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  1. #1
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    Demoing a77 - Going snowboarding...

    I can't justify purchasing an a77 right now, but I couldn't resist a chance to take one for an extended spin. Borrow Lenses had a good deal on a rental, so I pulled the trigger to get my hands on one for a little winter trip up to Whistler, BC next week.

    I've only played with it a tiny bit so far, but... So far so good... My primary camera is the a900, and I started the DSLR ride with an a100, then a700, a850 & now just my a900... So, that's where I'm coming from..

    I must say, the EVF isn't so bad, and in many cases, is quite nice... Definitely a treat for really low light work as even with the biggest OVF, if the light is dim, it's dim...

    It still has v1.03 firmware so I was going to see if I could do the movie "trick" to get it to AF at wider apertures than f3.5... However, I do plan to use it mostly for still. I'll also be playing with a GoPro for catching some video while snowboarding...

    The trick for me is trying to decide what lenses to take on the slopes with me... Unfortunately I don't have a good riding pack for camera gear, so I'll use a small Lowe Off-trail hip pack for the camera, and toss a lens or two in my regular daypack in a good softcase and wrapped in an extra down jacket.. Not the most convenient, but... What'ev...

    So, primary ride-around lens will depend on the weather.. ;) If it's looking stormy all day, I'll just use my old 50mm f1.7... Otherwise, my 18-250mm Tamron... Basically the same as the Sony super-zoom... Not great, but it's flexible... Just have to decide what to toss in the backpack.... 12-24mm Sigma maybe? 80-200mm f2.8 or 70-400mm G? Both are just about the same size and weight... AKA, big and heavy... Dunno... I'll have 4 days on the hill to shoot, so I'll pick and choose depending on the weather and who I'm likely to spend my day riding with...

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to taking this thing for a spin....

    Greg, or anyone else with one have any tips or "must knows" about the a77 camera to shorten any learning curve? I've read all the reviews and know all the basics... I'll be shooting primarily in RAW so I'm not too concerned about jpeg settings.. I know I'll need to switch back and forth to play with some of the in-camera settings like HDR, stacked low-light, pano's, etc... But, I'll probably stick with my normal shoot raw, then use Photomatix and PTGui for those types of images...

    Anything else I need to be thinking about with the a77?

  2. #2
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Demoing a77 - Going snowboarding...

    I think you have a pretty good plan I cant wait to hear how it stands up against the 900. I actually was thinking of getting one next year. My NEX 7 is on the way.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  3. #3
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    Re: Demoing a77 - Going snowboarding...

    Running out now to begrudgingly return the a77..... Didn't get near the hands on time I wanted with it for a variety of reasons, but.... Spent enough time to get a good feel for it and address the few "technology" concerns I had about SLT's and EVF's... In general, those are no longer a concern for me..

    I'll reply in the next day or so when I get some time to look at the few photos I shot and gather my thoughts a bit more...

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Demoing a77 - Going snowboarding...

    Thanks for posting the review. It was very thorough and detailed. I want to see some photos, though! We need a new Sports Photography forum Featured Photo. Got anything worthy from your trip? If so, post 'em on that forum!
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  5. #5
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Demoing a77 - Going snowboarding...

    Yeah that was a good review and accurate from what I see using one. I need to get mine going for the NEX 7. It is going to be a good one as well. I don't see much to cry about.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  6. #6
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Demoing a77 - Going snowboarding...

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary View Post
    I need to get mine going for the NEX 7. It is going to be a good one as well. I don't see much to cry about.
    I am looking forward to that review, Greg. Not as much as I'm looking forward to getting the NEX 7 in my hand for my own review, though
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  7. #7
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    Re: Demoing a77 - Going snowboarding...

    I honestly don't think I have much, if anything, post worthy from the trip, but I still need to check. The memory cards are sitting on my coffee table waiting for a little attention. Hopefully tonight I'll be able to get to them...

    Besides, between the weather and riding levels of my family and friends, there wasn't a lot of cooperation for a lazy photographer on this trip. If anything, I might have some entertaining POV helmet cam action before I ripped the mount off my helmet with a tree branch, but that's about it. Vote +1 for the Contour HD cam using a side helmet mount vs a GoPro top mount on the helmet. Seriously thinking about rigging a side mount or a better, lower helmet mount. I'm just not used to the extra couple inches of clearance when ducking and darting around trees...

    As for the Nex-7, I really, really want to get my hands on one for some quality one on one time. For this round, the a900 will keep me "content" on the DSLR side until I see what the a99 has to offer, but I am interested in something more portable for every day use in the near term.

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