Quantcast Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

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  1. #1
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    Default Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    Hey guys, I've been looking at the Sony a99, but would like to get your thoughts too. Are there any competitors' cameras in the same price range with the same functionality that is better than the a99?

    Budget
    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
    <$1500 for camera + lens + accessories. But cheaper is always better.

    Size
    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
    Doesn't matter as long as it can fit in a bag that would be considered a "carry-on" on airplanes.

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you?
    No preference, will not be making large prints.

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x)
    Higher the better, but I have never ran into any situations 4x won't do.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
    9, ease of use being 10.

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)?
    Yes

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?
    Photography when traveling - big cities, bright lights, natural scenery, and most importantly night shots night shots night shots.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    No

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    Yes, a lot.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    No

    Miscellaneous
    Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    No Macs... Oh wait... No.

    Are there particular models you already have in mind?
    N/A

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
    It would be awesome if the camera can take a beating. That's not to say that I'm negligent, I just worry about accidents (a lot).
    Last edited by AmazingGracePlayer; 02-18-2014 at 07:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    Ruggedness is going to be hard to pin down. Here is one article for thought -

    LensRentals.com - Lensrentals Repair Data: 2012-2013

    Kelly Cook
    Olympus PL2, Canon EOS 50D, Fujifilm F45fd, various film dinosaurs

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    Ruggedness is definitely not required, just a good thing to have. Kind of like an ND filter.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    Here's this website's review of the Sony SLT-A99:
    Sony Alpha A99 Review: One Exceptional Camera

    As you can see our reviewer thought very highly of the A99 with the exception of its short battery life compared to other DSLR's - only 300-500 shots per charge.

    The A99 is Sony's high end full frame DSLR. Other full frame DSLR's in the Sony's class are the Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III. When comparing cameras of such high quality ergonomics plays a major role. The Sony is smaller and lighter in weight than the Nikon and Canon because the Sony lacks a movable mirror. The Sony also has an electronic viewfinder rather than the conventional optical viewfinders of the Nikon and Canon, though all three viewfinders do a terrific job. If you want to save a bit but still have the advantages of a full frame DSLR, the Sony a7 and a7r are great alternatives to the a99, just as the Nkon D600 and D610 are to the D800 and the Canon 6D is to the 5D mark III.
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    How is the 5D Mk3 compared to the A99?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    Dunno about other parts of the world, but in the USA many, many pros shoot with Canon and Nikon full frame cameras. Hardly any shoot with the A99. Sony's new A7 is getting a lot more attention than the old A99. At this time there are very few full frame E-mount lenses for the A7. The old Alpha mount lenses can be used with the A7 with an adapter. But that adapter does slow down the auto focus some.

    Long winded way of trying to say that Sony full frame have been something of a "niche" choice. Sony's APS-C format SLT models have been more successful for Sony than their full frame SLT-A99. Though with time (for more lenses) the new A7 could change that.

    Kelly
    Last edited by KCook; 02-16-2014 at 06:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    I guess it's a toss up between the A99 and 5D Mk3. Cost-wise, they are pretty similar, and both have great reviews.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    Here's this site's review of the Canon 5D Mark III.
    Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review: Going Pro
    As the review notes the 5D Mark III is a superb camera with excellent auto focus and metering. It takes good looking still pictures and terrific video. It has aggressive noise reduction but you can tone it down or shoot in RAW.

    Compared to the a99 the Canon 5D Mark III has better video, much better battery life, better auto focus, but perhaps not quite as good in still image quality. The Sony a7r is probably even better than the a99 in terms of still image quality due to the absence of a low pass filter and is much smaller and lighter in weight. But the a7r, like the a99, is inferior to the 5D Mark III in video, battery life and auto focus.

    Bottom line, the Canon 5D Mark III is probably the better camera all around.
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    Okay, so I lowered by budget by a little (a lot). Any recommendations for a sub $1500 camera?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Been eyeing the a99 - what would you recommend?

    For $1500 you won't be able to afford a full-frame DSLR like the ones you were looking at, but there are some excellent cameras available, though with smaller sensors.

    Three solid picks are the Canon 70D, Nikon D7100 and Pentax K-5 IIs.

    The 70D is the newest of the three. It has the best video capability of the three and the fastest, most accurate auto-focusing. It has built-in WiFi. However, it's relatively slow in live view mode (shooting while using the LCD).

    The D7100 has better image quality than the 70D because it lacks an anti-aliasing filter and has more megapixels. It has dual memory card slots so you can use one card for JPG's and the other for RAW images (the 70D has only one slot). However its auto-focus system is not as good as the 70D, both for movies and shooting still images. It also lacks built-in WiFi.

    The Pentax K5 IIs has excellent image quality because it also lacks the anti-aliasing filter. It has dual memory card slots and a fast, accurate auto focus system. Unlike the Canon and Nikon the Pentax has in-body image stabilization. The K-5 IIs is significantly cheaper than the Canon and Nikon. However its video mode isn't as good as the 70D and the D7100 and it lacks built-in WiFi.

    Of the three cameras the Canon 70D is the best pick if you intend to take a lot of videos. For pure image quality the D7100 and K-5 IIs are probably better.

    Here are this website's reviews of the 70D, the D7100 and the K-5 II (which is not as good as the IIs because it has the anti-aliasing filter).

    Canon EOS 70D Review: Video Rock Star

    Nikon D7100 Review: Fantastic Flagship

    Pentax K-5II Review: A Praiseworthy Challenger
    Last edited by Andy Stanton; 02-18-2014 at 09:47 AM.
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