Camera Advice

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by alphajay, May 29, 2007.

  1. alphajay

    alphajay TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, I'm pretty new to the forum, been browsing around for a couple months and I need some advice on cameras.
    After shooting with a P&S for the last couple years, I finally broke down and bought a DSLR last December. Going on the advice of a friend, I bought a Canon XTi. But then after reading a couple reviews online I exchanged it and got a Sony A100. I have been playing with it and the kit lens for the last couple months and I have been pretty happy, but now I'm looking at getting a couple new lenses and I find myself regretting exchanging the XTi for the A100 based on lens options. It seems to me the Canon has more options and seem to be a bit cheaper. Should I sell my A100 and get an XTi or even possibly a 30d, or just be happy with the sony???

    TLDR version: Should I sell my Sony A100 for an XTi or 30d?

    Thanks,
    -j
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    A camera is just a tool...and knowledge is your best accessory. Switching models or brands won't really change all that much for you.

    Sony DSLR cameras come from their purchase of Konica Minolta's camera division...so the Sony camera is compatible with many, many Minolta lenses. I'm sure you should be able to find lenses that meet your needs.

    True, Canon may have more options...but is it really worth taking a hit on exchange for a few more options?
     
  3. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately you are learning the hard way ... buying a dSLR isn't just buying a camera ... but a camera system. Presently Canon and Nikon have the best/most complete systems (w/Canon in the lead with most options on higher end cameras and lenses.) But the question is how many lenses can you use ... most people require a minimal selection of a wide and a medium telephotos which everybody makes. So the next question is what do you plan/like to shoot ... and who makes the most and best cameras and lenses in this category (i.e. macro, astrophotography, sports, et cetera.) Don't forget about third party lens makers, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina, all make lenses of equal resolution to OEM lenses at sizable savings.

    Up to about an 8x10 print, and at ISOs less than 800, most all digital SLRs will deliver an image indistinguishable from one another (line up a series of similar images taken with different cameras and one really can't identify an expensive 16MP image from an 8MP, after 8x10 one can start to visually identify slight differences ... with differences increasing as the sizes go up.)

    Most Sony sensors suck at ISO 800+, I know of Pentax users who won't even consider higher ISO due to severe image degradation. Same-o for the XTi ( but for different reasons), an XTi user I know won't shoot higher than ISO 800 due to severe image degradation. All this being said, if you plan to shoot in low light situations, presently Canon will deliver the best out-of-the-body image quality at higher ISOs, (the D200 is a Sony sensor also.)

    To recap, if you are not passionate about photography if you are perfectly happy with the performance of the A100, then stay there. The lenses, although expensive, will still be cheaper than taking a big hit on the camera. If you wish to upgrade to low light capability and action/sports capability then go for the 30D. The difference between the 3FPS of the Sony and XTi and the 5FPS of the 30D for sports photography is night and day. Shooting sports with a 3FPS is like shooting single frame, 3FPS isn't fast enough to "follow action" requiring the shooter to wait for the peak of action to release the shutter. The 5FPS is fast enough to follow all the action ... release just prior to the peak and capture the immediate aftermath.
     
  4. alphajay

    alphajay TPF Noob!

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    Hey fast replies! I guess I'm not the only one sitting at work bored =p
    I hear what you guys are saying, photography isn't about the camera but about the person using it yeah?? I think I'm getting ahead of myself and thinking too much about things I would like to purchase in the future. I've been leaning towards keeping the Sony, but I see all those yummy L series and I get excited! Will I every buy one?? I dunno, but its nice to know its an option later on if I do get pretty serious. (I'm not thinking about canon JUST for the L series lenses btw...)

    As far as the type of shots I like to take, I'm a motorcycle fan, so I have been shooting alot of races lately, I wanna be prepared to take some nice pics at Seca this year for motogp :thumbup:. Speaking of which, I was at a race last week and I noticed for the first time a couple things I did'nt like about my Sony. I thought the auto focus was a bit slow and the 3fps a bit lacking. I had a hard time getting the shots I wanted. I dunno if thats just my equipment or my inexperience (probably the latter). I'm also into landscapes and abstract shots too.

    Am I passionate about photography? I'd like to think I'm getting there. For some reason I see myself spending a nice chunk of change on Sony lenses and then selling it all just to go back to canon when I need/want to get a new body. Something I guess I can only decide... Thanks for the quick advice guys :mrgreen: I'll have to keep sitting on this.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Well, an XTi isn't going to give you anything more than what the A100 offers. If you want to do sports, look at the Nikon D200 and Canon 20D at minimum. Shooting sports on my D70 is incredibly difficult and frustrating. I can't imagine how a Rebel would do.
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hi there. Just thought I'd offer a couple of thoughts...

    If you're finding your FPS too slow to capture the races, first of all 3 FPS may not be as good as 5 FPS but are you sure you're even getting all 3 FPS; are your shutter speeds fast enough?

    Canon will I'm sure offer faster and more consistent autofocus, indeed faster performance in general. I'd be very surprised if Sony doesn't make some major progress over the next couple of years. Sony are releasing new mid-range and top-end dSLR models soon, and if they can live up to the performance of the last of the Minolta film cameras then I would consider them entirely adequate for capturing fast action. But that's then, not now. And still Canon will offer better AF technology. Canon will continue to be the system of choice for sports, for a long while yet. If you know for sure that the Sony's AF is actually inadequate for your purposes, then going back to Canon is clearly worth considering. But as Sw1tchFX says, this would mean a 20d/30d, not a Rebel.

    L lenses may be 'yummy', but so are the high-end Minoltas and Zeiss lenses for the Sony. Difference is that Canon's are probably more affordable - but then what do you consider "affordable" when talking about high-end glass?

    Seefutlung is right to point out that some people using Sony sensors won't shoot at higher ISOs. But I'm not one of them. I will consider shooting with my Pentax at ISO 1600 and regularly do. ISO 3200 I consider useable too. But that's a 6mp sensor. What I've seen of the 10mp sensors suggests their high sensitivity performance is generally poorer.

    No offence intended, but did you really change cameras based only on reading online reviews? If you invest in Canon again, will you stick with them or suddenly decide that Nikon looks nice? ;)

    If you're thinking what I've said is a bit contradictory and doesn't point one way or the other, well as I said they're just some thoughts, not trying to push you one way or another. My opinion... Buying a first SLR is of course buying into a system. But that doesn't automatically mean you have to buy into system A or B. Canon has the most complete system, but most complete doesn't mean best for everyone. If you do think you need the larger and more widely available system and support base of Canon, then sure you should probably switch (or rather switch back). If you're sure the Sony doesn't perform adequately for your needs and know that the 30D would be better, no doubt that is a worthwhile move (the XTi much less so). But if you're just getting restless from reading online review again... take it easy ;)
     

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