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Choosing a second camera body

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Andy81 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy81 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Choosing a second camera body
    Posted: 12 July 2018 at 21:50
Iíve just booked a trip to South Africa later this year, which will involve a mix of landscape and safari photography. This got me thinking about my kit and what to take. Iím currently using an A77 (mk1), and have the following lenses:

Samyang 8mm fisheye
Sigma 10-20 f3.5
Sony 16-50 f2.8
Sony 50 f1.4
Samyang 85 f1.4
Tamron 90 f2.8 macro
Sony 70-300g (mk1)

I was planning on taking the 10-20, 16-50 and 70-300 (thought about upgrading to 70-400 but think Iíll be ok with 300mm on crop sensor), but with dust levels on safari, it might be wise to go for 2 bodies. After looking at starting to switch to E mount, Iíve dismissed the idea of an A7 series as FE lenses are so expensive, even if it means potentially sticking with the Ďdyingí A mount (although equally I can make the most of falling prices on the used market).

Iím therefore left with a few options:

1. Buy another A77. This would be cheap, but I donít see any other advantage.

2. Buy an A77ii. This gives me an upgrade, and gives me better AF on the longer lens on safari. I would likely then sell the A77 when I get back from SA.

3. Buy an A99. This starts a move to FF, and offers something very different but is expensive as an option. Good A99 copies also donít seem to be too common on the used market at the moment either.

4. Buy an A850/900. This would be an affordable route to FF, and on safari I can use the longer lens on the A77. A very different camera to the A77 and I could keep both long term, offering versatility. As a plus, there are plenty on the used market.

Bearing in mind that I normally go for landscapes and portrait photography, but like having the flexibility to do the odd air show etc, I want a set up that is versatile, but donít need something focussed on wildlife or sports if that makes sense.

Any suggestions on which direction to go in would be most welcome!

Andy

 



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Hezu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2018 at 23:47
Given that your wide-angle lenses are for cameras with APS-C sensors, with α99/α900/α850 you won't get full resolution images from those cameras when using these lenses. Therefor if you want to avoid spending money also on updating lens lineup, I would lean towards APS-C models (preferably α77 II).

Edited by Hezu - 13 July 2018 at 09:38
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dan19 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dan19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 03:57
I have a A7ii and A6000 as second camera
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Jozioau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 05:38
The a77ii is a major upgrade from the a77 in every respect, and is a killer camera for safari.
The outlay will be part offset by the sale of your a77 on return.
I'd agree with @Hezu about going full frame - the a850, a900 or better still a99 are all wonderful cameras that open the door to that genre, but your wide angle lenses are APSC and to go wide on full frame you're going to have to make a major investment in new glass.
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Atom Ant Oz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Atom Ant Oz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 06:17
+1 to Joe's response.

The α77ιι is no slouch and will pair very nicely with your lenses. On safari, the APS-C sensor will give you full value for your tele lens. As your 10-20 and 16-50 are both designed for APS-C, if you bought an α99/α850/α900 then you may be tempted to replace them at some time, adding to your cost.
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10-20mm | 16-105mm | 24-105mm D | 70-200mm G | 100-300mm APO D | 70-400mm G |
20mm f/2.8 | 28mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 135mm f/2.8
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Andy81 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy81 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 06:48
Thanks all,

The lens upgrade from going FF was something I had anticipated, looking at eBay prices, the CZ 24-70 and CZ 16-35 tend to go for around £600-700, so total cost for an a900 plus both of these would be pushing towards £2k. I could offset some of this by selling the 10-20, 16-50 and 90mm macro (which I rarely use), but would still be well over £1k.

I know that with the A900 Iíd be losing things like the EVF histogram/focus peaking type functions, plus the articulated screen, but can the A900 still compete image quality wise with the A77ii, which is 2 camera generations newer? Clearly the A77ii wins for AF speed, tracking and electronic functions. I have always hankered after going FF, but am probably in a Ďfollow heart or headí situation; if the A900 and A77ii are comparable image-wise, there is no point in going that route given the expense, as Iíd just be getting benefits such as slimmer dof etc.
 



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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 07:04
I will echo the others: get the A77m2. I used mine during a trip to Kenya for safari and it behaved great.

The A900 is a completely different tool. I would probably prefer it at base ISO because to me a bigger sensor is better, so, for deliberate photography it is very good. But as soon you go off base ISO, I feel the A77m2 gets the upper hand. I am comfortable to use my A900 at 1000/1200 ISO, with the A77m2 at 1600 ISO. DXo Mark confirms my experience: the IQ is comparable, the A77m2 is slightly better - the A900 is a good choice if you want a full frame, but the A77m2 is a better all round camera.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anita Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 07:08
If you plan on selling the A77 after this trip, I would go for the A77ii. With the 16-50 you have a combi as good as a fullframe with 24-70 ZA.

If you are not going to sell the A77 I would think about an A68 as second camera.

I had only one camera with me on my trip to SA. An A65, 16-50 and 70-300. That's it!

The A900 is ofcourse still a great camera, but you are used now to the EVF, I wonder if you can go back ...

Just some thoughts.

I made the swop to emount, my set up would be totally different now.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ABDurbs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 08:53
I tend to agree with the others. Buy the A77ii and stick with your 3 lens selection.

I don't know where you are going on Safari but it would be nice to have the 70-400. However, there is no point in laying out for a lens you may only use occasionally and it is a lot bigger and heavier to lug around.
Regards
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 08:55
I have the A58 not the A77, but I would agree with the others that the A77ii is the way to go. I acquired an A900 recently but sold it again. Although it is a lovely camera (and I had a reasonable set of FF lenses for it), I still found myself using the A58 most of the time. The A900 was for me too much of a step backwards in useability - no live view, no flip screen, no checking of images taken through the VF, no MF aids via VF, and so on.
Yes, there were several things I preferred (custom settings, bright OVF, extra headroom on jpegs, more controllable settings, better centre-point AF), but I've never really found either picture quality or dynamic range an issue with crop sensor cameras. Indeed, with a super lens like the Sigma 10-20 available, I hardly see the need for FF at all. Clearly a lot of people have been swayed by the Sony FE range, but I have trouble trying to find anything it will do that I actually want to do and that I can't do on APS-C (I don't take thin-DOF sports pics in low light ).

In the end I decided that most of the things I wanted from the A900 (that I couldn't get with the A58) I could get from Minolta film cameras at a fraction of the price, and the need to shoot differently (from digital) makes the whole 'classic' experience worthwhile. Just my feelings, of course, and no disrespect to all those who have a different viewpoint.

Oh, I guess you will keep one lens on each body most of the time and swap cameras to avoid dust ingress. Do you have room for a low-light lens like the 50mm f1.4 too?

Edited by Miranda F - 13 July 2018 at 09:01
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, 5d, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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RvdM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RvdM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 09:43
I just returned from a safari trip to Namibia and Botswana. I had two A77II bodies with me. One of the most used "electronic features" of the camera was the electronic focus range limiter. I'm not sure if the A77 also have this feature.

This was giving me excellent focusing performance on both new and older lenses.
Especially when trying to take a good photo from animals behind some trees or bushes.

All other benefits of the A77II are yet pointed out

oh btw, the photo's of the trip still needs some sorting and PP. They will find their way to the forum in some weeks

Edited by RvdM - 13 July 2018 at 09:46
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Andy81 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy81 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2018 at 16:22
Thanks all, looks like A77ii is the way to go!

RvdM - looking forward to seeing your photos!

Andy
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Jozioau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 July 2018 at 03:14
Andy, seen this for sale via UK Dyxum member @Keith S, here in the Dyxum sales forum?
Reduced again a77 mk-ii
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