4.25.2012

Preliminary Tests of the Sony a57. A walk through downtown Austin.


I finished up a day that saw all of my will bent toward marketing my services as a photographer.  Wow.  That sounded dedicated and diligent.  Actually, I did a swim practice first, from 8:30 to 9:30.  Then I dropped by Starbucks to drink coffee and check my e-mail.  I worked for a couple of hours doing marketing and thinking about cold calling before I headed out to eat some really good Tex-Mex food for lunch.  After lunch I headed to a medical client's office to make sure my LED panels could be corrected to match their florescent fixtures.  Then I can home and did a bit more marketing and by 6;00pm I was all wound up.  So I grabbed the newbie a57 camera from Sony, wrenched an 85mm 2.8 Sony lens on the front and headed through the random chaos theory of traffic and went for a walk through downtown.


I walked through Whole Foods, tasted some wine and shot all of these food shots with the camera set to ISO 3200.  Click on them.  Look for noise.  It's really wonderful.  When I looked at the rounds of cheese somewhere below I almost cried because the files were so clean.  The lemon tarts are marred by the reflection.  Or,  I intended the diagonal reflections to be there as an indictment of expensive tarts........Can't quite decide on the right manifesto.  So I ate one instead.


Also 3200 ISO.  Jpeg.  Fine.




The three images above are also 3200 ISO, f2.8 with the 85mm.


These are Jpegs I can be proud of.  The colors are great and the sharpness is high.  Very high. The Auto ISO kept the camera around 100.


Ditto.




This is Todd Williams.  He is a very well known fine arts photographer.  And a workshop instructor at the Sante Fe. Workshops, among other places.  He is not homeless.
Like a venal paparazzi I captured him outside the entrance of his tony, downtown gym.
Click on the images and look at the skin tone.  Everything automatic.  Right down to the ISO.





When I started shooting the a57 any reservations I had about the quality of the EVF image or the low noise attributes of the sensor just slinked away and ceased to even be relevant.  This camera is the perfect adjunct to the a77. One is the finest low ISO/Super resolution camera (the a77) and the other is the high ISO camera Sony's been looking for.  And a damn good "all-arounder" for just about any kind of shooting I can think of.  And, oh.  Yes.  The 85mm 2.8 is amazing.  More so when you consider that up until two weeks ago it could be had new for only $249.  I should have bought more.

That's my first full day of shooting with the camera.  I had my doubts.  When I saw the files I was sold.  End of story.

http://www.kirktuck.com






19 comments:

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

Wonderful photos indeed Kirk. They make me want to play with a camera like that as well...

John Krumm said...

Those look very nice indeed, especially the skin in the portraits. I did discover one gripe with the new layout and your images... when I click to view them large and then return to the page it always makes me start at the top again.

organicdev said...

Kirk. Admit it. You _are_ a gearhead! I haven't bought as many different camera systems in 10 years as you bought camera bodies in the last 6 months. It's OK. It's a different kind of enjoyment. Like audiophilia: the enjoyment of getting or building good audio gear. Audiophilia is different from loving music but can be enjoyed in parallel to music listening itself. Loving camera gear is different from loving photography but can also be enjoyed in parallel to the actual photography. Just don't explain it away - it's so obvious.

mshafik said...

Glad to see you're enjoying your Sonys, I also enjoyed your recent post with the delicious food shots a lot, I tried to comment, but this new format is not playing well with my iPad, so I wasn't able to comment before.

One other thing

mshafik said...

Wow, Safari just crashed right now when I tried replying to my own comment, to sum up the problems with the new format:

- Scrolling is very slow on the iPad 2
- When posting comments, I can't edit something I wrote, it hangs up
- When clicking a photo and going back, it starts at the top of the article
- It doesn't work well with ReadItLater

mshafik said...

Damn, I made the mistake of trying to edit my domment, and I now have to post a new one, all I wanted to tell you about the food post, it was really refreshing how simple, clean and delicious the pictures were, they lifted my heart. :-)

Please fix the layout, Although it looks modern, it is making it difficult to enjoy your posts. (see that domment above? I meant comment, but I can't go back and edit, or else it will hang up).

kirk tuck said...

I like to think of it as "catch and release" fishing. Land them. Try them. Release them and move on. Also, gives me something fun to write about.

organicdev said...

Expert rationalizing ;-) . You have a point actually. I slowly loosen up myself too. I used to buy things for keeps, I tried making the "perfect" choices. But it does make sense to try and re-sell if need be. Or renting before buying (that's what I sometimes do now).

hbernstein said...

This probably isn't the type of comment that you were hoping for when you decided to start the whole blogging thing...

Anyway, here it is:

The new format is cumbersome and annoying to use.

Sorry about this. Next time, I promise to leave a photographic comment, not one that falls under the "nudnick" category.

John Krumm said...

I found a work-around to my problem with clicking on the photos and having the browser go back to the top when I hit the back button.... right click and open them in a new tab.

John Krumm said...

Oh (duh) and classic view actually works the way it used to, going straight back to the image.

kirk tuck said...

John, I think most people who are having problems with the new design would be well served by selecting the "Classic" format from the box in the top left corner. It's very similar to the old look and feel.

kirk tuck said...

Hbernstein, Try switching to the "Classic" template. I think you'll find it just like the old blog. I'm not switching back and I actually like the snapshot set up for myself. But I'm that way...

Patrick Dodds said...

Sorry to add to the negativity but new format doesn't play nicely on my ipad version 1; this comment from phone...
Nice looking files from yr new camera btw. And I keep reading, new format or not, so thanks for keeping up the posts.

Robert Roaldi said...

It's the middle of the afternoon here, I'm having a sugar low, and you show me those pics of food. Suddenly, I couldn't care less about cameras.

kirk tuck said...

Patrick, thanks for persevering! I'm sure Blogger/Google will get the bugs ironed out. I think if I reduced the image sizes that would go a long way to helping the tablet users as I think it's mostly and issue of download times and single minded processors but I don't want to reduce them because so many readers like clicking to see a big file with detail.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that it works better quickly. I keep monitoring it on my iPad 2 and an iPad 3 just to see what's happening. It's slower there than on a computer...

Gens Linton said...

Kirk, You're review and photographs really show off the Sony A57! Also your 80mm lens helps take incredible shots. I'm about to purchase a Sony a57, and curious on your take of getting a similar Sony 80mm lens and 35mm lens... OR a possible all-in-one Sony 18-250mm. It will be a family camera, and my thought process is to change lenses less than diapers. =) Any thoughts or suggestions would be very appreciated!

Gens Linton said...

Sorry, I meant to refer to your 85mm (not 80mm). Thanks again!

drpankajshukla said...

Hi !
I am almost a year late to comment on this writing :)...

But now that there are several persons who find 'smearing of details even at low ISO' in A-57 jpegs even with NR set to low ...it is surprising that u did not mention it ....![and your evaluations were one of the first to appear- imaging resource has not yet reviewed it as of date]..u have praised the 58 above the 57 though ,in some SLT forum threads at DPR!

Or is it that it[smearing ] will .. in most circumstances, not be noticed in prints nor images for the web...?