Nikon's 3D Metering thing...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by AUZambo, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    In the next few days I'm gonna buy a new DSLR...either the Sony Alpha A100 or the Nikon D80. Due to the price of the body and additional lenses (should I choose to get them anytime soon), I'm leaning towards the Sony. Their are two big differences I'm wondering about.

    1. Image Stabilizer: Sony's is built into the camera where with Nikon you have to spend a few hundred extra per lens to have it. Advantage Sony.

    2. Metering Thingies: I know the light meter is used to determine how to balance aperture, shutter speed, f/stops. Sony's has a 40 hexagon planar system, where Nikon has some sort of 3D system. Apparently the advantage goes to Nikon.

    I don't really have a question about the IS/VR stuff, but I do want to know what the advantage is to the 3D metering versus Sony's planar version. I've just figured out today what the light meter is used for, so I'm guessing having the Nikon over the Sony won't be such a huge deal for me personally...or will it? I know there's tons of variables when choosing a camera, but generally is the 3D metering so incredible that I should spend the extra money on it?

    I'm thinking no.
     
  2. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i think is all about preference when it comes to choosing a DSLR of a similar level.....but if you ask me.....i dont think the metering thingy will make a significiant difference.....and yes...the IS of the sony is a sweet addition to have.....so from that point of view...sony is a winner....however....i chose the D80 over the A100 as you can see in my signature....why....no practical reason....but sony always give me a bad impression that their products are overpriced....all their electronics are 20% overpriced.....what i mean is that you can get the same quality from other brand paying 20% less...+ nikon has a longer history than sony in DSLR
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think it is advantage Nikon but for two reasons unrelated to your comments. I think the feature details are pretty unimportant. They seem important to beginners but, in reality, they don't matter that much. All the brands make competent cameras and lenses. There aren't any that won't get the job done. I think the features should be immaterial to the decision to buy a camera even though the industry, company marketing campaigns and magazine writers want you to believe otherwise.

    Nikon is one of the old line manufacturers with a wide and deep system that will cover virtually any photographic need from beginner to professional. For Sony, photography is a sideline. That doesn't mean they can't do it well. But to me it means it isn't as important as it is to Nikon. Yes Nikon makes other optical products like microscopes and rifle scopes but optics and imaging are all they do. Same with Canon and Pentax. Yes, Canon has copiers and printers etc and Pentax has binoculars etc. but these are all optical and imaging products. They are specialist companies and I think that is why these are the industry leaders and why these companies do it better.

    The other issue is sensor size. The Sonys have smaller sensors and the idea is to get larger sensors not smaller ones if possible. Theoretically a D80 will outperform a Sony and a Canon 1D (is the right name for it?) will outperform a D80. My own opinion is that sensors will grow in size, not decrease. This has less to do with the technology involved and more to do with the optics. My assumption is that technology will continue to improve sensors and make them perform better and smaller if that's what the industry needs. However, it is bucking the 1/2 century tradition of 35mm SLR's and that's why I think sensors will get bigger even if techology will allow them to be smaller.

    A Sony with a smaller sensor will obselete it's range of lenses faster than a product with larger sensors if I'm right. If I'm right, they will have to have larger sensors to compete with the industry leaders. You can use lenses for larger sensors on smaller sensors but not vice versa. In my opinion lens obselescense is far more important than what names the camera marketing gurus give to the metering systems.

    Personally, I'm not really into advising people on which camera to buy since it makes no difference to me and probably not much difference to their photography which one they choose. So I'm just providing a few other things to think about that the marketing people won't mention. I realize it isn't what you wanted to hear and for that I apologize. I wish you good images with whichever one turns your crank the most effectively.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Actually, to correct you Fred...the D80 and Sony A-100 have the exact same sized sensor. The sensor in the Nikon is actually manufactured by Sony.
    Side by side

    I think that 'feel' is another thing that should be taken into account. As Fred said, there really aren't any cameras that won't get the job done.

    Go into a store and feel the cameras. The one that feels better in your hands, will often be the right camera for you.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks, Mike. That certainly removes one of the variables. Please ignore everything I said about sensor size relative to these two cameras.
     

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