Entry Level DSLR- XSi or Alpha A350?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by photbeatsfilm, May 27, 2008.

  1. photbeatsfilm

    photbeatsfilm TPF Noob!

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    I've been researching this subject for a while. I agree with everyone that says that Canon is a name to trust over Sony, but at the same time does that mean that the A350 should be overlooked? Although Sony is more of a newcomer to the camera game than Canon, they did purchase Minolta in 2005 along with all of Minolta's properties and their research and development. Also- Sony is a much bigger company than Canon, and I'm sure they've pumped a fair amount of money into their own R&D.

    From what I've gathered so far, the Sony is a great camera and good runner up to the Canon XSi, and it's only real problem (besides a little bit of a startup time lag) is that the stock lens is a P.O.S. (piece of sh*t). But at the same time- it accepts Minolta Lenses from the last 30 years, so finding good lenses for a good price should be a snap. It also has an extra 2 megapixels, but that's worthless without a good lens.

    So my questions are- (a) has anyone used both of these cameras? If so, please let me know what you thought. There are too many people trying to tell me whats up without having even picked up the Sony a350 (or the XSi for that matter).

    (b) Has anyone here used older Minolta lenses with a Sony Alpha body? If so, how'd that work out for you? Does autofocus work (I'm assuming it doesn't?) How do I know what the different focal length will look like on the Sony? (Like.... will a 5mm lens actually appear as a 70mm lens on the sony? a 200 like a 300? etc)

    As much as I think I should give the Sony a shot, I'm still leaning towards the Canon. I just don't want to spend my hard earned money one day and then hate myself for it the next.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  2. ChickenFriedRyce

    ChickenFriedRyce TPF Noob!

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    Oh my goodness.



    Most, if not all entry level DSLR's have an APS-C sensor size. That means they ALL have the same FoV/Focal length/whatever you want to call it. All APS-C sensor make the lenses seem as if they are 1.5x what they actually are, but they are still what is represented.

    Autofocus WORKS with all Minolta MAXXUM lenses. The new Sony Live-View DSLR's are very popular because of the way Sony implemented Live-View (a switch instead of digging). There are TONS of choices for lenses and they are all stabilized on every Alpha body.

    Thanks for giving Sony a shot. It's definitely worth it.

    (If you do go for a Sony, go find a Minolta 50mm f/1.7 and a Minolta 70-210 f/4)
     
  3. LuisAugusto

    LuisAugusto TPF Noob!

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    The kit lens aren't the greatest thing ever, true, but they're better than those found on the XTi, I dunno about the XSi. However, cameralabs said that the A350 IQ out resolves the Canon XSi even with the kit lens.


    Almost all DSLR (all budgets DSLR actually), as they already told you, have a crop factor, the Sony crop factor is 1.5x, the Canon crop factor is 1.6x (which leads to quite a lot of misunderstandings, the A350 viewfinder is the .74x, the canon XSi is .87x, but in real state, the XSi VF is .81x, still bigger, but not too much, actually, the A200 VF is bigger than both :))

    Back to the crop factor, just add the half of to the whole, like this: 50mm + 50/2 = 75 (50 + 25). This only matters if you are used to Full frame formats (aka film) or sensors, otherwise, it's just useless.

    You won't be disappointed.

    PS: By no mean I'm saying that the XSi it's a bad a camera, it's a very good one actually, I believe that the XSi is a more robust camera in many aspects, better ISO handling, faster burst shot, 14-bit RAW, however the A350 has 2 MP more, fast (but non-accurate) live preview, in body IS and a tiltable screen, and I prefer Minolta/Sony optical quality over Canon.
     
  4. photbeatsfilm

    photbeatsfilm TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the recommendations.

    I decided to go with the Sony, because I came across a garage sale and bought a used Minolta SLR with a Maxxum 50mm 1.4 lens, a Maxxum Macro Zoom lens (I believe it's 85-200mm? I'm at work and the lens is at home), and a flash, flight case, and other goodies for a hundred bucks. I'm gonna disregard the (POS) camera.

    I figured I'd be happier with an instant collection of lenses and the A-350 than the one stock lens on the XSi. I'll now use the money I would've spent on a canon macro lens to buy a flash ring and a cable release!

    Thanks. I'll be posting photos soon!
     
  5. LuisAugusto

    LuisAugusto TPF Noob!

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    Nice deal there :O

    The Minolta 50mm F/1.4 is quite good, I don't know about the other (since I'm not sure what it is, since there's a ton of zooms with macro).

    As my signatures says, I have a 50mm F/1.7, which isn't the best 50mm ever made. but at 60 bucks it's amazing, it's very soft in the corners, but sooo sharp in the center (I feel it outresolves my 10 MP), at F/8 it's sharp all around, the bokeh is very pleasing, and I believe your 1.4 should be better in every aspect.

    I have a 24mm F/2.8, very sharp, but I'm not too happy with it, it's not very wide on ASP-C DSLRs, I barely use it.
     
  6. ChickenFriedRyce

    ChickenFriedRyce TPF Noob!

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    Congrats, Congrats! You got a wonderous deal!
    That's what all Sony haters do not understand, you can still use all Minolta AF lenses on an Alpha and you can find them all for a bargain.

    I'm not 100% sure that your flash will work on you Alpha. Minolta switch to their hotshoe after a awhile of making film SLR's so it may not work without an adapter. If it does fit, you are lucky!!
     

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