Sony A100 vs Nikon D200

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by carusoswi, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. carusoswi

    carusoswi TPF Noob!

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    I'm in the market and have narrowded my choice to these two cameras. The Nikon is almost twice as expensive. I'm told it has better build quality - reading here gives me the impression that at higher ISO settings, I might have less noise with this camera (or more noise with the Sony).

    I own a good 28-200 mm Tamaraon zoom with a Nikon mount.

    I own a good 28300 mm Sigma zoom with a Minolta mount.

    Had a nice chat with a fellow from NYCW on the phone this evening. He seemed knowledgeable, objective, and honest.

    Points that he made -

    for the Nikon: Better build, more accurate color rendering, 5 fps vs Sony 3 fps, wider selection of lenses (although most likely, I'll either use what I have or buy just one). To avail myself of Nikon's stabilization feature requires the purchase of one of their VR lenses - the one I would want is 18-200 and adds another 750 to the package - 2200 and change, total. Nikon has a longer history in DSLRs than Sony.

    for the Sony: cost effective (even though this comparison is apples to oranges - he and I both recognize that). On-camera image stabilization will work with my Minolta lenses (and Sony claims this feature will give me a 3.5 stop advantage in low-light situations - probably a benefit that I will notice).

    In reading reviews of the Sony, I saw a comment that hinted that the image sensor in the Sony is the same as that in the D200, so, I'm wondering if my NYCW salesperson is totally accurate in his statement that the color rendering would be better on the Nikon.

    I must be missing something(s) that is(are) obvious.

    Comments would be appreciated.

    Caruso
     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    This is really an apples and oranges comparison.
    D200 is much, much more camera than the Sony.
    Image stabilization is not so crucial for full-size cameras as it is for point and shoot.
    You need to handle each of them and you can feel the difference.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Straight from B&H:

    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Nikon Zoom Telephoto AF VR Zoom Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8D G-AFS ED-IF Autofocus Lens (Vibration Reduction) [/FONT] $ 1,549.95

    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Sony SAL-70200G Zoom Telephoto AF 70-200mm f/2.8 APO G(D) SSM Autofocus Lens for Alpha & Minolta Maxxum Series [/FONT] $ 2,299.95


    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Nikon Telephoto AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF Autofocus Lens [/FONT] $ 1,024.95

    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Sony SAL-85F14Z Telephoto 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* Autofocus Lens for Alpha & Minolta Maxxum Series [/FONT] $ 1,299.95


    Opps. :confused:
     
  4. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    but remember, if you dont want to pay that much, there ARE many other options such as sigma and tokina which give you very good quality stuff for the same price for most cameras (example- sigma10-20 is the same price for different mounts as far as i know)


    but i do agree, sony lenses at this point are unnecessarily expensive. thats why i havent bought any from them and i'm perfectly happy, but yeah, these are two completely different cameras on different levels, one sells for $1,600 and the other is around 700 right now. so thats something to consider.

    anyway, if you're an amature, consider the sony, if you're thinking of taking photography up as a career, maybe go with the nikon... but i dont think you should really compare the two because they're different levels
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Same report you will get from me. You are comparing a an entry level consumer SLR to a prosumer camera with more incomon with the Professional Nikon D2X, than the other consumer SLRs. A far more fair comparison is the D80 to the Sony Alpha.

    Now in either case I would point towards the Nikon for now. I say this mainly because Nikon is a camera company with a long history, huge lineup of lenses, and several bodies, with experience with consumer camera design and the professional industry. Compare that to Sony, who has ... the Sony Alpha. No upgrade path from there. I believe this is their first DSLR too.

    I am not saying that the Sony Alpha is bad, from what I have heard it can hold its own against other entry level consumer DSLRs like the D80 and the Canon EOS400D, just that it is a camera by a company which is inexperienced and currently offers no future. This may change in 2 years when they have a whole lineup of DSLRs for consumer and professionals, or they may drop the DSLRs alltogether.

    Also the image sensor is a small part of a much larger picture. It only captures data, that's it. The noise floor and colour reproduction then depends on a complex array of variables such as how is this data read out off the sensor, via what connection, how is the analogue digital conversion done, and to some extents now to an area where the user has some control like how is the Bayer filtering applied, and the colour profile mapped to sensor data. The sensor may be sony manufactured but it is the rest of the electronics which really gives the Nikon D200 its incredible edge, mind you it is priced accordingly.

    In the end it comes down to how serious do you want to take your photography. The D200 is a far more robust solution which will most likely last much longer, but if you only take photographs of the family and friends, or even for a small hobby the money is probably spent on the Sony Alpha or another equivalent model from another company, and some nice lenses to go with it.
     
  6. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    I think all modern DSLRs are VERY capable devices and none of them are pushovers(quite amazing machines really), but in all honesty, the Nikon will most likely leave you a happier person down the road. As for the 2 having the same sensor, I don't know if that's true or not, but the nikon can still have better color reproduction due to it's firmware and it's in-camera processor. an example I could give that is more in my genre is Canon's Digic I, Digic II, and Digic III processors making the cameras they make better and better at whitebalance, noise reduction, FPS shooting, write speed, buffer space, etc..
     
  7. carusoswi

    carusoswi TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies . . . and, hopefully, it is obvious I never intended to compare these two cameras as equals, but, very much in terms of relative benefits (that I, personally, will realize) in light of their respective prices.

    I could go with the Nikon, use my Tamaron 28-200 film lens - that would mean no stabilization. Would I be disappointed? Will the color be that much better? Obviously, the build will be more robust - but robust enough to justify the additional outlay, or would I be happier with the more modest body, with/without a lense, with stabilization.

    Those are the questions I need to answer for myself.

    Again, thanks for your input. I'm still not certain which way I will go, but your responses are good food for thought.

    Caruso
     
  8. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    d200 hands down, the sony doesn't feel good at all to me, like a toy.

    is in camera is crap compared to in lens from the experiences i've had with both.

    i don't use is/vr at all. i don't need it.

    nikon - been in the camera business much much longer than sony.

    image stabilization shouldn't be a big factor for you - it doesn't live up to all the hype.

    if you can't hold it still enough under the given circumstances, shoot wider, up iso, rest the camera on something, tripod.

    i honestly thought the sony felt cheap compared to anything.

    relative benifits, nikon lenses, nikon speedlights, a tougher body, to me this would be a no-brainer, i don't really know why anyone bought a sony dslr with everything else thats on the market. especially this early in the game . . . if in 10 years sony is still making dslr's and the lenses have a good rep and the system quality is up, and there is room to grow into a full professional system then i would consider it.
     
  9. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    anyone know the shutter life difference between the two?
     
  10. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Well how else do you think they'd grow if nobody bought them in the first place? I think they did a good job considering it is up against other entry levels and has features packed into it to even make it look like a good choice next to some above entry level cameras. I mean, in-camera IS, weather sealing, sensor cleaning, 10 mega pixles. you make it sound like a camera from hell but that's a pretty good bells and whistles list.
     
  11. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    yeah , , , but those are bells and whistles, how is it with the meat of work?

    sensor cleaning is cool . . . i'll give it that, but d200 also has weather sealing (most entry levels don't have weather sealing, so the alpha is ahead there right (does the pentax have it?))

    10 mpxls . . . its just megapixels people sure place a lot of emphasis on those. i'm not saying its bad, i haven't used one enough to make that claim. but when i look at the choices of gear all of them seem attractive to me over sony.
     
  12. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    I mean, I don't shoot a Sony I shoot with D Rebel XT. I think the Sony has an edge above my camera. Truth is, many people don't have much money (I'm 17 and money is tight) to go past the entry level, and the Sony is up there in it's genre. Putting it down is like putting down the entry level in general (I know they're not great but likeI said in a previous post I think all modern dSLRs are a force to be reckoned with entry or not). It's a good camera, it is far down from a D200 but I don't thnik you should make it out as such a horrible piece of equipment.

    (Oh and the Pentax K10D has weather sealing)
     

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