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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    80

    Question Graduating from the a100....

    Alright guys, I am currently looking around at shopping for a new camera body. I am curious as to what you guys think. I own an a100 with the kit lens (yes I know, throw it out), a Minolta 50mm f/1.7, the Sony 75-300 f/4.5-5.6, and I am currently waiting on a Tamron AF 28-200 f/3.8-5.6 IF XR to get here. Oh yeah, I also have the Sony FVL-F58AM flash with a Gary Fong light diffuser. My question is, should I buy a new camera body? And, if so, which would be suggested?
    Quite frankly, the noise produced on a shot from the a100 at ISO 800 is rather disappointing. I dont want to buy something better but still have disappointing shots at "high" ISO settings. I know that this kind of comes with the territory, but is it any better on the a380, or a550?

    Also, is I am going to spend the money on the new body should I SAVE and get the full frame a850 or a900? Speaking of which, what is the major difference between the a850 and a900?


    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated....


    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    Get rid of the 28-200mm and the 75-300mm and see if you can find a Minolta 28-135mm or a 70-210 f/4.

    The only good lens you have there is the 50mm f/1.7 so far.

    As for a body, it really depends how much you want to spend. You can probably get a refurbished a700 or a new a550.

    But at this point I would fix the lens inventory first!
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Good lens advice from Elisha.
    If you're determined on a new body, try the 450/550 for best high ISO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    A900 has a better build, larger viewfinder, 5fps (vs 3), and it comes with the IR remote.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    A900 or wait for the a950

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    80
    One thing that I am interested in, and one of the main reasons I want a different body is I want to get a vertical grip. I enjoy taking a lot of portraits, and I think this would be a good add... The a100 does not accommodate for this, well outside of some cheap looking grip that just plugs into the remote shutter release port. It looks kind of redneck if you ask me.

    Also the a550 "ad" on sony style says this : " Capture the decisive moment in sports with a fast shutter speed and 5 frames/sec continuous shooting (optical VF, 4 fps Live View). You can even shoot up to a blazing 7 frames/sec in Speed Priority mode. "

    5 fps sounds pretty good to me....


    Honestly I am not a big fan of the live view technology, I think it kind of takes away from the art of SLR photography... There is nothing like handing your camera to someone to have them take your picture and then they say, "it's not showing up on the screen, is the camera turned off?"
    Ummm.....no ma'am you actually have to look through that little hole there. HA...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    In addition to the body upgrade, you need better lenses as well. The Tamron 28-200mm is junk.
    The only 2 Tamron zooms worth considering on the Sony is the 17-50mm and 28-75mm.
    And the Sony 75-300mm is a Tamron design as well as far as I know and I returned mine after 24 hours of owning it cause it was dirt slow.

    You already have the best flash for Sony so now you just need better lenses to compliment whatever body you are gonna upgrade to.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    80
    Just out of curiosity what exactly is bad about the lenses I have, poor picture quality?
    When you say slow, are you talking about aperture size, focusing speed...?
    I don't want to/can't pay $3000.00 for a Sony G series telephoto lens.

    Maybe I could get that cool 800mm f/8 (I think) lens Don was posting on a different thread.


    Do I have a legit reason to want a new body (vertical grip, 5fps, better overall design), or should I spend my precious money on lenses?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    You probably don't realize it cause you haven't used a good lens yet.
    When I first got my DSLR, I tried to buy any and every cheap used A-Mount lens within a 50km radius.
    I went trough plenty before I re-structured to the good affordable ones.
    I ended up with the Don's Minolta 50mm f/1.4, Minolta 28-135mm and the 70-300G.
    Barely used the G so disregard it. The Beercan can be had for around $200 and is pretty good as well.

    If you know anyone who has a Sony and better lenses, see if they will let you use it and you will know what I mean.

    Not all lenses are equal. You Minolta 50mm f/1.7 is a sweet little lens so you're good there.

    The only super zoom lens worth considering is the Sony 18-250mm which is the same as the Tamron 18-250mm but the Sony is supposedly slightly faster.

    The Minolta 28-135mm I keep talking about is a rear-focusing lens and has blazing fast AF. It is extremely sharp wide open as well. It is f/4-4.5 which is pretty good for it's range.

    You should be able to get a hold of one for $300 - $400 however more and more people are hunting them down since they are that good.
    Look trough my photo stream and you will see that most of my Sony shots were from the Minolta 28-135mm.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557

    Lightbulb Clearing the air

    Four the past four years that I have been a part of the DCRP, despite the forum I was in, the common decision had been:

    GLASS BEFORE BODY.

    The only exception was moving to Full Frame, because that made determining your glass selection decidedly different. It was not an issue with SONY until the α900 release. Of course, the recent release of the α850 (basically an α900Jr) has made the point even more importantly.

    As a side note, because it was asked, the biggest difference between the α900 and α850 is the 5 fps speed ... and that only comes into play when you are clocking along, at shutter speeds faster than 1/250th sec. Other than that, close your eyes and you could not tell them apart.

    You need roughly four lenses to adequately cover the main part of the focal range ... and you can do it with "good" or you can do it with "excellent" glass. Booth are readily available ... and have their respective prices.

    For good, you have the TAMRON choices:
    • (APS-C choice) SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) UWA
    • (FF choice) SP AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) UWA
    • (APS-C choice) SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Normal Zoom
    • (FF choice) SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Normal Zoom
    • (APS-C/FF choice) SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Telephoto Zoom
    • (APS-C choice) SP AF 60mm f/2 Di-II LD 1:1 MACRO (IF) MACRO lens
    • (FF choice) SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di (IF) 1:1 MACRO (IF) MACRO lens


    Then there's the SIGMA choices ... here are the first three and I will let you look the rest up, yourself.
    • (APS-C only) AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX (UWA)
    • (FF choice) AF 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG EX (UWA)
    • (APS-C/FF choice) AF 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX HSM IF (Normal Zoom)


    Finally, there are the SONY elite choice, where the wallet really takes a hit, but your photography will not look back!
    • (APS-C only) CZ 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT (Normal Zoom)
    • CZ 16-35mm f/2.8 (UWA)
    • CZ 24-70mm f/2.8 (Normal Zoom)
    • 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM ( Telephoto zoom)
    • AF 100mm f/2.8 MACRO


    parsed in all of this is a sprinkling of hardcore PRIMES and other lenses ... but there's the list of glass that will perform. Find your price!

    If you start shooting with ANY of the above lenses, you have advanced your photography in ways that the body simply cannot. You cannot "trick" a lens into being a better optic, the better body can only make the better optic work even harder and with more options for the imaging.

    I hopes this "clears" things up a bit.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-11-2010 at 08:56 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

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