Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chongqing Jiaotong Daxue, Xuefu Dadau, Nan'an, Chongqing, P.R.China
    Posts
    19

    A500 vs A380, Which to get?

    Hi there guys, I'm a prospective D-SLR owner shopping for my first Alpha camera, I have a Dynax 404si with 35-80mm lens, However I'm wanting to move to a Digital platform.

    I've been happy for the last few years with my point and shoots performance, a sony P150, for the casual snaps, but it's time to move up and retire the film camera.

    The fact is, I haven't shot film since getting the P150...


    I'm off to China later this year as a TESOL teacher, spending a year in the picturesque three gorges region at Chongqing, where I will be making day tour trips as time allows away from classes. I was budgeting for a A850, and still want one, but some financial readjustments came up and now i need a cheaper camera.

    My choice now is between an A380 and an A500. Both come with an Sony 18-55 SAM kit lens, I will have my (1999 version) 35-80 Maxxum AF off the Dynax, and will be picking up either a 100-300 or 70-210 secondhand Minolta lense before I go for those long shots across the gorges and at details of such things as the Dazu rock carvings.

    Please don't suggest others, these are what is available here near me, I'm not looking to import from the states, and New Zealand doesn't have the full range of cameras to choose from, these are actually "mates rates" wholesale clearance as A390 and A580's take their places on the stock room shelves, so importing retail price cameras won't get any cheaper...

    I notice the www.dpreview.com score for the A550 is 70%, while the A500 is un-scored as presumably too close featurewise to the A500 to bother doing the whole rigmarole, meanwhile the A380 scores a measly 59%. Is the 500 significantly different from the 550 or can it be considered to effectively share the same 70% score, less 2 Mp lower res?

    I don't think at my level that 2 Mp (1.9 actually by the specs) difference will really affect me in any way. I wanted the A850, not so much because I needed it, I'm no pro, but because before the financial reset I could afford it and I'm a toy-collector kind of guy... Now I'm stuck in the welter of models in the middle and can't just grab the nicest thing off the top of the tree :P

    As a tourist, shooting long range shots from tour boat decks and moving trains, the in-body image stabilisation is going to be a great help

    Shooting will range from indoors (Buffet tables with traditional foods, "Look Ma, chicken Feet", museums, old buildings and architectural stuff, classes of eager Chinese TESOL English students), close shots outdoors ( buildings, groups, statues, traditional chinese eating traditonal things "Look Ma, the EAT those chicken feet! A street stalls!"), longer range things like buildings the other side of the park instead of the other side of the street, to long shots, close up details on a statue, or carving halfway up a cliff face, a temple perched on the hillside the far side of a gorge...

    With an 18-55 sony, and 35-80 and either 70-210 or 100-300 Minolta, which do you guys recommend? A380 or A500?


    Waiting anxiously for your replies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    the a380 is a dog and the a500 is about average. so i guess given that choice, i'd choose the one without fleas....just.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557

    Lightbulb SONY's up-to-date choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi-snapper View Post
    With an 18-55 sony, and 35-80 and either 70-210 or 100-300 Minolta, which do you guys recommend? A380 or A500?
    If you really want to start off with something that you will not have to replace, soon, the α580 is the place to put your money. It has the most up-to-date system in it and still maintains a "SLR" feel to it. The price won't break the bank, either.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    In terms of image quality, I don't think there's that much difference between the two.
    The A380 has a CCD Sensor dating back to 2008 I think and it's probably the sharper of the two but loses out a bit in iso performance but not by much.
    Neither camera excels in low light.
    Still, the A500 is a newer camera with some nice features and better specs all round so you should probably go there.
    Alphamount World review including comparison with the A550 features.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chongqing Jiaotong Daxue, Xuefu Dadau, Nan'an, Chongqing, P.R.China
    Posts
    19
    Thanks guys, I'll keep squeezing the budget to see if the A850 can still make it through the budget bite, but those pesky inoculations and vaccinations for bugs and nasties like Hep A and etc that are found in china has proven rather pricier than allowed for, plus health insurance is also up a bit more than allowed for.

    I'd rather have a less advanced older model camera than to find myself down with some nasty because I skimped on the needles!

    Meanwhile my zoom lens is in the mail, a Minolta 70-300 "New" of the type released in 1995, picked up cheap by online auction

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chongqing Jiaotong Daxue, Xuefu Dadau, Nan'an, Chongqing, P.R.China
    Posts
    19
    An update.

    I ended up looking hard at my Wants, vs my Needs.

    the end result, as I will be living for a year in China and then possibly a year in Ukraine, is I have decided to get a cheaper camera which closer fits my skills, and upgrade when I return. Besides which, I'll be there for a year in each place, and neither one is noted as being the most law abiding. Sure, tourist areas are well policed, can't have the Laowai thinking China is worse than their home towns, but away from the tourist traps, expat forums warn pickpockets and bag snatches are rife. And Ukraine is worse, at least the cops aren't out and out corrupt in China, the communist party would soon execute them if they were. Ukraine doesn't have that advantage.

    I'll be getting local insurance over there... but it's hard enough arguing with insurance companies about replacement values without having to do it with a translator in the loop.

    So I have a cheaper camera for the trip. Besides,

    Plus I ran across a oh-so-cheap just-can't-resist camera on Trademe, so now I have an A-300 with vertical grip on it's way to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Sounds like you got a good deal and I don't think the 300 will disappoint, basically it's an A200 with live view.
    At low ISOs the camera produces very nice images but above ISO640 noise starts to intrude (in low light) and the Dynamic Range drops fairly rapidly.
    Good luck with your new camera and also with your position in China.
    Don't forget to post some images in POTD.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chongqing Jiaotong Daxue, Xuefu Dadau, Nan'an, Chongqing, P.R.China
    Posts
    19
    Yup, I think I got a good deal alright, to put it in perspective, I got the A300 plus a vertical grip for less than it would cost to buy a Minolta 50mm F1.4 and not much more than for a Minolta 50mm F1.7


    Working permit has arrived today, so just got to send that off to the embassy with the forms and application fee plus my passport tomorrow.

    There should be some interesting things (and women) to photograph over there

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    76
    The A300 is a good camera. I got one for a few years now and works perfect. Photos are very good with the lenses I use.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •