Sony Full Frame 36MP Camera to Follow Nikon D800

Sony A99

Recent rumors purport to make the Nikon D800 a “sure thing” for a 2011 announcement.  While a follow-up to the Nikon D700 is overdue in terms of camera life expectancy, the biggest “shocker” of the rumor suggests a 36MP full frame sensor in the D800.

Nikon has relied on Sony for its past full frame sensors, and so, it seems logical that Sony would make use of such a sensor in its own Alpha-series DSLRs as well (as in the Nikon D3X and Sony A900 models).  And that me be what’s to come with a new full frame Sony camera sporting the same 36MP Sony sensor to be found in the Nikon D800. [Read more...]

Firmware Friday: Sony A900/A850, Fuji HS10, Panasonic FZ100/FX700/FX75, Ricoh CX4

Camera    Firmware Update

Below you will find this week’s firmware updates.  Hit the manufacturer website links for more details and download instructions for the firmware.

Sony A900 / A850 version 2.0 – “You can release the shutter even when no lens is mounted on the camera (P/A/S/M and Auto mode). The range of the exposure compensation is expanded to ±5 EV (Before the update: ±3 EV). The following setting has been added to the continuous bracket and single bracket shooting functions: The exposure bracket can now be set in 3 EV increments and the camera shoots three images ([3.0 EV– +3.0 EV]). (Before the update: Up to 2.0 EV). The speed of autofocus has been improved. The improvement will be most noticeable when using a tele lens, however the effect is dependent on the shooting condition.” [Sony Website]

Fuji HS10 version 1.04 – “1. Custom white balance can be set correctly when an external flash is mounted. 2. On slide show mode, sound of movie recording data can be performed on the HDTV which is connected with the camera via HDMI interface.” [Fuji Website]

Panasonic FZ100 version 1.2 – “1. Image quality improvement of Motion Deblur in iA Mode 2. Performance improvement of autofocus in taking pictures while recording Motion Pictures” [Panasonic Website]

Panaonsic FX700 and FX75 version 1.1 – “1. Image quality improvement of Motion Deblur in iA Mode (FX70/ FX75/ FX700) 2. Performance improvement of autofocus in taking pictures while recording Motion Pictures (FX700)” [Panasonic Website]

Ricoh CX4 version 1.05 – “Modified the following phenomenon. 1. In the Night Landscape Multi-shot, when pressing the shutter release button half way, the camera shake warning symbol camera shake warning will not be displayed in the screen.” [Ricoh Website]

Sony A850 and A900 Review

Sony A850 and A900

The Sony A850 and A900 are full frame cameras that pack in 24.6-megapixels on that big sensor.  The cameras appear at the top-end of the Alpha system line up.  At first blush, the A850 appears almost identical to the pricier Sony A900.  After delving deeper into the A850, you’ll discover that there’s really not a whole lot of difference between it and the A900.

Because of the similarities between these two cameras and the fact that I reviewed them simultaneous, I decided to publish one review for both cameras rather than than two separate reviews with only minor changes in the text. [Read more...]

Sony A850, A900 and Canon 5D Mark II – More ISO Comparisons

For those of you interested in a little more pixel peeping with the Sony A850, A900 and Canon 5D Mark II, I’ve added several more samples taken at various noise reduction settings.

I’ve made all of these available in this forum thread, which includes 100% crops and full-res files for download and inspection.

The original ISO comparison, which did not use noise reduction, can be found here.

Sony A850, A900 & Canon 5D Mark II ISO Comparisons

Sony A850, Sony A900, Canon 5D Mark II

The Sony A850 is the newest full frame DSLR from Sony.  It’s based largely on the Sony A900; however, its a couple of notches below on feature sets.  Since the A850 uses the same 24.6-megapixel sensor as found in the A900, we shouldn’t expect any real difference in image quality between the two.

Although, comparing these two cameras to the Canon 5D Mark II, which is the current prosumer state of the art for low-light performance, is another story.  You’ll also see some Canon 7D samples at higher ISOs for the sake of comparing a crop-sensor camera to these full framers.  To see how the Sony A850 and A900 stack up, read on. [Read more...]

Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D700 & Sony A900 Comparison at Photocrati

Photocrati has published a comparison of the three mid-range, full frame DSLRs – the Canon 5D Mark II, the Sony A900 and the Nikon D700.

In conventional operation, the D700 was lightning fast in all aspects. Automatic Chromatic Aberration Correction optimized the performance of any lens for class-leading quality. While resolution is “only” 12.1 MP, the D700 images are very clean so they can be resed up significantly in Photoshop or other software for making oversized prints.

For more news and reviews, you can also check out the Sony A900 Reviews and Resources, Canon 5D Mark II Reviews and Resources and Nikon D700 Reviews and Resources.