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FORUMS General Gear Talk Changing Camera Brands 
Thread started 02 Feb 2017 (Thursday) 07:56
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Sony a99-pros/cons to changing

 
dmead516
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Feb 02, 2017 07:56 |  #1

Could this be a serious competitor to the 5DIV by Canon? Other than the fact I have a lot invested in glass, I am wondering if changing to this would be an upgrade in lieu of the 5DIV. Comments?

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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Feb 02, 2017 08:29 |  #2

If you really make a Pros and Cons list about ALL of the characteristics, then it is UP TO YOU as to which Cons you can live with in order to get certain of the Pros of mirrorless. We can only make comments about which things are or are not important to us. Simple example:

Pro: Sony Signal to noise at high ISO vs. Canon (particularly if we ignore the recent 5DIV)
Con: Much lower number of photos per battery, due to EVF demands

Some folks hate carrying and swapping out extra batteries...that is why they buy a battery grip even for the Canon, so they have 2 batteries!
Other folks are not disturbed by the fact that you get maybe 1/3 the number of shots (or whatever the capacity is) and have to carry and swap out 2-3 times rather than one battery lasting all day. Different stroke for different folks.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (8 edits in all)
     
Feb 02, 2017 10:27 |  #3

I just realized the particular camera you are considering is SLT...a pellicle mirror.

Canon itself has over the course of about 5 decades tried pellicle mirrors (Pellix, F-1 High Speed, EOS RT, EOS 1N RS) as has Nikon (F2H, F3H) and they have not been enduring in success. Partly due to...

  • loss of light to the film/sensor
  • pellicle mirror picks up atmospheric contaminants and lint/dust that all deteriorate IQ
  • the very thin pellicle mirror is prone to damage from cleaning


Pellicle mirrors have been used by both Canon and Nikon to produce very high frame rate cameras for the Olympics, but then disappear likely because of the above inherent shortcomings.

Lest we dismiss the issue of atmospheric contaminants, these two glasses have been in a glass front china cabinet, on a different floor of the house from the kitchen. They have been there for what I would guess to be 2 (maybe 3) years from the last time all the contents were washed (ordinarily they are washed at least annually). The glass on the left was washed just a moment ago before the photo. They are backlit by the sun to bring out the clouding from the contaminants that have accumulated although somewhat protected. There is nothing that exempts pellicles from similar accumulations, and they are not easy to clean without degrading their surface!

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/POTN%202013%20Post%20Mar1/atmospheric%20haze_zpsaem1ejiy.jpg

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mickeyb105
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Feb 02, 2017 13:11 |  #4

The a99ii and 5D4 will both give you excellent image quality, both will focus very well in low light, and both will give you pretty clean images up to ISO 6400.

Sony gives you a more FPS, more MP, articulating screen, EVF, and better AF system. Canon gives you a more user-friendly interface, a better joystick and allows you to use your EF glass.

Sony/Zeiss makes some nice glass but they haven't updated it in some time. The Minolta APO glass delivers the goods as well, but it can be very hard to get maintenance done on two or three decades-old discontinued products.

There are no bad choices there, just different ones.


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dmead516
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Feb 02, 2017 15:26 |  #5

Thanks for the information-had no idea regarding the type of mirror in the a-99. I guess it all boils down to how much money it will take to totally change systems vs just buying the brand that you dance with currently. Thanks all.


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DagoImaging
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Feb 02, 2017 20:36 |  #6

The sony system has been around for a while now. I know people still shooting w/ the first versions of the pellicle mirror in the SLT's and they are not having any issues as WILT tried to claim was unavoidable and would ruin the camera in a short few years.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (12 edits in all)
     
Feb 02, 2017 20:58 as a reply to  @ DagoImaging's post |  #7

The Sony SLT cameras have been around 6 years. If folks don't leave the lens off the camera, not as many atmospheric contaminants would get in and accumulate. It is, after all, a bit better closed than a china cabinet.

Ask yourself, if pellicle cameras have been around since about 1965 and come back every 10 years or so, why has the popularity not mushroomed? Why is it that the last two pellicle cameras from both Nikon and Canon were from 18-20 years ago?

The EOS 1N RT had a blazing 6ms latent time to shutter open and shot 10 fps. And although latency was 6-15 times longer for most cameras, that didn't sufficiently strike awe in the world.

Aside from Sony's SLT cameras. all launched from 2010 until present, why are there only 7 still cameras in history with pellicles, if they are so good of a design?! Even movie cameras don't use them, as there are about the same number of movie cameras with pellicles in history.

I don't have the insight to answer the questions definitively, but it is suspicious.


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mystik610
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Feb 03, 2017 22:11 |  #8

The use of a pellicle mirror does allow for some very distinct advantages with regards to autofocus that aren't possible on a DSLR, namely because the a99II has the ability to use CDAF, off sensor PDAF, and on sensor PDAF. There are actually hybrid PDAF points that use on sensor and off sensor PDAF simultaneously....The advantage is that you get the speed and tracking capability of a DSLR without the microfocus issues that plague off sensor systems. In other words, it's basically a DSLR with the critical focus accuracy of a mirrorless AF system. Also, because the a99II also has cdaf and the live-view image to focus with, things like continuous eye focus, which will critically track your subjects eye, are possible.


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mystik610
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Post edited over 2 years ago by mystik610.
     
Feb 04, 2017 07:21 |  #9

Wilt wrote in post #18262543 (external link)
I just realized the particular camera you are considering is SLT...a pellicle mirror.

Canon itself has over the course of about 5 decades tried pellicle mirrors (Pellix, F-1 High Speed, EOS RT, EOS 1N RS) as has Nikon (F2H, F3H) and they have not been enduring in success. Partly due to...

  • loss of light to the film/sensor
  • pellicle mirror picks up atmospheric contaminants and lint/dust that all deteriorate IQ
  • the very thin pellicle mirror is prone to damage from cleaning


Pellicle mirrors have been used by both Canon and Nikon to produce very high frame rate cameras for the Olympics, but then disappear likely because of the above inherent shortcomings.

Lest we dismiss the issue of atmospheric contaminants, these two glasses have been in a glass front china cabinet, on a different floor of the house from the kitchen. They have been there for what I would guess to be 2 (maybe 3) years from the last time all the contents were washed (ordinarily they are washed at least annually). The glass on the left was washed just a moment ago before the photo. They are backlit by the sun to bring out the clouding from the contaminants that have accumulated although somewhat protected. There is nothing that exempts pellicles from similar accumulations, and they are not easy to clean without degrading their surface!

QUOTED IMAGE

You're aware that a camera sensor itself has a layer of glass on top of it too right? And that atmospheric contaminants would do the same type of damage to the sensor as it would to the mirror.

In reality, cameras are highly sealed devices and comparing wine glasses in a cabinet to the glass inside a camera (be it the glass on the sensor or the glass on the mirror) is not at all a valid analogy.


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DagoImaging
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Feb 04, 2017 07:42 |  #10

Another thing to think about is...

Canon and Nikon both developed their Pellicle mirror cameras for one production cycle or one product and then they were gone.

Sony has been producing them continuously for going on 7 years now. Big difference and quite possibly have solved some of the earlier issues of them.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Feb 04, 2017 09:12 |  #11

mystik610 wrote in post #18264315 (external link)
You're aware that a camera sensor itself has a layer of glass on top of it too right? And that atmospheric contaminants would do the same type of damage to the sensor as it would to the mirror.

In reality, cameras are highly sealed devices and comparing wine glasses in a cabinet to the glass inside a camera (be it the glass on the sensor or the glass on the mirror) is not at all a valid analogy.


The sensor is shielded from a lot of stuff because of the shutter curtains themselves! The pellicle has some 'protection' by the body+lens, but without the shutter curtains to further shield them.

I already conceded that the inside of a china cabinet is indeed different than the inside of a camera. But atmospheric contaminants are allowed to enter whenever we change lenses (while the shutter curtains still protect the sensor). My point was to illustrate that our environment is 'contaminated' with things that do result in 'coatings' of gunk on surfaces...resulting in fogging on crystal (as photographically illustrated), fogging on the insides of our automobile windshields, and elsewhere. Any accumulation of the contaminants on a pellicle surface -- however slight -- do hurt contrast.

I just pulled out a set of filters to do some soft focus filter comparison and post on POTN within the past month. They had not been used in over 10 years. In spite of the fact that they were stored in a filter wallet, in a drawer with photographic items, they had to be cleaned first, before using them again, because of accumulated 'fogging'. You cannot clean pellicles as thoroughly!

There are folks who never use filters simply because they are opposed to the 0.3% lossses even of the very finest filters! Atmospheric fogging certainly is an order of magnitude (or more) worse, as exaggeratedly shown with the fogged crystal vs. somewhat clean crystal.


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Wilt
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Feb 04, 2017 09:15 as a reply to  @ DagoImaging's post |  #12

Canon developed the pellicle mirror camera MULTIPLE times, each time discontinuing the camera. Canon did it FIVE times in film cameras including film EOS line about 18 years ago, and Nikon did it twice. Decades of accumulated experience.
If pellicles were the wonder solution with near zero issues, one would think Canon would have launched an EOS digital pellicle camera, but they didn't...I wonder why.


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mystik610
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Post edited over 2 years ago by mystik610. (4 edits in all)
     
Feb 04, 2017 15:08 |  #13

Wilt wrote in post #18264362 (external link)
The sensor is shielded from a lot of stuff because of the shutter curtains themselves! The pellicle has some 'protection' by the body+lens, but without the shutter curtains to further shield them.

I already conceded that the inside of a china cabinet is indeed different than the inside of a camera. But atmospheric contaminants are allowed to enter whenever we change lenses (while the shutter curtains still protect the sensor). My point was to illustrate that our environment is 'contaminated' with things that do result in 'coatings' of gunk on surfaces...resulting in fogging on crystal (as photographically illustrated), fogging on the insides of our automobile windshields, and elsewhere. Any accumulation of the contaminants on a pellicle surface -- however slight -- do hurt contrast.

I just pulled out a set of filters to do some soft focus filter comparison and post on POTN within the past month. They had not been used in over 10 years. In spite of the fact that they were stored in a filter wallet, in a drawer with photographic items, they had to be cleaned first, before using them again, because of accumulated 'fogging'. You cannot clean pellicles as thoroughly!

There are folks who never use filters simply because they are opposed to the 0.3% lossses even of the very finest filters! Atmospheric fogging certainly is an order of magnitude (or more) worse, as exaggeratedly shown with the fogged crystal vs. somewhat clean crystal.

Uh the shutter is meant to shield the sensor from light and nothing else.....I can shield light from a window with blackout curtains, but that would not shield the window from anything else. you have nothing to substantiate the fact that the shutter would or wouldn't protect the sensor from atmospheric contaminants that could somehow get through the sealing of the body (the a99II is weather sealed), but not the shutter.

Beyond that, as usual, your bias towards Canon is showing again, and you're grasping at straws to flaw the a99II by dreaming up an issue that flat out doesn't exist. You're speaking in far-fetched hypotheticals....In that vein, I might as well make an unsubstantiated claim about the friction from the movement of the mirror causing DSLR's to explode.

Wilt wrote in post #18264363 (external link)
Canon developed the pellicle mirror camera MULTIPLE times, each time discontinuing the camera. Canon did it FIVE times in film cameras including film EOS line about 18 years ago, and Nikon did it twice. Decades of accumulated experience.
If pellicles were the wonder solution with near zero issues, one would think Canon would have launched an EOS digital pellicle camera, but they didn't...I wonder why.

Pellicle mirrors were used all those decades back because eliminating the moving mirror meant you could achieve higher burst rates, shutter speeds, and less black-out than what was possible at the time with flipping mirrors. This need became obsolete when they were able to make mirrors flip fast enough to match the performance of the pellicle mirror models.

The advantages of Sony's DSLT cameras go beyond eliminating a moving mirror. The advantages come from the ability to utilize the image on the sensor simultaneously with the off-sensor PDAF system. This, again, allows for things like the hybrid PDAF system with greater critical focus accuracy and the elimination microfocus problems, more intelligent object intelligence using live view (eye focus, lock-on focus), exposure preview view the view-finder, etc etc. The disadvantage is that there is a light loss from the DSLT mirror. You're giving up half a stop, but low-light performance of the Sony's BSI sensor more than makes-up for it.


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Wilt
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Feb 04, 2017 15:34 |  #14

Sony has mirrorless cameras WITHOUT a pellicle, the pellicle is only in the SLT series...why have they not adopted it in their higher end cameras, too, if it is not without some disadvantages


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Post edited over 2 years ago by mystik610. (5 edits in all)
     
Feb 04, 2017 15:50 |  #15

Wilt wrote in post #18264659 (external link)
Sony has mirrorless cameras WITHOUT a pellicle, the pellicle is only in the SLT series...why have they not adopted it in their higher end cameras, too, if it is not without some disadvantages

The a99II is Sony's flag-ship DSLR. It shares an equal market position with the a7rII, which is their flag-ship mirrorless camera, but they target different market segments.

There's no room for a pellicle mirror with mirrorless bodies because the flange distance is so narrow. It basically comes down to size (a7rII) vs AF tracking, burst rates, battery life (a99II). Also, Sony actually stated that a big motivation to release the a99II was to simply serve existing a-mount users.

Lastly, its not so much that the pellicle in and of itself is 'better'...its more the case that the ability to use live-view based AF systems that mirrorless systems use (possible because of the translucent mirror) yields certain advantages to Sony's DSLT cameras that are not possible on traditional DSLR's. So the DSLT's are benefitting from features utilized by their mirrorless counter-parts...not the other way around


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Sony a99-pros/cons to changing
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