Some A700 ver-4 update results
If you were not aware, SONY released (kind of accidentally) the new upcoming version 4 bios for the A700.
It added a +/-2 EV to the bracketing function, making HDR images a heck of a lot easier to produce. So ... in my constant need for review ... I tried it out ... at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, today. This first image is only an hour old. I will populate this thread with some of the results I have gotten from roughly four lenses:
1) Sony 50mm f/1.4
2) TAMRON 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 Di
3) TAMRON 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 Di-II
4) Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6
Here is the first one I done, using that feature. Now, I am only going to provide the base exposure and then the resultant HDR for the over and under.
Here we go ...
Floral E (Base EV) Tokina 80-400
Floral E_HDR (Photoshop CS3)
Floral F (Base EV) Tokina 80-400
Floral F HDR (Photoshop CS3)
Waterfall 1 (Base EV) Tokina 80-400
Waterfall 1_HDR (Photoshop CS3)[/B]
Bridge (Base EV) TAMRON 18-250
Bridge_HDR (Photoshop CS3)
Please feel free to comment ... because, like anything, this is a learning process and everyone needs to understand the power of this newest feature that SONY has provided to the camera. Under the proper light, I was tripod-free and handheld-shots were a breeze. Just press shutter with "bracket-continuous" selected and hold still for the three shots.
I see this as a nice option when the sun is extremely powerful ... because you can quickly bring up those shadows, in the HDR ... and render the highlights. Snappy response, too, doing it.
Yes ... the A700 is HDR ready!
Yes ... that was the setting with the new version-4 upgrade fuctionality. I may just take a lot of my future shots, in this way. You can always pluck out the center exposure and just use it, like you normally would ... but NOW, in my estimation, at least you have the clear option of HDR, handheld, and no more fooling around, between shots, with the settings.
With this one change, the α700 jumps ahead and is definitely worth the price. This is a clear example of it actually and quite easily doing something you just cannot get (w/o some difficulty) from the introductory cameras. The problem is, it's a little hard to demonstrate in a store. LOL ;)
This is also a point where I have to add that an f/2.8 lens would come in very handy, to broaden the dynamic range of the overall shot, but that's just something to consider, on your next lens choice. You need to have the camera first. Should be a few well-maintained α700 coming free with the actual release of the α900, next month. Keep your ebay-eyes open.
Middle ground choices aren't bad ...
Look, when the weather gets better ... uh, next week! :rolleyes: I will try and do my dynamic HDR stuff. We've got rain predicted like ... forever, right now.
It has been my practice to purchase the middle offering in a product line. The premium stuff costs more and rarely offers that much more bang for the buck and better results. Yes, better glass is an exception to the rule, but the better camera body is definitely a "diminishing return."
I suppose it could be a "caste" type of choice, but I know I have always been dissatisfied with low-end stuff. I'm always left wanting for more and with my appetite ... that gets ugly real fast. :rolleyes:
So ... anyway ... the A700, while some believe it may be the top of the line ... it's mid-level or prosumer camera. I've stated it before and been chastized and castigated for it, but it truly is the BEST place to start, if you have a couple extra hundred and are serious about moving forward with photography.
I do not want to alienate the A200, A300 & A350 bunch ... as they do have their place, but I suggest that YOU have to decide what place YOU want to be in. The A700 definitely has the most "bang for the buck."
"What about this new A900, Don?"
Going to the A900 ... for most folks just will not be realized or realistic. It's 3x more than the A700 for the camera alone and 4x more, if you want to complete it (with flash, vertical grip & extra battery).
Add that to the sheer capacity you will need to adequately manipulate the A900 image files it creates. They overwhelm nearly 90% of the current PCs in use. That's a cost most people do not see until they get the camera home. It can be a shocking eye-opener, when you find that you need 4 GB of RAM and hyper-thread processor.
Yes, the A900 has the APS-C 13 MP Mode (Crop Mode), but why in the world would you buy a camera like the A900, when you are planning to operate it like an A700? Potential growth? I suppose that is an argument, but not a viable one, as the A700 would still be the cheaper and better solution, eventually advancing to the A900 when you are "damn good" ... and ready!
So ... all things being the same ... if you are still reading this, consider going to the A700 ... and get that return in your photography. I shoot it ... and I likes it. :D (Just an opinion)