buying a first dslr... olympus 520 or sony a-230?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bigmike, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. bigmike

    bigmike TPF Noob!

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    I've decided to go digital and I have leanings towards sony and olympus (I'm just not that into nikon or canon) and I'm trying to figure out which to go with. Any advice???
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While both Sony and Olympus make good cameras, if you plan on going professional, the selection of equipement, mainly lenses, from Canon and/or Nikon is amazing.

    If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about which brand you are buying or which you are into or not. Go with what fits your budget,what you can grow with and what feels the most comfortable in your hands
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    When you buy a camera like these, you are buying into the system. Look beyond the specific bodies you have in mind. Take into consideration the whole line, lenses and other bodies. You should also look at the availability of 3rd party lenses (Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron primarily) in both the Sony-alpha and Olympus/Panasonic 4/3rds mount. Make sure that line has support for the direction you expect to grow.

    Both the Sony alpha series and the Olympus 4/3rd models are very good. The range of bodies currently available is good and there is every expectation that they will continue to be. Both offer a good range of lenses.
     
  4. F1addict

    F1addict TPF Noob!

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    if you're thinking about the Sony make sure you go to a store and hold it and try it out first, I love my A300 but from what I've read about the new sony 200 and 300 cameras they're very awkward to hold and reach all the buttons on because of the odd design for the hand grip.
    If you can still find a previous generation A200, A300, or A350 I'd go for one of those over the current A230, A330, or A380 models, or save your money an spring for an A500
     
  5. bigmike

    bigmike TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. The a-230 does seem to have an odd grip to it which I can tolerate even though it is a tad bit awkward. The main advantage I can see over olympus is the fact that I can get a buttload of minolta lenses on the cheap.
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    get the bottom end one, that way you'll save yourself money when you realize how inferior sony and olympus are in not just IQ, but ergonomics, lens selection, etc when you eventually decide to switch to canon or nikon.

    IMO the only reason for someone to look into olympus is if they're looking at micro 4/3rds. The EP-1 isn't a bad camera.

    speaking of m4/3rds, if you want to keep things small, take a look at the panasonic GF1. High ISO isn't that great, but it's fast, got a weak AA filter so there's high acuity, the 20mm f/1.7, and HD 720p video. Neither sony, or olympus have that in any of their slr's.
     
  7. bigmike

    bigmike TPF Noob!

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    Do I detect a bit of a nikon/canon bias here? I've been doing quite a bit of research online for both sony and olympus and it seems that either is as good a choice as any other make. As I've tested a variety of cameras, I prefer the feel of the e-520 and the look of the shots I've taken with it. After all, isn't that the most important thing?
     
  8. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    I started with the A100, and bought the A700 about 5 or 6 months ago. I have enjoyed it so far. However, if I had it to do all over again I'd probably go with Canon or Nikon. Right now I'm debating not getting any new Sony-specific equipment and changing over to Canon or Nikon when I can afford it.

    Some of the things I like about Sony:
    1. Image stabilization is built into the camera body, which means you don't have to spend extra on a lens to have IS.
    2. It's compatible with all the old, autofocus Minolta lenses. These lenses are cheap and perform well, which increases the number of available lenses dramatically.
    3. Price. I bought my A700 (Sony's mid-level camera) with the 18-70 kit lens for just over $1000. A comparable body and lens with Canon or Nikon would be much more expensive. Sony's pro-level body (the A900) is about half the price of Nikon's pro body.

    The main thing I don't like about Sony:
    1. Performance with high ISO settings. Noise is noticeable with ISO settings over 400. 800 is usable, but just barely. This limits my options considerably when I'm shooting in low-light situations (this is one reason I'm considering swapping systems).
    2. This isn't a problem with me, but with lower level Sony bodies it is apparently very cumbersome to change settings. You may have to fumble through menu options to adjust things like white balance, ISO, and EV. On the A700 there are easily accessible buttons to change these, but it was a pain in the butt with my A100. This is something you will want to look at when you make your decision.
     
  9. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've been with Olympus for coming on two years now and I'm happy.

    In a moment or two of weakness I've looked at Nikon and decided I would need a D300 to make a change worth while.

    At $1629 I don't think so...

    To be fair the iso performance of Olympus isn't great so if you want to shoot by candle light I'd consider looking at the Canikons :lol:

    Otherwise, dollar for dollar Olympus has lots going for it. After all, the E-520 is $479.

    Cheers, Don
     
  10. bigmike

    bigmike TPF Noob!

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    True about the iso, thanks. Even when I shot film, though, I never shot any speed faster than 400.
    have a happy!
     
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, but when you pushed the limits of ISO 400 with film, your image didn't look like this.

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  12. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I tried to make it obvious :D
     

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