SONY has, one week after the leak of a final version of Firmare v4 for the Alpha 700, placed authorised download links on their support websites along with an updated Image Data Suite 3 which can handle Alpha 900 raw files. Quick download links are given here with key features.
Sony has released – without announcement – a new firmware version for the Alpha 700 which includes an OFF function for high ISO. This is presumed to be in advance of tomorrow’s press conference, where the Alpha 900 will be revealed. Journalists could be expected to ask questions about the NR, and the lack of firmware upgrades to the Alpha 700, and they have acted just in time for this launch and photokina to remedy the situation. Article with image samples and download links:
It’s not going to be long before we see the Alpha 900, and some cameras are known to be out there on trial in the hands of Sony staff and pre-release testers. I am not one, so rest assured, this is not a leak! What can you expect from the Alpha 900’s full-frame prism finder?
(Note: this post was written in early August – it is now 100% certain that the finder is 100%, and at 0.74X magnification will be – as had been hinted – the largest of all current DSLR finders in apparent visual terms except the EOS 1Ds Mk III which is 0.76X. Comparisons: EOS 5D 0.68X, Nikon D3 0.70X).
The latest release of Adobe Lightroom, v2, handles all Sony Alpha and earlier KM digital camera raw formats including the Alpha 700, 200, 300 and 350. It is also updated, along with the final release of Adobe Camera Raw 4.5, to handle Nikon D700. Because Canon appears to have left their filetype identical to the A400, their new 1000D was recognised immediately by ACR even in 4.5 beta version. Continue reading »
SONY Alpha prices are now the lowest of any competing DSLR system – for current-model bodies – on the UK market. Dealers are now selling the Alpha 200 body for as little as £229.99 and even the Alpha 350 has dropped to under £400 body-only. £100 cashback on the Alpha 700 body, £150 on any Alpha 700 body+lens kit, has been extended to September 30th.
A typical specialist Sony ACE dealer advertisement from London Camera Exchange, about to be printed in Photoworld, reveals the latest price deals:
Click on the ad to view a full size copy. If you call LCE be sure to ask about their deals offering one year’s FREE membership of Photoclubalpha with four issues of our full colour quarterly Photoworld magazine.
Now that there are five Sony Alpha DSLR bodies in circulation, with many owners of the original 2006 Alpha 100 considering a replacement, the differences between this ur-Alpha and the 2007-8 generation of Alpha 700, 200, 300 and 350 need examining. Continue reading »
Moving a DSLR – preferably without vertical grip because of the further imbalance created – to portrait format shooting on a small tripod ballhead produces an unstable arrangement where the head is stressed. The camera may sag unless the head is tightened, and if the lens is heavy, it may also unscrew itself from the normal tripod bush tightening. A L-bracket is the ideal solution for mounting your camera for a portrait session or any other situation where most of the images will be vertical. Continue reading »
There’s a lot of controversy right now about whether or not the image structure of the Alpha 700 files at very high ISO – mainly 3200 and 6400 – is as clean as raw processed results from other comparable cameras like the Canon 40D (does not offer ISO 6400), the Olympus E-3 (does not offer ISO 6400) or the Nikon D300. At the heart of this is the way different raw processors handle file conversion, and most specifically, the current performance of Adobe Camera Raw 4.3.1. Continue reading »
Apple’s Aperture 2.0 is a tedious program to test, with all its creation of ‘projects’ and ‘libraries’, ‘albums’, ‘vaults’ and nonstandard GUI, and it isn’t fast in processing files or passing them to Photoshop (which it does in 16-bit form, just another step to reverse before saving as far as I’m concerned). However, it’s handling Alpha 700 raw quite well. And it does things differently, with non-destructive raw editing, stacks of image versions, and so on. Continue reading »
NOT everyone will want the live view offered by the A300 and A350 – it does turn out to be more or less as we suggested, a secondary optical path adjacent to the eyepiece inside the prism housing. I’ll explain here exactly what the implications are, and why a future model – let’s call it the A500 – offering the 14.2 megapixel sensor without the live view may be worth waiting for. Continue reading »