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 up to the Ridgeway on Salisbury Plain.
On the road down from Walker’s Hill towards Alton Barnes crossroads, we stopped to admire one of the many admirable views:
Having 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…