Above: The question for today’s photographer is,
which one of these cameras comes closest to
meeting your future needs?
profiles on top
reviews and an
unaltered version as well as the converted
HDR image. Why can’t Nikon implement
the same feature in an expensive DSLR?
Unfortunately, I did not have use of
long Nikon lens when I photographed an
auto race; consequently, I could only use
it when I was able to get close to the action or in the garages.
The last time I shot with a Sony A77,
I did not have use of a long lens. This
time, I had an 18-250mm zoom, so I
used it most of the time when I photographed a rallycross under the lights at
the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (
especially useful because no photographers
were allowed near some important
parts of the race track).
The camera performed fine, but the electronic viewfinder is still not as easy on the
eye as a regular optical viewfinder. Having
said that, I became used to it after a day
or two, and it did not trouble me so much.
There’s no denying that the camera is fast; I
often captured two or three frames without
meaning to, thanks to its rated speed of 12
fps, compared to 5 fps for the D600. I shot
the race at ISO 4000, which enabled a shutter speed of 1/320th sec. The noise was just
acceptable and compared (surprisingly) favorably with the Nikon D600 at ISO 3200.
Of course, switching back and forth
between the D600 and the A77 was
annoying at times, and I reckon I could
have captured a better picture if I’d used
the other camera! Once the higher fps
of the Sony might have meant getting
a better picture of two cars together,
while on another occasion, the better
low-light quality of the D600 might
have produced a better picture. The
bottom line is that I found both cameras
worked well. After my initial hesitation
about the Sony A77, I grew to like it and
found the electronic viewfinder was not
EVERYTHING AFTER THE IMAGE IS TAKEN
My next assignment is a quick trip to
Europe to test the new VW Golf. The
trip will involve several different flights,
no action photos and only carry-on luggage for a week. Guess which cameras I’m
planning to take? The Olympus OM-D
E-M5 and my iPhone 4S. I know these
two cameras will provide me with the images I’ll need.
As sensor technology improves and
cameras become more sophisticated—
as well as smaller and lighter—I can see
a future when a smart phone and a small
mirrorless DSLR (like the Olympus)
will merge and be more than sufficient
to deliver the quality and functionality I
need for most assignments.
the fall issue
also includes the
issue to see the
to hear from the
John Rettie, who resides in Santa Barbara, CA., has
been covering digital photography since its earliest
days. Contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.