Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Is It Time To Go Full-Frame?
New models and dropping prices put the benefits of full-frame in the hands of more photographers
Nikon's 24.3-megapixel D600 features EXPEED 3 processing and the third best overall score of any camera on DxOMark.com's sensor ratings (trailing only Nikon's 36.3-megapixel D800E and D800). It can shoot full-res images at up to 5.5 fps, and has a normal ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50-25,600.
The big pentaprism viewfinder shows 100% of the actual image area, and is complemented by a 3.2-inch, 921K-dot LCD monitor. The built-in flash provides i-TTL flash control, as do compatible optional external Speedlight flash units. The camera offers GPS and WiFi via optional accessories.
Dimensions are a compact 5.6x4.4x3.2 inches and 26.8 ounces. Dual memory-card slots accept SD/SDHC/SDXC media, plus UHS-I compliance. The D600 features extensive weather-sealing, providing dust and moisture protection equivalent to that of the D800/D800E cameras. The shutter is rated at 150,000 cycles.
Sony's 24.3-megapixel SLT-A99 brings the benefits of the company's Translucent Mirror Technology (TMT) to the full-frame format. Instead of the complex moving-mirror system used on other DSLRs, Sony's SLT cameras use a translucent fixed mirror that transmits light to both image sensor and phase-detection AF sensor simultaneously. So, there's no mirror vibration, and you get full-time, phase-detection continuous AF in Live View and Movie modes. Additionally, SteadyShot provides image stabilization with any lens.
DxOMark.com hasn't tested the A99's sensor as of this writing, but it's similar to the one in Nikon's D600, so results should be comparable, perhaps a bit lower due to the light lost to the TMT mirror. The A99 can shoot full-res images at 6 fps with continuous AF and 10-megapixel APS-C images at 7 fps (8-10 fps in Tele Zoom Continuous Advance Priority mode). Normal ISO range is 100-12,800, expandable to 50-25,600.
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