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05-02-2014, 07:13 AM   #1
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Is the new Sony A77 the real competitor to Pentax K-3?

So the specs of the new Sony A77 seem to be pretty compelling:
  • 24Mp
  • 12fps
  • 79 AF points
  • Sensor-shift
  • Articulated screen

There are two things that stand out with this announcement:
  1. The Pentax K-3 has specs that other camera manufacturers are just now able to catch up with (or surpass)
  2. CaNikon will not be able to "stand still" with their current APS-C offerings, so expect some big announcements from them this year

As for me, I wouldn't mind the articulated screen but am very happy with the K-3 and I feel it is in a pretty secure position (for the time being)

Thoughts?

Michael

05-02-2014, 07:19 AM   #2
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Isnt that an SLT? Thats a big deal to a lot of people
05-02-2014, 07:30 AM   #3
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I absolutely hate the eye strain of LCD viewfinder, but with that camera (which appart from that is fine), the biggest problem is that despite a good lense offer, the alpha mount was more or less ditched by Sony. Maybe it is not the final grunt of the alpha mount line, but it is still really unclear.
05-02-2014, 07:31 AM   #4
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I guess the question is whether you are willing to deal with downsides of SLT technology (light loss) and whether you like EVFs better than OVFs. I would still prefer the K3, but I can see how someone would prefer 12 fps to 8 and some of the other features.

05-02-2014, 07:39 AM   #5
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There are ups and downs. What I have seen until this moment, in test pictures, is a somehow aggressive noise control in high ISO, and a lose of details because of this.
05-02-2014, 07:46 AM   #6
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Sony has never been able to get the most out of their own sensors. There is no reason to think this camera will be any different, plus you still lose light with a SLT.
05-02-2014, 07:48 AM - 1 Like   #7
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It is not a K-3 competitor. It is an entirely different camera and a system.
Totally different philosophies of life, image making, human experience, image quality, colour quality, attention to detail, expectations, endurance, quality of material, lens making philosophy, you name it.
Quite frankly I am puzzled with A77 and similar Sony's cameras because I do not understand their purpose, reason to exist. And I think even Sony does not know the answer.

Last edited by Uluru; 05-02-2014 at 07:55 AM.
05-02-2014, 07:58 AM   #8
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Why would Sony keep the SLT at this point? I would think they could get as fast auto focus with PD auto focus on the sensor, but without the issues of the SLT. The camera has an EVF, so that wouldn't change at all either way.

05-02-2014, 08:08 AM   #9
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Nice camera, except for the translucent mirror and EVF. The main issue, though, is the lens mount. Sony has been pretty transparent in their efforts to move past and retire the A mount.


Steve
05-02-2014, 08:21 AM   #10
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I think spec-wise, it can be considered a competitor. It has features that I like, like the tilty screen and the 12FPS - but I don't like EVF, SLT, and having held the previous A77, I didn't like the feel as much. So if I were a Pentax user choosing between the two, I'd def go with the k-3 (which I did). But if I were a new user to both systems, it may be a closer competition.
05-02-2014, 08:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Quite frankly I am puzzled with A77 and similar Sony's cameras because I do not understand their purpose, reason to exist. And I think even Sony does not know the answer.
This I agree with. This camera, like a lot of Sony spray 'n pray efforts, is a solution looking for a problem.
99% of consumers don't care about SLT, they want a BLT for lunch.
A camera is not a system, and Sony lens offerings are incomplete.
Most every camera is so well spec'd these days that it becomes gibberish for ad copy. This model's high-frame rate and good AF system are blown out by the blackout of the viewfinder when shooting--which matters for sports shooters who would actually care about those features. I tried using the last Sony SLT to capture action and felt like I was experiencing a simulation of a migraine.
Canon and Nikon's worries are more about larger market dynamics and less about niche competitors. They have a duopoly and make enough changes in their mainstream offerings to satisfy most everyone if you believe sales figures.

M
05-02-2014, 03:29 PM   #12
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I had the original a77 for a couple of months and wasn't impressed. The EVF is nice but I found that it was a little over saturated so you had to be careful about your colors. The other problem with it was during bursts it would show the shot you just took, not what was happening right now. As for the rest of the camera, it was nice but didn't feel anywhere near as solid as a K-5. Also the menu system was a little convoluted and didn't quite offer as much customization as I would have liked, especially compared to Pentax, or even Canon or Nikon for that matter. Add in to this the fact that Sony doesn't have much in the ways of APS-C lenses, and only one of which are weather sealed, and I don't really see this as a competitor to the K-3.

Now don't get me wrong, the Sony system definitely does have it's advantages and I'm sure the A77II addresses a lot of the issues that the original A77 had but when you look at the whole system I think the Pentax system is stronger. For Sony most of their lenses are full frame. Of those, most are their Carl Zeiss lenses which will definitely deliver the goods, but will also drain your wallet pretty quickly. Plus, I believe that at the moment (correct me if I'm wrong) they only have about 3 weather sealed lenses.

So is it a nice camera? Sure if it meets your needs. But is it a competitor to the K-3? I personally don't think so, not directly anyway. For the price the K-3 is a better value.
05-02-2014, 03:30 PM   #13
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We will have to see how well the camera performs. Sony is getting better, but they still struggle. Sony doesn't seem to be able get the best IQ, S/N, DR out of their own sensors. Their ergonomics are not real strong, their menus are not well though out (IMO). SLT has some minor problems and has a negative impact on IQ.

All of these things Sony can fix, but will they?
05-03-2014, 03:09 AM   #14
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Sony goes more for the hybrid marked (foto & video). A K3 with 60p and without "mirroflapping" would beat any other APS-C system.....
05-03-2014, 04:54 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
It is not a K-3 competitor. It is an entirely different camera and a system.
Totally different philosophies of life, image making, human experience, image quality, colour quality, attention to detail, expectations, endurance, quality of material, lens making philosophy, you name it.
Quite frankly I am puzzled with A77 and similar Sony's cameras because I do not understand their purpose, reason to exist. And I think even Sony does not know the answer.
Yeah I agree, spec wise it seems they are direct competitors, but looking at them beyond specs, they are cameras from two very different systems. EVF vs OVF, Carl Zeiss branding Minolta design optics vs Limiteds, among other differences such as body design, WR, target audience/users, etc. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.


Just by looking at the lens lineup:

Sony perhaps has a more comprehensive lens lineup that are current and in production compared to Pentax unless you go hunt for second hand or new old stock F/FA lenses. But still I don't think you can find a handheld able 70-400mm telephoto zoom or a 300mm F2.8.

However, the strengths of the Pentax lens lineup is obviously the Limiteds. Some consider "the best autofocus lenses money can buy", the limiteds especially the 31, 43, and 77, are among the best prime lenses that are also very small and light to carry.

For me, I won't sacrifice the limiteds for a faster fps and yet bulkier A77 II (however assuming size is similar to A77) and have to use expensive "Carl Zeiss" lenses that come with it. It's hard to hunt for a 300mm+ telephoto lens that's reasonably handheld-able and easy to travel with, and relatively cheap compared to a 60-250mm, something like equivalent of Olympus's 50-200mm. Perhaps a Sigma 120-400 or 135-400. But still, for me I would choose the limiteds cause I use shorter focal lengths more than 300mm+ telephotos.

But if you are a user that uses telephoto most of the time than I guess that's a different story. But I do agree the blackout of the SLT when shooting is quite annoying especially when shooting sports or wildlife. Or maybe if you are a videographer then you might go for the Sony. So in the end, they are two cameras that targets quite different audiences. But very interested to see what Nikon's reaction is or would react at all, after seeing Pentax and Sony entering the high-end APS-C market and the Canon 7D II rumoured to be out in near future.

Last edited by cleffa; 05-07-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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