Sony Alpha DSLR-A100?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Clayford_Photography, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Clayford_Photography

    Clayford_Photography TPF Noob!

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    Im sure you guys are tired of hearin my questions already lol but I went into Best Buy today to get my hands on the Rebel XT, and stumbled onto Sony's Alpha A100. It felt so much better in my hands than the XT did. Seemed much more durible, and better built. The A100 and the XT were both listed at the same price so im wondering is there any major difference between the two or does it really all come down to which one feels better in your hands?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    HERE is a side by side comparison (I also included the newer version of the XT, the XTi.)

    They are both good cameras...no doubt about that. I don't know a whole lot about the Sony. Canon is a leader in the DSLR field and I think the XT probably has the edge with image quality and low noise...but on the other hand, the Alpha has built-in stabilization, which is a great feature.

    The XT is Canon's entry level model and is made to be small and light...which makes it feel too small and cheap to many people. It's no surprise that the Sony feels better. Canon's higher level cameras feel much better to many people but they are more expensive.

    Remember that when you buy an SLR camera, you are buying into a system. You will have to use lenses and accesories that are made for that system. Canon clearly has the edge here...but Sony bought out Minolta, so it does have a fairly good system behind it as well.

    So, there is more to it, than which one feels best in your hands...but they are both good cameras, so if one really feels better to you, that should be reason enough to choose that one.
     
  3. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow same price? The Sony usually runs a bit more. Amazon has the XT for $519 with the kit lens.

    I had the XT for awhile, and loved it. Though plastic, it's more durable than you'd think. I wasn't necessarily nice to my camera.

    Big Mike is right on though. This first purchase is the cornerstone of your future equipment purchases. In a year, it will be difficult and expensive to switch to a different brand. A buddy of mine is a Nikon guy (has a d2h) and wants to go with Canon to buy the 40D. However, he's invested so much in Nikon gear, that selling all his equip used just isn't worth it.

    If it were me starting out, I'd look at Canon/Nikon now. They're already strong in the DSLR market.

    One last comment.. between the XT and XTi, I'd actually go with the XT, simply because I think the money you would save could better be used being put to a good fast prime lens. There's nothing the XTi has, that I wish the XT had.
     
  4. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    I was in the same position as you earlier this year. I was comparing the Rebel and Nikon D80 when I stumbled upon the A-100. I ended up liking the A-100 so much I got that and have really enjoyed my purchase.

    As Mike pointed out, the built in image stabilization for the Sony is a huge plus and was actually one of the main reasons I went with Sony. Sony also has recently introduced the A-700 (for the experienced amateur) and will eventually introduce a pro-level DSLR so you will have the option to upgrade if you so choose.

    Something else to consider is that Konica/Minolta (KM) closed out and sold their technology to Sony. The A-100 is essentially the most recent KM camera...so in my mind this is not a new adventure for Sony to avoid. KM made solid cameras. It's basically the same camera with a different name (like when Datsun changed to Nissan).

    Here's my list of Pros & Cons for the A-100:
    Pros:
    1.
    Built in image stabilization works for ALL lenses. With canon & Nikon you have to shell out a few hundred extra per lens to get this.
    2. Being the offspring of KM, it's compatible with over a million AF lenses manufactured for the Minolta auto focus SLRs. The KM lenses are cheaper, ubiquitous, and everywhere. My last lens (a 50mm/f1.7) only cost $50.
    3. I like the knob on the left of the camera giving you quick access to flash, focus, WB, metering, etc...though to some people this is not good. Sony actually got rid of this on the A-700 and put buttons all over the place to change these settings.
    4. I think Eye-start autofocus is unique to the A-100...but I don't use it because i have a hard time controlling it.

    Cons:
    1.
    Noise is pronounced at high ISO settings...I try my HARDEST to avoid ISO over 400 as 800 & 1600 yeild lots of noise. (but noise reducing software can remedy this if needed)
    2. There's no ISO boost...1600 is as high as you get. I believe the Rebel & D-80 have boosts up to 3200 and maybe even 6400.
    3. No wireless shutter control that I've found...it might be available now. I haven't looked in several months.
    4. Built in flash will not self-deploy in AUTO mode. You have to manually lift it (not a huge deal, but Canon's will flip up and fire if needed).
    5. RAW files actually save as .ARW files. They provide RAW editing software with the camera which works fine, but due to the .ARW format I cannot open the RAW files in Photoshop Elements.


    I know this was long, but I kinda wanted to be thorough. I've loved my camera and will upgrade to the A-700 whenever my wife lets me spend that money! However, had I gone with the Rebel or D-80 I'm sure I'd have been just as happy.

    If you want to see some of the pictures I've taken with my A-100 you can visit my flickr account:

    http://www.flickr.com/paulccarboni
     
  5. Clayford_Photography

    Clayford_Photography TPF Noob!

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    wow, you guys are really helpful! It seems to me that there are plenty of good reasons to go with any one of the 3 cameras ive looked at. (XT, A100, D80) Its all going to come down to personal preference. Thanks so much for all your help!
     

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