Sony Alpha A700K 12.24MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical ED Lens – Product Description:
A unique combination of superb picture quality, quick response, creative shooting and sensational viewing make the Sony Alpha 700 DSLR a superior value for serious photo enthusiasts. Its newly designed Exmor CMOS image sensor captures 12.24-megapixel resolution with on-chip noise-canceling before and after A/D conversion. Advanced performance features include continuous shooting at 5 frames per second, an 11-point center dual cross AF system with f2.8 sensor for enhanced precision, and the Super SteadyShot in-camera image stabilization system that works to minimize blur with every lens you use. For sensational viewing, there’s a photo-quality 3.0-inch LCD screen and direct HDMI output to Sony Bravia HDTV and other compatible HDTV screens — and Sony puts all this together in a rugged magnesium-alloy body.
|Product Features :
Sony Alpha A700K 12.24MP Digital SLR Camera – Review:
Finally a great camera … FINALLY!
I have to start off by saying I did not want to like this camera! I have been a Minolta professional since the early 90’s and embraced the Konica/Minolta 7D when it FINALLY hit the market. But I was very disappointed when Sony bought out the line then only produced the equivalent of the K/M 5D. Definitely a descent consumer grade camera, but not suited for professional work. I waited and waited and decided to jump ship to Canon. Then I heard a rumor of an upgrade to their line. In a way they ticked me off. The wait was way too long and I had decided to spend an exorbitant amount of money to switch systems. The camera body is irrelevant from a financial standpoint. I have about twelve grand tied up in specialty lenses that I use on a consistent basis.
So, with the rumor in the air, I waited a bit longer. I won’t say that I am thrilled I waited, but I will say that I am becoming increasingly happy with this camera. In some ways, it surpasses it’s competition, the new 40D. In other ways, the Canon has it beat. I’m not a loyalist, I am realistic about equipment.
What bugs me about this camera:
First, simple and silly perhaps, but since this camera is a solid 100 to 200 dollars higher than the Canon, I would hope, dare I say, expect it to come with a CF card. Nope! Now, they are cheep enough today, but all the more reason to include one.
Second, I have lived without it for years, but I would like to see live preview like you find on the Canon and Nikon equivalents. It would be beneficial while shooting architecture as well as table top. I view on a big LCD TV and it would be nice to see live preview.
Also, 12 bit instead of 14 bit color like Canon has. No huge deal, but we are moving forward, right?
Now, what I love about the camera. I have been shooting the K/M 7D since it first came out and the controls are similar enough to get right in and go. I love the virtual “one button for each function” thing. And the quick navigator was intimidating for about three seconds, then it was/is just great.
The screen is very hi res and gives great detail. I can actually zoom in and get exceptional proofing right on the camera itself. Canon and Nikon both are pretty good too, but I have to say the Sony has them beat hands down with the screen.
I shoot Architecture quite a lot and always use the K temperature setting. On this camera, it is accurate and matches the settings given to me by my color meter. What blew me away was seeing a green/Magenta adjustment along with the K value setting. It is listed in full degrees and not fractions like my filter package, but the thing saves a lot of time correcting in Photoshop and calculating filters. The beauty is that it is done manually in camera and there is no “ghosting” effect or picture degradation due to multiple filters being used in front of my lens. The thing works GREAT!
Also for architecture and any ultra wide shots, the Sony 11-18 mm zoom is proving to be the most distortion free lens of it’s kind on the market today. The lens is virtually distortion free. This lens is superior to the Canon and Nikon equivalents that cost almost twice as much.
Now, 12 meg. 20% more than offered by the other two in the same range of camera. Not noticeable in some cases like portraiture when you simply don’t need that much res, but surely worth it in commercial and architectural shooting.
The remote control is pretty slick too. Without switching anything in the camera, you can hit the standard shutter button or a 2 second delay. I thought the delay would be really cool, because every other camera I ever had with a two second delay was used because the mirror locked up immediately and two seconds later the camera shutter went off, effectively removing the chance of camera vibration. This thing just waits two seconds and fires normally. So, I have no idea why there is a 2 second delay button. Perhaps someone can enlighten me. But I have to admit, I find myself using it in several cases. It’s a nice option.
The best reason now, I have read in Pop-photog that Sony told them that this would be their Midlevel camera. If that means they will be coming out with a 900 model with, perhaps, a full frame in the 22 meg range. I will be a very happy camper!
The bottom line for me is, it took them a bit too long, but it looks like Sony is actually producing a serious intermediat/professional grade camera. I will stay for a bit longer and see where this goes.
All of this and much more makes me glad I now have this camera.
The functions are easy, as easy as any on a camera with so many features. I really like the camera. For now, I will stick with the line and see where they go with it. Hopefully, Sony will keep with it’s tradition of innovation and excellence they are known for in video and television industry and move forward with a true usable professional line.