Summary: With overall solid performances from both the A900 and A850, Sony has made a powerful entrance into the full frame realm. I think the A850 and its $2000 price tag would have been a better entry point for Sony to come into the full frame semi-pro realm. Given the A900′s price point and the fact that the image quality and feature set is virtually identical between the two cameras (save for frame rate, viewfinder coverage, and a remote), I can’t really give a...
Excerpt: Last week Sony delivered on its promise to launch a full-frame DSLR. A prototype of the mysterious new camera was first shown at the PMA trade show at the beginning of last year. At last, the Sony Alpha 900 is here and Sony can proudly claim membership of the full frame DSLR elite alongside Canon and Nikon.
Excerpt: Sony started teasing photographers last winter with an under-glass mockup and tantalizing clues about a new "flagship" DSLR. Now that we've shot with a preproduction unit, we're convinced that the tease undersold the real camera.
Excerpt: What happens when an electronics behemoth jumps into DSLRs? In Sony's case, it pushes development into overdrive for a couple of years. Then it makes a full-frame 24.6MP CMOS sensor and steals the title of most megapixels in the 35mm format from Canon, which has held the title for as long as anyone can remember. But a camera is more than just megapixels.
Excerpt: Earlier this year Sony said they were working on a 24MP full frame DSLR with built-in image stabilization and they intended to bring it to market by the end of 2008. Well, they did! The Sony Alpha A900 is just that camera, and what’s equally noteworthy is that the price is “only” $3000. When you consider that the only other current high pixel count full frame DSLR is the $8000 Canon EOS 1 Ds MkIII, the $3000 price tag seems almost cheap.
Conclusion: The Alpha 900 represents in a nutshell the almost schizophrenic nature of Sony's digital camera division, which can market compact cameras with smile detection and a Playstation style user interface at the same time as this, perhaps the most pared-down, frill-free and unashamedly 'serious' DSLR we've seen in a long time.
Pros: Class-leading resolutionv (as long as your lenses are good enough), incredibly solid build quality, environmental sealing, Intuitive operation and uncluttered control and menu system, Excellent out of camera JPEG results with superb tonality, dynamic range, color, Excellent raw dynamic range gives lots of headroom, Almost 100% reliable metering and exposure, Very fast and responsive body - remarkable burst mode (5fps RAW+JPEG, 24.6 MP), In-body image stabilization tha...
Cons: Noise reduction settings applied to raw as well as JPEG files - cannot be 'turned off for raw but left on for JPEGs' (as is normal practice), Relatively high levels of noise at anything over ISO 400 (ISO 6400 is of very, very limited use), Destructive noise reduction on high ISO JPEGs removes too much detail, JPEGs a little soft by default (some loss of detail due to NR visible even at ISO 200) - you really need to shoot raw (and use ACR or similar) to get the best ou...
Summary: A serious tool for serious photographers with seriously large memory cards (and wallets to match). The biggest, certainly, but with the launch of Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II, perhaps not quite the best pro SLR out there.
Excerpt: The Sony A900 is the company’s powerful attempt to compete with the big boys with a full-frame $2999, 24.6-megapixel resolution SLR. There are some features notably absent, though, and our lab testing turned up problems with color accuracy and image noise.
Conclusion: Sony Alpha DSLR cameras Sony showed the world that it is possible to bring out an entire line-up of digital SLR cameras in a short period of time and at an immense speed. And not only that, it puts Sony ahead of the competition with certain techniques that the rivals aren't yet using. Sony takes over the lead from Canon as we solely look at the amount of Megapixels, which will be good from a marketing viewpoint.