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Old July 9th, 2013, 11:54 PM   #1
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Sony a99 IQ

Hello -

I am interested in getting this camera and I've been reading various reviews about the video image quality of this camera and they vary greatly from terrible to excellent.

Ive played around with camera a bit at the local Sony store and it seemed like a great camera. I even shot some stills and videos (on my SD card) in the store. Not an ideal setting to test the IQ, but nonetheless, the images (both the stills and videos) seemed great to me when I played them back on my computer and HDTV.

So if owners/users of this camera would be so kind as to chime in about what they think of the IQ (both stills and video) of this camera, Id greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!!
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Old October 10th, 2013, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

No full frame Sony fans in this forum?

We got a hold of the VG900 for a quick test last year but that's it...

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Old October 10th, 2013, 10:24 PM   #3
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

Well from this news byte, it seems that Sony will be bringing out some new cams with updated sensors ..... maybe.

Don't know how reliable this info. is, but if it is true, hopefully it will bring better video quality to Sony's FF sensors.

Sony NEX-FF Cameras Will Be Named Sony A7 and A7R | Daily Camera News
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Old October 10th, 2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

There seem to be a whole bunch of new FF Sonys in the pipeline. From some of the discussions here on DVi, the 99 was great for stills, but so-so for video, I expect Sony may be looking to "fix" that.

I have no complaints with the APS-C Sonys for video, and the little RX100M2 is sweet, so Sony probably wants to nail the FF this time, maybe even with 4K functionality?
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Old October 10th, 2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

4k?! Yes, that's what I was thinking as well. RAW would be welcome too .... as the Magic Lantern "hack" for the Canon 5D MK3 (as well as select other Canon DSLR's) seems to working very well ... although not perfect yet. If not RAW, then an MP4 recording option.

For me, the priority would be to just get "clean and outstanding" video in 1080/60p in RAW or MP4.

And yes, I agree in that this might be Sony's way of "fixing" that area where many videographers were disappointed at the output quality of the video footage of the a99.

We shall see. The "rumored" Sony event (where they will announce all this) is supposedly scheduled for Oct. 16th.

Lot's of "events" going on this month; Apple, Microsoft, Sony. Hopefully they all will announce and deliver great products ... though the "deliver" part is usually a "sometime in the near future" scenario!!
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Old October 13th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

One of the companies I shoot for has an A99 and we sometimes bring it out as a 2nd or 3rd camera for shoots. It actually makes some very nice images, but it's often difficult to get an exact picture match with the other cameras (Sony FS-700's). On a couple of occasions we've hooked it up to the same monitor as the 700's and tried to match the looks by A-B-C'ing on the monitor, but even though it looked pretty good on location, the editor said it was still a tough match in post. Probably our inability to match up to the same cinegammas and dynamic range of the FS700's. (these were multi-camera interview setups, so getting the match extremely close was valuable. The last couple of shoots we tried matching an FS100 to the FS700's, and that was a lot closer/easier. We decided that the A99 is best used when we don't need to get an exact match to the FS700's. One other thing about the A99 is that I've always found white balancing a counterintuitive process on it (if you're not using one of the presets.) Of course I find this true with most DSLR's...
On the other hand, the A99 is really great in extremely low light - We used it to shoot audience reactions at some large presentations where the only light on the audience was what bounced back off the stage plus the glow from the powerpoint projection screens. Using an f/1.4 lens we got some great shots that probably would have been too noisy with any of the video cameras (except the F5 or F3). Obviously at that light level the camera is seeing far more into the darkness than the eye!
As with any DSLR, I'd also HIGHLY recommend a larger monitoring viewfinder system for critical focus.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:16 PM   #7
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

Hey Dave -

Thanks for your sharing first hand experiences with the a99. Nice to know about the "matching" up to the other Sony cams. Albeit, those other cams are dedicated video cams, unlike the DSLR's which are primarily built for still photography first and (skillfully) tweaked to record video.

I think you're the only post I've read that didn't mention anything about the video quality being "soft" or "just not all there" for this cam.

I've played around with the a99 and recorded some video at the Sony store and the video footage seemed to be fine when I played it in my NLE. (The stills are unbelievably amazing!!).

I'm still a bit hesitant to pull the trigger on purchasing this though.

If this upcoming Sony event scheduled for Oct. 16th is for real, I'll be looking forward as to what, if any, new cams they will be releasing.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #8
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

As a stand-alone camera -- or if not trying to match gamma, contrast and color for the same shot with one of the super-35 sensor video cameras -- we've gotten very good results from the A99. Of course we do also use good glass on it - either primes or the Zeiss/Alpha 28-70 2.8. It's been very convenient because we use alpha adapters on the Sony FS-700's -- so the lenses are interchangeable among all the cameras and we don't have to carry as many extras that way.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #9
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

As the "other Dave" notes, mixing cameras can be "lots of fun" - I had a bit of that with my RX100 (M1), the M2 seems to be more compatible so far, or maybe I'm finally getting control of the little beastie (just figured out how to set custom WB - you go into a still mode, set the WB, then it's available as the "custom" preset in video, where it apparently CAN'T be set!). I've always tried to keep "matched" cameras if multicam is needed - it's just easier on the nerves! But as noted, if one camera does a specialized task "better" (like audience reaction shots), the extra hammer in the tool bag has its place!

I don't think the A99 is necessarily "bad", but it just doesn't seem like, from the user reviews and video samples I've seen, the video functionality lives up to the stills or to other cameras, for whatever reason. It happens sometimes... a camera just doesn't live up to expectations. The "bar" is being set higher and higher, and what was visually "impressive" 5 years ago probably is a bit of a letdown in comparison to "current" tech.

It will be VERY interesting to see what Sony has coming down the pipe... just a couple more days... They pretty well tore up and gutted their "traditional" product/marketing path, and supposedly are trying to do some revolutionary stuff. They realize the market has changed a lot, and I guess they want to change it with even more "different" cameras.

I know I now grab an HX300 (the extension of a long line of Cybershots), and/or the RX100M2 (the second generation of a "first of it's kind" camera) - not a Handycam or an Alpha most of the time! I'm pretty happy with both video and still quality, and it's easy to carry one or both! And neither one would be "replaced" by a cell phone!
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Old October 16th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #10
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

Well it looks like the Sony event was / is for real:

Sony US

Specs look great BUT ... it's going to be interesting to see how these cams perform in the "real world".
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Old October 16th, 2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

Product video about the A7 and A7R is up at sonyelectronics youtube. Confusing thing is when they talk about "full frame e-mount lenses". Does that mean some e-mount are NOT full frame?

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Old October 16th, 2013, 08:39 PM   #12
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

That's a good question... I'm under the impression that only SOME E mount are full frame capable. The others would vignette/crop... there seems to be a new "FE" (full frame E) designation...

It appears the "adapted lens" market is what Sony is after - guys with a nice collection of Canon or Nikon glass, pick up an adapter, instant full frame goodness... as an A mount guy with OK APS-C glass, I'm torn, the new cams (the A7 might be doable) look great, but it's almost starting from scratch... hoping that they haven't forgotten the A mount...

The RX10 looks interesting too, but hoo boy, that's a big retail price - the RX100M2 and an HX300 look like a pretty good "solution" I can live with for a while for quite a lot less!
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Old October 16th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

I didn't even think about that. Shallow flange depth means adapters can stick out further and make other lenses work. Again, it will be the manual lenses, that is, not EF or lenses with an expectation of focusing chips working. These chips are way more important for photo than cinema... Long live Rokinon.

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Old October 17th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #14
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

To use a term from the Wall Street Journal (what's happened to reporting these days!?) "according to a person familiar with the matter":

All e-mounts are APSC, along with their lens as well. If you use a non full frame e mount lens, it will still work but will be cropped to APSC. To counter this, Sony have planned 5 new full frame e-mount lenses.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 09:11 AM   #15
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Re: Sony a99 IQ

Dave Blackhurst - I hear you on that RX10...

Zebra, three steps of ND, clean HDMI out, clickless aperture, peaking for focus, optional XLR in...

wow.

News Shooter | Sony RX10: A video journalists delight?
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