Sony A560. A33, A55

Discussion in 'Sony A-Mount (DSLR and DSLT) Forum' started by Herman, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Herman
    The Sony A560 will not be available in Germany. Other models (A33 and A55) got the priority. Last week I took a look at both A33 and A55, I liked their low weight and I like their specs a lot. I wonder, do these models outperform the new Canon and Nikon semi pro models?
     
  2. oneguy

    oneguy New to SC

    1
    Aug 16, 2010
    Go with A55. It's worth extra money over A33. You can also go with A580. These are entry-level cameras, but the IQ is just as good as semi-pro APSC. The semi-pro models however have better build and ergonomics.
     
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  3. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
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    Ricky
    I have the A33 and with the Tamron 18-250, it's a great little cam. I did not need the GPS and it's burst rate is fast enough for me. The A33 has relegated my G1 to sitting on the shelf since it's able to shoot 1600 ISO very nicely while the old G1 could not, at least not without a lot of noise.
     
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  4. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
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    Herman
    Thanks Ricky for your reply. Is IQ of the Tamron 18-250 better then such lens from Sigma? I like one package for all kind of photographic situations. I'm addicted to wide zoom range lenses, I believe you're too.
     
  5. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

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    Having owned a FZ50 with it's 12x zoom, till my daughter took possession of it, I am addicted to not changing lens often. Having never owned a Sigma, I could not tell you.

    The 18-250 is not the end all be all lens, but I knew it would not be. It's a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. If I'm not needed the zoom, I use the kit lens which is very good IMHO. Sony owns part of Tamron so many of the Sony lenses are rebadged and slightly tweaked for better performance, but are essentially the same optics. Like the Sony 18-250 has different gears for the auto focus than the Tamron so it can focus faster. The Sony lens goes for around 575 while the Tamron I bought cost 309. Just the lens hood for the kit lens 18-55 is 18 bucks plus shipping so Sony will nickel and dime you to death.
     
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  6. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

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    Jul 10, 2010
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    Ricky
    I took this video to show the range.

    [video=youtube;j-VZGlTLwsw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-VZGlTLwsw[/video]
     
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  7. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
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    Herman
    Thanks Ricky, the range is...wow!
     
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  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I was in a mall with a Sony store a couple of days ago and checked out a Nex (didn't like it - at least with the lenses currently available) and then checked out an A33. Uh-Oh. I could be in biiiiig trouble here...

    I'd been half thinking about something like the AF speed and articulating screen on the GH2. The A33 has an articulated screen I like more, the AF is AMAZINGLY fast and precise, even in low light, and its basically the same size as a GH2. And the 18-250 lens (I guess that's about equal to 27-375 with this crop factor?) is about the same size and a bit lighter than the 14-140. I've never tried a DSLR with the phase detect AF before - I really wanted a live view cam and the idea of having a blazingly fast DSLR that slows to a crawl in live view had no appeal. So I didn't really understand just how amazingly fast and precise a phase detect focussing system was. HOLY @#!& its instant!!! These translucent mirror Sony cams really do seem to be a great combination of both worlds. Shoot from the hip live view with the speed of a DSLR and the size of an m43 (albeit the largest m43). For telephoto zooms, it just blows the doors off of any m43 combo I've tried. The low light is very good, even with an f3.5-5.6 zoom on board, so I'd imagine it would be great with a reasonably fast prime. I don't know how it would be as a street cam - it looks too much like a DSLR to shoot at face level with it on the street, but with the screen folded out, it could be pretty awesome as a waist/belly level camera. And its a good bit less expensive than a GH2 - $650 body only and about $1200 with the 18-250. Hmmmm. Also quite a bit of glass available at the low, medium, and high ends...

    I'm afraid I may have to bring one of these home and play with it soon. I can't see it replacing my m43 cams or my lx5, but it could replace ONE of my m43 cams and a few lenses, keeping the GF1 or EP2 for the small pancakes, the 9-18, and legacy glass?

    GAS, big time GAS at work here.

    -Ray
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    Ray, we'll be looking forward to hearing more - with pictures, too.:wink:
     
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  10. summerkl

    summerkl SC Veteran

    374
    Oct 11, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
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    Kevin
    Ditto to everything that Ray has said. As you may know, Sony bought Minolta a while ago so all of the Minolta AF lenses work with the Sony A33 and are in-body stabilized.

    There is a very useful forum at dyxum.com that has an extensive lens and camera database with user reviews and image samples. The site also has a very well organized image gallery showcasing some of the best shots from their members.

    My bonus affection for this camera is that it will image stabilize M42 manual focus lenses just like the Olympus m43 cameras. However, the crop factor is only 1.5x and the adapter is very thin compared to the m43 adapter.

    With your skills Ray, I'm sure you will really enjoy and maximized the potential of this camera.
     
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  11. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
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    Ricky
    Just from what I know and the sensor comparisons on DXO, I would get the A55 instead of the A33. I would also get the bare camera and not the kit lens if you intend to shoot video as the the kit lens is very noisy. I would say get the A55 without the lens and get one of those new 18-270 Tamron lens that is coming in a couple of months. I have linked a comparison between the new GH2, the SLT-A33, and the fabled D90. At least as far as sensors go, the A55 is pretty good.

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sensor/Compare-sensors/%28appareil1%29/677|0/%28appareil2%29/675|0/%28appareil3%29/439|0/%28onglet%29/0/%28brand%29/Panasonic/%28brand2%29/Sony/%28brand3%29/Nikon

    Even the A33 compares pretty good to the GH2 and A55.

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sensor/Compare-sensors/%28appareil1%29/677|0/%28appareil2%29/675|0/%28appareil3%29/673|0/%28onglet%29/0/%28brand%29/Panasonic/%28brand2%29/Sony/%28brand3%29/Sony

    What made me think the A55 may be one of the best cameras around now is when I saw this gentleman's slideshow over at the dpreview SONY DSLR forum. It is quite amazing. He said he used hand held twilight mode, which shoots several images and puts them together in the camera to reduce noise. He said these were all taken hand held and with the 18-250 lens. Not sure if it's the Sony version or the Tamron. Pretty amazing stuff though.

    A55 @ Temple of Karnak Sound & Light Show. Thank god for the HHT mode!: Sony DSLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    I won't link directly to the slideshow, you will have to look for it in the first post.

    And now all the talk over there is about the yet to be released A77. It will have a pellicle mirror, EVF and a APS-C sensor of around 24Mp.
     
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  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The A33 can be found pretty easily and the A55 is far more scarce than the GH2. If there was a big difference between them, it might be worth waiting around, but I don't see it. They both have insanely fast burst rates that I'll probably never use - that the A33 isn't QUITE as fast is meaningless to me. The A55 has more pixels which I think is a DOWNside, but I guess its newer tech and slightly better in the lowest of light. But I've never been dissatisfied with the IQ on any of the m43 cameras I've owned (or the LX5 for that matter), so the A33 will likely blow my socks off, even if not quite as impressive as the A55. The other little differences are too small for me to even remember - they're all but the same camera.

    So, I went out between our big morning snowstorm and our HUGE evening snowstorm and picked one up yesterday. I got the Zeiss 16-80 lens (24-120 equivalent), which is the same size/weight as the 18-250, but really nice glass and faster through the range. I have two weeks to decide whether to keep it or return it. And I suspect the only question is whether I like carrying it and shooting with it in a variety of circumstances. I don't think the IQ or the handling will be an issue. It is a big package compared to the ep2 with the 14-150 I'm used to walking around with. But still not bad - I'll just have to see how it wears. I can tell already that I love the fold down screen - just flips straight down without having to fold out to the side first, so a bit more discreet for shooting from the waist. The AF is just mind-bendingly fast based on my limited experience and I think I'll try street shooting with AF on rather than using hyperfocal on this camera - it just seems THAT quick and it seems to pick its targets well. Assuming I like it enough to keep, I'll probably get a longer telephoto and some sort of fast prime and be good to go for a while. I'm going to keep my m43 bodies - I don't think either one would bring enough to make them worth selling and I like them both for different reasons. But I'll probably sell my 14-150, my 45-200, and maybe my Voightlander 50 1.5, since those functions will probably be better handled by the A33. If I ever do another epic trip like I did last summer, I might stil get the 18-250 as an all-round travel lens, but that's not on the horizon for the next couple of years.

    I'll post pics as I get some. We just got another foot and a half or so of snow last night (and several inches the night/morning before), so I might have to shoot some snow shots today...

    -Ray
     
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  13. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    410
    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
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    Ricky
    I will be glad to see some of your shots. The A33 focus speed versus the G1 is no comparison. If the A33 is a 10, the G1 would be a 5. And if the A33 says it's focused, it's focused. Manual focus is only necessary in extremely low light.

    The multi-shot implementation is the most useful thing to me since I only shoot jpeg. It's at the very top of the ISO settings where you can set any ISO to multi-shot. So you can set the MS ISO to like 1600 in poor light and it still looks great. Only useful when shooting something that is still.

    The new Tamron 70-300 will be out someday. The price is around 450 with a 50 dollar rebate and is from reports of the already released Nikon version, equal to the 850 dollar Sony G lens. I'm hoping to get a Tamron 200-500 sometime in the next year since I miss so many opportunities for capturing sharp shots of birds here on the ranch.

    Interesting that you like the LCD screen. I had an old Sony Mavica CD500 5Mp camera that took pretty good shots for it's day, but had only the LCD screen and no viewfinder. I swore I would never buy another camera without a viewfinder. So I got a FZ-50 and rarely used the LCD, then a G1. I fell in love with the viewfinder on the G1 and was looking hard at the GH1 when Sony came out with the A33 and A55 and their great viewfinders. I hardly ever swing the LCD out or use it.

    A lot of people are unhappy with the lack of manual controls for the video, but I don't shoot much video so I don't care about it.
     
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  14. summerkl

    summerkl SC Veteran

    374
    Oct 11, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Real Name:
    Kevin
    Good choice on the lens (I bought the same one :). I really like the range equivalent 24-120mm. It is so sharp that it is making me have to change the way I think about my shots.

    I've never been comfortable with street shooting. With the NEX, I could imagine it as the lens and body are light and somewhat discreet. The A33 with the CZ16-80 is no wallflower. Interested to see what you produce.
     
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  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    :wink:
    I would expect the A33 to blow away any of the m43 cameras short of the GH2. And from talking/writing with a couple of people who've used both, its still quite a few strides ahead of the GH2 as well. I'll keep my eyes open for that Tamron. That's about the length I'd probably want. Sony has two in that neighborhood - one for about $250 that gets pretty bad reviews (in terms of AF, which was my primary motivation for moving in this direction to begin with), and one for about $800 that gets really good ones. $450 sounds more like it if its a decent lens.

    I'm not sure how much is the camera and how much is the lens, but the IQ from this combination is pretty mind blowing, at least relative to what I'm used to. I'm not an IQ slave by any means - I tend to be somewhat indifferent as long as its half decent (LX5 being more than adequate in decent light), but I'm pretty startled by what's coming out of this gear. Its a bigger rig than I'm used to carrying around. To the extent its gonna work on the street, its gonna be at waist level with the lcd looking up at me. Time will tell how that's gonna work out. I just took a bunch of shots (next post), and it wasn't really a day for street shooting, but I took a few with the lcd in that position and it was pretty comfortable, even in VERY bright light. So, we'll see. Even if I don't end up using this for street stuff, it may be a keeper for other reasons. In a way though, it almost makes getting good clean shots TOO easy - I've never used a camera like this and its almost like using a point and shoot because it gets so much right on its own. I'm just setting the aperture, pointing and shooting without a lot of additional thought.

    BTW, in tweaking RAW files, the amount of shadow detail I'm able to pull out of these images without any visible noise is pretty astounding. In the next to last photo below, the guy's jacket was JET black after basic processing. With the ep2 or gf1, I couldn't pull nearly that much detail back up without a lot of visible noise coming out. With this larger sensor, it was no problem. Cool!

    -Ray
     
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  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Some images. No artistic pretensions - just seeing how the camera does in pretty challenging conditions.

    -Ray

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5393025783/" title="Snow Day (6) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="688" alt="Snow Day (6)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5393025649/" title="Snow Day (4) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="688" alt="Snow Day (4)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5393025427/" title="Snow Day (2) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="688" alt="Snow Day (2)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5393025551/" title="Snow Day (3) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="691" alt="Snow Day (3)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5393025707/" title="Snow Day (5) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"577" height="854" alt="Snow Day (5)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5393025297/" title="Snow Day (1) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="688" alt="Snow Day (1)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5393622968/" title="Snow Day by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="688" alt="Snow Day" /></a>
     
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  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well, as impressed as I was with the A33, I realized after a couple days of shooting with it that it was just bigger and heavier than I wanted to haul around and I probably wouldn't end up using it enough to justify owning one. So I took it back today and, through a funny set of circumstances, walked out of the store with a Nex 5. THAT one I will use. Despite my initial misgivings about the Nex, after an hour or so of shooting with it, I love the little critter. MUCH more in line with my type of shooting. The whole story and some images are here:

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/f5/nex-street-mall-shots-1139/

    -Ray
     
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  18. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    For those looking for the A55, Houston Camera Exchange has a couple of them. There should be a "demo" unit that's cheaper than retail.
     
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  19. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
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    Ricky
    A lot of people are waiting for the fabled A77, the camera of all our dreams. A 24Mp APS-C sensor, magnesium body, SLT, full manual control 1080p wonder that makes coffee for you in the morning to boot.

    Actually, I don't know about the magnesium or coffee part, but the rest is probably true. Something to make the GH2 completely irrelevant. If the 1200 dollar price is true it should be more popular than the A55.
     
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  20. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Herman
    When will the A77 become available, that camera may blow competion away...