Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone!

File this under Camera Gripes v3.0: Eye-start auto-focusing... Not something you really think about if you don't have it. The camera starts focusing when you squeeze the shutter button down, right? Well, have you ever thought about the motion this induces into the camera body? Probably not. I hadn't, until I was trying to reset my Nikon D300's AF system, and was shooting a ton of photo each day with my big, heavy Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens attached. That's quite a handful on the already-stout D300 body! Squeezing down on the shutter with tired fingers, by the third day I was noticing a dramatic amount of camera shake. That's when it dawned on me, Minolta knew this years ago! My 700si film body has it. My Konica-Minolta 7D digital camera had it. I just didn't think it was something I'd really miss all that much. Guess what? I do. I really do miss it. I'm tired of my hands hurting from gripping this heavy body while squeezing a shutter button at a wierd angle (it's the right angle for fingers, but the wrong angle for camera shake) or having to squeeze the AF-ON button on the back of the camera. Eye-start was bloody brilliant!

And there's STILL no word from Sony about a replacement for the A700. Yes I've seen the photos and vids of the camera from the PMAs. It looks nice, but a bit underwhelming. For once it would be fantastic if Sony produced that body for the "pro-sumer APS-C" crowd, and unleased a full-frame-with-pop-up-flash body for the pros who'd like to use the Minolta wireless flash system. That Minolta system DOES work better than the Nikon variant, I must say honestly. More range, more control, easier activation, no hidden menus in each flash unit. I can see advantages to both systems though.

Am I going to be stuck buying a Sony A900 when my taxes come in next February? 24MP is enticing, but unnecessary compared to a light- and color-sensitive FF sensor like the D700 has. Doesn't Sony want to be in that market or do they have some sort of "exclusive" deal with Nikon for a sensor that they themselves produce?

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