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Topic ClosedA850 manual out in HK offical site

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vbpholaw View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 00:55
Originally posted by cjc181166 cjc181166 wrote:

Originally posted by Winwalloe Winwalloe wrote:

2 FF camera so close in specs? Just weird to me.

Nikon D300/Nikon D300S, Nikon D700/Nikon D3 & Nikon D3X/Nikon D4X?

Nikon do it and look at all of the lower end gear, they all have similar specs overall with the more expensive models having more stuff.

There is nothing wrong with this approach and it only bodes well that they are will to do this. More options and better prices. Now they just need to get that flash system fixed.


Nikon doesn't do it anything like the A850, a slightly reduced capability camera from the A900. The D300s replaces the D300, adding a few features and enhancements, not reducing them. The D700 is a much less expensive camera than the D3. How much less than the A900 will the A850 be? We don't know, but it won't be anywhere near the same difference as the D700D3 (at least $1500).

The A850 eliminates any reason for the A900 to exist. There cannot be that many photographers who will opt for the A900 just to get 5 fps over 3 fps, particularly if there is a several hundred dollar difference.

The biggest concern I have, as I just posted in the separate A900/A850 thread, is that all of Sony's newest cameras represent steps backward, not forward, in capability from the cameras they replace or succeed. That is not the direction we as consumers should want, and its not what any other camera manufacturer is doing. The Pentax K7 has marked improvements over the K20D; the D300s has modest improvements over the D300; the 50D had modest improvements over the 40D; the 5D Mk II had significant improvements over the 5D. You get the point. All of Sony's newest cameras have reductions in features or capabilities with no basic improvements or advances.

That should be very worrying to Sony customers about what it means for the future, and whether Sony really understands or cares about improving their cameras as photographic tools, as opposed to just making cheaper cameras. After-all, how many more folks will be willing to pay say $2100 for an A850 compared to $2600 for an A900. Assuming my hypothetical price for the A850, that would be a significant $500 savings over the A900, but just how many more people will be willing to pay $2100 who would not be willing to pay $2600? I don't know, but my guess is not all that many. It is still a very niche product. Would such a price make the camera more attractive to potential brand switchers? I don't know that one either, but someone considering a switch might also look at what Sony has been doing in reducing the capability of its cameras and have some concerns about what that might mean for the future. And what if the price difference between the A850 and A900 is less than $500?
 



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kiklop View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:00
Originally posted by madcat207 madcat207 wrote:

I hate to say it, but the A900 is probably dead soon.

If you speak in terms of interests or sales, then yes i can agree with you to a significant extent.
But if you speak in terms of availability or support then this would be a bad marketing move from Sony. You can't just like that retire your "flagship" model (a one year old only). That would put a very bad reputation among certain kind of users (and even press) especially because a900 still retains a very useful feature for many applications; 5 FPS. While not necessary for many (if not most) target users this is still a very important capability (even a must have) for others.

And .. we should really wait for more details about a850 since we don't know yet if sony has made other changes. Let's not forget, no matter of the info some of us have and no matter of any leaks we seen so far, nothing is yet official at least for a short period of time

Edited by Kiklop - 02 August 2009 at 01:00
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:11
Originally posted by vbpholaw vbpholaw wrote:


The A850 eliminates any reason for the A900 to exist. There cannot be that many photographers who will opt for the A900 just to get 5 fps over 3 fps, particularly if there is a several hundred dollar difference.


Agree. And IMO, the A900 will shortly be discontinued.


The biggest concern I have, as I just posted in the separate A900/A850 thread, is that all of Sony's newest cameras represent steps backward, not forward, in capability from the cameras they replace or succeed. That is not the direction we as consumers should want, and its not what any other camera manufacturer is doing. The Pentax K7 has marked improvements over the K20D; the D300s has modest improvements over the D300; the 50D had modest improvements over the 40D; the 5D Mk II had significant improvements over the 5D. You get the point. All of Sony's newest cameras have reductions in features or capabilities with no basic improvements or advances.


Your concern is only valid, if the A850 takes the place of the A900, for perpetuity. In my opinion, this is just a realignment and a repositioning in the marketplace.

In other words, the A850 will take over the place of the A900, as a "cheap" Full-frame. The A9xx will re-appear in the NEAR future, with significantly higher specs (AF etc) and worthy of being called a "9-series". Thus Sony will have 2 FF models, the A850 and the A9xx.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:12
Until the actual price is announced it is hard to decide if this is a good move by Sony. What if the price is $1500 US or less. That makes it pretty interesting for everyone. I personally think that just coming out with the a900 was a pretty big feat. Sony has not been in this game near as long as the other players. These are very precise mechanical and electrical tools for photography. I think sometimes we expect too much from Sony. One thing is for sure. Sony's marketing practices in the past have made the company what it is today. It is hard to question that. I personally think that a lot of people will welcome an affordable FF version of the a900. Bring it on and let the FF wars begin, we will all benefit from this in the future. Let's just be happy Sony continues to produce the a mount line!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:16
Originally posted by Kiklop Kiklop wrote:

Originally posted by madcat207 madcat207 wrote:

I hate to say it, but the A900 is probably dead soon.

If you speak in terms of interests or sales, then yes i can agree with you to a significant extent.
But if you speak in terms of availability or support then this would be a bad marketing move from Sony. You can't just like that retire your "flagship" model (a one year old only). That would put a very bad reputation among certain kind of users (and even press) especially because a900 still retains a very useful feature for many applications; 5 FPS. While not necessary for many (if not most) target users this is still a very important capability (even a must have) for others.

And .. we should really wait for more details about a850 since we don't know yet if sony has made other changes. Let's not forget, no matter of the info some of us have and no matter of any leaks we seen so far, nothing is yet official at least for a short period of time


Agree, and we also don't know how many A900s are in Sony's warehouses. But, I can't see Sony continuing production of the A900 at this point, at least in its current form. There just don't seem to be enough differences between the two cameras to justify it. My "guess" is that Sony expects that the A850 will make a significant dent in A900 sales and, that while the camera will remain a "current" product for the foreseeable future, Sony won't be making any more of them. Support of the camera will obviously continue in the form of service and such.

I'm one of those photographers who likes and uses the 5 fps feature, but like you say it's not a benefit to most photographers. Then again, folks like Andy Biggs, who is a professional wildlife/landscape photographer specializing in Africa, and who has been the beneficiary of A900 loans in the past, is the type for whom 5 fps vs. 3 fps would make a difference. But there are not just that many of us among likely buyers of the Sony cameras. After-all, Sony is not (yet) marketing other products (like lenses) targeted at the "serious" wildlife or sports photographer where such shooting speeds do make a difference.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:27
Originally posted by vbpholaw vbpholaw wrote:

You get the point. All of Sony's newest cameras have reductions in features or capabilities with no basic improvements or advances.

You may not recall this but i was writing exactly the same thing as soon i got the info about a900 (yes, a900 not a850). The progress in camera capabilities, features and options in Sony case is just slower than the rest of concurrent (aside resolution and price where sony excels at) which in the end even if they add something makes their cameras as going backward.
And i'm sad to say that but from all i know i don't see Sony changing this in the future .. i really don't !!
When i read something like this one i feel this is a wish list from other dimension and kind of a science fiction for future sony cameras despite most of those are legit demands of modern photographers. We still struggling with some basic flaws that are so trivial but so hard to get :(

But, as i said few days ago, no matter what i think about Sony and their commitment to things that really matters (to me or even to you) a850 is not a bad thing. If the price will be right (and i have reason to believe so) it is a great thing; not only for many sony users but also for a wide photographic community since may start lowering the prices of cameras even furter.

Nikon has done a very dangerous thing with their d3x which is IMHO significantly overpriced (especially if we compare it to d700 and a900 or a850 now); a850 may put things in a proper perspective and leave manufacturers with narrower range in overpricing their equipment. And i am speaking here as someone that would probably pay 5000$ for a d700 like body with a-mount :)

Edited by Kiklop - 02 August 2009 at 01:29
 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:28
Originally posted by roweraay roweraay wrote:

Originally posted by vbpholaw vbpholaw wrote:



The biggest concern I have, as I just posted in the separate A900/A850 thread, is that all of Sony's newest cameras represent steps backward, not forward, in capability from the cameras they replace or succeed. That is not the direction we as consumers should want, and its not what any other camera manufacturer is doing. The Pentax K7 has marked improvements over the K20D; the D300s has modest improvements over the D300; the 50D had modest improvements over the 40D; the 5D Mk II had significant improvements over the 5D. You get the point. All of Sony's newest cameras have reductions in features or capabilities with no basic improvements or advances.


Your concern is only valid, if the A850 takes the place of the A900, for perpetuity. In my opinion, this is just a realignment and a repositioning in the marketplace.

In other words, the A850 will take over the place of the A900, as a "cheap" Full-frame. The A9xx will re-appear in the NEAR future, with significantly higher specs (AF etc) and worthy of being called a "9-series". Thus Sony will have 2 FF models, the A850 and the A9xx.


Maybe, but for now we have the "dumbed down" A2xx/3xx, the out-of-production A700 with now no sign of a replacement anytime soon (interesting that the A500/550 references on the Sony website are now gone - what if anything does that mean?), and the A850/A900. If Sony does indeed come out with a higher end A9xx at some point in the near future, that too would be interesting (though I would not expect such a camera until PMA next year, at the earliest). Nonetheless, it still leaves a huge gap between the entry level A2xx/3xx and A850, with no higher end APS-C cameras other than the 2-year old A700 that is out of production. We have no idea how many remain in Sony warehouses or how long Sony may look to it as it's high-end APS-C model. Sony may very well have something else up its corporate sleeve to announce shortly, and it may be the A500/550. But will that camera (or cameras) be an A700 higher APS-C level, or more like a D90 mid-level APS-C camera, or maybe both?

Of course I don't know, and almost all of this is pure speculation at this point. But, there sure are lots of questions at this point, and few answers, and unanswerable questions are always a bit unnerving.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:37
Originally posted by vbpholaw vbpholaw wrote:

We have no idea how many remain in Sony warehouses or how long Sony may look to it as it's high-end APS-C model. Sony may very well have something else up its corporate sleeve to announce shortly, and it may be the A500/550. But will that camera (or cameras) be an A700 higher APS-C level, or more like a D90 mid-level APS-C camera, or maybe both?


I think the A500/550, will essentially take the place of the current A700, to go head-to-head with the D90 class of camera. It will have a composite body, a penta-prism and a similar sensor as the A700.

The A700 will go away and be replaced with an A7xx that will be designed to go head-to-head with the D300/D300s class of camera from Nikon. Of course that will mean that the AF and such will need to be significantly enhanced but I would not under-estimate Sony at all and base their future actions on what they did in the past. I know several of us have got jaded at Sony for providing the impression of "not listening" to feedback from users. Sony has not gotten to be a global powerhouse by keeping on repeating mistakes in the segments where they have decided to become a major player in.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:40
Originally posted by roweraay roweraay wrote:


Agree. And IMO, the A900 will shortly be discontinued.


I don't agree, given the current economic climate.

I think the A900 will remain for a while (probably 12 months) and Sony use the A850 to build market share. The 900 will be there if you want the 5 FPS and 100% viewfinder. Yes I think it will be replaced with a higher spec camera, I don't think it's soon.

Cheers

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:58
Originally posted by vbpholaw vbpholaw wrote:


the out-of-production A700 with now no sign of a replacement anytime soon (interesting that the A500/550 references on the Sony website are now gone - what if anything does that mean?)

I said this already, sometimes things are more simple than we do imagine.
a500-a550 are not supposed to be a700 replacement IMHO. These are just what the name do suggest; higher grade cameras than a2xx ones and lower grade ones than a7xx would be. If the spec and features do come close to a700 (or even surpass it in some aspects then it is only because these are new and a700 in 2 years old). Let's not forget that Sony has started their development cycle with a700 and may easily be they will do the same with the a7xx type of camera in the future (i think we discussed this when we both wondered why didn't a900 bring new things that can be "downgraded" to cheaper models with time.)
Originally posted by vbpholaw vbpholaw wrote:


But will that camera (or cameras) be an A700 higher APS-C level, or more like a D90 mid-level APS-C camera, or maybe both?

d90 is in many ways an a700 class camera anyway IMHO (worst in some aspects but better on other).

I wrote a day or two ago, that we need to be realistic in a sense that currently Sony doesn't have a technology to provide a higher end APS-C camera. d300s is way out of rich for Sony at this moment and since demands for video capability increases with each day even canon xxD is somewhat out of rich (at least in the eyes of most press media and even end users). This leaves Sony with no options regarding a700 replacement; what can they provide significantly more to justify a700 replacement name? AF adjust or inteligent preview aren't such things. I guess (hope) they are working on it but that will not happen tommorow (and my guess is that a900 replacement will not come sooner than that .. again think development cycle).

And in the end .. it is all about the market and the market didn't pay them off for the biggest viewfinder or in body stabilization of FF camera, or 25MP for less than 3000$. Unfortunately those things have attracted too few enthusiast and random pro user (most of those use multiple system anyway). They played on those cards and they somewhat lost the game (and a850 may come as a rescue).
But the market rewarded them for "3" (is one model only in 3 packages in my book but that doesn't matter) low end models and that will certanly influence future decisions.

I still hope that someone at sony will open their old bottle and release their old spirit of innovations which is needed to rule their plans. They lost that; they can buy minolta assets or pay zeiss for excellent lenses but that alone, without inovations and proactive aproach isn't enough.

And again, among many bad decisions Sony did make, a850 seems like a very good move to me; not that i personally need it, but many may be happier than you and I may be with our a900 and this will come at a lower price


Edited by Kiklop - 02 August 2009 at 02:01
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 01:58
Originally posted by mtiller mtiller wrote:

Originally posted by roweraay roweraay wrote:


Agree. And IMO, the A900 will shortly be discontinued.


I don't agree, given the current economic climate.

I think the A900 will remain for a while (probably 12 months) and Sony use the A850 to build market share. The 900 will be there if you want the 5 FPS and 100% viewfinder. Yes I think it will be replaced with a higher spec camera, I don't think it's soon.

Cheers

Mark


I just don't see keeping the a900 around when Sony will have what will be a presumably significantly cheaper camera which is virtually identical to the a900. The a850 makes no sense unless it is significantly cheaper, and there will be very few photographers to whom the extra 2FPS and the extra 2% in the VF will be worth the several hundred premium.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 02:19
Originally posted by Kiklop Kiklop wrote:

   it is all about the market and the market didn't pay them off for the biggest viewfinder or in body stabilization of FF camera, or 25MP for less than 3000$. Unfortunately those things have attracted too few enthusiast and random pro user (most of those use multiple system anyway).


Kiklop its so easy for me to agree with every thing you say

But don't you think that if the images both raw and jpg were exactly like the images out of the D3x in all ISOs which is basically the same sensor that things would have been different and more photogs would have been attracted to the A900. they made the same mistakes again as they did in the the A700 IMHO

Edited by aarif - 02 August 2009 at 02:23
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 02:20
I'm interested to see that you like the A850 Kiklop. From most of your posts that I have read since the fist leaks of the a900, I have really wondered why you continue to maintain an interest in Sony and the alpha mount at all.

Sony, unfortunately are damned if the do, damned if they don't. From what I can see with the latest releases is 1 thing. Making cameras that are accessible to the market as opposed to those that are innovated.

I have to admit that I would have thought Sony would have been more up on the innovation side. From my personal standpoint (remember, I am ever so slowly heading towards more traditional photography), the fact that Sony is sticking and possibly honing existing technology should be lauded, not blasted.

I see the A850 as totally part of a marketing strategy, nothing more nothing less. Remember, Sony were way behind the 8 ball when they started. Wouldn't it make more sense to get marketing penetration first by offering something at a better price point then making the latest whizz bang thing that no one can afford?

For me, personally, I hope I can get at least another 2 to 3 years life from my A700. BUT, I am looking at this a850 as hopefully a cheaper (even if it is $500) way to get into a FF camera.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2009 at 02:24
Originally posted by Hoffy Hoffy wrote:

I'm interested to see that you like the A850 Kiklop. From most of your posts that I have read since the fist leaks of the a900, I have really wondered why you continue to maintain an interest in Sony and the alpha mount at all.


I think Kiklop has not stated that he personally likes the A850. He has only stated that it is a good market move from Sony.


For me, personally, I hope I can get at least another 2 to 3 years life from my A700. BUT, I am looking at this a850 as hopefully a cheaper (even if it is $500) way to get into a FF camera.



Precisely ! And you are in one of the key groups that Sony is specifically targeting with the A850.
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