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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    13

    Sony A200 v A230

    So after a lot of searching on this site, I've realised that no one rates the kit lens that comes with the A200, and that the one on the A230 is a bit better. What I'd like to know is is it worth it spending a bit extra to get the A230 with a decent lens, or should I save my money by buying the A200 and then buy an upgraded lens for it? What difference is there between the bodies?

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

    Arrow Why an A2xx?

    There are some things I guess I am confused about concerning your choice of the 200-series cameras at all.

    SONY developed a series of cameras for what they felt were different aspects of photography.

    The 200-series was basically ... well, basic. You grow out of what it can do rather quickly (a couple months) and you hand it to your kid and upgrade to a 300-series or 500 series.

    Taking the plunge into a new α390 is a much better choice. The camera has some "legs" with a warranty and your imaging will be going with a better start. Buying a camera that is no longer supported by the manufacturer is just not the best idea.

    Not being dismissive, but more practical... unless you are getting the a200 for next to nothing... I would not bother.

    On the topic of lenses... the SONY kit 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 is a waste of your effort, if you are concerned with image quality at all. It is not a very good lens, for the most part, and the best advice is to shy away from it. If you just want to see how a dslr works with it, there is that. If you are looking to keep your work and expect better performance, the SONY 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens is the better choice.

    If you have a couple of bucks and would like a good SONY lens that moves well between any of the camera bodies, the SONY 28-75mm f/2.8 is a solid contender. It will give you the best light response of a zoom, indoors. The others, not so much, without a decent flash unit (HVL-F42AM) attached to the camera.

    If you consider third party and are not concerned about going to a full frame body, the TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 Di XR LD Aspherical (IF) would be the best overall choice... providing a wide shot and the typical indoor shooting focal length.

    Again, reading the sticky in this forum would be a good start, too.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-18-2011 at 01:22 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
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    13
    The choice is all down to budget unfortunately (I've got a thread in the 'What camera should I choose' category). I'm a student, and bought a Fuji bridge camera a few months ago. It does take good pics, and has been good for getting me used to the different settings, but I'm already finding myself frustrated by the lack of manual controls/settings.

    This will be my first SLR, and because of that along with my budget it has to be a second hand one. The A200 I've seen is priced at 175, with all original boxes etc and has a warranty and insurance until middle of 2012. Seems a fair price to me, but I want to get the most for my money.

    After reading the stickies and other threads on this forum I realise I would have to buy a new lens, so that's why I was asking if it's worth splashing out a bit more for an A230 (probably one without warranty and the boxes etc) just to get the 18-55mm lens?

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

    Thumbs up Conditional yes...

    Please understand, as I have tried to express in the prior posting, you should get the best possible camera you can reasonably afford, because you will be back for it, eventually, if you do not.

    The α230 is probably your best bet. It has a more developed LCD which will help you understand the relationship between the components of imaging (aperture, shutter-speed & ISO).

    Good luck with your new camera.
    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
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    13
    After reading through threads on this site, and countless reviews, I'm happy to got for a sony alpha series as my first dslr. My current options are the a200 with wwarranty/insurance for 150, or spend around 230 for an unboxed a230. Do you still think I'd be better off getting the a230, or would the 80 I'd save get me a decent lens for the a200 and thus making it a more practical choice?

    I really do appreciate the opinions of people who no better! I wish money wasn't too much of a problem, but it will be for the next few years. I just want to make sure I make the most of what little I have.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    I doubt you're going to buy a "decent" lens for 80.
    The A230 does come with the better kit lens but one thing to bear in mind is that the A230 is quite small in comparison which could be a concern.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    13
    Just come accross a 3rd option - the newer a290 is down to 300 in my local shop. Is a bit outside my budget, but worth considering?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Red face Make it the a290... if you must

    This newer model α2xx-series camera should be the choice, if you are not ready to drop the coin for the α390 (<- which I still contend you would be happier with, for a couple hundred more. It seems a small price to pay, up front, for a heck of a lot more flexibility). While I, personally, am not a big proponent of LiveView, it has its use, when you are in an awkward shooting position.

    I understand the struggle in the beginning... it is hard, but you seem pretty serious about this purchase. It is not something you will cast aside after a couple months, like many others might. Also, when you spend a bit more... you implicitly care more about it. Not many I have known like to waste money (me excluded, according to Rooz ).

    A lot of folks contend that it is the "glass" you use that makes the shot (me included). That is true, for the most part, but it is still much better to have a decent camera catching all that improved light. The a2xx-series are for people who just do not want to dip deep into a hobby. Believe me, this camera body is the LEAST of your expense, when you get further along. Spending $5000 on this "hobby" is not all that uncommon, for the serious image-quality dslr-nut. I was at that point in my first year and I was not using anything considered pro-level, it was more like "medium" level.

    Things change rapidly, in the digital realm, even without pressing ahead. I suspect we are all looking for that magic sensor that produces NO NOISE and the sharpest looking image ever seen. I say, bring it on, but until then... it is an uphill struggle finding a good mix.

    Try to remember the old adage... if I had more, I could do more.

    If you don't, you won't.

    Anyone else have an opinion, here?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-19-2011 at 10:00 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
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    13
    Isn't the a390 and a290 the same camera apart from live view though? And I'm not bothered about live view since I only use the viewfinder on my fuji bridge.

    The a290 seems just what I need for now. Will be able to afford something better after graduating hopefully, and by that time I'm hoping I'll be used to taking pictures and so will be able to justify spending more. Only thing I was worried about was spending money on a camera now and someone telling me a few weeks down the line that I could've bought so-and-so for the same price which would've been better.

    Gonna forget about the a200 now as it seems pointless spending that much on a second hand camera when a new, better one is only a 100 or so more. Will continue doing some research though as I don't want to be dissapointed.

    If anyone has any advice in terms of cameras to look into or websites to read etc I'd be very grateful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb The "magic" is YOU... not the camera

    Despite whatever camera you decide upon, never forget that it is YOU that is the creative element in the process. You choose the composition of the image and then, through thoughtful... or even haphazard approaches, CREATE!

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    Ideally, if you have "the eye," you can create something (legal) that someone else will want a copy of or that you can market successfully. That's where the profit portion of your camera work will pay for the equipment you use to create with. Unfortunately, there is usually a hefty lag in between here and there.

    Start with the α290... it has a bigger grip (a good thing) than the α230 and if LiveView and a tilt-able LCD are something you can live without, you will be all set. Again, just aspects of a growing interest. You can always get that in your next camera, perhaps the α580.

    Again, consider a good lens out of the blocks. That element of your photography cannot be stressed enough. Through the lens you see your world. If it is cloudy or has fuzzy focus on the outer edges, your images will instantly follow suit and will always leave you wondering what you could do to make them better. Once you have the "best" glass, that question mark disappears.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-20-2011 at 10:44 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

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