(Opinion) Is the SONY Alpha a900 and a850 a Viable Press Camera?


SONY Alpha a900 is without a doubt one of the finest flag ship camera that SONY has produced to date. This capable camera can and has held its own against, Canon’s 1D mark II and the Canon 1D mark III, and also has done well against the Nikon, D3s and other smaller sensor sized Nikon cameras.  Yes, the SONY is not as capable at higher ISO’s than the competing cameras but that should not be an issue.    Where the issue, is with a few photo services.   They will neither accept or even acknowledge that the SONY Alpha a900 or the SONY Alpha a850 is a viable camera capable of producing salable images. An example of this is, Southcreek Global Media, a Canadian Based Photo Agency with offices in Ohio USA, is constantly on the lookout for new photographers with experience. But if you happen to be a well established professional with years of experience and is currently using the SONY Alpha a900 or the SONY Alpha a850, Southcreek Global Media would probably be not interested in you, worst yet as one young lady advised me, “You would well better off, dumping your SONY Alphas and investing in a Canon System.” And when I asked why, she said “Images from SONY Alpha Cameras do not meet our standard of quality”, and that was a quote from a person who did not want to be reconsigned from Southcreek Global Media.

Here is a direct statement from their website.:

Minimal Photographer Requirement

Professional grade camera body (Canon Mk III / D3,etc) and a 2.8 minimal telephoto zoom 70mm-200mm lens (Canon L series / Nikon VR glass) to ensure the highest photography standards is our minimal “required” base equipment. We are sorry but consumer and “prosumer” grade photography equipment does not meet our equipment standard necessary for Southcreek Global Media assignments.

Experience shooting hi-tempo sports photography in professional media environments with a proven record of working within an event / or teams unique specific photographer policies and guidelines.

Well, I will match my SONY G Glass and even more so my SONY Zeiss Glass to the challenge any day their minimal requirements. But is there more to this issue than just glass and Camera’s, or does SONY need to beef up their marketing and bring the SONY Alpha a900 and the SONY Alpha a850 out the Consumers realm and bring up to the professional realm.

Quality over Equipment

But then there are the lesser know photo agencies that are more interested in the quality of the images and content than they are in what equipment that you use. For an example: VII PHOTO AGENCY, They are a membership base agency offer a member ship to their agency as long as the photographer can present their work to their standards. Assignments will be offered only to photographers working with the highest standards of journalistic and documentary integrity, who will laterally extend the breadth of work that the VII PHOTO AGENCY currently produce and believe that photographers can work within the management structure of that agency.    VII PHOTO AGENCY is solely owned by its members. No part of any portion of VII PHOTO ANGENCY mentioned anything about equipment of what cameras were deem acceptable for image submission.

So you have it, or at least in my opinion. A good photographer should not be judged by his camera, but by his skills behind that camera, be it a SONY, Canon or Nikon.

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~ by pthomaslambert on April 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “(Opinion) Is the SONY Alpha a900 and a850 a Viable Press Camera?”

  1. As of the last year, I have had to lie to the picture editors about the equipment that I use on an assignment just so I won’t get passed over.
    I have parted company with that agency when they started to demand raw files and realize that my camera was a SONY A900 and not a Nikon D3.

  2. Would athletes be more preferable if they wore Nikes and not Pumas? If you’re great at something then you’re great nothing can change that. Press photos are not blown up huge anyway and everyone knows that noise is reduced when printed so I don’t see why Sony camera users have to be brushed aside. At a resolution of 24 megapixels, it should be more than enough. Paired with a good lens, the quality is great! Plus I never use anything above ISO1600. I use a Sony A850, upgraded from my A200 and I get a lot of flak from other photographers. People usually tell me that I have great pictures but the moment they find out what camera I use, all respect seems to fly out the window.

    It’s sad when your work can’t speak on its own.

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