|Sony Alpha A700 12.24MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
|List Price: $999.00
Our Price: $999.00
High performance Digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR) camera - body only. Superlative HD picture quality from shooting to viewing. Ultra-responsive performance, ruggedly constructed and beautifully easy to use.ssing for quick response, high-speed 5 fps shooting, precision AF and creative shooting modes combine to bring out all your creativity. Super SteadyShot in-camera image stabilization reduces blur with every Sony, Carl Zeiss and Minolta a-mount lens. You?ll also have a photo-quality 3.0?1 LCD screen and direct HDMI Output2 to your Sony Bravia HDTV for PhotoTV HD viewing -- plus Sony Anti-Dust Technology, rugged magnesium alloy body, up to 650-shot3 Stamina power.
- 12.24-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor captures enough detail for poster-size prints
- Body only; lenses sold separately
- In-camera image stabilization and anti-dust vibration systems; Eye-Start Autofocus system
- 3-inch LCD display; 11-point autofocus system; 40-segment multi-pattern honeycomb metering
- Powered by lithium-ion battery; stores images on CF I/II and Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo cards
- Is every other review a company plant? Or did real photographers just not bother to review this camera?
The Sony SLRs are toys designed to compete in a market in which they already failed. They are just re-branded Minolta DSLRS, and photographers were so unhappy with the Minolta DSLRS that no one ever purchased one except kids and old photographers with Minolta gear from the days of film back when they still produced quality products.
With the exception of some gimmick features like image stabilization, Sony does not offer anything with this camera that Nikon and Canon did not offer earlier and cheaper. Nikon and Canon both also offer image stabilization in their lenses, which is an alternative that provides better results when it really matters. When you use a Sony DSLR for any extended period of time, you will start to notice that it is missing buttons for commonly accessed features such as ISO and white balance, which are hidden deep within menus that take a long time to access and change, and you will notice that the high ISO performance being touted by other reviewers is grainy and extremely subpar when compared to the cameras being offered by Nikon and Canon.
Canon and Nikon offer better cameras, cheaper, with more lenses. In fact, if you buy the right Nikon or Canon DSLR, there is a good chance you can still use lenses going back to the 1950s (this is true for Nikon, I am not sure about Canon). These lenses are still extraordinary. You will be able to use lenses made into the far future. Will Sony still be around? Minolta isn't, and you're betting on the same technology that already failed once.
The Sony won't take bad pictures; any camera, even a cheap point and shoot, will take beautiful pictures. But a Sony DSLR will fight against you and try to stop you from taking those pictures, you want a good camera that knows what it is doing and is trying to help you along the creative process....more info
- great camera !
extremely pleased with this camera. especially combined with the sony lens 18-250 mm. recommend to upgrade to last fw asap. this did really improve some focus issues for me and overall image quality....more info
- Will be a classic
I shot film for many years. Had a change of careers and was out of photography for a while. Then got back into it with digital. This is my third digital camera and my second DSLR. I used Nikons for many years but, knowing Minolta lenses are just as good and often better than Nikon or Canon or other brands, I took advantage of the momentary panic when Minolta lenses were cheap. I had also used Sony digital cameras with Zeiss optics and enjoyed the image quality, product quality and industrial design. I had also used Sony video equipment in professional settings and knew Sony made great stuff. Also, Nikon cameras use Sony sensors.
Now that Sony has fully taken over Minolta and is doing nice work and being innovative, I picked up the A700 on sale.
It is a terrific camera. But if you are new to photography and new to SLR photography, you might be better off starting with an A200 or A300 (or their successors if you read this a few months or years later). Then in a few years, pick up an A700 used or its successor (A750?)
In short, the A700 is an excellent DSLR camera. Combined with classic Minolta or new Sony lenses, you will have great results. For Sony lenses I have the 28mm and the 50mm Macro. Both are excellent. The rest of my lenses are Minolta or Konica Minolta zooms (for a brief time, Minolta combined with Konica before selling to Sony). I hope to pick up some of the newer Sony G or Zeiss lenses in time. But if you are just shooting for fun, the basic zoom is fine to start, then see what you like to shoot and get a "prime" like the 50 Macro....more info
- Minolta 7000i to Sony a700
I am only a beginner when it comes to the full operation of a camera, I have been guessing at settings w/o taking notes for 20 years, With many of awesome results, along with some bad images. I decided to take an extra leap from my little digital Fuji s3000 to the a700 since I already own a few of the best lenses made by the "Minds of Minolta". I plan on to take the time and really learn how to use a camera. Going digital will enable me to save some money in film purchasing & processing; anyway that's the excuse I used on "the other half" to justify my purchase of the camera and it's accessories. A bit spendy, but it will be the last camera I buy for a long time. It may very well be my last camera purchase, so might as well make it a goods one.
I have no real technical information for the use of this camera, but so far it just amazes me with the functions and all the configurations seem to be endless. Easy step by step instructions.
I think I made a smart choice. So all you Beginners don't be afraid, take the leap.
- Great semi-pro camera, great value.
A FREE color temperature analyzer included (which would cost $1,200 separately)! As I describe below, there is a little discussed feature that allows you to set the white balance for the ambient light practically perfectly.
I have had my Sony Alpha 700 for about six weeks now, have used it extensively on a vacation, and have tried most of the features.
I'm impressed with:
- the solid "feel" of the camera build
- the 5 frames per second continuous shooting until the card is full (many other more expensive cameras have a limit)
- autofocus is blazing fast, and as reviewed in PopPhoto, is faster than even the best Nikons and Canons in good light.
- there are several ways to access almost any setting or function, and seemingly endless customization of settings.
- Though the Auto white balance isn't always as accurate as I'd like, there is an amazing feature with will allow you to set an custom white balance in a mixed or difficult light situation by using a gray or white card and having the camera "read" the light. It not only gets the Kelvin temperature right, but also adjust to Green/Magenta filter color casts from G9 to M9. To get that quality ambient light sensing, you would have to buy a $1,200 Color temperature sensor (Minolta made one). So basically you get a color analyzer for free with the camera.
- I have quickly gotten used to the separate buttons for the setting I adjust most frequently: Drive setting (for bracketing or time delay), White Balance, and ISO.
- The Dynamic Range (DR) Capabilities are phenomenal. I've shot photos in horribly contrasty situations and been able to get detail in both shadows and highlights. There are 8 levels of adjustment for DR.
- The information you can get on playback is extensive and useful when you press the "C" button.
- I love having a % of battery life left, but I hated having to have to sell my old batteries from my Alpha 100 because they won't fit due to the new feature.
What I don't like:
- the little "joystick" control is difficult for me when I try to press it to confirm a setting. Otherwise it works fine directionally.
- I've found that I get better exposures with a -.5 EV compensation. The histograms are almost always perfect in that situation.
Overall, it's the best value in a semi-pro (bang for the buck) that I've come across after extensive evaluation. I'm also confident that Sony will continue to market it's DSLRs seriously and continue to offer a wider model line. Sony has staying power and marketing muscle. So far it only has about 6% of the worldwide DSLR market, but I'm confident that will grow due to the quality and value of it's camera product line, including the Zeiss lenses.
Another thing to note: Sony makes the 12 megapixel sensor for the Nikon D300, and most likely they are the same. Compare the price of the Sony A700 with the D300, and you will see the "bargain"....more info
- Great product.
The A700 is stout. Solid construction and solid performance. High ISO performance that can be mated up to fast Sony or Minolta AF glass. I've got an F2.8 lens and it is unstoppable indoors even in mediocre lighting. I can only imagine if I had an f1.4 prime or something of the like mounted on this body! 3 shot bracketing is quick, metering is accurate, colors are great. I shoot in cRaw and am impressed with that format. I cannot pick up on any loss compared to RAW; but the camera will run RAW all day long with no problems either. The scary thing is that even JPEGS look great on this camera! It is a very serious camera and will sit atop the Sony line until they bring out a full-frame camera. Thoroughly impressed and definitely a worthy replacement for the venerable Maxxum/Dynax 5's 7's and maybe even the 9 depending on your use!...more info
- Fantastic Camera
I have a Minolta Maxxium HTsi plus camera that has served me well for many years. I also have a Minolta 28-80 mm lens, a Quantaray 75-300 mm lens, and a Quantaray 800-1200 mm lens. Consequently, I wanted to stay with a camera that could use these lenses. I have had the alpha 700 for a few weeks and the pictures are fantastic. My wife, who does not use a camera often, can set it to auto and take very good pictures while I have the freedom to change the settings to capture the shots like I want them.
It did take several days of learning and practice to learn which button and/or menu to use. I am also having to learn the differences in using a digital versus a film camera. I would advise anyone to purchase the plastic covers for the LCD monitor as it collects fingerprints, dust, and oil from your body. Also purchase an extra battery....more info
- midrange pro camera
excellent camera, great solution after a300 and a350 to all those noisy images. a700 is just great camera,. i own canon 40d and nikon d90, but use my a700 60% of the time. picture quality is just superb. thanks SONY. nice 5 exposure bracketing for HDR photography as well....more info
- Great Camera!!
I totally enjoy using this camera. Its low noise capability (after installing V4) exceeds my old Minolta 5D even though it has twice the amount of pixels.
- very fast focusing
- great low light capability
- great LCD
- great ergonomics
- 5 fps and addictive shutter sound :)
- so so jpeg output (raw is much better)
- Awesome Camera
I previously had a KM5D. This Sony has dramatic improvments. It is quieter, much faster, the controls are more intuitive and more accessible and the pictures look great. One of the most dramatic improvements I've noted is the steady shot seems quite a lot better and is quite impressive. I took a picture of my cat in low light with a Sony SAL70-300G at 180mm and f-stop of 1/2 sec. It was acceptably sharp. I was very impressed....more info
- Excellent, class leading DSLR, but not perfect (what is?)
I have a Canon 5D and although it produces impressive pictures, I found too many of my pictures were blurred and I found myself not carrying my 5D around as it was a heavy camera (front heavy and hard to hold still IMHO) with the 24-105mm lens attached (hence the blurred shots). I started to look for a smaller and lighter camera - comfort was a major issue as was the size of the viewfinder and quality of the LCD as the 5D's LCD is frankly poor - very hard to tell if something was sharply focused or the appropriate colour. I tried out the following:
Pentax K20 - didn't like the focusing system or the LCD menu system, but otherwise impressed with the camera. Also, it's not a Nikon or Canon which is attractive given their saturation of the market - it's good not to go with the herd sometimes! Good range of lenses.
Nikon D80 - uncomfortably ergonomics for me, as with the D300, the thumb rest digs right into the lower joint of my thumb making it hard to hold firmly, I also didn't like the reversal of the focus and zoom rings on their lenses (focus at the back, zoom at the front).
Nikon D300 - very nice camera, but almost 100g heavier than the 5D!
Canon 40D - very similar to the 5D in terms of size, weight and shape. Comfortable but bland ergonomics and still on the heavy side. Nice big viewfinder, very impressive large information in the viewfinder too, compatible with my existing lenses. But it's a Canon (I have an aversion to monopolies or duopolies - it's not good for consumers or innovation!) and with their quality 17-80 lens it was going to weigh little less than the 5D.
Olympus 510 - brilliant size, weight and comfortable ergonomics, good kit lenses. I don't like the 4/3rds system (a smaller sensor just can't be better as I found with comparisons to the 5D and it makes the viewfinder very small) and their menu system is plain ugly. With a 900,000 pixel moveable screen and cleaner menu, Olympus would corner the small DSLR market.
I decided to buy an A700 with a Carl Zeiss 16-80 lens and have used it for a couple of weeks and overall I am very happy - I use it far more than the 5D as it is light and small and easy to carry. On the downside, the picture quality is not as good as the 5D especially at high ISOs where the Sony is noticeably grainy. Amateur Photographer has a review in their current issue which shows that in terms of IQ, resolution and noise the 5D beats the D300 and 40D, so the A700 really can't compete. But there's no point having the best camera sitting at home gathering dust.
Sony A700 Pros:
- Lightweight and small compared to others in class.
- Very nice ergonomics and comfort in the hand. Easy to hold very tight with very little camera wobble compared to the 5D which is front-heavy and less easy to hold still.
- Brilliant LCD, easy to check colour accuracy and sharpness - don't even need to zoom to check focus. Sony and Nikon are miles ahead of Canon, Olympus and Pentax here.
- Carl Zeiss lens is lightweight and small too, with a very useful range. Very sharp and colourful lens.
- Very bright and large viewfinder - which is so important and put me off Canon's 20D and 30D a few year's ago which have small, pokey viewfinders.
- Anti-shake device is superb, makes a huge difference and in my view is better than the lens version with Canon and Nikon. It applies to all lenses which is a major plus.
- I love the shake level meter in the viewfinder window. It is brilliant and almost on its own has made me a convert to the A700. A little chart fluctuates depending on camera shake, so you wait until the chart drops and then take the picture - it is so helpful.
- White balance settings have 7 variable settings (-3, 0, +3) which is very helpful.
- Lovely clean menu system, easier and quicker than Canon and up there with Nikon's which is also lovely to use. Olympus and Pentax really needs to take note, as their menus are cluttered and not intuitive. The A700's menu is a pleasure to navigate.
- Dedicated ISO, drive, WB and exposure buttons is very quick and useful, all are large and easy to press and can be used without even taking one's eye away from the viewfinder. Also a custom function button (NOT a direct printer button like Canon!). I don't miss the top LCD screen at all - big buttons are more helpful!
- Compressed RAW looks as good as RAW but takes less space and time.
- Outdoor shots are very sharp, very colourful and contrasty. I mainly take travel and outdoor pics so this camera really suits my style and needs.
Sony A700 Cons:
- Picture quality and resolution is not up to Canon 5D standards (but matches 40D and D80 etc). I appreciate they are not like-for-like cameras or in the same class, and the 5D is full frame etc, but it is 3+ years old. My experience is borne out by Amateur Photographer - full frame is best. I should add that at low ISOs (200 or below) and shooting RAW or cRAW the Sony output is almost as good as the Canon, which when coupled with the Sony's size, weight, LCD and anti-shake device is enough for me.
- Where the Sony suffers is at higher ISOs. At 800 the 5D has almost zero grain or noise whereas the Sony, to me, is noisy in the shadows and darkers areas of the pic. If you mainly shoot indoors or in low light, this may not be the right camera for you.
- Poor dedicated range of lenses. Not as many lenses as available for Canon and not the same quality either in terms of build and glass. Too many of the Sony lenses I have read about have had poor reviews. No problems if you have Minolta glass - but again, not the range or quality of Canon.
- Too few Sony lenses have USM/HSM/SSM etc motors. The Zeiss lens is quick but not as quick as my Canon lenses with USM motors. More importantly the Zeiss lens is very "squeaky" in use - when going from completely out of focus to focus there is an audible whirr and squeak as it is not an SSM lens. Only the high-end telephotos have SSM. Also, many of the Sigma lenses don't have HSM while they do for Canon and Nikon mounts making them also loud and slower.
- WB under incandescent light is poor - very orange cast and even with the parameters being changed, is still badly inaccurate.
- There is no ISO reading in the viewfinder info bar which would be helpful and is standard at this level of DSLR.
- The AEL button is very raised away from the body, as a result, when pressed, it is hard to keep my glasses close to the viewfinder and my view becomes distorted - this is actually quite annoying, but nevertheless not a deal breaker by any means.
- The rubber grips on the lens are very fine and are a dust magnet. It's a really minor point, but after one week my Carl Zeiss lens looked shabby because any dust and dirt gets stuck in the fine rubber ridges and is really hard to clean.
Overall the Sony A700 is a really excellent camera if you shoot at low ISOs (800 or under), mainly shoot outdoors and want something light and compact to carry all day. If you are coming from film where shooting higher than ISO 400 was virtually unheard of, this is a great camera. I give it 4 stars not 5 as it is not perfect (though arguably no camera is perfect, and this comes as close as any) - to me it is a bit too noisy from ISO 400 up, certainly compared to the D300 with which it shares a sensor. But, it doesn't matter 90% of the time. V Highly Recommended....more info
- Great Camera
This camera is great. Feel comfortable taking photos ISO 800 and beyond. I don't really miss many photo opportunities. So much control and your fingers too. Seems to be a dedicated button for everything within easy reach. Well done sony. Now if you could get a few more lenses in your lineup......more info