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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 31st, 2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

Which do you prefer for events like weddings? I have not bought a dslr and this would be my first.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

What else are you shooting with that it would have to match up with ?
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Old December 31st, 2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

If you are using it for video...

Does the Sony have live video focus? The info sheet says object tracking so it might. I know it's getting great reviews and has built in image stabilization so you could use older lenses with it, which is sweet.

If the Sony has live focus, I'd get that. If it doesn't, I'd get the 70D.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

ALL Sony SLT's have had live focus from the beginning, Sony was the last one to the table with video in their interchangeable lens/SLR style cams because they wouldn't release 'em until they had live auto focus figured out...

I'd second the question of what other cams will you be shooting? AND also of importance... is if you have any compatible lenses/accessories or are you starting from "scratch"?

I'd be more comfortable with a Sony, just because I'm used to how they are designed, and it's likely that at least some of the accessories in my collection will be usable with whatever new model comes along - it would be different if I'd been shooting Canon. They both will tend to have different "looks" (thus the matching question), but both should be usable.

FWIW, the A77 is (over?) due for updating, probably within 6 months or so, if that factors into your decision making process. The A7/A7r/RX10 announcement just recently shook things up quite a bit as well, and might warrant exploration. I'm evaluating the RX10 vs. the other cams I've got, have yet to run some tests against the Alphas, but I suspect it may hold up rather unexpectedly well - I already know the RX10 will perform better in low light than the A77 with my "run of the mill" old Minolta lens collection for video... as "hybrid" cameras go, it does both stills and video quite well.

At least some of the decision making will hinge on your shooting style, whether you are doing both stills and video, and what other cameras are in the mix. To me, the SLR/SLT is primarily stills, but can do video - meaning I still rely on video cameras for what they do well - different tools for different purposes.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 01:13 AM   #5
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

The main reason to buying a cam is that I have a wedding in July I am going to shoot and my buddy will be my 2nd shooter using a canon dslr. The sony has me excited but i begin to think about that wedding and how having two brands will make the lens issue a pain.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 08:22 AM   #6
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

RX10 looks very very interesting Dave. Thanks for mentioning it. Disappointing zoom range (I have an FZ200 and the 28X zoom is SO nice, but the small sensor is not so great). So many options out there now it's mind boggling. I am dreaming of a large sensor cam like the Sony RX10 with a super zoom and constant F/2.8.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

I don't find the 24-200mm FF equivalent constant F/2.8 zoom on the Sony RX10 disappointing but then I am more used to 3-4X zoom on SLR lenses. Apparently the equivalent of ETC mode (what Sony calls Clear Image Zoom) on the RX10 is very usable & you can set it up so that it operates progressively & transparently so the effective zoom range can be 24-400mm FF equivalent all at constant F/2.8.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

The more I look at the RX10 the more I want it. Outstanding camera.

How does the CIZ feature hold up in low light, I wonder? The GH2 was useless in ETC mode in low light, at least for me.

But enough nitpicking...for the money this cam appears to have no direct competition at all.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

I'm still testing the RX10, but clear zoom looks quite good, and even digital is likely usable in a pinch, meaning you in theory can have an 800mm if you really "need" it. From my limited testing and others I've seen, it holds up fairly well up to around 6400 ISO, meaning it's got noise, but a usable image.

There are a couple RX10 threads here, scattered around DVi if you want some "user input", but yep, it's a very nice little camera. I tried the FZ200, and the 12Mp small sensor just didn't do it for me... the lens definitely caught my attention. While the RX10 is significantly more $$, the image quality is there, and that is what matters, IMO.

No cam of course is "perfect", but this cam ticks so many boxes... and it's a very fun camera to use. Of course the menus and controls can take LOTS of time to learn - very extensive, but there's always solid "auto" modes while you're learning.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 01:38 PM   #10
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

Dave, I can tell you that for most applications the FZ200 does not do the job for me most times, but it shines at full zoom from the back of a church, the constant aperture gives me a better image than my XA20. I use it almost exclusively for the zoom. A decent lens often costs double the price of the FZ200, so for that reason it's a keeper for me.

Sadly, even for photos the FZ200 is all too often useless without additional light, but the RX10 would be just fine, I'm sure.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 06:31 PM   #11
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

Yep, that constant 2.8 impressed me, the rest of the FZ200 was meh... I did like the fully rotating LCD and the high frame rate was "interesting", but in the end it wasn't up to my expectations for either stills or video, and looked too "different" from my Sony cameras, color wise. It was not bad, and worth testing, and of course made the decision to grab an RX10 when it was announced a little less painful!

The Zeiss constant f/2.8 lens on the RX10 is of course in another class (and another case of "how much would this cost for an equivalent ILC system lens?" Probably 2-3x the camera cost!), the sensor is from the RX100M2, which is a potent little "pocket" cam in itself, and it's a surprisingly well "balanced" camera performance wise. At the moment, every other camera in the "fleet" will have to measure up to it or be sold...

I've been impressed so far with even the maximum digital zoom (heresy, I know), not that you "want" to use that if you can help it, but Sony did OK with this one. There's a new generation Bionz processor under the hood that seems to be doing a fairly impressive job digesting and rearranging the info coming off the sensor into excellent images.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #12
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

I'm putting my XA20 on Ebay tomorrow and am looking very hard at the Sony. The 29 minute limit will be a real challenge. I have never operated a camera with a time limit and I do a lot of Catholic masses, they are usually an hour long. To forget it one time could be disastrous. I run 4 cameras alone most times and things can be forgotten so it's a scary thing to contemplate. I check cameras frequently, but still.

Shooting in very large churches with very long aisles means that the 672mm (for video) reach of the FZ200 will stay in my arsenal for a long time for those tight shots of the vows and ring exchange. It's footage is generic enough that it matches well with my other cameras. I have had more trouble matching the XA20 to my two XA10s than I have the FZ200! Which is why I'm selling it.
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Old January 5th, 2014, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

I do wish that limit could be eliminated... but I've been using Sony still cams (w/ the 29 minute limit) for a while as secondary angle cams, and haven't missed anything yet. You just have to be aware of that one extra thing and watch the record counter - I've been able to pick a "lull in the action" or stagger the small gaps. Still would be nice to not have that one "extra thing" on the checklist <wink>!
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Old January 5th, 2014, 02:30 PM   #14
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

I guess I don't get the hub bub about 29 minute limits but I came from older DSLR's with 12 minute limits. Though even that we worked around using Magic Lantern. Since we use 3 cameras and 2 people, it became a simple habit of, when I checked on each of my two cameras, if I knew the vows were about to start, I'd restart the recording to reset the clock.
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Old January 5th, 2014, 09:32 PM   #15
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Re: Deciding between 70d and sony a77...

Shot on the RX10:

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