Sony A850 Full Frame Camera for £1,399 @ Digital Depot - HotUKDeals
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OK, please please hotukdeals can we have a category for Camera !
Its so annoying searching in electricals with washing machines !
Ok, now I have got that over with :)

This is an awesome full frame camera.
I have one (also a Canon 5DII and nikon D700).
It is only for people who know that they need a camera at this level. I understand for most folk it is not a necessary holiday snapper.

Its difficult to describe the thrill of a 24MP picture which you can zoom down to the pixel level and see it super-sharp!

This is a high precision optical instrument which can produce pictures at low ISOs only rivaled, but in some cases better, then hassleblad, phase one & leaf backs/cameras.
It is also excellent at high ISO, I use mine alot at ISO 1600.

For those photographers who want the ultimate studio or landscape camera at a knock down price, this is it!

Warning: It needs the best glass, so you will want to get zeiss lenses, or some of the more expensive Sony or ex-Minolta lenses second hand. but you will be rewarded.
However, some super-cheap sony or minolta prime lenses, like the 28mm f2.8 or the 50mm f1.4 can produce amazing pics in the right hands!

Again, a niche product, but an amazing value one if you know you want one!

Sony details:
http://www.sony.co.uk/product/dsd-body/dslr-a850
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#1
Oh if only I could afford.....!

Hot from me mate.
#2
It's a good one...however, you'll suffer to find proper lenses...

that's the thing with Nikon and Canon...lenses readily available....and they're all quite pricey...

I'd go for a Nikon D700 for that price....or the legendary D300 and buff it out with a good range of freaking fast lenses :)

NICE FIND THOUGH :)
#3
wnofal
It's a good one...however, you'll suffer to find proper lenses...

that's the thing with Nikon and Canon...lenses readily available....and they're all quite pricey...

I'd go for a Nikon D700 for that price....or the legendary D300 and buff it out with a good range of freaking fast lenses :)

NICE FIND THOUGH :)


sorry to disagree

With the Zeiss 16-35mm, 24-70,, 85mm and 135mm you pretty much have the best lenses currently being made

and with the razor sharp zeiss 24-70mm on the Sony, as opposed to the nikon 24-70mm adn the Canon 24-70m, you also get stabilisation.
#4
wnofal
It's a good one...however, you'll suffer to find proper lenses...

that's the thing with Nikon and Canon...lenses readily available....and they're all quite pricey...

I'd go for a Nikon D700 for that price....or the legendary D300 and buff it out with a good range of freaking fast lenses :)

NICE FIND THOUGH :)

+1 very happy with my d700, free grip offer going on ATM worth £200 . tried the a850 at jessops but prefer the low light performance and 51 af point of the d700. pictures are very sharp with my nikon 24-79mm , not missing the vr function
#5
colonel

sorry to disagree

With the Zeiss 16-35mm, 24-70,, 85mm and 135mm you pretty much have the best lenses currently being made

and with the razor sharp zeiss 24-70mm on the Sony, as opposed to the nikon 24-70mm adn the Canon 24-70m, you also get stabilisation.


As I said earlier, most of them are running similarly...especially with Sony's fast rush in...
after all, it's a matter of personal preference.... When I got my first DSLR, I was hesitating between the Sony A230 and the Nikon D60 ...Sony was cheaper...way cheaper than Nikon... but when I actually tried both, Nikon was without doubt my choice....

I saw people using Panasonic, Pentax, Olympus and what have you... everyone after a bit gets "institutionalised" and will go for the same brand later, especially if they build their stack of lenses and accessories....

Sony to me right now is like a jack of all trades....you can buy the name with absolute confidence....but can still find something better if you spare the time for researching....
#6
To own a full-frame camera is my dream which I cannot afford at the moment.

It is not only the ability to make larger size prints I am interested in but mainly depth of field and that I can use prime lenses without a conversion factor (a 24mm lens really means 24mm and not 24x1.5=36mm equivalent).

The Sony A850 is a full-frame camera and you cant compare this camera to a D700 or 50D, etc.(neither can you compare the A850 to a Hassleblad, btw). You need to compare the A850 to the Nikon D3S, Sony a900, Canon EOS 5D Mark II. These are all full size frame cameras. Do you need a full size frame xamera? If you are happy with your present APS size DSLR/IP camera, your answer is no.

But if you have taken photographs on 35mm or medium format film like myself and miss the extra perspectic tools, you need a full frame camera.

Remember, you wont be able to use most modern APS lenses on those full frame models. So use either prime lenses (fixed focus) or older model zoom lenses.

If/when full frame cameras move below £1k, I might buy one.
#7
pet2000

neither can you compare the A850 to a Hassleblad, btw


http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=29852201
#8
pet2000 the nikon D700 is full frame...
#9
pet2000
To own a full-frame camera is my dream which I cannot afford at the moment.

It is not only the ability to make larger size prints I am interested in but mainly depth of field and that I can use prime lenses without a conversion factor (a 24mm lens really means 24mm and not 24x1.5=36mm equivalent).


The Sony A850 is a full-frame camera and you cant compare this camera to a D700 or 50D, etc.(neither can you compare the A850 to a Hassleblad, btw). You need to compare the A850 to the Nikon D3S, Sony a900, Canon EOS 5D Mark II. These are all full size frame cameras. Do you need a full size frame xamera? If you are happy with your present APS size DSLR/IP camera, your answer is no.

But if you have taken photographs on 35mm or medium format film like myself and miss the extra perspectic tools, you need a full frame camera.

Remember, you wont be able to use most modern APS lenses on those full frame models. So use either prime lenses (fixed focus) or older model zoom lenses.

If/when full frame cameras move below £1k, I might buy one.


sorry but the d700 IS a full frame camera and sorry you cant compare the a850 to a d3s completely different league. The semi pros that are usually compared together are the d700 , canon 5d mkII and sony a900 ( to be replaced soon)
#10
jeeves
pet2000
To own a full-frame camera is my dream which I cannot afford at the moment.

It is not only the ability to make larger size prints I am interested in but mainly depth of field and that I can use prime lenses without a conversion factor (a 24mm lens really means 24mm and not 24x1.5=36mm equivalent).


The Sony A850 is a full-frame camera and you cant compare this camera to a D700 or 50D, etc.(neither can you compare the A850 to a Hassleblad, btw). You need to compare the A850 to the Nikon D3S, Sony a900, Canon EOS 5D Mark II. These are all full size frame cameras. Do you need a full size frame xamera? If you are happy with your present APS size DSLR/IP camera, your answer is no.

But if you have taken photographs on 35mm or medium format film like myself and miss the extra perspectic tools, you need a full frame camera.

Remember, you wont be able to use most modern APS lenses on those full frame models. So use either prime lenses (fixed focus) or older model zoom lenses.

If/when full frame cameras move below £1k, I might buy one.


sorry but the d700 IS a full frame camera and sorry you cant compare the a850 to a d3s completely different league. The semi pros that are usually compared together are the d700 , canon 5d mkII and sony a900 ( to be replaced soon)


The D3S is better in low light then the A850 and is built like a tank and has faster FPS but is not in the same league for resolution or colour rendition. It is also 3x the price.
#11
The confusion is that a full-frame digital sensor is 24mmx36mm in size. An APS sensor is 24mmx18mm in size and is not a full 35mm frame. I want a 24mmx36mm sensor (and this is the only one which I would call "full-frame") because of the perspective advantages. I wasn't aware that the D700 is a full size 35mm sensor camera. I would definately prefer a D700 then, but the price is so much higher.

You cannot compare just the resolution between two formats (i.e. 35mm and the 6cmx6cm size format of the Hasselblad). So, the comparison in the dpreview forum mentioned above is kind of pointless, imo (it's not all about megapixels and resolution)

I am not out to say that a full 35mm size (or medium size) sensor is better for everyone, but would be definately better for me and the photos I take
:)
#12
pet2000
The confusion is that a full-frame digital sensor is 24mmx36mm in size. An APS sensor is 24mmx18mm in size and is not a full 35mm frame. I want a 24mmx36mm sensor (and this is the only one which I would call "full-frame") because of the perspective advantages. I wasn't aware that the D700 is a full size 35mm sensor camera. I would definately prefer a D700 then, but the price is so much higher.

You cannot compare just the resolution between two formats (i.e. 35mm and the 6cmx6cm size format of the Hasselblad). So, the comparison in the dpreview forum mentioned above is kind of pointless, imo (it's not all about megapixels and resolution)

I am not out to say that a full 35mm size (or medium size) sensor is better for everyone, but would be definately better for me and the photos I take
:)


hi,
just to continue this fine conversation!
why would you prefer the D700? It has limited resolution (12mp), is not as sharp (not just my opinion, see Ken Rockwell a Nikon fanboy on the comparison with the Canon 5DII) and is 20% heavier.
the D700 has better noise control (2.5 stops I would say over the A850 and 1 stop over the Canon 5DII) and the best focus system out there, but unless you are taking sports photography, or fast moving indoors photography, I would much prefer the Sony or the Canon.

in terms of medium format. IMHO this is hardly worth it today over the likes of the Nikon D3x, Canon 1DsIII (and IV) and , yes, the Sony A850/A900.
Firstly they are large and bulky have have no zoom lenses
Secondly they have aweful noise at anything above base ISO
That means there is only one advantage to a Hassleblad, say, and that is, guess what, pixels. Yes, 39mp to 60mp. Is this necessary even for bill boards over time square. I doubt it.
There are professional (and rich) photographers who use Medium format, but most pros, including studio pros, will use a FF DSLR
#13
colonel, don't understand why you have the a850, d700 and the canon, sorry but don't see the logic behind this..... unless you work for dpreview?
#14
jeeves
colonel, don't understand why you have the a850, d700 and the canon, sorry but don't see the logic behind this..... unless you work for dpreview?


I wonder how much you've spent on lenses!
1 Like #15
jeeves
colonel, don't understand why you have the a850, d700 and the canon, sorry but don't see the logic behind this..... unless you work for dpreview?


ha ha, couldn't handle the pressure working for dpreview!

to be honest I have sold the 5DII and D700 and now exclusively use the A850.
I didn't want to say this before as I didn't want this to become a war between brands, rather a post just for this particular deal.
However this has gone abit wrong.

If you are interested in my experience, basically it was this. Please note this is my story and therefore probably not relevant to other people as I am a bit of a perfectionist:

"The truth is that FF DSLRs are so much better then film cameras already, and within a few stops/resolution percentage of each other. I recently took some Ilford 3200 in my old 35mm Canon and was amazed to be reminded of the grain balls.

My background is that I have had a series of Minolta film SLRS, a Canon film SLR and then Canon digitals. The biggest jump happened when I moved from the 40D to the 5D. The 5D had subliminal picture quality, very sharp at the pixel level, lovely colours and great dynamic range.

BTW, my shooting range is mostly indoors people hand-held and outdoors landscape.

However after a year or so with the 5D I had become annoyed with the fiddly handling. Eager to see if APS-C had finally caught up with FF, and a bit naïve, I bought a D300s, 50mm f1.4 and 16-85mm lens. I soon realised that FF was still far superior at the pixel level and, disappointed with the D300s, then jumped up to the D700 with 24-70mm and a bunch of other stuff.

I was initially impressed with the D700 handling. I don’t know why Canon just doesn’t bung on some physical buttons for metering, focus servo, focus zone, dedicated mirror lock up and, a step further then Nikon, a rotary knob for ISO setting at 1 spot increments (please!). The D700 is lovely to hold and the positioning of the buttons is well through out. The ISO performance is great, but I was somewhat surprised to find out at the detail level that its only about a stop or so advantage from the 5D, pretty amazing for a 3 year old camera.

I am also a centre focus point user, so although the D700 focus system is far more advanced then the 5D and 5DII, its something I only used occasionally (I just don’t trust any system to know where I want to focus). Lastly having flash control built into the camera is very useful. The good news is that Canon have now seen the light, and future models will have this feature.

However, some things about the Nikon D700 started to grate. None of this is scientific and some folk may viciously argue with me, but I did try many ways to get around all of these.

1. The colours. They are just not as nice as the 5D (and 5DII). You can change in PP, but I was never able to get something as good. Nikon seems to be better in the yellow & green spectrum, which is not appealing to me.

2. Sharpness. The 5D is sharper at the pixel level. This has nothing to do with back/front focus, or lens issues, and the D700 focuses perfectly. Its something to do with the level of sharpening and how the firmware works on the sensor. I don’t understand this fully but when applying sharpening to D700 raw I can get to the same sharpness level as the 5D, but not without apparently loosing more detail. This is not just something I have noticed as I have seen this noted in many places on the web. The controversial Ken Rockwell, who is an overall Nikon fan, also notes this. Nikon folk will probably get very upset with this and it might be that there is something I don't know. I want to emphasize the difference is tiny and only noticeable at the pixel level, but as I crop alot, it was annoying to me.

3. The weight. The D700 is 999g and the Canon %D is around 800g.

4. Trivial but I like to mention that nikon make you pay for NX2 :(

So I sold all the Nikon gear (I actually didn’t loose much, as Nikon and Canon have amazing second hand values – I actually got the same for my 5D kit as I paid for it!) and bought a 5DII, 24-105mm and other stuff.

After a while I realised that the 24-105mm is just not as good as the nikon 24-70mm, but the Canon 24-70mm is not stablised.
Anyway, I was offered a Sony A850 at an exceptionally low cost, bought it, bought the CZ 24-70mm, liked it, and sold the Canon.

I believe, for my shooting (landscapes, architecture and people) the sony a850 is not only the best camera I have ever used, it is also the most fun.

Just to deal with ISO straight away, I find it excellent. In terms of price/performance (remembering pixel numbers and DOF from FF), DXOMARK ISO:
1. Canon 7D is 854
2. Sony a850 is 1,415
3. Canon 5DII is 1,815

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but in the UK note that the a850 can be found new very close to the Canon 7D price.

Why do I like this sony package so much. Very simple:

1. Great handling. Lovely grip. Large AEL button. Dedicated buttons/switched for ISO, exposure mgmt, drive, focus type, compensation, etc. and a custom button to define as you want. Really handling of the D700 and far superior to the Canon 5DII

2. Lovelly colours.

3. Low weight FF as 820g for the body (same as 5DII). Nikon D700 is 999g. Note that professional APS-C cameras have no advantage here, Canon 7D - 850g

Negatives ? Focus system not in the same league as Nikon, however in terms of focus points, I only ever use the centre one.
No video. But I have another camera for this.

In summary, this is a great no-nonsense still photographer's dream camera"


Edited By: colonel on Jul 22, 2010 09:52: spelling
#16
A top camera - I have the A900 (almost the same) and love it

Quite a 'minimalist' camera... but it has everything you need for photography and not much extra that you don't. It's very suitable for those of us that remember the older 35mm film SLR cameras as the control layout and features hark-back more to those than to newer models with 'picture modes' etc

Maybe not the best camera for sports photographers or people who want to use high ISO's, but for studio, landscape and general outdoor photography this is fantastic - the resolution from the 24MP sensor still amazes me after nearly 2 years of ownership

Many of the older Minolta lenses that fit on this camera are wonderful as well. Of particular note are the 85/1.4 and 28-135/4-4.5. The former is quite expensive but the second is top quality and can often be found second hand for very reasonable prices. The newer Zeiss lenses are obviously good but for the price they need to be - I don't have any of these

My main complaint is the size and weight, but having said that it's actually lighter than an APS-C D300s and certainly smaller and ligher than a D700

Worth serious consideration if you are looking for an FF body and aren't already commited to Canon or Nikon system

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