Newbie to Digital SLR's here...Just bought a Sony Alpha 100: A few quick thoughts...
My wife and I finally made the jump to digital from her old 35mm Minolta Maxxum camera. She loved that camera...I mean LOVED. The first thing she says is, if you are going to get a digital camera try and make it a Minolta similar to my Maxxum. Only one problem...I find out the next day that Minolta bit the dust and Sony was the new owner.
Great. Now what.
After some research I find out that the Alpha is very similar to Minolta's digital SLR camera so I figure we will start there. The main reason <other then my wife loving the feel of the Minolta> was that we had a very nice 70-300 Sigma telephoto lens and I hated to waste it, so we made the leap with Sony.
My quick review done in bullets...
-YES my older Sigma 70-300 telephoto lens fit perfectly on the Alpha 100, AND the auto focus works perfect as well. <Some "camera guy" told us that the 35mm lens AF did not work with the Alpha, it does like a champ>.
-My wife LOVES the feel. She says it feels very similar to her old Maxxum. I can palm a basketball and it feels solid in my hands as well.
-Ease of use. We are "point and click" camera people.
Sorry, but just don't want to spend hours trying to manipulate camera settings for that one perfect shot. IF you are like us, this is the camera for you. Point and shoot on Auto mode is stupidly easy and the pictures come out awesome.
-Super Steady shot is worth its weight in gold. My hands shake a lot and I have a very hard time getting clear shots. Although my SSS icon was going nuts telling me to lay off the Lattes, I had one slightly blurry picture out of the 82 shots I took yesterday and I KNOW for a fact that with my hand shake there should of been more. AWESOME feature.
-LCD screen? Easy to use, rotates with camera position <love that>, and is very bright. No sunlight issues.
-Color? It's hard to say if the color is 100% accurate because I don't know how to read a histogram, heck even if that's what it is for! But they look perfect. Basically capturing what you see is what you get.
-Low light? The Biggest complaint I have read is about the high >800 iso level noise. I'm sure you guys are all right and if you have to shoot in loooow light with no flash then maybe it's not the camera for you. Every single shot we have taken though in low light or of course with flash has been stunning. No noise and perfect clarity. I simply use the "Auto" settings.
-Sports shots. Ok my only gripe but it could be user error? I went out to shoot my son playing basketball and although his torso and face were perfect, the ball and parts of his body moving fast were a little blurred. Settings...
-Sports mode-continuous shoot-no flash-DSO set to advanced-stock lens.
I started to get worried because we like to shoot a lot of the kids in sports. Then I remember that someone said your Lens has something to do with it??? Anyway, I popped on my telephoto Sigma lens and BOOM. Perfectly clear. The only *very faint* blur seen was the ball and it was just a hair blurred as it raced to the ground, but the boy and all his parts were completely frozen in time. Awesome.
That is a Sigma lens btw, not to expensive and as I said it works great.
-Continuous shoot. I know all of the digital slr's have this feature, but if ANYONE is reading this wondering if they should make the leap? OMG do it. We have a 4 GB Extreme 3 flashcard that holds 986 pictures in the highest quality and fine mode. Being able to just POINT, HOLD DOWN THE BUTTON AND RAKE OFF 20 SHOTS IS JUST AWESOME! Keep what you want and drop the rest.
-The eye sensor auto focus? What a sweet little feature. by the time my own eyes focus on what I am going to shoot, the camera already has. Point and shoot
I love this camera! p.s. So does my wife lol.
It might not be the best in all categories, but for people like us that just really want to "point and shoot", it gets an A+. Maybe that is not the best endorsement, but remember....There are a LOT of people like us out there buying these cameras. This review is for them.
One other quick plug. We recently bought an HP Photosmart C6180 All-In-One wireless photo printer to go with the camera. ......Um wow. It's hard to put into words just how awesome the pics taken by our Alpha look printed out on high quality HP photopaper. 35mm is truly dead, because the first 4x6 I printed out completely fooled my wife. She thought it was 35mm.
I would welcome any shooting tips or if there is a Sony Alpha *tips* guide out somewhere that would be great as well.
Thanks for reading!