I've been considering moving to Sony for a while now after renting an A900 and selling off my nikon gear. I've had a backpacking trip planned for a few weeks and was hoping I'd be able to get an A850 in time for the trip.L uckily SonyStyle quickly stocked them after the announcement and delivered one to me today.
As everyone knows, the A900 the A850 are very similar. The RRS L bracket fit perfectly, operation & menus seem the same, etc. The biggest difference I noticed was in tactile feel - the rubber in the A900 definitely feels higher quality than in the A850. I didn't notice a huge different in viewfinders at all - I even tried framing shots with objects on the edge to see if it made a difference. Maybe I got lucky and my viewfinder is well calibrated off the bat, but I wasn't able to see a big difference.
I live in LA and took the camera out to Point Mugu State Park tonight. With the fires, there's lot of smoke in the air which made for a colorful sunset (I take my hat off to the firefighters out there). These are basically SOOC JPG images in 'neutral' mode (not a lot of raw support for it yet), and were taken with the cz 16-35 or the 70-300g.
2009-09-07 - 11:06:01
The fact that the current street price of the A850 is the same as the MRSP is irrelevant - what matters is the respective price that you would pay for the cameras now. In other words, if I want a new camera now and have Ł1900 burning a hole in my pocket why on earth would I want to spend Ł1900 on the A850 when I could get a marginally better version of exactly the same camera for Ł1650 and either keep the Ł250 or use it to get a VG or something else.
2009-12-22 - 09:50:58
I'm extremely happy with my A850. The image quality, colors, sharpness, the ease of controls are all top notch! The in camera IS and intelligent preview is the tops! Thank you Sony for making use of many of our fine Minolta AF lens and wireless flashes also!
So far I've sold (4) 40"X60" prints and my customers are all really pleased with the quality. On one of the 4 prints that customer spent $550 on it's frame. For the money this is in my opion the best full framer value out there at this time..
Just like my old 7D the 2sec.timer engages the mirror lockup functiuon. Love that! Unlike my old 7D the A850 has the viewfinder window to close when using the mirror lockup. Love that!
I'm also glad that all Minolta camera employees got to stay in their plants when the buyout was made by Sony.
2010-04-16 - 07:39:31
I've had the chance now to use this camera for over a month and I love it. I have the 85 f/1.4 zeiss lens attached to it for portraits / weddings, and it gets the job done--the resolution is amazing. I will hopefully be adding the 16-35 or 24-70 later this year. Canikon fanboys make a big deal about this camera having high iso 'issues', but they are mistaken. I prefer natural light and have gone up to ISO 3200 without complications--using nik dfine's noise reduction software only makes it better! I also have used flash in order to lower my iso and deliver great imagery.
The camera feels solid and has some weight to it with good glass. The shutter noise is very distinct, but that is to be expected with such a large mirror. In-body stabilization is as advertised and is incredible--I'm able to get crisp, hand held shots at 1/15 s with an 85 mm lens.
I've always been told that with anything involving optics, you will never go wrong with the system with the best glass, and I believe Sony is the leader by offering zeiss lenses. Yes--they don't have all of the different lenses that Canikon offers, but 99% of my work is done in the 16-200 mm range, and they offer amazing lenses for that focal length range (I could go even longer with the 400 mm G series lenses they offer--but I just have no need for it).
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