Sony dSLR vs. Canon?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by COG, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. COG

    COG TPF Noob!

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    A little background first. I have 30 plus years in the photo industry and degrees from RIT. However, for the past couple years I have gotten out of the industry and haven't kept up on the latest and greatest in camera gear.

    Here is my current question.

    MY wife shoots mostly sports photography (ice hockey and lacrosse), and mostly just the games our son plays. A few years ago she switched from film (Minolta Maxxum 5) to digital (Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20). The Lumix is pretty good for what it is, but she wants to move up to a dSLR. Mostly she wants better exposure under the sometimes low light level at older hockey rinks, and faster auto-focus.

    We initially planned on a new Canon Rebel Xsi (the new 12MP model) but have noticed that the Sony A200 costs a lot less and apparently can use our Minolta lenses. That would be a big plus, since she has lenses she likes for the Minolta.

    Has anyone here any experience with the Sony dSLRs? Is the auto focus fast enough for sports photography? Is the auto focus based on the sensor (rather than the lens) really as good as lens based auto focus?

    Any opinions?
     
  2. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I have the Sony A350 and find the focus very fast. One review that I read in Pop Photo claimed it was faster than the Canon Xsi.

    Fast lenses however are not cheap. The tamron f.2.8 70mm to 300mm (450mm in 35mm equivalent terms) which would be great in low light arenas is probably around $800. However if you have Minolta lenses then you may not have to worry.

    skieur
     
  3. COG

    COG TPF Noob!

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    Is the use of Minolta Maxxum generation lenses universal on the Sony dSLRs?
     
  4. fabric

    fabric TPF Noob!

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    don't know. would like to know though.

    the alpha cameras have great dynamic range. very good color accuracy in adobe colorspace, using the manual (kelvin value) white balance (although yellow/red tones are not as deep as in reality i find). the sensor is a tad bigger than that canon i believe - check at dpreview. shooting continous jpeg the buffer doesnt seem to fill up. usable shots at 1600 iso i feel. kit lens is slow and heavy chroma wider than 35mm. definately use the legacy minolta lenses instead. one other thing - FM50 battery life is superb. 600 available-light shots, with steady-shot switched on/eye-level AF switched off...with charge to spare.
     
  5. fabric

    fabric TPF Noob!

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    p.s .. dynamic range optimizer (DR/DR+) is really good (especially in manual,
    with AEL toggled). 11 point AF (more than the canon i think). good metering.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I believe so, yes.

    But keep in mind the 'crop factor'. The sensor on the DSLR cameras is smaller than a frame of 35mm film. So if your wife is used to getting a certain field of view from a 50mm lens...the same lens on a Digital Sony SLR will give the same FOV as a 75mm lens would have on a film camera. This is great for sports because it feels like you have more magnification, but it's a pain for wide angle because 24mm is no longer a wide angle lens. This is why these cameras usually come with a lens in the 18-50mm range.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon 20D = $400 gently used. You get a good AF motor and 5fps. Plus that's more money towards a 70-200 f/2.8L IS.

    Skip the entry level cameras...seriously.

    If you want new, you can hunt for a deal on a 30D. $700 new. I know it sounds like I'm pushing Canon a lot lately, but for the prices, you can't beat it. The XXD series uses a metal chasis and has a very intuitive control layout. Plus it's also 5fps. Fps can be a big deal for sports photography.
     
  8. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I agree - especially for sports. But you can also say the same thing about a used Sony A700, A used Olympus E3, or a used Nikon D200. etc. etc.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They're all down to $400ish?
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Sure... Depends who you get it from of course.
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    If you (they) have the Minolta lenses...might as well go with a Sony camera.
     
  12. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008

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