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

While I really don't know much about the A77, I'd say that the A99 is not the right tool for the job. IMO. If you want to cover sports, then you'd be better off getting a camera designed to shoot sports.

That being said you can get some very good deals on past models that are very good(leagues ahead) of the A99 in terms of FPS and buffer.

EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

johnbee wrote:

While I really don't know much about the A77, I'd say that the A99 is not the right tool for the job. IMO. If you want to cover sports, then you'd be better off getting a camera designed to shoot sports.

That being said you can get some very good deals on past models that are very good(leagues ahead) of the A99 in terms of FPS and buffer.

Such as?

 EinsteinsGhost's gear list:EinsteinsGhost's gear list
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Insulted
Insulted Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

Assuming you are correct when you say the 10+ fps burst of most SLTs is too advanced for the AF, why not just set them (a55/a57/a65/a77) on low continuous? This should put the fps relatively close to the 99, allow the tracking to keep up better, and cost a hole lot less than a FF option, sony or otherwise.

Good luck with your choice in the end but I think the a57 could be you best bet. If not then the a77.

J Birn Contributing Member • Posts: 857
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

I know what you mean about the a55 and subjects moving towards you. I don't shoot sports, but my toddler often races towards me while I'm taking pictures of her with my a55, and I do lose focus in some situations.

The a99's new AF features are supposed to be better at tracking moving objects. I look forwards to seeing full reviews and using one myself. But, getting an a99 means no built-in flash, it means a telephoto lens won't be as telephoto as it would be on an a77, it probably means buying bulkier and more expensive lenses, and it means you won't be able to shoot as fast in burst mode as you could with an a77. I don't know if the AF on the a99 will be so much better than an a77 that it's worth it for your needs.

I do a lot of low-light shooting, so I might be getting an a99 for that reason, but I don't know if it's worth getting for the AF performance improvements or not.

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Jeremy Birn

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Shield3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,440
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

johnbee wrote:

While I really don't know much about the A77, I'd say that the A99 is not the right tool for the job. IMO. If you want to cover sports, then you'd be better off getting a camera designed to shoot sports.

That being said you can get some very good deals on past models that are very good(leagues ahead) of the A99 in terms of FPS and buffer.

Such as?

Canon 7D. It's amazing.

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MICHAL WIATROWSKI New Member • Posts: 14
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

You can use a99 in crop - like aps c mode. It will give you faster fps. I have a77 and it's good for sport as canon 7d or better. I've tried both on airshow

OP ozgoldman Contributing Member • Posts: 618
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

Thanks for the comments.
It seems what I need is just not technically available yet.

I took some cricket shots with the A55 and had a distance of about 2 metres in front of the batsmen, and as the ball was bowled hit the trigger and got a lot of shots, but not one with the cricket ball in the frame.

The ball had actually entered the frame and was hit out of the frame in the 1/10th of a second between clicks. Amazing but true. I must admit I looked for the ball for a long time in those frames then realised what must have happened.

Anyway will go for the A77 and see how that performs.
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ozgoldman

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aardvark7
aardvark7 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,110
Just curious as to how many shots you take.

At an average event for you, how many pictures do you take?

I know exactly what is involved when it comes to processing a typical wedding, during which normally I take about 800, so I am always curious as to how sports shooters limit the numbers, or cope with the results when using high frame rates.

When I cover sports I always concentrate on the 'moment', so with cricket, for instance, I am looking to hit the shutter when bat hits ball and rarely shoot more than 2 frames. I don't know if I'm particular skilled (I don't think so!) but I have a very high rate of success.

If you simply trust the frame rate and hit the shutter at an early point, all you may get is a string of shots that entirely miss the action, as you can't judge which 1/10 of a second to start shooting, if you see what I mean.

There is always a danger that photographers rely on technology to resolve issues, but the best solution is often to work out the best strategy.
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To be decided...

garykohs
garykohs Veteran Member • Posts: 4,517
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

Not much cricket to shoot here in Texas but I've shot 10 fps bursts with the A55 or my Canon 1D4 of a baseball batter where the pitched ball entered the field of view and was gone in between shots. Not often but it has happened. The A77 certainly gives you a better chance of seeing the ball.

You will find that the A77 is considerably better than the A55 at tracking movement toward you - or tracking movement generally as far as that goes. The center zone AF works well in such situations.

ozgoldman wrote:

Thanks for the comments.
It seems what I need is just not technically available yet.

I took some cricket shots with the A55 and had a distance of about 2 metres in front of the batsmen, and as the ball was bowled hit the trigger and got a lot of shots, but not one with the cricket ball in the frame.

The ball had actually entered the frame and was hit out of the frame in the 1/10th of a second between clicks. Amazing but true. I must admit I looked for the ball for a long time in those frames then realised what must have happened.

Anyway will go for the A77 and see how that performs.
--
ozgoldman

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Gary

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Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
More fps VS better accuracy of AF? ;)

ozgoldman wrote:

Like many I have been waiting for the A99 for some time. I was going to buy the A77 as it was a substantial upgrade from my A55, but decided to wait for the A99.

I am the unofficial photographer for my daughter’s school, and most of the pics I take relate to extensive movement (eg. Sports activities), where the 10 fps on my A55 is used a great deal.

However, I noticed that when using this facility with subjects approaching the camera quickly the continuous focus was somewhat wanting.
With the A77 going to 12 fps that would suit better.

I have no experience with the A77 but suspect that the continuous focus may also be lacking in some respects using fps mode. Hopefully others using the A77 can enlighten me in this respect.

In view of the A99 dropping back to 6fps, possibly this is as good as the technology is at the moment for continuous focus to be accurate, for the funds required to buy this camera.

I guess I could go to higher level Canon, Nikon, but would prefer to remain with Sony in view of the G lenses that I already have.

Can those with more experience with the A77, A99 give me some advice as to the quality of results from A77 and A99 using the fps facility thanks.

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ozgoldman

Hi,

Since we know that the accuracy of the A77 is excellent ... But (!) Sometimes the autofocus fails (a tad) on some isolated shots ... the question here is what we want? More fps or better accuracy? The double AF of the A99 and less fps

suggest a better accuracy, because is dedicated for pro users (Sony Europe, said).

So, maybe it's to early to give a definitive answer to this question. Btw, it's depend of what you need?

Kind Regards,
--
Michel J

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VirtualMirage
VirtualMirage Veteran Member • Posts: 3,922
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

ozgoldman wrote:

Thanks for the comments.
It seems what I need is just not technically available yet.

I took some cricket shots with the A55 and had a distance of about 2 metres in front of the batsmen, and as the ball was bowled hit the trigger and got a lot of shots, but not one with the cricket ball in the frame.

The ball had actually entered the frame and was hit out of the frame in the 1/10th of a second between clicks. Amazing but true. I must admit I looked for the ball for a long time in those frames then realised what must have happened.

Anyway will go for the A77 and see how that performs.
--
ozgoldman

A faster frame rate for sports is always welcomed, and it can increase your rate of keepers. But it isn't always the solution to getting the shot. Now I don't know all your parameters and settings to get the shot, so I can't be for certain if a faster frame rate will improve your results. Reason I say this, is that I have been able to get quite a few keepers when shooting baseball when I had my A700 and its "slow" 5fps. Of course, aside from a ball and a bat the rest is quite different between the two sports (so my results may not translate directly to your sport).

But just in case, here are some suggestions based off what I do for baseball (different sports I use different techniques). If you are already doing this, then I apologize for repeating:

  • Pick a Subject and Stick With Them: Do not pan your shots. Pick one subject and focus on them. Break up your shots for each player or part of the field you want to capture. Once you get the shots you want, then play around with panning or moving with the action. Examples: Just capture the pitcher in motion, just capture the batter, etc.

  • Prefocus and Lock It: Once you pick your subject, lock your focus on them via half shutter press or manual focusing. Don't rely on your autofocus to track. The subject in these types of games won't be moving much from within the frame during the main parts of action (throwing, swinging). Most of their movements within their "box" will remain in frame. Plus, at the distance you are probably shooting at they should still be within your depth of field range and remain pretty sharp. The reason for this is that it eliminates one more tasking the camera has to work out to get the shot. Now it only has focus (no pun intended) on just capturing the action.

  • Shutter Speed/ISO: Ensure that your shutter speed is high enough to freeze the action. This can vary from sport to sport. I find for baseball that if you can keep it above 1/500s (or even better 1/1000s) then that should freeze most, if not all, of the action. Depending on your lighting, you may need to raise up your ISO to achieve this. Also, if your shutter speed is too low then you won't be able to capture the action at your max frame rate since you are now bogging your frame rate down by shutter speed.

  • Metering: This will vary heavily on the venue and time of day. Since many of the games I have gone to were at night, they were lit by stadium lighting. When I would leave the camera to meter for the full scene, depending on the uniforms I might find the player a little over exposed. To minimize this, I would change the metering to local (not spot). This will allow the camera to focus its metering more off the player instead of the whole scene.

  • Anticipate, Be Prepared: And lastly, anticipate the action. If you want to see the batter in action and hitting the ball, be prepared to fire off your shots before they swing. Depending on your camera buffer and how fast the pitch reaches the batter, you may want to start snapping when the pitch begins their motion to throw. If you have good reflexes you might even be able to wait until the ball has left their hand.

Now not every shot will be keepers, but this should be expected when trying to capture something in motion. It is a bit of a game of chance. But I find when using the suggestions above, I get a lot more keepers and my consistency is higher. Now most of my baseball shooting days was with my A700 and its "slow" 5fps. I haven't had a chance to attend a game with my faster A77 that can shoot at 8fps and 12fps, but I am sure that my keeper rate would go up a little bit from it.
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Paul

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EvilOne
EvilOne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,280
Re: More fps VS better accuracy of AF? ;)

IM a sport shooter for 20 years, the A77 is the absolute best camera Ive ever owned.. the 12 FPS is awesome, allowing me to pick twice as many frames, incrementally closer together in order to get the " Money shot " ...

I can shoot 17 frames @ 12 FPS continuously before the camera slows down..But because I am very experienced in anticipation, ( from 40 years of shooting film ).

The A77 is the right tool.

Freezing the ball off the bat ( at the precise nanosec. )
Freezing the puck off the stick
Freezing the soccer ball off the foot, knee or head, etc.
Freezing a spike at the top of the net in volleyball

I mentioned freezing ( shutter speed )as the means to stop the action... but its the frame rate that delivers the exact frame you want...

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Bill aka EO

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Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: More fps VS better accuracy of AF? ;)

EvilOne wrote:

IM a sport shooter for 20 years, the A77 is the absolute best camera Ive ever owned.. the 12 FPS is awesome, allowing me to pick twice as many frames, incrementally closer together in order to get the " Money shot " ...

I can shoot 17 frames @ 12 FPS continuously before the camera slows down..But because I am very experienced in anticipation, ( from 40 years of shooting film ).

The A77 is the right tool.

Freezing the ball off the bat ( at the precise nanosec. )
Freezing the puck off the stick
Freezing the soccer ball off the foot, knee or head, etc.
Freezing a spike at the top of the net in volleyball

I mentioned freezing ( shutter speed )as the means to stop the action... but its the frame rate that delivers the exact frame you want...

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Bill aka EO

Ok Bill, I agree.

So now the question here, is: if the A77 is dedicated to sport/action photography (but not only), why it dosen't have a dual-AF inside?

Do an update would appear soon?

Kind Regards,

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Michel J

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Glenn Veteran Member • Posts: 7,877
Re: More fps VS better accuracy of AF? ;)
Glenn Veteran Member • Posts: 7,877
Re: Just curious as to how many shots you take.

I agree. it's better to not use the spray and pray method if at all possible. there is always the chance the moment you want is between frames. I shoot this way too, the only time I use hi drive speeds is in unpredictable situations. I was at a rodeo last week and shot short bursts. but for base ball it was always better to predict the moment.
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danny006 Senior Member • Posts: 1,090
Re: Just curious as to how many shots you take.

We don't know much about the A99 and AF speed yet, I am waiting from reviews from imaging-resource and popphoto. I don't expect it to be slower since it has the same AF module from the A77 and of course the extra 102 AF points. But the A77 is fast and I don't know if you gain much by upgrading to FF bodies from Canon or Nikon.

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EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: A77 v A99 fps dilemma.

Shield3 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

johnbee wrote:

While I really don't know much about the A77, I'd say that the A99 is not the right tool for the job. IMO. If you want to cover sports, then you'd be better off getting a camera designed to shoot sports.

That being said you can get some very good deals on past models that are very good(leagues ahead) of the A99 in terms of FPS and buffer.

Such as?

Canon 7D. It's amazing.

Its an APS-C camera. Compare it to A77. And if APS-C versus FF doesn't matter, and if 8 FPS (APS-C) is amazing, use A99 in APS-C mode and get 10 fps.

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