Fuji became successfull again with cameras looking like classic range finders, Nikon tries to be cool again with the Digital Frustration and now, Leica takes away the rear screen on their newest M. The trend to classic photographic tools is omnipresent right now and seems to be the way to go for the hipsters out there. Due to a recent comparison between Micro Fourthirds and APS-C sensors, I decided to try out full frame as well and the Photohaus kindly supplied me with a Sony A850. While the camera is 5 years old and it can't stand a chance against the new models in terms of high ISO noise, albeit the larger sensor, its beautifully simple. The A850 is a pure photographic tool of the digital age, without trying to mimic something from the past.
The Sony A900 was the first full frame camera from Sony and the A850 is her cheaper sister. It has less speed (3fps vs 5fps), less viewfinder coverage (98% vs 100%) and lies less heavy on your purse. You can get them for as low as 600€ on eBay today or for about 800€ at retailer, such as the Photohaus with some warranty. That makes it half the price of the A7.
What struck me about the A850 was the absence of many things, we take as standard in todays world. It has now LiveView, no Movie mode, no crazy burst mode, no flippy uppy screen and it is big and heavy. What it has going for it, are a superb, big and bright optical viewfinder and a stabilized big full frame sensor. Oh, and that heavy and big casing is actually a joy to hold. Comfortable!
I only played with it for a day, to draw myself an image about how far small sensor cameras have come but I'm left with the impression of a pure photography that was really refreshing!