Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is Sony now the best?


Night, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Field, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Crossing, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

I wrote here of having the Sony NEX-5 in my hands, thanks to a colleague who bought one because of the excellent low-light capabilities.

Well, today I had a couple of minutes to try the Sony A33 which is another potentially revolutionary camera design. This one was bought by another colleague. Sony seems to be doing rather well nowadays in cameras.

The A33 was nice to handle, just the right size, and quite responsive. The 18-70 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens made the combo quite large, but it was also versatile, and when using 70 mm one could focus close enough for excellent closeups.

Of course, when using such a lens the relative benefit of the bigger sensor - less noise at high ISO - isn't such a big one compared to the f/2.0 lens of the LX3 or LX5. But of course the A33 beats the LX3 or LX5 easily in image quality. On the other hand, it is no way pocketable.

It is interesting to see Sony suddenly becoming such a common choice of camera. And there are benefits, for example backward compatibility of lenses. I have the impression that one could use even the old Minolta MD Rokkor lenses with these cameras - manual focus only of course. Am I mistaken?

8 comments:

Markus Spring said...

"Night" is great - those fine silhouetted details, silent, stiff, motionless, backgrounded by windows which might be full of life, yet are so glistening bright that they seem motionless, too...

I'd really like to see your results created with a different camera. It might be that there are just marginal differences, that you use any tool as a tool for creating.

Richard said...

Yes, I love it to! How do you take the photos in the night. Do you set the shutter speed manually?

The Tinman said...

I purchased the A33 about three weeks ago and I've been quite pleased. I had been buying one of the best point and shoot cameras to come out every year (I still have my Sony WX1), but I decided to step up and make a more lasting investment.

Being already familiar with Sony's unique technologies, it's been a relatively easy transition into the DSLR world. The A33 is surprisingly small (though at the expense of battery life that some buyers have said is too short compared to larger DSLRs) and is, like you said, quite responsive.

I've already captured many moments that I wouldn't have been able to with any point and shoot, and that's without even using the advertised continuous shooting yet.

The old Minolta lenses should be able to autofocus as well, because the camera body itself has an AF/MF switch on it, but don't quote me on that.

Tessar said...

"Night is a wonderful photograph. I love to think about cameras, too, but what really matters is the capability of the photographer. This is a beautiful picture, no matter what camera it was taken with. Thank you!

John said...

Juha,
Is Sony the best? No - technically, their image quality isn't what Nikon or Canon produces, though it's improving with each generation. I've contended however that the image quality from most digital cameras is so good it doesn't matter which make you go with - might as well be a personal choice.


I can't see me switching from Nikon for my DSLR needs, and though I do like my Lumix for point and shoot portability, I'm definitely not locked into the brand and if something else comes along that's better I'll consider it.

"Night" is really a nice shot!

John

Juha Haataja said...

@Markus: It seems that I get all the time suggestions of using a new camera. Have to be strong, strong...

@Richard: I made a new posting trying to answer your question.

@Tinman: Thanks, maybe I get a change to try my MD lenses with the Sony camera bodies.

@Tessar: Thanks. Here I think the LCD display in the back of the camera is actually an asset, as it was so dark that the eye didn't see what was in the field of view.

@John: Indeed, cameras have been good enough for many years already.

Andreas Weber said...

Minolta MD lenses won't fit any Minolta AF camera (which includes Sony DSLRs)! With their first AF camera (the 7000 from 1985) Minolta went from the "MD" to the incompatible "A" bajonet.

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: Thanks for this info. Should have checked this further.

In any case, the Minolta MD lenses can be used with micro 4/3 lenses with an adapter, so I guess that would be possible with Sony bodies as well.