October 30, 2011

In Defence of Sony

Recently had a few rants thrown my way, one about my appreciation of public transport in Melbourne and then a more detailed effort about my articles on Sony cameras. To set the scene, I bagged the Sony Alpha range on the basis their SLT version of SLR is a gimmick looking for a market. Sony make some great gear, but have failed to grab a slice of the SLR market since launching the Alpha range. Recently they introduced the translucent mirror and backed the move with a slew of misleading claims.

In a market full of solid technology and with no genuine quality difference between the imaging systems, the lack of an optical viewfinder in the Alpha range makes is a white elephant. Far more compelling are their E-mount systems, but those compliments went unheeded by the gentleman offering feedback.

You can read my article sony in full here, but far more interesting is to read the rant from a gentleman who I wont name for his own sake...

G'day Greg, just received my 3rd example of Digital Photography under my 12 month subscription and yet again I have to read Ewan Bell ranting on about how much he dislikes Sony's current range of DSLRs and their "translucent" /SLT mirror technology.

Enough already! Ok Mr Bell, perhaps you have sold your soul to Canikon and cannot stand the thought that a company might actually try to innovate with their DSLR's, but if you are the photographer that you want us to think you are, you'll appreciate it's not the brand on the camera but the idiot pressing the shutter button that matters. It's not about the brand, it's about the photograph and your reviews might make better reading if they discussed things like the quality of the images that a camera produces rather than why the technology that produces it is not to your particular taste.

I'll be upfront and admit that I happily own 2 Sony DSLR's - an a700 and an a55. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but both are capable of producing exceptional photographs (as is just about any other DSLR on the market today) - if I come home with a dud it's always my fault, not the cameras. The a33/35/55/77 go about it differently, but can you honestly say that they don't/can't take a decent photograph?

By all means be loyal to your particular favourite brand, but don't shit-can a manufacturer just because it's "new" (would you be so harsh if the camera's had Minolta on the front I wonder?) and is trying to do something different in a crowded market. Stupid questions like "Is the SLT concept really going to change digital photography forever?" do you no justice. Of course it won't "change digital photography forever" any more than Nikon or Canon's way of doing something will stay the same forever. Likewise, the statement that "Translucent mirror technology makes more sense for cinematography than stills photography" shows your complete lack of knowledge about cinematography and how those cameras work (unless you really meant amateur video photography using a digital stills camera).

A camera review should be un-biased, or at the very least the author should establish their particular brand-bias at the beginning. If you're too much of a brand-snob to do an objective review, stick to taking your rather excellent photographs and leave the camera reviews to those that can.