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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcray19 View Post
    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?
    By now you will have gathered that the group don't think much of your current lens choice and reckon your money is best spent on at least one good lens. How you proceed depends on how much money you can spend and how soon you will be able to spend some more.
    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?
    Your spending decision here depends on how often you use ISO800 and how frustrating you find it. To be more specific, for noise free images (given a 30dB S/NR) good results will be obtained for the ...
    A100 ISO @ 400
    A700 ISO @ 600
    A450/550 ISO @ 800 (similar to D300s)
    A850/900 ISO @ 1400
    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?
    How much cash do you have? Many of us, but by no means all, would choose the FF option; I think it depends if you grew up with film cameras or not. However most of us can't afford FF as well as good glass. To be more spicific in answer to the question ...
    3 frame/second continuous mode, vs 5 fps for A900
    98% viewfinder coverage, vs 100%
    IR remote is optional, not included in the box
    Sony say that the body, sensor, and electronics are identical to those of the A900, but there do seem to be very slight differences in IQ. Sony probably altered the colour filter but in practice there seems little to choose.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcray19 View Post
    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.
    The Sony VG is pretty damned expensive which is why I don't have one although I did on my 9000. Personally I don't find it too difficult to handle the camera without the grip in P mode.
    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....
    This is pretty much nonsense IMHO. To be clear, in any sport that involves hitting, kicking, throwing a ball, the "decisive moment" the mention occurs at or fractionally after the point of contact with the ball. If the ball is not in the shot, then usually you've failed. Take Cricket for instance (Baseball may be similar), the ball contacts the bat at around 90mph. In 1/5th of a second (5fps) the ball will travel 26 feet so to simply rely on blazing away will surely guarantee you miss the shot; anticipation is the only way to go.

    5fps maybe helps when it's not possible to anticipate a decisive moment, but it's still pot luck.
    Does help with bracketting too.
    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...
    That simplifies your choice then. The stripped down 450 or the 850 but, remember the price difference would fund a pretty good lens.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcray19 View Post
    Just out of curiosity what exactly is bad about the lenses I have, poor picture quality?
    Yes.
    When you say slow, are you talking about aperture size, focusing speed...?
    Both but mainly speed in aquiring focus.
    I don't want to/can't pay $3000.00 for a Sony G series telephoto lens.
    Well, a 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM is less than an 850 body as is a 135mm f/1.8 Zeiss as is a .....
    Last edited by Peekayoh; 01-12-2010 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Afterthought

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    Tough, you need to improve the glass lineup, but some of that could be funded by selling some of what you have. In terms of body, the A100 is pretty good, except that high ISO business. My A300 was pretty unacceptable at ISO 800, which is what prompted me to move to another brand. But I think it was a hair better than the A100, and the A700 was a little better than the A300, and the A450/500/550 seems to be a little better still. I expect your results at ISO 1600 on the A450/500/550 will be better than ISO 800 on the A100. That was a bunch of numbers.

    The A450 honestly sound like an ideal camera for you. No live view, fast FPS, good high ISO, and a good solid feature set, just not quite up to pro level specs. The A700 or its replacement will be more rugged, and feature a second control dial (for instance in A mode, the front wheel controls aperture, the rear controls EV, in M mode one controls aperture, one controls shutter speed). But beyond that the A450 would have a lot of the features in a bit cheaper package.

    Just some ideas on lenses, cheapest first thought would be to get your hands on the new 18-55 kit lens for wide stuff (it is much better than the old 18-70), then something like the older Minolta 24-85, 24-105, 28-85, 28-105, or 28-135 as a mid range (bear in mind 28mm is not at all wide on crop) and then the 70-210 beercan or the Tamron 70-300 (probably a good bit better than the Sony 75-300) for telephoto. I think the new Sony 55-200 SAM that was announced with the new kit lens is supposed to be pretty good too. For those mid-range Minoltas, take a look at KEH, many are very cheap right now.

    I think if I was in your shoes and could come up with the cash, an A450, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, and the 70-210 beercan, keeping the 50/1.7 around for low light, and closer portraits. If you can really stretch then grab the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 for telephoto. That along with your flash would be a killer setup for just about anything. Then down the road find a good ultra-wide lens to fill things out, and maybe the Sigma 30/1.4 for low light at closer range than the 50/1.7.
    Last edited by laydros; 01-12-2010 at 06:25 AM.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

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  3. #13
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    Nov 2008
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    80
    Wow....thanks for all of the input guys. All of this has been very helpful...

    I really do like the Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 lens, it does focus really fast and does seem to make better photos in general. I have learned to be very careful with DOF via the aperture size when taking group photos. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way when I messed up what would have been otherwise brilliant (I.M.H.O.) pictures. But, it wasn't anything important, just family pics around the holidays.
    I am trying so hard to bring myself to want to spend $$$$ on a good "fast" lens but it is so hard when you will not realize the end result until after the first "shoot." With the new body though, I can see all the new buttons and features, yadda yadda yadda... haha, I know it is a stupid reason to get a new body. But seriously, I have loved my camera, and still do love my camera. But, there are certain things that I don't like about it (noise at 800ISO, no fixed WB button, no good way to use vertical grip, to name a few). Maybe I should just sell my house, buy a new a900, VG, all of the FF lenses Don suggested and live out of my car.
    I am going to save my $ right now, look into buying new lenses, and maybe throw in a body later, unless the a450 is reasonably priced when it is released.


    Anyone selling any good lenses?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Lightbulb Just some observations from the day ...

    The a450 may never see the shores of the good ol' USA. It looks to be being market exclusively in Eur/Asia.

    I went to the SONY Style store, tonight, and review things as they have been happening there. There is no word of any α450 stock up.

    I then reviewed the α550, as they had one in the case ... and it was rather disappointing, in contrast to the α700/α850/α900 selections, of which I am VERY familiar.

    Albeit, one of the novel things, though, was the 12.800 ISO setting. I shot that through the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 "kit" lens, just to see how the NOISE response was ... and doggone it, it's not bad. It is very similar to the α700's ISO-3200, so definitely a better sensor response and process.

    But ISO, alone, does not make a body. The α550 is definitely harder to get the same comfortable grip with, that I do with the other cameras. Admittedly, all my cameras have a vertical grip, but still ... it feels rather small in my hand. I would not consider it as anything other than someone else's choice, not mine.

    Over all, I am so ready to see a SONY α7xx come to market, with better focusing and noise response. That is what I would be saving my money for, not an a500/a550.

    I do not like the idea of anyone going broke to produce excellent photographs with these devices, but I also realize that it has never been cheaper to do it. There has never been a $2000 Full Frame DSLR until the α850. The α700 was down to being so cheap, it came in at $300 under the α100 release price, back in 2006.

    Personally ... SONY photography, in 2009 was about as cheap an entry into good DSLRs as we will probably EVER see. From here it is nothing but going back up and up and up.
    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. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcray19 View Post
    .... I really do like the Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 lens, it does focus really fast and does seem to make better photos in general. I have learned to be very careful with DOF via the aperture size when taking group photos.
    Chris it's worth mentioning that the 50mm f1.7 was the Minolta kit lens back in 1985 (which is why there's a good supply); it's what came with my camera at the time and yes, i'ts the one I am still using. It comes with a "Mickey Mouse" pull up hood, is fast to focus, lightweight (plastic) and nowhere near the build quality of the f1.4 variety but it's a tough cookie nonetheless. If it has a fault it's in the borders which which are a bit soft at any aperture. Centres are a bit soft at f1.7 but from f2 they are impeccable.

    Why am I ever so slightly knocking what is undoubtably a very good lens??
    Quote Originally Posted by jcray19 View Post
    .... I am trying so hard to bring myself to want to spend $$$$ on a good "fast" lens but it is so hard when you will not realize the end result until after the first "shoot." ........
    You are already seeing the results from a "good fast lens" and you have already said it "seem to make better photos in general". So you have the evidence in front of you, just lack the conviction to believe what your eyes are telling you.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    The a450 may never see the shores of the good ol' USA. It looks to be being market exclusively in Eur/Asia.....
    I read somewhere that the A450 will be released in the States.
    That makes a lot of sense if you consider that the new 14.6MP CMOS Sensor is similar in size to the 14.9MP CCD sensor in the A380 which only appears in that camera, so why not dump the old CCD and free up production. I imaging they'll use up existing stocks before discontinuing the 380 and that's probably imminent.

    Don, being used the A700/850, there's no way you're going to like the handling or the interface of the 550. I share the same view, even the better IQ does not make up for the deficiencies. DxO stats show that the 550 @ ISO800 equals the A700 @ISO400 and that has to be good news for those waiting on the A7xx.

  6. #16
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    Feb 2006
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    Red face The angst of ... waiting

    Concerning the α500, I wanted to make this point so that people considering what they might feel is a lateral shift, because there is currently no 700-class DSLR . .. will, unfortunately, not be getting one by doing it.

    Why buy into something that simple feels ... less? But, I would be ecstatic is the new α7xx did fit right into the VG-C70AM Vertical Grip, assuring continuity in the grip and feel of the camera. Better yet, if they HAD to use space in the bottom of the camera, simply build the VG right into it, like Canon or Nikon do for their high end units.

    Isn't this waiting awful? Every year ...
    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. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
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    The grip for the a700 was so badass I wish Canikon made something similar.
    Canon EOS 7D

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