Thursday, July 27, 2006

Just handled: The Sony Alpha....

After the withdrawal of Konica Minolta from the photo business, all its assets were transferred to Sony as discussed in a precious post here at The Viewfinder. Today as I was returning home from a day out shooting I came across Kamla at Tottenham Court Road in London, where they were exhibiting the Sony Alpha-100 DSLR, the result of the withdrawal of KM from the business and transfer of assets to Sony. I must say I wasn't impressed at all with the build quality. It felt very flimsy and cheap and I was in fact concerned about dropping the camera as I did not have the strap wrapped around my hand nor the camera hanging on my neck by it. The camera kind of echoed on tapping with my nails too, asserting my first impression of "flimsyness". The kit 18-70 DT lens, which is a Minolta lens rebranded Sony looked in fact cheaper than the previous Minolta lens and it had a build of similar cheapness to the camera. I am not saying that the Minolta kit lens was brilliant(kit lenses are almost always of cheaper build and they are entry-level lenses lets say), because it wasn't but it had a good level of build quality for what it was. I wasn't at all impressed with the build, but I don't let this detract from the fact that it has had rave professional reviews and it is a capable performer. It also has what seems to be the same 10MP sensor that is used on the Nikon D200. My other niggle is the depth of 6frames at 3fps in RAW (but that's me I'm RAWman :-D ), but the camera is not made for the pro even though that 10MP is attractive to every segment of the market at the price.
On the other hand JPEG shooters will be delighted that it shoots indefinately until reaching the cards capacity in JPEG at 3fps.
But as a first entry to the DSLR market, Sony as brought out a good competitor overall. In either way there will be Zeiss glass for both Sony and Minolta owners.

Until next time,


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