This deserves a better answer -- so here goes ...
'fdexclpl' - I was a little dismissive the other day, concerning your question of "Why an α700?"
I apologize for that ... because using one, you tend to forget the conveniences it provides that no other camera in the current SONY DSLR line-up can do, with the exception of the α900 Full Frame DSLR. Everyone seems so worried about the "new" one coming down the pike, you forget just how unique the α700 truly has been. Even today, by most standards, it is an awesome tool for taking images.
Using MR Mode (Memory Recall), you can instantly setup the camera for roughly everything you need for a specific type of shot, in MANUAL or whatever. While there are the "Creative Modes" (general scene specific variations of the AUTO feature), Memory Recall allows you to be completely in charge of how the camera "initially" sets up.
This is my high speed panel for "airshows" ... and does a pretty good job on a sunny day. You can tweak as you wish, but when you need a fast setup, this has proven to be a winner. 1/2000 may even be slow for some shots ... the beauty of the MR-settings is that it gets your rig close, with one click of the Mode knob.
The "Just try and get past me" settings
Try it out and see what it can do for you.
One of the other truly special capabilities of the α700 is sculpting around the noise curse ... by reducing this attribute and increasing that attribute (sharpness, contrast, brightness, zone <- see manual) ... you can take a lot of noise out of High-ISO shots. It's not prefect, but a heck of a lot better than the default. It tends to reduce the saturation, but you can easily add that back in post processing w/o the sensor noise.
Indoors, you should see significant results at ISO-3200 ... try the default AdobeRGB settings and then this modification in the custom. I added DRO Lvl 5 to the shot to pull up all ambient light ... it makes a tremendous difference in the overall exposure, and again, an α700/α900 exclusive feature and always subject to your taste and lighting.. Also, DMF is employed here, being a much slower shot and probably subject to some manual focus changes ... after autofocus is achieved, e.g., allowing management of a shallow Depth of Field.
The "Low-light Imaging Machine" settings
Again, if you shoot RAW ... you can pretty much ignore all of this, because you could have just half-the-camera the α700 is and RAW would yield the same result. In RAW, no serious processing is taking place in the α700 camera, but ONLY in your RAW software. These settings make use of the tools already built into the α700 camera's software processing for creating extraordinary JPEGs. JPEGs straight from the α700 can be transferred immediately and, quite obviously, that can be a real time saver.
Let me tell you this ... you won't find this on an intro-DSLR. And yes, you need to have access to these features to truly appreciate them. Although, using the intro-DSLR ... you should kind of get the feeling of what they cannot do, directly through your image results. That is where the α700 camera steps up, excels and just fills in the gaps in your photography.
Now, go get one and learn the good stuff.
Last edited by DonSchap; 05-24-2009 at 08:36 AM.
- BFA, Digital Photography
A Photographer Is Forever
Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.
Don, and others any good tips or advice on setting the brightness and zone matching when doing custom settings? or anyone know a of a good link to more detailed info? the manual and the 'filed guide' are rather lacking on any info or application. I am thinking about shooting some Memorial day stuff in black and white outside in the bright sun so I am thinking those settings may need tweaked. Should I have started a new thread?
Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
My reasons for preferring the A700 to the A350...
CMOS sensor (although smaller) is superior to CCD.
Better shutter (1/8000th) and 5fps
Flash sync at up to 1/250th
PC Sync socket
Faster AF motor (I think)
Mirror lock up (although only on 2sec delay)
Bright Pentaprism Viewfinder
These are not the only diffs just what's important to me. You may find the lack of live view to be a minus.
Also has a DMF button, DOF preview, and better ergonomics.
Originally Posted by Peekayoh
It does have a faster AF motor (speed and specs, can do F/2.8)
Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II
I finally answered my own question. I was out today taking my first shots with my new a700 and Tamron 17-50. It is a little intimidating at first. The a700 is definitely a more complex camera. I'll need some time to get used to it. Oh no, that means I need to practice, practice, practice. What a shame!
Canon 7D - Canon 17-55 IS USM - Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS - Canon 50mm f/1.8 - Sigma 30mm f/1.4 - Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 - Canon 430EX II Speedlite
Way to go, fdexclpl!
Now go and have some fun. Practice=fun.