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September 12, 2008

Sony A900 Diary

Welcome to the Sony A900 Daily Diary! If you are a Sony-Minolta-Alpha fan, don't forget to visit and bookmark the Sony mini-blog, a convenient way to catch up with all the major Sony updates on this blog. For all the previews and reviews, be sure to check the A900 reviews page.

Mon May 10
The A900 is shown as discontinued at the Hong Kong version of Sony Style. More on this at the front page update.

Sat Jan 16
A900's younger sibling, the A850 was selected as the full-frame camera of the year at Benjamin Kanarek's blog. The A900 itself finished at the #5 spot.

Sat Jan 2, 2010
DIY Photography has a DIY suggestion for those having trouble easily pulling their CompactFlash cards out the Alpha A900 (and A850 and other cameras). It's something very simple, yet very practical for those who need it. Check it out.

Photography Bay has a review double-feature on both the Alpha A900 and A850.

Sat Dec 26
One of the reviews-opinions on the A900 at Luminous gets a "one year later" update - revisited with a new update, with Bill Caulfield Brown sharing his collective experience with the camera.

Thur Dec 17
DCI has published a review of the Canon 7D, and in that review, they dedicate a full page comparing it to the Alpha A900. Also of interest is the samples page which includes ISO comparisons of all kinds, including of course the A900.

Wedn Dec 16
All apologies for the delays in-between updates. When we started the diaries, we had 200+ fewer cameras to cover, and with the big wave of the cameras of 2009, it's hard to keep up with everything.

Sun Oct 4
If your interests intersect at the corner of Noise and A900, the debate continues at full-speed in the dpreview Sony forums.

Thur Oct 1
Well-known english fashion photographer Nigel Barker is moving to the Sony Alpha A900 says this flickr group discussion. This is discussion in a Canon forum!

Wedn Sept 30
Quite a few have called the Sony Alpha A900 ugly, but A900-fans can now say "take that haters!". The A900 was one of just 27 digital cameras that were selected for a "Good Design Award" in Japan. The results were just revealed.

Sun Sept 20
New rumor talks of a 35-megapixel full-frame DSLR from Sony, the Alpha A1R. Please note that this is a rumor, not anf announcement!

Tue Sept 1
A900 and RAW converters compared and discussed. The trail starts at the dpreview forums and then travels around the net.

Mon Aug 31
The A850 may be getting all the publicity, but the A900 is still alive and kicking! DigiCamReview has just posted a 17-picture samples gallery taken with the camera and the Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 lens. Full-size samples are available in their gallery!

Thur August 29
The rumored sister model (see August 1st below) is now officially official and priced at $2000. Read more about it at the announcement page and keep up with past, present and future A850 news at the A850 mini-blog.

Wedn August 26
The A900 catches images across the universe - literally!

Sun August 9
The Alpha A900 is the subject of PCA's post talking sensor-sizes. It is crop or cram.

Sat August 1
The A900 has a new full-frame sister! The Apha A850 has been leaked and it looks like it is an A900-lite. The differences so far are 3fps and viewfinder, and likely single-core instead of dual-core processor.

Fri July 24
A few lightning sample pictures taken with the A900 are shared in the dpreview forums.

Tue July 21: new review
We have a new review, and one that Sonoltas have been looking forward to - it comes from Alpha Mount World, a safe place, away from the prejudice of the CaNiKoN-biased reviewers ;) A must-read if you are reading this diary!

A fashion photographer photographs a model using the A900. Someoen with a camera took a 200-second video of the photoshoot. Video via the Imaging Insider.

Sat June 27
The Sony forum at dpreview has a lively discussion, where ISO 1600 pictures from the D700 and the A900 are compared.

Thur June 11
Noise-free at ISO 3200 with the Alpha A900? That's what this dpreview forum photographer is suggesting in this thread.

Thur June 4
The Alpha A900 is participating in an on-going bundle promotion by Sony. This is a little bit complicated though. See details at the Camera Deals blog.

Mon May 25
A busy thread in the dpreview forums is discussing the possibility of a Alpha A900 replacement or companion 35mm full frame DSLR.

Mon May 18
The new wave of Sony entry-level announcements has some good news for A900 fans. Yes, even though all DSLRs and lenses are "DT", for the APS-C sensors, the tiny-little new flash, the HVL-F20AM can be used as a trigger/controller when mounted on the Alpha A900.

Fri May 15
The Sony Alpha A900 may have gotten perhaps more than its fair share of criticism from reviewers and forum participants, but it did quite well in the Japanese Press Club awards. It finished second in the mail-in ballots tally and third among the critics. Not bad, considering a rather competitive field of choices out there.

Thur May 13
Full-frame comparison! It's on at Photocrati, a sub-$3000 full-framer comparison by Peter Burian. Check it out!

Wedn May 5: new review
It is time for a new review, this time at spanish site The conclusions are on the "Veredicto" page. You can check all the different sections of the review with the navigation towards the top of the review.

Wedn April 22
ISO 6400, and RAW is the topic of this vigorous thread in the Sony (D)SLR Talk forum at dpreview.

Mon April 20
Today is a day to rejoice! The A900 has taken quite a few hits, from both Alpha and non-Alpha users, but today, it is not only picked at #5 in the Online Photographer top 10, but Michael Johnston calls it his "favorite digital camera yet". Alpha fans will argue that this is a more prestigious honor than getting a TIPA award!

Sun April 19
Sample pictures taken with the A900, shared in the dpreview forums and available at full-size at the photographer's zenfolio page.

Thur April 16
Oh my! It's been almost a month without an update! All apologies!

Alpha Mount World has just posted a new post discussing ISO 3200 JPEGs and making the case that you can get good results with the Alpha A900. You don't have to drop everything and run to CaNiKon-LaNd!

Sun March 22
We have another review of the Alpha A900 posted, this time by Digital Camera Info. The review includes comparisons with the Nikon D700 and Canon 50D. If you are in a hurry, here are the conclusions.

Wedn March 11
Amateur Photographer UK says that Sony UK will raise prices by 18% on the A900. Ouch :(

Tue March 10
Wow, almost a month without updates. But with PMA in the rear view mirror, this will pick up momentum. For now, here is a new magazine review of the camera, written by Ron Eggers for Professional Photographer.

Thur Febr 19
Getty loves you A900 fans! Photo Club Alpha notes that the camera has been added to their "approved camera list". It is the only Sony Alpha currently on the list by the way, so be sure to write to your congressperson and demand that more Alpha DSLRs be added to the list :)

Tue Febr 10: new review
We missed this new review, but the Imaging Insider caught it. Shutterbug, the magazine, has posted their Alpha A900 review online, written by Peter Burian. The conclusions are at the bottom of page #2 for those multi-tasking like there's no tomorrow.

Sun Febr 8
More retailers are getting the Alpha A900 in-store, you can now get it for $3000 and with free 3-day shipping at, a reputable retailer out of the landscape-photography-friendly state of Montana.

Sat Febr 7
The noise discussion is revisited in LL-Cool-Landscape's discussion of their frozen photography trip. Also discussed are some of the lenses he used along with the Alpha A900.

Thur Febr 5: new review
A new review is out, hot off the e-presses! PDN Gear Guide has posted their Alpha A900 review, in conjunction with their 5DMk2 review. Will this review make Sonolta fans happy? And did they think the A900 is better in some areas than the 5DMk2? Read on and through to find out!

Sun Febr 1
Nicole Hill interviews photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, and during the interview we learn that the Alpha A900 and Carl Zeiss lenses are his favorite 35mm system.

Chief Luminous had an extended trip in Antartica and a number of digital cameras went along for the ride. He shares some of his pictures which include a trio of Alpha A900 pictures.

The sensor question gets revisited for the Nth time, this time in the flickr forums.

Pictures from the Alpha flickr group are shared at the Sony Alpha Gallery blog.

Sat Jan 31: $500 combined purchase discount
Amazon is having a combined purchase discount for those interested in buying the A900 with the Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 together in the same transaction. Details of this promotion at the camera deals blog.

Wedn Jan 28: Open Box Alpha specials
We have some exclusive Open Box Specials via available to our readers. This is a telephone promotion only. To find out more, please call 1-888-499-4795. Because of pricing policies, we cannot publish the prices of the open-box items.

Mon Jan 26: new reviews!
There is a new review, just posted today, at Photography Blog. No spoilers here, conclusions on page six!

And another review, this one a shorter review by Lori G at tech-supersite CNet, check it out.

The A900 is one of the two cameras compared to the 5DMk2 in Focus Numerique's ISO test that was posted yesterday.

Sat Jan 24: Swedish review
There's a brand new review by Swedish website Kamera Bild, which includes a small crop of ISO comparisons between it and the Nikon D700, along with a sample picture of what looks like the Swedish version of Sarah Palin. I can see Denmark from my house!

Sat Jan 17: new review
Alors! There is a new review! French website Focus Numerique has posted their 16-page review, which includes a 20-minute video-review summary. Conclusions under the "Verdict" page. Be sure to check it out.

Wedn Jan 14: dpreview forum round-up
In today's update, we look at some A900 threads of interest in the dpreview Sony SLR Talk forum:

+ If you don't like the current converter software, why not DIY? This is exactly what this photographer did - created one of his own
+ An in-forum opinion on the camera from a birding photographer - in three parts, start here
+ New current owner is thrilled with his new camera and primes
+ New potential owner asks current A900 users some questions

Sat Jan 10
A review by german website Our German department is on assignment, so we don't know what their findings were :)

The Picture Business magazine has a write-up on how the Alpha A900 et al are changing the game with their 20+ megapixel sensors.

An HDR photo taken with the A900, in flickr, check out the "mysterious traveler".

Sat Jan 3, 2009
Just posted at Luminous Landscape, a Canon 5d Mark II vs Sony A900 comparison article. Chief LL has been using them both, so what does he think? Plus, there's more in the pipeline, as two LL associated will be using one camera each and will be guest-blogging their experience later in the month!

flickr users are getting restless. When is the A900 going to be added to the database?

Sun Dec 28
ISO Wars! Luminous Landscape has a parting gift for full frame DSLR fans as they have posted their ISO shootout between the A900, the elitist D3X, and the snobbist 5DMk2 ;-)

Fri Dec 26
Is 35mm-full-frame for you? That is the question the Online Photographer asks and more than 70 photographers debate in the comments section. Needless to say, the A900 is mentioned there!

Sun Dec 22
Luminous Landscape has posted not one, but two new reports on the A900. Check them out through our special update!

Sat Dec 21
Primes are a full-frame's best friend? Like diamonds? Well, that's up to you to decide, and it was indeed up to dpreview to decide what they thought of the Sony 50mm f1.4 lens in their latest lens review by Andy Westlake.

They call it a full review. We call it a spec recap. You decide what it is!

Sat Dec 14
A900 fans, the camera is finishing last in the Blog Referendum. It needs your help :) Results will be finalized tomorrow.

Sat Dec 13
David Kilpatrick answers questions about his D3X vs A900 ISO 1600 test in the photography forums of the website.

Thur Dec 11
David Kilpatrick has posted two ISO 1600 pictures that will certainly generate a lot of discussion. One taken with the D3x, the other with the A900. And he has a page of comment for each pictures in the Pbase page of each camera. See more at his

For the unbelievers out there, Galbraith has proof that the D3x is indeed using a Sony sensor!

More macro shots at the Photo Banter forums, along with a brief discussion. The lens used was the Minolta 100mm f2.8 and the photographer used the Acute Matte "M" focus screen.

Tue Dec 9
We just got an email notification, the camera is in-stock at B&H Photo. List price of $3000 of course.

Sun Dec 7: Sunday funnies
Hitler is angry about the D3x price! Video proof of that on YouTube via TOP.

Sat Dec 6: pay-per-view review has just posted a review of the Alpha A900, however the review is for paying subscribers only. There is no direct link to the review since it's PPV, but you can see the list of available reviews for paying-subscribers at the premium page TOC. The subscription options are plenty and confusing I might add.

Fri Dec 5: Catching up
AnandTech has posted their hands-on preview of the 5DMk2, and on page #4 of that review they include an "ISO Wars" comparison< between the 5DMk2, A900 and D3/D700.

And a short two-page review by tech-website Tech Radar. No spoilers here :)

D3x at $8000? Ha! The A900 is the king of value says Alpha Mount World.

CNet Australia cleared up things on the D3x sensor, yes it is made by Sony, but it is a "Nikon design". And it has slightly smaller pixels than the A900. A longer discussion in this alpha flickr forum.

And as Luminous points us in this post, the A900 is a better deal in Canada where you can get it for about $2500.

In-forum initial impressions from an Alpha user who posts after trying a few different lenses.

More A900 thoughts from the Online Photographer - this is from a few days ago, but definitely well reading!

Neutral Day compares the major specs between the A900 and the much-more expensive D3x and opines. The battle of the 24-megapixel full-framers!

And some sample crops taken with the Zeiss 135mm f1.8 at Fear not, the pictures are not loading in the target page, so it's safe to visit if you are on dial-up.

A trade-show text-based hands-on with the A900 from the Beltgens blog.

Thur Dec 4: new review
Luminous Landscape has posted their field review of the alpha a900! A very interesting review if you ask me as they tackle noise from multiple perspectives. Also the debut of DxOMark pixel-peeping!

Sat Nov 29
Quite possibly the shortest "review" ever on the A900. Check it out?

Sat Nov 22: more opinions!
The Online Photographer has used both the A900 (for a week) and the Nikon D3, and in their latest post, they compare and contrast the two full-framers.

And a review from a veterna Sonoltan photographer, at New Camera Review.

Mon Nov 17: new review
Yes A-900 fan club, there is a new, and very technical review out by Photo Review Au. Do note that there are no conclusions, so if you are a speed-reader, you have to read the review :-)

The A900 was one of the products that stood out in the opinion of the Honolulu Advertiser who attended the Sony Expo in beautiful Hawai'iiii.

One flickr user is doing the math for a potential A700-to-A900 upgrade. The discussion in the Alpha flickr group.

Fri Nov 14
The A900 is not the only 24mp 35mm-full-frame camera around, at least on paper. One of the RED EPIC and SCARLET configurations using a 36x24mm 24mp sensor as well. Read about the RED.

Wedn Nov 12: New Review
Yes A900, we have a new review today, posted by Let's Go Digital. As usual, no spoilers here!

Tue Nov 11: Lots of New First Impressions has spent some time with the A900 and the Mamiya DL28, and has a one-sentence opinion that may (or may not) disappoint some potential A900 users.

The A900 goes to a wedding! Me Ra Koh photography received a unit from Sony, and they are posting some sample pictures and first impressions.

More first impressions at the Life In A Show blog.

Lots of samples, including full ISO range tests with the A900 at

The Photo-Facts blog opines on the Alpha flagship and the buzz it has generated, both positive and negative.

Fri Nov 7
DC Fever has posted side by side samples from the A900 and 1Ds Mark III. You can find the link and a discussion of this at Photo Malaysia.

Is the A900 ugly? Perhaps a beauty? More at the Online Photographer.

Is the A900 noisy asks Eye Thru The Lens. They use three images to make their point. More from "Eye" in this flickr discussion.

The ColorBlind Photographer looks at the three $3000 full-frame DSLRs and opines on their pros and cons. Needless to say, the D700 is one of them!

Mon Nov 3
The Online Photographer has posted a new update on their experience with the A900.

Sat Nov 1
An on-going and developing hands-on review of the A900 at the The Online Photographer.

Fri Oct 31: New Review
Pop Photo and Imaging has e-posted their A900 review, which they call a "camera test", while they call their preview or overview a "review". Oh the confusion. But fear not, this is a review in regular-speak and a test in popphoto-speak :)

Miss Beiflu is falling in love with Sony again after an A900 encounter at the Sony Style shop.

Nikon Rumors points to a dpreview forum post from a forum user claiming that Sony will not be giving its 24-megapixel sensor (found in the A900) to any other dSLR manufacturers.

Wedn Oct 29
The Online Photographer will soon be receiving a unit in the next few days, so stay tuned to TOP for more! Expect an "experiential" review, not a "pixel-peepiential" review. Both types of reviews are helpful in getting a well-rounded view of a camera, so please keep them coming!

Sun Oct 26
A new user has received his A900 and posted early first impressions at the dgrin forums.

Neutral Day recaps the recently published reviews of this flagship.

Thur Oct 23
A new video (p)review of the A900 at Digital Journal.

Wedn Oct 22: The dpreview review is out!
Yes, Alpha A900 the day has arrived, the dpreview ship is in the port, and has unloaded their 37-page review. Details and reactions at our impact review update.

Tue Oct 21

Master Chong discusses full range ISO tests, going from 100 all the way to ISO 6400. Your favorite bunny is back! The ISO tests were made using the ZA 24-70mm SSM T* Vario-Sonnar lens. What do you think?

Mon Oct 20
Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry? Well, it depends. Photo Club Alpha asks the tough question: Do you really need an A900? We blog, they blog, you decide, and then deride ;-)

Camera Action Camera House has posted a near 5-minute video of the A900 presented and previewed at a camera store.

What happens when a car dude gets receives his A900? Well, what else, pictures of flagship cars!

If only we were in his shoes! One lucky dude won a Sony A900 at the Sony convention. We hope Sony threw in a couple of full-frame lenses in too so that the lucky photographer can make the most out of his brand new full-framer! :-)

Mon Oct 13: Now shipping!
Great news, the A900 is now shipping from for $3000 with free FedEx ground shipping.

And an new write-up on the A900, photographer Tim Kemple has spent a week with the A900 and shares his findings and experience with the rest of us.

Sun Oct 12
Vroom! Vroom! The A900 writes RAW files fast! And that's a good thing because it uses a 24-megapixel sensor. All the detailed results at Rob Gabraith's. It's interesting to note that the fastest card is 10x faster than the slowest card in the Galbraith tests.

Thur Oct 9
A first A900 picture is showcased at the Sony Alpha Gallery blog. This is a blog that showcases pictures taken with Alpha cameras and posted in the respective Alpha group.

Wedn Oct 8
If you enjoy "troll posts", there is a busy one in the Sony dpreview forum, where a user starts the fire with this statement: "resolution is the only value of the A900".

Tue Oct 7
The Alpha A900 is one of the cameras used by dpreview for comparison purposes in their just-posted D700 review. This is great news for A900 fans as it means that a dpreview review must be in the works. Hopefully a fair and balanced review, as some Alpha fans may recall the kerfuffle caused by a previous Alpha review.

Anyway some of the sample comparisons can be found on page #17 and page #24 of the review.

Reactions to this in the dpreview Sony forum. Put on your noise-reduction hats on before checking it out :-)

The A900 is featured in the latest Gadget Lab podcast. This is one among their many stories.

Mon Oct 6
A new A900 sample picture posted at flickr, taken with the Sigma 28mm lens and Cokin. Lots of comments on the picture, but it is only available in cropped size.

Sun Oct 5`
A900 sample shots have been posted in the flickr Sony Alpha group. From two different members using their new cameras. The pictures are available at full-size, yes, you can download the full 24mp JPEGs and experiment with them and print them to see how they look!

Sat Oct 4
Just posted, a brand new A900 reviews page, which will be updated as new reviews and previews become available! If you have any suggestions on how to improve it, please let us know!

The British Journal of Photography has posted their Alpha A900 review. The online review is text-only, no sample pictures or any pictures whatsoever. No spoilers here :)

Photography for Starving Artists opines on the A900, anti-aliasing filters and a lot more.

Wedn Oct 1
The A900 is one of the topics of the latest Gadget Lab Videoblog. Gadget Lab is the high-tech blog of the Wired network of websites, blogs and magazines.

Tue Sept 30
Alpha cameras and Playstation? Surely a typo? Or not? Really? Find out!

Sun Sept 28
Alpha-specialist PhotoClub Alpha has posted part #1 of their Alpha A900 Photokina report. Lots of sample pictures there, click on them for larger sizes.

Cat pictures and high ISO intersect at the PCA forums. More samples at forum with comparison crops ranging from ISO 100 all the way up to 6400.

Phooey spotlights a couple of WDC videos on the A900. The A900 does not have video mode, so when we say videos we mean videos of using the camera, not videos taken with the camera.

Can the A900 compete with the D700 asks dslrbiz. Please direct all comments, agreements and disagreements to dslrbiz :)

And another discussion, this one in the flickr group, is the 5D Mark II taking a shot at our lovely A900?

TOP opines on the new full-frame cameras including the Alpha900.

The Megapixel Monster is here says Hardware Zone.

In attempt to break some a world record perhaps, DCI has been posting "first impressions" and reviews of cameras left and right. Here is their early take on the Alpha A900.

A quarter of "real" A900 body pictures by DigiCamReview from Koln, in Germany. By "real" we mean pictures taken of an actual camera body in the field, as opposed to pre-planned studio shoots.

Among other topics, the A900 is discussed in this Gadget Lab podcast and Photography Bay has an A900 Photokina update.

Sun Sept 21
Photography Bay had an interview with Sony Europe. Be sure to check it out!

Sat Sept 20
How about some camera spec wars on paper? A900 vs Olympus E3 in the Four Thirds Photo forums.

Fri Sept 19
A nice discussion in the sony alpha flickr group talking 5DMk2 vs A900. Similar discussion in the Strobist-Austin group.

Wedn Sept 17 says that the Alpha A900 pops CaNiKon on the chin. Ouch?

B&H Photo is accepting A900 orders for the standard price of $3000. There is no estimate for a shipping date listed yet. Cameras will be shipping in the order they are pre-ordered.

Photoxels has created their fact sheet for the A900.

Sun Sept 14
Photo Club Alpha is on the cutting edge, they already have an HDR bracketing mini-tutorial with the A900! And they have completed part 3 of their press release coverage.

If you missed the preview be sure to check it out! Usually the previews and write-ups by websites that specialize on a specific brand are more "in tune" with the user base, so they are always interesting to read.

Master Chong dissects an indoor portrait taken with the new megapixel king/queen.

Photo blogger Scott dissects the A900 video preview posted at CNet.

Fri Sept 12
The Insider is pointing us to a new hands-on preview, which includes sample pictures.

Six full-size A900 samples including a castle and a hawk at Let's Go Digital.

Anand Tech has posted their A900 round-up, including nine complaints (see page #7) and a great sensor comparison (page #2).

Thur Sept 11
Will it work on the moon? The answer via the Insider.

Photo Club Alpha has attended the press event and has posted a report on their website! Be sure to check part 1, and part 2.

The A900 LifeCycle so far

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