Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Review
Just like the Konica Minolta 7D and 5D the Alpha DSLR-A100 inherits a CCD based 'Anti Shake' system which Sony has relabeled as 'Super SteadyShot'. In contrast to optical based stabilization systems which depend on the lens having the stabilization system built-in the Minolta/Sony system instead stabilizes the CCD itself by mounting it on a platform which moves in reaction to movement of the camera body. The most significant advantage of this approach is of course that it instantly provides image stabilization to all lenses rather than having to pay a premium for lenses with built-in systems.
Photographers are taught the 'inverse of the focal length' rule which states that the slowest shutter speed you can use to avoid blur due to shaking is 1/(focal length) for an image printed at 8x10, for digital SLR's we have to use the effective focal length (so 1/80 sec would be good for a 50 mm lens on a 1.5x crop D-SLR). Most optical based anti-shake systems claim a 2 stops over this (1/20 sec at 50 mm lens, 1.5x crop), newer ones claim 3 stops. Sony claim 3.5 stops with their Super SteadyShot system (around 1/8 sec at 50 mm lens, 1.5x crop).
The next issue became testing this, we had a go at testing the Minolta system when we reviewed the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D and despite the unscientific methods were fairly happy to report an approximate 2 stop advantage. As we still don't have a definitive test system for image stabilization systems I had to come up with another method which would at least give us an idea of how accurate Sony's claims were.
The stabilization test
The test was pretty simple (and hence I won't claim to be absolutely scientific), twenty hand-held shots were taken of a static scene, half of those without SteadyShot, half with, the shutter speed was decreased by a stop and repeated (from 1/80 sec to 1/10 sec). The lens used was the Minolta 50 mm F1.4 (producing a 75 mm equiv. FOV), the test chart was 1.2 m away from the camera.
The resulting 80 images were then inspected and given a blur score from zero to three where zero represented a very blurred image and three a sharp image with no noticeable blur (see crop examples below). Obviously the amount of blur which is acceptable will depend on your personal taste and the final image size (for instance a '2: Soft' will still look fine as a 4x6 print or in a web gallery). Example crops from these four blur scores can be seen below.
|0: Very blurred||1: Blurred|
|2: Soft||3: Sharp|
Hand-held, no stabilization (50 mm lens, 75 mm equiv.)
As you can see from the results here we managed 9 out of 10 sharp images at 1/80 sec but this dropped to just 4 out of 10 at 1/40 sec (although another 4 were acceptable if soft). In total we had 20 usable shots (13 of which were sharp) from the 40 taken.
Hand-held, with Super SteadyShot (50 mm lens, 75 mm equiv.)
Now we enable Super SteadyShot and you can immediately see an improvement, again 9 of our 10 shots at 1/80 sec are sharp, and so are 7 out of 10 at 1/40 sec and 6 out of 10 at 1/20 sec. In total we had 28 usable shots (22 of which were sharp) from the 40 taken.
The results basically state that using Super SteadyShot gave us approximately two more stops in which to work, although it wasn't a cast iron guarantee that at shutter speeds two stops slower every single shot will be sharp, it's clear that this system can only deal with certain types and amplitudes of shake (no current stabilization system can for correct for back/forth shake and only the Pentax SR system claims correction for rotational movement).
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.