My a1 Review For Wildlife Photographers

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Udall1973

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Yes. I haven't used it much, but it's a good lens and very versatile. I'm taking it to Africa in a week and a half (Along with the 600 F/4 of course). The 100-400 was good, but I think the 200-600 is more versatile for what I shoot.
Yes, I agree. I am taking my a1 and a9 with a 24-70, 70-200, 200-600 g oss with me to Botswana/Zambia tomorrow. This trinity should be good while keeping me under 44 lbs. I will use a two camera set up when out and about in a vehicle. Can't wait. Andy
 

FB101

Well-known member
Supporting Member
The problem is it would generate more problems than it's worth I think. I don't mind sharing my settings as long as someone understands what I did and why. The problem with downloads like that is that people don't watch the video / read the article and then I get a bunch of e-mails asking why their camera isn't working as expected. Usually along the Lins of, I loaded YOUR settings into my camera and not it's not working right - how do I fix it???"

I think it's better if they set it themselves :)
i watched Mark’s video and I didn’t like how he is shooting (works for him but wouldn’t work for me) so I decided against buying his set up file but I can easily see that folks would buy the settings file and then complain if they are not happy without doing the due diligence upfront to see if your technique would fit them.
 

Fishboy1952

Well-known member
Supporting Member
The problem is it would generate more problems than it's worth I think. I don't mind sharing my settings as long as someone understands what I did and why. The problem with downloads like that is that people don't watch the video / read the article and then I get a bunch of e-mails asking why their camera isn't working as expected. Usually along the Lins of, I loaded YOUR settings into my camera and not it's not working right - how do I fix it???"

I think it's better if they set it themselves :)
I tend to agree with you Steve. It would be very easy for someone to just take your settings and apply them to their camera. But the key missing piece is the why as you stated. We’ve all been in situations in the field where what settings we are using are not working. This requires changes based on the situation which become much more difficult if you don’t know the bases for the installed settings. Plus, as you state all the time, what works for you, may not be applicable to me.
 

Stephen Berger

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Great review! You have a real knack for making the information easily understandable and digestible without resorting to hyperbole or over/understating the pluses and minuses. The information you continually provide has been very helpful to me and I very much appreciate it!
 

Venkatesh VT

Love nature & nature loves you back
Supporting Member
Here it is!


I figured I needed to get it out before the Z9 steals all the thunder in a few days!
Thx Steve.What a coincidence.My A1 landed with the dealer near my place today & your review also got released today itself.
I had improved my photography skills reading your e books & watching your videos.
I am sure this A1 review will also be very informative to master A1.
I do owe you one 😀 :cool:
IMG-20211025-WA0007.jpg
 

geoawelch

Member
Supporting Member
Thanks! That setup guide will be awhile yet. I'm heading to Africa again soon and I don't have time to do it before then.
Slacker! 😁

Seriously, your reviews are one of the only that I take with any seriousness, due to the time you use the camera, but also because you don’t get buried in specs.

You definitely have credibility from your years of producing quality photography across a variety of platforms and systems.

Nice to see you recovered and able to travel.

Cheers,

George
 

RockvilleBob

Active member
Supporting Member
If I saw this insightful, balanced review a month ago I would already have the SONY A1. Now I need to wait through this week to see Nikon’s Z9 announcement and some initial reviews. While the teasers look great Nikon’s teaser record (from my perspective) with the Z6/7 and the Z6/7II makes their teasers and claims less reliable. BUT the Z9 looks very promising.
 

Neil Laubenthal

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Excellent review. I noticed you compared the noise levels at 12,800 with the other contenders…I’ve got a Z7II and wondered if you’ve got your manual with auto ISO limit set to that generally on the 7II or something lower. I set mine to 640l based on what I thought I saw in your setup video as well as Hudson Henry’s…and wondered if I might have set my high limit lower than it could be. Obviously one will always use the lowest ISO consistent with shutter and aperture needs but 128p0 gives another stop compared to 6400.
 

Steve

Admin
Staff member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Excellent review. I noticed you compared the noise levels at 12,800 with the other contenders…I’ve got a Z7II and wondered if you’ve got your manual with auto ISO limit set to that generally on the 7II or something lower. I set mine to 640l based on what I thought I saw in your setup video as well as Hudson Henry’s…and wondered if I might have set my high limit lower than it could be. Obviously one will always use the lowest ISO consistent with shutter and aperture needs but 128p0 gives another stop compared to 6400.
Anymore, I'm starting to not set the limit and trying to do a better job at keeping an eye on ISO. The thing is, the camera will still shoot if it's maxed out anyway, and the camera's a/d converter is probably at least as good as Lightroom's exposure slider if I need to brighten the image, so I just let it go in case I have an opportunity where I can use higher ISOs (i.e. frame filling, rare capture). As long as I know what the ISO is, it's a non-issue and I can make the call.

The thing is though, I usually keep ISO under 6400 - heck, even under 3200. If you look through the images in the review, you'll see most are not terribly high ISO.
 

Dom

Member
Yeah, all my full reviews are long - I gotta learn to scale back. I think the length hurts the viewership and they take forever to produce (this was at least 60 hours in the making, not including the time in the field of course). Still, it's comprehensive I think :)
Please don't shorten your reviews. i find all the information very intriguing, and your in depth look is something i simply cannot get from other reviewers.
 

RichF

Well-known member
Supporting Member
HI Steve,

I do not shot Sony (not sure if I will switch), but i would like to hear how you set up the camera and more importantly why you choose different options. Why did you choose what you did. You might consider comparing how you set up the different cameras (Nikon, Canon, Sony) to get the same functionalilty.
 

Andy Work

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Great review Steve! Even though I'll most likely never own an A1, I enjoyed your review.
 

Palmor

Active member
Supporting Member
The problem is it would generate more problems than it's worth I think. I don't mind sharing my settings as long as someone understands what I did and why. The problem with downloads like that is that people don't watch the video / read the article and then I get a bunch of e-mails asking why their camera isn't working as expected. Usually along the Lins of, I loaded YOUR settings into my camera and not it's not working right - how do I fix it???"

I think it's better if they set it themselves :)
It does seem like a lot of hassle :). My take on this is that it’s great to see how someone has it setup but if I just take the file I’m not learning anything… either how to set it up myself (so I can change later) or really customizing to my shooting style.
 

Neil Laubenthal

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Anymore, I'm starting to not set the limit and trying to do a better job at keeping an eye on ISO.
The thing is though, I usually keep ISO under 6400 - heck, even under 3200. If you look through the images in the review, you'll see most are not terribly high ISO.
Probably a pretty good idea…I’m watching the ISO anyway and keep it down as low as I can but there’s no real advantage as it will shoot anyway…one never knows when the once in a lifetime Ivory Billed Woodpecker will wander past…and there’s always Topaz DeNoise to help.
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Probably a pretty good idea…I’m watching the ISO anyway and keep it down as low as I can but there’s no real advantage as it will shoot anyway…one never knows when the once in a lifetime Ivory Billed Woodpecker will wander past…and there’s always Topaz DeNoise to help.
Yeah, when I get a new camera body I start by running the ISO cap for Auto ISO right up at the highest supported ISO and start shooting with it. I still make the same field decisions to try to keep a lid on ISO but at certain times like well into twilight I'll take risks and let the ISO go sky high to try to get a shot. Then I review images and see which I might possibly use, maybe with some Topaz help.

That's how I've been determining my ISO caps but as you guys point out it makes just as much sense to leave the top end ISO wide open. Sure I'll still try to contain it while shooting but when Bigfoot strides out of the forest with that Ivory Billed Woodpecker on his shoulder I'll still try to take the shot :)
 

FB101

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Me too! Mark smith dropped one recently that’s pretty solid. Shooting ospreys with him in January! Pretty excited for that!
What lens will you use? I am debating renting the 600 f:4 for my workshop with him in December.
 
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