Friday, September 24, 2010

Sony SLTs and ghosting

The release of the new Sony SLT's has unleashed another torrent of web activity. This is divided into two very broad categories. The first is excited about the prospect of some really interesting new products bringing new abilities to the photographer. The other is upset that 'traditional' photographic values are being lost in the rush to introduce new gimmicks.

The epicentres (if you can have more than one epicentre) of this dispute are two technologies. The SLT and the EVF. I cant talk about the EVF now as I havent handled the camera and so cant comment except in very broad terms. However, there are thousands of samples of A33/55 images out there on the net now so I feel I can comment on the ghosting (non) issue.

My guess is this argument will just go round and round in circles for years. Someone in one of the hundred of threads on this issue raised the idea that question could be settled via independent quality testing from site like Alamy being the ultimate judge. I understand the logic of that argument, I’ve even used it myself, but its never got anywhere.

Despite submitting thousands of images and getting many fails, I have never, ever, had a single reject for excessive noise. Instead, I’ve been repeatedly rejected because a 12 Mp capture could not be uprezzed to meet the minimum size requirements. Yet, no matter how much this is repeated I am constantly told that Mp dont count and that all we need is lower noise.

Sony’s noise performance did (and I stress the past tense) lag the mainstream slightly but never as much as people claimed and never with the real impact people feared. Ghosting is an issue but on all the evidence I’ve seen its precisely the same scenario, no-where near the problem claimed and nothing like the impact feared.

But Sony is a hated brand (even, or perhaps especially, by its own users) so this alone will give the topic legs. Combined with an especially conservative current market I suspect people will continue doing 100, 200, even 300% inspections trying to find the most minute problems. That is what it is.

All I know is that the people actually working with the new cameras to get great images are almost certainly going to be doing better and enjoying their hobby/work far than those spending their energy just complaining about them.

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