My DSLR is a Sony A850, which I bought nearly 4 years ago. It is a lovely camera – not as good at high ISO as the Nikon and Canon DSLRs, or other more modern DSLRs. However, I mainly photograph landscapes and birds, so the limitations in ISO are not too big a burden.
Sadly, however, a few nights ago I was out photographing some sunset landscapes when the camera stopped working and displayed the accurate but not necessarily helpful message “Camera Error”. Luckily, I managed to capture a few photographs before the camera stopped working.
As always, I was travelling the lanes and byways near my home — this time around and about Marlborough and Hungerford.
When I downloaded the photos from that evening to the computer, I could see further evidence of the Sony going crazy — some photos had segments of overexposure on them. I contacted Sony, who suggested I send the A850 in for repair. I really like the camera, so I hope it can be repaired.
The A850 is, however, old tech in digital terms; the A900 on which it is based was released FIVE years ago, back in 2008… As I say, I hope the camera can be repaired; I like the pictures it produces, and I really like the interface; I like the access to old Minolta lenses, and the SteadyShot inside for providing image stabilisation when I’m using unstabilised lenses. And while I wait for news of the repair, I have bought a second-hand Sony A350 for £160. That can go back on eBay in a few weeks’ time … Or perhaps I might keep it in a box for similar camera-related emergencies…
The problem that will arise should Sony not be able to fix the camera is with what do I replace it? The Sony A850 has a full frame sensor. To replace like-for-like now involves moving to the Sony A99. That would cost me nearly £1900, which is money I don’t currently have. Given Sony appears to often create stripped-down alternative versions about a year after their higher-specified models, I expect an A85 to come to market this year. However, although it would be cheaper, I suspect I couldn’t afford that either. I guess then, that I will have to bite the bullet and move to ASP-C: the A65 or A77. Oh well – time will tell.
Here is the A850 back 10 days ago, before all this palaver started, on a sunny day by the seaside., with the Sigma 24-70 lens:
And with a Minolta 100-200 f4 bolted on the front:
I hope my old cam returns home fit and well and ready for action…