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Thread: Sony sensor dust query

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    BPN Member Paul Burdett's Avatar
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    Default Sony sensor dust query

    Hi all. Had a look at the Sony 200-600 in a local shop yesterday...looks good. However, I'm still unsure (and somewhat confused) as to whether I'll buy Nikon or Sony in an effort to get better AF tracking for bif images. I'm even more confused now, as I have read and watched videos regarding the apparent sensor dust issue that Sony cameras have. I guess it would not be an issue if I have only one lens attached to the body (thinking A9+200-600)...but it appears it's a deal breaker for a lot of photographers. Thoughts?
    Cheers.

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    BPN Member David Seymour's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,


    I can't comment on Sony's sensor dust issue, but I think there may be some emerging reasons to watch further developments in 2020 before making the jump away from Canon. There are now rumors that there will be two higher-level R series mirrorless camera bodies from Canon this year, one being the previously predicted high-resolution mirrorless evolution of the 5Ds series, the other unknown at this stage but possibly a 5D Mark V in mirrorless format. If so, the latter could be seriously interesting for bird photography. There was also a report about a plan for a DSLR 5D Mark V at the end of 2020, if so such a camera might inherit the much-improved AF from the 1Dx Mark 111. Canon seems to have been struggling to improve the AF systems in its DSLRs (but has reportedly tried to correct that in the 1Dx Mark III), but on the other hand seems to be making substantial advances with its live-view AF, which should translate into the AF systems in upcoming R series cameras.


    Lenses are another issue of course, and sadly for price brackets below the very top end, Canon has not yet produced equivalents of Sony's 200-600, or of Nikon's immensely sought-after 500 PF - but given the demand for lenses like this, perhaps Canon may finally come to the party. Like you, I've also been hovering at times over a decision to switch brands to get better AF, at one stage contemplating a Nikon D850 plus 500 PF, the disincentive being the extremely long waiting lists for the 500 PF lens which is in very short supply worldwide.


    Anyway, I personally think it may be worth holding off to see what arises from Canon in 2020 if you can stand the wait - we should have a better idea of where they're going by the end of the year. At least I know how you feel!


    Cheers, David
    Last edited by David Seymour; 01-18-2020 at 04:36 AM.

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    BPN Member Paul Burdett's Avatar
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    Hi David. Lovely to hear from you, and thanks for the info. In my mind I've recently decided on the Sony, but have not made the switch yet...for two reasons: firstly the $$...always an issue unless I sell all my Canon gear, and secondly...as you say...I'm waiting to see what Canon does this year. I did try the A9 and 200-600 combo a while ago in store (with my sd card) and was impressed with the images when I viewed them at home. I too considered the Nikon D850 and PF lens, but as the lens is over 6K I ditched that idea. The Nikon D500 with that lens however would be a great bif combo I think. In any case I'll probably keep my Canon6D and lenses as I'm really happy with that gear for landscape.
    So...time will tell I guess...will be interesting to see what Canon come up with, other than mega expensive cameras such as the 1DXiii. Cheers David.

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    BPN Limited Member Ernst Zigmund's Avatar
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    Old thread but FWIW I've shot an A9 alongside a D500 for about a year. Dust is more common on the Sony but is no drama to deal with. The A9 is easier to use but for BIF the focus isn't quite as accurate as the Nikon and sometimes with perched birds at 8-10m flatly fails (as it does on the A7R III).

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    BPN Member Paul Burdett's Avatar
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    Hi Ernst. Interesting. Your view of the A9 for BIF doesn't seem to be echoed by the many photographers I've read about/viewed videos submitted etc. What lens are you using with your A9? As for perched birds, that is even more concerning...but I don't own a Sony so can't really comment. I do think though that the evidence that I've seen doesn't seem to support your view. In any case I haven't decided to make the switch to Sony at this point...especially as I'd need to be totally convinced it's the best gear for me. Cheers.

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    BPN Limited Member Ernst Zigmund's Avatar
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    A lot of Sony users think AF quantity must amount to quality. Sony marketing would be happy with that.
    Why would I know different? Side by side tells you a lot. 90,000 D500 bird shots, 40,000+ A9 shots. Do a pelagic cruise and shoot one in the morning, the other in the afternoon, and then go through 3000 shots looking at sharp rates.
    Sony lenses: 100-400 & 1.4TC, 200-600, 400 2.8 with both TCs.
    The A9's focus fails are increasingly talked about. See my documenting of it here: https://www.talkemount.com/threads/a...s-fails.19467/
    Note that I now only shoot Sony and live with its shortcomings. I've never found a perfect tool.

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    BPN Member Paul Burdett's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Very interesting. So...was /is your Nikon D500 better overall for af tracking? (with what lens?) Cheers.

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    BPN Limited Member Ernst Zigmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Burdett View Post
    Thanks for the info. Very interesting. So...was /is your Nikon D500 better overall for af tracking? (with what lens?) Cheers.
    Horses for courses.
    It's way more reliable for capturing a small static bird in mid-ground. That's important to shooters wanting record and environmental shots. It produces a higher rate of sharp shots in BIF bursts but the Sony does enough. The Sony is easier to use grabbing a BIF against a plain background and not much different against a textured background.
    Other pro cameras use cross-type PD sensors. I wonder how much Sony's AF would improve if it did.

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    BPN Limited Member Ernst Zigmund's Avatar
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    Re Nikon lenses, I've used the 200-500, 300 PF with 1.4 TC, and Tamron 150-600mm G2. The last wasn't quite as good in locking and staying on as the others but was still reliable.

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    I own both Nikon and Sony systems at this point

    the Sony A9 II is definitely superior to the Nikon D500 and even D5 by a pretty significant margin when it comes to capturing very unique and challenging BIF frames. The camera features many different settings that need to be setup right, but when it is setup right the sky is the limit. No DSLR can compete

    However the Sony 200-600 lens is no good IMO. It stands no chance next to the Nikon's excellent PF. it is heavier, softer and slower just like the Nikon 200-500 which was a pile of junk IMO. the focal length at close range drops to something like 540mm so it is not long enough for a full-frame camera. It is pretty much a waste of time that results in utter disappointment in most conditions unless all parameters are ideal. the harsh bokeh makes the images look grainy and struggles with low contrast subjects too.


    so while the sony A9 is a superior camera it is pretty much a waste of time IMO to use it with the 200-600. If you want the sony you need to get the 600 GM lens for it. as of now Sony has no other lens that's good for bird photography

    the Nikon D500 and 500PF on the other hands provides excellent tack sharp files and is much more usable for a wider variety of subjects.
    BTW, my sony A9 has one dust spot on the sensor. I haven't had the time to clean it yet. do I care? absolutely not. any camera will have dust at some point. DSLR's will have dust in the finder which is impossible tp remove, sony is immune to that at least.
    Last edited by arash_hazeghi; 06-17-2020 at 01:12 PM.
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