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Sony Alpha A700 Outdoor Crops

12 Megapixels12 MegapixelsSingle Lens ReflexSingle Lens ReflexStabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Continuous DriveContinuous DriveManual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringDepth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Depth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Accepts Compact Flash memory.Accepts Compact Flash memory.Accepts Memory Stick Duo memory.Accepts Memory Stick Duo memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Outdoor Crops

Below, the Sony Alpha A700 is compared with the Pentax K10D, which uses Sony's previous generation imaging sensor, under a typical night photography setup. Both cameras were mounted on a sturdy carbon-fiber tripod and setup for completely manual operation. At such low-light levels, most camera do not know how to meter, so at least manual metering is required. Focus was manually set to infinity, white-balance was set to tungsten, drive mode was set to use a wireless remote and aperture was set to F8. Speaking of the wireless remote, in North America Sony bundles one with the A700. The Sony 16-105 F3.5-5.6 lens was used at 105mm on the A700 while the Pentax DA 50-200 F4.5-5.6 at 105mm was used on the K10D. Then, three shots were taken at each ISO sensitivity, adjusting the shutter-speed between each shot. The results could not be any more different. The crops below are all unmodified 100% crops from their respective cameras.

At the low ISO settings, the most prominent differences between night shots from the Sony A700 and the Pentax K10D are sharpness and color. Images from the A700 appear significantly softer than those from the K10D. This is due to slow-shutter noise-reduction. This is clearly not due to the lens or JPEG conversion algorithm because our day crops came out quite different. Image softness increases very slowly with both DSLRs as ISO sensitivity is increased. As for colors, it seems both cameras have a very different idea of what tungsten white-balance should be. The Pentax K10D produces much more accurate and neutral colors here. On the other hand, the Sony A700 produces images with colors shifted towards yellow. Strangely, the yellow shift diminishes as ISO increased. By ISO 3200, colors from the A700 are quite neutral. Since the white-balance remains the same, the only possible explanation is that this may be due to chroma-noise reduction performed by the Alpha.

Starting at ISO 400, the Sony A700 begins to show an advantage in terms of image-noise over the K10D. By ISO 1600, images from the A700 are noticeably cleaner. ISO 3200 and 6400, which the K10D cannot even do, are quite noisy under low-light. Under these conditions, ISO 3200 could be used for a small print but ISO 6400 is pretty much useless. Since virtually no other cropped-sensor DSLR currently reaches that sensitivity, it is not really a problem.

Sony Alpha A700 Pentax K10D

ISO 100 15s F8

ISO 100 15s F8

ISO 200 8s F8

ISO 200 8s F8

ISO 400 4s F8

ISO 400 4s F8

ISO 800 2s F8

ISO 800 2s F8

ISO 1600 1s F8

ISO 1600 1s F8

ISO 3200 1/2s F8

ISO 6400 1/4s F8
Sony Alpha A700
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By on 2007/11/04
3

Sony A700 Facts

SLR digital camera
12 Megapixels DSLRISO 100-6400
Sony A Mount
1.5X FLM

Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm

APS-C Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

Shutter 1/8000-30s
2-Axis Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
95% Coverage
Medium Viewfinder
Custom white-balance with 1 axis fine-tuning
Automatic Eye-Start sensorSpot-Metering
Built-in Dust ReductionHot-Shoe
5 FPS Drive, Unlimited ImagesLithium-Ion Battery
3" LCD 920K PixelsCompact Flash
Memory Stick Duo
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