As attentive readers will know, a couple of weeks ago, my main camera — the Sony A850, affectionately known as BigCam — stopped working and displayed on its rear LCD the worrying message Camera Error. BigCam is now at the hospital in Pencoed, and will, I hope, come back to me in the next month, repaired and ready for action. However, because I know that a repair, including shipping and correspondence, can take over a month, I decided to buy a second-hand Sony A-mount camera as a temporary camera. This is, of course, known as TempCam, and cost a trifling £159. When BigCam returns, TempCam will be sold on eBay.
The Sony A390 is an Alpha-mount SLR, with a 14 Megapixel APS-C sensor and a tilting rear sensor. It feels tiny in comparison to my A850, and when coupled with the Sigma 150-500mm, it feels unbalanced. All the controls are in the wrong place — and there are not enough of them — and it has only one control wheel, which often baffles me when I’m out and about. And to cap it all, after the A850, the optical viewfinder seems like a tiny tunnel down which I can vaguely discern some distant object.
Still, it is a competent performer. This weekend, Lizzie and I again returned to the roads around Alton Barnes and then the Ridgeway on Salisbury Plain. When we turned towards Devizes at Alton Barnes crossroads, we noticed a pillbox:
The A390 is a nice enough camera, but I’ll never get used to the tiny tunnel viewfinder and only one control wheel, so I hope BigCam is not a terminal case…