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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    89

    Buyers Questions

    I am looking at a A200W combo with two kit lenses 18-70 and 70-300. It looks very interesting but I have a few question to you Alpha owners out there:

    1) Should I even consider A200 as my first DSLR or should I get the A300 right away?

    2) I read the A200 review here on DCResource and it points out bad JPEG quality, which is probably what I'll shoot the most of when I get into this. Would I notice this issue?

    3) Should I consider this lens combo or just get one kit lens and get another lens on my own? I've read something about the Tamron 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro lens in one of the posts here, would that be a better choice than the kitted 70-300?

    I've been tinkering around the idea of DSLR for a while. Out of all of the SLR's I held in my hand, Alpha feels the best.

    I'm sure I'll have a few more questions about the Sony bran DSLRs but I'll start with this here.

    Thank you for any answers.
    -Slav.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb Best SONY set-up for $

    The best intro twin lens combo (working bang for the buck) which will serve you well is: (drum roll, please)

    (The links below go to B&H, where you can find all this stuff at a pretty good price - one stop shop)

    SONY α300 camera (body-only, if possible. If not, give the kit lens to some kid )
    TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) lens
    TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD lens

    The SINGLE lens choice would be:
    SONY SAL-18250 DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 lens

    I would recommend at least a flash for this, though:
    SONY HVL-F36AM or HVL-F42AM

    Don't be too horrified at the price of the combo, though. It should return a much better selection of images than you will get from the "KIT" pair and your need to upgrade won't be so apparent. Once you upgrade the lenses ... they usually never get used, again. SO, all that money you thought you saved in buying the poor-performing "kit" pair goes away! I have a shelf full of these cast offs to prove it. It is best to get the "better" lenses right up front (no pun intended). The cost is not that extraordinary ... and the "glass" you shoot through is not the place to be going cheap. It simply defeats the entire purpose of the purchase. Just because you got something cheap, does not indicate what it is really worth (food for thought).

    Just one guy's opinion ... who knows ... they may suddenly put decent glass in the kits ... and the problem is solved. Yeah ... sure.

    Anyone else want to back me up on this ... ?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-20-2008 at 11:45 AM.
    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
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    89
    I don't really see an A300 body anywhere out there... any sites?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Red face Good with the bad ...

    Okay ... then buy the α300 w/ the "kit" lens and ... then give the lens to some kid, so that you are NOT tempted to use it.

    Name:  great shot Jansen.JPG
Views: 85
Size:  114.3 KB


    Why they force this "thing" on you is just beyond me. Maybe they just have a slew of them and this is how they plan on dumping them. No one, I know, would ever buy one, outright. LOL

    I'd guess I'd just buy the α300 from B&H Video, also ... keeps the overall shipping down and relatively simple.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-20-2008 at 02:27 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
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Besides live view, I'm not sure what else the a300 brings to the table. It's built a little bit bigger actually because of the addition of the tiltable LCD. If these are features that don't interest you, than maybe the a200 will be just fine. I rarely use the live view but is useful in some occasions for over the head or very low shots. I like to keep my battery maximized . Regarding the kit lens, it looks like that WOW you cannot buy just the body anymore.... that's strange. When I first got mine, Amazon had pricing on the body, body+kit, and body+kit+zoom kit lens.

    Those kit lenses are just absolute garbage though. Very mediocre at best. The 17-50/2.8 is one hell of a lens and will serve you very nicely, it's like a clear night and day. As for jpeg quality, I don't even bother. I shoot in 100% RAW mode. If I had an a700, I would probably do what don does, RAW+JPEG. There really is no point in shooting JPEG on these cameras. IF your MS dies, it dies, you lose both, LOL. If his dies, he can rely on either his JPEGs or RAWs to save the day. If you must, definitely get either the a200 or a300 (whichever is in your budget, since picture quality wise, I believe they are the same, I might be wrong) and get the Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 "Di" lens to go with the kit lens. That tamron 70-300 is decent glass so I think you should be able to see the difference between bad and better (lol) glass. The 17-50 though is the place to be once you get more into it.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161

    Buyers info.

    Polvadis, before you buy, study and review the postings here in detail. Pay LOTS and I mean LOTS of attention to the information from Don Schap. I was in the same situation as you, and posted almost the same question If there is ANY way possible for you, buy the A700 body, then buy the Tamron 17 - 50 and the Tamron 70 - 300 as described above. The 17-50 is a good chunk of change, maybe hold off on it at first and look at another lens, maybe a Minolta one. Post what you feel you will be shooting, what kinds of lighting etc. etc. and listen to the advice that comes back to you on the forum. And post pictures here when you start shooting, the tips and input here have helped me a lot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    It sounds like you are on a budget (as we all are) but given the choice of a camera body or better glass, it's pretty clear that better glass will yield the biggest bang for your buck. It will be good on any (well APS-C) future alpha mount Sony cameras. My budget limited me to the a300 so I got it. Had I gotten the a700, I wouldn't have ANY of the accessories, lenses, etc... I have now. I would have the a700 and a kit lens.... great.

    So from my point of view, don't think you have to get an a700 to get good images. Sparkie's a100 produces great images as well.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I think every setup has its limits. I know I have a noise problem if I shoot at iso 800 or higher. The other Sony's handle the higher iso better. I don't know how the A200 or A300 will do at the higher iso. Don may have some input as to what the limits of each setup would be. Good luck with what ever setup you get. I am sure you will be happy with it. Like already said with the better glass you can upgrade later.
    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie1263 View Post
    I think every setup has its limits. I know I have a noise problem if I shoot at iso 800 or higher. The other Sony's handle the higher iso better. I don't know how the A200 or A300 will do at the higher iso. Don may have some input as to what the limits of each setup would be. Good luck with what ever setup you get. I am sure you will be happy with it. Like already said with the better glass you can upgrade later.
    Frank
    That's the one thing I think the Sony's may be lacking compared with the other cameras. I think the a200-350 series improved on high ISO IQ over the 100 a bit, and the 700 improved upon the a a bit more. In adequate light, higher ISO isn't too bad and you can run it through noiseware's noise ninja or some noise reduction programming to decrease the grain. In low light, check DCRP's ISO test with the nightime San Fransisco skyline if 100-1600+. You can see the differences, it's quite clear.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Also if you have the faster glass you won't have to go to the higher iso in low light. I find I shoot at iso 200 most of the time.
    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

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