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Old July 4th, 2013, 09:29 AM   #1
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Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

Hello all,

I am seeking opinions. My primary camera is a Sony FS100. I find myself doing more events where I need the use of a 2nd camera but budget will not permit a 2nd FS100. I also am wanting a DSLR to shoot marketing pics and production stills and thought a DSLR with AVCHD capabilities would be a good combination. After lots of research, I've just about decided on the A77. I would love to hear from folks who have experience shooting video with the A77. I am considering the kit with the 18-135mm lens which should make it a close match to the kit 18-200mm I have on the FS100 (considering the A77's crop factor) If not that lens then which Alpha Lens would you recommend? Anyone shooting vintage Maxxum lenses? How do they work? I know the mount is the same but does the AF and AE work on those lenses or would they be manual only?

I have never shot with a DSLR. (I know shocking right?) I only mention this as I have no bias towards any of the major makers (Nikon, Canon etc.) I do own a set of vintage Minolta MD lenses and really like the look of those with the FS100. I do not own a single Nikon or Canon lens so any purchase for me is going to require an investment in lenses. If someone has a better option than the A77 for me, I am all ears. Thanks for your help. Joe
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Old July 4th, 2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

I use an A77 for that exact reason.

In most reasonably lit situations the images have been fine. Used it for corporate and broadcast work and nobody has complained. In fact quite the opposite, had some quite positive comments regarding the image. Kills the Canon 7D and 5DMkII regards aliasing and moire artefacts. Watch me get shot down over that comment! Don't expect it to be a great performer in low light though. 1600 ISO is its max in video and its showing noise. Stills in daylight? Very happy clients, what more can I say.

An added bonus is the fact that the kit lens, the 16-50mm f2.8 fixed aperture parfocal lens works very well with the LEA2 adapter with the FS700. I would assume it would behave the same with the FS100. The 16-50 in APSC is basically the same as a 24-75mm in full frame coverage so a very handy 3 x zoom.

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Old July 5th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #3
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

Thanks for the info Christopher. I've read lots of good things about the 16-50mm 2.8 lens but I can save $300 with the 18-135mm and the extra reach would be helpful in shooting in large auditoriums. Do you have any experience with that lens? I know it is slower but so is my 18-200 kit on the FS100. Also... Do you by chance use the LA-EA2 adapter? I was thinking of getting one so I could share lenses between the FS100 and the A77. That would be the biggest reason for me to get the 16-50mm as the extra speed would be great for interviews on the FS100 but I have read some discouraging reviews. Thanks again. Joe
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Old July 8th, 2013, 01:00 AM   #4
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

Joe, it's not "mainstream" like Canon, Nikons you apparently still have to exit Live View to change aperture in Manual Mode, I don't know anything about Sony...

...But the Panasonic GH3 may be worth looking at. Some of the sharpest and best video is coming out of those, and your vintage Minolta lenses should work in Manual Mode with a pretty inexpensive adapter.

Almost all "legacy" lenses from major manufacturers can fit and work on the Micro Four Thirds cameras with often very inexpensive adapters. I have 2 Nikkor AI/AI-s lenses that function perfectly on my GH3's with a $17.95 adapter, but I mostly use "native" Lumix and Olympus lenses. They are lighter, smaller, and as sharp as any other optics I've had for Nikon and Canon in the past. The primes I have in m4/3 have maximum apertures of f2.5, f1.8, f1.7, and f1.4.

Couple those with the high ISO performance of the GH3 (3200 CLEAN, 6400 very little if any noise) and the low light results are great.

Just a suggestion...
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Old July 8th, 2013, 12:01 PM   #5
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

Joe ~

I have no experience with the 18-135. I guess you would have to try one out. Slower yes but it should work ok and as you would know 3200 ISO is totally useable on the FS100 so I donít see a major problem with one.

Yes I do use the LEA2 adapter and if you want most of the auto functions that the Alpha lenses offer, bar the stabilisation, then that's the best option. I say bar stabilisation because on Alpha cameras stabilisation is in the camera body not in the lenses.

I also use a cheap eBay Alpha to NEX manual adapter that has an inbuilt iris control ring that couples with the iris control lever in the Alpha lenses. I've done a bit of experimentation with that manual adapter with the 16-50 DT lens and that can be seen at:


The 16-50 DT with manual adapter is in the first section of the clip.

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Old July 9th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #6
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

Bruce,

Thanks for the heads up on the GH3. I did take a close look at it based on your recommendation. (Too many YouTube reviews to count) It looks great but unfortunately it sells for about $1200 for the body alone while the A77 is down to $900 for the body. (I believe sony has made some noise about replacing the A77 next Spring if the rumors can be believed.) So at the current prices, I think I am going to go with the A77 with the 16-50mm F2.8 lens and pick up the LA-EA2 adapter so I can share that lens with my FS100. If I hadn't already headed down the SONY road by investing in the FS100, I could very easily make a different choice.

Chris,

Can you send me a link to that adapter for Alpha to NEX? If I understand correctly, you use that adapter to use the 16-50mm F2.8 in full manual mode? Does that lens have a direct focus ring instead of servo ring? The LA-EA2 will allow me to use the Alpha lenses with auto focus. Right?

Thanks again to both of you for your help. Joe
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Old July 9th, 2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

I used an A77 with the DT 35mm f/1.8 paired with a FS100 using the A77's DT 16-50mm f/2.8 (among other lenses) for this shoot. There are also a couple FS700 shots in here as well.

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Old July 9th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

Thanks for posting up the video Ryan. I think I saw another video you posted a while back where you covered a Rally Race where a driver was killed. I think you shot that mostly on an A77(Can't remember where I saw it) Your work looks great. Something to aspire to. Joe
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Old July 10th, 2013, 12:06 AM   #9
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Re: Is the Sony A77 a good match with FS100?

Thanks, Joe. Yes, that was a TV doc I shot completely on the A77 (and GoPros) while I was in-between my NX5U and the FS100. The episode is running right now on Indieflix and nobody has every complained about the quality of the video. The A77 (or 99) and FS100 match very nice.

On a related note: One of my TV shows that had one segment shot on the A77 and another with a NEX 7 (if the damn thing just wouldn't overheat!) recently aired on the South Africa Ignition Channel (their version of Speed TV) and also became available on Amazon HD streaming, XBox Live and Apple iTunes. Again, nobody complained about "quality" from that one, either. I still love the image from my FS100 better tho.
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