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Sony and Photocomment photowalk

Sony Alpha SLT-A77V
Sony Alpha SLT-A77V

On the 31st of August I was at a Photocomment and Sony photowalk in Pretoria, I find these useful and educative with the added bonus of being exposed to new gear, in this case the Sony Alpha SLT-A77V.

This was not my first time in the company of Sony Alpha SLT-A77V but it was my first time with it and very little more. Being forced to use a camera one learns a lot about it’s character, the Alpha 77 is a serious camera that does not get the attention it deserves. With functions like panorama, built in GPS, 12 fps, 3 way tiltable screen, a 24.3MP APS sensor and 19 point of full time continuous focus goodness and every thing else you expect from a modern DSLR, how can it be ignored?

Additionally it is lighter than expected with excellent results in any modes, what could possibly be wrong with it? The Sony SLT software is a bit clunky, the menu could be easier to use, but this applies to the entire range of Sony cameras. The only other issue I have with it is the Electronic Viewfinder, I find it dated, it does not really represent a true refection of the final image, the Sony NEX-6 Electronic Viewfinder is far superior in my opinion.

Short of these minor issues, the camera performed well, it easily competes in the professional space with no shortage of lenses and it is well priced – I found it for about R14 000 with a Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 lens.

I enjoyed my time with it.

Sony Alpha SLT-A77V samples

Hands on review: Canon EOS 700D

Canon EOS 700D
Canon EOS 700D

Being the brother of the Canon EOS 100D by sharing much of its components and features the Canon EOS 700D is distinguishing itself by adding features I wish the 100D had. The first of these is a better handle that does not need small hands and the ability to add a battery grip. It is not a heavy or cumbersome camera by any length and feels like it’s solidly made.

It also has a 3 inch touch swivel screen, my biggest problem with swivel as opposed to tilt is the general handling of the camera changes when it is opened, the camera also takes twice the horizontal space. However, it feels solid and has the advantage of being functional in both portrait and landscape shooting and I found the touch screen is as addictive as ever.

My biggest surprise by far was the low light handling, it produced far less noise than I expected in both RAW and JPG. The AUTO mode (Scene Intelligent Auto) seems to select the “right” approach and setting in most conditions making it a perfect occasional and novice camera.

Big pipe organ
Big pipe organ – in low light conditions at ISO3200

The colour reproduction of the 18Mp sensor is surprisingly accurate and is not afraid of high contrast situations.
A lot has to be said of the new kit lens, the Canon EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS ST, it keeps surprising me. As seen below, short depth of field with clarity is easily achievable add that to its video prowess and it makes it a very desirable lens that easily competes with it’s own bigger brothers. This zoom lens paired the Canon EOS 700D makes this combination a strong contender in this space.

Spokes
Spokes

I tested the video and as with the 100D the results were very good, I will not post it because, unbeknown to me, it has a lot of copyrighted material. Fell free to have a look at the Canon EOS 100D video test here which yeilded similar results.

As with most kits most people will find the 18-55mm kit lens does not always satisfy zoom needs and I recommend that a 55-250 or a 70-300 be considered as part of the kit. Most retailers will have these in stock.

More photographs from my Canon EOS 700D review.

The Canon EOS 700D is available in South Africa from R7000 for the body, 18-55 kits are from R7800 and 18-55 + 55-250 kits from R9900.
Test camera kindly supplied by Canon South Africa.