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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
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    1,161

    Another version of the same old question

    Hello all, long time reader 1st, time poster. This site and forums are a great research and self education tool. I am now ready to step over to dslr. I am leaning towards the a300, the question is will it be "enough" camera for me, and then of course I need lens advice. About 25% of my shooting will be soccer, high school football, marching bands, from sidelines, day, dusk, night with stadium lights, some baseball, and track. A lot of travel, vacation, landscape, cityscape, etc. shooting for fun/hobby. lots of outdoors, lots of motion. Also interested in weather, clouds, storms, lighting but have no background with that. Budget is at $1000.00 to start now, and then around another $500.00 or a bit more in about 6 mo. for some reason people keep suggesting I go with Nikon??
    I am sure many more questions will be comming....thanks
    Sean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,560

    Lightbulb Go big ... you're not staying home

    If you choose SONY ... you'll be stepping into an exciting growth opportunity. SONY is reaching out and offering more and more improvements to their current line, there have only be a few to the Canon and Nikon. If you believe you would be happy with the standard fair ... have arms of steel and therefore would not be too worried about handheld-shake in your shots ... then Nikon or Canon are your options. But, if you would like the convenience of anti-shake with EVERY lens you mount, then Olympus, SONY, Pentax, and Samsung become the obvious choices.

    SONY has the Minolta-heritage, which has usually been with cutting-edge ideas in photography and some relatively exciting progressions. Will SONY continue this trend? Well, when the release of the α900 Flagship full-frame camera body - with anti-shake built in it - becomes reality ... that 24.2MP sensor will be like nothing else available for the DSLR. That's pretty exciting stuff ... and no one else has that even planned.

    For all the different shoting you plan on doing, you might want to take a closer look at the α700, as an option over the α300. The α300 is designed more for the intro-shooter, who really does not have an agenda. You sound like you are going to want a lot more flexibility in your shooting style ... and that usually calls for a bit more camera body.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-24-2008 at 10:42 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161
    thanks Don, how did I just know you would be the first to reply ! I really enjoy reading your posts, very informative. the a700 has been the lust in my heart for some time, maybe I should just GO BIG, thought maybe start with a300 to learn and make mistakes with. less camera, more money for good glass? but will it satisfy me thats the question eh.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Question Why fight the reality of the situation?

    For the few hundred dollars difference between the α300 and the α700 ... just get the more capable camera and then know your tool has everything you will need for most shots. There just isn't much better out there, at that cost. The Nikon D300, which barely has an edge over the α700, cost nearly 50% more! Now, unless you already have an investment in Nikon lenses, paying that, is tossing money away, in my opinion.

    But, play it as you will ... I figure you know what you want to do ... and, in effect, described the mission of the α700. The decision seems to have been basically made for you ... by you.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-25-2008 at 05:23 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161

    Some more advice, please

    After spending the last few days reading the forums in depth, and paying lots of attention to Don's posts I am juusst about ready to order my a700:
    I can order the a700P kit with the SAL-16105 DT. for about $1900 this will be the only lens I would have till Sept. I have also thought of ordering body only for approx. $1000 and adding the Tamron AF 18-250 XR DI II LD (IF) to it, again I would have no other lens till Sept. Also thought about SAL-500F80 500mm f/8 reflex. (overkill most likely?) I am sure I want to add the Tamron SP AF 17-50 XR DI -II LD (IF) to the camera. So what suggestions would you give me, or what order to buy what lens? A LOT of my shooting will be action sports, starting over the summer and going through the fall. Also parades, festivals, landscapes. I understand I will be limited till i build up a few pieces.
    Am I thinking to "big" in the telephoto? most of my soccer and football would be less then 200 ft away. In Sept. I will have another $800 to "invest" in this hobby. As always thanks for your time and advice

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    Well ... based on what my experiences have been with lens selection, I would pop for the following:



    I feel these items give you the best return on your available 1900 dollars. Please do not confuse these with the "best" lenses available ... just a fair and reasonably "good" lens selection for the amount you have suggested you will spend. Stay away from the SONY 16-105mm, as it does not have as sharp a center focus as you probably want from your lenses. The TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) is a great convenience lens, but you are looking to expand very quickly and for that reason, it would not be the lens to use. It'll rapidly wind up left in your bag or at home, as you acquire other faster and sharper lenses. I use mine as a backup lens on my α100. I call it the "grab & go" package. I can put the α100 in AUTO mode, toss it to a friend ... and still get some results without changing glass.

    The next lens I would add would be a toss up between a SONY AF 50mm f/1.4 PRIME lens or a SIGMA 10-20 f/4-5.6 DC EX HSM Ultra-wide zoom. That would depend on your needs, using both for indoor shooting in the Fall and Winter.

    Next year, when you are really ready to invest some coin ... look for a solid 70-200m f/2.8 lens. This will provide long distance -> indoors ... and an improved focus speed, which the 70-300 simply cannot touch.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-01-2008 at 07:28 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3
    Wow, that seems like a great price for the A700. Is this a reliable vendor? I haven't heard of Millennium Camera before, but if they would be willing to sell this camera body without having to load up on their over-priced accessories I would consider upgrading from my A100 sometime this summer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    Well, I cannot vouche for them, I have no experience with their company. But for this kind of savings ($300-400) ... it might be worth the time for someone NEW to try it and get their feet wet. Personally, I cannot keep kicking in the door for everyone else. Just report back any issues you encounter and the rest will know.

    If you go into a buying situation ready for "the bump", you are way ahead of the guy going in there, unaware. Forewarned is forearmed. You just want the camera, no warranties, no filters, batteries, whatever ... just the box, man!

    "Should you or any member of your team... be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions"

    Good Luck, Jim ... (Mission Impossible theme (<- click here) plays in the background)
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-02-2008 at 08:59 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161

    getting my feet wet

    today afterwork i will make a call to the dealer and probe his defenses, I will attempt to determine if this is a lure, or bait to suck you in, initial recon seems to show a legit site, hmmnnnnn stay alert, be cautious. I will try and remain focused, any tips or heads up as to questions I should ask concerning product? or red flags to watch for?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161

    getting my feet wet and sticky!!!

    hmmmmmmm the physical address for millenium camera is on 89th. st. Brooklyn New York, different numericals but same street as some of "those" other guys

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