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Sony Unveils Alpha DSLR-A700

by Team Sony 09/06/2007

The Alpha wait is over! 

Sony made a global announcement in the wee hours of the morning about the latest additions to our DSLR family. I’ve invited Mark Weir, the senior technology and marketing manager for Alpha and Cyber-shot cameras in Sony Electronics’ Digital Imaging and Audio Division, to provide some perspective behind these new product developments in a guest post below.

                                         

Hello again from Mark Weir, in Sony’s Digital Imaging group.   

By now, you’ve probably had a chance to see the announcement of Sony’s latest expansion of the Alpha system, including the DSLR- α700 camera. (Pre-orders begin today at sonystyle.com.) I hope you are as excited as I am about the new camera, lenses and accessories. I just wanted to convey some of the background behind them.

First and foremost, we wanted to meet your expectations for superior picture quality, so we developed the new 12MP Exmor CMOS imager and Bionz image processor specifically for α700. We think these new devices will help α700 deliver the picture quality you expect from Sony α (Alpha).

 
We also wanted the α700 to be fast and precise, so we developed all new autofocus, viewfinder and shutter designs. Of special note is the AF precision from dual cross center sensor and the extra f/2.8 sensor for fast aperture lenses. The features and specs provide more detail, but the feeling of responsiveness in your hand really lets you concentrate on your photography.

Many of you have commented passionately on the importance of fast access to camera controls – and we completely agree!  Because α700 offers so much control, we created powerful Quick Navigation and Customization which makes the camera not only powerful but intuitive. Many of you will notice we’ve eliminated the traditional “dual control dial” approach from previous cameras –but the new interface gives you even faster and more direct control.

We’re especially proud of the SAL16105 lens being introduced with the α700. Because wide-angle coverage is so important to good composition, the flexibility of a lens with 24mm coverage extending to nearly 160mm can really help your creativity – and it’s a natural companion for α700.

Adding a bit of Sony’s unique character, we’ve also incorporated support for the Photo Optimized playback capability featured in some of Sony’s new Bravia LCD HD TVs. Utilizing its built-in HDMI output connector, α700 can output 1080i HD images, and automatically trigger the Bravia LCD to display with the most accurate color, contrast and image quality.

There’s much more to these new models than I’ve mentioned here. But we hope their focus on image quality,responsiveness and control together with innovative image playback meet the high expectations we know you have for the α (Alpha) DSLR system.

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  1. guest_user wrote: October 8, 2007 5:53pm

    Ok, in Europe we don’t have to switch the grip sensor off and keep our good health thanks to EU legislation. Not bad at all ;-)
    to Elferrari: Rick Clancy told us some time ago that they think about developing this blog to provide us with a more comfortable feedback. I believe that he is actually doing his best to fulfil our needs.

    Regarding picture quality. To be honest, I’ve got some concerns after first overall positive impressions. Even some RAW pictures I found in some web communities show artifacts in 100% view. I never experienced such a lack of image quality with my Alpha 100. It think that it would be to the benfit of Sony (and the photographers of course) if Sony could address this issue in an article very soon.

    Reply
  2. guest_user wrote: October 8, 2007 6:22pm

    Update on image rotation issue from my previous posting.

    It seems that Sony got this setting exactly backwards. If you select ‘auto rotate’ images (which is the default) from the playback menu, images must be manually rotated in order to view portrait orientation to fill the LCD.

    If you choose ‘manually rotate’ then the camera automatically displays portrait acquired images in portrait orientation, and vertical images vertically.

    Very odd indeed..but glad to see this setting gives me what I wanted, more or less!

    Reply
  3. guest_user wrote: October 11, 2007 1:25pm

    Just a note;

    Sony is not currently listed in the official list of exhibitors at PMA 2008…
    http://services.pmai.org/pma/Exhibitors/Exhibitors.aspListRange=0Z&Prg_id1=EXPMA08&prg_id2=EXPMA08

    … So, you might want to get PMA to amend that list (I believe that Sony should be listed as it has a booth at G196).

    Reply
  4. guest_user wrote: October 11, 2007 4:16pm

    Hi Stuart,

    I just confirmed that Sony will be exhibiting at PMA 2008 and will be in booth #G196. Many thanks for bringing this to our attention. PMA has updated the exhibitor list.

    Reply
  5. guest_user wrote: October 11, 2007 7:18pm

    Cheers!

    I had noted the glitch when the list was first announced but (like most people) thought nothing of it. However; some rather silly stories had already begun to circulate!

    Reply
  6. guest_user wrote: October 12, 2007 11:07pm

    Sony, to do the DLSR thing right it is time to learn to deal with the Pro-Enthusiast stores.

    Kenmore Camera is one of the best in WA State. As a new A700 owner I asked why no Sony.

    Answer:
    At first we contacted them a couple of times, they called us or anything. One of the best Photography Stores in a major market and your sales people can’t be bothered to call!!

    Then he says we got some A100s in.. but they wouldn’t let us put them on our website. So now you are to artificially box in your smaller very influential dealers so they can’t put your stuff on a small website? Again..

    I have an A700, I know you can build great camera.. Can you properly incent your sales team to start building relationships with key influencers? This store is doing a two day photo show in the local convention center. with classes by Canon, Nikon, and Bogan… you want #3… start thinking about how you will sell that flagship and all those new Zeiss lenses if the stores people trust… are not on board.

    This store didn’t say anything bad.. I was buying bag… but they found your sales teams to disinterested and to protective of others websites. BAD Bad Bad..

    Great Camera.. time of look at how Canon and nikon sell if you ever want a shot at #2..

    Love my A700… thanks for a great camera… now get to work being a DSLR marketing expert.

    Reply
  7. guest_user wrote: October 17, 2007 8:13pm

    I would like to express my feelings about A700 image quality.

    I am afraid to say that I do not feel in camera Noise reduction in RAW files is acceptable at “any level” of SLR camera, let alone a semi professional model. By pre-applying noise reduction in RAW (and very heavily in jpeg too), you thus remove the reason to have RAW (aka DIY processing).

    The NR is so strong, even RAW, that artifacts are present in images, making processing very difficult (esp sharpening), limiting the sizes you can print at in high ISO.

    I find this a strange move, and one which is clearly done in response to the A-100 being noisy. Its a shame to have fallen on the most important issue, as its clear that in many areas, AF, metering, build etc etc, the A700 delivers in bounds.

    Sadly I have concluded that this means the A700 not suited to my work. Its about time all camera companies put image quality, over big megapixel numbers on the boxes. It simply put, doesnt rub at this critical level. People such as myself, demand superior image quality, and a choice of processing. At the end of the day, if working users feel this way, then they will simply find a maker that “does” deliver in this area.

    12mp sensor with big time NR, what were you thinking sony?

    I don’t expect a response, but I am sure many will agree with me on this issue.

    Reply
  8. guest_user wrote: October 18, 2007 7:03am

    I so want to get my hands on one, but try to find anywhere in Europe that has them in stock or can tell you when they will have one. The only option open to most people is Grey market imports from Asia, but no-one can say if Sony will honor the warranty……

    Reply
  9. guest_user wrote: October 18, 2007 12:14pm

    As your competitors (Olympus and Canon) have announced a lot of new stuff so where is the Sony answer: bring in some news please.

    Reply
  10. guest_user wrote: October 18, 2007 6:54pm

    Some news would be good!! How about at least giving us the specs on the new lenses? Since Canon, Nikon, and Olympus have already given specs on their forthcoming lenses, it is not like Sony has anything (or anyone) to fear any more!

    Eight new lenses. Time to deliver!

    Reply
  11. guest_user wrote: October 19, 2007 1:31am

    Is there any chance upcoming lens design will also be more rugged (splash- and or dustproof) like your competitors are? What about a blog poll, where people can post their ideas/wishes for upcoming lenses and cameras?

    Reply
  12. guest_user wrote: October 21, 2007 7:45am

    Hi. I’ve purchased the A700 and there are a lot of things to like about it, but the photographic community I associate with (for the most part, at DPReview) have noticed a loss of detail and smearing under as yet unclear conditions. Canon has gone through a lot of effort to identify and rectify the cause of an AF problem with their 1DM3 – can’t Sony find a solution for this and get a fix out to us? I’m surprised this wasn’t caught before the camera was released. On another note, the image editing software is quite problematic. Although it’s seen as sometimes having the best RAW converter right now, it’s incredibly slow (no matter what processors you’re using, the screen paints are downright painful), with a bad interface (e.g. no way to change defaults – even things like the default directories, no apparent keyboard control for sliders, etc.). I hope this product will be modernized (I also shoot Canon and their DPP software is eons ahead of this product). I also urge Sony to cooperate with writers of the major RAW conversion software products (DCRAW, Adobe, etc.) because the vast majority of customers for this camera are using much more capable editing products; it’s in Sony’s best interests for the major products to produce the best RAW conversion output possible.

    Please, please, please fix the camera output ASAP if it’s possible. And don’t do this to your flagship product – it will tarnish your reputation with experienced users for years to come. And please do not make SSM a feature of only higher-priced lenses — that’s just foolish. You know that SSM can be made into a standard lens feature – Canon and Nikon do it and don’t seem to be suffering at all. I have some great options – I can always sell off my A-mount gear and move to Canon or Nikon; Sony has to keep their customers – the A100 isn’t so expensive that entry-level users can’t move to another brand, and on the forums we see a lot of A100 users wondering about the A700; right now there’s controversy with some very nice images and some very smeared images coming out of cameras. With my Canon association I can download white papers on how to best use the equipment; if there’s nothing you can do to fix the A700, then share a white paper on how to get the best results out of it (and please, no marketing-speak – analysis with detailed measurement equipment is being shared by some review sites, now) – and do much better the next time you try to sell people something. Because I’m an A-mount user I’m keeping my A700 for a little while, but if I can’t figure out how to get consistently good images (other than always shooting at ISO 200-400), I’ll sell it, keep a few core lenses for my 7D, and otherwise not look back; life is too short trying to find workarounds when there are some quite reliable and affordable systems out there. I hope you’rereally listening.

    Reply
  13. guest_user wrote: October 25, 2007 5:22pm

    Well; I just bought the Alpha-700 myself, and I think it is a beautiful camera
    indeed.

    The best bits so far;

    * I know this sounds weird but I do love the shutter button, it has a very weird feel indeed but it works very well.

    * QuickNavi also works very smoothly, and seems to be a pretty well thought out system all-round.

    * The viewfinder is a pleasure to use too, a great improvement on my Alpha 100, even if it is only the same viewfinder as the Konica Minolta 7D had.

    * The high ISO noise levels are somewhere between one and one-and-a-half stops better than on the Alpha 100.

    * The software package included, with LightBox, is a big improvement on the previous software that came with the Alpha 100.

    The little nags;

    * I do not like the Focus Mode control, it does not work very well and does not feel smooth at all.

    * I think that Flash Compensation and Focus Area should have had their own dedicated controls (rather than just being options for the C button).

    * This camera needs better modes for using both memory cards. There needs to be an option that automatically switches memory cards once one is full, and/or that writes RAW to one and JPEG to the other, and/or another that writes the same to both.

    (You would get many more memory card sales if you did this. I would be interested in getting a Sony 300x CF card, if only I could find them anywhere. Also; I think that the Sony MS Pro-HG Duo card looks pretty nice. However there is no point in getting both unless the camera can USE both.)

    * Unlike the two-second timer mode built into the camera, the two-second mode that is on the remote control does not perform mirror-lock up before the two second count-down, only afterwards. That is rather annoying and could easily be fixed with a firmware patch!

    Overall, a very good camera, with a few niggles.

    Stuart

    Reply
  14. guest_user wrote: October 26, 2007 10:16am

    I think the biggest issue, is the pre processed RAW. Noise reduction appear to have already taken place, I assume a combination of the new sensor and the bionz processor.

    I have found it very difficult to sharpen A700 RAW files, without getting artifacts. As already mentioned on Dpreview, ACR/LR is also doing a poor job on higher ISO shots., the sony software is doing a better job, though the issue or NR is still present.

    My message to Mark Weir is to look again at the image quality. Can we have some kind of response on this issue please? And I dont mean “sony delivers class leading NR in camera” etc etc. I meam some explanation as to why sony feels it is appropriate to apply noise reduction to RAW. The entire point of RAW is to do your own processing!

    Reply
  15. guest_user wrote: October 27, 2007 9:14am

    Focus Lock
    ===========

    I like how there are four different buttons or settings relevant to Focus Lock;
    (1) half-pressing the shutter button locks the focus, unless you set it not to, (2) pressing the joystick locks the focus, (3) you can set the AF/MF button to lock the focus, and/or (4) you can set the C button to lock the focus.

    (The relevance of this is coming next …)

    Exposure Compensation & Flash Compensation
    ==========================================

    I like how, after pressing the Exposure Compensation button, you only have to press down on the joystick to change Flash Compensation. However; I would prefer to be able to change flash more quickly, so I have my C button set to change Flash Compensation.

    I also like how you can set the camera to dial exposure compensation from either the front or rear dials (in every mode except Manual, where both dials are used). I actually read the manual, and on page 108 it shows a nice table which demostrates that there is no disadvantage to this at all. However; that makes the Exposure Compensation button rather redundant.

    (Finally, the relevance of this all…)

    So; it occurs to me that there should be another setting in the menu, to change how the Exposure Compensation button functions…

    1. Exposure Compensation (default)
    2. Flash Compensation
    3. Toggle Exposure / Flash Compensation

    With the last option; pressing Exposure Compensation should activate Exposure Compensation. Pressing it again should switch to Flash Compensation. Pressing it a third time should come back out of that setting mode.

    This menu setting would give a lot more flexibility to pick and choose how to use this rather important button, matching the camera’s current flexibility with
    Focus Lock.

    Reply
  16. guest_user wrote: October 27, 2007 6:56pm

    Hi Sony,

    Please, please improve the bracketting feature of the a700?

    0.7 just isn’t enough for HDR work. Maybe EV 1 and 2 just like the D300?

    Simon

    Reply
  17. guest_user wrote: October 29, 2007 11:23am

    I’ve been watching the Canadian prices for A700 and although the Canadian dollar is record high levels against the US dollar prices have not budged. Just looking at the Sony Styles sites for US & Canada the A700 is approximately $250(Cdn) cheaper through the US site. (1599.99 Canadian vs 1399.99 US)

    Is sony planning on lowering the Canadian price soon or will Sony Canada cover any warrantee repairs for bodies purchased in the US?

    Thanks
    Dave

    Reply
  18. guest_user wrote: October 29, 2007 2:30pm

    Dave – You think that $1600 is expensive? Remember that the US price is exclusive of tax, so knock off $100 from your price.

    $1500 plus tax is not so bad really.

    You should try in the UK – the asking price is the equivalent to $1850! That is $1570 before taxes. It is not so much that Sony is massively more expensive here, rather it is more that the UK (and Europe generally) has much higher tax rates than the US (or even Canada).

    Reply
  19. guest_user wrote: October 29, 2007 6:40pm

    “It is not so much that Sony is massively more expensive here, rather it is more that the UK (and Europe generally) has much higher tax rates than the US (or even Canada).”

    I am afraid that just doesn’t rub.

    And the reason is the £700 odd Canon 40d. Sony prices are much higher in the EU and UK, removing the VAT, still there is a significant markup. If Canon can sell for near their USA price equivalent, so can Sony.

    There are no excuses on this one.

    Reply
  20. guest_user wrote: October 30, 2007 8:53am

    Stuart,

    My comments were based on prices exclusive of sales taxes. Traditionally the Sony Canada prices were a reflection of the US price + the Canadian US exchange rate.

    Some of the other manufacuters are starting to lower their Canadian prices in recognition of the recent exchange rate changes.

    Dave

    Reply
  21. guest_user wrote: January 4, 2008 8:34pm

    On the next firmware update, can you allow the +/- exposure compensation button to show both ambient and flash compensation, then let the front wheel control ambient and the rear wheel control flash.

    When using the quick navi on exposure compensation, also let the front wheel control ambient and the rear wheel control flash.

    This will really make the A700 very responsive to situations where flash ambient balance is important… makes creative use of light easier..

    Love this camera…

    Reply
  22. guest_user wrote: January 9, 2008 10:19pm

    In a quote from Sony DSLR Strategies…

    Senior marketing manager of Sony Marketing, Tokihiko Matsuda: “Marketing in
    2008: Our target is a 10% share in both domestic and overseas markets. The
    year 2008 is the third year for Sony DSLR and will possibly decide our fate in
    the DSLR business.”

    I was going to upgrade several lenses to Zeiss and G-series this year, but
    now it looks like I’ll be waiting until 2009 to see if Sony is going to cut the ropes
    and set the A-mount adrift. I am very happy with my A700 and was looking
    forward to maturing my equipment along with the growth of my photography
    business, but now I need to seriously consider if I need to switch to a brand
    that is established and will not disappear in a flurry of a**-covering when a
    sales projection isn’t met.

    Here’s to a good sales year, I guess…

    Dave Pierce
    California, USA

    Reply
  23. guest_user wrote: January 15, 2008 2:12pm

    Just to clarify for Dave and others with regard to Matsuda-san’s comments about Sony’s committment to the DSLR market, which appears to have been mis-translated somewhat from Japanese to English.

    Here is what my colleague in Tokyo advised me of, stating:

    1. Sony has been aiming to achieve 10 percent market share in our 2007 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2008;

    2. The company is developing several models for the Alpha lineup and will expand this business in 2008 (note the 200 model just announced at CES); and

    3. Continue to expect more from us (PMA is just around the corner).

    Elaborating even further, my counterpart shared the following:

    “Sony is committed to the DSLR business…for the foreseeable future. We have several products, as well as lenses and accessories, under development to expand our offerings…, and you can rest assured that current (Alpha) customers will continue to receive necessary support as requested… Of course, Sony considers this year very important to make its DSLR business successful in the long term.”

    Reply
  24. guest_user wrote: January 15, 2008 9:40pm

    Rick -> Cheers for confirming everything that most people were already thinking, that 2008 will be a big year for Alpha because new stuff is coming from Sony, rather than the more pessimistic viewpoint that some people had.

    Reply
  25. guest_user wrote: January 30, 2008 5:26pm

    Just purchased an A700 I like it The one extra feature I wish it had would be the ability to take movie clips, The thing that makes me unhappy is the CHEAP paper the instruction book is printed on. For a camera that costs as much as this one did.

    Reply
  26. guest_user wrote: January 30, 2008 10:57pm

    Hi Sony,

    I am a big fan of HDR photography and the Sony a700 can really do with a firmware update that will allow exposure bracketting steps greater than 0.7 ev.

    Have a look at http://www.hdr-photography.com/aeb.html and see what your competition is capable of. This should be a reasonably easy fix in firmware, yet I believe will have a significant payoff with your customers, some of whom may be choosing other brands because of the curren t0.7 limitation.

    Reply
  27. guest_user wrote: February 1, 2008 11:44pm

    It’s nice to see that Sony is coming out with more offerings in the Alpha line,
    BUT.

    Unfortunately as Sony continues to come out with new camera models it’s
    lens lineup has been forgotten for the most part.

    Sony has forgotten that photographers buy into the whole system, not just the
    models of cameras that they offer. Without the lenses and whole system to
    make the camera complete who cares how many models of camera you come
    out with. Serious photographers spend more on lenses and other parts of the
    system, than camera bodies.

    True you have added the 16-105 and the repackaged Tamron 18-250, which
    are both nice lenses, but overall you have some very tired cheap Minolta
    lenses such as the 75-300 that need to be redesigned. Even your 11-18
    repackaged Tamron is not a real winner.

    Some people say Sony is listening on this blog, my opinion is that may be only
    very slightly true. Sony is still doing it’s own misguided thing, and loosing
    former Minolta users big time.

    Marketing of the Alpha system in stores including Sony Stores is poor. Most
    Sony Store staff know little of DSLR’s. Even independant camera stores don’t
    have much faith in Sony DSLR’s. Canon and Nikon with their complete system,
    dominate. Many former Minolta users are switching to Nikon and Canon rather
    than stay with Sony even if they can use their lenses. Faith in Sony just isn’t
    there. Serious photographers buy into the whole system. Sony hasn’t learned
    this yet. If Sony doesn’t build the whole sytem quickly, 50 models of Alpha
    cameras won’t help to get a larger share of the market.

    Sony should subcontract more to 3rd party manufacturers like Sigma and
    Tamron to get some of their best designs rebranded for Sony. Not everyone
    can be good at everything. Sony is good at electronics but lenses don’t seem
    to be their speciality, but for DSLR lenses count as much as the camera.

    Canada & US pricing disparencies are huge, especially in the accessory
    lineup. Things like lenses eg 100mm macro $850 CDN, $640US, lens cap
    $14.99 CDN, $6.99 US and the list goes on and on. With the Canadian dollar at
    par for quite some time why are Canadians being robbed by Sony Canada’s
    pricing.

    I’ve had the A-100 and now the A-700, but I’ve put any future purchases on
    hold because of Sony’s lack of commitment to a total lineup, and the totally out
    of sync pricing between Canada and US accessory pricing.

    When is someone going to fix the pricing disparity, and at least make them
    close. Sony Canada seems to pick numbers out of the sky. It’s cheaper to
    buy a far superior Canon 100mm macro than an overpriced Sony one. I guess
    that’s just another reason why Canon and Nikon are the leaders.

    They both market a complete system, promote their products better than Sony
    and have earned a reputation over the years and are competative.

    Sony has not learned that in DSLR’s it’s the whole package. Camera bodies
    come and go but lenses last far longer than camera bodies.

    Reply
  28. guest_user wrote: February 3, 2008 10:46am

    Al,

    Did you miss the whole PMA report?

    The line of Alpha lenses appears to be near doubling over the next year.

    Furthermore, Sony already partners with Tamron for basic lens designs and Carl Zeiss for high-end
    designs.

    From what I understand, for their own “G” series professional glass they kept on some of Minolta’s
    best engineers for their advanced level of optical expertise. Minolta was one of the only camera
    companies to not only design theirs lenses, but also mine their own glass. They have a rich heritage
    of optical excellence.

    Also, Sigma is increasing their support by releasing lenses with HSM (Hyper Sonic Motors) for Sony
    Alpha mount – which they once kept reserved for Nikon and Canon mounts.

    I’m certainly glad I invested in the Alpha mount — the future has never looked so bright.

    Reply
  29. guest_user wrote: February 6, 2008 4:41pm

    DW,

    No I didn’t miss the report, and yes both Sony & Sigma have made new lens announcements, which is good for Sony Alpha owners.

    Sony’s DSLR camera manufacturing ability seems to be improving, but they don’t know how to market DSLR’s and have missed the importance of having a complete sytem. In most camera stores, Sony has a very small portion of the display and in many 3rd party lenses and Sony lenses have to be special ordered. Even in Sony Stores, point and shoot displays are far larger than DSLR. Sony stores don’t carry many of the Sony lenses, and they are owned by Sony.

    75-300 G lens, nice, but pricy and slow, if it was F4 might be worth considering. How much better will it be than an entry level 70-300 at the same
    speed selling for 1/4 the price. It may be a touch sharper throughout the range, but yet to be seen. Non rotating front element is excellent, since entry level zooms up to 300 all have rotating front elements. That to me is the biggest improvement more than G glass.

    Sony has to go through their lens lineup and improve the quality, and dump some horrible lenses like the 75-300 entry level telephoto.

    Also they have to stop accepting plastic mount lenses in their lineup and switch them to metal mounts. 18-70, good starter lens, but plastic mount. 18-200 probably will be replaced shortly with the superior 18-250 award winning Tamron, so there is one less plastic mount. 55-200 another good entry level lens finally Sony added it, but will it also have a plastic mount. If it’s a Tamron it will. Bad choice if it’s a plastic mount.

    Tamron, Sony’s partner seems to save a couple of bucks, and build inferior bargain basement stuff for entry level. Sony should tell Tamron the specs and insist on quality, not plastic mount junk.

    Quality even in entry level, builds a reputation. Sony needs to do this.

    Not every Minolta lens was a winner, in their last few years they made some horrible lenses, one being the 75-300 entry level telephoto.

    They should get Sigma to build them a 70-300 APO and rebrand it for Sony to replace their entry level 75-300. This Sigma lens outperforms the Sony 75-300 and Tamron 70-300. Why not get Sigma involved also?

    As for lens availability, yes it’s slowly improving. Sony needs to return the basic Minolta 50 F1.7 for a cheap fast lens (not everybody wants to pay the
    price of the F1.4), and with the A-900, the Minolta 24mm F2.8 would be an excellent choice.

    What Sigma hasn’t done yet is the 50-500 with HSM for Sony, yet they have it for Canon and Nikon. Also the 80-400 Sigma is only available for Canon & Nikon. Perhaps in another year.

    Sony is still learning, and whoever prices their stuff, the inconsistencies are big between US and Canada for lenses and accessories. Cameras are comparable. Sony seems to be out of sync in the pricing, especially at Sony.ca.

    Sony just needs to straighten up their act ane realize it’s the whole system, and not just cameras.

    Reply
  30. guest_user wrote: February 6, 2008 7:01pm

    I agree with the comment about competing.

    As far as I can see, right now the A700 needs to be competing with the Nikon D200. In the UK for around £749 body only.

    5fps (same as A700) Up to 9 1EV steps on Auto Exposure Bracket, giving a total range of +/- 4EV (A700 has up to 5 2/3rds EV, giving a total range of +/-1.33 EV).

    If I had been at Sony working on the A700, the D200 would have been may target. Now I know the D300 is now out, but that is well above the D200 on price by about £200.

    I truly hope Sony will listen (do they have ears in Japan?).

    Reply
  31. guest_user wrote: February 8, 2008 1:01pm

    Please can someone from Sony UK please clarify about the Alpha 700 cashback offer;

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=26708910

    There is some confusion as to whether the offer is still valid (as some web-sites are claiming) or whether it ended on 31st January.

    Reply
  32. guest_user wrote: February 15, 2008 11:11am

    RE the UK cashback.

    It would appear that Sony have extended the offer to 31March and claim by end of April, according to an email from someone called Ruth at Sony UK (in Promotion Customer Services I think). Obviously only genuine UK stock (not even EU stock qualifies) from a participating dealer, like Cameraworld. £100 off the body and £150 off a body/lens kit.

    Reply
  33. guest_user wrote: March 3, 2008 11:52am

    Make a Firmware update that will ultimately give the A700 better noise control from ISO 1600 up to 6400!!! Sell the A350 (think pocketwizard), A700 (think pocketwizard!), A900 (think pocketwizard) with a hotshoe adaptor so that getting these great cameras in studio wont be a magic trick! Put a built in SSD drive in the A900 or a 4gig buffer so that the camera wont choke out the memory card at 24megapixels! Give the A900 a built in wireless file transfer system – just have us consumers purchase a receiver unit to drop the images onto a pc or mac (just dont make the wireless station a dollar over $200!) This way you’ll give canon and nikon useers some evny and have the whole industry talking! Last wish… you guys consistently get killed when PopPhoto reviews your cameras’ noise. Put built-in Noise Ninja software in the systems and make previous buyers be able to download it!

    LONG LIVE MINOLTA!

    IT MAKES SENSE TO ACTUALLY ADDRESS NOISE COMPLAINTS! ITS THE ONLY THING NEXT TO PRICE MAKING ME CONSIDER NOT MOVING UP TO YOUR PRO LEVEL FLAGSHIP THE A900! If you cant control 12MP worth of sensor noise… how on earth can you control 24MP worth of sensor noise?

    Reply
  34. guest_user wrote: March 8, 2008 12:33pm

    1) please seal the battery and card doors.
    2) please formalize feedback system from users. tying user feedback into the development process would go a long way toward optimal product development, i.e, in the direction that users want based on real world usage of the product. Random posts on a 6 month old blog make for an inefficient, disorganized form of customer feedback.

    Reply
  35. guest_user wrote: March 11, 2008 5:36pm

    A700 , couple things needed:
    1 – front/back lens focus adjustment (most lenses have large tolerance, without this, is hinders ,
    lens purchases,..)
    2 – RAW, should be raw, with options to reduce noise, not fixed.
    2.1 RAW . DNG support, without it, photographers , have to wait, for their software support,
    before buying new camera,…
    2.2 Craw, should be lossless
    3- vertical grip, sealed, and more integrated, aka less gap, look as one.
    4- viewfinder 100%
    5- bracketing options
    6- memory, dual SD/Pro duo , + dual slot write ,

    Lenses:
    - more sony,tamron,sigma lenses please
    - Sigma 150mm macro , please

    Reply
  36. guest_user wrote: March 15, 2008 12:52pm

    David Griffin:

    Have you used the A700? Because I’ve been shooting with the A700 since September 2007, and the noise
    control is incredible out to ISO 3200 and usable to ISO 6400.

    If you are having issues with noise, perhaps you aren’t metering properly.

    Every time I get a new camera, it takes me a little while to adjust to each camera and learn to
    meter to make the most ofit.

    Assuming you are an A700 shooter, and you are doing a low light shot, try shooting JPEG X-Fine, turn
    the camera to P mode, turn ISO to 2000, spot meter the brightest spot on your subject, lock the
    exposure, turn Exposure Comp up two notches and fire.

    You should get a really good picture. Check the metered settings and then you can switch to Manual
    mode and make minor tweaks to your liking.

    I shoot a lot of events in low light spaces and the best thing about shooting with the A700 has been
    the noise control.

    Additionally, the A700 is actually Editor’s Choice in Popular Photography and nearly got camera of
    the year in 2007, only loosing to the Nikon D300. PopPhoto specifically gave great reviews about
    its noise control, so you must be confusing it with another review.

    Finally, you can easily use the A700 with PocketWizards to trigger professional studio lights via
    the PC Sync terminal on the left of the body.

    However, you are right about needing an adapter for the flashes themselves. There are some generic
    ones but they can be a pain to find. Check with B&H.

    Hope this helps you out.

    Sony, if you are reading this, please reissue the adapter Minolta used to make to convert the
    HVL-F56AM shoe to standard shoe so one can trigger the flashes via PocketWizards when using the
    on-camera flash to trigger the slaves isn’t practical. I love the Wireless Flash system you have,
    but some times a seperate trigger is necessary (i.e. a location with a mirror in the background, or
    a location where the slave flashes need to be out of site or the distance is too great to trigger).

    Reply
  37. guest_user wrote: March 18, 2008 7:09pm

    One thing that needs to be improved in the A-700 is the ability to adjust white balance for lighting. Many people are switching to energy efficient coil
    florescent bulbs, and replacing incadescent with these bulbs.

    On the florescent setting you can only adjust + or – 2. -2 gets close but is still off. An adjustment of + or – 3 would be a big improvement.

    Or perhaps ad a setting for these coil florescent bulbs seems it’s the way of the future for people to save energy, so why not be able to adjust the white balance for it.

    Seems to be an oversight on Sony’s part. The future is coming with more energy efficient lighting.

    A change like this would be nice.

    Reply
  38. guest_user wrote: March 26, 2008 10:34am

    Please Sony,
    the A700 is a good camera, but YOU CAN MAKE THE BEST…..

    give more quality control to the project. More serious seals to the body and waterprotection, and a lot of magnesium! Viewfinder….more light!!!! Dual memory – read-write + custom selection by user!!!!! Improve the anti dust system….

    The VG is not very confortable…. try it a lot of time before produce. my hand is sore. The camera need some coverage rubber elements like d200 to give more stability during the handling and more pro-protection to the body, like camera armor. Another thing very important….please… make a serious test on every weather conditions, snow, rain ecc ecc….please

    If You have a problem, please give me some A700 i can make a serious TEST on hard work for you with a video documentation to see how mutch it resist…..this is pro-advertising!Lenses….watersealed…..Flash system….update the firmware and the scale distance…like sb800 and
    color temperature.Raw noise reduction, custom by user and off.LCD white balance correct

    This is all….for now….

    Reply
  39. guest_user wrote: July 29, 2008 8:44pm

    Hi Mark,
    can you tell us if there will be an update for a700 including Live View option?
    I don’t understand how Sony can include Live View in a350, and not update for a700, many people
    don’t care having Live View in this camera, but many do, I think there should be an update Firmware
    including this, the one who doesn’t care about it, just don’t update, but this is a very good camera
    like other in the market, but in the other like Nikon, and Canon this is not missing. In general
    Ii’m happy with may camera, but miss this.

    Reply
  40. guest_user wrote: August 22, 2008 9:47am

    Seriously, where is the firmware update allowing for the same, if not better,
    AEB (auto bracketing) range options as the Canon and Nikon cameras allow?
    This was a feature I assumed, apparently incorrectly, would be on any
    prosumer camera, but the a700 is seriously lacking.

    This would be so easy to fix with firmware (unlike adding liveview, which
    somehow one poster here thought could be a firmware fix… ha!)

    Please, I hope someone’s reading this – If sony wants to really make money on
    this divison of cameas, they’ve got to pay attention to bringing features up to
    standard!

    Specifically, I’d like to see AEB allowing at least -2EV to +2EV at both 3 and 5
    images. Ideally Son would go even farther than its competitors, and push it
    another couple of stops

    Reply
  41. guest_user wrote: August 23, 2008 9:36am

    Hey Sony,

    Have you noticed that the Minolta 200/4 G Telemacro is untouchable
    anywhere; even on eBay? I want one and I can’t get it for any price. Some
    people would regard that as a great marketing opportunity.

    Reply
  42. guest_user wrote: August 27, 2008 12:59am

    Photokina is just around the corner… Rick you wanted to invite Mark Weir to do some guest posts
    ahead of the fair. Your competitiors already start to announce their first products, so it would be
    nice to see some stuff coming from you.
    And can somebody maybe adress the recent questions that have been put up on this blog concernig DSLR
    department?
    Please give your new DSLR products better and wider bracketing for HDR photography and enable this
    on your older models via firmware update. You will put a big smile on the face of a lot of Sony
    users by doing so (so that your smile shutter function in your cameras gets a real test for its
    money ,-)

    Reply
  43. guest_user wrote: August 27, 2008 2:57pm

    I would like to get the new camera presented exactly at Photokina. But I
    always was a nice child and waited for Christmas Eve patiently. lol

    Reply
  44. guest_user wrote: August 27, 2008 4:44pm

    Many users have been questioning the price hikes on the new flashes, ontop
    of the extortionate prices of the old ones…

    £155 for Sigma 530 DG Super

    £249 for Sony HVL-F56AM
    £399 for Sony HVL-F58AM

    £229 for Nikon SB800
    £299 for Nikon SB900

    Given that the Nikon flashes are in most respects superior flashes, it seems
    baffling to me that Sony has given such high prices to their flashes.

    Reply
  45. guest_user wrote: August 28, 2008 7:28am

    Now that Mac users are happy with their Leopard-compatible Remote Camera
    Control, would Sony consider building a plug-in to Aperture so we can shoot
    tethered right from within that application?

    And I too would like to see wider bracketing for HDR photography. If it can be
    fixed by a firmware update, I’ll vote for it.

    As for prices: I see a lot of complaining going on about prices, especially for
    Zeiss lenses. While nobody will refuse to shell out less money for equipment, I
    can’t say Sony is extremely or overly expensive for the quality it delivers. And
    I for one applaud the priority given to Zeiss lenses –these are exactly what
    makes the Alpha platform interesting to anyone owning a Canon or a Nikon.

    You can’t beat the quality of a Zeiss lens!

    Reply
  46. guest_user wrote: September 11, 2008 7:52pm

    Now that Sony has announced two new lenses the 16-35 Zeiss and a 70-
    400G.

    While the 16-35 Zeiss is classic black, and looks great.

    Longer lenses are used by many nature photographers especiallly in the 400
    to 500mm range. What nature photographer would want a silver/white lens. It
    will be great if you are lost in the bush, it will be so easy to spot from the air,
    or especially by subjects nature photographers are stalking.

    What were designers ever thinking???? The designers know nothing of a
    photographers needs.

    ‘G’ quality lens in entry level silver/white. Sure looks cheap. Reminds me of
    the entry level minolta silver cameras from years gone by.

    I hope Sony is going to have a standard black version also. Silver/white isn’t
    practical and sure doesn’t do a quality lens justice.

    Hopefully Sony will rethink a very bad decision, or have 2 versions, one of
    which is standard black which is far less conspicuous.

    Hopefully Sony listens as they claim to. The silver/white colour has become
    one of the jokes of a Flickr post on the subject of the new 70-400G in one of
    the Sony groups. Not one positive comment on the silver/white colour.
    Everyone prefers standard black.

    Hopefully the masses will influence Sony, to come back to the real world, and
    keep to tradition.

    Reply

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