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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Des Plaines, IL

    Getting your money's worth...

    I am writing this observation as kind of an statement of exasperation... (sigh).

    One of the problems that I have been dealing with is the desire to see a better sensor and noise processing (smoothing algorithm) for the Full Frame camera. The α850 was a reduced speed α900, but identical in almost every other aspect. It was not an improvement. Again, since its release in 2008, the α900 has not had one, except for some firmware modifications.

    In the meantime, we have seen Nikon walk all over with their higher-end sensor performance. Again, I have always wondered if SONY (Minolta) was going to stay in roughly the same body design, why not make the sensor interchangeable, like CPU chips in the PCs? That way, when the updated sensor became available... in it would go.

    Anyway... I feel I have no choice but to keep plugging away with the older body... not that it cannot achieve a good image, but I know we can do better with a technology upgrade. Call it "Tweaknology"... allowing us to work "smarter," not harder. I do find it annoying to have to purchase a whole new camera body that looks almost identical to the former one.

    Now, admittedly, there are those photographers that tend to "bounce" their equipment, unmercifully, and I have to shrug... as their gear will be short-lived. I am smugly reporting that I have portable computers that have survived since the early-80s. I was never one on those "kickstand-optional" kids, who just threw their bicycle down when they got off it. Imagine, actually parking it upright! This respect for my "toys" has carried on through the years and I still have nearly every camera I ever bought... and they STILL work! So, this modular upgrade seems more practical and "green," than to always be throwing away the last generation of equipment.

    Don't get me wrong about this... I', not stuck on the idea of not developing... but, convenience has its price... and it looks pretty grim to me. A little more forward thinking and finance balancing would be deeply appreciated.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-01-2012 at 12:22 PM.
    Don Schap - 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.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    God's Country - Australia
    Interchangeable sensors has long been bandied about as a potential option for many reasons. Imagine a camera where you could interchange a d3x sensor for a d3s sensor when it gets dark. Can you imagine that ? Sure...so can the manufactureres and theyd have heart palpatations if the idea ever got legs !

    but think about it from a manufacturers point of view. Why would they want to sell something to you at 3000 when they could get you to pay 6000 for a whole new camera. Their factories are already kitted up for manufacturing bodies so its not like there is a large cost for the body shell which they couldn't then offset with the price increase. Not to mention that bodies also improve with more functional buttons, better screens etc.

    It also regrettably goes to our disposable culture. Who the heck gets anything fixed or repaired nowadays ? cheaper to chuck it out and buy new.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Don, I think your "statement of exasperation" expresses disatisfaction in two areas...
    #1 HighISO noise
    #2 Premature obsolesence

    I'm slightly surprised at #1, I didn't think that was a big issue for you in the same way as it isn't an issue for me.
    Sure, if it were higher I wouldn't complain but the A850/900 is good for iso1600 and even iso3200 can be Ok with careful processing.
    I think Sony are of the opinion that things are Ok where they are for the majority.
    If we are to believe the rumours, the next Sony FF (A99??) is to share the 36MP Sensor with the Nikon D800 which is due to make an appearance next week(?).
    I've always thought that Sony would goto 48MPs which, with pixel binning, could give a much improved highISO 12MP image.
    It can be done with the 36MP sensor but with a less useable 9MP Image.

    Premature obsolescence is more contentious. For instance, I would support an EU directive that manufacturers of domestic appliances give a 7 year warranty; that would immediately ensure that machines had a much longer life and a much reduced disposal problem. That's Ok for a mature technology but I'm not sure it would be appropriate for digital cameras where advances in functionality are still coming quite quickly; in any case, the more expensive cameras that you are talking about usually see more than one owner. I bought my A900 second hand and I will sell it on (providing I can raise the money for an A99) so it will see at least 3 owners and have a reasonable life span.

    For similar reasons I don't think an exchangeable Sensor is the answer. Even if the A900 would take say, a 12MP higherISO sensor, you would want a higher frame rate than that presently on offer so the concept would fail unless the camera was built to a much higher spec and a much higher price which would not suit everyone. I think that pixel binning offers a more elegant solution and is idealy suited to the SLT design and upcoming EVIL cameras maybe with on sensor PDAF.

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