Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Sony Alpha 900

Today I received the new Alpha 900, a 24Mpx full frame beast from Sony. While the specs showed promise and the cam delivered in final resaults, there are things I dislike in this cam.
It starts with the design. Thin(er) and deeper grip (while you might thing this is a good thing, it's not really. You have to work more with your fingertips, then the whole fingers and until you're not used to this, it does make it awkward to have a good grip on the cam), proprietary hot shue, awkward compact flash slot (CF slides out only about 5mm from it's slot. While this might make it a bit more secure, it's also a pain to get it out if you're in a hurry or have gloves on. It's almost impossible.), button layout, two hand start (on/off button is on the left side of the cam, so when you pick it up and hold it with your right hand, you can't turn it on as well, have to use the left hand as well), way to basic top LCD screen, strange preview options for main LCD screen, etc, etc.. Cam with a good lens, something like 24-70 2.8, is heavy, really heavy. Optional grip would help to hold it, but would also add more weight.

There are good sides as well, the viewfinder is big and bright, a joy to work with. The actual speed of the cam, from processing files to focus is impressive. 25Mpx RAW + JPG and it hardly broke a sweat in normal photo conditions. It offers dual memory slot Compact Flash Type I & II + MemoryStick Duo, but sadly no saving options like duplicate or backup.
Images are mostly great straight off cam. It does produce a bit warmer tones, but that can be easily fixed. Same with auto white balance.

Once you get used to the buttons, the menus, have the settings to you liking,.. it's easy and fun cam to use.