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Sony A99 II as Panasonic GH5 rival - thoughts and shooting experience


Andrew Reid

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@Andrew Reid

thanks for The review. Extremely interesting and I did not imagine some aspects (like that good 1080p). Very good points on some aspects like the cheap lens VS e-mount. Speaking of which, what about the Sigma Art lenses that you mention for AF? Does it give "canon DPAF" like performance like the Sony SSM one or not? 

Considering the new amazing sigma lens in the market (135mm 1.8, 14mm 1.8 ...) that could be amazing.

Ar the end of the day, this A99 shows that the 5D/6D could have been great with proper specs, thanks to their ergonomics, lens system with cheap used nice lenses, DPAF and so on. Many people say DSLR suck vs Mirorless for video but I do not agree. They suck because people like Canon cripple them. A good specced DSLR could be amazing in video. (Great established lens mount and cheap, great big body that sets a good balance between a huge camera and a tiny mirorless, good battery life and heat management possibility....) 

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Nice. Im thinking about getting this when i get back into paid photo/video work. Do the A mount lenses have traditional manual focus systems? Are the SSM ones focus by wire? Did you lose all control of the aperture once you stripped that lever out? How is the full frame 1080p vs the aps-c?

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SSM ones aren't focus by wire, they have mechanical coupling for manual focus. Not many with hard stops though.

Full frame 1080p and APS-C very close in quality, full frame is slightly better.

2 hours ago, Pablo Serrano said:

how do you remove the aperture selection lever on a Sony A-mount lens and what would be the downside from doing that? I would like to have autofocus at f1.4 but will I still be able to control the aperture from the camera as usual after removing the selection lever? Thank you! 

This was just an experiment. Just can't recommend it, if you de-couple the lever you have no aperture control at all in any way.

When disconnected the lever goes loose so won't stay wide open when you handle the lens.

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I believe you can tape the lever in the wide open position and as the lens is closed, it stays in place. Then remove the tape to go back to normal. 

Also (and I've checked this again), the display definitely does not 'dim' when in video mode. I've never owned an A6300/6500, but this camera maintains the same brightness. 

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Wait, did he really just say the Sony 35 1.4 G is "amazing optically?"  This is easily the softest lens Sony has for the full frame.  It's ancient and shitty.

http://www.photozone.de/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/389-sony-35-f14?start=1

 

"The resolution is rather poor at large aperture settings and this is, after all, the primary playing ground of this lens. The situation improves significantly when stopping down to f/4-f/8 although very high lateral CAs can decrease the sharpness perception if not corrected. Distortions and vignetting are very well controlled, less so longitudinal CAs ("bokeh CAs"). Some users mention a very good bokeh (out-of-focus blur) but we failed to see greatness here (note: the quality of the bokeh goes beyond the sheer depth-of-field). The build quality is excellent and the AF is fast enough for most applications. All-in-all a lens which surely had its time but it isn't really prepared for the digital era."

 

 

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8 hours ago, MdB said:

Also (and I've checked this again), the display definitely does not 'dim' when in video mode. I've never owned an A6300/6500, but this camera maintains the same brightness. 

It does dim. A7R II, A7S II, A99 II... Try it.

You need to be in 4K not 1080/24p for it to dim.

4 hours ago, Shield3 said:

Wait, did he really just say the Sony 35 1.4 G is "amazing optically?"  This is easily the softest lens Sony has for the full frame.  It's ancient and shitty.

It's not shit at all.

Lenses are not ALL about sharpness at F1.4.

Sometimes it's about rendering, contrast, character, distortion, ergonomics, size, weight, performance at F2.0, bokeh and functionality.

HELLO?

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4 hours ago, Shirozina said:

My A7r2 only dims when I have the mode set to M and it switches to the picture profile in movie recording. Not noticed any dimming when I'm in Movie mode.

That's what I'm talking about.

In stills mode, hit record, dims.

In movie mode, it's always dim whether recording or not, which makes outdoor screen visibility a major problem.

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

It's dimmer. Backlight goes down. Besides, the picture profile applies to stills (JPEGs) as well as video.

Sorry you are right it does dim slightly in 4K mode. 

And I agree about the 35G lens. 

I also love the focus assist feature of using the PDAF points. My wish is that they made it so all points were available on wide, so they would light up as you pull focus. The accuracy on them is SO much better than peaking. It's like magnifying without having to. 

Somewhat like what the Varicams do with their green squares. 

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16 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

It does dim. A7R II, A7S II, A99 II... Try it.

You need to be in 4K not 1080/24p for it to dim.

It's not shit at all.

Lenses are not ALL about sharpness at F1.4.

Sometimes it's about rendering, contrast, character, distortion, ergonomics, size, weight, performance at F2.0, bokeh and functionality.

HELLO?

Hello? It's not even excellent at F/4, let alone F/2.  Have you shot this lens on the a99 II?

Here's some more good reading on this lens:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/sony/35mm-f1.4-g-sal-35f14g/review/

For the price a lens this bad until F/4 is not worth the money.  Add in the "screw drive" and it'd be the last lens I'd want.  I had the 24/2 Zeiss though and it is nice, but this lens is in no way a replacement for the Canon 35L original from 1998.  I won't even bring up the version II as it would be laughable.

As for the a99 II - just can't get past the silly F/3.5 in video AF - it's a dealbreaker for those shooting moving video subjects and not setup / manual focus things.  Viewers notice the wide shutter and aperture changes too much - looks amateurish.

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20 minutes ago, aly324 said:

Does the A99 ii overheat with the latest firmware? With the battery grip? 

Yes. Any extended use in warm weather (actually, doesn't even have to be that hot) will cause it to overheat when shooting 4k video. The battery grip "fix" isn't really a thing. Some report it as helping, but I doubt the accuracy of their findings. It's never fixed any of my Sonys that overheat. (Even my A7SII on the latest firmware will overheat when shooting in direct sun, and that's with a grip.)

I shot with an A99II for several months. Loved it. But the overheating was becoming more of an issue as we're heading into the summer months. (Worked great in Norway though!) Tip: the A99II (and actually all new Sony cameras) can use the dual-channel wireless receiver on the hot shoe.

17097488_1560458047314871_2836292693557089218_o.jpg

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3 hours ago, Shield3 said:

Hello? It's not even excellent at F/4, let alone F/2.  Have you shot this lens on the a99 II?

Here's some more good reading on this lens:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/sony/35mm-f1.4-g-sal-35f14g/review/

For the price a lens this bad until F/4 is not worth the money.  Add in the "screw drive" and it'd be the last lens I'd want.  I had the 24/2 Zeiss though and it is nice, but this lens is in no way a replacement for the Canon 35L original from 1998.  I won't even bring up the version II as it would be laughable.

As for the a99 II - just can't get past the silly F/3.5 in video AF - it's a dealbreaker for those shooting moving video subjects and not setup / manual focus things.  Viewers notice the wide shutter and aperture changes too much - looks amateurish. 

Again you are talking nothing more than sharpness. Screw drive means nice linked MF with hard stops. Screw drive is also very fast and accurate. I rate every screw drive I own over STM, USM, HSM, SSM and fly by wire any day. 

As for AF, I'm sorry you rely on it so much and are obviously incapable of shooting any other way. Most people don't rely on AF for everything and while on occasion a nice feature to have, it's not make or break. 

Im sure nobody has ever shot a film with moving subjects with manual focus... ever ;) It's a total deal breaker. 

As for 'amateurish' how is shooting everything with AF not 'amateurish'? 

Personally the only time I use the AF is when shooting fast action using 120p. If you would like to point me to a better camera for that feel free.

Oh and clearly you're unaware that you can lock your exposure and set your exposure as you need it to be. 

Try and see beyond your own little world a bit? 

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Andrew must have an exceptional copy of the 35G or he likes the wide open softness this lens exhibits.

I shot the original A99 for awhile and it was the worst A-mount lens I tried out of all the G and Zeiss lenses. Every copy I tried was soft at apertures wider than f/4 - for me the IQ was just to poor, even at heavily discounted used prices. The 24-70 was clearly sharper at the same apertures, so that's what I shot with most of the time. In fact my copy of the 24-70 was so good it almost never left my camera in the 3 months I owned it. With the A99II bump to 42mp and actual 4k/1080p resolution in video its flaws will be more obvious. Its smaller and lighter than other 35/1.4's because its was released in 1998 and its optical design is not competitive with modern designs in terms of sharpness and aberrations, the E-mount 35/1.4 is a modern optic and far superior in every measurable metric - thus the lens is larger.

The overheating bugs me too. Sony has a beast with the A99II, but it needs a few refinements and a few lens refreshes to make it viable for me. Some discount the AF issue, but for one-man-band, run-and-gun stuff, AF is a valuable tool. The workarounds are silly, Sony can fix all the issues. I just don't think the A-mount sells enough to dedicate significant resources to make the needed improvements when compared to the E-mount - which is clearly driving the robust imaging sales we've seen over the last couple years. Disabling the aperture is not a viable workaround if you want to use the lens at more than one aperture without having to take it apart every time.

5 hours ago, rdouthit said:

Tip: the A99II (and actually all new Sony cameras) can use the dual-channel wireless receiver on the hot shoe.

Are you getting two channels of audio directly into the camera on the A7sII as well? If so, that pretty convenient. I'm thinking about switching back to Sony from Fuji and this would be another reason to make a move for me. Thanks.

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