Well, I got the camera!
I may not get around to writing a truly in-depth review of it soon, not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I have so much to say about it. It is an amazing camera. Since it’s a DSLR, I can take pictures at high speeds with no noise. Even shots done at ISO 1600 are usable; coming from eight years of point-and-shoot digital cameras that produced speckled, grainy images at anything shot above ISO 100, this is a huge change for me. What a welcome change! Add to that the Super Steady Shot image stabilization, and it’s pure poetry.
The flash refreshes so quickly, I can shoot in burst mode and take a shot about every 1 1/2 seconds. Its ability to analyze backlit scenes and expose different parts of the frame individually is great. The flash is intelligent, not over-exposing the subject. Skin tones look natural, not bleached out. Its continuous focus works very well, too, letting me shoot multiple shots of moving subjects while keeping the subjects in focus. There are nine areas on the focusing grid, and one mode allows you to choose at which point in the grid you want to assign focus. This allows for great flexibility in composing shots.
The common functions you want to access like flash mode and light metering mode come right up on the screen with the push of the F button (Function). If you want to change the ISO, press the ISO button and the choices come up on the screen. Changing drive from single shot to burst mode is as easy as pushing the drive button on the camera and choosing from the options that come up on the screen. It is really nice to have these functions readily available instead of buried in a series of menu choices.
I recognize Minolta DNA in the Alpha and that makes it feel very familiar to me, intuitive. If you’ve used and liked Konica-Minolta DiMAGE cameras, especially, you will adapt quickly to these latest in the Alpha line. The lens quality is great, too — my images are crisp and bright, even when fully zoomed in. Some that I’ve even further cropped have still looked very sharp.
In a nutshell, it’s the first digital camera I’ve ever used that lets me get the shots I want, the ones I see in my mind. It’s the first time I have ZERO buyers remorse. Those who know me well realize how unusual it is for me to say things like this.